The current Premier League champions have been banned to play in the biggest club competition in Europe for serious breaches of financial regulations for the next two seasons. They have also been fined €30m. Manchester City can not play in any Uefa club competitions also including Europa league until the 2022-23 season. They are currently almost out of the title race in the League and Liverpool are 19 points above them in the table.
There have been questions about the future of Pep Guardiola at Manchester City this season and this announcement today has raised those questions to a certain level now. The Manchester based-side was recently charged for break the rules by UEFA’s Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) of falsely inflating their sponsorship revenues when submitting accounts as part of the FFP compliance process.
A statement from the club has vowed to fight the decision: “Manchester City is disappointed but not surprised by today’s announcement by the UEFA Adjudicatory Chamber.”
“The club has always anticipated the ultimate need to seek out an independent body and process to impartially consider the comprehensive body of irrefutable evidence in support of its position.”
“In December 2018, the UEFA Chief Investigator publicly previewed the outcome and sanction he intended to be delivered to Manchester City before any investigation had even begun.”
“The subsequent flawed and consistently leaked UEFA process he oversaw has meant that there was little doubt in the result that he would deliver.”
“The club has formally complained to the Uefa Disciplinary body, a complaint which was validated by a CAS ruling.”
“Simply put, this is a case initiated by UEFA, prosecuted by UEFA and judged by UEFA.”
Further, to add to that, the club claimed that with this prejudicial process now over, they would pursue an impartial judgement as quickly as possible. They would further go ahead and commence proceedings with the Court of Arbitration for Sport at the earliest opportunity, as confirmed by their statement.
City is facing Real Madrid once again in the Champions League this month and this fixture can be a decider of Pep’s future at the club. They have already beaten Los Blancos 1-2 at the Bernabeu away from home in the first leg but the second leg will surely be the decider.
It was a close encounter the last and this might be no different in the level of performances between the two teams. Both managers and set of players will want to perform well and go through to the next round.
This ban can also reflect some of their players who might leave and also big player signings can be effected when the club is not participating in the biggest competitions in Europe. This could be a major issue for them, with the club forced to sell some of their key stars to reduce their expenses.
This could disrupt the balance of the entire team. Already, Pep and co. are suffering issues at the back this term. Their defensive problems are not hidden from the world. They were keen on adding more stars to their ranks. However, things could now get complicated and they have to offload players, before the sign new players.
Well, this has certainly opened up the chances of clubs like Manchester United, Tottenham and even the likes of Everton, Sheffield United and Arsenal who can finish fifth and qualify for the UCL next season, when City finish in the top four.