‘They bought all my players!’ Former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger takes a swipe at Manchester City after their European ban over financial fair play breaches and says clubs must ‘win by respecting the rules’
- Arsene Wenger says Man City ‘bought all his players’ when he was Arsenal boss
- He criticised the club after they were punished by UEFA over financial fair play
- City will appeal a ruling to ban them from European competitions for two years
- Wenger said City must be punished if they are found guilty of breaching rules
The Frenchman has historically been critical of City and their high spending, accusing them of ‘financial doping’ after signing a number of his top stars over the last decade, including Emmanuel Adebayor, Kolo Toure, Samir Nasri, Gael Clichy and Bacary Sagna.
City have spent big on transfers since Sheikh Mansour took over in 2008, and Wenger renewed his criticism of the club in the wake of their ban and £25m fine, telling the Laureus Sports Awards: ‘City bought all of my players!’
Former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has criticised Man City after their European ban by UEFA
Samir Nasri was one of five Arsenal stars to join City in five years as he signed for £25m in 2011
Emmanuel Adebayor left north London for Manchester in a £25m transfer in 2009
MANCHESTER CITY’S ARSENAL OF TALENT
Emmanuel Adebayor: 2009 (£25m)
Kolo Toure: 2009 (£14m)
Gael Clichy: 2011 (£7m)
Samir Nasri: 2011 (£25m)
Bacary Sagna: 2014 (Free)
The Frenchman believes that the final league table in the top leagues are ‘linked to the amount 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 real sport. The table is always linked to the amount of money clubs spend on players.’
Wenger said he was 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.
Man City officials will appeal against their punishment at the Court of Arbitration for Sport
Wenger believes Man City must be punished if they have been found to have broken the rules
‘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.’
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