6 Oct 2011

LIVERPOOL vs. Man United: Transfer spending comparison - 2000-2010

How much money have Liverpool FC and Manchester United spent on transfers between 2000 and 2010? I've examined the club's accounts for the period, the results are very interesting; so if you want to find out which team who has the highest gross and net spend during that period, or who has spent the most money per trophy, then read on...


- The figures have been taken from the official CLUB accounts for Liverpool and Manchester United. Any other source that compiles total transfer fees without reference to the accounts is inaccurate, and probably based on guess-work/media figures.

- Liverpool's accounting year ends on the 31 July of each year; United's ends on the 30 June.

- Accounts for 2010-11 are not available yet, so this analysis is for all transfer activity from 2000 up to the 31 July 2010 (Liverpool) and the 30 June 2010 (Man United).

- I could estimate transfer activity for 2010-11 but I don't see the point as it wouldn't be factual. When the next set of accounts are released, I'll update the figures.



* Man United have a slightly higher gross and net spend since 2000 than Liverpool.

* United also have a higher wage spend, but they've also won more trophies in the same period.

* Liverpool have recouped more money in player sales overall.

* The difference in average gross spend per year is minimal

* Man United have spent significantly less than Liverpool per trophy on all fronts

Jaimie Kanwar


  1. OK, I was being a little cranky.

    Scratch the last line as well. Unneccessary and irrelevant reference to my assumption of your football skills / experience. I apologise

    But I stand by the net spend stuff and what I see as historical reasons / basis behind our struggles and the parallels between Kenny and the club as a whole

    Rafa definitely had his failings but he had a near impossible job, and was almost successful. Considering the amount of cash it took for Chelsea or City to challenge Man Utd, I honestly feel Rafa performed miracles (Pity that he was overly tactical against poor teams :( 

  2. I did say £30m, but thanks for setting the record

    Spangle is Admin on www.manutdreds.com

  3. Someone mentioned that Liverpools dominance in the 60's -  70's, was due to the Munich tradegy, and there may be something in that, Busy and Murphy realised that neither of them had the time to build another team like the Babes from the academy up, so they had to buy.
    With Charman these days, especially in the last five years demanding success year upon year, more teams are relying on the transfer market to provide the back bone for team, my argument is is that if you compared Liverpool to Chelsea, Spurs or Arsenal would you see a similar trend.

    Spangle is Admin on www.manutdreds.com

  4. Building a club is like investing on land. Do you invest on empty plot of land(academy) and then build assets on it or do you buy a plot of land with assets already in place(established players) and just cash in on rent. Some just buy empty plots of land hoping one day the area will be good enough for development. But sometimes they run out of cash due to the lack of steady stream of revenue(read trophies) and have to sell their most valuable plots of land(wonderkids) to balance their chequebook. Finally they end up as real estate investors who are trapped in a continuous spiral of just buying and selling empty plots of land(feeder clubs). They become good at it, still make good profit out of it, but at what expense(Everton, Valencia, Villareal, West Ham)?

    The morale of this is that a club needs both ambition and vision. Ambition makes the club spend money to achieve its immediate goals of winning trophies now and vision to build and foster its academy so that one day it will be a powerhouse to be reckoned with. If a club's vision is to foster the academy only for profit, it will make that profit but will slowly loose its reputation and may end up getting relegated(West Ham).

  5. In comparison to dalglish, dalglish has inherited a better team, with a much better youth system,  also great owners willing to invest (only 35/40 mill NET).

    Time will tell how dalglish second era pans out.