A document from the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) has revealed why the ban on Manchester City was Upturned.
The Citizen’s European ban was overturned after accusations that the club’s owners disguised at least £204m as sponsorship went unproven, the CAS revealed.
The document states that City denied in the strongest possible terms that they had entered into a conspiracy with their sponsors Etihad Airways and Etisalat.
The club insisted a total of 5.5m emails were stolen from them, UEFA’s case was based on six specific emails, and a CAS panel ruled that the emails constituted admissible evidence.
The written reasons, as reported by Skysport, confirm that on March 9, 2020, nine Premier League clubs – Arsenal, Burnley, Chelsea, Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester United, Newcastle, Tottenham, and Wolves – wrote to CAS to ask them not to agree to any City request to lift the ban during the appeal process.
But City never applied for their suspension from European football to be removed, and were confident that the appeal would be heard quickly and that they would win.
The majority of the panel found that UEFA’s allegation that sponsorship income had been inflated was not proven.
Payments from Etisalat were time-barred according to UEFA’s own rules, and Etihad Airways’ payments were partially time-barred. Meanwhile, the CAS panel was not satisfied that UEFA had properly established their case.
The panel says UEFA had a legitimate basis to prosecute Manchester City. It found that City failed to co-operate with the investigation by European football’s governing body.
The Premier League club failed to provide witness statements or hand over the original versions of the leaked emails.
The CAS panel said City were guilty of a severe rule breach for not co-operating with the investigation and should be seriously reproached. The panel therefore found it appropriate to fine City €10m (£8.96m).