And so sounds the death knell for Financial Fair Play. RIP FFP, we barely knew thee.

UEFA's plan to get tough on breaches of their paper restrictions has failed in spectacular fashion following the news on Monday morning that Manchester City's two-year Champions League ban has been overturned.

It means Pep Guardiola and co will be permitted to grace Europe's premier competition next term alongside Liverpool, Barcelona and the rest of the continent's big hitters.

The announcement that was delivered back on Valentine's Day this year was a shocking one. One that saw the governing body of European football show its teeth, if only for a fleeting glimpse.

"The Adjudicatory Chamber, having considered all the evidence, has found that Manchester City Football Club committed serious breaches of the UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations by overstating its sponsorship revenue in its accounts and in the break-even information submitted to UEFA between 2012 and 2016," read a UEFA statement at the time.

The then Premier League champions stood accused of overstating sponsorship revenue in accounts submitted between 2012 and 2016 and were fined just short of £25million, as a result.

That has now been reduced to around £10m with a lack of co-operation cited as the reason. One suspects City will foot that bill with a smile. The best-case scenario has come to fruition.

City's name hasn't been cleared entirely, Guardiola's side have been found guilty of failing to cooperate with UEFA's investigation, but CAS did not find evidence of disguising equity funding as sponsorship contributions, as UEFA had alleged.

UEFA's Financial Fair Play were regulations were originally designed to prevent clubs from qualifying for Europe by living beyond their means. Michel Platini, UEFA president at the time, said it was the organisation's attempt to stamp out "financial doping" in the sport.

A noble idea that aimed to both safeguard a club's long-term future while denying the chance to gatecrash the party on the strength of an owner's chequebook alone.

After CAS rejected UEFA the opportunity to continuing investigating the conduct of Paris Saint-Germain last year over similar allegations, this was FFP's last chance to show it is a model that can work. One that serves a real purpose in football.

Monday's decision, however, effectively renders FFP toothless. For all the red tape and bluster, City have walked clear with no case to answer, it seems.

"The CAS award emphasized that most of the alleged breaches reported by the Adjudicatory Chamber of the CFCB (UEFA Club Financial Control Body) were either not established or time-barred," read the statement.

"As the charges with respect to any dishonest concealment of equity funding were clearly more significant violations than obstructing the CFCB’s investigations, it was not appropriate to impose a ban on participating in UEFA’s club competitions for MCFC’s failure to cooperate with the CFCB’s investigations alone."

With the integrity of FFP on the line with Monday's decision, City's victory has hammered a nail into its coffin.

And given football's free market is certain to be impacted by the after-effects of COVID-19 for some time to come, it is likely the governing bodies will quietly encourage rampant spending from exorbitantly wealthy clubs in an attempt to jolt the sport's insular economy.

So what does all this mean for Jurgen Klopp and his Liverpool team?

For a start, it means City will retain their key figures for the foreseeable future. Kevin De Bruyne, who admitted that he may think about his future if the sanctions were upheld, will stay to lead the charge next season at the Etihad.

And given City - or any other club, for that matter - are now cleared to plunder millions back into a distressed transfer market this summer, expect the Reds' rivals to significantly strengthen in an attempt to close down a chasm that has become a source of embarrassment for those down the other end of the M62.

The most desirable outcome for City this term is to have relinquished their title by a 12-point margin, but that relies on Liverpool losing all three of their final games this season - the same amount of defeats in their last 73 Premier League matches.

What is far more likely is the gap remains around the 21-point mark it currently stands at.

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When City come to review their domestic campaign later this month, that huge gap between the sides may lead to some serious inquests. It is likely to result in an emboldened Guardiola entering the market with carefree abandon.

Now that FFP and its well-meaning, but clearly flawed guidelines are seemingly out the window, City will be desperate to fund a return to former glories in the Premier League.

Given City spent over £140million after winning the title last season, it is inconceivable another big spend won't be on the horizon given the manner in which their crown was forcibly removed from their possession by Klopp's Reds.

Klopp says he and his team aren't out to "defend" their title but rather "attack" the next one. But their aims have just got a little bit more difficult for next season.

It is a challenge the Liverpool boss will no doubt relish.