Manchester City appeal Uefa's 'flawed' decision - so what happens next?

The procedure and the timescale of the appeals process

epa08218758 (FILE) - A general view of the stadium ahead of the UEFA Champions League group C soccer match between Manchester City and Shakhtar Donetsk at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, Britain, 26 November 2019 (reissued 14 February 2020). According to reports on 14 February 2020, Manchester City have been banned from the Champions League for the next two seasons for having broken financial fair play rules.  EPA/PETER POWELL
Powered by automated translation

Manchester City have announced they will appeal Uefa’s decision to ban the club from all European competition for two years, after authorities ruled they had breached financial fair-play (FFP) rules. For their part, the club have consistently denied any wrongdoing, so what happens next?

What is City’s stance?

City reacted to the news of the ban almost immediately, saying they were “disappointed but not surprised” at both the sanction and the €30 million (Dh119m) fine imposed by Uefa, Europe’s governing body. The club said Uefa’s chief investigator had overseen a “flawed and consistently leaked Uefa process” and that they had always anticipated the need for an "independent body and process to impartially consider the comprehensive body of irrefutable evidence in support of its position".

Taking the case to CAS

City have already said they will appeal to the Court of Arbitration of Sport, the international quasi-judicial body in Lausanne who, according to FFP regulations, have the final say. CAS can confirm the ban, reduce it or refer it back to the Adjudicatory Chamber of Uefa’s Club Financial Control Body. Reports estimate a verdict by late June or early July. However, City could also raise the case in a civil court, although that would likely be an even longer process.

How this impacts City this season

It doesn’t – in theory. The earliest the proposed ban could come into effect is next season, which means City could miss out on the 2020/21 and the 2021/22 Uefa Champions League. The club are on course to qualify for next year’s tournament, since they sit second in the Premier League, 12 points above fifth place having played a game less. City contest the first leg of Champions League round of 16 on February 26, away to Real Madrid.

How this impacts City if the ban is upheld

If the ban is upheld City would miss out on Champions League revenue for two seasons, with the amount dependent on how far they progress. Last year, they made €93m for reaching the quarter-final, and the prize money has increased this season.

How this impacts Uefa, should City win their appeal

If CAS does side with City, and agrees that the club acted in good faith and that Uefa had an agenda against them, then serious questions will be asked about the viability and validity of FFP.