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Pep Guardiola has his say on FFP charges as Gary Neville namedrops EFL clubs in call for action

Pep Guardiola has his say on his side’s FFP charges as Gary Neville namedrops EFL clubs in a call for action to the Premier League.

The Man City boss wanted to have the 115 financial charges that the Premier League put against his club to be resolved “as quickly as possible”.

City was charged in February with violating the financial rules of the league from 2009 to 2018. The club was also accused of refusing to cooperate since the investigation began on December 2018.

City has denied any financial wrongdoing. They say that their innocence is supported with a body of irrefutable proof and look forward to putting this matter to rest.

In 2020, the Court of Arbitration for Sport overturned a two-year ban for City from European competitions for violating Uefa’s Financial Fair Play regulations (FFP). However, City was fined 10m Euros (£8.67m). for obstruction of the investigation.

Despite initially stating that they would abide by Premier League processes, they are now silent about recent media reports they have filed legal challenges against these charges and have objected to Murray Rosen KC being appointed as the person to appoint an independent commission to hear the case because he is a season ticket holder for Arsenal.

Speaking prior to Wednesday’s game against Brighton, Guardiola, who has guided the club to their fifth Premier League title in six seasons and their third in a row, said: “What I would like is if the Premier League and judges could make something as soon as possible.

“Then, if we have done something wrong, everybody will know it and, if we are like we believe as a club for many years, [done things] in the right way, then the people will stop talking about it.

“We would love it tomorrow. This afternoon better than tomorrow.

“Hopefully they are not so busy and the judges can see both sides and decide what is the best, because in the end I know fairly what we won we won on the pitch and we don’t have any doubts.

“Let’s go. Don’t wait two years. Why don’t we do it quicker? In 24 hours, sit down with lawyers present. Let’s have it as soon as possible for the benefit of everyone.”

“I will stay next season while there are 110 breaches against us,” he said. “Don’t worry, we will be there.”

“Right now I am not thinking about leaving, but who knows?” he said.

“I would like to continue here next season independent of the result. I don’t know what it’s going to feel like winning or losing, but my feeling is I have a contract and I want to respect the club.”

SEE MORE: Pep Guardiola backtracks and calls out other clubs in astonishing interview on Man City FFP breach

Gary Neville said he’s like to see clubs like to see Sunderland compete for the Premier League and Champions League titles in the future, but admits it is impossible under the current Financial Fair Play rules. 

Neville spoke as part of an exchange with Jamie Carragher and Dave Jones, a presenter and Non-Executive Director at Sunderland, on Sky’s Monday Night Football.

They were discussing the allegations made against Premier League champions Manchester City in accordance with the FFP rules.

Neville has often vocalised his thoughts on FFP rules. He says they were implemented to stop elite clubs being challenged by teams that had been bought by wealthy investors. 

Jack Walker, the owner of Blackburn Rovers at the time, spent tens and millions of his own money to win Premier League in 1994-1995.

Chelsea, with former owner Roman Abramovich and Manchester City under Sheikh Mansour both manafed to make it into the elite.

The Londoners made the jump just before FFP rules were put in place, while City’s recent rise is still being scrutinised. 

Neville, however, says that the FFP rules prevent Sunderland from following in the footsteps of Blackburn even if their owner was willing to spend unlimited amounts on the transfer market.

“I’ve got a real problem with FFP,” said Neville. “I’ve had it for a long time.

“It was driven through by the established elite so that clubs like [Manchester] City, clubs like Chelsea, couldn’t compete with them. Basically they could always pat them on the head and say ‘stay down there’.

“No-one ever complains about Jack Walker buying the league [with Blackburn] 30 years ago – FFP wasn’t in at that point, but no-one ever complains about that. I think that a new Jack Walker, of any town, should be able to drive their team forward – Sunderland, your team Dave. I like the idea that Sunderland one day could compete for the Champions League and the Premier League title again.

“But if under FFP you’re only allowed to spend the money that your income allows you, then you’ll always be maintained down there. So I don’t like the rule to start with, so I have some sympathy with City on that particular point.

“However, if the rules are in place then you have to abide by them. There’s no doubt that for Manchester City, their owners and their executives, if some of the most serious of these charges were to be brought forward and they were to be found guilty of them, then the damage would be long lasting and it would be tainting.

“However, on the other side, I must mention, if the Premier League were not to see through these charges then the damage to their executive would be equally long-lasting. There is a massive pressure moment coming in the next couple of years. It’s something that really isn’t going to go away until it’s dealt with.

“I have to say if they can accelerate it forward – and we need due process and law, you’ve got to let it take its course – but this is a sporting situation, it’s not a criminal situation like in a normal court. Let’s move it forward and try and get it closed as quickly as possible.”

Carragher agreed, adding: “Manchester City don’t want this, supporters don’t want it, the Premier League don’t want it. It’s not good when we’re talking about one of the best teams of all time in the Premier League – and manager – and there’s this asterisk above it until this is sorted out. My message to Manchester City would be: this needs to get sorted sooner rather than later, for your own reputation.

“There’s no doubt about it, if they’re found guilty of all this then everything would be tainted.”

This is what fans are saying as Pep Guardiola has his say on FFP charges after Gary Neville namedrops EFL clubs in a call for action…

@bish_ian: Not sure that’s the best interest of your clubs owners and lawyers, Pep!

@ClinicalBruno39: Give him the title for next years PL already, we’re tired man

@douggie78: Proper weird this.

@basile1976: I thought it was city who are refusing to show the paperwork? 🤔

@fumbucker: It’s crazy that Pep appears to think that if Man City get off the charges, that people will think they’re innocent of them. Everyone will just think that if you have enough money you can be above the law/rules. They’ll still be guilty. 115 charges with no substance to it. Joke.

@shaunlevett: This is basically a challenge to his own owners. They are the ones stringing it out. Pep is probably sick of it.

@carl_lewis_91: Hilarious, it’s City’s lawyers that are dragging it out, same with the European ban which is the reason they got away with that. Pep playing clueless as ever

@NeilWeatherbed: A fine won’t bother #MCFC. A points reduction probably won’t stop them winning the league. What’s a suitable punishment if found guilty……

@ParkinsonDean: Funny how he tries to make it out as some sort of joke.

@Davelfc11: Just dismantle the club. Boring boring boring

@Dogglllzzz: I was always told… I want never gets. 🤷‍♂️

@Djh_1989: Didn’t he say before that he’d quit if the club was found guilty as they would have lied to him ? 🥸

@AdamHartland: Next couple of days would be handy

@Adam_Moloney: What a joke. They have done everything they can to obstruct the FIFA and PL investigations and now he wants to hurry things up?

@Unitedfand: Obviously he wants to stay, where else is he going to get this much money for his transfers. Cheque book manager

@shillcock_paul: Sorry Pep, if you stay ‘regardless’ of the findings, you don’t have any principles, by definition.

@flatwoodsfella: They cheated and they know it. I don’t understand why it takes 5 years to do an investigation!!!!

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