– I don’t feel that justice has prevailed, says NRK football expert Carl-Erik Torp.
In February, the European Football Association (Uefa) found that City had violated the financial regulations Financial Fair Play (FFP). They decided to ban the Manchester team from the Champions League for two years.
City appealed their case to Cas, who today concluded that the club has not violated the FFP rule, they write in a press release.
– I’m disappointed, but not surprised, it was a bit as expected. What is sad is that you are not disappointed because it was something unexpected, but you are disappointed because it is so expected, says Torp.
– Perhaps the most important day of the club
Furthermore, in its decision, Cas writes that City has violated Article 56 of the CFP and that the club must pay a fine of 10 million euros to Uefa.
At the same time they point out that the club has not cooperated with Uefa in the investigation.
But; City get to play in the Champions League and that has a lot to say for the Manchester club.
– For City, this was perhaps the club’s most important day. Standing there and being in or not in Europe has everything to say for the players who are there and the coaches and all the sports in the club, Torp says, while elaborating on the fine the club has been given:
– NOK 100 million is a lot of money, but for these owners this is not it. When they can inflate sponsorship agreements to 2 billion, in a way 10 million euros is not so much.
And just sponsorship agreements are the reason why the case ended with Cas.
For in 2008, the rich sheikh of the United Arab Emirates, Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan took over as owner of Manchester City. The sheikh injected huge sums into the club for the first few seasons.
Before the 2010/2011 season, the new financial rules were introduced. Suddenly, sponsorship revenue from the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, Etihad, increased from EUR 8 million to EUR 67.5 million.
According to internal emails such as The mirror have received, they were close to 60 extra millions, money paid by Sheikh Mansour through the airline. City has constantly asserted its innocence.
– A major defeat for Uefa
Uefa does not seem to have much to say about the decision yet. They write in one press release note that not enough evidence was found and add:
– Over the past few years, FFP has played a significant role in protecting clubs and helping them become financially sustainable, and UEFA and ECA will remain committed to the principles.
And Monday’s verdict in Cas could mean a lot to FFP in the years to come.
This is because the judgment could set a standard for how the financial rules will now be complied with.
Professor of social change, organization and management at Molde University, Hallgeir Gammelsæter, said the following about an acquittal before the decision was made in Cas today.
“If they lose, in my opinion it is a major defeat for Uefa and as far as other governing powers in football,” Gammelsæter said Monday morning.