City threatened with transfer ban and UCL suspension

REUTERS/Phil Noble

Barely celebrated the Premier League title, Manchester City are threatened with a transfer ban and suspension from the Champions League for one season, at least.

Having already won the Premier League title and the League Cup, the Citizens could add the FA Cup to their collection this weekend. They need to beat Watford in the tournament final.

However, City’s celebration may soon be violated by the most serious sanctions from UEFA and FIFA.

Recall that throughout this season, the press was publishing several materials based on hacked correspondence, that the club from Etihad had maliciously violated UEFA Financial Fair play rules.

In the end, pressure from the public and from other clubs, that demanded justice, launched certain processes, and UEFA started a large-scale investigation.

As reported by The New York Times, two weeks ago, the results of their work were summarized and conclusions were drawn. This week, UEFA will make a recommendation to remove City from the Champions League for at least one season.

In case of the accusatory decision, the Citizens will still retain the right to appeal to the Sports Arbitration Court. However, insiders at UEFA don’t expect that punishment against City will come into force before the 2020/21 season.

The second potential trouble for the Premier League last two seasons’ champions is related to FIFA. The documents obtained by Football Leaks indicate violations not only of the FFP rules but of the rules governing Under-18 players’ transfers.

Suffice it to recall that Chelsea were punished by FIFA recently with a two-window transfer ban for a similar offence.

FIFA will hardly be in a hurry with its decision to ban, but the looming threat of punishment may force the Citizens to work more actively on acquisitions in the coming summer.

According to the Daily Mail, the risk of sanctions could force City to spend £200 million in the coming summer. Matthijs de Ligt from Ajax, Houssem Aouar from Lyon, Rodri from Atletico, João Félix from Benfica and Luca Jovic from Eintracht are among Pep Guardiola’s goals.

(Reporting by Nathan Dent, editing by Valerie Cooper)

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