Manchester City have already played against League Two opposition this season.
When Port Vale’s dedicated fans made the trip to the FA Cup holders, witnessing their team lose 4-1, they must have thought it would be their only visit to the Etihad Stadium for years to come.
However, that could potentially change in the wake of City’s ban from European competitions and we aren’t even kidding.
It was announced on Friday night that the Citizens had been barred from the Champions League and Europa League for the next seasons for breaching Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations.
City have confirmed they will appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which could prove a lengthy process, but that hasn’t stopped everyone from speculating on the permutations.
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Major problems for Man City
It could help the likes of Tottenham Hotspur or even Sheffield United into the Champions League places this season, while Everton or Arsenal could make a late Europa League charge.
But as far as City themselves are concerned, a report from Miguel Delaney of the Independent has perhaps been the most damning.
High-level sources have claimed that the Premier League will now plot their own response to the ‘serious breaches’ and that could manifest itself in the form of a points deduction.
Could City be relegated to League Two?
However, one of the most eye-brow raising points raised in the report explained how City could technically be dumped in League Two by way of a possible Premier League expulsion.
While unlikely, England’s top division does have the power to expel teams and it was recently ruled that any such club would have to start rebuilding in the fourth tier.
The report explains: “While no one sees an expulsion from the Premier League as likely, the Football League have recently changed their rules so that any club in that situation must start again in League Two.”
You can’t deny that it would be mind-blowing to see City slugging it out with Grimsby Town, Forest Green Rovers and Mansfield Town with whatever’s left of their star-studded squad.
Sergio Aguero smashing in the goals at Walsall, Guardiola making tactical changes at Carlisle United and Kevin De Bruyne pulling the strings against Stevenage are pretty crazy thoughts.
But it goes without saying that this possibility seems highly unlikely.
Rather, it’s just amusing to note that the regulations even allow for this very situation.
So, if City aren’t successful in their appeal, they’ll have to keep their fingers crossed that the Premier League simply move them down a few points and not a few leagues.