Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Scudamore defends League's big spending

In a typically bullish defence of his organisation the Premier League's chief executive, Richard Scudamore, told the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) that Chelsea's £72m spend on transfer deadline day would be applauded in other spheres of enterprise.

Responding to questions from DCMS as to whether there was too much debt in the professional game, and if Government intervention was justified, he said: "If this was any other industry where a Russian was bringing in £100m that then got re-cycled around we would be going, 'Oh, this is good investment'. Inward investment is generally encouraged."

Scudamore denied the £50m Chelsea paid for Fernando Torres was "ridiculous" and said he envisaged a time when a club would pay £100m for player.

Scudamore said the clubs had "survived the continuing economic turbulence reasonably well" adding, "income has increased, mainly due to the strong interest in the Premier League in overseas markets."

Government intervention, said Scudamore, was unnecessary as elite-level English football did not need public money.

Scudamore's defence came on the day Chelsea filed their accounts for the year ending June 2010, which revealed their wage bill soared to £172.5m, 82 per cent of turnover. This was almost £40m more than the next highest payers, Manchester City.