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6 Big Clubs Who Were Relegated for Off-Field Issues & How They Got On

​Manchester City are in a right old mess.

After years of a seemingly uninterrupted upward trajectory under Sheikh Mansour and the City Football Group, the reigning Premier League champions have been brought back to earth with a bang after being slapped with a two-year ban from all UEFA competitions for breaches of Financial Fair Play.

There’s also the looming ​possibility of a points deduction in the Premier League for their alleged sins, and that’s just what we know right now. 

While an ​appeal could see the ban reduced or even overturned, things could also get significantly worse for ​City.

Gabriel Jesus

The term ‘automatic relegation’ has even been whispered in some quarters, as a potential worst-case scenario.

It seems extreme but it wouldn’t be the first time, you know.

Here’s a look at six successful clubs who were sent tumbling down the divisions, and how they fared following their demotion.


Juventus

Juventus' forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic cel

The Fabio Capello era started so, so well at ​Juventus, with the coach leading I Bianconeri to consecutive ​Serie A titles in his first two campaigns, taking their overall tally to 29. Then Calciopoli happened…

At the end of the 2005/06 season, Juve were stripped of both Scudetti they’d won under Capello following an investigation by police forces. Club officials had been caught pressuring referees to show favour to the Turin side, and the league’s governing body were not best pleased.

Juventus were relegated to Serie B after appeal, while they started the new campaign on -9 points. 

That didn’t stop the Old Lady from roaring back at the first time of asking, with many of their best players (Gianluigi Buffon. Giorgio Chiellini, Alessandro Del Piero and Pavel Nedved) opting to stay despite the embarrassing relegation.

After a few years in the (relative) wilderness, they’re once again the Godfathers of Italian football, with 2010/11 the last season which didn’t end with Juve as Serie A champions.


Rangers

Barrie McKay

54 Scottish league titles, 60 domestic cups and a European Cup Winners’ Cup had brought fame and fortune to Rangers for much of their history, yet financial mismanagement in the 21st century would undo all their good work.

Placed into administration in February 2012, the Ibrox outfit succumbed to their monetary issues just four months later as they went into liquidation. 

Of course, the fan-base stuck by their side, who were reborn as a new legal entity. However, many of the players decided to up sticks and look for work elsewhere.

Unfortunately for Rangers and their supporters, the phoenix club were forced to begin the rebuilding process in the fourth tier of Scottish football. It took just four seasons for them to get back to the top-flight, by which point Celtic had taken a stranglehold on the Scottish Premiership.

The Bhoys have collected all 10 major trophies in the country since Gers returned to the big time, highlighting the gulf that still exists between the fierce rivals.


Marseille

Rudi Voeller of Marseille and Lorenzo Staelens of Club Brugge KV

To ensure their players weren’t sapped of energy ahead of the 1993 ​Champions League final, Marseille’s president and general manager went and used some very dubious tactics.

Bernard Tapie and Jean-Pierre Bernes tried to bribe several members of Valenciennes’ squad, asking them to deliberately underperform

The two clubs were due to meet six days before Marseille’s showdown with ​Milan in the European Cup, but OM couldn’t afford to take their foot off the gas in Ligue 1, given Monaco and Paris Saint-Germain were in hot pursuit.

Tapie and Bernes’ plan fell apart when one of the men they’d attempted to bribe spoke out, leading to an investigation that saw Marseille relegated to the second division in 1994/95. 

They’d lifted league titles for four straight seasons, but this had a significant impact on their reputation and finances. While still a dominant force in French football, Les Olympiens have only added one more top-tier trophy to their cabinet since promotion in 1995.


Parma

Bellaria Igea Marina v Parma Calcio 1913 - Serie D

The start of the new millennium brought trouble for Parma, though they did seal their third Coppa Italia success in a decade in May 2002.

That was the only thing they had to celebrate, a lack of money meaning the likes of Gianluigi Buffon, Lilian Thuram and Fabio Cannavaro had to be sold. It backfired massively, with poor performances dragging them deeper into financial turmoil.

