Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has discussed the Premier League’s charges against his club for financial breaches for the first time.
The Spaniard was defensive and criticised the handling of the situation. He also accused the 19 other teams in the league of conspiring against City.
“We are lucky we live in a marvellous country that have a society where everyone is innocent until proven guilty,” Guardiola said (via Manchester Evening News). “We didn’t have this opportunity – we are already sentenced,”
“What’s going to happen – I don’t know. In the other side, personally, I’m happy that we are here because like UEFA happened we have the chance to defend our position.
“We have good lawyers but we cannot say UEFA had bad lawyers and the Premier League, supported by 19 teams, are going to take good lawyers.
“I would have loved to wait and see and time will dictate what will happen. Just in case we are not innocent, we will accept what the judge, the Premier League decide.
“But what happens if in the same situation that UEFA happened, we are innocent? What happens to restore our damage? Because the damage is for one decade.”
“When UEFA charged us… it is the same,” he said, referring to when UEFA’s club financial control body (CFCB) handed Man City a two-year ban from European football in February 2020. They accused them of breaches of club licensing and FFP regulations, but Man City successfully appealed the decision.
“The same articles, the same accusations. We have been in the lower divisions – we will go back there, just in case. We will defend ourselves like what happened in the UEFA situation. I’m fully convinced we’ll be innocent.
“Since Abu Dhabi took over the club, since day one, it has been like that.”
Man City will now wait to make their case, but it could drag on. The independent commission will go through all the evidence before a verdict is issued.
Early rumours suggest the case could take two to four years to conclude.
City could face various punishments ranging from a points deduction to relegation. The Premier League may even strip them of their titles.
Despite the allegations, Guardiola believes his club is innocent and will stay in Manchester. He sounded determined to face whatever may come head-on.
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