Comparing the incomparable: Arsenal, Read Mad, Man Arab

Is spending more and more money the answer?
by Walter Broeckx

Some Arsenal fans had a lot of problems with the approach of the board and the manager in the last years. Some accept that Arsenal had not a lot of cash because of the financial and housing market crisis and had to be careful. But still people demanded in the last transfer windows that we would sign big names for big money. They asked for this because they see this as the way to success. When you ask them to define success they say: winning the league and winning the champions league.

So let us take a look at the two teams that have bought every big name in the game that was willing to sell his soul to that old devil called money.

Let’s start with Manchester City. They did what Arsenal fans demanded from Wenger. They bought every mercenary to be found wandering around in the game. Tevez, Adebayor, Barry, Santa Cruz, Lescott, Sylvinho and Touré. Most of those names were must buys for Wenger and many fans shook their head in disbelief that we let go Toure and Adebayor without replacing them apart from that to short unknown player from Belgium, Vermaelen.

By the start of the season last year it was thought certain that City would take our place in the top four.  And when City team loaded with big name buys beat our youngsters in the Carling Cup another storm came up against our manager. He should have bought like City in order to prevent Arsenal going out in the Carling Cup.

But City also went out of the Carling cup, against United, and then went out of the FA cup against Stoke City, again with a full team. And in the league… they couldn’t even finish in 4th place.

So did big spending give them an advantage towards our prudence spending? No, they ended up with an empty trophy room – and that with a team that has cost almost as much as all the other teams together in one transfer window.

Another team that was going to win it all by signing all the big names that one can think of was Real Madrid or Real Mad as they are called over here.

If City spend an enormous amount of money then what can we say about real mad. If you think Kaka and Ronaldo would be enough then in Madrid they thought to be. They also bought Benzema, Arbeloa, Alonso, Albiol and Granero. All big names and all big money. More money than any team had ever spent in one transfer window. This would be a team that would beat anyone. That is if you believe in spending big money as the answer to get success.

The goal was set out and was simple: just do better than Barcelona.  Which meant winning the Spanish cup, the title, the champions league at least.

In the Spanish cup they got beaten in two games by a team from the Spanish third division. In the Champions league they were beaten by Lyon and in the league it was Barcelona that clinched the title again.

When our season ended with no silverware some fans were telling us: I told you so with that bunch of players we would win nothing.

But tell me what have City won this season with all that money spent? Tell me what have Real Mad won with even more money spent? As much as we did: nothing.

So for those who really think that we should have spent like mad and buy players in an over inflated transfer window I can only say that it would not have been a certain guarantee for us to win anything. In fact it will never be a certain guarantee. The last season has proved once again that buying a lot of big names and spending an enormous amount of money does not win you titles immediately and for sure.

We achieved as much as Real Mad – that is we qualified for the Champions League next season and we did much better than City who can try again when playing in the Europa League next season.

But much more than that, we have done it within our own means. We didn’t break the bank.  We didn’t borrow any more money.  We didn’t get money out of nothing from an owner who could walk away any day and leave us with the broken pieces.

And though I feel pain about missing a trophy this season,  it is nothing compared with the feeling of pride I  have when I think of what we achieved with a team that at times had more injured players than Real mad and City buy in one transfer window.

No we did it our way, The Arsenal way. And with now more money  available it seems that we can buy a bit. We will not overspend and bring our future in danger. We will do it within our means and keeping my club safe for the future is a very important thing for me as a fan.

The Index of Indexes to Everything Positive and Nice (except we have occasional mentions of Fifa and its bent world cup)

Woolwich Arsenal – now there is a club on the brink of disaster

The Book – not as useful as the Hitch hikers guide to the Galaxy, not as awe inspiring as “1001 Things You Know about Tottenham but Wish You Didn’t”, but still, quite good for a read during the summer break.

