London: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes that his club does not have the financial muscle to compete with big spending rivals Manchester City and Chelsea.
Wenger, who seldom indulges in too much extravagance in the transfer market, lamented the failure of the European football union's (UEFA) experiment with Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations.
The FFP rules were established to prevent clubs from spending more than they earn in the pursuit of success and in doing so getting into financial problems which might threaten their long-term survival.
"It has gone. I have seen the signs coming from UEFA for a while. I thought it would happen but now it is not possible. What's happened is the clubs threatened to go to civil court -- not only through sport," Wenger was quoted as saying by the British media on Saturday.
"That brought a lot of insecurity in the decision-making of UEFA so they started to soften the rules a little bit."
The current season has seen several clubs spending big on new players with Manchester City's net outlay this summer estimated to be around 150 million pounds.
Chelsea -- who have landed the high profile transfer of Pedro Rodriguez from Barcelona -- have spent just over 50 million pounds so far.
Both City and Chelsea have mitigated their spending with sales and will point out that, for accounting purposes, transfer fees and wages are also spread over the length of a contract.
Asked where that left Arsenal, who are run according to a self-financing model, Wenger said,"Exactly the same. We continue to run our business with the resources we create. We can always recreate the resources and they [other clubs] can put a hundred or two hundred on top. It is always like that."
"Maybe it will change here one day. It is not a shortage of money. At the moment it is a handicap to us because we have the resources, just shortage of players."