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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Arsenal boss questions Chelsea spending spree

Arsene Wenger has called in to doubt the validity of title rivals Chelsea’s deadline day transfers. The West London club sparked a late flurry of activity in the January transfer window meant Liverpool’s Fernando Torres and Benfica’s David Luiz will wear Chelsea football shirts for a combined total of around £75 million, just days after announcing a £70.1 million loss for 2010.

Now the Arsenal boss feels Chelsea have contravened UEFA’s soon to be imposed financial fair-play rules after owner Roman Abramovich publicly backed them.
“Chelsea supported Uefa's financial fair-play proposals but in the morning they announced a £70m loss and in the afternoon they buy £75m worth of players. Where's the logic in that?” Wenger said after his sides 2-1 victory over Everton.

“It's hard to guess. Officially they vote for financial fair play but they can explain why they have done this much better than I can.” He added.

UEFA’s President Michel Platini hopes the Financial Fair-Play directive will help reign in spending and stop clubs going into administration by bringing spending into line with profits. From the 2012 season, teams such as Manchester City and Chelsea will have to demonstrate they can balance their books properly - or face sanctions. In October Manchester City announced losses of £121 million thanks to their exploits in the transfer market, but have pledged they will not fall foul of the directive once it comes into action.

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has signalled his intent with the signings of Torres and Luiz, after being reluctant to open his cheque book in previous seasons and Wenger believes his spending spree will continue.

“Abramovich was a bit in no man's land where nobody could guess if he wanted to still invest or not. He has been like that for a long time but that has changed. He has decided to put big money in again and that tells you in the summer more will come. He is back to full investment.” He said.

Chelsea sparked their title challenge back into life last night with a 4-2 victory over Sunderland – the team that inflicted a damaging 3-1 win over Ancelotti’s side earlier in the season. Their next game is against Liverpool, which sets up the intriguing prospect of new signing Torres’s first game coming against his old side.

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