Manchester City are indeed basking in their biggest result of the season. Interestingly, this victory did not come at the Etihad Stadium or even Wembley, but it is a cheering judgement from Switzerland that houses the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
With their two-year European ban now overturned, Pep Guardiola’s side can throw everything into winning the continent’s biggest prize
This development means the club is cleared to feature in next season’s Champions League after a two-year ban from all UEFA competitions was lifted by CAS.
On the other hand, the decision now presents limited options for Chelsea, Leicester City and Manchester United who are neck deep battling for the remaining two Champions League spots next season.
The Etihad Stadium Landlords were cleared of overstating their sponsorship contributions but they will still have to pay a fine of €10 million (£9m/$11m) – reduced from an initial €30m (£25m/$33m) – for failing to co-operate with UEFA authorities.
A club that won four Premier League titles and six domestic cup competitions over the past decade would have seen their reputation seriously tarnished.
But more than the past, City’s future would have been uncertain. No Champions League football for two seasons could have cost somewhere in the region of €200m (£180m/$220m) in lost revenue even if sponsorship deals would likely have not been impacted.
Having sorted out their Champions League football now, Guardiola and Director of Football, Txiki Begiristain, can look to recruit their top targets with a centre-half, full-back and forward on their wanted list.
It promises to be a hectic transfer window but that’s with one eye on next season. The verdict could hardly have come at a better time for this season’s European bid.
Already having a top-four place certain, Guardiola can go full steam ahead with a united dressing room targeting the FA Cup; the last-16 Champions League second leg against Real Madrid; and potentially the end-of-season tournament in Lisbon.
With City registering a significant victory over UEFA, that could just give them the impetus for another major win in Europe over the upcoming weeks.
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