Manchester City's Champions League ban lifted - everything you need to know

Tuesday, 14 Jul, 2020

Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne with Riyad Mahrez and Benjamin Mendy.

Football fans far and wide were rejoicing in February when it was announced that Manchester City had been banned from European competition for two years.

The 2018/19 Premier League champions were initially banned from Uefa club competitions for two years in February for committing "serious breaches" of licensing and financial fair play (FFP) regulations, with an additional fine of €30 million.

City always denied the magazine's claims and described the investigation as "flawed" due to the leaked documents. They will look to bolster their defence as a priority.

There were also questions over Pep Guardiola's future at the club, with his current deal set to expire at the end of the 2020/21 season. It is understood he has commercial interests that will see him eventually consider U.S. later in his career but his immediate future is with City.

Critics of FFP argue it protects storied clubs with a huge fan base from being challenged by ambitious rivals with state support, like Man City and Qatar-owned PSG.

When FFP was introduced at the start of the 2011/12 season it was intended to prevent clubs from spending more than they earned, to make them live within their means, and to punish those who didn't abide by the rules.

However, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled that City did not breach Financial Fair Play rules by disguising equity funding as sponsorship.

However, Guardiola himself insisted that he hadn't lost any sleep over the decision and was confident City would be playing in the Champions League next season.

"We would have never seen the emergence of Blackburn, Chelsea and City with this in place for those teams below Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal, who all have the history".

It was also noted that numerous breaches were time-barred "due to the 5 year time period foreseen in the UEFA regulations".

Wolves are in sixth place, four points off the top four, so the ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport has come as a blow to their Champions League ambitions.

UEFA said Monday it and the European Club Association "remain committed to its principles".

The initial ruling against Manchester City earlier this year stated that they had been "overstating its sponsorship revenue in its accounts and in the break-even information submitted to Uefa between 2012 and 2016", adding that the club failed to cooperate in the investigation.

The news of City's victory also has major implications in the race to secure continental qualification, with the fifth-placed side in the division likely to have been granted entry into the Champions League should the ban have been upheld.