Football

Chief has mixed feelings over investment

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Asian Football Confederation president Mohamed bin Hammam feels UEFA chief Michel Platini has "some ground" for concern over the influx of foreign owners into the Premier League.

The Abu Dhabi United Group's takeover of Manchester City in August was the latest in a line of deals which has seen Britain's top sides sell out to overseas investors.

"Coming from Asia, from a different culture, where these things never existed, it seems strange to have foreign ownership of clubs and huge debts. This is a new vocabulary for us," Bin Hammam said at a media briefing in London on Thursday.

"Michel has raised it and it is his continent. A continent which is leading the way. Maybe he has some ground with that.

"Absolutely I would prefer the money to be invested in Asian clubs - but business people are looking for business opportunities.

"We don't have much world-class football to be invested in. In the future I hope we will."

Platini, the former France international, claims clubs are losing their identity as a result of all the foreign investment.

Platini added: "Can we do something against it? I will try to," he added.

"What is football? Football is a game and this game has become popular because of the identity. You have to have identity, that is where football's popularity lies."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2008, All Rights Reserved.

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Topics:
Football
Manchester City
Premier League

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