Manchester City weren’t able to enjoy their Premier League title triumph for long.
Just a day after making it back-to-back titles after pipping Liverpool to top spot on the final day of the season, a New York Times report revealed that UEFA are looking to ban City from next season’s Champions League following an investigation.
It’s alleged that the club misled authorities about their spending and a potential suspension for the Premier League champions is now being discussed.
Any sanctions would need to be imposed by June, when the 2019/20 Champions League qualifiers get underway, so that City would have the option to mount an appeal. They deny any wrongdoing.
The newspaper’s report states: ”The files are said to include emails and internal club documents showing efforts by City to circumvent UEFA’s financial fair-play regulations by masking cash infusions from a United Arab Emirates state-backed investment company through inflated sponsorship agreements with entities including the U.A.E.’s national airline, Etihad.”
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So, what happens if City are banned from next season’s Champions League?
Well, the Mirror claim that a suspension would likely open the door for another Premier League club.
Liverpool, Tottenham and Chelsea are the three English teams set to join City in next season’s Champions League as things stand, while Arsenal can book their place in the competition if they defeat Chelsea in the Europa League final later this month.
However, even if the Gunners lose in Baku, City’s potential suspension could mean they still secure Champions League qualification thanks to their league position.
Unai Emery’s men ended the season fifth in the Premier League table, four points ahead of sixth-placed Manchester United.
But if Arsenal win in Baku, and City are kicked out of next season’s Champions League, the Mirror claim there’s a chance United would then be promoted from the Europa League.
However, they add: “It is unclear if UEFA would instead give City’s spot to another domestic competition.”
Imagine the reaction if United take City’s place in the Champions League next season.
After failing to win any of their final five Premier League fixtures, it would feel almost farcical if the Red Devils are then handed City’s Champions League spot.
But Ed Woodward and the powers that be at Old Trafford certainly wouldn’t complain.