If you are a fan of Manchester City then your morning has not started well. You would feel that all of a sudden the whole world has crashed down and you are still trying to figure out how could this happen? Surely, one of the richest and top clubs in Europe can’t face such a fate, but rules are rules and in those parts of the world they progress because rules are equal for all.

The reason football world has been shaken completely because according to The Guardian, “Manchester City have been banned from the Champions League for the next two seasons by UEFA and fined €30m (£25m) after they were found to have seriously misled European football’s governing body and broken financial fair play rules”.

“The severity of the ban from both of UEFA’s elite club competitions and the scale of the fine reflects how seriously UEFA’s FFP compliance bodies consider the club to have breached the rules and code of conduct”.

“City were found guilty by UEFA’s club financial control body (CFCB) of having falsely inflated their sponsorship revenues when they made submissions for the FFP compliance process. The guilty finding follows an investigation sparked by the publication of “leaked” emails and documents by the German magazine Der Spiegel in November 2018”.

“The leaked emails and documents appeared to show that City’s owner, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan of the Abu Dhabi ruling family, was mostly funding the huge, £67.5m annual sponsorship of the City shirt, stadium and academy by his country’s airline, Etihad. One of the leaked emails suggested that only £8m of that sponsorship in 2015-16 was funded directly by Etihad and the rest was coming from Mansour’s own company vehicle for the ownership of City, the Abu Dhabi United Group”.

The people out there at Manchester City responded immediately alleging that the process was “prejudicial” and expressed their intent to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sports. During the ongoing appeal, City would still be able to compete in the Champions League, but if the court upholds the ban, then they would not able to participate in the competition until 2021-22.

Two years without Champions League football could potentially cost them around $222 in prize money.

This season, Manchester City’s going has not been rosy. The immediate future Pep Guardiola in City was under speculation and the club was preparing for a major rebuild in the upcoming summer. Even though there are rumours that Pepe might leave for Juventus, but later on Pep ensured that he would stay in Eithad. Along with the Sporting Director Txiki Begiristain, Pep was expected to bring the change to challenge the might of Liverpool.

Guardiola enters the final 12 months of his contract at the end of this campaign and is determined to reclaim the Champions League, which he has not won since his days with Barcelona.

But this ban has turned the situation more complex.

This ban would not only cast a dark shadow over Pep’s tenure at Etihad but also would take the sheen-off the Champions League. Moreover, this ban would tear the team apart.

Players such as Aymeric Laporte, Bernardo Silva, and Ederson are tied down for another 5 years, while Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling will have 3 years left at the end of the season. Whereas, winger Leroy Sane’s name is linked with a move to Bayern Munich this summer and they are already set to lose star midfielder David Silva when his contract ends this summer. Then, they are already making plans for a long-term replacement for club record-goalscorer Sergio Aguero, who is set to leave at the end of next summer.

Now, with this ban and if they are relegated as a part of the punishment, then surely, these stars would leave to other big clubs, which would be major setback. All those plans for a rebuild would be jeopardized and financially City would face a disastrous outcome.

Not a pretty scenario to relish for the football fans who respect Manchester City as rivals and enjoy watching them play under Pep Guardiola.

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