Parma couldn’t pay off their debts, living an uncertain existence for several years, until they were liquidated and sent into the fourth tier in 2015. 

That proved to be a turning point as I Ducali gathered momentum in the lower leagues, the club securing three back-to-back promotions to gloriously return to Serie A in 2018.


Boavista

Boavista's goalkeeper Carlos Fernandes r

Seven years after their maiden Primeira Liga crown, Boavista found themselves being demoted by the authorities, who had found them guilty of bribery and referee coercion.

That wasn’t the end of the matter, however. The Portuguese club were handed a second successive automatic relegation in the summer of 2009, their first season in Liga de Honra, despite placing 15th in the standings.

Boavista yo-yo’d between the second and third-tier for several campaigns, before their incessant appeals against their punishment were finally heard in 2014, the side instantly reinstated in the Primeira Liga.

They’re yet to lose their status among the nation’s best, though As Panteras are no longer vying for silverware.


Steaua Bucharest


There was once just CSA Steaua, founded as a section of the Romanian army. Then, in 1998, CSA Steaua Bucuresti split from the parent club, styling themselves as a purely footballing entity.

Nothing happened for a long time, until the military side lodged a legal complaint about the new team’s name in 2014. CSA became FC Steaua Bucuresti, with the original name belonging to the army.

Having reclaimed their moniker, the ‘real’ CSA Steaua Bucuresti reentered the footballing world in 2017, but they had to start from the fourth division on Romanian football, where they still are today.

Unsurprisingly, both clubs claim to have the 1986 European Cup amongst their list of trophies, along with all the other titles that came before the split. It’s complicated…


For more from Ed Alexander, follow him on Twitter

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5 Clubs Napoli Star Allan Could Join in the Summer Transfer Window

If there’s one thing you need to play for a Gennaro Gattuso team, it’s an undying commitment to the cause. 

It seems that midfielder Allan has lost that motivation to run through brick walls (or just around training pitches) for Napoli this season, and he has subsequently been dropped from the squad to face Cagliari due to poor training levels. 

The 29-year-old’s relationship with nearly everyone in Naples is at its lowest ebb, and with the situation at breaking point, a change may be best for all parties. 

Gennaro Gattuso,Allan

But who would come in for a player like Allan? Well, the combative midfield destroyer deserves to be dining at the top-end of the European football table, and a handful of the biggest sporting directors in the sport will have spat out their tea when they saw the news of his Napoli absence. 

Allan has grown into one of the most dynamic, aggressive and influential stars in Serie A in recent years, and given he is still at the peak of his powers, there will be plenty of teams battling it out for the Brazilian’s signature. 

But who are the leading candidates? 90min investigates. 


Juventus

​Where does any Serie A star go when he’s had enough of not winning any trophies? That’s right – ​Juventus! 

Plenty of players fancy their chances of tipping the scales of Italian football out of I Bianconeri’s favour but, sooner or later, they all succumb to the dark side. 

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Allan’s form over the past few years has deserved a title or two, but his main downfall is that he hasn’t been playing in the black of white of the Old Lady. Over in Turin, It hasn’t quite clicked for Maurizio Sarri yet, and it’s no secret that he’s a huge admirer of the box-to-box midfielder. 

The Brazilian star had the best season of his career under the current Juve boss, and another collaboration would surely be an instant success. A no-brainer, then? 


Paris Saint-Germain 

​Neymar. Kylian Mbappé. Angel Di Maria. It’s no secret that Paris Saint-Germain possess some of the most dangerous attacking players in the world. But they certainly could do with a bit more bite in midfield. 

Giovanni Simeone,Allan

The summer signings of Idrissa Gueye and Ander Herrera has added some much-needed balance, but they still miss a real link between defence and attack, with guile and strength. 

The Brazilian’s experience and ability to shield a defence could be the difference between Champions League success and failure for the Parisian giants. 

Not a marquee name, but just as much of a match-winner. 


