Manchester City launch 11th-hour legal bid to stop Uefa banning them from Champions League – The Telegraph

Manchester City are believed to have launched an 11th-hour legal bid to stop Uefa banning them from the Champions League over alleged financial fair play deceptions.

The Premier League champions are said to have independently approached the Court of Arbitration for Sport ahead of an imminent sentencing decision from the governing body’s Club Financial Control Body’s (CFCB) adjudicatory chamber.

It is unusual for the adjudicatory chamber to rule against the conclusions of chief investigator Yves Leterme, who signed over his probe into an alleged £60 million payments deception two weeks ago.

City, however, are now challenging Uefa’s right to send the FFP case from the investigatory to adjudicatory chamber for a sanction to be imposed, according to the Associated Press news agency. The Abu Dhabi-owned club is claiming there is no case to answer, challenging the legitimacy and haste of the investigation.

City have not responded to a request for comment from The Daily Telegraph, but the club have previously said the referral to the judicial branch “ignores a comprehensive body of irrefutable evidence provided by Manchester City.”

A separate person with knowledge of the case said City provided conflicting answers to some questions to investigators before the case was sent to the Uefa chief judge Jose Narciso da Cunha Rodrigues, who also sits at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.

Uefa said the investigation had been formally opened on March 7, but Telegraph Sport reported as far back as December last year that the governing body was considering a one-year ban over allegations detailed during the Football Leaks scandal last autumn.

Senior Uefa officials – who previously launched sanctions against City in 2014 – are particularly enraged by leaked files from 2015, which claim almost £60m was paid directly into the club by their billionaire Arab owners but declared as sponsorship.

City previously said the allegations of wrongdoing are “entirely false” and that there is “comprehensive proof” otherwise.

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