Nearly half of the Premier League aim to stop Man City participating in the Champions League
It has emerged that just less than half of England’s top division clubs are attempting to try and stop Manchester City playing in the UEFA Champions League, whilst their appeal against a two-year ban goes through courts, Mike Keegan of the Daily Mail has reported.
Manchester City were handed a two-year ban from all UEFA Competitions and fined £25 million in February, for what was described as “serious breaches” of Financial Fair Play by UEFA’s Club Financial Control Board.
City continue to strenuously deny any wrong doing and have lodged an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Despite it being understood that City have not requested their punishment is “stayed,” the latest developments in the saga is as follows. Eight of the current top ten Premier League clubs including the “top six” with high-flyers, Sheffield United the exception, are reported to have written letters to the same law firm strongly objecting to the prospect of City’s punishment being “stayed” while the appeal process takes place.
A source who is said to be close to the action being taken by City’s rivals said ‘The feeling is that enough is enough,’
‘For too long, City have been able to get away with breaching the rules at the expense of at least one other club that has been unable to get into the Champions League. The fear is that they will be able to delay any punishment and — should they win the appeal — get off scot-free, which would be outrageous.’
The ongoing Coronavirus pandemic is causing understandable delay, with the court in Switzerland currently closed until at least May 1st and City’s case not included in CAS’ current schedule; which includes three hearings and 16 other cases. The chances of a verdict regarding City’s appeal before June 23rd currently seems unlikely, making it likely we could see Pep Guardiola’s side in Europe next season.
Since the news of this witch hunt from rival sides broke, Simon Bajkowski of the MEN has stated that the appeal should not be affected by the actions taken by the likes of Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and that these letters shouldn’t have any bearing on the court's decision.
The Sheffield Star later claimed that Sheffield United's reluctancy to participate in such a bid came from the fact that the board wanted to distance themselves from a potential 'legal wrangle' at a critical stage in the club's development.
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