Arsene Wenger supported UEFA after the European football governing body banned Manchester City from the Champions League for the next two seasons.
Wenger was a well-known critic of City’s expenses when he was director of Arsenal and reacted to the news of the Blues ban with the slightest sympathy.
Speaking at the 20 Laureus Sports awards, Wenger joked: “The city has bought all my players.”
Wenger has seen five of his best stars – Emmanuel Adebayor, Samir Nasri, Gael Clichy, Bacary Sagna and Kolo Toure – all of whom moved to Etihad after the Manchester club was taken over in 2009.
Wenger added: “My belief is that sport is about trying to win by respecting the rules.
“If there is no respect, then it is not a real sport.”
The city has promised to fight the ban and plans to appeal the UEFA ruling with the sports referee court.
Wenger did not comment on whether City should be stripped of any trophies, but said they should be punished if it turns out that they violated the rules.
He added: “I don’t know if you are going to take away the City titles because I don’t know the rules well enough.
“If it is proven that this was done on purpose, City cannot go unpunished.”