Featured Matches
Previous
St Patricks
Legia Warsaw
6:45 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 1 - 1
Game Details
San Jose
Chicago
2:30 AM GMT
Game Details
FC Zürich
FC Thun
5:45 PM GMT
Game Details
San Lorenzo
Bolívar
10:45 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Arsenal de Sarandí
Instituto de Córdoba
9:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Washington Spirit
Portland Thorns FC
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Aktobe Lento
Dinamo Tbilisi
3:00 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 1 - 0
Game Details
FK Ventspils
Malmo FF
4:00 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
HJK Helsinki
Rabotnicki Kometal
4:00 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
Steaua Bucuresti
Stromsgodset
5:30 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 1 - 0
Game Details
NK Maribor
Zrinjski Mostar
6:00 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
St Patricks
Legia Warsaw
6:45 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 1 - 1
Game Details
FC Aarau
FC Sion Sitten
5:45 PM GMT
Game Details
FC Zürich
FC Thun
5:45 PM GMT
Game Details
San Jose
Chicago
2:30 AM GMT
Game Details
San Antonio Scorpions
Carolina RailHawks
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
San Lorenzo
Bolívar
10:45 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Arsenal de Sarandí
Instituto de Córdoba
9:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Godoy Cruz de Mendoza
Defensa y Justicia
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Ceará
Chapecoense AF
10:30 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 2 - 1
Game Details
Avaí
Palmeiras
10:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
ABC
Novo Hamburgo
10:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Santa Cruz FC
Botafogo da Paraiba
1:00 AM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 1 - 1
Game Details
AA Ponte Preta
CR Vasco da Gama
1:00 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Corinthians
Bahia
1:00 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Alianza Lima
Sport Huancayo
1:00 AM GMT
Game Details
U. Católica
Mushuc Runa
Postp
Game Details
Emelec
Deportivo Quito
Postp
Game Details
Independiente del Valle
Club Deportivo Cuenca
Postp
Game Details
Olmedo
El Nacional
Postp
Game Details
Liga de Loja
LDU Quito
Postp
Game Details
Manta F.C.
Barcelona
Postp
Game Details
Albirex Niigata
FC Tokyo
10:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Gamba Osaka
Shimizu S-Pulse
10:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Kashima Antlers
Omiya Ardija
10:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Sagan Tosu
Kawasaki Frontale
10:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Sanfrecce Hiroshima
Kashiwa Reysol
10:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Tokushima Vortis
Urawa Red Diamonds
10:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Vantforet Kofu
Cerezo Osaka
10:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Vegalta Sendai
Nagoya Grampus Eight
10:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Yokohama F. Marinos
Vissel Kobe
10:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Washington Spirit
Portland Thorns FC
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Next
 Posted by ESPN Staff
Dec 12, 2006

'Foreign owners could kill English game' - Wenger

LONDON COLNEY, England, Dec 12 (Reuters) - Arsene Wenger said on Tuesday he feared for the future of English soccer if Premier League clubs continued to sell up to foreign owners.

'At the moment the point is the love of the game,' Arsenal's manager told a news conference at the club's training ground.

'Once it becomes investment only, then you have some different ingredients that are not necessarily for the love of the game, or the good of the game.'

'It looks as if we have gone from one period to a new one with more people who look at it as an investment - where they want to be paid back quickly.

Wenger said the days of Englishmen buying clubs for the love of the game is gone and he is worried about the future.

'What was traditionally true in England is that the people who were the owners were the supporters. The biggest example was at Blackburn where a guy called Jack Walker, who was a passionate supporter of the club, was in charge.

Walker ploughed the wealth he made from the steel industry into Rovers and they won the Premier League title in 1995. The Blackburn-born steel magnate died aged 71 in August 2000.

'What happened, chronologically, was he was a supporter, he became wealthy and he fulfilled his dream by buying the club of his dreams,' said Wenger.

'But that looks to be a period of the past. It was really reassuring for the fans because it looked as if the heart of the owner was like their heart.

'It didn't matter whether it was blue and white, or red and white, or yellow and black, but it was the same colour - the heart was the same colour.

'It looks like that period has gone because the implication of the financial investment is too high. This tradition has gone.'

'We are one of the biggest clubs left with this tradition. Liverpool, until now, were another.'

The Merseysiders look set to be the next Premier League club taken over by foreign backers, with Dubai International Capital (DIC) in talks about investing what British newspapers have said could be worth up to 450 million pounds ($882.7 million).

Wenger fears the Premier League could lose its competitive streak if too many teams take up the lead set by champions Chelsea, owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich.

'What is dangerous for us, is once the financial potential of the club goes above their natural resources we will be in trouble,' Wenger added.

'At the moment, we can do it because only Chelsea has those resources. But once three or four have that, are you dead?

'If today you go into football and think 'I have 100 million pounds available and could put that into Arsenal Football Club to make 200 million', it looks very dangerous - both for football and for the club.

'To find people who put 100, 200 or 800 million into a club and are prepared to lose their money, you must be lucky.'

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.