BARCELONA: Manchester City chief executive Ferran Soriano has been banned from “managing other people’s wealth” for two years in Spain over the collapse of Spanair.
Soriano, the airline’s former chairman, and 10 other board members were also fined £8.5m by a court in Barcelona. He has the right to appeal.
The court said the board delayed declaring the firm bankrupt for five months, leading to further losses.
Manchester City said they were aware of the case before they hired Soriano in August 2012 but had no further comment.
It is uncertain whether Soriano risks any implications under the Football Association’s owners’ and directors’ test, the official name of English football’s ‘fit and proper person’ rule.
Soriano runs the Abu Dhabi-owned club’s executive management team but does not sit on the board.
A vice-president at Barcelona between 2003 and 2008, the 47-year-old took over as chairman of the Catalan-based airline in April 2009.
His attempts to rescue the indebted carrier seemed initially to be working but the business folded in early 2012 when a deal with Qatar Airlines fell through. The Catalan government had already given the company an emergency loan of £8m.
Soriano and his board claim they delayed filing for bankruptcy by just 27 days, while they tried desperately to save the company.
The court appears to have partially accepted this explanation, as the £8.5m fine is considerably less than the £58m wanted by the airline’s creditors, who include travel agencies and staff.