herald

Tuesday 17 October 2017

Wenger gives Tottenham sound business advice

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes Tottenham will never maximise their potential on or off the field until they have moved to a new stadium.

This evening, the two north London sides will go head to head at the Emirates Stadium, the Gunners' 60,000-seater home since 2006 for which the club continue to pay off at around £35million per year against a long-term fixed interest rate bond.

Spurs are pushing ahead with proposals to redevelop land around White Hart Lane to accommodate a new 56,250-capacity venue, but following legal challenges could be set for a season of ground-sharing rather than being able to move for the 2017-18 campaign as planned.

Before then, Tottenham may well be the subject of a takeover, although American investment company Cain Hoy has said it is no longer considering making an offer.

Arsenal are only now starting to show the benefits of the switch from Highbury, having been able to keep hold of key men on new deals and also deliver multi-million pound signings like Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez while also securing regular Champions League football.

Wenger said: "You cannot be in a business where you turn down 15,000 or 20,000 people every week. If your competitors have more financial power than you, at some stage you have to make a decision.

"It looks like everybody makes this decision now, because when you look at Liverpool, Everton, (they) want to increase their capacity. West Ham go to a bigger stadium next season so if you stay in a smaller capacity, it is even more difficult."

Wenger added: "We built our stadium at a price that you couldn't afford it anymore and by subsidising it with our own resources, that is much more difficult today."

Wenger indicated he could deploy Ozil in a central role again this evening, the German having made such an impact in the 3-0 win at Aston Villa. A much-changed Arsenal were beaten 2-1 at home by Southampton in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday night. Wenger expects a response, adding: "It (beating Spurs) has a psychological impact on the confidence of the team."

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