Pep Guardiola in passionate defence of Manchester City


Manchester City manager, Pep Guardiola, has come out fighting after it was revealed this week that the club faces over 100 charges in relation to financial fair play breaches. It is the second time in three years that City have faced accusations of bending financial rules after UEFA initially banned them from their competitions for two years in February 2020. 

On that occasion, Manchester City were cleared of all charges after an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and they seem adamant that they will clear their name once again. Today was the first time that Pep Guardiola had spoken to the media since the allegations were made and he was in a defiant mood. 

The Ex-Barcelona manager believes that many people are already writing City off, something they did when UEFA first charged them three years ago. He said:

“What’s happened since Monday is the same as what happened with UEFA. We have already been condemned. You have to understand that 19 teams in the Premier League are accusing us without us having the ability to defend. 

We are lucky we live in a marvellous country where everyone is innocent until proven guilty. We didn’t have this opportunity, we are already sentenced. I am fully convinced we will be proven innocent.”

The next steps

The process of discovering whether the club are innocent or guilty could take as many as four years so the issue is almost certainly going to be pushed to the back of the agenda. For now, though, the eyes of the footballing world are fully focused on the club and doubts will linger about the legitimacy of their recent success until a verdict is given. 

The issue has been referred to an independent commission which will investigate all 115 charges. The club has been accused of not cooperating with the investigation thus far but they will now have to if they are to clear their name. 

If guilty, the club could face a whole host of punishments, ranging from a fine to full expulsion from the Premier League. Guardiola believes that the charges have been driven by other Premier League clubs. He said:

“I don’t know why, you have to ask the CEOs like Daniel Levy. Be careful in the future as there are a lot of clubs that have been accused like we have without being innocent, who knows what will happen in the future?

They believe that we didn’t behave properly, we can accept that, but let us defend when we believe we did it properly.”

A siege mentality developing 

The impassioned press conference from Pep Guardiola not only shows that he believes the club are innocent of all charges but perhaps also points towards a siege mentality developing at the club. After last week’s loss to Spurs, the club looked like it was in a bad place with the manager and his players perhaps pulling in different directions. 

The news that they are all fighting for the club’s innocence could benefit them on the pitch as well as off it. If the players can all pull together for the sake of the club and its fans then City could still enjoy a fantastic end to the season and lift silverware in May.