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'Kick them out of Europe' says Wenger

Following an announcement by Michel Platini in Monte Carlo that an investigation is to be launched into club debts and inequality between rich and poor teams Arsene suggested drastic action to bring clubs into line when responding to a question raised on the topic at a press conference today.

In a period when increasingly frustrated fans can be heard urging their clubs to spend big and in some cases 'break the bank` or get anyone of a number of different players 'no matter the cost` Platini pointed to the situation in Spain where Celta Vigo and Valencia have over reached themselves and risk collapse. Seeing big budget deficits as a form of cheating Platini is keen to create a more level playing field saying "European football must be clean and transparent and we do not want clubs buying success on credit."

"We have to find the golden mean, the right balance," Platini said. "There have always been rich and poor clubs, the rich get richer and the poor want to take their place. We should have more balance, and we will see what can be done. But we will do it calmly and coolly, with the whole football family."

This is a theme that Wenger has championed in the past believing that it distorts competition. It is a practice he has described as financial doping.

Responding to a question as to whether he welcomed the investigation Arsene replied:

"Very welcome - and I think the clubs who have deficits should be kicked out of Europe - personally"

In a clear reference to the £1.5bn combined debts of Chelsea and Manchester United the questioner pointed out that there were clubs in England that didn`t balance their budgets annually.

"I don`t know," said Wenger "personally I think the only way to go is that there is a control over all Europe. And I think we'll go that way. You like it or not but I would bring in a control of the management of every individual club. Every individual club will be controlled because it is very important for the fans of the competition first and it is very important that every club lives with the resources he has available."

Warming to the theme he continued, "...doesn`t speculate for one year and then after cannot pay the salaries for the next 2 or 3 years. Or the transfers - you know because every transfer nowadays in Europe is paid over 3 or 4 years. It is compulsory that without controls the commitment of the club is right because if that doesn`t happen it can collapse very quickly."

When asked if he would wish that all transfer fees be paid immediately his response was "I personally prefer but you go to the numbers right now that nobody can do that anymore. You cannot say who is a club in Europe that can pay £30m cash?" With a big grin on his face, referring no doubt to Fiszman`s earlier revelation, he said, "I know one - but only one!"



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The Journalist

Writer: Amos Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday August 29 2008

