By David Bolt on Feb 15, 2020 at 11:27 AM
  1. David Bolt

    David Bolt Member

    May 30, 2008
    Liverpool
    Club:
    Liverpool FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Wales

    Manchester City Given 2-Year European Ban

    By David Bolt on Feb 15, 2020 at 11:27 AM
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    Yesterday, UEFA handed down their verdict in their investigation in Manchester City breaching Financial Fair Play (FFP) and club licencing rules and as a result have banned Man City from UEFA competitions for 2 seasons, and fined the club 30m euros ($32m).

    The Club Football Control Body (a panel of judges independent from UEFA) found that Manchester City were guilty of “overstating its sponsorship revenue in its accounts and in the break-even information submitted to Uefa between 2012 and 2016", and that the club "failed to cooperate in the investigation".

    It’s that final sentence which is what makes things extra-interesting. City have been found not only to have broken the rules, but to have cooked the books and to have effectively obstructed the investigation by refusing to cooperate.

    Essentially, financial fair play rules were put in place to prevent teams from financial doping and force them to live within their means. With a few exceptions in what the money is spent on, teams aren’t supposed to spend more money on transfers and wages than they make in player sales, merchandising and corporate sponsorship.

    Man City have been judged to have tried to get around FFP rules by having recorded receiving sponsorships that were way over market value from companies connected to the club’s owner. There’s nothing wrong with a club effectively sponsoring itself, but they have to do it at market value, not at an amount that conveniently means they break even.

    This is the second time Man City have been punished for this. In 2014, Man City were fined and forced to cap the amount of players in their European squad for breaching FFP, but Football Leaks in 2018 and documents published by Der Spiegel in Germany showed new evidence which caused UEFA to open another investigation.

    With Man City having been found guilty of breaking the rules, a lot of fans will be wondering if that’s it, or will other seasons’ accounts be under scrutiny? Are the other teams under investigation too?

    Man City’s next move isn’t immediately clear. They’re definitely not going to take this lying down. A club statement called the investigation by UEFA ‘flawed’ and ‘prejudicial’ and suggested that they had been treated unfairly from the start, with the club having ‘irrefutable evidence’.

    An appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) is almost certain. While most fans are rushing to judgement one way or another, depending on who they support, without knowing what evidence Man City have, it’s impossible to say whether an appeal will be successful. CAS could uphold the ban, overturn it, or reduce it.

    Man City have already gone to CAS to try and have the investigation thrown out, and were seeking damages from UEFA, but it was ruled that they couldn’t appeal until the verdict was handed down and Man City were admonished for the tone of language they had used in correspondence.

    Some fans are calling on Man City challenging the legitimacy of the FFP rules as a whole. There is a valid argument that, rather than making football more competitive, the FFP rules have only really succeeded in freezing the status quo.

    I’d be surprised if Man City go down that route, as UEFA set the rules of their own competitions and Man City have chosen to play in them. Had Man City not accepted the invitation to play, then UEFA wouldn’t be able to touch them. Plus, the punishment is only in part for breaching FFP rules. The rest is for false accounting and not cooperating in the investigation.

    Where things could get really messy is if Man City decide to go down the civil court route. The rules governing football don’t always compute with the laws that govern the real world and a ruling could change football. This could even be a test case for clubs to step away from the jurisdiction of UEFA and set up their own competition.

    UEFA handing out a punishment now puts the Premier League in a tough spot. The Premier League now can’t bury their heads in the sand and make this go away. UEFA have acted, so they must follow. The FFP rules of the Premier League are different to those of UEFA; but as part of having a licence to play in the Premier League, clubs are required to provide true accounts. As it’s been ruled that City haven’t provided true accounts, then that’s a clear breach of Premier League rules too.

    Potentially, the Premier League could deduct points from Man City, fine them or could even kick them out of the league (which is never going to happen). If they were kicked out of the Premier League, Man City would, under Football League rules, be required to join League Two.

    This ruling is going to have a massive ripple effect, and its implications go beyond Man City. Should the ban be upheld, and assuming Man City finish in the top 4 of the Premier League (which is highly likely), then fifth place would get the Champions League spot. At present, that’s Sheffield United, which would be an amazing story, but it also sets up a scramble between clubs to battle for fifth. At the moment, with about a third of the season left to play, there are 9 clubs within 9 points of 5th.

    As bullish and defiant as they’re sounding, this is going to hurt Man City. They have spent a lot of time building up their reputation as a club that does things the right way. As much as they deny it, Manchester City has also been a vehicle for the sportswashing of Abu Dhabi, through club owner Sheik Mansour, and his Abu Dhabi United Group.

