Pep Guardiola, the manager of Manchester City, has expressed his desire for the 115 financial charges against the club in the Premier League to be resolved “as soon as possible.”
City faced charges in February for alleged breaches of the league’s financial rules spanning from 2009 to 2018. Additionally, they were accused of lacking cooperation since the investigation began in December 2018.
The club vehemently denies any financial wrongdoing and asserts their innocence, supported by a “body of irrefutable evidence.” They eagerly anticipate the conclusion of the matter, hoping it will put the issue to rest once and for all.
While initially indicating their willingness to adhere to the Premier League process, City has remained silent on recent media reports suggesting they have filed legal challenges against the charges. They have also objected to the appointment of Murray Rosen KC, an Arsenal season-ticket holder, as the individual responsible for appointing the chair of the independent commission that will oversee the case.
Guardiola, speaking ahead of the game against Brighton, expressed his desire for a prompt resolution, stating, “What I would like is if the Premier League and judges could expedite the process. If we have done something wrong, let it be known, and if we have conducted ourselves correctly, as we believe we have as a club for many years, then people will stop talking about it.”
He added, “We would love it tomorrow. This afternoon would be better than tomorrow. Hopefully, the judges can find time to consider both sides and reach the best decision. I have no doubts about what we have achieved on the pitch, and we won fairly.”
City officials did not anticipate Guardiola’s comments during the media conference, and the complexity of the case makes quick resolution impractical.
Guardiola remains committed to the club and assured that he will continue as manager next season, even with the pending charges. However, he did mention uncertainty regarding his reaction if City were to win the Champions League, stating, “Right now, I am not thinking about leaving, but who knows? I would like to continue here next season, regardless of the result.”
City, under the ownership of the Abu Dhabi United Group since 2008, recently secured their seventh Premier League title. The club has been accused of manipulating their accounts and inflating sponsorship and commercial deals to bypass spending regulations while complying with UEFA and Premier League rules.
An independent commission has been tasked with reviewing the case, and potential punishments range from fines and points deductions to expulsion from the Premier League. The duration of the process remains uncertain.