Tottenham head coach Jose Mourinho has claimed UEFA’s financial fair play rules are dead and branded Manchester City’s successful appeal a “disgrace” which equates to “the circus opening the door” to unlimited spending.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport overturned City’s two-year ban from European competition on Monday, claiming the club “did not disguise equity funding” but failed to co-operate with UEFA’s authorities investigating alleged rule breaches between 2012 and 2016.
City were fined €10 million — reduced from the original €30m sanction — but are now free to play in the Champions League next season amid fresh talk of a spending spree to help recapture the Premier League title from Liverpool.
Mourinho was careful not to suggest whether City were guilty, but speaking ahead of Spurs’ trip to Newcastle on Wednesday evening, he launched a scathing attack on a process that did not entirely exonerate the club or conclusively punish them.
“In relation to the decision, in any case, it’s a disgraceful decision,” he said. “If Man City is not guilty of it, to be punished by some million is a disgrace. If you’re not guilty you’re not punished. In the other way, if you’re guilty you should be banned. So it’s also a disgraceful decision. In any case, it’s a disaster.
“If you’re not guilty, you don’t pay. I’m not saying Man City is guilty. I’m saying if you’re not guilty, you don’t pay. You are not punished, even with a pound. I know that money is quite easy for them, but it’s just a principle. Why are you paying £8-9m if you are not guilty? If they are not guilty, the decision is a disgrace.
“If you are guilty, the decision is also a disgrace. If you’re guilty, you should be banned from the competition. My criticism is not for Manchester City. I’m nobody to know if they’re guilty or not. My criticism is for the decision.”
Speaking about Steve Bruce and the job he has done at Newcastle amid ongoing talk of a Saudi-backed takeover, Mourinho added: “I’m happy Steve is doing well and next season I believe he will be stronger and stronger.
“And I believe that next season, with no FFP, maybe a new owner goes there and spends lots of money, gives him even better conditions. I truly believe FFP is gone. So new owners, probably they will have this feeling of the circus opened the door, so let’s go and enjoy it.
“But in this moment, we are speaking about Man City. But in the past, other clubs were in a similar situation, and you know the results of it. So I think it’s better to open the circus door, and let everybody enjoy. And go inside for free, come out, go inside again, do it with freedom.
“Spurs is Spurs, and I don’t think Spurs change its mentality which in many aspects is more than correct. I am happy with the way we think here. And for me that’s just it. I think it’s going to be the end of FFP, because there is no point. And I repeat, and it’s the only thing I repeat because it’s clear in my mind: If City is not guilty, the decision is a disgrace. If City is guilty, the decision is also a disgrace.”
Tanguy Ndombele picked up a knock in training and is a doubt to face Newcastle, as is Dele Alli, who continues to manage a hamstring problem. Serge Aurier has been given the option to miss the game after the tragic death of his brother in France.