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Manchester City WIN appeal against two-year Champions League ban

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manchester city win appeal against two year champions league ban

Manchester City have won their battle with UEFA and their European ban has been lifted.

The Premier League club were banned from European football for two years in February after UEFA found they had committed ‘serious breaches’ of its Financial Fair Play regulations.

City, adamant that they had done nothing wrong, appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), who heard the case last month.

Manchester City's coaching team, left-right, Manel Estiarte, Txiki Begiristain, Pep Guardiola, Omar Berrada and Ferran Soriano celebrate the news of the club's ban being overturned

Manchester City's coaching team, left-right, Manel Estiarte, Txiki Begiristain, Pep Guardiola, Omar Berrada and Ferran Soriano celebrate the news of the club's ban being overturned

Manchester City’s coaching team, left-right, Manel Estiarte, Txiki Begiristain, Pep Guardiola, Omar Berrada and Ferran Soriano celebrate the news of the club’s ban being overturned

Man City will be able to play in the Champions League next season after ban was overturned

Man City will be able to play in the Champions League next season after ban was overturned

Man City will be able to play in the Champions League next season after ban was overturned 

MANCHESTER CITY STATEMENT

‘Whilst Manchester City and its legal advisors are yet to review the full ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), the club welcomes the implications of today’s ruling as a validation of the club’s position and the body of evidence that it was able to present. The Club wishes to thank the panel members for their diligence and the due process that they administered.’

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And this morning, they announced that City did not disguise equity funding but did fail to co-operate with UEFA. The exclusion was lifted while a €30m (£27m) fine was reduced to €10m (£9m).

Sportsmail understands that any challenge of the ruling by UEFA to the Swiss Federal Courts is ‘unlikely’ at this stage. 

CAS released their verdict on Monday morning, and said: ‘Most of the alleged breaches reported by the Adjudicatory Chamber of the CFCB (UEFA’S Club Financial Control Body) were either not established or time-barred. 

‘As the charges with respect to any dishonest concealment of equity funding were clearly more significant violations than obstructing the CFCB’s investigations, it was not appropriate to impose a ban on participating in UEFA’s club competitions for MCFC’s failure to cooperate with the CFCB’s investigations alone.’ 

City were also quick to release a statement of their own, welcoming the news that they will be able to play in the Champions League next season.

The club said: ‘Whilst Manchester City and its legal advisors are yet to review the full ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), the club welcomes the implications of today’s ruling as a validation of the club’s position and the body of evidence that it was able to present. The Club wishes to thank the panel members for their diligence and the due process that they administered.’ 

Manchester City have won their appeal against UEFA's two year ban from European football

Manchester City have won their appeal against UEFA's two year ban from European football

Manchester City have won their appeal against UEFA’s two year ban from European football

Manchester City will line up against the biggest clubs in Europe after their ban was overturned

Manchester City will line up against the biggest clubs in Europe after their ban was overturned

Manchester City will line up against the biggest clubs in Europe after their ban was overturned

Just minutes after the decision was announced, UEFA released a statement on their own website, too.

It read: ‘UEFA takes note of the decision taken by the Court of Arbitration for Sport to reduce the sanction imposed on Manchester City FC by UEFA’s independent Club Financial Control Body for alleged breaches of the UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play regulations.

‘UEFA notes that the CAS panel found that there was insufficient conclusive evidence to uphold all of the CFCB’s conclusions in this specific case and that many of the alleged breaches were time-barred due to the 5 year time period foreseen in the UEFA regulations.

‘Over the last few years, Financial Fair Play has played a significant role in protecting clubs and helping them become financially sustainable and UEFA and ECA remain committed to its principles.’ 

UEFA launched a probe following the publication of hacked emails in the German media. On February 14, they announced that City had broken the rules by overstating sponsorship revenue between 2012 and 2016. Along with the ban, City were fined £26.9m.

