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SBD Global/April 16, 2014/International Football

Rival Clubs Could Challenge Man City's FFP Sanctions If Penalties Seen As Too Lenient

UEFA rules say rivals clubs could challenge Man City's FFP fate.
Man City's rival clubs "could influence their ultimate Financial Fair Play fate," regardless of UEFA's decision "to find them in breach of its cost-control measures," according to Ben Rumsby of the London TELEGRAPH. Man City is "expected to be informed this week that they will be punished for failing to adhere to FFP regulations." UEFA's Club Financial Control Body's investigatory chamber "is likely to write to them with what is known as a 'settlement' offer, a punishment which they can either accept or reject." However, even if City agrees to a sanction that includes a heavy fine or curbs on its ability to field new players, that "may not be the end of the matter." Built into UEFA's FFP regulations "is the power for any innocent club directly affected by a sanction to challenge it if they deem it too lenient." Teams which finish below Man City "would have most to gain from challenging a punishment if the Manchester club is spared expulsion from the Champions League" (TELEGRAPH, 4/15). The PA's Martyn Ziegler reported Man City Manager Manuel Pellegrini insisted that "he is not worried by the possibility of the club being sanctioned." Pellegrini: ''First of all it is important to know what UEFA will have to say and then we can have an opinion. It is important for the club but I am not the person in charge of those kinds of things" (PA, 4/15).

MAKING THE EFFORT: In London, Rory Smith reported Man City has "been involved in a frank, constructive dialogue" with UEFA for many months as it attempts to meet the FFP guidelines, and it believes its “direction of travel” will also be taken into account. The club may have lost £149M in two seasons, but its losses, according to its latest accounts, "were down" from £97.9M to £51.6M in the last year. UEFA "has made clear that those attempting to meet FFP will be treated more kindly than those making no such effort" (LONDON TIMES, 4/15).
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