Wenger: English clubs risk surrendering financial advantage


Arsene Wenger says the transfer fees and player wages that Premier League clubs are currently willing to pay could strangle their financial muscle in the long-term.

Highlighting the ‘huge amounts of money’ being spent on ‘average’ players, the Frenchman cited his concern that failing acquisitions could be stuck on the books for the duration of their contracts because clubs elsewhere, particularly on the continent, would not be able to afford to pay their wages.

Facing the press ahead of Arsenal’s game with Leicester City the boss was repeatedly quizzed on the way money is being splashed by rivals. As usual, he was bullish in his stance.

“You could say that today in Europe you have two markets,” noted Wenger.

“One for the English clubs and one for the rest of Europe. The danger of the English situation at the moment is that the English clubs can suffocate themselves in the long term.

“Why? Because they buy players at a very high price. That means there are very high wages linked with it and if they are wrong, they will have these players with high wages who cannot move anywhere else.

“You start the first period now of English clubs having to pay massive wages. Even when the players go out, they have to pay their wages. In the long term, that will mean that the financial advantage the English clubs have will drop because they will be on their wage list.

“They pay for 10 or 12 players who have gone somewhere else because the clubs they go to cannot pay their wages.”

He continued: “If you look at the whole transfer market, very little happens on the whole. It is about the availability of players. There is a huge amount of money for average players – there are plenty available. But to find the players that will strengthen your squad is much more difficult.”

As usual, the boss dodged talk of specific targets, despite being asked about moves for both Shkodran Mustafi and Alexandre Lacazette.

“We do not talk about individual players. I told you already what the are the criteria for the price of a player but you could add one more: the identity of the buyer.

“When the buyer is English, it is true that it multiplies the transfer by two or three or sometimes by 10 because if for the same player an English club does not come in, he is worth five million. But if an English club comes he is worth 35 or 40 or 50.”

On Sunday some Arsenal fans vented their annoyance at the lack of transfer activity by chorusing, ‘Spend some f*cking money’ as the Gunners slipped to 4-1 down against Liverpool.

It’s not the first time the chant has been directed at the boss, who stressed that he’s still open to opening his chequebook.

“We are working very hard. You are absolutely convinced that I don’t want to spend the money, but I would like to reassure you that we are ready to spend the money we have. As always, not the money we haven’t got [because] it is not my money.

“Buying calms the fans down, but it is important to spend but even more important to spend it the right way.”

Leave a Reply

166 Comments on "Wenger: English clubs risk surrendering financial advantage"

newest oldest most voted
Me So Hornsey

I am now 100% certain he has become a professional, time troll of paparazzi and fans alike.


Yeah, sounds a lot like we aren’t buying anybody else..

New is new

I’d have abit more respect for him if he just came out and said , were not buying anyone else, instead of stringing everyone along


English clubs risk surrendering financial advantage.

But it also means

English clubs are taking advantage of financial advantage

Moral of the story.
Go get some players in

Me So Hornsey

*full time


I hate it when this happens in FIFA.

High berry

Spend some f**cking money ? Surely Arsene can see what the atmosphere at the Emirates is like these days.


He doesn’t care.
In his words It’s part of the job and it has no effect on him…it’s completely normal


The chant should not be ‘spend some fucking money’. It should have been ‘Why aren’t we prepared?’

The Liverpool defeat would still have happened even if we had Mustafi and Lacazette. Why? Because individual players can only have so much influence over the team’s performances. On Sunday there was no team in the second half. Why?


But is Mustafi falling into that overpriced “average player” category? Would that be management’s fear around Lacazette as well?



Its not a question of spending money.

Its a question of not being prepared and adopting the wrong tactics.

Granted Wenger may have been looking long term and protecting some players (Koscielny in particular) bc of current injury crisis but I feel we simply did not take the match seriously enough.

KOscielny should have at least been ready to play second half.

Santi did not feature in Euros and should have come on earlier or even started (granted he may have been carrying a niggle from pre-season)

Granit should have also been involved from the start.

We did not have enough experience protecting the very young Cback pairing.

when the high pressing game eventually took its told (Elneny was predictably spent), the gaps opened up ahead of the Cbacks and we leaked two of the goals because the midfield did not track back sufficiently quickly enough (plus fullbacks were not sufficiently covered)


Lack of experience due to injuries then?

Bould's Eyeliner

I think the Ox moment, when three players just watched him let the ball roll by to a mugsmasher who was yards away, was indicative of the lack of preparation.

Fitness, tactics, organization, everything was a mess. Part of the mess may have been due to lack of leadership in the back, but I would say that most of it was due to the fact that Arsenal seem to have no idea how they’re supposed to organize right now.

So yeah, preparation is king, imo.


I wouldn’t say that the lack of experience played a major role in our defeat. Wenger said after the match: ‘Maybe we lacked a bit of experience but if you look well at the goals, I don’t think it was necessarily the inexperienced players that cost us the goals today.’

I would agree with him. The first Liverpool goal was a blue moon free kick by Coutinho (who had never scored from a direct freekick in the PL previously, according to some commentators). It was impossible to save and I do not blame Cech in not doing so.

In the second goal, things start to go wrong. Lallana chests down a cross and places it beyond Cech. Cech panicked: there was no need for him to come out to meet Lallana; the angle was tight, ball was going away from goal and Lallana was outside the 6 yard box. Also notice that Monreal got sucked into Chamber’s position (perhaps trying to cover for the young defender who overran his player slightly), Coquelin (our defensive destroyer) was always at least 10 yards away from the ball and Elneny (our playmaker and Coquelin’s partner) was never in shot.

The third goal (3-1) was primarily the fault of Chambers. As the near post central back he cannot allow the cross from Clyne to be anywhere near the 6 yard box. Coutinho will always have the jump on Holding, who has two things to concentrate on (the ball coming in and the man behind him). This is basic defending, experience doesn’t come near it. Also notice how open two other Liverpool players were in the box. Coquelin and Ramsey lost their men and the cross could have easily come to them. This is at 2-1 down when you still have most of the half to come back. Why was the team so spread out and passive? The midfield had given up defending before this point. They let down their centre backs.

