Man City chairman makes FFP case admission as he gives Guardiola contract update

Joe Williams
Man City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak and Pep Guardiola
Khaldoon Al Mubarak and Pep Guardiola celebrate with the Premier League title.

Man City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak insists that the Premier League’s financial fair play case against them is “taking longer than what anyone hoped for”.

The Citizens were hit with 115 charges of relating to FFP breaches dating back to 2009 in February 2023 with the Premier League club denying any wrongdoing.

Man City won the Treble in 2023 and their fourth consecutive Premier League last season as Pep Guardiola cemented himself as one of the greatest managers in English top-flight history.

To many critics of the club, which is supported by the vast wealth of owner Sheikh Mansour, the Premier League charges cast a shadow over their success.

And Man City chairman Al Mubarak admits the shadow of the charges over their successes has been “frustrating” while claiming the Citizens have wanted the case sorted out sooner.

Al Mubarak said: “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.

Guardiola’s contract runs out at the end of next season and there are reports that he is now likely to leave the club, with the Man City boss himself admitting that he is “closer to leaving than staying”.

On Guardiola’s contract situation, Al Mubarak added: “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.

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“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.

“Since 1926, five teams have attempted to win four times in a row. Five teams. Huddersfield, Arsenal, Liverpool in the 1980s and then Manchester United, who attempted it twice. None of them succeeded. In over 100 years of English football, never has any team been able to achieve four championships in a row.

“So, once that sinks in you start really appreciating the magnitude of what was achieved. The difficulty, the challenge, the tenacity required.”