City on at­tack Chair­man hits out at ‘hyp­ocrites’

Span­ish clubs in­flated fees, says Al-mubarak At­tack on English teams is caused by ‘jeal­ousy’

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Front Page - By Sam Dean

Khal­doon Al-mubarak, the Manch­ester City chair­man, has launched a fu­ri­ous de­fence of the club’s spend­ing and de­rided the head of Spain’s top tier for his crit­i­cism of their busi­ness model.

Javier Te­bas, the pres­i­dent of La Liga, said last week that City are dam­ag­ing Eu­ro­pean foot­ball by driv­ing up player prices with their “state-spon­sored” cash re­serves.

Te­bas said that City, who he de­scribed along with Paris St- Ger­main as be­ing run “one off petrol money, one off gas”, are in­flat­ing the mar­ket with their spend­ing.

But Al-mubarak said it is “hyp­o­crit­i­cal” for the Span­ish league to crit­i­cise the spend­ing of English clubs and de­scribed it as a “clear at­tack” on the Premier League.

“He talks about how we dis­torted the mar­ket? There is a hypocrisy in this state­ment that is ironic,” AlMubarak told City TV in his end-of­sea­son in­ter­view. “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, [Luis] Figo, [Zine­dine] Zi­dane. These huge jumps in these trans­fers, where did they hap­pen?

“You have to look back at the his­tory of La Liga, a league dom­i­nated by two clubs, and Mr Te­bas should look back at the his­tory of that league and dis­tor­tion that has hap­pened through­out the ages. And then you look back at trans­fers. In the top 10 trans­fers of all time, Manch­ester City has not a sin­gle player in that, not a sin­gle one.”

City face the threat of a ban from the Cham­pi­ons League af­ter an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into an al­leged £60 mil­lion de­cep­tion. Yves Leterme, chair­man and chief in­ves­ti­ga­tor of Uefa’s Club Fi­nan­cial Con­trol Body, said ear­lier this year that City faced “the heav­i­est pun­ish­ment” if the al­le­ga­tions were proven.

The body’s ad­ju­di­ca­tory cham­ber is con­sid­er­ing its po­ten­tial sen­tence for the club, who have in­sisted they are con­fi­dent any sanc­tions will be over­turned. AlMubarak said he be­lieves “quite com­fort­ably” that City will pre­vail, if the process is “judged on facts”.

He said: “Am I un­com­fort­able? No. I re­spect reg­u­la­tory bod­ies do­ing their job and any reg­u­la­tory process that asks ques­tions. We have to pro­fes­sion­ally re­spond, which is what we have done. We are deal­ing with each of these en­ti­ties as per the process, we have clear an­swers. 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, it’s a dif­fer­ent con­ver­sa­tion.”

On Te­bas’s com­ments link­ing the wealth of City and PSG, Al-mubarak said: “I think there’s some­thing deeply wrong in bring­ing eth­nic­ity into the con­ver­sa­tion. This is just ugly. The way he is com­bin­ing teams be­cause of eth­nic­ity, I find that very dis­turb­ing to be hon­est.”

The City chair­man said there is a “cer­tain level of jeal­ousy” to­wards their suc­cess and that at­tacks on the club should also be seen as at­tacks on the Premier League.

He added that those from other leagues are “both­ered” by the dom­i­nance of English foot­ball in this sea­son’s Eu­ro­pean com­pe­ti­tions, with all four fi­nal­ists in the Cham­pi­ons League and Europa League com­ing from England.

“Let’s not for­get this is the best league in the world, and if you look at this sea­son, there is no bet­ter tes­ta­ment to this state­ment when the two Eu­ro­pean com­pe­ti­tions, the Cham­pi­ons League and Europa League, the fi­nals are be­ing com­peted [for] by English clubs.

“That both­ers a lot of peo­ple in many places.

“We have the best league in the world, we have the most com­mer­cial league in the world, the most suc­cess­ful clubs in the world – eco­nom­i­cally, com­mer­cially in terms of global pres­ence – and that is why this at­tack is not just on Manch­ester City, it is against this league.

“And I hope peo­ple start see­ing that and start – I know peo­ple don’t want to de­fend Manch­ester City – but for God’s sake start de­fend­ing this league.

“I will not ac­cept for this club to be used as a di­ver­sion­ary tac­tic on poor in­vest­ment de­ci­sions from other clubs.

“Peo­ple make de­ci­sions, they’ve got to live by them. We’ve man­aged our­selves well and we will be judged by facts and facts alone.”

‘English clubs com­pet­ing in the two Eu­ro­pean fi­nals both­ers a lot of peo­ple’

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