The fourth goal was on a counter attack with Arsenal’s players caught up field. With the team pushing forward for goals, the defence was left open and Mane waltzed in. Chambers and Monreal could have brought him down for a yellow, but didn’t and he smacked the ball home. The game was up.

This small period of madness at the beginning of the second half is systematic, and not just a result of the young central partnership. How many times have the fans decried the naivety of the team? How many times have we capitulated when chasing a goal, ruined by our own impatience? Bayern, Monaco, Aston Villa, West Ham. These are some of the games of the top of my head in which the team became disjointed as soon as we were pegged back in a close game. To the credit of the team they pulled two goals back but by then the damage was done.


**Puts needle through helmet**


*tempered sigh of relief*

Arsene always goes to extremes to illustrate his point rather than being realistic. Who has 12 failed players on their books that they want out of their club please?

Who would be worth €5m in a normal market and is inflated now to €50? Please, who?

You are telling me that a Rob Holding type player is inflated to €25m but please give me one example.

I fancy that Martial looked a bit expensive but not many would claim 3 times too much.

My personal opinion is that Sterling is a disaster at €50m or whatever but let’s not pretend he was actually worth €5m or Lacazette’s efforts are worth €3.5m

I think it is fair to say, when you pay so much, you want to be more careful.

But they showed the other day that Pogba was entirely affordable, a cost of 17% of Man U’s annual income when their highest cost player proportionally was 60% of their annual income. That would be like them spunking £300m on one player today.

Money is and always will be relative. It’s not to the disadvantage of English clubs that they will become the employer of choice for the world’s best players.

Real Madrid have been taking this approach – rather successfully – for ages and ages.


Again the man is just patronising us and goes to the extreme to make a point that just isn’t valid or makes no sense. Why the fuck is he of all people saying we are surrendering our financial muscle when we are not actually competing in the market as a club of our size should be. We of all people are have no advantage in the market despite of considerable wealth because we are not willing to spend to improve.
Just cannot stand to listen to his ridiculous excuses and soundbites any longer.
Get this window over with, get on with the season and lets hopefully move on next year with a manager with a grasp of reality and one who has a respect for the fans that pay his wages.


Excellent point well made sir


For years RM benefitted from government funds


I agree that AW exaggerates. Who are the 5 mill players who cost 50 mill? Sure there are some clubs that can afford to take a loss on expensive players and there are some eye watering prices but this is the new reality. There might be bargains in the lower leagues, but that is also a risk and “one for the future.” But with Mustafi aren’t we talking a much smaller price difference. Penny wise and pound foolish, Arsene?


The word you choose to omit is that he said “sometimes” 10 times higher. Rare, but yes happens at times. Andy Carroll was in this category when Liverpool purchased.

But Pogba is exactly the point. The fee might be twice what it should be but it is now the salary that becomes the obstacle… if they find they need to move him off the books.

Why not

I think hes complaining about walcott every so discreetely.

I know i would.


Bendtner was the first one that sprung to my mind. Defo could be having a little dig at Theo though


How about Chamakh for an average player?


Bendtner was a more than decent player when he was at Arsenal. He used to be our super sub. Scored many important goals coming as sub. He was not at a big pay package too.

The problem started when once RVP was injured and Wenger preferred Chamakh over him. He complained to the press and he fell out with Wenger and hence with fans. Then, it was a downhill for him. I still remember some of the good moments he provided including that jumping header against Spurs. Also, I still like him for his tweet when we finished above Spurs this year.


I would class 52k a week as a very well rewarded


Think it was the last couple of seasons when we were shopping him around and guess what? That’s right the clubs that were interested in him couldn’t match his wages…..

Quite liked TGSTEL but the point I was making is that Arsene has been at fault for it himself. Like the Walcott point above.

Andy Mack

By footballer standards 52k Per week isn’t (and wasn’t then) particularly unusual, but is was too much for TGSTEL .
Adebarndoors 175k per week at $iteh is a better example of what he’s saying, where they ended up paying him off to get rid of him. Odd that fans are happy to throw in an extra £5m for a new player but moan about Theo earning more than others which is less than 5m per year…
Just £1m takes an awful long time for us supporters to earn.


you mean the man he offered a 120k a week wage to because he was held to ransom due to his failed transfer policy in the year Theo scored 21 goals. whatever he meant and whoever it was aimed at at arsenal then the blame would lie with Wenger.

Why not

Its a really boring rhetoric to always relay the argument to blaming wenger. Even if he is to blame for us not winning the league transfers etc.

Some of the comments he says about many topics are quite true and are discussion points. And i think that football is a shitter sport with some of these things corroding it. Therefore it would be good to also discuss these matters.

Rather than every single discussion having the same end point. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz boring.

Arseblog news comments used to be way more fun.


100% agree mate. He’s normally spot on with this stuff, if this BT bubble bursts, there will be a lot of clubs in trouble. Did crystal palace not learn from the last time. 30 mill on Benteke is crazy money, Liverpool did well on that one.
We all just say yeah just spend the 50/60 million, it kinda makes me sick. The gratuitous amount money being thrown about is just nuts.
I know the market decides the cost, the problem is this market is bat-shit -insane.
You could guy my entire Street for about the same cost as a Benteke.

I need a headache tablet.


Well how do you explain the Premier League getting so much more money for televising its games when the Premier League does not dominate when asked to compete with its European bretheren?
I mean Arsenal consistently gets tons more money than many in the last 16 which for about 16 years has been Arsenal’s Final Destination?
Marketing= loads more money =/= more quality or European trophies = higher transfer fees?

WHen you think about it makes sense that either the TV wealth gets spread around or UK keeps the money and hence pay inflated prices. Its that simple


I get it. I know, whatever Wenger says does make sense. But it would’ve made a lot more sense 5 years ago. Surviving and flourishing in a market also has to do with competing with direct rivals in the same market. We may have our own ideologies, but if those ideologies are not showing enough fruit, adapting from other clubs may not be such a bad idea.

