Published On: Thu, Aug 3rd, 2017

'It is out of control' – Arsene Wenger condemns Neymar world record transfer


After a day of haggling, Barcelona finally accepted the £198m that triggered Neymar’s release clause from the player’s legal team themselves last night, and the Brazilian was released by the Catalan club to complete his mind boggling world record deal.

Neymar, who has signed a five year contract with Qatari-owned PSG, has already passed a medical and is due to be presented to fans in Paris today.

The 25 year old is reportedly keen to play in PSG’s opening Ligue 1 game against Amiens tomorrow.

The Brazilian superstar will earn an eye-watering £537,000 a week at PSG.

Wenger, whose Arsenal team face Chelsea in Community Shield season opening game on Sunday at Wembley, said the deal showed what could happen when countries own clubs, as he claimed: “It is beyond calculation and beyond rationality. 

“You cannot rationalise the numbers anymore. The inflation is accelerating. We crossed the £100m line last year and only one year later, we’re crossing the £200m line. 

“When you think that Trevor Francis was the first £1m player (in 1979) – and that looked unreasonable, that shows you how big football has become. 

“Ownerships have completely changed the whole landscape of football in the last 15 years. Once a country owns a club, everything is possible. It becomes very difficult to respect Financial Fair Play.” 

He warned: “This will have consequences. Clubs, when Barcelona will want to buy a player, will say, ‘My friends, you have £250m, so what cost £15m today will cost £100m for them. 

“We still live with rationality. We are not the only ones – 99 per cent of clubs do that. We cannot compete at that level.

“You don’t look at the numbers in their absolute value anymore. Football has been for a long time out of normal society. The numbers are like the bastketball in the NBA in the USA. It’s not comparable to normal life anymore. It was already out of context of society. You cannot calculate what it brings in anymore, it’s just a number.

“Today the price of a player depends on the financial potential of the buyer.” 

PSG are owned by Oryx Qatar Sports Investments. Their President Nasser Al-Khelaifi was congratulated by France President Emmanuel Macron at a charity event yesterday.

Doubts about the move were raised yesterday when La Liga refused to accept the payment from PSG to trigger the clause, before Barcelona themselves announced in a statement that they had accepted the offer.

The Catalan giants said: “On Thursday, Neymar Jr’s legal representatives visited the club’s offices and made the payment of 222m euros in the player’s name with regards to the unilateral termination of the contract.

“The club will pass on to UEFA details of the operation so they can determine the disciplinary responsibilities that may arise.”


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