Guardiola wants Premier League charges dealt with ‘as soon as possible’
LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — Manchester City Manager Pep Guardiola says he wants more than 100 English Premier League (EPL) charges levelled against the club for alleged financial irregularities to be dealt with “as soon as possible”.
City, who are celebrating their third-consecutive English top flight title, were referred to an independent commission in February over 115 alleged rule breaches between 2009 and 2018.
The Premier League also accused the club of not cooperating since an investigation started in December 2018.
The scale of the charges, which the club strongly deny, and the magnitude of the implications if found guilty, suggest the case could drag on.
Guardiola, whose side are chasing a trophy treble this season, does not want a cloud hanging over their achievements and desires a resolution as soon as possible.
But the Catalan, who has a contract until 2025, stressed he would not walk away from the club while the charges remain unresolved.
“What I would like is if the Premier League and judges could make something as soon as possible. Then, if we have done something wrong everybody will know it, and if we are like we believe as a club for many years — in the right way — then the people will stop talking about that,” he said on the eve of Wednesday’s match against Brighton.
“We would love it tomorrow, this afternoon better than tomorrow.
“Hopefully, they are not so busy and the judges can see both sides and decide what is the best because, in the end, I know what we won: We won fairly on the pitch and we don’t have any doubts.”
It is not the first time City, transformed on and off the pitch following their takeover by the Abu Dhabi United Group in 2008, have been in the spotlight over issues of finance.
The club was fined €60 million in 2014 for breaching UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations.
They were banned for two years from UEFA competitions in February 2020 by European football’s governing body for “serious breaches” of Financial Fair Play regulations.
The sanction was overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport later that year but that same court ruled that City had obstructed investigations and the club were fined €10 million.