It was a long month, eternal for many in Manchester. But the wait is over. The TAS punctually announced that it revokes the sanction that UEFA imposed on City, so that Guardiola’s team escapes a severe punishment and allows him to play in Europe. A relief of incalculable proportions, especially since sports viability involves having a presence in the Champions League. The City was confident at all times, through Ferran Soriano and also Guardiola, to whom a much more flattering horizon appears. City, however, will have to pay UEFA a 10 million euro fine.
It all started in November 2018, with the leak of ‘Football Leaks’ to the german magazine Der Spiegel in which it was denounced that the City had manipulated its sponsorship contracts with the intention of circumventing the financial control of the UEFA. According to the information, the value of those agreements was artificially multiplied through the sheikh of the English group, which supposedly introduced private capital without the European body knowing anything about it.
City was slow to respond at the time. The reply, however, was forceful: “The purpose of attacking the image and reputation of the club is clear and organized,” he wrote in a note in which he wanted to insist that he was going to defend his interests against a series of claims taken from context, with material that had been hacked through the email of people who either work in the City or were associated with the club for commercial matters.
Although UEFA could not comment at the outset to preserve its confidentiality, an independent group of this entity started an investigation in March 2019 to discover if any irregularity was actually committed: “The study will focus on finding out if the ‘fair play has been violated ‘financial,’ he said in a statement. City also replied, saying it welcomed UEFA to try to shed light on a case of speculation by a number of the media.
A few days later, The New York Times revealed that several members of the Financial Control Corps were pressing to increase the punishment to the City in case of not having acted well: they asked him to UEFA a sanction that prevented the Manchester team from playing in Europe. Given the complication of this matter, the City wanted to advance to the events and presented an appeal to the TAS after defending as active and passive that he had not committed any fraud.
However, the request was not accepted for processing in the first instance because the City had to exhaust its legal alternatives before resorting to the TAS. Meanwhile, the English box denounced that the UEFA He committed prejudice for leaking data about the case to the press: “They have systematically broken their own confidentiality obligations,” the City said. Little would that statement matter. The UEFA It was relentless: two years without playing in Europe and a fine of 30 million euros.
The City got down to work, who was disappointed but not surprised by a news story that was covered in half the world: “The allegations are false,” he countered. Ferran Soriano, CEO of a team that was threatened by a tremendous shaking. Without Champions, not only was he going to stop entering around 200 million but also some players began to doubt his permanence in Manchester. From Bruyne he was the first to speak openly on the subject.
The City, however, wanted to reassure everyone. They never lost faith and Guardiola He had to step out on more than one occasion to confirm his confidence in the club: “I am optimistic and we deserve to play in the Champions League next year,” he said. After presenting his arguments to TAS Between June 8 and 10, the case was seen for sentencing. Both the City and the UEFA they expressed themselves in the same terms: both were satisfied while waiting for a resolution that has been delayed for a month.