27 October 2010

EXCLUSIVE: Liverpool vs. Man United - Transfer spending comparison: 1990-2010 *Never published before*

How much money have Liverpool FC and Manchester United spent on transfers between 1990 and 2010? For the first time ever, either online or offline, here is a comparison between the two clubs for that time period.

THIS ARTICLE WILL BE UPDATED IN MAY 2012

NOTES

* The figures include all transfers up to and including Roy Hodgson's activity in the transfer market.

* The figures (bar Hodgson's transfers and Ferguson's transfers since July 2009) have been compiled from the club's official financial accounts, i.e. a factual, irrefutable source. The club accounts are inalienable; there is a legal duty to provide accurate, correct figures on a yearly basis. Thus, any other figures in the press/on other websites that do not match these figures are WRONG.

For the purposes of this article, I've used the official LFC website for Hodgson's figures and the official Man United website for Ferguson's 2009-10 transfers. Obviously, both are reliable sources.

EDIT: For those desperately trying to discredit the figures, I will explain the above point further: The purchases/sale price figures for Benitez's transfers from 2009 till he left are included in the 'Post Balance Sheet Events' section of the 2009 Accounts. Evidence below:

* Albert Aquilani + Sotiris Kyrgiakos (Bought for a combined 20.4m)



* Xabi Alonso, Andrea Dossena + Andrei Voronin (Sold for a combined 29.7m)



The only two transfers not accounted for in the accounts are:

* Jonjo Shelvey - £1.7m
* Ayala - £160k

I got those figures from LFChistory.net. They will do until I can get check the figures when next years accounts are released.

Re Hodgson and Ferguson's post July 2009 transfers, I used the following figures:

IN

* Raul Meirelles - £11.5m
* Paul Konchesky - £3.5m
* Danny Wilson - £2m
* Christian Poulsen - £4.5m
* Brad Jones - £2.3m

OUT

* Albert Riera £3.3m
* Diego Cavalieri £3m
* Krisztián Németh £1m
* Javier Mascherano £17.25m
* Lauri Dalla Valle £750k
* Alex Kacaniklic £750k
* Nikolay Mihaylov £1.5m
* Mikel Domínguez £2.6m
* Yossi Benayoun £6m

These figures were taken from reliable LFC sources. Again, I'm only using these as the club accounts for 2010 are not available yet.

For United's transfers since 2009, I've used the following;

IN

* Antonio Valencia + Gabriel Obertan - £22.6m

OUT

* Cristiano Ronaldo, Frazier Campbell + Danny Simpson - £84.2m

These figures were taken from reliable MUFC sources. Obviously, for both teams, all loan deals/free transfers are excluded from the calculations.

99% of the figures come from the accounts; 1% come from the official websites of each club and other recognised sources. I love the hypocrisy here - it's alright for every other site to use the likes of LFChistory.net for their entire analysis, but when I use it for a few figures (and only because the accounts are not available), it's suddenly wrong, and the figures are wrong!

* Adjustment for inflation is not necessary here. It’s ridiculous to even suggest it (as many did in my last article). I am merely presenting the facts - a like for like comparison between the two clubs.

LIVERPOOL FC vs. MAN UNITED: TRANSFER SPENDING - 1990-2010




EVIDENCE

Below are snippets from every set of accounts detailing the transfer spending figures:

Liverpool

1990-91 | 1992 | 1993 | 1994 | 1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999

2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009

Man United

1990-1991 | 1992 | 1993 | 1994 | 1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999

2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009

* In the process of being added.

KEY POINTS

Recently, I posted a transfer spending comparison between Rafa Benitez and Alex Ferguson for the years 2004-2010. It showed that Benitez had a higher gross and net spend during that period. Inevitably, the same old lame excuses started flowing: 'what about before 2004?' 'Ferguson had years to build a team'; and the best one: 'You have to look back to 1990 to get an accurate picture'.

So - here it is: a comparison from 1990. And what does it show?

* Contrary to what everyone seems to think, Liverpool has actually spent MORE than Man United since 1990.

* United dominated the Premier League in the 1990s despite having both a lower gross and net spend than Liverpool.

I could go on listing countless conclusions but I'm not going to - these figures prove once and for all that using net spend as an indicator of a manager's effectiveness in the transfer market is absolute nonsense.

The bottom line is this: Man U have spent less on players that Liverpool since 1990, yet they have 11 league titles and 2 Champions League trophies.

What these figures show is the importance of spending your money WISELY. It's not just about money though; the manager has to be good enough to get the best out of the players he has, and far too often, Liverpool managers have failed in this regard.

These figures are damning indictment of how poorly the club's money has been spent by *all* LFC managers. £528m spent on players, and what does the club have to show for it? A spend of £58m per trophy. Given the huge amounts of money *wasted* on the wrong players since 1990, it is no surprise at all that the club has not won the league for 20 years.

Souness had enough money; Evans had enough money; Houllier had enough money, and Benitez had enough money. To varying degrees, all 4 of those managers wasted lots of money on dross, which had a knock on, cumulative effect on the club's ability to consistently compete.

Now - sit back and watch the Pro-Benitez brigade throw out more desperately lame excuses that in an attempt to argue *yet again* that he hasn't had enough money to compete (!).

Excuses to watch out for:

"But United had the benefit of youth players coming through (Beckham, Giggs etc)"
Yes, so did Liverpool with Fowler, Owen, McManaman, Redknapp etc. The difference is in the management of those players. Ferguson got the best out of his youth; Evans, Houllier and Benitez did not.

"But what about inflation!"
Utterly irrelevant here for obvious (already explained) reasons.

"But Benitez had bad owners to deal with"

That didn't seem to matter when Liverpool finished 2nd in 2008, did it? Plus, Benitez has spent 54% of the club's TOTAL available transfer funds since 1990 (!). And the net spend cult has the chutzpah to suggest he has not been funded?!

"But Benitez had to buy to sell"
Using that logic, surely Ferguson had to as well? That didn't make any difference to United's march to success in the 90s though, did it?

"But Liverpool has a lower net spend between 1990 and 2010".
The net spend cult will argue that this means Liverpool have spent LESS than United. God, the idiocy of such an argument is amazing! How can £527m spent on players be less than the £486 spent by United? Any reasonable minded person can see this is nonsense, but that is precisely what the net spent cult will argue. With a straight face.

Here is another example of the net spend cult's ridiculous logic: turn the figures around a minute: if it was Liverpool with a lower spend than United then they would all be foaming at the mouth arguing how we could not compete because of having less money. Apply that to United: how on earth did Ferguson compete over the last 20 years? He spent less money that Liverpool but won more trophies, and this was coming off a barren spell of 26 years without winning the title (!) whereas Liverpool were coming off a 15 year streak of superb form.


"But you have to back to start of Ferguson's reign to get the most accurate picture"
And if I do that and the figures don't reflect what people want them to, I'll be told I have to go back the start of the 80s; then back to the 70s; basically as far back as I can until the figure match what some Liverpool fans want to see.

I'm so sick of this net-spend nonsense. Ultimately though, this article is not about that; it's important to have accurate figures out there, which is why I've provided them.


Going forward, it's clear that the club's money has to spent smartly over the next few years. The RIGHT players have to be bought; no more expensive mistakes; tens of millions cannot continue to be wasted on dross/players who don't fit in/players with injury histories.

IMPORTANT: Please read the site update above. Anyone who ignores that (and the wider comment policy) will be banned permanently. Vehemently disagree by all means but do so in a civilised manner.


Jaimie Kanwar

146 comments:

  1. Ok, but what about salaries? Are you suggesting that free transfers like Joe Cole cost nothing? According to Polish journalist Rafał Stec here:
    http://rafalstec.blox.pl/2008/05/Ile-naprawde-kosztuje-pilkarz-wziety-za-darmo.html
    (he took data from futebolfinance.com), the avarage difference between MU and LFC salaries during "Benitez Era" was at least 32,6m (euros) every year. Btw, Chelsea spent 53,7m more then LFC. Tiny, little difference, isn't it?

    If someone would like details what mentioned article is about msg me via twitter.
    http://twitter.com/#!/kijciwoko

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  2. i know you dont need me to tell ye but your bang on liverpool wasted millions and didnt invest enough when they wre the top team in the 80s ferguson is still the best manager in the premiership and thats why utd punch above there weight cos apart from rooney if the rest played for liverpool we would still be in  trouble rafa had no man management skills and too negative houllier evans and souness if you put the three together wouldnt make a good manager so i hope nesv realise they need to bring in a world class manager before they go near the transfer market ynwa

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  3. clearly someone needs to get out more. 

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  4. give it a rest kanwar. admit when you're wrong instead of posting article after article trying to vindicate yourself. net spend is the only figure anyone should work off when comparing transfer spending as this shows the true extent the powers that be in any club have INVESTED in the squad (ie not money they have gotten back by selling). an investment is no longer an investment once you've sold it.

    oh and a far better team to do this comparison with is arsenal - long term manager who has spent very little in his entire reign yet had moderate success. in fact arsenals record transfer fee is £14m for arshavin. the one before that was £11m for wiltord

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  5. Net spend is the most accurate way of looking at it. Lets go to the extreme to prove this point.

    Imagine Club A had no cash in 1990 but a squad of players with high transfer values. Every year, they sold the 2 oldest players in the squad for 25m each and replaced them with two younger players for 25m each. They did this for 20 years. During that time, the net spend would be ZERO. Gross spend would be 1000m (50m X 20 years)

    Now for Club B. They have bought a new player every summer for around 25m but just kept their older players until they retire. In that period they dont sell a player. At the end of the 20 years, their net spend is 25m X 20 = 500m. Their gross spend is also 500m

    Now, I know this is an extreme and completely hypothetical scenario but the fact is that using your theory, Club B has spent less and been more efficient in the transfer market, just because their gross spend is less. Can you not see how ridiculous your theory is? Seriously?!!

    I very rarely agree with your opinions Jamie but I usually respect your research, analysis and presentation of the statisitcs that yuo compile. However, in saying that Net Spend is irrelevant when judging a manager is so ridiculous and inaccurate, its completely laughable. Youre an intelligent guy and I dont believe for one moment that you believe what you are writing here. I think its a ploy to attract people like myself to your site!

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  6. get a girlfriend, you old tosspot!

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  7. Wow. The net spend theorists are idiots?
    So if I go to a shop and buy something for $5 and give the shopkeeper $20 and get back $15, according to what you're saying, I spent $20 at the shop?
    Net spend = Money spent - *Money recouped*
    Benitez has had to deal with owners pressuring him to sell players to recoup money to buy new ones. Imagine Ferguson having to sell Fletcher or Scholes(back then) to buy Rooney just because the board won't give him the required funds.

    Do the math. Ferguson spent more net money than Benitez. Granted Benitez bought flops. So does every manager. There are always Francis Jeffers and Verons in every team. 

    Bottom line: GET OVER BENITEZ AND GET YOUR TONGUE OUT OF FERGUSON'S A$$

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  8. Amazing stats. Just goes to show how important a good intelligent manager who know how to intimidate & bully Referees, oponents, amd the media are. If it's white & in a bottle I guess it's milk 

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  9. So, since 1990 Liverpool have had 7 managers - and one could argue that when a new manager comes in he usually rebuilds a team to greater degree than a manager who remains - who will typically build a team and then tweak it each season...but with all the rebuilds we still have not invested more than Utd in the same period.

    Liverpool have had several managers and have gone through lots of rebuilds. It would be an interesting view to look at the number of players signed in these periods and how much has been spent on average per player. I would suggest Man Utd have spent far more per player than Liverpool and in the Premiership years the big spending on indivdual players has dictated where the EPL goes at the end of the season. Liverpool have just not competed in the transfer market for years. The results bear this out.

    The EPL success for a decade has been decided by the teams that have bought big. Where were Chelsea before Roman? Liverpool are not in the same money League.

