Man City supporters group says Guardiola should “stick to coaching” following empty seats comments

Manchester City‘s official supporters’ club has called comments made by Pep Guardiola “disappointing” after the Citizens boss asked for more fans to attend their game against Southampton on Saturday.

Guardiola made the comments after City defeated RB Leipzig 6-3 on matchday one of the 2021/22 Champions League.

38,062 fans were present at the Etihad Stadium to watch the victory – a figure down on City’s usual Premier League attendances of around 50,000.

The City manager said: “I would say the last three games we played here [at the Etihad], we scored 16 goals.

“So I would like to come more people next Saturday. We need the people next Saturday. Please.

“We will be tired. I know the team from Ralph [Hassenhuttl] is quite similar to the way we play. They are so, so dangerous with good quality and it’s a really important game for us.

“So I invite all our people to come next Saturday, 3pm, to watch the game.”

Guardiola’s comments provoked mixed reactions on social media, with a number of City fans expressing disappointment.

Some pointed out that there were ticketing issues pre-match. Manchester Evening News reported on Tuesday that the club had apologised to supporters after “a string of issues with booking tickets”.

Fans were only able to transfer their tickets to the Leipzig fixture on Tuesday, as long as they were registered on UEFA‘s Cup Competition scheme.

Man City supporters club on Guardiola comments

The general secretary of City’s official supporters’ club, Kevin Parker, called Guardiola’s comments “frustrating“.

Parker explained: “It’s not factual, our attendances are generally excellent.

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

“It does also play into the hands of supporters from other teams who want to take every opportunity to have a go at City for what they think are poor attendances.

“People refer to the Etihad as the ‘Emptyhad’. It’s a little bit of fun by the opposition supporters but there’s no justification for it.

“He [Guardiola] is absolutely the best coach in the world but, in the nicest possible way, I think maybe he should stick to that.”

Guardiola clarifies fan comments

Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Guardiola clarified his midweek comments on Friday – but said he would not apologise.

“Did I say after the game that I was disappointed that the stadium was not full?” he questioned.

“An interpretation is an interpretation. I am not going to apologise. I know how difficult last season was, and 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.”

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