Wenger: Big money is hurting Arsenal

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has admitted that his club are being left behind by football's big spenders like Barcelona, Real Madrid, Chelsea and Manchester City.

Football News: Arsene Wenger

The Gunners will start their UEFA Champions League group stage campaign against Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday, and Wenger admitted his fear that Real Madrid and Barcelona could dominate Europe this season.

"I believe that this season, I see two teams that are above the rest - Real Madrid and Barcelona - and the rest have to catch up during the season," Wenger said, according to quotes reported by the Guardian.

"So for us, it's a new start because we are a new squad. What is at stake during the group stage for us is to show that we can go through.

"We are in our 14th season in the Champions League group phase and what has changed is that the competition inside England has become bigger among the top teams.

"It is as difficult to win the Champions League because a team that wins the Premier League is in the Champions League final almost every year.

"Outside the country, Barça and Real Madrid have much more financial power than they had 14 years ago because they have individualised their TV rights. So they, at the moment, with teams like Man City and Chelsea can take who they want."

When asked about the difficulties of managing a club with lesser resources, he said: "You know about it, I don't need to explain that."

"We have seen the first signs of some resistance in Spain, where everybody complains.

"I believe that Europe overall, as a unit, is going towards a massive crisis, which nobody really expects now. I am convinced that Europe will go into a huge financial crisis within the next three weeks or three months and maybe that will put everything into perspective again.

"Football is not untouchable. We live with people going to the stadiums as well and from advertising from people who buy products. All our income could be a little bit under threat in the next few months. Football is not only about money. We believe in ourselves that we can compete with them but it's as simple as this."

The Frenchman accepted that his side was not a favourite to win the Champions League, but blamed their injury-riddled start to the season as a major factor.

"We are full of hope but I understand why people raise that question [about Arsenal not being equipped to win the Champions League]," said Wenger.

"We have not had a particularly strong start in the league. We have had five players coming in [just before the transfer deadline] and nobody knows how good they will be.

"I wouldn't rule it out but it's too early to speak about winning it [the Champions League]. Saying that would raise a lot of scepticism about the team and I don't think anyone would believe it. But we have to do as well as we can and we have to form a team in the next two months. It's too early to have that kind of ambition."



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