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  10. Take the 23 man squads at the moment from Liverpool and Utd - I would not be surprised if Utd have a squad value (i.e. what was spent on them) at least 30% higher than Liverpool's.

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  11. Take the 23 man squads at the moment from Liverpool and Utd - I would not be surprised if Utd have a squad value (i.e. what was spent on them) at least 30% higher than Liverpool's.

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  12. RONADO ...
    ITIS HUGE AND UNUSUAL DEAL..
    IT REDUCED THE NET FOR MAN BY 80 M ...
    PEREZ MAKE IT LIKE THIS BUT THE TRUTH ITIS NOT NORMAL

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  13. Could always be cum!

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  14. I did a similar comparison last week, here: http://www.redcafe.net/f7/official-transfer-comparison-thread-311572/

    That one goes back to 1986/87 and includes figures for United transfers that have all been referenced from various reliable sources. A lot of them differ quite a bit from those commonly repeated. The fee we received for Beckham for instance is several million pounds lower than the £25m you often see quoted. Also, the fee paid for Andrei Kanchelskis was more than double the common-knowledge figure.

    I have not used club accounts as you have (and I see on your other posts that some fees such as Alonso's have been overstated while some have been understated). I used the figures on LFC History for Liverpool's so there may be some bias to your side. My figures do not mach yours for whatever reasons. However, I still found that the totals were greater (both gross and net) for Liverpool:

    Total spends 1986/87-2010/11:
    Liverpool: £453.5015m gross, £182.4345m net.
    United:  £448.875m gross, £155.453m net.

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  15. Lies dam Lies and god dam statistics!

    I find it very funny the number of United fans comming on this apparent LFC site to talk about LFC issues?

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  16. Yeah Alec to a degree you are right. But the problem in the last few years was that Rafa bought like a teenage girl in the shops on a Saturday with her Daddy's credit card. I want everything on the rail regardless of wheither I'll wear it or not.  Kuyt & Bable are 2 examples of this. What exactly was his plan for Bable. Rafa's turnover of players was just unacceptable.

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  17. redknapp wasn't a product of lfc youth accademy. don't let that get in the way though.

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  18. I don't think this acknowledges the importance of net spend and the timing of that spend but then what could. Overall it's still a fascinating set of well presented figures so many thanks to JK for the research. 

    Also completely agree with the comment re the number of managers & re-builds.

    However, I refuse, on principal, to credit red nose with anything.

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  19. Billy Bob: It's only as funny as a Liverpool fan writing an article concerning United's finances: ie, not at all funny. Comparing the two biggest, most succesful clubs in England who happen to be arch rivals is pretty normal stuff, people do it all the time.

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  20. Mr Kanwar - I'm an United fan and also a fellow blogger, so I have a good idea of the research that went into this and commend you for it. Respect! It must have been a gargantuan effort.

    I think you're expereincing with the net spend brigade and Benitez brigade, what non-Liverpool fans have been experiencing for years when dealing with Liverpool fan.

    I have a question for the net-spend crew -is the difference in nett spendthe only reason Liverpool won "only" 9 trophies in two decades?

    the difference in nett spend over two decades is 22.5mil - just a bit more than what was reportedly paid for Aquilani. That's an average of 1.1mil spent less each year than Man Utd.

    How do you feel about your nett spend and managers when you take a look at Arsenal? You can't play the wage card when talking about Arsenal and they have spent A LOT less than Liverpool, but still won league and cup doubles, reached the CL final etc...

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  21. learn to read: did I mention 'youth academy' in the article?  No.  I said youth coming through, and Redknapp was part of that.

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  22. Totally wrong again!!! What a suprise

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  23. <p><span>Dude many people have tried in many ways to explain to our buddy here that net spent is what the business world looks at but to no avail. It amazes me that JK says”</span>
    </p><p><span>Any reasonable minded person can see this is nonsense, but that is precisely what the net spent cult will argue. With a straight face." According to JK if there are two stock traders and one likes to buy and sell over and over again and his gross spent at the end of the year totals 5 Mill but</span><span> </span><span>he re-coups 4 Mill back he is a worse trader then stock trader 2 that only spends 3 Mill gross on one stock but re-coups 1 mill back at the end of the year. Now everyone can see that stock trader 1 only lost 1 Mill and stock trader 2 has lost 2 Mill at the end of the year but JK would invest his money with stock trader 2 cause according to his theory gross is what counts so therefore losing 2Mill is better than losing 1Mill cause hey at the end of the day your stock trader only spent 3 Mill of your money not 5Mill. I'm sure this will be deleted soon enough.<span> </span><span></span></span>
    </p>

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  24. could this be the reason for arsenal's lack of success in recent years????? YES

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  25. interesting articel, however I bet if you looked at the net spends for the previous 20 years when Liverpool were the successful team, they would have spent far lee then Man U because they had a better squad for long period so transfers would be less necessary.
    Man United had a fantastic squad of largely hown grown players in the 90's so they would have spent less as Liverpool were trying to catch up and therefore spent more.
    The issue is not how mush was spent but actually if it was sepnt well or not, and Liverpool havnt done that, particularly under Rafa.
    These things tend to follow cycles, Chelsea sepnt loads initialy under Abramovich and are starting to slow down having built a good squad, and Man City will do the same.

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  26. That must have taken ages to compile so well done for the hard work Jamie.  You can draw a lot of different conclusions from that amount of data but most important for me is the benifits of sticking with a quality manager and giving them the tools to do their job. 

    We are at a vital stage in the clubs history.  I believe (and prey) that we now have the right owners with the intelligence and winning mentality to take Liverpool back to the top.  I have nothing against Roy but I cannot belive that he is the right manager to take Liverpool forward.  A major factor for me is that age is unfortunatly against him as I strongly believe that we need a younger manager who can develope the club, with the owners for the next ten years. 

    No pressure in finding the right manager then!!  My gut feel is tha ManU will not be the primary title contenders in the future due to both their own ownership issues and the fact that replacing Fergie, without massive investment will be very difficult. 

    I hope in ten years time the new "fergie" will be dreaming of knocking Liverpool off their perch once again! 

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  27. Heres a good idea, seeing as though Liverpool and the Mancs are prettymuch on a even keal in regards to success, why dont you have a look at the Nett spend for the entir clubs history, that would be the only fair way to view this kind of data.

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  28. Arsenal have won 3 titles under Wenger; they went an entire season without winning
     a game; they regularly compete for the title *despite* havingt a negative net spend.  According to the net spend cult, Arsenal should be in the relegation zone because low net spend (apparently) = lack of success.

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  29. Have you got the links to the pages on the official LFC website where it shows the figures for all the signings and sales since the end of the financial year covered by the most recent club accounts?

    In other words, every player bought or sold from August 1st 2009 onwards.

    And if not, why not?

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  30. Hey i was also wondering where on the LFC offical site did you get this info from?? cause i spent a while on there and i see no such figures on the site, can you post a link??

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  31. Ya jamie job well done must have taken ages, but can you post a link to the offical site where this info is cause i've looked and can't find it.

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  32. I respect your figures and some of the conclusions that you have made. however i would support the argument that ronaldo has greatly distorted the figures. i would also say that liverpool failed to benefit from the selling of their developed youngsters - Mcmanaman went on a bosman, owen went for a massively reduced figure due to his contract and redknapp also went for a small figure and was injured for extended periods, as was rob jones. The sheer number of players that man u have brought and kept at teh peak of their careers through is a credit to ferguson. against everton this season there were six home grown players on the pitch! however this again effects the nature of the two squads, whereas liverpool have had to build squads primarily through buying man u have been able to spend more on fewer players which arguably produces a stronger team. although this is no guarantee - keane, aquilani, babel and arguably johnson, but it can be contented that this is due to benitez's lack of nouce in the transfer market.

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  33. Hey this is very impresive but can you post the link where you got this info from..cheers

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  34. This is NOT a Liverpool site.....it's been trying to <span>masquerade </span>as one for years!!!, for only fools and MANURES.

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  35. Hey how come you haven't posted the links to the offical site where this info is cause i have also looked and can't find this info?? Whats going on here do you have super access that the rest of us don't??? Looking forward to the links.

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  36. man utd have easilly outspent lfc for 20 years the blip can be summed up in one word - ronaldo - sold for 80 million. ferdinand 30 million was 19 years ago we still havnt got near to that of veron 27 million, rooney 27 million etc etc.

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  37. I LOVE HARRY BALLS9:41 p.m., October 27, 2010

    Hey post the link

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  38. Do your own research.  And LEARN TO READ.  Only a couple of figures come from the official site; 99% of them come from the club's accounts. If you post any further poiintless comments they'll be deleted.  If you have something to add to the discussion do.  if not, then go somewhere else.

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  39. Hi Jamie, once again thanks for all the work. I have to confess that I still do not entirely agree with your logic, however. What I mean is, I agree LFC spent a lot on dros. And Rafa did too. But in assessing Rafa, we have to assume that regardless of how much his predecessors spent, he was aiming to compete with Manu, Chelski and Arsenal to a lesser degree. So while the spending from 1990 is interesting, Rafa's spending must be seen within his own project of trying to compete after more than a decade of not competing. So even if his team were ok after Houlier (which they were, but not good enough) his spending must be seen as an attempt to catch up the gap that was already quite substantial between LFC and the top clubs. However, I agree that in his desparation to do this he went a bit frantic - and we are left with a threadbare squad. However, I still maintain he is a good manager - maybe he will be better suited to a club that indulges his obsession with formation and tactics. Sorry, really long day, so not sure if I have made a valid point - will reflect on it in the morning.

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  40. Excalibre - I endores this comment. Fergie and to a different degree Arsene have been stelwarts that have built their respective club successes - obviously Fergie more successful. I personally thought that Rafa should have been given the chance to continue at LFC - for that very reason. I think that he HAD made us competitive again, and the next step would have been to build the squad. I am not married to this conclusion, but even when we were heading for 7th I felt that the team needs a long term vision, and we were getting better. THere is of course lots of room for debate there, I accept. But my overwhelming feeling about Woy was exactly that - we need a manager that will be around for a ten-year plan, to built the squad, build a new culture in the boot room, and hand it on in a great state. We don't need to challenge for the title this year or even next. ManU won't win it again, and when we do in a few years it will be number 19, the all-time record once again. Woy is not the man.

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  41. Agreed - the net spend is not the indication of how good the squad can be. However, the problem for LFC is that once you go a decade without challenging, even if spending the same (i.e. making a decade of bad purchases) it takes more and more effort and resolve to catch up. Which is the position Rafa found himself in. He spent a lot, and made some crap purchases, but I still believe that he was a far better manager than Souness, Evans and Houlier. THe question therefore is not so much the net spend, but the panic experienced by slipping progressively behind. That panic is now much greater, with ManC and even Spuds etc being competitive. LFC, potentially find themselves below the top four, and that is not easy when you are used to being the former heavies. But, I do believe that for all of that Rafa gave us one last - ultimately futile - chance to hope. He punched well above his weight - granted with spending lots of money, but it was never as much as Chelski, and it was never going to be enough long term.
    So maybe Liverpool are a microcosm of working class Britain. Destroyed in the 80s, made a last hurah in the 2000s (under Blair and Rafa) by spending all the money (pawning the trophey cabinet and selling off British Industry), and now once again bankrupt and thankful to be rescued by our American friends with whom we have an oh so special relationship - and we can spend the rest of the century talking about the glory days, with some budget holidays in Europe now and again that only piss the locals off - and ususally end in tears.

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  42. Yes but even £30 m would be realistic, so the actual inflation - even using this argument - is only £50. Calculated over two decades. Agreed it distorts the figures, but not by £80m. By any standards Ronaldo was worth a lot of money.

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  43. Even if I do not agree with your obstinate refusal to accept the significance of net spend I think that you have gone about the research well and the results are interesting reading - if not always for the reasons that you discuss. I have one question though - how do you deal with structured sales whereby LFC would receive additional payments on players over a number of years based on appearances, resale fees etc. The term used in the 2009 Report on the sale of Alonso  - 'guaranteed fee', suggests to me that this is the minimum but maybe not the naximum. This could jeopardise the reliability of the sales figures and therefore the net spend totals.    

