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Guardiola raises prospect of new action over City finances

AP  |  London 

raised the prospect Friday of authorities punishing the champions over attempts to circumvent financial fair play rules.

City is leaving Guardiola to field questions about the leaked internal correspondence published by European media outlets, while executives decline comment.

The club has not disputed the authenticity of internal messages showing how it used companies linked to the Abu Dhabi ownership to boost revenue in an attempt to curb losses and comply with regulations.

"If there's something wrong we'll be punished," Guardiola said at a conference ahead of Sunday's derby against Manchester United.

City, which has been owned by Abu Dhabi's Sheikh for a decade, was punished by in 2014 for breaching the "Financial Fair Play" program.

The settlement agreement eventually saw the club only forfeit 20 million euros (USD 23 million) in prize money. this week has not said how aware it was of City's schemes, reported by German magazine Der Spiegel, to hide expenses and evade monitoring of spending on players.

"At the end, UEFA, FIFA, English federation has to say if we were wrong," Guardiola said.

"If we were wrong (we) will accept it but I hear what my club said to me and I trust a lot of them."

There was no response to an e-mail sent to three City seeking comment on Guardiola discussing the possibility of the club facing further punishment. City did, however, send an e-mailed statement announcing a new contract through 2023 for on Friday.

City has also not responded to questions from about Guardiola's contract, specifically whether he receives income from entities in Abu Dhabi or other teams owned by Sheikh

The Football Leaks group published details showing how Roberto Mancini, who managed City from 2009 to 2013 and won the title in 2012, received more pay from a team Sheikh owns in Abu Dhabi to work as a than from the

City has faced a week of damaging headlines about its conduct and financial arrangements since the first leaks were published a week ago.

showed how the team's holding company state-backed Abu Dhabi sent cash to a shell vehicle which was created to supposedly buy the right to use players' images in marketing campaigns.

This helped turn almost 30 million euros ($34 million) into revenue instead of a cost, for the purpose of UEFA's investigation of club accounts as the club tried to avoid being banned from European competitions for overspending.

While City said it "will not be providing any comment on out of context materials," Guardiola was more open to discussing information related to the Football Leaks investigation. Real Madrid was revealed to be working with consultants on a 16-team to kick off in 2021, effectively replacing the and outside the control of UEFA.

"I would like to know the ideas," said Guardiola, who is in his third season coaching City. "But, for me, the Premier League, local leagues, are so important, with all the history.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, November 10 2018. 11:16 IST
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