Pep Guardiola, the manager of Manchester City, is expected to have left the team before any potential sanctions for breaking many financial regulations, according to reports.
Following a four-year inquiry, the Premier League disclosed on Monday that the Citizens have been accused with violating more than 100 financial rules.
The accusations against the defending champions of the Premier League centre on financial data about revenue, information on manager and player compensation in the applicable contracts, UEFA rules, profitability and sustainability, and cooperation with Premier League investigations.
Man City has refuted the charges, which are alleged to have occurred between 2009–10 and 2017–18, and has issued a statement in which they claim to be “surprised” by the “irrefutable evidence” that supports their case.
Man City could be subject to never-before-seen punishments, including transfer bans, fines, point penalties, or even ejection from the Premier League, should the independent committee deem them guilty of the violations.
Staff members at Man City, according to The Athletic through the Daily Mail, anticipate that Guardiola will have left the Etihad Stadium before any potential penalties are imposed on the team.
According to the story, Guardiola was among the first top City officials to hear about the allegations from the Premier League before they were made public on Monday morning.
The Citizens were penalized £25 million and given a two-year Champions League ban by UEFA in February 2020 for “severe violations” of club licensing and financial fair play rules between 2012 and 2016.
Pep Guardiola comments on leaving Manchester City
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) overturned the sanction, reducing the amount to £9 million since “most of the claimed breaches were either not substantiated or time-barred.”
Guardiola has consistently supported City in the wake of the accusations, but last year he threatened to quit from his position if he learned that club officials had ‘lied’ to him about the team’s finances.
“Why did I defend the club and the people? It’s because I work with them. When they are accused of something I ask them: ‘Tell me about that.’ They explain and I believe them,”
Guardiola told reporters in May last year as quoted by The Mirror.
“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 any more. I put my faith in you because I believe you 100% 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.”
“It’s a situation in 2012 or 2013, I was still in Barcelona, most of the people running that are not here now, but of course I would not like it. What I like is to represent a club who do things properly. It’s not about winning the Champions League and the Premier League, we want to do well for our people and our fans.”
In his spectacular six-and-a-half-year tenure at Man City, Guardiola has won 11 trophies, including four Premier League championships, four EFL Cups, one FA Cup, and two Community Shields. He also led the Citizens to their first-ever Champions League final in 2021.
In the Premier League standings, Man City are now in second place, five points behind league-leading Arsenal, who also have a game in hand.
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