Pep Guardiola is confident Manchester City are innocent but believes the club has “already been sentenced” after being charged by the Premier League for allegedly breaching financial rules.
The Premier League charged City with numerous alleged breaches of financial rules on Monday and has referred the findings to an independent commission.
City’s alleged breaches span a period from the 2009-10 season to the 2017-18 campaign but the club say they are “surprised” and “welcome a review of this matter”.
Speaking to the media for the first time since the charges were announced, Guardiola said: “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 we are going to defend our position. Time will depend what happens. We will see what a judge, the Premier League decides.”
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If City are found guilty, possible punishments include a points deduction or even the threat of expulsion from the Premier League altogether.
Speaking in May 2022, Guardiola explained why he had backed the club after they were charged by UEFA with breaching financial fair play regulations and referenced those charges again on Friday.
“When UEFA charged us… it is the same,” he said. “The same articles, the same accusations. We have been in the lower divisions. We will go back there, just in case.
“We will defend ourselves like what happened in the UEFA situation.
“I’m fully convinced we’ll be innocent.
“Since Abu Dhabi took over the club, since day one it has been like that.”
More to follow…
What punishments can the independent commission impose on a club?
- Suspend a club from playing league matches
- Points deductions
- Recommend to the board that league matches be replayed
- Recommend to the board that the league expels the respondent club
- Order compensation
- Cancel or refuse registration of players
- Conditional punishment
- Order the club to pay costs
- Make such other order as it thinks fit
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