ARSENAL MANAGER ARSENE WENGER has criticised Europe’s big-spending clubs and called for tighter financial controls.
Wenger is frustrated at the manner in which certain clubs – particularly Qatari-backed Paris Saint-Germain – went about their business in the off-season, claiming it will harm the whole of football in the long-term.
“In the end, football suffers. Look at what happened in the transfer market this summer. PSG are ambitious, they have resources, there you go,” he told The Daily Mail.
“When someone (PSG) pays £36 million for a boy of 19 (sic) (Lucas Moura) you have to say football has become crazy.”
Wenger did dip into the transfer market himself, with some substantial buys in anticipation of the loss of star striker Robin van Persie to Manchester United, bringing in Cologne striker Lukas Podolski for a reported fee of 10 million pounds and Montpellier’s Olivier Giroud for 12 million pounds.
However, Wenger feels if clubs do not prioritise balancing their books, dark times may lie ahead for the game.
“We always say the same thing. Europe, it’s like the Titanic. But we carry on as if nothing matters,” he said.
“More than ever, we need to manage our clubs in a controlled way because otherwise everyone suffers.”
With UEFA this year implementing Financial Fair Play rules by withholding European prize money from 23 clubs, Wenger is hopeful clubs will begin to compete on a more level playing field.
However, he criticised Manchester City’s yearly 400 million-pound sponsorship deal with Etihad Airways, claiming the huge deal may simply be an attempt to artificially inflate City’s income.
“If the sponsorship deals are just a way of getting around financial fair play, then it’s not financial fair play,” he said.