The club could face a ban from the Champions League if they are found guilty of breaching UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations
Pep Guardiola is convinced of Manchester City’s innocence after UEFA’s Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) referred the Premier League champions to its adjudicatory chamber following an investigation into alleged Financial Fair Play (FFP) breaches.
German publication Der Spiegel alleged that City had broken FFP rules, leading to a CFCB investigation, despite City denying the accusations.
Former Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme, serving as chief investigator, has now referred the case to the CFCB’s adjudicatory chamber for a final decision, with City potentially facing a season-long Champions League ban.
City released a statement on Thursday again refuting the allegations, as well as criticising the investigation as “hostile”, claiming that “the decision contains mistakes, misinterpretations and confusions fundamentally borne out of a basic lack of due process.”
Guardiola insisted he is fully trusting of City’s hierarchy, and issued a reminder that the club are innocent until they are proven guilty.
“I said many times I trust the club, the people,” Guardiola told a news conference ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup final against Watford.
“I know we won the Premier League and just talk about that, I’m sorry, if we did something wrong we’ll be banned, but right now I know people are waiting for us to be guilty but we are innocent until proven guilty.
“That’s all around the world, we accept it, I spoke with the chairman, the CEO. I know what they did and I trust them – that’s all.
“I’m not going to answer any more questions, my opinion is clear, everything is what would happen, we are innocent today and we’ll see in the future.
“We are innocent, UEFA are now working with the lawyers. I’m not a lawyer, I don’t know what’s [happening] behind the scenes. I don’t know what will happen but we are innocent today.”
UEFA’s investigation is not the only controversy City have been involved in, with the club having had to deny suggestions a chant sung by members of their squad following their Premier League triumph ridiculed Liverpool fan Sean Cox and the Hillsborough tragedy.
City released a statement labelling the allegations as “baseless”, and Guardiola was saddened by the suggestion his players, who will face no action over the chant, were capable of such insensitivity.
“Just for one second imagine we could offend about these tragedies, it’s incredible,” he said when asked about the video.
“We were happy for ourselves. If someone was offended for another issue I apologise, but it wasn’t our intention. We were happy for ourselves, to win the Premier League is difficult against an incredible contender.”