Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger says that the massive new £5 billion Premier League domestic TV rights deal has changed the financial landscape in Europe, and has forced clubs in the rest of Europe to demand changes to UEFA’s financial fair play (FFP) rules.
UEFA president Michel Platini confirmed on Monday that the FFP rules would be eased to allow more money to be invested into clubs by wealthy owners.
But 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.”
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, just days before the summer transfer window will open. With Barcelona banned from buying players this summer, and PSG under FFP restrictions, the English clubs were poised to sign whoever they wanted. Now, Plantini is at least offering the French champions to compete with the top English teams for the best talent in Europe.