Why Sheffield United were the only Europe-chasing club NOT to object to Man City's UEFA ban being lifted during appeal
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City were originally banned from competing in Europe for two seasons after being probed by UEFA for alleged breaches of financial rules, including the allegation that over £200m of investment by the club's owners was disguised as sponsorship.
If the ban had been upheld, an extra European place would have opened up in the Premier League - boosting United's hopes of qualifying for Europe for the first time in the club's long history.
But the written judgement published by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) reveals that United were the only club in with a realistic chance of Europe not to object to City's punishment being stayed, while they appealed. Arsenal, Burnley, Chelsea, Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester United, Tottenham, and Wolves - plus, bizarrely, Newcastle - all wrote to CAS to file an "application for intervention", for the "limited purpose of of opposing any possible application by [City] to request for a stay of execution for the Appealed Decision".
United boss Chris Wilder revealed recently that he believes owners should be allowed to spend what they like, as long as it is affordable, does not put the club's future at risk and the owners are in it for the long haul.
“We won’t be threatening the financial fair play rules, I can assure you of that!" Wilder joked.
“Seriously, though, it’s not like the NFL where there’s a draft system. If owners have the money and it’s shown they have the money, then I don’t see why people should be punished for investing in their football clubs and their communities. But only if they’ve got it.
"You see so many clubs spending more than they've got.
"So if they have got it then, for me, they can [spend it].
"But there has to be a real level of investigation and scrutiny to make sure that they're there for the long term."