Wenger says money is making football “too predictable”

Football is going through some very difficult times recently, after many years of thinking owning a football club was a license to print money, there have now been massive losses recorded across he board, and the biggest clubs have been the biggest losers since the pandemic stopped paying customers coming through the door.

These losses were used as justification for the decision to create the breakaway Super League, but it would only benefit the richest clubs and do nothing for the less well-supported teams, and there was little surprise that the fans quickly persuaded their owners to back away from the deal.

The great Arsenal legend Arsene Wenger is now working for UEFA so it was not a surprise that Le Prof was asked for his opinion, and this is what he told BeinSports (as transcribed by Football.London): “I would say as a football fan, I was against the Super League project because it ignores what makes football great.”

“The importance of money has become bigger and bigger. Why?”

“Football is unpredictable as a sport, but the money and the recruitment of big players in a set number of teams has made football predictable.

“Take the Champions League semi-finals for example. You have basically the four richest clubs in the world in the semi-final.

“Chelsea, Man City, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid and you come back next year, and you’ll have the same again, or maybe Barcelona, Bayern Munich or Manchester United.

“That means clubs like Nottingham Forest and Aston Villa are finished forever, so on top of that, you can’t make a league with even more security.”

I’m not sure I agree with that completely. Yes, There are the usual massively rich clubs that are more likely to be up there in the UCL semifinals, but just think that if West Ham or Leicester finish in the Top Four this season, at least they have a chance to go far in the Champions League next season. Just like non-League clubs can dream about FA Cup glory. There will always be giant-killers and rags-to-riches stories, as long as we have promotion and relegation as a right as well.

In fact, if Aston Villa are finished for ever, then Arsenal are actually below them in the League. Are Arsenal finished for ever as well????

Tags Super League Wenger

41 Comments

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  1. Loose Cannon says:

    Look who’s talking now! The fella constantly took 8M a year and the predictable finish was a “top tour tropheeeee”. Transfered our best players to opponents and hired cheappos on mega wages and transfer fees. Was it not this man who during his tenure increased “poor” Ozil’s salary to 350M year higher than City’s KDB for next to zero performances? Wake up Sir, your top four EPL has become a top eight now becuase the bar has been raised with Everton, Pool, Lesceister investing making the league more competative. Was it not boring to have Arsenal or MUtd battle out each year for the title some 15-20 years back?Now we have almost 6-7 teams for the no2 spot and mayber 2-3 teams for the no1 spot. Is this an excuse for you to justify your failed / outdated ways and your failed talent hiring? Double standards now that he is out of any lucracative job for over two years, thanks to Ivan who put this man out of the footballing misery we are now into.

    1. Joe says:

      I’m lost here. What has Mr. Wenger’s or Ozil’s wage increase got to do with anything. Let’s not our hatred of a man cloud our judgement when making comments. If what he said is not true, let’s state that without engaging in twaddle. In any case, your assertion about a top eight affirms what he said. I don’t think Mr. Wenger sought to justify failed/outdated ways and failed talent hiring. Personally, I agree that the money and the recruitment of big players in a set number of teams has made football predictable.

    2. Seroti says:

      You just sprouts out loose nonsense, did you even read the full transcript of what Arsene said?
      Has money not affected the football world?
      Is money not the reason for creating the Super league?
      Is money not the reason other English teams kicking against the SL?
      Is money not the reason UEFA fighting back?
      Ozil nor Wenger has nothing to do with our present problem so just leave the out of it or wait for an Article that talks about them 🙄🙄🙄

    3. ken1945 says:

      Loose Cannon, I think the replies have seen how your post has been received 🤔😂

      Just one question from me, can you explain your claim that AW “constantly took £8M a year?
      Yet ANOTHER wild claim from you that has no substance whatsoever…. unless you have insight into the club’s finances?

      As for the top four trophy finishes, what would you prefer then, as we sit currently in 9th position?

      One thing is certain, when Ozil was awarded his obscene and ridiculous salary, it was gazidis and kronkie who sanctioned the deal (please know your facts) as it was MA and kronkie who sanctioned Aubemeyang’s reported £300,000 plus three year deal, was it not?

      If you think our competition with manure was “boring” I’m sure your enjoying our battles we find ourselves in at the moment in mid table mediocrity – still, you have now got YOUR Arsenal back… what a joker you are my friend.

  2. gotanidea says:

    That’s why smaller clubs must rely on smarter recruitment, by using the latest scouting technology instead of relying on human scouts

    Besides, cheaper players are generally easier to control than the expensive superstars. Some of them might be less talented than the high-profile counterparts, but some of them have better work ethic

    Wenger has proven this by getting unpopular and fringe players from other clubs in the beginning of his tenure at Arsenal. Ranieri also did it with his low budget squad at Leicester

    1. John Ibrahim says:

      west ham and Leicester continue to do it…..

      Tottenham hasnt spend big on players and for one season they did not spend a single cent

      yet the clubs are challenging for top 4/5

      1. gotanidea says:

        Arsenal should’ve learned from Liverpool’s and Leicester’s scouting methods

  3. ThirdManJW says:

    The other leagues are predictable, but not the English league. Anyone can beat anyone in our league, which is what makes it so popular.

