The Premier League’s fifth-placed team will be in line to take England’s fourth Champions League position should Manchester City’s UEFA ban be implemented.
European football’s governing body announced on Friday evening that Pep Guardiola’s side will be suspended for the 2020/21 and 21/22 seasons and must pay a €30million fine after they were found to have broken financial fair play rules while also failing to co-operate with UEFA during their investigation.
While City, who have denied all accusations since charges were brought last May, have already confirmed that they will appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, if they fail to overturn the ban the next best-placed club in the league will get their place instead.
That will be considered a big boost for Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Sheffield United and Wolves – although a lengthy appeals process could still mean that the ban is not enforced in time for next season.
Article 4.08 of UEFA’s admission criteria and procedure states: “A club which is not admitted to the competition is replaced by the next best-placed club in the top domestic championship of the same association, provided the new club fulfils the admission criteria.”
City were previously fined £49million for contravening FFP rules four years ago but had the fine reduced to £18million. In a statement the club said that they were “disappointed but not surprised” by UEFA’s decision.