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Wenger demands action against clubs in the red

SoccerNews in English Premier League 29 Aug 2008

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes clubs who risk financial meltdown in the pursuit of success should be kicked out of Europe competitions.

UEFA president Michel Platini has launched a probe into the high level of debt carried by some clubs and claims they are “cheating” by purchasing players they simply cannot afford.

Wenger agrees with his fellow Frenchman’s assessment and, while he didn’t name individual clubs, he clearly had Manchester United and Chelsea – who have a combined debt of 1.5 billion pounds between them – in his sights as he demanded harsh penalties from UEFA.

“I think teams who have deficits should be kicked out of Europe,” Wenger said.

“The only way to go is that there is a control over all of Europe and I think it will go that way whether you like it or not.

“UEFA will bring in a control of the management of every individual club and every individual club will be controlled.

“It is very important for the fans of the competition first, and it is very important that every club lives with the resources they have available – clubs should not speculate and then after one year they cannot pay the salaries for the next seasons.

“Every transfer nowadays in Europe is paid over two or three years, and it is compulsory that UEFA controls that the commitment of the club is right, because if that does not happen, it can all collapse very quickly.”

While Roman Abramovich’s millions have allowed Chelsea to buy virtually any player in the world, Wenger has always operated a more frugal transfer policy.

Even now, with Arsenal director Danny Fiszman maintaining that the board would back their manager if he wanted to splash 30 million pounds (37 million euros) on one player, Wenger still shys away from making the kind of big-money buy that Chelsea and United specialise in.

“I buy the players I feel strengthen the squad, after that I consider the price,” he said.

“I do the job I think it has to be done, considering the resources of the club and considering our ambition, and the players we have.

“I know the media and supporters sometimes too are happy with big numbers, but for me what is most important is big quality. Sometimes both are linked, but not always.”

However Wenger does want another midfielder and a move for either Liverpool’s Xabi Alonso or Udinese’s Swiss playmaker Gokhan Inler remains possible before Monday’s transfer deadline.

“Last year it was at midnight – and we are ready to stay up all night this time if it is needed,” he said. “We have still a long time to go.

“For a while they all talk the talk and nothing happens, then in the last four or five days every half-an-hour there is a headline saying someone has signed somewhere.

“When you have experience of transfer dealings, you know that as long as something is not signed you know it can change very quickly so you can look very silly, so you don’t want to come out and announce it.”

“We are out to look, if we find the right players we will do it, one or two.

“However, I believe it’s more interesting for us to focus on our strengths and quality rather than looking outside. I know it makes headlines, but it doesn’t make you win games.”

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