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    Man City’s Champions League ban overturn is a total shambles, the end of FFP and opens floodgates for transfer splurge

    A TOTAL shambles. And the end of Financial Fair Play.
    At least, that was the immediate response to the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s decision to wipe out Manchester City’s two-year Uefa ban.

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    Man City’s Champions League ban has been overturned by Uefa
    Understandably, too.
    After all, City have long argued the very concepts that initially underpinned FFP, an attempt to prevent clubs amounting catastrophic debts, had been subverted into something very different.
    Instead, City – and others – have insisted FFP became a tool of the “cartel” – the existing cabal of Europe’s elite clubs who did not want interlopers breaking into, or breaking up, their cosy little club.
    City, with their Abu Dhabi financial backers, and PSG, effectively the sporting arm of the Qatari government, represented both a huge threat and an unwelcome, unwanted challenge.

    Uefa, it was felt, became too protective of the old guard, insufficiently willing to allow the existing order to be threatened.

    In truth, it was more complicated than that.
    We will not know for certain why City won their case until later this week when the full CAS award is published.
    But the outline statement hinted Uefa’s biggest problem was failing to follow its OWN rulebook.

    CAS explained the three Judges in Lausanne had determined “most of the alleged breaches reported by the Adjudicatory Chamber of the Club Financial Control Body were either not established or time-barred”.
    In other words, there was not enough evidence to stand up some of the allegations – and the others took place outside the five-year statute of limitations.
    That there will be casualties inside Uefa is evident, no matter what the full CAS ruling says.
    City pointed accusatory fingers in the direction of the head of the investigations unit – former Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme.
    They will now expect his head on a platter. And probably get it.
    After all Uefa have been left humiliated and embarrassed – not to mention significantly out of pocket.
    But Uefa President Aleksander Ceferin, who has sought to build bridges in recent months – he visited the Etihad on a number of occasions – may be able to hide behind the independence of the procedure.

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    Uefa president Alexsander Ceferin had tried to build bridges with City in recent months

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    Uefa’s head of their investigations unit Yves Leterme was heavily criticised by City
    Uefa “contract out” financial and off-field rule prosecutions to the investigations unit. It gives the European governing body enough wriggle room to claim they were not responsible.
    Ceferin had on a number of occasions also suggested there was a “concrete case” but he also insisted: “Look, as a lawyer I respect the system.
    “The system we have is an investigations chamber and an adjudicatory chamber, and then we have CAS in Lausanne.
    “For some administrators it’s a problem if you have an independent body. For me it’s a privilege.”
    Yet even in March, three months before City’s three-day CAS hearing, Ceferin was publicly recognising FFP in its current incarnation was no longer apt and fitting.
    He said: “It’s too early to say how it will look in the future but we are thinking about it and will probably have to adapt it.
    “FFP has been very successful. Now there are no losses or very few, so we will have to adapt it to different times. Our experts are in discussion.”
    Within weeks, European football was shutdown by the Covid-19 crisis, which led to the first stage of the FFP reset.
    Uefa has already announced that clubs will not have to open their 2019-20 books for inspection until after the 2020-21 season, allowing two years’ worth of finances to be measured.

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    Pep Guardiola could be seen grinning ear-to-ear at the news in a now-deleted Instagram postCredit: Instagram
    It means that the next FFP cases are unlikely to be announced for THREE years, by which time the rules will have been rewritten considerably.
    In the meantime, City will feel liberated to spend, spend, spend.
    Those clubs – Chelsea in particular – that have tightened their belts to meet the requirements may feel they have wasted their time and look to follow the City splurge.
    If the proposed Saudi owners are given the go ahead to buy Newcastle the floodgates look open there too.
    Whatever the exact details, things have changed. The only question is by how much.
    But it seems likely Uefa may have to go back to something approaching the original principles of FFP as a protective measure not a punishment regime.

    City’s win may be as much about process as facts. But the repercussions will be immense.
    Pep Guardiola was pictured grinning with his staff in a now deleted Instagram post after the decision was announced.
    And Manchester United and Chelsea fans were fuming with the news as it will affect their ability to qualify for this season’s Champions League.

    Man City’s two-year Champions League ban OVERTURNED by CAS More

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    Grinning Pep Guardiola and backroom staff celebrate Man City Champions League ban overturn in now-deleted post

    MANCHESTER CITY boss Pep Guardiola grinned ear-to-ear at the news of his side’s successful appeal against a two-year Champions League ban.
    In a now-deleted Instagram post the City boss, 49, appeared jubilant in a selfie alongside members of his technical staff.

