Manchester City have been banned from the all Uefa competition for the next two seasons after European football’s governing body found they had breached Financial Fair Play regulations.
The punishment is a result of a lengthy investigation, but as is often the case with these kind of situations, Uefa’s verdict may be just the beginnng.
Here is everything you need to know about what happens next…
What have City done wrong?
Since March 2019, Uefa have been officially investigating City over possible violations of their Financial Fair Play regulations.
On Friday night, European football’s governing body announced that it had found ‘serious breaches’ of those regulations, with City ‘overstating its sponsorship revenue in its accounts’.
What does Uefa’s verdict mean?
The decision from Uefa means that, as well as having to pay a €30m fine, City will not be able to compete in European club competitions during the 2020/21 or 2021/22 seasons.
That ban covers both the Champions League and the Europa League, meaning City will be without European football in the aforementioned seasons, regardless of whether they qualify through their Premier League position.
Unless their appeal is successful, this season could provide Guardiola’s last chance to win the Champions League at City (REUTERS)
What about this season’s Champions League?
No action has been taken against City’s participation in this season’s Champions League, which will return later this month for the start of the knockout stages. City are scheduled to play Real Madrid in the last 16.
The ruling means that City could win the competition this season, but still would not be able to defend their title next year.
Can City appeal?
Yes. City have already confirmed that they will appeal the verdict to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the independent body that rules on such matters.
For example, it was CAS that shortened Chelsea’s transfer ban earlier this season.
In Pictures | Tottenham vs Man City | 02/02/2020
What happens to their Champions League place?
If City are unsuccessful in their appeal then they would not be counted as one of the Premier League’s top four finishers when it comes to Champions League qualification.
Presuming, as looks likely, they were to finish in the top four of the Premier League, the extra place would go to whichever team finishes fifth, currently Sheffield United.
Could the Premier League take action, too?
Possibly. The Premier League have been running their own investigation, which they say is still ongoing, but much of the information the club has to provide with regards to accounts will be the same as that which Uefa have scrutinised.
If the Premier League do decide to punish City, a points deduction may be the most likely action, though its effect this season would be minimal if they cannot qualify for European competition anyway.