Manchester City will appeal to UEFA over a two year Champions League ban for breaking Financial Fair Play regulations.
The action is the most severe ever taken by UEFA who have often been accused of paying lip service to financial matters.
Evidence emerged from the Football Leaks website about the secret funding deals that have bankrolled the current EPL champions with German newspaper Der Spiegel taking the contract details into the mainstream.
The decision is subject to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Manchester City say they are “disappointed but not surprised” by the “prejudicial” decision and will appeal.
They added in a statement: “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.”
City will play Real Madrid in the last 16 of this season’s Champions League.
In Scotland the SFA have been sitting on a decision for over two years on whether the 2011 UEFA licence given to Rangers was in breach of FFP.
At the time the club had an overdue tax bill for £2.8m that remained unpaid when the club went into liquidation less than a year later.
CLICK HERE for background report on Football Leaks and Der Spiegel.