Former Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini has shot down Manchester United and Liverpool ahead of potential penalties facing his old club. The Chilean insists league titles cannot be taken away despite sanctions City could be hit with.
City were charged by the Premier League in February for multiple alleged breaches of Financial Fair Play regulations. The allegations are across a nine-year period between the 2009/10 and 2017/18 seasons.
The reigning champions could face the prospect of a heavy points deduction or even expulsion from the top flight if found guilty. Liverpool and Manchester United fans have suggested that they should be awarded titles from the seasons they finished second to City during the period in question.
Pellegrini was the manager at the Etihad between 2013 and 2016. He led the club to the Premier League title in his first campaign in charge, as well as two League Cup triumphs.
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Pellegrini is adamant his team were fair winners and that will never be taken away from them. He told the Telegraph: “If anyone thinks that, they are wrong. It is not tainted. What happened on the pitch is indisputable.
“I will always feel like a Premier League champion. We won it fairly.
“Even though there might be some sanctions, a team that finished second could never feel like the champion after not winning on the pitch. There may be administrative punishments, but no one will ever be able to take away that title or the emotions we experienced.”
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Pellegrini says if the likes of United or Liverpool are awarded historic trophies, they will not feel like they are rightful winners. He has also defended City’s transfer activity, claiming they weren’t the only team to spend big.
He told the Mail: “That league can’t be taken away because it’s already been lived. Imagine they take the trophy away – the runner-up is not now going to feel like the champion. Football is the moment. You win it with your people out there on the pitch.
“The criticism of City has always been very unjust. If there had been an astronomical difference between clubs then maybe, but Chelsea were spending a fortune, Manchester United were spending a fortune, Liverpool were spending a fortune, Arsenal were spending a fortune.
“It’s not the case that one club wanted a player for £100m and City came along and paid £200m. That didn’t really happen.”
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