Man City ‘surprised’ at Liverpool involvement in bid to keep them out of Europe

Manchester City are understood to be surprised that Liverpool are reportedly involved in a bid to stop them playing in the Champions league next season.

City are banned from competing in Europe for two years after UEFA found the club guilty of serious breaches of the financial fair play regulations.

The club have denied any wrongdoing and have appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against their ban.

But the rest of the Premier League's top 10 – with the exception of Sheffield United – have reportedly written to CAS to outline their objections to City being allowed to play in the Champions League while their appeal is ongoing.

Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal et al fear that City could ask to have their punishment deferred while the appeal process is underway – and with delays likely due to the coronavirus pandemic, that could see Pep Guardiola's side compete in next season's Champions League.

City are currently second in the Premier League, and club bosses are said to understand the position of the clubs below them in wanting to replace them in Europe.

However, City chiefs were surprised at Liverpool's involvement in the group action, according to the Express.

The Reds are a whopping 25 points clear at the top of the Premier League and in no danger of not qualifying for next season's Champions League themselves – provided the competition goes ahead amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The eight clubs taking the group action have written to the same law firm, which has sent an application on their behalf to the CAS, according to the Daily Mail.

The application states that, should City request that their punishment is ‘stayed’ while their appeal is ongoing, all eight clubs strongly object to the club being allowed to compete in Europe.

It is understood, however, that no such request has been lodged by the reigning Premier League champions.

Assuming City finish the current Premier League campaign in the top four, if they are not allowed to compete in the Champions League next season their place would go to the team finishing fifth.

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