|Manchester City have relied heavily on their expensive foreign recruits to romp towards the EPL title
London: Arsene Wenger has called on Uefa to clarify its punishments for breaches of Financial Fair Play (FFP) and suggested that clubs such as Manchester City should simply be excluded from the Champions League.
“You would think you accept the rules and you’re in the competition or you don’t accept the rules and you’re not in the competition – then everybody would understand it,” the Arsenal manager said.
City, along with Paris St-Germain, are among nine clubs to have failed the new Uefa regulations that limited the financial losses between 2011 and 2013 to £37.2 million.
Uefa’s proposed punishment is a £50 million fine plus a reduction in the size of City’s squad for next season’s Champions League from 25 to 21 players, of whom eight must be locally trained and four club-trained.
Wenger has been encouraged this week by Uefa’s willingness to sanction major clubs but would still like the punishments to be simplified. He also said there was “something wrong” when a club who have breached the FFP rules are also likely to win the Premier League.
“I’m a complete supporter of FFP because I think that every business should live within its own resources like in any other activity,” Wenger said.
“For the punishment I think it’s a sophisticated punishment. I would like a more simple one that makes more sense but they have studied that for a very long time certainly to be in accordance with the legal side of it.
“There are rules. You respect them or you don’t respect them. If you don’t respect them you have to be punished. When Uefa doesn’t want to kick the clubs out of the Champions League they have to find a more subtle punishment. To me, and from all of us on the outside, it looks a complicated punishment.”
When it was put to him that it would be “odd” for City to be English champions after breaching Uefa rules, Wenger said: “Of course there is something wrong but I plead for that for years. There’s two ways of thinking about the whole process. You can say, ‘We don’t care, we want the billionaires to buy the big players, they spend what they want’, or you say, ‘We want to keep things fair’.
“Basically if you say to me tomorrow we give everybody £100 million in the 20 Premier League clubs, I say, ‘OK, I’ll take the gamble’. That is a fair competition.
“The unfair thing is the inflation can be too big and it can put too much pressure on the clubs who do not have these resources to overpay their players.”
Asked if the answer would be to publish the salaries of players, Wenger said: “Basically it comes to that.”
Wenger also stressed on Thursday that he was confident Laurent Koscielny would soon sign an extended contract at Arsenal but appears increasingly resigned to the loss this summer of Bacary Sagna.
The France right-back is out of contract at the end of the season and, with both City and PSG interested, has turned down a series of offers from Arsenal.
Wenger has also begun looking at other options, including the Southampton right-back Calum Chambers, although he does not expect to make any signings until after the World Cup.
Of Koscielny, Wenger said: “It’s close to be closed.” Of Sagna, he added: “That is not close to be closed. If he goes, we will accept it and respond.”
Wenger also said that he was now so focused on the FA Cup final against Hull City that he would not finalise his own new contract until after the domestic season ends on May 17.