Manchester City and Paris St Germain both face heavy sanctions from European football's governing body after being found to have exceeded financial fair play (FFP) limitations.
They are among nine clubs being dealt with by UEFA's club financial control board for FFP breaches. Barclays Premier League leaders City are contesting UEFA's settlement offer of sanctions which would entail a £49million, a cut in the size of their Champions League A squad next season to 21 and a freeze on that squad's wage bill.
UEFA has stopped short of imposing a suspension on any of the nine teams.
However Arsenal manager Wenger said: "You would think that you accept the rules and you're in the competition or you don't accept the rules and you're not in the competition. Then, everybody would understand it."
Wenger has long advocated a need for clubs to live within their own resources, having been powerless to see first Chelsea and then City challenge for top honours bankrolled by the deep pockets of billionaire owners.
The Gunners manager feels UEFA should simply get tough.
"There are rules. You respect them or you don't respect them. If you don't respect them you have to be punished," Wenger said.
"When UEFA doesn't want to kick the clubs out of the Champions League, they have to find a more subtle punishment.
"From all of us on the outside, it looks a complicated punishment, which nobody really understands.
"We live in a society where everyone is informed. The rules have to be clear that you can inform people well.
"If I go out in the street now and I ask 100 people what you think of the (UEFA financial) fair play punishment, how many do you think can explain it to you? I am in the job and I cannot do it.
"They have to clarify the punishment. We all agree that if we don't respect the rules you have to be punished, but to explain to people how that works is very difficult."
Wenger believes the current set-up shows "there is something wrong", but accepts unless there is a collective drive for change, it will be very difficult to secure a lasting positive impact.
"There are two ways of thinking about the whole process. You can say, 'we don't care, we want the billionaires to buy the big players and they can spend what they want' or you say 'look, we want to keep things fair'," Wenger added.
"If you say to me 'tomorrow we give everybody £100million in the 20 Premier League clubs', I say 'okay, I will take the gamble', and then you can say at the start that is a fair competition.
"It is a bit like it works in the United States (with the draft system and salary cap in sports), which is the most capitalistic country, they have the more even field of competition.
"So it is a basic question you have to answer in England - do we let it go and everyone spends what he wants?
"Inflation can be too big and it can put too much pressure on the clubs who have not these resources to overpay their players.
"Anyway, since I am in the job, if you put 100 per cent more money in, where does the 100 per cent more money go? To the wages, not 99 per cent, but 100 per cent. That means the only effect it has is that the wages go up."
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