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Friday, 10 April 2020

Allegations untrue and "about politics", says Man City CEO

Reuters , Wednesday 19 Feb 2020
Manchester City
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Manchester City chief executive Ferran Soriano says the allegations made against his club, which have led to a two year ban from European football by UEFA, are untrue and politically motivated.

UEFA ruled on Friday that City had committed "serious breaches" of their Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations and failed to cooperate with their investigation, handing them a two year ban and a 30 million euro ($32.40 million) fine.

City, who have denied wrongdoing, said they intend to appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

In an interview on the club's website, Soriano, addressed the ban for the first time.

"Well the most important thing I have to say today is that the allegations are not true. They are simply not true," he said.

The Adjudicatory Chamber of UEFA's Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) said City had broken the rules by "overstating its sponsorship revenue in its accounts and in the break-even information submitted to UEFA between 2012 and 2016" and added that the club "failed to cooperate in the investigation".

"We provided the evidence but in the end this FFP Investigatory Chamber relied more on out of context stolen emails than all the other evidence we provided of what actually happened and I think it is normal that we feel like we feel.

"Ultimately based on our experience and our perception this seems to be less about justice and more about politics," said the Spaniard.

The Abu Dhabi United Group, the investment vehicle owned by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, is the majority owner of the City Football Group, with a stake of around 77%.

Soriano denied that City had incorrectly reported their sponsorship deals.

"The owner has not put money in this club that has not been properly declared. We are a sustainable football club, we are profitable, we don't have debt, our accounts have been scrutinized many times, by auditors, by regulators, by investors and this is perfectly clear," he said.

"We are looking for an early resolution obviously through a thorough process and a fair process so my best hope is that this will be finished before the beginning of the summer and until then for us, it is business as usual."

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