New York - European football's financial regulators are poised to recommend that
newly minted Premier League champions Manchester City be barred from
the Champions League, the New York Times reported on Monday.
football's governing body UEFA and the Premier League launched an
investigation this year after allegations made in German magazine Der
Spiegel that the club broke Financial Fair Play rules.
the investigatory chamber of UEFA's financial control board, set up to
analyse the accounts of clubs suspected of breaking cost-control
regulations, met two weeks ago in Switzerland to finalize their
conclusions, the newspaper said.
"The investigatory panel's
leader, the former prime minister of Belgium Yves Leterme, will have the
final say on the submission to a separate adjudicatory chamber, which
could be filed as soon as this week. The body is expected to seek at
least a one-season ban," the Times said.
It was unclear if such a
ban, if levied, would be enforced next season or in the 2020-21
campaign, the Times said, noting that with qualifying for Europe's most
prestigious and lucrative club championship set to start in June there
is little time to finalise a sanction.
Manchester City would also have the right to appeal such a ban to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
City vigorously denied any financial irregularities, saying in March
they welcomed UEFA's investigation as an opportunity to clear their
City, who were fined €60 million ($67.3 million) and
subjected to squad, wage and spending caps in a 2014 settlement agreed
with UEFA following a previous breach of the rules.
But the club says the claims made in Der Spiegel were an "organized and clear" attempt to damage its reputation.