Pep Guardiola has hit back at Jurgen Klopp and Jose Mourinho for their comments over Manchester City’s escape from a European ban over FFP charges.
Liverpool boss Klopp labelled the decision ‘a bad day for football’ while Tottenham manager Mourinho said ‘the circus door is open’ and clubs can spend whatever they want from now on.
But City boss Guardiola, who was in a bullish mood in the aftermath of the verdict in the club’s favour, has spoken out again in reference to the comments from his rivals.
“If they want to talk, I’m here,” Guardiola told Sky Sports.
“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.
“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.”
Speaking on Tuesday, Klopp and Mourinho did not hold back in delivering a withering assessment of the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s verdict on City.
“I don’t think it was a good day for football,” Klopp said in his press conference on Tuesday.
“FFP is a good idea. It is there for protecting teams and the competition, so that nobody overspends and have to make sure the money they want to spend is based on the right sources.”
He added: “It is a little bit like F1 — if you open the door to a private jet and you see who is quicker, the aeroplane will win. If the car is in a specific way then the best driver wins. It is about the competition. There are some rules and we should just try to stick to them.”
Mourinho went even further as he claimed Financial Fair Play is over. The Spurs boss also said he was perplexed at why City were fined £9million when they were simultaneously let off the hook.
“It’s a disgraceful decision,” said Mourinho. “If Man City is not guilty, to be punished with some millions is a disgrace.
“If you are not guilty you are not punished. By the other way, if they are guilty, they should be banned. In any case, the decision is a disaster.
“I think it’s going to be the end of FFP because there’s no point. Let’s open the door of the circus and let people enjoy, don’t pay, go in, come out, and do what they want, go inside, and stay for the clowns show, and go out because I don’t like the horses show. I go out and come in. There is no control. Let people enjoy freedom.”
Guardiola added that he is delighted for his players that they will definitely be able to compete in Europe’s elite club competition next season.
There had been fears that stars such as Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva would seek an exit if the two-year ban was upheld.
“I am incredibly happy for them,” Guardiola said. “They are the reason why we are in the Champions League next season because of what they have done on the pitch.
“Off the pitch, maybe, other clubs are better, but on the pitch we were quite good the last three or four years, and we will defend what we won on the pitch next season in Europe.”
City returned to Premier League action yesterday when they hosted Bournemouth.