Manchester City chairman Khaldoon al-Mubarak has rejected claims that the club's lavish spending is endangering football and claimed it is instead the only way to renew competition at the highest levels.
City have come in for heavy criticism, not least from UEFA president Michel Platini, over the distorting effects their new-found resources have had on the transfer market, with the European governing body plotting rule changes requiring clubs to become self-sufficient in the near future.
But Khaldoon defended City's spending of more than £200million on 11 players since in the last year, telling the Guardian: "I could accept the argument if we were artificially building up the club through debt.That produces a destructive end result; we have seen that happen. But in our case, the club will be in the healthiest position because there is no debt. We have funded it through equity (permanent investment), including the signing of the players."
He added: "I believe what we are doing is a fair way to inject competition into football, without debt."
UEFA have responded to the vast outlay of transfer fees by City and Real Madrid this summer by announcing "financial fair-play measures" which will require clubs to fund all activities through television income, ticket sales and commercial activities by 2012 if they wish to take part in European competitions.
But Khaldoon believes that would condemn such competitions to the monotony of the same clubs taking part every season.
"The argument that this is unhealthy suggests that the big clubs, which make the most money, must remain the big clubs, that the status quo must remain," Khaldoon said.
"Is Mr Platini saying that only Real Madrid and Barcelona have the right to be competitive in La Liga?
"I appreciate the argument about having so much money," Khaldoon added.
"The way I answer it is: Yes, this is a club, but it is a business too, and in business, you are there to compete. And we are striving to build the club the right way, with respect for its heritage, and the fans."
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