The news that Manchester City would be banned from the UEFA Champions League for two seasons and fined €30 million shocked the world.
UEFA ultimately handed down the penalty to the Premier League club for “serious breaches” of UEFA financial rules. Essentially, leaked internal emails led investigators to believe that Manchester City was not compliant with Financial Fair Play regulations because they weren’t being honest about the source of their income.
As you would expect, Manchester City plans to appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and they’re confident they will be vindicated. The situation could drag on for months but in the meantime, Manchester City is blaming several European clubs for their current plight.
According to The Athletic, “City sources believe a number of clubs—among them Real Madrid, Bayern Munich ‘and the English clubs’—have pressured UEFA into taking this stance. Another is Paris Saint-Germain, who themselves narrowly avoided a second FFP sanction last year and whose president Nasser Al-Khelaifi sits on the UEFA’s executive committee as one of two representatives from the European Club Association, the rich man’s club that agreed to FFP a decade ago.”
I have no doubt these clubs pressured UEFA, especially PSG. Manchester City has ties to the United Arab Emirates and, of course, PSG has ties to Qatar. Both countries are rivals and if PSG, through Al-Khelaifi, can get a competitor banned from the Champions League, you better believe they will.
Even if it were true, I’m not sure blaming other clubs is a good defense. If Manchester City wants to play in the Champions League, they need to get their books in order and be as transparent as possible.
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