FURIOUS Manchester City accused Uefa of “unlawful activities” and demanded damages in their ongoing Financial Fair Play war.
The scale of the fallout over City’s FFP case was laid bare in a legal ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
And legal papers, disclosed for the first time, suggest City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak will not accept any Champions League ban.
City allege Europe’s governing body LEAKED details over their case and have “systematically breached its express obligations of confidentiality”.
Last May, City urged the Lausanne-based court to throw out the FFP case over alleged leaks to organisations, including SunSport.
The claim was rejected by CAS in November, with Uefa now expected to deliver their verdict in the next few weeks.
But in a signpost to what appears an inevitable appeal if a ban is imposed, City alleged Uefa’s probe into their finances has been “contaminated” and “compromised”.
This, they claim, is due to information published by SunSport, The New York Times and Associated Press last summer.
The reports revealed the investigatory chamber of Uefa’s club financial control body, headed by former Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme, recommended City be banned from Europe.
Uefa launched an investigation following the Football Leaks document dump, which claimed City hid millions in investment by the club’s Abu Dhabi owners under the guise of legitimate sponsorship deals.
City vehemently deny any impropriety and condemned stories gleaned from the “illegal hacking and out-of-context publication” of internal emails.
The club said Leterme and his team “exceeded its jurisdiction” in proposing a ban “improperly and prematurely”.
City claimed significant “procedural defects” had caused the club “serious harm and loss”.
And they also argued Uefa’s unwillingness to investigate the alleged leaks cast “grave doubt upon the fairness, impartiality and integrity” of the process.
As such, the club demanded damages and sanctions against specific individuals.
But Leterme slammed City’s accusations, insisting they were “groundless in the merits and unacceptable in tone”.
Leterme, personally targeted by City in an official statement last summer, added that “at no time, myself or any of my fellow members violated any rights of your club”.
In a direct response to City, he said the investigation had been “conducted in good faith and in an independent, objective and fair manner, as you well know”.
Uefa also accused City of behaving “in a totally misleading way” and said the club’s argument was “legally wrong”.
City’s application was dismissed as “inadmissible”. But in its written findings, published yesterday, Cas suggested the alleged leaks were “worrisome”.
That opens the door for City to question the validity of the process if — as is certain — they appeal any Uefa ban.