Manchester City, PSG Face Cut to Champions League Squad in Reported FFP Sanction

Nick Akerman@NakermanFeatured ColumnistMay 1, 2014

Manchester City's Stevan Jovetic during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester City and Sunderland at The Etihad Stadium, Manchester, England, Wednesday, April  16, 2014. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)
Rui Vieira/Associated Press

Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain face the real possibility of having their salary budget capped for next season's Champions League after breaching UEFA's financial fair play guidelines.

As reported by David McDonnell of the Mirror, this punishment could also cut the pair's squad limit from 25, leaving some top-earning talent without the opportunity to perform in Europe's elite competition:

The big-spending Blues are likely to suffer a curb on wages for their squad playing in Europe’s elite competition next season as a punishment for falling foul of FFP.

City and fellow transgressors Paris Saint-Germain are also set to be fined and told to make a cut in the number of players in their 25-strong squads for the Champions League.

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 08:  Edinson Cavani of PSG reacts after missing a chance on goal during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final second leg match between Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain FC at Stamford Bridge on April 8, 2014 in London, England.  (P
Julian Finney/Getty Images

UEFA's club financial control board is set to make a decision across Thursday and Friday, according to Chris Wheeler of the Daily Mail.

While City and PSG are likely to feel aggrieved in the aftermath, especially considering this is the first year UEFA's new rules come into effect, it's vital the European body makes an impression with its initial set of disciplinary procedures.

Sky Sports suggests "fewer than 20 clubs" are still under investigation and could face sanctions that ensure dramatic losses are no longer posted. UEFA aims to make sure teams competing in the Champions League or Europa League post accounts that remain in the black, ensuring mega-rich clubs can no longer buy any world-class talent they wish for a hefty price.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 13:  Manchester City Manager Manuel Pellegrini looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Manchester City at Anfield on April 13, 2014 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

City and PSG are two prime examples of teams that have enjoyed a transformation in fortune since receiving a financial takeover. Both have landed domestic titles and cups, though both have failed to quickly assert themselves in European competition.

Clubs were allowed to lose £37 million in each of the last three seasons, but City "suffered losses of £97.9m in 2012 and £51.6m last year," per McDonnell. Perhaps worryingly, City's transfer expenditure for this season sits at £91.8m—recorded by—not a promising sign considering UEFA's allowed loss count drops to £25 million next year. 

PSG's transfer expenditure is even more damning. The Ligue 1 champions have tallied losses of £96.3 million this season, £129.5 million in 2012 and £85 million the year before. If both teams have consciously tried to take advantage of the loss limit while it remains at its highest, they've barely tried to hide it.

Michel Euler/Associated Press

Fortunately, it seems UEFA is unlikely to ban either club from competitive European action during the first set of punishments. Pedro Pinto, the governing body's chief of press, suggests Michel Platini hasn't ruled the possibility out, but current reports point toward squad and salary caps:

Confirmation of the aforementioned penalisation remains to be seen. Indeed, if reports ring true, the severity of UEFA's limits will dictate how seriously top clubs should take the financial restrictions across the coming years.

For teams such as City and PSG, the big fear now is that UEFA may wish to make an example of their shortcomings.