A list of 9 Premier League clubs to have made contact with the Court of Arbitration for Sport over Manchester City’s appeal against their European ban has been revealed.
City made an example of
The bombshell announcement regarding City’s hefty punishment arrived this past February.
First, a number of highly-reliable sources confirmed that the Premier League champions had been slapped with a 2-season Champions League ban, and hit with a £25 million fine.
This was swiftly followed by a statement from Uefa, which read:
‘The Adjudicatory Chamber, having considered all the evidence, has found that Manchester City committed serious breaches of the Uefa Financial Fair Play Regulations by overstating its sponsorship revenue in its accounts and in the break-even information submitted to Uefa between 2012 and 2016.’
‘The Adjudicatory Chamber has also found that in breach of the regulations the club failed to cooperate in the investigation of this case by the CFCB.’
The decision on the part of European football’s governing body came on the back of an in-depth investigation into Manchester City’s financial situation.
This investigation was reportedly sparked by Der Spiegel in November of 2018, after the German publication highlighted the fact that the Sky Blues had falsely inflated the club’s revenue gained through sponsorship, in a bid to comply with Financial Fair Play regulations.
The widespread assumption had subsequently been that City would likely see their ban reduced from two years to one, but would nevertheless be forced to sit out next season’s Champions League.
This was, however, until the COVID-19 pandemic brought football around the globe to a standstill.
The Citizens quickly launched an appeal against UEFA’s decision to the CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport) on the back of their sanction being announced.
The hearing process was inevitably delayed, but, after several months of waiting, City’s appeal was eventually heard between the 8th and 10th of June.
And, much to the surprise of their Premier League rivals, when all was said and done, Pep Guardiola’s men came out victorious against Uefa.
In an official announcement two weeks ago, it was confirmed that that the Sky Blues had seen their ban from European competition lifted, with the club’s fine also reduced to just €10 million.
OFFICIAL: Manchester City’s appeal against their two-year UEFA ban has been successful and they will play in Europe next season.
The club have been fined €10m. pic.twitter.com/SyEH4NSyVf
— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) July 13, 2020
What had since remained unclear, however, were the exact reasons behind the CAS’ momentous decision.
As outlined above, though, such questions have today been answered, and in some depth.
In a 93-page document released this afternoon, the Court of Arbitration for Sport provided a complete explanation for their eventual ruling, with a lack of sufficient ‘evidence’ having proven the key in Uefa’s case falling apart.
Nevertheless, it was added that:
‘The majority of the panel finds that MCFC’s failure to cooperate with the CFCB’s investigation is a severe breach and that MCFC is to be seriously reproached for obstructing the CFCB’s investigations.’
This lack of cooperation proved the telling factor in City’s €10 million fine.
While a number of further noteworthy findings were obviously also present in the CAS document released today, none have piqued attentions to quite the same extent as the naming of 9 other Premier League clubs as playing a significant role in the appeal process.
The sides in question were confirmed to have contacted the CAS individually, to request that any ‘stay of execution’ be withheld.
In other words, the CAS were asked not to push back City’s Uefa ban.
It will likely come as little surprise to find that all of the Sky Blues’ top-6 rivals were involved, along with Burnley, Leicester City, Newcastle United and Wolves:
Confirmation in full report that Arsenal, Burnley, Chelsea, Leicester, Liverpool, Man Utd, Newcastle, Spurs, and Wolves wrote to CAS asking that “a stay of execution” from CL ban be withheld. Bit of a misjudgement because City never asked for it. pic.twitter.com/rqNVUbLIdU
— Jonathan Smith (@jonnysmiffy) July 28, 2020