MANCHESTER — Pep Guardiola has spoken for the first time since Man City were handed a two season ban by UEFA and was in defiant mood as he said he will stay at the club and that “the truth will prevail” as he believes in City’s hierarchy.
After being given a two season ban due to start in the 2020-21 campaign, City will appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) but as things stands the reigning Premier League champions will not be in Europe until Sept. 2022 at the earliest.
Following Man City’s 2-0 win against West Ham, Guardiola was asked about the ban and was open and honest.
“It is not finished. The club believes it is unfair so we are going to appeal and we are going to wait,” Guardiola said. So all we can do on the pitch is all we have done in the last four years and try and win games. We are going to wait. I trust 100 percent my club what they have done, they explained to me what happened. They have explained to me the reasons why and we are going to see.”
UEFA delivered its damning verdict last Friday after an extensive investigation into what they call “serious breaches” of Financial Fair Play rules. City were also fined $32.4 million for the breach as UEFA’s Adjudicatory Chamber of the Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) found the reigning Premier League champions guilty of serious breaches of the UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations.
The Manchester club were previously charged by UEFA in 2014 as they were fined and had a limited number of players in their squad for UEFA competitions for FFP breaches. This new charge comes after Football Leaks documents published by Der Spiegel in 2018 accused Man City of wrongdoing.
Asked what impact the news of the ban had on himself and the players, Guardiola remained defiant.
“We spoke. We are going to fight, like we fought every single day, until the end of the season. We are optimistic that next season that in the end the truth will prevail, and if next season we qualify for the Champions League that we will be there,” Guardiola said.
Does he plan to stay at the club?
“If they don’t sack me and that can happen, I will stay here. First because I want to stay, it is something special, more than the contract I have. I want to stay to continue to help the club and maintain this level as long as possible,” Guardiola said.
Guardiola was then asked about reports that he told the players in a private meeting that he would still be in charge even if they were relegated to League Two.
“Why should I leave? I said a month ago, I love this club, I like to be here. Why should I leave? We spoke with the players, in the next three months we will focus on what we have to do and after we will see the sentence. Personally, I will be here,” Guardiola added.
Above is Pep’s interview in full.