Fabregas controversy

Don Balon and Wenger in stand-off

April 22, 2011
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Spanish magazine Don Balon and Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger are resolutely standing their ground in the row regarding an interview with Cesc Fabregas.

Cesc Fabregas said on Twitter that his comments had been taken out of context
GettyImagesCesc Fabregas said on Twitter that his comments had been taken out of context

• Wenger angry over article
• Wenger rules out spending spree
Cesc: We'll win nothing with kids
• Cech: Arsenal have blown it
• Adams: Change the record

The Fabregas interview made headlines across Europe on Wednesday as the Arsenal captain suggested the club had come to a point where they had to decide whether they would develop young players or win trophies, and admitted his team-mates did not have a winning mentality.

However, in his press conference after Wednesday's 3-3 draw with Tottenham, Wenger criticised the conduct of Don Balon and suggested that Fabregas was unfairly represented in the piece, describing the magazine as "unprofessional" for failing to respect an agreement over copy approval.

On Friday, the Arsenal manager said he will not listen to the audio file of the interview that Don Balon has uploaded, and refused to temper his criticism of the publication.

"I stand by my claim 100%," he said. "We had an agreement they had to send us copy for approval and it was not done. I maintain completely that they did not respect our agreement. The article in itself I do not want to discuss.

"What they say is not interesting to us, they did not respect our agreement. They will never get an interview from us again, ever."

Don Balon responded to Wenger's initial criticism on Thursday when releasing a statement to say it stood by the interview.

"We made a pact with the club that, if it were necessary, we would let them see the interview and make changes if they desired," the magazine's publishers said in a statement.

"When they asked for it, it was already in print but we sent it to them regardless. Revised or not, Don Balon would not have changed a single word of the article because it was completely faithful and respectful to the words of Cesc Fabregas."