Pep Guardiola claims Man City victims of double standards after Chelsea spending spree

Pep Guardiola claims Man City victims of double standards after Chelsea spending spree

Pep Guardiola believes Manchester City would have faced stiffer criticism if they had spent like Chelsea and said the Premier League champions are the victims of double standards.

Chelsea broke the British record by paying £106 million for Enzo Fernandez and have committed to spend around £600 million in transfer fees in two windows since Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital completed their takeover of the club.

It is the biggest ever spending spree in a year in footballing history and Guardiola feels City are unfairly judged and thinks there is one rule for them and another for other clubs. “Where we come from for sure, definitely,” he replied.

He argued City’s net spend over the last five years is far from the highest, even as they have been the Premier League’s dominant side.

“Being fifth or sixth in the Premier League team for net spend, we won 11 trophies, four Premier Leagues in the last five years. That is what really counts to us. What Chelsea have done is none of my business. Of course we need good players.

“What Chelsea believes, what Arsenal believes, what Liverpool, [Manchester] United believes, without good players we cannot compete. Not just in the Premier League, but Europe. You have to spend. Now the market is ‘wow’.”

Guardiola, citing City’s ownership by Sheikh Mansour, said sarcastically of Chelsea’s buying power: “It’s a surprise because it’s not a club state.”

Nine Premier League clubs wrote a letter to the Court of Arbitration for Sport asking for them to uphold City’s ban from competing in Europe for two years. Uefa had given the punishment in 2020 for breaching Financial Fair Play rules but the ban was later overturned.

And Guardiola remains aggrieved, adding: “We were accused. I don’t forget, eight or nine teams in the Premier League send a letter to the Premier League to be banned. That happened to us. We are the fifth team in net spend in the last five years.”