'Entitled to play' – Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta gives verdict on Man City 115 Premier League charges

-Credit:David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images
-Credit:David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Mikel Arteta refused to use Manchester City's 115 charges against them as he prepares his Arsenal side for the final day of the Premier League season.

City are in pole position for the title and will be champions if they beat West Ham at the Etihad. If they don't, Arsenal have a chance to leapfrog them and steal the title if they can beat Everton at the Emirates. If City win the title, it will be their fourth in a row – something no English club has ever managed in the top flight.

However, as City close in on history, the noise over their outstanding Premier League charges for alleged breaches of financial rules is increasing, as rivals and critics look to use the charges to question City's achievements.

ALSO READ: Secret Man City meeting to give Man City players message before West Ham game

ALSO READ: 'I don't know' – Pep Guardiola responds to question on Man City's 115 charges

Among the potential punishments, should City be found guilty by an independent panel, could be relegation or expulsion from the Premier League and maybe even having to hand back some of their titles. The charges do not relate to the current season, but any prospective punishments could be implemented when the verdict is returned.

Such serious allegations means preparing a case against City takes time, as does the Blues' defence. But because no decision has been made, critics are suggesting that the supposed delay is having a negative effect on this season's title race.

Arteta, however, refused to entertain any ideas of the sort, insisting City have the right to play and challenge for the title until any time they are found guilty.

"That’s something for the authorities to manage. It’s not for us," the former City assistant insisted. "If they’re playing that means they can play and they are entitled to play. That’s it."

Arteta spoke of his hopes for City to slip up on Sunday, and said he had not spoken to his friend Pep Guardiola this week in the build-up.

"The hope was there [that City lost at Spurs on Tuesday] and it didn’t happen. Now we have to do our job which is going to be tough because Everton are in a good moment," he said.

"So we have to prove again that we can be better than the opponent and win the game. We have to wish for the best and wish for West Ham to have a really good day and help us to fulfil our dream.

"The only thing that we discussed is that we have to give ourselves the opportunity to live a beautiful day on Sunday where the dream is still alive and is possible. It’s football and once we’re there we have to live the moment. Then we have to hope for West Ham to achieve that dream. That part is on us and it’s the only thing we can focus on.

"We all know that they are a step closer, because it’s one game less and they have to play at home. They’re going to play a tough opponent. We have suffered in recent seasons against them and it’s really hard to beat them. I’m sure they’re going to be very at it. Hopefully they can help us to achieve our dream."