The Financial Fair Play saga between UEFA and Manchester City is hopefully drawing to a close.
Since Manchester City were adjudged to have failed UEFA’s FFP back in 2011/12 season and accepted a settlement in 2014, hardly a week has gone by without the story raising its head.
Despite exiting the agreed settlement, UEFA reopened the case following the publication of hacked and stolen emails in Der Spiegel and duly found City had concealed owner investment.
This time City were punished with a 2 year Champions League ban and appealed to CAS. The hearing at CAS lasted 3 days and we await a verdict which is now expected in early July.
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Since the hearing there has been much speculation concerning how the case may play out and the consequences which either side may potentially face. It is no exaggeration to say this match for City is maybe more important than any in our recent history.
If City are unable to secure the lifting of the 2 year Champions League ban then there wil be repercussions for the club, even in the post Covid landscape.
City could face further punishment from the Premier League in addition to the potential loss of revenue from Champions League and a possible player exodus.
Indeed there is the potential for the Club to be at a major turning point. Guardiola is in the final year of his contract and a 2 year ban could see players wanting to move on – particularly players like Kevin De Bruyne who is moving into the later stages of his career.
Pressure on the board, loss of money, changes in management and some players looking to leave could all be part of a perfect storm, from which short term recovery could be difficult.
As City fans, many of us are tired of the UEFA saga and hope to have an opportunity to move on. At last we may actually have the end in sight.