Manchester City head coach Pep Guardiola is reportedly set to consider his future at the club if the Premier League champions’ appeal against a two-year ban from Europe fails.
FutballNews reports on Friday that UEFA banned The Citizens from playing in any UEFA club competition including the Champions League for the next two seasons. The European football governing body in a statement on Friday also fined the club £24.9m for breaching its Financial Fair Play Regulations and Club Licensing Regulations.
In a statement on Friday night, City expressed their disappointment towards the ruling and vowed to appeal the ban. The English club also described the verdict as “prejudicial”.
According to The Telegraph, the Spanish manager may leave Etihad at the end of the season if the ban is not overturned after appealing at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). The former Barcelona manager joined City in 2016, and his current contract is set to expire in 2021.
Guardiola has won two Premier League titles, one FA Cup and two League Cups during his reign as City manager. The only trophy he has not lifted since his time in England is the Champions League, having previously enjoyed success in the competition during his time in Barcelona.
According to bookmakers, former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is the lead candidate to take over at City if Guardiola leaves in the summer. Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers and RB Leipzig manager Julian Nagelsmann are also been linked to the job. Massimiliano Allegri is another name been considered for the City job.
Recall that Guardiola said last season that he was confident his side will not be suspended from Europe by UEFA. He, however, said that if UEFA decides to ban City, they will accept it and move forward.
He said: “We will not be banned.
“That’s what I think because I trust in my chairman, with my CEO, what they have explained to me. I trust in them. If it happens, because UEFA decides that, we will accept it and move forward.”
UEFA found City guilty of serious breaches of its rules and regulation by an Adjudicatory Chamber of the Club Financial Control Body (CFCB). The English club were also suspended from Europe in the 2020/21 and 2021/22 seasons for “failing to cooperate in the investigation by the CFCB”.
Guardiola’s side were also found guilty of “overstated its sponsorship revenue in its accounts and in the break-even information submitted to UEFA between 2012 and 2016”. UEFA added that City also failed to co-operate with an investigation by the Independent Adjudicatory Chamber of the Club Financial Control Body (CFCB).
UEFA investigated City after German newspaper Der Spiegel published leaked documents in November 2018 alleging that the club had inflated the value of a sponsorship deal, misleading European football’s governing body.
Reports alleged City, who have always denied wrongdoing, deliberately misled UEFA so they could meet FFP rules requiring clubs to break even. The Premier League giants were fined £49m in 2014 for a previous breach of regulations.