Manchester City could lose their 2013/14 Premier League title after Uefa announced on Friday (Feb 14) that the club had committed serious breaches of its Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations.
The Adjudicatory Chamber of the Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) found Man City guilty of overstating their sponsorship revenues in their accounts and in the break-even information submitted to Uefa between 2012 and 2016.
The club were also found to have been uncooperative in investigations into the case. Man City have been banned from participating in all UEFA club competitions over the next two seasons (2020/2021 and 2021/2022) and been fined 30 million euros (S$45 million). The loss of revenue caused by the lack of Champions League football could also be drastic for the club.
Man City have responded with a strong statement saying they were “disappointed but not surprised” and that they intended to pursue an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). Manager Pep Guardiola also reassured the team that he will not be leaving while the club met with key players to discuss their future.
The Premier League have yet to issue any punishment to Man City but may be forced to as their own licensing pertains to Uefa’s FFP rules.
The club won two league titles (2012 and 2014) during the stated period. With a separate Premier League investigation to be carried out, there is a possibility that Man City may be stripped of their 2014 title. The league rule book allows for a deduction of points retrospectively.
This could mean that Liverpool, who finished 2 points below the champions, could be awarded the league title. Liverpool’s captain at that time and current Rangers manager Steven Gerrard said that he was very interested in the proceedings but would refrain from making further comment till the Premier League reached a decision.
Points deduction from this season remains the most likely avenue of punishment the Premier League might take. However, that is unlikely to make a difference in City’s current campaign with Liverpool leading the league by 25 points.
Man City are confident that they will be cleared of all charges as they deny any wrongdoing. So this could very well be Guardiola’s last chance to win Europe’s top prize with the club before his contract ends next year. /TISG
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