Allegations that Manchester City committed “serious breaches” of Uefa’s club licensing and financial fair play regulations are “simply not true”, says chief executive Ferran Soriano.
On Friday, Premier League champions City were handed a two-year Champions League ban and fined 30m euros (£25m).
The decision is subject to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
“The fans can be sure of two things. The first one is that the allegations are false,” said Soriano.
“And the second is that we will do everything that can be done to prove so.”
The independent Adjudicatory Chamber of the Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) said it had found City had broken the rules by “overstating its sponsorship revenue in its accounts and in the break-even information submitted to Uefa between 2012 and 2016”, adding that the club “failed to cooperate in the investigation”.
At the time, City said they were “disappointed but not surprised” by the “prejudicial” decision and would appeal.
In response to the allegations of overstating its sponsorship revenues, Soriano – speaking in a video released by the club – said: “The owner has not put money in this club that has not been properly declared.
“We are a sustainable football club, we are profitable, we don’t have debt, our accounts have been scrutinised many times, by auditors, by regulators, by investors and this is perfectly clear.”
He added that the club felt they were “considered guilty” on “every step of the way”.
“We did cooperate with this process. We delivered a long list of documents and support that we believe is irrefutable evidence that the claims are not true,” said the Spaniard.
“It was hard because we did this in the context of information being leaked to the media in the context of feeling that every step of the way, every engagement we had, we felt that we were considered guilty before anything was even discussed.
“At the end, this is an internal process that has been initiated and then prosecuted and then judged by this FFP [financial fair play] chamber at Uefa.”
City hoping for ‘early resolution’
Uefa launched an investigation after German newspaper Der Spiegel published leaked documents in November 2018 alleging City had inflated the value of a sponsorship deal, misleading European football’s governing body.
Reports alleged City – who have always denied wrongdoing – deliberately misled Uefa so they could meet financial fair play rules requiring clubs to break even.
City, whose chairman is Khaldoon Al Mubarak, were fined £49m in 2014 for a previous breach of regulations.
“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,” said Soriano.
“Ultimately based on our experience and our perception, this seems to be less about justice and more about politics.”
Soriano added the club was hoping for an “early resolution” through a “thorough process and a fair process”.
He added: “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.”
More to follow.
Article courtesy of BBC Sport