No fair!

We all know that modern football has something of a tainted association with money: Clubs seem to be competing with each other to get their hands on the most disreputable owners, and the wealth of cash that Champions League football brings, things are only going to get grubbier.

Take Manchester City, for instance, whose owner Sheikh Mansour has poured in whopping sums to make the Blues a big player in the Premier League. He recently signed a £400million sponsorship deal with airline Etihad, who are owned by the Abu Dhabi government and have very close links to – yes, you guessed it – Sheik Mansour. By way of contrast, Arsenal's deal with Emirates is worth £90million over 15 years. No wonder Arsene Wenger is cross.

The Arsenal boss accused City of bending Uefa's financial fair play rules in order to steel a march on the competition, and no wonder: a more blatant example of conflict of interests would be harder to find.

'It raises the real question about the credibility of the financial fair play,' Wenger said. 'That is what this is all about. They give us the message that they can get around it by doing what they want. It means financial fair play will not come in. It is as simple as that. I can understand how they do it but it raises the real question. The difficulty and the credibility of the financial fair play is at stake.

'Plus, if the financial fair play is to have a chance, the sponsorship has to be at the market price. It cannot be doubled, tripled or quadrupled because that means it is better that we don't do it and we leave everybody free. That can be defended as well, but if they bring the rules in they have to be respected.'

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