Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has shown little sympathy to Manchester City over their Champions League ban.
Pending the outcome of an appeal, City have been fined £25m and banned from European competition for two years by UEFA for allegedly falling foul of FFP rules.
What are Man City accused of? Five things to know…
- Man City have been accused of not being truthful about where the club’s annual sponsorship came from between 2012-16, according to the Guardian.
- As a result, City are deemed to have breached UEFA’s financial fair play regulations.
- Subsequently, the club has been fined £25m and banned from European competition for two years.
- That means City will not compete in the Champions League or the Europa League next season, or in 2021/22, unless the punishment is overturned.
- City have confirmed they will appeal against the punishment, meaning an ultimate decision on their European ban is yet to be finalised.
The reigning Premier League champions are set to appeal against their punishment, which came about after UEFA made their judgement based on City’s annual sponsorship in recent years.
And Wenger, whose reluctance to spend beyond his means during his time as Arsenal manager defined his managerial philosophy, has suggested City will have to accept their punishment if their appeal fails.
“I was always for control of financial rules and that clubs works with the natural income they have,” Wenger told a press conference.
“The rules have been created. I’m convinced that at the moment there is an evolution to be made in the way the rules are built up.
“But they are what they are and you have to respect them. And if people don’t respect them and if they’re caught by trying to get around the rules in more or less legal ways, they have to be punished.
“If it’s proven that this has been done on purpose, you cannot let that go unpunished.”
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City currently sit second in the Premier League, 25 points behind leaders Liverpool and just one point ahead of third-placed Leicester City.
Pep Guardiola‘s side are expected to finish in the top four but their final position in the table could mean little other than to determine the club’s Premier League prize money.
Despite the possibility they will not play in Europe next season – and a Champions League place could be handed to the team who finishes fifth in England‘s top tier – City will continue their push for Champions League glory this term when they face Real Madrid in the last 16.