Pep Guardiola has expressed his strong support for financial fair play, stating that clubs who violate its regulations must be held accountable. This comes as Manchester City faces over 100 charges for breaking the Premier League’s rules.
Following a violation of the profit and sustainability regulations, Everton received a deduction of 10 points. There are rumors that Manchester City could face harsher consequences, such as being relegated, if they are found guilty of similar charges. However, City has denied any wrongdoing and manager Guardiola stated on Friday that he will not terminate his contract, which is valid until the end of next season, even if they were to be demoted to League One.
The Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations aim to control expenses and protect clubs from significant financial challenges. Some argue that this hinders wealthy parties from investing in a club to elevate its status. When questioned, Guardiola was asked for his thoughts on FFP.
He stated that a regulation was implemented to promote fairness in football and it is important to abide by the laws. He believes in adhering strictly to the rules and consequences should be given for any wrongdoing. He fully supports the implementation of Financial Fair Play by Uefa and Fifa.
Guardiola requested for City’s situation to be handled with patience and referenced the fact that in 2020, the court of arbitration for sport overturned a two-year suspension from European competition for City, even though they were initially found guilty of violating Uefa FFP regulations. Cas also decreased City’s fine from €30m to €10m (£9m).
Guardiola advised to hold off until the verdict is given. He acknowledged that some may be eager for a decision, but referenced the situation with Uefa and urged for patience. He emphasized the team’s innocence and the importance of being presumed innocent until proven otherwise.
Guardiola was inquired about the possibility of reconsidering his role if City were to face consequences and be demoted. He responded, “That is a valid question. I will give my answer once a verdict has been reached. It seems as though you are questioning us as if we have already been punished. However, at this time we are presumed innocent until proven guilty. I understand the curiosity surrounding this, and I will wait until the outcome to further discuss it. Once the sentence has been issued, we will address it here.”
“I will not factor in my future based solely on whether I am in the Premier League or League One. There is a higher likelihood of remaining in the league if we are in League One compared to the Champions League.”
In May 2022, Guardiola stated that he had discussed the allegations against the club with the City leadership and would resign if he had been deceived. He emphasizes that Everton’s situation is distinct from City’s. The team from Merseyside was discovered to have exceeded their permitted losses by £19.5m. One of the primary accusations that the triple champions must address is the exaggeration of sponsorship agreements.
“I do not accept the accusations against us,” he stated. “We will defend ourselves and once the issue has been resolved, I will act as a representative for my club. I want to clarify that this is a unique case for Everton and I am not fully aware of the details, but our legal team has assured me that it is completely distinct from any other cases. Therefore, it is not appropriate to compare them as each case is distinct.”
“I inquired with our team and discovered that these are two distinct cases. I understand the confusion around why the city hasn’t attended the conference yet, but we must wait and see what unfolds.”
The top-ranked City team will be hosting the second-ranked Liverpool team in a 12:30pm match on Saturday. Erling Haaland, who was injured while playing for Norway, will undergo a fitness evaluation before the game. The manager stated, “He trained with minor discomfort yesterday and we are hopeful that he will be able to play today [Friday].”
When questioned about Jürgen Klopp’s concern over playing an early Saturday game following an international break, Guardiola expressed empathy, stating, “I always sympathize with Jürgen.” He acknowledged that Klopp was justified in his defense of his club.