UEFA Champions League English

Manchester United’s Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and the Man City FFP war of words

Manchester United’s Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has chosen to maintain a safe distance from the war of words embroiling Manchester City’s successful appeal against their two-year ban from the Champions League.

Pep Guardiola had indignantly pointed a finger at City’s Premier League rivals of “whispering” behind their backs on Tuesday, name-checking Manchester United in an impassioned defence of his club’s conduct.

Guardiola’s comments followed immediately in the wake of those by Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and his Tottenham counterpart Jose Mourinho, who described the CAS verdict as “not a good day for football” and a “disgrace” respectively.

But Solskjaer has chosen to keep a wide berth away from that territory on Wednesday morning, albeit while offering a note of support for UEFA’s controversial Financial Fair Play regulations.

“I think other people can debate that and they’ll want to debate that,” Solskjaer said of the Cas verdict. “I don’t think that’s my job. My job’s to make sure that we focus on next game and just do the right things.

“With Financial Fair Play, I think it was brought in to keep football and football clubs financially sustainable and that’s important. They also give us rules to adhere to.

“That’s what we’re focusing on. Let other people discuss what’s right and wrong and what’s happened.”

Guardiola had gone on the offensive on Tuesday, demanding apologies from those who accused City of wrongdoing.

“[I’m] incredibly happy for the decision, which shows what all the people said about the club was not true and to defend on the pitch what we won on the pitch,” he said.

“What we have done is right. Jose and all the managers should know that we were damaged. We should be apologised (to).

“Like I said many times, if we did something wrong we would accept the decision of Uefa and Cas because we did something wrong. We can defend ourselves. We have the right to defend ourselves when we believe what we have done is correct.”

CAS had concluded that City “did not disguise equity funding as sponsorship contributions”, adding that “most of the alleged breaches… were either not established or time-barred.”

The court is expected to publish the full reasoning behind their verdict in the coming days.