On the 14th of February, 2020 English top flight side Manchester City was banned from UEFA club competitions the Champions and Europa Leagues for two seasons and fined €30 million (£24.9 million) after being found to have breached the European governing body’s financial fair play (FFP) rules.
The news have been a severe blow and distractions to the reigning Premier League champions, with the season in full mode only to be recently altered due to the global pandemic Covid-19 . Pep Guardiola’s side have released a statement in which they said they will appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport “as quickly as possible.”In their statement, the club say they are “disappointed but not surprised” and called the investigation “flawed and consistently leaked.”
The decision, if it remains in place, will ensure that Champions League qualification will drop down to fifth place in the Premier League should Manchester City finish in the top four. There are growing fears within Manchester City camp that attracting big names during the summer transfer window can become very difficult without the champions league competition to attract players and also, senior players who are ageing or towards the end of contracts can possibly leave the club and move to other clubs as they continue to pursue the UCL title.
There have also been rumours that current manager could well be out at the end of the season if the ban is upheld but he (Pep) has since come out to squash any rumour by saying he (Pep) has a contract until 2021 and has insisted that he is “100 per cent staying” to see out his deal.
David Silva has already indicated he will leave at the end of the season but the likes of Sergio Aguero , Leroy Sane remains a long-term target for Bayern Munich, Kevin De’bruyne, Fernadinho who are currently on their last legs for the club are beginning to talk with the media as regards the current situation at Manchester city. Recently, Kevin De’bruyne had an interview with news outlet Het laatste Nieuws, when asked about the current situation he said “Once there is a final decision, I will look at it”. He further said “two years without champions league football would be long, one year is something I might be able to cope with”. Raheem Sterling, who has been linked with Real Madrid, has already pledged his future to the club while others are believed to be committed while the appeal goes through.
The question now is should Manchester city go above and beyond in keeping their star footballers if the banned is not lifted or should Manchester city undergo a rebuilding process .