Wenger keen on "English values"

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has declared that he would rather the London club remain in the hands of its English owners rather be controlled by foreign backers even if it they were to give him a $188 million transfer kitty.

    Handshakes and backslaps all round at Arsenal

    The Frenchman statement comes as rumours circulate that Arsenal are the subject of a $660.7million buy-out bid by a Russian consortium.

    In recent seasons English clubs Chelsea, Manchester United, Aston Villa and Portsmouth have all been acquired by foreign investors, and speculation persists that London clubs West Ham and Arsenal will soon join the club.

    "I would choose the status quo," the 57 year old said. "I am happy with the owners I have and I do not see the need for a change because we are stable financially.
    "If we were bankrupt maybe, but they have made a miracle by building a new stadium without being bankrupt.
    "The club is doing very well and we have a very promising team, having just come out of the Champions League final. We have a team which is getting better and better.
    "We had a stuttering start, but when you look overall at what we have done financially and in a sports way, I do not feel there is a need there for a change.
    "The future of the club looks good."

    The former Monaco manager, who has become known for the selection of sides which lack any English players, questioned the motives and integrity of foreign owners and believed clubs needed to run with English values.
    "What is so good is that we know what we do and why we do it," Wenger said.
    "I feel it is important that English clubs have English values, and that it has not just become who spends more than anybody else.
    "Until now, one of the charms of English football has been that fans created the clubs and controlled the clubs that the owners are fans first.
    "I said that until now it is a change of philosophy. I don't know what kind of implications it will have on English football.
    "I find it more reassuring that my owners are English and they are, first, fans of Arsenal Football Club.
    "I will go one day and the players will go one day but the owners will be the same. They are the people who really transmit the values.
    "That is why I said a few years ago that I wanted (Chelsea owner) Roman Abramovich to come out and say what club he wanted to build.
    "The people who are really responsible for the philosophy and continuity of the club are the owners.
    "I don't know if it is good or bad but English football certainly has a question to ask at the moment on that front."

    Arsenal's season reaches any early flashpoint when they play rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


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