Chairman Peter Hill-Wood recalled a conversation with the French coach during the summer, when he asked what Wenger would do if he were handed £100m, and was told it would be given straight back.
"I said that because I think I would ruin the work I have done in the last five years," the Arsenal manager reflected.
"After [so long] developing players and then, just in the last minute, you put £30million into a player who is not necessarily better than the players you have just to keep everybody saying 'oh, have you seen Arsenal? They have bought a super player', then in the end you see he is not better than the players you have.
"I just was really convinced that it was not needed."
Wenger stressed: "I feel you can be successful with different approaches, and I respect the Chelsea one, that is okay.
"The guy who comes in and feeds in money and you take just the best player who is already the finished article and build a big team like that.
"But as well you can build a big team in a different way.
"That means you bring players together, you educate them and give them the culture of the game you want them to play and we went for the second approach.
"I do not say it was better, but it was suited first of all to our financial potential at the time we decided the policy and to my philosophy."
The Arsenal boss added: "You have to trust your judgement knowing you will make mistakes.
"I always say you have to be relaxed about that and smiling, knowing that you have a bomb in the right hand and a hand grenade in your left and that it can explode in your face because you were wrong.
"At the end of the day no matter who runs a football club somebody has to make a decision and in my experience it is always better that it is just one person."