Watching last night’s Champions League semi-final, it is clear that Manchester City are one of the all-time great sides, as well as everything else, they retired half of that magnificent Real Madrid team. There is a belief that City will, sooner or later, win the tournament, but this could be their last chance for a while, or ever.
They have been charged by the Premier League with 113 breaches of Financial Fair Play rules. Uefa banned them from European competition for two years for similar offences in 2020, but the Court of Arbitration for Sport lifted that punishment, as many of the offences were either time barred or not sufficiently established. The Premier League has no such bar.
This is all conjecture at the moment. City are yet to be found guilty and may never be. If punished, they will suffer at least one year of significant points deduction, with possible limits on future budgets.
It is important to keep an eye on what is happening at the bottom of the Premier League table right now. Everton face a points deduction if found guilty on charges of breaking Premier League financial rules. It looks like any deduction will happen next season. If so, Leeds, Leicester, Nottingham Forest, Southampton and Burnley have threatened to sue Everton for £300m, as a points deduction this season would relegate the Merseyside club.
England has a different view on sporting advantage than Scotland. With Everton hovering the right side of the relegation battle, a precedent could be set that would have ramifications for charges for a decade’s non-compliance at Manchester City.
Much of what is going well for Celtic these days happened because of the City Group’s off-field talent development strategy. We have had a profitable, informal, partnership with them for many years, culminating in the recruitment of a spectacularly successful manager and head of recruitment. For this reason, I want their on-field strategy to be successful, because ours is a scaled down version.