Arsene Wenger: Neymar Deal Outside “Normal Life” and “Normal Society”



Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger joined the chorus of big six English Premier League club managers speaking out against the sale of Neymar from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain. The Parisian outfit have no problem in more than DOUBLING the world record transfer fee Manchester United paid for Paul Pogba just one summer ago.

Neymar cost PSG £200.6 million ($263.5m, €222m), and that’s an extraordinary amount when you consider the 47 year old French club is valued at 775 million Euro according to Forbes.


Liverpool Manager Jurgen Klopp said he hopes the Neymar deal proves to be an exception, not the rule. He also questioned the strength of the UEFA financial fair play rule, wondering if it truly had any teeth. Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho said he had no problem with the Neymar fee, but said that there would be consequences for PSG later. Arsene Wenger added his criticisms to the pile, stating his belief that the Neymar deal is “beyond rationality” and “beyond calculation.”

“For me, it is the consequence of the ownerships and that has completely changed the whole landscape of football in the last 15 years,” Wenger said at a news conference ahead of the Community Shield Sunday against arch-rivals Chelsea.

“Once a country owns a club, everything is possible. It becomes very difficult to respect the financial fair play because you can have different ways or different interests for a country to have such a big player to represent a country. It can’t justify the investments and looks unusual for the game.”


“Apart from that, we are not in a period any more where you think, in some places: ‘If I invest that, I will get that back.’ We are beyond that. The number today involves a lot of passion, pride, public interest and you cannot rationalise that any more.”

“It also looks like 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 (Birmingham City sale to Nottingham Forest in 1979) and that looked unreasonable, it shows you how much distance and how far we have come, how big football has become.”

“It’s beyond calculation and beyond rationality. You don’t look at the numbers in their absolute value any more.”

The “country owns a club” that Arsene Wenger refers to is Qatar Sports Investments, which is basically the federal government of Qatar. QSI became the majority shareholder of the Ligue 1 club in 2011.


Arsene Wenger was not done raging against this powerful machine. The exorbitant salaries being paid out to big name star athletes has been a major talking point for decades, but now the stakes have been raised to a level that’s very much out of what. The normal everyday person just can’t relate to insane numbers like the ones being reported on sports news sites everyday.

Wenger addressed this: “Football has been for a long time out of normal society and the numbers are like the NBA in basketball, so it’s not comparable to normal life anymore.”

“It was already out of context of society so, after, it just becomes a bit extra. You cannot calculate what it brings in anymore. It’s just a number. We still live with rationality. We are not the only ones. I think 99 percent of the clubs do that but, of course, we cannot compete at that level.”

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“Today, a player is worth what the club can afford to spend and I would say that the price of a player depends on the identity of the buyer. You cannot put it in the context of the market. It is the financial potential of the buyer that decides the price of the player.”

Arsene Wenger referenced NBA basketball, and on July 8, 2017, James Harden signed a four-year contract extension with the Houston Rockets for approximately $160 million, giving him a total six-year deal with $228 million guaranteed—the richest contract in NBA history.

At the time, this deal dominated all the talk of the sports world during that specific news cycle.


Yet it was still $45,000,000 cheaper than the Neymar deal.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC and Chicago, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV

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