Gerhard Aigner, UEFA’s former chief executive, believes that the introduction of the Bosman ruling has had a disastrous effect on European football.

Aigner, who retired last year, blames the 1995 European Court of Justice verdict allowing the freedom of movement for players for many of the problems afflicting the game.

“To be perfectly blunt, the introduction of the Bosman ruling was a disaster for sport and especially for football,” said Aigner.

“All of the excesses we know of now and many of the problems in the game come back to the decision.

“I think we could have revised the transfer rules in a coherent way and kept the rule which limits the movement of the players. Sport is going the wrong way due to this decision.”

“The challenge is certainly balancing commerce and money and political influence,” added Aigner.

“Football has grown out of the parallel world that it occupied and into the real world. It’s now being challenged by the political sphere, the media field and the industrial field. The biggest challenge is to maintain the integrity of football, its credibility and to maintain its structures.”

Aigner, 60, said that he believed that leagues were being flooded by too many foreign players.

“There must be a rule that says the English championship should be played by a majority of English players,” he said.

“It doesn’t make sense to have no English players in an English team. It would help leagues like those in Denmark and Sweden to keep some of their players on board and strengthen their league.” รก