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  44. Nice work Jamie. I have always known without a doubt LFC have spent plenty and its all been wasted. You lead from the top down and the fact that Man U and Arsenal have been well run in the senior management side is evident of their success. (dont talk about Man U now with their debt, thats because of the buy out not them being idiots in the transfer markets) 

    A lesson for supporters who think they know about football and boardroom politics. For as long as i can remember so called experts and fans who thought we had a chance of winning the league were day dreaming and dont have the skills or the brains to assess how poor things really were/are behind the scenes. I think this year has been most evident of that but its been like this for 20 years. I have said and will always stick by the following statement. Useless incompetent management will always effect everything else down the food chain.  LFC have a very long way to become league champs. Most players dont want to go LFC for the simple fact of the matter is they cant afford huge wages and they dont have champs league football to offer :)  the only way you might have a chance is board room is efficiently run but a manager of AF or Wenger runs the football side of things well. And dont moan about Wenger not winning nothing, guy makes his team reach champs league, plays good football and has help pay alot of the current debt down. Give it another few years and Arsenal we most likely be champs again because they'll have a big war chest of money. 


    LFC need a miracle 

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  45. You're the best. Anyone who disagrees with you is just stupid and part of a cult. Again, you're the best.

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  46. All I am willing to say is something about Rafa as you seem soooo obsessed by him.  In fact, we have been throwing money at the team since 1990 without league success (Rafa almost did it though).  Houllier, Rafa and to an extent Evans, all had to contend with stronger Utd sides that were winning things.  

    I think your 'holier than thou' approach is a bit much, after all, if you were right all the time, you'd be the MD of Liverpool wouldn't you?

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  47. Would you care to post the link for the official United website that states "<span>* Antonio Valencia + Gabriel Obertan - £22.6m".</span>

    I have found no official quote of Valencia's fee, but it is believed to be £17m. Obertan is widely stated to have cost £3m. The figures don't add up. If that is realy an official quote, I can include it in my own figures.

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  48. Would you care to post the link for the official United website that states "<span>* Antonio Valencia + Gabriel Obertan - £22.6m".</span>  
     
    I have found no official quote of Valencia's fee, but it is believed to be £16-17m. Obertan is widely stated to have cost £3m. The figures don't add up. If that is realy an official quote, I can include it in my own figures.

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  49. Great read Jamie. If the figures are reliable and dependable it really does show how much money was wasted.

    Since you appear to be good at these, could you possibly do one for Arsenal?

    Personally I think its a bit of a misnomer that Arsene Wenger has always operated on a net loss. He does hide a lot behind 'undisclosed' transfer fees (examples of estimated fees being £13m Wiltord, £20m Reyes, £20m Eduardo etc). If you could dig up his spending that would be awesome.

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  50. Jamie as usual you are so right as usual...Rafa Benitez was useless and spent more money than Abramovich's wealth.  Everybody connected with Rafa Benitez makes mistakes but you and Roy Hodgson and Alex Furgie are the real deal and only you know whats going on..

    I mean for example your own article

    RAFA BENITEZ: *Gross/Net Spend* figures during the Hicks and Gillett era .fullpost { display: inline; } Using figures taken directly from the club's accounts (i.e. the ONLY accurate figures available), I examine Rafa Benitez's transfer spending during the ownership reign of Tom Hicks and George Gillett. <span>

    Earlier in the week, I wrote an article looking at the veracity of Tom Hicks' claim that he and Gillett had <span><span> </span>spent £300m on players</span>. Unfortunately, many people misinterpreted the figures - instead of deducting Roy Hodgson's transfer spending, people included it as part of Rafa Benitez's transfer spend under Hicks and Gillett.

    Obviously, this is wrong! As such, I've compiled a table below containing Benitez's figures only.

    <span><span>IMPORTANT NOTES</span></span>

    <span>1</span>. The transfer spending figures for 2007-2009 are recorded in the club's accounts. Unfortunately, accounts for 2009-10 have not been released yet. Having said that, the purchases/sale price figures for Aquilani, Kyrgiakos, Dossena, Voronin + Alonso are included in the '<span>Post Balance Sheet Events</span>' section of the 2009 Accounts (See snippets below). For the other transfers that took place in 2009-10, I've used the next best source: the official Liverpool FC website.</span>
    Gross spend for 06/07 season was 57.4 mil from your above article accounts and yet in your account for this article the gross for 06/07 was 69.9mil ...something is not right either Liverpool club is giving you different figures everytime you ask or you are changing figures to suit your anti Rafa views...what are you

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  51. Well at least Rafa won somethings worthwile on his CV and what has our TRIGGER ever won apart from a pat on the back side by Sir alex

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  52. Jamie what happened to your love for Martin O'Niel...how come you don't champion him for Anfield

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  53. Bang on. This article seems to suggest lfc's high net spend over 20 years  makes benitez a bad manager. The fact is we must look at how good the team was when he took over and the net spend of benitez only compared to the positions of his competing teams and their net spend over the same period. What difference does houllier's high net spend make if he left benitez with salif diao and cisse?! Benitez was good and that's why we were more successful with him than any manager since dalglish! Another point that irritates me is the fact that he is always compared with ferguson. Ferguson had the job 20 years, Rafa 5. Ferguson is a brilliant manager, but that does not make rafa a bad one. All who called for Rafa's head must surely admit that if he was still here we would be better off than we are now. Not to admit this would be dillusional as this is the worst start we've had since the 1920s.

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  54. Arsenal have proven that money isn't the be all and end all in attaining success. For as long as I can remember, Manchester United have been accused of buying success, but it's only half true. United bring players through the ranks and add to that by buying quality players. Also - United did with their own money.

    However you want to paint it, United have never had a sugar dady like Abramovic or Sheikh Monsur. Even with inflation, the emounts they have thrown at their club are ridiculous.

    Tottenham are now a bit more of a force but have bought and sold wisely and herein lies the point. Liverpool fans should recognise that their club have not bought and sold wisely. Even under Rafa, too many foreign youngsters were bought who never made it. And if Rafa had been fully committed to the cause, Liverpool would have won the league two season ago instead of finishing runners-up.

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  55. Trader, that is the most convincing argument I have ever heard for the primacy of net spend. If Jamie doesn't attempt to tackle you head on then he's lost credibility in my book.

    However, I would like to congratulate Jamie for putting in the research and displaying both gross and net over the period. And actually, whether you are in the gross or net camp - the conclusion is the same - Ferguson was and is a better manager than any we have had since Dalglish. Period.  

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  56. jamie do you spit or swallow

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  57. With all due respect, please do your own research.  I emailed the MUFC press office and the official website and asked them to confirm the figures I'd found on various Man U websites.  They did not confirm officially, but said eough to offer an implicit affirmation. if you email them asking questions, I'm sure you will get the same response.  Anyway, I make it clear in the article that the figures for Ferguson's 2009-10 transfers are not from accounts.  There is no way to know what the proper figures are until the accounts are released.  Until then, the figures I'm using are the best I can find.  What matters is 99% of the figures are 100% correct. Quibbling over a million or so here and there is just pedantry at this stage.

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  58. No, you are just so ridiculously ignorant and lacking in comprehension skills that you cannot understand rudimentary concepts.

    Let me break this down for you: THAT ARTICLE WAS FOR TRANSFER SPENDING UNDER HICKS AND GILLETT ONLY

    When did H+G take over the club?  February 2007.

    The accounting year runs from July to July, so that means any transfers conducted between July 2006 and February 2007 would be deducted from Benitez's figures because those WERE NOT TRANSFERS CONDUCTED DURING THE REIGN OF H+G.

    Do you understand yet? 

    57.4 mil = Benitez's gross spend for 2006-7 AFTER FEBRUARY @))& WHEN H+G TOOK OVER.
    69.9mil = The total gross spend for the year FROM JULY 31 to JULY 31.
    Do you get it yet?o
    I'm sick of being polite to people on this site, especially those like you who are so determined to try and find flaws in the figures that your objectivity (such as it is) goes out the window.
    Clearly, understanding the various nuances of LFC's transfer history is too complicated for you. So why bother?  Just stick to simple things you can understand, like Pop Idol and Match of the Day.  And do it somewhere else other than this site.

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  59. Yep, all looks good and makes sense. United under Ferguson have consistently dominated in significant part because he's been so good in the transfer market. Each Liverpool manager since 1990 have shown themselves to be less capable than Ferguson. Liverpool finished the 80s as the best team in football and United overtook them with significantly less money spent. United then continued to stay ahead in the 2000s by comfortably matching Liverpool's spending and still being better in the transfer market.

    The only other team to have competed with United without spending great wads of cash is Arsenal. I'd be very interested to see how much Arsene Wenger spent in his time at the club. He's done amazing things and most of it seems to be through a good youth scouting system. If he's never had to spend big to win the titles he did then clearly those two managers are the best in the modern era.

    My concern is that while this is interesting reading, what does it really do for us? It seems as if all Liverpool can do is hope to one day have a manager as good as Ferguson or Wenger. Rafa wasn't that, Hodgson surely isn't and in these modern times there no longer seems to be the patience allowed for a manager to grow into a role, maybe accepting 5 years of average performances before things start to look good. So until we find our own super manager is it just going to be more of the same? Clearly many people don't allow that just being one of the top 4 is enough. We've had plenty of managers able to provide that and yet they've been all moved on.

    Personally I've never been one to slit my wrists if Liverpool aren't always within 5-10 points of the top. This is the toughest league in the world and for me just being in the top 4 is significant. I enjoy watching football at that level and when you get beaten by a better team at least you know that they are a better team. I just wonder if maybe what needs to change is the attitude and expectations of everyone involved with the club, including the fans. It's great to have goals and the goal should always be to win the league but sacking managers because they only ever got us as close as 2nd seems crazy to me. It's as if a few years of not quite getting there is enough and we simply give up to start from scratch. Surely it's time for all of us to take a deep breath and admit that winning the league might not happen in the next 5 years and any manager who simply allows us to compete at the highest level should be congratulated and left to do his job.  

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  60. Yep, all looks good and makes sense. United under Ferguson have consistently dominated in significant part because he's been so good in the transfer market. Each Liverpool manager since 1990 have shown themselves to be less capable than Ferguson. Liverpool finished the 80s as the best team in football and United overtook them with significantly less money spent. United then continued to stay ahead in the 2000s by comfortably matching Liverpool's spending and still being better in the transfer market.

    The only other team to have competed with United without spending great wads of cash is Arsenal. I'd be very interested to see how much Arsene Wenger spent in his time at the club. He's done amazing things and most of it seems to be through a good youth scouting system. If he's never had to spend big to win the titles he did then clearly those two managers are the best in the modern era.

    My concern is that while this is interesting reading, what does it really do for us? It seems as if all Liverpool can do is hope to one day have a manager as good as Ferguson or Wenger. Rafa wasn't that, Hodgson surely isn't and in these modern times there no longer seems to be the patience allowed for a manager to grow into a role, maybe accepting 5 years of average performances before things start to look good. So until we find our own super manager is it just going to be more of the same? Clearly many people don't allow that just being one of the top 4 is enough. We've had plenty of managers able to provide that and yet they've been all moved on.

    Personally I've never been one to slit my wrists if Liverpool aren't always within 5-10 points of the top. This is the toughest league in the world and for me just being in the top 4 is significant. I enjoy watching football at that level and when you get beaten by a better team at least you know that they are a better team. I just wonder if maybe what needs to change is the attitude and expectations of everyone involved with the club, including the fans. It's great to have goals and the goal should always be to win the league but sacking managers because they only ever got us as close as 2nd seems crazy to me. It's as if a few years of not quite getting there is enough and we simply give up to start from scratch. Surely it's time for all of us to take a deep breath and admit that winning the league might not happen in the next 5 years and any manager who simply allows us to compete at the highest level should be congratulated and left to do his job.  

