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Arsenal Manager Arsene Wenger Defends Club Board

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger maintains he has always felt fully supported by the club's board.

Uzbek billionaire Alisher Usmanov, the club's second-largest shareholder, has claimed Wenger does not have enough backing and criticised thesale of Robin van Persie to Manchester United.

Usmanov's Red & White Holdings group are not represented on the board.

But Wenger said: "I believe I have always had the support from the board, and am very grateful for that."

This week has seen Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Kieran Gibbs, Carl Jenkinson and Aaron Ramsey sign new long-term deals with the Gunners.

“I openly admit Wenger has many, many difficulties to contend with”

Wenger also remains hopeful that England forward Theo Walcott will commit his future to the club, with his current contract set to expire at the end of the season.

However, money available to Wenger for signings and salaries was restricted by Arsenal's move from Highbury to Emirates Stadium in 2006.

But they posted another impressive set of financial results in 2012 and will be boosted by a new £150m sponsorship deal with Emirates Airline.

And the Frenchman believes the club's policy of self-sustainability will pay dividends in the long term.

"We have worked over the years in respecting in what we did, which is to always work within our financial resources," he added.

"Therefore we made decisions which, from outside, looked not based on purely football reasons, but it was based as well on financial reasons."

Wenger also insists that big spending in January will not necessarily be the best thing for the club.

"What is important is this team develops in the way we want to play," he said.

"I have seen some interesting aspects on Monday night at Reading.Let's see how far this team can go. If we can add one or two exceptional players, we will do it.

"What we do not want to do is add players just because people put us under pressure to buy players. That is where we have to be strong enough.