RIO FERDINAND mercilessly taunted old rivals Manchester City after the Etihad club were slapped with a two-year Champions League ban.
The ex-Manchester United defender tweeted: “What a shame…..” followed by a laughing emoji in response to the incredible news that came out on Friday evening.
Uefa suspended the Etihad club from their competitions for the next two seasons and also hit them with a £25million fine.
Assuming City finish in the top four this season, it means coming fifth in the Premier League would be good enough to qualify for the Champions League.
That gives extra hope to the chasing pack which includes Sheffield United, Tottenham, Wolves, Manchester United and even Arsenal in tenth – with Gunners fans dreaming of a “Mikel Arteta masterclass” until the end of the season.
Despite also having financial rules in place, the Premier League is unlikely to take any further action against City, who have vowed to appeal the decision.
Latest stories on Man City’s Champions League ban
And there is no realistic threat of City being expelled from the top flight despite some rivals fans getting excited the Citizens could be booted out and sent down to League Two.
City are already readying themselves for Pep Guardiola to quit at the end of the season and SunSport understands the club are lining up Mauricio Pochettino as his replacement.
Golfer Lee Westwood joked in reply: “Utd have half a chance of playing on Thursday nights now!”
But Ferdinand came in for some vile abuse on Twitter in response to his tweet.
And he felt compelled to send a more serious second tweet to add his thoughts and give credit to Guardiola and the work he has done at the Etihad.
Ferdinand added: “Huge admiration for Pep & the #MCFC city team with some friends behind the scenes.
“In all seriousness will be interesting to see what happens at the appeal process! 5th place in the @premierleague has just got very interesting!”