'Innocent until proven guilty' - Defiant Pep Guardiola comes out swinging amid Man City financial charges
- City charged on Monday
- Guardiola stressed club "innocent until proven guilty"
- Blamed charges on other 19 Premier League clubs
WHAT HAPPENED? City were charged with 101 breaches of financial regulations since the takeover by the Abu Dhabi United Group in 2008, with the punishment a long way from being decided. When Guardiola was inevitably questioned on the situation by reporters, he insisted that the club were "innocent until proven guilty".
WHAT THEY SAID: "My thought is that we have already been condemned," the City manager argued. "Since Monday it is like what happened with UEFA. The club proved that they were completely innocent, why should I think right now, with just charges of suggestions... You have to understand that the 19 teams of the Premier League are accusing us without opportunity to defend ourselves. You know exactly on what side I am.
"We are lucky we live in a society where everybody is innocent until proven guilty. We didn't have this opportunity. (People say) we are already guilty. I think we have good lawyers but the Premier League - supported by 19 teams - are going to take good lawyers too. If we are not innocent we will accept what the judge or Premier League decide, but what happens if it's the same as UEFA and we are innocent? What happens to restore our damage?"
THE BIGGER PICTURE: After Guardiola had previously claimed he would walk if he found out the club had lied to him about their expenses, speculation had already begun regarding his successor. However, the Catalan tactician committed his future to the club in the same press conference, while also blaming City's charges on the actions of the other 19 Premier League clubs.
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WHAT NEXT FOR CITY? It will likely make months, or even years, before a verdict is reached, with City employing the best around to oversee their case. On the pitch, meanwhile, Guardiola lead his side out at home to Aston Villa in the Premier League on Sunday, trying to ignore all the noise off it.