Uefa have banned Manchester City from participation in European competition until 2022 after they found them guilty of contravening Financial Fair Play regulations.

In addition, City have been fined €30m and could also face a points deduction by the Premier League after Uefa’s Adjudicatory Chamber found the club had overstated its sponsorship revenue in accounts submitted to the European governing body between 2012 and 2016.

The reigning but soon to be deposed English Champions will almost certainly appeal, a hearing that would take place before the start of next season, but if the ban is upheld, it will likely open up 5th place to Champions League qualification and could see Aston Villa qualify for eighth place in the Premier League qualify for the Europa League if City win the League Cup and a top-four finisher wins the FA Cup.


Reader Comments (132)

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Paul Jones
1 Posted 14/02/2020 at 18:35:31
Just seen that Man City are banned from the Champions League for next 2 seasons. I wonder if that opens up 5th place for qualification? Probably will unless we finish 5th in which case they'll say only 3 of top 4 can go through!
Brent Stephens
2 Posted 14/02/2020 at 18:36:21
Man City banned two seasons from the Champions League!!!
Brent Stephens
3 Posted 14/02/2020 at 18:38:52
I thought FFP had no teeth!
Brent Stephens
4 Posted 14/02/2020 at 18:39:54
Paul exciting thought!
Steve Ferns
5 Posted 14/02/2020 at 18:41:03
Yes. The Premier League can choose whatever 4 clubs they want and it'll be on league position.
James Hughes
6 Posted 14/02/2020 at 18:42:17
Wow... Man City banned for two seasons! I would never have thought that would happen. Cue serious legal challenge.
Geoff Lambert
7 Posted 14/02/2020 at 18:50:47
Looks like 5th place will get Champions League place now.
Steve Ferns
8 Posted 14/02/2020 at 18:53:07
Yeah Geoff. That’s what happened in Serie A when AC Milan were banned. Torino were the next one down the league table and so got a place instead.

UEFA rules say it’s up to the Premier League. I can’t see them giving one to the FA Cup winners as they would face challenges.

Brent Stephens
9 Posted 14/02/2020 at 18:55:47
Liverpool are bound to demand two places in the Champions League. One for their second string.
Darren Hind
10 Posted 14/02/2020 at 19:01:42
Looks like I'm going to have to reconsider after the news about City.

I now think non-qualification for the Champions League should be considered failure... and to remove any doubt, that includes Ancelotti.

John Pierce
11 Posted 14/02/2020 at 19:21:47
The cushion of 8th for the Europa League... that's the silver lining for us Toffees!
Mick Davies
12 Posted 14/02/2020 at 19:31:33
Paul, just seen that and wondered the same: Champions League next season? We can do it!
Liam Reilly
13 Posted 14/02/2020 at 19:57:15
This one will be interesting. City have the financial clout to tie this one up in the courts for a very long time with UEFA essentially being: judge, jury and executioner.

Can't see this one sticking. They'll most likely end up with a suspended sentence, where both parties save face.

The FA will probably be waiting to jump on the band wagon though and will look closely at Usmanov's sponsorship of Everton.

Tony Everan
14 Posted 14/02/2020 at 20:00:08
The fairest way would be 5th placed (Everton) gets the Champions League spot. Uefa may think otherwise.

If that is confirmed, this is going to be one hell of an exciting end to the season.

Who would have thought this was possibly on the table for us 12 weeks ago? Talk about a roller-coaster season.

Brent Stephens
15 Posted 14/02/2020 at 20:00:16
Liam, doesn't it go to the Court of Arbitration?
John Atkins
16 Posted 14/02/2020 at 20:09:14
Just for once I wonder if our luck will change, with the injustices we've had in the past with the ban in 1985 and being cheated by Collina against Valencia.

Please for once can it go for us and we finish 5th and get a Champions League spot.

Tony Hill
17 Posted 14/02/2020 at 20:16:55
I trust our lawyers have been careful with USM, as Liam @192 says. Yes, Brent @193, City will go to CAS.
Ray Roche
18 Posted 14/02/2020 at 20:20:12
It'll be interesting to see how many of the current players are still there at the start of next season if their eventual appeal fails.
Darren @188
“There is no glass ceiling.” – Only the one installed by our own lack of belief. Or by Moyes's limited vision.
Ray Smith
19 Posted 14/02/2020 at 20:21:03
If City win the Carabao Cup, Aston Villa do not qualify for Europe.

If one of the top 4(5) win the FA Cup, the Europa League places will go down to 8th.

Without getting carried away, I believe we will finish 5th or 6th.

John P McFarlane
20 Posted 14/02/2020 at 20:26:38
Providing that City lose any appeal, then the 5th-placed team in the Premier League would qualify for Champions League, assuming City finish in the top four. However, I would expect a very long legal battle to take place and therefore can see only 3 English teams taking part in the 2020-21 Champions League.
Tony Hill
21 Posted 14/02/2020 at 20:28:23
Our Gareth Farrelly is now an arbitrator at CAS, incidentally. What an impressive man he is.
Mike Gaynes
22 Posted 14/02/2020 at 20:54:55
This really changes the picture for us and the European places. If 8th is really a ticket to the Europa League, start packing, we're going.

But this could also dramatically change the picture of the Prem for years to come. If City have to stay home for two years, you just know Pep's gonna bail. This will already be his longest-tenured job, and he can go anywhere he wants. And do guys like De Bruyne, Sterling, Aguero and Ederson suddenly start looking for other CL destinations? Aguero's 31, de Bruyne 29. They're not going to want to sit around for two years looking up at the RS in the league and watching the CL games on TV. Their agents are gonna start getting phone calls from Bayern and Juve and PSG, and they're gonna answer.

This could slash City's tires for years to come.

Andy Crooks
23 Posted 14/02/2020 at 20:56:52
They will win their appeal. Not on legal grounds but because they are rich. Part of an elite that can ignore the rules.
Brent Stephens
24 Posted 14/02/2020 at 20:58:02
Mike, maybe we could dream and hope to pick up a De Bruyn etc!
Kunal Desai
25 Posted 14/02/2020 at 20:58:36
I imagine this will rumble on for a while and City will end up accepting a heavier fine and the ban overturned.
Mike Gaynes
26 Posted 14/02/2020 at 21:04:23
Brent #15, yes, the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne. A panel of 22 people from 15 different countries -- not one of them England. There is no British representation on the Court. The chairman is an Aussie, and the other top dawgs are from Switzerland, the US and Slovenia.

And in case anyone was wondering, there are no Arab countries represented on the Court. So Abu Dhabi has no constituency there either.

The deck might not be as stacked in City's favor as one would think.

