Sport Soccer

Sunday 15 December 2019

Pellegrini: FFP breach never a concern

Manuel Pellegrini: Sergio Aguero's return crucial to Manchester City. Photo: Michael Regan/Getty Images
Manuel Pellegrini: Sergio Aguero's return crucial to Manchester City. Photo: Michael Regan/Getty Images

Martyn Ziegler

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini has said there has never been any concern that the club would be excluded from the Champions League for breaching UEFA's financial fair play (FFP) rules.

UEFA president Michel Platini has said he does not think any of the 20 clubs who are being investigated for breaches will be banned from European competition next season.

City have been working closely with UEFA to try to ensure they comply with spending rules, which limit losses to €45m over the last two years.

"I felt here inside the club nobody feared we could be suspended for next year," said Pellegrini.

City insiders say they are confident that they will not face severe action from the European governing body. Any sanctions are likely to be made public at the end of next week.

Meanwhile, Pellegrini believes Sergio Aguero's return from injury could prove crucial as City try to push Liverpool all the way in the title race.

City travel to Crystal Palace today knowing that they must win if they are to have any chance of pipping Liverpool.

"It is very good to have him back because I always say Sergio is a good player, he is important, he makes a difference," he said. "Always he is very important for the team."

City got back on track against West Brom last Monday, but need another good result against Palace after their title charge was damaged by being beaten by Liverpool and held to a 2-2 draw by Sunderland. David Silva and winger Jesus Navas will both miss the trip to Selhurst Park with ankle injuries, but Yaya Toure should be available.

Pellegrini has admitted that Palace are now a daunting prospect and added: "Palace will be very difficult because they are a good team, they are playing very well and here at the Etihad we had a very difficult game and just beat them 1-0.

"Tony Pulis is doing a very good job, they are one of the best teams of the second round (half of the season) and I congratulate him."

Pellegrini also refused to blame City's involvement in all four competitions at a time when current Premier League leaders Liverpool were only involved in one for giving the Reds the advantage.

"I think it was good to be in the four competitions for so long. We can't now complain about being in them. I said when I started the season that the four competitions were important. We had to play in every game to try to win. We were the team which continued longest in all of them.

"We won one – now we finish the Premier League by playing in these last games and we'll see what happens."

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