Premier League

Manchester City faces UEFA ban for Financial Fair Play rules violations

Manchester City have been banned from appearing in UEFA competitions for the next two years, but are expected to appeal the confederation’s decision to the Switzerland-based Court of Arbitration for Sport.

In addition, the Blues have been fined £24.9 million for what have been termed as “serious breaches” of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules, as well as failing to cooperate in UEFA’s investigations.

In a statement, UEFA notified City today that it “overstated its sponsorship revenue in its accounts and in the break-even information submitted … between 2012 and 2016.”

The decision swept not only across English football, but the world, as well: with the Premier League’s reach into international markets, the reaction to the decision was met with gasps. A two-year ban means that regardless of where the Blues finish in the Premier League table this season and next, they are ineligible to compete in either the Champions League or the Europa League.

With City current seated second in the English top flight, it was expected to move into the top European competition starting in August.

Should the ban remain in place, it means the fifth place club in England would advance not to the Europa League, but to the Champions League in place of the Blues. The Premier League currently sees Sheffield United seated fifth, two points ahead of Tottenham Hotspur.

Spurs currently have a match in hand on the Blades.

WHAT SWEENS REALLY THINKS RIGHT NOW

Right now, it’s so hard to say what’s going to happen. It’s not the news anyone associated with City wanted to hear right now, especially with three months remaining in the season. With all the work they’ve put in, and holding onto the second spot, it will all be for naught should CAS uphold the ruling.

However, if you’re a Sheffield or a Tottenham fan, or even Wolves, Everton, or Manchester United, you’re hoping that the ban is upheld, and now you look at the remaining fixtures with a renewed energy. For a few of those clubs, Europe was a pipe dream in recent weeks. For Sheffield, for instance, it would be a dream to hold onto fifth and find itself in the Third Qualifying Round in the middle of August and hosting a leg at Bramall Lane. To go for the Championship one year to the Champions League — even in the qualifying round — in the next would be a massive boost for that football club.

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