Mourinho says Man Utd need Fi­nan­cial Fair Play to com­pete

The Borneo Post (Sabah) - - SPORT -

MANCH­ESTER, United King­dom: Jose Mourinho says it is vi­tal that UEFA clamps down on Fi­nan­cial Fair Play in­fringe­ments to level the play­ing field and en­able Manch­ester United to be­come se­ri­ous Pre­mier League ti­tle con­tenders again.

Mourinho’s com­ments ap­pear to be aimed at Manch­ester City, who are the sub­ject of an on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion by Euro­pean foot­ball’s gov­ern­ing body into al­leged FFP breaches.

In Novem­ber, Ger­man mag­a­zine Der Spiegel said the Pre­mier League cham­pi­ons had bro­ken rules that dic­tate how much money own­ers can put into a club, hav­ing pur­port­edly ob­tained doc­u­ments from the whistle­blow­ing out­let Foot­ball Leaks.

City have dis­missed those re­ports as an “or­gan­ised and clear” at­tempt to dam­age their rep­u­ta­tion, while UEFA pres­i­dent Alek­sander Ce­ferin said on Tues­day UEFA’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion would be con­cluded shortly.

UEFA could ban City from next sea­son’s Cham­pi­ons League in the event of dis­cov­er­ing breaches it be­lieves to be se­ri­ous enough.

Mourinho did not men­tion City di­rectly but made clear he be­lieves that United are not cur­rently com­pet­ing on even terms at the top end of the Pre­mier League.

United have not won the league since Sir Alex Fer­gu­son re­tired in 2013 and Mourinho ac­knowl­edged that he did not know how long it would be be­fore they be­came cham­pi­ons again.

“I don’t know. It de­pends on our evo­lu­tion but also the evo­lu­tion of oth­ers,” he said, speak­ing ahead of Satur­day’s home match against bot­tom club Ful­ham.

“If the ones above us keep go­ing in same di­rec­tion and if their am­bi­tion and in­vest­ment is con­tin­u­ous, that’s one thing. An­other thing is if they stop, or if the Fi­nan­cial Fair Play makes them stop and then we can close the gap a lit­tle bit bet­ter.”

Cal­cu­la­tions made from pub­licly avail­able fig­ures sug­gest that since the sum­mer of 2016, City have spent around £527 mil­lion ($671 mil­lion) on play­ers, while United’s out­lay has been about £379 mil­lion.

Asked for his thoughts on the like­li­hood of City be­ing pe­nalised by UEFA for over-spend­ing, Mourinho said: “The world is full of sugges­tions and I never know if they are true or not true, and that’s not my job to an­a­lyse that.”

The United man­ager has ac­knowl­edged that im­prov­ing on their cur­rent league po­si­tion of eighth is go­ing to be dif­fi­cult be­cause he is short of nat­u­ral goalscor­ers. - AFP


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