Manchester City’s appeal against their two-year European ban for breaches of financial regulations has been officially registered by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, CAS announced on Wednesday.
The Premier League club, who were also fined 30 million euros ($32.5 million) by European football’s governing body UEFA earlier this month, had immediately contested the “flawed” process and stated their intention to appeal.
CAS said in a statement on Wednesday: “The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has registered an appeal filed by Manchester City football club against the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA).
“The appeal is directed against the decision of the adjudicatory chamber of the UEFA Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) dated 14 February 2020 in which Manchester City was deemed to have contravened UEFA’s Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations.”
CAS said it was not possible to say when the matter would be resolved but it is expected to take several months.
The adjudicatory chamber said on February 14 City had broken the rules by “overstating its sponsorship revenue in its accounts and in the break-even information submitted to UEFA between 2012 and 2016.”
Pep Guardiola’s City face losing hundreds of millions of pounds in prize money, TV revenue, gate receipts and sponsorship income should their appeal fail.
Last week, City Football Group CEO Ferran Soriano said the club hoped to have their appeal heard by CAS before the start of next season’s Champions League.
Guardiola ‘trusts’ club
If the ban stands, it could raise questions about the future of Guardiola and key players.
But Guardiola said on Tuesday he was confident the club had a strong case.
“We were under suspicion for a long time but we have the right to appeal,”Guardiola said at a press conference before the first leg of his team’s Champions League last-16 tie against Real Madrid.
“I trust the people in my club. They have explained to me the reasons why we are under suspicion. They showed me the arguments and proof.
“If it doesn’t happen we have to accept it and move forward with the people who want to stay but I trust the club, I know them.
“We appeal as a club and we will see what happens with CAS.”
The two-time defending Premier League champions are currently second in the table but have a minimal chance of catching runaway leaders Liverpool, who are 22 points clear.
Since the Sheikh Mansour takeover in 2008, City have won 10 major trophies — four Premier League titles, two FA Cups and four League Cups.
Yet the prize that has eluded them is the one the Abu Dhabi owners most desire — the Champions League.
City have previously fallen foul of FFP regulations.
They were fined 60 million euros and saw their Champions League squad reduced in 2014. Qatari-owned Paris Saint-Germain was also fined that year.