Manchester City’s ban from European based competitions represents the icing on the cake for Liverpool in what has been an unprecedented season of English top-flight dominance.
As reported by BBC Sport last night, UEFA have banned back-to-back Premier League champions City from all European club competitions in 2020-21 and 2021-22 after being found to have committed serious breaches of UEFA’s club licensing and financial fair play regulations.
From a Liverpool perspective, there is little sympathy.
City have benefited greatly from their astronomical cash influx over the years having dominated the top-flight with an iron fist over the previous two seasons.
In the last 10 years, the Citizens have spent more than any other team in Europe. According to Transfermarkt’s database, City have signed 278 players since the start of the 2009/10 season to help make them Europe’s biggest spenders with a gargantuan £1.5bn expenditure.
Meanwhile, Liverpool have had to be smarter, more patient. The Reds have had to identify an alternate, more sustainable route back to the top. The club’s surgical work in the market in recent years – with a net spend of just £74.5m since Klopp’s appointment in 2015 – has seen funds plummet through smart trading coupled by the stocks generated from on-pitch success and ballooning commercial gains.
The approach has firmly put Liverpool deservedly back on their perch. Klopp and the Reds currently lead the English champions by a gargantuan 22 points with the possibility of that total increasing after the Independent reported the Citizens could now face a points penalty from the Premier League
Whilst Liverpool’s imminent title parade is already a formality it could see the Reds mathematically crowned champions sooner than expected.
It represents a swift turning of the tide as Liverpool look to establish their own era of unrivalled dominance.
At the time of writing, Klopp’s ‘mentality monsters’ are just six league victories away from PL immortality. They have redefined the margins of consistency by shattering domestic records on a weekly basis.
Liverpool have made the strongest start seen not only in the Premier League era but in top-flight history across England, France, Germany, Italy or Spain. With more than a third of the season to go, they have already racked up two more league wins than Manchester United’s treble-winning team of 1999.
Whilst the Reds themselves will not think a great deal of the controversy undergoing at City, it is worth reflecting just what an incredible job FSG and Liverpool have overseen to knock this money-inflated cash machine firmly from their perch.