By Richard Clarke
Football’s new world order will not last long, according to Arsène Wenger.
Over recent years the game has been twisted towards the whims of a few heavy-spending owners who, the Arsenal manager argues, put “inflationary pressure on people who can’t compete”.
The Frenchman outlined once again that not only is Arsenal’s self-sustaining model the most prudent in the long term but also suggested his policy of rearing young talent gave more meaning to the success achieved. Wenger was at pains to point out that this was no direct dig at Manchester City, the latest club able to splash their considerable cash, but in the present climate any side with a huge amount of disposable income would be able to skew the market.
“Football will not survive a long time with the way it is ruled now,” said Wenger. “You cannot have a world where there is suddenly an influx of money, it puts everybody else under pressure to pay twice as much.
“Somebody with unlimited resources can strain the whole world. This is not an anti-Man City case. But can our world go on like that? It puts inflationary pressure on people who cannot compete.”
Even Arsenal, with a well-known policy of bringing through youngsters, are under duress to bring in a big name for big money during this transfer window. If the back pages are to be believed the purchase of Andrei Arshavin may satisfy that desire. But, on the whole, Wenger’s default tactic is retention not acquisition.
“I have to keep faith in the players I have,” he said, speaking before the weekend game with Cardiff City. “I have worked very hard to get them to the level where they are. They are all very young and the target is to keep them together rather than to re-invent.
“We are doing well with a very young side, I don’t think there are very many younger teams in Europe who can compete at that level. But we have to get them to mature, be successful and win trophies of course.
“That is the way I thought we could continue to win within the resources of the Club having built the new stadium. We anticipated the new era by getting in young players, educating them and then trying to be successful.
“Football has to live within its resources. That is the money you generate with gate receipts, sponsorship and television money but not artificial support.
"You can say 'yes we pay our players this much because our income is this much'. Not we pay our players £150 million and we win a trophy the next year. What does that mean?
“Ours is a model that does not depend on one individual. It is self-sufficient - that is the satisfaction – but it makes economic sense as well.”Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 27 Jan 2009