Arsene Wenger: Banks demanded I sign a five-year deal with Arsenal for Emirates Stadium construction loans

 
Joe Hall
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Man in demand: Wenger claims he turned down approaches from other clubs (Source: Getty)

Arsene Wenger has claimed banks "demanded" he stay at Arsenal when they loaned the club the funds to build the Emirates Stadium.

The under-fire manager said that he turned down approaches from a number of other clubs during the period as Arsenal moved out of Highbury and into their new 60,000-capacity home.

Arsenal received loans from RBS, Espirito Santo Investment, The Bank of Ireland and Allied Irish Banks to fund the construction of the £390m stadium.

Read more: No, Arsene, Arsenal aren't champions away from home — you'd still be fighting for top four

The Gunners have not won the league since work began in 2004 and Wenger now faces discontent amongst a frustrated fanbase.

"When we built the stadium the banks demanded that I signed for five years," said the 66-year-old.

"The banks wanted the technical consistency to guarantee that we have a chance to pay them back.

"Do you want me to say how many clubs I turned down during that period?

"I did commit and I stayed, and under very difficult circumstances. So for me to come back and, on top of that, (critics) reproach me for not having won the championship during that period, I think it's a bit overboard."

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