The UEFA financial investigators will give their verdict on the case in the near future.
They are expected to go ahead and continue with their investigations over illicit practices by Manchester City which could see the freshly crowned Premier League champions banned from playing Champions League football next season.
UEFA’s chairman and chief investigator within the clubs’ financial control body, Yves Leterme, has been leading the review into evidence regarding an alleged payments deception amounting to around £60 million. This was also mentioned during the Football Leaks scandal last autumn.
Manchester City could be banned from the Champions League for a season by Uefa.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) May 14, 2019
The news regarding City’s UCL suspension has been circulating on news portals since Telegraph Sport had disclosed the rumour back in January. The Manchester club, from their end, have since denied any wrongdoing.
Now, according to the New York Times, the investigation will be concluded between this week and next week with the recommendation of banning Manchester City for at least one season expected to be put forward by UEFA.
Leterme had said in February that the club faced “the heaviest punishment” if the allegations were proven.
In the past, there were also other sanctions launched by some senior UEFA officials who were claiming that the £60 million payments were paid directly into the club by their billionaire Arab owners and that they had declared them as sponsorship.
“If it is true what has been written, there might be a serious problem,” Leterme told German magazine Der Spiegel, which initially broke the Football Leaks scandal. “This can lead to the heaviest punishment: exclusion from the Uefa competitions.”
To put things into context, the £60 million being questioned by investigators are as much money spent by City for their all-time record signing, that of Riyad Mahrez last summer.
Manchester City, which won the Premier League title on Sunday, faces a one-year ban from the Champions League for misleading financial regulators about the money they poured into the team https://t.co/A4Q9a1e4hd
— The New York Times (@nytimes) May 13, 2019
According to Der Spiegel in November, City breached FFP rules by €188 million (£167 million) in 2014. City owner Sheikh Mansour was accused of funding significant parts of so-called deals with club sponsors in an attempt to escape Uefa sanctions.
The club have claimed “the attempt to damage the club’s reputation is organised and clear” and said they “will not be providing any comment on out-of-context materials purportedly hacked or stolen from City Football Group and Man City personnel and associated people”.
A city spokeswoman confirmed to the Telegraph that the club stood by its already communicated “strenuous denial of any financial wrongdoing”.