European football ban on Abu Dhabi-owned Manchester City overturned
Abu Dhabi-owned Manchester City have seen a two-year European football ban overturned following a controversial court ruling, following allegations of improper funding.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport overruled the Champions League football ban for the English club, saying Manchester City did not breach Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules, according to news agencies.
The case centres on UEFA's claims that the club disguised equity funding as sponsorship money, a serious breach of FFP.
The CAS ruled on Monday that Manchester City did not break fair play rules and reduced the fine imposed on the club for refusing to cooperate with UEFA investigators from 30 million euros to 10 million euros ($11.30 million).
"Most of the alleged breaches reported by the (UEFA) Adjudicatory Chamber of the CFCB (Club Financial Control Body) were either not established or time-barred," the CAS said in a statement, according to Reuters.
Manchester City welcomed the ruling, which means the club can take part in financially-lucrative Champions League football next year.
"Whilst Manchester City and its legal advisors are yet to review the full ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), the Club welcomes the implications of today’s ruling as a validation of the Club’s position and the body of evidence that it was able to present," the club said in a statement.
"The Club wishes to thank the panel members for their diligence and the due process that they administered."
The CAS panel did slam Manchester City's "disregard" for cooperating with fair play monitors and "obstruction of the investigations".
Manchester City is owned by Abu Dhabi United Group for Development and Investment, headed by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al-Nahyan.
The club is overseen by Chairman Khaldoon Al-Mubarak who is said to be close to the UAE royal family.