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regular-article-logo Saturday, 25 May 2024

I know people want Manchester City to be punished, says Pep Guardiola

Everton’s punishment prompted an outcry from supporters of teams around the league who want City to face a similar penalty

Reuters Manchester Published 25.11.23, 08:33 AM
Erling Haaland during a training session on Friday.

Erling Haaland during a training session on Friday. Twitter

Manchester City are innocent until proven guilty of over 100 charges of breaking the English Premier League's financial rules, manager Pep Guardiola said on Friday.

Everton were last week handed an unprecedented 10-point deduction for breaching profitability and sustainability rules (PSR).

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Champions City lead the standings by one point from Liverpool, who they host on Saturday, and Arsenal.

"Why should I not believe (we are innocent)?" a prickly Guardiola told reporters on Friday. "It's the lawyers to make the defence in front of the judge. We wait and after we accept the resolutions."

Everton's punishment prompted an outcry from supporters of teams around the league who want City to face a similar penalty.

City were charged in February — before Everton — and their case is still ongoing.

The independent commission which is overseeing the case can impose punishments ranging from a fine and points deduction to expulsion from the English Premer League. The club has always denied financial wrongdoing.

"I'm not going to say one word about Everton because I don't know the reality of what happened. They are two completely different cases," Guardiola said.

"I know the people want Man City to be punished... I see that, I feel that. I know people are saying, 'Why don't City go to the Conference' (the National League and lowest division on the English football pyramid). But let's wait. It's two different cases, it's not the same. One of them is longer, it's more complicated."

Guardiola, who led Man City to their first Champions League title last season to become the second English side after Manchester United to win the treble, was asked if he would quit if they were demoted.

"You're questioning me like we have been punished. At the moment, we're innocent," the Spaniard said. "There is more chance I will stay if we are in League One than if we win the Champions League."

Klopp excited

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp said the top-of-the-table clash is so exciting he would tune in to watch it from anywhere in the world, but added one game does not determine his team's title chances.

"It's not a test on how close we get to City, it's just a really super exciting game, I would watch it wherever on the planet," Klopp told reporters.

"We have to prepare for it properly and we know we have to be at our best to get a chance. We will see."

Klopp's team have gone unbeaten in their last five games. "A lot of games we were good," he said.

City, who have 28 points after 12 games, have built a fortress at Etihad Stadium, winning 23 successive games there across all competitions.

With inputs from Reuters

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