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Premier League

Mohamed Al Fayed: FA and Premier League run by 'donkeys'

Fulham chairman Mohamed Al Fayed has moved to quash rumours that he is looking to sell the club and lambasted the FA and Premier League for the financial hardship facing many clubs.

The Harrods owner said in a statement on the club's website: "I own the best club in the world, with the best team and the best fans. I want to reassure people of this, because sometimes there are naughty rumours that I may sell the club."

Al Fayed goes on to express his views on the problems he perceives facing the Premier League: "I am not going to give up on other things in the game either. Take my crusade against sky-high players’ wages. Our expenses bill rose by 17 percent last year. How can it be right for top players to be earning £15, £20 million a year? It’s crazy. These wages need to be capped.

"But I worry that it won’t happen, because the Premier League and the FA are run by donkeys who don’t understand business, who are dazzled by money. If the world wants to keep players in pocket for tens of thousands of pounds every week, then let the Premier League and the FA negotiate with Sky and other broadcasters for a share of the billions that they make in profit from our product, from my product.

"Because at present, they don’t. All around the world, football fans are paying to watch top matches on TV. And yet do most clubs see any of that money? No: we are hopelessly dependent on our end-of-season League placing to determine our share of the cash - it makes a difference of feast or famine every season. Yet even then, except for the top four clubs, we’re only talking about a difference of few million, which doesn’t get you far."

The Fulham chairman went on to suggest his fellow Premier League chairman should do more to tackle these problems before issuing a bizarre invitation: "They (Premier League chairmen) can come and have lunch with me at Harrods, where I can serve them stags’ testicles from my Scottish estate, Balnagown. We all need big balls in this business."