    Even if Manchester City get this ban overturned, it’s going to be difficult to shake off the perception amongst fans that they’ve cheated their way to success. Whether they have broken rules is now up to the courts to decide, but they have definitely tried to get around them. In my opinion, if you can get around the rules, the rules weren’t strict enough, so I wouldn’t call that cheating, but a lot of people would (and will).

    In the short term, it’s going to have a big effect on the club. Pep Guardiola has shown signs of being ready to move on for a while now, and this might be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Guardiola has publicly stated that he’d been assured by the owners that UEFA’s investigation would come to nothing, so he must be feeling let down.

    Being banned from the Champions League is going to affect City’s recruitment of players. Not only will a lack of Champions League football make Manchester City less attractive to potential signings; but, as it’s estimated that the Champions League accounts for about 25% of Manchester City’s revenue, so they are going to have to make some reductions in wages and transfer fees in order to be compliant with FFP when their ban ends.
     
    TimB4Last repped this.

Comments

Discussion in 'Champions League' started by David Bolt, Feb 15, 2020.

    1. dinamo_zagreb

      dinamo_zagreb Member+

      Jun 27, 2010
      San Jose, CA / Zagreb, Croatia
      Club:
      --other--
      Nat'l Team:
      Croatia

      Manchester City Given 2-Year European Ban

      By David Bolt on Feb 15, 2020 at 11:27 AM
      I think there is no way this verdict is overturned. They already cheated and were punished and they did the same thing over and over again. Like, surely, other clubs. I hope more of them will be punished.
       
    2. JayRockers!

      JayRockers! Member+

      Aug 4, 2001

      Manchester City Given 2-Year European Ban

      By David Bolt on Feb 15, 2020 at 11:27 AM
      They should have been banned immediately.

      Thx,

      Jay!
       
    3. autogolazzo

      autogolazzo Member

      Mar 4, 2007

      Manchester City Given 2-Year European Ban

      By David Bolt on Feb 15, 2020 at 11:27 AM
      Everyone cooks the books. They're delicious, you see.
       
    4. AlbertCamus

      AlbertCamus Member+

      Colorado Rapids
      Sep 2, 2005
      Colorado, USA
      Club:
      Colorado Rapids

      Manchester City Given 2-Year European Ban

      By David Bolt on Feb 15, 2020 at 11:27 AM
      I hate FFP because it locks in who the big clubs are. Why shouldn't someone be able to buy a small club, spend a lot on players, and try to grow the club? This is what was done with Chelsea. I don't want the same teams winning all the time.
       
    5. EvanJ

      EvanJ Member+

      Manchester United
      United States
      Mar 30, 2004
      Nassau County, NY
      Club:
      Manchester United FC
      Nat'l Team:
      United States

      Manchester City Given 2-Year European Ban

      By David Bolt on Feb 15, 2020 at 11:27 AM
      As a Man United fan, it's great news if fifth place goes to the CL, and it's also great for clubs who haven't been in the CL in a while or never have been like Sheffield United, Wolverhampton, and Everton. That would be great if they were fifth and qualified for the CL for any reason, but even moreso if Man City's ban remains. Liverpool is way ahead, and Leicester is far enough above fourth that they would need a really bad ending to not qualify for the CL whether fifth qualifies or not. From the pack of clubs fourth or worse (hopefully with two CL spots with Man City banned), I'd like Man United and Everton in the CL.
       
    6. barroldinho

      barroldinho Member+

      Man Utd and LA Galaxy
      England
      Aug 13, 2007
      Ex-pat in HB, CA
      Club:
      Manchester United FC
      Nat'l Team:
      England

      Manchester City Given 2-Year European Ban

      By David Bolt on Feb 15, 2020 at 11:27 AM
      People didn't much care for it when Chelsea did it either. The trouble is, it's not just about (or even primarily) about cementing the status quo. Football clubs are notorious for being fiscally irresponsible and before FFP was brought in, a study found that across Europe, 50% of the teams surveyed were running at a loss and the trend was heading upwards. 20% of those surveyed were in financial peril.

      Then there's the Mansour types that don't stick around either due to choice or circumstance. Gretna in Scotland are a prime example that suddenly got themselves a benevolent owner that allowed them to spend beyond their means, which went great for a while (they reached the SPFL). Then the owner fell ill and could no longer support the team. Gretna were truly not big enough to operate in the top flight on their own and soon went into liquidation.

      If Mansour walked away tomorrow and the allegations about the FFP are true, than Man City wouldn't be able to afford the salaries and transfer fees they are likely still paying off and it could kill them. So there is some merit to the rules, though there are better methods of achieving these aims (like requiring such a benefactor to guarantee the required funs).

      The fact that you can essentially buy success in football (indeed, you need massive spending to have any chance of establishing a club among the elite) is something I've become very disillusioned with.

