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FFP - The Man City decision: what next?

It will be interesting to see how Man City appeal to this case. This decision does not threaten the going concern of the club but it is a massive threat to their hopes of keeping their current status as one of the world’s best teams for the next 4-6 years. 

It makes one recall the Juventus saga when they were relegated to Serie B following the Calciopoli scandal.  Juve bounced back pretty well from that building on the loyalty shown to the club by many of its top players that remained and won promotion back to Serie A. It remains to be seen how Man City’s players and manager would react if the appeal is unsuccessful.

What is undoubtedly clear is that Man City have spent years preparing for this potential eventuality and will bring all the big guns to the party. UEFA will have their work cut out at the appeal.

From another perspective, one hopes that this decision is a positive with respect to getting all clubs to comply with the Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules and will not be as futile as past monetary fines have been.

A particular case which made a mockery of the FFP rules was in 2014 when PSG was fined €60million for breaching the FFP rules in May but then paid £50million in June to buy David Luiz from Chelsea (a world record fee for a defender at the time).

This case is certainly one to follow closely. The article below from Christopher Flanagan exploring the legal questions and consequences of this case is highly recommended.

UEFA has “imposed disciplinary measures on Manchester City Football Club directing that it shall be excluded from participation in UEFA club competitions in the next two seasons (ie. the 2020/21 and 2021/22 seasons) and pay a fine of € 30 million.”

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