Some of the managers have voiced their deep distrust in the new English Premier League proposals that would drive to each of the Premiership clubs playing one extra game per season in the month of January in a foreign city. But Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is one pragmatist who is not inclined to jump to the no bandwagon.
Wenger is in favour of the new proposals but insists that the structure and the foundations should be pitch-perfect. He asks for caution over such an innovative decision but says that this will be a success nevertheless.
My instinctive reaction is not to be against innovation, because I believe as well you have to accept an innovative attitude. I like the fact that the Premier League are not just in a routine and that people out there are thinking how can we continue to improve and promote the game? I believe it can only be valid if you respect important criteria. The first is to respect the competitive side of our game. The second is respect the quality of organisation that you have inside the game and fairness of the game. That is important criteria that have to be on top of the innovative factor. If that is all respected then why not? 10 per cent of people who love the clubs have access to the games, but 90 never have access to the games. I don’t believe in friendlies and tours before the season, that’s why I never do it. I feel somewhere it is not respecting people who love the competitive side of the game. To give access to these people for me is along the right lines. How to do it? I don’t know, because that has to be worked out. It deserves a deeper look into it, and you always have to think forward. But if the money is the first priority forget it because it will become a circus. The first priority is the quality of your competition, and you have to take time to think about that.
There you have it. Arsene Wenger condenses the pros and cons of the move in a nutshell. No wonder that he is called the French professor.