As for De Bruyne, um, yeah, right. He probably sent his wife to Munich today to house-hunt. Likewise Sterling to Barcelona, and Aguero to Turin or Milan. But we could certainly have a come-to-Jesus moment, a bit of shining Silva and maybe even retrieve some long-lost Stones.

Mick Davies
27 Posted 14/02/2020 at 21:05:22
Who knows, maybe the UK exit from Europe has upset UEFA so much that they're determined to keep City out, to give the continentals more of a chance.
Brent Stephens
28 Posted 14/02/2020 at 21:16:29
Bravo, Mike G.
Any Laporte in a storm.
Sane or not, I believe you.

John Pierce
29 Posted 14/02/2020 at 21:24:38
UEFA banning a club like Man City just pushes us closer to a Super league. A fair chance City pick their ball up and go home, asking the other 11 richest clubs to come with them.
Brian Wilkinson
30 Posted 14/02/2020 at 21:26:51
If Everton finish 5th and a Man City lose their appeal, another rule will come out or they will stitch us up and find something in our FFP compliance... When has Lady Luck ever shone on Everton???

Win the league: First World War breaks out;
Win the league again: Second World War breaks out;
Win the league again: all English teams banned from Europe.

I'm too long in the tooth now to even think Man City will lose their appeal and we will get 5th place and be allowed to enter the Champions League.

Sorry to piss on everyone's chips, but we are talking Everton here...

Tony Everan
31 Posted 14/02/2020 at 21:32:52
26,28

Jesus wept, some Sterling jokes there fellas.

John Atkins
32 Posted 14/02/2020 at 21:33:10
Rules should be: if you appeal and lose, then the ban gets extended!
Laurie Hartley
33 Posted 14/02/2020 at 21:36:17
From the BBC sport page:-

“Clubs need to balance football-related expenditure - transfers and wages - with television and ticket income, plus revenues raised by their commercial departments. Money spent on stadiums, training facilities, youth development or community projects is exempt.”

Emphasis mine. Perhaps our hierarchy actually do know what they are doing.

Mike Gaynes
34 Posted 14/02/2020 at 21:42:21
Tony #31, Mendy next time you should say "Bravo!"
Brent Stephens
35 Posted 14/02/2020 at 21:43:26
John, they might just have the discretion to increase the penalty. Many appeals situations have this provision.
Tony Hill
36 Posted 14/02/2020 at 21:50:22
A very good piece on this in the Mail by Martin Samuels:

Financial Fair Play is just a UEFA protection racket... this is payback by the elite clubs who hate Manchester City

FFP is indeed a racket, created by the few for the few and fuck the rest.
John G Davies
37 Posted 14/02/2020 at 21:54:21
Not a chance this ruling will be upheld. The highest court in Europe will rule against it. The status of Man City's owners guarantees that.
John Pierce
38 Posted 14/02/2020 at 21:58:36
FFP would have been sound in the 90s when disparity was far less. Introducing it in 2012 was stupid, the already richest clubs had developed and commercialized beyond most teams. FFP just pulled the ladder up behind them, bet they couldn’t believe their luck!

Under the current iteration, there’s no way we can win the league, it’s just stacked heavily against us. Potentially a salary cap might work, but good luck getting that through if other countries aren’t interested, pointless having one if Spain or Italy etc don’t.

Can’t even buy the league anymore, pfft.

Rob Young
39 Posted 14/02/2020 at 21:59:25
Would be fun now if they actually won it this year, just to piss off Uefa.

If it helps us, great. But Man City upset the elite and get punished for it. The biggest want a closed shop, the only way to get in is to spend ridiculous amounts of money for which you'll get punished as soon as the big boys go crying to the teacher.


Jamie Crowley
40 Posted 14/02/2020 at 22:07:12
There's going to be far too much pressure on the Premier League to not do something.

They cheated. They grossly understated what they declared, if reports are to believed. The credibility of the English game is at stake. There will be a punishment, and I think it will be severe.

Are their titles now tainted? Did they not cheat to win?

Chris Williams
41 Posted 14/02/2020 at 22:20:28
On Sky:

There is a good chance that Man City will overturn this, because City is richer than Uefa.

That would be my bet. Plus, there are too many vested interests, like the Premier League, sport equipment manufacturers, and Sky – to name a but a few.

Leighton Cooper
42 Posted 14/02/2020 at 22:26:20
Tony #36. Just read it, was a good piece and worth reading. Interesting reference to the "red alliance" running English football.
Jamie Crowley
43 Posted 14/02/2020 at 22:26:32
This just in on Satellite Radio in the States.

The Premier League was aware of the violations and are preparing punitive actions for breaking the FFP rules, including a points deduction.

Kieran Kinsella
44 Posted 14/02/2020 at 22:44:42
I don't see FFP holding up. How can you limit what business owners invest of their own money in a business they own?

Funny thing is, though, for all the hoopla around PSG and Man City, neither one has ever even made the Champions League Final...

Danny Baily
45 Posted 14/02/2020 at 22:50:51
We won't finish 5th.
Mike Galley
46 Posted 14/02/2020 at 22:52:19
John @38,

You said the big clubs probably couldn't believe their luck. I believe it's one step further. I believe Uefa brought Financial Fair Play in under pressure from the big clubs. Maybe using the threat of a European Super League.

It's only an opinion of mine, but it seems very beneficial for the big clubs for it to be in place.

Mike Gaynes
47 Posted 14/02/2020 at 22:53:06
Jamie #40, like the Houston Astros, they will not give back the title or the silverware. Or the money they made as a result.
Carl Manning
48 Posted 14/02/2020 at 23:02:50
AC Milan were hit with the same punishment in 2018 and CAS threw it out. FFP won't be around much longer. It's being challenged in court and every legal expert spoken to has said it may take a couple of years but it will be ruled as unfair and stopped. Man City will pay a fine and carry on.

Uefa and Fifa have to be seen to be showing their teeth, but CAS will always throw it out. When Milan accepted a year ban, it was because they couldn't afford the fine.

Jamie Crowley
49 Posted 14/02/2020 at 23:16:04
Definitely Mike. But, unlike some posters, I actually believe Uefa and the Premier League will be looking to enforce FFP, and will come down heavily on Man City.

I see the 2-year ban being upheld, and I see a 9- to 12-point deduction. Not to mention a shedload of money for a financial penalty as well.

Don't forget, Man City has previous and had to pay €40-something million in 2014 (pretty sure that's right??).

The powers that be are about to flex their muscles, against a repeat offender, to ensure football clubs play by the FFP rules, and don't end up in Administration by over-spending.

That's my opinion. Could be wrong.

Paul Hewitt
50 Posted 14/02/2020 at 23:22:15
What a totally ridiculous decision.
John Pierce
51 Posted 14/02/2020 at 23:28:56
Jamie. Let's say Man City do get banned and it's upheld. I'd strongly suspect other clubs who haven't been caught yet will look at the result and decide they don't need Uefa.

