Manchester City banned from European club competitions for two seasons by Uefa

Turning on Barcelona proves Guardiola has fully embraced City’s siege mentality

UEFA has banned English football giants Manchester City from the lucrative Champions League competition for two seasons.

The decision is subject to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

"Manchester City is disappointed but not surprised by today's announcement by the UEFA Adjudicatory Chamber", the club said in their statement.

In a three-paragraph statement, City called the process "flawed and consistently leaked" and ultimately "prejudicial".

The City Football Group includes the Manchester club and owns or part-owns New York City FC, Melbourne City FC, Yokohama F. Marinos in Japan, Club Atletico Torque in Uruguay, Girona FC in Spain and Sichuan Jiuniu FC in China.

It could have a significant impact on the club's ability to sign players and retain manager Pep Guardiola, whose current contract expires next season.

The magazine reported in 2018 that City's owner, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan - a senior member of Abu Dhabi's ruling royal family - was mostly funding the club's £67.5m ($88m) annual sponsorship in 2015-2016.

So the prospect of wasting two seasons waiting to return to the pursuit of his holy grail could be too much for Guardiola to bear, especially as rampant Liverpool look capable of keeping the Premier League crown out of City's grasp for years to come.

In Manchester City, it is suspending a club that would have been nearly certain to qualify for the top-tier Champions League in both seasons, potentially with a chance of winning it outright.

While a ban from top-flight European football would be a severe blow to the club's prestige, it would also cost City dearly in terms of lucrative fees received under global broadcasting deals.

Guardiola has won two Premier League titles, an FA Cup, and twice lifted the League Cup since arriving at the Etihad Stadium in 2016.

If the CAS is unable to rule on the matter before the beginning of the 2020/21 Champions League, City could seek the interim suspension of the ban, allowing them to play in Europe while the body continues its deliberations.

It is not the first time that Man City have fallen foul of FFP regulations, having been fined €60 million and seeing their Champions League squad reduced in May 2014.

The statement from the Premier League champions sounded a similarly strident tone to when they addressed being referred to the CFCB's Adjudicatory Chamber in May past year and they once again took specific issue with Yves Leterme - the former Belgian Prime Minister and UEFA's chief investigator. Manchester City has strongly denied the allegations. Speculation has already mounted as to his future career direction if Manchester City are prevented from competing in the competition.

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