Pep Guardiola had insisted he hasn't lost any sleep over the outcome of City's appeal to CAS

Pep Guardiola had insisted he hasn't lost any sleep over the outcome of City's appeal to CAS

 Pep Guardiola had insisted he hasn’t lost any sleep over the outcome of City’s appeal to CAS

UEFA’S REACTION

In a statement following the news on Monday morning, UEFA said… 

‘UEFA takes note of the decision taken by the Court of Arbitration for Sport to reduce the sanction imposed on Manchester City FC by UEFA’s independent Club Financial Control Body for alleged breaches of the UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play regulations.

‘UEFA notes that the CAS panel found that there was insufficient conclusive evidence to uphold all of the CFCB’s conclusions in this specific case and that many of the alleged breaches were time-barred due to the 5 year time period foreseen in the UEFA regulations.

‘Over the last few years, Financial Fair Play has played a significant role in protecting clubs and helping them become financially sustainable and UEFA and ECA remain committed to its principles.

‘UEFA will be making no further comments on the matter.’

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Ahead of their appeal, City said they had ‘irrefutable evidence’ to support their case.

Manager Guardiola had insisted he has not lost any sleep over the initial decision, which could have cost City around £170m in lost revenue – based on TV and prize money, plus gate receipts, although the latter is in doubt anyway due to the coronavirus pandemic – if their appeal was rejected.

Perhaps more worrying than the ban and initial £27m fine was the fear of a mass player exodus from the club if the ban was upheld. 

City’s biggest stars – including Kevin De Bruyne, who at the age of 29 is in the final peak years of his career, and Raheem Sterling – could have decided to leave last year’s Premier League champions if the ban were upheld or even reduced to a one-year suspension.

Even more importantly, Guardiola, perhaps the greatest manager in the game today, could also have decided that he could not do without competing among the elite.  

However, Guardiola himself insisted that he hadn’t lost any sleep over the decision and was confident City would be playing in the Champions League next season.

Following City’s thrashing of Brighton on Saturday, Guardiola said: ‘I am going to sleep because I cannot do anything. 

‘I am confident in the club, I know the arguments, the defence they have and in the next season we are going to be in the place where we won on the pitch this season.’ 

Arch rivals Manchester United would have been one of the main beneficiaries of a City ban

Arch rivals Manchester United would have been one of the main beneficiaries of a City ban

Arch rivals Manchester United would have been one of the main beneficiaries of a City ban

Chelsea will now have to finish in the top four if they want to play Champions League football

Chelsea will now have to finish in the top four if they want to play Champions League football

Chelsea will now have to finish in the top four if they want to play Champions League football

Champions League expulsion for City would have meant a fifth-placed finish was be sufficient to qualify for the competition, as City sit well clear of the rest in second place in the table, behind only champions Liverpool.

Chelsea, Leicester, Manchester United, Sheffield United, Wolves, Tottenham and Arsenal, who are respectively placed third down to ninth in the table, could potentially have benefitted from the ban being upheld due to the shift in requirement for Champions League and Europa League qualification.

UEFA’s club financial control body had originally found that City had committed a ‘serious’ breaches of the organisation’s FFP rules between 2012-16. 

The investigation followed claims in German magazine Der Spiegel, based on leaked documents, that City’s owner Sheikh Mansour was topping up the value of sponsorship agreements, in breach of FFP rules.

City always denied the magazine’s claims and described the investigation as ‘flawed’ due to the leaked documents.

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Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy arrives at club’s Enfield base to seal Gareth Bale’s return

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tottenham chairman daniel levy arrives at clubs enfield base to seal gareth bales return

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy was pictured arriving bright and early at Tottenham’s Enfield training base on Friday as he looks to conclude Gareth Bale‘s return to the club. 

As Sportsmail exclusively revealed on Wednesday, the formalities of a season-long loan deal worth £13million in wages has been finalised with an announcement expected imminently. 

