Man City FFP fate decided as Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham wait

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has reiterated his stance that the governing body were right to find Manchester City guilty of Financial Fair Play breaches, with the club facing charges of 115 breaches of Premier League financial rules.

In 2018 City were found guilty of breaking Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations and were thrown out of the Champions League with a two-year ban. However, City appealed the decision, with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) eventually overturning the ruling.

Ceferin’s words come during a time when City and the rest of the Premier League are under increasing scrutiny following punishments handed out to Nottingham Forest and Everton for breaches of their own Profitability and Sustainability rules (PSRs).

Ceferin says that while he accepts CAS overturning the ruling, he is certain that UEFA were correct with their charges to City and eventual verdict.

“We know we were right,” Ceferin told the Telegraph. “We wouldn’t decide if we didn’t think we were right. As a trial lawyer for 25 years, I know that, sometimes, you win a case that you are sure you will lose. And, sometimes, you lose a case when you’re sure. You just simply have to respect in a serious democracy the decision of the court.

“I don’t want to speak about the case in England. But I trust that the decision of our independent body was correct. I didn’t enter into this decision.”

While Premier League clubs await a trial with CEO Richard Masters recently confirming that a date had been set, there are big questions over what will happen to Pep Guardiola’s side should the club be found guilty of any breaches. Will fines be the extent of any punishment? Or would serious rule breaches necessitate relegation from the Premier League?


Tom Canton

It is of course very subjective to consider what should happen to Manchester City if they’re found guilty with punishments ranging from fines, to points deductions and even titles being stripped from them. It also very much depends on the number of charges they are found, if any, to be in alleged breach of too.

From a selfish Arsenal perspective it would make sense for many supporters to hope that City are found guilty of wrongdoing and face the most severe of punishments. If last season’s title was to be stripped it would of course be awarded to the Gunners which would be great… but it would never have the same feeling of previous title wins attached to it and something of an asterisk for rivals or critics to potentially point toward.

I simply hope that the truth is found and then the corresponding punishment is indeed dealt out. That might seem something of a cop-out; call me a sucker but I’m on the side of the truth and just hope that indeed that’s the outcome that is revealed.

Kaya Kaynak

I don’t see any point in stripping Manchester City of their titles really. Just as an example if Arsenal were named Premier League champions for last season it would feel like something of a damp squib. There would be no sun-drenched open-top bus parade from Islington Town Hall to the Emirates. No final day jubilation and ecstasy. No fans pouring out of the Tollington drunkenly yelling “Championees Ole Ole Ole”. Arsenal would have been robbed of the memories that make success so special.

Instead I think where City should be hit is with the benefits they got from each of those trophies. Last season alone from their treble success, Pep Guardiola’s side earned £180.4m in prize money. If they are found guilty they should be made to pay this back, along with any other cash rewards they have been given for success during the periods in which they are charged. That money should then be redistributed equally across the rest of the teams involved in each competition.

Such a punishment would hit City far more intensely than any repeal of their trophies that they have already celebrated. A corresponding European ban and relegation from the Premier League would also be fair given the disrepute they would have brought to each competition.

Joe Doyle

Quite simply, the severity of the charges against City mean they must be punished in the strongest possible way if found guilty.

The charges are not of poor financial management or disagreements over what losses count, but manipulation of their finances in order to deceive the governing bodies and play outside of the rules.

While some will contest that it is people that win titles and not money, the issue is that this rule breaking would taint everything. If City had less cash available for transfers, would they have signed the likes of Yaya Toure from Barcelona? David Silva from Valencia? Weaken a major rival by signing Raheem Sterling from Liverpool? Without a Premier League title to their name, could they have convinced Pep Guardiola to take the reins?

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