By Andrew Warshaw
May 28 – With his club embroiled in a UEFA investigation into alleged serious breaches of financial fair play and reportedly facing a possible European ban, Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak has hit back by saying some of their rivals are simply jealous of the club’s success.
City became the first English side to win a domestic treble earlier this month yet the achievement has been accompanied by constant reminders of the vast amounts of money spent on building Pep Guardiola’s squad.
“With success, there is a certain level of jealousy, envy, whatever you call it. That’s part of the game,” Mubarak said in his season review on the club’s website.
“When Manchester United dominated the Premier League for many years, they know what they had to deal with for so many years. That’s part of the game. It’s not easy for our competition, we know that.”
City do not have a single player in the top 10 most expensive signings but cumulatively have the most valuable playing squad in Europe according to a study by the CIES Football Observatory – and are also the biggest spenders.
“The reality is, we didn’t buy the most expensive player in the Premier League, we didn’t buy the most expensive goalkeeper, we didn’t buy the most expensive midfielder, we didn’t buy the most expensive striker. People make decisions, they’ve got to live by them. This is a well-run club,” said Mubarak.
Mubarak is particularly irritated at comments from La Liga president Javier Tebas, who said recently that City, backed by the Abu Dhabi United Group, and Paris St-Germain, owned by Qatar Sports Investments, were the “playthings” of a state and should be thrown out.
“I think there’s something deeply wrong in bringing ethnicity into the conversation,” Mubarak declared. “This is just ugly, the way he is combining teams because of ethnicity. I find that very disturbing, to be honest.”
“He [Tebas] talks about how we distorted the market”
“I have no time for innuendo. Mr Tebas should look back at the history of La Liga, a league dominated by two clubs, and how distortion has happened. Manchester City has not a single player in the top 10 transfers.
“I don’t think this is just an attack on Manchester City, it’s against this league. I hope people start seeing that. I know people don’t want to defend Manchester City – but for God’s sake start defending this league.
“There are four Premier League teams in the two European finals. We have the best league in the world, the most commercial league and the most successful clubs in terms of global presence. That bothers a lot of people in many places.”
Mubarak says he is confident City will prove they have broken no UEFA rules – provided they are treated fairly.
“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’s a different conversation.”
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