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    Pep Guardiola could be seen grinning ear-to-ear at the news in a now-deleted Instagram postCredit: Instagram
    Since the initial verdict in February, it had appeared that the Citizens would not be taking part in European football for two seasons – with the news even throwing Guardiola’s future at the Etihad into doubt.
    But much to the dismay of Chelsea and Manchester United fans, the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled that City did not disguise equity funding as sponsorship”.
    And Manel Estiarte, Spanish water polo legend-turned-Guardiola-right-hand-man, took to Instagram to post a celebratory snap.
    Captioned: “Yes!!!!!!!!!!”, Guardiola and his staff could be seen grinning gleefully in front of a TV showing Sky Sports News’ coverage of the verdict.

    The post may now have been deleted but City’s joy, however, very much lives on.
    The Sky Blues have already sealed qualification, sitting second on 72 points – 12 clear of next challengers Chelsea with three matches left to play.
    And City could yet stick it to their critics even more, by winning this season’s competition when it gets back underway in Lisbon next month.

    Favourites to get the job done over Real Madrid at the Etihad having secured a 2-1 aggregate lead in Spain – City would face the winners of Lyon’s tie with Juventus in the quarter-finals.

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    Man City hold a 2-1 aggregate lead over Real Madrid in this season’s Round of 16Credit: Reuters

    As for who will join them and Liverpool from the Premier League in next season’s competition – the race is set to go down to the wire.
    Chelsea currently sit in third on 60 points, one above Leicester City in fourth, and two ahead of United in fifth.
    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, however, have a crucial game in hand as they host Southampton this evening.

    How the race for the top four looks with three games to go

    Man City’s two-year Champions League ban OVERTURNED by CAS More

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    Will fifth place in the Premier League get a Champions League place following Man City’s CAS appeal verdict?

    MANCHESTER CITY will be playing Champions League football next season after their two-year ban was overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
    City have been ordered to pay a £10m fine for obstructing Uefa’s investigation but are otherwise in the clear.

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    The ruling sees Man City banned from the CL for two yearsCredit: Reuters
    But what does this mean for this year’s Premier League and that all-important fourth qualifying spot?
    Will fifth place Premier League finish secure CL spot?
    FOLLOWING Uefa’s ruling, Man City WILL be playing in the Champions League next season, having gained enough points to guarantee their spot.
    But the fifth placed team in the Premier League will not now qualify for the competition with only the top four to make it, as would be the cae in any other season.
    That team is currently Manchester United, but they have a game in hand on fourth placed Leicester and take on Southampton tonight.

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    How the race for the top four looks with three games to go
    Why were Man City banned from the Champions League?
    CITY had been slapped with the sanction having been found guilty of seriously misleading European football’s governing body.
    Uefa investigated claims that City had hidden millions in funding by the club’s Abu Dhabi owners under the guise of legitimate sponsorship income.
    The probe was launched following the Football Leaks document dump of emails and letters.
    City were initially fined £49m for FFP breaches in 2014, although that was later reduced to £16m.

    The club have always vehemently protest their innocence.

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    The reigning Premier League champions have also been hit with a whopping £25m fine by UefaCredit: Getty Images
    A statement from the club at the time said: “Manchester City is disappointed but not surprised by today’s announcement by the UEFA Adjudicatory Chamber.
    “The Club has always anticipated the ultimate need to seek out an independent body and process to impartially consider the comprehensive body of irrefutable evidence in support of its position.
    “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.
    “The subsequent flawed and consistently leaked UEFA process he oversaw has meant that there was little doubt in the result that he would deliver.  The Club has formally complained to the UEFA Disciplinary body, a complaint which was validated by a CAS ruling.
    “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 judgement as quickly as possible and will therefore, in the first instance, commence proceedings with the Court of Arbitration for Sport at the earliest opportunity.” More

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    Man Utd and Chelsea fans gutted as Man City’s Champions League ban overturned meaning top 5 finish not enough for Europe

    MANCHESTER CITY have seen their Champions League ban lifted by the Court of Arbitration for Sport this morning… much to the dread of United and Chelsea fans.
    Fans had believed that fifth-place would be enough to qualify for Europe’s premier competition this season, with Pep Guardiola’s side set to miss out.