    1. Mark says:

      “Anyone can beat anyone in our league”

      Is this really true? The odd upset happens but the big money teams are always favorites going into games and eventually win the league…and don’t come with the Leicester once in a lifetime story. lets not kid ourselves here

      1. ken1945 says:

        Just check how many different clubs have won the PL since its inception… and then work out when City and Chelsea started winning it… after the introduction of oil money and Russian roubles.

    2. Highbury Hero says:

      Like Mark said except for Liverpool and Leicester it is only Manchester City and Chelsea who have been winning the league.

      So yes the EPL is as predictable as the flavour of rice on my plate.

      1. ThirdManJW says:

        Well most other leagues it’s just one team winning most seasons, so in regards to the top leagues, the EPL is the least predictable by a country mile!

        The best league is probably the Championship, in regards to picking who will finish where.

        1. Highbury Hero says:

          Yes other leagues are the worst when it comes to a one horse race every season but Premier league cannot be said to be much better, Manchester City have won 5 times for the last 10 seasons (including this season).

          I agree about the championship.

          1. ken1945 says:

            I can only think of Bayern Munich and ( once again, since money flowed into their coffers, as AW indicated) PSG, so the argument that most other leagues are won by one club, needs to be backed up with examples methinks 🤔

          2. Kenny says:

            Juventus has won the Italy Series A for consecutive 9 years before Inter Milan won this season.

            I don’t watch German and Italy league.

          3. Highbury Hero says:

            Ken there is Juventus who have won for 9 years in a row, Barcelona who have won 7 times out of the last 10 and there is Celtic who have won 9 in a row too. Those are the ones I can quickly think about.

          4. Admin Pat says:

            PSG too

          5. ken1945 says:

            HH – Juve were exposed as cheats I believe – Barca have always battled it out with RM and AM – Celtic were virtually handed the keys to the title, when Rangers were expelled… also for cheating!!!

            Juve will not win the title this year, Celtic the same and Barca are third in the league and require Atletico and Real to slip up… meanwhile City???

          6. ThirdManJW says:

            Tons of examples Ken, as others are pointing out to you. Maybe do some research before speaking.

  4. Abdul Razak Sesay says:

    Arsene Wenger didn’t mention or meant league table or position he was talking base on richest clubs and Arsenal is among the world’s richest clubs. Your statement or question which you base on league position is not the talking point here but rather rich clubs.

  5. roy says:

    guys. the real sinners of modern day football is the overpaid, lazy and media attention seeking players. fans demand these players, so clubs need to splash big money to sign them and pay them crazy wages (more than heads of states) and clubs have to service the loans, and yet fans blame them for being money-minded ? why dont the fans be smart for once and protest against players earning so much. install a salary cap for hesvens sake like the NBA. the super league may be flawed but it wont destroy soccer as the current system is now doing. protest against the overpaid players, allow the clubs to balance their books, then we talk about all the rest

  6. Highbury Hero says:

    I thin he was giving an example of teams who have won the UCL before in Aston villa and Nottingham Forrest. With how the UCL is set right now teams like those are not going to win the UCL forever. It is always going to be the same names every season because they have money to get all the best players.

    It’s like saying Tuvalu (love you all Tuvaluans) has a chance to replace the USA as a world super power.

    1. ozziegunner says:

      HH, unless a Tuvaluan invents a new “super weapon” or a new “sugar daddy” buys a “lesser” club. 😃

      1. Highbury Hero says:

        It has to be extremely super OG because even size is not in their favour. When they are bought they cease to be lesser in two or three seasons. It is feels just like yesterday when Man city were relegation contenders.

  7. instrooments says:

    True talk from Arsene..

    This issue started with the galacticos era… Then came abrahamovic and Arab money..

    We had players playing for the badge, becoming legends and having statues erected in their respective clubs…
    Balon d or was a fierce battle of 10 best players from different teams…

    What do we have now, the best players for each position could be found in a single club… FIFA best eleven could have 5players from a single club..
    Hats off to Messi, Harry Kane and Jamie vardy for sticking to their clubs till now..
    Some of these stars move and end up as flops Eg Sanchez, hazard, Werner ,drink water etc

    Money changed all, this has made football lose that spice , stars of smaller clubs would want the big money move to richer clubs
    Eg Kanye, Mahrez leaving a title winning Leicester side

    look at de ligt,de jong, vanderbeek of the amazing Ajax side or the Salzburg team..

    Now for small teams to keep up, a rich owner has to come in and spend..

    Will this Trend change , I doubt it
    Will it affect The future of football, yes it will or already is..

    Soon owners will lose interest in investing and incurring huge losses.. Players would be owed, staffs would be sacked… Footballers was b paid peanuts compared to the present generation then kids would lose interest in pursuing careers in football…

    1. Highbury Hero says:

      Your first three paragraphs have good thoughts in them. Completely agree.

  8. PJ-SA says:

    So everyone wants Kroenke out and rightfully so….and everyone wants a new owner that’s willing to invest time and money to get us back near the top of the league.

