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Platini attacks influence of foreign money interests
International Herald Tribune, September 25th, 2007 4:15PM



Can Michel Platini, the president of UEFA, stop what he calls "the malign and ever-present influence of money" that is distorting sporting values in European soccer?

Rob Hughes of the International Herald Tribune says Platini's bid to stop business tycoons from taking over clubs as business transactions without any allegiance or historical ties to the country in which they perform is naive. The situation at hand concerns the English Premier League, where nine of the 20 clubs are foreign-owned and others are targets of foreign investors.

Hughes says the move to stop foreign ownership in the EPL is about four years and more than $4 billion too late. If there was a time for action,  it was in 2003, when Roman Abramovich bought Chelsea. One politician, the former sports minister and Chelsea fan, Tony Banks, raised concerns about a Russian buying "his" club. Nothing was done then.

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