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Pep Guardiola issued a fiery defence of Manchester City when speaking publicly about the bombshell charges levelled against them by the Premier League for the very first time in Friday’s press conference. The reigning English champions are facing a highly uncertain future after they were accused of an unprecedented number of Financial Fair Play rule breaches on Monday, which followed the publication of leaked emails by German outlet Der Spiegel back in 2018.
The emails suggested that City owner Sheikh Mansour had inflated the club’s commercial figures in an attempt to get around financial restrictions, sparking a four-year investigation from the Premier League which has resulted in the charges being brought against them. City remain adamant that no wrongdoing has ever taken place, though, and are expected to enter into a long and drawn-out legal battle in an attempt to clear their name over the coming months.
Guardiola fielded questions on the topic in Friday’s press conference and wasted no time in firing back at City’s critics by saying: “My first thought is we’re already being condemned.
“It’s the same with UEFA [when City were accused in 2020], we were already condemned. The club proved we were completely innocent. You know on what side I am. We are lucky we live in a country where everyone is innocent until proven guilty.
“It seems like we have already been sentenced. What is going to happen, I don’t know. We think we have good lawyers and I think we are going to defend our position. Time will depend what happens. We will see what a judge, the Premier League decides. In the same way with UEFA, we are innocent.
“[If City are found guilty and punished] we will be back. We will get Paul Dickov and Mike Summerbee and be back. The club, they talk to all of us, but we have trained like normal to get ready for Aston Villa. The last seven years have been for us, our fans and our people. The court will dictate what happens. I am fully convinced that we will be innocent.
“In this country, everyone is innocent until proven guilty. UEFA’s sentence wasn’t even that. It is now down to the lawyers of both sides to defend one side and the other one. It will be longer than one month, two months and three months. We know what happened with UEFA and we will see that.”
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