For the first time since Manchester City was handed a Champions League ban, coach Pep Guardiola spoke publicly Wednesday about the punishment and the impact it has had on his team. Last week, UEFA banned City from the Champions League for two seasons and fined the club €30 million for breaking Financial Fair Play rules. The club is planning on appealing the ban, but its near-term future is uncertain.
The decision also clouded Guardiola's future, but he made things a little more clear Wednesday, saying he wants to stay with the club.
"If they don't sack me, I will stay here 100 percent. I want to stay," Guardiola told Sky Sports after his side beat West Ham 2-0 on Wednesday.
The 49-year-old coach added: "We spoke with the players, in the next three months we will focus on what we have to do and after we will see the sentence. Personally, I will be here. I want to stay to continue to help the club and maintain this level as long as possible."
City is appealing the ruling to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland and
The ban starts next season with the club having be found to have misled the European governing body over its Etihad sponsorship, though there is a chance it is overturned or reduced. Soriano was confident it would be overturned, and having the support of Guardiola is massive for the club.
Not being in UCL would have financial implications for City, while some big players would be expected to leave and recruiting top-tier players could be tricky. City is currently in this season's edition of the Champions League and will face Real Madrid next week in the round of 16.
The club said it hopes to have this issue resolved by the summer.