Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has acknowledged one way his players can benefit from their recent ban from European club competitions.
The reigning Premier League champions have been found to have committed ‘serious breaches’ of the club licensing and financial fair play regulations set by Uefa.
Subject to an expected appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, City will be unable to feature in either the Champions League or Europa League for the next two seasons regardless of where they finish in the table this season.
Despite the obvious disappointment around the club, the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss may have found a way to turn the decision into a positive.
The Athletic say the Spaniard told his playing squad on Saturday: “Now, more than ever, we have to show them that we are not money, we are talent.”
The 49-year-old has seemingly urged his players to use the opportunity to show their true ability to win trophies without having the backing of the club being able to sign multi-million pound players at almost every opportunity.
Guardiola has spent over £500m since he moved to the Eithad in 2016, with an average of £24m spent on 22 players.
Manchester City said in a statement: “The club has always anticipated the ultimate need to seek out an independent body and process to impartially consider the comprehensive body of irrefutable evidence in support of its position.
“In December 2018, the Uefa chief investigator publicly previewed the outcome and sanction he intended to be delivered to Manchester City, before any investigation had even begun.
“The subsequent flawed and consistently leaked Uefa process he oversaw has meant that there was little doubt in the result that he would deliver.
“The club has formally complained to the Uefa disciplinary body, a complaint which was validated by a CAS ruling.
“Simply put, this is a case initiated by Uefa, prosecuted by Uefa and judged by Uefa.
“With this prejudicial process now over, the club will pursue an impartial judgment as quickly as possible and will therefore, in the first instance, commence proceedings with the Court of Arbitration for Sport at the earliest opportunity.”
It has also been reported that City could face a points deduction because of similar rules in the league’s FFP, with Jose Mourinho joking that his 2017/18 Manchester United side could be handed that particular title.
He said: “If I go into that, I have to ask if the team that finished second in 2018 is going to be champions, yes or no?
“That would be interesting but joking apart, I just wait calmly.”
Source: Read Full Article