MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM (AFP) - Pep Guardiola insisted on Wednesday (Feb 19) that he supports Manchester City "100 per cent" over their shock two-year ban from European competitions.
City were banned from the Champions League and Europa League for the next two seasons and fined €30 million (S$45 million) on Friday after Uefa found them guilty of committing "serious breaches" of financial regulations.
The Premier League champions overstated sponsorship revenue in accounts submitted between 2012 and 2016, according to European football's governing body.
The severe punishment will cost City an estimated £170 million (S$300 million) in lost Champions League revenue and the club reacted furiously, immediately vowing to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
Amid speculation that Guardiola could quit if they lose the appeal, the City manager appeared to give his backing to the club's beleaguered hierarchy in his first public comments since news of the suspension broke.
"The first moment was impact but after a few hours we cannot control, we support the club 100 per cent," Guardiola told Sky Sports ahead of Wednesday's Premier League game against West Ham.
"Now focus on what we have to do. We just try to play our games. The players are exceptional professionals.
"I don't know (about the fans' reaction). Hopefully, they can help us from here until the end of the season. We have to play for the people here."