Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has said no one can take away the club’s achievements even if the ongoing Premier League investigation into their financial affairs was to see the reigning English champions stripped of their titles.
City have been charged with over 100 breaches of the Premier League’s financial regulations from 2009 to 2018 and could face the prospect of losing the three Premier League titles they won during the period and expulsion from the league.
City issued a statement saying: “The club welcomes the review of this matter by an independent commission, to impartially consider the comprehensive body of irrefutable evidence that exists in support of its position.”
Former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager Guardiola said no matter what the outcome of the Premier League investigation is, City’s trophy-winning run would always be worthy of recognition.
“At the end, always we leave thinking what other people think about us. Forget about it. Think what we have done. No-one can remove it,” Guardiola was quoted as saying by British media on Saturday.
“The bad moments we leave, but it is not going to change. It was built from day one. We won a lot. We want to defend that position, until it is not possible.
“The Premier League will decide but I know what we won, and the way we won it, with the effort we put in.
“For something that happened in 2009 or 2010, I don’t how long ago it was, it is not going to change one second. They belong to us. Absolutely, they belong to us. Regardless of the sentence, they belong to us.”
Guardiola previously said he would leave City if he had been lied to during an investigation by European soccer governing body UEFA into the club’s financial affairs, but stressed he has no intention of standing down due to the current situation.
“If they want me here I will be here,” he said. “The results they can put me out, because it is a business and you have to win. But if they want me I will not let them down.
“And I want my players too, I want to convince them that what we have done we have done it. They won’t remove it.”
Guardiola believes the charges brought by the Premier League are fuelled by the jealousy of other clubs, in particular those who wrote to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in 2020 to request City’s two-year ban from European competition be upheld.
City won their appeal to CAS and were free to play in the Champions League.
“When a team is winning you want to beat them. That is nice. It happens,” said Guardiola. “But what these nine teams have done, I don’t forget it. They want the position in the Champions League for the big amount of money to pay for the stadiums they built.”