Manchester City players are reportedly keeping their options open in private after the club lodged an appeal against their two-season Champions League ban.
The Premier League champions have officially appealed the ban to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, handed to them by UEFA over serious breaches of Financial Fair Play.
They are determined to fight the sanctions, which prevent them from playing in both the Champions League and the Europa League, but CAS have not made a time frame for the appeal process clear.
It is expected to take several months, nevertheless, plunging a number of key City stars’ futures into serious doubt.
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City are said to have broken the rules between 2012 and 2016, with certain reports even suggesting they could be demoted three divisions to League Two.
In a statement released by CAS, the judicial body have said: “The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has registered an appeal filed by Manchester City football club against the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA).
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“The appeal is directed against the decision of the Adjudicatory Chamber of the UEFA Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) dated 14 February 2020 in which Manchester City was deemed to have contravened UEFA's Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations and sanctioned with exclusion from the next two seasons of UEFA club competitions for which the club would qualify and ordered to pay a fine of 30 million euros.
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“Generally speaking, CAS appeal arbitration procedures involve an exchange of written submissions between the parties while a panel of CAS arbitrators is being convened.
“Once the panel has been formally constituted it issues procedural directions, including, inter alia, with respect to the holding of a hearing.
“Following the hearing, the panel deliberates and then issues its decision in the form of an arbitral award.
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“It is not possible to indicate at this time when a final award in this matter will be issued.”
And Sky Sports reporter Kaveh Solhekol has offered an insight as to what City players will be thinking ahead of a potential Champions League suspension.
“In public City players are saying the right thing and not rocking the boat. They are willing to wait until the full facts come out at CAS before thinking about their own futures.
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“Some City players though are privately keeping their options open.
“One thing is certain though. City are not a selling club and never will be under Sheikh Mansour.
“A Champions League ban and the loss of £100m a year in revenue would make it harder but by no means impossible to hold on to players such as [Raheem] Sterling.”
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