Guardiola responds after Man City accused of breaches

Feb 9, 2023, 4:26 PM | Updated: Feb 10, 2023, 9:39 am
Manchester City's head coach Pep Guardiola walks on the pitch after the English Premier League socc...

Manchester City's head coach Pep Guardiola walks on the pitch after the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester United and Manchester City at Old Trafford in Manchester, England, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023. (AP Photo/Dave Thompson)

(AP Photo/Dave Thompson)

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — As Manchester City’s lawyers prepare for another battle to clear the club’s name, manager Pep Guardiola said Friday the Premier League champions have already been condemned.

City was accused on Monday of breaching a slew of financial regulations over a nine-year period. If found guilty, the club could face a fine, deduction of points or, in the most extreme case, expulsion from English soccer’s top division.

“My first thought is we are already being condemned,” Guardiola said. “We are lucky we live in a marvellous country where everyone is innocent until proved guilty. We didn’t have this opportunity. We are already sentenced.”

City had a two-year ban from European club competitions overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in 2020 after UEFA had ruled it had committed “serious breaches” of financial fair play regulations from 2012-16.

City has said it will prove its innocence after the latest accusations, which followed a four-year investigation and, if upheld, represent one of the biggest scandals in the history of the Premier League.

“Look what happened with UEFA,” Guardiola said. “We proved it. It is the same case. Why should I don’t trust with my people? Why should I trust the CEOs or the owners of the 19 clubs, the nine clubs like it was with UEFA? No, I trust my people.

“I’m fully convinced that we will be innocent, and then what will happen next? Will it stop now? It’s not because of UEFA but since Abu Dhabi took over the club, since Day 1 it was like that.”

City is accused of about 80 breaches of financial rules and 30 more relating to its alleged failure to cooperate with the investigation since December 2018.

Guardiola became the first person from the club to publicly address the accusations when speaking at a news conference ahead of his team’s Premier League match against Aston Villa on Sunday.

He said City’s reputation had been damaged as result of repeated allegations of financial wrongdoing.

“Just in case we are not innocent we will accept what the judge in the Premier League decides,” he said. “But what happens if in the same situation that UEFA happened we are innocent? What happens to restore or pay back our damage? Because the damage is now for one decade.”

Guardiola has previously criticized City’s rivals amid scrutiny of the club’s exorbitant spending under the ownership of Abu Dhabi’s ruling family. Signings such as Sergio Aguero, Kevin De Bruyne and Jack Grealish have turned City into the dominant force in English soccer, winning six league titles and eight other major trophies.

In 2020, Guardiola accused rival teams of a “whispering” campaign against City and Friday he said Premier League clubs are driving the latest action.

“When they push to get rid of us from this competition, that is obvious because they believe that we didn’t behave properly,” Guardiola said. “And we can accept that but, let us defend when we believe we did it properly.”

Amid questions about his own future, he was adamant he would remain as manager.

“I am not moving from this seat. I can assure you, more than ever I want to stay,” he said. “Sometimes I have doubts, seven years already is a long time in any country. Now I don’t want to move. Not because people say they lied to you Pep. They didn’t lie to me.”


James Robson is at


More AP soccer: and

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Ex-Packer Guion gets 1 year for domestic violence assault

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh also ordered Guion on Tuesday to serve three years’ probation and complete a domestic […]
24 days ago
Joe Jarzynka...
Associated Press

Durant eager for Suns debut vs. Hornets after knee injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant has been through quite a bit during his 15-year NBA career — but joining a new team midway through the season is a new one for the 13-time All-Star. The 34-year-old Durant doesn’t seem all that worried. Durant makes his highly anticipated Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday night against […]
24 days ago
FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an N...
Associated Press

Judge: NFL coach can press discrimination claims in court

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Coach Brian Flores can pursue some of his discrimination claims against the league and its teams in court rather than through arbitration, a judge ruled Wednesday. The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan was issued months after lawyers for the league tried to get the lawsuit moved to […]
24 days ago
Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock cools off in the first period during an NHL hockey game ...
Associated Press

Kane trade reinforces hard reality of Blackhawks rebuild

CHICAGO (AP) — After days of speculation, the harsh reality of the Chicago Blackhawks’ situation was reinforced by one move in a flurry of transactions ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Showtime is over, at least in Chicago, and a seemingly bright future is, well, way off in the distance. The reverberations of Chicago’s decision […]
24 days ago
FILE -  Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mas...
Associated Press

Disgraced ex-Haitian soccer president announces he’s back

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s former soccer federation president whose lifetime ban from sport over sexual abuse allegations was overturned last month announced Wednesday that he is reclaiming his position. Yves Jean-Bart’s defiant announcement could lead to a standoff with FIFA, which already has appointed an emergency management committee to lead the Haitian Football Association […]
24 days ago
FILE - Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the ...
Associated Press

Rodgers says decision on future will come ‘soon enough’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that […]
24 days ago
Guardiola responds after Man City accused of breaches