While City plan to appeal the decision, former Manchester United defender Ferdinand could not resist having a pop at the Premier League champions.
Reacting to the news, BT Sport pundit Ferdinand made light of the situation with a tweet to his 10.6 million followers.
"What a shame...." he wrote, ending the tweet with a crying-with-laughter emoji.
Perhaps pre-empting an angry response from City fans, Ferdinand later followed up his tweet by insisting he has "huge admiration" for the club.
He wrote: "Huge admiration for Pep & the #MCFC city team with some friends behind the scenes. In all seriousness, will be interesting to see what happens at the appeal process!
"5th place in the @premierleague has just got very interesting!"
Huge admiration for Pep & the #MCFC city team with some friends behind the scenes.. in all seriousness will be interesting to see what happens at the appeal process! 5th place in the @premierleague has just got very interesting!
— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5)
If Man City are unsuccessful in their appeal against the ruling, the team that finishes fifth in the Premier League will qualify for the Champions League.
That gives teams such as Sheffield United and Wolves a huge opportunity to secure their spot in Europe's premier competition, with Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United also in the hunt.