By Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw
Manchester City Football Club (MCFC) has won its appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in its long-standing case brought by UEFA for its alleged breach of the Financial Fair Play Regulations.
In an Award of 13 July 2020, the CAS held that MCFC did not disguise, as alleged by UEFA, equity funding as sponsorship contributions, but did fail to cooperate with UEFA in its investigation of the matter.
Accordingly, the UEFA ruling was set aside by the CAS.
This means that the two-year ban on MCFC participation in UEFA club competitions was annulled.
However, considering the financial resources of MCFC; the importance of cooperation of football clubs in UEFA investigations, because of its limited investigative resources; and the MCFC disregard of that principle and its obstruction of the investigations, the CAS found that a significant fine should be imposed on MCFC and considered that it was appropriate to reduce the initial UEFA fine of € 30 million to € 10 million.
The text of the CAS Award with reasons will be published on the CAS website (www.tas-cas.org) shortly.
Also, the September issue of ‘Sports Law and Taxation’ will include a full report and analysis of this important ruling, which may spell the demise of the UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations.
Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw may be contacted by e-mail at ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’