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Pep Guardiola has launched a blistering attack on numerous targets after Manchester City successfully overturned their Champions League ban. On Monday, City were cleared of breaching financial fair play (FFP) rules by the Court of Arbitration for Sport and their two-year ban from European football was quashed. A €30 million fine was also reduced to €10m.
Speaking on Tuesday for the first time since the decision was made, Guardiola demanded an apology.
“We should be apologised to,” Guardiola said, during what became a passionate defence of his club. “We have the right to defend ourselves when we believe what we have done is correct. Three [CAS] judges said this. It was a good day for football as we play with the same rules as all the clubs in Europe. If we had broken the rules we’d be banned.
“The people say we cheated were lying and the presumption of innocence wasn’t there. Of course, now we are incredibly happy because we can defend what we’ve done on the pitch.”
Guardiola also turned his ire on City’s Premier League rivals and referenced a letter sent to CAS and signed by eight clubs — Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham, Leicester, Wolves and Burnley — in March in a bid to prevent the punishment being deferred while the appeal was ongoing.
“I know for the elite clubs — Liverpool, United, Arsenal — are not comfortable [with us] being here,” Guardiola said. “But we deserve to be here and we don’t have to ask permission to be there. When we lose I shake their hands and congratulate them, all the time we have done it. Guys accept it, we wanted to be here and we tried on the pitch. If you do not agree, knock on the door and speak to our chairman and our CEO — don’t go whispering. We invested a lot of money but we did it in the right things. We are not banned, we followed the rules for FFP as they decide. If not, we’d be banned.”