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Wenger: We cannot compete with Man City and Chelsea - again


Arsene Wenger (Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Arsene Wenger (Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Arsene Wenger (Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Arsene Wenger believes that football's brief age of Financial Fair Play has been ended by threats of legal action and admitted that Arsenal are now back to being unable to compete financially with Chelsea and Manchester City.

Although Wenger stressed that the availability of players rather than funds is what has so far prevented him spending more than £10m for Petr Cech this summer, he believes that Uefa's attempt to enforce a 'break even' principle on football has proved impossible.

Wenger will be well aware that City's net outlay this summer is likely to be around £150m with Kevin De Bruyne to add to Nicolas Otamendi, Raheem Sterling, Fabian Delph, Patrick Roberts and Enes Unal.

Chelsea have so far spent just over £50m on Pedro, Baba Rahman and Asmir Begovic but also appear willing to pay another £100m if they can recruit Paul Pogba and John Stones.

Both City and Chelsea have mitigated their spending with sales and will point out that, for accounting purposes, transfer fees and wages are also spread over the length of a contract.

Asked what he made of Financial Fair Play in the context of the transfer activity of rival English clubs, Wenger said: "It has gone. I have seen the signs coming from Uefa for a while now. I thought for a while FFP would happen but now it is not possible."

The changes would provide more leeway for owners to embark on short-term spending sprees provided that they are not borrowing money and they present Uefa with a clear plan for breaking even in subsequent years.

It was confirmed last month that City and Paris Saint-Germain have had their restrictions on transfer spending and Champions League squad size lifted after meeting their targets. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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