Manchester City‘s Champions League journey ended in disappointment as they fell to Real Madrid in a dramatic quarter-final showdown, reported by GOAL. However, the club's troubles gets even worse by allegations of financial misconduct, with City facing a staggering 115 charges of breaching Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations spanning nearly a decade.

Despite their impressive performances on the field, Manchester City's Champions League aspirations were dashed after a heartbreaking defeat to Real Madrid on penalties. The loss not only marked the end of their pursuit of a historic double treble but also reignited criticism over the club's financial practices.

Cheating allegations for Manchester City

Amidst City's Champions League exit, former Premier League player Stan Collymore raised eyebrows with a scathing accusation of “cheating” directed at the club. On social media, Collymore shared images of European Cup-winning moments from traditional football powerhouses like Aston Villa, Nottingham Forest, Liverpool, and Celtic, implicitly questioning City's legitimacy as a top-tier club.

In a bold statement, Collymore emphasized the significance of winning prestigious titles like the European Cup without resorting to alleged financial irregularities. His comments reflect growing concerns within the football community regarding the integrity of the sport and the need for accountability.

Collymore wrote: “Don't forget kids, you're only a big club when you've won the European Cup, and you're only a really big club when you've done it without cheating. Innit fam. Brrraaap braaap.”

Collymore's remarks underscore a broader conversation about the consequences of breaching FFP regulations and the importance of maintaining the integrity of football competitions. He called for meaningful repercussions, including the potential stripping of titles if City is found guilty of financial misconduct. According to Collymore, such actions would serve as a deterrent and uphold the credibility of football's regulatory framework.

In an interview with Caught Offside, Collymore emphasized the need for regulatory bodies to take a firm stance against financial malpractice. He argued that stripping titles would underscore the severity of FFP violations and ensure that clubs adhere to established financial regulations. For Collymore, upholding the integrity of the sport is paramount, and any compromise on this front undermines the essence of competitive football.

Collymore said: “The sad thing is, if found guilty after the investigation has concluded, it’s very likely the Citizens will face no real consequences. If the regulatory bodies want to take a real stand, they should start stripping titles because if they were to do that, any club, not just Man City, who are found guilty of breaking FFP rules, would have done so for absolutely nothing. And there is nothing more embarrassing in sport than having your awards deemed null and void.”

What's next for Manchester City?

Pep Guardiola looking down/sad in the middle, Kevin de Bruyne and Erling Haaland on the sides, the Manchester City logo in the back

Despite the controversy surrounding the club, Manchester City must shift their focus to the upcoming FA Cup clash against Chelsea at Wembley Stadium. With their treble hopes dashed, City will be eager to secure a spot in the FA Cup final and potentially salvage their season with a domestic trophy.

As the dust settles on their Champions League disappointment and allegations of financial impropriety loom large, Manchester City faces a crucial juncture in their quest for success both on and off the pitch. The coming weeks will test their resilience and determination as they navigate through uncertain waters in the footballing landscape.