‘If the club don’t sack me I will stay here, 100%’: Pep Guardiola reaffirms commitment to Manchester City in wake of UEFA ban and insists he is ‘confident’ they will play in Europe next season
Pep Guardiola insisted that Manchester City will be competing in the Champions League next season and backed the club to overturn a two-year ban on appeal.
City chief executive Ferran Soriano came out swinging earlier in the day by maintaining that UEFA’s allegations of financial wrongdoing are baseless.
Soriano was followed in by a bullish Guardiola after City beat West Ham 2-0 last night as he addressed the potential expulsion for the first time.
Pep Guardiola insists that Man City will be competing in the Champions League next season
‘I’m confident that we’ll play in Europe next season. I’m pretty sure we’ll defend our position,’ Guardiola said before confirming he will remain as manager.
‘If they don’t sack me, I will stay here more than ever. I want to stay longer than the contract that I have. I want to help the club grow and maintain this level for as long as possible. Why should I leave?’
City are appealing UEFA’s decision with the Court of Arbitration for Sport and hope for a resolution before the summer.
‘It’s not finished, it’s not over,’ Guardiola said. ‘You fight no matter what and the club is going to do that. There are two sides. The club say it is not true. I love this club.’
Guardiola also snapped back at his old employers and boyhood club, Barcelona, after their president Josep Maria Bartomeu thanked UEFA for following through with Financial Fair Play punishments.
City have already confirmed that they plan to appeal UEFA’s decision to ban them for two years
‘If they are happy we are suspended, I say to the president of Barcelona, give us two appeals,’ the City boss said.
‘I ask right now the people trust what they have done. “Don’t talk too loud Barcelona,” that is my advice because everybody is involved in situations. We are going to appeal and hopefully in the future we can play in the Champions League against Barcelona.’
Further to the ban, City were slapped with a £25million fine following accusations of ‘serious breaches’ of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations between 2012-16.
‘The fans can be sure of two things,’ Soriano told the club’s website yesterday. ‘The first one is that the allegations are false. And the second is that we will do everything that can be done to prove so.
‘The most important thing I have to say is that the allegations are not true. They are simply not true.
Guardiola addressed the situation following City’s victory over West Ham on Wednesday
‘The owner has not put money in this club that has not been properly declared. We are a sustainable football club, we are profitable, we don’t have debt, our accounts have been scrutinised many times, by auditors, by regulators, by investors and this is perfectly clear.’
Soriano took issue with UEFA’s claim that the Premier League champions ‘failed to cooperate in the investigation’ and intimated that City expect a fairer hearing with CAS. The Spaniard, who has assured staff they will be exonerated, also stated the judgement was swayed by politics.
‘All we are looking for is a proper adjudication in an independent and impartial body that is going to take the time to look at all the evidence and look at it without preconception,’ he added.
‘I am also looking for the end of this process maybe to put an pen under this undertone that we are hearing all the time that anything that we do, any result that we get, is based only on money and not on talent and effort.
‘We are looking for an early resolution through a thorough and fair process, so my best hope is that this will be finished before the beginning of the summer. Until then for us, it is business as usual.
‘We provided the evidence but in the end this FFP Investigatory Chamber relied more on out of context stolen emails than all the other evidence we provided of what actually happened and I think it is normal that we feel like we feel. Ultimately based on our experience and our perception this seems to be less about justice and more about politics.’