Man City: Pep Guardiola wants Premier League financial charges dealt with ‘as soon as possible’
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says he wants the 115 Premier League financial charges against the club to be dealt with “as soon as possible”.
In February, City were charged with breaches of the league’s financial rules from 2009 to 2018. They were also accused of not cooperating since the investigation began in December 2018.
City have denied financial wrongdoing and say their innocence is supported by a “body of irrefutable evidence” and they “look forward to this matter being put to rest once and for all”.
A two-year ban from European competitions for breaching Uefa’s Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations was overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) in 2020, but City were fined 10m euros (£8.67m) for obstructing the investigation.
Having initially suggested they were happy to abide by the Premier League process, they have remained silent on recent media reports they have lodged legal challenges against the charges and objected to the appointment of Murray Rosen KC as the person who will appoint the chair of the independent commission that will hear the case on the grounds he is an Arsenal season-ticket holder.
Speaking before Wednesday’s game at Brighton, Guardiola, who has led the club to their fifth Premier League title in six seasons and their third in a row, said: “What I would like is if the Premier League and judges could make something as soon as possible.
“Then, 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 the people will stop talking about it.
“We would love it tomorrow. This afternoon better than tomorrow.
“Hopefully they are not so busy and the judges can see both sides and decide what is the best, because in the end I know fairly what we won we won on the pitch and we don’t have any doubts.
“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 the benefit of everyone.”
City officials were not expecting Guardiola to speak on the issue in his media conference on Tuesday and the timescales are evidently impossible given it is such a complex case.
Guardiola’s side have a chance to claim the Treble, with the FA Cup and Champions League finals to come next month. In English football, only Manchester United in 1998-99 have achieved that feat.
The Catalan, who has a contract until 2025, said he would not quit the club while the charges remain unresolved.
“I will stay next season while there are 110 breaches against us,” he said. “Don’t worry, we will be there.”
However, a couple of minutes before that, Guardiola did say he was not sure how he would react to winning the Champions League against Inter Milan on 10 June in what, for him, would be a third success in the competition.
“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 the club.”
City have won their seventh Premier League title since the 2008 takeover by the Abu Dhabi United Group.
They have been accused of effectively falsifying their accounts and artificially inflating sponsorship and commercial deals over a number of 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 punishments ranging from a fine and points deduction to expulsion from the Premier League. It is not known how long the process will take. – bbc.com