Wenger: FFP never worked completely

Following Uefa president Michel Platini’s claim that Financial Fair Play is set to be changed, the Arsenal boss believes the rules were not as effective as they could have been

Arsene Wenger is not surprised that Uefa is planning to relax its Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations, claiming that the system has “never worked completely”.

European football’s governing body introduced FFP as a way of preventing clubs from spending beyond their means, with fines imposed on teams found to be in breach, with likes of Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and Inter falling foul of the rules in the past 12 months..

However, on Monday Uefa president Michel Platini revealed that the rules are likely to be relaxed in the future, although he did not go into specific detail and Wenger, who has been a long-time advocate of ensuring teams do not overspend, believes FFP has not worked.

“It will not affect us at all because we always spend the money we have,” he told reporters. “There were some clubs who never respected FFP and it looks like international pressure to make the rules more flexible because of potential investors in other countries.

“The TV contract [for Premier League rights] in England has pushed some other clubs in Europe to make it better for them to compete. I believe it’s down to potential investment of English clubs.

“It never worked completely. It had a positive influence on some aspects of the job but it was never completely in place. The only thing you can say is before it was completely in place it is already changed.

“Uefa does not have the same power as it had 10 to15 years ago because everything can be challenged and that makes it more difficult for rigid rules because there is always a contradiction of freedom of investment under European rules. Very intelligent people work on that problem.

“At the start to me it looked very logical and easy to apply but when wanted to push it in it was more difficult. They took investment in the youth system out of FFP and it created huge investment in the youth system and the wages came up as well.”

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