MANCHESTER CITY have come out fighting after a UEFA investigation into allegations of financial wrongdoing were sent for a final judgement.
The Premier League champions have issued a strongly worded statement insisting a witch hunt is attempting to discredit the club’s reputation.
The chairman and chief investigator of UEFA’s club financial control body investigatory chamber, Yves Leterme, has decided City have a case to answer following allegations of FFP breaches.
Leterme has referred the matter to the adjudicatory chamber, which will rule on the case in the coming weeks.
Members of the investigatory chamber are thought to have recommended a Champions League ban if the allegations of misleading UEFA over FFP are proved.
“Manchester City is entirely confident of a positive outcome”
City have vehemently denied wrongdoing and could take their case to the court of arbitration for sport if UEFA find them guilty.
A club statement said: “Manchester City football club is disappointed, but regrettably not surprised, by the sudden announcement of the referral to be made by the CFCB IC chief investigator Yves Leterme.
“The leaks to media over the last week are indicative of the process that has been overseen by Mr Leterme.
“Manchester City is entirely confident of a positive outcome when the matter is considered by an independent judicial body.
“The accusation of financial irregularities remains entirely false and the CFCB IC referral ignores a comprehensive body of irrefutable evidence provided by Manchester City to the Chamber.
“The decision contains mistakes, misinterpretations and confusions fundamentally borne out of a basic lack of due process.
“There remain significant unresolved matters raised by Manchester City as part of what the club has found to be a wholly unsatisfactory, curtailed, and hostile process.”
City have been facing allegations since November that they falsely declared as sponsorships millions of pounds that were in fact an investment from the club’s owner, Sheikh Mansour.
The allegations are based on ‘leaked’ internal City emails and other documents published by the German magazine Der Spiegel.
A UEFA statement said: “The Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) chief investigator, after having consulted with the other members of the independent investigatory chamber of the CFCB, has decided to refer Manchester City FC to the CFCB adjudicatory chamber following the conclusion of his investigation.
“The CFCB investigatory chamber had opened an investigation into Manchester City FC on 7 March 2019 for potential breaches of financial fair play (FFP) regulations that were made public in various media outlets.
“Uefa will not be making any further comment on the matter until a decision is announced by the CFCB adjudicatory chamber.”