‘In England, everyone is innocent until proven guilty’: Pep Guardiola responds after Man City accused of breaches

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said that his club has already been ‘condemned’ after being charged by the Premier League over alleged breaches of financial rules but at the same time reminded everyone that in England everyone is innocent until proven guilty.

City was accused on Monday of breaching a slew of financial regulations over a nine-year period. If found guilty, the club could face a fine, deduction of points or, in the most extreme case, expulsion from Premier League.

“My first thought is we are already being condemned,” Guardiola said. “We are lucky we live in a marvellous country where everyone is innocent until proved guilty. We didn’t have this opportunity. We are already sentenced.”

City already had a two-year ban from European club competitions overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in 2020 after UEFA had ruled the club committed “serious breaches” of financial fair play regulations from 2012-16.

“It’s the same as what happened after UEFA (charges). These are just charges. With UEFA the club proved it was completely innocent.

“We have a good lawyer, not that UEFA had bad lawyers. And I think the Premier League, supported by 19 teams, are going to take good lawyers too to defend their position.

“I would have loved to wait and see to find out what happens but just in case we are not innocent we will accept what the judge and the Premier League decides.

“But if the same situation with UEFA happens and we are innocent, what happens to restore or pay back our damage?”

Guardiola also warned that other clubs should look at their own affairs before condemning Manchester City.

“What they have done to us be careful in the future because many clubs can be accused like we have been accused,” the Spanish coach said.

“That they are pushing to get rid of us out of the competition, that is obvious because they believe that we didn’t behave properly. We accept that but let us defend when we believe we did it properly.”

Guardiola also reiterated that he will remain as manager.

“I am not moving from this seat. I can assure you, more than ever I want to stay,” he said. “Sometimes I have doubts, seven years already is a long time. Now I don’t want to go. Not because people say they lied to you Pep. They didn’t lie to me.”

(With Agency inputs)

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