Man City manager Pep Guardiola has said that his team deserves an apology after the club successfully overturned their ban from European club competitions.
UEFA had banned the Premier League club for two seasons over breach of the Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations between 2012 and 2016. But the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) on Monday cleared City of committing “serious breaches” of the FFP.
Reacting to the development after several reactions from managers which included Tottenham Hotspurs’ Jose Mourinho, the former Bayern Munich coach said the club has done the right thing.
“What we have done is right. Jose and all the managers should know that we were damaged,” said Guardiola. We should be apologized (to).”
Guardiola, who couldn’t hide his happiness over the development said it shows that what has been said about the club was untrue.
“Like I said many times, if we did something wrong we would accept the decision of Uefa and Cas because we did something wrong. We can defend ourselves. We have the right to defend ourselves when we believe what we have done is correct.”
After Man City was issued with a two-year ban in February, Cas cleared the club of “disguising equity funds as sponsorship contributions” and cut the club’s fine from 30m euros (£26.9m) to 10m euros (£9m).
The attention of Man City now on Champions League
With Cas issues sorted, the Etihad outfit can now fully concentrate on the second leg of this year’s Champions League last 16 ties against Real Madrid.
City had the last laugh in the first leg at the Bernabeau, leaving Spain with a 2-1 advantage. They will be looking forward to completing the job at Etihad Stadium on 7 August. Anyone that progressed to the next round from the tie will face Either Juventus or Lyon.
Not yet time for contract talks – Guardiola
Speaking on his future with the club, the gaffer said it is not yet time to be discussing a new contract. Guardiola, whose current deal runs until the end of the 2020-21 season said the club has made progress in the last decade.
“We invested a lot of money, like a lot of clubs. We did it the right way. We have not been banned because we followed the FFP rules. If we hadn’t we would have been banned.
“We showed it was not true. That’s why people have to be happy or should at least accept it.
“I would love to say, ‘look in our eyes and say something face to face and go out onto the pitch and play as rivals and after if you beat us, we will shake hands and congratulate you,” Guardiola added.
The Case decision means that it will be business as usual in terms of qualification for the Champions League and Europa League from the English top flight. The top four sides will qualify for the Champions League, while fifth and sixth place will progress into the Europa League.
Had the ban remained in place, with City now guaranteed a top-four domestic finish, the team finishing fifth would have qualified for the Champions League and the seventh-placed team would have got a Europa League spot.