Quick decision demanded on Man City Champions League ban

Why many don’t believe that Man City will be banned from Europe for two years is, like most things, money buys you the very best. They will have the highest paid lawyers on the case challenging every loophole they can find. That’s why this is a ground-breaking moment for UEFA.
Do they stick firm with their Financial Fair Play scheme, or do clubs simply have too much cash where they don’t need to listen?

There’s talk that CAS might see reducing the punishment to one year as a compromise. City could cope with 12 months of not being in the Champions League, while the games governing body isn’t 100 percent undermined. Yet as much as the Champions can afford the best in law, so can the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, Man United, Spurs and (barring Sheffield United) the rest of the current top 10 sides in the Premiership, who have joined forces in their own appeal.

You might not think it based on transfer windows, but Stan Kroenke is one of the richest men in the world.

If he wanted to, he could compete with anyone. While he chooses not to in terms of transfer fees, etc, if he feels he is missing out on millions he will fight it. You don’t become a Billionaire by being a stupid man.

With the club reporting a loss of 27.1 million he’s not going to turn his back on the massive rewards for being in the competition: 15 million for just being in the Champions League, 3 million per win, another 10 million for getting out of your group, an additional 10 million for reaching a Quarter-Final, 12 million for getting to a semi-final and 18 million to win the whole thing. That’s not including match day revenue and TV rights.

Only City know if they are guilty, that’s their issue. What their rivals are trying to do is to make the process as uncomfortable as possible. Their preference would be while the appeal is ongoing (and they could drag their feet) they are allowed to carry on in the CL, innocent until proven guilty and all that. The document their peers have signed is to stop them from doing that. They want a quick verdict so they know where everyone stands.

Let’s be honest. This isn’t a group of owners being noble, fighting for the dignity of the game. Their actions are as self-serving as Karen Brady’s suggestion that we put a line through the Premiership when, oh wait, her West Ham side are in a relegation fight.

Putting Man City out of the picture frees up a champions League spot, and it could even be vital for Arsenal in terms of Europa League qualification.

Meanwhile Liverpool would love the idea of Pep Guardiola not having the elite competition to offer to new players.

City have always insisted they knew UEFA would charge them and will prove their innocence to an impartial body and no one is claiming UEFA are squeaky clean. In the past CAS defended Gibraltar in favour of FIFA, but have also rejected Northern Ireland’s complaints about regulations for selection for the Republic so that makes them even in their decision making.

Anyone worried that CAS may have been influenced by a wealthy owner can now be reassured. You would rather upset one rather than nine surely?

If City have done nothing wrong, then they shouldn’t be concerned, but the news that nearly half of the League have signed this document removes any room to wriggle.

Dan Smith


  1. The clamour from the spittin’ imagesqe ranters who launched into defence of their clubs, the clubs that signed “that letter” to CAS has died down and the more measured responders are out and about, vocal if not in exactly ‘in force’.

    I posted the link to Wolves fans response earlier, like the Blades they disapproved, unlike the Blades their club climbed on the bandwagon. I have just read and responded to an ARSE blog that was honest about the vested interest but happy about the pressure put on CAS to ensure we stay ‘on the hook’.

    Here’s the finger in the dam 🙂


    “I doubt that eight self serving clubs writing a letter asking CAS to suspend legal “due process” for the purpose of giving them collectively more jam on their toast will take up more than 5 minutes of CAS’s time.

    Trying to disadvantage one of their toughest opponents by sneaking around lobbying to change the legal process to “guilty unto proven innocent” is rather tacky to say the least.

    * Don’t we all need to know whether Manchester City are guilty of something that is punishable?

    * If so don’t we need to know that the punishment is commensurate with the offence?

    * Don’t we need to know if they have done anything that other clubs have not also done, but with impunity?

    Two years out of CL football would cost Manchester City around £250m in direct revenue loss and significant other loss through the fine and less attractive sponsorship. That money would find its way into the coffers of (potentially) Manchester United, Leicester City, Spurs and yes, Arsenal. Isn’t that called “vested interest” in law?