There are leaks from time to time about super league meeting etc. what do Uefa actually give them? The 12 richest have a massive global market and would have no problems setting a league up.

Uefa and many other sporting organizations in Europe often don't have good records of setting reasonable precedents and follow through. Bans are often overreaching and disproportionate and CAS have reduced or overturned them.

Storm in a tea cup. Man City will play next year.

Tony Hill
52 Posted 14/02/2020 at 23:30:37
The point is that the FFP rules are inherently bent. They are made to insulate the ruling cabal. City cheated, but they cheated the cheaters. We're wading through shit with all this; we really shouldn't pretend that there's clean ground anywhere to be found.
Tom Bowers
53 Posted 14/02/2020 at 23:30:59
With the appeal process, this could drag on for a while, the lawyers will see to that.

I wouldn't anticipate anything regarding European games for Everton just yet as they still need to get the points to earn a spot.

Being a much more competitive club in the Prem. next season is the main priority.

Carl Manning
54 Posted 14/02/2020 at 23:32:55
Jamie,

Manchester City aren't in debt! They don't borrow money. This is the legal argument clubs are building to challenge it. If you don't go into debt to fund your “project”, how can you be punished? If a mega-rich benefactor wants to plough his money into a club, why can't he and why should he be punished for doing so?

Teams like Manchester United are $700M in debt but, because they are part of European royalty, they get to carry on regardless. Juve have a 40,000 stadium, they're obviously a huge club but the Italian league doesn't generate a lot of cash, yet they pay Ronaldo €750k and Ramsey €400k a week. That's nearly €1.2M a week on 2 players. It's obvious all the money comes from Fiat which are owned by the owners. But again, part of the establishment and the owner is president of the European Club Association (ECA).

There is no way Man City will serve a 2-year ban. As for the Premier League, how can they not be on top of things like this? Surely they look at every club's accounts every year to check they comply, something would have come up. Nothing will happen that damages the reputation of the Premier League. It generates too much money and they won't want the competition compromised.

Tom Bowers
55 Posted 14/02/2020 at 23:35:14
With the appeal process, this could drag on for a while, the lawyers will see to that.

I wouldn't anticipate anything regarding European games for Everton just yet as they still need to get the points to earn a spot.

Being a much more competitive club in the Premier League next season is the main priority.

Chris Jones [NZ]
56 Posted 14/02/2020 at 23:38:24
Guys, I'd suggest you check out a couple of very long but excellent articles by Miguel Delaney on football finances on The Independent's website.

Uefa drop ‘atomic bomb’ on Manchester City to seismically alter landscape of European football

Fascinating... but quite depressing for a club like ours trying to break the monopoly.
Jamie Crowley
57 Posted 14/02/2020 at 23:51:17
A couple of points.

From the reports, Man City intentionally falsified their financials. I think AC Milan didn't falsify a thing? They just spent like drunken pirates, lost more the €30M a year for consecutive years, and got punished for it.

Man City basically engaged in deceit and fraud. They're going to get hammered for it because it's a matter of Uefa's ability to show they have the power to punish those who not only cheat, but cheat via fraudulently and intentionally fudging numbers.


Sir John Pierce –

Man City doesn't have enough power to force a European League. I've been hearing this poo-poo for years now – and I'm not that long in the tooth with footy! There's enough money in the English game, as well as the Spanish, Italians, and German leagues, to keep everyone happy. Greed will be the only motivator.

But Jamie, I hear you rhetorically ask, are you naive enough to think the owners of these clubs aren't greedy? Of course they are. But there's way too many down sides with a super league:

- teams with winning cultures finishing bottom and their plastic fans disappear
- no promotion or relegation (good luck with that in Europe)
- too many meaningless games once teams are mid-table or bottom (#7 PSG against #10 Chelsea in April??? Who flipping cares! Can't win it, can't go down – BORING!)
- about a thousand other things I don't have the patience to list

These dudes/owners are greedy. But they're also, in the main, protective of their investment. What if the league doesn't succeed? What if they lose fans? What if they're black-listed from rejoining their respective country's league and the "super league" is kind of "meh"?

They won't take the risk. They're already printing money, why bother?

Tony Hill – I'm 50 years old. I figured out at about age 40 that most people in this world are good and decent people. I also figured out that the power folks in this world make us all wade in a pool of shit, and don't adhere to the common man's ethical compass pointing north. Pretend there's clean ground? Ha! Welcome to the Shit Club, Tony! We're constantly wading through crap! ;0)

Jerome Shields
58 Posted 14/02/2020 at 23:57:03
Chelsea had to take their punishment, and I suspect Man City will have to do so as well.

I did not like Everton's shenanigans at the last AGM and it was reported at the time other Premier League Clubs had made complaints to the relevant authorities.

The reckless spending of Everton pro Moshiri, may have consequences beyond getting rid of deadwood.

Any other interpretation of Man City's ban and its relevance to Everton are pure conjecture.

I hope Paul the Esk will have a look at Everton's actual situation in relation to the FFP Rules.

Dick Fearon
59 Posted 14/02/2020 at 23:57:08
City booted out of Europe! That certainly Stones the Crows.
Jamie Crowley
60 Posted 14/02/2020 at 00:05:18
Carl,

The only reason Man City are even viable is because the Sheikh keeps pumping absolutely obscene amounts of cash into the club!
Of course they aren't in debt! They've got a ridiculous, pull-the-peter-out-and-wag-it-around, rich dude at the helm.

Whether or not he should be allowed to pump money into the team? Sure he can. BUT! The concept that you can do that while in a sports league with pre-determined rules and regulations in place to limit silly influxes of cash, is folly! Sports leagues make their own rules. If you don't play by them, you lose membership to said league or get executed. Or, you suffer massive penalties to adhere to the rules. That's it. Leagues around the globe must do this to create some degree of parity and competitiveness, as well as a foundation of acceptable ways to conduct your business inside the league.

In short, play by the rules, or get punished. It's the league that is paramount, not an individual team. The Premier League will survive, and still flourish, without Man City, not the other way around.

And no, John Pierce, that doesn't mean Man City will run off and start a Europa Super League. Man City will get punitive action against them. It'll start with a 2-year ban from Europe, and yes, they may negotiate that down.

But they absolutely will get punishment, it will be real, it will hurt, and they will suffer. Because they bald face lied about their numbers to Uefa and the Premier League. And that is a cardinal sin. If you don't punish that, then everyone lies and cheats to a degree that isn't sustainable.

Personal note – I find it hilarious that a very Conservative American is arguing for centralized control and regulation, while Europeans are claiming teams should be able to pump money into their respective clubs through their owners at any rate they please, and any attempt to stop this is to keep the bigger clubs in power.

Appears I'm the liberal, and the Tory party is producing the argument against me!

