Wenger ques­tions FFP value af­ter world record trans­fer

New Straits Times - - Sport -

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

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