In an ironic twist of bad boy syndrome, Manchester United could find a Narnian wardrobe way into the Champions League if Manchester City is found guilty of breaching UEFA’s Financial Fair Play Regulations (again).
As a United fan, I wanted Joe Mourinho steering our ship. If anyone had the lobsters to get the prawn sandwich brigade delivering an Icelandic Thunder Clap, it was the Special One.
The honeymoon is over.
I’m fed up of the moans, the groans, the excuses, his lack of integrity, his lineups, his ego.
A few weeks ago, Mourinho told the press that he harboured hopes of sneaking into the Top 4 of the English Premier League (EPL) by the time the whole world went into debt buying kids crap they don’t even need.
Man Utd 0 v 0 Crystal Palace
Southampton 2 v 2 Man Utd.
Man Utd 2 v 2 Arsenal.
There’s more chance of a mobster walking into an Italian restaurant with a violin case that contains a violin.
But what about the fifth spot?
Now that’s much more doable.
Man City Facing Possible Champions League Ban
Speaking in Dublin during the draw for the 2020 UEFA European Championships, UEFA president, Aleksandr Ceferin promised action ‘very soon’ after allegations resurfaced that Man City had used a Rorschach Test worth of insincere inkblots to fade Financial Fair Play Regulations even going as far as calling it a Concrete Case.
If found guilty, UEFA officials could kick the EPL title holders out of the Champions League should the Citizens qualify for the event by finishing in the Top 4 of the EPL this season.
And there is already a precedent.
UEFA banned Galatasaray from Europe for a single season in March 2016 after breaking FFP rules centred on the levels of financial losses allowed. The Turkish nutters would have played in the Europa League. Osmanlispor, who finished fifth in the Süper Lig, replaced them.
The case stretches back four years when UEFA fined City £49m for breaching FFP rules. Last year, UEFA sweated the fine down to £18m after City met the terms of the 2014 settlement.
You can blame the German rag Der Spiegel for putting the snake back in the grass after publishing ten articles over the past fortnight, claiming that the whistleblowing Football Leaks site had laid their hands on internal documents showing more evidence of wrongdoing that UEFA had not yet seen.
The main bones of contention appear to be former City boss Roberto Mancini paid a £1.45m salary through the City books, but a further £1.75m paid by Al Jazira Sports and Cultural Club, owned by City owner Sheik Mansour.
Other potential powder kegs include selling image rights of players to a shell company called Fordham Sports Management to cut wage spending from City’s Operating Expenditure and allegations of irregularities involving the payment processing of the Etihad sponsorship deal.
Article 4.08 of UEFA’s ‘Admission criteria and procedure’ states: “A club which is not admitted to the competition is replaced by the next best-placed club in the top domestic championship of the same association, provided the new club fulfils the admission criteria.”
City, who sit two points clear of Liverpool at the apex of the EPL is the 1/4 favourite to retain their Premier League crown, and 1/1000 to finish in the Top 4.
Odds Top 4
Man City 1/1000
Man Utd 6/1
United, who last night drew 2-2 with fellow Champions League qualification rivals Arsenal at Old Trafford, are a 6/1 shot to make the Final Four, but those odds would shorten dramatically should UEFA tie barbells around the ankles of Pep Guardiola and co and push them into the Manchester Ship Canal.
City is also the 7/2 favourite to win the Champions League.
Champions League Winning Odds
Man City 7/2