Mesut Ozil Germany World Cup
Islington Council say Arsenal cannot "plead poverty" if they could afford to buy Mesut Ozil for £43m last summer.Reuters

Arsenal FC has launched a High Court battle over a curb on the number of concerts it can hold at the Emirates Stadium.

The Premier League club applied to double the number of concerts from three to six at its north London stadium but the local council rejected the application.

A planning inspector dismissed the club's original appeal in January saying Arsenal could "not plead poverty" as its reason for wanting to put on more gigs "if it can afford to buy a player like Mesut Ozil for £43m" from Real Madrid.

During the public inquiry run by the inspector, Arsenal chief executive Ken Friar said the club needed the money from the gigs to perform in the extremely competitive world of football, citing Manchester United's profits at £100m compared with Arsenal's £20m.

Dan Kolinsky, representing Arsenal, told the High Court in London on Tuesday that the inspector's decision was legally flawed and should not be allowed to stand.

Kolinsky told the judge: "We say there is a clear error on the face of the decision letter," claiming the inspector failed to apply the law correctly.

Lawyers for the inspector and Islington Council are arguing the inspector followed the correct approach.

Concerts featuring Bruce Sprinsteen, Coldplay and Muse have generated hundreds of thousands of pounds in extra revenue for the club.

But opponents including local residents have voiced concerned over noise and rowdy music fans.