Suker sharedealing defended

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The Independent Online
ARSENAL SAID yesterday that it was "absolutely absurd" to suggest that Davor Suker had compromised his commitment to the north London club by purchasing pounds 20,000 worth of shares in Manchester United.

"Davor's professionalism is beyond question," an Arsenal spokeswoman said after it was revealed that the Croatian international striker bought 8,646 shares in the Old Trafford club last month. "He has not broken any rules and his business dealings are his own."

Suker, who moved to Arsenal from Real Madrid in August for pounds 1.3m, said that his investment was a simple foray into the stock market. "I don't understand the chemicals market or other stocks but I know about football," he said. "I also have shares in Lazio. There is no particular reason why I have Manchester United shares except that I just like this market."

The Football Association, which prohibits players from betting on matches, defended Suker's right to gamble on the stock exchange. "There's no rule against it," a spokesman said. "So long as it's not more than a 10 per cent stake in a whole club, it is regarded as for investment purposes only. He added that there is "no contradiction in the rules" which allows one form of financial speculation on football but disallows another.

Several players are believed to have holdings in former sides, even after moving elsewhere.