Manchester City have today been banned from Europe for the next two seasons as well as being handed a €30M fine due to what UEFA have deemed “serious breaches” of Financial Fair Play regulations.
The ruling, handed down following more than a year of proceedings following a November 2018 report on City’s efforts to flout FFP by Germany’s Der Spiegel, might not be the end of it for City, either.
There are reports that the Premier League could soon follow UEFA, adding a domestic punishment to their European one. The most likely would be a largely symbolic points deduction for the club.
Symbolic because, as things stand now, short of a deduction that drops them into the relegation places, where they finish this season in the table doesn’t especially matter due to that European ban.
Today’s news is surprising, though, given as recently as last November there were widespread reports UEFA were struggling to build a conclusive case and that City was set to escape with only a fine.
At the same time, City’s attempts to get the Court of Arbitration for Sport to halt the investigation were turned down due to UEFA not having ruled yet—though now that there is a ruling they can appeal it.
“Manchester City is disappointed but not surprised by today’s announcement,” began the rather inevitable response of a statement from the public relations wing of a human rights-abusing petrostate.
“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.