Wenger questions FFP value after world record transfer
LONDON: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has criticised Neymar’s world record transfer move from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain, saying it will become increasingly difficult to respect financial fair play (FFP) rules when “a country owns a football club.”
PSG, backed by majority shareholder Qatar Sports Investments, signed the Brazil striker on a five-year deal on Thursday after they triggered his €222 million (RM1.1 billion) release clause.
“For me, it is the consequence of the ownerships and that has completely changed the whole landscape of football in the last 15 years,” Wenger told reporters.
“Once a country owns a club, everything is possible. It becomes very difficult to respect the financial fair play because you can have different ways or different interests for a country to have such a big player to represent a country.”
Neymar’s transfer more than doubled the previous world record fee Manchester United paid for Paul Pogba when they paid Juventus €105 million for the midfielder last August.
Wenger expressed further concern over an inability to control the transfer market, describing current player valuations as “beyond calculation and beyond rationality.”
“It also looks like inflation is accelerating. We crossed the €100 million line last year and, only one year later, we’re crossing the 200 million line,” he said.
“When you think that Trevor Francis was the first £1 million (RM5.6 million) player (in 1979) and that looked unreasonable, that shows you how much distance and how far we have come, how big football has become.”
Arsenal broke their own transfer record last month when they signed French international striker Alexandre Lacazette for a reported fee of £46.5 million.
FA Cup holders Arsenal kick off their season with a Community Shield showdown against Premier League champions Chelsea tomorrow. Reuters