Rob Dolby
61 Posted 15/02/2020 at 00:51:59
Pull the ladder up, Jack, I am alright.

Football has always been run buy the richest clubs. Now that Man City and PSG are the richest, the established Uefa crew don't like the new money and want to protect their cartel.

The whole thing stinks.

John Pierce
62 Posted 15/02/2020 at 00:53:42
Jamie, I hope you are right.

I'd proffer Chelsea, AC Milan, Galatastary & PSG have all had their punishments drastically reduced or overturned by CAS.

UEFA are not good at putting a case together which sticks; given the lack of precedent, I cannot see it myself.

In this case, they pretty much said they'd punish City before the investigation, it's a shoddy governing body.

You said sports bodies make their own rules and they absolutely do; however, put them in a court of law and they are worth very little. Those rules only work if their members are invested. The elite clubs know if things go against them for too long they'll be off.

Perhaps, as you say, this case is very different, it potentially involves deception rather than a spending spurge.

I just cannot see any follow-through other than a hefty fine.

Derek Thomas
63 Posted 15/02/2020 at 00:54:22
Jamie @ 40; I think the Premier League will let Uefa do the heavy lifting of the legal bills on this. They may prepare preliminary charges, but wait for the inevitable appeal, before kicking Man City when they're down.

ps: I wonder where the 47M they fined them last time actually went?

Derek Thomas
64 Posted 15/02/2020 at 01:05:36
Jerome @ 58; EFC are carefully tiptoeing around the edges of that muddy FFP pond. City drove a coach and four through it at full speed, not caring who they splashed.

Also, if you couldn't before, you deffo won't be able to move for kopites waving their supposed holier than thou 'net spend La' card for all to see... They'll probably try to have last season's title stripped from Man city and retrospectively given to them.

Jamie Crowley
65 Posted 15/02/2020 at 01:13:21
I'd like to see Man City burn.

But, I'll love them forever for this moment. And Derek, Liverpool can yell and howl all they want, but they'll never erase this from history.

The only non-Everton / non-USA goal that made me scream with joy, ever:

Link

Thank you, Man City, for that. Now collapse, implode, and rot in hell, ya cheatin' bastards!

Derek Thomas
66 Posted 15/02/2020 at 01:51:51
Jamie@ 65; You're in good company, I like it too.

The whole thing makes for an interesting run in for the top half (or more) of the table. Given Man City have already conceded the title, how will this affect their will to win now.

Interesting times...

Chris Hockenhull
67 Posted 14/02/2020 at 01:57:21
Danny Baily. 45. Why? why?

Oh, it's so easy to be negative, isn't it?? It's safe... no risk... just be constantly negative, eh?? Always a winner... no risk as no ambition???

Why, Why, Why don't think positivity may just be possible?? Isn't that daft we don't?? Why not be different??? Why not alter the mentality??? Is that too dangerous???

Ah, Plucky Little Everton... we know our place... we know our level... fans taking knives to gunfight etc. How dare we be positive. After all... "We Are Everton".

Let's not ever think, dare say out-loud, we are positive... no, no, no – we will not finish 5th... You know the outcome.

Thanks, Danny, for the reality check of constant inbred negativity.

Karl Masters
68 Posted 15/02/2020 at 02:49:12
Now City are out of the Champions League next season, 5th would get us in to that. I know they might win their appeal, but if ever there was a season to go for it, it’s this one, especially as we only have League games left.
Steve Shave
69 Posted 15/02/2020 at 04:53:38
Spectacular rant, Chris (67)! ;)
Derek Knox
70 Posted 15/02/2020 at 06:25:06
To quote Charles Dickens, from a Tale of Two Cities:

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”

How appropriate in our case, in relation to Manchester City's ban, and our own recent statement of recording record losses. While most teams are rubbing their hands thinking this has made European qualification a step easier.

We must be thinking if it's us, and we do finish the season strongly, we will need to strengthen in certain areas to make a decent fist of it. How much will the profligacy of Koeman (mainly) and other previous incumbents come back to haunt us, if we are only restricted to a player or two, and to short-term loan deals?

The reason I have brought this up, apart from the obvious, is because of City's main criticism by Uefa is about injections of cash to inflate/balance the books and not just on player purchases only, as I understand it.

At a time when it is being mooted that Alisher Usmanov may find ways to bolster our coffers, I sincerely hope that it is done in a transparent and legal way.

Laurie Hartley
72 Posted 15/02/2020 at 06:37:01
Derek - That was what I was driving at @ 33. A free stadium would be nice.
Derek Knox
73 Posted 15/02/2020 at 07:16:48
Laurie, I didn't mean to steal your thunder there, or stand on your toes in any way, I just hope they can work their way round this, both on the pitch, by qualifying in the first place.

Also the Financial Minefield that is there but, with an Accountant as our benefactor, one would hope he knows what he's doing. Having said that, we wouldn't be in the precarious situation we may be in if he hadn't been so liberal in providing funds for Walsh and Koeman.

I know his footballing knowledge is limited, but you wouldn't go and buy, say, a mega-expensive car, that had just come on the market without doing some research and getting all the reviews beforehand.

Derek Thomas
74 Posted 15/02/2020 at 07:34:10
Derek K; FFP avoidance is the key, rather than FFP evasion.
Chris Williams
75 Posted 15/02/2020 at 07:55:53
There is a very good article by David Conn in today's Guardian, which delves into the background to this case. It quotes leaked (hacked?) emails and invoices which seem to show for example, that the £67.5m annual Etihad sponsorship actually consists of £8m from Etihad and the rest from their owners. It's pretty explicit.

It pretty much shows that these guys just don't accept FFP in any shape or form. It quotes their in-house lawyer saying something along the lines of: the Sheikh would rather spend £30m on the best 50 lawyers in the world to sue Uefa for the next 10 years.

It's not just what they've been doing but the way they've gone about it. Egregious, as m'learned friends might say.

Might be interesting and might explain why they got 2 years too.

Robert Tressell
76 Posted 15/02/2020 at 08:19:58
We just need a journalist to expose a cycling-style performance drugs scandal amongst those clubs with alarmingly good fitness levels now... I can think of one club in particular. Could end up with Leicester winning the league again as the highest placed drug-free / financially clean club in the league. That would be marvellous.

By the way, I agree that the punishment may get toned down but this is very serious for Man City. I could see Guardiola walking at end of the season now and a few of the old guard looking to improve their CVs in Spain.

Laurie Hartley
77 Posted 15/02/2020 at 08:44:25
Derek # 72 - no problems. Certainly no offence taken or intended.

If Carlo maintains his 2 points a game form we are a shoo-in to qualify.

Moshiri was badly let down by Koeman and Walsh and regretfully Silva.

