Manchester City has launched a legal bid to stop UEFA banning them from the Champions League over alleged financial misconduct, according to British media reports on Thursday.
City, who retained the Premier League title this season, are in danger of being kicked out of future editions of the Champions League after UEFA probed reported Financial Fair Play breaches.
The investigation was triggered by European football’s governing body in March after claims City, who have Abu Dhabi-based owners, hid revenue from overvalued commercial deals in order to meet the UEFA spending guidelines.
According to the Daily Telegraph, the Premier League champions have now approached the Lausanne-based Court of Arbitration for Sport ahead of an imminent sentencing decision from UEFA Club Financial Control Body’s adjudicatory chamber.
It is believed the adjudicatory chamber is unlikely to rule against the conclusions of chief investigator Yves Leterme, who signed over his probe into an alleged payments deception two weeks ago and is thought to have recommended City should be banned from the Champions League.
That would leave Pep Guardiola’s side out of Europe’s elite club competition, potentially for the 2020-21 campaign.
But City is believed to be challenging UEFA’s right to send the case to their adjudicatory chamber and its competence to sit in judgement on the club at all.
Man City did not respond to a request for comment, but the club has previously said the referral to the judicial branch “ignores a comprehensive body of irrefutable evidence provided by Manchester City”.
City, who added the FA Cup and League Cup this season for an unprecedented domestic treble, also said the allegations of wrongdoing were “entirely false” and that there is “comprehensive proof” otherwise.