Manchester City won’t meet fair play requirements, says Arsenal supremo
After posting record debts of �197m, Arsene Wenger doubts big-spending leaders can comply with new Uefa rules
Arsene Wenger has hit out at Manchester City by insisting that there is no chance of the Premier League leaders adhering to Uefa’s financial fair play rules which came into effect this season.
City, who visit the Emirates on Tuesday night for a Carling Cup quarter-final, have just recorded a British record �197m debt for the financial year up to June 2011.
That was before they spent more than �30m on Gunners duo Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy, who will face their former club for the first time on Tuesday.
And Wenger this week criticised the Arab-owned club and believes Uefa have a duty to rein in their spending which has dwarfed even that of Roman Abramovich at Chelsea in recent years.
“When I see the numbers announced by Manchester City, do you really think it will work in 2013 [when the financial fair play rules are set to come into force]?
“I cannot see it when the wage bill is bigger than the turnover. Frankly that cannot happen in one year.
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“But will Uefa have the legal power to force the rule through? I question it.”
City’s spending in 2011 included �156.5m on transfer fees and �174m on wages, far exceeding the club’s turnover of �153m.
While that will be increased this year because of City’s participation in the Champions League, they have already spent more than �70m on Nasri, Clichy, Sergio Aguero in the current financial year.
Financial fair play will apply to clubs in European competitions from the 2014-15 season, but Uefa will analyse clubs’ accounts for the three years before that, starting with the current 2011-12 financial year. The rules allow clubs to lose just �38.5m in total over those three years.
Wenger also criticised City’s loaning out of players like former Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor to Tottenham, to get around paying all of his �170,000 a week wages, while Premier League rules do not allow him to face his parent club during the season.
“If the loan is a loan he should be able to play against everybody,” added Wenger. “That is the only thing I believe. Before we had the choice and I always said our players could play against us.”