Manchester City will remain eligible for next season’s UEFA Champions League tournament.
The English Premier League side saw its possible two-year ban from European competitions overturned on Monday by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). Man City was accused of financial fair play violations, but won its appeal and instead will be fined €10 million, a fine reduced from the original €30 million penalty issued by UEFA.
If Manchester City was banned from the competition, then fifth place in this season’s EPL standings would’ve qualified for the Champions League. Chelsea and Leicester City currently occupy the final two spots in the top four, while fifth place will now qualify for the Europa League. Manchester United, Wolverhampton Wanderers, and Sheffield United are all in the mix.
The CAS determined that prior charges related to the concealment of equity funding “were clearly more significant violations than obstructing the CFCB’s investigations,” so it felt it was not appropriate to impose a ban on participating in UEFA’s club competitions.
“However, considering i) the financial resources of MCFC; ii) the importance of the cooperation of clubs in investigations conducted by the CFCB, because of its limited investigative means; and iii) MCFC’s disregard of such principle and its obstruction of the investigations, the CAS Panel found that a significant fine should be imposed on MCFC and considered it appropriate to reduce UEFA’s initial fine by 2/3, i.e. to the amount of EUR 10 million.”
Manchester City was previously accused of Financial Fair Play (FFP) violations from 2012-16′, while also failing to cooperate with an investigation. City wasn’t banned from European competitions however, but fined in the past.
“Whilst Manchester City and its legal advisors are yet to review the full ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), the Club welcomes the implications of today’s ruling as a validation of the Club’s position and the body of evidence that it was able to present. The Club wishes to thank the panel members for their diligence and the due process that they administered,” the club said in a statement.
Manchester City has already claimed the EFL Cup and remain in both the FA Cup and UCL competitions. Pep Guardiola’s men will face Real Madrid in the second leg of the Round of 16 at the Etihad Stadium in August, leading 2-1 on aggregate. Should the Citizens advance, they will face either Juventus or Lyon in the quarterfinals in Portugal later this summer.