Manchester City have hired the lawyer who helped block Brexit twice as the Premier League champions look to overturn their two-year ban from European football, according to The Mirror.
David Pannick QC is recognised as one of the UK’s top lawyers and has been drafted in by City to lead their legal battle against UEFA following the decision earlier this month.
The 63-year-old represented Gina Miller on two occasions when she challenged Boris Johnson and former Prime Minister Theresa May on issues relating to Brexit.
In 2016 he successfully represented Ms Miller in her legal challenge preventing Theresa May from taking Great Britain out of the European Union without parliamentary consent.
Mr Pannick, who became Baron Pannick of Radlett in 2008 after being awarded a life peerage, also represented the Brexit activist last September when she claimed to the Supreme Court that Boris Johnson had given the Queen unlawful advice in his attempt to prorogue Parliament.
City chiefs will be hoping he can use his legal expertise to help the club out of trouble having been handed a heavy punishment by UEFA. The club has shelled out £20,000 a day to cover Mr Pinnock’s legal costs.
European football was rocked last Friday when the governing body announced that the English club were to be banned for two years from European competition as well as slapped with a 30million euro fine for ‘serious breaches’ of financial regulations.
The first offence relates to ‘overstating its sponsorship revenue in its accounts and in the break-even information submitted to Uefa between 2012 and 2016’ while ‘failing to cooperate in the investigation’.
City have expressed their intention to challenge the appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and hope the issue can be resolved before the summer.
The ruling leaves the Premier League champions in an ominous position, with question marks raised over the futures of some of their key stars.
Manager Pep Guardiola, however, has insisted that he will stay loyal to the club should their appeal to CAS fail.
‘I’m confident that we’ll play in Europe next season. I’m pretty sure we’ll defend our position,’ Guardiola said before confirming he will remain as manager.
‘If they don’t sack me, I will stay here more than ever. I want to stay longer than the contract that I have. I want to help the club grow and maintain this level for as long as possible. Why should I leave?
‘It’s not finished, it’s not over,’ Guardiola said. ‘You fight no matter what and the club is going to do that. There are two sides. The club say it is not true. I love this club.’
Guardiola also snapped back at his old employers and boyhood club, Barcelona, after their president Josep Maria Bartomeu thanked UEFA for following through with Financial Fair Play punishments.
‘If they are happy we are suspended, I say to the president of Barcelona, give us two appeals,’ the City boss said.
‘I ask right now the people trust what they have done. “Don’t talk too loud Barcelona,” that is my advice because everybody is involved in situations. We are going to appeal and hopefully in the future we can play in the Champions League against Barcelona.’