Pep Guardiola has passionately defended Manchester City’s conduct amid claims the Premier League champions bent Financial Fair Play rules to get around spending regulations.
German magazine Der Spiegel have published a series of articles claiming that City struck a secret deal with UEFA to avoid a potential Champions League ban for breaching FFP rules, while also disguising how much they were really spending. The club released a statement defending their reputation, and Guardiola insists the club have acted by the book.
‘Well I think about that issue the club issued a statement last Friday about what happened, about stolen emails,’ Guardiola told reporters ahead of City’s Champions League clash with Shakhtar Donestk.
‘I trust a lot with the club, what they have done and of course we want to follow the rules, whether UEFA or FIFA or the Premier League. They do what they have to do.
‘Believe me, I’m completely honest, I don’t know what happened, because I am a manager.
I am focused on what happened on the pitch, in the locker room. ‘But about the business, about how they handle this kind of situation, I am completely out of that. I am part of the club, I am supporter of the club, and we want to do what we have to do in terms of the rules.’
Asked if the allegations undermined City’s achievements, Guardiola continued: ‘I think that’s been said for the last decade, so the people is saying about the club for the last decade just win because we have money.
‘That is the issue always here, because to pass to stay in one level and achieve another level you need a lot of time, and of course money. When you invest more, this gap, the time reduces. And that’s normal.
‘When I was in Catalunya, and after in Germany, always I hear, I listen to the boys, saying Manchester City has just money, just money.
And we have to live with that. ‘I am inside now, for the last three years. And of course, like many, many clubs around the world there they have a lot of money, but they are also an incredible club.
Incredible people working here, and how professional they are in all the departments. It’s an incredibly professional club, they try to do the good things in the right why. That’s all I can say.’