Football: Manchester City fend off UEFA Champions League ban reports

Manchester City players celebrate their EPL triumph.
Manchester City players celebrate their EPL triumph. Photo credit: Reuters.

Manchester City have disputed a media report claiming UEFA investigators are expected to seek a one-season Champions League ban, if the Premier League champions are found to have breached financial rules.

The New York Times - and later Britain's BBC - reported that investigators favoured the ban, should City be proved to have violated football's financial fairplay rules.

European football's governing body, as well as the Premier League, are both investigating the club over the allegations.

City called them "entirely false" earlier this year and re-iterated that assertion in a statement after the Times report said that Yves Leterme, chairman of the investigatory panel of UEFA's independent financial control board, is expected to make a recommendation this week.

Leterme has final say on a submission that will be made to a separate board, which is expected to seek a one-season ban from Europe's top club competition, the Times said.

City raised questions over the Times report, since UEFA has yet to comment on its investigation.

"Manchester City's published accounts are full and complete, and a matter of legal and regulatory record," the club said in a statement.

"The accusation of financial irregularities are entirely false and comprehensive proof of this fact has been provided to the CFCB IC ( (Club Financial Control Body Investigatory Chamber)."

The investigations are a result of claims made by the German magazine Der Spiegel, which cited leaked documents to suggest that City have violated FFP rules.

The club has vigorously denied wrongdoing and its officials have warned UEFA they would mount an aggressive response to any effort to bar the club from Europe's top club competition.

City were fined STG 49 million (NZ$91 million) by UEFA for breaching FFP rules in 2014, while the club's Champions League squad was also reduced for the 2014-15 season.

City won their fourth Premier League title in eight seasons on Sunday (local time), but have never won the Champions League, making it the top target of the club's Middle Eastern ownership.


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