Manchester City may have been cleared by CAS of bending the rules of Financial Fair Play earlier this week, but that may not be the end of their seemingly never-ending war with European football’s governing body UEFA.
Paddy Power can exclusively reveal that in the bowels of their offices in Nyon on the banks of Lake Geneva, UEFA supremo Aleksander Čeferin is hatching a set of plans to ensure that Pep Guardiola’s men NEVER manages to lift European club football’s biggest prize.
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Our sources can reveal that due to the absence of fans in the stadiums, UEFA are anxious for players and coaches to tone down their language when the Champions League reconvenes next month.
Čeferin however, has made it known to all referees currently on their list, that they have carte blanche to do what they seem fit if that; if “Potty-mouthed De Bruyne, Sterling and all their mates” decide to use explicit language towards the match officials. UEFA execs are understood to be ready to punish any City player with a lifetime ban for even the slightest infringement, such as questioning the referee’s parentage.”
Additionally, City boss Pep Guardiola has never been one to be suited and booted on the touchline, but all that could be about to change as UEFA introduce their smart dress code for all managers from the August restart.
Our man in Nyon says that City’s email address was missing from the generic note that went out to all clubs still involved in UEFA competition, with Čeferin’s closest aids stating that City don’t need to be kept in the loop because a club of their stature should not be allowing a manager to wear “stupid combat trousers with pockets on the front thighs that look like they’ve been purchased from TK Max”.
They are also understood to be ready to come down heavy if Pep is spotted sporting the official club hoodie that he seems to have taken to wearing since project re-start, claiming that it’s forbidden to model club merchandise that’s not an official UEFA product.
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And, though City are desperate to win this seasons UCL and stick their middle finger up at Čeferin and his mates in the posh seats at the Estádio da Luz, but their task has been made even harder with UEFA about to explain to VAR officials that the Premier League side should never be given the benefit of the doubt in 50/50 decisions. In fact, Paddy Power understands that Pep’s men won’t even be given the nod if the decision is 90-10 in their favour.
Čeferin has been overheard telling colleagues that his favourite moment in Champions League history was last season when Raheem Sterling’s last-gasp goal against Spurs was ruled out because Sergio Aguero’s fingernails were in an offside position. This, we have been told, is the blueprint in any match involving the Citizens from now on.
If, in spite of these measures, City still do the unthinkable (In UEFA’s eyes anyway) and lift their first-ever Champions League trophy, Čeferin is believed to have a joker up his sleeve.
It’s a little known fact that when City last won a European trophy by lifting the old Cup Winners Cup in 1970 in Vienna, Austrian authorities were called to an incident at the post-match banquet when City stars Francis Lee and Colin Bell were caught trying to stuff expensive bottles of champagne into their flight bags ahead of their return to England, which would have meant that both players would have been over their Duty Free allowance.
The case never went to court after it was revealed that City officials bunged the investigating officers a sizeable sum of money to keep this out of the press, but the incident was logged and kept in a filing cabinet at UEFA HQ. Paddy Power understands that Čeferin is prepared to reopen the investigation should City triumph next month and, if found guilty, the club would be stripped of their title and banned from European competition for at least 200 years.
Whatever happens this season, things won’t get any easier next term for City with UEFA understood to be ready to relegate them into pot 4 for the group stages in 2020-21.
UEFA chiefs have come up with this idea thanks to Lazio’s return to the Champions League claiming that only one team who plays in a sky-blue jersey can be seeded.
UEFA are confident of pushing through this new rule in time for next season’s competition claiming that they would “rather have a nice jolly in Rome” than 48 hours in Manchester (unless they’re invited to Old Trafford of course). If City decide to appeal this decision UEFA are believed to have already made contingencies which could see them relegated to the Europa League and be made to play all their home fixtures at Plymouth Argyle’s Home Park stadium.