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Guardiola wants Premier League charges dealt with ‘as soon as possible’

LONDON (AFP) – Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said he wants over 100 Premier League charges levelled against the club for alleged financial irregularities to be dealt with “as soon as possible”.

City, who are celebrating their third consecutive English top-flight title, were referred to an independent commission in February over 115 alleged rule breaches between 2009 and 2018.

The Premier League also accused the club of not cooperating since an investigation started in December 2018.

The scale of the charges, which the club strongly deny, and the magnitude of the implications if found guilty, suggest the case could drag on.

Guardiola, whose side are chasing a trophy treble this season, does not want a cloud hanging over their achievements and wants a resolution as soon as possible.

But the Catalan, who has a contract until 2025, stressed he would not walk away from the club while the charges remain unresolved.

Manchester City players and staff including Pep Guardiola celebrate with the Premier League trophy after their title win. PHOTO: AP

“What I would like is if the Premier League and judges could make something as soon as possible, then if we have done something wrong everybody will know it,” he said on the eve of their match against Brighton.

“And if we are like we believe as a club for many years, in the right way, then the people will stop talking about that.

“We would love it tomorrow, this afternoon better than tomorrow.

“Hopefully, they are not so busy and the judges can see both sides and decide what is the best because, in the end, I know what we won, we won fairly on the pitch and we don’t have any doubts.”

It is not the first time City, transformed on and off the pitch by their takeover by the Abu Dhabi United Group in 2008, have been in the spotlight over issues of finance.

The club were fined EUR60 million (USD64 million) in 2014 for breaching UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations.

They were banned for two years from UEFA competitions in February 2020 by European football’s governing body for “serious breaches” of financial fair play regulations.

The sanction was overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport later that year but CAS ruled that City had obstructed investigations and the club were fined EUR10 million.

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