EPL

Arteta: No question Manchester City deserve to be in Champions League

By Sports Desk July 14, 2020

Mikel Arteta is glad his former club Manchester City will be able to compete in the Champions League.

Arsenal boss Arteta, who served as Pep Guardiola's number two at the Etihad Stadium until last December, was speaking a day after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) quashed City's two-season ban from UEFA competitions.

CAS found City did not disguise equity funding as sponsorship contributions and stated the allegations brought by UEFA were either "not established" or "time-barred" under the Financial Fair Play regulations put in place by European football's governing body.

City were fined €10million – down from €30m – for failing to co-operate with UEFA's investigation.

The full written reasons for the verdict will be published by CAS over the coming days, but it has already garnered a mixed response, with Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp claiming the outcome amounted to "not a good day for football".

By contrast, Arteta, whose Arsenal side host the freshly crowned Premier League champions on Wednesday, feels the ruling serves as a moment of vindication for his old employers, who were placed under investigation by UEFA following the Football Leaks revelations of November 2018.

"There is no question about what happened," Arteta told a pre-match news conference.

"They completely deserve to be in [the] Champions League because what they've done on the pitch is unquestionable and the regulators have looked at it and have decided that they haven't done anything wrong.

"So you have the two aspects that are really clear and transparent and they're going to be in Champions League, because they deserve [it] for what they do on the pitch and what they do outside the pitch."

Arsenal are looking to bounce back from a sapping 2-1 north London derby loss at Tottenham, where their capacity to undermine promising positions again reared its head.

Arteta is full of admiration for the job Klopp has undertaken at Liverpool, and noted similarities between the situation the former Borussia Dortmund coach took on when he succeeded Brendan Rodgers in 2015 and his own inheritance at Emirates Stadium.

“What they’ve done is phenomenal," he said. "It took them some time to rebuild the club and a game model that suited the coach, and then they started to recruit a specificity in every position which completely changed the club.

"Many decisions have to be right. How much connection you have to create with your fans to create the full package, and then it’s about the football.

"Certainly it’s something to look at but we have to do it our way with our resources. We are heading to be the best, that is my objective."

A medical update on Arsenal's website suggested Mesut Ozil might be in contention to feature on Merseyside, but Arteta stated the wider circumstances around the former Germany international's first-team exile are unchanged.

"At the moment the situation remains the same," he said, when asked whether Ozil would play again this season.

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