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Wenger Defends Arsenal's Fiscal Policy

  • Goal.com, Monday, August 17, 2009 3:30 PM
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has suggested that his team's performance over the last four years should be placed within context of the financial battle that the team is fighting. Arsenal owes $650 million in debt. The mortgage for the team's new Emirates Stadium, however, accounts for most of that figure.  

In defending Arsenal's seemingly lackluster results, Wenger pointed to the struggles that many other sides have faced after constructing new stadiums: "Arsenal will be more successful by building a new stadium, but it is not easy to build a new stadium and remain where you are. Look at all the clubs who have built new stadiums and where they are now: Derby County; Leicester City; Coventry City; Southampton. They all went down."

Wenger suggests that Arsenal is doing a better job living within its means than other big-money clubs, which rely on foreign infusions of cash to succeed. "I accept that what I say is in contradiction with our football world because the money looks as if it has gone higher and higher since I have been in the job," he said. "You compare the average wage 10 years ago with today and it has gone up. But we live in a competitive world and that is why I say some of what happens now is financial doping. At Arsenal, we live with the money we produce. Other clubs have artificial income, from owners. They do not live with the money from the game. We have gates, merchandising, sponsorship, television money, but nothing beyond that. What I fight for is to live within the resources we produce and to pay the players according to our real potential, considering the size of the club."

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