Arsene Wenger: Arsenal boss says Europe’s ‘big five’ leagues ‘being destroyed’

Competition in Europe’s biggest leagues is being “destroyed” by clubs who have “huge financial power”, says Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger.

Frenchman Wenger pointed to examples in France, Germany, England and Spain.

Paris St-Germain are 11 points clear in Ligue 1, Bayern Munich have a 16-point advantage in the Bundesliga and Manchester City are 15 points ahead at the top of the Premier League.

Wenger said it was clear that “unpredictability has gone down”.

He added: “When you look at the five big leagues in Europe, in December we already knew four champions.

“That means something is not right in our game. The huge financial power of some clubs is basically destroying the competition.”

In Spain, Barcelona have an 11-point lead over Atletico Madrid. Defending champions Real Madrid – suffering a surprisingly difficult season – are 19 points behind Barca in fourth place.

The other league that usually figures in Europe’s ‘top five’ is Italy – where Napoli are a point ahead of Juventus, title winners in the past six seasons.

Frenchman Wenger was speaking two days after transfer spending in the Premier League again reached record levels.

Clubs in England’s top flight spent £150m on Wednesday – the closing day of the winter transfer window – taking their outlay for the month to £430m.

Following the close of the summer transfer window in September, Wenger said Uefa’s Financial Fair Play rules – introduced to prevent so-called ‘financial doping’ – should be scrapped because clubs are “not respecting” them.

PSG more than doubled the world record transfer fee when they bought Neymar from Barcelona last summer, also signing Kylian Mbappe on loan in a deal that is expected to see him join for £165.7m at the end of the season.

Manchester City were accused of ‘financial doping’ by La Liga president Javier Tebas, who also said PSG were “laughing at the system” with their summer buys.


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