Manchester City, Chelsea take to CAS in battles with Uefa and Fifa

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has confirmed the receipt of appeals from Manchester City and Chelsea over the English Premier League football clubs battles with Uefa and Fifa, respectively.

City’s appeal is filed against decisions taken by the Investigatory Chamber (IC) of the Uefa Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) regarding the Premier League champion’s alleged non-compliance with the Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations of European football’s governing body.

An arbitration procedure will now be initiated and will involve an exchange of written submissions between the parties while a panel of CAS arbitrators is convened to hear the appeal. CAS said a timeline for a possible verdict on the case is not possible to judge at present.

City last month hit out at what it claims is a “wholly unsatisfactory, curtailed, and hostile process” after Uefa confirmed that it would refer the club to the adjudicatory chamber of its CFCB.

The news came after US newspaper the New York Times reported that City would be hit with a ban from the Champions League following the conclusion of an investigation into allegations that the club misled regulators over its financial affairs.

Uefa said that CFCB chief investigator, former Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme, having consulted with the other members of the investigatory chamber of the CFCB, decided to refer City to the CFCB adjudicatory chamber following the conclusion of his investigation.

The CFCB investigatory chamber had opened an investigation into City on March 7 for potential breaches of Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations that were made public in various media outlets.

City has a long history with Uefa when it comes to FFP. In April 2017, Uefa cleared City and French Ligue 1 champion Paris Saint-Germain of further punishment over the breach of FFP regulations in 2014.

Uefa said both City and PSG had complied with sanctions placed upon them and were able to operate under standard regulations. City and PSG were amongst the first teams to be sanctioned under FFP, which was introduced by Uefa in an effort to stop teams from overspending.

Meanwhile, CAS has confirmed the registering of an appeal by Chelsea against a transfer ban imposed upon it by Fifa, however the London club has stopped short of requesting an expedited temporary suspension of the punishment.

In February, Chelsea was banned from signing players for two transfer windows after Fifa, the sport’s global governing body, found that it was guilty of breaching rules relating to the international transfer and registration of players under the age of 18.

Chelsea was found to have breached article 19 of the regulations in the case of 29 minor players. Fifa said the club had also committed several other infringements relating to registration requirements for players.

As a result, the Fifa Disciplinary Committee banned Chelsea from registering new players at national and international level for the next two complete and consecutive registration periods. The ban applies to the club as a whole, with the exception of women’s and futsal teams. Chelsea will still be permitted to release players.

The club was also fined CHF600,000 (€536,000/$604,000), with Chelsea stating it would head to CAS after Fifa upheld the transfer ban last month. As with the City announcement, CAS said it is currently not possible to issue a timeframe for the appeal process.

Chelsea is poised to lose star player Eden Hazard to Spanish LaLiga club Real Madrid, while its only guaranteed summer incoming player is US international Christian Pulisic, who was loaned back to Borussia Dortmund for the remainder of the 2018-19 season after signing from the German Bundesliga club in January.