Arsene Wenger says Arsenal have nothing to hide over their transfer policy in the wake of the controversy surrounding England manager Sam Allardyce.
Footage obtained by The Daily Telegraph shows Allardyce telling two undercover reporters, purporting to be from a Far East investment firm, that he could help them to circumvent transfer regulations in the Premier League.
The 61-year-old allegedly said rules over third-party ownership of players – which was banned by FIFA last year and by the Football Association in 2008 – can be bypassed, while he also made derogatory remarks about predecessor Roy Hodgson, his assistant Gary Neville, and the redevelopment of Wembley.
Speculation is mounting that Allardyce – who is yet to respond to the comments – could be sacked, while the newspaper claims its wider investigation into corruption within English football will expose some Premier League managers as having taken bribes to fix player transfers.
Wenger, however, is adamant all of Arsenal’s transfer dealings during his 20 years in charge have been beyond reproach.
“Every transfer is a story and I’ve made about 300,” he said. “I don’t know what will come out, who’s involved in it. I just care about our own transfers.
“You always want the truth to come out. I speak for myself – our fans can sleep without any problems. That’s all I can say.”
On the subject of the embattled England manager, Wenger hopes the former Sunderland boss is able to disprove any wrongdoing involving the allegations.
“You have to let Sam Allardyce defend himself and I just hope he will clear his name,” he said.
“It’s not proven, it’s just suggestions, so we have to be very careful. Society is very quick to accuse people without proving things are done wrong.
“We have to give everyone credit, including Sam Allardyce, until they are proven to have done something wrong.
“Third-party ownership should not be allowed, I have fought against it a long, long time, the club should own 100 per cent of their players.”
Wenger also feels English football’s commitment to stamping out corruption in relation to player transfers has been clear for many years.
“When I work for my club I commit 100 per cent to make every decision for the good of the club,” he said.
“We want everybody to work genuinely. It’s completely normal that the pressure is on everybody to do it in the right way.
“Transfers are well controlled, it all goes through the right channels. The agents’ fees all have to be declared.
“England has made a huge effort to be absolutely clear on every single transfer, you have to declare on absolutely everything and I think that’s right.”
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