Pep Guardiola responds to Man City charges: ‘I am convinced we will be innocent’
Pep Guardiola has launched a stern defence of Manchester City after the club were charged by the Premier League with over 100 alleged breaches of their financial rules, insisting: “I am fully convinced that we will be innocent”.
Speaking for the first time since City were hit with an unprecedented list of charges on Monday, a defiant Guardiola said he trusted the club’s owners and doubled down on his commitment to the Premier League champions, adding: “I can assure you more than ever I want to stay.”
The Manchester City manager said the club “have already been condemned” by the 19 other clubs in the Premier League, and appeared to suggest other teams wanted the champions to be kicked out of the top flight following the alleged charges.
Back in May, Guardiola said he would be prepared to quit the club he joined in 2016 if he had been lied to over Manchester City’s financial dealings, but the Spaniard said he still trusted the club’s owners and said they were “innocent until proven guilty”. “I trust my people,” Guardiola added.
Manchester City have been referred to an independent commission, who will determine whether the club have broken Premier League rules, but the process could take years. If found guilty, City could face expulsion from the Premier League.
City previously had a ban for breaching Uefa’s Financial Fair Play regulations overturned following an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in 2020, and Guardiola said: “My thought is that we have already been condemned.
“Since Monday it is like what happened with Uefa. The club proved that they were completely innocent, why should I think right now, with just charges of suggestions.
“The 19 teams of the PL are accusing us without the opportunity to defend ourselves. You know exactly what side I’m on.
“We are lucky we live in a country where everyone is innocent until proven guilty. It seems like we have already been sentenced.
“What is going to happen, I don’t know. We think we have good lawyers and I know we are going to defend our position.”
Manchester City responded with surprise in a statement on Monday and insisted there is “irrefutable evidence” to prove their innocence.
Guardiola’s team face Aston Villa on Saturday and the manager said his players will not be distracted, as they attempt to chase down Arsenal in the Premier League title race.
He said: “We have trained like normal to try to beat Aston Villa. The court will dictate what happens. I am fully convinced that we will be innocent.”