Tottenham’s hopes of Champions League qualification for next season have been handed a massive boost with the shocking news that Manchester City will be banned from European competition for two years.
As BBC Sport reports, the Citizens will not be allowed to play in either the Champions League or Europa League during the 2020-21 or 2021-22 campaigns, after being found to have committed “serious breaches” of UEFA’s club licensing and financial fair play regulations.
The final ruling is subject to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, but, as it stands, fifth place in the Premier League has been opened up as a qualifying spot for the Champions League, as Pep Guardiola’s side will inevitably finish in the top four but not be allowed to enter.
This has major ramifications for Spurs. We’re four points adrift of fourth-place Chelsea, and two behind Sheffield United in fifth, with a game in hand. Basically, we’re outsiders to finish fourth, but favourites to finish fifth. So qualifying for the Champions League for a fifth straight season has gone from being a possibility to being a distinct probability.
Then again, maybe three or four teams are now thinking the same.
The most Spursy thing of all would be for us now to finish fifth but City to win their appeal and to be reinstated to the competition at our expense.
It would be 2012 all over again.