Arsenal 'not scared' to spend in transfer market - Arsene Wenger

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger
Arsene Wenger told the club's annual general meeting that consistency was "not enough"

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says the club is "not scared" to spend money in the transfer market.

The Frenchman, 65, addressed shareholders at Thursday's annual general meeting and admitted the club, with £344.5m turnover and £24.7m profit, was "at ease financially".

Arsenal only signed goalkeeper Petr Cech, 33, from Chelsea this summer.

"We are not scared to spend, I know I have that reputation," said Wenger. "If the player has quality we spend money."

Wenger faced criticism from some fans for not signing a striker before the transfer window closed, despite knowing Danny Welbeck, 24, would be out injured until Christmas.

Asked by one shareholder why the club did not spend more in the summer, chief executive Ivan Gazidis responded: "We have been successful in building the squad, we have to be smarter than our wealthier competitors but spending just because it's there is not wise if it compromises the quality."

Gazidis added that they had "transformed and rejuvenated" a "young, talented and deep squad" and that the club was "disciplined" with its "talent-led not money-led strategy".

The Gunners signed Chile forward Alexis Sanchez for £35m from Barcelona in 2014 and German midfielder Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid for a club record fee of £42.4m in 2013.

Financial figures
TurnoverProfit (loss)Wage billNet debt
Manchester United2014-15£395.2m(£1.2m)£203m£255.2m
Manchester City 2014-15£351.8m£10.7m£193.5m
Arsenal 2014-15£344.5m£24.7m£192.2m£5.7m
Chelsea2013-14£319.8m£18.4m£192.7m
Liverpool2013-14£255.6m£0.9m£144m£57.3m

Arsenal were beaten away at Dinamo Zagreb in their opening Champions League Group F game this season before a home defeat by Olympiakos.

They play German giants Bayern Munich home and away next as they face a difficult task to make it to the knockout stages of a competition they have never won.

One fan asked about poor away performances in the Champions League this season.

"I agree the performances have not been good enough but we have played over 150 games in Europe," answered Wenger. "Our percentage of wins is in the top five."

Wenger also said that the Gunners, who are second in the top-flight, had a "good chance" to win the Premier League title.

Alisher Usmanov is Arsenal's second largest shareholder and he wrote to the club prior to the AGM asking for clarification about a £3m payment that was made to the company of club owner Stan Kroenke.

When asked about it at the AGM, Gunners chairman Sir Chips Keswick said: "I felt it was right to pay for wide range of services, we should not be in position to ask for these services for nothing.

"We have a majority owner who is very supportive."

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