The Club with No History Falls
Many football fans have issues with Manchester City, mostly about how they’re the first team to enjoy a meteoric rise in the standings thanks to massive investment by Middle Eastern oil tycoons. Obviously, the issues stem from the fact that their success is solely bought, and not because of a long-standing tradition of excellence, like other rich clubs like Real Madrid or FC Barcelona. However, the footballing world got some excellent news because Manchester City is finally being punished for their reckless and overeager spending.
Manchester City has been banned from the Champions League for two seasons and fined €30 million. Obviously, the money isn’t what people are celebrating (€30 million is nothing more than a slap on the wrist to a club like Manchester City). But the 2-year ban from Europe’s premier club competition, as well as a likely incoming punishment from the English Premier League. Now that is something that excites me and all self-respecting football fans.
For many years, people have lamented the fact that Manchester City have spent without restraint, without consequences and without regard to competitive balance. But now, thanks to UEFA, European football’s governing body, we finally are seeing someone step up to Manchester City. Obviously, this is subject to appeal, but no matter what, City will be seeing some consequences, and it’s unlikely that the appeal is successful.
So, what does this mean? First, it means no more reckless spending by City, and it also serves as a warning to other Middle East oil tycoon-owned teams like PSG to curtail their spending. Second, it means that Manchester City, the club whose entire history has happened within the last decade (they were a mid-to-bottom tier club before being bought), will not be as attractive a club anymore. I fully expect an exodus of the club’s best players, since they’ll want to be competing for top trophies like the Champions League, something the Citizens clearly won’t be doing for the next couple of years.
To say I’m happy about this would be an understatement. Finally, UEFA is acknowledging that City has had an unfair advantage and has exploited it with malicious intent for years. Not only does this mean that City won’t be doing this again, but other clubs won’t be engaging in reckless spending anymore. Now, football can go back to being a game of who strategizes the best, not who can spend the most money.