Belfast Telegraph

We are innocent until proven guilty over FFP probe, insists Guardiola


Celebrations: Pep Guardiola is lifted aloft by Manchester City players after they sealed the title at Brighton last week
Celebrations: Pep Guardiola is lifted aloft by Manchester City players after they sealed the title at Brighton last week

By Andy Parker

Pep Guardiola insisted he is ready to accept any punishment Uefa may hand Manchester City for alleged breaches of Financial Fair Play regulations but reiterated his trust in the club.

City's celebrations following last weekend's title triumph - and their build-up to today's FA Cup final against Watford - have been overshadowed after the club were on Thursday referred to the European governing body's adjudicatory chamber.

Guardiola said he could not predict what will happen but insisted his faith in the club was undiminished.

"I'm sorry. If we did something wrong, and Uefa decide we did something wrong we will be banned or we will be punished," he said. "I know the people are waiting for us to be guilty but we are innocent until it is proven. I spoke with the chairman, with the CEO, I know exactly what happened, exactly what they did and I trust a lot of them."

With such a punishment perhaps hanging over the club, rumours consistently linking Guardiola with the soon-to-be vacant position at Juventus could carry more weight but the Catalan insisted he would see out the two years remaining on the contract extension he signed a year ago.

"How many times do I have to say?" Guardiola said. "I'm not going to Juventus, I'm not going to move to Italy."

"I'm satisfied working here with this club. This is what I feel.

"But football changes a lot, results can be not good next season and maybe next season will not be good. But next season I'm manager of Man City. I've said many times."

Financial Fair Play is not the only off-field issue to have hit City this week. Following Sunday's decisive win at Brighton a video emerged which appeared to show players singing a song about Liverpool fans being "battered in the street".

Guardiola insisted the video had been misconstrued.

"Do you think someone can just for one second imagine we could offend about what this tragedy is about? All the Liverpool people?" he said.

"It's incredible. We were happy for ourselves. If someone was offended for another issue, I'm sorry, I apologise. But this was never our intention. We celebrated for ourselves. We were happy to win the Premier League."

Belfast Telegraph


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