Wenger reveals why he didn’t dump Arsenal after transfer budget was slashed
Departing Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, has revealed that he could not leave the club during the lean years because he accepted the challenge of building the Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners left Highbury for their current home in 2006.
Wenger says there was an agreement with the bank that offered them the loan that he would continue as manager.
It, however, meant the 68-year-old went from buying the likes of Robert Pires to downscaling to Gervinho for the same price — £11million.
“I think it was down to the fact that the football world has changed and that you build a stadium. I signed for five years accepting it will be more limited resources. When you have that you have less good players.
“That (him signing a new contract) was one of the requests the banks had. I didn’t want to walk out in the middle because I accepted the challenge. That is an important part of my life that I am very proud of.
“The only thing I can say is that I turned everybody down, all the big clubs. People cannot question my loyalty to this club.
“Then we had a double handicap. We had to pay back the debt and had to face the competition where clubs have even more resources than they usually have.
“The transfers of the players have tripled or quadrupled. A £10million player when we built the stadium was huge. Today, a guy like [Tottenham striker] Kane, I don’t know for much they can sell him for — £100m?
“We had to do it, we had to move. There is no club that can turn people who wanted to attend the game down. At the time I thought we were a bit too ambition with 60,000 but at the end of the day it worked.
“Moving to Wembley was a possibility at the time because we didn’t find a site for a long time. Travelled everywhere, visited and visited. And finally found a site near Highbury which was ideal. At some stage we wanted to come out here, to the M25. But people had their habits already,” Wenger said.