Wenger on foreign owners: You can't squander football culture for financial reasons

By Sports Desk May 24, 2020

Arsene Wenger has warned about the motives of foreign investors in French football, suggesting a commission should be set up to ensure they are not solely seeking to make money. 

Former Arsenal boss Wegner, who now works as FIFA's chief of global football development, believes an increase in purchases from overseas sources can have a negative effect on the game if not monitored closely. 

Marseille, Bordeaux and Le Havre all have American owners, while Toulouse – who were relegated to Ligue 2 following the decision to abandon the 2019-20 top-flight campaign – are in talks with an investment firm out of the United States. 

In the Premier League, Newcastle United are expected to be purchased by a Saudi Arabia-backed consortium. 

Wenger believes a process needs to be implemented to ensure "football culture" is not eroded away by those with eyes only on finances. 

"Unfortunately, I think today we are witnessing a reverse phenomenon," Wenger told beIN SPORTS. 

"For example, if you take French clubs, they gradually fall into the hands of people who are not real builders for the future of the club, but rather investors who seek to earn money very quickly. 

"We can see in France today there are a lot of problems at this level because the clubs are dissatisfied, the supporters feel that the primary goal is not to build a good team but to achieve financial game. 

"Perhaps we should create a Club Purchasing Ethics Commission to see what the real intentions of the people who buy our clubs are. 

"You can't squander a country's football culture just for financial reasons."

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    Frank Lampard did not take the Chelsea job too soon and will make a swift return to management, according to Carlo Ancelotti.

    Chelsea sacked their all-time leading goalscorer Lampard on Monday just 18 months after he arrived from Derby County, where he began his career as a coach one year prior.

    He steered the Blues to a top-four finish in the Premier League and to the FA Cup final, but a run of two wins in eight top-flight games left them 11 points off leaders Manchester United in ninth.

    Ancelotti, who coached Lampard for two years at Stamford Bridge, does not think Lampard was too inexperienced for the role.

    "No, I don't think so," the Everton boss replied when asked if Lampard had taken the Chelsea job too soon. "I think where you start a career as a manager or a player, every career you don't have experience.

    "It's important to have knowledge. I think what Lampard did as a player and what he did as a manager before going to Chelsea, has knowledge of football. When you have knowledge of football you can grow your experience, but everyone that starts a career has no experience.

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    Ancelotti considers being sacked to be part and parcel of football management and does not think it will take long for Lampard to find another position.

    "It's not unusual that a manager is sacked. Frank Lampard knows this. My personal opinion is that getting sacked is part of our job. We have to understand this," said Ancelotti.

    "I was sacked everywhere, so I have to consider the fact it's part of our job. Frank will soon find another opportunity because he's a good manager. He did well at Chelsea but for the club it was not enough. It's simple.

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    Jose Mourinho is the only manager to have led Chelsea for more than two consecutive seasons – he did it in both his stints at the helm – since Roman Abramovich bought the club in 2003.

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    "Chelsea is not more difficult than other clubs, it's the same," he said.

    "Every club has expectations and when things aren't going how they like, what are they going to do? They are going to change 20 players? The easiest way is to change the manager.

    "This is what happens in football. All managers know this. We have to consider this part of our job and nothing more."

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    Head coach Lampard and Morris were removed from their positions on Monday to make room for Thomas Tuchel, who is on the brink of being appointed at Stamford Bridge.

    Chelsea great Lampard released a statement ruing the fact he was not given more time to turn the situation around, the Blues having slumped to ninth in the Premier League at the halfway stage this season.

    The former England international was nonetheless proud of what he had done to help promote younger players to the first team.

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    "I am immensely proud to say I have been stood next to our gaffa Frank Lampard who has worked tirelessly to improve the players and the culture every single day," Morris wrote on Instagram.

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    Former Chelsea midfielder Morris – who thanked the fans and owner Roman Abramovich – was also with Lampard at Derby County in the Championship.

    He added: "Yesterday [Monday] was tough to take on all levels.

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    Former Chelsea player Pat Nevin, meanwhile, felt it would have been a difficult decision for Abramovich to take.

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    "I am desperately saddened to see Frank Lampard leaving the club, but then again who isn't," he wrote on the Chelsea website.

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    He felt Chelsea had the opportunity to be different this time by offering their former star player support during a difficult period, the Blues having slumped to ninth in the table.

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    He added: "Obviously I'm gutted for Frank, he's an ex-team-mate of mine, someone I respect greatly.

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    Former Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain boss Thomas Tuchel is poised to replace Lampard at Stamford Bridge.

    Gerrard, meanwhile, is closing in on a first Scottish Premiership title and has also led Rangers into the Europa League knockout stages.

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