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Premier League rivals gang up on Manchester City, launch CAS bid to stop them from playing Champions League

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Premier League rivals gang up on Manchester City, launch CAS bid to stop them from playing Champions League

Rivals such as Liverpool, Man Utd and Arsenal launch bid to stop Man City playing in Europe

Premier League rivals gang up on Manchester City with EIGHT of the top 10 joining forces to launch CAS bid to stop them from playing in the Champions League while appeal against two-year ban waits to be heard amid coronavirus lockdown.

English football’s top clubs have launched a stunning bid to stop Manchester City attempting to play in the Champions League while their appeal against a two-year ban is ongoing.

In a bombshell disclosure, Sportsmail can reveal that the entire top 10 — with the exception of City and Sheffield United — have submitted a joint application to the Court of Arbitration for Sport which will hear City’s appeal against their punishment from UEFA for breaching Financial Fair Play rules.

The group, which includes the likes of Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea, have separately written to the same law firm, which has then sent an application backed by all to the arbitration body.

It states that should City request that their punishment is ‘stayed’ while their appeal is ongoing, all the clubs strongly object. It is understood, however, that such a request has not been lodged by the Premier League champions.

The move is a significant development. It provides a clear indication of the dim view that the rest of the top flight’s leading clubs have privately taken over City’s behaviour.

While City declined to comment, there is a belief within the Etihad Stadium that certain other rivals have been leading a charge against them. This action will do nothing to dilute that view.

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The ‘outraged’ position held by the group has been outlined by one source with knowledge of the situation.

‘The feeling is that enough is enough,’ said the source. ‘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 were banned from Europe’s premier competition for two years and fined £25million by UEFA in February for ‘serious breaches’ of Financial Fair Play. They deny any wrong-doing and immediately announced their intention to appeal, which they did.

CAS did not respond to a request for a comment by this newspaper. On March 17, when questioned on the progress of the appeal, they said that City had not yet lodged an application to stay the punishment while the appeal was heard.

The appeal, along with the coronavirus crisis, has raised concerns for the complainants that the case will be delayed and City will be in next season’s Champions League.

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