LONDON (Reuters) – Premier League champions Manchester City have appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) over an investigation by European soccer body UEFA into potential breaches of financial fair play, the court said on Thursday.
It said the appeal was against decisions taken by the Investigatory Chamber of UEFA’s Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) regarding “alleged non-compliance with UEFA’s Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play (FFP) Regulations.”
UEFA opened an investigation in March after German publication Der Spiegel reported City’s Abu Dhabi owners had inflated sponsorship agreements to comply with FFP requirements.
FFP rules are intended to prevent clubs receiving unlimited amounts of money through inflated sponsorship deals with organisations related to the owners.
Clubs who have breached the rules can be barred from European competition.
City have said the accusation of financial irregularities “remains entirely false” and they are confident of a positive outcome.
The club also said the CFCB IC referral ignored “a comprehensive body of irrefutable evidence provided by Manchester City to the Chamber.”
CAS said an arbitration procedure would now be started, with an exchange of written submissions between the parties and a panel of CAS arbitrators convened to hear the appeal.
“Once the Panel has been formally constituted, it will issue a procedural calendar. It is not possible to say at this time when the Arbitral Award for this matter will be issue.”
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Christian Radnedge)