There’s been some breaking news that just hit English football like a bomb — reigning Premier League champions Manchester City have been banned from participating in the Champions League for the next two seasons and have been fined €30m for “serious breaches of the UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations.”
The full statement can be read in this tweet.
Uefa announce Man City banned from next two seasons of the Champions League and fined 30 million euros pic.twitter.com/yUku5PMGZ4— tariq panja (@tariqpanja) February 14, 2020
This is obviously MASSIVE news that is making heads explode all over world football. So why are we talking about it on a Tottenham Hotspur blog? Because if this holds up on appeal (something that is an open question at this point) and assuming Manchester City finish in the top four this season, it means that England’s fourth Champions League berth will go to the club that finishes fifth place in the table.
Tottenham are pushing for top four and have a chance to narrow the gap between themselves and Chelsea, starting with this weekend’s match against Aston Villa and continuing to a highly anticipated match at Stamford Bridge next week. Finishing fourth this season would be a challenge. But finishing fifth? That seems a lot more possible, even acknowledging the challenge brought forth this season by Sheffield United, Everton, Manchester United, and Wolverhampton.
Before we get too excited, we should know that it is almost certain that Manchester City will appeal this ruling to the Court of Abitration for Sport (CAS). The CAS is known for reducing UEFA punishments — see, for example, Chelsea’s one year transfer ban — and it’s also possible that City could tie this up in extended delays that could make the placement for next season moot. We don’t know yet.
But imagine for a second that it holds up. That could spell the end of Pep Guardiola’s tenure at City — he’s already rumored to be resigning at the end of this season — and it could mean that some of City’s important players could demand to leave as well.
And, because this is a Tottenham Hotspur blog, I’ll leave you with this lovely tweet. Enjoy.
And this is going to be the one year Arsenal don't finish 5th https://t.co/w6QjffLS3x— Ryan Rosenblatt (@RyanRosenblatt) February 14, 2020
EDIT (2:18PM ET): Manchester City have released a statement and....lord just inject this right into my veins.