In 2019 Manchester City capped off one of the greatest seasons in English soccer history. They won all three domestic trophies in a single campaign and secured another trip to the prestigious UEFA Champions League. But a recent investigation into Man City’s financials have led to the European soccer body banning the mega-club from the tournament.
On Friday, UEFA announced that Manchester City is banned from the Champions League for the next two seasons. The ban comes on the heels of a major Financial Fair Play (FFP) violation.
Per the report, Man City overstated its revenue in accounts and break-even information. The report also states that Man City did not cooperate with UEFA officials over the course of the investigation.
In addition to the Champions League ban, the club has been fined €30,000,000 ($32.5 million) by UEFA.
OFFICIAL: Manchester City have been banned from the 2020/21 and 2021/22 Champions League and fined €30,000,000 by UEFA. pic.twitter.com/K04KmlNq4v
— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) February 14, 2020
Manchester City has released a statement on the ruling, revealing that they are “disappointed but not surprised” by it. They made it clear that they feel the investigation process was flawed and prejudicial.
Via BBC Sport:
“The club has always anticipated the ultimate need to seek out an independent body and process to impartially consider the comprehensive body of irrefutable evidence in support of its position.
“In December 2018, the Uefa chief investigator publicly previewed the outcome and sanction he intended to be delivered to Manchester City, before any investigation had even begun.
“The subsequent flawed and consistently leaked Uefa process he oversaw has meant that there was little doubt in the result that he would deliver. The club has formally complained to the Uefa disciplinary body, a complaint which was validated by a CAS ruling.
“Simply put, this is a case initiated by Uefa, prosecuted by Uefa and judged by Uefa. With this prejudicial process now over, the club will pursue an impartial judgment as quickly as possible and will therefore, in the first instance, commence proceedings with the Court of Arbitration for Sport at the earliest opportunity.”
While Manchester City will be able to appeal this punishment, the ruling is a major stain on the organization.
Manager Pep Guardiola could easily resign if there’s any question as to whether the Citizens will be contending for the Champions League next season.
Some of Man City’s most talented players might leave. The club could also find it impossible to bring in elite transfers this summer.
This is a ruling that could ultimately have major implications for all of European soccer.