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Page last updated at 22:16 GMT, Wednesday, 8 October 2008 23:16 UK

Platini attacks top-flight set-up

Michel Platini
Platini was elected Uefa president in January 2007

Uefa president Michel Platini has launched a scathing attack on the influx of foreign owners in the Premier League over the last few years.

He said: "If you bring people from Qatar and there is no-one from Liverpool or Manchester at the club, where is Liverpool or Manchester?

"I think it is not good. I think the Qataris should invest in Qatar.

"They should develop the football in each country. Can we do something against it? I will try to."

Nine of the 20 English Premier League clubs have foreign owners.

Manchester City are the latest Premier League side to have been taken over after Thaksin Shinawatra sold the club to Abu Dhabi United Group, which is backed by Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Concerned by the influx of foreign owners and players to the Premier League, Platini believes the balance has tipped too far in England.

He continued: "Do you want in Liverpool an Arab sheikh as president with one Brazilian coach and nine or 11 African players?

One player aged 11 is coming from Marseille to Chelsea. For the mother you think that is good?

Uefa president Michel Platini

"Where is Liverpool in that? We have to make some rules.

"What is football? Football is a game and this game has become popular because of the identity.

"You have to have identity, that is where football's popularity lies."

Platini also revealed Uefa would look at ways of introducing Europe-wide regulations.

"Can we do something against it? I will try to do something, I am not sure it will be possible to do that but I have to see European law, English law, French, German, Russian, Ukrainian, many."

The former French playmaker also criticised English clubs for poaching under-age players from abroad as he stressed the need to "control the transfer of minors".

"When you buy Ronaldo or Pele or Maradona or Robinho, I have no problem. But when you buy players at 13, 14 or 15 years, I don't like that," he said.

"One player aged 11 is coming from Marseille to Chelsea. For the mother you think that is good?"

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see also
FA chief fears '3bn' club debts
07 Oct 08 |  Football
Uefa could ban debt-ridden clubs
08 Oct 08 |  Football
Man City buyers complete takeover
23 Sep 08 |  Man City
Platini fears for game's future
31 Mar 04 |  African

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