On the face of it, being careful with money and spending only on the right players is a good comment. But there have been several “right players” that we haven’t spent the money on. What did we do with Suarez? His biting antics aside, wouldn’t he have added “genuine quality” to our squad? Why did we not go back with another bid? An Ozil+Suarez dual signing in the summer of 2014 would’ve been a big statement of intent and also would’ve guaranteed a lot more competitiveness in our squad.

But here we are, hoping for Walcott to turn back the time and be the next Thierry Henry again.

Gooner Russ

Totally agree but the amount of people on here who didn’t want Suarez, at the time

Mr Gooner

What if we were never interested in Mustafi? What if Valencia use our name because they know we won’t comment on individual players? What if Valencia was using us to get the deal they want from a club willing to spend?

I know it’s frustrating, but getting caught in ITK webs is more damaging.


That would be even worse considering our squad situation.

Andy Mack

If you also assume the club aren’t after any other CBs then you’re correct.


If we’re after Johnny Evans instead, yes, that would be considerably worse.

Sam Gunner

Boss it is probably your last year, 13 days till this window closes. Stop talking about FFP, wages, financial climate and go out and buy what we need in order to at least challenge in the league this year. We must be the only club who tries to find as many ‘internal solutions’ and change players positions as much as we do. We are two players short of challenging for the league and yet here we are with less than two weeks to go till the window shuts still looking for a great bargain. What in god’s name are we smoking!


Wengers last year? Ha! If wenger wants he can get a contract extension anytime. In my opinion he will sign one regardless of where we finish. He doesn’t seem like he wants to retire.

New guy

Personally I find it hard to argue with anything he said, and I like the fact that he is taking a long term view. I realise that probably puts me in the minority of at least people who comment on news articles on this site.

I also think he is a good manager in the most basic, “line manager” sense of the word. I also work in a human capital based service industry and the worst thing is when we have too many people to do the work. It seems that his approach is to try to make the club a nice place for the players to work (I know, I know, but for them it is work), and one with clear values and a culture that is strong, positive and supportive. I’d like to work for a boss like that.

Also, I like to watch the Arsenal play, and I like it even more when they finish above city, United, chelsea, liverpool and of course sp*rs in the table. Even more so when we get to spend some sunny spring days (and early August days) at Wembley. Maybe I also lack ambition but I enjoy those things even when it is frustrating, and I don’t really have any need or desire to see our club pay huge prices for average players.

Why not

Completely agree. Not enough people show any long-term planning. Even if it isn’t perfect, at least it resembles something sustainable.

People are too quick to toss principles aside. Football is becoming a joke of a sport. Drama, media nonsense and clickbait, diving, time wasting (to extreme levels in the last years), poor refereeing, over-the-top pay packets, inflation, corruption. The list goes on and on and on.

And even if sometimes Im really frustrated with Arsenal. I still love the club, it represents something and has class. I would stand behind that even if we were in a relegation scrap, which we are far from it. The fact that we are so close to the top I find commendable and deserves alot more credit and respect from people, even if it is hugely frustrating at times. Not many other clubs can get remotely close to embodying such a philosophy for so long.

For me at least he deserves the chance to see if his vision has a final outcome. Which maybe way after he is gone by the way.I personally find some of the decisions Wenger makes, bizarre and often I don’t agree with certain decisions. However he is still the manager. And like the players I will back him all the way till he is gone. Calling for his head achieves nothing in our situation except a poisonous atmosphere for him and his players to try and achieve that vision.

It isn’t like he or anyone else at the club will go. “Wenger out?!”…..”Sure”.


“People are too quick to toss principles aside”?
We have waited 13 years since Emirates transfer, in the time we as fans have even paid higher than ever. Highest in Europe to be more specefic in the world football. And not that we dont reached their promises they made at 2004 but the fact that we didnt even try for it. We have no ambitions for trophies. The only ambition our owner businessman and accountant manager have is more profit. Havent you figured that out after these many years? Havent you heard our owner call us his best business brand FFS?
So if you believe Stan Kronke and Ivan and Wenger have “long term plans” I agree with you. For their bank accounts.

broken red army

very little happening in market?
lol so to put in perspective the two positions “everybody knew” we needed reinforcement were centre back and striker. lets check how each of top contenders did business in “our” priority positions in the market:
*Chelsea: Batshuayi 33 £millions
Manchester City: Stones and Nolito for +60 £millions
Manchester United: Bailly for 29 £millions and Ibrahimovic free agent
Arsenal: Takuma Asano and Holding +2 £millions

*here in Italy there us the word Chelsea trying to match Napoli’s Koulibaly valuation of +50 £millions.

well Arsene these were our priority positions and we saw how we compared. its only little happening in Arsenal. and that little is your bulsh*t lies. this market isnt crazy, you earning 8 £millions each year is crazy, we paying highest tikcet prices is crazy, leaving Highbury 2004 for this business crap is crazy. Im out.


And don’t’ come back!


Ariverderci va fungola


Please learn to spell italian if you try to write italian!


I like how you conveniently ignored Xhaka to suit your propaganda

broken red army

another box to box midfielder wasnt amoung “our priority need”s, still lets check that as well:

Chelsea: Kante 30 £millions
Manchester City: Gundogan 20 £millions *
Manchester United: Pogba 90 £millions
Arsenal: Xhaka 30 £millions

*in the previous comment I forgot Gabi Jesus a Brazilian forward to Man City for 27 £millions.

just for you boy.


Please don’t forget that a new strong DM who can pick a pass and bring some grit into the team was high on fans’ lists for over a year now, not just after the departure of Arteta and Flamini.
And what do you want to prove by comparing fees for Kante, Gundogan, Pogba and Xhaka? That we could have spent more money on Xhaka? Is that your biggest concern? That we buy players for too little money?

broken red army

as I mentioned this comment doesnt concern you or anyone else. still it has not compared them or concluded anything from it and is solely for that boy “Srivatsan” as indicated. so if reading it bothers you for some reason know that I dont give a flying fuck.


