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Chelsea Financial Record Angers Wenger

At a press conference Monday that was supposed to be about Arsenal's preparation for Tuesday's second round Champions League clash with PSV Eindhoven, Manager Arsene Wenger expressed a deeper concern for the fact that Chelsea is allowed to operate at a loss of $156 million because it has a billionaire owner. Unfortunately for Wenger, this is a trend that could easily continue as more foreign investors swoop in to buy Premiership clubs.

"They have a super sponsor," he said of Chelsea, adding that a club's finances should be balanced with its natural resources. "With normal mathematics, minus 80 is minus 80. It is 80 miles below water, and to survive so deep is normally very difficult. But if you have a support, that allows them to do it. The rules allow them to do it.

Nevertheless, it should be noted that many English lose money, including Liverpool, whose debt was assumed by the American duo George Gillett and Tom Hicks when they took the club two weeks ago. Wenger believes the rich-poor divide wouldn't be as wide in the EPL if club spending were pegged to financial performance. "Is it right for any business, not only in football, to have that kind of artificial income?" he asked. "And, secondly, it makes a club dependent or reliant on only one man."

Read the whole story at Times Online »

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