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Arsene Wenger says that Financial Fair Play ‘never worked’


Arsene Wenger believes the new £5billion Premier League domestic TV rights deal has provoked clubs in the rest of Europe to demand changes to UEFA's financial fair play rules.

UEFA president Michel Platini confirmed on Monday that the FFP rules would be eased – and it is understood that the changes will allow more money to be invested into clubs by wealthy owners.

Arsenal manager Wenger claimed UEFA's FFP rules have not really worked – and insisted the changes will not affect the Gunners.

Wenger said: "I believe the television contract in England has pushed some other clubs in Europe to want this to be a bit more flexible for them so they can compete better with investors investing in their clubs.

"It's more down to counteracting the potential investments of the English clubs by the other European clubs. The pressure came more from the other European clubs.

"It will not affect us at all because we always spend the money we have. It will affect the clubs who have never respected the FFP."


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Asked if FFP worked, Wenger added: "No. It never worked, it never worked completely.

"It restricted – it had a positive influence on some aspects of our job but it was never completely in place yet – and before it is completely in place, it is already more flexible.

"UEFA or FIFA do not have the same power that they had 10 or 15 years ago on the legal side of it. Everything can be challenged by the European Court and that makes it much more difficult for UEFA to have rigid rules applied, because it's always in contradiction with freedom of investment regulated by the European rules."

UEFA's executive committee is expected to ratify changes to the FFP rules at a meeting in Prague on June 29/30.


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  1. Geoff

    May 21, 2015 at 12:33 am

    The rule has hurt smaller clubs from winning in the leagues. Remember when clubs like blackburn could win the title? There hasn’t been a winner of the premier league title that wasn’t Man City, Man United, or Chelski Bus Company in the last 10 years and the last team that wasn’t of those three was Arsenal a perennial top 4 squad.
    The bundesliga since the beginning of FFP in 2009 has only had two winners Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund. The last three years Bayern has absolutely destroyed the field.
    La Liga has been the same story where just barca, Real Madrid, and Atletico Madrid have won titles in the last 7 years. Normally the top two just destroy the rest of the league too.
    Last just look at this years champions league semi-finals, 3 of of the 4 richest teams in all of world were in the finals. These teams were all expected to make it and Juve was also very likely to make it with such a weak schedule in the Serie A. There was no parody within the Champions League or in the domestic leagues.

  2. toby

    May 19, 2015 at 4:26 pm

    Pure and simple FFP was only introduced to hinder the English teams. In 2006 when the rule was introduced only English teams could attract International investment so UEFA wanted to put in place rules to prevent English team outspending europe with new investors. Now FFP favours the English, with the new contract and that means for the first time English teams will be earning more than Real and Barcelona, they scrap the rule. Platini has always been anti-English.

  3. Cody

    May 19, 2015 at 3:21 pm

    Why does everyone think FFP was put in place to prevent financial doping by rich owners? It was put in place to stop clubs from posting heavy losses that they couldn’t recover from causing the financial ruin of the club.

    Certain aspects of the rule prevented certain clubs from acquiring players through debt, but the clubs who generate tons of revenue were never affected.

    I would argue that it has actually worked. Take QPR for example. Its never really written about, but for all the money his ventures spend, Tony Fernandes is always teetering on the brink of financial destruction. You don’t have to look any further than his old (now in administration) F1 team to know that. I would argue that FFP probably prevented QPR from overspending in the January transfer window and folding as a result.

    • Flyvanescence

      May 19, 2015 at 3:46 pm

      No thats just what UEFA claimed. Please; FFP’s biggest advocate was Bayern, as well as Barça, RM, Arsenal, MUFC et al. The ones who benefited the most from restricting spending by rich owners. Do you seriously think those clubs care about small clubs?

      Now that Bayern, Barça and Madrid realise that FFP might hurt them now, they are relaxing the rules.

      For once in my life i agree with Wenger.

      • Cody

        May 19, 2015 at 4:01 pm

        What does UEFA have to gain from stopping rich owners from bankrolling big transfers? After all, those are the clubs that generate the most revenue for UEFA.

        Its the Parmas of the world that create a major headache for the leagues. That, in my opinion, was the major reasoning behind FFP.

        The clubs that already had sustainable business models supported FFP because they weren’t going to have to pull any strings to comply with it, not because it gave them some sort of financial advantage over clubs that didn’t pinch pennies.

        • Flyvanescence

          May 19, 2015 at 4:34 pm

          Keep telling yourself that. The established big clubs were afraid of the new competition that was springing up and the higher transfer fees that resulted in more clubs bidding for players. Now that FFP failed to kill off that new competition and now may limit the spending of some of those established elite, it’s being repealed.

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