Liverpool

There’s a reason why Napoli always put up such a great fight against the Premier League champions-elect. I Partenopei – especially during the Sarri regime – played a very similar style to ​Liverpool, dominating the midfield with hard-working grafters, which in turn allowed the front three to win games on their own. Allan is ready-made for Klopp-ball. 

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One of the hardest tasks in modern-day football is improving this current Reds side, but the inclusion of Allan may do just that. With question marks arising over the future of Georginio Wijnaldum and Adam Lallana on the way out, the 29-year-old (despite his advancing years) may be the perfect replacement. 

A scary thought for the rest of England. 


Manchester United 

It’s hard to know just how seriously to take ​Manchester United’s transfer ambitions nowadays, but if the (eventual) signing of Bruno Fernandes is anything to go by, then they may building a team capable of competing near the top of the Premier League again. 

Bruno Fernandes

The centre of midfield has been a constant problem for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and the Red Devils lack any star quality offensively or defensively. Fernandes’ arrival will give the Premier League giants a real boost in the final third, but they still need a serious ball-winner to kickstart their attacks.

Allan is a force to be reckoned with, and his dynamic style of play would suit the English top-flight perfectly. One for Ed Woodward to mull over. 


Atlético Madrid 

Allan has the ability and mindset of a top-level player, so it would be no surprise if he ended up at one of the big boys in Spain. However, given that ​Barcelona are undergoing an identity crisis which the Brazilian wouldn’t necessarily fix, it’s more likely that he would head to the Spanish capital. 

Diego Pablo Simeone

​Real Madrid? Possibly. But since Casemiro is two years younger than the Napoli star, a move to rivals ​Atlético Madrid could be a much more viable alternative. If there’s one man who Allan was born to play for, it’s Diego Simeone. Fight, fire, passion and drive – he’s got the lot in abundance. 

A player who could relight the touchpaper under a flagging Colchoneros side. 


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Manchester City Banned From Champions League for 2 Seasons & Fined €30m for FFP Breaches

​UEFA have confirmed that Manchester City have been banned from the Champions League for the next two seasons over Financial Fair Play breaches.

City have also been fined €30m (£25m) after they were found to have misled UEFA as well as breaking FFP rules.

Pep Guardiola

UEFA’s Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) discovered that City falsely inflated their sponsorship revenues. 

UEFA said in a statement: “Following a hearing held on 22 January 2020 the Adjudicatory Chamber of the UEFA Club Financial Control Body (CFCB), chaired by José da Cunha Rodrigues, has today notified Manchester City Football Club of the final decision on the case which was referred by the CFCB Chief Investigator.

“The Adjudicatory Chamber, having considered all the evidence, has found that Manchester City Football Club committed serious breaches of the UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations by overstating its sponsorship revenue in its accounts and in the break-even information submitted to UEFA between 2012 and 2016.

“The Adjudicatory Chamber has also found that in breach of the regulations the Club failed to cooperate in the investigation of this case by the CFCB.

Fernandinho,Nicolas Otamendi

“The Adjudicatory Chamber has imposed disciplinary measures on Manchester City Football Club directing that it shall be excluded from participation in UEFA club competitions in the next two seasons (ie. the 2020/21 and 2021/22 seasons) and pay a fine of €30m.

“The decision of the Adjudicatory Chamber is subject to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). If Manchester City Football Club exercises that right the full reasoned decision of the Adjudicatory Chamber will not be published prior to publication of the final award by the CAS.”

City came under fire initially when leaked emails and documents uncovered by German outlet Der Spiegel back in November 2018 suggested that the club were finding ways of falsifying revenue streams. 

​The Guardian report that club owner Sheikh Mansour was alleged to have been funding the £67.5m deal with Etihad to sponsor City’s stadium and kits, and further leaks suggested only £8m from that sponsorship in the 2015-16 financial year came directly from the airline.

City have released a statement condemning the decision: “Manchester City is disappointed but not surprised by today’s announcement by the UEFA Adjudicatory Chamber. The Club has always anticipated the ultimate need to seek out an independent body and process to impartially consider the comprehensive body of irrefutable evidence in support of its position.

