There’s a long way to go for this process to play out, but The Mirror is reporting that Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain are among a 76-club list of teams that are being investigated for a breach of Financial Fair Play.
The new “break-even” rules were implemented in 2012, and UEFA revealed 76 clubs – a third of the total teams in European competition – have given the governing body enough reason to dig deeper.
Clubs under investigation have reportedly been informed and were asked to provide financial information for 2013.
None of this means any action will come hammering home on Manchester City or anyone else, but the process has begun.
The most severe sanctions available to UEFA for a full-scale FFP breach could include a stripping of trophies, hefty fines, a salary cap, and a ban on European competitions at a number of levels.
However, those could also be scaled down to small slaps on the wrist like petty fines or warnings.
The public are a long way from finding out any official information on the clubs in question, as UEFA said they would not reveal clubs under investigation until April.
Any potential sanctions would likely not be handed down until June, and UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino and legal director Alasdair Bell said they are expecting teams to fire back with legal action, going so far as to say a lack of legal backlash would be “strange.”
The pair said UEFA are ready to come down hard on clubs that do not comply, but they don’t expect the full 76 to be in violation. “This figure of 76 clubs is a high figure but it has to be looked at in the perspective of what the end figure will be,” Infantino said.
Robbie Mustoe and Robbie Earle dissect Derby Day, where Man City set the Premier League single season all time consecutive winning streak against rivals Man United, Jurgen Klopp had a bad day at the office against the blue half of Merseyside and Arsenal stutter again away from home.
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A roundup of Sunday’s action in Spain and Italy’s top flights…
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Villareal 0-2 Barcelona
The visitors struggled to break down Villareal’s back line throughout the opening 45 minutes, but the Blaugrana were aided by Raba’s second-half dismissal on Sunday. From there, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez helped Barca pick up its 12th win of the season and restore the club’s five-point lead over Valencia.
Messi’s goal — his 525th for the club — matched Gerd Muller’s Barca record on Sunday, while the finish was his 18th in all competitions this season.
Real Betis 0-1 Atletico Madrid
Saul Niguez scored his second goal of the La Liga season to help give Atletico an important road victory against Real Betis. Atleti now sits third in Spain’s top flight, but remains six points behind league leaders Barcelona.
Elsewhere in La Liga
Real Sociedad 0-2 Malaga
Levante 1-2 Athletic Bilbao
AC Milan 2-1 Bologna
Giacomo Bonaventura scored twice on Sunday to give AC Milan a victory at the San Siro. The midfielder opened the scoring inside the opening 10 minutes, before Simone Verdi’s finish in the 23rd minute leveled the match for Bologna. Bonaventura tabbed his second goal of the day in the 76th minute to give the Rossoneri a win and keep the team inside the top seven. Milan currently sits on 24 points through 16 matches.
Elsewhere in Serie A
Chievo Verona 0-0 Roma
Napoli 0-0 Fiorentina
SPAL 2-2 Hellas Verona
Udinese 2-0 Benevento
Sassuolo 2-1 Crotone
For only the second time this season, Dutch Eredivisie leaders PSV Eindhoven have lost a league match.
Ajax stormed back for a 3-0 victory over PSV on Sunday in Der Topper, the long-standing rivalry between the two Dutch powerhouses.
[ MORE: Three things we learned from the Manchester Derby ]
The victory moves Ajax up to third place on 32 points this season, while PSV remains atop the league table on 39 points.
David Neres, Lasse Schöne and Donny van de Beek each scored in a span of 11 minutes after the halftime break to five the hosts a comfortable result.
Neres broke the deadlock in the 61st minute when he stunned PSV with a long-distance volley that couldn’t be dealt with by goalkeeper Jeroen Zoet.
Schone then found the back of the net three minutes later, while Van de Beek capped off the outing with the dagger in the 72 minute.
Sunday’s win also gives Ajax a slim advantage over their rival in the all-time Eredivisie series, 54-24-53.
Prior to this weekend, only one team in NCAA men’s soccer history had won three or more titles in consecutive years. Now, you can add Stanford to that list.
The Cardinal knocked off the Indiana Hoosiers, 1-0, on Sunday afternoon at Talen Energy Stadium behind Sam Werner’s extra-time winner.
[ MORE: Kamara, Zimmerman amongst biggest MLS trade moves on Sunday ]
Werner, who also scored the second goal for the Cardinal in Friday night’s 2-0 victory against the Akron Zips, provided the finish in the second overtime after powering a shot over Hoosiers goalkeeper Trey Muse.
On the cold day in Chester, PA, both sides struggled to come up with chances on goal, with the Hoosiers managing just one shot on target in the match.
Prior to 2015, Stanford had never won a College Cup in school history, however, the Cardinal are now tied for sixth in NCAA history with their third championship.
The University of St. Louis has captured the most titles in men’s soccer, with 10, while Indiana’s eight championships rank second.