Manchester City are preparing for one of the biggest weeks in the club’s history, with their appeal against a two-year ban from European competition starting at the Court of Arbitration for Sport on Monday.
City will miss out on the prestige of playing in the Champions League for the next two seasons and estimated revenues of £200m unless they convince three judges in the three-day video conference hearing that they have not broken UEFA’s financial fair play (FFP) rules.
A decision is expected before this season’s Champions League is due to restart in August.
The competition was suspended in March with City well-placed to reach the quarter-finals after winning 2-1 at Real Madrid in a last-16 first-leg tie.
In February, UEFA banned City from Europe for the next two seasons and fined them €30m (£26.06m) for “serious breaches” of the FFP rules and for failing to co-operate with the investigation.
In an interview with City’s in-house media team, chief executive Ferran Soriano said he was “disappointed but not surprised” by the decision.
“The fans can be sure of two things,” he said. “The first one is that the allegations are false. The second is that we will do everything that can be done to prove it.”