MANCHESTER City are thought to have been offered the option of “settling” over breaches to European financial fair play rules. City are believed to have 48 hours to accept an offer from European chiefs Uefa or risk being issued with a more severe punishment.
Clubs that lost more than £38m over the two years from 2011 to 2013 are at risk of a range of punishments, including bans from European competitions such as the Champions League. City and Paris Saint-Germain are believed to be the biggest teams to have failed FFP. Uefa is set to meet to discuss clubs’ fates on Thursday.
Uefa president Michel Platini appeared to indicate last week, however, that those clubs in breach of FFP rules will not be banned this time, meaning offending teams are likely to face fines, points deductions, and bans or limitations on players being registered for European competitions.
A settlement offer would give City, if found in breach of FFP, the option of accepting a sanction at the lower end of the spectrum and agreeing not to contest the charge.
Clubs that reject settlement offers will have their fates decided by Uefa’s independent Club Financial Control Body, which has the power to impose bans and even strip European titles.
In a twist, settlements pave the way for rival clubs who have missed out on European qualification to a team found in breach to challenge that decision and argue for stricter punishments.
City lost a combined £149m between 2011 and 2013, though that figure is expected to be vastly reduced when certain exceptions, such as spending on facilities, are deducted. The club have said they are confident of meeting FFP rules.