It has been reported that Manchester City could be hit with a one-season ban by UEFA, which would exclude them from competing in the Champions League due to alleged Financial Fair Play breaches.
The Citizens allegedly inflated the value of a multi-million pound sponsorship deal, although they have denied any wrongdoing; they received a £49m fine for previously breaching regulations back in 2014.
Should the ban actually happen, Pep Guardiola’s side will be left competing in just the Premier League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup, a trio of competitions that they are already close to winning just this season alone and would sweep up again with ease should they fall out of Europe.
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The Citizens’ squad is huge. Even the likes of Gabriel Jesus and Riyad Mahrez struggle to get consistent game time. If they are able to focus all of their efforts on the Premier League, we could see them reach levels that have never been seen before.
It’s worth mentioning that City became centurions in 2017/18, and finished on 98 points this time around whilst also competing in the Champions League – imagine what they could do if they weren’t in it at all.
To further reinforce this point, you only need to take a look at what Chelsea managed to do in a campaign where they weren’t involved in European competition.
The Blues ended the 2016/16 season in 10th place, leaving them free to focus on the league for the next term.
Under Antonio Conte’s management, and with considerably less players of genuine quality in comparison to City – only Eden Hazard, Diego Costa and N’Golo Kante were of true class in that side – the west Londoners won the league comfortably by seven points, winning 30 of their games.
Manchester United are the only team in Premier League history to win three successive Premier League titles on the bounce, with arguably one of the greatest teams in English top-flight history containing the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney, Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand, Edwin van der Sar and many more.
If City do find themselves banished by UEFA for next season, they can take solace from the fact that there is a very real chance of them emulating the greatest achievement in Premier League history.