By Frankie Omokhua
Manchester City manager, Pep Guardiola, says rival Premier League bosses, Jurgen Klopp and Jose Mourinho, are welcome to call him to discuss their grievances at Manchester City having a two-year ban from European competition overturned.
On Monday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) removed the suspension UEFA had handed to City and reduced their initial €30m fine to €10m (£8.96m) after finding “most of the alleged breaches reported were either not established or time-barred”.
UEFA had accused City of breaking their Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules by overstating sponsorship revenue in their accounts and in the break-even information submitted between 2012 and 2016, as well as failing to co-operate with its investigation.
Liverpool manager, Klopp, said the decision to overturn the ban was not “a good day for football,” because he believes FFP rules are important to protect both teams and the sport as a whole.
Tottenham head coach, Mourinho, said the ruling was “disgraceful and a “disaster”, arguing that if City were innocent they shouldn’t have been fined, and if they were guilty the suspension should have stood.
“If they want to talk, I’m here,” Guardiola told the media.
“The sentence from the three independent judges was clear. But, if they want, they know my telephone number, they can call me and I can explain. It’s not a problem at all”.
“But I think we don’t have to discuss a lot because the sentence was clear. All the suggestions that we were lying or cheating, it was not like this. We were clean, like they say are”.
With City already having sealed a second-placed Premier League finish behind champions Liverpool, the ruling means the club have qualified for next season’s Champions League.
Guardiola, whose future in Manchester had been in doubt amid the possibility of the ban, said he is delighted for his squad, who will retain the opportunity to play in Europe’s top competition.
“I am incredibly happy for them,” Guardiola said.
“They are the reason why we are in the Champions League next season because of what they have done on the pitch.
“Off the pitch, maybe, other clubs are better, but on the pitch we were quite good the last three or four years, and we will defend what we won on the pitch next season in Europe.”