This City’s clean

Guardi­ola con­fi­dent club will not face Cham­pi­ons League ban

The Star Malaysia - - Sport -

Lon­don: Manch­ester City man­ager Pep Guardi­ola says he has re­ceived as­sur­ances from the club’s hierarchy that they will not be banned from the Cham­pi­ons League over al­le­ga­tions of a breach of UEFA Fi­nan­cial Fair Play (FFP) rules.

Euro­pean foot­ball’s gov­ern­ing body are in­ves­ti­gat­ing al­le­ga­tions made in Ger­man pub­li­ca­tion Der Spiegel last month that City’s Abu Dhabi own­ers in­flated spon­sor­ship agree­ments in order to com­ply with FFP re­quire­ments.

In re­sponse, Premier League cham­pi­ons City said in­for­ma­tion had been “hacked” and that they were vic­tims of an “or­gan­ised and clear” at­tempt to dam­age the club’s rep­u­ta­tion.

Pun­ish­ment for clubs found guilty of break­ing the rules could ex­tend to be­ing ex­cluded from the Cham­pi­ons League.

Guardi­ola, ap­pointed with the task of try­ing to win Europe’s big­gest club prize, said he was calm about the sit­u­a­tion.

“We will not be banned, no. That’s what I think be­cause I trust in my chair­man (Khal­doon al-Mubarak), with my CEO (Fer­ran So­ri­ano), what they have ex­plained to me. I trust in them,” the Spa­niard was quoted as say­ing by Bri­tish me­dia.

“If it hap­pens, be­cause UEFA de­cide that, we will ac­cept it and move for­ward.”

Der Spiegel’s re­port, based on doc­u­ments re­ceived by the whis­tle blower plat­form Foot­ball Leaks and re­viewed by Reuters, in part­ner­ship with Euro­pean In­ves­tiga­tive Col­lab­o­ra­tions, a net­work of in­ter­na­tional me­dia, al­leged that some of City’s Abu Dhabi spon­sor­ships were three times more lu­cra­tive than in­de­pen­dent ex­perts deemed they were worth.

City said the claims were “er­ro­neous con­clu­sions and as­ser­tions.”

— AFP

Full faith: Manch­ester City man­ager Pep Guardi­ola puts his trust in chair­man Khal­doon al-Mubarak re­gard­ing the UEFA Fi­nan­cial Fair Play al­le­ga­tions.

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