Manchester City has successfully overturned its two-year ban from the UEFA Champions League.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport on Monday upheld City’s appeal against the UEFA ban, but imposed a 10 million euro ($16 million) fine for failing to co-operate with investigators.
The verdict by three judges clears Pep Guardiola’s team to play in the group stage of the Champions League next season.
The case does not affect City’s place in this season’s competition, which resumes next month with a round of 16 second-leg clash against Real Madrid in Manchester.
CLUB STATEMENT https://t.co/RlR33Vy2bI
— Manchester City (@ManCity) July 13, 2020
City’s win guarantees tens of millions of dollars in UEFA prize money next season.
It also protects against players leaving to seek Champions League action with another club.
“Whilst Manchester City and its legal advisers are yet to review the full ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, 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,” City said in a statement on their website.
“The club wishes to thank the panel members for their diligence and the due process that they administered.”
UEFA takes note of the decision taken by the Court of Arbitration for Sport to reduce the sanction imposed on Manchester City FC…
— UEFA (@UEFA) July 13, 2020
UEFA punished City in February for “serious breaches” of rules monitoring club finances and failing to co-operate with investigators.
The allegations included that the EPL club, owned by Abu Dhabi’s royal family, misled European football’s governing body UEFA over several years to meet financial integrity rules – known as financial fair play – required to enter European club competitions.
City denied any wrongdoing and UEFA had previously signed off on the club’s submitted accounts since 2014.
That year, UEFA fined City 20 million euros ($33 million) of its Champions League prize money in a first wave of assessments of European clubs’ finances.
A full verdict detailing the evidence, expert witness testimony and the judges’ reasons is unlikely to be published for several weeks.
UEFA could choose to challenge the CAS ruling at Switzerland’s supreme court.