Credit where it is due – he has kept his nerve and I don't think he will be let down by his number crunchers and certainly not by Carlo Ancellotti.

Ray Smith
78 Posted 15/02/2020 at 09:08:27
The teams above Chelsea are out of reach.

However, with Chelsea sitting 4th in 41 points, they could do us a favour by winning their next 2 games.

Man Utd @ home Monday night.
Spurs @ home next Saturday

Things are still in our own hands. We have to play 6 of the 7 teams currently above us.

Paul Tran
79 Posted 15/02/2020 at 09:10:28
They cheated, they got a paltry fine and a warning. They carried on cheating and got caught again.

They will appeal, using PSG as a comparison, and will get a watered-down ban and fine.

Off the pitch, we need to study and apply these rules thoroughly. On the pitch, that door is opening a little more.

Win the next game, the next game, the next game and see where it takes us.

Tony Everan
80 Posted 15/02/2020 at 09:27:18
As has been said, FFP is a tool to protect the football establishment. It maintains the status quo and insulates that group from any threat to it from outside money.

It can be argued that FFP does the exact opposite of what it was set up for, ie, makes it virtually impossible for any club to challenge the elite.

Man City will fight this ban with the best legal advice possible. I would bet on them losing their appeal and given an olive branch by reducing the European ban to 1 year.

Danny Baily
81 Posted 15/02/2020 at 09:49:05
Chris 67, experience is why! I'd love to be proved wrong.
Brent Stephens
82 Posted 15/02/2020 at 09:52:32
Carl #54 "Teams like Manchester United are $700M in debt but because they are part of European royalty, they get to carry on regardless".

Carl, small point but is FFP just about deficit, not debt? So, a club could be in debt (like Man Utd, as you say) but over a three-year period stay within the FFP regs, ie, its expenditure doesn't exceed income by any more than the stipulated amount – so no deficit?

Conversely, you could have a club with no debt but its expenditure over a 3-year period exceeds income by more than the stipulated amount – deficit?

This is all about deficit, not debt??

Ray Roche
83 Posted 15/02/2020 at 09:53:18
Man City have been given a 2-year ban because it will be possible to reduce it to a 1-year ban on appeal. (If it were a 1-year ban and that was reduced, it would upset Liverpool.)

Maybe this is why Usmanov is keeping his distance. Because he's not the owner ploughing money into Everton, he can get round the rules legally. Man City's owners have been caught allegedly putting too much of their own money into City.

James Hughes
84 Posted 15/02/2020 at 09:55:46
The old guard have cheated the system for years. Real Madrid used to get illegal backing from their government. Sold land to their council for vastly inflated prices in the 90s – and this at the time when £15 million got you Alan Shearer. No sanction, just a slap on the wrist and can you pay the money back, eventually, bit by bit.

FFP is just the equivalent of "Do what we say, not what we do/or have repeatedly done." Man Utd spend hundreds of millions each window but the media focus on our spend. Liverpool openly tap up Van Dijk and nothing happens.

He isn't doing a Risdale at Leeds, where money was spent that didn't exist. Mansour is putting his money into the club and the big guns don't like it.
FFP, my arse!

Gary Willock
85 Posted 15/02/2020 at 10:07:01
Spot on James@83 - FFP is simply there to protect the elite, not the sport.

Personally I don’t see why there should be any difference between a) Adidas paying a club £100m and b) A rich dude doing exactly the same.

If they really wanted “fair play” we’d see a universal spending cap and salary cap. but obviously giving us all a fair crack is not really the point.

Paul Tran
86 Posted 15/02/2020 at 10:07:32
Ray #82, that's a very good point, you may be on to something there.
Gary Willock
87 Posted 15/02/2020 at 10:16:09
Rob @75,

I heard about the “muscle recovery drink” a few weeks back. Nothing since though. Doubt it's true, but it'd be glorious if they turn out to be true.

Brian Harrison
88 Posted 15/02/2020 at 10:35:12
I can't think of any other business where the owners are limited to how much money they can invest in the business. Football is a multi-billion business but is run by clowns and the most corrupt people in sport at both Fifa and Uefa, and for them to set up rules to protect the status quo is like a mafia-style cartel.

The only protection rules I would support are where owners of clubs cant walk away from clubs, leaving them with a debt that would force them into liquidation. So the fans of that club aren't punished. I presume that our owners will be very interested in the outcome of this FFP ruling, as this may well decide which direction this club goes — depending on the outcome of this ruling.

Frank Crewe
89 Posted 15/02/2020 at 11:03:49
@Ray 82
"Mansour is putting his money into the club and the big guns don't like it."

How do you know? How do any of us little people know where these multi billionaires get their money from?

This is the problem. Ever since Abramovich rocked up at Chelsea, Premier League clubs have become the expensive hobbies of the foreign ultra-rich. We don't care how or where they got their cash from. Just as long as they spend it buying players and giving us our fix every transfer window, we turn a blind eye.

Well, maybe there needs to be more transparency regarding just how these guys can afford to keep spending at such a rate. The transfer fee and salaries are just going up and up. Is Richarlison really worth £100 million? You could build a hospital with that kind of money, or one-fifth of the cost of the proposed new ground, yet nobody appears to care. In fact, we think it's good thing.

Having such valuable players is considered a sign of the club's virility in itself. In a time of austerity, food banks, and increasing poverty, top-level football appears to be in an insulated world of its own. Untouched by what is happening in the real world the rest of us inhabit.

Jerome Shields
90 Posted 15/02/2020 at 11:23:51
Dereck#73

I don't know the exact details of the Man City coach and four horses approach.

I take your point of Avoidance rather than Evasion. But Everton's actions are the result of redressing what was effectively bad management actions. Planning an Avoidance policy with such a background in place, is a onerous task. I agree, it can be done. . . and I have done it. But, in my case, it was against a background of prevailing circumstances, not self-inflicted, and managing them effectively, without bad managers involved.

Trying to keep more balls in the air than necessary over a extended period of time is sailing close to the wind. In my opinion, that is what Everton have been forced to do, due to self-inflicted circumstances.

In his last analysis, Paul the Esk, having got more information than he usually has had, was able to show how the FFP rules were being potentially well-worked regarding the new stadium development, but he still had qualms regarding effective management and efficiency on outcomes.

I am not a billionaire; maybe Everton Billionaires know what they are doing. . . but, in the case of Chelsea, maybe an orchestrated hit was accepted, and Man City, they didn't.

As my father use to say, in any business, there is only one set of true figures to add up to get an inevitable outcome.

Paul the Esk has had us informed well ahead of the game on FFP rules, as some of the posts show. I doubt that any Man City website was similarly informed.

Ray Roche
91 Posted 15/02/2020 at 11:26:26
Frank @88

You have attributed a quote to me which I haven’t made.