34 Replies to “Comparing the incomparable: Arsenal, Read Mad, Man Arab”

  1. Barcelona have made things difficult for us for a few seasons, extracting Hleb, Henry and probably Cesc, and have done so with an breath-taking arrogance.
    But having said that, I still smiled when Real Madrid won absolutely nothing. Money isn’t always the answer.

  2. I think you have some truth but i still believe that buying some big names would have made a difference. It is not the buying of a super squad that we need. We just need to buy some key players for some of the positions where we always come out looking bad in. Goalkeeper + Central Defender + World class striker and we are going places

  3. Yea i guess you are right about the teams you mentioned, but look you must look at other teams who did buy, and did win. See Barcelona, with Ibra,(ok maybe he wasn’t a success) but nevertheless the were ready to dool out the cash, to make a team which would win, and win they did. See what Chelsea did a couple of years back, and now they are repeaing the benefits.
    Secondly,the Arsenal way, is actually more like the Arsene way, and yes it is a phenomenon to run a club in such a way, but what happens when Arsene leaves. What if some other bloke comes running around, and says changes are needed,(like all the fans are screaming), and then there goes the Arsenal way in the dustbin, and we have exactly 0 trophies to show for the “Arsenal way”.
    PS:0 trophies since the invincibles era, because the Arsenal way you talk about developed only after that period.

  4. ok who won the double in england?

    and who spent heaps to get it?

    err chelsea and a rich owner roman.

    i agree arsenal need to be thrift but they do need to sort out a lot this transfer window. and if our half a good team is strengthened then we will go forwards instead of backwards.

    who scored the most goals……….cesc
    who made most assist……………cesc
    who blew it for us time and again..fabian\almunia\silvestre\traore\denilson
    who was most consistent…………cesc\song\clichy
    who was mostly out……………..rvp\vela\bendt\walcott
    who was most inconsistent……….arshavin\walcott\nasri\diaby

    whos a worry of leaving…………cesc\clichy

    last note no one is poaching almunia or fabianski or silvestre..why not?

  5. Not to mention that Barcelona only won La Liga. I don’t see how that’s a huge achievement. It might as well be a one off match between Barcelona and Real Madrid.

  6. Great post Walter! Just shows to prove that short sightedness of the fans and abundant individual talent cannot outshine a team showing. I’ve been a reader of this site for a couple of months now and this happens to be the only place where people make sense and not ask for Mr. Wenger’s head. I’m a pro Wenger and support all what he does at the Emirates, there have been times when things have not quite gone according to plan but this is football and victories will follow with discipline and disciplined we are at the moment. We will be in pole position when the debts of the so called big clubs turn against them and cost them nightmares. Wenger finally has some money to spend and I believe more than new strong players, our system asks for collective defending, if that goes to plan in the 2nd season, then we can be sure that the titles will come! Hoping for less Injuries! Up the arse! Be proud!

  7. It is an eternal struggle Walter between the sections of our support who believe that we should spend whatever we have available at any given time and those who believe in long term planning.
    Despite the chronic levels of debt both in the UK and Spain and the daily examples of how well Arsenal is run in comparison to our peers both domestically and in Europe, those who wish us to spend big will always wish us to spend big. They want the bragging rights that comes with it and they want the vicarious status that they need to thrive within their own social circles. They have little concept of reality or indeed consequence.
    That being said, I believ tha this will be one of our more expensive transfer windows in relative terms. I can see a larger amounts being spent to strengthen the team over the course of the summer, not because it will re-define our status but rather because after many years of careful and prudent financial management, we finally have the ability to do so whilst operating within our means. These means are a direct product of the careful management which that certain sector of the fans regualrly criticised the club for.
    These means are also sustainable and in point of fact growing organically.
    It is sad to say that alot of fans want it but dont want to suffer the effects of having to earn it. They will say that they were correct all along should we gain success this year and forget that some of the players that helped bring it were the very ones that they lambasted during several successive seasons. They will bask in their reflected wisdom until the next disappointment causes them to throw their toys out of the pram and wail for more spending.
    I despair of this type of subjective “Verucca-Salt” thinking but I suppose that somebody has to work in KFC and post on LeGrove.