      Personally, I'd rather there was some kind of salary cap for the Champions League but after the Bosman Ruling, I don't see how that would fly in the EU. Footballers are workers and even though we're talking about massive salaries at the top end, I don't see a European court taking kindly to any mechanism that artificially sets an employees salary below potential market value.
       
      Mervin JK, TheJoeGreene and AlbertCamus repped this.
    7. TheJoeGreene

      TheJoeGreene Member+

      Aug 19, 2012
      The Lubbock Texas
      Club:
      DC United

      Manchester City Given 2-Year European Ban

      By David Bolt on Feb 15, 2020 at 11:27 AM
      If it was actually enforced, then it would reward teams for functioning well within their means, and teams who simply outspend others might actually have to get better at identifying and developing talent and coaching. FPP would go over huge in Germany if it knocked RB Leipzig out of the top flight. It's currently a good idea that's poorly implemented.
       
    8. AlbertCamus

      AlbertCamus Member+

      Colorado Rapids
      Sep 2, 2005
      Colorado, USA
      Club:
      Colorado Rapids

      Manchester City Given 2-Year European Ban

      By David Bolt on Feb 15, 2020 at 11:27 AM
      And why would they want Leipzig out of the topflight? So instead of Bayern Munich having a 95% chance of winning the league every year they have a 98% chance? I don't mind big clubs and little clubs, but I don't want to see the same thing year after year.
       
      JayRockers! repped this.
    9. TheJoeGreene

      TheJoeGreene Member+

      Aug 19, 2012
      The Lubbock Texas
      Club:
      DC United

      Manchester City Given 2-Year European Ban

      By David Bolt on Feb 15, 2020 at 11:27 AM
      Because Red Bull pumped a bunch of money into a non existent team and got them to Bundesliga in less than 10 years. Because it wasn't even a rich owner buying a team, it was creating one out of thin air and just outspending people up 5 levels.
       
    10. AlbertCamus

      AlbertCamus Member+

      Colorado Rapids
      Sep 2, 2005
      Colorado, USA
      Club:
      Colorado Rapids

      Manchester City Given 2-Year European Ban

      By David Bolt on Feb 15, 2020 at 11:27 AM
      But Leipzig hadn't had a Bundasliga team since the 90's (and only then had one for a few years after the combining of East and West Germany), and, at the time RB Leipzig was created, only had a amateur club. It seems to me RB Leipzig filled a void, that is gave a sizable city a team to root for. Not to mention gave a league that needs competition, some competition.
       
      glennaldo_sf and JayRockers! repped this.
    11. TheJoeGreene

      TheJoeGreene Member+

      Aug 19, 2012
      The Lubbock Texas
      Club:
      DC United

      Manchester City Given 2-Year European Ban

      By David Bolt on Feb 15, 2020 at 11:27 AM
      Yawn. They did nothing but spend up to 100x their lower level competition did. There was nothing close to fiscal responsibility to it. They were nowhere near any concept of FPP. They didn't show anything better on the soccer forefront, they literally just dumped craploads of money on the situation until they effectively bought their way into the Bundesliga.
       
    12. AlbertCamus

      AlbertCamus Member+

      Colorado Rapids
      Sep 2, 2005
      Colorado, USA
      Club:
      Colorado Rapids

      Manchester City Given 2-Year European Ban

      By David Bolt on Feb 15, 2020 at 11:27 AM
      They invested. Now they are big. Capitalism. A fitting tribute for a city that suffered in East Germany actually.
       
    13. UAEEscortGirl

      UAEEscortGirl New Member

      Barcelona
      Spain
      Feb 21, 2020

      Manchester City Given 2-Year European Ban

      By David Bolt on Feb 15, 2020 at 11:27 AM
      Both the teams are performing well.
       
    14. barroldinho

      barroldinho Member+

      Man Utd and LA Galaxy
      England
      Aug 13, 2007
      Ex-pat in HB, CA
      Club:
      Manchester United FC
      Nat'l Team:
      England

      Manchester City Given 2-Year European Ban

      By David Bolt on Feb 15, 2020 at 11:27 AM
      They actually crapped all over German soccer culture and did everything they could to fudge or circumvent the rules to make it happen. Technically, outside grandfathered teams like VfB Wolfsburg and Bayer Leverkusen, German clubs aren't meant to have corporate ownership or names. The club is literally called Lawn Ball Sports Liepzig because in German that lets them use RB as their initials.

      And what Red Bull did to SV Salzburg is unforgivable.
       
