Wayne Sterling, CNN
(CNN) — Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak has voiced his displeasure at how the club, which competed a historic Treble earlier this month, is being portrayed after the English Premier League accused City of breaching more than 100 financial rules in February.
“That’s very frustrating because it takes so much [away] from the great work that’s happening in this club and it’s happening not just on the football pitch,” Al Mubarak said in the first of a two-part team-produced annual interview posted on the club’s YouTube channel on Monday.
“What these players have achieved this year, the Treble, is incredible. I hope people focus and judge them for their football and what they’re achieving on the pitch and what they’re achieving in every competition they’re in. That’s the reality.”
The Premier League alleges that City violated its rules, which include failing to provide accurate financial information, failing to comply with UEFA’s financial fair play (FFP) regulations and failing to follow Premier League rules on profit and sustainability.
Mubarak said he couldn’t talk about the charges due to legal reasons but said he will give his “blunt views” after the proceedings are done.
The chairman said the club is “very well run” and the group is worth more than $6 billion.
“We’ve created so much value,” Al Mubarak said. “We’ve brought in world class investors. Why? Because we have a commercial machine here that is one of the best in the world. Our executives are being targeted by the best teams in the world – always. By the way, it’s a credit to us. I respect that.
“People appreciate that we are producing not just the best talent on the pitch, not just the best talent in the academy, not just the best talent in the group, but we’re producing some of the best executives in the world, some of the best scouts in the world, some of the best sporting staff in the world.
“That’s a testament to the great work that this group is doing. We’re the number one football brand in the world. These are the facts.
He continued: “Look at last year, I mean look at our net spend figures. We can go on for half an hour right now with me just giving you data in terms of net spend over the last season, net spend over the last three years, over the last five years, over the last 10 years. Look at every single one of them and just look at these as the facts and compare us to our competition and then people will throw at us ‘the biggest spenders,’ ‘you have the biggest squad.’
“Again, I wish people can just pause and ask the question and get the facts and then comment.”
City became only the second English team in history to complete the treble after rival Manchester United first achieved the feat in 1998/99, winning the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League in the same season.
“The Treble had only been achieved once and it’s only been achieved once because this is really the most difficult thing to possibly achieve in the world of football,” Mubarak said.
“To win the most difficult league in the world, the Premier League, and to win the most difficult competition in the world of sports, in my view, the Champions League, at the same time, combined with another cup competition, a great historic cup competition, the FA Cup, at the same time, it is incredible, which is why it’s only been done once 24 years ago.”
Mubarak went on to say City has more to achieve, hoping next year the club can “produce another special year.”
Part two of Mubarak’s interview is scheduled to be released Tuesday.
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