Wenger reflects on lean years

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has said that with hindsight he wouldn't have overseen the club's relocation to the Emirates Stadium.

The club spent £400million constructing their new stadium, meaning finances were extremely tight in the following years as they looked to repay back a massive loan taken out to finance the build.

As a result the club was forced to curtail their spending and sell a number of star players including Ashley Cole, Samir Nasri, Bacary Sagna, Gael Clichy, Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie.

And ahead of the club's appearance in the FA Cup final with Chelsea on Saturday, Wenger has revealed that he struggled to cope from the opening of the new facility in the 2006/07 season to 2014 as he was severely restricted in his player movements.

While Wenger was able to achieve Champions League qualification in every season at the club until now, he admits it was the bare minimum require to be able to compete financially.

He told BT Sport: "In 2006 started the most difficult period of my life because we had restricted finances, we had to pay back a huge amount of money and we had to sell our best players and we had to stay at the top.

"We had to stay in the Champions League and we had to make at least 54,000 people [happy].

"There are debates when you build a stadium. How big can it be? It's quite simple: at the time it was £4,000 per seat. You multiply that by 60,000 and it's £240million. 

"Plus, we had to buy the soil and the all businesses we had to buy out so it went for over £420million, and we had to pay a huge amount of money back every year and that's why we had to stay in the Champions League.

"Today, the television money makes the weight of the Champions League much weaker, but at the time it was absolutely needed, so that was for me the biggest period of pressure, between 2006 and 2014.

"Today, you tell me 'do that again' I would say 'no, thank you very much, leave that to somebody else' because it was an unbelievably tough period."

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