UNITED V FULHAM
JOSE Mourinho believes Financial Fair Play (FFP) could help United bridge the considerable gap that has developed between them and City.
The Blues are at the Premier League summit and a whopping 18 points clear of United ahead of the Reds’ home clash with Fulham today, however, their phenomenal form was recently overshadowed by allegations they deceived UEFA over FFP.
Der Spiegel magazine in Germany claimed City struck a secret deal with UEFA in 2014 to avoid a potential Champions League ban for breaching FFP regulations, but UEFA could prevent City from competing in the Champions League if they find that the Abu Dhabi-owned club misled them over their sponsorship income.
An independent investigation is expected to be concluded ‘very soon.’
Pep Guardiola has spent £527m on players since his appointment in 2016, whereas Mourinho has had £358.7m to invest on new players.
The United manager was left frustrated by the club’s failure to sign Ivan Perisic last year and United missed out on two of their priority targets last summer. The Reds are eight points adrift of a Champions League qualifying berth and this is set to become their sixth successive season without mounting a title challenge.
Liverpool last won the English championship in 1990 and Mourinho believes that United could avoid a similar stretch if UEFA clamp down on City’s spending.
“I don’t know,” Mourinho replied when he was asked how long it would take for United to compete for the title.
“It depends on our evolution but also other’s evolution. 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. The world is full of suggestions [that City could be banned from the Champions League] and I never know if they are true or not true, and that’s not my job to analyse that.” He added: “I don’t know what happened in Liverpool’s [title drought]. I just know the numbers but I don’t know why. It’s no one’s fault [that United have not improved]. It’s one reality. The consequences of many things. I don’t think it’s fair to say it’s somebody’s fault.” Romelu Lukaku was dropped for the visit of Arsenal in midweek despite ending a two-and-ahalf month club goal drought in the draw with Southampton. Mourinho admitted he is holding candid conversations with Lukaku as he struggles for form but refused to divulge any details. “That is something I feel comfortable to discuss with him, which I do,” Mourinho said. “I think it is quite an easy job for you to analyse a player and performances. He’s having a rest. He was injured, he didn’t play a couple of matches because of injuries. “So I don’t think in the last month we can speak about 90 minutes.” Jose Mourinho