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Page last updated at 23:03 GMT, Thursday, 5 February 2009

Clubs satisfied on Arshavin deal

By Nigel Pankhurst

Andrey Arshavin
Arshavin starred in Russia's run to the semi-finals at Euro 2008

All 20 Premier League clubs are satisfied Andrey Arshavin's transfer to Arsenal was above board.

The Russian playmaker moved from Zenit St Petersburg on Tuesday, almost 24 hours after the transfer window closed.

But BBC Sport has been told there were no complaints over the deal at a meeting of Premier League chairmen.

Premier League spokesman Dan Johnson said: "There was no extension to the transfer window because all the paperwork was in on time."

Premier League rules say its board can ratify a transfer at its discretion as long as all the relevant documentation is lodged before the window closes.

Johnson told BBC Sport: "We clarified the process ahead of the meeting and the clubs were entirely satisfied."

There had been speculation other clubs could complain about the deal, particularly Aston Villa, who are rivalling the Gunners for a Champions League place.

However, there was no disagreement at the quarterly meeting of Premier League shareholders - the club chairmen and chief executives - at the Churchill Hotel in London on Thursday.

Hull City chairman Paul Duffen said although the transfer window was not on the agenda, it was discussed informally among his counterparts.

He said: "I think the general feeling is that it doesn't work, and I think there'll be an appropriate time to have that debate but it wasn't had today.

"Obviously it's part of a delicate relationship between the English leagues and Fifa, so its something that could only really be changed by a sort of gentlemen's agreement at this stage or by a dialogue with other authorities and moving towards a new situation."

Arshavin, 27, agreed what Arsenal described as a "long-term" deal on Monday for an undisclosed fee.

Zenit have put the move at about 15m on a three-and-a-half-year contract, although there has been no comment from the Gunners.

Final confirmation of the move was held up while the Premier League assessed whether all the necessary paperwork had been completed before the deadline.

Arshavin could make his debut in Sunday's north London derby at Tottenham but Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger will assess his fitness, given that the Russian domestic season finished in November.

Meanwhile, Russia coach Guus Hiddink has said Arshavin will be allowed to miss the national team's training camp next week to help his acclimatisation to English football.

Arshavin starred for Russia at Euro 2008 and was key in Zenit's Uefa Cup success last season.

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see also
Arshavin completes Arsenal move
03 Feb 09 |  Arsenal
Arshavin's Spurs move 'ruled out'
29 Aug 08 |  Tottenham

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