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Manchester City defiant as investigators push for a ban

Owner: Sheikh Mansour (right) with
City boss Pep Guardiola

MANCHESTER City expect to be cleared of breaking financial fair play regulations despite the threat of a season-long ban from the Champions League.

The Premier League champions have been referred to Uefa’s regulator by Club Financial Control Body investigator Yves Leterme, the former Belgian prime minister who has been leading the probe since March, with the panel reportedly pushing for a ban.

But City, who will celebrate the title with an open-top bus parade on Monday, quickly hit out at the decision.

A statement read: ‘Manchester City is disappointed, but regrettably not surprised, by the sudden announcement of the referral to be made by the CFCB chief investigator Yves Leterme.

‘The leaks to media over the last week are indicative of the process overseen by Mr Leterme. Manchester City is entirely confident of a positive outcome when the matter is considered by an independent judicial body.

‘The accusation of financial irregularities remains entirely false and the CFCB referral ignores a comprehensive body of irrefutable evidence provided by Manchester City to the chamber. There remain significant unresolved matters raised by Manchester City as part of what the club has found to be a wholly unsatisfactory, curtailed, and hostile process.’

Club accounts show Sheikh Mansour, of the Abu Dhabi ruling family, has put £1.3billion into City over the past decade but Leterme began probing the club after German news magazine Der Spiegel suggested the club had deceived Uefa about its finances.

Confirming City had been referred to the adjudicatory chamber, Uefa added it would make no further comment until a decision is announced on what punishment, if any, City will face.