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Wednesday, April 1
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Joey Barton shares thoughts on Man City's Champions League ban

:Headline: Joey Barton shares thoughts on Man City's Champions League ban: ID:389837: from db_amp
The club have vowed to appeal their two-season ban from European competition.

Joey Barton feels sad for English football that Manchester City have been banned from the Champions League.

The back-to-back Premier League winners have been hit with a two-year suspension from European competition by governing body UEFA over Financial Fair Play rule breaches.

The club are appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport but, as things stand, City will play only in domestic football in 2020-21 and 2021-22.

Fleetwood manager Barton, 37, who was a trainee at City and spent four years in the first team, said: "I don't know the ins and outs of it, and if I'm totally honest I don't particularly care about it, but I don't like the thought of seeing City not in the Champions League.

"They are one of the best sides in our country, so it's a strange one because when that size of a club, with that level of a manager and players...you have to be in Europe's major competition.

"For English football you want your best teams in that competition."

The ban has sparked speculation about the future of City manager Pep Guardiola and some of their star players. There are also fears it could hamper their ability to recruit their top targets in the transfer market.

Barton's former team-mate Jon Macken, however, is confident the club will still be able to punch their weight on and off the field.

Macken, 42, who played for City from 2002-05, told the PA news agency: "Everyone says they might not stay but this is Manchester City, a fantastic football club.

"Manchester City are a global success story. Everyone wants to come to Manchester City because of how successful they are and because they have arguably got the greatest manager.

"I know they are not going to be in the Champions League – which is the best competition in the world – but still the Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup will be a big attraction for many, many players.

"It's up to them. I suppose you will get players who will want to play Champions League but they should be looking at the bigger picture – what Manchester City bring as a whole, not in the short term but in the long term.

"When you attract someone like Pep, with his profile, there is always the worry that he might go on to other things but, at the end of the day, Manchester City are massive global attraction for anybody – any manager, any player, fans."

Former City defender Keith Curle, who is now the manager of League Two Northampton, believes City have got a good case for an appeal.

The 56-year-old said: "I think they have grounds to appeal. I'm sure if they feel they have been wronged then they will fight that case.

"It's a massive thing for them because they need to attract the best players in the world to that football club."

Ex-City skipper Andy Morrison is confident the club will ride the storm.

The manager of Welsh side Connah's Quay tweeted: "There are times in life where you have to take a deep breath, put your faith in the system and trust the process.

"This is an opportunity for the Owners, Manager, Players and fans to UNITE yet again as one. The most successful club of the last decade ain't going anywhere."

Barton, however, did cheekily add that he saw one positive.

If City's ban is upheld, fifth place in the Premier League will qualify for next year's Champions League.

The Fleetwood manager, who grew up an Everton fan, said: "It'll certainly make the race for fifth place more exciting, particularly for me as an Evertonian!"

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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool29271166214582
2Manchester CityMan City28183768313757
3Leicester CityLeicester29165858283053
4Chelsea29146951391248
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd29129844301445
6Wolverhampton WanderersWolves29101364134743
7Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd28111073025543
8Tottenham HotspurSpurs29118104740741
9Arsenal2891364036440
10Burnley29116123440-639
11Crystal Palace29109102632-639
12Everton29107123746-937
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2998122541-1635
14Southampton29104153552-1734
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton29611123240-829
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham2976163550-1527
17Watford2969142744-1727
18Bournemouth2976162947-1827
19Aston Villa2874173456-2225
20Norwich CityNorwich2956182552-2721
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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool29271166214582
2Manchester CityMan City28183768313757
3Leicester CityLeicester29165858283053
4Chelsea29146951391248
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd29129844301445
6Wolverhampton WanderersWolves29101364134743
7Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd28111073025543
8Tottenham HotspurSpurs29118104740741
9Arsenal2891364036440
10Burnley29116123440-639
11Crystal Palace29109102632-639
12Everton29107123746-937
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2998122541-1635
14Southampton29104153552-1734
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton29611123240-829
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham2976163550-1527
17Watford2969142744-1727
18Bournemouth2976162947-1827
19Aston Villa2874173456-2225
20Norwich CityNorwich2956182552-2721
Scroll for more - Tap for full version
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