The majority of Premier League clubs do NOT want Manchester City to be relegated after they were found guilty of breaching financial fair play regulations, reports claim.
City were slapped with a two-year suspension from European football by UEFA for their indiscretions and were also hit with a £25million fine.
But while their domestic rivals want to see equally tough sanctions from the Premier League, it is feared relegation would be a step too far.
According to The Athletic, the majority of Premier League clubs want to see City punished for breaking the rules and feel aggrieved at having to pay so much to sign players as they believe the Eithad Stadium club helped inflate the market.
The reluctance to accept they have done wrong as they prepare to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) also rankles with their rivals, who want City suitably punished on the domestic level on top of their European sanctions.
But City could well be spared relegation to the Championship as many clubs feel such a punishment would be ‘a step too far’.
The report claims numerous top-flight teams feel City have ultimately been good for the Premier League as a business since the Abu Dhabi takeover in 2008, and that relegating the reigning champions would turn the division into a ‘bit of a circus’.
The situation draws parallels with rugby union Premiership champions Saracens who will be playing in the second tier next season after being found guilty of breaching salary cap regulations.
And while City may find their rivals are somewhat merciful in not wanting to see them relegated, Sarries experienced no such luck and have been beaten from pillar to post by several aggrieved clubs already this season.
City are confident they will have their ban overturned when they appeal to CAS.
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