It’s not fair. It’s a stitch-up, a conspiracy. Anyway, Financial Fair Play is illegal. They cannot touch us.
But they can. And, it seems, they will.
If Uefa follow through with the clear threat to ban City from the Champions League, Europe’s governing body will prove they have teeth.
Yes, Uefa are on the point of giving the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich — backed by Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal — what they are demanding.
The way some of these clubs behave, to hear them crying “foul” is hypocritical at best.
But given City have not denied the authenticity of ANY of the documents that have pointed the finger at them, it is hard to argue they did not know exactly what they were doing when they tried to get round FFP rules.
Had City declared they did not accept the legitimacy of FFP, that they were going to challenge it legally and so were simply going to ignore it, they might have had more of a case.
There is a legitimate grievance. FFP was set up to keep the established order top of the pile.
However, European Law gives sport the right to set its own rules.
And FFP has been backed by the legal courts and the Lausanne-based Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Instead, we were told with each set of financial results how well they had done to meet the requirements.
So City were publicly paying lip-service to the regulations, while all the time actively and determinedly flouting them.
That was despite the fact that when they strong-armed Uefa into accepting a deal in 2014, the initial punishment — in itself far less than envisaged by the European body’s financial arm — was watered down considerably.
It was a high-stakes game of chicken with Uefa.
Pretending to be toeing the line while actually sticking their boot into the whole ethos of the FFP code.
Now, though, it is City whose feathers are more than ruffled.
Admittedly, even if they are kicked out of the Champions League for 12 months it is unlikely to have any significant impact.
The Abu Dhabi money taps are switched on, seemingly for good, building something that is set to last.
Maybe, the odd transfer target might suggest he would rather wait a season then join when he can play for the biggest prize in club football.
There might even be a player currently at the Etihad who feels he is running out of chances to win the European Cup and who could decide to push for a move.
Money, though, can go a long way to persuade people their destiny is in light blue.
And City, it is clear, have plenty of that at their disposal. More than pretty much anyone, Paris Saint-Germain excluded.
On the pitch, Pep Guardiola’s side are a thing of rare beauty. Utterly glorious. A team you wish was yours.
But unless everyone plays to the same set of rules, there is no game. And City, it seems, have not been following them. Sympathy will be hard to find.
Source: Read Full Article