The Reds, who were just denied the title last season, suffered in the early going this year as draws against Fulham and Crystal Palace were exacerbated by Monday's humiliating loss at rivals Manchester United, according to DPA.
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola have hit back at his Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur counterparts, Jurgen Klopp and Jose Mourinho respective, after they criticised Court of Arbitration for Sports’ (CAS) decision to withdraw the UEFA ban on City.
Reacting to their comments, Guardiola said that the sentence from the three judges at the CAS was clear and cheekily said that if Klopp and Mourinho wished to know more they could call him.
“If they want to talk, I’m here. “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,” Guardiola was quoted as saying by Sky Sports News.
“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,” he added.
UEFA had earlier restricted City from participating in any European competition in the 2020-21 and 2021-22 season on the grounds that the club had broken their Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules by overstating sponsorship revenue in their accounts.
The European governing body of football had also alleged that City had also exaggerated their sponsorship revenue in the break-even information submitted to them between 2012 and 2016. The Blues of Manchester were also accused of failing to co-operate with its investigation.
However, the CAS found no wrongdoing in City’s conduct and overturned the two-season European competition ban and also reduced the initial €30m fine to €10m.
“Manchester City FC did not disguise equity funding as sponsorship contributions but did fail to cooperate with the UEFA authorities,” read the heading to the CAS statement.
“The CAS award emphasized that most of the alleged breaches reported by the Adjudicatory Chamber of the CFCB were either not established or time-barred,” the CAS added.
The decision meanwhile did not go down well with Klopp and Mourinho. While the Liverpool boss said that the CAS’ decision was not “a good day for football”, Mourinho called it “disgraceful and a disaster”.