Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho says it is impossible to compete with Manchester City within the rules of the financial fair play regulations.
Ahead of the sides’ clash at the Etihad Stadium on Monday, Mourinho insisted that his club would continue to operate within the FFP rules, even if it meant being outgunned by their rivals in the transfer market.
Chelsea were reportedly the biggest Premier League spenders in the January transfer window, securing the services of Nemanja Matic from Benfica and Kurt Zouma from Saint-Etienne, although their outlay was covered by the sales of Juan Mata to Manchester United and Kevin de Bruyne to Wolfsburg.
And Mourinho was keen to emphasise that they would continue to abide by the rules, regardless of City’s spending power.
“If City want to make it impossible, yes it’s impossible,” he said.
“We are not competing outside what is important for us: financial fair play.
“We are working, thinking and believing that financial fair play is going to be in practice. So there are things that are impossible for us. Financially, no (we can’t compete).”
Since Roman Abramovich took control of the club in 2003, Chelsea have consistently spent large sums in chasing success, but Mourinho says things have changed from those times.
“Back then it was a free world,” he said.
“There was no financial fair play. If your club was a rich one, your owner a rich one, there were no rules. It was an open situation.
“But times change. Maybe 10 years ago a huge investment in the club was something people hated, but in this moment it’s something people accept in a different way.
“If UEFA goes with FFP until the last consequence, maybe in that moment people will realise that some teams are different to other teams.”