Manchester City's Pep Guardiola Slams Super League Plans: 'It Is Not Fair'

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistApril 20, 2021

Manchester City's head coach Pep Guardiola stands during the English FA Cup semifinal soccer match between Chelsea and Manchester City at Wembley Stadium in London, England, Saturday, April 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Ian Walton, Pool)
Ian Walton/Associated Press

Manchester City are one of 12 clubs involved in the breakaway Super League, but manager Pep Guardiola believes it goes against the spirit of competition.

"It is not a sport where success is already guaranteed or it doesn't matter if you lose," Guardiola said Tuesday, per Rob Dawson of ESPN. "I said many times—I want the best competition. It is not fair when one team fight, fight, fight at the top and cannot be qualified because it is just for a few teams."

Under the current UEFA format, teams have to qualify for the Champions League based on results in their domestic leagues the previous season. The newly proposed system would have 15 permanent members in a 20-team competition, with the "founding clubs" remaining at the top level regardless of standing.

While his club would benefit from the new system as a permanent member, Guardiola remains critical.

"It is not a sport where the relation between effort and success does not exist," he said.

Manchester City is at the top of the Premier League table and one of the four semifinalists for the 2021 Champions League title. However, the Premier League has proved its parity this season, with Leicester City and West Ham United each entering Tuesday in the top four trying to earn a spot in next year's UCL.

Meanwhile, Manchester City must be concerned about the blowback following the Super League announcement, both from fans and the sport's governing bodies.

Jesper Moller, a member of the UEFA executive committee, said this week Manchester City, Chelsea and Real Madrid would all be thrown out of the current Champions League semifinals, per DR Sport (via Joe Prince-Wright of NBC Sports).

UEFA President Alex Ceferin also said the players who take part will be banned from competing for their national teams in the FIFA World Cup and European Championship.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.