Pep Guardiola reportedly intends to stay at Manchester City even if the club fail in their appeal against a two-year ban from the Champions League.
Uefa banned City from the Champions League for the next two seasons after finding the Manchester club guilty of financial fair play breaches. City announced they would launch an appeal to the decision through the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), but there were immediate fears Guardiola might walk away from his position.
Guardiola has just over 12 months left on his current deal and has obsessed over winning the Champions League with his side. But to media reports Guardiola will honour his contract and has indicated he will remain in his post. Uefa are keen to fast-track City’s appeal so that the ban will come into effect at the start of the next season.
Guardiola feels he should be loyal to City, but the Spaniard has never a managed a side that was not competing in Champions League. City insist they are confident about having their ban overturned and claim they had been anticipating Uefa’s decision. Regardless of Guardiola’s decision, City could face a player exodus if the ban from Champions League football stands. Clubs will be lining up to poach disgruntled stars, with Real Madrid reportedly preparing an approach for Raheem Sterling. City released an angry statement slamming Uefa’s investigation and outlining their plans to appeal the decision.
A statement read: ‘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.’
Photo Credit: Getty