If City had spent like Chelsea we would have been hammered

Pep Guardiola says Manchester City would have been heavily criticized if they spent more than £550m on players like Chelsea in eight months.

Chelsea spent over £300m in the January transfer window – more than La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga and Ligue 1 clubs combined – followed by a squandering of over £250m last summer.

Guardiola has little doubt about the backlash there would have been against City had the Abu Dhabi-owned club embarked on a similar run in the last two windows.

“It is [Chelsea’s spending] a surprise because it’s not a club state,” the city manager said in a sarcastic reference to criticism that the club was “state”.

“As for me [with] We’ve won 11 trophies in the last five years and are the fifth or sixth net-spending team in the Premier League. That’s what I’m about right now.

“I know what would happen [if City had spent the same as Chelsea]. It happens[ed] in the last five or six years.”

Klopp: “I won’t say anything without my lawyer”

Jurgen Klopp, meanwhile, joked he needs legal advice before commenting on how Chelsea could invest so much in the last two transfer windows without running afoul of financial fair play.

“I’m not saying anything without my lawyer,” said Klopp. “I don’t understand that part of the business, what you can and can’t do. It’s a big number in the last two windows.

“With the players they brought in, I never once thought, ‘Why did they do that?’ They’re all really good players, so from that point of view, congratulations if you make it. I don’t understand how this is possible, but it’s not my place to explain how it works. hopefully you [the media] Everyone knows exactly how to do it, and then it’s good.”

Asked if he thought there was one rule for City and another for different clubs, Guardiola – who revealed John Stones will be out for up to a month with a hamstring injury – added: “Where we come from, definitive.”

The city’s revenues and expenditures have been the subject of intense scrutiny and criticism from competitors for years.

In February 2020, City were handed a two-year non-competition ban in Europe by Uefa for alleged breaches of financial fair play rules, only for the club to successfully lift the suspension on appeal five months later.

Nine Premier League clubs – Arsenal, Burnley, Chelsea, Leicester City, Liverpool, Manchester United, Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur and Wolverhampton Wanderers – wrote to the Court of Arbitration for Sport a month after the ban was imposed, asking them not to agree to any motion the city to lift the stay during the appeals process.

Guardiola: “What Chelsea does is none of my business”

Guardiola said he has never forgotten what this group did and believes there are double standards when it comes to criticizing spending.

“What Chelsea does is none of my business. I never incorporate opinions into other clubs because there are regulations – rules by which we have to do it,” he said.

“We have been charged. I don’t forget, eight or nine teams in the Premier League send a letter to the Premier League [asking for City] be [stay] forbidden. This happened to us. We are fifth team in net spend over the last five years. That’s the reality.

“We know exactly what we are working on. Of course we need good players. What Chelsea believes, what Arsenal believes, what Liverpool believes, United believes – we cannot compete without good players. Not just in the Premier League, but in Europe. You have to spend. Now the market is wow.”

City made nearly £250m in revenue over two time windows last year – with the £193m recouped last summer being the most lucrative eviction by a club in Premier League history – and will be around £11m this month the sale will earn clauses they had in deals for Tottenham-bound Pedro Porro and Ivan Ilic who joined Torino.

Despite agreeing to loan Joao Cancelo to Bayern just before the window closed, City decided against signing a replacement full-back. Relations between Cancelo and Guardiola had steadily deteriorated but the City manager said the decision was because the player wanted more playing time.

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