  8. I see no hope for Arsenal even when

    oooooooooooooooooh – as I wrote just now, the composer of this piece is a thief who nicks other people’s stories and pastes it here.

  9. if cesc does leave us for barca in the coming days/weeks then i can see t

    ————-Oh dear oh dear. This writer turns out to be one of those I was mentioning the other day who picks articles from other places, puts them on here, in order to make it look as if the world is full of doom mongers. Scythe, please go and get some kind of a life.

  10. Don’t be fooled,wenger will not spend,yet again we will lose our best player and do nothing about it.

  11. Its not all abt spending money.
    But as a fan, i say Arsenal is not at all trying to win anything.

    Just check Arsenal team, how many below average players are playing in the Arsenal squad. And mainly some players are playing in wrong positions.

    If we fix some minor error and fill some positions properly. We could have won th title. But Y Arsenal is not trying to do this.

    We are not saying spend big money for big players.
    Pls spend some money to buy good players wherever we are lacking and at least try to win something.

  12. Great post once again

    I feel you are right,man city, and real Madrid are laughable.But every Arsenal fan in his heart just wants a decent signing to throw caution to the wind once in a while.

    Arsenal are the complete opposite to Real Madrid in terms of transfer policy I think the ideal would be somewhere in between. I agree with project youth for the long term success, but with our supposed available funds I dont see any reason we cant buy a £30 million world class player once every two years and buy all means sell some players to man city and real madrid for ludicrous amounts. When we were winning things we always had at least 3 top drawer players that were world class, now we only have potential. Wenger is too much into the black and white when life is patches of grey

    HELL I would be prepared to wait 3-4 years without a major signing if we bought at least one experienced world class player here and there to balance our potential

  13. Pigs, not the animal but Portugal, Ireland,Greece and Spain. These countries are deep in the sh*t. I don’t know if anyone has noticed what has happened in Ireland, but there have been swingeing cuts everywhere just to keep the country afloat and it seems to be working..very very painfully…very slowly. If you want to see what’s happening in Greece, just watch the News at Ten, pause and wait a while for Portugal and Spain to join the game.
    I could make the obvious comparison between some of the Clubs in Walter’s excellent article and the economic woes of certain European countries, but I am sure you are all way ahead of me already.
    You can read in todays press how Manu turned £138M loan into a £1B debt, should have been working for Northern R*ck.
    The fact of the matter is that the harsh reality of todays climate will bite, bite hard and soon. Preferential tax treatments will go, Platini’s Law, Reduced Sky money and the EPL will be reformed on the German Model.
    I for one am happy with Arsene’s prudence and occaisional brilliance because I know AFC will be there for a long time to come. Long after the vanity buys have lost their sparkle and the debt collectors have come to call and the mercenaries have moved on to greener pastures.

  14. I think that Gooner80 makes a reasonable point.
    None of us would be adverse to a big name signing as long as under the current ruling body of the club because we know that, the signing didn’t put our finances in jepeordy.
    Who knows AW may surprise us yet eh 😉

  15. @kiwi gooner
    good point europe is in collapse and all is fallin, and no more so than the mighty at this point. big guns will suffer more as extremes in finance goes both ways, more debt the worse it gets. and portsmouth is an early sign of what is coming.

    so i say again arsenal need to buy but with thrift and cunning but one thing is for sure, you need to sort things this summer. or all the talent will lose the belief of winning, it becomes a disease and spreads, negativity is fast and damaging and once in a team is hard to destroy. so i say good luck to arsene and in you we trust but dont become an accountant be a manager of a team.

  16. Why are some people still demanding that we spend massive amounts of money this (or indeed, any) transfer window? If there’s one thing we should be proud of as Arsenal fans, it’s that we’ve maintained our place in the top echelon of the European game without cheating, without mortgaging our future. Wenger has spent serious money when he felt he needed to – I don’t remember Vermaelen, Arshavin and Nasri coming on frees.