FBL-ENG-FACUP-MAN CITY-FULHAM

“In December 2018, the UEFA Chief Investigator publicly previewed the outcome and sanction he intended to be delivered to Manchester City, before any investigation had even begun. The subsequent flawed and consistently leaked UEFA process he oversaw has meant that there was little doubt in the result that he would deliver. The Club has formally complained to the UEFA Disciplinary body, a complaint which was validated by a CAS ruling.

“Simply put, this is a case initiated by UEFA, prosecuted by UEFA and judged by UEFA. With this prejudicial process now over, the Club will pursue an impartial judgment as quickly as possible and will therefore, in the first instance, commence proceedings with the Court of Arbitration for Sport at the earliest opportunity.”

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Juventus Chief Claims Paulo Dybala Could Emulate Lionel Messi & Speaks on Cristiano Ronaldo’s Future

​Juventus chief Fabio Paratici has revealed that he feels forward Paulo Dybala has what it takes to emulate Barcelona’s Lionel Messi if he remains at the Allianz Stadium.

The 26-year-old, who came close to leaving the club in the summer, has proven to be a key player under Maurizio Sarri, bagging 11 goals and 11 assists in all competitions this season. He is understood to be negotiating a new contract and there is an optimism that things could be finalised in the near future.

Paulo Dybala

​Dybala has often been compared to ​Messi because of his Argentinian nationality, and Paratici told Rai Sport (via ​Goal) that he is confident Dybala can emulate his compatriot if he commits his future to the club.

“We are very happy with Dybala, he is our number ten,” he said. “We’ve invested heavily in him and hope he can be ​Juventus’ Leo Messi.”

Dybala’s ability to play alongside ​Cristiano Ronaldo is something which has often come into question since the Portugal international’s move to the club in 2018. Ronaldo has often taken up the central striker role, leaving Dybala forced to settle for a spot out wide.

Ronaldo fired home 28 goals last season – a tally he is almost certain to improve on this year – and Paratici also confirmed that Juventus are confident he will still be at the club for years to come, saying: “There are no doubts [about his future].” 

Overall, it has been a frustrating campaign for Juventus. Despite regularly looking impressive and sitting top of the table, they have simply not been able to shake off competition from both ​Inter and Lazio.

Nevertheless, Paratici admitted he was delighted with the club’s current situation as they have managed to maintain their success, despite wholesale changes in recent seasons.

Cristiano Ronaldo

“This is our tenth year at the helm of Juventus. Usually, eras run for three to four years, but we have been able to continually renew and renovate while also getting positive results,” he added.

“We are currently on track for all our objectives this season and the club is very happy. We have top level players and tried to enact a generational shift without going overboard or changing 10 players at once, bringing in young talent like Matthijs de Ligt and Adrien Rabiot.”


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Juventus vs Brescia Preview: How to Watch on TV, Live Stream, Kick Off Time & Team News

​Juventus host Brescia on Sunday afternoon in Serie A as they look to take advantage of the Lazio-Inter clash later that day.

Defeat at Hellas Verona last Saturday saw Maurizio Sarri’s side relinquish their place at the top of the table, with Inter’s comeback victory in the Derby della Madonnina seeing them leapfrog I Bianconeri at the summit – only on goal difference, mind.

FBL-ITA-SERIEA-VERONA-JUVENTUS

Things looked to have been getting worse for Sarri on Thursday night when an Ante Rebic volley put Milan ahead in the first leg of their semi-final tie in the Coppa Italia on Thursday night. But a late Cristiano Ronaldo penalty ensured Juve will go into the second leg in three weeks’ time on level terms.

On Sunday, they’ll take on a Brescia side who currently sit 19th in Serie A. I Biancazzurri haven’t tasted victory since the 3-0 win over Lecce in mid-December and are in dire need of an upsurge in form if they want to avoid a return to Serie B – they’re already six points adrift of safety.


