Belfast Telegraph

Manchester City must play fair: Arsene Wenger

By Jim Van Wijk

Arsene Wenger is worried Manchester City's policy of buying up clubs around the world could see them side-step financial fair-play regulations.

Former Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard will join City on-loan from New York City – a Major League Soccer franchise owned by the same powers as those in charge of the Premier League champions.

After falling foul of Uefa's Financial Fair-Play regulations, City have been restricted to a 21-man Champions League squad this year – with eight home-grown players required in their Premier League squad.

City manager Manuel Pellegrini has announced that Lampard will now occupy one of those berths after the England midfielder sealed a shock return to the Premier League just months after leaving Chelsea, but Wenger, who has always been a staunch advocate of financial fair-play, believes the move could benefit City at the expense of Arsenal and their fellow title rivals.

"It looks like all of these 'City' clubs will feed the main club Man City. I heard they want to buy five clubs across the world," said Wenger.

"At the moment the players they sign cannot play until next year so they will register them in the clubs and they get out on loan.

"Is it a way to get around the fair-play? I don't know. We are happy to dedicate the money to just run our club – there is not a lot of surplus to run other clubs."

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