Back in February, Manchester City were given a two-year suspension alongside a £25 million fine after an investigation into an alleged breach of Financial Fair Play regulations.
City have made it clear from the beginning that they plan to appeal the decision and still hope to play in next season’s Champions League, but of course, COVID-19 is getting in the way.
Because the virus has forced football’s authority figures into self-isolation, it is looking likely that City’s appeal will not be heard by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in time for next season.
And according to reports, rivals Arsenal are especially keen to make sure that Pep Guardiola’s side won’t be playing in next season’s Champions League if their appeal cannot take place.
The Mirror are saying City believe that Arsenal instigated an eight-club-strong campaign to convince the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) that they should remain excluded.
Allegedly, Gunners compelled other Premier League sides to pressurise the CAS by writing to them directly, to argue that City shouldn’t be allowed to compete without a successful appeal.
Alongside Arsenal, the clubs involved include table-toppers Liverpool, local rivals Manchester United, and other Champions League hopefuls like Chelsea, Leicester and Wolves.
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Arsenal have not yet commented on whether they instigated this move against City.
This article was most recently revised and updated 3 years ago