Premier League Champions Manchester City Could Face A UEFA Ban from UCL for a Season
Uefa investigators want Manchester City to be banned from the Champions League for a season if they are found guilty of breaking financial rules.
However, according to one well-placed source, a final decision is yet to be made by chief investigator Yves Leterme.
The former Belgian prime minister, chairman of the investigatory panel of Uefa’s independent financial control board, is set to make a recommendation this week.
With no vote in such cases, the final say lies with him but several of his colleagues are understood to have firmly expressed the view at a recent meeting that a season-long ban would be a suitable punishment if City are found guilty.
Leterme and his team have been looking at evidence first uncovered in a series of leaks published by the German newspaper Der Spiegel last year.
The reports alleged that Manchester City had broken Financial Fair Play regulations by inflating the value of a multimillion-pound sponsorship deal. City were fined £49m in 2014 for a previous breach of regulations.
What are the FFP rules?
Financial Fair Play was introduced by Uefa to prevent clubs in its competitions from spending beyond their means and stamp out what its then president Michel Platini called “financial doping” within football.
Under the rules, financial losses are limited and clubs are also obliged to meet all their transfer and employee payment commitments at all times.
Clubs need to balance football-related expenditure – transfers and wages – with television and ticket income, plus revenues raised by their commercial departments. Money spent on stadiums, training facilities, youth development or community projects is exempt.
The Club Financial Control Body, set up by Uefa, has the ultimate sanction of banning clubs from Uefa competitions, with other potential punishments including warnings, fines, withholding prize money, transfer bans, points deductions, a ban on registration of new players and a restriction on the number of players who can be registered for Uefa competitions.
Has anyone been punished before?
In 2014, Qatar-owned Paris St-Germain received a similar financial punishment to the one City received.
PSG were deemed to have breached FFP ruleswhen the CFCB decided their back-dated £167m sponsorship contract with the Qatar Tourism Authority, which wiped out their losses, had an unfair value.
That meant the French side exceeded allowed financial losses by a wide margin when, under FFP rules, clubs were limited to losses of £37m over the previous two years.
They received a fine, a spending cap and were only allowed to register 21 players for the Champions League for a season.
PSG also remain under investigation for their 2017-18 finances when they signed Neymar from Barcelona for a world record £222m euros (£200m) and Kylian Mbappe from Monaco, initially on loan, for 180m euros (£165.7m).
NEWS SOURCE: BBC SPORTS