By Chris Harris
Arsène Wenger thinks UEFA has plenty of work to do before finalising the financial fair-play rules they want to impose from the 2012/13 season.
Last May, European football's governing body approved plans to force clubs in European competition to spend only what they earn. Specifically, the new rules will require clubs to break even over a rolling three-year period - or risk their participation in the Champions League or Europa League.
At first glance it seems UEFA's financial fair-play initiative is tailor-made for Arsenal, a club with a self-sustainable business model, while big spending rivals like Manchester City and Chelsea will need to rein themselves in.
But Wenger can see a number of potential loopholes in the proposals.
"I don’t really know what is in the financial fair-play [rules]," he said.
"For example, if you get to control the resources [of a club], you put the name of a company on the shirt. If it is a private company they can decide how much money they put in the sponsorship. It can be a disguise sponsorship. Will that sponsorship on the shirt be at the level of the price of the market?
"For example, maybe if [Roman] Abramovich has one of his companies and the usual price is £10million on the shirt, if he puts £50million, can you go against that?
"There are many questions that have to be raised to control it well if you go for the financial fair-play [rules]. I’m convinced that UEFA will do it but they do not know yet how to put it in place.
"They are just now building the committee who is in charge to elaborate the whole system. Nothing is being decided on the UEFA side. They are putting the rules into place for 2013 and don’t know how to do it."
The record sums spent on transfer deadline day suggest that some clubs are not ready to fall in line - or are simply splashing out while they can.
Chelsea alone spent £75million on Fernando Torres and David Luiz but Wenger, who was not so active in the January transfer window, does not take any special pride from his team's superior position in the Premier League table.
"I don’t think I have to be especially ashamed. We have gone for a different policy," he said. "I don’t criticise people who invest bigger.
"We have gone for development of our youth system with the philosophy that is internal so we are less in demand to bring any external [players] in."Copyright 2013 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 4 Feb 2011