Manchester City has been banned from UEFA club competitions for the next two seasons — beginning in 2020/21 — and handed a $32.5 million fine by European football’s governing body.

The organization’s Adjudicatory Chamber of the Club Financial Control Body found that the English Premier League team had “committed serious breaches” of its Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations.

City said in a statement they are “disappointed,” calling UEFA’s process “flawed” and plan to appeal the decision.

The English Premier League club can still participate in the ongoing Champions League season for 2019/20. Pep Guardiola’s team play Real Madrid in the last 16 round of the Champions League on February 26 and March 17.

UEFA’s statement added that the Adjudicatory Chamber had found that City had overstated its sponsorship revenue in its accounts and in the break-even information submitted to European football’s governing body between 2012 and 2016.

Manchester City‘s two-year European ban and €30-million fine for breaching UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations might not last of their penalties.

The Premier League could deal City yet another punishment if it’s found the club also submitted misleading financial information when acquiring a top-flight license, high-level sources told the Independent’s Miguel Delaney. It’s understood a point deduction is highly likely if the club is deemed guilty of such an infraction.

City’s sanction from UEFA on Friday stemmed from the Beswick outfit allegedly deceiving European football’s governing body by overstating its sponsorship revenue. In the 2015-16 season alone, leaked emails indicated less than 12% of the stated sponsorship income came from Etihad, with the bulk of the annual £67.5-million windfall bankrolled by owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan’s private equity company, the Abu Dhabi United Group.

While the UEFA case could drag on after City announced they would commence an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport at the “earliest opportunity” in Friday’s club statement, it’s believed the Premier League’s ruling would be final.

 

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