If your comment isn’t for public consumption, maybe you shouldn’t post in a public arena.


Well, as this is a public forum, you should probably ask for his no. and take him out for dinner then. Because I just felt like replying to your incoherent reasoning, no matter if you care or not.
And picking on one guy, calling him “boy” when others make the exact same point, doesn’t help your argument really.

broken red army

someone asked about mentioning Xhaka and although it didnt fit the arguement I mentioned that as well for no other reason. thats why its only a reply to the fellow. and I didnt want to prove anything by those facts. as I didnt try to conclude anything. I really dont see whats the big deal you guys seem so pissed off why again? :)))


Xhaka was not a priority this season FFS. A striker and CB was what we needed.

Andy Mack

Yes he was. We had Arteta, Flamini and Rosicky leaving, so we really needed a MF and he’s a class act. We also need a CB and CF due to injuries.


So am I the only one who read the last part in al Pacino Italian accent? I’m outta order? you’re outta order this whole courtromm’s outta order!


About time we made Valencia an offer they can’t refuse.

Crash Fistfight

Al Pacino doesn’t have an Italian accent.


you’re conveniently forgetting Xhaka who cost £35M.

Never let facts get in the way of a good rant.

broken red army

first of 30 £millions. second read again ’cause I am talking about priority position needing reinforcement. if I want to count all positions its another fact altogether
deals other than those positions are as:

Chelsea: Kante 30 £millions (+33/50)
Manchester City: Sane Jesus Gundogan Moreno +90 £millions (+61)
Manchester United: Pogba Mkhitaryan +116 millions (+28)
Arsenal: Xhaka 30 £millions (+2)

and that’s not a fit perpective for the arguement, still you can compare the activity and Arsenal gets even further behind.


So you have determined a player that controls the game from deep and sprays passes forward (Xhaka) was not a priority? Are you suggesting Arsenal didn’t miss that skill last year especially without Arteta? I am out.


Most of the players you mention are the exact examples of average players. Batshuayi for 33M£? Tsss. Nolito? Meh. Stones for 47.5M£? Lol!
Sorry, but I don’t think any of these would have helped us in a pursuit for the title. And I’m not even discussing whether these players match our team / style of play.
That being said, I think Mustafi for 25M£ would be a sensible move in our current situation. No clue what’s going on behind the scenes there…


You don’t think Stones would have been a better option than Holding? I do. We’ve signed another cheap ‘maybe’ player who is no good to us straight away, and our competitors have snapped up a prem-ready top class player.


Stones might be the better player now, but for almost 20 times the fee (+ wages)? Phew. Mustafi for 25M sounds reasonable though.

Andy Mack

$iteh paid a real premium for Stones as they’re in a difficult position with ‘Home Grown’ players for their squad numbers.
If it wasn’t for that then he’d have cost closer to £30m than £50m.


Stones is ridiculously priced.


If he works out great but what’s his resale value?

If he doesn’t you’re saddled with a player which you will not only take a massive loss but also may have to pay on wages even after he is moved on.

Mangala is another huge mistake (as to be honest is Otamendi)

If Wenger made these sorts of colossal miscalculations, the club won’t be where we are at at present. We would have pissed our earnings away.

Most people who comment do not understand business.


Irony anyone?


Makes sense.


i thought the transfer kitty is meant to be spent? you just said its not your money, buy what we need at the moment… nobody is saying you should go for a sterling or bony.. just get what we need…. dont fucking say what we need isnt available… dont fucking say that


nobody likes to be robbed though.
at least I don’t


Its spent as an investment.

Wenger grew the clubs finance because he was cautious and had great acumen in the market. Buy low sell high.

This also provided the level of confidence (plus his early wins and continuous CL appearances) for the banks to provide the funds for the Stadium build.

Much of the early generation of finance was through Wenger’s sound management of our transfer policies.

With the stadium, we now have revenue coming from match day tickets but we still need to improve on commercial revenue.

If that can be increased, we are less so dependent on market judgement as far as buying and selling of players is concern but as a self financed model, we should still be very careful with our money.

We simply cannot sustain the sort of losses some clubs are willing to wantonly undertake. MOney will go very quickly.


Can’t fault his logic. Might hurt Arsenal in the short term, but he’s not wrong.


12 years is short term.


Short term like 13 more years short term?


Thaqt’s because he’s talking in generalities and vague predictions. It only obfuscates the situation at hand by ignoring what’s happening.


Its not your money Arsene..its not your money. But the team and legacy of trophies is yours. Think about it. You have 13 more days to put us through this shit storm of a transfer window.

Jin Jin

Intereting Arsene. Really interesting. Now sign some players already!!


I’d stop going to press conferences if I was AW. The media and the Wenger Out lot will criticize regardless of what he says. I’d just stop going and see what happens at the end of the season.


Because he keeps contradicting himself and lampooning himself (not intentional) to deflect rightful criticism. Just a couple of weeks ago he said that he treats the clubs money as his own. Now he says ‘It’s not my money’. As well as after Man City ‘We are ready’, to ‘We weren’t ready.’

Not to mention that he seems to value saving money over league points at the moment despite the fact that we are flush with cash. Everyone knows it and everyone knows what we need.

Wenger keeps saying that it is a poker game, but I’d argue that it’s poker and everyone can see Wenger’s hand.


I’m as frustrated as anyone with the failure to strengthen the squad in key areas. But I am equally unhappy at how AW is treated by some Arsenal fans (the press I don’t give a toss about). He cannot be portrayed as someone who has totally lost the plot. If anything the team has won a couple of trophies and improved its league position in the last 3 seasons while making club record signings. Personally I still trust the man is doing a good job.