Bale is due to fly to London on Friday following some final medical checks in Madrid having already said goodbye to his team-mates at Real’s Valdebebas training facility on Thursday.  

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy was seen biting his nails as he arrived for work on Friday

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy was seen biting his nails as he arrived for work on Friday

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy was seen biting his nails as he arrived for work on Friday

He was temperature tested by security staff at the Enfield base as part of added precautions

He was temperature tested by security staff at the Enfield base as part of added precautions

He was temperature tested by security staff at the Enfield base as part of added precautions

33332870 8746903 image m 13 1600416526584

33332870 8746903 image m 13 1600416526584

Levy is looking to put the finishing touches to a loan deal bringing Gareth Bale back to the club 

Levy was temperature tested by security staff on his arrival as part of ongoing protocol amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

It is believed Levy sorted a large portion of the deal on Tuesday with Jose Mourinho a driving force in helping move it along following their opening day defeat to Everton in the Premier League. 

A few minor formalities were completed on Thursday and all that is left is for Bale to arrive back in north London and sign.

Bale became a fan favourite at Spurs where he scored 56 goals and provided 58 assists

Bale became a fan favourite at Spurs where he scored 56 goals and provided 58 assists

Bale became a fan favourite at Spurs where he scored 56 goals and provided 58 assists

Mourinho has been a long-term admirer of Bale and has tried to sign him multiple times

Mourinho has been a long-term admirer of Bale and has tried to sign him multiple times

Mourinho has been a long-term admirer of Bale and has tried to sign him multiple times

Even with the deal close to completion, Mourinho refused to be drawn into public comment on the Bale move after Thursday night’s 2-1 Europa League victory against Lokomotiv Plovdiv in Bulgaria.

‘I can’t comment,’ he said. ‘I don’t comment on something that I don’t know. For me, at this moment, until Gareth Bale is a Tottenham player I still think and respect the fact that he is a Real Madrid player. I am not going to comment on a Real Madrid player.’  

Bale became a fan favourite at Spurs where he scored 56 goals and provided 58 assists in 203 appearances.

In 2012-13 he was crowned Tottenham’s Player of the Year and also claimed the PFA Players’ Player of the Year, PFA Young Player of the Year, Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year and Premier League Player of the Season award. 

He was the Premier League’s most impressive player and Real Madrid were aggressive in the transfer market in bringing him in to partner Cristiano Ronaldo at the Santiago Bernabeu. 

Relations soured between Bale and Zinedine Zidane and he almost left for China last summer

Relations soured between Bale and Zinedine Zidane and he almost left for China last summer

Relations soured between Bale and Zinedine Zidane and he almost left for China last summer

Gareth Bale was filmed arriving at Real Madrid's training ground on Thursday morning

Gareth Bale was filmed arriving at Real Madrid's training ground on Thursday morning

Gareth Bale was filmed arriving at Real Madrid’s training ground on Thursday morning

The Welshman has won four Champions League titles since making the move to Spain but has found life tough under Zinedine Zidane. 

The French boss has struggled to take to Bale and has largely kept him out of the side since returning for his second spell in charge. 

Bale saw a move to the Chinese Super League collapse last summer but having played such a peripheral role in their title win last season, both the club and the player have concluded it is best for him to move, at least temporarily, elsewhere to return to his best.  

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Sir Alex Ferguson picked O’Leary, Curbishley and O’Neil as his Man United successors back in 2000

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sir alex ferguson picked oleary curbishley and oneil as his man united successors back in 2000

Celtic owner Dermot Desmond has revealed Sir Alex Ferguson would have picked David O’Leary, Alan Curbishley or Martin O’Neil as his replacement had he needed to in 2000.

The trio were all in charge of Premier League sides at the turn of the century, with Arsenal legend O’Leary the boss of Leeds United, Curbishley leading Charlton and O’Neil managing Leicester.  

