Manchester City’s Premier League title in 2014 is now UNDER THREAT

Manchester City face large financial losses if CAS uphold UEFA’s two-year European ban and deprive them of Champions League income.

A financial squeeze would restrict their ability to buy and pay players, leading to an almost inevitable decline in the quality of their squad — and results.

This is just one ramification of the ban, with UEFA citing ‘serious breaches’ of Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules up to 2016 and City’s failure to cooperate with an investigation.

City’s most recent financial accounts, for the 2018-19 season, show revenue of £535million and a small profit of £10.1m. But those revenues included about £100m from the Champions League, comprised of £86m in prize cash from UEFA, plus match day and hospitality income from five home CL matches of more than £10m. Other commercial income related to Europe was also included.

Losing out on that £100m would have led to a £90m loss. The impact would be similar if a ban is in force for 2020-21, but intensify if a ban ran to two years.

City have also been handed a €30m (£25m) fine, which they will appeal.

If City post losses from next season, they could fall foul of FFP again – for spending more than they earn. The simplest remedy would be to sell players, which would raise income and cut a wage bill that stood at £315m last season.

A two-year ban would raise the prospect of manager Pep Guardiola leaving, while the club’s best players might also consider their futures.

Whether some of City’s major ‘global partners’, including Puma and Nissan, would seek to renegotiate terms is not known. For a club of their size, City earn an unusually high sum from commercial income: last season it was £229m — much higher than rivals Liverpool (£186m) and Chelsea (£185m), both ‘bigger’ clubs who have won the Champions League and have larger global fanbases.

City’s commercial income is so large because £130m comes from sponsors based in the UAE, where club owner Sheik Mansour has huge influence on City’s partners. Etihad alone is believed to pay £80m a year to sponsor City’s shirts and campus, while telecoms firm Etislat pay about £16.5m and Visit Abu Dhabi £19.75m.

The Korean tyre firm Nexen pay £10m a year to be City’s sleeve sponsor, having entered into a ‘strategic partnership’ with the UAE’s sovereign wealth fund Mubadala.

Documents published by German magazine Der Spiegel last year indicated that in 2015 Etihad was, in fact, only paying £8m towards a then £67.5m annual deal with City, while Mansour was topping up the other £59.5m himself. If confirmed as accurate, that would breach FFP.