He didn’t say he treats the money as if it’s his just a few weeks ago. That quote was lifted from a book that was recently released but he probably gave that interview a while ago. Also, the fact he’s here saying it’s NOT his money is a clue, I think, (along with the tweet from Ornstein the other day about needing to hold some cash back from the Mustafi purchase to have enough for a striker) that the villain here must be Kroenke after all, who must have set a very strict cap on our spending at like 100 million (including Xhaka), despite the fact that we obviously have more we could spend without being foolhardy and despite the fact that the stinginess is already threatening our season. Don’t get me wrong, Arsene is in part to blame for his natural caution, obsession with a bargain, placing too much faith in current squad, being too willing to tow the company line and not speak out, etc, etc. But he’s not holding the purse strings. And while Gazidis and the board can talk a good game about spending money, the fact is that 100 million, in this market, considering what the squad needs and considering what we have in the bank, is simply not enough, and their apparent unwillingness to go a bit over the budget in order to actually make us successful or at least competitive as a FOOTBALL club is disgusting. Wenger’s not blameless but I honestly think he’s desperate for a top class forward, and would probably prefer to blow a huge amount on someone he really loves, e.g., Griezmann, than spend say 15-30 on mediocrity, but the defensive injuries mean a wad of the cash has to go there (I suspect Holding was going to be our only CB signing before the injuries, which, if one still puts faith in Gabriel to come good, actually doesn’t seem that crazy) which has made it difficult for Arsene to spend big on the one or even two top class attackers that would make our attack finally click into gear again.


Semantics. Did he say it or not? Yes he did. The rest is complete conjecture.

Whether or not he has a budget or not, it is his responsibility to have a team capable of challenging for honors before the start of the season.

He hasn’t done that and now is open to criticism of which there is plenty.


Um, so which is it: semantics or conjecture (you are aware that those two words don’t mean the same thing, right?)? It’s not semantics (i.e. a dispute merely about how we choose to use a particular word) to point out that the quote wasn’t made a few weeks ago. I am conjecturing that he made the quote a while back, but that’s based on my reading that that was an excerpt from a book and my knowledge that books take a while to print. So he’s not been saying one thing one week and the complete opposite the next, as you suggest (in any event, saying that the money isn’t his, on the one hand, and saying that as a rule he tries to operate as if it is his, on the other, isn’t a contradiction at all).
I didn’t deny he’s open to criticism. I think he owns a big part of the blame for the way he’s operated for years. I just said some recent comments have led me to believe that they’re having to work within a tighter budget than we fans assume (even if it’s still a lot of money, it’s much less than we could spend responsibly, and much less than other top clubs are willing to spend, which given all that’s at stake seems seriously negligent). This explains why they are dragging their heels over a few million quid in the Mustafi deal, and I suggest this is ultimately the doing of the owner and the board, not Wenger, though he is too private/loyal/stubborn to ever kick up a fuss or criticize the board to the media.


Semantics meaning splitting hairs that he said this in the past. The man has a history of contradictory statements and this would be one of them. I could gather more if you like.

Conjecture with the Kroenke/budget thing. It is something that no one has any idea of. If we were to go from newpaper talk, they are also equally contradictory, yet if we look at the public accounts and take into consideration the new TV deal. You would conclude that we do have money. Who knows.

What I will say is that the Board are culpable for allowing Wenger to have this much power and putting no pressure on him.


Jeez man wake up. No top level striker is coming to us. If griezman or lewandowski were available teams far more ambitious than us would be sniffing around. We can’t match the wages so your killing yourself with hope if you really believe he has an ace up hours sleeve

Other than financial he’s a busted flush. These top players will know we aren’t good enough and nor is he willing to show the killer instinct to this squad to become so. Ozil and Sanchez are not signing new deals unless reasonable release fees are included

The only silver lining is that this is def his last year. He’s leaving the money to the next man


If Kroenke is still the owner when Wenger leaves, I very much doubt “the money” will be able to be spent in a dramatically different way by the “next man”. Jeez man wake up: everything we know about Kroenke from the media coverage of his dealings in the US suggests he’s a heartless, greedy tight wad who doesn’t give a shit about pleasing the fans or sporting success. Again, I’m far from believing Wenger is blameless, just don’t think changing managers is going to solve much unless the ownership changes, and in fact I think it’s likely the next manager will struggle to replicate Arsene’s recent “success” when he retires.
As for thinking no top striker would want to come to us, I disagree with you only slightly. I don’t think Lewandowski would want to come, but a guy like Griezmann–French, and like a lot of young French players a long time Arsenal fan, apparently–might if we paid him a huge salary and showed real ambition to go after him. And he’s got a (very large) release clause in his new contract, so for something ridiculous like 85 million we could force Athletico’s hand IF the player agreed. Listen, I’m not for a minute suggesting that it’s likely to happen or that it would be easy to convince a top striker like that to come to us. For the record: I THINK IT’S VERY, VERY UNLIKELY. I just don’t think it’s impossible; the biggest obstacle is that we’re simply unwilling to spend that kind of cash to even try, and my point is, in the case of this summer at least, I think (conjecture alert!) that that’s more down to having a strict, inadequate transfer budget forced on Wenger from on high than on Wenger himself, because I suspect (conjecture again!) that Wenger would prefer to go huge on a dream signing, especially in the all important CF position (now the problem is Arsene’s very picky so there’s only about 5 players in the world on his list of dream strikers), than go bargain hunting. If he can’t get the guy he really wants he’ll probably just keep what he has, like he did last summer; but with his contract up, and given the shambles last year, I think he really really wants to buy that striker rather than wait another year (as the club have consistently said all summer). So the idea that the club would make that more difficult by sticking to a stingy transfer budget is galling.

Indian Gooner

You do make sense Arsene but Sign some players already.. It is getting really boring reading BS every day in and day out.

Andy Mack

He’s obligated to do the press conferences and interviews.
I guess the best option is to stop reading them…


Less chit-chat and more contract closing would do us a world of good.


Well arsene, the market is what it is. Sad but true. No one is saying spend 60m on benteke or carrol. Mustafi is a solid defender. Do not haggle over 5m!! It’s ridiculous. You’ve done this with ribery and alonso…look how that turned out.

dr Strange

So he warns everyone that they could get stuck with mediocre players on long term contracts with a big salary. Like Walcott?