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  61. I already have many times.  My views on the subject are well documented.  And does this have to do with what we're discussing?

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  62. Imagine Club A had no cash in 1990 but a squad of players with high transfer values. Every year, they sold the 2 oldest players in the squad for 25m each and replaced them with two younger players for 25m each. They did this for 20 years. During that time, the net spend would be ZERO. Gross spend would be 1000m (50m X 20 years)  <span></span>


    Yes, let's imagine the most outlandish, impossible scenario possible; a situation that has never happened (and will never happen), just so you can make some convoluted non point about net spend.  If you're going to use a credible example, use something that might actually happen outside of fantasy land.

    Just because YOU say that net spend is so important doesn't make it so.  I have proved how it is not important countless times, with countless exampls, using lots of actual proof from various club accounts.

    You cannot apply my theory to your silly scenario - it doesn't work that way.  Every example I have used to back up what I'm saying has been a real world, accurate and based on fact.  When you can do the same, then we'll talk.
    J

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  63. Let's be accurate here, Arsenal have not "competed for the title" since 2005 and they have won nothing in that time, zero trophies. You make some very good points here JK but you need to be careful. On the won hand you insist on using trophies as the only benchmark but now you seem to indicate that Arsenal are doing well simply by "competing". Decide on your benchmark and stick to it, don't flip flop between "winning titles" and "competing". It is very clear that Arsenal have not been the same team since 2005 and you highlighted yourself that during that time they have a negative net spend. This does not support your argument.

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  64. I'm not quibbling, I agree, a few million here or there makes no difference to the over-all picture. However, you said the figures were from the official website. I have checked and I cannot find that quote. All transfer figures lately are officially undisclosed. I have spent many many hours researching United's transfer fees for my blog (http://www.manchesterunitedtransfers.blogspot.com) as you can probably see, and have not once come across that figure, hence me asking you to share info if possible. It's nothing to do with haggling, but sharing knowledge without bias and with transparency which is something we appear to have in common.

    If you can find a link to the page you originally claim to have found that figure, I'd be very grateful. If not, feel free to reference my site where every fee is sourced as accurately as possible.

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  65. Jamie what i would like to see is the signings since 2004 the club never got because of lack of funding you must spend money to make money.
    Yes so the club spent more but yes they started off with a lesser side and didnt Liverpool want to sign Ronaldo but the club would not put up the finances for a player of his experience, only to be signed a year later by United.
    There is a reason as to why small clubs do not win the EPL and thats because you must spend to get talent bottom line.
    I do believe though the academy was turned around by Benitez and the men he bought in, and find it a pity someone else will reap the dividends!

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  66. You think that outlandish example is 'the most convincing arguement you've ever heard for the primacy of net spend'?!

    Well, that just speaks for itself really.

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  67. Lighten up JK, it's clearly not the most outlandish scenario imaginable. I think we'd find that part of Wenger's success in the market has been selling older players (old in Arsenal terms seems to mean late 20s) and using that money to buy young talent to develop. As you yourself pointed out, his net spend is usually low and recently negative. It's not the exact to-the-letter scenario the post was suggesting but most of us here can see that the suggestion itself is quite reasonable. He's just trying to make a simple point and you completely dismiss it because it doesn't suit the argument you want to make. 

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  68. Yet again, I have to explain something that has been explained a million times; and why?  Because people are so desperate to find flaws in the figures.  You're probably say there praying that you can find something that will 'jeopardise the reliability of the sales figures and therefore the net spend totals".

    So, once more:



    <span>Under accounting requirements, the cost of acquiring a player’s registration (i.e. paying money to buy a player) includes:

    * The transfer fee payable

    * Any probable contingent amounts (i.e. Fees that may become payable/receivable in the future depending on certain conditions being fulfilled)

    * Other direct costs such as transfer fee levy and fees to agents. </span>

    This is confirmed by <span><span><span></span>Deloitte</span>, You know, the major accountancy company that specialises in football accountancy...</span>

    <span>The club's accounting policies adhere to these guidelines. </span>

    Where there are contingent fees payable it is stated specifically in the accounts, and whatever fees *are* contingent are recorded in the total amount anyway, as per the above.

    So - keep trying.  I'm sure you'll come up with some other reason why the figures are not accurate.

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  69. It does support my argument - I argue that net spend is irrelevant to judging a manager's effectiveness in the transfer market.  The net spend cult argues that low net spend is the most important thing, and means that (like with Benitez) the manager has not been given enough money to compete, and - most ridiculously - when stating how much money has been spend, you use the net spend figure NOT the gross figure.

    The Wenger situation blows that stupid argument right out of the water.

    Wenger has a negative net spend: does that mean he hasn't been given enough money to spend?  NO.

    Does it mean he's spent no money since arriving at Arsenal?  NO.

    This is the fallacy.  When I posted the article detailing Benitez's transfer figures, his net spend came out at 10.5. All we heard then for the next few days was 'Wow - benitez only spent 10.5m a season' and variators thereof.

    Between 2004 and 2009, Wenger had an average yearly net spend of 1.5m.  Do we then go around saying 'Wow!  Wenger only spent 1.5m a year!)

    No.  And this is why the net spend argument is cretinous in the extreme.

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  70. I agree with you aw - we need a manager with a long term plan, but in reality, the long plan is already in action.  At this moment, far too many people are only looking at the short term.  Hodgson was and is a transitional manager; a calm experienced head brought in to look after the team whilst the club was sold, and all the boardroom turmoil was worked out. I accepted that before he took over, and I have no problem with that.  This seaso is only about one thing: finishing 4th.  We can still do it, and I am sure we will.  Then, Hodgson will leave, and the manager who will take the club forward will arrive, and the real forward progress can begin again.

    I have to strongly disagree with you re Benitez being given the chance to continue at LFC. He had 6 years to build a decent squad and he failed, wasting tens of millions along the way; alienating countless players; creating a victim complex at the club, and ultimately moving the club backwards in our worst season in decades.

    he had to go, and I am glad he is gone.  it is not personal; it's purely about Benitez's managerial performance.

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  71. Yes, maybe if I went all the back to the beginning the figures might actually make Benitez's look good.  The you'd be happy, right?

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  72. I totally agree with you re attitude and expectations the fans.  For me, the most important thing is and always has been enjoying watching the team play. The joy of watching football; the excitement etc is what drew me to the game in the first place.  I absolutely loved the 80s for this very reason.  It wasn't about success really, it was about being excited to see John Barnes and Ian Rush play; marvelling at the the silky skills of Dalglish; the imperious leadership of Graeme Souness; the goalscoring genius of Robbie Fowler.

    That's why I loved the Roy Evans era so much.  It was the most entertaining football since the 87-91 golden years of sexy football.  I didn't care that we weren't winning trophies - it was just so much fun watching Liverpool, and that's what it's all about for me.

    With a few obvious exceptions, the last 12 years have been torturous; dull, boring, insipd defensive football; preference for workers and stamina over skill and individuality; no wingers; no dribblers; very few exciting attacking players; and even when we did have them (Litmanen; Anelka etc) they were dumped on the sidelines in favour of hardworking donkeys like Heskey.

    I' sick of the crap we've been served up under Houllier, Benitez, and now Hodgson.  I want a return to old values; a return to a situation where attacking players are prioritised over defensive mids and runners like Kuyt.

    That may never happen, but I live in hope.

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  73. OK, in order to continue this as a sensible discussion, let's take it that you are completely correct. A greater net spend does not mean a better team and Benitez had plenty of money to spend. That is agreed. Let me then discuss the following:

    When most people say "Benitez has only spent 10.5 million a season" they very specifically mean that he has only spent 10.5 million ADDITIONAL funds on top of whatever funds can be generated from player sales. This is a commonly understood idea. Many people, when discussing football, consider a transfer fund to be ADDITIONAL funds that are provided on top of funds generated from player sales. It may sound confusing to someone who has not encountered such a use of language in this way but it is none the less well understood amongst football fans that I know.  

    Many people do indeed say "wow, Wenger has only spent 1.5 million a year". I've had that conversation with many people. We all understand what that means, we all understand that it usually refers to ADDITIONAL funds on top of anything raised by player sales. We know very well that he may have bought players with the money raised, we all know very well that he may have acquired 20 or 30 million worth of players by using the money raised. We all understand this and it is clear and simple and part of a sensible discussion that I have encountered many many times with people in all aspects of life.   

    The reason why we discuss it is also very obvious and clear. Money is important. If a manager spends only 1.5 million pounds of additional money then this is good for the club. The club will have greater profits. The owners will be happier. If a manager spends 10 million pounds of additional money then this means less profit for the club. It's very simple and obvious accounting: expense vs revenue. This is the basis of any business and, as you point out so many times, football clubs are businesses.

    So when we see a manager spending less ADDITIONAL money, keeping the company bottom line in good shape AND still doing well on the pitch, then we consider this to be a good thing. When we see a manager spend quite a bit of additional money thus reducing club profits and perhaps not achieving as much on the pitch as we think possible then we consider this to be a not so good thing. That's why we talk about it. That's why it is discussed.  

    What's going on here is that YOU don't seem to understand that. YOU don't seem to be willing to accept the underlying implication that is in fact quite obvious to everyone else. That is not our mistake, it is yours. It is not our incorrect assumption, it is yours. We know what we're talking about and we all agree that it is correct and understood. The one who is failing to understand is YOU. 

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  74. I completely dismiss it because it's nonsense.  If you're going to make an argument that 'Net spend is the most accurate way of looking at it<span>' then come up with a proper argument based on actual teams/transfers; don't use some unprovable fantast argument that has no basis in reality.</span>

    it's like me writing an article saying 'gross spend is the best!  Imagine there was a nuclear holocaust, and all human beings were killed.  The only remaining animals were rabbits.  They decided to create a fotball league to take their minds off the devastation.  Team A spent 300 billion pounds on players in one year, and sold 100 billions pounds worth in the same year; the gross spend of 200 billion is how much was ACTUALLY SPENT.  So there!'

    As I said, nonsense.

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  75. Thanks, Tim.  I'm glad I know about your blog as I'm always searching for good sources for United stats when doing these kind of analyses.

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  76. Cheers, Saj. I've did a comparison between Benitez and Wenger for the years 2004-2009 a while ago:

    http://www.liverpool-kop.com/2010/05/exclusive-rafa-benitez-vs-arsene-wenger.html

    I'm going to do the same comparison as this (1990-2010) for Arsenal, Chelsea and Spurs in the coming weeks.

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  77. Kanwar how  much time do you have in hand? we don't need all those figures to tell us that Fergie is a better manager than any of the manager we've had in the last 20 years. Get a job man

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  78. Why do you not link your sources..you're always asking people to prove their sources but you have gone ahead and deleted any request for links, why is that??

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  79. Only 65 commentors banned so far tonight for ignoring the comment policy.  And it's not like I have to waste time doing it; the comment software does it automatically based on the use of certain words/phrases.

    Anyone else?

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  80. My last comment on this issue, the argument is getting stale and boring and I think JK has made an excellent point here. 

    From a statistical analysis point of view a valid way to test any net spend theory would be to compare all teams in the league over a period of 5 or even 10 years. Using number of trophies would not work, there are not enough trophies to go around. A much better indicator of team success is the one we all check every week: the league table. 

    It would be a simple exercise for any statistician to check for a correlation between net spend over two transfer windows and the number of league wins in a season. It would be equally simple to check for a correlation between gross spend and league wins. What you'd end up with is a simple set of figures which could be defined as statistically significant or not within a given factor such as 0.05 or 0.01. This is just plain scientific analysis and the only barrier is the obvious effort it would require to gather the figures. 

