July 15 – Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says his club deserve an apology from rival managers who criticised the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s decision to overturn City’s two-year ban from European competitions for alleged “serious breaches” of financial fair play.
As the surprise judgement continues to rumble on, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp and Tottenham’s Jose Mourinho both publicly disagreed with verdict, Klopp stating it was “not a good day for football” and that Financial Fair Play was “a good idea and it is there to protect teams and the competition.”
Mourinho went even further saying it marked the end of FFP and referred to the whole saga as a ‘”circus”.
“I don’t know if Manchester City are guilty or not but either way it’s a disgraceful decision,” said Mourinho. “If you are not guilty you are not punished. By the other way, if they are guilty, they should be banned. In any case, the decision is a disaster.”
Man City did receive a €10 million fine but that was for not fully co-operating with the investigation, rather than being judged to have been guilty of breaking FFP rules.
Guardiola passionately defended his club’s conduct.
“I tell Jose and Jurgen that it was a good day for football,” Guardiola said. “A very good day. We played with the same rules as everyone. If we broke them then we would’ve been banned.
“How many times have people come to our club whispering about us? I’d love for it to finish. Look in our eyes and say something to us face to face. We’ll shake hands if we lose. But they lost off the pitch. They have to go on the pitch and try to beat us like the sportsmen that we are.
“Jose and other managers should know that our reputation was damaged, (that) we should be apologised to.
“People cannot understand how difficult it was for everyone as a club being under suspicion. Our prestige and reputation was damaged with accusations that now we have shown were not true. The people should accept it. The people said we were cheating, lying, many times. The presumption of innocence was not there.
“The sentence from the three independent judges was clear. But, if they want, they know my telephone number, they can call me and I can explain. It’s not a problem at all.
“We don’t expect Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal, Chelsea or Wolves to defend us, but we have the right to defend ourselves when we believe what we have done is correct and three independent judges said this. I am incredibly happy for the decision. It shows what all the people said about the club wasn’t true.”
“We are not banned because we follow(ed) the rules for the Financial Fair Play and the rules UEFA and FIFA had decided. We have done it properly in the right way.”
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