Manchester City are eligible to compete in next season’s Champions League despite the ongoing investigation into the club’s potential breaching of Financial Fair Play rules.
City have been accused of breaking such regulations, and UEFA’s watchdog continue to investigate whether the club. A verdict has not yet been reached, but if the Manchester club were to be found guilty, they would likely receive a ban from the European competition.
In this season’s competition, City recently qualified for the round of 16 after finishing top of Group C. They will travel to Spain towards the end of February for the first leg of their clash against Spanish giants Real Madrid.
As clubs across Europe begin to prepare for the knock-out rounds, as reported by The Daily Mail, a meeting between City officials and UEFA is to take place this week. However, no decision is expected to be made.
Furthermore, given next year’s Champions League commences in August, a potential ban and subsequent appeal from the club would not be ruled upon before the competition’s start date.
City have refuted the allegations levelled towards them that the club’s ownership had inflated the value of a sponsorship deal in attempts to avoid abiding by FFP rules. In any case, the club have been referred to UEFA’s Club Financial Control Body.
In November, after City appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in an attempt to shut down the investigation, the CAS determined that their appeal was inadmissible as the potential punishment had not yet been decided.
As well as UEFA, the Premier League are now investigating the matter. Man City, who were fined £49m for breaching FFP rules in 2014, stated that the decision to examine their case was full of ‘mistakes, misinterpretations and confusions fundamentally borne out of basic lack of due process’.