Pep Guardiola’s emphatic statement made to his Manchester City players has resurfaced after the club were charges with ‘numerous breaches’ of financial rules.
A four-year investigation from the Premier League found that City had allegedly breached rules over nine seasons and the Blues could be facing the most serious of punishments as a result, including points deductions and expulsion from the Football League.
The matter will now go to an independent commission, with both the Premier League and City making their case.
It follows on from UEFA ruling City had committed “serious breaches” of Financial Fair Play regulations between 2012 and 2016.
City took UEFA on and with Lord Pannick KC of Blackstone Chambers representing them, were ultimately victorious, as the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) overturned a two-year ban from European club competitions.
And when the ban was announced, Guardiola addressed his City players and in a rallying cry, told them he wasn’t going anywhere.Image: Alamy
“Whatever league we’re in, I will still be here,” Guardiola said while looking his team in the eye, as per The Sun.
“Even if they put us in League Two, I will still be here. This is a time for sticking together.”
Guardiola told the media that his players “commitment will be incredible” in the next three months and they went on to beat Real Madrid 2-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu.Image: Alamy
A couple of years on and Guardiola said he told the club in no uncertain terms that he chose to defend them but made it clear he would leave if those higher up lied to him.
“Why did I defend the club and the people? It’s because I work with them,” he is quoted as saying in May 2022.
“When they are accused of something I ask them, ‘Tell me about that’. They explain and I believe them. I said to them, ‘If you lie to me, the day after I am not here.’ I will be out and I will not be your friend anymore.
“I put my faith in you because I believe you 100 per cent from day one and I defend the club because of that.
“When you put something here [sponsor] it’s overpaid, but other [clubs] the money comes from the USA but the money is correct, even if it’s higher.
“We have to deal with that, we have to fight with that. As always, I am a big fan to support this organisation, no doubt.”
There are no immediate concerns over Guardiola’s future and a verdict on City will likely not be reached until the Spaniard has left the Etihad Stadium.
City have said they welcome the review and the chance to clear their name.