(CNN) — Manchester City has been banned from UEFA club competitions for the next two seasons — beginning in 2020/21 — and handed a $32.5 million fine by European football’s governing body.
The organization’s Adjudicatory Chamber of the Club Financial Control Body found that the English Premier League team had “committed serious breaches” of its Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations.
City said in a statement they are “disappointed,” calling UEFA’s process “flawed” and plan to appeal the decision.
The English Premier League club can still participate in the ongoing Champions League season for 2019/20. Pep Guardiola’s team play Real Madrid in the last 16 round of the Champions League on February 26 and March 17.
UEFA’s statement added that the Adjudicatory Chamber had found that City had overstated its sponsorship revenue in its accounts and in the break-even information submitted to European football’s governing body between 2012 and 2016.
“The Adjudicatory Chamber has also found that in breach of the regulations the Club failed to cooperate in the investigation of this case by the CFCB,” said the UEFA statement.
City’s statement outlined in detail its deep unhappiness over the ban.
“In December 2018, the UEFA Chief Investigator publicly previewed the outcome and sanction he intended to be delivered to Manchester City, before any investigation had even begun,” said the City statement.
“The subsequent flawed and consistently leaked UEFA process he oversaw has meant that there was little doubt in the result that he would deliver.
“Simply put, this is a case initiated by UEFA, prosecuted by UEFA and judged by UEFA. With this prejudicial process now over, the club will pursue an impartial judgment as quickly as possible and will therefore, in the first instance, commence proceedings with the Court of Arbitration for Sport at the earliest opportunity.”
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The Emirati royal Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al Nahyan’s investment company Abu Dhabi United Group owns Manchester City.
The Champions League, Europe’s flagship competition, is hugely prestigious — and lucrative. Lifting the trophy — something that has eluded City thus far — is estimated to earn the winning club over $90 million.
City is the English Premier League champion, but its hopes of winning a third successive English top-flight title are all but over with Guardiola’s team 22 points behind leaders Liverpool.