Manchester City UEFA ban: The biggest FFP punishments

We look at some of the biggest punishments meted out for breaching UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations after Manchester City’s hefty ban.

Manchester City have received the heftiest punishment handed out for breaches of Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations after being given a two-season ban from European competition by UEFA.

The Premier League club, who must also pay a €30million fine as part of their sanctions, were found guilty of “overstating its sponsorship revenue in its accounts and in the break-even information submitted to UEFA between 2012 and 2016” following an investigation by the Adjudicatory Chamber of UEFA’s Club Financial Control Body.

City have denied any wrongdoing through the process and have announced their intention to appeal the verdict.

Here, we look at the heaviest punishments Europe’s biggest clubs have received since UEFA’s FFP regulations were instigated in 2011 as a design to ensure teams do not live beyond their means.


LaLiga side Malaga became the first club to receive a ban from European competition in December as a result of unpaid bills – a one-season suspension that prevented them from competing in the 2013-14 Europa League.

Malaga, who were also fined €300,000, qualified for the Champions League for the first time in their history in 2011-12 after acquiring players such as Martin Demichelis, Julio Baptista and Jeremy Toulalan.

However, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Santi Cazorla were among players who threatened legal action over unpaid wages and the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) rejected their appeal over the UEFA punishment.


The next round of significant UEFA punishments came in May 2014 when nine clubs signed settlement agreements in relation to FFP breaches.

A third of those teams were Russian, with Anzhi Makhachkala, Rubin Kazan and Zenit all receiving fines, squad restrictions and transfer spending restrictions.

Zenit, who made the Champions League knockout phase in two of the three seasons before the sanctions, had the heaviest punishments, being ordered to pay €12m – of which €6m was suspended.


French champions PSG were also punished in 2014, the club having been considered to have inflated their income by means of a sponsorship deal with the Qatar Tourism Authority.

PSG said they “deplore the fact” that UEFA had not appreciated “the full value” of that partnership, and the governing body opened another investigation against the Ligue 1 giants in 2018 shortly after they broke the world transfer record to sign Neymar and reached an agreement with Monaco over Kylian Mbappe.

Last March PSG won an appeal with CAS to shut down UEFA’s probe.


Last June Milan struck a deal with UEFA to be banned for this season’s Europa League due to FFP breaches.

The Serie A side had previously successfully appealed against a two-season ban imposed by UEFA following breaches between 2015 and 2017.

Roma took Milan’s place in the Europa League group stage while Torino entered in the qualifying rounds.


City’s first FFP punishments came in the same batch as Zenit and PSG’s sanctions, the Premier League also incurring a €60m fine, €40m of which was suspended.

However, a fresh probe into City’s finances was launched following allegations made in Der Spiegel.

The German publication purportedly gained the information from whistleblowers Football Leaks and claimed Sheikh Mansour’s City regime topped up multi-million-pound sponsorship deals with Abu Dhabi companies, using their owner’s fortune, to meet the financial rules.