It was deep into injury time in the final match of the 2011-12 season and Manchester City needed a goal to win the Premier League with just seconds remaining. The Argentinian striker Sergio Agüero jinked past a QPR defender and smashed the ball into the net, sending the crowd into raptures and securing the club’s first league title for more than 30 years. More were to follow as the Manchester City trophy cabinet filled up over subsequent years, fuelled by a multimillion-pound spending spree on the world’s best players. All of it financed by Sheikh Mansour of Abu Dhabi’s royal family.
But after emails emerged in the German magazine Der Spiegel that appeared to show City had been flouting Uefa’s financial fair play rules, the club were put on notice for a possible sanction. When it came this month it shocked the world of football: a two-year ban from Europe’s most prestigious and lucrative club competition, the Champions League.
The Guardian’s David Conn has been following City’s fortunes for decades and lays out the rise of the club under its new owners with seemingly unlimited cash. He tells Rachel Humphreys that, despite the furious denials from City, the club could find itself out in the cold if its appeal fails and the ban is upheld.
Also today, science journalist Alok Jha on his new Guardian podcast Common Threads, exploring the ethics of gene editing technology.
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