In November 2018, German magazine Der Spiegel reported that City and its sponsors manipulated contracts to circumvent UEFA’s Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules, introduced in 2011 to stop club overspending.
The leaked emails obtained by Der Spiegel from the Football Leaks organization suggested that the Abu Dhabi owners of the City had paid the club directly instead of Etihad, who is the sponsor of the club’s jersey and has the naming rights for his stadium. . Der Spiegel, citing club documents, said the airline financed only part of the sponsorship deal, with the owners inventing the rest.
FFP rules in state clubs can only lose $ 32 million in three seasons, otherwise they risk a fine or suspension.
On Friday, CFCB said City broke the rules and significantly “didn’t cooperate in the investigation.” In his statement, City said that the emails were removed from the context and that the case was “initiated by UEFA, pursued by UEFA and judged by UEFA”.
Immediately after, the future of Guardiola, widely considered the best manager of his time, was the main objective.
Under Guardiola’s leadership, City broke records and played fascinating football.
But in his four years in Manchester, a trophy eluded him, which was the main reason he was brought to the club: the Champions League, the richest competition in European football.
Only last week Guardiola talked about how he could be fired if he didn’t win the first prize of European football soon. That claim may have been dramatic, but if UEFA’s decision is confirmed, Guardiola must win the Champions League this season or he will probably never have to win the trophy he craves most with the City.
Will Guardiola be happy to wait until 2023 to restart his Champions League mission with City? By the end of his current contract, he will stay in City longer than in one of his previous clubs. And with unprecedented heights already downsized on the domestic front, many wonder what would motivate him to stay.
Even before the seismic punishment on Friday, it had become clear that the city was due to rebuild in the summer.
With Liverpool currently 22 points ahead of City in the league, the club needs an injection of players if it is to regain its dominant team position in England.
Veteran midfielder David Silva will have to leave at the end of the season. It is uncertain whether striker Sergio Aguero, the city’s all-time top scorer, will remain beyond his current deal, which will end in 2021. Young striker Leroy Sane is also heavily tied to a move to Bayern Munich.
If Guardiola leaves, even a number of other stars. Raheem Sterling and Kevin de Bruyne are in long-term business, but will want to test themselves against the best.
With wealthy owners, money isn’t a problem for City – but without the prestige of Champions League football, will City still be able to attract elite players? UEFA’s punishment shook the city. It could also lead to the end of an era.