James Marshall
92 Posted 15/02/2020 at 11:42:08
I'm no expert on all of this but, for numerous reasons, I'll be stunned if the ban is upheld. The ramifications are undeniably enormous for Man City, and the Premier League.

Never gonna happen in my view.

Steve Ferns
93 Posted 15/02/2020 at 11:44:34
Gary, you do know they're all using IV drips these days?

Remember Samir Nasri got accused by his then girlfriend of cheating? She posted a load of pictures and hacked his phone which drew attention to the fact that the lady concerned as working for a company called “drip doctors”. These guys come round and hook you up to an IV and pump you full of whatever.

These “money is no object” celebrities use drips as a hangover cure. It's perfectly legal to do so.

Nasri feel foul because his drip was legal in the real world but contravened football rules by what was in it. He then got banned for doping if you remember. We were linked with signing him when his ban finished.

If you go into any Premier League dressing room after the game, you will see a number of player hooked up to drips. Some at half-time and some before the game. The thing is that this is perfectly legal.

The question is whether some teams, certain teams, are going far too far. I believe that they are. I hope they get busted for doping and dropped out of the league. Knowing them, they'd probably get us all banned from Europe just as we got back in the Champions League.

Jerome Shields
94 Posted 15/02/2020 at 11:47:11
The time for Man City to fight this was before the announcement of the outcome. It will be an uphill task to fight it after the announcement with the same so-called experts in place. Chelsea obviously had better experts.
Gary Willock
95 Posted 15/02/2020 at 12:00:28
Steve, there’s certainly a very fine line with legit sports science and illicit. What I heard (and from NO genuine source btw - this could easily have been made up in the pub) was that they’ve been using a drink with an ingredient that’s neither illegal nor legal, but certainly very suspicious. It is being investigated, and the journos have been told to keep schtum until the investigation finishes. That’s it.

Probably nothing more than a Chinese herb but still got my fingers crossed they get Ben Johnson’ed!

Thomas Lennon
96 Posted 15/02/2020 at 12:14:38
I wrote about this a few weeks ago, Everton are likely nowhere near in trouble with FFP thanks to the way the club is being structured..

This decision has to be enforced on Man City, to discourage others from ignoring the rules – it appears that they have crossed the line between sharp practice and just believing that they are untouchable. I have no argument with that, however the amounts concerned in ffp do need regularly updating and they haven't been for years.

FFP rules also talk about sponsorship having fair value. What is that? Is fair value larger for top four side versus Everton? I expect that it probably is as we are likely talking about market values – subjective at best. Fair value is something that needs to be clarified rather than argued out in court.

For us – is £30m for first option on naming our stadium fair value? There must be equivalent deals elsewhere to refer to. These guys are going about building our club in a highly professional manner; no concerns.

Tony Abrahams
97 Posted 15/02/2020 at 12:29:43
I’ve never heard of drips being in changing rooms after games or at half-time to treat the players Steve, and it just shows how far football has come with these revolutionary methods, which sound quite dangerous to someone like me, who knows very little about such methods.

If City have been caught cooking the books, then they will have to be punished, but their only real crime is getting caught, because the masters have made the rules to protect themselves, and whilst everyone has there own opinion, the very “title” of Europe’s main competition proves this imo, because a team can qualify for this elite competition every season without ever winning a trophy, so it’s not really a champions league, but more a cash-cow, to help the bigger clubs stay in tune with their finances!

Everton have got to fight, fight, fight with all there fucking might now though, because image getting into the champions league by de-fault, at a time when we are possibly about to be hindered by FFP ourselves? Maybe the first week in January was us hitting the floor, but it must have had a big trampoline underneath it, if we could bounce back in such a remarkable way? Come-on Everton, fucking go for it!!

John Pierce
99 Posted 15/02/2020 at 12:35:05
With Alisher Usmanov in the background, Evertonians might hope Man City destroy Uefa in court. An end to FFP would allow the kind of money to be pumped into Everton that City used.

Is that really the best chance we have?

Steve Ferns
100 Posted 15/02/2020 at 12:48:17
Gary, Football has long avoided the crosshairs of the doping authorities.

Cycling, where drugs can so clearly give you the edge, has long been dogged by it. The reality is that the dopers are always two steps ahead of the authorities. Thankfully, cycling is perhaps the cleanest sport now, as people seem to have understood that yes drugs can give you the glory of Lance Armstrong, but you will be found out and shamed for the rest of your life and this seems to be deterring them (or the dopers are back two steps ahead).

Football, with Athletics is the most bent sport out there. When you Consider how easy it is to cheat in athletics and cycling, why is there not more cases of doping? Does anyone truly believe that no one is doping in football? When was the last player caught, and I don’t mean Nasri who got busted outside of premier league testing.

Ok, your average star on £100,000 a week is not going to risk it. But what about the guys outside of the premier league? Some fellas in less regulated countries aren’t trying to secure an edge by taking something to run faster and for longer and to recover quicker? These guys aren’t getting busted either.

When you see a sport like cycling and people are getting busted you know the authorities are keeping it clean or at least trying to. When you have a sport like football and no one, anywhere, ever, gets busted then you know the sport is bent. I mean, come on, seriously, no one in football is trying to cheat their way to a £100,000 per week contract?

Football has long dodged drug questions by simply saying you can’t take a drug that makes you score goals or play like Messi. Sure, that’s true. But you can take a drug that makes you relentlessly fit, run faster, for longer, and recover quicker. You can also take drugs that make you look like a certain ballon d’or winner and still have the physique and attributes of a man 10 years younger.

Football is bent beyond belief.

John P McFarlane
101 Posted 15/02/2020 at 12:53:54
Jerome #94,

Man City have been fighting their case for years, perhaps for as long as the FFP rules were put in place, circa 2009 – which coincidentaly was around the time that City became rich.

I believe that either City will win a stay of execution and Uefa will save face with "We did what was best in the interests of the game" but were unable to prove beyond doubt that City had 'cheated'... or that City will fail with their various appeals and the gravy train for certain clubs will remain elusive for those who aren't full card-carrying members of the various governing bodies.

As for Everton, it's interesting that shirt sponsorship by gambling companies has become a live issue for the media in recent months; StubHub and the way it operates is being questioned ever more readily by the media... and the history of certain rich people is being aired a little more often by the media. For fans of the elite clubs, this ban for City could kill off all but the usual competition and prevent Everton from ever establishing themselves at the top table.

Everton may benefit from City's punishment in the short-term, but could see the growth of the club stymied in the long-term. I hope that City win their case although I don't think that they have acted honourably throughout this sorry episode, but they are not alone in seeking to circumvent the rules and it looks as if the rules were made to stop them growing in the first place.

