Writer: Tim Stillman
Date:Friday July 20 2012
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger was full of fighting talk ahead of the club`s pre season tour to Asia. Speaking with Hong Kong`s edition of Time Out, the Arsenal manager was bullish about his team`s prospects and argued that his Gunners side can still compete in the face of the sugar Daddy onslaught.
By the looks of it, the interview was given a few weeks ago (within the text he mentions Podolski as a new signing, but not Giroud). But the Gunners supremo had this to say; 'Firstly, I must say that not being able to match the spending of the richest clubs does not mean that you can't compete with them on the pitch,' he argued.
'When I first came to England, this question did not exist. Every club was run within its resources.
'The Chelseas and the Man Citys are new problems. But with this new financial environment, what has not changed at all is our policy that we will be as ambitious as ever and spend the money that we have available, if possible in an intelligent and wise way.
'We have always spent money because we are ambitious for top-class players and if you look at the history of our last 15 years, we have always had top-class players.
'It does not mean you can't win the title if you can't compete financially.'
The manager then seemingly made a defence of his transfer policy, "I have been in football for a long, long time and I don't think just spending money is a target that is defendable.
'To spend the money on a top player is defendable. But just to spend the money is like you are worried.
'Our fans can be proud of the way we run this club, of the quality of the players we have and of the financial situation that is existing at the club.
'Rather than convicting this club, they have more reason to be proud of the whole situation here.
'We have built a team and a stadium in such a short space of time, and have a strong financial situation - and we have always survived at the top level.'
He went on to cautiously discuss the prospect of UEFA`s Financial Fair Play regulations, which begin their gradient this year, "'We need first to see how effectively financial fair play can be enforced before we can fully understand the impact but I believe it will make for a more exciting Premier League,' Wenger said.
'When you look at the history of England, there are Nottingham Forest, Aston Villa and Derby County who have all won championships.
'If that is possible again it will be even more interesting.
'If the rules are well introduced, it will be a massive advantage to Arsenal Football Club, of course, and we will be well positioned for that.
'I don't want to go into excuses but you want a business to be run properly and I believe that to lose £150million a year, you don't deserve a lot of credit to win a competition.
'I think that it is right that you balance your books - to accept the one basic principle for every company - and that's that you can spend the money which you make.
'That principle just seems to be a common sense and logical one.'
Date:Friday July 20 2012
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