Monday 23 October 2017

City fined by UEFA - hours after accepting separate misconduct charge from FA

Manchester City have been fined by UEFA
Manchester City have been fined by UEFA

Manchester City have been fined 18,000 euros (£15,573) by UEFA for three offences during their Champions League clash with Monaco at the Etihad Stadium last month.

City have been found guilty of charges relating to a pitch invasion, the throwing of objects and a delayed kick-off during the last-16 first leg on February 21, the European governing body has announced.

The development comes on the same day City accepted a charge of misconduct from the Football Association relating to the conduct of their players in last weekend's Premier League game against Liverpool.

On a separate issue, the club have also been criticised by the FA in the newly published written reasons for last month's £35,000 fine for breaching anti-doping regulations.

No further details have been given by UEFA regarding the Monaco incidents, but it is understood a bottle was thrown towards the pitch during City's 5-3 victory over the Ligue 1 side.

It is also not the first time the club have been punished for delaying a kick-off. In 2012, City were fined for being one minute late during a Europa League game at Sporting Lisbon.

News of UEFA's fine came soon after the club confirmed they would not contest an FA charge of failing to ensure players conducted themselves in an orderly manner during Sunday's 1-1 draw against Liverpool.

The charge related to a protest by City players after Liverpool were awarded a controversial penalty early in the second half following a challenge by Gael Clichy on Roberto Firmino.

City continued to complain to referee Michael Oliver after James Milner had converted from the spot to give the visitors a 51st-minute lead, delaying the restart of the game. It was one of a number of talking points in an incident-packed game, with City feeling aggrieved not to have been awarded a penalty in the first half.

The club were given until Friday to respond to the charge and have indicated they intend to plead guilty. The case will be heard by an independent regulatory commission in due course.

It has also emerged that City failed to heed a written warning sent three weeks before their critical third breach of FA anti-doping regulations last year.

City were charged with breaking the FA's 'whereabouts' rules in January and a three-man panel issued a fine in February.

Under anti-doping regulation 14D, clubs must provide the FA with accurate information about training sessions and players' addresses so doping control officers can find them for no-notice drugs tests. If clubs fail to provide this information - or testers are unable to find the players they are looking for - three times in a rolling 12-month period then they are deemed to have breached the rule.

It has now been revealed the 'three strikes' were:

:: Failing to inform the FA of an extra first-team training session on July 12, 2016.

:: A first-team player missing a test on September 1 of last year because the hotel address provided was no longer correct.

:: Anti-doping officials being unable to test reserve players on December 7 because six of them had been given the day off without the FA being informed.

The final breach occurred despite the FA writing to City on November 14 to remind them clubs must notify the governing body if five or more players in a particular squad are given a day off from a scheduled session. They were also warned in writing after the second strike in September.

City told the FA the two training-session breaches were "administrative errors" related to the club's new management team under Pep Guardiola being unfamiliar with the system.

The Premier League club said they believed they had grounds to challenge the hotel mix-up but the FA rejected this and City did not contest the point. That acceptance of guilt was welcomed by the panel and resulted in a smaller fine than it was "minded to impose having noted all the other applicable considerations".

But the panel was critical of City's failure to meet their obligations and heed warnings.

"It is no less concerning that in this case, despite the club being made aware of their breaches on two previous occasions (and) the resources available to the club, they failed to deal with these and implement a system to correct this," it said.

City, Fleetwood and Bournemouth have all been charged with this offence this season, with the latter still waiting for their sanction. City have decided not to comment.

Press Association

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