Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has questioned whether Frank Lampard’s loan move from New York City to Manchester City is a bid to evade UEFA’s Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules, reports BBC
City failed to meet the FFP criteria last season, and were one of several clubs, including big-spending Paris Saint-Germain, to receive sanctions from European football’s governing body including fines and restrictions on wage budget and size of playing squad.
Lampard left Chelsea following the expiry of his contract this summer after 13 trophy-laden seasons at Stamford Bridge, and signed for New York City, the MLS franchise owned by Manchester City.
He has been immediately loaned to Manchester City for the six month period until the new MLS season starts, and crucially will count as one of the five homegrown players that City need as a minimum in their Champions League squad.
It is said that City will pay all of Lampard’s wages while he is in Manchester, and Wenger is concerned that they may be attempted to bypass the FFP rules.
“Is it a way to get around the fair play? I don’t know,” said Wenger, speaking of City’s expansionist activities. “It looks like all of these ‘City’ clubs will feed the main club Manchester City – I heard they want to buy five clubs all over the world.”
New York City’s other marquee signing for their debut season is the Spanish international David Villa, who will play for the next six months with the group’s Australian franchise Melbourne City.
“At the moment the players they sign cannot play until next year so they will register them in the other clubs and can get out on loan,” said Wenger.
Confirming that Arsenal had no plans to follow a similar franchise model, Wenger continued: “We are happy to dedicate the money to just run our club – there is not a lot of surplus to run other clubs.”
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