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Alternate reality: What happens if Manchester City are stripped of their trophies

The Cityzens are on trial for 100 breaches of Premier League rules

Manchester City have been accused by the Premier League of over 100 breaches of their financial rules, the governing body announced on Monday morning, across a nine-year span between 2009 and 2018.

The breaches essentially accuse the Cityzens of dodging financial fair play, inflating sponsorship deals and paying inappropriate amounts to both players and managers, with the majority of the breaches “in particular with respect to its revenue (including sponsorship revenue), its related parties and its operating costs”.

During that time, the club won the Premier League on three occasions, as well as three Carabao Cups and an FA Cup trophy.

For their part, Manchester City intend to ‘robustly’ defend themselves against the accusations, but should they be found guilty, one of several possible sanctions available to the prosecutors would be stripping the club of any trophies won in the period under investigation.

What would that mean? We took a look.


Finishing 5th in the Premier League and getting knocked out in the Semi-Final of the Carabao Cup, City took home no silverware this season, so there would be no changes.


But, should they be stripped of that title, it would be struggling Championship side Stoke City that would scoop the trophy, with the Potters falling to a narrow 1-0 defeat at Wembley thanks to a goal from Yaya Toure.


As if the 2011-12 Premier League season wasn’t ended dramatically enough, it could now all come undone. Coming down to the final day, Manchester United and Manchester City were level on points, and with Manchester United winnning against Sunderland, City needed a goal to clinch the title.

Enter, Sergio Aguero. The Argentine rifled home a winner deep into stoppage time against Queens Park Rangers to thwart Sir Alex Ferguson’s side, and take the title to the Blue side of Manchester for the first time since the mid-1960s.

It would mean that Sir Alex Ferguson, already the most decorated Premier League manager, would have a 14th Premier League title to add to his bursting trophy cabinet. Manchester United would then go on to face Chelsea in the Community Shield, which City also lifted.


A rare trophyless year for Manchester City, who finished runners up in both the Premier League and the FA Cup, being beaten by Wigan Athletic at Wembley in a famous victory for the Latics and Roberto Martinez.


Clearly bouyed by their barren season, City went on to do the double in 2013-14. They beat high-flying Liverpool to the Premier League title thanks to a costly slip from Steven Gerrard when the Reds played Chelsea,

They also saw off Sunderland in the Carabao Cup final, beating the then-Premier League side 3-1 courtesy of goals from Yaya Toure, Samir Nasri and Jesus Navas.

The Black Cats, however, would lay claim to the trophy, while Steven Gerrard could finally put that slip firmly behind him and end his reputation as the best English player never to win a Premier League title.


Another barren season for Manchester City came and went, with Chelsea clinching the Premier League ahead of the Etihad side and Arsenal beating them 3-0 in the 2014 Community shield too.


Finishing a disappointing 4th in the Premier League this season, City did salvage some silverware under Manuel Pellegrini as they beat Liverpool on penalties to clinch the League Cup final.

Should that be overturned, it would be another trophy that underlines the impressive job done by Jurgen Klopp on Merseyside.


A season of change at the Eithad saw Pep Guardiola and a new club badge arrive, but no trophies, with the Spaniard finishing third in his first season in charge and being knocked out in the FA Cup semi-final by Arsenal, who went on to lift the trophy.


Pep’s second season blew the Premier League apart, with Manchester City becoming the first side to collect 100 points in a season, courtesy of a stoppage-time goal from Gabriel Jesus against Southampton.

They also lifted the Carabao Cup, beating Arsenal 3-0 in the final. Both those achievements, however, will be overshadowed, with the Gunners wrestling back one final trophy under Arsene Wenger, while his long-time rival Jose Mourinho would lay claim to the Premier League title despite finishing a mammoth 18 points behind in second place.

Still to come

Worse still, Manchester City have also been charged with failing to “cooperate with, and assist, the Premier League in its investigations” for the previous five years, during which time they have won four Premier League titles and three league cup trophies, as well as an FA Cup.

Should that be viewed dimly by the authorities, it could hand those Premier League trophies to Jurgen Klopp (x3) and former Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer, while the FA Cup for 2019 would head to Watford, who Manchester City beat 6-0 in the final.

Not only would their historic quadruple be broken up, but they would also hand Carabao Cups to Aston Villa, Chelsea, and Tottenham.


Picture of Ben Browning

Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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