Hey Sports Tech Fans,
Some massive news breaking just as I was writing this, Manchester City have been banned from the Champions League for two seasons.
The ban comes after a long investigation into their sponsorship deal with Ethiad Airways. The airline is owned and controlled by the same family as the owners of Manchester City.
Emails were leaked in November 2018 by Der Spiegel, which showed that the airline was only paying £8 million per year to the club and the remainder of the £67 million a year deal was paid by the Abu Dhabi United Group, the company that owns Manchester City!
This might not be the most sports tech related news but its impact could be quite significant.
UEFA introduced Financial Fair Play rules to create a more equal playing field and to prevent teams from over extending themselves in the race to spend money to win trophies and compete at a higher level and to punish teams who are consistently recording debts.
But this would be the most severe punishment handed down.
The money earned from the Champions League is a significant portion of all participating teams annual revenues regardless of if they make it far in the competition or not. Just simply making the group stages is a huge financial bonus.
The other impact could be on players and indeed the manager looking for new challenges as a 2 year hiatus is a lot for players approaching their peak.
The impact might also be felt in terms of other sponsorship deals.
A lot of sponsors who are spending a lot of money to sponsor a team like Manchester City might have a Champions League participation clause, meaning their existing deals with the likes of Puma might be slashed if such a clause exists.
There has been a longstanding battle between UEFA and Manchester City as they have previously fell foul of the FFP rules for posting losses and had to play with a reduced squad size for one season, as well as pay a fine.
This story will run and run as Manchester City will certainly appeal.
Does it open the window for the 5th place team in the Premier League to qualify for the Champions League next season?
Right now the battle for 5th is wide open, with established teams like Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur in the running, but also newly promoted Sheffield United, high flying Wolves as well as Everton and even Arsenal might be sensing a route back into the competition.
Have a great sporting weekend,