Manchester City Win Champions League Ban Appeal
Manchester City's two-year ban for breaching UEFA's Financial Fair Play rules was overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport on Monday morning.
In February City were handed a two-year ban from the Champions League and Europa League by football's European governing body.
UEFA claimed that City had 'seriously misled' them and broken FFP by falsely inflating inflated their sponsorship revenues, accusations that first came about in the leaked emails featured in German magazine Der Spiegel in 2018.
This decision from CAS means that the club can continue playing in Europe's club competitions, although they have still been handed a €10 million fine.
The ruling from CAS denied there had been any disguising of funding, reporting: "Manchester City did not disguise equity funding as sponsorship contributions but did fail to cooperate with the UEFA authorities. CAS decision: Exclusion from participation in UEFA club competitions lifted; fine maintained but reduced to €10 million"
In a statement the club said: "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."
Many people have questioned whether or not FFP will be able to continue after City overturned their ban without too much punishment on the pitch, and now only face a fine which their owners can easily pay.
City are still in this season's Champions League, and lead Real Madrid after the first leg of their last-16 tie, but the original ban had meant they wouldn't be in the competition next season, even if they'd won it for the first time in 2020.
The knock-on effect would have been the fifth-placed side in the Premier League qualifying for Europe's elite club competition, which is no longer the case. That means the battle for the top four has been turned up a notch, especially after both Chelsea and Leicester City lost at the weekend.
Frank Lampard's team are currently on 60 points with the Foxes one point behind them in fourth, however Manchester United are just a point further back and play Southampton in their game in hand on Monday.
If the ban had been upheld there would have been questions about the future of Pep Guardiola as well as some of the high-profile players, like Kevin De Bruyne, but the news today means that the club can continue working on their future.
Winning the Champions League for the first time has clearly been one of City's top priorities in recent years, and is certainly a priority after missing out on the league this season and after several European failures.
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