SportSoccer

Arsene Wenger rejects calls to reduce ticket prices

SoccerBy Sunday World
Wenger wants money spent on players and not trimming ticket costs
Wenger wants money spent on players and not trimming ticket costs

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has claimed that Premier League clubs should use the influx of cash from the fresh TV deal to sign star players rather than reduce ticket prices for fans.

Arsenal fans have expressed frustration at the club's decision to charge a surplus on season tickets for fans attending the Champions League game against Barcelona later this month.

Meanwhile, Liverpool fans are set to make a protest against ticket prices in their game against Sunderland at Anfield on Saturday.

Yet Wenger offered up what many will view as a contentious view on how clubs should invest the fresh cash coming into their coffers from what could be an £8billion TV deal that will start next season.

"We are a company who on one side want you (the fans) to buy more players," said the Arsenal boss.

"What will happen is the prices of the players will go up and you will need this supplement of money coming in to buy new players.

"I believe that the pressure on spending the money will become bigger and you cannot necessarily distribute the money to other people.

"What we do, we stabilise our prices to give access to other players and we have stabilised now for many years."

Wenger pointed to the vast amounts of money now being spent on players in China as evidence that the Premier League could fall behind if it does not continue to bring in new talent.

Ramires last month joined Jiangsu Suning for a reported fee of around £25million, with Liverpool target Alex Teixeira following suit for a fee believed to be in the region of £38million soon after Colombia striker Jackson Martinez had signed for Guangzhou Evergrande in a £31.7million transfer as the league spent almost £200million. China's transfer window remains open until February 26.

Chelsea midfielder Oscar was another reported target for Jiangsu, supposedly attracting a huge bid, and Wenger admits the new trend of spending in the Far East could be a concern and drive up the cost of players across the globe.

Asked if the amount Chinese clubs are able to spend on transfers is a worry to the Premier League, the Frenchman replied:

"Yes, of course, because China looks to have the financial power to move a whole league of Europe to China.

"We are long enough in this job to know that it's just a consequence of economic power, and they have that.

"Will they sustain their desire to do it? Let's remember, a few years ago, Japan started to do it and slowed down after. I don't know how deep the desire in China is, but if there's a very strong political desire, we should worry.

"I believe that anyway the inflation is on our doors with the next TV deal in the summer - it will move up again the transfer prices. I am sure that soon the £100million (transfer fee) will be easy to reach."