Football

Juergen Klopp, Jose Mourinho slam CAS ruling

The Court of Arbitration for Sport had overturned Manchester City's two-year European ban

English Premier League managers Juergen Klopp and Jose Mourinho have slammed the Court of Arbitration for Sport's (CAS) decision to overturn Manchester City's two-year Uefa ban from European football for alleged breaches of Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules.

Their comments yesterday are the latest in a string of rebukes to the CAS' ruling. Ex-England striker Gary Lineker suggested that it was the death knell for FFP while La Liga president Javier Tebas called CAS "not up to standard".

Uefa ruled in February that City had committed serious breaches of FFP regulations and failed to cooperate with its investigation, handing them a ban and a fine of 30 million euros (S$47.6m).

However, the CAS on Monday said City did not violate FFP rules by disguising equity funding as sponsorship, but imposed a reduced fine of 10m euros for failing to cooperate with European football's governing body.

Tottenham Hotspur boss Jose Mourinho called the decision a "disgrace" during the press conference ahead of his side's visit to Newcastle United tomorrow morning (Singapore time).

He said: "In any case, it's a disgraceful decision because if City are not guilty, then they should not be punished with the fine.

"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.

END OF FFP

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

Liverpool manager Klopp also commented on the CAS' ruling during the press conference ahead of the EPL champions' visit to Arsenal tomorrow morning, calling it "not a good day for football".

He said: "I don't think it was a good day for football yesterday, to be honest.

"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...

"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 (the) kind of borders that you can go to, but not over it, and that's good for football.

"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."

City boss Pep Guardiola, however, was defiant, calling the verdict a "good day for football" and saying his club were owed an apology.

He said: "Jose and all the managers should know that we were damaged. We should be apologised (to).

"Because, like I said many times, if we did something wrong, we will accept absolutely the decisions by Uefa and (the) CAS because we did something wrong." - REUTERS

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