Manchester City chairman says Arsenal result convinced him they would not win Premier League

Pep Guardiola with Man City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak (AMA/Getty)

Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak says he felt Pep Guardiola’s side would win the Premier League title after losing to Arsenal and admits he is ‘frustrated’ by the 115 charges being ‘constantly referenced’ by rivals.

City made history on the final day of the Premier League season by becoming the first team to win the title four times in a row.

Guardiola’s side finished two points ahead of Arsenal, who beat City in October before holding the champions to a goalless draw at the Etihad Stadium in March.

But Al Mubarak believes City’s 1-0 loss at the Emirates Stadium acted as a catalyst for Guardiola’s squad.

‘I’ll tell you something, actually, let me ask myself the question – when did I know we were going to win the league?’ Al Mubarak said in an interview with City’s in-house media team.

‘I’ll surprise you with that one – Arsenal away.

Gabriel Martinelli’s late goal sealed Arsenal’s 1-0 win over Man City last October (Getty)

‘We didn’t play particularly well. We didn’t play particularly bad. I think it was an off game by our standards. But I don’t think we deserved to lose. If you remember, we lost with that deflected goal in the last minutes.

‘I said, ‘this is why we’re going to win the league’. Today, I know how this team is going to react going forward and I know we’re going to win the league.’

City’s chairman also admitted his unhappiness at the cloud lingering over City’s achievements on the field due to the 115 Financial Fair Play (FFP) charges made public by the Premier League.

‘Of course, it’s frustrating,’ Al Mubarak said.

Man City’s 115 alleged breaches explained

54 alleged breaches for failure to provide accurate and up-to-date financial information from 2009-10 to, and including, 2017-18.

14 alleged breaches for failure to provide accurate financial reports for player and manager compensation from 2009-10 to, and including, 2017-18.

5 alleged breaches for failure to comply with UEFA’s regulations, including UEFA’s Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations.

7 alleged breaches of the Premier League’s profitability and sustainability regulations from 2015-16 to, and including, 2017-18.

35 alleged breaches for failure to cooperate with Premier League investigations from December 2018 to present.

‘I think the referencing is always frustrating. Having it being talked about the way it’s being talked about. I can feel for our fanbase, and everyone associated with the club, to have these charges constantly referenced.

‘I think we as a club have to respect that there is a process that we have to go through, and we’re going through it.

‘It’s taking longer than what anyone hoped for, but it is what it is, and I’ve always repeated, let’s be judged by the facts, and not by claims and counterclaims.’

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Al Mubarak was also relaxed over Guardiola’s future at the club after reports claimed that the 53-year-old will leave when his contract expires next summer.

‘We have had this conversation many times before, you know that, over the years of the contract,’ Al Mubarak said.

‘Pep has always been fully committed to this club, fully committed to every contract that he has signed with us.

‘This decision on his future is always a decision that we will take together, and I have no doubt that we will find, as always, as always we have done, the right solution that works for Pep and works for us.’

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