Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has watched Manchester City buy clubs across the world, and when Chelsea legend landed at New York City FC before coming back to England, things didn’t add up.
“Is it a way to get around the fair play? I don’t know,” Wenger told reporters in London following Arsenal’s 1-0 loss to Monaco.
Financial Fair Play has struck Manchester City earlier this summer, causing them to lose roster spots on their Champions League teamsheet as well as face transfer restrictions.
Wenger is worried the club will still be able purchase players with feeder clubs and then loan them to City, or visa versa.
“At the moment the players they sign cannot play until next year so they will register them in the other clubs and can get out on loan,” Wenger said.
City owners Shiek Mansour own an 80% stake in NYCFC, and also bought Melbourne City FC in Australia as well as a stake in Japan’s Yokohama F Marinos. NYCFC striker David Villa will spend the time before his club begins 2015 play in Melbourne.
“It looks like all of these ‘City’ clubs will feed the main club Manchester City,” Wenger said. “I heard they want to buy five clubs all over the world.”
Lampard’s loan raised some eyebrows, since Manchester City’s Champions League roster was reduced to 21 players (from 25) by FFP, but are still required the normal eight home-grown players. Lampard will help City since he fits the requirements of the “locally trained” portion of the home-grown requirement, amid the City roster full of foreign players.
But don’t worry Gunners fans, Wenger insists he’s pure as gold on the subject. “We are happy to dedicate the money to just run our club. There is not a lot of surplus to run other clubs.”