Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has labelled the Premier League's new squad rules "ridiculous" and "a disaster for this country".

The boards of the 20 Premier League clubs last year unanimously agreed that squads should be limited to 25 players, eight of which must be 'home-grown' in order to assist the England team.

Quoted in several national newspapers, he said: "Instead of asking 'we have the best league in the world, how can we make it greater?' they wonder 'how can we make it smaller?'"

Wenger added: "The rules they decide are a disaster for this country. Ridiculous. They are all artificial and have nothing to do with top-level sport."

Wenger, who has introduced the likes of Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira and Cesc Fabregas to the Premier League during his 14-year spell with the north London club, continued: "You have as many foreign players in Spain as in England.

"You can sign players from all over the world in Spain. Why do they still produce players and we do not? It's down to the coaching.

"I've been educating players since I was 25 and I know one rule. The first thing you do to develop a player is to put him with another good player. If you are a great player, you want to play with great players."

The Frenchman reckons the home-grown rule gives too much power to players and their agents and will lead to an increase in financial demands which are already "paralysing the market".

He added: "I read that (Stephen) Ireland wants to go only if Man City gives him £2million. That's because the new rules transform, even more, the agents into mercenaries. It is absolutely ridiculous and it is paralysing the market.

"Nobody buys. It is a joke. But they will create more rules like that, the home-grown rule, which is rubbish. It is not linked with quality. Do you really think it will remain the best league in the world? No chance."

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