Soccer

Wenger fears fall of rules

2011-11-23 11:58
Arsene Wenger (Gallo Images)
London - Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes European football governing body UEFA's proposed financial fair play rules could well collapse when challenged.

UEFA are planning to implement the system for the 2013/14 season and could give them the right to ban teams from the Champions League and Europa League tournaments if they continue to spend more than they earn over a rolling three-year period.

But with the likes of Manchester City in England and Paris St Germain in France climbing to the top of their respective domestic leagues thanks to the wealth of their Middle East owners, UEFA may have a job on their hands trying to force clubs to balance their books.

The scale of their task was emphasised earlier this month when City, last season's FA Cup winners, posted a record-breaking £194.9 million loss, with wage costs soaring to £174 million - all covered by Sheikh Mansour.

Meanwhile Court of Arbitration for Sport are set to hear a case brought by Swiss club FC Sion against UEFA in response to their exclusion from the Europa League.

Wenger, who has prided himself on ensuring Arsenal are a financially well-run club as much as the trophies he has brought to the north London side, is concerned a combination of legal action and the power of Europe's leading clubs could force UEFA to back down.

"Will they (UEFA) have the legal power to force it through? I question it," said Wenger, whose Arsenal side can make it through to the knockout stages of this season's Champions League with a home win over Germany's Borussia Dortmund at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday.

"In other countries, you have as well Paris St Germain, Malaga. Once they represent a force together, it will be difficult to fight against."

The Frenchman added: "When I see the numbers announced by Manchester City, do you really think it will work in 2013? I cannot see it when the wage bill is bigger than the turnover. Frankly, that cannot happen in one year.

"Secondly, with what happened with Sion challenging UEFA, they have lost a lot of power. There is also the statement of (European) Club Association chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge against UEFA, representing the hundred clubs who are in there.

"We live in a world where any decision made is challenged.

"Europe has a little bit created that and we see how far Europe has gone. The authority of the legal affairs is challengeable everywhere."

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