Jose Mourinho admits Chelsea cannot financially compete with Manchester City
Uefa financial fair play regulations a big hindrance to London club
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho.
Jose Mourinho has admitted it is impossible for Chelsea to compete financially with Manchester City since the introduction of the financial fair play rules.
Chelsea were the biggest English spenders during the January transfer window but their outlay of €55 million was more than covered by the sales of Juan Mata and Kevin de Bruyne for a combined €67m. They had aspired to sign the Porto centre-half Eliaquim Mangala but were unwilling to risk their compliance with Uefa’s regulations by sanctioning an outlay of around €45m.
Yet while there is scepticism at Chelsea that their rivals, principal among them City, simply exploit loopholes in Uefa’s regulations – Mourinho described it as “dodgy” financial fair play – they intend to follow the rules even if that means they cannot compete on such fees.
“If City want to make it impossible, yes it’s impossible because we are not competing outside what is important for us: the fair financial fair play,” Mourinho said. “We are working, thinking and believing that financial fair play is going to be in practice. So there are things that are impossible for us. Financially, no [we can’t compete].”
Asked about Mangala, Mourinho added: “We can’t. We signed [Kurt] Zouma [for €15m], who is even younger and a comparable figure.”
Asked about the popularity enjoyed by City – born of their attractive, attacking style – among neutral supporters, compared with that of his Chelsea team during his first spell in English football, Mourinho said: “In my time we were accused of buying the title, no? Because our owner was Mr Abramovich, just arrived in the country. Maybe now people see City in a different way.”
Meanwhile, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has admitted he would not have pursued the loan signing of Kim Kallstrom from Spartak Moscow had there been more time before the closure of the transfer window, with the midfielder expected to be absent until mid-March with a micro-fracture of a vertebra.