Why Manchester City could be banned from the Champions League

Manchester City could be banned from the Champions League if they are found guilty of breaking Financial Fair Play rules, according to the New York Times (opens in new tab).

UEFA investigators have been looking into details published by German newspaper Der Spiegel to ascertain whether City contravened their regulations.

It has been alleged that the Premier League champions inflated the value of sponsorship deal in order to get around UEFA rules.

And while a decision has yet to be made by chief investigator Yves Leterme, it's thought that the group will recommend a season-long Champions League ban to European football's governing body.

City would be expected to appeal against any such suspension, so it is unlikely to come into effect before the 2020/21 campaign.

City have denied breaking any Fair Play rules, saying in a statement released early this season that "the accusation of financial irregularities is entirely false... Manchester City welcomes the opening of a formal UEFA investigation as an opportunity to bring to an end the speculation resulting from the illegal hacking and out of context publication of City emails."

A 4-1 win against Brighton on Sunday meant Pep Guardiola's men became the first team to retain the Premier League title since Manchester United in 2009.

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Greg Lea

Greg Lea is a freelance football journalist who's filled in wherever FourFourTwo needs him since 2014. He became a Crystal Palace fan after watching a 1-0 loss to Port Vale in 1998, and once got on the scoresheet in a primary school game against Wilfried Zaha's Whitehorse Manor (an own goal in an 8-0 defeat).