Borussia Dortmund are stoking the fire ahead of their juggernaut clash against Manchester City by claiming the high-spending Blues should be thrown out of the Champions League.
The German champion’s chief executive Hans-Joachin Watzke attacked City owner Sheikh Mansour’s ‘back door’ gifts and £350million sponsorship deal.
He claimed that the club’s shirt and stadium deal should not be controlled by the club’s owners and highlighted UEFA Financial Fair Play rules for Europe’s elite.
“UEFA must find the thin line between sponsorship and excessive back-door funding – they must show strength to expel big clubs,” said Watzke.
“No tycoon should be allowed to pump crazy money into a club with sponsorship from five companies he controls.
“If that happens, financial fair play will fail.”
Watzke also refused to express an interest in welcoming a billionaire owner to invest in the club.
“I would not even welcome one,” he added. “What if the sheikh, as shown by Malaga, lost interest?
“The fact is that the Bundesliga has caught up considerably, thanks to their sound banking practices. This will eventually be expressed by results.”
City are also on high alert after 4,000 German fans are expected to travel to Manchester today – many without tickets.
Up to 4,000 City fans travelled to Real Madrid two weeks ago and have put in an official complaint to UEFA after some were the subject of battering by Spanish police.
The tough encounter is a must-win for City after Dortmund secured a 1-0 victory in their European opener against Ajax – and travel to the Etihad on the back of a 5-0 thrashing of Borussia Monchengladbach.
And Roberto Mancini is wary of the threat the Bundesliga titleholders for the Premier League champions, especially after the Blues are yet to keep a clean sheet this season.
“For this reason I think it will be a very difficult game,” said the Italian. “In my opinion Dortmund are one of the best teams in Europe.
“They won the Bundesliga. They are very strong and in players like Robert Lewandowski and Mario Gotze they are dangerous going forward.
“If we concede space, like we did in Madrid, we will make it difficult for ourselves.
“In Madrid the problems we had in the first half were normal. But we conceded too much space to players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema in the last five minutes and that made them dangerous.”