    15. RafaLarios

      RafaLarios Member+

      Oct 2, 2009
      Medellín
      Club:
      Atletico Nacional
      Nat'l Team:
      Colombia

      Manchester City Given 2-Year European Ban

      By David Bolt on Feb 15, 2020 at 11:27 AM
      What they did should be considered a crime against the sport.
       
      barroldinho repped this.
    16. AlbertCamus

      AlbertCamus Member+

      Colorado Rapids
      Sep 2, 2005
      Colorado, USA
      Club:
      Colorado Rapids

      Manchester City Given 2-Year European Ban

      By David Bolt on Feb 15, 2020 at 11:27 AM
      I can't speak to Salzburg example, I've not read about it. And I agree, I favor culture over business when it comes to sport. But it seems that in Leipzig they created a team in a city that essentially didn't have a team. Plus, they made a league competitive that was barely competitive before (I know Dortmund had challenged Bayern, but then they would sell them their best player). It seems good that someone is challenging Bayern for the title.

      I will take a moment to read about SV Salzburg sometime.
       
    17. AEAAFC96

      AEAAFC96 Member+

      Mar 27, 2006
      NYC
      Club:
      Arsenal FC
      Nat'l Team:
      United States

      Manchester City Given 2-Year European Ban

      By David Bolt on Feb 15, 2020 at 11:27 AM
      The fact that 1) The panel who rendered the verdict is independent of UEFA and 2) City's thumbed their nose at the whole process, then put out that ridiculous statement is pretty much all I need to know about them at this point. They want one set of rules for everyone else and a different set of rules for themselves.

      If anything, there should be another year added to the ban for the fact that City's think they're above the law.
       
      dinamo_zagreb repped this.
    18. EvanJ

      EvanJ Member+

      Manchester United
      United States
      Mar 30, 2004
      Nassau County, NY
      Club:
      Manchester United FC
      Nat'l Team:
      United States

      Manchester City Given 2-Year European Ban

      By David Bolt on Feb 15, 2020 at 11:27 AM
      I think TheJoeGreene and barroldinho are saying like Leipzig is like the Yankees. They are supported in their city but hated by most other fans. You're talking about the supported in their city part, and I'm trying to help everybody by explaining how both sides (you and TheJoeGreene/barroldinho) are stating different things that are true rather than contradicting each other.
       
    19. rocketeer22

      rocketeer22 Member+

      Apr 11, 2000
      Oakton,VA
      Club:
      DC United
      Nat'l Team:
      United States

      Manchester City Given 2-Year European Ban

      By David Bolt on Feb 15, 2020 at 11:27 AM
      Now, if UEFA championships ended up being cancelled for this year, would Man City be required to fulfill 2-years on top of that?

      I think at some point most sporting leagues around the world would "just" want a return to some type of normalcy.

      P.S. and I made this statement before realizing a notice just went out about it being postponed indefinitely. I made an assumption based off of the Tokyo Olympics.
       
      TheJoeGreene repped this.
    20. TheJoeGreene

      TheJoeGreene Member+

      Aug 19, 2012
      The Lubbock Texas
      Club:
      DC United

      Manchester City Given 2-Year European Ban

      By David Bolt on Feb 15, 2020 at 11:27 AM
      This will be a really interesting case study. Is the 2 year clock ticking despite games not being played?
       
      Mark Paulson repped this.
    21. Mark Paulson

      Mark Paulson Member

      Schalke 04
      United States
      Jan 5, 2020

      Manchester City Given 2-Year European Ban

      By David Bolt on Feb 15, 2020 at 11:27 AM
      They will find a way around this as they always do...
       
    22. Gal01

      Gal01 New Member

      FCBarcelona
      Israel
      May 11, 2020

      Manchester City Given 2-Year European Ban

      By David Bolt on Feb 15, 2020 at 11:27 AM
      A proof why football doesn't buy trophies. But I have to say that Manchester City is really unlucky, and what happened previous year with Tottenham was priceless.
       
    23. Goalgoalabc

      Goalgoalabc Member

      Manchester United
      England
      May 13, 2020

      Manchester City Given 2-Year European Ban

      By David Bolt on Feb 15, 2020 at 11:27 AM
      Did they still count as the game is suspended right now?
       
    24. marek

      marek Member

      Lechia Gdańsk
      Poland
      Jun 27, 2000
      Club:
      OSP Lechia Gdansk

      Manchester City Given 2-Year European Ban

      By David Bolt on Feb 15, 2020 at 11:27 AM
      https://www.espn.com/soccer/manches...-escape-champions-league-ban-after-cas-appeal
      Manchester City have won their appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) over alleged financial fair play violations and are free to play in the Champions League next season, it was announced on Monday.
      City were originally banned from European competitions for two seasons but won their appeal to CAS, meaning fifth place in the Premier League will no longer qualify for the Champions League. Manchester United occupy fifth in the table as it stands.
      An initial fine of €30 million was also reduced to €10m following Monday's verdict. The CAS said that most of the alleged breaches were not established or time-bound.




      nevermind... we now return you to your regularly $cheduled $occer programming
       

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