Football

Platini backtracks over Wenger comments

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Michel Platini has admitted he has been "too harsh" on Arsene Wenger - and revealed his father had scolded him for going over the top in his criticism of the Arsenal manager.

The UEFA president said Wenger had a business rather than a football mentality. Now he has backtracked after his father Aldo, a former mentor of Wenger's at French club Nancy, stepped in.

Platini, in Bordeaux for a meeting of UEFA's executive committee, told local newspaper Sud Ouest: "I have been too harsh on Arsene. I have been told off by my father who set him on his way at Nancy."

Wenger had said he was surprised at how "aggressive" Platini had been, but Platini again called on top clubs like Arsenal to show restraint in recruiting young players from abroad.

He added: "When I talk about business what I am talking about is recruiting players when they are 13 or 14. I can't stand it."

Meanwhile, Platini is attempting to set up a financial control board within European football's governing body after being alerted by the "worrying" trend of foreign ownership of Premier League clubs.

Manchester City are the latest English outfit to be bought out by foreign investors, the Abu Dhabi United Group completing their takeover of the club on Tuesday.

The likes of Manchester United, Aston Villa, Liverpool and Chelsea are already owned by overseas businessmen and Platini, European football's supremo, has decided to act.

He is trying to establish a European equivalent to France's National Board of Control and Management (DNCG), an association that acts as the country's 'financial policeman' in professional football.

"I am worried by this, of course," he told French newspaper Sud Ouest. "I am trying to alert the authorities but this is the liberalism of the English - what can we do? On the other hand, I am in the process of working to put in place a European DNCG. I have meetings lined up with experts to find out what paths we can take."

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Topics:
Arsenal
Football
Manchester City
Chelsea
Premier League
Manchester United
Aston Villa
Liverpool

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