In an interview with The Athletic, Desmond revealed he offered to double Manchester United legend Ferguson’s salary at the Scottish giants in 1997, but his desire to win the Champions League – which occurred two years later – saw him stay at Old Trafford.

Sir Alex Ferguson (centre) chose three names to replace him at Manchester United in 2000

Sir Alex Ferguson (centre) chose three names to replace him at Manchester United in 2000

Sir Alex Ferguson (centre) chose three names to replace him at Manchester United in 2000

Arsenal legend David O'Leary was on the list and was the boss of Leeds United at the time

Arsenal legend David O'Leary was on the list and was the boss of Leeds United at the time

Arsenal legend David O’Leary was on the list and was the boss of Leeds United at the time

Desmond then went back a few years later to ask who he would pick as his Old Trafford replacement, which helped Celtic eventually secure former Aston Villa boss O’Neil’s signing following Ferguson’s intervention.

‘In 2000, I went back and asked him if he was to pick his replacement at that time who would it be. He said there were three people: Dave O’Leary, Alan Curbishley and Martin O’Neill. I said the one I’m interested in is Martin O’Neill,’ Desmond said.

‘I had previously asked a prominent broadcaster if Martin would be interested in the job and I got a response in the negative. 

‘I then asked Alex if he would speak with Martin, to see if he would meet with me, and the response was that he would be very interested in meeting. 

Former Charlton boss Alan Curbishley was also on Ferguson's list of potential successors

Former Charlton boss Alan Curbishley was also on Ferguson's list of potential successors

Former Charlton boss Alan Curbishley was also on Ferguson’s list of potential successors

He also suggested former Leicester boss Martin O'Neil who went on to sign for Celtic

He also suggested former Leicester boss Martin O'Neil who went on to sign for Celtic

He also suggested former Leicester boss Martin O’Neil who went on to sign for Celtic

‘So I met Martin for dinner and we got on very well. I introduced him to Pat and Brian and they also felt he was a remarkable individual, so we hired Martin.’ 

The comments come as a precursor for the eventual succession plan put in Ferguson, who helped David Moyes secure the post in 2013.

Ferguson chose Moyes as his successor at Old Trafford but his fellow Scot lasted  just 10 months before he was axed by the club, with the then Premier League champions languishing in seventh spot and out of European contention,

Speaking earlier this year, Moyes – now in charge of West Ham – compared his ill-fated reign at United to that of current boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s, claiming the only difference is that the Norwegian has been shown more patience and backing. 

Ferguson also created his succession plan 13 years later when he picked David Moyes

Ferguson also created his succession plan 13 years later when he picked David Moyes

Ferguson also created his succession plan 13 years later when he picked David Moyes 

Celtic owner Dermot Desmond offered to double Ferguson's wages at Celtic in 1997

Celtic owner Dermot Desmond offered to double Ferguson's wages at Celtic in 1997

Celtic owner Dermot Desmond offered to double Ferguson’s wages at Celtic in 1997

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Reg Harrison dead at 97: Derby legend who was oldest living FA Cup winner passes away surrounded by family

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reg harrison dead at 97 derby legend who was oldest living fa cup winner passes away surrounded by family

DERBY legend Reg Harrison has passed away at the age of 97.

The former winger was the oldest living FA Cup winner, lifting the trophy in 1946.

He spent 11 years with the Rams between 1944 and 1955 before ending his playing career with Boston United and Long Eaton United.

As reported by The Times, Harrison died at around 9pm last night surrounded by family in the bungalow he lived in for 54 years.

Harrison scored 59 goals in 281 appearances for Derby, the club he joined aged 16.

But his greatest day in football came aged 22 as he helped Stuart McMillan’s side to a 4-1 win over Charlton at Wembley.

After hanging up his boots, Harrison had a brief managerial career but then focused on setting up centres for young people in his hometown.

In February 2019, he was awarded Freedom of the City for services to the community by Derby City Council.

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