Manchester City: What led to European ban and what happens next?

Manchester City, the reigning Premier League champions, have been banned from taking part in European competitions due to "serious breaches" of UEFA's financial regulations.

The ban will be in place for two seasons and the club will also be fined €30m (£24.9m) as part of the sanctions.

Manchester City intend on appealing the decision made by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), saying they are "disappointed but not surprised" by the judgement.

Sky News looks at the club's situation, and what has happened, and what is next for the football giants.

What did the club do?

UEFA said Manchester City had overstated sponsorship revenue in accounts submitted between 2012 and 2016, and had "failed to co-operate" in the investigation.

Its regulations state a club's outgoings must not be much higher than its earnings, which UEFA said Manchester City failed to do.

UEFA acted on the findings of a hearing last month by the independent Adjudicatory Chamber of the Club Financial Control Body (CFCB).

Why was there a hearing?

An investigation was launched in March 2019 by UEFA, following allegations in German newspaper Der Spiegel.

In November 2018, Der Spiegel had alleged that Manchester City had been cheating the rules by injecting millions of pounds from its owner Sheikh Mansour into the club via UAE sponsors.

Experts said a number of the sponsorship deals were around three times more profitable than they were actually worth.

What are the financial rules that UEFA say Manchester City broke?

UEFA financial regulations, which all clubs participating in European tournaments must adhere to, means that teams must balance their income and expenditure over the course of three years, and not spend more money than they take.

The regulations are in place to stop clubs falling into financial difficulty by expecting them to break even and be transparent about their dealings.

What does Manchester City say about the ruling?

A Manchester City statement said they were "disappointed but not surprised".

"In December 2018, the UEFA chief investigator publicly previewed the outcome and sanction he intended to be delivered to Manchester City, before any investigation had even begun," it said.

"The subsequent flawed and consistently leaked UEFA process he oversaw has meant that there was little doubt in the result that he would deliver.

"With this prejudicial process now over, the club will pursue an impartial judgement as quickly as possible and will therefore, in the first instance, commence proceedings with the Court of Arbitration for Sport at the earliest opportunity."

Can Manchester City still play in the Champion's League this season?

Yes.

Unless the club's appeal is successful, the club will be stopped from competing in European club competitions in the 2020/21 and 2021/22 seasons.

City are due to face Real Madrid in the final 16 of this season's Champions League, with the first leg to be played on 26 February at the Bernabeu.

What does the ban mean for the club and English football?

It is likely that, unless the club wins its appeal, City will face a major loss of revenue, as it will not be attracting the continent's best teams to the Etihad Stadium - meaning a lack of gate returns, sponsorship, and TV deals at the club.

Players and staff may also consider their future at the club, in the hunt for elusive European silverware.

The clubs that finish in the top four of the Premier League qualify for the Champions League, and City are currently sitting in 2nd place in the English top flight, meaning the club that finishes fifth will have a chance to take part in the competition in Manchester City's place.

Clubs such as Sheffield United, Tottenham Hotspur and Wolves are all currently in the hunt for that spot.

What next?

The club will now appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport at the earliest chance it gets, in an effort to restore their right to play in the competition.

City will continue to play in Europe until the end of the season.