Eight of the Premier League's top ten clubs have joined forces to collectively launch an application to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to ensure Manchester City are unable to play in the Champions League while their appeal is ongoing.
The Manchester-based side were banned from the Champions League for the next two seasons after they were found to have breached Financial Fair Play regulations. The sanction against City also including €30m fine, after they were deemed to have misled UEFA.
However, City later lodged an appeal against their ban, while it was also revealed in February that the club could apply to have their two-year ban frozen while their appeal to CAS is being heard. Most recently, it was explained that their ban could be suspended until as late as the 2021/22 season because CAS are struggling to find time to deal with their appeal.
The Daily Mail have now reported that eight of the Premier League's top ten clubs have submitted a joint application to stop Man City from being able to play Champions League football while their appeal is being heard - the two exceptions being Man City themselves and Sheffield United.
The likes of Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea all separately wrote to the same law firm, which then sent a joint application on behalf of these clubs to the arbitration body. The report explains that should City request that their punishment is ‘stayed’ while their appeal is being heard, the clubs who sent the application will 'strongly object'. However, no such request has been made by City as of yet.
It is claimed that there is a belief within the club that 'certain' other rivals have been leading a charge against them. However, a source explained to the Daily Mail the group's stance on the situation, insisting that enough is enough.
The source said: "The feeling is that enough is enough. For too long, City have been able to get away with breaching the rules at the expense of at least one other club that has been unable to get into the Champions League.
"The fear is that they will be able to delay any punishment and - should they win the appeal - get off scot-free, which would be outrageous."
City have been hoping to get the case sorted quickly, preferably by the beginning of summer. But the coronavirus pandemic forced CAS to announce that there will be no in-person hearings until May 2020 - meaning that City's appeal against their ban could be delayed even further.
Nonetheless, a potential appeal, along with the current situation regarding the coronavirus, has 'raised concerns' for those who have complained that the case will be delayed and the Sky Blues will be given the chance to play in Europe's top competition next season.