Thursday 22 February 2018

Arsene Wenger says Uefa must punish Manchester City for breaching FFP rules

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger

Arsene Wenger believes Uefa should come down hard on Manchester City for violating Financial Fair Play rules.

It is believed Uefa have made a settlement offer to clubs who have breached rules, including big-spending pair Manchester City and Paris Saint Germain.

The punishments, due to be confirmed next week, are likely to vary from a fine to limiting the wage bill for next season's Champions League squad.

But it has not stopped the Arsenal manager wading into the argument by claiming he would feel "let down" if the laws are not enforced on teams for breaching the FFP rules.

"There are rules to apply for the financial fair play," he said. "If you don't respect them, you have to apply the rules.

"One of the rules is that normally you should be banned for the excess of the financial amount that is not justified, that is if you are £100million overboard, you should be punished for £100m of your wages bill in the Champions League.

"I want to see that respected. If that is not respected, then financial fair play will have problems to be respected in the future because everyone will just not consider it at all.

"If it is not respected, of course we will feel let down."

Under the FFP rules, total losses of up to £37m are permitted so long as the club's owners can cover such amounts.

Yet Manchester City have failed to meet the spending limits criteria, having posted combined losses of £149m for the last two seasons.

Uefa president Michel Platini insists no clubs, even those who failed the body's break-even calculations, will be expelled from the Champions League.

Wenger added: "That has gone out now. I have thought about that problem and the media might play a part in that.

"Because when Uefa sells the rights of the Champions League to a French TV station, it is very difficult to explain to them once they have paid the money that the best club in their country will not play in the competition.

"So that might be one of the reasons behind that."

Arsenal face West Brom in their penultimate Premier League game on Sunday and they could already have their Champions League spot wrapped up if Everton lose to Manchester City on Saturday evening.

But there will once again be no sign of England midfield pair Jack Wilshere (foot) and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (groin). The Frenchman insists they will be fit and ready for the World Cup even if he is resigned to their season being over.

"Jack is not far away, he's very close to integrating into training again," said Wenger.

"It won't be a gamble [taking him] if he's completely fit, it'll strengthen the team.

"If there was a medical doubt, yes it would be a gamble, but I think he'll be completely safe and medically should be all right.

"At the moment Alex's got an inflamed groin but for the World Cup he should be OK. Will he come back for us before the end of the season? I don't know."

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