    This MUFC vs LFC is a great example. It shows how a manager can compete without having the supposed financial power of a rich owner or significant club profits to draw from. It's a strong counter-example to any net-spend theory but it is ultimately just one example. A proper statistical analysis over ALL teams, perhaps even over 3 or 4 different European leagues, would most certainly give us a more complete picture. It would be incredibly difficult for anyone to argue with that kind of analysis given the range of data it would cover. 

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  81. Hi all
    United fan in peace. First time Im here [link in MUFC blog]; very impressed with all the hard work.

    My 2 cents: I dont think either way of evaluating is absolutely reflective. You also need to consider wages and squad size. But most importantly, most of the players bought by Rafa are good players, its just that they havent been handled in a way that will extract maximum efficiency. I also think that its hard on players to play well together when there is no core which has always been lacking at Liverpool. Id like to see the respective percentage of new players in the first team per year.

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  82. Kanwar 'the liverpool fan' in another anti liverpool and pro man u article. what a suprise. why dont you just admit you are a man u fan jamie, we all know it.

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  83. Hi Jamie, good work there.  I read your blogs often though it diverges from the views of most of the Liverpool fans on the web, as somebody from India I can only talk of what I see through the web rather than in person.  This is the first time I opted to comment.  Just to re-iterate I have been a United fan from the time I remember watching Premier League football regularly which must be about 15 years back.

    While one can always prove two different points with same set of statistics, that being the nature of statistics, just a point from my side.  While you have summed the entire spending as "Cost per Trophy" you would agree that winning the Premier League or the Champions League is always going to be more difficult in comparison to may be the Carling Cup.  Though one could always end up pointing out how winning a certain trophy was much more difficult in the '80s / '90s etc. but in my opinion it is the same as inflation you cannot opt for a compensating factor to balance the difficulties of winning between eras'.

    Do you think it makes more sense to add weightage to the respective trophies and rework the "Cost per trophy". Spending 50 Million and winning Carling Cup is not necessarily the same as spending 50 Million and winning the Premier League / Champions League.

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  84. Using statistics to prove or disprove something that is perfectly logical is beyond me. Using only two clubs as a basis of comparison would give you an answer, but the probability of the answer being accurate is extremely low. Common sense would tell you that net spending does correlate with success. The greater a club's ability and willingness to spend, the greater the chance of achieving success. As to achieving success itself, many other factors do play a role. A great manager with the ability to have positive net expenditure of 20m a year would have a far better chance of achieving success when compare to one who's limited by budgetary constraints.

    Sir Alex would not have been as successful at Liverpool, and perhaps arsene wenger would have been much more successful at Manchester united. Sir alex would not have had the golden generation of players at Chelsea, and wenger would have had them instead.

    Thus, success can only be achieved if the right mixture of luck, Understanding within a team, balance in a team, rival teams going on a poor run of form, etc are achieved. That is also why net spending cannot be proven to ensure success, but it sure as hell is a major factor for it.

    Trying to use statistics to prove that net spending has little correlation with success would only be possible if football only consists of net spending and winning trophies:)

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  85. Using statistics to prove or disprove something that is perfectly logical is beyond me. Using only two clubs as a basis of comparison would give you an answer, but the probability of the answer being accurate is extremely low. Common sense would tell you that net spending does correlate with success. The greater a club's ability and willingness to spend, the greater the chance of achieving success. As to achieving success itself, many other factors do play a role. A great manager with the ability to have positive net expenditure of 20m a year would have a far better chance of achieving success when compare to one who's limited by budgetary constraints.

    Sir Alex would not have been as successful at Liverpool, and perhaps arsene wenger would have been much more successful at Manchester united. Sir alex would not have had the golden generation of players at Chelsea, and wenger would have had them instead.

    Thus, success can only be achieved if the right mixture of luck, Understanding within a team, balance in a team, rival teams going on a poor run of form, etc are achieved. That is also why net spending cannot be proven to ensure success, but it sure as hell is a major factor for it.

    Trying to use statistics to prove that net spending has little correlation with success would only be possible if football only consists of net spending and winning trophies:)

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  86. Using statistics to prove or disprove something that is perfectly logical is beyond me. Using only two clubs as a basis of comparison would give you an answer, but the probability of the answer being accurate is extremely low. Common sense would tell you that net spending does correlate with success. The greater a club's ability and willingness to spend, the greater the chance of achieving success. As to achieving success itself, many other factors do play a role. A great manager with the ability to have positive net expenditure of 20m a year would have a far better chance of achieving success when compare to one who's limited by budgetary constraints.

    Sir Alex would not have been as successful at Liverpool, and perhaps arsene wenger would have been much more successful at Manchester united. Sir alex would not have had the golden generation of players at Chelsea, and wenger would have had them instead.

    Thus, success can only be achieved if the right mixture of luck, Understanding within a team, balance in a team, rival teams going on a poor run of form, etc are achieved. That is also why net spending cannot be proven to ensure success, but it sure as hell is a major factor for it.

    Trying to use statistics to prove that net spending has little correlation with success would only be possible if football only consists of net spending and winning trophies:)

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  87. Using statistics to prove or disprove something that is perfectly logical is beyond me. Using only two clubs as a basis of comparison would give you an answer, but the probability of the answer being accurate is extremely low. Common sense would tell you that net spending does correlate with success. The greater a club's ability and willingness to spend, the greater the chance of achieving success. As to achieving success itself, many other factors do play a role. A great manager with the ability to have positive net expenditure of 20m a year would have a far better chance of achieving success when compare to one who's limited by budgetary constraints.

    Sir Alex would not have been as successful at Liverpool, and perhaps arsene wenger would have been much more successful at Manchester united. Sir alex would not have had the golden generation of players at Chelsea, and wenger would have had them instead.

    Thus, success can only be achieved if the right mixture of luck, Understanding within a team, balance in a team, rival teams going on a poor run of form, etc are achieved. That is also why net spending cannot be proven to ensure success, but it sure as hell is a major factor for it.

    Trying to use statistics to prove that net spending has little correlation with success would only be possible if football only consists of net spending and winning trophies:)

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  88. Hi Jamie,

    Your article makes alot of sense. I think people miss the fact that there is more than one absolute reason why Liverpool have failed to perform over the last two decades. You can spend as much as you like but the results will not be guaranteed just because of the millions spent. Real Madrid is a point in fact, their best signing arguably has been Mourinho, who knows how to manage players and boardrooms. Benitez lacked this essential skill when it comes to players.

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  89. Success for a football club - Consists of a broad spectrum of factors
    Net transfer spending - Increases the probability of success, but does not ensure it as success depends on other factors as well
    club's ability to spend vs placing on league - whadya think:) of course, rmbr to take out the strawmen arguments as they're highly improbable

    Isn't this all the linkage you need without all the statistics?

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  90. Success for a football club - Consists of a broad spectrum of factors
    Net transfer spending - Increases the probability of success, but does not ensure it as success depends on other factors as well
    club's ability to spend vs placing on league - whadya think:) of course, rmbr to take out the strawmen arguments as they're highly improbable

    Isn't this all the linkage you need without all the statistics?

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  91. Success for a football club - Consists of a broad spectrum of factors
    Net transfer spending - Increases the probability of success, but does not ensure it as success depends on other factors as well
    club's ability to spend vs placing on league - whadya think:) of course, rmbr to take out the strawmen arguments as they're highly improbable

    Isn't this all the linkage you need without all the statistics?

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  92. Success for a football club - Consists of a broad spectrum of factors
    Net transfer spending - Increases the probability of success, but does not ensure it as success depends on other factors as well
    club's ability to spend vs placing on league - whadya think:) of course, rmbr to take out the strawmen arguments as they're highly improbable

    Isn't this all the linkage you need without all the statistics?

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  93. Very in depth, very interesting, and your conclusion is that Utd have been more successful than Liverpool since 1990?! Duh!

    I think Net spend shows how successful you have been at developing talent and Utd's record isn't as good as ours however you scan it. Having said that, trophys should always be the deciding factor and the pain we all feel is not necessarily that Liverpool haven't won as much as we'd like, but that Utd have!

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  94. There are so many holes in this obnoxiously worded peice that it's a surprise that Kanwar is even able to find his hands to type, let alone conduct maths.

    Kanwar sums - Say you have a tenner, you recieve 15 quid and then spend 20. How much do you have left? minus 20 pounds? What a buffoon.

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  95. I don't think 6 years is sufficient time unless you have a bucketload of investment, i.e, Chelsea/Man City. And I can give you two examples using two of the best and longest running managers in the PL; Ferguson and Wenger.

    For Alex it took from 1986 to 1993 to win the league for the first time and he was on the verge of getting sacked in between. They stuck with him and no-one can deny what a great manager he has been so far in the league (I personally don't think he's as good in Europe). What would have happened if Man Utd had decided to sack him? They would have brought in a new manager who would then go through a rebuilding process again spending more money. But because Ferguson was given time, not only was he able to build a team but he was able to nurture the youth. Approximately 7/8 years into his tenure we started to see the youth come through; Scholes, Neville brothers, Beckham, Butt etc. 

    Wenger's success happened quicker but I think that was because he picked up an already strong team and revolutionised it with his training methods and regime.  But if you look at his first six years he spent a significant amount of money. His policy of youth and not spending has only really come into fruition in the last few years. 

    <p><span>In 2003-04 (the famous “Invincibles” team) this was the team that Arsenal played in their last league game of the season. </span>
    </p><p><span> </span>
    </p><p><span>Lehmann, Lauren, Campbell, Toure, Cole, Parlour, Vieira, Silva, Pires, Henry, Bergkamp, Reyes, Edu, Keown, Clichy, Stack</span>
    </p><p><span> </span>
    </p><p><span>A great team but only Ashley Cole, Gael Clichy and Graham Stack were players that had come through the youth system. This was seven years into Arsene’s tenure. It is quite clear to say therefore that it is has taken Arsene Wenger over 10 years to get to the point where they are developing youth and churning out great player after great player as they have been over the last few years. </span>
    </p><p><span></span>
    </p><p><span>Rafa was given 6 years and after one bad season he was sacked, and this in part is down to people like you and the anti-Rafa brigade because of your narrow perspective on how you viewed his management. All you see are the figures and the bad transfers. I still believe that if we had given him time we would have won the league with him. It may have taken a couple more years but I believe it would have happened and here's why. </span>
    </p><p><span></span>
    </p><p><span>Our team under Rafa was relatively young compared to Chelsea and Man Utd who are the only teams to have won the league during Rafa's tenure. Rafa was investing in youth. Players like Kelly, Darby, Ayala, Pacheco, Amoo, Eccleston are on the verges of the first team squad. We're buying players like Shelvey, Wilson and Sterling for the future. We have other younger talented players coming through the system. Not all of them will make it but some of them will. If you look at our first team the majority of our players are in their early or mid-20s; Johnson(26), Agger(25), Torres(26), Babel(23), Lucas (23), Skrtel(25), Ngog(21), Aquilani although on loan now is only 26, and Insua also on loan is 21. Even Reina is only 28. Their best years are still to come. It is clear to me that Rafa was building for the future and because of one bad season and the impatience of some Liverpool fans we are now having to rebuild again. [...]

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  96. Sorry I but find the whole spend argument specious. Football management is not about WHAT you spend but WHO you spend it on. GH and RB recruited players who, sadly, were found wanting. This happens is football. Imagine that they'd got it right. That every one they bought turned out to be a little gem. This is what Shankly and Paisley did from '59 onwards. They knew what kind of football they wanted their teams to play, and bought the players who could play that football. It didn't have to be a £multi-million midfielder when a kid from Scunthorpe fitted the bill. Why get into a bidding war for a 'World-Class' striker, when this Welsh lad from Chester looks a bit tasty? For me the biggest problem over the past 2 decades has been a lack of a playing system - remember 'Pass & Move'? Compounded by very poor scouting and lazy signings. Gross spend/Net spend means bugger all when both your system and your players are rubbish.

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  97. Great points, Spencey - I completely agree with you.  The success of who you buy is what's important.  And the key point, as you say, is that imagine what might have been if the money that was wasted was actually spent on the right players.