    Does signing that grubby letter still seem high minded?

    Manchester City’s supporters, players and staff do not deserve to have their club wrecked. If, after completion of legal due process, a punishment is due, then levy it on the people responsible for the business decisions that led to this.; the ownership and senior executives Then show even-handedness and fair treatment by putting every other club in a league that could become eligible for UEFA European wide competition under the same microscope. That would mean all clubs having to open up their email and personal corporate intelligence to the world like the illegal hackers did with Manchester CIty, their single selected target?

    Were this to be the case I suspect Manchester City would be saying – bring it on!

    1. Well said Alphie – couldn’t agree more. For me it is not really an honourable thing for Arsenal to do.
      Chris Wilder has been an excellent manager (or is it ‘coach’ this week) for Sheffield United and has shown his integrity in this matter, being the only one of the top ten in the Prem to not join the lynch mob. His decision was well supported by the Sheffield United fans too so both Chris and their fans have my utmost respect.
      For me better to stay out of it and let CAS, the Court of Arbitration for Sport, (why didn’t Dan Smith tell us what CAS meant?) sort it out.

  2. Not sure why we need a quick decision on this and if we will get one anyway.

    it seems impossible to think that the authorities will be able or capable of making any kind of decision in the near future and there are much more pressing issues than city playing in the CL.

    Revenue, sponsorship, transfers, loan deals, promotion, relegation and most important of all, ridding the world of the corona virus…city can wait.

    1. Indeed KEN City CAN wait. But this voracious site, with its constant “feed me” – as in the Little Shop of Horrors cult musical show, with its people devouring plant – cannot and will not wait for the next article, however rehashed , inconsequential or fake rumoured they be.
      That being said, I think THIS article a good and relevant one, so the above comments do not apply in this case.

    2. Soz Ken if I offended you
      In no way was I saying this was as Important as what’s going on
      Writing is a comfort to me that’s all
      Hence my reviewing seasons

      1. Dan, no way did you offend me, just giving my views.

        On another post I commented on the city saga, in which I said that city are being made an example of by the recognised “big” clubs…they don’t like their feathers ruffled in my opinion.

        Always enjoy your articles Dan, written with no bias and with a sense of reality.
        Like you, writing is a real comfort at the moment and the articles by Kenny, Jon and yourself regarding our past are excellent – perhaps I should have worded my reply better in the first place and left out the virus comment!!!

  3. It’s a decent blog Dan – fairer minded than most in what is a tribal arena for sports writing. Whenever I read an article on this blog, usually when my news capture picks up City or another interest area as the subject matter, I find it worth reading.

    The thing about footie is that there has always been masses to write about – these days for very good reasons not so much.

    I can relate to “writing being a comfort” as I do on average around 400 words every other day for our own ‘closed’ City blog. I don’t write ‘stuff’ to get a reaction, don’t have advertising to generate cash, I’m now I understand officially vulnerable due to my age failing compos mentis, and couldn’t care one way or the other whether anyone reads or agrees with the content- for me it’s therapeutic.

    Whilst I have always been a City supporter the first time I saw them play was against Arsenal in Billy Wright’s first season in charge of the Gunners. I was a great admirer of Wright as a player, so there’s a clue. 🙂

    Best of luck with Mikel Arteta, he has been much admired at City, seems a very decent guy and a highly effective and technical coach.

    1. Speaking as someone who must be close to you in age and who watched Arsenal regularly, even before Billy Wright came in 1962 , I want to praise your wise and interesting post. I spend a lot of time writing about theatre and music, politics, sport in general and of late about my love for ARSENAL too.Like you I find it really cathartic at this bleak time. I wish you good health and good luck.

  4. Shucks Jon
    You brought a tear to my eye 🙂
    Every Blessing now and for the future old son, and for whatever lies before us, may we be still be cheering when the morning comes 🙂
    Tough times calls for a little more understanding, a little more respect – all ways around.

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