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Sep 4, 2012

Hill-Wood: We can't compete

Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood says the club are unable to keep pace with their big spending rivals in the transfer market.

Despite his claims, Hill-Wood believes the club can still mount a serious title challenge this season with Arsene Wenger at the helm. He thinks the Frenchman is still the right man for the job at the Emirates, and feels he was treated unfairly by the fans last season.

"Arsene has money to spend but there's a limit. We can't spend £50 million on one player," Hill-Wood told the Evening Standard. "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, Arsene 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.

"The Glasgow Rangers example is something we've all got to guard against. They spent far more money than they could afford. We're ambitious enough but we're not going to end in the same plight as Rangers. That is a fact of life. So my advice is, don't get miserable about it.''

Fans felt let down by the club's transfer policy and inability to win trophies, meaning Wenger came under pressure from the Arsenal faithful.

"What those fans who shouted did not influence me one little bit. I was disgusted to hear them because Arsene's been absolutely outstanding. He is still outstanding,'' Hill-Wood said.

Another one of Arsenal's key players left this summer when Robin van Persie was sold to Manchester United, but Hill-Wood still backs the squad's strength: "We have a pretty good chance of challenging for the Premiership. I don't see why we cannot win it this year.''

Some blame Arsenal's recent failure on the fact David Dein is no longer at the club, something Hill-Wood denies, and claims he will not consider inviting the former vice-chairman back to the Emirates.

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