“Plunged into crisis” would be apt words to describe the situation in and around Manchester City this week. The Premier League’s reigning champions were slapped with a two-year ban from the Champions League for breaching UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations (FFP). A £25 million fine subsequently followed in the Man City ban saga leaving Pep Guardiola and co. in danger of going without European success for a three-year spell. In wake of Man City breaching UEFA’s Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations, the question remains, who exactly did Manchester City and Pep Guardiola sign during the breach of the FFP regulations?
Manchester City were slapped with the ban by UEFA following an investigation into their dealings during the years 2012 through 2016. The likes of Jack Rodwell, Maicon, Scott Sinclair, Javi Garcia, Matija Nastasic, Jesus Navas, Stefan Jovetic and a host of other signings made their way to the Etihad Stadium during those years. It is believed that the signings of Wilfried Bony, Stefan Jovetic and Elaquim Mangala were the ones that led to the FFP breach.
We don’t know the exact time-frame of City’s FFP breaches between 2012-16.— James Robson (@jamesrobsonES) February 15, 2020
But these were among their signings during that period: Rodwell, Maicon, Sinclair, Garcia, Nastasic, Navas, Jovetic, Demichelis, Fernando, Mangala, Bony.
Not among their most successful business #mcfc
Wilfried Bony signed for Manchester City in a £25 million transfer from Swansea City in 2015. Jovetic was snapped up by Man City for just over £22 million from Fiorentina in 2013, while Elaquim Mangala was signed for £32 million in the summer of 2014. Despite the two-year ban, Manchester City can still contest the duration of the suspension in the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). Reports coming out of Manchester indicate that the club fully intend to contest the ban, hoping either for a cut in the duration or a complete overturn of the ban.
In more bad news for Manchester City, sports lawyer John Mehrzad revealed that Man City players can walk away from the club as free agents after the Champions League ban. Mehrzad claims that since the club fundamentally breached their contracts in wake of the FFP breach, the players can now choose to become free agents and sign for other clubs on a Bosman transfer. Earlier last week, Bernardo Silva said that he would consider returning to Benfica in the future, since he feels he left the club a little too early. This makes the Portugal international the first player to speak about a departure after the Champions League ban.
Leaked documents in a reputed German publication detail that £51.5 million of the sponsorship money the club were meant to receive from Etihad Airways, actually came from the Abu Dhabi United Group. The Abu Dhabi United Group is the holding company controlled by City’s owner, the deputy prime minister of the UAE and member of the Abu Dhabi ruling family, Sheikh Mansour. As a result of the ban, the Premier League could also choose to take action and strip the club of close to two league titles.