    If Wenger has made a mistake over the last few years, its the obvious one that the return of Sol emphasised – letting go of too many veterans in too short a space of time, and losing that muscle memory of how to pace a campaign. Opening the wallet for an all-out assault on the transfer market would be suicidal.

    I know that some people think you should speculate to accumulate, and I’m sure the supporters of Gretna, Leeds, Portsmouth, Bradford, Barnsley, Sheffield Wednesday, etc etc, enjoyed the brief moments when they outperformed in the league. How happy are they now? If/when Liverpool and ManU’s debt finally cripples them, or when Abramovich finally gets bored with football, their fans will have memories of victorious campaigns, but not much else.

    By all means bring players in where needed, especially if we can add an older, wiser head here or there. But the last thing I want to see this summer is Wenger spending £25-30 million on individual players, because down that route lies a world of pain.

  17. Your comparison needs to be with Man Utd, Walter.

    Sir Alex didn’t put them in debt, the Yanks did. So let’s look at what he spends, within a good operating framework, and compare that with Arsenal.

    Sir Alex spent £25m on Wayne Rooney. He bought the finest young ENGLISH talent in the land at a time when Arsenal were the top team in the country. He wasn’t totally the finished article, but you knew that he was going to make it. Knew it. And in his first game for Utd, a Champions League game, he scored one of the finest hatricks you could hope to see. He’s won rather a lot of trophies since, hasn’t he?

    He spent about £30m odd on Rio Ferdinand from Leeds. Coming into his prime, another top English talent nurtured initially by Harry Redknapp at West Ham. He became the lynchpin of a team which won many, many trophies.

    He spent money on Michael Carrick from Spurs. Around £17m I seem to recall. Not a superstar, but now someone established in the first team. Again, coming into his prime, not a teenager.

    He spent about £12m on some young thing called Ronaldo, who was described for a few years as ‘fancy tricks, no end product’ by a few pundits. He stuck with him and he became the world’s best player a year or so back. So Fergie can ‘do an Arsene’ too, can’t he?

    Fergie doesn’t just buy top stars, but he buys some. He buys some lesser known folks and he makes a few cock ups too. The Argentine for one. And the jury’s still out on the Bulgarian…

    Arsenal WON’T BUY TOP STARS. The last one they bought was Bergkamp. Which initiated a decade only matched by Chapman in the 1930s. He signed Campbell on a free in 2001, but not one other established star. Common sense says that you don’t sign 7 superstars, but you must sign a couple around which your top youngsters can be groomed. When Fergie signed Cantona, he had Bruce and Pallister in defence and Schmeichel in goal. Mark Hughes and Mclair up top. His kids had senior players to learn from. And they won titles galore….

    I simply don’t understand why the argument is always couched around Arsene’s refusal to buy ANY superstars or ridiculous splashes by Real or City.

    You buy two superstars now or one now and one next year.

    That’s my common sense position.

    And if you know anything about sports marketing, you’ll recoup your outlay in 3 – 4 years. Not in a transfer fee, but in key global deals. And shirt sales. And sell-out stadia. And winning trophies.

    Now it’s not my job to say I’m right and Wenger’s wrong, it’s my right to document these facts, because facts they are. And to suggest a third strategy which is neither extreme frugality or wildly spendthrift.

    I’m not saying it has to be done, I’m saying it’s the argument that folks like you must counter.

    Because your argument, as written, doesn’t hold water.


  18. Rhys I think you have got this argument a bit sideways, if I may say so.

    Arshavin is and was a superstar when purchased. Rosicky was a world cup superstar when purchased. Van Persie can be compared with Rooney – not the finished article but on the way. Vermaelen not known much here but certainly known in Europe as the captain of Ajax. Eduardo had half of Europe raving over him.

    If you include Dennis B you must include Henry, because both were great stars who had lost their way in Italy.

