Pep Guardiola: Spain’s finest export

The best thing to come out of Spain?

Man City's Pep Guardiola. Credit: pepteam/

Manchester’s Labour mayor, Andy Burnham, heaped praise on Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola at an event hosted by the Spanish Chamber of Commerce.

At the London event on Monday, February 26, organised by the Spanish Chamber of Commerce in the UK, Burnham lauded the cultural and commercial ties between northern England and Spain.

He specifically praised Pep Guardiola, Manchester City‘s Catalan coach, calling him ‘the best Spanish export of all time.’

Football’s heartbeat in Manchester

Burnham, aiming for re-election in May, passionately argued that Manchester stands as Europe’s premier football city.

He compared it only to Milan, pointing out that Manchester boasts two Champions League winners: Manchester City in 2023 and Manchester United in 1968, 1999, and 2008.

‘Football is a great tourist attraction,’ he noted, highlighting the city’s National Football Museum as a must-visit for fans.

Call for independent regulation

The discussion took a turn towards governance in football. Burnham endorsed the upcoming English Football Governance Bill, set to be introduced to Parliament.

He criticised the current system, stating, ‘I don’t see how the Premier League can be both a promoter of a product and its regulator.’ He firmly believes in the necessity for an independent regulator to eliminate conflicts of interest within the league.

Transparency in football governance

Highlighting the need for fairness, Burnham cited Everton’s recent 10-point deduction for financial mismanagement as an example of opaque decision-making.

‘Everton received a 10-point deduction without any sanctions regime being published, which seems an arbitrary decision,’ he argued, suggesting that such actions demonstrate the Premier League’s inability to self-regulate effectively.

Burnham’s comments underscore a broader conversation about the role of football in Manchester’s cultural identity and the wider need for reform in the sport’s governance.

His admiration for Guardiola as a symbol of Spanish excellence further cements the deep footballing connections between Manchester and Spain.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.