If we had let Walcott go instead of renewing his contract at the time, wouldn’t everyone be moaning about our lack of ambition and how we are letting our best players leave?


Walcotts last contract renewal was off a season where he was out injured for nearly all of it. It wasn’t after his 20 goal season.


The question is, even now, would you be happy to see Walcott leave on a free?

dr Strange



Watching the video of the press conference you can tell that the crowd reaction after a single defeat is hurting him.

He could make this a lot easier on himself if he just relented to pressure and spent some fucking money!

ducks sake

People on the payroll for years who don’t contribute. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm that never happens at Arsenal!

– Campbell (for some reason Wenger won’t play him or sell him)
– Wilshere
– Theo of course
– Debuchy
– Rosicky (Love the guy but he barely played)
– Diaby
– etc etc

Those withut sin cast the first stone and all that biblical malarkey


OK but going for Diaby is a low blow.

Andy Mack

Campbell was involved in 19 PL games last season.
Not used every game but over half, so he’s not a great example.
Going for Rosicky and Diaby are low blows.

Ducks sake

Why? They hardly played.

Andy Mack

They got injured ‘for the cause’.


I hate it when Arsene talks about long term, it’s like he has got decades more at Arsenal and there’s plenty of time left to win trophies.
Couple of opening games losses, 6 points gone doesn’t matter if he can get a player 5 mil cheaper.
I’m starting to feel what he enjoys most about being at Arsenal is bargaining, buying player cheaper than his rivals and gambling.


I do love Wenger, the comments he makes about the price of transfers and wages affecting clubs is spot on.

I just wish he’d do what’s needed for Arsenal!! He/Arsenal are driving me mad ?


So the answer Arsene – is to buy 31 year old players and give them 2 year contracts – then you have no worries over paying wages when they leave, you also have experience

Is this why he had no problem bidding for Vardy (29) but can’t stump up a reasonable sum for Mustafi (25)
I think Vardy turned us down because he wanted a 4 year deal and we were offering 3 or 2 –


Vardy turned us down because Leicester were willing to offer a suitably attractive deal. He ends there a club legend too. Not unreasonable.

We offered the price because as good as he has been, he is 29yrs old.

Comparatively, Wenger was willing to punt early because he is concern with the market.

Currently the Cback is intrinsically tied to how much we spend on the CF and vice versa.

Should we overspend on Mustafi, there is less money in play for say a Draxler should his price could sufficiently at end of window.

If we move for say Draxler now at 60m rumoured, we have no money for Mustafi and will have to make do with a less quality choice.

We have a budget to work with. It isn’t limitless and shouldn’t be.


Arsene, you are indeed a clever chap…however

1) please stop obsessing over other clubs and how they do business.
2) whilst most of your observations are built on economics logic in the real world, you should know by now that football bends these laws. Take your stance on FFP for example.

Andy Mack

He’s in a market which is effected by other clubs.
It’s impossible to ignore them.
It’s not obsessing, it’s a statement of fact.

Gus Caesar

I’m pretty sure that Wenger has said the same thing during every window over the last 10 years. People aren’t stupid, they know that spending more money means risking losing more money, the points haven’t changed, only the sums have. If we were talking about other clubs’ performances at a press conference he’d say “what is important is what we do and how prepared we are” – the same applies to the market – what is important is what we do to improve the squad and ensure that we’re prepared. At the moment we’re not performing very well at all…


Now let’s weigh this up;
Option A- Support Wenger with his degree in Economics and two decades experience of transforming my club from a boring team full of addicts managed by a thief to one of the most respected in Europe or
Option B – The impatient, illiterate mob of pessimists and nihilists who’ve never been to a game baying for Ballotelli-esque money to be spent so they can relax and hope.
Tough choice!


It’s like the remain / leave camps….. haha


Precisely, the mob won’t let sound reasoning stop them from pressing the self destruct button.


Let’s vote again because I didn’t get what I wanted and I can’t be wrong 🙁


Talking of people stuck at the club on high wages your £8m a year is quite a lot. He talks about the English clubs loosing their financial advantage through wages and fees, therefore at worst were on a level financial playing field with other European clubs, they still make signings, Juventus have had a fantastic transfer window, its no excuse!

Andy Mack

I’d bet that your boss earns more than you.
AW has staff that earn more than him…
Try telling your boss you should earn more than him.

Ducks sake

Mostly I just play devil’s advocate on here but being serious for a second lots of people are paid more than their bosses. It’s what a good boss does, it’s how you retain or hire special talents.

I work in app development, if you’re a great dev you’ll be on twice as much as your dev manager. You’re the talent he just needs to manage you. He can’t do his job without you.

Same with Wenger, the players are the talent, his job is to organise them and get them working to a high level. To get to a high level you need special talents and to do that as a manager you are going to have to learn that they are worth more than you as they are harder to find than you.

Andy Mack

No. many people that are bought in on short/medium term contracts are paid much more than the people they’re managed by. But there are very few (Not saying none!) situations where permanent staff are paid more than their boss.
Football is a cross between the 2 when it comes to the players as they’re on contracts but quite long term. They’re employed for specific tasks but have to work (and train) within a larger team.
Much closer to a standard business structure than a contract workers structure.


Mr Wenger,

Please avail yourself of the Arseblog News comments section on a regular basis.

You’ll soon see – your comments don’t stand up to scrutiny!


Someone left a comment on an earlier article, to the effect that there’s no point in touring the USA/Australia etc in the pre-season unless you spend the money generated. This is an interesting point, which deserves further consideration.

Clubs don’t spend Monopoly money. I believe it was the case that the money earned from the sale of Nicolas Anelka back in the day was used to fund the construction of London Colney? Does the clamouring for signings indicate that fans can only see teams improving through the purchase of new players? What about making existing players better? Perhaps Arsenal might have beaten Liverpool on Sunday if they’d done a pre-season focussed on developing the fitness, talent and chemistry within the squad, rather than trying to earn more money to appease sponsors and grow the brand of the club in international markets? What is the objective of the pre-season?

