Former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger believes that Financial Fair Play (FFP) should be reformed.
Speaking exclusively to L’Équipe, the now Head of Football Development at FIFA, questioned whether the regulations concerned with FFP are fit for purpose, and should be adapted to allow greater opportunities for outside investment.
He said: “I am in favour of measures that reinforce checks around club management, over measures that restrict and limit.
The crux of the 70-year-old’s argument is that the current system favours established clubs that grew before FFP was brought in.
He explains: “We should value quality management and encourage it. And I am in favour of opening things up to more investment, which FFP does not allow for. The clubs that dominate Europe today are those that were built and made investments during an era where FFP did not exist.
It remains to be seen what effect the coronavirus pandemic will have on football as a whole. With a genuine concern that only the very wealthiest clubs will come out of it relatively unscathed, and lower league clubs’ futures on the line, Wenger’s comments come at a time when clubs face an uncertain immediate future.
He continued: “These rules have fixed a hierarchy, the big historical clubs are bigger and bigger and, obviously, they are all fighting for FFP rules to be scrupulously applied to the others so that competitors can’t come through.
“Controlling club management rigorously, yes, verifying where funds are coming from, yes, but we need to encourage people to invest in football. FFP must become more flexible and facilitate investment.”
Wenger was appointed to his role by FIFA in November 2019. Upon the announcement of his new role Wenger stated: “I believe that the new Fifa we have seen emerging in recent years has the sport itself at the very heart of its objectives and is determined to develop the game in its many different components. I know I can contribute to this objective and will put all my energy into this.”