UEFA: City case still ongoing

European governing body UEFA is not concerned by a perceived delay in adjudicating over Manchester City’s breach of financial fair play regulations.

UEFA: City case still ongoing

European governing body UEFA is not concerned by a perceived delay in adjudicating over Manchester City’s breach of financial fair play regulations.

The newly-crowned Barclays Premier League champions were understood to be the only one of nine clubs facing action to have failed to reach agreement over the sanctions put forward by UEFA’s club financial control board (CFCB).

It was thought a deadline had been passed and decisions could be announced early this week but UEFA’s general secretary Gianni Infantino has indicated that the process is still ongoing.

Infantino, speaking at a press conference following a meeting of UEFA’s executive committee in Turin, refused to put a timescale on the matter, other than expressing hope it is concluded before the start of next season.

He brushed off suggestions that a delay was allowing clubs to talk themselves out of sanctions or that it was an attempt to reach compromises that would ensure the matter did not end up in court.

City were thought to be facing a €60m fine over three years, having the size of next season’s Champions League squad cut from 25 to 21, with a wage freeze on that squad.

Eight of that squad would also have to be home-grown and there would also be some restrictions in the number of new players being able to be registered for European competition.

Infantino said: “The fact that decisions are not taken the moment when the media expect they are taken, or think they are taken, means simply that the procedure is not concluded.

“From that point of view, I think what we had to communicate was that there are still nine clubs involved in the investigations with the investigatory chamber. This is still the case.

“When they either reach a settlement, or reach a conclusion that there is no settlement, then this will be published. I think in terms of deadlines it is still quite well on track, so I am not worried or anxious, or concerned – it is a process.

“It is normal that in legal proceedings time has to be taken to analyse everything in detailed ways. We are aiming at having a clear picture on what will happen before the start of the next competitions.”

It was understood UEFA could be open to minor movement on the initial sanctions offered, but a week of negotiations between City and the CFCB failed to reach a resolution.

That opened up the prospect of the matter being referred to an adjudicatory panel which would impose a non-negotiable punishment – but that would come with the possibility of a challenge to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

French champions Paris St Germain are another club believed to be in breach of the rules. Infantino was also asked to explain the logic behind punishing clubs that have overspent by fining them.

He stressed that fines were merely one of a range of punishments available.

He said: “I think one of the strengths of the club licensing and financial fair play regulations is that it is exactly not focusing on one single sanction but it forsees a list of 10 or 12 different sanctions, which could also be combined.

“Whether a fine is the appropriate measure or not, whether there are other measures as well – I think personally there is not one single answer to that.

“It depends on the cases and probably the best is a combination with the ultimate objective of bringing everyone under breaking even.”

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