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Manchester City Punishment For Breaking Financial Fair Play Proves Mike Ashley Right – Or Does It?

7 years ago
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The news today that Manchester City have been fined £50m (breaking Financial Fair Play (FFP) criteria) and forbidden from entering a full squad in next year’s Champions League will do nothing to dissuade our glorious owner that he is wrong to be unambitious with the Toon.

Manchester City have broken the fair play rules in roughly the same magnificent way that Jeff Thomson (1970s Australian fast bowler) used to break the no ball rule by a yard and a half.

The fine would cripple us but it won’t have the same effect on City, of course. Nevertheless it is fair to assume it will be noticed by the Kuwaiti government and the City board.

What will really hurt, though, is the reduction in the player squad from 25 to 21. Having less than two players for each position will upset Pellegrini and give him fewer options than his opponents throughout the Champions League tournament.

Mike Ashley, in the Totteridge bunker from which he never phones Alan Pardew, must be nodding sagely. Once again he has been proven right.

Except he has been proven wrong.

Manchester City are probably going to win the league. They are probably going to be in the top four from now to kingdom come. In the end, crucially, they had just a little bit too much for Liverpool, who will be strengthening this summer.

Can you imagine what we would do if we won the league? Can you imagine what we would do if we just fell short?

I can tell you exactly what would happen.

Pardew would come on television and announce that we had exceeded all expectations, and that he was pleased for Mike, the staff, the players and of course the fans. ‘At last we have given them something to cheer,’ he would intone. ‘I hope this means we can rely on them for their support in the future, because we have a difficult summer coming up, although I hope we can get one or two over the line.’

Manchester City have been punished for breaking the rules. But they are still going to be champions.

Liverpool broke the bank for Suarez, and they almost became champions.

City and Liverpool will spend the summer strengthening. We will be the blowhards scraping around for loan signings and cheapo journeymen from dun-coloured clubs in England.

And Ashley will be pleased.

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