Fifa, Uefa and the various national FAs are in the main dysfunctional and, in some people's eyes, some of the most corrupt bodies on the planet — hardly the best organisations to be the judge and jury on matters of principle, honesty and integrity.


Tony Abrahams
102 Posted 15/02/2020 at 12:58:21
England was also a lot less stringent than a lot of other countries, Steve, although I'm not sure if that is still the case?

Ferdinand was rightly banned for missing his medical appointment, but a few Dutch players never had problems in other European leagues, but the minute they went to Italy, they were banned for using substances that were illegal in that league.

John Pierce
103 Posted 15/02/2020 at 13:11:35
City joining the Pats and the Astros in "We cheat, we win, we don't care..." 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

Let's face it, whether it be actual doping, financial doping or some other workaround, it's an arms race to get around regulation.

There's very little outrage from myself; all teams to an extent do it, and many don't get caught. Everton, like in so many respects, have been slow to adapt.

Derek Knox
104 Posted 15/02/2020 at 13:15:57
I heard that our 'friends across the park' do indeed get drips and the Manager joins in too.

I also believe it is an extract of bull's excrement, which would explain why Klopp and his cohorts are full of bullshit.

Darren Hind
105 Posted 15/02/2020 at 13:22:37
I think the volume at the Old Lady for the remaining games will rise considerably from now on in...
Jamie Crowley
106 Posted 15/02/2020 at 13:25:32
Thomas Lennon regarding the sponsorship fair values -

There is no set number or mark. The threshold / number is completely gray and nebulous.

What Uefa supposedly do is compare like sized teams, and what their sponsorship deals are. If PSG has one for €100 million, Munich for €60 million, Real for €70 million, etc., then Uefa will expect clubs of similar size to be in that range. Uefa also recognizes that the bar always rises, so the next sponsorship deal might hit €125 million, and the likelihood of any sanction is diminished.

Also, multiple sponsorships from a single source are severely frowned upon (careful, Usmanov!).

But you're swimming in a sea of interpretive gray. You really gotta piss them off and stick up a middle finger (er, two fingers) with your sponsorship deals to get in their crosshairs.

Steve Ferns
107 Posted 15/02/2020 at 13:29:10
Tony, there was a massive doping case in cycling. A team called Festina were kicked out of the Tour de France and the only cyclist who left the wreckage of that team with any credibility was Bradley Wiggins who made a point of coming back to Manchester with his shirt in his hand and throwing it in the bin in the airport in front of the cameras and promising he'd never cheat or take a needle. There was massive ripples from this and the investigation led them all the way to football.

In particular, there was a subsequent investigation into a Dr Fuentes. He went to jail for doping in the cycling. But the investigation showed that he was receiving very substantial payments from football. In particular, real Sociedad. The investigation led to Real Madrid. It was called operation Peurto so google it if you want to know more as there's a whole series of books on this.

Anyway, the Spanish authorities shut the investigation down when it got to football. It was about cycling, it brought down the doping rings in cycling, it was successful, now be good boys and run off and prosecute the naughty cyclists and leave the footballers alone.

And that's what happened. Nothing came of the links to Sociedad. It was very clear what they were up to and not much more work needed doing, but it was simply shut down.

Tony Abrahams
108 Posted 15/02/2020 at 13:47:52
Interesting, Steve, especially because cycling has got nothing to do with football, and just because cyclists cheat, it doesn't mean footballers use exactly the same doctor, to also help them cheat!


Ian Bennett
109 Posted 15/02/2020 at 13:52:19
City are supposedly are in trouble for saying funds came from Ethihad etc, but then finding only a fraction came from them - with bulk coming from Mansour.

Jamie Crowley
110 Posted 15/02/2020 at 13:56:09
Correct Ian. Which is why I think they’ll get burned at the stake.

We’ll see.

Jerome Shields
111 Posted 15/02/2020 at 13:57:22
John #101,

Thank you for your very informative post; as I have said , I was not familiar with the Man City case. Everton have, it would seem, acted within the allowable limits. . . but, as you say, the result of this case could be stymied growth for Everton. Everton have already experienced the murky world of football regulation, and it seems that some Premier League clubs are not above using regulation for competitive advantage.

Though I have questioned Bill Kenwright's role at the club, I have long held the view that Moshiri and Usmanov have kept him in situ to deal with and communicate with Governing bodies. Bill and his Luvvie persona could charm and baffle most of them, as we all can testify after over 20 years of being bullshited by him.

Steve Ferns
112 Posted 15/02/2020 at 13:57:47
Tony, what do you suppose Real Sociedad were paying all that money for? And what do you think the “world famous” but unnamed footballers were visiting Dr Fuentes for?

Also consider this allegation: In December 2010, a fellow inmate claimed Fuentes had told him, "If I would talk, the Spanish football team would be stripped of the 2010 World Cup".

Dennis Stevens
113 Posted 15/02/2020 at 14:27:56
Aye, I bet Wolves are back on the monkey gland injections too!
Tony Abrahams
114 Posted 15/02/2020 at 14:48:13
I am on your side, Steve, but also believe that silence is golden (not everyone will agree) especially in the case of this Dr Fuentes whose probably only still breathing because he only uses his nose!
James Hughes
115 Posted 15/02/2020 at 14:53:59
Jamie, You may be right but I don't agree with the process.

Chelski have burned so much money since Abramovich took control, yet are completely in the clear with not a whisper of irregularity. They could be the main instigators in the crazy prices paid today. They paid £50m for Torres less than a deacde ago which prompted Carroll to be valued at £35m. That last sentence still shocks me... £35m for Andy Carroll.

Money spent in the past decade is below and, whilst Man City are the biggest spenders. when you are late to the auction party what choice do you have.

1. Manchester City (£1.4bn)
2. Barcelona (£1.015bn)
3. Paris Saint-Germain (£1.014bn)
4. Chelsea (£1bn)
5. Manchester United (£898m)
6. Real Madrid (£862m)
7. Liverpool (£820m)
8. Juventus (£811m)

Eddie Dunn
116 Posted 15/02/2020 at 14:58:30
Steve Ferns, what evidence do you have about drips in Premier League changing rooms? Which clubs?
Tony Everan
117 Posted 15/02/2020 at 15:00:14
Steve, From just what I see with my own eyes is that some clubs, as you say ‘certain clubs’ are just off the scale when it comes to fitness, energy and recovery.

Over the last couple of seasons these traits of ‘certain’ clubs have been bordering on the unbelievable. You would think when performances are so beyond normality that certain clubs would be, weekly at the very least, randomly tested and investigated from top to bottom by the football authorities.

I think the authorities are so far behind the curve on this they are flatlining. Maybe they don’t want to kill the goose that lays the golden egg.

Alan J Thompson
118 Posted 15/02/2020 at 15:07:52
I haven't read through all postings but I'd really like to see the Premier League, FA & Football League all tell Uefa & Fifa were they can shove their competitions and let's see whose football the World really wants to watch.

