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UEFA could ban Manchester City from 2019-20 Champions League over FFP

UEFA president Alexander Ceferin said findings are expected “very soon” after Manchester City were accused of financial impropriety.

football Updated: Dec 04, 2018 16:50 IST
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Josep Guardiola manager of Manchester City looks on prior to the start of the Premier League match between Manchester City and AFC Bournemouth. (Getty Images)

Manchester City could potentially be banned from next season’s Champions League due to alleged Financial Fair Play (FFP) breaches, with UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin say an investigation could be concluded “very soon”.

German magazine Der Spiegel made a number of claims against City last month in a series of articles based on documents purportedly attained from whistleblowers Football Leaks.

Der Spiegel’s reporting accused Sheikh Mansour’s City regime of topping up multi-million pound sponsorship deals with Abu Dhabi companies, using their owner’s fortune, in order to meet UEFA’s FFP stipulations.

Further allegations claimed City were cut a favourable FFP settlement when they were punished for overspending by UEFA in 2014.

The Premier League champions dismissed the stories and said “the attempt to damage the club’s reputation is organised and clear”.

UEFA said soon after that it could re-open investigations should more information become available to them, and Ceferin this week referred to City’s case as “concrete”, with findings expected in the near future after media reports suggested a Champions League ban is a possibility.

“We are assessing the situation,” he told reporters in Dublin. “We have an independent body working on it. Very soon you will have an answer on what will happen in this concrete case.”

FIFA president Gianni Infantino was UEFA general secretary at the time of City’s 2014 FFP settlement and defended the agreements reached with them and Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain

“Our goal at UEFA was always to keep the clubs with us, not to kick them out, so you negotiate and seek solutions. That was my job as general secretary,” he told Swiss publication Blick last month.

“The fact is, in the history of FFP, 30 violations have been detected. With all but one club there were agreements - agreements and negotiations are expressly allowed.”

First Published: Dec 04, 2018 16:17 IST