No doubt about the main talking point this week, in football certainly – the European ban for Manchester City.

Two years’ omission from the Champions League, a possible points reduction from the Premier League and the threat of manager and players doing a bunk.

It’s been something of a Doomsday scenario for a club that has set high standards in a dominant spell of silverware-grabbing exploits.

The appeal will be made to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and City, from the word go, have protested their innocence. They have the world’s best lawyers lined-up to go to court for them.

The Uefa charge is basically that City did not adhere to the rules of FFP (Financial Fair Play) which itself, in many areas of football, is regarded as an erroneous way of maintaining the football status quo.

Manager Pep Guardiola and the star players have quickly come out with their support for the club and insist they will be staying.

But the cynics were quick to suggest that will last until the appeal fails and City do in fact get a two-year ban from Europe. Then there will be a stampede for the exit.

City have strongly protested their innocence since the original details were released in a German newspaper following an alleged internet hack.

I’m Workington Reds first and City second, since 1953 and 1955 respectively, and like a lot more will be hoping that the charges are overturned and the ban is removed.

It might not be quite as simple as that, and undoubtedly some mud will stick even if there is a satisfactory conclusion for the club in the courts.

I’ve been inundated with City jokes this week – from Boris Johnson praising the club for its dedication to Brexit to Jim Bowen holding the Champions League trophy and asking City to look at what they COULD have won!

City have come a long way since the Abu Dhabi takeover – they’re virtually unrecognisable from where they were on Easter Saturday 1955 when I saw them beat Sunderland 1-0 at a packed Maine Road.

Handed down from my grandfather and dad to the white wall surrounding the pitch to be with the other young boys, and then handed back up the terracing at the end.

It’s a different world now, obviously, not just in sport, but on football’s hot topic I leave the last word to leading British sports lawyer John Mehrzad.

He says: “We’ve seen the integrity of the FFP system challenged before, but this could be about the entire make-up of football’s regulatory regime, so the repercussions are enormous.”

You get the feeling that this one could run and run.

* Keep an eye on this one; one of those comebacks you feel are destined to end suddenly and in controversial fashion.

Dani Osvaldo had played for 13 clubs and was capped 14 times for Italy before he announced his retirement in 2016.

He wanted to concentrate on his rock band Barrio Viejo (Old Town) and do other things.

Well, one of those things was finishing third in Italy’s version of Strictly Come Dancing last year.

A decent striker in his playing days, he was never far from controversy, with training ground bust-ups with Jose Fonte at Southampton and an on-field fracas with teammate Erik Lamela at Roma.

His contract was terminated at Boca Juniors for smoking in the dressing room ahead of a game.

There had been an attempt by Sevilla manager Jorge Sampaoli to tempt him back but he declined because he was going to an Argentine rock festival and preferred beer to money.

The amount of bottles of beer that have been offered by his new club Banfield has not been mentioned but he was back on Sunday playing for them against River Plate.

Apparently, a 30-yard chip would have produced a wonderful goal against River Plate but the goalkeeper produced an equally outstanding save.

Just how long he will keep on turning it on for his new club might depend on when the next Music Festival is being staged in Argentina.

* Scotland are not the best team in the Six Nations by a long way, but they should prove too strong for Italy this weekend.

And if, as expected, the Azurri lose it will be their 25th defeat in a row – a desperate run that has come at the wrong time for them.

There is much talk – and not idle chatter – that South Africa are being lined up to take their place in a re-styled Seven Nations after the next World Cup.

But with much concern on the welfare of players, and with the intensity of the battles on the pitch, six games is considered too many.

It’s easy to see what comes next. Keep it at the Six Nations and lose the weakest team – Italy.

Since they joined in 2000 Italy have played 102 games and only won 12 with one draw.

There is increasing support for the belief that their development would be better served in the second tier of world rugby with the likes of Georgia, Romania, Russia and Spain.

That will grow if Italy can’t see off the Scots in Rome tomorrow.