x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Manuel Pellegrini refuses to rise to Jose Mourinho remarks about Yaya Toure escaping punishment

Meanwhile, Ferran Soriano, City’s chief executive, told a conference in Dubai he is confident the club will fulfill the Financial Fair Play edict and believes the club could break even this season.

Manuel Pellegrini has taken issue with Jose Mourinho. Carl Court / AP Photo
Manuel Pellegrini has taken issue with Jose Mourinho. Carl Court / AP Photo

Mahmoud Kassem, with agencies

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini refused to react to claims from Chelsea counterpart Jose Mourinho that City midfielder Yaya Toure should have been punished by the English Football Association.

Mourinho has chipped away at Pellegrini in recent weeks, variously alleging that City have benefited from generous officiating and accusing the club of not adhering to Uefa’s Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations.

On Monday, the Chelsea manager said an FA disciplinary panel’s decision not to punish Toure for kicking out at Norwich City’s Ricky van Wolfswinkel during a game last weekend may have set a dangerous precedent.

Last week, Pellegrini took issue with Mourinho’s claim that Chelsea were “the little horse” in the Premier League title race, countering that the west London club were “little, but rich”.

However, Pellegrini took a diplomatic stance regarding Mourinho’s comments about Toure.

“I answered just once to Mourinho, because if you remain in silence always, [people] may agree with those things,” he said ahead of Wednesday’s game against Sunderland.

“He started talking about referees and Financial Fair Play. I don’t think it is the way [to do things]. But just once. I will not continue every week talking about things that, for me, are not important.

“I repeat: I don’t respond to things Mourinho says every week because he will continue every week to try talking about things that are not from football.”

Ferran Soriano, City’s chief executive, is confident the club will fulfill the FFP edict and believes the club could break even this season. City posted a net loss of £51.6 million (Dh311.85m) last season, which was down from £97.9m.

However, they still missed the threshold for losses set by Uefa, European football’s governing body, which is set at £37m. Clubs that fail to meet FFP could face a ban from the Uefa Champions League.

Soriano, speaking at a conference in Dubai yesterday, said he was “not concerned at all” about meeting FFP, adding that the club would eventually meet the requirement after investments in youth development and facilities were taken into account.

As for when City will break even, Soriano said: “We’re working towards breaking even this season.” He said that City could be profitable within two seasons.