Bayern chair says UEFA ‘didn’t do a great job’ on City case

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge
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Updated 28 July 2020

Bayern chair says UEFA ‘didn’t do a great job’ on City case

  • The full judgment has yet to be published

NEW YORK: UEFA “didn’t do a great job” investigating Manchester City after the English club’s two-year ban from European competitions was overturned, Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said Monday.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled two weeks ago that some of UEFA's accusations of financial violations by City could not be proven and others were “time-barred" because they did not meet a 5-year statute of limitations.

It means the Abu Dhabi-owned club will be able to rejoin teams like Bayern in the Champions League next season.

“I believe the final decision made by CAS was an outcome because the UEFA panel responsible for Champions League matters didn’t do a great job, it’s looking like,” Rummenigge said in a video call. “What I heard from different sources is that it was not good organized in advance."

The full judgment has yet to be published. In a statement after the verdict, UEFA highlighted the “insufficient conclusive evidence" presented to CAS but said it would not comment further.

“Congrats to the colleagues of Manchester City that they can participate next year in Champions League and the year after as well,” said Rummenigge, a member of the European Club Association's executive board.

Bayern recently did business with City, buying Leroy Sane in a transfer worth up to €60 million  ($70 million) — one of the biggest deals concluded amid the financial instability caused by the coronavirus pandemic

“The transfer market is looking like affected by corona because we had been interested to transfer him one year ago when the transfer amount was totally different than today," Rummenigge said. "So we are happy that we have been able to transfer him now in favor of Bayern Munich. The only thing it’s looking like that the agents are trying to keep their salary on a very high level."

The German champions will miss out on cash from their abandoned summer tour of China, instead launching a virtual version on Monday with sponsor Audi to connect fans with the players.

Due to the loss of income from also playing games without fans and disruption to broadcast contracts, UEFA has eased its rules for monitoring spending by Europe’s top clubs. Two accounting years for clubs have effectively been combined into one that will be assessed next year.

“I believe, still optimistic that Financial Fair Play done in a different way could be very helpful to come back on a bit more rational basis," Rummenigge said. “Because I believe that is a request from our supporters and we should listen to them as well.”

UEFA’s FFP program requires clubs which qualify for European competitions to approach breaking even on their spending on transfers and wages against commercial income. Club owners are allowed unlimited spending on stadium projects and youth training, but not to bail out debts.


Hazard stunner gives revived Real Madrid win over Huesca

Updated 01 November 2020

Hazard stunner gives revived Real Madrid win over Huesca

  • Belgian forward ends goal drought as he thrills fans with brilliant first-half strike

MADRID: Eden Hazard scored his first goal for Real Madrid in over a year and his team appeared to turn a corner as they beat newly promoted Huesca 4-1 in La Liga on Saturday.
Hazard has had a terrible time with injuries since joining Madrid for €100 million ($113 million) from Chelsea in 2019 but the Belgian will hope his stunning strike from distance at the Alfredo di Stefano can kick-start his career in Spain.

Karim Benzema and Fede Valverde made the win secure before Huesca scored through David Ferreiro, only for Benzema to add his second and Madrid’s fourth in injury-time.

Zinedine Zidane’s side jump above Real Sociedad to the top of the table to cap an encouraging week, which began with a Clasico win over Barcelona at Camp Nou and finishes with them moving nine points clear of the Catalans, who were playing away at Alaves on Saturday.

In between, Madrid came too close for comfort to another damaging defeat in the Champions League but two late goals salvaged a draw at Borussia Monchengladbach that in the end felt like a win.

Huesca, who are yet to win this season, might feel the scoreline was harsh after they squandered early chances.

Madrid will hope the dip that put Zidane under pressure earlier this month is over.

Zidane will have been particularly delighted with Hazard, whose goal was his first for Madrid since he scored against Granada in October last year, and his second overall in La Liga.

Ankle surgery kept Hazard out for the majority of last season and he was not fit for the start of this one, with Madrid only describing his latest setback as a “muscle injury.”

But he made his first appearance off the bench in the Champions League in midweek and against Huesca marked his first start with a brilliant goal in the first half.

Until then, Huesca had been the better team but Hazard’s strike turned the contest in the 40th minute, when he received the ball on the half-turn and swerved a superb shot into the corner from 30 yards out.

Benzema made it two, chesting down Lucas Vazquez’s cross at the back post and driving in, before Valverde struck a sweet half-volley into the corner.

Ferreiro gave Huesca brief hope with 16 minutes left but Madrid were never overly troubled and Benzema rounded off the win in injury-time, converting a smart header back from Rodrygo.