Aside from all of that, if the club is so interested in money above all else, surely this is a market in which it would be selling?


We hardly had 10 new players! 3 with the Japanese kid.the chemistry should be there, the fitness should be there. The preparation should be spot in. But no. As has been lacking for so long within our team

All fingers point at one man

215 Arse

Stfu up with this waffle and do your job big bird. Fearing the worst this weekend, again. Unreal for a “major” club.


Ok let’s assume Arsenal FC doesn’t have money this year, not a penny. Okay!!! And take into account Wenger’s statements that you need to find a player and he needs to be top class. Many of us know that worldwide there are players way better then Debouchy, Chamberlain, Walcott, Gabriel, Sanogo. So I think that the team wouldn’t suffer without them so, the club could have sold them and more or less make more then 50 millions on them. And they could have reinvested the money on some better “unknown” players from smaller teams that will rip their socks off to play for a bigger club like Arsenal. That could have been done in time and get some pre-season for them. That is one amateur view on the situation. We can also imagine how many combinations and solutions the club could have done by now.
And in the end, what kind of message is carrying the club towards the established players that we have?
What kind of motivation is there for them as the club shows no ambitions to improve the team. Also, the club have spent also millions at younger players for the future but i believe less then 5% of them make the first team and later make an impact in the first team.

Andy Mack

Why drag up Sanogo when he’s not in the 1st team squad????


Its not so easy to sell players either.

Particularly non performing ones. Bendtner and Chamakh were on our books for a number of season even after surplus to use.

We are buying premium players now. Granit is 30m, Alexis 35m, Ozil 42.3m.

Make a mistake buying at that level and you have to account for loss but also it will make it even more difficult to move the player on bc of wages. See Aguero.

Some accommodation will have to be struck which may mean a club might be saddled with a portion of the unwanted players wages.

All this will eventually affect transfer policy down the line.

James Dunmore

I wouldn’t mind some average players, even if they cost a lot. I mean surely an “average” centre back is better than no centre back, and an “average” striker will still get into double figures when your main strikers are injured/out of form/resting for the euro’s/really a winger


Why do you want to buy Silvestre or Squillaci but at a high price?

You buy ‘average’ and they may turn out to be worse than average.

Why not wait out for the better player?

James Dunmore

For every Silvestre there’s a monreal (who lets face it, nearly left because he was only an average left back who was second fiddle, then he found his form/class).

I’ll say it again though – waiting out for a better player is great, if you have something in the void – we don’t. There’s a whole host of players throughout the league who could do a better job with more experience than what we have right now

Lone Star Gunner

Arsene continues to push a straw man argument. We can’t and shouldn’t pay like Manure (Morinure now?) did for Pogba or even like City did for Stones. No one is asking for that. But if Mustafi takes an extra 5M because market prices are inflated it will hardly break the bank.


The extra 5m may weigh heavily on how much we can bid for a CF at end of window.

Say we paid 25m for Mustafi.

We’ve paid 30m for Granit.

I very much doubt we will break 90m this summer tops.

So we’ve spent 55m, leaving 35m for the striker.

Say Draxler’s price cools and comes down to 45m.

The extra 5m will make a HUGE diff.

Stuck on repeat...

Some times he does have a point to a certain extent. Yet for me he will always completely blow whatever point he is trying to make by completely over-exagerating: eg:

– “When the buyer is English, it is true that it multiplies the transfer by two or three or sometimes by 10 because if for the same player an English club does not come in, he is worth five million. But if an English club comes he is worth 35 or 40 or 50.” (Tell me AW, just exactly who do you see worth 5m yet linked with a 50m fee?)

– You could also add to that his recent comment about buying 20 new players at the start of a season to make the fans happy, when in actual fact the fans are simply asking for 2.

It therefore tends to loose it’s mark. It also completely comes across as a distinct lack of ambition, & simply settling. It also importantly completely fails to justify the highest ticket price possible structure that the club have in place.

Sad days…very sad days…


We are in a situation to have Debouchy as a back up for Bellerin and none of us wants the frenchman to be near the first team. What the hell is that. So we have a backup right back number wise, but quality wise?


Rback we have a number of options as back up.

He has yet to assess Jenkinson.

IMO he should put Calum back into his natural position at Rback (which is where he played to great aplomb with Soton)

Debuchy is also another option with experience albeit whether he will improve is another issue given age.

BUt we are not without choice at Rback.

The situation at Lback is more concerning.

Gibbs is a good player to fight for the spot with MOnreal but Monreal is getting older and GIbbs is injury prone. The academy has no one like Bellerin on this flank. We should be on the look out for a future succesor to this traditionally a position of strength for us.

Andy Mack

Coquelin can also cover in either FB position


Arsene Wenger is turning in to Chicken licken – He keeps tell us that the sky is falling – he is an economist at heart and can’t stand bubbles.

Arsene – football may well burst one day and maybe soon and all the saving in the world wont help that. If 99 clubs go bankrupt and you stay afloat then that is a Pyrrhic survival – you will not ever generate the income you have now.
The day the wheels come off world football, Stan Kroenke will extract every red cent from the bank and asset strip the club.

We will all be shopping in the Emirates Stadium Mall.

In perhaps the shorter term you will retire and the successor will undo every single practice you have instilled.

Just buy the two players that everyone has agreed we need for several years no – a striker and a centreback.

PS -Theo Walcott is not the answer to any question
except “What player should we happily let walk for free and maybe pay a % of his wages until his contract term expires”
So Drop him,
Play Joel Campbell instead – Joel has a footballing brain and works really really hard.
play gnabry
play bellerin
play an out of position ramsay
just leave the right wing empty…


That won’t be a problem for us then, because we never offer the highest wages or transfer fees.


Wenger waiting for the day all other top flight English teams simultaneously implode due to massive wage structure deficits leaving arsenal as the only club in existence therefore guaranteeing default premiership titles for the next 50 years.

except that wont happen…


The European press has been saying the same thing, that is English clubs pay high sums for average players. That’s why we do so bad in the CL. In the case of Arsenal, we need to buy smart but we still need to buy. The latter has always been our problem.

