Former Arsenal head coach, Arsene Wenger says Manchester City must be punished if they are found guilty of breaching UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rule.
Wenger also aimed a dig at City, accusing the club of luring his players with big money while he was managing Arsenal.
It will be recalled players including Emmanuel Adebayor, Samir Nasri, Gael Clichy, Kolo Toure and Bacary Sagna all swapped Arsenal for Manchester City during Wenger’s reign at the Premier League club.
But only last week, the European football governing body, UEFA, banned Manchester City from all European competitions for the next two seasons.
UEFA found the English Premier League champions guilty of committing “serious breaches” of UEFA’s club licensing and Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations.
City has also been fined 30m euros (£25m).
“City bought all of my players!” Wenger said while speaking at the 20th Laureus Sports Awards.
“My belief is that sport is about trying to win by respecting the rules.
“We celebrate the best in every sport – but only if we know the winners respect the rules.
“If there is no respect then it’s not real sport.
“The table is always linked to the amount of money clubs spend on players.
“Historically it was about the turnover of clubs – and more or less it used to be pretty much the same.
“But the financial strength of the top clubs has become stronger than it was 20 or 30 years ago.
“I was always in favour of financial control on clubs and income that is not natural.
“I am also convinced that the rules still have to evolve into something better – but at the moment they are what they are.
“If it is proven that this has been done on purpose then City cannot go unpunished.
“I don’t know the case well enough to say what kind of punishment has to be made.
“I don’t know if it is planned to take City’s title away because I don’t know the rules well enough.
“But the difference between the big clubs and the smaller clubs has become bigger – and we can now predict with accuracy what is going to happen in every league.”
Meanwhile, City have vowed to appeal the UEFA ban and fine at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.