Wenger says Uefa finance rules will fail


Arsène Wenger, with his Arsenal team on the brink of reaching the Champions League knockout stages, fears Uefa's commitment to financial fair play (FFP) will be impossible to implement.

Europe's governing body has threatened sanctions against clubs who fail to start balancing the books, including bans from their elite competitions. Yet Wenger believes the power of clubs such as Manchester City, Malaga and Paris St-Germain will prove too great.

Wenger has previously accused rivals of "financial doping", and last week City announced an annual loss of £194.9m. With the Swiss team FC Sion taking Uefa to court recently, the Frenchman sees control shifting.

"When I see the number announced by Man City, do you really think it [FFP] will work in 2013? I cannot see it when the wage bill is bigger than the turnover. Frankly, that cannot happen in one year," Wenger said.

"And secondly, with what happened with Sion challenging Uefa, they have lost a lot of power. We live in a world where any decision made is challenged. The authority of the legal affairs is challengeable everywhere.

"Will Uefa be capable to force it through? I question it. In other countries, you have as well Paris St-Germain, Malaga as well. Once they represent a force together, it will be difficult to fight against."

With their self-sustaining financial model, Arsenal will reach the knockout stages of Uefa's elite club competition for the 12th consecutive season if they defeat Borussia Dortmund at the Emirates tonight.

Robin van Persie started Arsenal's last European match on the bench but such is the importance of getting a result, the Netherlands forward will start tonight. Abou Diaby also returns to the squad as Wenger's team look to stretch their unbeaten run to nine matches. "Every player and member of staff is conscious it is a big night for us," Wenger said. "It's another big test of our solidity. We will go into it with a desire to win the game.

"Our consistency has helped the team improve. And qualifying from the Champions League group will give us a lift again. For us it is vital. The two priorities for us are the Premier League and the Champions League. We are focused on those."

Tottenham Hotspur, the last team to beat them, are providing a challenge to Arsenal's place in the domestic top four, although Wenger suggested yesterday that there is room for both of them in the Champions League qualification places.

The rivalry has prompted Jack Wilshere, the midfielder, to pledge £3,000 to charity should Tottenham finish above their neighbours. "I hope the charity gets a lot of money because they have a lot of supporters," Wenger said.

Wenger was less jovial when it came to Emmanuel Adebayor, the former Arsenal striker, who is leading the Spurs attack while on loan from City but is not permitted to play against his parent club. "If the loan is a loan he should be capable to play against everybody," Wenger said. "That is the only thing I believe. There was one period where you had the choice and I never, never refused the choice. I always said yes, you can play against us.

"I allowed [Jermaine] Pennant to play against us with Leeds and I always allowed the players to play."

Key confrontations

Robin van Persie v Mats Hummels

The young Germany international has won 12 caps and is considered one of the better defenders in the Bundesliga. The tall 22-year-old will face the unenviable task tonight of shackling Van Persie, arguably Europe's most dangerous and in-form striker.


Andre Santos v Mario Gotze

Santos has improved in recent weeks, striking a better balance between attack and defence, but the German wunderkind has scored three in his last three games, including the winner at Bayern Munich last week. The attacking midfielder been linked with Arsenal.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
The Tesco Hudl2: An exceptional Android tablet that's powerful, well-built and outstanding value

Life and Style
food + drinkAuthor DBC Pierre presents his guide to the morning after
Two christmas trees ,Moonbeam (2L), Moonchester (2R) and Santa Claus outside the Etihad Stadium
footballAll the action from today's games
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Life and Style
food + drink
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas