After news broke out on Friday that Manchester City would be banned from participating in European competitions for the next two seasons due to breaches of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules, the club’s chief executive has called an emergency meeting. The meeting was said to be held on Saturday in the wake of the news.
The Chief executive Ferran Soriano is said to have sent out text and WhatsApp messages within an hour of the news breaking online. Soriano is believed to have gathered the players together in order to brief them on the club’s plans before speculation starts flying around. Player’s were also given rest assurance not to make any decisions concerning transfer as they plan on appealing the verdict handed down to them.
Immediately the news broke, Manchester City released a statement saying they were ”disappointed but not surprised by the decision from UEFA.”
City has accused UEFA of ”initiating, prosecuting and judging the case and say they are not surprised at the outcome.”
The club owners are expected to appeal the decision at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). However, the Premier League is said to be waiting on the outcome of the appeal before formally launching an investigation of their own.
A UEFA statement said: ”The Adjudicatory Chamber, having considered all the evidence, has found that Manchester City Football Club committed serious breaches of the UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations by overstating its sponsorship revenue in its accounts and in the break-even information submitted to UEFA between 2012 and 2016.”
Pep Guardiola’s future at the club is also up in the air with the Spaniard reportedly planning on leaving the club if the ban is not overturned. Top players such as Kevin de Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Aymeric Laporte have all reportedly met with their agents to discuss possible transfers over the summer.
BT Sport pundit Jermaine Jenas said: ‘I don’t see how the fans could blame them personally for walking away. If it’s a year, I can see somebody like Raheem Sterling saying, ‘I’ll be fine, I’ll stick it out, I’m 26-years-old. But if it’s De Bruyne, who is 29-years-old, as I have said before and the few others, I think a few are going to really, you know, I think City will have to accept they are going to lose a few of their stars.”
Manchester City will host West Ham at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday when the Premier League returns from the winter break. Fans are eager to see if the recent ban will affect squad’s performance overall.