Manchester City have asked the Court of Arbitration for Sport to throw out the financial fair play case that has been brought against them by European football’s governing body UEFA.
The surprise move represents a pre-emptive strike as the FFP case has not yet even been heard by the relevant body at UEFA, the adjudicatory chamber of its Club Financial Control Board.
Last month, the head of the CFCB’s investigatory arm Yves Leterme decided the Premier League champions do have a case to answer and it is understood that he has recommended they be banned from European club competition for at least a season.
There was never any doubt that City would have appealed against any such sanction at CAS but the club have now decided they are not going to wait for that.
In a statement, sport’s highest court said: “The Court of Arbitration for Sport has registered an appeal filed by Manchester City Football Club against the Union of European Football Associations.
“The appeal is filed against decisions taken by the Investigatory Chamber of the UEFA Club Financial Control Body regarding MCFC’s alleged non-compliance with UEFA’s Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations.
“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.
“Once the panel has been formally constituted, it will issue a procedural calendar. It is not possible to say at this time when the arbitral award for this matter will be issued.”