LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, May 25, 2024: Manchester City's manager Josep 'Pep' Guardiola looks dejected after the FA Cup Final between Manchester City FC and Manchester United FC at Wembley Stadium. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Pep Guardiola ‘set to leave Man City’ before 115 charges punishment kicks in

With any punishment for Man City‘s 115 charges of financial breaches not set to kick in for another year, it is timely news that Pep Guardiola could soon depart.

After being charged with 115 various breaches of financial rules in February 2023, a hearing is now expected to take place later this year.

If found guilty, it is claimed that Man City‘s punishment would not be delivered until summer 2025, with odds of just 25/1 for relegation from the Premier League giving an indication of what they could face.

It would be unprecedented for English football, but comes after a lengthy period of unprecedented spending for the club after its takeover by the Abu Dhabi royal family.

There appears no coincidence, then, that the Mail‘s Jack Gaughan reports that Guardiola is planning to step down at the end of next season.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 1, 2023: Manchester City's manager Josep 'Pep' Guardiola (R) greets Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp before the FA Premier League match between Manchester City FC and Liverpool FC at the City of Manchester Stadium. Man City won 4-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Guardiola will enter the final 12 months of his contract this summer and “multiple sources within the industry and City have openly discussed the prospect of an impending departure.”

Xabi Alonso, Julian Nagelsmann, Roberto De Zerbi and Girona’s Michel are all named as possible successors, all having been considered for the Liverpool job.

It could, of course, be seen as unfortunate timing that Guardiola would plan to leave just as Man City face potential sanctions.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Tuesday, May 16, 2023: Manchester City's manager Josep 'Pep' Guardiola during a press conference at the Etihad Campus ahead of the UEFA Champions League Semi-Final 2nd Leg game between Manchester City FC and Real Madrid CF. (Pic by Jessica Hornby/Propaganda)

But it would be telling, after claiming as recently as November that he would stay in charge even if the club was demoted to League One.

“In the moment we are innocent until guilt is proven. I know the people want it. I know, I feel it. I will wait,” Guardiola said.

“Wait and see it and after the sentence has been done we will come here and explain it. But absolutely I will not consider my future [if] it depends [on] being here or being in League One. Absolutely.

“There is more chance to stay if we are in League One than if we were in the Champions League.”

Man City’s 115 charges explained

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Monday, August 23, 2010: Manchester City's Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak (L) with Owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al Nahyan sees his side take on Liverpool in his first ever Premiership match at the City of Manchester Stadium. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Man City are facing 54 charges of failing to provide accurate financial information for seasons 2009/10 to 2017/18 and 14 charges of failing to provide accurate details for player and manager payments from the same period.

There are five charges of failing to comply with UEFA’s rules including FFP from 2013/14 to 2017/18 and seven charges of breaching Premier League‘s PSR rules between 2015/16 and 2017/18.

The remaining 35 charges are for failure to cooperate with Premier League investigations from December 2018 to February 2023.

Per BBC Sport, the independent commission tasked with overseeing the case has “limitless powers,” which means Man City “could be kicked out of the Premier League or have a massive fine imposed – or both.”

“Alternatively, they might suffer a huge points deduction imposed at a specific time, including at the start of a new season,” a recent report explains.

“However, any of these require a guilty verdict. Clearly, City argue they are innocent and nothing should happen.”