Pep: Resolve financial case against City ASAP

Pep Resolve financial case against City ASAP
Pep Guardiola

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has called on the Premier League to speed up its financial case against his club and clear their name “once and for all”.

The league has charged City with more than 100 violations of its financial regulations from 2009 to 2018, as well as failing to cooperate since the probe began in December 2018.

City have rejected any financial misconduct and claimed they have a “body of irrefutable evidence” to support their position.

The club had their two-year ban from European competitions for breaching Uefa’s Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) in 2020, but were fined 10m euros (£8.67m) for obstructing the inquiry.

City have reportedly challenged some aspects of the Premier League process, including the appointment of Murray Rosen KC as the person who will appoint the chair of the independent commission that will hear the case, because he is an Arsenal season-ticket holder.

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Guardiola, who has guided City to their fifth Premier League title in six seasons and their third in a row, said ahead of Wednesday’s match at Brighton: “I would like that this situation can be resolved as soon as possible.

“If we have done something wrong, everybody will know it and if we are like we believe as a club for many years, [done things] in the right way, then people will stop talking about it.

“We would love it tomorrow. This afternoon better than tomorrow.

“Hopefully they are not so busy and they can see both sides and decide what is best because in the end I know fairly what we won we won on the pitch and we don’t have any doubts.

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“Let’s go. Don’t wait two years. Why don’t we do it quicker? In 24 hours sit down with lawyers present. Let’s have it as soon as possible for everyone’s benefit.”

City have a chance to win a historic Treble this season, with the FA Cup and Champions League finals coming up next month. Only Manchester United in 1998-99 have achieved that feat in English football.

Guardiola, who has a contract until 2025, said he would not leave City while they face these charges.

“I will stay next season while there are 110 breaches against us,” he said. “Don’t worry we will be there.”

However, he did admit he was unsure how he would feel if he won his third Champions League title against Inter Milan on 10 June.

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“Right now I am not thinking about leaving but who knows?” he said.

“I would like to continue here next season independent of the result. I don’t know what it’s going to feel like winning or losing but my feeling is I have a contract and I want to respect this club.”

City have been accused of effectively falsifying their accounts and artificially inflating sponsorship and commercial deals over several years to allow them to spend more but stay within Uefa and Premier League rules.

The club has been referred to an independent commission which can impose sanctions ranging from a fine and points deduction to expulsion from the Premier League. It is not known how long this process will take.

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