Manchester City has been banned for the next two seasons from UEFA Champions League. Additionally, they were also fined 30 million Euros. The charge is for misguiding UEFA and not following financial fair play (FFP) rules.
Man C responded to the ban. They will appeal against it in the court of arbitration for sports.
The charge is serious. As per UEFA’s financial control body, they inflated their sponsorship revenues. Leaked emails and documents by German magazine Der Spiegel, sparked the fire. Those appeared to show that City’s owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan of the Abu Dhabi ruling family kept funding patterns unclear. Etihad should have funded £67.5m but they invested only £8.0m. The rest of the money came from Abu Dhabi United Group. The period under the radar is from 2012 to 2016.
Management of Man City is unhappy. They have demanded an impartial inquiry. Its current squad has been assembled at the cost of $1 billion. It includes 10 players from $76-45 million. Ban from the top-flight competition will dent its prestige and finance. UEFA distributed $ 2.3 billion in 2018 among participants.
Europe is a divided house on the issue. Kit sponsor of City (Puma) has openly backed the club and its management. Puma signed a lucrative ten year deal with the Blue side of Manchester for 650 million pounds in February 2019. It is the second biggest in Premier League history after 750 million pound deal of Adidas with Manchester United. Gary Neville has come out in support. ’I think City will beat UEFA. UEFA, I have no faith in them whatsoever’ said Naville.
Advocates of the ban are also speaking. Arsene Wenger is one of them. He said that the wrongdoing of rich clubs must be punished. He was critical of Man C’s purchase when he was in charge of the Gunners. Emmanuel Adebayor, Samir Nasri, Bacary Sagna, Gael Clichy left Arsenal to Etihad Stadium. As per talk, powerhouses like AC Milan, PSG, and others have twisted rules and escaped in the past.
But for fans, a bigger problem is waiting. Bigger clubs are ready like roaming vultures. They knew that no participation in Europe’s biggest football tournament could lead to a mass exodus. Coach Guardiola’s contract will finish in the summer of 2021. As per grapevine, he is willing to stay. Kevin de Bruyne is in the wishlist of Real Madrid. Argentine Sergio Aguero might rethink his future. Sterling, Ederson, and Bernard are very attached to Pep. When he’ll leave, the stay of these 3 will also be in jeopardy.
This is one of the instances when UEFA has come out to hold its cash cow club to account. The city is appealing against it. All are guessing. Only time will tell the outcome.
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