The Accountant

Too expensive for other clubs… Is he drawing from their experienc with Theo’s salary.


For those of you who might be unfamiliar with the American sports landscape, there is a long and cautionary history of the long term, negative consequences of overpaying and inflated markets. Baseball, (American) football, and basketball all suffer from this. Quite possible the American ownership is trying to avoid those models. Now, contexts are different, yes. But the principle is the same: bowing to subjective value is not always the right idea.

But yeah, a striker would be nice.

Al Gilmore

Every day we get a rehash from the media about how we do things and I don’t understand what more has to be said.

We may be very, very rich but we only spend the money we make. Simple. There is no outside injection of funds.

So every year you have to make sure you make a profit otherwise the amount of money you have to spend next year is limited.

And even if the 200mill figure we have in our cash reserves was really all there to be spent in truth we are never ever going to spend it all in one window or one or two players.

We also have to buy players who want demand a wage which is outside of our capabilities. Again. If we lose control of our costs then we will not make profit and will limit limit the funds we have for next season.

Without knowing exact figures. It is clear we wanted to buy at least 3 players for for the first team this summer and we started off quickly with Xhaka and tried to follow it up with Vardy. Had we got Vardy I would have expected another wide forward to be our final aim of of the summer. 3 players – for approximately 80 mill and about 300K/wk in wages between them.

But we didn’t get Vardy and then we lose 2 experienced CBs at a time when Koscielny is only starting preseason. So all-of-a-sudden the club need to find an experienced CB. Now if we just immediately pay what Valencia want for Mutafi we are effectively leaving ourselves 20mill of our 80mill projected spend to buy the 2 forwards we had hoped to buy. But at the figures we are quoted 20mill wouldn’t buy half of Lacazette. ..who let’s face it would not be a surefire hit in the PL.

And that is where we are at. So there will be attempts to find a cheaper solution at CB than Mustafi. Evans etc is quoted at lower. Williams went for 10mill…but he would be a stopgap and we tend to want to but players who we can expect to last 4 or 5 years.

When you have a finite budget you have to compromise. And it is a pain in the arse for everyone most of all our manager I would imagine. Sure. I get it. We pay the highest prices to watch our team nor is all our profit put back into the team. Our owner takes some for services rendered. But outside of the oligarch clubs this is the norm. So to argue about wanting someone else is really saying we want an oligarch to pump his own money in and not give a monkeys where it comes from and the possible negative legacy it could leave for the club.

The boss is right. We all know that a wrong un is hard to shift on if you buy him. We have been bitten more than once but not as badly as many of our rivals. But most of them can afford afford to waste money because of how they operate and also they know that fans just want to see transfers and care about little else….until the end of the season when they can blame the manager, sack him and start another merry go round of transfers.

We don’t have that. We have relative stability. But it has become a dirty word. It’s boring. We want to be on that merry go round. We want our Arsenal back is the cry.

But to this fan of nearly 40 yrs I’d say we’ve got the Arsenal we’ve always had. Top 4 or better. Anything less is below par. And not since the 1930’s were we the biggest spenders or payers..and why did we do that back then? Because we were trying to do what Citeh are doing now. Create an institution. But that was done and now we have custodians who are trying to do things the Arsenal way. We’re not the biggest spenders or payers.

Does that mean I don’t think we are missing a truck here or there or that you can be too carefull? Nope and I think we have been. I think a player who is 25 solves a CB problem for perhaps 7 seasons. That is worth overpaying for now rather than later. Take it on the chin. Take it that it is one less player to buy next year to replace Per.

I don’t think we can afford another season of what if.


Many salient points made.

I think we don’t need to rush into over spending.

The issues on the field has as much to do with Wenger’s tactical handicaps as much as to do with him shooting himself in the foot.

Santi, Granit and to some extent Koscielny could all have seen more degree of action on match day one. Granted Wenger was being cautious taking the long term approach bc of injury but we were also playing Liverpool (not a very good team these days but still strong opposition)

Meanwhile, we need to bear in mind that what we over pay for the Cback has repercussions with any bid for a CF.

I don’t think we are in the mode currently of paying for just average players.

We have a full complement of youth developing and experience players in all positions.

Weare not about numbers now but capabilities.

Wenger is adding premium now and that is harder to get right.

Thus far he has been spot on with Ozil, Santi, Alexis, Cech and Granit.

he has also been spot on (unlike some commentators) with Bellerin, Iwobi Campbell and Coquelin.

To add now a CF which is simply adaquete would be a waste of opportunity.


Mr. Wenger is making a fool of himself. He should stop this over analysis and bring in the players we needs to compete. No fan is expecting us to break the transfer record, just good players, we know good players are out there.


Bailly, Umtiti, Stones, Benatia, Hummels moved this summer. Mustafi, Koulibaly and probably others are allowed to move if the price is right. But yet, there is no defender. If the scouting team can’t do better than Holding, I’m sorry but there is a problem within the staff.

Alexis Sanchez' CD collection
Alexis Sanchez' CD collection

Look, I understand a lot of the current criticism of Wenger, but this seems like a perfectly reasonable point to make. To some extent haven’t we made the same point about Walcott? He is on 140,000 a week and if we were to offload him we don’t know who would take up his wages. If that issue is magnified with foreign targets, why is that not an issue all of a sudden? Its completely true the English clubs are getting fleeced by the foreign clubs for very average players, and even by eachother. I’m not suggesting we don’t need to buy players this window, but come on… He’s speaking sense here and a lot of these comments feel like part of a pile on because people are currently frustrated. He’s acknowledged you have to accept the way the market is, but does that not mean he can’t make an observation about how it may affect English clubs longer term?


Arsena why are you so concerned with the future of the league. Live in the moment for God’s sake.

We can’t believe anything in the papers. When knows if we’re in for Mustafa, Lafayette or any of em…frankly I don’t care who were in for I just wanna get something done…even a squad player to back up giroud would suite me fine. New shiny objects please