Pep Guardiola Talks Football Leaks Allegations Made Against Manchester City

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistNovember 6, 2018

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 06:  Josep Guardiola, Manager of Manchester City attends a Manchester City press conference at Manchester City Football Academy on November 6, 2018 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has said he has full faith the club has not broken any rules following allegations of wrongdoing.

German publication Der Spiegel have released a story that allegedly shows emails that suggest the club's owners channeled money into companies in Abu Dhabi who have sponsorship links with City in order to comply with UEFA's financial fair play regulations.

When asked about the matter Tuesday on the eve of the team's clash with Shakhtar Donetsk in the UEFA Champions League, Guardiola said he had no reason to believe the club had acted anything but properly.

"The club has made a statement on Friday about what happened, stolen emails," said the manager, per Stuart Brennan of the Manchester Evening News. "Of course I trust the club what they have done. Of course we want to follow the rules. UEFA, FIFA and the Premier League, they do what they have to do."

Guardiola did add that "I don't know what happened, I'm a manager, focused on the pitch, and the locker room."

The City boss denied that the success of the team in the previous season, when they won the Premier League title with a record points total, has been devalued by the allegations made, per Sam Lee of Goal:

Sam Lee @Sammy_Goal

Guardiola on the accusation that City's success is solely down to money: 🗣️"If people say that we have to accept it, but in my point of view it's completely wrong." https://t.co/caPtQEitKo

Per the Press Association (h/t Sky Sports), City repeated a statement they issued a week ago in relation to other allegations of wrongdoing, saying they would not discuss "out of context materials purportedly hacked or stolen from City Football Group and Manchester City personnel and associated people."

Der Spiegel say that City owner Sheikh Mansour has been adding to the sponsorship deals the club has with some of his money, with the worth of the contracts overstated having been topped up by the owner.

Per the Press Association report, if that has happened, then it would be a breach of FFP rules in regards to "related parties."

Rob Harris of the Associated Press said the claims do not reflect well on the Manchester outfit:

Rob Harris @RobHarris

This is becoming the most damaging episode in 10yrs of Sheikh Mansour’s ownership of Man City, which is in part about PR for Abu Dhabi but is now creating waves of negativity about conduct - which Spiegel claimed saw UEFA “deceived” & isn’t denied by City https://t.co/wvbfdI69Os

James Ducker of the Daily Telegraph said some significant punishment may be required if the claims are verified by an investigation: 

James Ducker @TelegraphDucker

If #mcfc Der Spiegel/Football Leaks claims are investigated properly by the authorities - and I won't hold my breath - and City are indeed found to be guilty of these allegations, the punishments must be so severe. Financial punishments a waste of time

City have been found guilty of breaking FFP rules in the past. In 2014, they agreed to pay a £49 million fine, to have their squad size reduced for the UEFA Champions League and to restrictions on the value of net spending they were able to do on transfers following an investigation into their finances.