May 18, 2024

Guardiola has already responded to Everton’s pressure over Man City charges


Pep Guardiola is confident his club have done nothing wrong

Pep Guardiola is confident Manchester City have done nothing wrong (Image: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images for Premier League)

After being dealt their 10-point deduction by the Premier League, Everton seemed to give the side-eye to Manchester City.


A Toffees statement vowed to appeal the record sanction and added: “The Club will also monitor with great interest the decisions made in any other cases concerning the Premier League’s Profit and Sustainability Rules.”


Everton had gone £20million over the three-year limit for losses under the league’s finance regulations and many feel the punishment handed down is harsh. Some have stoked fear over the potential penalties City could face if found guilty of the allegations against them.


The Premier League levelled 115 charges of financial wrongdoing at the Blues back in February, claims the club denies in full. “We look forward to this matter being put to rest once and for all,” City said in a defiant statement.


The Premier League seems keen to stamp its authority after its integrity was questioned amid the attempted Super League breakaway in 2021, when analysts felt those involved got off lightly.


England has a peculiar situation where several domestic football governing bodies are present. The FA, the EFL and the Premier League are all separate and while they try to be cohesive, they all have their own objectives in the hierarchy.


UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak confirmed in his King’s Speech earlier this month that the government is making plans for an independent regulator, something MP Tracey Crouch supported after conducting her fan-led review post-breakaway attempt.


Not everyone is so sure about it, including top-flight chairmen David Sullivan of West Ham and Steve Parish of Crystal Palace. It would not be far-fetched to hazard a guess that those in the Premier League boardroom are not keen on the idea of another regulatory body either.


League officials have sent a stark message with Everton’s 10-point deduction, perhaps showing they cannot be messed with. While the Merseysiders have clearly not directly accused City of wrongdoing, they were not the only ones to infer a bit of whataboutery.


Many on social media started pointing fingers at City and Chelsea (who are under investigation for breaking Financial Fair Play rules, although have currently not been charged) to try and crank the pressure up on the Premier League regarding sanctions if either club are found guilty.


Back when the allegations were first tabled, Pep Guardiola was asked about his reaction. He was convinced that his club have kept within the rules and referred back to 2020 when the Court of Arbitration for Sport overturned a penalty from UEFA regarding FFP charges.


In a press conference ahead of a clash with Aston Villa, Guardiola said: “My thought is that we have already been condemned. Since Monday it is like what happened with Uefa. The club proved that they were completely innocent, why should I think right now, with just charges of suggestions.


“The 19 teams of the Premier League are accusing us without the opportunity to defend ourselves. You know exactly what side I’m on. We are lucky we live in a country where everyone is innocent until proven guilty. It seems like we have already been sentenced.”


Of course, no club has outright uttered that City are guilty regarding February’s charges but you do not have to be a Blues fan to feel the general sway of feeling from a number of football followers.


Evidently, though, Everton has placed pressure back on the Premier League to be consistent and proportionate if any other club finds themselves guilty of similar breaches. Perhaps Guardiola and the City hierarchy may not sit surprised by this.

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