Manchester City have done no wrong, insists Pep Guardiola amid FFP investigation into club finances

The City manager spoke frankly about the controversy that has engulfed his club and the fact he has been in dialogue with CEO Ferran Soriano about the affair

Ian Whittell
Friday 08 March 2019 19:24
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Pep Guardiola says he 'trusts' Man City's conduct in light of reports suggesting club broke FFP rules

Pep Guardiola insists that Manchester City have done nothing wrong and remain on course to join European football’s elite despite this week’s off-field controversy involving Uefa.

City launched a furious defence this week after the governing body announced they have launched an investigation over alleged breaches of financial fair play regulations.

The Premier League club has spoken of a deliberate attempt to undermine them through a serious of leaked documents and allegations in the German magazine Der Spiegel.

And the City manager spoke frankly about the controversy that has engulfed his club and the fact he has been in dialogue with CEO Ferran Soriano about the affair.

“They know how people press, push to find something wrong,” said Guardiola. “I work with them and have known them for a long, long time. I trust them a lot.

“After that, we’ll see. What I wish is clarification as quickly as possible, for Uefa to see what we have done. If it is not good then okay, we will accept it. If everything is right then it will finish and we move forward.

“The club made a statement. They clarified that they have absolutely followed the rules. I cannot say anything else. Tomorrow we have a game and we have a lot of those left. What is going to happen will happen.

“I don’t like it when people talk about it. I prefer to talk about football. For everybody it’ll be good to clarify.”

The Catalan has, of course, managed at the very top level of European football previously, with Barcelona and Bayern Munich; two clubs whom he accepts far outweigh City in terms of prestige and history.

But Guardiola believes City are making significant strides to close that gap. “The last decade, one of the teams to have grown the most is Manchester City,” he said.

“Not just in our period, but over the last decade. To compare with Barca, we are far away in terms of history and legacy. We are far because we are one decade.

“But what we do is getting better and better. My humble opinion is we are making small, small steps and every time getting better.

“We made back-to-back titles, we won 100 points, we are fighting for all the titles. Next years, still being there, those are the best steps.

“Compare with Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich they have incredible history of results. We are not there.

“The best way (to describe it) is that we feel far, far away from these clubs. That’s the best way.

Manchester City’s head coach Pep Guardiola 

“At Barcelona and Munich I didn’t go to work thinking about a legacy, it just happens. If we’ll be remembered, we’ll see. We’ll have to win more and more through the years. They are a step forward in many terms.”

Guardiola would not be drawn on whether he felt there was a vendetta against City – the world’s self-styled richest club – but he clearly felt the controversy will have no impact on his own position.

“My position depends on if I lose games; then I can be in trouble,” he said. “But if we win we are safe. I’m involved with my team. I’m part of the club and back them 100 per cent.”

Despite the off-field controversy, City remain in the thick of a chase for four major honours, having already won this season’s Carabao Cup Final against Chelsea.

And Guardiola insists the Uefa inquiry will not tarnish the legacy of his and his team’s efforts in any way.

“I’m not too much concerned or worried about what people say if we win the title just because what happens now with Uefa they do not give us credit for what we have done believe me, I don’t care,” he said.

“Absolutely zero. I know exactly what the guys are doing for the last two seasons and more and that is what remains my feelings.

“If we have made mistakes we will be punished – it is what it is, on and off the pitch – but I’m pretty sure what we have done is incredible. Incredible.

“I don’t know whether it is important for the rest of the people but it is important for ourselves but I know when we did it [win] it belongs to us and nobody is going to change that.”

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