Manchester City could face transfer ban, but can Manchester United still qualify for the Champions League?
The Premier League season was brought to a conclusion on Sunday. Manchester City won the back-to-back Premier League titles, whilst, Liverpool, Chelsea, and Tottenham Hotspur were guaranteed with Champions League spots for next season. Arsenal and Manchester United sit fifth and sixth respectively, and have guaranteed Europa League spots.
For the first time in history, four English sides have qualified for the finals of the European competitions. Liverpool will play Tottenham Hotspur in the finals of the Champions League. On the other hand, Unai Emery’s side will be guaranteed with Champions League place if they manage to beat Chelsea in the Europa League finals, as per the rule.
Manchester City could face a one-year ban from the Champions League for various cases. There were previous reports about their repudiation of rules for third-party ownership, direct funds from the owner which is not allowed by the UEFA, hiring agents for underaged players, and misleading the European board.
When the Der Spiegel reports fired out, the club made a statement in early January quoting, “We will not be providing any comment on out-of-context materials purported to have been hacked or stolen from City Football Group and City personnel and associated people. The attempt to damage the club’s reputation is clear.”
Fresh reports from the New York Times claims, Manchester City could face a year ban if they are caught red-handed for overruling Financial Fair Play (FFP).
This potential move has made United fans ponder if their club could take part in the prestigious European competition for the upcoming season. Manchester United, ending up with the sixth spot, will not be able to feature for the Champions League despite Manchester City’s potential Champions League ban.
The rule states that the top four sides, regardless of the Champions League and Europa League winners, will qualify for the Champions League, as cited in the UEFA website. Should Manchester City face the ban, Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, and Arsenal occupy the next four spots in the Premier League table.
If Arsenal fail to win the Europa league finals and Manchester City face the Champions League ban, the Gunners will enter the Champions League, whereas, there is no possibility for Manchester United to take part in the Champions League next season.
It is a worrying situation for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Co, who have not been guaranteed Europa League group stage spot. The Red Devils will have to wait until the FA Cup finals to determine their fate. If Watford manage to overcome Manchester City, Solskjaer’s side will have to play the qualifying rounds.