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Manchester City won't be saved from Champions League ban.


UEFA are set to go easy on Financial Fair Play rules for this season and next.

But this approach will not benefit Manchester City, who remain banned from the Champions League for the next two seasons and whose appeal continues to be assessed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, despite the coronavirus pandemic.

UEFA have extended the deadline for clubs submitting financial data from March 31 to the end of April given the current international situation, emphasising that it will be the ‘first measure’ of a number to deal with the extraordinary circumstances caused by the coronavirus lockdown across Europe.

But they have also made it clear that no club will miss out on European football if the only reason that they cannot comply with the Financial Fair Play rules is because of the coronavirus crisis, citing the legal principle of force majeure.

UEFA said: ‘The principle is already foreseen in the Champions League and Financial Fair Play regulations.

‘According to this principle, any extraordinary event or circumstances beyond the control of the club that are considered as a case of force majeure, is taken into account as part of the clubs’ assessment on a case-by-case basis.

’Financial Fair Play rules allow clubs to lose only £27million over three seasons and then only if underwritten by an owner. But due to the suspension of football across Europe, many clubs may now be short of TV money or sponsorship bonuses, which would make it impossible to comply.

Manchester City will not benefit from the relaxation of the rules as their offences relate to 2012-2016.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport, which is hearing their appeal, say that cases will continue despite tough regulations on movement and a limit on public meetings in Switzerland.

There are no personal hearings currently at CAS in Lausanne but if a tribunal is required for the City case it can be done by video link.

City have appealed against their two-year ban and £27m fine and the appeal was expected to be heard this summer, before the start of next season’s Champions League.

But with the likely delay to the start of the Champions League next term, due to the current suspension of football, there is less time pressure and a judgment is expected in time for whenever next season resumes.

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