Manchester City have been suspended from European competitions by the UEFA for two seasons for breaching financial fair play rules. This means that the reigning Premier League champions will no longer take part in the Champions League – for 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons and have also been fined €30 million ($33 million) for “overstating its sponsorship revenue in its accounts” and failing “to cooperate in the investigation.”

A UEFA statement issued on Friday night partly read: “The Adjudicatory Chamber, having considered all the evidence, has found that Manchester City Football Club committed serious breaches of the UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations by overstating its sponsorship revenue in its accounts and in the break-even information submitted to UEFA between 2012 and 2016.

“The Adjudicatory Chamber has also found that in breach of the regulations the Club failed to cooperate in the investigation of this case by the [chamber’s Club Financial Control Body].

“The Adjudicatory Chamber has imposed disciplinary measures on Manchester City Football Club directing that it shall be excluded from participation in UEFA club competitions in the next two seasons [ie. the 2020/21 and 2021/22 seasons] and pay a fine of €30 million.”

City, in response said that they are disappointed but not surprised at the call and that an appeal will be made towards lifting the ban. As per ESPN sources, UEFA’s process is not entirely foolproof and the club is confident that they will be cleared of any wrongdoing once their appeal is heard.

Manchester City is disappointed but not surprised by today’s announcement by the UEFA Adjudicatory Chamber,” the team statement said. “The club has always anticipated the ultimate need to seek out an independent body and process to impartially consider the comprehensive body of irrefutable evidence in support of its position.

“In December 2018, the UEFA Chief Investigator publicly previewed the outcome and sanction he intended to be delivered to Manchester City, before any investigation had even begun. The subsequent flawed and consistently leaked UEFA process he oversaw has meant that there was little doubt in the result that he would deliver.

“The club has formally complained to the UEFA Disciplinary body, a complaint which was validated by a CAS ruling.

“Simply put, this is a case initiated by UEFA, prosecuted by UEFA and judged by UEFA. With this prejudicial process now over, the club will pursue an impartial judgment as quickly as possible and will therefore, in the first instance, commence proceedings with the Court of Arbitration for Sport at the earliest opportunity.”