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May 8, 2014

Wenger praises City but backs FFP

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger spoke ahead of their last game of the season against Norwich and revealed his plans for the Summer transfer window.

LONDON -- Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has offered his congratulations Manchester City after they edged towards Premier League title glory, but also endorsed UEFA's plans to sanction the club for failing to comply with financial fair play (FFP) rules.

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City are certain to be crowned champions if they defeat West Ham at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday, and Wenger feels Manuel Pellegrini's side have hit form at precisely the right time.

"It looks like they [City] will win it now," Wenger said after City's 4-0 victory over Aston Villa. "It would need a miracle for them not to win it. Congratulations to them.

"Man City just won it in the end, just getting over the line. They won the marathon and they turned up in the last 100 yards. They turned up when it mattered. There were a few turning points and one big turning point was the Everton game that they won [3-2 on May 3].

"Liverpool had an outstanding second part of the season and they are the most unlucky team of the season because they were nearly there. It was a very interesting season in the Premier League. I believe it was very tight at the top and the bottom. The difference between us and the team that wins the league will be a maximum of seven points if we win our last game.

"We have been 128 days at the top of the Premier League, so we won the stamina league, but we failed in some big games away from home.

"To be completely honest, as well, a team like City has scored 100 goals, so you have to say their offensive potential has been absolutely brutal and fantastic. Liverpool as well. We scored 66 at the moment, and that is certainly where we have room for improvement."

However, Wenger has spoken for years about his concerns over City's spending and it has emerged that City could be fined and see their squad could for the Champions League, while Paris Saint-Germain may face similar sanctions as well as limits on transfers and wages.

Asked whether he was pleased with UEFA's punishments, Wenger said: "Yes, I like it. Look, I am complete supporter of financial fair play. I think every business should live with its own resources, like in any other activity.

"As for the punishment, I think it is a sophisticated punishment and I would like it to be a more simple one that makes more sense. Maybe they [UEFA] have studied that for a very long time to be in accordance with the legal side of it, I don't know."

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