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  98. I know you say 'odd exceptions' but my memories of Houllier's FA Cup and Uefa Cup finals and run to the CL QF and then Benitez's CL and FA Cup finals paint a completely different picture of those periods in my mind.

    Maybe I need to watch more Italian football, but I find satisfaction from watching a well organised Liverpool team defend well and then 'only' win 2-0 (admittedly that hasn't happened enough lately.)

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  99. Of course one cant forget, that Giggs, Becham, Butt, Scholes, the Nevilles, O'Shea and more has saved United a lot of money. When they have spent money, they have often spent alot on one or two top quality players. Liverpool have bought to many average players, jus to fill up the squad.

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  100. Jamie you are a legend!!!

    Not only do you understand football but you also make it subjective. I like this as football fans we all on occasion look through rose tinted glasses at our own clubs. The one thing I have for LFC is the utmost respect for their acheivements, heritage, history and passion . What I cannot understand is why people cannot accept the fact that this club has been misrun for 2 decades or longer and need stability. Someone must take the blame for this as english cluns should still dominate football      

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  101. Which is exactly what Rafa did, in my opinion.

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  102. It must be added that we'd often have to sell two players to buy a new one, then replace at least one of those sold, meaning we'd generally spend even more.

    If we'd like to upgrade on our right back ("Player A"), we'd have to sell both him and another player ("Player B") to raise the funds. Then we'd have to spend more money on a replacement for Player B.

    And no, we wouldn't be able to just use some of our transfer kitty, as there wasn't one, for most of G&H's reign

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  103. u forget reyes for 17m arsenal signing................and what u have 2 remember is arsene pays big bucks for young players that otehr teams wouldnt all the youth teams ar aroun 5 m each

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  104. Spencey - I think that you are right, that what is important is who you spend on. And as a corolary, a youth system is therefore very important, because you produce the players you will need in the future. THis I think also justifies patience and a long-term vision with managers e.g. Ferguson. And it is largely this that makes me dissatisfied with Hodgson. I don't see him as the right manager for the long term. Too defensive too soon, and possibly too old (although I do not what to sound ageist). Nevertheless, the task of being competitive is made an awful lot harder in a context where players are increasingly expensive. £80m for Ronaldo, though a one-off, dwarfs the couple of million that was the record transfer fee in the 1980s and 1990s. This is WAY above inflation, so competing in the EPL has become big money. I am not going to die defending the point, but just want to throw it out there, that every team to win the EPL has had either the highest or secon highest value squad - ok, I have no stats for this, but I think that squad value has a lot to do with success. So I agree that it is who you buy, not how much - and thi is especially important if you are catching up with less money. The local lad from Chester doesn't come along each day - if he did the England squad would be healthy and rosey. But take a look at Germany - a bunch of young local lads, so if the EPL teams could see beyond the massive short-term business interests that is the EPL we may improve both club and country.

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  105. He didn't mention Benitez and your article is about Liverpool v Man U spending. So why bring up Benitez?

    Oh that's right - I know why. He's left - stop trying to tarnish his reputation with your ignorance.

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  106. Jamie Kanwar's Mother1:54 p.m., October 28, 2010

    Jaimie

    How many times have I had to tell you to stop attention seeking and making things up. Stupid boy.

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  107. First of all JK, which set of accounts to Smalling, Hernandez and Bebe fall into. If we're including Meireles, Poulson and Konchesky then shouldn't we also include them

    This gross v net spend argument is becoming tiresome. These figures don't really tell us much in my opinion. I've said it before and I'll say it again, the best indictaor is how much money is spent per player. It would be interesting to see how many players Liverpool and Man Utd have bought in this same period. It comes down to this; up to now the most we have ever spent on a player is the amount we spent on Torres.  Before that our most expensive player ever was Cisse at approx 15m. The amount that Man Utd have spent on individual players dwarfs what we have spent on indiviudal players.

    Players above 10m for Liverpool - Heskey, Diouf, Cisse, Alonso, Babel, Torres, Mascharano, Keane, Aquilani, Johnson. Meireles. I don't know the exact amounts paid for these players but it approximately £167m

    In the same period, players above 10m for Man Utd -  Stam, Yorke, Van Nistelrooy, Veron, Ferdinand, Ronaldo, Saha, Rooney, Carrick, Hargreaves, Anderson, Anderson, Nani, Berbatov, Valencia. Again I don't know the exact figures but it approximately £258m.

    This is the difference between Man Utd and Liverpool, its not the gross or net spend, it the fact that when Man Utd want to buy a player they have more money available for that individual purchase. Cisse was brought in 2004 and at £15m was our record transfer. Guess what Man Utd's record transfer was at that point? Approx £30million on Ferdinand. Man Utd had spend double the amount on a defender than we had spend on our most expensive player ever up to 2004.  And here lies the difference. Forget gross, forget net, all they show is cash flow. You need to look at the detail.

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  108. A good well done peice JK, agree wholly about your view on Rafa, I have posted  my opinion before. Although you are always going to get the die hard 'In Rafa We Trust' Brigade denying the fact he dragged us down with some of his dealings. In the same way he started the rot at Valencia, granted he left there as champs but he started the downturn and fell out dramatically with his bosses - a familiar story.

    I also feel the great sides of the past be it ManUre, Arsenal & Liverpool all 11 players could be named off the top of your head. Consistant selections. with RB we didnt know from one week to the next and no doubt he did either. Agreed, the demands have changed but the physicality has decreased.

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  109. <span><span>Paulie</span><img></img></span> replies:Today, 14:35:15A good well done peice JK, agree wholly about your view on Rafa, I have posted  my opinion before. Although you are always going to get the die hard 'In Rafa We Trust' Brigade denying the fact he dragged us down with some of his dealings. In the same way he started the rot at Valencia, granted he left there as champs but he started the downturn and fell out dramatically with his bosses - a familiar story.  
     
    I also feel the great sides of the past be it ManUre, Arsenal & Liverpool all 11 players could be named off the top of your head. Consistant selections. with RB we didnt know from one week to the next and no doubt he did either. Agreed, the demands have changed but the physicality has decreased.

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  110. A good well done peice JK, agree wholly about your view on Rafa, I have posted  my opinion before. Although you are always going to get the die hard 'In Rafa We Trust' Brigade denying the fact he dragged us down with some of his dealings. In the same way he started the rot at Valencia, granted he left there as champs but he started the downturn and fell out dramatically with his bosses - a familiar story.  
     
    I also feel the great sides of the past be it ManUre, Arsenal & Liverpool all 11 players could be named off the top of your head. Consistant selections. with RB we didnt know from one week to the next and no doubt he did either. Agreed, the demands have changed but the physicality has decreased.

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  111. You said:
    <span>"But Benitez had to buy to sell"</span>
    <span>Using that logic, surely Ferguson had to as well? That didn't make any difference to United's march to success in the 90s though, did it? </span><span></span>
    I think this encapsulates what most people find infuriating. 
    Just because one manager (Benitez) had to sell before he bought, does not mean that another manager had to do similarly.  I'm not sure how "logic" is used to deduce what you're saying.
    e.g. Did Roberto Mancini have to raise funds before he started spending this year?  His biggest sale was Robinho to AC Milan for around 18m, but by that time he had already bought *inhale* Milner, Silva, Ya-Ya Toure, Balotelli, Boatang, Kolarov.
    Now, don't get sidetracked by the example.  Its just to illustrate the point that just because Benitez had to sell before he could buy, does not mean Ferguson had to.

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  112. 'Coming through' what then?

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  113. What an interesting article - followed the link from Reddit.  And I never realised that there was such a pro-Benitez movement amongst Liverpool fans.

    Do they realise that outside Merseyside he was always seen as a bit of a div?  And a  laughable character? This has really confused me!

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  114. so what you are saying is that graeme souness and houllier emptied the family safe and sold the silverware, and rafa took what little resources that were left and won the champions league, then he cleared the land that was growing weeds and bramble and planted fresh seeds for the future which are now almost beginning to bear fruit.

    whilst expected to compete with the smiths and jones of uber money, he still gave them a serious run for their uber money and in the process he scoured everywhere to unearth semi-precious stones because he couldn't afford gems and the board who have been incapable of spotting raw talent from outside of the club stuck to their draconian ways and let plenty of deals slip by because they actually couldn't understand what they thought they understood

    so by singing and dancing and shouting about small points here and there, we get a highly distorted picture picture of the grand scheme and by getting enough people with comparable inability with regards to viewing the bigger picture, the blind led the blind into appointing roy hodgson

    i get it now!! case closed - mystery solved - mission accomplished - no more need for you to waste any more of your time going through accounts

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  115. I can't see Hernandez, Bebe or Smalling in your "since 09"  signings?

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  116. That's because their fees are undisclosed.  Even Man U websites don't include them in their own figures.  The 7m fee is paper talk.

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  117. So if the fees are undisclosed, then for purposes of your calculations, the expenditure on those 3 players are not included?

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  118. That's correct.  There's no evidence that United paid a fee for any of those players.  When the accounts are released next year we'lll know the truth, and I will update the table then to reflect that.

    Why do you focus on 3 tiny transfers thatr may/may not have fees attached, and ignore the 20 years of figures gleaned from the accounts of both clubs?

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  119. <span>Your statistics are interesting but they miss off one key and crucial point. How many players was this money spent on? What were other big outlays? I would guess that if you took the average between Liverpool and United, that their net spend per average player would be higher than that of Liverpool and I think that is a crucial point. Liverpool have had to constantly rebuild a squad and not just tweak it, mistakes were made and the youth system was not in place so we spent £25m on a new academy that United didnt have to. I know you do not believe in net spend, but to put the argument into a different context Jaimie about net spend, try this example. Player A plays for club A and is sold for £5m. Club A then uses that £5m and pays £8m for player B to replace that player. Gross spend £8m but net spend is£3m to replace that player. Club B has a player C who is valued at £5m. His club then goes out and spends £8m on another player, D, in that same position. Gross spend £8m, net spend £8m. Both clubs have spent the same amount but Club B is in a better position. They each have an £8m player to start but when that player is injured or off form or a change in a game is needed which is typical of the modern game, Club B has a £5m player in reserve to come in and play where as Club A has to either re-shuffle or rely on a young player to come in. Our first XI in my eyes are as good as anyone as a team. We drew with Arsenal, should have drawn at United and were woeful at Man City but on our day, we can beat anyone in this league on a consistent basis. The issue that we have is that our back up players are not good enough. Our strongest squad in recent years was in 2007-09. We had a world class midfield, world class keeper, best striker in the world up front and a strong defence and at that point, we needed to start building the squad up to the level of our 1st XI and the spending stopped. We lost too many players and didnt replace them let alone spend the money to get players in of equal stature. I watched us at Fulham a few years ago when we won 2-0 and Crouch and Pennant scored, our back up players to Kuyt and Torres. Now, we have Ngog and Maxi who are both still learning the English game and in Ngog's case, still learning his trade, not experienced International players. One more point Jaimie, when was the last time you were at Anfield?</span>

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  120. <span>During the 80's when Liverpool were dominant of English football, we couldn't see any kind of change that was going to happen. We were challenging for trophies and United were in the depths of despair. Then the Premier League came along and commercial revenues dwarfed prize money. You could get commercial sponsors for millions from abroad and sell merchandise for millions to the Far East and beyond due to the commercial nature of football. When that happened, United had the people in place to take advantage of that whilst Liverpool remained a family run club with little or no commercial awareness. We are now paying for that and also that we have a stadium in a highly populated residential area with no ability to build the concrete monster that United have on an industrial park in Manchester. More money allowed you to look to sign better players, pay higher wages and afford the ones that you already had. In terms of transfer spending, so much of United's recent success has generated from one golden era of youth players. To pay for players of similar stature and ability as Giggs, Beckham, Neville, Neville, Scholes, Sharpe and Butt would have cost somewhere in the region of todays market of about £130m (Giggs £30-35m, Beckham £30-35m, Scholes £30-40m, Neville £12-15m, Phil Neville £5-6m, Sharpe £10-12m, Butt £7-8m). Whilst 3 were shipped on slightly younger, United had 4 players there who were world class who did not have to be paid for. You look at Utds team later in the 90's and 2000's and those 4 players were fixtures in their team. They were then able to spend their money on supplementing their team. Liverpool had a youth academy that produced McManaman, Fowler, Owen, Gerrard and Carragher but we were not able to retain the services of all added to the fact that when Dalglish left, the squad was ageing and mainstays of our team were no longer the players that they had been. United were settled in 4-5 positions from 95 onwards. We also did not have the benefit of selling some of our players such as McManaman for the revenues that United generated from young players who cost them little or nothing and were sold on for big fees. Beckham went to Madrid for £25m, McManaman and Owen went for a combined £8m because the club allowed their contracts to run down rather than shipping them out when they were still valued highly. McManaman nearly left for Barca for £12m and went for nothing, Owen went for £8m when figures were quoted before as high as £30m. </span>

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  121. Sam, you make som good points, but don't then end your comment by asking me when i was last at Anfield, subtly implying that I don't go to watch the team, and that you do.

