Man City ban: Champions League takeaways, questions

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Manchester City have been banned from European action for the next two seasons by UEFA, European soccer’s governing body.

UEFA delivered the verdict on Friday after an extensive investigation into what they call “serious breaches” of Financial Fair Play rules by the reigning Premier League champions.

City were also fined $32.4 million for the breach as UEFA’s Adjudicatory Chamber of the Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) found the reigning Premier League champions guilty of serious breaches of the UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations.

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There are so many questions swirling around this ban for Man City and what it will all mean in the short-term and long-term.

Here are some answers to those and a look at the key takeaways for City.


What have Man City been banned from?

All European competitions in the next two seasons, meaning both the UEFA Champions League and Europa League. They will still be able to play in Europe this season as they take on Real Madrid in the UCL last 16 in the coming weeks.

Why have UEFA banned Man City?

In a statement released by UEFA on the ruling, they say Man City “overstated its sponsorship revenue in its accounts and in the break-even information submitted to UEFA between 2012 and 2016.” The Manchester club were previously charged by UEFA in 2014 as they were fined and had a limited number of players in their squad for UEFA competitions for FFP breaches. This new charge comes after Football Leaks documents published by Der Spiegel in 2018 accused Man City of wrongdoing. UEFA then launched a new lengthy investigation into possible FFP breaches.

Can Man City appeal? Will it be further penalized?

Man City say they will appeal the ban to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) as they will aim to overturn the ruling entirely or at the very least get a reduced ban a la Chelsea’s transfer ban. Any appeal to CAS would be a lengthy one and will likely run in conjunction with their ban. Several reports claim that the Premier League may charge Man City separately for breaching UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules and a points deduction would be possible.

What will happen to Man City’s Champions League spot if they finish in the top four this season?

It is expected that the Premier League will still have four teams in the Champions League next season. If Man City’s ban is upheld then the team which finishes in fifth place this season will qualify for the Champions League. Sheffield United currently sit in fifth place.

Will Pep Guardiola leave Man City?

Guardiola has already said that he could ‘be fired’ by Man City this season if he didn’t win the Champions League and that seems quite prophetic now. Is Pep already looking for a way out of City? It remains to be seen if he will remain in charge of City as he could potentially walk away from his contract. Some may claim he is well within his rights to do so as Man City have been found guilty of a rules breach which will impact him and his players who will not be able to play in Europe’s top club competition. Guardiola’s main reason for taking over at City was to win the Champions League.