Man City’s Champions League ban threat
On Monday, Manchester City celebrated their tremendous 2018-19 season with their fans.
The Sky Blues held an open-top bus parade in Manchester after winning the domestic treble.
Along with the Premier League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup, Man City also displayed their 2018-19 Community Shield trophy.
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However, as the season ends, Man City face a significant off-field battle.
Will Man City be banned from competing in the Champions League?
It’s common knowledge that City are being investigated by UEFA for potential breaches of the Financial Fair Play rules.
A UEFA panel investigating financial allegations concerning @ManCity are expected to recommend the club receive a one-year ban from the Champions League, according to Sky sources.
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) May 14, 2019
One of the main accusations leveled at Man City is that they received a £59.5 million sponsorship payment from the club’s owners, the Abu Dhabi United Group, rather than Etihad Airways.
To be clear, Man City are being accused of intentionally circumventing FFP rules. City stand accused of wrapping up investments in the club as sponsorship deals rather than cash injections from the club’s owners.
If found guilty, Man City could be banned from playing in the Champions League.
Fifth place & Champions League qualification
In the Times on Tuesday, the possible impact of a Champions League ban for Man City is assessed within the wider framework of the Premier League.
In the event such a judgement passes, the Premier League would still retain four places in the Champions League.
The upshot is that, for one season only, the race to finish fifth in the Premier League could be epic.
Reporter Matt Hughes has confirmed the following in the broadsheet:
Uefa sources have confirmed that England would retain four Champions League places if City are excluded from the competition in 2020-21, which was the recommendation of the investigatory chamber of Uefa’s club financial control body (CFCB) when the Premier League champions were formally charged last week.
The allocation of Champions League spots is in the hands of the FA, but there is no prospect of a place being given to the FA or Carabao Cup winners.
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So what’s likely to happen?
While Man City face the possibility of a Champions League ban, a lot has to happen before that punishment actually comes into effect.
The first step for UEFA is to actually conclude that Man City should be subjected to a Champions League ban.
If UEFA reach that conclusion, Man City will surely appeal that decision.
During any appeal, it’s highly likely that Man City would receive a stay of execution with regards to any Champions League ban.
Arrogance is making Man City’s tarnished off-the-pitch reputation worse. The club appears consumed with a belief that it is untouchable, that it is bigger than UEFA, bigger than football itself. pic.twitter.com/HOwgXcCoqx
— Peter Harvey (@peterjharvey) May 16, 2019
Indeed, the Times appear to confirm that there’s little to no chance of Man City being banned from the 2019-20 Champions League:
(Man City’s) fate is to be decided by the adjudicatory chamber of the CFCB.
A date has yet to be set for the hearing. However, it is not thought to be imminent and, with City planning to appeal if necessary, there is no chance that there will be a Champions League ban in place by the beginning of next season.
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