Guardiola backs Man City chiefs over allegations of breaking FFP rules

Aubrey Yates
November 7, 2018

"We want to follow the rules, but I'm a manager, I don't know what happened", he added. "I'm focused on what happens on the pitch, in the locker room", said Guardiola on Tuesday on the eve of City's Champions League clash with Shakhtar Donetsk.

United travel to the Etihad on Sunday in the Premier League, with Mourinho aiming to become the first manager to defeat City in the league this season. According to a leaked memo from the club's CEO, Ferran Soriano, the club decided that they needed to fight financial fair play but "do it in a way that is not visible, or we will be pointed out as the global enemies of football".

Guardiola distanced himself from allegations of any wrongdoing on City's part, insisting he doesn't get involved in the business side of the club's dealings. The operation, allegedly called Project Longbow by club insiders, allowed them to save €30m (£26.1m) in marketing income, according to Der Spiegel.

"But I am part of the club, I am supportive of absolutely the club and we want to do what we have to do in terms of the rules".

Although UEFA found City had breached FFP rules in 2014 and the two parties reached a settlement agreement, there was widespread suspicion concerning inflated sponsorship deals and Der Spiegel claims UEFA "wasn't even entirely aware of the degree to which it had been deceived".

A statement read: 'We will not be providing any comment on out of context materials purported to have been hacked or stolen from City Football Group and Manchester City personnel and associated people.

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"How they handle this situation, I am completely out of that".

Asked at his Champions League press conference if he feels his team's achievements on the field are being devalued by this week's revelations, he said: 'If people say it [our success] is just about money we accept it, but that point of view is completely wrong.

"In terms of undermining what we have done or not, opinions are free in those terms".

"We certainly hope Uefa will take the right decisions and enforce Financial Fair Play rules, but we don't have full confidence that they will. In the end, focusing on what we have to do on the pitch is all we can do".

"I think people said that about this club for the last decade", he said, referring to City's 2008 takeover by the Abu Dhabi United Group. Indeed, he has previously said City must do so in order to win.

"They [the club] do what we have to do. Everyone here is very professional and they try to do things in the right way". If we win we are good and accept it, if we lose we accept it's not what we are able to to win.

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