Pep Guardiola confident Man City will avoid Champions League ban amid Financial Fair Play probe

Pep Guardiola insists Manchester City will not be banned from the Champions League after receiving assurances from the club’s hierarchy.

Uefa are investigating allegations the Premier League champions have hidden millions of pounds of investment to circumvent Financial Fair Play rules.

Allegations made by German publication Der Spiegel, claimed City’s Abu Dhabi owners inflated sponsorship agreements to avoid punishment by European football’s governing body.

Should they be found guilty, exclusion from Champions League is one potential sanction.

But Guardiola, who was appointed to lead City to European club football’s biggest prize, said: “We will not be banned, no. That’s what I think because I trust in my chairman, with my CEO, what they have explained to me. I trust in them.

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“If it happens, because Uefa decide that, we will accept it and move forward.”

Earlier this week, Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin confirmed the allegations were being looked into.

“We are assessing the situation. We have an independent body working on it,” he said. “Very soon we will have the answers on what will happen in this concrete case.”

City were rocked by a series of reports by Der Spiegel last month.

Emails and documents obtained by the whistle blower platform Football Leaks claimed to reveal the full extent of City’s measures to balance the books, while continuing their incredible outlay on world class talent.

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A £67.5m sponsorship deal with Etihad is alleged to have included £59.5m-worth of investment from the Sheikh Mansour – owned Abu Dhabi United Group.

Other revelations detailed a secret project dubbed ‘Longbow,’ which involved selling off image rights to a company alleged to be funded by the same group.

City refused to comment on any of the allegations, claiming: “The attempt to damage the club’s reputation is organised and clear.”


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