Pep Guardiola : We are innocent


Manchester City are “innocent until proven guilty” over claims they breached Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules, says manager Pep Guardiola.

City, seeking to complete a domestic treble in Saturday’s FA Cup final against Watford, face a Uefa inquiry.

It is understood some Uefa investigators want the club to be banned from the Champions League for a season if they are found guilty.

“I said many times I trust the club,” said Guardiola.

“If Uefa decide we have done something wrong, we will be punished.

“I know people want to find us guilty but we are innocent until proven guilty. Today we are innocent.”

City have won the Premier League and Carabao Cup this season and will become the first team to win the domestic treble in England if they beat Watford on Saturday (17:00 BST).

The club have said “the accusation of financial irregularities remains entirely false”.

Chief investigator Yves Leterme has made his recommendation but it is not known if he supports a ban.

Former Belgian prime minister Leterme, chairman of the investigatory panel of Uefa’s independent financial control board (CFCB), and his team looked at evidence first uncovered in a series of leaks published by German newspaper Der Spiegel last year.

The reports alleged that City broke FFP regulations by inflating the value of a multi-million-pound sponsorship deal. City were fined £49m in 2014 for a previous breach of regulations.

It understood Leterme’s fellow board members firmly expressed the view at a recent meeting that a season-long ban would be a suitable punishment if City are found guilty.

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