Manchester City have successfully overturned their two-year ban from European club competitions.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) announced the club were cleared of “disguising equity funds as sponsorship contributions”.
Uefa issued the ban in February after ruling City had committed “serious breaches” of Financial Fair Play regulations between 2012 and 2016.
City’s fine has been cut from 30m euros (£26.9m) to 10m euros.
In delivering the ruling on Monday, Cas said City did “fail to cooperate with Uefa authorities” but overturned the decision by Uefa’s club financial control body (CFCB) to ban them.
The English side said the decision was “validation of the club’s position and the body of evidence that it was able to present”.
“The club wishes to thank the panel members for their diligence and the due process that they administered,” City added.
Privately, City are hugely satisfied with today’s decision. For, while the verdict is being viewed as a major blow for the whole FFP concept, senior sources at the club insist their argument – and resistance to complying with the initial hearing – was because of opposition to the process they were being judged by, not the regulation itself.
City could not see how it was fair that the evidence being used against them was obtained illegally particularly as, in their view, it created a distorted picture of the reality.
Even as their two-year ban was being announced in February, the club were confident it would be overturned if they were given what, in their eyes, constituted a fair hearing and they now feel vindicated at how the situation has unfolded.