Is it that time of the year yet? Arsene Wenger has yet again bemoaned 'excessive spending' on part of clubs such as Chelsea, Manchester City and PSG. He went on to say that such wealth is detrimental to transfer market and football in general. He said "It is difficult for us because the wages in some other clubs are very high. But of course our players quite rightly compare themselves to the players of the other clubs"
Contrast this to what he had to say last year in July. "When you see all the fees around you become dizzy. We do what we want and we look first at the quality of the player and after if we have the money we spend it" Sounds familiar?
Wenger's point seems to be that before the influx of dizzying money, even smaller clubs with homegrown players could achieve success. It would be justified if Arsenal's academy produced players of high calibre that slotted into the first team. But a look at Arsenal's current team would reveal that apart from Wilshere, who is a magnificent talent, it is difficult to spot any success story of that magnitude.
Another argument made against Wenger is that he has no qualms in selling top players for big money to top European clubs, Nasri and Fabregas being the latest player sales. If that brings in money to the club, then according to Wenger's logic, it is more than enough to buy quality players, no matter how much he argues about inflated prices. Either the Board does not allow for such transfers and he is forced to take the moral high ground or he simply just does not believe in excessive spending.
There have been critics of excessive spending by top clubs of Europe for some time now. Some say it just inflates players values and even players with potential command transfer fees that not even top players earlier used to. Other arugue, and they do so with equal merit that influx of big money has trickle down effect. For example, 25 million pounds that Chelsea paid for Oscar to Internacional is a lot of money for the Brazilian club. It can be chanelled into overall development of the club. Yet another pursuasive argument is one that compares football to business. Like any other industry, big clubs with a lot of money will leverage that. And arguments against fair play rely on this argument. If there are enough players willing to sell their players at astronomical prices, it is because there are clubs willing to pay that price. Smaller clubs develop talent with an eye on selling them later at good profits. Wenger has been quite an expert at developing talent and making hefty profits on selling the player. And in business, firms profligate with money get into trouble and finally die. These are the rules of the game. Everyone behaves the way they wish, mindful of this consequence. So, rather than moaning about such spending, Wenger should indeed wait for some of these clubs to cause their own downfall. And if one were to believe everything Wenger says, that time is near.
It would be interesting to see top clubs meet the financial fair play obligations. For the time being, let us take Wenger's recent comments in a lighter vein. To add, Wenger has been accused by managers earlier of moaning about everything, from fixtures to player selection by national manager. It is about time the Professor set to his task and gave us the beautiful football that Arsenal have displayed, Van Persie or not.