Man City banned from Champions League

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MAN CITY UEFA BAN: A timeline of events

Europe's football governing body announced on Saturday (AEDT) the club had committed "serious breaches" of the regulations and code of conduct, reflected in the severity of the punishment.

The Premier League club must also pay a €30 million ($48.5 million) fine, and all punishments are subject to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

City was found guilty of falsely inflating sponsorship revenues when it made submissions to the FFP as part of its compliance process.

The club released a statement soon after the decision came down, announcing it was disappointed but not surprised at the ruling and that it would begin proceedings to see it overturned.

"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," the statement continued.

"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 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."

City's bitter feud with UEFA erupted after an investigation was sparked by the publication of “leaked” emails and documents by German magazine Der Spiegel in November 2018. The source of the magazine's story, Portuguese national Rui Pinto, has since been charged with 147 criminal offences, including hacking and other cyber crimes. None of those charges, however, are related to the “leaks” of City’s or UEFA's emails, but only to Portuguese football, and he has denied them all.

City has also denied any wrong-doing throughout the period of investigation, and even sued UEFA for damages after what it saw as “leaks” to the media by the governing body with regard to possible punishments, including a ban that has now come to pass.

UEFA originally charged the club with breaking FFP regulations in May 2019.

City's statement on Saturday (AEDT) makes an appeal to CAS almost certain, but it remains to be seen if any legal process will allow the club to start next season's UEFA Champions League campaign.

Irrespective of whether the club is successful in its attempts to overturn the sanctions or not, any CAS case is likely to run for months, meaning the appeal could still be ongoing when next season's Champions League begins.

It also remains to be seen if punishment will follow from the Premier League in the form of a points deduction, should the punishments stick.

Should any appeal prove to be unsuccessful, players may also look to leave with no prospect of UEFA Champions League football for the next two seasons.

City faces Real Madrid in the Round of 16 in this season's UEFA Champions League.