Huge money in football is immoral, says Zwanziger
Theo Zwanziger, president of the German Football Federation slammed the excessive wages and transfers paid out by football clubs across Europe and says the sums involved are "immoral".sports Updated: Feb 08, 2009 20:53 IST
Theo Zwanziger, president of the German Football Federation (DFB) on Sunday slammed the excessive wages and transfers paid out by football clubs across Europe and says the sums involved are "immoral".
"When huge sums are involved, for me it is immoral," Zwanziger told Sunday's edition of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, with English club Arsenal having paid Zenit St Petersburg $15m (22 million US dollars) for Russian midfielder Andrey Arshavin.
"Nobody is worth so many millions."
Zwanziger said he is also troubled by individual multi-millionaires buying and selling football clubs.
"We have to ask ourselves: do we really want a sponsor or sheikh to buy a club and then sell it again?
"These models just contribute to commercial excess.
"And money generated by television in Spain, Italy and England, which has different conditions to us here, has led to the irresponsible way players are paid huge salaries, which us mortals can only dream of."
With English Premier League side Manchester City having been bought by a sheikh and Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich owning Chelsea, Zwanziger is concerned individuals can use clubs to pursue their own personal goals.
"This is not something I agree with or is part of my image of a healthy community, particularly as sport takes a special role in society," he said.
"Sport is also an economy, but it is more than just that.
"Sport is also solidarity and these clubs are something which make us smile in Germany because they give stability and tradition.
"If we allow a sheikh or sponsor to see these clubs as tradeable economic commodities, then this basic structure gets lost.
"These excessives, which have already harmed the economy, must not be allowed to happen in sport and football."
German football clubs are protected by the 50+1 Rule, which does not allow an individual to own a majority share in a club.
"The German club system, which permits no sponsor or sheikh as an owner, will not break, I am sure of that," said the DFB boss.
First Published: Feb 08, 2009 19:45 IST