UEFA handed Manchester City an extraordinary two-year ban from European football on Friday evening after being found to have seriously mislead the governing body and breaking financial fair play (FFP) rules.
The reigning Premier League Champions have also been fined £30 million for a breach of the rules that is seen to be serious by the European governing body.
Pep Guardiola’s men will serve the ban during the 2020/21 and 2021/22 season, meaning that the club will be prohibited to compete in any UEFA competitions over the two seasons.
City were found guilty by the Independent Adjudicatory chamber of the Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) to have misled UEFA in their FFP submissions by inflating their sponsorship revenues.
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However, the club deny the accusation and have already confirmed they will appeal the decision at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
The move means a boost for the clubs chasing a Champions League spot this season, with a fifth-place finish meaning Champions League football should City still finish in the top four.
With City trailing Liverpool by 22 points and things going wrong off the field yesterday, Arsenal fans were quick to joke about the common denominator – Mikel Arteta’s departure.
Arteta left the Premier League champions in December to take up the role as Arsenal’s head-coach.
The Gunners currently sit 10 points behind Chelsea in fourth place, but only eight points behind Sheffield United in fifth with a game in hand before the weekend’s fixtures.
A win against Newcastle on Sunday could leave them five points off a potential Champions League slot by the end of the weekend.