The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) released their complete judgement and it revealed that Manchester City showed a blatant disregard for UEFA’s FFP case against them. The CAS overturned the Cityzens’ two year UEFA competition ban two weeks ago and reduced their €30 million fine to €10 million.
In the initial judgement, the CAS overturned Manchester City two-year UEFA competitions ban and highlighted the fact that the Premier League club failed to co-operate with UEFA’s investigation. That saw them handed a fine that was reduced from €30 million to €10 million which CAS hoped would be enough to deter the club and any other clubs from breaking the Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules.
The earlier judgement confirmed that Manchester City disregarded any investigation by UEFA and failed to co-operate which lead to their €10 million fine. However, CAS revealed that the majority of the panel found Manchester City guilty of the same and that City’s conduct during the investigation should be “strongly condemned” with the hope that the €10 million fine deters anyone else from the same.
“The majority of the panel finds that MCFC’s failure to cooperate with the CFCB’s investigation is a severe breach and that MCFC is to be seriously reproached for obstructing the CFCB’s investigations,” CAS said referencing UEFA’s Club Financial Control Body.
“As argued by UEFA, the entire FFP system depends for its effectiveness on complete and accurate reporting by clubs of their football income and expenses. If clubs do not truthfully disclose such information, the system cannot work.”
UEFA’s investigation was based on a series of articles published by Der Spiegel in November 2018 and CAS confirmed that those emails – released by Football Leaks – were admissible evidence. But the full judgement also confirmed that there was no proof that the allegations made over the sponsorship money from Etihad was funnelled into the club via other means. The judgement went on to reveal that UEFA did not investigate a “frivolous” case but most of the alleged breaches of FFP rules were time breached.
“There is no doubt that Etihad fully complied with its payment towards MCFC and that MCFC rendered the contractually agreed services to Etihad in return. The majority of the panel finds that Etihad Sponsorship Agreements are presumed to be negotiated at fair value and that MCFC, HHSM [Mansour], ADUG and Etihad are considered not to be “related parties”.
“The Etihad Sponsorship Agreement were legally binding contracts. There is no evidence that agreements were backdated or that MCFC otherwise retrospectively tried to cover up any alleged violations following the publication of the leaked emails,” the CAS verdict further read.