Pep Guardiola and his staff took a selfie to celebrate Manchester City’s European ban being overturned.
The club were initially hit with a two-year ban from the Champions League and Europa League for breaching UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations but today the verdict from Court of Arbitration for Sport saw City exonerated and the punishment reduced to a €10 million fine.
And minutes after City were cleared, Guardiola and members of his team posed for a picture with Sky Sports News in the background.
The image was posted by Manuel Estiarte, a former water polo player who has become a vital member of Guardiola’s staff – though it has since been deleted from the Spaniard’s Instagram page.
UEFA claimed that City had ‘seriously misled’ them and broken FFP by falsely inflating inflated their sponsorship revenues but the ruling from CAS denied it was the case.
A statement from CAS read: “Manchester City did not disguise equity funding as sponsorship contributions but did fail to cooperate with the UEFA authorities. CAS decision: Exclusion from participation in UEFA club competitions lifted; fine maintained but reduced to €10 million.”
City are now free to play in European competition for the next two seasons, while it also means whoever finishes fifth in the Premier League will not achieve qualification to the Champions League next term.
A statement on the club’s official website said: “Whilst Manchester City and its legal advisors are yet to review the full ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), the Club welcomes the implications of today’s ruling as a validation of the Club’s position and the body of evidence that it was able to present. The Club wishes to thank the panel members for their diligence and the due process that they administered.”