On February 14th, Manchester City, one of the best teams in the English Premiere League was banned from the Champions League for the next two seasons. The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), fined Manchester City $33 million and banned them from the Champions League for two seasons as a result of Manchester City violating Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules. FFP rules were set in place in 2011 to prohibit wealthier club owners having an unfair advantage when choosing star players by spending tons of money on them. One way in which club teams can overspend is through sponsorships, which in Man City’s case, the UEFA believes Man City has misinformed them about the amount of money they have received in sponsorships. The inaccurate reporting of sponsorships by Man City is led to the UEFA both fining and banning the team.
Manchester City filed an appeal against the violation claims with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). CAS has not informed the team of when they will reach a verdict.
This scandal has been particularly unfortunate for Man City because in recent years under Pep Guardiola’s management the team has improved to become one of the best teams in England. Under Pep Guardiola’s management they have won back to back premiere league titles and are currently ranked number two in the English Premiere League. It is disappointing for this to happen at such a time when they are doing so well because it seems like they have the chance to win the Champions League, one of the best, most prestigious football competitions in Europe. The Champions League is so important to them as they have not won the competition yet.
Man City recently beat Real Madrid for the first time, 2 -1, this past Wednesday hours after they filed the appeal with the CAS. This was an exciting moment for the team as they beat Real Madrid, the team with the most titles in the Champions League. Hopefully for them, they will be able to win in the next match on March 17th as that will allow them to advance to the quarterfinals. This will bring them one step further to winning the Champions League which is all the more important as it is their only opportunity to in the next four years.
- CAS Confirms Man City Appeal Against UEFA’s Champions League Ban . 27 February 2020. 1 March 2020.
- Gonzalez, Roger. Manchester City Champions League ban issued for two seasons over FFP investigation, UEFA announces. 15 February 2020. 1 March 2020.
- Panja, Tariq. UEFA Warns Staff of Safety Concerns Amid Manchester City Backlash. 27 February 2020. 1 March 2020.
- Ramsay, George. Manchester City appeals against two-year Champions League ban. 26 February 2020. 1 March 2020.