Manchester City on Wednesday said the allegations of “serious breaches” of Uefa’s club licensing and financial fair play regulations were “simply not true”.
Chief executive Ferran Soriano, speaking for the first time since Friday night’s Uefa ruling slapping a two-year Champions League ban on the club, said City would file an appeal against the decision.
City were also fined 30m euros (£25m) after Uefa upheld accusations of “serious breaches” of its Financial Fair Play regulations between 2012 and 2016. The decision is subject to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The club is expected to move the Court in the next few days.
“The fans can be sure of two things. The first one is that the allegations are false,” said Soriano. “And the second is that we will do everything that can be done to prove so.”
City hope the appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport will conclude before the summer and that the punishment will be overturned.
In response to the allegations of overstating its sponsorship revenues, Soriano — speaking in a video released by City — said: “The owner has not put money in this club that has not been properly declared. We are a sustainable football club, we are profitable, we don’t have debt, our accounts have been scrutinised many times, by auditors, by regulators, by investors and this is perfectly clear.”
Soriano added that the club was hoping for an “early resolution” through a “thorough process and a fair process”.
According to reports in the British media, City manager Pep Guardiola has told friends he intends to stay at the club despite the European ban.
Though his contract is set to expire in 2021, it does have a break clause at the end of this season and it was anticipated he would activate it should City fail to win their appeal.
However, it is understood that the 49-year-old manager has said he remains committed to the club.
“Obviously, he has been kept informed about this process but this is not something for him to respond to,” said Soriano. “He is focused on the football, he is focusing on the game, the game at hand, the game today, tomorrow and the next weeks. As well as the players.
“They are calm, they are focused and this matter is more a business matter, a legal matter than a football matter.”
Soriano’s defence came amid reports that Uefa’s financial fair play compliance body are considering further probes into the amount of Abu Dhabi sponsorship declared by City since 2016.