Wenger - We have to protect the clubs

Arsene Wenger
Arsene Wenger

Arsene Wenger does not feel "let down" by the news that Financial Fair Play rules will be relaxed - but he is adamant that clubs need to be protected and self-sufficient.

European football's governing body is preparing to ease the measures it brought in four years ago to stop clubs from overspending, with Uefa general secretary Gianni Infantino confirming that "a number of amendments" were under discussion.

"I saw it coming," admitted Wenger. "I got the noises internally, as you get in your own job.

"I just did fight for what looks to me to be logical: that any business, to have a continuity, should live with the resources that it creates"

Arsene Wenger

"I could see it coming: [there was] resistance in France, in many countries, in Italy for example, where people want to sell their clubs. If Milan is for sale, Roma is for sale, people who want to invest money want to make sure they can do what they want with their own money.

"Uefa might be under threat as well. All these people, once they go together and say ‘look, we are a force, let us do what we want or we move away.’ That is certainly the fear.

"If you look at the wages, despite the improvement of the money available in England, you can see that the increase in wages was only six per cent in the last two or three years. So the positive effect [of FFP] started to come in. Now we have to see what happens. What will be respected in the Financial Fair Play and what will go out of the window? I don’t know.”

Wenger has long advocated a system where clubs live within their means.

“Because you would like a business to live with its natural resources," he explained. "Because you want as well to protect your business.

"If somebody goes tomorrow to Totteridge [in north London] - I am from Totteridge, but it would not be me - and says ‘I want to create a world-class team’, and puts the money in, after he moves away then Totteridge goes down again.


"We have to protect the clubs to live with their own resources, and as well for fair competition. If you produce cars and he produces cars, and somebody comes in and says ‘I can sell the cars at half price for five years just to make you die’, then you die. So that is the case.”

In England, Chelsea and Manchester City have enjoyed greater spending power than their rivals thanks to heavy investment in their clubs.

"Other clubs who worked within their normal resources could not compete with them," noted Wenger. "That is why I say it is a race, a Formula One race, where you have ‘Super Formula One’, Formula Three, Four, Five and Six. The days where Nottingham Forest could win the European Cup have gone.

"Look, I have no problem to lose the battle," he added. "I just did fight for what looks to me to be logical: that any business, to have a continuity, should live with the resources that it creates."



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