Guardiola's call for "more people" to attend City's Premier League home match against Southampton on Saturday — three days after a hard-fought 6-3 triumph over Leipzig in the Champions League at Etihad Stadium — has sparked a spat between City's acclaimed manager and a portion of the team's supporters.
The match versus Leipzig drew 38,062 spectators. The Etihad has a seating capacity of around 55,000 people.
Kevin Parker, the general secretary of City's official supporters' club, was among those who objected to Guardiola's comments, accusing him of failing to comprehend the difficulties of attending games on a midweek evening and thus playing into the hands of opponents' fans, who frequently taunt City for not having capacity crowds at some games.
In a press conference ahead of Saturday's match against Southampton, Guardiola said he would "absolutely not" apologize for his comments and that there had been a "misunderstanding."
“Don’t misunderstand or put words in my mouth that I didn’t say,” Guardiola said. “That’s what I don’t like. I never will be a problem for my fans. If I am a problem for my fans, I will step aside. Not a problem for me.”