By Declan Taylor

Arsène Wenger is certain that football will feel the full force of the current economic crisis.

With the January transfer window well and truly open many clubs are expected to bolster their squads for the second half of the season. However, Wenger thinks that the current climate, and particularly the weakness of the pound sterling, will prevent many of the usual big spenders from splashing the cash.

Despite this, the manager confirmed that he does have funds available to spend in the next month.

“We do have a specific budget. It is not as big as I have read in the newspapers but we will try to use it wisely and well if we can,” said Wenger at Friday’s pre-match press conference.

“I still feel football will be hurt as much as anybody else in this economical crisis. At the moment, people are not conscious of what is facing us economically. It will certainly be more difficult because it was not long ago 1.40 and 1.50 [Euros to the pound] but now it is one to one. It is a big handicap for English football.

“People still think we are in a bubble, but we will be hit like anybody else, I am convinced of that.”

However, Wenger does expect one club to benefit from the ‘credit crunch’ - the Premier League’s newest spending power, Manchester City.

“I am convinced you will have a much more cautious market than you expect it to be but one of the isolated powers you could have are Man City,” he said. “That will be one of their strengths because they will not have quite as much competition as they would have had if the circumstances were normal.”

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2 Jan 2009