Manchester City say they are “disappointed, but regrettably not surprised” after being referred to UEFA’s adjudicatory chamber following an investigation into financial fair play.
City were fined £49m and hit with restrictions on transfer spending and their Champions League squad after FFP breaches were originally investigated in 2014, and UEFA began a new probe after further allegations about the same period were made in German publication Der Spiegel last year.
It has been widely reported that UEFA investigators want City banned from the Champions League for a season if found guilty of breaking financial rules.
City have denied any wrongdoing and, in a strongly-worded statement, said the “decision contains mistakes, misinterpretations and confusions” and was the product of a “wholly unsatisfactory, curtailed, and hostile process”.
The statement read: “Manchester City Football Club is disappointed, but regrettably not surprised, by the sudden announcement of the referral to be made by the (club financial control body) CFCB IC chief investigator Yves Leterme.
“The leaks to media over the last week are indicative of the process that has been overseen by Mr Leterme.”
“Manchester City is entirely confident of a positive outcome when the matter is considered by an independent judicial body.
Club statement. https://t.co/IR44whJIf5
— Manchester City (@ManCity) May 16, 2019
“The accusation of financial irregularities remains entirely false and the CFCB IC referral ignores a comprehensive body of irrefutable evidence provided by Manchester City FC to the chamber.
“The decision contains mistakes, misinterpretations and confusions fundamentally borne out of a basic lack of due process and there remain significant unresolved matters raised by Manchester City FC as part of what the club has found to be a wholly unsatisfactory, curtailed, and hostile process.”
Former Belgian Prime Minister Leterme and his team have been investigating reports that City broke Financial Fair Play regulations by inflating the value of a multi-million-pound sponsorship deal.
“The club financial control body chief investigator, after having consulted with the other members of the independent investigatory chamber of the CFCB, has decided to refer Manchester City FC to the CFCB adjudicatory chamber following the conclusion of his investigation,” said a UEFA statement.
“The CFCB investigatory chamber had opened an investigation into Manchester City FC on 7 March 2019 for potential breaches of financial fair play regulations that were made public in various media outlets.
“UEFA will not be making any further comment on the matter until a decision is announced by the CFCB adjudicatory chamber.”