MO’ MONEY MO’ PROBLEMS FOR FOOTBALL MANAGERS
February 13, 20180
In a football league where the top 6 clubs are owned by billionaires, it’s funny to see how their managers are passing the buck when it comes to how much they’re spending to achieve success. With great money comes great responsibility and most of the managers are trying their very best to dodge that bullet by pointing fingers at each other; as they take turns smashing every transfer record in sight.
They have employed a variety of tactics, so let’s start with Guardiola and Manchester City. He claims he’s working on a “tight budget” and can’t spend £80m on just one player. He has a point, City’s highest transfer is £57m for Laporte and before that it was De Bruyne who cost £55m. What Guardiola failed to mention is that his team contains the most expensive defenders in world football. Ederson (£35m), Stones (£47.5), Otamendi (£34m), Laporte (£57m), Walker (£49m) and Mendy (£52m). That’s almost £300m on defenders alone!
This has not gone unnoticed by Mourinho who claims City are “spending striker money on defenders”. He also claims that £300m is not enough to compete with the table toppers but playing the pauper card is not a good look especially when you look at the fact that Manchester United have really opened the cheque book since Ferguson retired. They have spent over £600m on over 22 different players like £59.7million on Di Maria, £89m to bring Pogba back, £75m for Lukaku and paying Alexis Sanchez the highest wages in league history.
Alexis Sanchez transfer to Manchester United was the most expensive “free transfer” ever/Image via dailystar.co.uk
Over at Anfield, Klopp criticized United for spending so much money on Pogba and on the surface, Liverpool seem to be the exception but Klopp has spent over £221m since he took charge at Anfield. His believers will argue that he has made around £225m from player sales, however a big chunk of that (£142m) was raised from selling Coutinho to Barcelona. Big money buys of Virgil van Dijk (£75m, most expensive defender of all time!), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (£40m), Mohammed Salah (£34.3), Sadio Mane (£34m) and Georginio Wijnaldum (£25m) plus their club record signing Naby keita (£48m) show that Klopp is familiar with splashing the cash!
As for Chelsea, they are the original nouveau rich who ushered in this new wave of oligarch largess. Between 2009 and 2016 Abramovich pumped in £540.92m on players and this summer they spent £40m on Bakayoko, £65m on Alvaro Morata, Drinkwater cost £34m, Rudiger £31m and Zappacosta £22m. Yet Conte claims his team cannot compete with the Manchester clubs and just finishing in the top 4 is a huge achievement. He’s obviously getting his excuses in early as his team struggle to defend their title.
As for Arsenal and Wenger they might just be the ultimate cry-babies. One of the greatest myths ever told is that Arsenal do not have money but nothing could be further from the truth. According to the Deloitte money league, Arsenal are the 6th richest club in the world. They bought Aubameyang for £56m, Lacazzette for £47. 7m, Xhaka cost £40.5m, Mustafi £36.9m. Granted the sums aren’t as eye watering as their rivals but spending this way is Wenger’s choice. It’s commendable but Wenger is definitely living in the past or in a make believe world that is not based on reality. Usually the biggest spenders win the biggest prizes. Ironically, Tottenham spend less and have outperformed Arsenal in recent seasons.
Speaking of Tottenham, they remain the outlier in this new world, as Pochettino favours home grown local talent with a sprinkling of big money buys. Ironically, the big money buys tend to not be as successful as the local heroes. Davinson Sánchez cost £42m, Sissoko cost £30m while Serge Aurier cost £23m. Spurs do everything the right way but the feeling persists that what they have is temporary and they’re swimming against the tide of a hyper-inflated transfer market. They have zero trophies to show for their efforts but the reputation of their players and manager continues to rise. It’s only a matter of time before they get swallowed by bigger, richer fish!
Bidding for the next round of Premier League TV rights will soon begin and the previous sum of £5.14 billion is expected to increase yet again. Silicon Valley has taken notice and tech giants like Google, Netflix, Facebook and Amazon could join the bidding war, so expect more back and forth from uber rich clubs accusing each other of inflating an already hyper inflated market.
Deloitte Football Money League ( £ million)
1. Manchester United – 581.2
2. Real Madrid – 579
3. Barcelona – 557.1
4. Bayern Munich – 505.1
5. Manchester City – 453.5
6. Arsenal – 419
7. PSG – 417.8
8. Chelsea – 367.8
9. Liverpool – 364.5
10. Juventus – 348.6
11. Tottenham – 305.6
by Ola-oluwa Osidele (@olazenmaster)