Guardiola wants an apology

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola. Photo: Reuters

Andy Hampson

Pep Guardiola believes Manchester City deserve an apology after successfully overturning their European ban.

The City boss has hit out at rival clubs for what he believes was a "whispering" campaign to discredit them.

City won an appeal against a two-year exclusion from European competition, imposed by UEFA for alleged Financial Fair Play breaches, at the Court of Arbitration for Sport on Monday.

Guardiola feels the club have now proved their innocence after years of accusations related to their financial strength and says it is time for others to accept their place among among the elite is merited. "I'm incredibly happy for the decision. It shows that all that people said about the club was not true," he said.

"We should be being apologised to. If we did something wrong we would accept, absolutely, the decisions from UEFA and CAS.

"We don't expect Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal, Chelsea or Wolves, or all the clubs, to defend us but we have the right to defend ourselves when we believe what we have done is correct, and three independent judges said this.

"Today is a good day, yesterday was a good day for football because we play by the same rules for financial fair play as all the clubs in Europe.

"People said we were cheating and lying, and many times the presumption of innocence was not there.

"In recent years, how many times people came to our club to do this whispering on us? I would like to see these kind of people and say, 'Look in our eyes. If you have have something to say say it face to face' and go to the pitch and play on the pitch what we have to play as rivals.

"But they lost off the pitch. We can play in the Champions League because what we have done is right. That's why they have to accept it, go on the pitch and play against us there."

"I know that for elite clubs, respectful clubs, like Liverpool, Man United and especially Arsenal, it is uncomfortable us being here," said Guardiola in a robust performance at a press conference ostensibly to preview City's Premier League game against Bournemouth this evening.

"But they have to understand we deserve to be here."

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