sport

Mourinho issues FFP warning

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho believes it will be "impossible" for clubs to compete with Manchester City if Financial Fair Play is not enforced.

City's vast spending in an era of Financial Fair Play has come in for repeated veiled criticism from Mourinho, who is keen to see how the economic regulations are explained and enforced by UEFA.

"If they (football's authorities) want to make it impossible to compete with City, it's impossible," he said.

"Chelsea are not competing outside what is important for us, the 'fair' Financial Fair Play.

"We are working, thinking and believing that Financial Fair Play is going to be in practice.

"So there are things that are impossible for us (to do)."

Sports lawyer Adam Morallee, of law firm Mischon de Reya believes UEFA need to "lay down the law" regarding their rules on Financial Fair Play.

"It's a real acid test to see how UEFA look at things like income and expenditure and what it classifies as allowable income," he said.

"Many of the clubs have been given an exemption where they're allowed to take off wages from previous years but when you look at City's books and see they've managed to get another 50m of income from things like intellectual property and image rights, they will only show losses of around 40 or 50 million - which may be acceptable.

"But ultimately, if you're spending too much, you will be found out - and it's up to UEFA to lay down the law.

"They should be looking at the profit and loss columns and saying - 'is that really genuine income or is that from a related third party?"

Mourinho, whose Chelsea team face City in a crucial top-of-the-table battle on Monday night, speaks from experience after recruiting many players for large sums during his first spell as Chelsea boss at the start of Roman Abramovich's Russian revolution.

When Mourinho first worked in England he admits "it was a free world".

He added: "There was no Financial Fair Play. If your club was a rich one, your owner a rich one, there were no rules. It was an open situation."

It meant Chelsea were unpopular, but City are attracting admirers with their attacking brand of football.

Mourinho said: "In my time we were accused of buying the title, no? Because our owner was Mr Abramovich, just arrived in the country. Maybe now people see City in a different way.

"Times change. Maybe 10 years ago a huge investment in the club was something that people hated and in this moment it's something people accept in a different way.

"Probably, if UEFA goes with Financial Fair Play until the last consequence and they explain really to the people what Financial Fair Play means, maybe in that moment people will realise that some teams are different to other teams.

"But it's something I don't think about at this moment."

Watch Man City v Chelsea on Monday Night Football on Sky Sports 1HD, kicking off at 8pm