The coming week is going to be of vital importance to both Manchester clubs as City’s appeal against their UEFA ban is set to take place.
Following an alleged breach of Financial Fair Play regulations, UEFA banned the Sky Blues from European competition for two years, meaning that they cannot take part in next season’s Champions League.
This means that whoever comes fifth in the Premier League – the position currently occupied by United – will take their place in the competition.
In addition, if their appeal is not upheld, it has been rumoured that some of City’s current players may look for a move elsewhere as they are not prepared to sit out two years of football’s most prestigious tournament.
It has been reported that Raheem Sterling is one such player and that United may make a move for the former Liverpool man.
Furthermore, City will have less pulling power in transfer negotiations, so if United do qualify for the Champions League they will have an advantage over their neighbours when competing for starts such as Kai Havertz, Saul Niguez and Lautaro Martinez, all of whom are reportedly being followed by both clubs.
City’s appeal against the ban is set to take place before the Court of Arbitration for Sport over the next three days, Monday June 8th to Wednesday June 10th.
It is reported to be unlikely that City will win their appeal outright.
101 Great Goals reports that ‘The Financial Times have tried to predict the CAS outcome, and they’ve quoted an unnamed source who believes Man City are in a weak position.
‘According to the FT, a person with knowledge of UEFA’s investigations, commented that “provided Uefa don’t cave in, they should win at CAS… City have no evidence at all.”’
However, the same outlet reports that another expert believes City’s ban may be reduced by a year.
‘Football finance expert, Dr Rob Wilson of Sheffield Hallam University, has predicted that Man City will not be successful in overturning their UEFA case. He said “[The ruling for UEFA] will be upheld.
‘”UEFA will win the case. The evidence that City give will reduce the penalty a little bit and we’ll be talking about at least a 12-month ban, probably with a year suspended as well.”’
Such an outcome would probably be enough to keep players at the Etihad, hence ending any speculation surrounding Sterling, but it would still be excellent news for the Red Devils in terms of their quest for Champions League football next season.
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