Arsene Wenger insists Arsenal can win the Premier League

 

Arsene Wenger insists Arsenal can still win the Barclays Premier
League despite not being able to match the outlay of some rivals.

The Gunners are without a trophy since winning the FA Cup seven years ago and have not won the title since 2004.

Big-spending Chelsea and Manchester City have enjoyed domestic success since then, while Arsenal have been criticised by some supporters for not splashing the cash.

That, though, does not mean the north Londoners should not hold title ambitions, according to Wenger.

"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 told Time Out Hong Kong.

"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 Frenchman, speaking before Robin van Persie announced his intention to leave the Gunners, added: "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."

Wenger also believes the eventual implementation of Financial Fair Play can have a positive impact on both Arsenal and the league as a whole.

"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."

PA

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