His three-month birthday will pass without incident next week, but more importantly, the action will resume in less than two weeks.
June 17 is the date that everyone connected to high-level football is looking into, as Manchester City prepares to welcome an empty Etihad to Arsenal.
All eyes will be on the closed-door event in Manchester that night as the sport attempts to emerge from a public health crisis that has hit the planet.
While supporters of all clubs are likely to tune in for real live football for the first time in this country since mid-March, game lawmakers will also eagerly follow as they carefully trace the Safe return from the most lucrative league in the world.
But before June 17, there is a date on the horizon that City, and to a lesser extent, Liverpool will look forward to.
It has long seemed that City has been subjected to a shocking two-year suspension from the Champions League.
It was February 14 when they received UEFA’s most unwanted Valentine’s Day gifts, which got tougher for alleged financial fair play violations.
“The Arbitration Chamber, after examining all the evidence, concluded that the Manchester City Football Club had committed serious breaches of the UEFA club licensing and financial fair play regulations in exaggerating its sponsorship income in its accounts and in the financial balance information submitted to UEFA between 2012 and 2016 “, read a statement from UEFA at the time.
The current Premier League champions have overestimated sponsorship income in accounts submitted between 2012 and 2016, according to the European football governing body, and have been fined almost £ 25 million.
City, it must be emphasized, has always vigorously and vigorously maintained his innocence and has filed an imminent appeal with the Arbitration Tribunal for Sport (CAS).
Their case will be heard on June 8.
Recent reports have claimed that it could take up to two months for a decision to be made regarding City’s participation in the contest they dream of more than any other.
Having looted around £ 1.5 billion on transfers since their arrival in 2008, it would be a devastating setback for City owners if they were excluded from the Champions League until 2022. Even more if they didn’t not win the tournament this quarter.
The three-day hearing next week could determine much of what will happen next at the top of the English game.
Kevin De Bruyne, for example, is just a city superstar who has publicly hinted that the outcome could be vital for his next career decision.
“Once the declaration is made, I will review everything,” he admitted to the Belgian media last month. ” Two years [without European football] would be long. If it’s a year, maybe I’ll see. ”
De Bruyne turns 29 later this month and two seasons outside the Champions League are simply unthinkable for a player of his remarkable quality.
A two-year Champions League ban is a long time in the short careers of City players whose talents deserve to be paraded in the most glamorous football competition in the world.
Serious consideration could be given to the Etihad if the ban is maintained. But why exactly does this June 8 hearing concern Liverpool?
Aside from the exhausting and seemingly endless desire among online football tribesmen to score points, the CAS audience has very relevant implications for Jurgen Klopp’s reds.
That doesn’t mean a two-year ban would leave them free to choose any Man City team, but at a time when the two clubs have a modern rivalry born out of their respective brilliance, all the benefits are to be welcomed.
After all, City defeated Liverpool in the Premier League by a single point after 11 mm of a soccer ball failed to cross the goal line in a 2-1 Etihad win the year last.
Other Premier League clubs may have their own point of view, and their fans will certainly, but there is no denying that City and Liverpool are ahead of 2020.
Any small advantage will have ramifications for the Premier League title destination, so the outcome of an issue as big as the CAS decision is massive for City and the Reds.
Since the start of the 2018/19 campaign, the two teams have lost only 13 times in 133 games.
Eleven of them were for City with Jurgen Klopp’s loss to Pep Guardiola and Watford’s men in February. These two setbacks were separated by almost 14 months.
Out of a possible 399 points available at that time, Liverpool and City have amassed 334 between them.
City has won five of the last six national trophies on offer, while Liverpool is the reigning world champion and European champion who is closing in on the Premier League crown to add to it.
In 2020, we can reasonably say that they are the two best teams on the planet, regardless of the country.
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This is why the CAS verdict is so important for both clubs beyond the dizzying and senseless desire to be referred and pushed on the Internet.
It’s a rivalry based – at least initially – on the excellence of football.
They have two of the biggest characters in the game and the best managers in dugout canoes at Klopp and Guardiola, with teams playing branded football that captivates the imagination.
What happens next could shape the rivalry for years to come. And we’re not talking about the return of the Premier League.