image

English Premier League 2015-16

China’s cash is a threat to Premier League, warns Arsenal boss Wenger

Manager wary with Chinese Super League clubs on a spending spree

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 06 February, 2016, 10:39am
UPDATED : Saturday, 06 February, 2016, 10:48am

Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger warned on Friday of the growing threat facing the Premier League posed by the cashed-up Chinese Super League in the wake of a record spending spree.

Brazilian midfielder Alex Teixeira became China’s third record signing in just over a week after Jiangsu Suning forked out 50 million euros (HK$434 million) to sign him from Shakhtar Donetsk.

The move came just three days after Guangzhou Evergrande snapped up Atletico Madrid’s Jackson Martinez for 42 million euros, and nine days after Jiangsu’s 28-million-euro purchase of Ramires from Chelsea.

The hat-trick of record deals pushed China’s spending in its current transfer period, which closes on February 26, to 258.9 million euros, higher than the 247.3 million euros spent by English clubs in January, according to to the transfermarkt website which tracks the sport’s commercial dealings.

China looks to have the financial power to move a whole league of Europe to China
Arsene Wenger

Asked if the Premier League should be worried by China’s spending power, Wenger responded: “Yes, of course. Because China looks to have the financial power to move a whole league of Europe to China.

“We are long enough in this job to know that it’s just a consequence of economic power and they have that.

READ MORE: How Alibaba aims to transform China’s sports market – and help bring the World Cup to the country

“Will they sustain their desire to do it? Let’s remember, a few years ago, Japan started to do it and slowed down after.

“I don’t know how deep the desire in China is, but if there’s a very strong political desire, we should worry.”

Wenger also predicted the Chinese league’s recent splurge could further inflate the transfer market, but the Frenchman argued the Premier League’s blockbuster domestic TV rights deal which kicks in at the season of next season will play its part too.

READ MORE: As China looks to upset football’s world order, January transfer splurge could be just the start

“Yes, it could but I believe that anyway the inflation is on our doors with the next TV deal in the summer, it will move up again the transfer prices. I am sure that soon the £100m target will be easy to reach.”