Man City FFP: Neville claims ‘guilty’ verdict would settle Guardiola vs Ferguson debate

Lewis Oldham
Man City FFP Neville
Gary Neville comments on Manchester City's FFP case.

Gary Neville mentioned Manchester City’s FFP case when discussing whether Pep Guardiola could be considered the greatest manager in Premier League history.

Last weekend, Man City beat West Ham 3-1 on the Premier League final day to clinch their fourth title in a row.

Pep Guardiola has done a remarkable job since joining in 2016, but his work is arguably clouded by 115 charges for alleged breaches of the Premier League’s FFP rules hanging over their shoulders.

Man City were charged at the start of 2023 but a resolution still appears far away in the distance. This has frustrated their Premier League rivals as Everton and Nottingham Forest were docked points for their respective breaches this season, while Chelsea and Leicester City are in hot water.

If Man City are found guilty, it has been suggested that “expulsion” from the Premier League would be “on the table”. A points deduction, a huge fine or a transfer fan are among their other possible punishments.

“His success would have been built on foundations that were rule-breaking…”

During a debate on the best managers in Premier League history, Neville sides towards Man Utd icon Sir Alex Ferguson and used Man City’s FFP case to add to his argument.

“What Pep [Guardiola] has done, in not even a short period of time, you can’t deny that if someone put Pep top [manager in Premier League history], I wouldn’t say you’re out of order, I’d just say Sir Alex [Ferguson],” Neville said.

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“If someone said Pep Guardiola was top, I wouldn’t say your wrong. I’m likely to go with Sir Alex [Ferguson] anyways aren’t I, and I certainly don’t want to mention the 115 charges [against Manchester City] but until that’s cleared, I think we do have to have a little bit of a ‘but’ until that’s cleared.”

He added: “You’re measuring him being the best based on his success, but his success would have been built on foundations that were rule-breaking if they are found guilty. That’s the foundation.”

Earlier this year, Jamie Carragher claimed Guardiola “deserves better” than having to deal with Man City’s FFP case.

“Kicking the can down the road means too many insults are being directed at a brilliant manager and his extraordinary team – none of whom will have a clue about how the club was operating in those years under suspicion. Guardiola deserves better than lifting his sixth Premier League under such a cloud,” Carragher said.

“As a manager, a coaching and technical staff and a fantastic squad, Manchester City should be acclaimed for being one of the best football teams there has ever been. As a club? I’d like to say the jury is out. Unfortunately, we have waited too long for a jury, or Premier League commission, to even begin to consider that verdict.”

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