Arsenal gaffer Arsene Wenger has serious fears for the future of English football, believing that the domestic game is in danger of being severely damaged by mass media coverage and new club ownership.
“English football is losing his soul,” Wenger told The Sun. “Fans are the keeper of our football. But the first signs of danger are there to see. Stadiums are starting to empty, TV channels and radio stations are overcrowded with football. There is a kind of overdose looming.”
Wenger continued “Suddenly the English model has gone from owner-supporters to owner-businessman. The danger wasn’t there yesterday but it’s there today. Of course you can have business integrated into the sport while still respecting the values of football. However perhaps it is time for people to worry.”
Arsenal themselves are subject to a takeover from a foreign investor, notably Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov who upped his stake in the club. Is Wenger right? Is the increasing business orientated ownership of English clubs a damaging factor? Are fans staying away because they don’t feel that they are a part of their club anymore?