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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Feb 5, 2011

Scudamore plays down transfer furore

Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore has acknowledged Monday's transfer fees were eye-catching - but denied that the spending was out of control.

The final frenetic day of wrangling saw huge deals taking place, with Spain striker Fernando Torres becoming the most expensive signing by a British club when he switched from Liverpool to Chelsea for £50 million. Torres was then replaced at the Merseyside club by Andy Carroll, who moved to Anfield from Newcastle for £35 million - a record fee for a British player.

''There's a point where it becomes - in anybody's mind - ridiculous, but I don't think we are that level,'' Scuadmore said in reponse to questions posed by the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS).

Asked if spending £100 million on a player for the Premier League was ridiculous, he replied: ''It's ridiculous right here today at the current prices. Can I see it happening in the future? It's inevitable one day. I think that it will happen, I don't think we are there at that level yet.''

Chelsea, funded by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich's vast wealth, also spent £26.5 million to purchase David Luiz from Benfica.

But Scudamore defended the level of spending, saying: ''I don't know how we get out of the recession without spending money.

''At the end of the day, if this was any other industry where a Russian was bringing in £100 million that then got recycled around, that then allowed Liverpool to spend the money at Newcastle and then allowed all these other things to happen, if we were in any other industry we would be going 'oh, this is good investment'.

''The whole point is that inward investment is generally encouraged. What I don't buy is that they (the clubs) shouldn't be out there spending in these austere times because if Mr Abramovich has the money to spend and he wishes to do that, then in some ways that's the game and that money gets recycled around.''

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