Tottenham and Liverpool managers, José Mourinho and Jürgen Klopp have criticized CAS’ decision to overturn Manchester City’s two-year Champions League ban. Man City was initially punished by UEFA in February when they were banned from competing in the Champions League or Europa League for two years and given a €30m fine for breaching Financial Fair Play rules.
Pep Guardiola’s side on Monday had their appeal against a ban from UEFA competition for breaking Financial Fair Play rules lifted by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). This means the defending champions will be able to play in next season’s Champions League but the club will still have to pay a fine, which has been reduced from €30 million (£25m/$33m) to €10m (£9m/$11m).
Reacting to the decision, Klopp said, “I don’t think it was a good day for football yesterday (Monday), to be honest,” Klopp told a virtual news conference on Tuesday. “FFP is a good idea. It is there for protecting teams and the competition so that nobody overspends and have to make sure the money they want to spend is based on the right sources.”
Morurinho described it as a disgraceful decision. He told reporters in a virtual news conference ahead of Wednesday’s clash against 13th-placed Newcastle United. “In any case it’s a disgraceful decision because if Manchester City are not guilty then they should not be punished with the fine, If you’re not guilty, you shouldn’t have a fine. If they are guilty, the decision is also a disgrace and they should be banned from the competition. I don’t know if Manchester City are guilty or not, but either way it’s a disgraceful decision.”
He added that the system needs to be overhauled if it is to continue to serve its purpose which is to aim to stop clubs running big losses through spending on players.
“I think this is going to be the end of Financial Fair Play, because there is no point, I would like to see it used in a proper way. At this moment we are talking about Manchester City, but in the past other clubs were in a similar situation. I think it’s better to open the circus door and let everybody enjoy.”
“Whilst Manchester City and its legal advisors are yet to review the full ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the club welcomes the implications of today’s ruling as a validation of the club’s position and the body of evidence that it was able to present. The club wishes to thank the panel members for their diligence and the due process that they administered.” City responded to the verdict.