Monday 19 August 2019

Media to blame for pressure on young stars, says Sarri

The Duke of Cambridge had accused clubs of failing to protect their young players’ mental health.

Maurizio Sarri believes the media are responsible for creating a pressurised environment for young players (Adam Davy/PA)
Maurizio Sarri believes the media are responsible for creating a pressurised environment for young players (Adam Davy/PA)

By Matt McGeehan, Press Association Sport

Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri has pointed the finger at the British media after the Duke of Cambridge criticised football clubs for treating young players as “financial assets”.

Prince William, the Football Association president, earlier this week accused football clubs of not taking into account young players’ mental health.

Prince William told the Daily Mirror: “Many players come from difficult backgrounds and may have all sorts of issues. So just to have them as a complete financial asset…it’s a dereliction of duty.”

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The Duke of Cambridge was outspoken about the treatment of young footballers this week (Stuart Wilson/PA)

Asked about the Duke’s comments on Friday, Blues boss Sarri said: “Sometimes, it’s your (the media’s) fault, I think, because you put too much pressure on the English young players.

“I can understand, of course, why. It’s normal. But sometimes here in England, I think it’s too much.”

Chelsea were last week handed a two-window registration ban by FIFA’s disciplinary committee for breaking the rules on international transfers of under-18s. The Blues are appealing against the penalty and deny wrongdoing.

It was put to Sarri that football clubs must take some of the responsibility for trading in young talent.

The 60-year-old admitted his doubts about the transfers of young players, saying: “I don’t agree (with it) personally, but I have to live in this world.

“It’s normal that every club is a business, especially in the last 10 years, I think.”

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