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View Poll Results: Fair decision by UEFA?

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  • No need for any punishment

    0 0%
  • The punishment is too strong

    2 28.57%
  • It's just about right

    4 57.14%
  • The punishment should've been stronger

    1 14.29%
Results 1 to 33 of 33
  1. #1
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    Manchester City banned from Champions League for two seasons by UEFA and fined 30 million euros





    Manchester City have been banned from European club competition in 2020/21 and 2021/22 after being found to have committed "serious breaches" of Uefa's club licensing and financial fair play regulations.

    The reigning Premier League champions have also been fined 30m euros (£25m).

    The decision is subject to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

    Manchester City say they are "disappointed but not surprised" by the "prejudicial" decision and will appeal.

    The independent Adjudicatory Chamber of the Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) said City had broken the rules by "overstating its sponsorship revenue in its accounts and in the break-even information submitted to Uefa between 2012 and 2016", adding that the club "failed to cooperate in the investigation".

    Manchester City said in a statement: "The club has always anticipated the ultimate need to seek out an independent body and process to impartially consider the comprehensive body of irrefutable evidence in support of its position.

    "In December 2018, the Uefa chief investigator publicly previewed the outcome and sanction he intended to be delivered to Manchester City, before any investigation had even begun.

    "The subsequent flawed and consistently leaked Uefa process he oversaw has meant that there was little doubt in the result that he would deliver. The club has formally complained to the Uefa disciplinary body, a complaint which was validated by a CAS ruling.

    "Simply put, this is a case initiated by Uefa, prosecuted by Uefa and judged by Uefa. With this prejudicial process now over, the club will pursue an impartial judgment as quickly as possible and will therefore, in the first instance, commence proceedings with the Court of Arbitration for Sport at the earliest opportunity."

    City have been drawn to face Real Madrid in the last 16 of this season's Champions League, with the first leg to be played on 26 February at the Bernabeu.

    What are City alleged to have done?
    Uefa launched an investigation after German newspaper Der Spiegel published leaked documents in November 2018 alleging City 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.

    City were fined £49m in 2014 for a previous breach of regulations.

    https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/51510284
    Last edited by MenInG; 15th February 2020 at 00:52.


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  2. #2
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    A bit late but everyone knows those sponsership fees were inflated, considering those sponsors were companies owned by the same owner, city will struggle to win this fight, they will appeal but there not getting away, there will atleast be a transfer ban which means pep might decide to leave.


    If you want to destroy a country, just create enmity between its people and their army - Salahuddin

  3. #3
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    Teams should be allowed to spend what they want. It's a business and this should be tested in the courts.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bewal Express View Post
    Teams should be allowed to spend what they want. It's a business and this should be tested in the courts.
    But its a law that they knew was there and they broke it, knowing exactly what they were doing.

    But yes i agree with you that Financial Fairplay should be removed, but as its a law that was broken intentionally they will have to be punished otherwise whats the point of having laws.


    If you want to destroy a country, just create enmity between its people and their army - Salahuddin

  5. #5
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    Next in line is PSG.

  6. #6
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    It will be overturned after the appeal

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by PetroDollars View Post
    But its a law that they knew was there and they broke it, knowing exactly what they were doing.

    But yes i agree with you that Financial Fairplay should be removed, but as its a law that was broken intentionally they will have to be punished otherwise whats the point of having laws.
    The fact is that the both Barcelona and Madrid rig the TV money in Spain and end up with a large share, whereas English clubs are forced to share the TV money, this leads to unfair punishment.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by in_cutter View Post
    It will be overturned after the appeal
    reduced yes, overturned completely, unlikely.


    If you want to destroy a country, just create enmity between its people and their army - Salahuddin

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bewal Express View Post
    The fact is that the both Barcelona and Madrid rig the TV money in Spain and end up with a large share, whereas English clubs are forced to share the TV money, this leads to unfair punishment.
    TV money should be split by viewership figures and not be equal.

