The Sports Arbitration Court, based in Lausanne, announced today, Monday, that it has abolished the penalty of preventing Manchester City from participating in European football competitions for two years.
The decision means that coach Pep Guardiola's team will be able to participate in the Champions League next season, and will survive the possible collapse of the team if its stars leave as a result of this penalty.
Manchester City occupies second place in the Premier League standings, behind Liverpool crowned the title before the end of this season, and its exclusion from European championships would allow two teams to participate in it, whereupon the Champions League fifth team will qualify for the Premier League in its place, in addition to facilitating Tottenham's mission to qualify.
Manchester United currently ranks fifth with 58 points, but it is considered a candidate to advance to third place instead of Chelsea (60 points) if today, Monday, they beat Southampton at the end of round 35, where Chelsea will fall to fourth place, followed by Leicester Fifth, who will find a competition from Six Wolverhampton ( 55 points) and Sheffield (54 points).
The exclusion of Manchester City would have facilitated Tottenham's task of qualifying for the European League, where he is ranked eighth with 52 points and Arsenal and Burnley are following each with 50 points.
The court ruled that the English club did not violate the rules of fair financial play, and also reduced the fine imposed on City to 10 million euros (11 million and 300 thousand dollars) instead of 30 million euros (33 million and 950 thousand dollars) for not cooperating with the European Union (UEFA).
Although the European Union Judicial Chamber had proven beyond any doubt that Manchester City had committed serious violations of club licenses from UEFA, and violated the rules of fair financial play by manipulating records between 2012 and 2016, and announced this in an official statement, the court said in a statement "Most of the allegations of violations reported by the Judicial Chamber to review the rules of fair financial play are either unproven or have fallen out of date."
Uefa announced in February that City had committed serious violations of the rules of fair financial play and had not cooperated with him in investigations, which was ignored by the court, which indicates its favors, Manchester City, especially since the oldest violations and violations did not pass until only several years, although she said that she had fallen out of date.
This ruling will serve as an excuse for other teams to commit similar violations of fair play, which could harm the European ball in general and question the integrity and transparency of the sports court decisions.
The absence from the Champions League would have cost City - who denied any wrongdoing - losses of up to 100 million pounds ($ 125 million), ranging from prize money, broadcast rights, game tickets and other revenue.
The rules of fair financial play aim to achieve a balance between club expenses and revenues, and thus not to allow for significant losses in clubs due to spending too much on players.