Wednesday 18 September 2019

Pep Guardiola: Manchester City could be punished if FFP allegations are true

The City boss declared his “trust” in the club over the claims made by German publication Der Spiegel.

Pep Guardiola has responded to allegations about Manchester City’s off-field affairs (Martin Rickett/PA)
Pep Guardiola has responded to allegations about Manchester City’s off-field affairs (Martin Rickett/PA)

By Andy Hampson, Press Association Sport

Pep Guardiola accepts Manchester City could be punished if they are found to have broken regulations concerning European football’s Financial Fair Play rules.

The Premier League champions have been the subject of a series of allegations this week claiming that they found ways to circumvent UEFA rules.

City were punished for breaching FFP regulations in 2014 but German publication, Der Spiegel, citing information unearthed by Football Leaks, have made fresh claims about that period.

Since the allegations started to be published, City have beaten Southampton 6-1 and Shakhtar Donetsk 6-0 and Guardiola insists the negative headlines will not affect the players.

Speaking at a press conference on Friday, City manager Guardiola said: “If they want to undermine what we have done then no problem. We live our lives, we live our process and it is always going to remain in our hearts the rest of our lives.

“After that the opinions are the opinions. Like I said, I trust the people at the club. I know the people. OK, if there’s something wrong we’ll be punished.

“At the end UEFA, FIFA, English federation has to say if we were wrong. If we were wrong (we) will accept it but I hear what my club said to me and I trust a lot of them.”

City have not formally commented on the claims beyond a statement last week which read: “We will not be providing any comment on out of context materials purportedly hacked or stolen from City Football Group and Manchester City personnel and associated people.

“The attempt to damage the club’s reputation is organised and clear.”

Guardiola was also asked for his thoughts on a potential breakaway European Super League featuring the continent’s biggest clubs. Der Spiegel also claimed last week City were one of a number of clubs interested in such a proposal.

He said: “I don’t have an opinion about that. I would like to know the ideas but, for me, the Premier League, local leagues, are so important, with all the history. We cannot deny that.”

PA Media

The Left Wing: Ireland's fullback dilemma, World Cup bonding and the squad standby list

Also in Sport