City should have respected the rules, says Arsene Wenger



Former Arsenal gaffer Arsene Wenger has taken a swipe at Premier League rivals Manchester City after the latter were handed a two-season ban from all UEFA competitions over breaches of Financial Fair Play regulations.

The Frenchman has traditionally been a critic of City’s method of business, accusing them of ‘financial doping’ when he was in charge of the Gunners after the Manchester-based club bought number of Arsenal’s top stars over the past decade including Emmanuel Adebayor, Kolo Toure, Samir Nasri, Gael Clichy, and Bacary Sagna.


Since Sheikh Mansour’s acquisition of the club in 2008, City has spent big on transfers and Wenger renewed his criticism of the club in the wake of their ban and £25million fine, telling in the Laureus Sports Awards: ‘City should have respected the rules.’

The Frenchman said that he believes that the final league table in the top leagues are ‘linked to the number of money clubs spend’ and wants teams to show more respect for the rules by competing fairly.

“My belief is that sport is about trying to win by respecting the rules,” he added.

‘We celebrate the best in every sport – but only if we know the winners respect the rules.

‘If there is no respect then it’s not a real sport. The table is always linked to the amount of money clubs spend on players.”

Wenger also said that he is a big advocate for restrictions on free-spending to stop teams from obtaining too much power and has called for City to be ‘punished’ if they are found to have broken regulations.

“I was always in favour of financial control on clubs and income that is not natural. I am also convinced that the rules still have to evolve into something better – but at the moment they are what they are.

‘If it is proven that this has been done on purpose then City cannot go unpunished. I don’t know the case well enough to say what kind of punishment has to be made.”

The 70-year-old, who now works as FIFA’s chief of global football development, stopped short of calling for City’s Premier League titles to be stripped but expressed fears that the gap between ‘big and smaller clubs’ was becoming much wider.

“I don’t know if it is planned to take City’s title away because I don’t know the rules well enough.

‘But the difference between the big clubs and the smaller clubs has become bigger – and we can now predict with accuracy what is going to happen in every league.”