Platini laments Asian investment in English football

Uefa president Michel Platini has criticised the influx of foreign owners into the Barclays Premier League, claiming clubs are losing their identity as a result.

The Abu Dhabi United Group's takeover of Manchester City in August was the latest in a line of deals which has seen Britain's top sides sell out to overseas investors.

But Platini felt clubs should be doing more to protect their roots.

"If you bring people from Qatar and there is no-one from Liverpool or Manchester at the club, where is Liverpool or Manchester?" he said.

"I think it is not good. I think the Qataris should invest in Qatar. They should develop the football in each country."

Platini wants to introduce measures to prevent the trend developing across Europe.

"Can we do something against it? I will try to," he added.

"Do you want in Liverpool an Arab sheikh as president with one Brazilian coach and nine or 11 African players?

"Where is Liverpool in that? We have to make some rules.

"What is football? Football is a game and this game has become popular because of the identity.

"You have to have identity, that is where football's popularity lies."

Platini's remarks follow similar comments from Fifa counterpart Sepp Blatter earlier this week that "something has to be done about these billionaire owners".

The financial state of football has come under scrutiny lately due to the global credit crisis.

Football Association chairman Lord Triesman this week called for a salary cap for players to try to safeguard the future of clubs.

Current estimates suggest English clubs are collectively £3billion in debt.

Platini believes a limit on wages could have merit but does not anticipate anything being implemented in the near future.

He told Sky Sports News: "We have to speak about the number of contracts in the clubs, we can speak about salary but I am not an expert, I am an expert of football of the game.

"The rest we have to learn. We have to go slowly and to look at what we can do, but it is necessary for the good of football."

League Managers Association chief executive Richard Bevan, however, claims a cap is not the the answer.

He said: "Too many people feel that salary caps is really actually about wage caps and that is actually illegal in Europe.

"Rugby league and rugby union are two exceptions because they were in financial difficulties and people were keen to move into salary caps, but that is not the answer."

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