| 10.8°C Dublin

Wenger: Rules must be respected


Arsene Wenger

Arsene Wenger

Arsene Wenger

Arsene Wenger has no sympathy for Manchester City after the club were banned from European competition for two seasons having been found to have breached financial fair play rules.

The former Arsenal boss, who is credited with coining the phrase "financial doping", insists City's punishment - which also includes a £25million fine - is necessary to uphold the spirit of the game.

Speaking at the Laureus Sports Awards in Berlin, Wenger said: "The rules are what they are and you have to respect them. People who are caught trying to get around the rules in more or less legal ways have to be punished, if it is proven that this has been done on purpose. If there is no respect for the rules it is not real sport. If you go into a competition it is a sign that you respect the rules."

City stated on Friday evening that they were "disappointed but not surprised" by the decision. They described the process as "flawed and consistently leaked" and said they would commence appeal proceedings with the Court of Arbitration for Sport at the earliest opportunity.

The future of City's manager Pep Guardiola has been the subject of speculation but it has been reported that Guardiola has told friends he intends to stay at City despite the two-year ban.

Wenger's long reign at Arsenal coincided with City's emergence as a global superpower, and led to a procession of stars including Emmanuel Adebayor, Gael Clichy and Samir Nasri swapping the Emirates Stadium for the Etihad.

But Wenger would not be drawn on the suggestion that City should be punished further by being stripped of the silverware they earned during the period in question.

He added: "I don't know the rule well enough to know what kind of punishment has to be made."