Jose Mourinho Is Right To Question Man City Spending, But It’s No Different To How Chelsea Operated a Decade Ago

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Jose Mourinho has spoken out against Manchester City’s continued flaunting of FFP rules…

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho ended his self-imposed media blackout yesterday, as he used his pre-match press conference ahead of the Blues meeting with Aston Villa to launch a verbal tirade against Premier League title rivals Manchester City.

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Mourinho, whose quotes were detailed by BBC Sport, controversially claimed that City should be stripped of their two Premier League titles – won in 2012 and 2014 – for continually breaking Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations.

He said: “I don’t think a team can be champions when you are punished because you didn’t comply with Financial Fair Play.”

“I enjoy the challenge of the English competition. The only thing that is not nice is that you compete against the ones who don’t follow the same rules.”

Of course, he has a point. City were fined £49m (£32m suspended) in May last year for breaching Uefa’s financial rules. They had spending restrictions imposed upon them, while their Champions League squad size was also forcibly reduced and they were warned that their wage bill must not exceed that of last seasons.

Despite the criticism, City still made the most expensive transfer deal of the January window, signing Swansea City striker Wilfried Bony in a £28m deal, taking their total spending up to £475m over the past five seasons.

According to the Premier League’s new set of rules – which come into effect at the end of next season – ‘Premier League clubs cannot make a loss in excess of £105m across the 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 campaigns.’ Failure to meet these regulations could result in a fine and even a points deduction.

For Mourinho, his comments will mostly go down as mind games in the Premier League title race – which Chelsea currently lead by five points – but his brashness is also laced with serious concern that his side cannot match City’s spending power. Breaking financial rulings is essentially a form of cheating, but clubs will continue to try and get away with it until they are given a suitable deterrent.

Chelsea spent £325.2m on new players between the start of the 2003-04 season and the end of the 2005-06 campaign, but have worked hard in recent years to play by the rules – often selling several players in order to finance new deals. However, their patience will soon wear thin unless the Premier League is able to get their free-spending club owners under control.

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