It's a rough day in Manchester.
On Friday, Manchester City received a two-year ban from the Champions League by UEFA and were fined 30 million euros for a violation for the Financial Fair Play Regulations (FFP). Manchester City have said they will appeal the decision immediately.
The Blues, the reigning Premier League champions, tried to have the case dismissed in November on procedural grounds, but the court denied their appeals. The Champions League is the richest competition in European soccer and the trophy Man City covets the most. There's no doubt they will go back to court now in an effort to get the ban repealed.
So, what exactly did Man City do?
To keep it simple, clubs aren't allowed to spend more money than they earn. The rules were put in place to prevent teams from threatening their long-term survival by overspending in the pursuit of titles.
Man City inflated their sponsorship revenue numbers so their owner could pump his money into the club to acquire more talent.
It would be like James Dolan circumventing the NBA salary cap by having Cabelvision sponsor the Knicks.
Being banned from the Champions League means Man City will play fewer games and be fresher for PL play, but missing out on the massive checks, ticket sales and the like that come with the Champions League could hamper the club financially. The lack of ability to play in the Champions League might also hamper their ability to lure top players and might even cost them head coach Pep Guardiola, who has said if he doesn't win a CL title at Man City then he is a failure.
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Manchester City should have just said their cheating didn't impact the games. Worked for the Houston Astros.
The Premier League is pushing back its restart date indefinitely amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it announced in a statement Friday.
After bringing together the league’s top officials on a video conference, it was decided that the original hopes to begin playing again at the beginning of May were premature.
“It was acknowledged that the Premier League will not resume at the beginning of May,” the statement read. “And that the 2019/20 season will only return when it is safe and appropriate to do so. The restart date is under constant review with all stakeholders, as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic develops and we work together through this very challenging time.
“The Premier League is working closely with the whole of professional football in this country, as well as with the Government, public agencies and other relevant stakeholders to ensure the game achieves a collaborative solution.”
[RELATED: Best PL storylines we would've watched if season continued]
Players also are facing a wage reduction of up to 30 percent as the league deals with the fallout from the coronavirus outbreak.
Until health officials declare that social distancing regulations can be lifted, don’t expect to see much in the way of live sports.
The Premier League suspending its season last month due to the global coronavirus pandemic delayed Liverpool’s inevitable clinching of their first top-flight title in three decades by at least two months.
The Reds, who were six points from winning their first-ever Premier League title, won’t lift the trophy until May at the absolute earliest. The season is suspended through at least April 30, and league executives reportedly will discuss what the remainder of the season could look like in a Friday conference call.
There wasn’t much drama remaining in Liverpool’s title challenge, but the same couldn’t be said for the rest of the Premier League by the time it closed its doors. Every club had at least nine matches remaining, with multiple spots for next season’s European competitions, all three relegation places still up for grabs and bragging rights in some of England’s best rivalries still unsolved
Which storylines would’ve captured our attention? Here are the five we’d be most closely monitoring had the Premier League season continued uninterrupted.