Manchester City F.C. Claims Allegations ‘Are Simply Not True’ Following UEFA Competition Ban
Manchester City Football Club’s CEO Ferran Soriano is speaking out after the club was banned by UEFA for two years and fined €30 million Friday for violating Financial Fair Play rules. The reigning Premier League Champions claim their innocent and intend to appeal the ruling that they provided false information regarding their Etihad sponsorship.
“Based on our experience and our perception this seems to be less about justice and more about politics,” Soriano told the club’s website in a video. He continued, “Of course a lot of people come now and say: ‘Well what were you expecting? This is the way it works. You should have expected a negative outcome the way the system is designed.’ But we didn’t believe that.
“We worked very hard. We provided the evidence but in the end this FFP investigatory chamber relied more on out-of-context stolen emails than all the other evidence we provided of what actually happened and I think it is normal that we feel like we feel.”
He later added, “The most important thing I have to say today is that the allegations are not true. They are simply not true. The fans can be sure of two things. The first one is that the allegations are false. And the second is that we will do everything that can be done to prove so. We know the fans are supporting us. We can feel it. [City] fans have gone through challenges over the decades. This is just another challenge. We will stick together, we will go through it and we will not let the fans down.”
Soriano also said, “We are looking for an early resolution obviously through a thorough process and a fair process, so my best hope is that this will be finished before the beginning of the summer and until then for us, it is business as usual.”
If the appeal is denied, City faces the possibility of several players leaving for other clubs that are allowed to participate in the prestigious UEFA Champions League. Coach Pep Guardiola is committed to the club despite the prospect of no UEFA play and told Sky Sports, “Look, whatever league we are in, I will still be here. Even if they put us in League Two, I will still be here. This is a time for sticking together.”