Arsene Wenger 'surprised' by Man City charges and makes prediction on punishment

Arsene Wenger admits he was surprised by the Premier League’s decision to charge Manchester City with breaking financial fair play rules but believes there is only a small chance of the reigning champions being relegated or stripped of titles if found guilty.

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City were hit with 115 charges of relating to FFP breaches dating back to 2009 last Monday but have strongly denied any wrongdoing.

Manager Pep Guardiola launched a passionate defence of his club ahead of Sunday’s match with Aston Villa and is confident City will prove their innocence.

During the latter stages of his Arsenal tenure, Wenger riled against the likes of City and Chelsea whose finances rendered his job of keeping pace with the English elite almost impossible.

Wenger lost a clutch of his best players including the likes of Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy to City and accused his rivals of financial doping.

Asked how he felt seeing City facing such serious accusations, he told beIN Sport: ‘I was in this case where I had to fight with no money against teams that had unlimited resource.

‘I know well what it is to be in that position and I just felt you have in every club to work with your resources and do the best you can.

Arsène Wenger offers his views on the Premier League charges which have been placed against Manchester City. #beINPL #MCFC

‘After it’s a problem of the Premier League to decide.

‘FFP is not perfect I agree completely on that and will people with unlimited resources who come into the game today accept that they cannot invest money?

‘I cannot believe that. What is the interest in buying a football club?’

The severity of the potential punishments range from a fine to the possibility of relegation and titles being stripped.

Asked if he felt there was a chance City could lose their Premier League status, Wenger said: Very small one. I think so.

‘I believe at the moment I know quite well Khaldoon (Al Mubarak) and I think he’s an intelligent man and an honest man so I was quite surprised by the charges they face so let’s see the outcome.

‘If they are guilty then they will face penalties I don’t know what they will be.’

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