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'CAS decision on Manchester City a disgrace'

July 14, 2020 19:16 IST
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Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp said 'I don't think it was a good day for football yesterday, to be honest'

IMAGE: Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp said 'I don't think it was a good day for football yesterday, to be honest'. Photograph: Lee Smith/Reuters

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp and Tottenham Hotspur’s manager Jose Mourinho on Tuesday expressed disappointment over Manchester City's successful appeal against a two-year UEFA ban for allegedly breaking Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules.

The Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS) overturned Manchester City's two-year UEFA ban from European football while fining them 10 million euros ($11.37 million).

UEFA ruled in February that City had committed serious breaches of Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations and failed to cooperate with its investigation, handing them a ban and a fine of 30 million euros.

 

However, the CAS on Monday said City did not violate FFP rules by disguising equity funding as sponsorship, but imposed a reduced fine for failing to cooperate with European soccer's governing body.

"I don't think it was a good day for football yesterday, to be honest," Klopp told a virtual news conference on Tuesday.

"FFP is a good idea. It is there for protecting teams and the competition, so that nobody overspends and have to make sure the money they want to spend is based on the right sources."

City won their appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Monday, meaning they will now be allowed to compete in next season's Champions League.

CAS ruled that City did not breach FFP rules by disguising equity funding as sponsorship.

"It's not up to me to judge this and I don't but I think this FFP framework we should stick to. I hope FFP stays just because it gives kind of borders that you can go to, but not over it, and that's good for football," Klopp said.

"If you start doing that nobody has to care any more and the richest people or countries can do what they want.

"It will make the competition really difficult and I think that would lead automatically to a kind of world super league with like 10 clubs and it would depend on who owns the clubs and not the names of the clubs. It makes sense to have these rules."

Klopp did say, however, that City's place in the Champions League next season might at least benefit Liverpool as they try to retain their Premier League title.

"They won't have 10 or 12 games less now -- no other team would have had a chance in the (Premier) league," he said.

Spurs manager Mourinho termed the decision a disgrace.

"In any case it's a disgraceful decision because if City are not guilty then they should not be punished with the fine," Mourinho told reporters in a virtual news conference ahead of Wednesday's clash against 13th-placed Newcastle United.

"If you're not guilty you shouldn't have a fine. If they are guilty the decision is also a disgrace and they should be banned from the competition. I don't know if City are guilty or not but either way it's a disgraceful decision."

UEFA's FFP rules face likely changes in the wake of the CAS ruling and Mourinho said the system needs to be overhauled if it is to continue to serve its purpose which is to aim to stop clubs running big losses through spending on players.

"I think this is going to be the end of Financial Fair Play because there is no point," Mourinho said.

"I would like to see it used in a proper way. At this moment we are talking about Man City but in the past other clubs were in a similar situation.

"I think it's better to open the circus door and let everybody enjoy."

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