Wenger hits out at TV 'Middle Ages justice'

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Arsène Wenger has associated the Panorama investigation into the alleged bung culture in the English game with "Middle Ages justice".

The Arsenal manager made it clear he is against the kind of trial by television that can tarnish the reputations of people involved, even though there is little evidence to prove they are guilty of breaking rules.

Panorama alleged that leading managers in the English game had taken illegal payments but the BBC has yet to provide the Football Association with firm evidence.

"I am against the kind of justice that is through television," he said. "I think it is right the FA make an inquiry and you have to take it seriously. But I am against the quick judgement of the TV media - the kind of judgement that can tarnish the reputation of people without knowing anything.

"It looks to me like Middle Ages justice, where you burn somebody quickly to satisfy people. But nothing has been proven."

Wenger said he had never been offered a bung, adding that if there was a problem in the game, it was a minor one. Asked whether he had ever been offered a bribe, Wenger replied: "Well, no. I have done 150 transfers so I must have an honest look. Or a too-rich look, I don't know. Personally, I think it's very minor in the game. It doesn't mean that people who do it don't deserve to be punished - they should be severely punished."

The Arsenal manager, who celebrates a decade with the club next Thursday said that proving wrongdoing was becoming more complex, but that the Gunners had done a lot to control agents. "It is possible to prove it financially but where it becomes complicated is when there's offshore, international dealings," he said. "Locally, nobody can cheat. At Arsenal we have done a lot to control transfers better. We were always the instigators in controlling agents and paying commissions over the duration of a contract.

"We pay a fixed percentage on the wages of the player per year - five per cent on his gross salary. But when a young player comes in and an agent helps you, sometimes the commission is a bit bigger because the guy has a small salary and the agent has helped you. But on the big deals we are very strict and it is easy to check."