‘Be careful’ - Arsenal legend calls for Premier League to clamp down on Man City transfer tactic

Tony Adams has expressed concern about Manchester City's multi-club ownership.Tony Adams has expressed concern about Manchester City's multi-club ownership.
Tony Adams has expressed concern about Manchester City's multi-club ownership. | Getty Images
Tony Adams has expressed his concern at City Football Group’s 13-club portfolio.

Former Arsenal defender Tony Adams has called for the Premier League to ‘be careful’ regarding Manchester City’s multi-club ownership, and the opportunity it affords them to move players between the various teams.

City’s owners, The City Football Group (CFG), have stakes in 13 clubs across five continents, and the Premier League champions have often utilised the system to sign and loan players. Savio is expected to sign for Pep Guardiola’s side this summer from Troyes, having spent the 2023/24 campaign on loan at Girona, both of whom are City’s sister clubs.

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The likes of Pedro Porro, Douglas Luiz, Aleix Garcia and Yan Couto are among the numerous other high-profile players to move CFG’s clubs in recent years. And Adams, speaking to Sky Sports, said he feels this is a dangerous precedent and claims it allows City to stockpile players. 

“I think you’ve got to be careful. I don’t want Man City to win it [the league] for the next 10 years and at the moment they are stockpiling,” he told Sky Sports

“They have a lot of players on their books in many different countries. I think the Premier League have to look at the loan system to maybe stop them stockpiling. Maybe something to do with their development because the Premier League development league is not really a development league in this country. It’s coming from the feeder leagues of Belgium, France, Spain and South America.

“I think the league, more importantly, need to look at that so Man City don’t keep rolling it around. We’ve spent £200m here at Arsenal just to get near them and you can’t keep doing that. 

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“The big clubs will always be the big clubs but the Premier League is the best league in the world and you want to maintain that. Thank god we have Arsenal because, if we didn’t have Arsenal this year, it’s a non-existent league.”

Despite Adams’ concerns, Premier League clubs voted against banning loans between associated clubs in November last year. While 12 side were in favour of the motion, it lacked the 14-team majority needed for the law to be implemented.

It’s also worth noting that none of Guardiola’s current first-team squad have ever played for an associated club, while Arsenal’s owners also have controlling stake in US side Colorado Rapids.

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