    Mostly everyone on here is agreeing with Wenger but at the same time mostly everyone on here wants a new billionaire owner to invest.

    So which one is it guys?

    1. Highbury Hero says:

      While most disagree on how things have become nowadays, there is no other way to compete so we have to join trend even though we dislike it.

      1. PJ-SA says:

        HH i 100% agree with you i just don’t like the hypocrisy of people on here saying all the money top clubs spend is bad but then wanting us to do it

        1. ken1945 says:

          Sorry, but I don’t want kronkie gone for any other reason than that he is has no interest in the club being successful on the pitch – he is not a football man (as he has admitted) whereas the rumour that the takeover offer that includes three Arsenal legends, Bergkamp, Vieira and Henry, ooze football knowledge with “The Arsenal Way” at the top of their criteria.

          Of course money plays an important part in the equation and if we want to remain at the top table, we have to compete… but we do not have to sell our soul to the devil, profit at the cost of everything else.

          1. Trudeau says:

            Hypothetical question. Ek buys club and brings our three icons along. But the results dont change – Arsenal continue to struggle, winning the occassional trophy but struggling to get near the top of the PL. How much grace does Ek and our three legends get? When do the Ek out protests start? Genuine question, not having a go at anyone.

          2. ken1945 says:

            As long as the club stands by its traditions, plays football that attracts world wide acclaim and attention, competes in every competition to the best of its abilities and engages with the fanbase, I think we would have a happy group of Gooners, just as we did through the 60s,70s and 80s… dreaming about the successes, but following the club through thick and thin.

            Your question, Trudeau, is a very good and thought-provoking one, perhaps we would see the difference between trophy hunting fans and dedicated Arsenal supporters?

    2. ozziegunner says:

      👍

  9. Mogunna says:

    Just making common sense, tackles Superleague and points difference between clubs with money and broke ones…

    Yes, we were predictable top4, and now predictable out of EL spots, midtable team..

  10. Grandad says:

    While I understand the general principle behind the views of AW, the financial impact of the Pandemic may ironically, mitigate against the wealthy at least for the next season or two as sides such as Barca and Real Madrid are clearly under severe pressure to reduce horrendous levels of debt.These Clubs have suffered from incompetent Management for years and now the chickens are coming home to roost.Of course there are ways of “equalising” access to the transfer market by tweaking the current Financial Fairplay rules but that would test the integrity of EUEFA and FIFA who seem to have an aversion to upsetting the Global giants , at least until recently!

  11. Joe. S says:

    Haven’t been a Wegnerite believer since he let Van Persie go and then brought in the five for the price of of one jumble sale lucky dip that included Arteta, that Korean and the useless Brazilian full back. True team building aimed for future glory it certainly wasn’t. However as a football observer Arsene definitely knows what he is talking about, especially if it’s removed from protecting his legacy. Realistically, it is no longer a level playing field. Gone are the days when, Aston Villa, Forrest, Celtic or Porto could be European Champions. Leicester making top four in the Premiership is a positive achievement, but in Europe they have found it difficult to deal with a small fry such as Slavia Prague let alone the likes of PSG or Real Madrid.

  12. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

    It’s not so much what he’s espousing, it’s the ludicrous notion that this man, who was willingly in cahoots with our Billionaire owner, under the guise that if we bought into the stadium “ruse” we would be swimming in money and compete with the biggest clubs in Europe, was the messenger…does this actually mean that Kroenke had every intention of keep his promises but our holier than thou former manager put the kibosh on all of his glorious plans based on principle alone…I think not…always the revisionist, Wenger never fails to take any opportunity to perpetuate the ridiculous notion that we were still a “small” club that did big things, as a result of his tutelage, even after the Emirates was erected and we were paying the highest ticket prices in the footballing world…not to mention, he wasn’t so principled that he refused to accept upwards of 10M a season during our supposed lean years, whereby if he continued to make his original 1996 salary of approximately $500,000, just think of all Kallstroms we could have lured to North London

    1. Laurie says:

      Correct me if I’m wrong but kroenke wasn’t at arsenal when the stadium was built

  13. Trudeau says:

    Twenty-two of the 24 candidates for new PL Hall of Fame are from the ESL wannabes.

    The level playing field ended when the PL started. In ten years, Bale, Mane and van Dijk won’t be wearing Southampton jerseys at their swearing in ceremonies

  14. TH14-TW14 says:

    “In fact, if Aston Villa are finished for ever, then Arsenal are actually below them in the League. Are Arsenal finished for ever as well?”

    It is not about absolutes. Arsenal can buy themselves out if they chose. Can Aston Villa (or Forest), unless there’s a massive City-like take over at the clubs?

  15. Joe. S says:

    TH14, that’s all hypothetical. Every club can dream on about finding their own sugar daddy. St the same time the reverse is also possible. Manchester City’s owners could pull out and we might have the rats led by Guardiola scurrying out of the rusting hulk. In any case Wegner’s comments highlight the fact that with the exception of Bayern, no club can succeed without incurring huge debts or becoming part of a franchise.

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