The former Arsenal boss has warned that the country’s entire footballing culture faces being squandered by unscrupulous investors
Arsene Wenger has warned of the perils of top French clubs being sold to foreign investors, arguing that many do not have the best interests of the club at heart.
Bordeaux are a prime example, with the supporters in open war with American owners King Street due to the running of their club, while Ligue 2 side Sochaux have failed to flourish in the promised manner after being sold to a group from China.
Meanwhile, Marseille might have finished second in Ligue 1 last term after being brought by American Frank McCourt, but a lack of investment in the playing staff means that many fans feel their relative success is not sustainable.
Speaking to BeIN Sports, Wenger backed up the viewpoint that selling clubs to rich foreigners will not necessarily guarantee success and may even be against the best interests of Ligue 1 teams.
“Unfortunately, I think we’re witnessing a reverse phenomenon today,” he said. “For example, take French clubs. They are gradually falling into hands of people who are not real builders for the future of the club, but rather investors who are seeking to earn money very quickly.
“And we can see in France today that there are a lot of problems at this level because the clubs are dissatisfied. Supporters feel that the primary goal is not to build a good team but to achieve financial gain.”
Wenger, who is now installed in a role as FIFA’s director of football development, has argued that measures must be taken in France in a bid to prevent unscrupulous individuals or conglomerates from taking charge.
“Perhaps we should create a Club Purchasing Ethics Commission to see what the real intentions of the people who buy are clubs are,” the legendary former Monaco and Arsenal manager considered.
“You can’t squander a country’s footballing culture simply for financial reasons.”
This topic remains a hot one in France, with Toulouse set to be sold to an American group following their relegation from Ligue 1, while rumours continue to simmer that Marseille may be sold to a Saudi Arabian investor in the near future.