Wed, Sep 16, 2009 - Page 19 News List

Adebayor damaged soccer, Scudamore says

AP , LONDON

Manchester City’s Emmanuel Adebayor leaves his hotel in Manchester, England, yesterday.

PHOTO: REUTERS

Manchester City striker Emmanuel Adebayor harmed English soccer’s image with his inflammatory goal celebration and stamp on former Arsenal teammate Robin van Persie, Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore said.

The Football Association (FA) is set to investigate Adebayor’s charge up the pitch to celebrate in front of Arsenal fans in City’s 4-2 win over the Gunners on Saturday, a game in which Van Persie was cut below the eye by what he called a “mindless and malicious stamp” from the same player.

“It doesn’t do any good for the brand that is football in one sense — of course you would rather it didn’t happen,” Scudamore said on Monday. “[The FA] should look at it in absolutely the cold light of day with the evidence in front of them and deal with it.”

“These incidents, whether it’s on the field incidents like this that are beamed around the world, whether it’s the isolated instances of bad behavior off the field, don’t do the image of the league or football generally any good,” he said.

The FA had until yesterday evening to charge the 25-year-old Adebayor, who could get a three-match ban alone if found guilty of violent conduct for his challenge on Van Persie.

Van Persie said he was fortunate to escape more serious injury, but City manager Mark Hughes repeated Adebayor’s contention that it was an accidental collision.

“Emmanuel Adebayor sustained a tremendous amount of personal abuse from the kickoff but strongly maintains that there was no malice intended in the challenge on Robin van Persie and apologized to him when he hugged him on leaving the field of play at the end of the game,” Hughes said on Monday.

“The referee had a great view of the challenge from Ade and the one that preceded it by Van Persie and deemed at the time that neither were worthy of either a yellow or red card,” Hughes said.

■DEBT LEASH TIGHTENED

AP, LONDON

The Premier League can now effectively take temporary control of clubs that run into financial problems and ban them from buying players or increasing their wage bills under new regulations.

But Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore pledged to resist UEFA’s more stringent plans to impose budget caps.

Instead, England’s 20 topflight clubs voted to empower league officials from Monday to intervene if a team appears to be in danger of going into financial administration and doesn’t appear sustainable.

The new measures were approved by the 20 topflight clubs at a meeting last week.

“If on assessment the [Premier League] board believes the club is at risk of not being able to meet their obligations, then it has to step in and agree a budget for the running of that club and it has the ability to embargo any transfers and to stop negotiating upwards any player contracts,” Scudamore said on Monday.

“Effectively, you won’t able to add to the existing cost basis by putting up player wages or anything else. That is very significant and obviously it’s a fairly intrusive situation,” he said. “The rationale for that is simple: It’s absolutely essential that these clubs are run as viable going concerns and they are sustainable.”

Clubs are mandated to submit accounts by March each year and the Premier League would act on any concerns raised by the auditors over debt levels or if taxes and creditors had gone unpaid.

■PLAYER QUOTAS

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