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Manchester City banned from Champions League for two years

by Marios Argitis
Tue, Mar 3rd 2020 01:25 pm
Manchester City has been banned from participating in the UEFA Champions League for the next two seasons because of financial improprieties, a huge blow to the club since it is one of the biggest teams in the world, winning back-to-back titles in the English Premier League.
Manchester City has been banned from participating in the UEFA Champions League for the next two seasons because of financial improprieties, a huge blow to the club since it is one of the biggest teams in the world, winning back-to-back titles in the English Premier League.

A big driver for success in the modern soccer world is money. Money can determine what players go where, which team gets the upper hand in their respective competitions and leagues and ultimately determine the fate of many soccer clubs. With a growing dependence on money in the sport, it is becoming more common to see many allegations of malfeasance regarding money, even among the biggest and most successful clubs.

Manchester City Football Club (Man City) is a soccer club based in Manchester, England, that competes in the Premier League, the top level of English football. The club has been immensely successful in the past few years, winning the Premier League title in the 2018-19 season, while fielding some of the best soccer players in the world.

Following financial jeopardy and violations from the team over the past few months, the club has been banned from the UEFA Champions League for two consecutive seasons, as well as fined €30 million after the club broke the financial rules of the European governing soccer body, according to Bleacher Report. The UEFA Champions League is an annual soccer competition where the top clubs in Europe go head to head. 

Man City was denied competition into the tournament after the club had “serious breaches” against financial rules and club licensing. According to ESPN, the club failed to cooperate with the investigation on the issue, raising tensions between the club and other soccer organizations to face such legal issues. 

A common question that has risen as a result of this issue, is how this will affect the financial and competitive future of the club? CNN reported that when the punishment to the club was announced on Feb. 14, Man City called the UEFA process “flawed.” It continued by stating it would appeal the ban to the Court of Arbitration of Sport, according to ESPN. The fate of the ban is determined by the organizations that were involved, as the Court of Arbitration of Sport, “has the power to confine the ban or reduce it,” wrote senior ESPN FC writer Gabrielle Marcotti. 

In the midst of such circumstances, Man City manager Pep Guardiola plans to stay as the result of the ban. “I want to stay, I want to help the club, if it is possible, to maintain this level as long as possible,” Guardiola said to Sky Sports. The Spanish manager, who has won Manchester City back-to-back league titles, added “we are going to fight like we have fought every single game and every single day that we are together until the end of the season.” 

In further support of the club, chief executive of Man City, Ferran Soriano said to The New York Times, “this seems to be less about justice and more about politics.” The ban has been seen to cause a lengthy game of tug of war between the soccer club and regulatory bodies. 

Many important figures of soccer have been disappointed by the club’s deeds and hope that the club learns the true implications of such issues. Current BBC Sports Editor Dan Roan was quoted on Twitter saying, “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.” 

The ban can have many implications in relation to the clubs global reputation. For example, elite players may no longer consider playing for or going to Man City since it will not be able to compete in the most prestigious competition in Europe. 

The penalty assigned to Manchester City has been one of the most significant that UEFA has issued, proving that even the biggest clubs have flaws. Without the careful monitoring of soccer-related expenditures, the future of Man City could be quite a bumpy one. This punishment has put a stain on the club and is something that can have a factor in the fate of the club for years to come. 

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