    And then you must include Pires. And Adebayor.

    I think the point is that you are emphasising England, English players and what the English press and public. I believe the UK is the most insular of the European nations and our knowledge of up and coming superstars is still very inward looking.

    I would agree that we also buy relatively unknown players (Vieira, Overmars) and sell them for huge profits, but we do buy players who can march straight into the squad.

  19. Rhys:

    the difference is, Fergie ha always been able to pay top dollar for the near-guaranteed quality he buys. Any basic analysis of turnover figures compared between Arsenal and United shows that we could not afford to match them on that front, so we took a different route.

    Arsene IMHO has shown that money doesn’t equal quality. Eboue and Sagna are some of the best rightbacks in the league, and came from obscurity. Vermaelen is soon to be up there with the top centrebacks in the league, and again, who knew of him?

    My argument is simply – price doesn’t equal quality. Fergie can snap up all the “”obvious” buys, and as you point out he did well with some youth purchases too. Fergie can afford to do that, we can’t so we take a different route, which in my opinion is no worse.

  20. Oh yes I can see why you are on this site Scythe – becaucse your posts are copied from elsewhere. Sorry – I am deleting them and banning you.

  21. Honestly, how many real fans over the age of 13 asked Arsene to buy a whole new team? How many real Arsenal supporters thought that Man City would crack the top 4? How many people thought Real Madrid would instantly mold into a killer team? You always take the most radical of stances to make yours look good. If I had my way we would have signed only 1 more player in each window. How about we look at clubs who had a good base squad but added a couple? Inter Milan. They won the league with a talented team but did they think ‘oh we don’t need to buy because we can do without a decent playmaker’ Nope, they added a quality Madrid reject who even Arsene has commented he would like to sign. What has that done for them? Simple. They look like twice the team and are probably going to win the CL and the title. All i’m saying is that there are a thousand teams out there and you’ve taken the two teams that are absolutely nothing like us. They both made completely new teams. Most real fans only want(ed) to add a bit of quality and/or depth to our already talented squad. Can you honestly say that if Arsene did this we would be worse off? If Wenger spent 35m euros on a quality keeper, a defender I’ve never heard of and a left footed defensive mid/Center back I’ve never heard of I would be over the moon! You cant tell me that would break the bank and just Gallas, Silvestre’s wages would cover most of the new players wages. Fans will have nothing to moan about and get 100% behind the team. Who knows, maybe having a quality keeper and decent cover in all positions might possibly spur us on to greater heights? I honestly believe that if Wenger made just those three signings then 90% of fans would be over the moon. The other 10% will never be happy and they are Tottenhem in disguise (haha). By the way, I wouldn’t be happy if Wenger spent 15m on those players because then they will either lack experience or quality. 15 on a quality keeper and 10m each on the other two is not a huge sum but Wenger could find the right players for that price. Please give me some real reasons why it is so stupid of me to believe this would HELP our team?

  22. Upon re-reading my post it comes off a bit aggressive and I apologize. But I would like you to either say that you agree that a couple of extra signings should have been made, or tell me why one or two extra signings over the year wouldn’t have helped. I have said before that I was happy with Arsene signing only Campbell in Jan but only because he came out and said he couldn’t find the right player at the right price. If Wenger doesn’t make at least 2 of the three signings we need, I will be very disappointed.

  23. Tony, I don’t think Overmars was “relatively unknown” as an important member of the 1995 Ajax side that won every trophy open to them. I enjoyed watching him (and the others) play before he came to The Arsenal.

  24. I’m not saying that Arsene shouldn’t buy or doesn’t buy. I remember I wrote an article a few months ago when I pointed out that AW did buy players almost every transfer window and that they did cost money.
    Players like AA, Nasri, Vermaelen who cost all +10M. AA was/is a big superstar in European football. Nasri was one of the big names in France and Vermaelen was very high rated in Holland.

    But what I cannot understand is people, and there are such people out there, who name all the players in the world as a “must buy” for AW and Arsenal.

