Manchester City

Manchester City

Premier League • England

Pep Guardiola: Man City successor ‘conversations held’ as chief speaks out on 115 FFP charges

Pep Guardiola has been tipped to leave Man City

Pep Guardiola has been tipped to leave Man City

Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al-Mubarak admits the club are well aware of when Pep Guardiola plans to quit as manager with plans already in place – while he has also come clean on his frustration about the 115 FFP charges hanging over the club.

The arrival of Guardiola at the Etihad back in summer 2016 has been transformative. While always in the mix for the game’s top prizes before his move, the Spanish tactitian has elevated Manchester City in serial trophy winners with four successive Premier League titles  – something never before achieved.

In addition, City were crowned champions of Europe last season, while they has also won numerous other cups with 15 major honours arriving during his eight years at the helm.

However, dark clouds have gathered at the Etihad in recent times with the club charged with over 100 counts of breaking the Premier League’s Financial Fair Play rules back in February 2023. Due to the complexity of the charges – which date back to 2009 – a verdict on the club is not expected to be reached until spring 2025.

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But in what has been deemed a likely scenario, a former Manchester City financial advisor has dropped a brutal Premier League relegation claim if found guilty of the charges.

Everton (eight points) and Nottingham Forest (four) point have already been punished this season, but Stefan Borson claims the allegations against City are on another level entirely.

“The scale is on a completely different level [to Everton and Nottingham Forest],” he told talkSPORT.

“There can be no question that, if these charges are proven, this will end in at least relegation. There is the suggestion of conspiracy over, effectively, a ten-year period.”

Man City FFP: Khaldoon Al-Mubarak speaks out

Borson continued: “If proven, this is super serious. Nobody would argue with that. City will say, I promise you, that this is an allegation of the most serious nature.”

Al-Mubarak has always stated his confidence that the charges will be beaten, maintaining that City have done nothing wrong.

Now the City chairman has spoken out about the Premier League case against his club and admits it is frustrating to hear their success tarnished by such allegations.

“Of course, it’s frustrating. I think the referencing is always frustrating. Having it being talked about the way it’s being talked about. I can feel for our fanbase, and everyone associated with the club, to have these charges constantly referenced.

“I think we as a club have to respect that there is a process that we have to go through, and we’re going through it. It’s taking longer than what anyone hoped for, but it is what it is, and I’ve always repeated, let’s be judged by the facts, and not by claims and counterclaims.”

City have also launched a counter lawsuit against the Premier League over their Associated Party Transaction (APT) rules – which they believe are unlawful and anti-competitive. That hearing is scheduled to start next week and is expected to last a fortnight.

Al-Mubarak added: “The Premier League got to where it is today by being the most competitive league. So, I hope there is a bit more sensibility in regulating.

“A balanced approach is good from all the leagues. There have been a lot of restrictions put in place on swaps and loans, so even that is now much more restricted. That is going to be reflected, I believe, this summer.”

Next Man City manager: Guardiola exit under discussion

In the meantime, City must wait a good deal longer to discover the outcome of the Premier League’s 115 charges against the club over alleged breaches of FFP.

Were that outcome to result in City’s demotion, that would obviously come as a cataclysmic blow to the Cityzens and would also place in doubt the future of Guardiola.

By pure coincidence, his deal is due to expire in summer 2025, by which time City’s fate should become clear. Regardless of what the Premier League decide, the 53-year-old has indicated he is ready to depart the Etihad once his current deal expires.

As a result, Al Mubarak admits the club will ‘find the right solution’ though does not seem overly concern at the prospect of losing the Spaniard.

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Speaking at the club’s annual debrief, he stated: “We have had this conversation many times before, you know that, over the years of the contract.

“Pep has always been fully committed to this club, fully committed to every contract that he has signed with us.

“This decision on his future is always a decision that we will take together, and I have no doubt that we will find, as always, we have done, the right solution that works for Pep and works for us.”

Al Mubarak was also keen to pay tribute to the astonishing efforts of Guardiola, adding: “It’s hard to put into words what Pep has given this organisation, this club.

“You can look at just records, for history’s sake and there I think he’s racked up every record, almost, in the book. And these are records that I think will be very, very hard in the future to ever break. From winning six out of the last seven Premier Leagues, to winning four in a row, to the number of wins, the records go on and on and on.

“I think what his impact has been on football. English football has changed with the evolution to the type of football that Pep has brought into the league.”