    What business is it of yours if and when I go to Anfield?  I go when I go and I don't when I don't. 

    Your question is pointless anyway - only tiny fraction of the club's total fanbase is able to go to games; you do realise that, don't you?  Whether it's financial, locational, or familial disadvantage (amongst hundreds of genuine reasons), the vast majority of fans can't go.

    And even if evetn if everyone wanted to go watch the club, it's not as easy as that.  The stadium only holds 45k people.  You do know that too, right?

    People who ask questions like yours are usually ignorant superfans who think that the only true fans are those that go to games. 

    The plain fact is that without the financial input from the worldwide fanbase, Liverpool would wither and die.

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  122. Hi,



    Thanks for doing all the figures. I'd like to think I'm not in a cult  =-X  but you are making an error when you say:



    "<span>How can £527m spent on players be less than the £486 spent by United? Any reasonable minded person can see this is nonsense."</span>



    Sorry, that's wrong. If I buy a house for 100,000, then sell it for 100,000, then buy another house with that 100,000 how much have I spent on my current house - 100 K or 200 K? 100 K of course.



    What you are doing with your statement above is double counting the same cash because Liverpool have had far more player transactions than Manchester United, which is unsurprising because the manager has been changed five times since SAF was hired.



    Now I believe Benitez did waste a lot of money. However salient facts to bear in mind are that Houllier's squad did need replacing and Liverpool are far behind Chelsea, United, City and Arsenal in terms of wages. They were even behind Newcastle and Spurs for a while. Transfer fees might prise players away from clubs, but wages are what make them want to play for you (see Vidic, for example).

    <span><span>
    </span></span>

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  123. so the figures you are using for man u where collected from different web site, then you emailed man u and asked if they where correct and they would not confirm they where correct in an official capacity so they could be a load of bollocks. 

    dont claim things are facts if they are not confirmed, in an official manner, to be facts.

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  124. Give it a rest, Kanwar.
    These articles are tedious.

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  125. <span>Hi,  </span>
    <span> 
    Thanks for doing all the figures. I'd like to think I'm not in a cult   =-X   but you are making an error when you say:  </span>
    <span> 
     
    "<span>How can £527m spent on players be less than the £486 spent by United? Any reasonable minded person can see this is nonsense."</span>  
      
     
    What you are doing is essentially counting the same money numerous times because Liverpool have had more player transactions than Utd.</span>


    <span>And that's wrong. If I buy a house for 100,000, then sell it for 100,000, then buy another house with that 100,000 how much have I spent on my current house - 100 K or 200 K? 100 K of course. When dealing with any manager you have to ask how much his current squad cost. That means adding up the cost of all the current players he bought and deducting the income from all the players he sold. When it comes to the accounts players are simply commodities to be traded - you have assets (player value), liabilities (player contracts), income (player sales) and expenditure (player purchases)
      
     
    Now I believe Benitez did waste a lot of money. However salient facts to bear in mind are that Houllier's squad did need replacing and Liverpool are far behind Chelsea, United, City and Arsenal in terms of wages. They were even behind Newcastle and Spurs for a while. Transfer fees might prise players away from clubs, but wages are what make them want to play for you (see Vidic, for example)
    .<span>
    </span></span>

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  126. Jaimie,

    Your derogatory reply demeans you. The fact is Trader used an imaginary example to explain the CONCEPT. This philosophical approach works well, uncluttered by day to day details. It works at an intellectual level. Your failure to engage with it says more about you than it does the argument put forward by Trader. A missed opportunity on your part really.

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  127. I've already posted a link to the "details", here: http://www.redcafe.net/f7/official-transfer-comparison-thread-311572/

    Your point is one I hear often from Liverpool fans (on my road here in Manchester, there are three households of them - no City fans, funnily enough - and I spend a bit of time going over this subject with one or two of them) , but it's a completely ridiculous argument. If you and I went into the supermarket with £10 each, I could come out with all the ingredients for a nice meal and a bottle of wine. Meanwhile you'd be complaining because all you bought were ten pot noodles and a bottle of own brand iron brew! Quality over quantity is United's way. Liverpool's seems to be to get as many mediocre players in as you can to replace the other mediocre players you bought a couple of years ago.

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  128. "Little or no commercial awareness"? Was this not the same club who were the first big side to have a shirt sponsorship deal? The one who sold duvet covers, annuals, action figures and all other kinds of products during the 1980s? Were they also a club who spent lots of cash on transfers during the 1980s, recieved lots of cash for players they sold such as Rush and Aldridge that they were able to reinvest in the squad so much so that they started the premier league era comfortably outspending United? Did they not at the start of the Premier League have a team in a similar position to United of a few years ago where they had lots of seasoned, experienced heads at the club who should have been able to blend with the youth coming through such as Fowler, McManaman and Redknapp and the big signings such as Saunders, Clough and later Babb, Collymore and McAteer? Having a successful youth academy that produced a vintage crop of players was somehow cheating and unfair on United's part, despite the fact that Liverpool's scouts could have attempted to sign up the same players during that time under the old rules?
    Did Liverpool not go into that era as undisputedly the most successful club in the country with worldwide support only rivaled by United (run by the Edwards family at the time, incidentally), or did they somehow make a massive balls-up of it all, despite the money? Excuse making at it's finest, I believe.

    I just hope lessons have been learned from your club and taken to heart at United because otherwise we could find ourselves in a very similar position when Ferguson steps down.

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  129. Tim, we're not both going into the supermarket with £10 though. That's the point. You're going in with £30 and coming out with a nice bit of Argentine fillet and a bottle of Merlot and we're going in with a tenner and coming out with some rump steak and a bottle of Blue Nun.

    I'm not disputing that we have bought badly. But it is clear that Man Utd have more spending power on individual players and that makes a massive difference, as more money you spend the better the player you buy. Of course that isnt always the case but it is the general logic.  The most we have ever spent on a centreback is 6.5m, you broke the British transfer record with Ferdinand. The most expensive player we have ever bought is Torres and you have 3 players in your first 11 who are more expensive than him.  

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  130. No, you spend the same amount of money on a greater quantity of players. Look at United in 1993/94: One signing, Roy Keane at a record fee of £3.75m. Look at Liverpool in the same season: Clough, Ruddock and Dicks for £6m+.
    1994/95 season, United smash the transfer record again with Andy Cole. He and David May cost a combined £8.25m. Liverpool spend more than that in the same season on Babb, Scales and Kennedy.

    It's easy to see that in all but a few seasons, Liverpool have bettered United's outlay on players, but with an emphasis on numbers of players. Like I say, you've long employed a quantity over quality tactic. On the rare occasion where you've tried the opposite (1995/96 for example with £13m spent on Collymore and McAteer or even Keane's transfer in 2008/09), it's gone wrong and you've not had the patience with the players that they might well have been allowed at United.

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  131. manc , who has NEVER EVER been to Anfield. He CAN NOT prove he has been ever.FACT and Jammie knows it dont you.
    And dont delete this post until you have proven it.

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  132. I see your point Tim but I think you and I are talking about slightly different things. We have bought a lot of players and a lot of crap and wasted money but so have you. Names like Alan Smith, Kleberson, Djemba Djemba, Bellion, Blomqvist, Taibi, Barthez, come to mind from the past and more recenlty Tosic, Anderson and Hargreaves. I'm sure there are more. My point is that you have bigger spending ability than we do in that you spend more on individual players and we've not been able to compete with that. For whatever reason our owners/board did not allow us to spend a lot of money on indivdual players and this is the difference. I'll go back to my Cisse example. In 2004 he was our most expensive player ever at £15m. Prior to 2004 you had previously spent £19m on Van Nistelrooy, £27m on Veron and £28m on Ferdinand. And then you bought Rooney for £27m. And its continued with £30m on Berbatov. It is logical that the more you spend on a player the better they are and the better they will make your team. Of course there are exceptions to this on at both clubs, Veron and Keane for example.

    The £41m in gross spend in 20 years means nothing nowadays. That will buy you Berbatov and Kuyt in today's world. It averages out to £2m difference in gross spend per year. Hardly worth talking about when you realise that John O'Shea who is a decent footbller at best will make more than that per year with his new contract.




    We've both spend loads of money

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  133. I see your point Tim but I think you and I are talking about slightly different things. We have bought a lot of players and a lot of crap and wasted money but so have you. Names like Alan Smith, Kleberson, Djemba Djemba, Bellion, Blomqvist, Taibi, Barthez, come to mind from the past and more recenlty Tosic, Anderson and Hargreaves. I'm sure there are more. My point is that you have bigger spending ability than we do in that you spend more on individual players and we've not been able to compete with that. For whatever reason our owners/board did not allow us to spend a lot of money on indivdual players and this is the difference. I'll go back to my Cisse example. In 2004 he was our most expensive player ever at £15m. Prior to 2004 you had previously spent £19m on Van Nistelrooy, £27m on Veron and £28m on Ferdinand. And then you bought Rooney for £27m. And its continued with £30m on Berbatov. It is logical that the more you spend on a player the better they are and the better they will make your team. Of course there are exceptions to this on at both clubs, Veron and Keane for example.  If you don't there you have to churn more players. Hypothetically if we had sepnt an extra £10m and bought Drogba instead of Cisse, it is likely that Drogba would still be in the team. Instead Cisse failed, we wasted £14m and then had ro spend more money on a replacement. Its a failure at borad level not to invest in the team properly.
     
    The £41m in gross spend in 20 years means nothing nowadays. That will buy you Berbatov and Kuyt in today's world. It averages out to £2m difference in gross spend per year. Hardly worth talking about when you realise that John O'Shea who is a decent footbller at best will make more than that per year with his new contract.

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  134. <span><span>“</span></span>I see your point Tim but I think you and I are talking about slightly different things. We have bought a lot of players and a lot of crap and wasted money but so have you. Names like Alan Smith, Kleberson, Djemba Djemba, Bellion, Blomqvist, Taibi, Barthez, come to mind from the past and more recenlty Tosic, Anderson and Hargreaves. I'm sure there are more. My point is that you have bigger spending ability than we do in that you spend more on individual players and we've not been able to compete with that. For whatever reason our owners/board did not allow us to spend a lot of money on indivdual players and this is the difference. I'll go back to my Cisse example. In 2004 he was our most expensive player ever at £15m. Prior to 2004 you had previously spent £19m on Van Nistelrooy, £27m on Veron and £28m on Ferdinand. And then you bought Rooney for £27m. And its continued with £30m on Berbatov. It is logical that the more you spend on a player the better they are and the better they will make your team. Of course there are exceptions to this at both clubs, Veron and Keane for example.  Hypothetically speaking, if we had spent an extra £10m and bought Drogba instead of Cisse, it is likely that Drogba would still be in the team. Instead Cisse failed, we wasted £14m and then had to spend more money on a replacement. Its a failure at board level not to invest in the team properly. By not investing properly we have had to churn players.
       
