The league remains on break and the world remains in isolation, but that doesn’t mean news isn’t breaking in the EPL. Let’s have a check of the latest headlines.
Manchester City’s League Rivals Move to Block Sky Blues from Playing Champions League While Appeal is Pending
Last month Manchester City was fined £25M and banned from the Champions League for two years for violating Financial Fair Play rules. The Citizens have denied any wrongdoing and have lodged an appeal, but so far have not requested a stay of their ban while the appeal is ongoing.
Their league rivals are not waiting for any stay requests, however. All of the top-ten sides except for Sheffield United have already jointly-petitioned the Court of Arbitration for Sport to enforce the ban while City’s conviction is under review. It’s hard to believe their motives are pure, as City’s disqualification would make a CL berth a possibility for many of the petitioning clubs.
But at the same time, City has seemed to thumb its nose at the FFP rules for years, and their rivals appear to have had enough: Nearly half of the Premier League aim to stop Man City participating in the Champions League
EPL Clubs Helping Their Communities Cope with Coronavirus Pandemic
While the coronavirus pandemic continues its death-grip squeeze on the global community, the EPL is working hard to be a source of hope and inspiration.
Players and managers have been calling supporters by telephone to help mitigate the isolating effects of social distancing, clubs have donated money, food, and supplies to local hospitals and charities, and training staffs have published online home workouts for self-isolated fans who cannot go to the gym. Pep Guardiola has even made a whopping €1M personal donation to Spain’s healthcare system, which has been overwhelmed by COVID cases (Lionel Messi has done the same).
The worst of times often bring out the best in us, and it’s heartwarming to see these examples of good citizenship from clubs and individuals across our favorite football league.
Coronavirus Shutdown Taking Toll on English Clubs
For all their good-samaritanship, English football clubs have not been immune from the ravages of the coronavirus crisis. With their revenue streams slowed to a trickle, many clubs are beginning to experience problems making payroll.
While the behemoth clubs and their wealthy players are probably capable of weathering this financial storm, clubs and players in the lower divisions often operate on shoe-string budgets.
The EFL has authorized the emergency release of £50M in relief to help clubs in need, but if the league and cup suspensions become protracted, more support may be required.
UEFA Still Hopes to Complete League and Cup Competitions by June 30
The pandemic is still raging for now, but UEFA hopes that conditions will improve in time for them to complete Europe’s domestic leagues and cup competitions by the end of June.
Even if this becomes possible, it would likely involve closed-doors matches without audiences, with many league games played midweek in order accommodate weekend cup fixtures: European football leagues still targeting June 30 finish
Harry Kane Could Be Fit When Play Resumes
When Harry Kane suffered his severe hamstring injury on New Year’s Day, it was initially believed that he would effectively miss the remainder of the season. But his recovery has progressed ahead of schedule, and league play has been suspended until at least April 30. The striker now says he is only 2-3 weeks away from a return to action. He could be ready to feature in the S11 when the hiatus is lifted, making him available for all nine of the league games left to play.
Similar stories could emerge for other players sidelined before the suspension, so there may actually be some FPL moves to make with those free transfers that are still rolling by, especially if you hold any players who could be displaced by returning stars.
True or false, transfer rumors are always fun. Enjoy.
What do you think about the Manchester City ban and the recent petition lodged by their rivals? What English or world football news or rumors have you heard? How are you coping with social distancing? Join us in the Comments to let us know, and remember that on Saturday we’ll hold another round of NMA’s Virtual Pub live chat at 13:00 Pacific/20:00 UK.