Euro-MP blasts football’s ‘mad’ transfer spending spree

�50 MILLION MAN -- Fernando Torres, who switched from Liverpool to Chelsea in the transfer window

�50 MILLION MAN -- Fernando Torres, who switched from Liverpool to Chelsea in the transfer window

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THE massive spending-spree in the transfer market by Barclays Premier League football clubs has been blasted as “madness” by one of Hucknall and Bulwell’s Euro-MPs.

A total of £225 million was splashed out during the January transfer window, including a British record of £50 million on Spanish striker Fernando Torres, who moved from Liverpool to Chelsea.

But Conservative Emma McClarkin labelled the figure “horrific” and urged clubs to “curtail their extravagant spending” to protect the game, especially at grassroots level, and its fans.

Other January deals included Liverpool snapping up Andy Carroll for £35 million, even though he has played only 19 Premier League matches, and Luis Suarez for £23 million, while striker Edin Dzeko moved to Manchester City for £27 million and Darren Bent to Aston Villa for £24 million.

But Miss McClarkin (32), who is one of six Euro-MPs serving the East Midlands constituency that covers the Dispatch district, says enough is enough.

“Spending madness has truly returned (if it ever left) to football,” she said. “The money involved is horrifying, especially given the stark financial climate we are all facing at the moment.

“What is more, even the richest clubs are struggling to maintain revenue and balance the books.

“Chelsea spent more than £70 million on just two players but posted losses of, ironically, some £70 million!

“Yes, these gigantic sums can bring intrigue and exhilaration for fans. But at what cost for the future direction of football?

“How can these clubs justify such costs when the grassroots players in their respective communities are in most need of investment.”

Miss McClarkin, who used to work for the Rugby Football Union, added: “Supporters are the biggest losers in all of this.

“Average ticket-prices in the Premier League have risen well above the rate of consumer price inflation, year on year, for almost a decade now.

“And what do the loyal fans get in return? Some lucky ones might have new or improved stadia but the rest watch on as the same elite clubs continue to dominate.”

Miss McClarkin also pointed to a UEFA report, which revealed that half of all professional clubs in Europe are running at a loss, with one in five recording unsustainable deficits.

“We need an environment where smaller clubs can invest in infrastructure and training, as well compete with the bigger clubs in terms of expenditure,” she added.

“It’s time we returned the focus of football’s elite clubs to promoting community outreach, improving grassroots infrastructure and looking after their supporters.”

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