​Manchester City are expected to wage 'all-out war' against UEFA as they prepare to appeal their two-year ban from European competitions.

The governing body have punished City for breaching Financial Fair Play regulations, with the club allegedly overstating their sponsorship revenue. City have anticipated this decision since they were first accused of underhand tactics by German newspaper Der Spiegel in late 2018.

Sergio Aguero

Simon Stone of BBC Sport adds that City have 10 days following UEFA's decision to lodge their appeal.

However, the ​Citizens have been working on their appeal for over a year, according to ​The Athletic, who claim their case is likely to be heard ahead of next season's ​Champions League qualifying rounds on 7 and 8 July.

City and UEFA will appear before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), with all parties eager to reach a conclusion in time for the 2020/21 campaign. There are two key approaches City are expected to take as they defend their actions.

Pep Guardiola and City's hierarchy believe the governing body's investigation has been biased. They will argue UEFA were always hoping to achieve this outcome, while procedural errors - such as leaks to various news outlets - may also feature in their defence hearing.

To support their claim, the English side may point to the lack of punishment that came the way of Paris Saint-Germain, who were cleared of any wrongdoing by the same prosecutor, Yves Leterme, leading the case against City.


Leterme stated that the value of PSG's sponsorship was roughly the same as the club had declared, despite an independent investigation suggesting they'd inflated those figures. Other UEFA executives were 'alarmed' by Leterme's decision.

That's one route City can go down, while they might also argue their European rivals have benefited from some deceitful accounting of their own. 

City's board have been monitoring the financial activities of other powerful clubs, and could try to prove their innocence by showing how their actions were no worse than their competitors'.

Worryingly for City, a successful appeal doesn't necessarily spare them exile from the Champions League. Given they've been barred for two years, it could transpire that CAS support their appeal, but only reduce the ban by a season.


Guardiola is thought to be staying at the club regardless of whether City's punishment is upheld. 

However, The Athletic believe several star players could try to engineer an escape route, with that especially likely if they have particular clauses in their contracts. 

It is unknown who - if any - of City's squad would suffer a wage-cut should the team drop out of the Champions League.

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