Arsenal boss Wenger: Huge fees have turned football crazy

The Gunners' boss has criticised the big spending of clubs like French side PSG, claiming that transfers such as the £36m deal for Lucas Moura could harm football irrevocably
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has lashed out at Europe's big-spending clubs and called for tighter financial controls, declaring that sides such as Paris Saint-Germain have distorted the market with huge fees.

The Gunners' manager is well-known for his prudent approach to spending on both transfer fees and wages, but is frustrated at the manner in which certain clubs – particularly the Qatari-backed French side – went about their business this summer, claiming that it will harm the whole of football in the long-term.

"In the end, football suffers. Look at what happened in the transfer market this summer. PSG are ambitious, they have resources, there you go," he told the Daily Mail.
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"When someone [PSG] pays £36 million for a boy of 19 [Lucas Moura] you have to say football has become crazy."

Wenger did dip into the transfer market himself this summer, with some substantial buys in anticipation of the loss of star striker Robin van Persie to Manchester United, bringing in FC Koln striker Lukas Podolski for a rumoured £10 million, and Montpellier's Olivier Giroud for £12m.

However, the 62-year-old feels that without clubs looking to balance their books, dark times may lie ahead for the game.

"We always say the same thing. Europe, it's like the Titanic. But we carry on as if nothing matters.

"More than ever, we need to manage our clubs in a controlled way because otherwise everyone suffers."

With Uefa recently implementing Financial Fair Play rules by withholding European prize money from 23 clubs, Wenger is hopeful that clubs will begin to compete on a more level playing field.

However, he criticised Manchester City's recently-announced £400m-a-year sponsorship from Etihad Airways, claiming that the huge deal may simply be an attempt to artificially inflate City's income.

"If the sponsorship deals are just a way of getting around financial fair play, then it's not financial fair play," he told reporters.