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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has accused the powers that be at the world's richest clubs of dealing in a manner that is detrimental to the greater good of football.

Despite his best efforts, it has been a typically fraught summer for Arsenal so far, with three experienced midfielders having left in Gilberto Silva (to Panathinaikos), Alexander Hleb (to Barcelona) and Mathieu Flamini (to AC Milan), and with constant speculation surrounding the future of striker Emmanuel Adebayor.

All of these players, barring perhaps Gilberto, seemed perfectly happy at the Emirates until European football's biggest spenders started courting them with the promise of more glitz, glam and glory.

Although he would have had more than enough of his own personal examples to drawn on, Wenger pointed to Manchester United's difficulty in beating off the advances of Real Madrid as proof of that football is beginning to lose all scruples.

"If you don't show respect to other clubs I think that football is moving in the wrong way," he told the latest edition of the official Arsenal magazine.

"You cannot come out like Calderon has done at Real Madrid with Manchester United and tell them you cannot stop a player from leaving.

"You can destabilise any player in the world - that is irresponsible.

"These are big clubs that should be setting an example to others," he added.

"I believe that football now is at the stage where it has become a world sport and the big clubs should have values and vision and set an example.

"If we do not do that in football, then we do not understand the responsibilities that we have."

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Dean555 said:
"I believe that football now is at the stage where it has become a world sport and the big clubs should have values and vision and set an example.
What was it before, if not a global sport?

Rather than 'becoming' international, football has become increasingly capitalistic, for better or worse, over the past ten or fifteen years. There is nothing so holy or sacred in football today, as is money; and unfortunately, 'ethics' will always consist of what is good for the bottom line.

The key to understanding Wenger, is to consider that he is an educated engineer who perceives the smallest details, and who speaks in nuanced ways. What he sometimes fails to see, however, is the overall scheme of things. In this case, he is correct in saying that there is a certain ethic which the transfer dealings of certain clubs lack; but it is an ethic which cannot exist in a world whose main purpose is competition and the swallowing of opponents.

To convince Madrid or Barcelona, Chelsea or Manchester United, to cease doing what is in their power to convince the best players of other clubs to join them, is to convince them to contemplate ceasing to be competitive.

In order for Wenger's idea of 'respect' to fully pan out, football must turn into a world which is more or less free of great financial gain, thus undermining the desire and need of clubs to win major trophies. His schema can only work on a smalltime level, or in a utopia where only beauty and artistry are the goals of sport, and glory is won for the sake of itself.
 

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OlesBodyguard said:
What was it before, if not a global sport?

Rather than 'becoming' international, football has become increasingly capitalistic, for better or worse, over the past ten or fifteen years. There is nothing so holy or sacred in football today, as is money; and unfortunately, 'ethics' will always consist of what is good for the bottom line.

The key to understanding Wenger, is to consider that he is an educated engineer who perceives the smallest details, and who speaks in nuanced ways. What he sometimes fails to see, however, is the overall scheme of things. In this case, he is correct in saying that there is a certain ethic which the transfer dealings of certain clubs lack; but it is an ethic which cannot exist in a world whose main purpose is competition and the swallowing of opponents.

To convince Madrid or Barcelona, Chelsea or Manchester United, to cease doing what is in their power to convince the best players of other clubs to join them, is to convince them to contemplate ceasing to be competitive.

In order for Wenger's idea of 'respect' to fully pan out, football must turn into a world which is more or less free of great financial gain, thus undermining the desire and need of clubs to win major trophies. His schema can only work on a smalltime level, or in a utopia where only beauty and artistry are the goals of sport, and glory is won for the sake of itself.
I would tend to agree with that.

Nothing more to add really.

Great post.
 

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Football and business should be miles apart - it's a sport for enjoyment, and capitalism has taken advantage of it (as it does with so many other things!).
 
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