Manchester City Banned from Champions League for Two Seasons
Manchester City have been hit with a two season ban from all European competition following a UEFA investigation into the club’s apparent breaking of official Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations.
On top of the ban, which covers the 2020/21 and 2021/22 seasons, the Premier League side have been fined $32.5m, with UEFA finding the Etihad Stadium side guilty of “serious breaches’ of guidelines in place to regulate spending.
The ban doesn’t affect the current campaign which will see Man City take on Real Madrid in the pick of the last 16 clashes this month.
UEFA stated that Man City had overstated sponsorship revenue in its accounts over the period from 2012 to 2016.
Man City, owned by Abu-Dhabi’s Sheikh Mansour, plan to appeal to the penalty and will hope to overturn the ban as a failure to do so will hit the club hard, with participation in the Champions League being a prerequisite that most of their star players, and management, will demand.
There is a fear that boss Pep Guardiola will leave the club if they do not successfully appeal the European ban, as the Spanish manager has won all other available silverware during his time in charge of the club.
One wonders also if the likes of Sergio Aguero, Kevin de Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and co. would be considering their future at the club given the harsh punishment handed down by Europe’s top football governing body.
Manchester City have won the Premier League twice in succession but now find themselves 22 points behind champions elect Liverpool and are set to therefore lose their domestic crown and a European ban on top of that failure could prove disastrous.