    Alot of clubs might rig the rules one way or another, but city did it so obviously that even a novice judge could catch them out, the owner used his own companies like Eithad to sponser his own club, inflating the fees, and when the court asked to prove where the funds came from, statements came from the owners own personal bank accounts

    They should be banned for stupidity not for breaking rules.


    If you want to destroy a country, just create enmity between its people and their army - Salahuddin

  10. #10
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    Big chance to sign DeBruyne and Aguero!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bewal Express View Post
    Teams should be allowed to spend what they want. It's a business and this should be tested in the courts.
    No teams should spend what they make. Itís stupid to suggest that they should be able to spend what they want. Not only because there should be some sort of a level playing field but also so that you donít situations like Leeds United. A big club whose owner ran out of money and they had to sell their assets and got relegated. Itís too protect the club and the fans as well. Other clubs could leverage the club and get massive loans then not be able to pay it back like the situation Liverpool was in (although the debt was the owners debt placed on the club).

    In North American sports you have salary caps so FFP isnít unique to European Football.

    The problem with City is not that the owners other companies are bankrolling the club through sponsorships. Itís that the club is lying about it. Theyíre claiming £67m sponsorship from Etihad when Etihad only pays them £8m. The remaining amount gets invoices to sheikh mansours private company.

    Theyíre not just breaking the rules theyíre also covering them up.

    And its a sports team not a toy. You have to abide by the leagues rules simple as that.

  12. #12
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    A deserved punishment. It will be interesting to see what happens with the players. Without the CL income how do City afford their wage bill?

    Surely Pep will leave after this.

  13. #13
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    Man City, a club with no history. Before the Arab oil money, there were a bottom half side in the Premier League. Heck, 20 years ago, they were in League 1. Not only should they be banned from Europe, they should also have their Premier League titles taken away from them. Cheaters and rule breakers should be severely punished.

  14. #14
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    It is arguably the biggest story in English football this season.

    Manchester City have been kicked out of the Champions League until 2022.

    City are furious, claim they have effectively been found guilty by a kangaroo court and are promising the fight is not over by any stretch of the imagination.

    But for now, they are out, which raises a number of serious questions for the club.

    Time and time again over the past few weeks, City manager Pep Guardiola has responded to questions about his future by stating his intention to see out his contract with the Blues, which does not expire until 2021.

    Yet Guardiola has also consistently expressed his trust in the City hierarchy when they have assured him there was no foundation to the claims being looked into by Uefa's investigatory panel.

    Does Guardiola feel let down by this outcome? It is impossible to say.

    However, it is fair to assume that after winning back-to-back Premier League titles with staggering points tallies that eclipsed anything that had gone before and, in addition, becoming the first side to win all three domestic trophies in a single season, Guardiola may struggle for motivation.

    If City win the Champions League this season, Guardiola could go anyway. Now it is impossible to imagine him staying and, amid persistent rumours of interest from Juventus and the almost certain knowledge any number of alternative challenges will present themselves, Guardiola's City future would seem to hinge on whether the club are successful in their appeal.

    We already know veteran midfielder David Silva will be leaving at the end of the season. But the number of players whose contracts are due to expire before City will return to the Champions League is a concern.

    Striker Sergio Aguero is at the top of that list. His deal expires in 2021. Leroy Sane's deal ends at the same time. John Stones' expires a year later. The same is also true of Nicolas Otamendi.

    And what of the plethora of stars who are under contract beyond 2022, such as Kevin de Bruyne, Ederson, Bernardo Silva, Raheem Sterling, Bernardo Silva and Riyad Mahrez?

    If Guardiola left, it is easy to see a number of players following suit, which could leave City with a massive rebuilding exercise.

    Manchester United have had trying to get into the Champions League in recent times. Arsenal have missed out three seasons in a row. Chelsea weren't in it last season. Liverpool failed to qualify as recently as 2015.

    Yes, their bottom line will miss out on a few million quid but that won't hurt them so much.

    Maybe the biggest difficulty will be the loss of the chance to earn coefficient points, which means even when they get back, City will be a lower seed than they would have expected to be and therefore find it harder to reach the latter stages of the competition.

