UEFA has confirmed that Manchester City have been referred to the Club Financial Control Body’s adjudicatory chamber for alleged breaches of Financial Fair Play regulations.
The investigatory chamber of UEFA’s financial control board have spent months examining evidence first uncovered in a series of leaks and reported by German publication Der Spiegel last year.
And according to a report in the New York Times on Monday night a meeting two weeks ago at UEFA’s Swiss headquarters concluded with a desire to seek at least a one-season ban.
The investigatory panel’s leader, former Belgium prime minister Yves Leterme, had the final say on any submission made to a separate adjudicatory chamber and he has now given the green light.
City were fined £49million and hit with restrictions on transfer spending and their Champions League squad after FFP breaches were originally investigated in 2014.
Leaked emails last November appeared to show how they used direct funding from Abu Dhabi United Group, the investment fund owned by Sheik Mansour to supplement sponsorship deals.
It is claimed the Abu Dhabi United Group, the holding company which owns City, directly paid £59.5m of Etihad’s annual sponsorship, with only £8m coming from the airline.
UEFA’s rules place a strict limit on the cash an owner can inject directly into a club to prevent over-inflation in the football market.
Whistleblowing hackers Football Leaks also claimed City ‘hid’ £30.74million in costs from UEFA investigators and threatened to engage the ’50 best lawyers in the world’ to sue the organisation ‘for the next 10 years’.