SiLENT AT THE ETiHAd
MANCHESTER CITY should be booted out of the Champions League if it is proved that they cheated to beat Financial Fair Play.
I am a big admirer of my former club and, under Pep Guardiola (above), they continue to raise the standards of the Premier League.
But four years ago, they were hit with a £49million fine by UEFA for failing FFP.
And if – and let’s not forget it is still a very big “if” – it is proved they cooked the books to beat the regulations that all clubs competing in Europe have to adhere to, then hitting them in the pocket will not be enough this time.
Before any City fans break into a sweat of outrage, I think it’s important to stress here that I am not trying to play the role of judge, jury and executioner.
It is vital that no one jumps to any conclusions solely on the basis of the allegations recently made by Football Leaks.
First of all, we don’t know whether the claims are true.
And, secondly, if they are, then City must be allowed to present a case for the defence.
But the silence from those in charge at the Etihad is deafening.
And the suggestion by UEFA president Aleksandar Ceferin this week that European football’s governing body has a “concrete case” is a huge development.
City paid their dues back in 2014. If that punishment wasn’t enough to stop them reoffending, then UEFA must come up with the kind of censure that will be a proper deterrent.
If that means banning them from the Champions League, the tournament will be poorer for it.
But the punishment must fit the crime.