Arsene Wenger admits he was surprised by the Premier League’s decision to charge Manchester City with breaking financial fair play rules but believes there is only a small chance of the reigning champions being relegated or stripped of titles if found guilty.
Last Monday, City was charged with 115 FFP violations dating back to 2009, but they have strongly denied any wrongdoing.
Pep Guardiola launched a fervent defense of his club ahead of Sunday’s match against Aston Villa, and he is confident that City will prove their innocence.
During the latter stages of his Arsenal tenure, Wenger became enraged at the likes of City and Chelsea, whose finances made keeping up with the English elite nearly impossible.
Wenger lost a clutch of his best players including the likes of Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy to City and accused his rivals of financial doping.
Asked how he felt seeing City facing such serious accusations, he told beIN Sport: ‘I was in this case where I had to fight with no money against teams that had unlimited resources.
‘I know well what it is to be in that position and I just felt you have in every club to work with your resources and do the best you can.
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‘After it’s a problem of the Premier League to decide.
‘FFP is not perfect I agree completely on that and will people with unlimited resources who come into the game today accept that they cannot invest money?
‘I cannot believe that. What is the interest in buying a football club?’
The severity of the potential punishments ranges from a fine to the possibility of relegation and titles being stripped.
Asked if he felt there was a chance City could lose their Premier League status, Wenger said: Very small one. I think so.
‘I believe at the moment I know quite well Khaldoon (Al Mubarak) and I think he’s an intelligent man and an honest man so I was quite surprised by the charges they face so let’s see the outcome.
‘If they are guilty then they will face penalties I don’t know what they will be.’