An earthquake has shaken Manchester City on Valentine’s Day. One that will leave long-term, constant ramification in one of the most successful clubs in the Premier League over the past decade.
The Citizens have been punished by UEFA due to constant, consistent violations to the Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules. As a result, Manchester City won’t be able to play in the UEFA Champions League for the next two seasons. The sanction can be appealed, but City have everything against them in a potential appeal. The numbers do not lie.
What’s going to the happen with Manchester City next?
So what’s going to happen next? The biggest and most immediate consequence will be the departure of some of the team’s best players. Sergio Agüero was already likely to leave at the end of the season, and this situation should speed things up regarding his exit from the Etihad Stadium. He might not be the only player who leaves the side, though.
David Silva is also set to leave the club at the end of the season. Top names such as Rodrigo Hernandez, Kevin de Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Ederson – just to name a few – could also elect to depart the side looking for Champions League football. It’s also fair from a financial standpoint. City won’t have enough resources to maintain all the high-paid players they currently have in their current squad.
Pep Guardiola set to leave the club as well?
It’s also worth analyzing what’s going to happen with Pep Guardiola. The Spaniard has mentioned – indirectly – that he might leave the club once the season ends if he doesn’t win the Champions League, or even if he doesn’t reach the final. But you can bet on one thing, and one thing only. Guardiola will not stay with City if they can’t play the Champions League.
Manchester City ban should also affect the Premier League this season
If City are ineligible to play in the Champions League next season, then the fifth-placed team in the standings would earn a berth to play in the UCL 2020/21. This is quite significant. Before this weekend’s action, the fourth-placed team, Chelsea, have 41 points and the fifth-placed side, Sheffield United, sit two points behind. But Tottenham, Everton, Manchester United and Wolves are between two and four points behind The Blades.
In other words, City’s ban will transform the race for the final UCL spot into a wide-open marathon that will feature up to five different teams. If the EPL season wasn’t exciting enough, this interesting plot twist will heat things up considerably.