    If this outcome sees the end of Guardiola's time at City, then marks the end of an era.

    Yet eras come and go in football. Whenever Guardiola goes, City would have had a rebuilding job to do and that will not change, even if signing players might be slightly more difficult.

    The bigger issue is the damage to City's reputation.

    Ever since the badly handled dismissal of Mark Hughes in 2009, City have prided themselves on doing things the right way. They believe, with some justification, they have a good reputation.

    If this verdict sticks, it will undermine all the good work they have done.

    They will have been seen to have cheated their way to trophies and in the process damaged the reputation of owner Sheikh Mansour and chairman Khaldoon al-Mubarak. If that proves to be the case, the consequences will be fascinating.

    What have they done?
    In effect, concealed a number of payments. These were either made to individuals or to inflate sponsorship deals, which allowed the club to meet financial fair play regulations.

    They were brought into the public domain by the Football Leaks organisation, who distributed thousands of confidential emails to the German magazine Der Spiegel.

    City alleged they had been the victim of an illegal hack by people who had the express intention of damaging their reputation. They also said the emails were being used as the basis for reports which were being taken out of context. That is still their stance.

    Is the race for the top four now a race for the top five?
    Heading into this weekend's games, Chelsea had a two-point advantage over Sheffield United in the battle for the fourth Champions League place.

    It is not entirely clear what will happen if City are excluded but if Uefa decide to retain England's four spots and the team in fifth gets the spare one, a fascinating battle will be in process.

    From Sheffield United in fifth to Crystal Palace in 14th, there are just nine points separating 10 teams. From looking to have no chance of getting back into the Champions League, Arsenal will be back in with a shot.

    https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/51511252


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  15. #15
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    Manchester City is disappointed but not surprised by today’s announcement by the UEFA Adjudicatory Chamber. The Club has always anticipated the ultimate need to seek out an independent body and process to impartially consider the comprehensive body of irrefutable evidence in support of its position.

    In December 2018, the UEFA Chief Investigator publicly previewed the outcome and sanction he intended to be delivered to Manchester City, before any investigation had even begun. The subsequent flawed and consistently leaked UEFA process he oversaw has meant that there was little doubt in the result that he would deliver. The Club has formally complained to the UEFA Disciplinary body, a complaint which was validated by a CAS ruling.

    Simply put, this is a case initiated by UEFA, prosecuted by UEFA and judged by UEFA. With this prejudicial process now over, the Club will pursue an impartial judgment as quickly as possible and will therefore, in the first instance, commence proceedings with the Court of Arbitration for Sport at the earliest opportunity.

    https://www.mancity.com/news/club-ne...club-statement


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  16. #16
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    I think there's a lot more than meets the eye. There is a reason City are vehemently opposing the decision. Not least of which some people like the president of La Liga who have been vocal critics of City in this regard have ties to UEFA.

    Regardless of the fact there is a vendetta or not against City from the other top European clubs, things are up in the air as they stand. What is Pep going to do? There is no hiding from the fact that winning the CL was the main priority for Pep now that he had PL titles under his belt.

    What about the big stars? Like Pep, players like KDB may not want to hang around if they can't showcase their skills in Europe's elite competition. City will go hard in defending their stance but its certainly not looking good in these early stages.

  17. #17
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    Pep Guardiola and Sergio Aguero told Sky Sports of their "dream" of winning the Champions League with Manchester City - just days before City were hit with a two-season ban from European football.




    Guardiola had already publicly admitted he would be judged "a failure" at the Etihad if he failed to make the club European champions for the first time.

    And talking to Sky Sports ahead of their later-postponed game with West Ham at the start of February, Guardiola opened up on his dreams of lifting the trophy he has already won twice as a manager - although not since 2011.

    City face Real Madrid in the last sixteen of this year's Champions League, with the first leg at the Bernabeu on February 26, but the tie will now go ahead against the backdrop of the club's impending suspension for breaching UEFA's Financial Fair Play regulations.

