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Man City have been condemned but I am going nowhere

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Pep Guardiola: Manchester City have been condemned but I am going nowhere – Michael Regan/Getty Images

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola came out fighting against the club’s alleged breaches of financial rules on Friday, claiming the club had already been “condemned.”

The Premier League champions were on Monday hit by an astonishing catalog of charges covering 14 seasons from 2009-10 to the current campaign which, if proven, would amount to one of the biggest scandals in English football history.

The bombshell revelations follow a four-year investigation by the Premier League that has now culminated in the club being charged with allegedly breaching 115 regulations.

City were banned for two years from European competition by Uefa in 2020 for alleged breaches of their Financial Fair Play rules, but the club successfully overturned that suspension in the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas).

Guardiola said: “My thought is that we have already been condemned. Since Monday it is like what happened with Uefa. The club proved that they were completely innocent, why should I think right now, with just charges or suggestions.

“You have to understand that the 19 teams of the Premier League are accusing us without the opportunity to defend ourselves. You know exactly what side I am on.

“There are no enemies or friends, there are just interested [parties]. The same articles, the same accusations, it’s exactly the same as before.”

City could face an unprecedented range of punishments including a suspension, points deductions, sweeping fines and the ultimate sanction of expulsion from the league if they are found guilty.

But the City manager, who had previously said he would walk away from the job if he had found he was guilty of any alleged wrongdoing, doubled down on his insistence that he would stay at the club.

Guardiola said: “If we are guilty we will go to the lower divisions like before, we will call Paul Dickov and Mike Summerbee.

“I’m not moving from this seat. I can assure you more than ever I want to stay. Sometimes I have doubts – seven, eight years is a long time – but now I don’t want to move on.”

In a statement released on Monday morning, the Premier League said: “The Premier League confirms that it has today referred a number of alleged breaches of the Premier League Rules by Manchester City Football Club to a commission.”

An independent disciplinary committee will hear the charges in private. No timescale has been announced by the Premier League.

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