Manchester City have said they are “disappointed but not surprised” after being handed a two-year Champions League ban by UEFA.
The reigning Premier League champions have been banned from UEFA club competitions for the next two seasons and fined £24.9million after being found to have “committed serious breaches of the UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations,” European football’s governing body announced on Friday.
City’s ban will come into effect from the start of next season, meaning that they will remain in this season’s competition, and will face Real Madrid in the last-16.
They will, however, also appeal the decision, which they revealed in a firm statement released soon after UEFA made their shock announcement.
City said: ” Manchester City is disappointed but not surprised by today’s announcement by the UEFA Adjudicatory Chamber.
“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.”
The reigning Premier League champions overstated sponsorship revenue in accounts submitted between 2012 and 2016, according to European football’s governing body.
The decision of the Adjudicatory Chamber of the Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) is subject to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
“The Adjudicatory Chamber, having considered all the evidence, has found that Manchester City Football Club committed serious breaches of the UEFA Club Licensing and 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,” read a UEFA statement.
“The Adjudicatory Chamber has imposed disciplinary measures on Manchester City Football Club directing that it shall be excluded from participation in UEFA club competitions in the next two seasons (ie: the 2020/21 and 2021/22 seasons) and pay a fine of 30 million euros.”