Today, it was announced that Manchester City’s two-year Champions League ban has been overturned and that their only punishment for cheating FFP will be a £10m fine.
The original fine was three-times that and the lack of European football was going to be a huge financial and sporting punishment, but this has been wiped out by the Court of Arbitration for Sport – leaving the footballing world in shock.
What’s even crazier, it turns out that in UEFA’s statement, they have claimed that many of City’s breaches came in the 2012-2016 period – which is more than five years ago – so cannot be legally prosecuted – inferring this is why the ban was overturned.
As journalist Henry Winter points out, why on earth were they not challenged earlier – and if this was the case – why did it go to court in the first place?
If Uefa could see that "many of the alleged breaches were time-barred due to the 5-year time period", why on earth did it bring/fight the case? Investigate/charge earlier. #mcfc
— Henry Winter (@henrywinter) July 13, 2020
This decision is effectively the death of FFP. Every club now knows it can get away with systematic cheating that in essence defines and creates growth and receive a minute punishment.
£10m to City’s owners is like £10 to the man on the street – literally.
We can imagine FSG, Liverpool’s owners, who are strong supporters of FFP and not big spenders in the transfer market as a result of their desire to run a sustainable club, will be furious.