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Manchester City chairman hits back at FFP critics

Man City chairman hits back at FFP critics
© Reuters
City are being investigated by UEFA's independent financial control board.

Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak is confident UEFA's investigation will find the club has not broken any financial rules.

The Premier League champions face a possible season-long Champions League ban if UEFA find them guilty of breaking Financial Fair Play regulations.

City are being investigated by UEFA's independent financial control board after being alleged to have inflated the value of their commercial deals with Abu Dhabi-based companies and hidden payments to players and staff.

The club were fined £49million – £32m of which was suspended – by UEFA for breaching FFP rules in 2014.

"Am I uncomfortable? No. I respect regulatory bodies doing their job and any regulatory process that asks questions," Al Mubarak said in an interview with City TV.

"I believe, quite comfortably, if the process is going to be judged on facts then unquestionably we will prevail.

"If it's not about facts and it's about other things, then it is a different conversation.

"But I strongly hope that these regulatory bodies will ultimately make the decision based on facts."

Al Mubarak added: "The reality is we have dealt with this before, with UEFA. This is not the first time we have dealt with it.

"We are going through the appropriate steps and we're confident in our position, very comfortable in our position. I'm not concerned about that because facts will prevail."

LaLiga president Javier Tebas was recently scathing in his criticism of City's spending and has called for UEFA to kick them out of the Champions League.

Real Madrid paid a world record transfer fee for Luis Figo in 2000
Real Madrid paid a world-record transfer fee for Luis Figo in 2000 (Martin Rickett/PA)

Tebas has accused City and Paris St Germain of "ruining football" by using money generated from petrol and gas to pay huge transfer fees for players and distort the market.

But Al Mubarak hit back at Tebas and said his comments were hypocritical as LaLiga was renowned for its world-record signings.

"He talks about how we distorted the market. There is a hypocrisy in this statement that is ironic," Al Mubarak said.

"Number one, let's look at the Spanish league, the time of breaking records on player acquisitions, I mean, who started that?

"Let's go back to the world records; Figo, Zidane. These huge jumps in these transfers, where did they happen?

"You know, the history, you have to look back at the history of LaLiga, a league dominated by two clubs and Mr Tebas should look back at the history of that league and how distortion has happened throughout the ages.

"In the top 10 transfers of all time, Manchester City has not a single player in that, not a single one.

"So I don't really take it seriously and I ask our fans to always put it in context. Always look at facts.

"And I think people with glass homes shouldn't be throwing rocks. I'm happy to talk to anyone as long as the conversation is about facts, but once we start talking about innuendo and talking about theories I have no time for that."


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