    "I want to win the Champions League, I dream," said Guardiola earlier this month. "I will enjoy preparing the games against Madrid, to see what we can do, and this process, the two weeks before will be the happiest moments for me to work out what we can do to get them.

    "I know that [the club] want to do it, they tell me, I accept it, I live with that, it's happened, but the important thing is to be proud of the way your team play and try to do your best. We give a bad message for the new generation for our kids, to just count the winner, the trophies.

    "But if we don't beat them, can the chairman say it's not good enough, we didn't win the Champions League, I'm going to sack you? Okay, it was a pleasure. I don't know if he'll say that, it's happened many times. He might say we did well, we can improve, and since day one of me arriving here that's what I got from this club.

    "I want to improve, of course. I want to try, but I cannot assure you that every season we will win the domestic title, the Champions League - I would love it, but I'm not good enough."

    Man City say they are "disappointed but not surprised" by their ban, describing the process as "prejudicial", and will take the case to Court of Arbitration for Sport.

    Sergio Aguero's CV is also missing European football's biggest club prize, and City's all-time leading goalscorer told Sky Sports earlier this month it is the trophy he craves most.

    Unless City win the competition this year or succeed in having their ban lifted, the Argentine will be almost 35 by the time he gets his next shot at the Champions League with the club.

    When asked what he still wanted to achieve in England, Aguero told Sky Sports: "The Champions League. Yes, we've won the Premier League but, always in my mind, I hope to win the Champions League before I leave this club because it's the best trophy in the world.

    "[It has been on my mind every year] because the Champions League is so difficult to win, but we will try to do it this year. We play Real Madrid, but I think we've got a good squad and good players."

    "Guardiola wouldn't be human [if he wasn't now considering his future]. Most of your initial reaction when your club is apparently under attack is for everyone to batten down the hatches and come together as one. I'm sure his instant reaction will be to want to be a part of Man City and stand with the club.

    "It's too early to say what he'll be thinking right now. In the short term, he'll be very unhappy at not being able to compete to win that elusive Champions League for Man City in the next two seasons, should he stay that long.

    "From his point of view now, it will be about going as far as he can in the competition this season because it is the biggest trophy they are still competing for, given Liverpool's dominance in the Premier League.

    "A lot will depend on the appeal and what City get back from the Court of Arbitration for Sport."




    https://www.skysports.com/football/n...fore-expulsion
    Last edited by MenInG; 15th February 2020 at 22:28.


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  18. #18
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    Manchester City have 10 days to lodge their appeal against being thrown out of the Champions League to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

    The club were banned on Friday from European club competition for the next two seasons for "serious breaches" of Uefa's financial regulations.

    The Premier League champions were also fined 30m euros (£25m).

    City said in a statement on Friday that they intended to appeal against Uefa's "prejudicial" decision.

    Club sources have also indicated there is no likelihood of City accepting a partial punishment for Financial Fair Play breaches in order to resolve the situation quickly.

    In addition to lodging their appeal, City will also need to ask for the ban and fine to be set aside until the appeal is heard, otherwise the punishment will still apply.

    The Premier League have not commented on Friday's decision but their Financial Fair Play Rules are known to be broadly similar to Uefa's and City's situation has been the subject of discussion among member clubs recently.

    Should the Premier League decide to bring a charge against City, they can ask Uefa for permission to look at the same evidence they have used to reach their own verdict.

    If the example of Red Star Belgrade is any guide, the fifth-placed team in the Premier League will benefit should City be excluded from European competition.

    Red Star were banned from the 2014-15 Champions League by Uefa for Financial Fair Play breaches.

    Although they finished second in the Serbian League behind Red Star, Partizan Belgrade were elevated to the Champions League from the Europa League, with fifth-placed Cukaricki filling the spare Europa League slot as the highest finisher not to have already qualified for European competition.

    https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/51517349


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  19. #19
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    Hopefully city win it this season, pep and kdb can leave , and city can stick to fingers up to uefa.
    What a story that would be


    If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you always got #improve

  20. #20
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    this will be peps last try, he cant go back to barca without winning a CL since he last left, that will taint his legacy. He will have to go all out to try and win it.


