Manchester City are “innocent until proven guilty” over claims they breached Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules, says manager Pep Guardiola.
City, seeking to complete a domestic treble in Saturdays FA Cup final against Watford, face a Uefa inquiry.
It is understood some Uefa investigators want the club to be banned from the Champions League for a season if they are found guilty.
“I know people want to find us guilty but we are innocent until proven guilty. Today we are innocent.”
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City have won the Premier League and Carabao Cup this season and will become the first team to win the mens domestic treble in England if they beat Watford on Saturday (17:00 BST).
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Chief investigator Yves Leterme has made his recommendation but it is not known if he supports a ban.
Former Belgian prime minister Leterme, chairman of the investigatory panel of Uefas independent financial control board (CFCB), and his team looked at evidence first uncovered in a series of leaks published by German newspaper Der Spiegel last year.
The reports alleged that City broke FFP regulations by inflating the value of a multi-million-pound sponsorship deal. City were fined £49m in 2014 for a previous breach of regulations.
It understood Letermes fellow board members firmly expressed the view at a recent meeting that a season-long ban would be a suitable punishment if City are found guilty.
Uefa said Leterme, “after having consulted with the other members of the independent investigatory chamber”, decided “to refer Manchester City FC to the CFCB adjudicatory chamber following the conclusion of his investigation”.
It is unlikely any punishment for City will apply to next seasons Champions League because they could appeal, and even take their case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
City could also face a transfer ban, with the Football Association, Premier League and Fifa investigating the club over the signing of youth players.
But he’s here, and why? Because he showed English football that it was possible to survive by means beyond a defensive grind. His Wigan were an expansive side who always looked to play football. Sure, they weren’t always successful and their approach often led to them getting obliterated by top-tier opponents where other, more conservative sides might have only lost by one or two, but there was a method in his madness. Wigan would always coalesce towards the end of the season and go on these great runs, beating everyone in their way to survive.
Meanwhile, Guardiola also responded to criticism the club have faced since a video emerged on social media on Tuesday which appeared to show City players and staff singing a distasteful version of Liverpools Allez, Allez, Allez.
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Guardiola said: “If someone was offended for another issue I apologise, but it wasnt our intention. We were happy for ourselves.”
When Watford reached their only previous FA Cup final in 1984, the season began and ended with Elton John throwing a lavish bash. Eight months before the clubs Wembley appearance ended in a 2-0 defeat by Everton, the players and their families as well as groundsmen, caterers through to club office staff were invited to a garden party hosted by the then Watford chairman at his mansion in Windsor.
Pep Guardiola was asked about his players singing Manchester Citys version of the Allez Allez Allez chant during the press-conference ahead of the FA Cup Final tomorrow.
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The lyrics include a line about their skipper Vincent Kompany injuring Salah, Liverpool fans being battered in the street and referring to the club as victims of it all.
But while the Spaniard has apologised for any offence caused, he doesnt think the song was inappropriate.
I dont know how people could, even for one second, imagine we could offend the tragedies that happen in Liverpool. We are happy for ourselves, not because we are for the other one. If someone was offended, Im sorry he said.
Happy for yourselves?! Are you joking mate?! YOUVE JUST WON THE TITLE AND YOURE SINGING ABOUT LIVERPOOL FANS GETTING BEATEN UP.
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While we were pretty angry at the video itself, we were more disappointed by Citys reaction to it – which you can read about here.
Why is it so difficult for a club to realise that players singing a song about fans being beaten up in the street (whether than be Sean Cox or not) is maybe a bit out of order?!
Pep is a quality manager and he actually seems a decent person, too – but hes better than acting as a puppet for such a detestable PR machine.
Lets just hope UEFA serve them their comeuppance and the Premier League and FA follow suit with investigations of their own.