LONDON – Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger on Sunday queried the arrangement that has allowed former Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard to join Manchester City on loan from MLS club New York City FC.
As well as Lampard’s move to the Etihad Stadium, New York has also loaned Spanish striker David Villa to Melbourne City. All three clubs are owned by the City Football Group, a holding company of City’s owners, the Abu Dhabi United Group.
Wenger, whose side faces City in next weekend’s Community Shield, suggested that the partnerships could give the Premier League champion an unfair advantage.
Asked for his reaction to Lampard’s move, he replied: “It’s a surprise. But it looks like all these ‘City’ clubs will feed the main club, Man City. I heard that they want to buy five clubs all over the world.”
He added: “At the moment the players they sign cannot play until next year, so they register in the clubs where they put them and they can get out on loan. . . . Is it a way to get around (European governing body UEFA’s Financial) Fair Play? I don’t know.”