PEP GUARDIOLA always denied this day would ever come.
Throughout the 15-month saga of Uefa’s Financial Fair Play probe into Manchester City, the Catalan maintained the party line.
City and Sheikh Mansour’s Abu Dhabi regime, he insisted, would NOT be banned, no matter what anybody said.
In December 2018, just days after SunSport reported how senior figures at Uefa were demanding “sporting sanctions” — a ban in simple terms — over alleged FFP breaches, Guardiola reflected the club’s belligerent stance.
The City boss promised: “We will not be banned, no.
“That’s what I think because I trust in my chairman, in my chief executive and what they have explained to me.
“If it happens, because Uefa decide that, we will accept it and move forward.”
Three months later, it was a similar story, as Guardiola insisted: “I trust them a lot.
“What I wish is clarification as quickly as possible, for Uefa to see what we have done.
“If it is not good, then OK, we will accept it.”
But, as we saw last night when City opened up all barrels on Uefa’s financial investigator, former Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme, the club are not accepting anything.
Not that they might have, in any way, done anything wrong. Not that Uefa’s two independent panels have found any legitimate evidence against them.
And certainly not that they are going to accept the two-year Champions League ban and £25million fine.
The club have stuck to their party line, that the Football Leaks document dump which instigated Uefa’s investigation was all about “hacked or out-of-context emails”.
They maintained their innocence last night.
Yet for City fans, including the thousands who will not just boo but turn their backs on the Champions League theme tune, the bigger question — far bigger — is what it means for the architect of the club’s greatest team.
Guardiola wants to win the Champions League, without Lionel Messi in his team, for somebody other than Barcelona.
He sees the ‘Cup with the Big Ears’ as the ultimate validation of any coach.
Source: Read Full Article