Fabio Capello claimed the failure of English clubs in the Champions League this season was inevitable after they failed to invest in their squads when their overseas rivals were strengthening last summer, reports The Times. Defeats for Arsenal and Manchester United in last week's quarter-finals ensured that there is no English team in the last four of the Champions League for the first time since 2003, with Chelsea eliminated in the first knockout round and Liverpool falling at the group stage.
Capello agrees with Uli Hoeness, the Bayern Munich president, that the economic climate - unfavourable tax conditions in England, the weakening of the pound against the euro and the financial circumstances at certain clubs - has damaged the Premier League contingent.
"It is obvious that the financial crisis has affected the English clubs in Europe after years when they have been among the biggest spenders," Capello, the England manager, said.
"Compared to the previous season, all the clubs have sold important players. Some went overseas and others moved to Manchester City. They [the so-called 'Big Four'] got obviously weaker.
"In my experience, if a club is at the top, it should buy one or two high-level players every year to remain at the top, given that the opposition is getting stronger. The clubs that spent most last summer are now semi-finalists - Barcelona, Inter Milan, Bayern Munich.