Sunderland boss Steve Bruce says the power is all in the hands of the players.
Bruce, who has lost the club’s last two record buys, Darren Bent and Asamoah Gyan, in 2011, insists that player power has left colleagues such as Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger and Liverpool’s Kenny Dalglish equally impotent when a top asset decides he wants a move.
Bruce said: “Arsenal can’t keep hold of them. It’s part and parcel of what any club will face if someone is determined to go, whether it be Cesc Fabregas or Fernando Torres at Liverpool.
“For all the greatness of the Premier League, money and greed now spirals out of control.
“I can understand anyone who wants to better themselves. Ambition is what makes the great players great players.
“That’s normal. That’s what makes the best. The rest? They’re driven by something else, which I can never come to terms with.
“If we’re not careful, we’re going to alienate the man in the street.”