ARSENAL could be handed a Champions League lifeline should Man City get hit with a European ban.
The Premier League champs are facing exile from Europe’s top table for alleged financial fair play breaches.
Reuters Unai Emery’s Arsenal could replace Pep Guardiola’s Man City in the Champions League
City are believed to have been accused by Uefa investigators of providing “unconvincing” explanations over the club’s finances.
But the Gunners may prosper from City’s misfortune as it opens the door to Unai Emery’s side taking their place despite finishing fifth in the Prem.
That would hand Arsenal a Get Out of Jail Free card as their Champions League hopes hung with beating Chelsea in the Europa League final on May 29.
A run of three successive defeats in a row in April – against Crystal Palace, Wolves and Leicester – cost Arsenal their place in the top four.
UNAI WAY IS UP
Emery’s side finished one behind North London rivals Tottenham, two behind Chelsea and four ahead of sixth-place Man United.
City, meanwhile, have been on the back foot for months after the “Football Leaks” document dump uncovered a series of allegations.
City were accused of “several alleged violations” of FFP regulations when Uefa announced its formal investigation in March.
That followed initial inquiries which started last year following the Football Leaks claims.
According to the cache of emails published by German magazine Der Spiegel, City allegedly hid at least £70m in funding from owners Abu Dhabi United Group – the financial arm of the Emirate’s ruling family – by claiming it was sponsorship income.
However, the club condemned “the speculation resulting from the illegal hacking and out of context publication of City emails” and added: The accusation of financial irregularities are entirely false.”
Sun Sport revealed in December how senior Uefa figures were demanding “sporting sanctions” against the Etihad club, pending the conclusion of what European football president Aleksander Ceferin described as a “concrete case”.
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