Date: 17th September 2017 at 2:15pm
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Reports are emerging that Manchester City may face investigation by both the FA and the UEFA after a week in which they wiped the floor with the Sadio ManĂ© Victim Support Charity (aka Liverpool), Dutch ‘Minnows’ (aka ‘well it was only their first League title in 18 years, give them a chance’) Feyenoord and ‘Well it was only Watford despite the fact they were unbeaten in four games and hadn’t conceded in the last three’……. errrrr Watford.

In the case of the FA, questions are being asked as to why Manchester City were allowed to complete the game without a single booking let alone all eleven players still on the pitch. A spokesperson said –

‘We are looking into reports that match officiating protocols were breached during the Watford v Manchester City league match on Saturday. The failure of officials to find any reason whatsoever to book a City player is without precedent we believe – we have sent Kevin, our Work Experience lad down into the archives to check. He should have been back by now, don’t know what’s keeping him. Knew we should have taken his iPhone off him.

‘Anyway we are taking this matter very, very seriously and will be looking to see whether there were any infringements that the officials may have missed such as players stepping off the team bus with the left foot or not having their headphones colour-coordinated with their jackets.

‘The instruction regarding issuing cards is designed to ensuring suspensions kick in at just the right time – around Christmas when City play the Champions Elect – is in jeopardy unless we keep up the correct level of yellow and red cards in each fixture otherwise it makes a mockery of our match scheduling arrangement with the Premier League and our consultant, Mr J Ohniruom’.

When challenged that this consultant’s name was an anagram of the coach of one of Manchester City’s main rivals the spokesperson refused to comment further.

The second potential investigation facing City bosses comes from claims that several Premier League clubs have asked UEFA to step in and investigate Manchester City’s recent ‘egregious display of goal scoring’.

Having scored 15 goals in three games City are being accused of ‘distorting the market’ in goals and ‘taking more than their fair share’ in games which they say threatens to unbalance the competitions and cause other sides to become depressed before they even kick off.

‘It’s just not fair’ said one Premier League club chairman. ‘Some of our players had to be coaxed out of various hiding places. We even found one in the laundry basket.’

A member of the legal team appointed by the Premier League clubs involved refused to speak on the record but has indicated that they are considering appointing a Premier League ‘Handicapper General’ to restrict Manchester City’s goal scoring. It is believed that suggestions include requiring City’s forwards having their bootlaces tied together and banning certain players (e.g. Aguero and Jesus or Silva and De Bruyne) from either being on the pitch at the same time or awarding free kicks if they pass to one another. More controversial suggestions include only permitting City to have three of their players in the opposition half at any one time; banning them from passing the ball over the halfway line; allocating a maximum limit of passes to be permitted during the game; and finally banning Benjamin Mendy and Kyle Walker from crossing the halfway line altogether. They may soften this and allow one of them at any one time to be in the opposition half but award a free kick if they cross the ball. Especially Mendy.

Suggestions that adjusting the rules whereby City have to score twice for it to count as a proper goal, for opposition goals to count double from the kick off, for hat tricks not to count unless they are scored with the right foot, the left foot and a header (aka a ‘genuine hat trick’) or for certain City players to only be allowed to score with their weaker foot are also being discussed.

It is believed that the Premier League have actually initiated secret talks with UEFA and FIFA to enable teams to apply to the Premier League to ‘cap’ the number of goals Manchester City are allowed to score. It is unknown whether such a cap would apply within individual games e.g. no more than two in any one match, or an average of two per match across the whole season. In the case of the former the proposal is believed to offer a choice between each additional goal above the ‘Per Game Limit’ to be either chalked off or actually be awarded to their opponent. In the case of the ‘Whole Season Goal Average’ proposal City would be allocated a certain number of ‘permitted goals’ per season and it would be up to them to decide how to use them. Any goals scored above this limit would not count so yesterday’s 0-6 drubbing of Watford would mean City would,have to be careful in how many other goals they scored later in the season. The latter is regarded as more complex and it is felt that the ‘Per Game’ cap would be easier to enforce and also save their opponents from having to bother to attack.

One idea they are keen on pressing is for City to be forced to withdraw a player from their team on the pitch every time they score. In the case of yesterday’s game at Watford this would have meant City being reduced to having only five players on the pitch and as a result the game would have had to be abandoned under existing footballing Laws.

‘Exactly’ said the spokesperson.

Off the record the legal team member said ‘Our clients are also really worried about the possession stats. I mean they provide the match ball for their home games and their players hardly get to touch it. It’s really unfair and amounts to football bullying.

‘We think they may have a case for harassment also given the way the City players constantly bother the home team, chasing them all over the pitch and not leaving them alone. We are contacting the CPS and local police to see whether City players can actually be dealt with for this by the officers at the ground. They have said they might consider issuing fixed penalty notices but only after the game which is outrageous. Their reluctance to enter the field of play and deal with these blatant offences at the time is being challenged. Their unwillingness to regard tackling an opponent and taking the ball off them as theft is massively disappointing. I mean, these guys are legally in possession of the ball. For someone else to waltz into your home and just relieve you of say your sofa – well that’s theft isn’t it?

‘We think that if City players were issued with our proposed ‘player zonal enforcement notices’ early in the game then they could be banned from approaching opponents, say within ten yards, and if they breach these orders they could be asked to leave the field of play. It seems only fair’.

UEFA have refused to comment but were believed to be interested in the concept of a ‘Handicapper General’ role feeling that it could augment the existing FFP provisions which have so far failed to sufficiently protect the status quo. Several UEFA ‘Big Wigs’ are said to be interested in the position.

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