    I know I could have picked others team to compare with. Someone mentioned Chelsea. And may I ask how many world class players they bought the last season? It could be that I am mistaken but they bought no real superstar. We can only say that they had bought them the years before with money Chelsea don’t have but the Russian has or had. It could well be that winning the double will be a misfortune in disguise for Chelsea. I think it could be the last trick of the old horse before it goes in to retirement. But then it all depends on how much more money the Russian is willing to spend and on how much more money Uefa will let them spend?

  25. And yes I think that AW can buy a few players this transfer window and I think he will.

    But like a said before with a bunch of “useless and not good enough players” we came in third and if it hadn’t been for the major injury blow we suffered in the last month we could have been much closer if not even had won it. The 3 defeats we had would and should have been won with a full squad and then we could have taken 3 points also against City. Add those 11 points to our total and look at the league table again.

    No one could predict that we would lose 8 or 9 players, and some of them the most important players, in 2 weeks at the same time. In fact no one did predict it but it happened.

    So yes if Wenger brings in a few names it could be enough. Or are we going to be hit with an even bigger injury crisis then?

  26. fair point on been a while on chelsea buying but it is the point that buying big does win you titles,

    when chelsea had the special needs one, they won a lot and if they kept a lesser priced team would they of won? the fact is when players get better so do the wages its an afront of common sense, the point being made is will they gel and work. not for man city or real mad, but if they gel they will destroy other teams. its down to managers and choices. to see who would fit in and also personalities play big, ie gallas and toure did not work, and one left. i think the wrong one left.

    anyway as i said its time, money, manager, choices.

    take one out of that equation and you start to wobble.

    and arsene as made some bad choices which needs sorting and needs cash and quickly. you cant say a mini cooper is better than a ferrari for performance!

  27. Comparing ourselves to other teams constantly will only get you so far, not least when then they are the polar opposite. What could WE have done better for OURSELVES with the resources WE have at OUR disposal? Phil’s point suggests to me that although he feels we’re on the right track, at times, we’ve not given ourselves the best chance of getting to our destination. Its a lot fairer than pretending that we’re ALWAYS victims of some sort. Arsenal are not perfect and it doesn’t make you any less of a fan to say so. Your pieces on refereeing are however, very good. I’m looking forward to your analysis of the World Cup refereeing after these recent scandals.

  28. I think the issue is we need more stories about what we can do to stop or best young talent leaving each season stop this we sell our important players every year to balance books and see how can convince them to stay while we patiently build …who cares waht chelsea and madrid do.

    I only care about arsenal and we seem to be just as reactive with our players as we are procative with our stadium and finances

  29. Thanks for the reply Walter. If Arsene does buy those three players I mentioned, I will be satisfied to the maximum in our team. I have argued on other sites such as Desi Gunner (who I think you should be advertising and vice versa- will touch on that in a minute) that with those few extra players, we will have the option to rest players when they need it. Next year each and every one of our players (except maybe Almunia and Sol) will improve. This is great because it gives Wenger more options so that he doesn’t have to burn out his players. The left footed defensive mid/Centre back (or should we say a left footed song thats not african) would be able to fit right in when song needs a rest, and even better, Denilson or Diaby would get to play on the right side of the center. Lastly, if we buy a new keeper the reason I didn’t count Almunia’s wages is because I think that he should be our back up which means that Fabianski and Szczesny can go out on loan to gain valuable experience. Lastly, I think that the positive Arsenal blogs should band together and even advertise each other. Or even better, you should all right in to Goonernews and try and get Le grove and other such sites taken off their list. Just a suggestion but real fans don’t support those blogs. I wouldn’t even call them Arsenal blogs. They should be on a site called wehategoonersnews.

