Manchester City will be playing Champions League football next season after a successful appeal against Uefa’s ban was announced this morning.
City were handed a two-year ban from Uefa’s competition and a £24.9million fine in February after being found guilty of “serious breaches” of club licensing and Financial Fair Play regulations.
The club swiftly signalled its intention to appeal amid speculation that the punishment could cost it some of its biggest names as well as manager Pep Guardiola, and the Switzerland-based Court of Arbitration for Sport delivered its verdict at 9.30am BST.
City’s ban was overturned in its entirety, while the fine was reduced by two thirds to £9.87m
Chelsea, Leicester, Manchester United, along with outsiders Wolves and Sheffield United, are now competing for two places, rather than three.
Liverpool and City will be in next year’s competition, while United can go third by winning their game in hand – against Southampton – this evening.
Leicester are likely to be the team most concerned, despite being in the top four since September and appear to have a top-three finish, let along top four, wrapped up before the season went on pause despite their form starting to falter.
Since there restart, Leicester have imploded, collecting only two wins from their last 11 league games stretching back to the end of January. Their final three games? Sheffield United, Tottenham and Manchester United on the final day. Not easy.
Making it all the more intriguing is the fact that another final-day match is between Chelsea and Wolves. Chelsea also face Liverpool, who are looking less impressive since wrapping up the title and already- relegated Norwich.