This season has been disappointing for Manchester City already, but the ban received from UEFA is something else. The club will miss two years of European football and pay some solid fines for breaching the Financial Fair Play rules.
To be honest, we all knew that the team is spending ridiculous amounts of money and I don’t think too many people are shocked by the decision. Or at least the shock probably comes from the fact that UEFA is doing something about it, not the violations per se.
Whether other clubs like PSG deserve a ban too is another question, so I will leave it aside for now.
Instead, in today’s post I focus on some of the most disastrous consequences that could follow after the ban. I don’t want to sound like a doomsayer here, but I think this could really blow up.
Losing Pep Guardiola
Almost immediately after the news was announced, people started asking questions over Pep Guardiola’s future with the club. The manager was quick to dismiss any information that he might be leaving this summer.
The problem is that Manchester City was hoping to extend his current contract that ends in 2021. If the ban stands, I simply don’t think we will see Guardiola stay beyond that.
He is one of the best managers out there and it seemed like he was ready to rebuild the squad after the departure of Kompany and the inevitable decline of David Silva, Sergio Aguero, and other aging players.
Manchester City needs that desperately and not many managers out there could build a dynasty that could compete against Klopp’s Liverpool.
Losing Key Players
Raheem Sterling was another person who has vowed to stay in Manchester City and yet, we know how modern footballers are. They want Champions League football, they want money, and they want to play on the highest level. And they want it now.
If Manchester City has to cut the costs and is out of the Champions League, we will certainly see some of the best players leave sooner rather than later.
We know for sure that the English FA will launch its own investigation for the period between 2012 and 2016. If the institution decides that Manchester City broke the rules, we could see the team lose points retrospectively.
The title from 2014 is under threat and in the worst-case scenario, the club can be stripped from the trophy and it could be given to Liverpool.
Losing Its Owners and Financial Backing
I haven’t seen many people talking about that, but I won’t be shocked if the club owner Sheikh Mansour withdraws his backing. It’s a long shot right now, but just imagine what happens if the ban stands, the team is stripped from a title, and some of the top players leave?
With all the money spent, I imagine the sheikh won’t be happy and he might very well decide it’s not worth it anymore.
Manchester City will appeal UEFA’s decision and the English FA has often showed enough autonomy to suggest that a potential domestic punishment is not guaranteed. If it all goes well, Manchester City might get out of this without suffering too much damage.
And yet, if the ban holds and the FA decides to act too, we might see the end of Manchester City’s glorious chapter from the past decade or so.