UEFA to ban Girona from Champions League over Man City ownership

Girona has been one of the major success stories of European football this season with the Catalonian clubs meteoric rise coming as a shock to many in Spanish football.

Girona have qualified for the UEFA Champions League for the first time in their history after guaranteeing a top four finish in La Liga, however their first ever European campaign is at risk.

Girona are the sister club of Manchester City, with both being members of the City Football Group.ย  This multi-national footballing organization have a portfolio of 13 clubs across the globe with Manchester City and Girona two of their highest profile assets.

This relationship has caught the attention of Europe’s football governing body UEFA, who have strict rules regarding multi-club ownership preventing teams that share majority shareholders from competing in the same competitions to ensure sporting integrity is not compromised.

The City Football Group own 100 percent of Manchester City and just under 50 percent of Girona, making them the majority shareholder in both clubs.ย  For this reason UEFA have barred Girona from competing in next season’s UEFA Champions League unless CFG dilute their share to below 30 percent or restructure their ownership model.

If Manchester City do not change their ownership structure, Girona will be banned from the UEFA Champions League and forced to play in the Europa League next season.

Girona is also currently under investigation from the Spanish football authorities for suspicious and misleading financial behaviour relating to their transfer for Ukranian striker Artem Dovbyk.

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Dylan Johnson