KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: The Court of Arbitration for Sport may have opened the way for Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City to resist any attempt by UEFA to punish them over alleged breaches of financial fair play rules.
The respective champions of France and England were cast back under the European federation’s financial microscope after information which appeared to challenge their settlements with UEFA were pubished in last autumn’s Football Leaks revelations.
A Portuguese hacker, identified as Budapest-based Rui Pinto, is currently resisted an attempt to extradite him from Hungary and back to Lisbon on charges connected with extortion, illegal data access and breach of confidentiality.. His lawyers have asserted that he was the source of the Football Leaks documentation released to, and published by, a dozen European media outlets.
However CAS, in a judgment on an appeal from Turkish club Galatasaray, has thrown uncertainty over the technicalities of UEFA’s regulations concerning a re-review of a financial fair play decision.
Lawyers from not only PSG and Manchester City but a number of other clubs will study the fine print.
In June 2018 UEFA’s financial investigatory chamber ruled Galatasaray had breached break-even requirements and a settlement agreement was reached.
Weeks later, the CFCB chair decided on a review by the adjudicatory chamber. This set aside the settlement and referred the case back to the investigatory chamber for further investigation. Galatasaray appealed to CAS that such a referral was out of time.
A sole arbitrator for sport’s supreme court has now ruled in Galatasaray’s favour and reinstated the original settlement because “the challenged cecision of October 5, 2018, . . . was issued beyond the 10-day time limit which starts to run from the date of communication of the [original] decision.”
UEFA responded with a statement indicating that its lawyers would study the ruling and consider what adjustments would be needed to the small print of the FFP regulations.
** The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has issued its decision in the appeal arbitration procedure between the Turkish football club Galatasaray Sportif Sinai ve Ticari Yatirimlar A.Ş. (Galatasaray) and the Union Européenne de Football Association (UEFA).
The appeal filed on 15 October 2018 by Galatasaray against UEFA with respect to the decision rendered by the UEFA Club Financial Control Body Adjudicatory Chamber (UEFA CFCB Adjudicatory Chamber) on 5 October 2018 is upheld.
The decision rendered by the UEFA CFCB Adjudicatory Chamber on 5 October 2018 is set aside.
The decision rendered by the Chief Investigator of the UEFA CFCB Investigatory Chamber on 5 June 2018 and the resulting Settlement Agreement are confirmed.
On 5 June 2018, the Chief Investigator of the UEFA CFCB Investigatory Chamber issued a decision in which Galatasaray was found not to be in compliance with the break-even requirement of the UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations and a Settlement Agreement was concluded between UEFA and the Club.
Later the same month, the UEFA CFCB Chairman determined that the decision and the Settlement Agreement should be reviewed by the UEFA CFCB Adjudicatory Chamber.
On 5 October 2018, the UEFA CFCB Adjudicatory Chamber set aside the decision taken by the Chief Investigator of the UEFA CFCB Investigatory Chamber and referred the case back to the Investigatory Chamber for further investigation.
On 15 October 2018, Galatasaray filed an appeal at CAS against the UEFA CFCB Adjudicatory Chamber’s decision (the Challenged Decision).
The arbitration procedure was referred to a Sole Arbitrator who examined first Galatasaray’s assertion that the Challenged Decision was rendered untimely.
Having considered the parties’ submissions on the issue of the timeliness of the Challenged Decision, the Sole Arbitrator ruled that the appeal must be upheld and the Challenged Decision of 5 October 2018 set aside, as such Decision was issued beyond the 10-day time limit which starts to run from the date of communication of the decision of the Chief Investigator to the CFCB Chairman, as set out in Article 16 (1) of the Procedural Rules governing the UEFA Club Financial Control Body.
UEFA takes note of today’s decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), in Lausanne, by means of which the appeal filed by Galatasaray AŞ against UEFA with respect to the decision rendered by the CFCB Adjudicatory Chamber decision on 5 October 2018 was upheld and the decision of the CFCB Adjudicatory Chamber is set aside.
As a consequence of today’s CAS decision, the settlement agreement concluded between the CFCB Investigatory Chamber and Galatasaray AŞ on 13 June 2018 remains in force.
UEFA will analyse in detail the CAS Award and will consider implementing in due course any clarifications or amendments to its rules that may result from the CAS Award.
The CAS decision does not put in doubt the objectives of the UEFA Club Licensing & Financial Fair Play system.