    The £41m in gross spend in 20 years means nothing nowadays. That will buy you Berbatov and Kuyt in today's world. It averages out to £2m difference in gross spend per year. Hardly worth talking about when you realise that John O'Shea who is a decent footbller at best will make more than that per year with his new contract.

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  135. You're not really getting it. If we both spend roughly equal amounts in a transfer window and one of us buys one quality player, the other can't complain because they've spent the same on several cheaper, lower quality players. There is obviously the cash there to buy a player of equal cost (whether they are worth it or not is another matter). We spent £27m on Rooney in 2004, you spent £14.5m on Cisse, but also another 25m on other players (including a very astute purchase of Alonso). Nothing stopped you spending £27m on your own high quality player rather than Cisse + 6 others in the same window as the funds were clearly available. It was your choice to spend it in that way.

    The money tends to get spent on "replacing players" and "rebuilding" a lot, but all you actually do is replace them with players of similar quality instead of spending money more wisely and buying fewer, better players and giving the other lesser quality a chance alongside the other players you've often only had in the squad for a season or two. That is why we get the best out of fairly average players like Park, O'Shea etc.

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  136. I do get it mate, Allow me to give you some examples of what I'm talking about. In in 01/02 you spent approximately £57m on Veron, Van Nistelrooy, Forlan and Roy Carroll. That season we spent £30m on more or less the same amount of players, Diouf, Baros, Riise, Kirkland and Dudek. There's a £27m difference there. I'm sure if we had £27m more to spend we would have bought a player the quality of Van Nisterlrry rather than Diouf. The following season you then spend another £29m on Rio and Ricardo. We spent £13m on Diao, Pongolle, La Tallec and Cheyrou. So while you are spending £27 million on a proven defender we are buying young French kids for £2/3m a piece. In 03/04 you spend another £53m including players such as Ronaldo £12.5 m, Saha £12m, Smith £7m, Heinze £6.9m. In that same season we spent £8.5m on Kewell £5m and Finnan £3.5. So just in those three seasons you spend approx £140m, whereas we spent £52m. Are you really trying to tell me that we had the same spending power as you in that period?? We've been playing catch up with you since the mid 90s but you didn't stand still waiting for us did you? You had a better team and you were still spending money to improve it. We were spending money but so were you so it was impossible to catch up.

    I admit we didn't spend wisely and I think that is down to the way our club has been run, it seems that our managers weren't allowed to pay £25m or so on one player, instead we bought 4 or 5 players instead. That is a mistake in hindsight but at the time it was probably necessary. By the mid 90s you already had a successful team and you were able to add to it year upon year. We didn't, we were trying to catch up. We also have had 4 managers in the time, and each would have made changes to the squad. Houllier brought loads of players in an attempt to catch up as did Rafa. Whereas you had continuity and consistency in Fergie.

    When it comes down to it you were able to spend £20+ on numerous occasion to add to an already succesful team. We weren't able to do that. We were trying to build a squad which could compete and we didn't have the luxury of marquee signings such as Veron, Ferdinand, Rooney.

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  137. ARE YOU AWARE JAMIE THAT AFTER 6-7 YEARS OF FERGIE MAN U FANS SAID EXACTLY THE SAME!?

    BOOS AND BANNERS AT OLD TRAFFORD DEMANDING FERGIE GOT SACKED.

    HOW DO U THINK THOSE FANS FEEL TODAY??

    Ferguson is a class act. There is no room for doubt. However, he had the time , the resources and that bit of luck when needed (if Robbins didnt score that goal would fergie still have been manager!??) Man U broke transfer record many times. In more recent times they spent on Rooney 25mill, Ferdinand 30 mill , Veron 30 mill, Berbetov 30 mill, Carrick 18 mill, Hargreaves 18 mill, Nani 18 mill, Anderson 18 mill. Bebe is a 10 mill pound reserve that Fergie never even saw play!  These nine players prob cost more that LFCs whole squad!!!!

     I have had the pleasure of speaking with the likes of Wenger, Mourinho and Benitez on the subject  of fooltball finance and even Jose accepts that being allowed to spend 30 million + AND provide wages in excess of 100k per week as standard helped him a great deal in his quest at Stamford Bridge. He also admitted that he got Inter to spend when they really didnt want to...but bought extremely well!

    Wenger was allowed to spend big on potential (Ramsey,Walcott) and develop. Wages at Arsenal are higher too. However, I think all fans would agree that Wenger is the best in the transfer market (even though he made mistakes too!).

    Rafa earned most of his spending money. Fact. At least 100mill + was generated via the champions league (revenue that LFC never had before!) . Rafa had to construct a new squad as Houllier largely left a squad which were either too old or getting that way in the next couple of years or simply were not good enough Traore anyone?! Overall Rafa done pretty well. He made LFC number 1 in Europe (as per UEFA rankings) feared among the football elite again and getting up Fergies nose! Rafa did buy lots of younger players knowing that some woyld not play ever but if u buy a player for 250k and he never plays yet one selsl for 1 mill I think youve done v well! Rafa did make mistakes costly mistakes but no manager has not. Aquilani being vilified is outrageous! He was injured but medical staff gave wrong advice, it also takes a player at least 2 years to adapt to a new team let alone a new league. Lets send even Gerrard to Italy and watch him struggle for at least a year! Rafa is a world class manager, he is at the best team in Europe as proof! Instead of bashing him lets say good luck and resign him to the past!

    Net spend is important but so are many different factors.

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  138. "ARE YOU AWARE JAMIE THAT AFTER 6-7 YEARS OF FERGIE MAN U FANS SAID EXACTLY THE SAME!?"

    Actually, that was in 1989 after a run of poor results (including a 5-1 loss to City) having spent around £6m (a LOT of money in those days, although he'd previously spent a net total of just £0.6m since his appointment investing in new players, having sold off several players who he saw as detrimental to the wellbeing of the team such as Paul McGrath) in the summer. Three years into his tennure, not 6 or 7 (by which time he'd won an FA Cup, a Cup Winners Cup, a league cup and finished 2nd in the league twice).

    You've slightly over-exagerated the fees paid for those United players, but I make the amount spent on those players (one of whom left 7 years ago anyway) £183m. The amount in transfers you paid for your current squad is about £130m.

    Your other points seem bang on the money though (no pun intended).

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  139. Guide to this website  
     
    1) Get used to his constant favourite dig at Rafa Benitez & his Supporters  
     
    2) Never question him or he will label you Rafa Lovers/Supporters even if you're not  
     
    3) Hold an original copy of his articles because he will edit anytime to render your comments useless

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  140. You are basically pointing to United's largest ever spend - on the back of two seasons of spending very little (net £8m to Liverpool's £34m) and of having won a hatrick of titles and a Champions League without taking advantage of the millions of extra income generated by that success - and saying that is why you can't compete now.

    To reach this conclusion you seem to be ignoring the fact that if we use transfer spending as the greatest factor in our success and your (and every other team's) lack of it during that period, you should have been the team that needed catching up to based on your outlay (on top of a longstanding culture of success) during the previous decade (during which United outspent Liverpool in only two seasons - only 1998/99 by any great amount). Yet, still (and this is probably the issue that caused me to investigate these facts in the first place), United and our manager are all too often accused of simply "buying the league". I think it is easy to say when confronted with the evidence that if United were able to buy the league during the last 20 years, then many other teams - Liverpool, Newcastle, Leeds for example - should have been able to do the same. The only clubs that succeded in doing so were Blackburn and Chelsea.

    You are also getting your transfer windows mixed up. Tip: use the link I provided rather than Transfer League, as their dates are all over the place.

    In 2003/04 when you whine that we spent £53m, we actually spent just shy of £40m gross, but sold Beckham and Veron for almost the same amount. Our net spend that season was significantly less than Liverpool's £11.5m.

    The examples of players you give show how your transfer policy and man management has been a shambles for years, Rafa only being the most recent man to continue that tradition. You mention Baros and Diouf (they were actaully purchased in two consecutive windows, not during the same one), and how you couldn't have signed a player of the same value as Van Nistelrooy. Those two players were aquired at a cost of £13m at a time when you still had Fowler, Owen and Heskey (who you'd only recently paid £11m for). It's fair to say that they offered no improvement whatsoever on the players you already had (whatever we think of Heskey, he's still playing top level football) and were a complete waste of money. Nistelrooy cost just £6m more (although no amount of money would not have bought you a striker of the same quality). Rafa repeated these mistakes of buying like-for-like (or in some cases lesser) replacements such as letting go of Peter Crouch and bringing in Robbie Keane, Bellamy for Babel, Risse for Dossena - losing £15m in the process. Utter stupidity.

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  141. You are basically pointing to United's largest ever spend - on the back of two seasons of spending very little (net £8m to Liverpool's £34m) and of having won a hatrick of titles and a Champions League without taking advantage of the millions of extra income generated by that success - and saying that is why you can't compete now.  
     
    To reach this conclusion you seem to be ignoring the fact that if we use transfer spending as the greatest factor in our success and your (and every other team's) lack of it during that period, you should have been the team that needed catching up to based on your outlay (on top of a longstanding culture of success) during the previous decade (during which United outspent Liverpool in only two seasons - only 1998/99 by any great amount). Yet, still (and this is probably the issue that caused me to investigate these facts in the first place), United and our manager are all too often accused of simply "buying the league". I think it is easy to say when confronted with the evidence that if United were able to buy the league during the last 20 years, then many other teams - Liverpool, Newcastle, Leeds for example - should have been able to do the same. The only clubs that succeded in doing so were Blackburn and Chelsea.  
     
    You are also getting your transfer windows mixed up. Tip: use the link I provided rather than Transfer League, as their dates are all over the place.  
     
    In 2003/04 when you whine that we spent £53m, we actually spent just shy of £40m gross, but sold Beckham and Veron for almost the same amount. Our net spend that season was significantly less than Liverpool's £11.5m.  
     
    The examples of players you give show how your transfer policy and man management has been a shambles for years, Rafa only being the most recent man to continue that tradition. You mention Baros and Diouf (they were actaully purchased in two consecutive windows, not during the same one), and how you couldn't have signed a player of the same value as Van Nistelrooy. Those two players were aquired at a cost of £13m at a time when you still had Fowler, Owen and Heskey (who you'd only recently paid £11m for). It's fair to say that they offered no improvement whatsoever on the players you already had (whatever we think of Heskey, he's still playing top level football) and were a complete waste of money. Nistelrooy cost just £6m more (although no amount of money would not have bought you a striker of the same quality). Rafa repeated these mistakes of buying like-for-like (or in some cases lesser) replacements such as letting go of Peter Crouch and bringing in Robbie Keane, Bellamy out for Babel, Risse out for Dossena - losing £15m in the process. Utter stupidity.

    If you want marquee signings of £20m+ occasionally, all you have to do is bide your time, save your transfer kitty and have more patience with the players you have already paid large amounts for, giving them extra time to prove their worth before replacing them with players of roughly the same value and of no better quality.

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  142. <span>

    man utd spend, on average 10.5 million a year more then liverpool for 9 years, between 2000 and 2009 according to that table. <span></span>
    That’s quite significant, considering at the end of that, they only finished 4 points in front of liverpool in the league.
    </span>
    <span>

    The following season 2009-2010, with the sale of Ronaldo, they made a net gain of 63 million, but won nothing!!!
    </span>

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  143. Maybe its just me, but where exactly have you explianed how inflation is irrelevant. Anybody with a high school understanding of economics knows that £1 in the year 2000 is worth less than £1 in the year 2010. It matters at what point the money was spent, and would explain why the likes of Chelsea and man City have to spend what they are spending in todays money to catch up.

    Secondly, what happened to 1986 - 1990?  Might add some perspective.

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