Man City banned from Champions League

Angry Pep

UEFA have announced a two-year ban on European football for Manchester City, revealing that City had committed serious breaches of the UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations by overstating its sponsorship revenue in its accounts and in the break-even information submitted to UEFA between 2012 and 2016.

City have already made an official statement, stating its intent to commence proceedings with the Court of Arbitration for Sport at the earliest opportunity.

This is likely to be a protracted proceeding that may take years to resolve. We look at some impact from this news.


city ban meme

2019/20 Season

Well, by most reckoning the title is already a done deal for Liverpool but if City were to be banned from Champions League it opens up the possibility of UEFA awarding England’s fourth spot to the team that finishes fifth in the Premier League.

At time of writing, Sheffield United occupies the fifth spot but it has been one of the most competitive position in the table this season. Spurs and United have all occupied fifth in recent weeks. Also, a mere 9 point separates Sheffield United and 14th placed Palace. Suffice to say, many teams will have a shot at finishing fifth.

However, it has already been clarified that if the appeal is still going on when next season’s Champions League starts, City will be able to compete and, if CAS upholds the ban, it will start in 2021-22.

Man City Squad

The biggest impact to the club will be how the current squad will hold up in the face of this uncertainty.

Pep Guardiola has played Champions League football in every of his 12 years in management and amidst rumors from Juventus, he may jump ship even before the dust settles on the matter.

It has already been widely acknowledged that City are likely to undergo a major squad overhaul in the summer in any case but with this ban hanging over the club, it is interesting to see how many of the top talents the club can attract. Current stars like Kevin de Bruyne and Raheem Sterling may not want to hang around a team without European football. Club legend Sergio Aguero is near the twilight of his illustrious career and may also seek a move to fulfill his personal Champions League dream.

The Alleged Crimes

In effect, UEFA has alleged that City had concealed a number of payments. These were either made to individuals or to inflate sponsorship deals, which allowed the club to meet financial fair play regulations.

They were brought into the public domain by the Football Leaks organisation, who distributed thousands of confidential emails to the German magazine Der Spiegel.

City alleged they had been the victim of an illegal hack by people who had the express intention of damaging their reputation. They also said the emails were being used as the basis for reports which were being taken out of context. That is still their stance.

Precedence

To those who suspects that UEFA have a personal vendetta against City, do note that this is not the first time UEFA had banned a club from competitions because of Financial Fair Play (FFP).

As recent as June, UEFA banned AC Milan from the Europa League because FFP breaches. AC Milan, however, were never accused of anything sinister other than poor financial management and the ban was actually agreed with UEFA. At some level, City’s case appears to be somewhat worse.

 

 


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About FF Fly 295 Articles
The FF Fly has been playing various forms of fantasy football for almost a decade without winning anything. Mid-table Mediocrity is his favourite alliteration of all time.

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