Manchester City are set for a Financial Fair Play showdown with UEFA after refusing to accept a punishment for allegedly breaching regulations.
Having missed the deadline to accept a £50 million fine and restrictions on their Champions League squad, the Premier League outfit’s fate will now be decided by UEFA’s club financial control body, which has the power to expel them from Europe’s elite club competition, according to the Mirror.
UEFA’s "investigatory chamber" found the club's £151m loss in 2011-12 and 2012-13 in breach of these rules. City were therefore expected to accept a €60m (£49m) settlement to be paid over three years, a 21-player limit to next season's Champions League squad and a wage cap set at its current level.
According to the report, the club’s Abu Dhabi-based owners are now committed to take their fight all the way to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. City's executives are understood to argue emphatically that they have not breached the rules and feel their efforts to comply with the regulations have gone unnoticed.
City are on the verge of their second top flight title in the space of just three years and a win over West Ham this afternoon will provide a definite silver lining amidst recent news. This will, of course, round-off a successful season for manager Manuel Pellegrini, who has secured the league and league cup double in his debut campaign at the Etihad.
Expulsion from the Champions League would be a huge blow for the Manchester outfit, who are yet to fully establish themselves at this level. Having cracked the domestic stage, the club’s owners will have been praying for success in next season’s European competition.
The club will face UEFA again on Monday before hearing their fate.