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Manchester City to learn fate of Champions League ban appeal

Manchester City's Abu-Dhabi project and the future of UEFA's financial fair play (FFP) rules face a pivotal day on Monday.

FILE: Manchester City beat new champions Liverpool 4-0 in their Premier League match on 2 July 2020 at the Etihad stadium. Picture: @ManCity?Twitter.

LONDON - Manchester City's Abu-Dhabi project and the future of UEFA's financial fair play (FFP) rules face a pivotal day on Monday when the Court of Arbitration for Sport delivers its verdict on City's appeal against a two-season ban from European competitions.

The stakes could not be higher for the English side, who have always strongly denied any wrongdoing over allegations they deliberately inflated the value of income from sponsors with links to the Abu Dhabi United Group, also owned by City owner Sheikh Mansour, to avoid falling foul of FFP regulations between 2012 and 2016.

In February, UEFA imposed a fine of 30 million euros ($32 million, £25 million) on City as well as suspending them from European competitions for the next two seasons.

Since Sheikh Mansour's takeover 12 years ago, City's fortunes have been transformed from perennially living in the shadow of local rivals Manchester United to winning four Premier League titles in the past eight years among 11 major trophies.

Yet the prize that has eluded them is the one the Abu Dhabi project most desires - the Champions League.