Pep Guardiola Refuses to Apologise for Comments About City Fans

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has refused to apologise for comments he made regarding the club’s fan attendances.

pep guardiola

\Guardiola first spoke out after City’s 5-3 win over RB Leipzig in the Champions League on Wednesday, in which there around 16,000 empty seats.

The City manager said he “would like more people” to attend the home game against Southampton on Saturday, imploring fans to come and saying the team “needs them”.


This attracted criticism from certain sections of the club’s fans, and while Guardiola has said his comments were misinterpreted, he has refused to apologise for what many fans took as a slant on their support.

Speaking on Friday, Guardiola said: “Did I say after the game that I was disappointed that the stadium was not full?”

“An interpretation is an interpretation. I am not going to apologise. I know how difficult last season was, and we make an approach to do something together on Saturday.

“It doesn’t matter how many come, I enjoy them. After five seasons they misunderstand me. I won’t apologise.”

City’s attendances have long been a source of mocking by rival clubs, although their Premier League turnout is often impressive.

The attendance for City’s first two home league games of the season against Norwich (51,437) and Arsenal (52,276) were close to the Ethihad’s full capacity.

However, their attendance for home Champions League games has often seen empty seats.

Criticised by fans

Following Guardiola’s interview during the week, a major City supporters group labelled his comments “disappointing and uncalled for”.

Kevin Parker, general secretary of the official City supporters club, said: “It’s not factual, our attendances are generally excellent,” said Kevin Parker, general secretary of City’s official supporters’ club.

“He [Guardiola] doesn’t understand the difficulties that some people might have getting to a game on a Wednesday evening at 8pm.”

Despite his refusal to apologise, Guardiola attempted to repair his relationship with the fans in a prickly press conference on Friday, telling a reporter: “don’t put words I didn’t say in my mouth.”

The City manager added: “I always say if guys want to come we will be incredibly grateful because I know how difficult the game will be and I know we need our people.

“I never sit here and ask why people don’t come. If you can’t come then don’t.

“If it’s a problem for fans, I will step aside. From day one, I do my best. I like to play at the Etihad with my fans… my intentions are to be part of something, to do it together.”

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