According to reports in the Daily Express, City were aware several clubs – all of whom occupied the top 10 positions in the Premier League with the exception of Manchester City and Sheffield United – had sent a request to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) asking for City not to be involved in the Champions League while their appeal is still being heard.
However, the report claims that while City understand the grievances of the teams below them in the Premier League table, they are surprised that Liverpool, who are currently 25 points ahead of City in the league, are one of the clubs who have submitted the request to CAS.
In reaction to the reports, which were relayed by Man City Xtra on Twitter, fans of the club have flocked to have their say on the matter, with many claiming that Liverpool’s involvement in the request is due to their “small-team mentality”, while others have replied with more sarcastic remarks.
Despite understanding that teams below Manchester City in the Premier League would be keen to seek clarification regarding their UEFA sanction, officials at the Etihad Stadium were surprised by Liverpool's involvement.
Small team mentality
— LR (@lr_av1203) March 25, 2020
— ?TonytheManc? STAY AT HOME (@tonythemanc) March 26, 2020
No chance. They’re one of the main drivers.
— bill (@Bill4112) March 26, 2020
Haha really ??
— Mark N (@mark_n0) March 26, 2020
Is this the same club that attacked our team bus and stole from our computers without any sanctions?
— Martin Livingstone (@livingstones4) March 26, 2020
What do we think?
While the reports claim that City bosses are surprised at Liverpool’s involvement in the matter, it would appear less than surprising from the outside looking in.
Although Liverpool are indeed 25 points clear at the top of the Premier League table, City being unable to play in the Champions League next season would still have a positive effect on the Merseyside club, albeit a less direct one than on the sides in the hunt for a Champions League place this season.
If the ban on City is upheld, then it could be argued that Pep Guardiola would be unable to attract a similar calibre of potential signings over the summer window, meaning that come next season, Liverpool’s closest title challenger this year would not be able to strengthen as much as they likely would have done should they still be able to offer Champions League football if their appeal drags on.