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Politics has no place in football, warns Wenger over MPs’ report

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. Photo: Chris Ison/PA Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. Photo: Chris Ison/PA

Tuesday, January 29, 2013
11:02 AM

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has warned that politics should not be allowed to rule football after the game’s authorities were handed an ultimatum to reform by MPs.

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The culture, media and sport select committee report into football governance said it has been “very disappointed” by the authorities’ response to its proposals.

Sports minister Hugh Robertson warned further reforms were needed or would be forced through by legislation.

But Wenger preached a cautious approach to government involvement.

He said: “There’s two things. That the Government wants clear rules for football to be managed, I agree completely. But politics rule football, I am not for it.

“Football, for me, is a company like any company who is in entertainment and has to be managed in a clear way.

“I always defended that. Government has a view on that and how it has to be managed and how the sustainability of the club is of course supported. That’s very important.

“But apart from that it has to be managed in an independent way.

“I think, personally, the real pride of a football club is to be independent.”

The MPs claimed the Premier League is wielding too great an influence over the FA, that fans are excluded from decision-making, and that clubs should adhere to financial rules, regulated by an FA licensing system, to prevent financial risk-taking.

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