Let us leave the murky politics and dubious finances out of this, and concentrate on what really matters – you, the Manchester City supporter. It is you who pays on a weekly basis, to watch and support players who earn more in a week that you will earn in a lifetime. We can take it as fact that you will continue to support the club by attending matches, no matter what happens. Your loyalty is not questioned.
Let us be honest and say that Manchester City is probably guilty as accused. Let us assume that, for two years, the club will be punished and not be allowed to participate in a competition that brings in huge revenues but little glory. Only the winner is remembered.
Let us think, for just a moment, that all those involved reflect on their situation at Manchester City and what their position means to the supporters. This is not so much about what is legal and illegal, but about what is morally right and wrong.
You can be against UEFA like you can be against the European Union. But do it for the right reasons and don’t ignore the lies that were told to you at home.
If the accusations are true, they will reflect the carefree attitude of owners who are so rich that they can buy whatever they want, and not worry or care about the consequences. If the star players and manager leave the club, it will only underscore my profound conviction that very few players and managers really love the clubs they play for, and manage.
Loyalty has all but vanished in modern-day football. Managers get sacked with disconcerting ease, whilst players often forget the meaning of signing a contract. Maybe I’m too much of a romantic, thinking that footballers signing contracts is akin to two people devoting their lives to each other. In sickness and in health, in poorness and in richness. Until the Champions League do us part, that is.
The Champions League is, of course, the crux of the problem. It is the enchanted siren who entices the unsuspecting but talented sailor into its waters, never to escape. And football club owners will do anything to throw their best explorers into the murky waters of faraway oceans, as long as they come back with the long-sought treasure. Costs are not spared, with lavish presents replacing deep-rooted love. Morality has no place, because he who finds the treasure will have made his place in eternity, and only the best can succeed.
But as a supporter, are you justified in expecting superior beings to sacrifice their lives in persuit of impossible goals? Of all the trophies coveted by the Arabian princes, the Champions League is the one that escapes them. Casting its silver light on the trophy cabinet, it remains out of touch and yet tantilising. Owners and players may well be excessively capricous in wanting it, but are you any less to blame for questioning the infringement of universal justice in your common desire to obtain the unobtainable?