Pep Guardiola urges Premier League to resolve Man City financial charges: ‘Don’t wait two years’
Pep Guardiola has urged the Premier League to resolve the charges against Manchester City “as soon as possible”.
The newly crowned champions still have the shadow of 115 charges for alleged breaches of financial rules hanging over them, and face an FA Cup final against Manchester United and a Champions League final date with Inter Milan as they seek to win the Treble.
They were charged in February with multiple cases of subverting the league’s own rules, and in a worst-case scenario could face a points deduction or even relegation if found guilty.
There is a fear that the case, for possible breaches over a period of nine years, could stretch out for three or four years.
Guardiola wants it done more quickly, and defended his team against the notion that the shadow of the alleged wrongdoing detracts from their achievements after becoming only the fifth club to win a hat-trick of league titles. He has passionately defended the club in the past and said he would walk away if he felt the hierarchy had lied to him.
Many of the charges relate to alleged offences which saw City found guilty by Uefa and kicked out of European competition in 2020, only to be reinstated on appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
With two league games left – the first on Wednesday at Brighton – before the two cup finals, there is speculation that Guardiola might walk away if the Blues become only the second team in English football history to land the league, FA Cup and European Cup in the same season.
Guardiola dismissed that possibility out of hand, saying he at least wants to see out his contract until 2025, regardless of the way the season, or the Premier League charges, play out.
“I will stay next season while there are 110 [sic] breaches against us. Don’t worry, we will be there,” he 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 have – like we believe – as a club for many years [done things] in the right way then the people will stop talking about that,” he said.
“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 that what we won, we won on the pitch.
“Let’s have it as soon as possible for the benefit of everyone.
“We accept it is there. If it happened it happened. It was the same with Uefa [charges] and now the Premier League. Let’s go – 24 hours, sit down and lawyers present. Don’t wait two years.
“We want to defend our principles and if people doubt, okay, let’s go, let’s do it as soon as possible please.”
Guardiola said the prospect of winning the treble will not dim his ambition and motivation, and that he fully intends to see out his contract at least, and reassess his position in 2025.
“Right now I am not thinking about leaving but who knows… but I am not thinking,” he said. “I would like to continue here next season independent of the results [in the two finals].
“I would like it but I don’t know what [I am] going to feel winning or losing the two chances we have ahead of us. My feeling is that I have a contract and when I sign I want to respect it. Here the environment is easier. The demands are high but the environment off the pitch is more comfortable.”