    If you want to destroy a country, just create enmity between its people and their army - Salahuddin

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abdullah View Post
    Hopefully city win it this season, pep and kdb can leave , and city can stick to fingers up to uefa.
    What a story that would be
    City ain't winning it this season. Lol keep dreaming. They are getting knocked out by Real (a club with actual history in Champions League) in the next round.

  22. #22
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    I never liked it when a club gets bought and the new owners pile in hundreds of millions.
    For me that’s not what competitive sport is about.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abdullah View Post
    Hopefully city win it this season, pep and kdb can leave , and city can stick to fingers up to uefa.
    What a story that would be
    With the amount of talent City have accumulated over the last 10 years, it's shocking that they haven't won. If they were to win it now, it wouldn't be a story at all. It's overdue if anything.

    Man City (and their fans) feeling victimized by UEFA is getting old as well. The rules are the same for everyone. The funny thing about all of this is that Man City did a terrible job of hiding their crimes too. They could've funneled the money a lot more smartly if they weren't so ignorant.

    That being said, by the time FFP rules came into effect City were already an elite club. They had no reason to break the rules to recruit talent or maintain their place. In 2015, Liverpool finished 8th and Man City finished 4th. Since then Liverpool have had a net spend 92m pounds while City have spend 505m pounds.

    That goes to tell you, that you really don't need to spend astronomical amounts of money to be successful. I really hope Man City don't win it this year. The club/fans will see it as a victory over UEFA instead of bothering to clean up their house.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by PetroDollars View Post
    this will be peps last try, he cant go back to barca without winning a CL since he last left, that will taint his legacy. He will have to go all out to try and win it.
    Pep should really go to Barcelona and if he's smart he will take KDB and Laporte with him.

  25. #25
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    Too excessive for my liking. You would have thought Man City were bribing refs around Europe (like Juve et al did in Serie A), with this punishment handed to them.

    BUT

    It will be overturned. Man City will pay UEFA off with a behind closed doors settlement.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_KING View Post
    City ain't winning it this season. Lol keep dreaming. They are getting knocked out by Real (a club with actual history in Champions League) in the next round.
    Lol. Will be a good game. Extra pressure on city
    I said hopefully, so I'm not expecting


    If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you always got #improve

  27. #27
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    Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho says Manchester City deserve the "benefit of the doubt" over their two-season ban from European club competition until their appeal is heard.

    City were also fined 30m euros (£25m) on Friday for "serious breaches" of Uefa's financial regulations.

    City say they will appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

    "At the end of the process we will see if they are punished or not," Mourinho said.

    "Uefa punished them but they have the chance to appeal. Until the appeal finishes I think Manchester City has the benefit of the doubt."

    Mourinho's Spurs side climbed up to fifth in the Premier League with a last-minute 3-2 win at Aston Villa on Sunday.

    It is not clear whether the team that finishes fifth this season will get a Champions League place if Manchester City's ban is upheld for 2020/21.

    "When we speak about fifth, Wolves, Sheffield [United], Manchester United, Arsenal and Everton look to the table and week after week say, 'We can do it' and they can," Mourinho added.

    "So it is going to be very hard. We have a big fight and you could see on Saturday, Liverpool was first versus last, and today with Villa fighting to stay in the division how difficult it was."

    Mikel Arteta, who was City boss Pep Guardiola's assistant at the Etihad before becoming Arsenal manager, said the situation was "very difficult".

    But he added: "I'm not conflicted at all, I want the best or Manchester City, Pep and the players.

    "I feel for them because I know they are suffering. The only thing I want for them is positive and good things."

    Arsenal are in 10th place, six points behind Tottenham, after their 4-0 win over Newcastle on Sunday.

    If the example of Red Star Belgrade is any guide, the fifth-placed team in the Premier League could benefit should City be excluded from European competition.

    Red Star were banned from the 2014-15 Champions League by Uefa for Financial Fair Play breaches. Partizan Belgrade, who finished second behind Red Star in the Serbian League, were elevated to the Champions League from the Europa League.

