MANCHESTER CITY have been dealt a shock two-year Champions League ban by Uefa.
The reigning English champions have also been handed a £25million fine in a dramatic ruling which has huge ramifications for this season’s table.
But what does this mean for this year’s Premier League and that all-important fourth qualifying spot?
Why are Man City banned from the Champions League?
CITY have been slapped with the sanction having been found guilty of seriously misleading European football’s governing body.
Uefa investigated claims that City had hidden millions in funding by the club’s Abu Dhabi owners under the guise of legitimate sponsorship income.
The probe was launched following the Football Leaks document dump of emails and letters.
City were initially fined £49m for FFP breaches in 2014, although that was later reduced to £16m.
The club have always vehemently protest their innocence but were today found guilty and Uefa bigwigs have come down hard.
A statement from the club said: “Manchester City is disappointed but not surprised by today’s announcement by the UEFA Adjudicatory Chamber.
“The Club has always anticipated the ultimate need to seek out an independent body and process to impartially consider the comprehensive body of irrefutable evidence in support of its position.
“In December 2018, the UEFA Chief Investigator publicly previewed the outcome and sanction he intended to be delivered to Manchester City, before any investigation had even begun.
“The subsequent flawed and consistently leaked UEFA process he oversaw has meant that there was little doubt in the result that he would deliver. The Club has formally complained to the UEFA Disciplinary body, a complaint which was validated by a CAS ruling.
“Simply put, this is a case initiated by UEFA, prosecuted by UEFA and judged by UEFA. With this prejudicial process now over, the Club will pursue an impartial judgement as quickly as possible and will therefore, in the first instance, commence proceedings with the Court of Arbitration for Sport at the earliest opportunity.”
Will fifth place Premier League finish secure CL spot?
WITH the title all but gone, much of City’s season has been geared towards securing Champions League football for next season.
They look almost certain to finish in the top four, but will not by allowed to enter next year’s competition if the Uefa ruling stands.
As such, the team that finished fifth in the Premier League WILL go into the Champions League next season if City finish in the top four.
Guardiola’s men are still in this season’s competition and face Real Madrid in the knockout stages, but will NOT qualify for the tournament even if they win it – unless the ban is overturned.
City have appealed the ban and will learn their fate on July 13.