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Page last updated at 19:58 GMT, Thursday, 11 September 2008 20:58 UK

Foreign investment worries Wenger

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger
Wenger is concerned that clubs could lose their community roots

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes football is in danger of becoming destabilised by the amount of outside investment coming into the game.

The Frenchman insists clubs must operate within the financial limits of the business rather than delving into the pockets of wealthy owners.

"If you push that too far, there are no rules any more," said Wenger.

"Once you get to the prices mentioned in the media, where is the logic? There is too much destabilisation."

With Manchester City now backed by the seemingly bottomless pockets of the Abu Dhabi United Group, the powerbase of spending power in the Premier League has shifted.

The deadline day swoop for Robinho from Real Madrid for a British record transfer fee proved as much as City beat Chelsea to his signature.

The Brazil international had appeared set to move to Stamford Bridge until City hijacked the deal at the last minute.

And Robinho appeared to have been as confused as anyone when he mistakenly referred to his new club as Chelsea in a news conference shortly after signing for City.

Wenger said: "What is worrying for me is that a player signs somewhere and then the next day he does not even know where he has signed. You cannot say that is a good trend.

"Football is not a supermarket, we have to all understand that."

Real Madrid's long-running pursuit of Manchester United winger Cristiano Ronaldo has also come in for criticism from Wenger.

"You cannot come out and say 'we pay 250,000-a-week to Ronaldo and 135million', when the player has a six-year contract with Manchester United," he said.

"It is not possible or acceptable.

"There is money in the game, and I take it in a positive way - but the football bodies have to make sure that money is ruled properly and used well for the ethics of the game.

"I always did fight for my whole life for the players to make as much money as possible, but you also have to respect what football is.

"It came out from the roots of the country through local communities who identified themselves with their team, and we have to be careful not to destroy that."

see also
Concerns raised on club ownership
11 Sep 08 |  Football
Robinho makes Man City move gaffe
04 Sep 08 |  Man City
Levy calls for transfers review
03 Sep 08 |  Tottenham
Man City beat Chelsea to Robinho
01 Sep 08 |  Man City
Man Utd complete Berbatov switch
01 Sep 08 |  Man Utd
Ex-Thai PM steps up Man City bid
01 May 07 |  Man City

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