Manchester City could potentially face a season-long UEFA ban from the Champions League

Anxious times for Manchester City

It's been a magnificent few days for Manchester City after retaining the Premier League for the first time and they could end the week by becoming the first ever club in English football history to complete a domestic treble - but a cloud of uncertainty continues to hang over the club.

Ever since the Football Leaks scandal last autumn there has been a lot of interest surrounding the financial conduct of the club, with evidence suggesting an alleged £60m payment deception to get round FFP rules.

This isn't the first time that City have been involved in financial controversy after breaking FFP rules back in 2014 when they were fined £49m after over-inflating the value of a sponsorship deal.

But the consequences this time around seem much more severe and officials at the club will be greatly concerned. Since the investment at Eastlands back in 2008, they've won the Premier League four times but the trophy that continues to evade them is the Champions League.

The Citizens are yet to make it beyond the semi-final stage and a season-long ban from European footballs elite competition is reportedly being considered as the appropriate punishment should they be found guilty.

Manchester City
The Premier League winners could face the prospect of no Champions League football in the 2020/21 season should UEFA find them guilty

A punishment like this has never been handed out before and should it happen it will prove to the rest of Europe's big clubs that UEFA are standing firm on FFP. The decision is going to be recommended by chief investigator Yves Leterme, the former Belgian prime minister who's chairman of the investigatory panel of UEFA's independent financial control board.

This is a story that's moving fast and UEFA's adjudicatory chamber will have to decide soon whether to agree with Leterme's recommended punishment for the Premier League Champions - a decision that could happen within the next 48 hours. Damning news for the club as they prepare to take on Watford in The FA Cup Final this Saturday.

Should Manchester City be found guilty, they won't be expelled from next seasons Champions League as they'll have the option to appeal it or potentially take it to the Court of Arbitration for Sport - so it could potentially drag on for a while as they bid to come to a solution. But should UEFA get their own way, the 2020/21 season could see City miss out on Champions League football which would be a catastrophic blow.

And if the news of this wasn't unnerving enough for the club, they're still actively being investigated by the Premier League and FIFA over allegations regarding the signing of underage players which could lead to a transfer ban.

Despite all of Manchester City's success and riches, these potential sanctions could result in serious consequences and it'll be interesting to see how Pep Guardiola would react. The Spaniard has a fantastic relationship with the clubs hierarchy which includes Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain with dates back to their time together in Barcelona.

He's always backed up his superiors but should they be found guilty, then questions around his future will undoubtedly surface. It's going to be an interesting few days as more comes out around this story...


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