Manchester City have been punished for ‘serious breaches’ of the UEFA Financial Fair Play regulations. They breached the rules and the code of conduct, thus earning them a ban never seen before. City were found gilty by UEFA’s club financial control body. They found that the club was falsely inflating their sponsorship revenues when they made submissions for the process of getting into compliance with Financial Fair Play.
This has everything to do with those leaked emails we have seen in late 2018, when a Portuguese hacker posted them on the website ‘Football Leaks’.
What Is The Punishment?
Manchester City were punished by a two-year ban of competing in UEFA competitions, which means they will not be able to compete in Champions League nor Europa League in 2020-21 and 2021-22. They were also punished for 30 million euros, or somewhere in the region of 25 million pounds.
Also, it is possible Man City will be deducted some league points too, due to this punishment, according to the Independent.
Why Is The Punishment So Severe?
It is because the gravity of the situation is so serious and also because this is not the first time Man City were punished by UEFA. They were found guilty in 2014 over breaches of the FFP, when they had to pay 20 million euros (they had another 40 million euros of suspended punishment) and in the 2014-15 season, they had to play with 21 players in their Champions League squad, instead of 25.
What this means for Manchester United?
It means that the city rivals will not be able to compete in Europe for the next two seasons, which will automatically give a place in the Champions League to whichever club finishes in fifth. Since City are going to finish in top four, the fifth place will be the one to get a team into the elite European competition.
Man United then can finish fifth and still return to Champions League, which is a very important development. It could also result in eighth place getting a place in Europa League, if FA Cup and League Cup are won by teams who finish in top six places in the league.
Man United are currently four points off fifth place, but with a game in hand compared to Sheffield United who are currently occupying that spot. All of these changes also mean that United will be fighting against the Blades, but also Wolves, Tottenham, Chelsea and even Everton and Arsenal for that last spot that gets you into Champions League.
Can Things Change?
Technically, yes. Manchester City already said they are going to appeal against this decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, who could overturn the decision. However, it is a big question whether that will actually happen. Many report that the evidence found against City is all conclusive and therefore assume CAS will not go against UEFA.
But it still remains to be seen. Manchester United will be following this closely, not only because it is their city rival, but also because this development could boost their chances of returning to Champions League football.