By Chris Harris

Arsène Wenger is happy to defend the vast sums paid to footballers in the modern era - provided their attitude is spot-on.

Player wages have never been higher thanks to the emergence of mega-rich owners and more and more clubs are benefiting from benefactors with Paris Saint-Germain and Russian side FC Anzhi joining familiar big spenders Chelsea and Manchester City this year.

FC Anzhi was purchased by billionaire Suleyman Kerimo in January and Roberto Carlos, Yuri Zhirkov and Samuel Eto'o are just a few of their high-profile signings. Eto'o's switch from Inter raised eyebrows with the Cameroon star set to earn a reported 20.5 million euros but those kinds of deals do not bother Wenger.

"I believe you spend the money you have in the club and [give it] to people who deserve it," said the Arsenal manager.

"I am very happy when the players make a lot of money, with one restriction, that the attitude has to be right. That means you have to show you give absolutely everything to deserve it.

"For the managers it is exactly the same, that you have an honest behaviour towards your club, that means you give everything to justify the money you make. If that money is what the club earns, I am alright with that."

All the same, Wenger believes that the pool of clubs capable of winning the Champions League will diminish as wealthy owners enter the sport.

"At the end of the day, you know you will not see the poorest teams winning the Champions League," he said. "That is impossible.

"Money is a very important factor in success, not the only one, because it is also the quality of the work, the length of that work which plays a part. Of course money has a big input, but we will see at the end of the season."

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15 Sep 2011