Manchester City’s appeal against the club’s two-year ban from European football will be heard by the Court of Arbitration for Sport on 8-10 June.
Uefa handed down the punishment, which included a €30-million fine (£25m/$33m), to the Premier League champions in February for breaching Financial Fair Play rules.
The adjudicatory chamber of Uefa’s Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) found City guilty of ‘overstating its sponsorship revenue’ between 2012 and 2016 in order to meet break-even rules.
European football’s governing body began the investigation after a series of allegations were published by German magazine Der Spiegel in November 2018, which drew on documents purportedly obtained by whistleblowers Football Leaks.
City vehemently deny the allegations and accused Uefa of making its decision known before the investigation had even begun.
They also promised to appeal the decision ‘at the earliest opportunity’, with chief executive Ferran Soriano insisting all of the money put into the club has always been ‘properly declared’.
CAS confirmed it had registered Manchester City’s appeal on 26 February, less than two weeks after the ban was handed down.
The appeals process usually involves an exchange of written submissions between the parties, with a panel of CAS arbitrators deliberating the issue at a hearing before delivering its decision in the form of an arbitration award.
By scheduling the hearing for early June, CAS should ensure City’s fate is decided before the scheduled resumption of the Premier League following the coronavirus shutdown, tentatively pencilled in for 12 June, meaning there are no complications regarding qualification for next season’s European competitions.
Pep Guardiola’s side are currently second in the Premier League. If their ban is upheld and the table stays the same, it will be rivals Manchester United, currently in fifth place, who directly benefit by claiming a Champion League place at the expense of City.
The decision is also likely to have a huge bearing on the club’s ability to sign new players over the summer, as well as the futures of existing stars.
Guardiola has already suggested he intends to stay at Etihad Stadium regardless of the ban appeal, but midfielder Kevin De Bruyne says the prospect of two years out of Europe would be tough to take.
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