By Richard Clarke

For Arsène Wenger, it is a “scandal” when football clubs lose money.

The Arsenal manager believes that major teams should be viewed in the same way as major financial institutions when they register heavy losses.

The issue arose ahead of Arsenal’s Champions League trip to Villarreal on Tuesday. Wenger let Robert Pires move to the Spanish side in 2006 partly because the French midfielder wanted a longer contract that the Emirates Stadium side were prepared to give. In recent years, Arsenal have only offered one-year deals to older players.

Since his move, Pires has proved to be a valuable asset for the “Yellow Submarine”.

Ahead of the flight to Spain, Wenger revealed he did not want to let the midfielder go but financial prudence and the demands of building a new stadium meant he would concentrate on bringing younger players through. He argued it was the only responsible action to take.

"The decision was to go for more youth when we decided to build a new stadium because we were not in a position where we could spend £30m or £40m on players,” he said. “It's as simple as that.

"Whether people accepted it or not is one thing, but today we have a good side, we make profit and we pay our debtors back.

"In a modern world, people are scandalised when banks lose money but I'm scandalised when football clubs lose money. For me, it's the same process.

“When we built the stadium, we decided to go for a youth policy. It has benefits like because when you bring through young players, they develop a spirit together.

"Overall I'm not against spending money but I am against losing money.”

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
7 Apr 2009