Arsene Wenger has told beIN Sports that football has a responsibility to protect the game from the insidious influence of business and firmly believes the transfer window should close before the season starts and stay shut until the following summer.
After the culmination of a roller coaster couple of months that saw him break Arsenal’s transfer record on Alexandre Lacazette but still make a profit thanks to selling, loaning and releasing a host of players, the boss was in bullish mood, particularly on the subject of his players being unsettled by the prospect of moving club.
On returning decency to football…
“What’s happening is that the players now [with] the transfer window closed…September will be okay. The players who do not play or the players who are tapped up in October they already start again to think where do I go in January. That’s not a way to be on board with a football club. I believe we have to realise that.
“We are here to entertain people and you can do that with people who are really on board together, to achieve something together and not every minute that it doesn’t go well to think ‘where can I go next?’
“I believe that we have to bring some decency [to the game]. We all complain today that it [football] has become too much [a] business, but we can do something about it. We have that responsibility in the game.”
On the pressures faced by players…
“You cannot have a player preparing for a football game, that is today vital because nobody accepts anymore to lost a football game, still at 4 o’clock on the phone [saying] ‘Do I go or not? How much is it? When do I have to go?’ It’s impossible.
“These boys are all under high pressure, well paid, you want them at least to have a normal preparation for a football game.”
His solution to the current state of affairs…
“The ideal situation would be to have a transfer period that is closed 48 hours before the first game of the championship and to close it completely until after the season.”