UEFA have announced this evening that Manchester City will be banned from playing in the Champions League for two seasons after “serious breaches” of FFP rules between 2012-2016. They have also been fined €30 million.

This means that the team who finishes 5th in the league this season will qualify for next year’s Champions League.

City have already announced that they will appeal the decision but will struggle after failing to cooperate with the initial investigation. City claim they have “irrefutable evidence” that Sheikh Mansour did not mostly fund the £67.5m Etihad sponsorship but the UEFA bodies did not believe that, and that they concluded that the club’s deception was very serious.

United are currently four points away from 5th place with a game in hand, so while it’s far from a done deal, the chances of us returning to the Champions League next season have significantly improved.

Pep Guardiola is likely to leave in the summer following the appalling job he’s done this season, despite outspending every club since he took charge, and it begs the question which top manager would want to replace him to manage a team that can’t play in Europe’s elite competition. The current squad’s loyalty will be tested too, given that they have never won the Champions League before and might not feel as though they have two years of their career to waste.

Interesting times ahead. Happy Valentine’s Day 😉