Time: 5:21PM

Your Comments

Surely it would be to difficult to regulate a policy like this. Say Abramovich was not allowed to fund the chavs anymore...what would stop him buying a "special" box in the stadium for £50 million? or him buying £30 million worth of shirts and giving them to the poor and needy that he ripped off to become rich? that would then become a part of their turnover. Would our stadium debt be called to account?
iceman10
I'm no accountant or lawyer, but I can imagine the difficulties in putting this policy into practice too. Didn't Ken Bates sell that kind of special box at SB to Sky before? And who can stop any owner from just writing off the clubs' debts? Those they call "soft debt" for a reason. As for the "hard debts", e.g. ManU and Liverpool owe the banks millions of pounds, those are slightly easier to define. And what about us? We borrowed millions too, but for the "right" reason of building a stadium and we can prove we can comfortably take care of the mortgage. I'm just not sure where they'd draw the line. Well it's the accountants' and lawyers' work then.
Lou the Gunneress
why should we worry about balancing our books - we're a rich mans plaything and we've had the time of our lives! And like Iceman says - what coul dthey do to stop Roman giving us a mega-shirt sponsorship deal for £100m
merlin
Lou - the special box (a Millennium Suite) was sold to Sky Sports at the going rate, hence the reason why most of them were unoccupied - nobody could afford them - it was the flaw in Bates' plan to repay the Euro Bond of £75 million he used to build the West Stand!
merlin
It is all about managing annual budget deficits - not neccessarily about how much debt you carry. Only about how that debt is arrived at. There is nothing to stop Abramovich from turning his debt into equity but that might not be advisable from a personal wealth management point of view and it wouldn't prevent a budget deficit in the same or next season. He is unlikely to want to keep issuing new shares every time he makes a loss. It's not as difficult to manage as is being suggested but there are difficulties - hence the need for an 'investigation' by Uefa. We can't be sure how it's going to be done but that something will be done seems fairly certain.
Amos.
Merlin since you're familiar with that old deal, can you tell us how many of those boxes were built? How many of those luxurious suites did Ken Bates sell apart from that one to Sky? It was one the only one sold, correct me if it's not the case. If "nobody could afford" them, was that a "going rate" when there's no demand at that price? It only means that the construction costs were way above what the market could absorb in the end. Bates made a mistake in the process of over-expansion. What are you trying to say? The fact that Bates borrowed money without figuring out a viable way to generate the revenue back exactly proved the point of this article. What Iceman and I said is the fact that clubs could find all kinds of leeway around these rules. In principle it's right for the authorities to try and get clubs to spend within their own bounds. But as we said above, it's hard to enforce.
Lou the Gunneress
I saw the press conference and I guess I misunderstood something. I thought AW said that no club can hand over 30m in cash at once and then said with a knowing smirk "I know only one" (meaning Chelsea), to which the reporters laughed.
jaelle
That depends how you read it. In their last accounts Chelsea only had just under £10mn in cash in the bank. Arsenal had some £70m. They couldn't spend £30m with cash only with debt.
Amos.
Hehe I took it the same way as Jaelle (and laughed together with the press too). Thought it's a bit of a dig.
Lou the Gunneress
I laughed too, Lou -- it sounded very much like a dig against Chelsea.
jaelle
so zenit beat MU to the supercup!!
jaelle
Yeah Zenit did well, their overall approach to the game was more positive. That new signing Danny looks great eh? And wth was Paul Scholes thinking palming the ball into the net?! At least Messi tried to look like he's heading the ball - so did Maradona. That's the most outrageously blatant handball I've ever esen..! :D
Lou the Gunneress
yeah, I'm sure the mancs who trashed Ade for his handball at OT last season won't notice that tho, Lou.
jaelle
Palming ? That was more like a volley ball smash !
prits
As for Wenger's comments, they are spot on as usual. Clubs need more regulations and its financial irresponsibility that we can have a situation where a club like Chelsea can continue to make huge losses every year which makes it very tough for other clubs to compete with. Arsenal shows the way in this aspect.
prits
This would be great and I'm sure if Abromovich was to try a way to try some type of bogus way to put money in the club it would send up a red flag. There is really no way for teams to compete if people use football teams as their personal toy. Its rather Ironic as you have so many Arsenal fans that wish Arsenal had a sugar daddy, Mr Dein is all for it but if something like this pans out then it would be Arsenal that would benifit.
Paulsito
Oooh yes, Chelsea is such an evil club. Players snort cocaine, we're racist. We take clubs out of bankruptcy by buying their players, we're inflating prices (boohoo). We buy wright phillips for over 20 and sell him for 9...to the same club.We give , and give and give and give and give,and give...and give.Doesn't matter, we're evil *****s. Forget talent, forget tactics, it's the money that wins trophies.We can't spend hundred of millions in players but you can spend that on a stadium. If that makes life easier, go on then...Blame Chelsea for everything.
k_chelski
come on kev even you know the money is 90% of what has put Chelsea where they are today. Money doesn't buy success (see sp*rs) but at a time when things are tight it helps to be able to write of £40 million of 'talent' and replace it by spending another £25-30m on 1 player without having to worry about the ramifications if doing so brings success or not.
iceman10
Money does buy success - if the scale is big enough and you can sustain it for long enough. It isn't evil but it does distort competition. Making it a fairer competition isn't going to harm the majority of clubs.
Amos.
i think european legislation will not affect chelsea so much. Abramovich is a financial backer and will have to write off his own money. In any case, he won't get it back from club's revenue and i can't see anyone buying chelsea at the mo. Jaelle, Lou, i agree. I thought Wenger was referring to Chelsea in his dig.
