Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Monday overturned Manchester City‘s two-year European ban following a successful appeal.
The outgoing English Premier League champions had been banned from all European football by UEFA after being indicted for violating club licensing and Financial Fair Play regulations.
The decision means that City will now take part in next season’s Champions League meaning fifth place in the Premier League will no longer qualify for the Champions League. Manchester United occupy fifth in the table as it stands.
An initial fine of €30 million was also reduced to €10m following Monday’s verdict.
A statement from CAS read: “The CAS award emphasized that most of the alleged breaches reported by the Adjudicatory Chamber of the CFCB were either not established or time-barred.
“As the charges with respect to any dishonest concealment of equity funding were clearly more significant violations than obstructing the CFCB’s investigations, it was not appropriate to impose a ban on participating in UEFA’s club competitions for MCFC’s failure to cooperate with the CFCB’s investigations alone.”
A UEFA statement read: “UEFA takes note of the decision taken by the Court of Arbitration for Sport to reduce the sanction imposed on Manchester City FC by UEFA’s independent Club Financial Control Body for alleged breaches of the UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play regulations.
“UEFA notes that the CAS panel found that there was insufficient conclusive evidence to uphold all of the CFCB’s conclusions in this specific case and that many of the alleged breaches were time-barred due to the 5 year time period foreseen in the UEFA regulations.
“Over the last few years, Financial Fair Play has played a significant role in protecting clubs and helping them become financially sustainable and UEFA and ECA remain committed to its principles.
“UEFA will be making no further comments on the matter.”
A Manchester City statement read: “Whilst Manchester City and its legal advisors are yet to review the full ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), the Club welcomes the implications of today’s ruling as a validation of the Club’s position and the body of evidence that it was able to present. The Club wishes to thank the panel members for their diligence and the due process that they administered.”
City are also still able to compete in this season’s Champions League. They hold a 2-1 first-leg lead over Real Madrid in the round of 16, and will play either Juventus or Lyon in the quarterfinals if they progress.