For him Manchester City, the decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport has been like when the governor of Texas calls in the last second the director of the maximum security federal prison to commute the sentence of an inmate about to be executed. Suddenly, life. Dispute the Champions, be able to renew the team and make new signings. Keep spending as if nothing.
“They should ask for forgiveness for the damage UEFA has done to the club’s reputation”
The citizens (in magnificent form after the resumption of the campaign) now face with morale through the roof the return of the tie against Real Madrid, after having won 1-2 at the Bernabeu, despite the fact that it will be played in an empty Etihad . If UEFA’s punishment had been revalidated, this summer would have been their last chance to conquer the Champions League before 2023. Now that Damocles sword has disappeared. If he fails in Lisbon, he will have opportunities next year, and the next. Tranquility.
“I am glad that City plays next year the Champions League but it has not been a good day for football”
The consequences of lifting the sentence are invaluable. Pep Guardiola has a better chance of renewing his contract with City, staying in Manchester beyond 2021 and continuing his Premier rivalry with Jürgen Klopp. Stars like Kevin de Bruyne (Europe’s fittest midfielder), Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden no longer need to threaten a change of scene. No player is going to ask the club to pay him the premiums that he would have stopped receiving if he could not play the Champions League the next two seasons. The waters return to their channel.
“The lifting of the sanction against the City is a disgrace and a disaster, a fine is nothing”
It is calculated that the English champion last year has stopped a blow of 250 million euros, which would have cost him, among other things, to be out of the maximum European competition the next two seasons. The money will be used to continue signing, specifically two centrals and one winger, given that the defense has once again been the team’s weak point this season. Guardiola’s favorites are Kalidou Koulibaly, from Nápoles, Rubén Dias, from Benfica and Pau Torres from Villarreal. Valencian Ferran Torres could replace Leroy Sané, transferred to Bayern Munich.
Although initially the club had opted for a discreet reaction, Pep said yesterday that UEFA should apologize to City for the damage that its initial punishment has caused to the entity’s reputation, and especially attacked the president of the Spanish League, Javier Thebes, whom he accused of being jealous of the success and growing dominance of the Premier. But two of his rivals on the English bench, Klopp and the Portuguese José Mourinho, regretted the decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport to lift the sanction for lack of evidence and prescription of possible violations of the rules of the fair play . “It has not been a good day for football,” said both coaches.
Although the investigation of the financial practices of the City by the Premier League follows its own course and independent of the European instances, the chances of the club being punished have diminished considerably. Most British sports commentators believe that there should have been a punishment, albeit perhaps less severe, than that imposed by UEFA, and that the legal victory of the citizens means a triumph of money and a defeat of fair play , and brings the perspective of a European league of ten or twelve teams closer than ever.