Liverpool, Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal & Co. ‘Launch Bid To Stop City Playing In UCL’

English football’s top
clubs have launched a stunning bid to stop Manchester City attempting to
play in the Champions League while their appeal against a two-year ban
is ongoing.

Liverpool, Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal & Co. ‘Launch Bid To Stop City Playing In UCL’ 1

In
a bombshell disclosure, Sportsmail can reveal that the entire top 10 —
with the exception of City and Sheffield United — have submitted a joint
application to the Court of Arbitration for Sport which will hear
City’s appeal against their punishment from UEFA for breaching Financial
Fair Play rules.

The group, which includes the likes of
Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea, have separately
written to the same law firm, which has then sent an application backed
by all to the arbitration body.

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Liverpool, Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal & Co. ‘Launch Bid To Stop City Playing In UCL’ 2
Liverpool, Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal & Co. ‘Launch Bid To Stop City Playing In UCL’ 3

It
states that should City request that their punishment is ‘stayed’ while
their appeal is ongoing, all the clubs strongly object. It is
understood, however, that such a request has not been lodged by the
Premier League champions.

The move is a significant
development. It provides a clear indication of the dim view that the
rest of the top flight’s leading clubs have privately taken over City’s
behaviour.

While City declined to comment, there is a belief
within the Etihad Stadium that certain other rivals have been leading a
charge against them. This action will do nothing to dilute that view.

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Liverpool, Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal & Co. ‘Launch Bid To Stop City Playing In UCL’ 4

The ‘outraged’ position held by the group has been outlined by one source with knowledge of the situation.

‘The
feeling is that enough is enough,’ said the source. ‘For too long, City
have been able to get away with breaching the rules at the expense of
at least one other club that has been unable to get into the Champions
League.

‘The fear is that they will be able to delay any
punishment and — should they win the appeal — get off scot-free, which
would be outrageous.’

Liverpool, Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal & Co. ‘Launch Bid To Stop City Playing In UCL’ 5

City
were banned from Europe’s premier competition for two years and fined
£25million by UEFA in February for ‘serious breaches’ of Financial Fair
Play. They deny any wrong-doing and immediately announced their
intention to appeal, which they did.

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CAS did not respond to a
request for a comment by this newspaper. On March 17, when questioned
on the progress of the appeal, they said that City had not yet lodged an
application to stay the punishment while the appeal was heard.

The
appeal, along with the coronavirus crisis, has raised concerns for the
complainants that the case will be delayed and City will be in next
season’s Champions League.