Published: Wed, November 07, 2018
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Guardiola defends Man City over financial fair play allegations

Guardiola defends Man City over financial fair play allegations

Der Spiegel allege that, under Soriano's leadership, City came up with a scheme that "allowed for numerous operational costs to be shifted either fully or partially away from the club". "All the ideas that we have, without good players we can not do them", said the Spaniard.

Der Spiegel cited Man City documents in which officials wrote: "Without significant additional revenues".

"I am inside now for the past three years and I would say of course like many, many clubs around the world there is a lot of money, but they are an incredible club".

It created "Project Longbow", the name seemingly chosen because it was the weapon of choice for the English army against the French at the famous medieval battles of Crécy and Agincourt. According to Der Spiegel, the deal was a "closed payment loop", which allowed Manchester City to hide the expenditure.

The external company paid City "almost 30m euros" (£26m) and were then reimbursed approximately £11m a year in secret by owner Sheikh Mansour's holding company, Abu Dhabi United Group.

"This is reflected in the airline's audited accounts".

Federation Internationale de Football Association have called for an investigation into City's financial dealings, but the club have strongly denied the accusations. On Tuesday a La Liga spokesman told the Times: "Uefa should now take action and apply the rules that exist and any sanctions that are necessary".

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Further leaks are expected in the coming days, but with City having worked so hard to improve their image, should these allegations prove to be true, it could be damaging to the Manchester City brand. "And of course we want to follow the rules, whether UEFA, FIFA or the Premier League", said the Spaniard, who joined City in 2016.

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.

City have not commented on the stream of claims beyond referring to a statement they issued last week which read: "We will not be providing any comment on out of context materials purportedly hacked or stolen from City Football Group and Manchester City personnel and associated people".

When asked about the accusations, the manager Pep Guardiola insisted that City had always tried to do things the right way. I am focussed on what happened on the pitch, in the locker room.

"That is why I always defend my players and what they do". UEFA apparently knew they had let the club "off the hook with a ludicrously low penalty", but that is put down to not being fully aware of the "vast extent" of the "deceit".

"You have to accept it when people say you win just because of money, what can you say?"

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