Pep Guardiola, Manchester City Coach has said nine teams like Burnley, Wolves, Leicester, Newcastle, Spurs, Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea wanted City to be kicked out of the Champions League.
Guardiola who berated the other 19 Premier League clubs when commenting on Manchester City’s financial charges and has specifically named nine teams who wanted the Citizens kicked out of the Champions League.
The Premier League recently announced that the reigning champions have been charged with breaching over 100 financial rules after a four-year investigation.
Alleged breaches are said to have been committed between 2008-09 and 2017-18 and relate to financial information regarding revenue, sponsorship income and operating costs.
Man City responded quickly by releasing a statement and they expressed their ‘surprise’ at the Premier League’s allegations considering their “irrefutable evidence” in support of their position.
The Citizens could face a range of sanctions including transfer bans, points deductions or expulsion from the Premier League, the latter of which is allegedly something a number of top-flight rivals are in favour for should the independent commission find them guilty of the breaches.
In February 2020, Man City were accused by UEFA of “serious breaches” of club licensing and financial fair play regulations between 2012 and 2016, and were handed a two-year Champions League ban along with a £25m fine.
However, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) overturned the punishment and their fine was reduced to £9m as ‘most of the alleged breaches were either not established or time-barred.’
Guardiola faced the media for the first time since the Premier League’s announcement on Monday, and when recalling the club’s 2020 UEFA case, he specifically named the nine clubs who requested for the Citizens to be removed from the Champions League.
According to him, while we wait for UEFA to make a sentence against us, the nine clubs 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 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.
“You have to understand that 19 teams in the Premier League are accusing us without us having the ability to defend.”
Guardiola has also called out the current 19 top-flight clubs for driving the Premier League’s charges, and named Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy as someone to ask for his opinion on City’s current predicament.
“Yeah of course. It’s the Premier League. You should go to the chairman, the CEOs, Daniel Levy, and ask them,” the 52-year-old added.
“They open a precedent right now. Be careful in the future because many clubs make suggestions and we have been accused. I can have an opinion, but what do fans think? I don’t know.
“It is obvious the fans want to push us out of the competition. They believe we didn’t behave properly.
“Against 19 teams we are alone, that’s for sure. 19 clubs are not going to help us. We won the Premier League last season on the pitch. Let us defend (the charges). If it happens, we will accept it. But like UEFA, we will defend.”
Guardiola is “fully convinced” that Man City are “innocent” and insists his squad are focused on Sunday’s Premier League encounter with Aston Villa as they bid to close the five-point gap to leaders Arsenal.