Financial rules at risk of being ‘scuppered’

On the way out? The prospect of no Champions League may lead to City losing its manager Pep Guardiola’s services.

On the way out? The prospect of no Champions League may lead to City losing its manager Pep Guardiola’s services.  

This could happen if Man City overturns European ban

European football’s financial fair play rules risk being “scuppered” if Manchester City overturns its two-season ban from continental competition, according to a soccer analyst.

Since the Sheikh Mansour takeover in 2008, which put the financial might of Abu Dhabi behind it, City has won 10 major trophies — including four Premier League titles.

Yet the prize that has eluded it is the one the Abu Dhabi project most desires — the UEFA Champions League.

The Chinese government has provided City with additional backing, as has US private equity firm Silver Lake.

They are all set to ensure City has a no expense spared legal team that will challenge the validity of UEFA’s ruling.

Should City succeed, the entire FFP system could collapse, according to Professor Simon Chadwick, director at the Centre for the Eurasian Sport Industry.

“In essence UEFA has to try to win this because, if it doesn’t win or is undermined in any way, then its position on Financial Fair Play begins to unravel... FFP is scuppered,” Chadwick told Britain’s Press Association news agency.

“However, they are not taking on Wigan, they are taking on Asian governments, US tech investors and some of the smartest, most-talented people in football.

“It is transnational power versus localised governance.”

UEFA’s take

UEFA says City has breached FFP rules that place restrictions on how much money a club can lose.

Over a three-year period, clubs are not permitted to lose more than €30 million with exceptions for costs such as youth development and women’s teams.

UEFA’s Club Financial Control Body found City ensured it did not fall foul of those restrictions by overstating its sponsorship revenue between 2012 and 2016.

Exodus of stars?

If City’s appeal fails, manager Pep Guardiola and several star players could leave the club.

Guardiola’s contract runs until the end of the 2020/21 season, but the only major task left for the Catalan in Manchester is to make City European champion for the first time.

City plays Real Madrid in the last 16 of this season’s edition and if the campaign ends with the club yet to lift the Champions League trophy, Guardiola may bow out rather than compete for domestic honours alone.

Similarly, players of the calibre of Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling are unlikely to want to waste two of their peak years without the lure of Champions League football.

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Printable version | Apr 9, 2020 5:02:38 PM |

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