News, Culture & Society

Gary Neville DEFENDS Manchester City and insists they had no chance of catching United without cash

‘FFP is a nonsense… owners have to be able to invest. The idea of being anti-competitive is ridiculous’: Gary Neville DEFENDS Manchester City and insists they stood no chance of catching rivals United without spending big

  • Gary Neville believes FFP restricts the ability of smaller clubs to compete
  • Neville says big financial investment is necessary for small teams to win trophies
  • The Sky Sports pundit believes a US style franchise model is a possible solution 

Gary Neville has defended Manchester City after they were banned from the Champions League for two seasons for breaching Financial Fair Play rules.

Prior to Manchester United’s clash with Chelsea on Monday night, Neville launched a scathing attack on FFP and said it was wrong to limit the spending power of clubs. 

Neville also strongly disagreed with fellow Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher, who applauded Uefa and claimed City have been rightly punished.

Gary Neville says Manchester City have been wrongly punished for breaking FFP rules

Neville says it's imperative owners are allowed to invest so they can compete with bigger clubs

Neville says it’s imperative owners are allowed to invest so they can compete with bigger clubs

Neville criticised Jamie Carragher, who said City had been rightly punished for breaching rules

Neville criticised Jamie Carragher, who said City had been rightly punished for breaching rules

‘It was interesting listening to judge Carragher,’ he told Sky Sports. ‘I’ve had a long held view on FFP, people would say it’s because i’m the owner of Salford, but the idea that city are not able to invest the money of the ownership, I disagree, I’ve thought FFP is the wrong way to apply. 

‘FFP was brought in to stop clubs going bust, but there are different ways of doing that. If owners sign up to contracts they should have the money in place to fulfil those contracts, I think City’s owners have got that. 

‘We would never see the emergence of these clubs below United, Liverpool, Arsenal who have the history. We’re saying FFP stifles investment into Blackburns and clubs like that.’

Neville says City would've had no chance of catching United without huge financial investment

Neville says City would’ve had no chance of catching United without huge financial investment

Neville also suggested an alternative format of ownership and investment that would enable clubs to spend while also ensuring owners don’t make big financial commitments that they can’t afford to sustain in the long term. 

‘We should create a status quo almost like a franchise,’ he added. ‘I think the top clubs in Europe, like United, Barcelona, they would take football towards a franchise type model. There are negatives where owners have invested into clubs and not adhered to their commitments, that’s got to stop. 

‘I think City will beat Uefa. I’ve got no faith in them whatsoever, they’re a hopeless organisation which applies erratic decisions to different things, it’ll get stuck in the courts but I think City will win in the end.’

City had never won the Premier League title prior to Sheikh Mansour's 2008 purchase of club

City had never won the Premier League title prior to Sheikh Mansour’s 2008 purchase of club

Neville believes City, who had never won the Premier League prior to the Sheikh Mansour’s purchase of the club back in 2008, would never have caught United without the sizeable investment of the club’s owners.

‘To suggest city could ever catch united through sustainable growth is nonsense, they’re so far in front. The only way city could ever get to a level playing field was through owner investment. 

‘The idea of being anti-competitive in football is ridiculous. The idea the same two or three clubs can win every year is anti-competitive. 

‘Owners have to be able to invest into football clubs, but the obligations they sign up to financially should be covered by bond, bank guarantee. There should be fit and proper owners tests, and coverage of obligation. FFP is a nonsense.’ 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk