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Sep, 25, 2010

Arsene Wenger: I'm not afraid to spend money

Arsene Wenger says his reputation for frugality is unfair and that he is willing to spend money on new players, but he will not compromise his policy of bringing through young talent.

• Healthy outlook for Gunners
• Wenger: Arsenal have progressed

Arsenal's latest financial results depict a club in rude financial health with their overall debt dropping from £297.7 million in 2009 to £135.6 million, and pre-tax profits reaching a record £56 million.

Wenger, though, remains opposed to spending for the sake of it, and his policy appears to be bearing fruit in one respect - with Jack Wilshere benefitting from early first-team exposure to become one of English football's most exciting talents.

Increased profits will not force Wenger to change his philosophy, but he is adamant that opening the Emirates Stadium purse strings will not be totally excluded.

"I have the wrong reputation," Wenger said. "I'm not scared to spend money. But the job of a manager is not to spend as much money and to get someone like Marouane Chamakh for free. But instead of getting credit you get accused for getting him for free. [People say] 'why did you not spend £20 million for him?'

"If I'd bought him two years ago for £20 million it's okay. But when you get him for free it's 'oh, he didn't spend money again'."

"We make a profit because we don't spend - simple as that," Wenger added. "What is unbelievable, is that people approach me for making a profit but no one says a word to those who lose money. I'm not afraid to spend money but I manage in a safe way. It now looks like we are in a business where the quality is to lose money.

"If I always bought players then Jack Wilshere wouldn't have come through. You cannot have everything. I know that and I've been in the job long enough to have a development policy to educate the players. The most difficult thing is to play them and to stand up for it.

"One day, I will show you a list of those at the top level who have made careers with me. You will be absolutely astonished. You need to be strong to do this."

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