Manchester City, the reigning Premier League champion, has been barred from the Champions League for the next two seasons for “serious breaches” of European soccer’s financial regulations. The club has also been fined 30 million euros ($32.5 million).
Manchester City had sought to short circuit the investigation by financial regulators at UEFA — and preserve its place in the Champions League, European soccer’s richest competition and the trophy the club covets most — by appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. But in November the court rejected the appeal, in which City had tried to end the investigation on procedural grounds, by ruling that it could not hear the case until the club had exhausted the disciplinary process at UEFA.
Shortly after UEFA’s ruling, City issued a statement indicating it would appeal the decision.
“Manchester City is disappointed but not surprised by today’s announcement by the UEFA Adjudicatory Chamber,” the statement said. “The Club has always anticipated the ultimate need to seek out an independent body and process to impartially consider the comprehensive body of irrefutable evidence in support of its position.”