Manchester City to appeal against two-year European ban

The club criticised the “flawed” process run by the sport’s European governing body

epa08218229 (FILE) -  A general view of the Etihad stadium before the English Premier League match between Manchester City and Chelsea in Manchester, Britain, 23 November 2019.  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/JON SUPER EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications *** Local Caption *** 55656414

English Premier League champions Manchester City said they will appeal against a two-year ban from all European club competitions after authorities ruled that the club had broken financial fair-play rules.

The club said that it was "disappointed but not surprised" at the sanction and the 30 million euro fine imposed by the disciplinary wing of Europe's governing body UEFA.

UEFA claimed that investigators had found that Manchester City had overstated its sponsorship revenue and other financial information in figures submitted between 2012 and 2016.

It also said that the club had failed to cooperate in its investigation. The club has vigorously and consistently denied those claims.

The Abu Dhabi-owned club said it 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".

It said that UEFA's chief investigator has overseen a "flawed and consistently leaked UEFA process".

UEFA had indicated as early as December 2018 that the club would be sanctioned even before an investigation had begun.

It meant that there was "little doubt in the result that he would deliver", the club said.

"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."

UEFA opened its investigation in March 2019 in response to allegations published in the German newspaper Der Spiegel.

The club accepted a fine in 2014 after a previous financial fair play investigation.

Manchester City currently trail Liverpool at the top of the Premier League by 22 points. The club will play Real Madrid in the Champions League round of 16 later this month.