Manchester City, the reigning champions of the English Premier League, have been dealt a major blow as they have lost their home ground, the Etihad Stadium, over unpaid taxes. The club, which is owned by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi, reportedly owes more than £500 million in taxes to the British government.
The tax authorities have seized the stadium and put it up for auction, with the starting bid set at £1 billion. The club has been given until the end of the month to pay their dues or face eviction from their home of 19 years.
The news has shocked the football world, as Manchester City is one of the richest and most successful clubs in Europe. They have won seven Premier League titles, six FA Cups, and two UEFA Champions League trophies since Sheikh Mansour took over in 2008. They have also spent more than £2 billion on signing some of the best players in the world, such as Kevin De Bruyne, Sergio Aguero, and Raheem Sterling.
However, their lavish spending has also attracted criticism and controversy, as they have been accused of breaching financial fair play rules and inflating their sponsorship deals to circumvent the regulations. They have also faced legal battles with UEFA and FIFA over various allegations of misconduct.
The club has issued a statement denying any wrongdoing and claiming that they have paid all their taxes on time. They have also blamed a “clerical error” for the misunderstanding and vowed to clear their name and reclaim their stadium as soon as possible.
However, some fans and pundits have expressed their doubts and dissatisfaction with the club’s management and performance. They have called for a change of ownership and a more transparent and responsible approach to running the club. They have also mocked the club’s slogan of “Cityzens”, saying that they are more like “tax evaders” or “cheaters”.
The club’s rivals have also taken the opportunity to poke fun at their misfortune. Manchester United fans have suggested that they should rename their stadium to “Taxi-had Stadium” or “Empty-had Stadium”. Liverpool fans have offered to lend them Anfield for a nominal fee of £100 million per game. Chelsea fans have reminded them that they are still behind them in the Premier League table and in the race for the Champions League trophy.
The club’s manager, Pep Guardiola, has tried to remain calm and focused on the upcoming fixtures. He has said that he is confident that the club will sort out the issue and that he is not worried about losing his job or his players. He has also said that he is proud of his team and that they will continue to play attractive and winning football regardless of where they play.
However, some sources have reported that Guardiola is secretly furious with the situation and that he is considering leaving the club at the end of the season. They have also claimed that some of his star players are unhappy with the uncertainty and instability at the club and that they are looking for a way out.
The club’s fate now hangs in the balance as they await the outcome of the auction and the legal proceedings.