Manchester City fans across the world were anxiously holding their breath for the verdit of the Court of Arbitration for Sport this morning.
The Cityzens ended up appealing a UEFA ban that threatened to remove them from Champions League contention for the next two years and their fate was to be decided by CAS.
The Court took time to review the full details of the case and finally produced a verdict which was in favor of the Premier League club.
In this post, I detail exactly why UEFA wanted to ban City from the most high-profile club football tournament and what does the successful appeal means for Pep Guardiola and his squad.
Why Did UEFA Want to Ban City?
The allegations thrown at the club were concerning funds they used to transfer players and pay their salaries by disguising them as sponsorship deals.
Such activity is in clear breach of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules and the governing body acted on it back in February.
Put up against the wal, the club had to take measures as their executives were confident that there haven’t been any violations in their financial dealings over the years.
Whether this is true or not, the fact is that City has been cleared of any wrongdoing by CAS and will now be eligible to participate in the Champions League as per usual.
How Will Man City Benefit from the Lifting of the UEFA Ban?
The fact that the ban will not be upheld means way more than just Champions League football for the club.
They were completely blown away by Liverpool in the title race this year and a few key players publicly declared that they might be looking to transfer their talents elsewhere if they won’t be able to compete in the Champions League for the next two years.
Among those were star striker Sergio Aguero and midfield maestro Kevin de Bruyne who still don’t have a CL goal medal to their name although they have been two of the most elite players in world football for the last half dozen years.
Mercurial winger Raheem Sterling also expressed the same desire along with goalkeeper Ederson.
Needless to say, if these players were to leave the City squad, the team will need a complete overhaul in order to compete with a dominant Jurgen Klopp side which only seems to get better.
That would most probably have led to Pep Guardiola’s exit as well, as I fail to see how the manager would’ve accepted to completely rebuild a depleted team without the ability to attract the top players on account of the club’s Champions League ban.
So, City’s win at the Court of Arbitration for Sport is huge not only because it secured participation in a tournament which has netted them close to 200 million pounds in the last two years, but also because it will allow them to keep their core and have another go at Liverpool next season.
Teams like Manchester United, Arsenal, and Tottenham won’t be happy to hear about the verdict, but the City faithful will be over the moon, and prospects for next year now look a lot less gloomy than they were this morning.