Gael-Force
Fairer competition? This is capitalism! This is similar to when they tried to add weight on Schumacher's car every time he won a race.Just because others don't have the same quality , we have to lower ourselves ? Every time Chelsea spends 40m, the money goes somewhere. Imagine if chelsea spent 100 million pounds on a single player from manchester city.Manchester city, could then spend 25 millon on a player from sunderland. Sunderland could spend 10 million on a player from Hull City. Hull City would then spend 5 million on a championship player, and so on.We're making the competition harder every year by spending big. Arsenal took a loan to make that pretty stadium.We took a loan to buy players.What so wrong with it?We're not buying the players from the black market. lol
k_chelski
It is true that Abramovich is putting money into the game but with a wage bill approaching £150m a year a lot of it is going out of the game too. The money on transfers doesn't actually benefit anyone because it just increases the amounts paid through the chain. You could just as easily argue that rampant inflation is good because everyone gets higher interest rates on their savings! What Abramovich is doing is selling a product for £80m a year less than it costs to produce. It's unsustainable in the longer term but makes it impossible for those competing with resources that balance at the end of each year to compete in the short term. In buying market share it's actually a very capitalist model that Abramovich is pursuing.
Amos.
I don't think it inflates the price so much. We have a special Chelsea price. 30% on.Look at Veron. We loaned him to Estudiantes de La Plata. The club won their first major trophy in 20 years.They didn't spend a single dime on him.That's a moving story. Besides, we're not overpaying that much anymore, all players we've bought in the last 2 years are at least 70% worth the money. Uefa wants to put so many caps; football is gonna get castrated. Football is a part of capitalism, not Everyone-has-to-be-equal-so-there's-a-fair-chance-of-winning-a-trophy-ism. Our loan helps us, your stadium loan helps you. The only reason why you didn't win something last season, is because wenger blew it.
k_chelski
Also, by over inflating everything, we'll be helping small clubs. They'll have a better chance of protecting their players and/or gaining a larger profit. Clubs will want to invest on youth, because the prices are too high.Money won't distinguish good players from the bad ones, so alot of planning will be involved.Clubs won't buy so many players, thus they won't sell alot of players. That means stability and continuity.
k_chelski
How does £30m for Robinho from Real or £30m for Shevchenko from Milan help smaller clubs? The difference between our stadium loan and your benefactor loan is that ours doesn't prevent us balancing our budget each year. In any event by the time Uefa get round to doing anything perhaps Chelsea will be breaking even - not by 2010 as they were aiming for but even Abramovich isn't going to fund £80m every year. It's not only about Chelsea though. As Platini said there are other clubs around Europe that aren't balancing their budgets annually. Chelsea are just the most extreme example.
Amos.
Its not surprising that a Chelsea fan would want to support this however this is not captiism. capitalism is all about making money not spending and ending up in the red. So is your owner making back his money with a profit? if not this is very poor capitalism attempt at it. Chelsea is simply a play thing for Abromovich. Its really good to know that many Arsenal fans dont want a sugar daddy, so there is really no basis for its defense apart from just wanting to win trophies regardless of whether it in the best interest of the game or not, thats seems very selfish. The fact is Arsene is right and we really all know it. God Bless!!!
Paulsito
30m helped milan's financial situation.The robinho money could be used to buy Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester united could buy David Villa or David Silva, Valencia is in a difficult situation. Chelsea is a long term investment, just because we're in the red now, doesn't mean we'll be in the. I think Chelsea is one of the top 5 clubs in generating money. This will only grow. Capitalism is about you being able to spend how much money on whatever you want i.e, not letting people tell you how many/much to buy.
k_chelski
Sure but all democratic governments regulate capitalism to ensure that in it's unfettered form it doesn't act against the interests of the majority. That's all that Uefa is proposing now. Chelsea won't always be in the red - it can't afford to. It's just a matter of whether the club decides to balance it's books before regulation obliges them to.
Amos.
Yes, it's not like they let Mcdonald's have a store in every corner that'd harm other fast food stores, specially the smaller ones. :p
k_chelski
comparing Chelsea with Mcdonalds? couldnt have summed it up better Kev!
iceman10
This is the worst twisted version of capitalism I've ever seen.
Lou the Gunneress
As stated before Clubs would find a way of getting round any laws that are brought in to sort out the financial position of Clubs. I wonder what the chelski fans would say if Roman decides to walk if Chelski doesn't win the CL?
hackneyval
Big Mac= Big Phil. what the chelski fans would say if Roman decides to walk if Chelski doesn't win the CL? "Leave a check".
k_chelski
If Abramovivh chooses to pull out what will happen? thats is the question. I mean will he want his money back. Chelseas riches are not self sufficient, facts. McDonalds is a franchise for anyone who has the money to buy but the big macs being sold should allow it to keep running. If a McDonalds doesnt make money do you think the owner would spend millions to keep it running, they would most probably cut their losses, Get real! Thats not even the point. what has happened to football is not good, regardless of who you support.
Paulsito
Oh my, kev, you usually post calm comments here, you are really riled up with this.
BMF
Platini wants to do everything to stop english domination. He wants to take our money, your foreigners.Soon they'll ban history, thus eliminating Liverpool as well.You just wait and see.
k_chelski
He might get rid of your money, but Platini wouldn't get rid of our foreigners. He knows Wenger is training up the future French international superstars, so Platini wouldn't dare... Oops, I said too much.
BMF
 

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