Arsene Wenger has blasted mega-rich rivals Manchester City and Chelsea for driving up transfer prices in a time of recession.
Arsenal have been linked with a £16million move for Malaga’s Santi Cazorla despite the club claiming they will not sell for less than £20million.
Such a deal would take Wenger’s summer spending to a whopping £39million after the arrivals of Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski, but this is less than many others around Europe.
But despite his recent activity in the transfer market, Wenger insists the club are still not operating on the same level as the free-spending Premier League and Champions League winners, Man City and Chelsea respectively, who are bankrolled by incredibly wealthy individuals.
Manchester City have been quiet in the transfer market this summer by their standards but are trying to lure Robin van Persie away from the Gunners and have spent roughly £900m since the arrival of owner Sheikh Mansour in 2008.
Chelsea, however, have already splashed out an eye-watering £32m on Eden Hazard and £25m on teenager Oscar in the last few weeks.
And they have been joined in the high-spending stakes by Paris St Germain, backed by new Qatari owners, who have just spent around £50m on Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva to add to their other new faces.
And the Arsenal boss, a long-time advocate of financial fair play, fears the worst if it continues.
“We consider ourselves in a privileged position because we have a massive income,” Wenger told The Sun. “But overall we are not mega-rich because we do not have unlimited resources.
“A club can buy players like PSG has done or Manchester City or Chelsea, with unlimited resources, but overall football suffers.
“Look at the activity on the transfer market since the start of the summer. PSG are ambitious and they have resources and that’s it. We talk always about the same things.
“Europe at the moment is like the Titanic but we live in football like nothing matters.
“More than ever we have to run our club in a strict way because it looks like everybody suffers in Europe. I would be surprised if football is not touched by it at some stage.
“If you look at debt in football across Europe at the moment it is quite massive and we have to be responsible. We have to be ambitious but also make sure we are not getting in trouble financially.
“It is difficult for us because the wages in some other clubs are very high. But of course our players quite rightly compare themselves to the players of the other clubs.”