  30. Phil,

    Thanks again for comparing me with Tony and Untold. I consider myself a novice so it’s a real honour (and I’m not just saying that because Tony, Walter and other regulars are going to read this).
    I’ll make a couple of points that I’ve often repeated in my articles

    Firstly, in response to gooner80 about a marquee signing once in a while – What we need to understand is that Arsenal do have 100 million to spend. When we say we have money its around 30-40 million. Now those with 100 million or more can risk making a 30 mil signing and can live with a flop. United could afford Veron and Berbatov. Chelsea could afford Shevchenko. City could afford Robinho.

    Those with 40 million cannot risk that at any stage because of two reasons – one it exhausts the resources you have and two you’re saddled with a big money flop and don’t have any way to rectify your mistake. Not only would this affect our overall quality, it could also affect morale and other issues could crop up (for instance it’s possible that the marquee signing is on a big salary. How would the players feel if we had a flop on big money?)Essentially what it would mean is that we have no room for a plan B.

    The second point is a response to Rhys (to add to the points made by Tony) and related to the first — United have had a big stadium for a long time and have had a lot more money than we have had. Our revenues have doubled over the last 5 years. It’s only now that we are making big money and even that isn’t completely in the league of United or Real or Barca.

    So it should not be difficult to understand that in the past Wenger could never afford 30 Million signings and even now perhaps the best he can risk is 20 Million or so. He’s had a lot more success than Fergie with 8-15 million signings. In fact, Arsene is untouchable on that front.

    We also need to consider that over the last few years the market has been hugely inflated. This has made it a lot more difficult for us to compete. There aren’t any 100% proven players available for that kind of money.

    The global financial crisis and the real estate situation also forced us to be prudent last year.

    We also need to remember that with a little better distribution of injuries we could actually have competed much better even this season. We also have many improvements that we can make to the present squad – reducing lapses in concentration and silly mistakes, improving set pieces, and so on.

    So Arsene would really ask himself what he is spending and why!? There is no denying that spending is one solution. If you can do it on a large enough scale the chances of success are fairly high (assuming we have a top manager like Arsene and are not unstable like Madrid)

    The problem arises when that is seen as the only solution because once you go down that path it eventually leads to a lot of churn (see tinies and city over the last few years). This is understandable because the success rate of signings is rarely over 50-60%. For every Ronaldo there is an Anderson, for each Rooney there is a Berbatov.

    I’m sorry this has turned out to be much longer than I expected. Will conclude with the point that our judgment of the manager should never be based on whether he spends on not. That’s rather silly and has no rational footballing justification. At the same time, the buck stops with the manager so you have to ask him what’s going on. The answer will be in a grey area and you’ve to decide whether you can accept that or not. So far the board and most positive supporters accept it.

  31. Walter, that’s a pretty simplistic view of the situation. The bank agreement is that 75% of transfer money must be ploughed back into the team via transfers or wages. Money from Man City this year was £40m or so. We bought Vermaelen for £10m. We bought Arshavin for £15m in January (although this could’ve been part of the previous year’s budget). The rest of the 75% (plus the wages saved from Toure and Adebayor’s contracts) was presumably spent on bumping up the contracts of our squad players.

    What irritates the rest of us is that that money was spent on extending the contracts of players who haven’t delivered constantly (i.e. Diaby, Denilson etc,) or players who haven’t delivered at all (i.e. Fabianski). It could’ve been spent on bringing in a central defender in the January transfer window, or a defensive midfielder in the summer to cover for Song. What irritates us is that the priorities of the club seem to be to reward under-performing squad members, instead of trying to recruit players who have the hunger and drive to succeed.

  32. Desi Gunner makes an excellent point about the comparable resources available to Ferguson vs Wenger (At Highbury our match day revenue was about half theirs). He could have added that Leeds attempted to match Man Utd’s spending but with lesser resources. See where it got them….all the way to League One.

    Apart from Chelsea and Romans’s ill-gotten gains, which of the other benefactors have spent their way to success. Newcastle got bounced to the Championship as Ashley didn’t have 700 million to spend. IMO, The jury is still out on the spending power of the Arabs at Man City.

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