What next for City after their European ban?
Last week, Man City received the news of a two year European football ban for alleged “serious breaches” of UEFA’s financial fair play rules. Alongside the ban, City receive a large financial hit with a fine of 30 million euros and, despite City’s right to appeal the ruling, the club now look set to lose some of the top stars at the club who seek regular Euroepan football.
The news would have certainly sent a shiver down the spine of several of European football’s top clubs - including the likes of Paris St Germain and Barcelona - after seeing City accused of breaking rules designed to keep the transfer market fair and a level playing field.
Pep Guardiola has faced pressure this year after seeing Liverpool charge towards the Premier League title, particularly after yet another win last night against Norwich City leaves the Anfield side unbeaten so far this campaign. Guardiola is also unlikely to stay at the Etihad Stadium if he cannot lead his club in to battle in the Champions League, leaving City in somewhat of a conundrum. Of course, City will have a decent chance of overturning the ban and possibly pay an increased fine, but the decision leaves a sour taste in the mouth for the City board of directors, who have pumped millions in to the club and seen the side have their most successful decade in the club’s history.
If City's Champions League ban is upheld, it'll put all the more pressure on the club to perform in their current European campaign where, according to a number of these soccer betting sites recommended by Sports Betting Dime, the Citizens currently have either the best or second-best odds of all clubs remaining in the competition. City still have everything to play for and this ban will put even greater emphasis on Guardiola to lead the team to success in the tournament while snatching the trophy away from the grasp of Premier League rivals Liverpool.
City will take on Real Madrid in the last 16 of this season’s tournament, and Guardiola will know the importance of such a key fixture, particularly with his own Barcelona history also at play. City will play Real at the Bernabeu in the first leg of the tournament on the 26th of February.
A City statement last week read: "The club has always anticipated the ultimate need to seek out an independent body and process to impartially consider the comprehensive body of irrefutable evidence in support of its position.
"In December 2018, the Uefa chief investigator publicly previewed the outcome and sanction he intended to be delivered to Manchester City, before any investigation had even begun.
"The subsequent flawed and consistently leaked Uefa process he oversaw has meant that there was little doubt in the result that he would deliver. The club has formally complained to the Uefa disciplinary body, a complaint which was validated by a CAS ruling.
"Simply put, this is a case initiated by Uefa, prosecuted by Uefa and judged by Uefa. With this prejudicial process now over, the club will pursue an impartial judgment as quickly as possible and will therefore, in the first instance, commence proceedings with the Court of Arbitration for Sport at the earliest opportunity."
From the perspective of City, they will need to overturn the ruling if they’re to keep the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Sergio Aguero and Kyle Walker and co., all players who decided to move to the club in search of Champions League success. Guardiola has a contract with the club until 2021, and has indicated that he will not leave the Etihad until the end of his deal. Beyond 2021, who knows if this decision will have further bearing on the future of the Spaniard, widely considered the best manager in the world.