Wednesday, February 28News That Matters

Guardiola names nine clubs who wanted Man City out of Champions League

Pep Guardiola called out Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United as he named the nine teams that attempted to have Manchester City kicked out of the Champions League three years ago.

City appealed a two-year ban from the European competition in 2020 after taking the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

City were slapped with the ban after an independent panel of UEFA’s Club Financial Control Body found them guilty of overstating sponsorship revenue between the year 2012 and 2016.

City were also found to have “failed to cooperate in the investigation” and fined €30m (£27m), but they claimed they had not received a fair hearing and appealed.

Their ban was overturned and fine reduced to €10m (£9m) – but the club are in the middle of another financial storm after they were charged by the Premier League over 101 alleged rule breaches on Monday.

Guardiola issued a response to the charges in his press conference on Friday before turning the spotlight on nine English teams that attempted to have them kicked out of the Champions League three years ago.

The Spaniard said: “While we wait for UEFA to make a sentence against us, nine teams – Burnley, Wolves, Leicester, Newcastle, Spurs, Arsenal, [Manchester] United, Liverpool, Chelsea – out of the Champions League when they wanted that position.

“It is said there are not enemies or friends, just interests. They want to put it out to take that position we won on the pitch. 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 [former City players] 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.”

He added: “The club proved they were completely innocent [in 2020].

“What’s happened since Monday is the same as what happened with UEFA. We have already been condemned. You have to understand that 19 teams in the Premier League are accusing us without us having the ability to defend. I am fully convinced we will be innocent.”

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