I can understand individual Football Associations wanting to deter clubs from going in to administration but, other than lining their own pockets, what has either of these bodies actually done for football – other than create a rich elite at the expense of other clubs... and don't get me started inter-country club football as that was started by a French newspaper.

Carl Manning
119 Posted 15/02/2020 at 15:55:05
Alan, I couldn't agree more. European Football is run by 2 of the most corrupt organizations on the planet. The major leagues need to set up their own auditable and answerable governing body to oversee the world game. A body they can see the financial accounts of, a body they can monitor.
Joe McMahon
120 Posted 15/02/2020 at 16:08:35
James @ 115, yes the Carroll fee was crazy, but that was "King Kenny" and no bad word could be said about him by anyone, including the media. His last stint as their manager even had us finishing above them. Worlds away now though.

But we can scoff at fees paid, how about the following, which has set us back as we try to look forward:

Sigurdsson £45M
Micheal Keane £25M
Pickford (after relegation) £30M
Klaassen £24M
Tosun £28M (same fee as Lukaku)
Schneiderlin £24M

Brian Wilkinson
121 Posted 15/02/2020 at 17:56:09
Hi Ray, I mentioned the same point when fans were rubbing their hands on Usmanov coming on board.

I said then and stand by logic that as long as Usmanov is not on the board, he can pump money into the club with sponsorships etc and not affect our FFP compliance.

If Usmanov became a board member, then suddenly any sponsorships or money coming in, will then be seen as coming from a board member within the club. That has been City's undoing with the guy being associated with the club.

Usmanov keeping his distance is a very very wise move.

Bill Gall
122 Posted 15/02/2020 at 18:04:59
This is just a corrupt organization punishing a corrupt organization.
Ray Roche
123 Posted 15/02/2020 at 18:11:30
That's how I saw it, Brian. I just hope that there are no skeletons in the cupboard!
Brian Wilkinson
124 Posted 15/02/2020 at 18:22:53
If there was no FFP, Usmanov would be on board now.

FFP rules have made it almost impossible for the clubs already streets ahead to be caught.

Everton have a smart accountant who, with the new stadium, opens the door for Everton to take full advantage of Usmanov's money.

Moshiri has the money but, with being the owner, it will count against any sponsor money or loopholes that City have come unstuck with.

That is why Usmanov is keeping his distance on being on the Everton board.

If FFP rules change, then Usmanov will be on the board. For now, though, he has to keep clear of being on the board.

Graham Hammond
125 Posted 16/02/2020 at 02:45:15
Absolutely f**king disgusted though not at all surprised by the Manchester City ban. This spells the end of Manchester City as any kind of future threat, it plays right into Liverpool's hands yet again, just as the transfer ban on Chelsea did beforehand. Coincidence or bad luck? No chance. Dark forces are again at play. Standard Chartered Bank, Nike, Nivea, New Balance and Western Union will all be rubbing their Liverpool soaked hands in glee at this kangaroo court decision. Job done boys. UEFA will see to it that Real Madrid bomb City out the CL competition at the earliest opportunity just as they did with us by handing us Villarreal and pulling Collina out of retirement just for the Everton cause. UEFA are corrupt as f**k. This is not sport, it is business, multi-billion pound business and very large brown envelopes at work.
Derek Thomas
126 Posted 16/02/2020 at 03:20:42
Gregg @ 125; Strangely enough there was no fiddle or trick to get them, they're as guilty as sin anyway - and then some. Going on record and more or less saying, It's my team and I don't give a flying 'k, I'd rather pay £30M to 50 lawyers and fight them and their stupid rules in the courts.

If we don't take full advantage of this now we may never get a better chance to upset the apple cart.

Sam Hoare
127 Posted 16/02/2020 at 10:09:40
All very interesting stuff. They will contest it very strongly of course but I suspect that at least part of it will stick.

This could well as Mike G points out signal a big change in the fortunes of Man City.

As for us it opens up the intriguing possibility of a 5th place that is within grasp leading to CL. Who would have thought such things could be within sight 2 months ago?!

We have a very ominous looking fixture list and will have to up our game I suspect to make the top 6 still; especially without a central midfield worthy of the name. I will be at the Emirates next Sunday and think it could be a very important match a great chance to overcome our hoodoo there.

Mike Oates
128 Posted 16/02/2020 at 18:05:31
FFP was brought in in 2011, by the UEFA, with help from the existing Champions league regulars to protect themselves, from the Oilgarchs and Oil Rich Countries coming in and spending billions to get their clubs into the CL cartel. The likes of Man Utd, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Liverpool, Arsenal, Juventus, Bayern Munich were wary as hell seeing that Chelsea had broken through, and City were establishing themselves after 3 years of Abu Dhabi support.

It’s an absolute bent rule as it almost stops any clubs being supported by wealthy benefactors entering the CL. You want to enter the cash rich CL, but you can’t use someone’s personal wealth to get the set up, you need to get into the CL. It’s like the chicken and egg story.

Yet Man Utd with its £1 billion debt, is ok but City with its £1 billion benefactor isn’t ok to play.

The effect on Everton is going to be huge, how the hell do we get substantial monies from gates, commercial activities, TV monies to allow us to spend the £200-300m on top class players transfers and wages without the support of a rich benefactor to get into and stay in the CL.

I hope CAS imposes the EUFA to change this rule to allow clubs to get into the cartel and smash it to bits.

Alan J Thompson
129 Posted 17/02/2020 at 16:06:04
If there's any justice in the world, then this will be fought in the Courts for years, during which Man City will take out an injunction stopping any sort of Champions League competition until a decision is reached.

I wonder if the Champions of England would see the irony?

Kevin Molloy
130 Posted 17/02/2020 at 16:09:55
A great hope has arisen. Slippy may yet get his winner's medal. And to hell with those who mocked him!
Steve Ferns
131 Posted 17/02/2020 at 16:24:54
Eddie, I don't have photos if that's what you mean!

Kevin, don't jest, if this happens, I shall hold you personally responsible.

John G Davies
132 Posted 18/02/2020 at 18:21:01
An Article in The Guardian by David Conn takes quite a different tack from Martin Samuels:

Manchester City show disrespect to Uefa with misinformation and sweeping claims

Eric Myles
133 Posted 27/02/2020 at 03:40:04
Alan J. #118, inter-country club football was started by a tea company.
Alan J Thompson
134 Posted 27/02/2020 at 04:15:35
Eric (#133); I'm fairly sure that the European Cup was the idea of a French newspaper whose name escapes me and they also put up prize money, but what sort of competition was started by a tea company?

There was one of those old oddity questions of who was the first English team to win a European trophy, the answer being Everton who won some sort of Irish cup.

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