They are stand alone companies, that can do as they please. If they are private companies, then everyone can fuck off. If they are public companies, then they have to follow the rules for public companies. If they’ve done that, then everyone can fuck off. What we have are stolen internal emails that SUGGEST that HRH has put PERSONAL funds into CFG to make up for funds not out in by the companies who were supposed to pay them under their contracts. That information is both stolen and unverified, provided by a personal now convicted of the crime, and publicized in a foreign newspaper with parochial interests. During the investigation of these stolen materials, supposedly secret discussions and negotiations were made public, further disadvantaging and denigrating the company (CFG). These have damaged the name and reputation of both the companies and individuals involved, who are sophisticated businesses and businessmen, and they are entitled to their day in court....and will, no doubt, get it. UEFA is steeped in corruption, to the point that the last leader of the organization was done for a bung. They claim to be squeaky clean, but they aren’t, and may need to tread very carefully, especially given the allusions to information that City may have on certain individuals and organizations. Indeed, FFP itself may be under the microscope in any legal proceeding, as City may be able to show a concerted cartel action against their business, not to mention the restraint of trade, open only to the cartel enjoying the fruits of FFP, that it has forced upon City. It can be no coincidence that the cartel has members who seek to harm City in both the domestic and international arenas. It can be no coincidence that City’s timekeeping is dealt with more harshly than the scourge of racism sweeping the European game. It can be no coincidence that UEFA did nothing to a club that first advertised, then terrorized our club with mob action. A mob action, I might add, that was both televised and streamed live in the internet to all and sundry, from which not a single arrest has been made. (FWIW, I think City missed an opportunity to walk away from that tie when that happened, but again tried to be the bigger people, and for what?) Pandora’s Box has been opened with this draconian penalty, and even though it appears to have been crafted to allow a “successful” appeal against its severity, while still banning us for 1 year, I think it is time to go to the mat with UEFA...and if necessary, the FA and PL. Indeed, this may be the catalyst for the ME/China money to flow, and a seriously well-funded effort to undermine the Champions League with a Tournament of Champions type competition created. The only problem with that, of course, is that the same teams that are fucking us over now are the ones needed to create the tournament and make it a success. Conversely, a European Super League might be the answer, with relegation to create serious competition, and a €1,000,000,000 purse at stake. Whatever happens, the status quo ended today. In my lifetime, Manchester City have been a few different teams. The team of the late 60s and early 70s gave way to a long lean period where money became significantly more prevalent in the game and the PL took that to new heights, just as we were struggling. However, we clawed our way back with some Typical City plucky years. That period ended in 2008, when it was clear new owners weren’t messing about and City were going to develop the club into a world class outfit. That started the backlash. “Dirty Arab Oil Money” and the rest of the racist, xenophobic missives reared their ugly head, “‘istree” became a word used to deride a club that had over a century of it, and was even the first to do a domestic and European double, and th club even became the punching bag for the likes of Sky, who never seem to tire of trotting out stories of derision whenever possible. I’m short, we have become not only the most successful team in British football over the last decade, but the one everyone loves to hate, because the media and the red pundits that have infiltrated it at every level, not to mention at every level of the game, both in Britain and Europe, can think of almost nothing positive to say about us. However, today was football’s version of the Valentine’s Day Massacre, where the Mafia bosses at UEFA lined us up against the wall and have attempted to assassinate the club, both financially and reputationally. This smear will never go away, and the financial losses from not only missing out in CL football for two seasons, but the commercial accounts that will be decimated by this, will hobble the club for years, right as it needs to rebuild an aging squad that has seen its past glories fade somewhat this season. And, when have they chosen to do it? Right as the Champions League is starting up again and City have the hardest Last 16 tie they have ever faced! So, in terms of City eras, 2008-2019 will stand alone as the ra when City were reborn, rebuilt and became resurgent. Today, a new era has begun at Manchester City. What it will hold is impossible to know, but it is going to start on shaky ground. From this moment on, only the wealth and hard-earned business reputation of an ownership wishing to fight the charges with everything they have can save the club from a lean period, where the world’s greatest manager will leave, the club’s reputed greatest ever player will leave, and the club’s greatest ever goal scorer will leave, and the club doesn’t have the financial clout or attractiveness to replace them with similar talents. While I’m certainly not suggesting walking around the Etihad with a sandwich board proclaiming “The End is Nigh!” it is very easy to see this going badly for City and massive changes coming to the club which may set it back a decade. FFP is a rolling 3 year cycle. That means two years of lost revenues would hit the books for A MINIMUM OF FIVE YEARS, before we were clear of the problem. In those first two years, we would be trying to maintain and rebuild the club in a shoestring compared to our European competitors. In year 3, we would have those 2 years behind us, but would we even qualify for the CL that season? If not, add another year in to the back end of the 5, and so on and so forth... And, all of that is BEFORE a €30M fine, which removes our profits for the last 3 years, too. Plus, what does it all do to the CFG, when the goose that lays the golden eggs is stopped from laying them??? So, mark the calendar: February 14, 2020...an new era began at Manchester City, and it didn’t start well.