While many enjoyed a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner, Manchester City was given the ultimate gift from UEFA: A two-season ban from European competitions like the Champions League and a 30 million euros fine.
The current champions of the Premier League were found to have heavily violated Financial Fair Play and UEFA Club Licensing. Not only will the Citizens miss out on Champions League, but they face possible Premier League point deductions and might get their 2014 title stripped away if a separate investigation in the Premier League finds the club guilty of breaching financial rules.
This took many people by surprise, including Tottenham Hotspur’s Jose Mourinho and Liverpool’s Jürgen Klopp. But to me, seeing the news of their ban made me happy; and not because Tottenham’s chances of qualifying for Champions League increased.
There’s a reason why many Premier League fans call them “Oil Money FC”, and I’m very glad that their extreme funds finally caught up to them. Hell, one can validly argue that if they didn’t get new owners in 2008, they probably wouldn’t have won as many trophies as they have. For instance, at the end of the 2007-08 season, the Citizens finished in ninth and the year before they finished in 14th with the likes of Martin Petrov, Jihai Sun and Joe Hart. Fast forward to the 2013-14 season and you’ll see a difference of being a mid-table side to being Premier League champions with players such as Fernandinho, Sergio Agüero, Nasri and David Silva among many.
Many say that Manchester City will deal with the two years, but I just think that’s simply wrong. In fact, there’s been rumors that the Citizens will spend about the same amount as their fine on lawyers to appeal the ban, and I do think that is likely to happen. City, as I stated earlier, have more than enough funds to spend on good lawyers, and they will likely argue to lower it to just one year. Similar to Chelsea’s case with FFP, except City’s appeal would work.
Former Manchester United and Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville discussed in an Instagram video how he feels about Financial Fair Play.
“I have a real problem with FFP to start with,” Neville said. “I have … for seven or eight years. I don’t think it’s the right way to apply it. I think City will beat UEFA. I think UEFA have no faith in them whatsoever; they’re essentially a hopeless organization who will just apply what will be erratic disciplinary sanctions for different things. I think City will beat them in the courts, I think it will get stuck in the courts for some time, but I think City will win in the end.”
Pep Guardiola and Raheem Sterling said they will stay at the club regardless of their ban from European competitions, however this does make soccer fans wonder if players like Agüero or Kevin de Bruyne will do the same or if they will leave the club. Though, who knows, if things don’t go City’s way to the point where they want out, then their statements will come back to bite them.