    Jose: Will United be given the 2018 title?
    The Premier League has not commented on Friday's Uefa decision, but its Financial Fair Play Rules are similar to Uefa's, and City's situation has been a topic of discussion among member clubs.

    Should the Premier League decide to bring a charge against City, it can ask Uefa for permission to look at the evidence the European body has used.

    Uefa imposed its penalty after City were found to have broken the rules by "overstating its sponsorship revenue in its accounts and in the break-even information submitted to Uefa between 2012 and 2016".

    Mourinho joked that that while he had little interest in following City's case, it would be piqued if retrospective action led to Manchester United retrospectively being awarded the 2017-18 Premier League title.

    That season, Mourinho's United finished second, 19 points behind their neighbours, with the Portuguese manager previously saying it was "one of my greatest achievements".

    "I didn't lose one single minute analysing what Uefa and Fifa have to analyse," Mourinho said.

    "If I got into that I have to ask if the team that finished second in 2018 is going to be champions? Yes or no?

    "That would be interesting - but jokes apart, I just wait calmly. I don't think about four or five, just do the best we can, [try to get] the most points we can, the best position we can.

    "At the end of the season, we will see where we are because maybe we are sixth or seventh and then it doesn't matter if fifth goes to the Champions League."



    https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/51525426


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  28. #28
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    "Even if they put us in League Two, I will still be here. This is a time for sticking together." Pep Guardiola has assured his Manchester City players that he remains fully committed to the club.


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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by MenInG View Post
    "Even if they put us in League Two, I will still be here. This is a time for sticking together." Pep Guardiola has assured his Manchester City players that he remains fully committed to the club.
    Ofcourse he will, he wants to fire them up for the CL before he dumps them, whether he wins or loses, the dumping is certain.


    If you want to destroy a country, just create enmity between its people and their army - Salahuddin

  30. #30
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    Pep Guardiola has told friends he intends to stay at Manchester City despite the club's two-year ban from the Champions League.

    Unless City overturn the ban imposed by Uefa on Friday, they will not compete in European football until 2022 after this season.

    Guardiola's contract is due to expire in 2021.

    He is expected to speak about the subject for the first time on Wednesday.

    His contract 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 which they will be submitting to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in the next few days.

    However, it is understood the 49-year-old has said he will not be doing that and remains committed to the club.

    Guardiola is likely to discuss the issue after Wednesday's rearranged Premier League game against West Ham.

    In a bizarre situation, neither side has played since the initial game was postponed due to bad weather on 9 February.

    As both clubs held pre-match news conferences two days before the game was supposed to be played, they have been told by the Premier League there is no contractual requirement to hold another and it is understood neither side will do so.

    https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/51530260


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  31. #31
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    'Man City allegations are false'

    Manchester City's chief executive Ferran Soriano has just said that the allegations against the Premier League club are "false".

    In an in-house interview, he said: "The most important thing I have to say today is that the allegations are not true. They are simply not true.

    "The fans can be sure of two things. The first one is that the allegations are false. And the second is that we will do everything that can be done to prove so.

    "We know the fans are supporting us. We can feel it. MCFC fans have gone through challenges over the decades. This is just another challenge. We will stick together, we will go through it and we will not let the fans down."

    https://www.bbc.com/sport/live/football/51556760


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  32. #32
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    Manchester City's "serious breaches" of Uefa's club licensing and financial fair play regulations are "simply not true", says chief executive Ferran Soriano.

    On Friday, Premier League champions City were handed a two-year Champions League ban and fined 30m euros (£25m).

    The decision is subject to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

    "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."

    The independent Adjudicatory Chamber of the Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) said it had found City had broken the rules by "overstating its sponsorship revenue in its accounts and in the break-even information submitted to Uefa between 2012 and 2016", adding that the club "failed to cooperate in the investigation".

    At the time, City said they were "disappointed but not surprised" by the "prejudicial" decision and would appeal.

    In response to the allegations of overstating its sponsorship revenues, Soriano - speaking in a video released by the club - 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."

