The Court of Arbitration for Sport’s (CAS) decision to overturn Manchester City’s initial two-season ban from Champions League football in favour of an £8 million fine has certainly hit a nerve within the footballing world. Many assumed a ban was imminent and an example would be made of Manchester City.
Jose Mourinho Among Those to Have Their Say on the CAS Decision
CAS in Hot Water
Instead, those expecting were left disappointed and astounded at the decision. Some even called the decision a loss for football. The La Liga President, Javier Tabas, went as far to say “CAS is not up to standard.”
And now, Jose Mourinho has had his say, stating the following in his latest press conference: “If Manchester City is not guilty, to be punished by millions is a disgrace. In the other way, if you’re guilty you should be banned. In any case, it’s a disaster.”
The current Tottenham Hotspur manager then went onto call the decision “disgraceful” and says he believes that Financial Fair Play (FFP) is dead. UEFA certainly have a lot to think about after coming out of the battle with Manchester City on the losing side. The decision also gives the Premier League plenty to think about as they, despite the CAS ruling, continue their investigation.
Amid all of the backlash to the decision made, Pep Guardiola has come out to defend Manchester City and hit back at the critics, saying: “We should be apologised to. We had the right to defend ourselves when we believe what we have done is correct. If we had broken the rules, we’d be banned.”
The Manchester City manager then went onto send a message to the rest of the top six, saying: “I know for the elite clubs – Liverpool, [Manchester] United, Arsenal – are not comfortable with us being here. Guys accept it, we wanted to be here and we tried on the pitch. If you do not agree, knock on the door and speak to our chairman and CEO, don’t go whispering.”
It was a clear response of defiance from Pep Guardiola, who is feeling very much aggrieved despite avoiding a ban altogether.