Arsenal are chasing Champions League football once again, hoping to fend off Manchester United and Manchester City before the season ends.
It isn’t, however, as financially important as it used to be. With a heavy Emirates Stadium debt weighing the club down, it used to be absolutely vital that Arsenal made the Champions League group stages and made an extra £30m or so a year.
“What has changed over the years is that the impact of the finances in the Champions League is not as big anymore,” Wenger said on Thursday. “It was vital for us for a period.”
Now Arsenal are desperate to make Europe’s top competition again but only for sporting reasons.
It is also sporting reasons which drive Arsenal forward to finish in third, not just fourth. Wenger is eager to miss out on the trouble of a Champions League play-off at the beginning of next season.
“It’s difficult because you can play teams who are in the middle of a championship because they have started already in June
“The supporter impact, the planning of next season changes completely. You have to play qualifiers the European Championship is still going on.”
Hopefully, then, the team win on Sunday to stay above both Manchester clubs heading into the last three matches of the campaign.