After the takeover from Sheikh Mansour in 2008, Manchester City Football Club had been revived after a very dormant period in the Premier League. Manchester United Football Club was the undisputed dominant force in the city and it was time for the ‘noisy neighbours’ to retrieve their ASBO’s and start causing commotion. Heavy investment from the Abu Dhabi royalty, saw the likes of Robinho arrive for a club record fee of £32.5million and they even managed to persuade Carlos Tevez to join the new movement from rivals Manchester United.
At least a decade onwards from this, Man City have seven domestic titles under their belt and managed to stop Liverpool’s superb effort to claim the Premier League despite Liverpool getting 97 points (most points ever attained by a second place team). Now one would think entering the new decade in 2020, Man City are on a high and unlikely to fall from their perch any time soon. Oh how fickle football can be.
February was not the month of love for Manchester City who were feeling rather blue after news arrived from The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) that they were going to be banned from the annual Champions league competition. Unfortunately for the Manchester blues, the heavy financial investment seemed to have breached UEFA financial regulations and could be banned from the champion’s league competition for the next two seasons if they lose their appeal in the Court of Arbitration for sport who deal with international sporting disputes.
Multiple allegations from a variety of media outlets led UEFA to question Man City’s compliance with the Financial Fair Play regulations that were introduced in the 2011/2012 season. Put simply, to comply, clubs must balance their books by making sure expenditure and income are fairly congruent in terms of purchasing players and match day earnings and TV revenue.
An Adjudicatory Chamber of the Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) were the governing body who were an exact representation of Agatha Christie’s Poirot and found the club guilty of breaching licensing and FFP regulations.
This does not just mean the end of European football. This could be the end of an era. Perhaps Pep Guardiola could take his title winning talents elsewhere and the wide array of star talents within the team could seek European football elsewhere. The kings of premiership football seem to be facing a coup d’etat and only the Football Gods can help them now. There is a famous saying that goes: “is it better to have loved and lost or not loved at all” and perhaps if the blue Manchester club reach their demise the club would opt for the latter. Such a fall from grace would have significant negative effects for the club long term and they could very much revert to being the timid and not so noisy neighbours.
By Jo Nyandoro