Manchester City have successfully appealed their ban from European competition as the Court of Arbitration for Sport overturned the 2 year ban and reduced the fine by two thirds.
But the verdict has not gone down well in some areas, with La Liga president Javier Tebas being especially critical of the decision.
“We have to reassess whether the CAS is the appropriate body to which to appeal institutional decisions in football,” Tebas raged. “Switzerland is a country with a great history of arbitration, CAS is not up to standard.”
Tebas has been a long-standing critic of City and it was only in February that he was singing UEFA’s praises when the governing body issued City’s initial 2 year ban. “UEFA is finally taking decisive action. Enforcing the rules of financial fair play and punishing financial doping is essential for the future of football. For years we have been calling for severe action against Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain. Better late than never,” he tweeted, so it’s understandable that he would be a little annoyed that City have won their appeal. Bless.
UEFA issued a statement saying they ‘took 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.’
That statement also read “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 five-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,” was their rather petulant end to the statement.
Meanwhile, former England striker and Match of the Day host Gary Lineker questioned whether FFP would survive after City’s victory, before suggesting that UEFA may not even survive the ramifications of the verdict on Twitter shortly after the announcement.
Rather surprisingly, Der Spiegel, the German newspaper who released a series of articles entitled ‘Manchester City exposed’ have been remarkably quiet and there’s no mention of City’s victory, and the same can be said for the eight Premier League clubs that requested CAS stop City from playing in the Champions League until their case is resolved.
The same cannot be said for supporters of those clubs, with the meltdown on Twitter from opposing fans beginning within minutes of the verdict. Although City’s only crime is failing to co-operate with UEFA, some still believe that UEFA backed down and City paid off UEFA, whilst also failing to realise that UEFA and CAS are two completely separate entities.
But on the other side of the coin, it’s not just City fans that are celebrating the verdict. Manager Pep Guardiola was photographed celebrating with members of the City board with Sky News on in the background. The Catalan boss had said previously that he thought City would still be playing in the Champions League next season.
Turns out he was right!