Arsenal “can’t compete” with top-four rivals

Arsenal Manager Arsene WengerArsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood has admitted the club “can’t compete” in the transfer market with their Premier League top-four rivals. But he is confident the Gunners would mount a serious title challenge this season and insisted the board were not worried about Arsène Wenger’s failure to win a trophy for seven years.

Hill-Wood told the Evening Standard: “Arsene has money to spend but there’s a limit. We can’t spend £50m on one player. At a certain level, we can’t compete.

“I don’t think [majority shareholder] Stan Kroenke is going to put the sort of dollars in that [Roman] Abramovich or Sheikh Mansour are putting into Chelsea or Manchester City. That’s not the way he thinks clubs should be run.

“Luckily, Arsène understands that. He got an economics degree from Strasbourg University so he’s certainly no fool. He knows how a club should be run.

“That annoys a lot of people but clubs have to be sustainable. We’re not going to go bankrupt in the way one or two other well-known clubs have.”

This summer saw captain Robin van Persie become the latest big name to quit the club because he did not believe their ambitions matched his own, but despite this loss Hill-Wood still believes Arsenal can have a successful season: “We have a pretty good chance of challenging for the Premiership. I don’t see why we cannot win it this year.”