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English clubs can rule soccer

14 February 2015, 17:06

London - The Premier League's £5bn (about R90bn) television deal will enable English clubs to dominate European football once again, says Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.

Sky Sports, the pay-TV channel, has agreed to spend £4.2bn(about R75bn) to show 126 live Premier League matches a season from 2016 to 2019, while rival BT will pay £960m (about R17bn) to show 42 games a season.

Only Chelsea and Manchester United have won the Champions League in the last 10 years, but Wenger expects Premier League clubs to splash the extra cash far and wide as they have the power to "attract who they want".

English players

"It makes the clubs in a bigger, stronger financial position all over Europe," the Frenchman, who became the first Premier League manager to select a team without a single English player in 2005, told reporters.

"It will contribute to get the best players all over the world to come to England. The movement of the players is always linked with the economical and financial power in the countries.

"When I was a coach in Monaco we bought the English players because we were the first to have the television money. Today the biggest financial power is in England and the best players come to England."

Present deal

West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce meanwhile defended the Premier League from criticism that not enough of the cash was being passed on to grassroots football.

"Fingers have been pointed at the Premier League and their commitment to grassroots football but, over the present deal, they are donating

£56m (about R10bn) a year to exactly that cause," Allardyce told the London Evening Standard.

"Let's not forget that provision for grassroots sport is principally a government responsibility - rather than an obligation for the Premier League," he added.

- Reuters


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