Where to Watch

When Is Kick Off? ​Sunday 16 February
​What Time Is Kick Off? ​14:30 (GMT)
​Where Is it Played? ​Allianz Stadium
​TV Channel/Live Stream? ​Premier Sports 1
​Referee? ​Matteo Botegoni

Team News

The home side will be without Douglas Costa, who’s set to be sidelined for three weeks after picking up a muscle injury against Verona last week. 

Giorgio Chiellini

Federico Bernardeschi, Danilo and Merih Demiral remain out with injuries they’ve sustained since the turn of 2020, while long-term absentees Giorgio Chiellini and Sami Khedira are set for returns in the coming weeks.

Recently appointed Brescia boss Diego Lopez should have a full squad available for the trip to Turin. Central midfielder Romulo is the only doubt with a dead leg.


Predicted Lineups

​Juventus Szczesny; Cuadrado, De Ligt, Bonucci, Sandro; Bentancur, Pjanic, Rabiot; Ramsey; Dybala, Ronaldo.​
​Brescia ​Joronen; Sabelli, Cistana, Chancellor, Martella; Bisoli, Dessena, Tonali, Spalek; Torregrossa, Balotelli.

Head to Head Record

Before the reverse fixture back in September – which Juve won 2-1 – the two sides hadn’t faced each other for nearly a decade, with their last meeting being back in March 2011. 

Goals from Milos Krasic and Alessandro Del Piero were enough to see off Le Rondinelle on that day, back when Juve were still playing at Stadio Olimpico di Torino.

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Of their last six meetings, Juventus have won on four occasions while Brescia have only come away victorious once, all the way back in March 2007 when both sides were in Serie B. 


Recent Form

Despite being level on points with Inter at the top of the table, Juve have rarely been convincing this season under new manager Sarri, and in their last four games in all competitions they’ve won just once – a 3-0 home victory against Fiorentina at the start of the month.

While they’ve coped defensively despite the loss of Giorgio Chiellini, I Bianconeri have often lacked penetration and creativity going forward. 

With the likes of Paulo Dybala, Adrien Rabiot and Miralem Pjanic in the side, their interplay can sometimes be spectacular in the build-up phase, but when they get into the final third they look devoid of ideas – something that was on display against Milan in the week, eventually getting bailed out by a controversial late penalty decision.

Cristiano Ronaldo

There’s no doubt they have the experience and capability to win yet another Scudetto, but contesting for the Champions League seems a long way off – even with Cristiano in their ranks.

Brescia, meanwhile, have endured a dismal campaign in their return to the top flight. 

While Andrea Pirlo regen Sandro Tonali has impressed from central midfield, Brescia’s deficiencies at both ends of the pitch have ultimately led to their struggles this season. The club’s 21 goals scored and 42 conceded both rank third-worst in the division. 

Following Eugenio Corini’s second departure from the club at the start of the month, the Brescia faithful are looking to new boss Lopez to steer them to safety. The Uruguayan almost got off to the perfect start against Udinese at the weekend, but a late Rodrigo de Paul strike meant Brescia were forced to settle for a point. Promising signs, nonetheless. 

Here’s how the pair have fared in their last five outings.

Juventus Brescia​
​Milan 1-1 Juventus (13/2) ​Brescia 1-1 Udinese (9/2)
​Verona 2-1 Juventus (8/2) ​Bologna 2-1 Brescia (1/2)
​Juventus 3-0 Fiorentina (2/2) ​Brescia 0-1 Milan (24/1)
​Napoli 2-1 Juventus (26/2) ​Brescia 2-2 Cagliari (19/1)
​Juventus 3-1 Roma (22/1) ​Sampdoria 5-1 Brescia (12/1)

Prediction

Despite Juve’s toothlessness in the final third, they should have enough to get past Brescia in this one.

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It’s hard to envisage the visitors’ backline being able to keep pace with the craftiness of Dybala and the ruthlessness of Ronaldo – who’s scored 18 in his last 14, by the way – for the whole 90 minutes, but with a new manager in town, they should put up a decent fight.

Nevertheless, this should be a routine victory for the Bianconeri.

Prediction: Juventus 2-0 Brescia

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