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    How the race for the top four looks with three games to go

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    Manchester City will play Champions League football next seasonCredit: Reuters
    But after City were found to have not “disguised equity funding as sponsorship”, the race for top-five just became the race for top-four once more.
    And United and Chelsea fans are clearly not happy with the news, now being made to sweat on their participation in next season’s competition.
    One took to Twitter to write: “WHAT A JOKE. FFP should be scrapped now.”
    While another fumed: “FFS MAN WHAT IS THE POINT OF RULES IF U CAN BREAK EM AND GET AWAY WITH IT??”

    Another forlornly wrote: “They broke the rules and it got reduced to nothing this is so messed up”.
    One added: “Chelsea will go play Europa!!!!!!”
    And another angry fan mused: “FOOTBALL IS FINISHED.”
    One fan did seem confident about the pair’s prospects, however, writing: “Leicester not getting CL football”.

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    Manchester United and Chelsea now face a dogfight with Leicester for the final two Champions League placesCredit: PA:Empics Sport

    Manchester City have already sealed second place with three games to go, sitting 12 points above Chelsea.
    But then the race gets interesting, with Frank Lampard’s side third on 60 points, one point above Leicester City in fourth, and two above United in fifth.
    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, however, have a crucial game in hand as they host Southampton this evening.

    Man Utd, Man City and Wolves face missing start of next season and having NO summer off due to delayed European campaigns More

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    Man City CAS appeal: What did the verdict say and will they play in Champions League next season?

    MANCHESTER CITY have learned their fate after CAS ruled on their Champions League ban.
    The Citizens had been rapped by Uefa’s club financial control body (CFCB) back in February and slapped with a a two-year suspension from European competition and £25m fine for breaching Financial Fair Play rules.

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    Pep Guardiola’s side will know on Monday if their appeal has been successfulCredit: Reuters
    Etihad chiefs have been battling the verdict ever since and the decision has now been revealed.
    What is the Man City verdict?
    CAS have OVERTURNED Man City’s Champions League ban.
    The Court of Arbitration for Sport verdict cleared the club of Uefa’s charge of “disguising equity funds”.
    However, they did agree that City had obstructed the investigation and thereby ordered them to pay a fine of £10m, rather than £30m.

    Before the case, Pep Guardiola said: “I’m confident because I saw the arguments of the club that next season we will be there but we have to wait and after I give my opinion or the club will give their statement.
    “[Beating Brighton 5-0] we achieved one incredible challenge, which is qualification for the Champions League mathematically.
    “That is the challenge that is the minimum requirement for this club. And these players have done it for the last six or seven years.
    “We deserve to be there because we won it on the pitch. Hopefully on Monday UEFA can allow us to play like this team and these players deserve to.”

    Will they be able to play in this season’s the Champions League?
    Man City WILL be able to play in next season’s Champions League.
    As a result of the verdict, only the top four will qualify for the Champions League next season, meaning the fifth placed team will miss out. More

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    Man City FFP appeal: What time will Uefa announce result and are they able to play in this season’s Champions League?

    MANCHESTER CITY are set to learn if the appeal against their Champions League ban has been successful.
    The Citizens were rapped by Uefa’s club financial control body (CFCB) back in February and slapped with a a two-year ban and £25m fine for breaching Financial Fair Play rules.

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    Pep Guardiola’s side will know on Monday if their appeal has been successfulCredit: Reuters
    Etihad chiefs have been battling the verdict ever since, with Uefa now set to reveal their decision.
    What time will Uefa announce the result?
    After nearly six months of wrangling behind the scenes, City will find out on Monday July 13 if they will be appearing in next season’s Champions League.
    The decision has huge ramifications – and not just for players and staff at the Etihad.
    If the ban is upheld, the team finishing fifth in the Premier League will head into the tournament instead of City, who have already secured their place in the top four after thrashing Brighton.

    And for the club themselves, keeping hold of their star players and attracting new ones could be tough without the lure of the Champions League.
    Etihad chiefs have always denied any wrongdoing and Pep Guardiola is confident that City will be appearing in the premier competition next campaign.

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    City were beaten by Spurs in last season’s Champions LeagueCredit: Reuters
    The City boss said on Saturday evening: “I’m confident because I saw the arguments of the club that next season we will be there but we have to wait and after I give my opinion or the club will give their statement.
    “[Beating Brighton 5-0] we achieved one incredible challenge, which is qualification for the Champions League mathematically.

