Pep Guardiola has insisted that he won’t be leaving Manchester City amid the club’s financial misconduct charges.
City have been charged with 115 alleged financial breaches after the Premier League conducted a four-year investigation into the club’s dealings. It is the second time that City have faced FFP charges, following a UEFA charge in 2020.
City were banned from Europe for two years and issued a €30m fine, though the ban was overturned and fine reduced on appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Last year, Guardiola said that he would leave his position if he found the club’s board had lied to him, though speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of this weekend’s fixture with Aston Villa, Guardiola defiantly said he has no intention of leaving the Etihad despite the latest charges.
“I am not moving from this seat, I can assure you,” he said. “I want to stay more than ever. After many, many years in the Premier League, I do not want to move on.”
Reports this week have suggested that Premier League rivals want swift punishment for City if the club are found guilty, which could include expulsion from the top flight. Asked whether rival sides wanted City kicked out of the Premier League, Guardiola said: “It is difficult for me to answer this question. I don’t know.
“They open a precedent right now. Be careful in the future because many clubs make suggestions and we have been accused. I can have an opinion, but what do fans think? I don’t know. It is obvious the fans want to push us out of the competition. They believe we didn’t behave properly.
“It happened with Uefa, it has happened today, and we haven’t learnt from that.”
Pep Guardiola on whether he believes other Premier League clubs dislike Manchester City.
🗣️ "They believe that we didn't behave properly, we can accept that, but let us defend when we believe we did it properly." pic.twitter.com/4Pk5MbhDes
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) February 10, 2023
Guardiola admitted his side ‘are alone’ against the rest of English football, but says City will defend the charges against them in court.
“Against 19 teams we are alone, that’s for sure. We have to beat Aston Villa, like always we have done it. Nineteen clubs are not going to help us.
“We won the Premier League last season on the pitch. Let us defend (the charges). If it happens, we will accept it. But like Uefa, we will defend.”
There have been reports that Manchester City could be kicked out of the Premier League if found guilty, though the defiant boss joked that it would not be a problem.
“They say you have to be out of the Champions League. You have to go to League One, or League Two or maybe the Conference?
“We have already been in the lower divisions. We will be back there – not a problem, just in case. We will call Paul Dickov and Mike Summerbee and we will do again.
“But they should wait. The Premier League put it there but they should wait. We are going to defend ourselves, like we did in the Uefa situation.”
The Spaniard spoke on the impact of the news on his squad and said City remain focused on success on the pitch.
“I don’t know what is going to happen. I had the same feeling with Uefa. In fact, Uefa was worse. The players are focused with their talent and their effort.
“We will see what happens after the sentencing. I don’t want to anticipate what is going to happen.”