    He added that the club felt they were "considered guilty" on "every step of the way".

    "We did cooperate with this process. We delivered a long list of documents and support that we believe is irrefutable evidence that the claims are not true," said the Spaniard.

    "It was hard because we did this in the context of information being leaked to the media in the context of feeling that every step of the way, every engagement we had, we felt that we were considered guilty before anything was even discussed.

    "At the end, this is an internal process that has been initiated and then prosecuted and then judged by this FFP [financial fair play] chamber at Uefa."

    Uefa have declined to respond to Soriano's statement.

    Man City hoping for 'early resolution'
    Uefa launched an investigation after German newspaper Der Spiegel published leaked documents in November 2018 alleging City 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 financial fair play rules requiring clubs to break even.

    City, whose chairman is Khaldoon Al Mubarak, were fined £49m in 2014 for a previous breach of regulations.

    "We provided the evidence but in the end this FFP Investigatory Chamber relied more on out-of-context stolen emails than all the other evidence we provided of what actually happened and I think it is normal that we feel like we feel," said Soriano.

    "Ultimately based on our experience and our perception, this seems to be less about justice and more about politics."

    Soriano added the club was hoping for an "early resolution" through a "thorough process and a fair process".

    He added: "My best hope is that this will be finished before the beginning of the summer and until then for us, it is business as usual."

    Guardiola and players 'focused on football'
    City manager Pep Guardiola has told friends he intends to stay at the club despite the European ban, with his contract set to expire in 2021.

    His contract 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, which they will be submitting to the Court for Arbitration in Sport in the next few days.

    However, it is understood the 49-year-old has said he will not be doing that and 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."

    https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/51562352


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  33. #33
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    Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola insists he has no problem with England forward Raheem Sterling discussing the possibility of a move to Real Madrid.

    Sterling was quizzed by Spanish outlet AS about joining Real, given City's two-year ban from European competition.

    The 25-year-old re-iterated that he was "really happy at City" but admitted: "I am always open to challenges."

    Guardiola said his players were "free to say what they think. We're not here to tell them what they have to say".

    Sterling has developed into one of City's most influential players since joining from Liverpool in a £49m deal in July 2016.

    Asked whether he would one day like to play for La Liga leaders Real, he told AS: "How do I answer that one? Is the camera live or is it just taking pictures?

    "No one knows what the future will hold. I am a player and I am always open to challenges but right now my challenge is at City and I'm really happy. I have a contract with City now and I have to respect this.

    "Real Madrid are a fantastic club. When you see the white shirt you know exactly what the club stands for, it's massive."

    Guardiola said of the interview: "It's normal in the Madrid media to speak about Madrid, that's normal.

    "I'm completely sure (of) the commitment of our players, it's about what they've shown for many years, nothing changes.

    "At the end of the season nobody knows what is going to happen. With calm we decide what we want, but for the next three months the commitment will be incredible."

    'Nobody has helped us outside'
    Guardiola claims "nobody has helped us outside" as the club come to terms with the possibility of a two-year exile from European competition.

    City were banned and fined 30m euros (£25m) last week for "serious breaches" of Uefa's club licensing and financial fair play regulations.

    They have confirmed they will contest the European governing body's decision.

    "I repeat, it's not finished," Guardiola told BBC Sport. "It's not over, we appeal and see what happens."

    Guardiola confirmed after Wednesday's Premier League victory against West Ham that he would remain at the club regardless of the outcome of the appeal and that the "truth will prevail".

    The 49-year-old Spaniard joined City in 2016 after winning seven trophies in three years at Bayern Munich and to date has captured successive Premier League titles, plus the FA Cup and the League Cup twice, with the chance to complete a hat-trick in next month's final against Aston Villa.

    Asked on Friday whether a two-year ban for breaching financial fair play regulations would in some way colour judgement of his time at the club, he said: "I cannot change that. I know how hard we work and I'm so proud of what we've done these years together.

    "I have a different opinion, nobody has helped us outside, we did an incredible job day by day, game by game and nothing will change the opinion."

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/amp/foot...mpression=true


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