    “That is the challenge that is the minimum requirement for this club. And these players have done it for the last six or seven years.
    “We deserve to be there because we won it on the pitch. Hopefully on Monday UEFA can allow us to play like this team and these players deserve to.”
    The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) will announce the decision at 10.30am Swiss time, which is 9.30am BST.
    This is the first time a club has been banned for two seasons and the CAS has the power to overturn the ban or reduce it to just one season.

    Will they be able to play in this season’s the Champions League?
    The two-season European ban City received was due to start in 2020/21.
    If it is upheld, they WILL continue to play in this season’s edition of the competition which is due to restart in August.
    City beat Real Madrid 2-1 at the Bernabeu in their last Champions League game and were involved in the draw which took place on July 10.
    Should they make it past the La Liga leaders, they will have to face either Juventus or Lyon in the quarter finals. More

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    Pep Guardiola not looking past Champions League ‘kings’ Real Madrid with Man City facing Ronaldo’s Juventus if they do

    PEP GUARDIOLA says his Manchester City team cannot look past the ‘kings’ of the Champions League – after they were handed a tricky route to the final.
    City could face Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus in the last eight and then one of Pep’s old clubs Barcelona or Bayern Munich in the semis.

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    Pep Guardiola is not looking past Champions League ‘kings’ Real Madrid
    But first they must safely negotiate the second leg against Real Madrid to book their ticket to the finals in Portugal.
    And Guardiola says it will come back to haunt them if they get to far ahead of themselves.
    Asked about the prospect of playing Lyon or Juve in the quarter finals, the City chief said: “We have to play against Madrid.
    “We play against Real Madrid, if we think about the next step the king of this competition will put us out.”

    They will have to do that without Sergio Aguero – with Guardiola confirming the club’s all-time leading goalscorer will not be back from a knee injury by then.
    He said: “I’ve told you many times he won’t be ready. Definitely.”
    At least Uefa have confirmed the second leg of that last 16 tie against the 13 time winners will be at the Etihad – after reports that too would be played in Portugal.
    Guardiola believes the right decision has been reached, saying: “Why should we play another place, the first leg in Madrid so second leg at home.

    “It’s a normal situation, it’s not about advantages. It’s what it is. When it’s a knockout tie it’s normally one at home and one away.”

    Before that City will hear whether they will be allowed to play in next season’s competition.
    The result of their appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport against a two year ban handed down by UEFA should be known on Monday.
    Pep said: “I’m so confident because I know and hear the arguments of the club.
    “I think next season we will be there and after I will give my opinon and the club will give a statement.”

    Jason Cundy is furious with VAR about Man Utd penalty given to Bruno Fernandes against Aston Villa More

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    Man City joint-favourites to win Champions League after draw with Chelsea a huge 200/1 outsider after Bayern thrashing

    MANCHESTER CITY are joint favourites with Bayern Munich to win the Champions League.
    The quarter-final draw was made today in Nyon, with City to face the winners of Lyon versus Juventus if they get past Real Madrid.

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    Pep Guardiola’s side are 2-1 up from the first leg in Spain but Los Blancos have looked rejuvenated in recent weeks and top LaLiga.
    City are 3/1 to lift the silverware – the same as Bayern who look in a strong position.
    The German champs are 3-0 up from their last-16 first leg against Chelsea with the home game to come.
    But anyone who thinks Frank Lampard can spring the ultimate surprise and set up a quarter-final against Napoli or Barcelona should place a wager.

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    Kevin De Bruyne inspired Manchester City to a stunning 2-1 win away at Real MadridCredit: PA:Press Association
    The Blues are a whopping 200/1 to win this season’s Champions League.
    But Lampard has fond memories of the Allianz – he of course captained Chelsea to their 2012 penalty-shoot out victory against Bayern to win the competition.
    After City and Bayern, PSG are next in the betting at 5/1.
    Alex Apati of Ladbrokes said: “Man City still have work to do before reaching the quarter-final but they continue to head the betting along with Bayern.

    “PSG have seen their odds slashed after a generous draw.”
    The draw from Uefa headquarters in Nyon was beset by technical difficulties, with the video links to Real, Atletico and PSG failing to operate properly.
    The Europa League draw took place after the Champions League one, with Manchester United to face the winner of Copenhagen and Istanbul Basaksehir in the next round.
    That’s of course if they beat LASK – but you wouldn’t bet against it as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side boast a 5-0 lead heading into the second leg of the last-16 clash.

    Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp hails Pep Guardiola as the ‘best manager of our era’ More