UEFA has passed an initial judgement down to Manchester City banning them from participating in European club competitions for the next two years, as well as, fining them £25M.
The club have already responded to the judgement saying that it did not come as a surprise to them and that they will be making an appeal.
Reports are saying that City deliberately mislead UEFA in an attempt to comply with Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules when they inflated the value of a sponsorship deal.
While we are unsure of how the appeal process with go for City, we can talk about what this could mean for teams within the Premier League fighting for 5th and 6th place. Normally, taking 5th place would mean a team participates in the Europa League the following year (barring a few other outcomes that affect this), but if this ban is upheld there is a chance that the spot Manchester City would occupy will shift.
This would offer Arsenal a real Champions League lifeline in a season that has seen them sitting with the fewest number of points at this point in the season in over 100 years. A win on Sunday vs. Newcastle would bring Arsenal within 5 points of 5th place Sheffield United – a much more manageable gap than the 10 points currently separating them from 4th place, Chelsea.
Arsenal have a lot to focus on besides this ruling, but it will be something that fans of a few clubs will want to keep an eye one as the season progresses. With this news, 3 points at Newcastle becomes a real opening for Arsenal to salvage its season.