Source: China State Council Information Office
Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola on Tuesday welcomed the decision taken by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to lift the two-year ban on European football that had been imposed on the club by UEFA for alleged breaches of Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations.
The decision means that City will be able to play in next season’s UEFA Champions League, and will make it easier for the club to maintain its star players and attract new signings – which would have been harder without the offer and the financial impact of European football.
“Yesterday was a good day for football, because we played with the same Financial Fair Play rules as all the clubs in Europe. People said we were cheating and lying, and many times the presumption of innocence was not there,” commented Guardiola.
“The elite clubs have to understand we deserve to be here. We want to go on the pitch and compete with them. We deserve to get stronger year by year. We have incredible people working in this club to make our fans proud.”
Guardiola admitted his club were big spenders “like a lot of clubs”. “But we did it on the right things – if not, we would have been banned. And we are not banned, because we followed the rules of Financial Fair Play,” he concluded.
Tottenham coach Jose Mourinho, a long-term rival of Guardiola since their time in Spain, said he didn’t understand CAS’s decision which, while lifting the ban, does fine City 10 million euros.
“If Man City is not guilty of it (breaking FFP rules), to be punished by some millions is a disgrace. In the other way, if you’re guilty you should be banned. In any case, it’s a disaster. If they are not guilty the decision is a disgrace. If you are guilty the decision is also a disgrace,” commented Mourinho.
Meanwhile, Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp admitted to mixed feelings, noting that if Manchester City didn’t play in Europe, it would make it harder for Liverpool to defend their Premier League title next season, but at the same time stressing the need for FFP.
“I am happy that City can play Champions League but I don’t think it was a good day for football yesterday to be honest, because I think FFP is a good idea. It is there for protecting teams, protecting the competition,” explained Klopp.