- City won appeal against Uefa’s two-year ban for FFP breaches
- Khaldoon al-Mubarak: ‘Life is too short to carry grudges’
Manchester City’s chairman, Khaldoon al-Mubarak, has said there is no grudge against Uefa after the club’s successful appeal against a two-year ban from European competition.
City won the case in July at the court of arbitration for sport, overturning the penalty imposed by Uefa after its adjudicatory chamber concluded the club contravened financial fair play regulations.
Yet Mubarak claimed there was no long-term damage. “Life is too short to carry grudges,” he said. “[The Champions League] is an important competition. It is one of the most prestigious competitions and it is a competition we want to win and it is a competition we have to respect in order to win. And this was a challenge, it’s behind us, end of story as far as I am focused on one thing.
“How I can help this club compete in this competition and win it and how to have a constructive relationship with Uefa, I think it’s the only way to go.”
Mubarak welcomed Kevin De Bruyne being voted the EA Sports Premier League Player of the Year, which is decided by a fan vote and those of the 20 club captains and a panel of experts. The chairman expressed relief, suggesting City players have previously missed out because of the club they represent.
“It was a combination of being pleased but also a bit relieved,” he said. “I was worried because we have seen it before with City players – them being overlooked for this very important award – and I was worried that Kevin would be overlooked this year, because in my view it was unquestionable. My vote was clear, obviously it is subjective because of who he plays for, but Kevin is the best player in the league this year.”
City have signed Ferran Torres, a forward, and the defender Nathan Aké for a total £65.5m. Mubarak stated there would be more. “There are additional players we will be bringing in.”
Oleksandr Zinchenko interrupted his wedding day to clarify his wife’s claim that City’s Champions League defeat by Lyon last month was Pep Guardiola’s fault.
Guardiola’s team selection – leaving out Phil Foden, Bernardo and David Silva – and his 3-5-2 shape was pointed to. The defeat moved Vlada Sedan, Zinchenko’s partner who is a sports journalist, to criticise the manager on her YouTube channel. “To put it mildly, and in order not to swear, this is completely Guardiola’s fault,” she said.
Zinchenko responded via Instagram. “We totally understand now that she shouldn’t post it on social media because she is my wife but she was now trying to make a journalist’s opinion on the manager of the team,” he said. “She was simply reacting to her disappointment as a fan.
“I’m writing right now from my wedding and instead of enjoying that unbelievable moment I have to do this because I can’t skip it and leave it like that.”