UEFA boss chief Aleksander Ceferin sure of Man City’s FFP guilt

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Aleksander Ceferin insists UEFA were “right” about Manchester City breaching Financial Fair Play rules. 

In February 2020, City were initially banned from the Champions League for two seasons by UEFA and fined €30m (£25m) after they were found to have seriously misled European football’s governing body and broken Financial Fair Play rules.

However, in July 2020, the two-season suspension was lifted after an appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), and the fine reduced from €30m to €10m. CAS indicated that “most of the alleged breaches” were “either not established or time-barred”.

In February 2023, the Premier League charged City with 115 alleged breaches of the league’s financial rules over nine seasons between 2009 and 2018, during which time they won the league title three times.

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters says a date has been set for that hearing, but no exact date has been specified. Manchester City deny any wrongdoing.

Ceferin, speaking to The Daily Telegraph, would not be drawn on the Premier League’s case against City, but said a guilty verdict would validate UEFA’s charges from 2020.

“We know we were right,” Ceferin said, in his first public comments about the Premier League case. “We wouldn’t decide if we didn’t think we were right.

“As a trial lawyer for 25 years, I know that, sometimes, you win a case that you are sure you will lose. And, sometimes, you lose a case when you’re sure. You just simply have to respect in a serious democracy the decision of the court.

“I don’t want to speak about the case in England. But I trust that the decision of our independent body was correct. I didn’t enter into this decision.”

Everton and Nottingham Forest were charged with breaching Premier League Profitability and Sustainability Rules earlier this month – and Everton were deducted 10 points in November for the same offence.

When asked if Ceferin understood fans’ confusion and frustration over the time it is taking to deal with City in comparison, he said: “They want to know what’s going on and what are the consequences but I don’t want to enter into this concrete process because I don’t know what the Premier League is dealing with.

“I really don’t want to criticise, or something like that. It wouldn’t be fair.”

In the Premier League case, Man City allegedly did not provide accurate financial information and did not fully disclose the financial remunerations that were made to one of their managers over a four-year period.

The Premier League also alleges Man City did not comply with UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules over a five-year period. They also allege Man City have not fully co-operated with the Premier League’s investigation.

Sky Sports News has contacted Manchester City for comment.

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