Why Sheffield United refused to take part in joint-action against Manchester City's potential involvement in Europe next season

Sheffield United declined to join a bid aimed at preventing Manchester City from taking part in the Champions League until their appeal against a European ban is heard because members of Bramall Lane’s hierarchy want to focus on football rather than politics, having only been promoted from the Championship last term.

Wednesday, 25th March 2020, 12:55 pm
Updated Wednesday, 25th March 2020, 6:06 pm

Other than City themselves, United are the only team in the top half of the Premier League table not taking part in the joint action opposing the Mancuanians’ involvement should Pep Guardiola’s employers attempt to ‘stay’ their punishment.

The Star understands United’s stance stems from their reluctance to be drawn into a potential legal wrangle at such a critical stage of their development, with Chris Wilder’s squad ranked seventh before the campaign was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Runaway leaders Liverpool, fourth-placed Chelsea and perhaps most explosively, Manchester United, are among those who have reportedly outlined their opposition to City’s potential entry into the competition to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

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UEFA, Europe’s governing body, have banned City from its tournaments for a period of two years after finding them guilty of breaching Financial Fair Play regulations.

Officials at the Etihad Stadium have yet to request that punishment is set aside until CAS considers their objections. But the decision of sides also including Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Burnley and Leicester City has been described by one source as an indication of the strength of feeling within the division about City’s alleged conduct.

The entrance to the Etihad Stadium, home of Premier League champions Manchester City: PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images