Manchester City’s future in the Champions League for the next two seasons is in doubt following UEFA’s decision to punish the reigning English Premier League champion after it found the club had committed “serious breaches” of club licensing and Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations.
The punishment — issued by UEFA’s independent Adjudicatory Chamber of the Club Financial Control Body — is subject to an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and City immediately issued a statement Friday describing UEFA’s process as “flawed” and making it clear the fight is far from over.
On Wednesday, City posted a video interview with the club’s chief executive Ferran Soriano in which he spoke about the ruling.
“The owner has not put money in this club that has not been properly declared,” said Soriano.
“We are a sustainable football club, we are profitable, we don’t have debt, our accounts have been scrutinised many times, by auditors, by regulators, by investors and this is perfectly clear.
“We did cooperate with this process. We delivered a long list of documents and support that we believe is irrefutable evidence that the claims are not true,” added Soriano.
“It was hard because we did this in the context of information being leaked to the media in the context of feeling that every step of the way, every engagement we had, we felt that we were considered guilty before anything was even discussed.
“At the end, this is an internal process that has been initiated and then prosecuted and then judged by this FFP chamber at UEFA.”
In a statement sent to CNN, UEFA said it wasn’t commenting anything further than the communication it made on Friday regarding this case.
Manchester City’s last-16 tie in this season’s Champions League competition is against 13-time winner Real Madrid, with the first leg on February 26.
“We provided the evidence but in the end this FFP Investigatory Chamber relied more on out-of-context stolen emails than all the other evidence we provided of what actually happened and I think it is normal that we feel like we feel,” said Soriano.
“Ultimately based on our experience and our perception, this seems to be less about justice and more about politics.”