Man City have spent over a Billion Euros on transfers in just 10 years

I state this as plain fact: Manchester City have spent over €1bn in just the last 10 years on player transfers. I don’t say this as a criticism of Man City. I don’t care what country their owners are from. I don’t care about their profitability. I don’t care about their debt. I don’t care about whether they comply with Financial Fair Play. I don’t care how many English or foreign players they have. And I don’t care how much of that money has been “wasted”. This is just how much money they have spent.

This chart is aggregate net spend. In case you don’t know what net spend is: take the money that the team spent on buying players and subtract the money that they earned selling players. That’s net spend. This chart aggregates Man City’s net spend from the inception of the Premier League (1992) to present (2017). In the 16 years before the Mansour takeover, Man City had spent 273.86 million Euros on transfers. In the 10 years since, they have spent 989.94 million Euros on transfers. In the last two years, Man City have spent 252.10 million Euros on defenders alone. This season, Man City have spent 178.50 million Euros on defenders. That’s more money than the entire defense budget of Bosnia-Herzegovina (140 million Euros), where they have real guns, soldiers, tanks and planes.

The season by season spend is a similar story and here is the chart for that:

This chart shows that prior to the Thaksin takeover in 2007 Man City sold their most valuable players and earned 20 million Euros. That sell off was preceded by a big spend of 43 million Euros in 2002 when they bought Nicolas Anelka and Robbie Fowler. This season, Man City spent 40 million Euros on their keeper Ederson alone.

The chart also shows the two seasons that Man City didn’t spend huge sums of money, 2012 and 2014. In 2012 Man City was still pretending to care about Financial Fair play rules but by 2014 they simply paid a £50m fine and resumed spending. Since paying that fine, Man City have spent 490.92 million Euros, net, on transfers.

My source for this information is Transfermarkt.com.

Have a great day.

Qq

59 Comments on Man City have spent over a Billion Euros on transfers in just 10 years

  1. Financial fair Play is a joke. If a club is prepared to spend ANYTHING to get a player (I’m looking at you, Kyle Walker and John Stones), it creates distorted pricing in the market. Any properly run entity (Im NOT looking at you, UEFA and FIFA), would have something akin to a competitions commissioner who looks at these things, and can veto deals that constitute unfair competition.

    Guardiola is a great coach, but England has shown up his limitations. It means that he literally has to buy the title to get it. That’s wrong. City’s creative accounting is wrong, and it’s a benign kind of financial foul play.

    I expect that a few City trolls will make their presence felt on the blog today

    • It’s only Guardiola first season in England. I don’t get how people hate him as a person. Blame the media for hyping him, but he is not a narcissist like Mourinho.

      On his spending, I don’t really bother with it that much, in fact if it can rectify City problems last season, then you can say it’s a job well done. If it can create a longevity and build a squad that can constantly win the PL and occasionaly win the CL like Bayern Munich, the money spent will return exponentially.

      Look at ourselves, some of us extatic with the potential signing of Mbappe no matter the cost. I would laugh sarcastically to those fans who critize City spending but head over heels on us spending that much money on a freaking 18 years old.

      Honestly, just like Guardiola did. I would like us to buy Keita and Lemar or Forsberg, but they would cost closer to what City pays for their defence. So what? Just like them, we solve our problems from last season. If we win or sustain a challenge in a PL, i don’t give a damn about the cost of those players.

      • agreed. i’m sure guardiola has nothing to do with how much man city spend on players, be it before he got to man city or now.

  2. i wrote a comment on sunday night and it’s still awaiting moderation. i used no profanity so i don’t know why.

    no one has mentioned the chelsea game on saturday. i only saw the first half. what did you guys think.

    gibbs was linked with a move to west brom but, apparently, turned it down. if i were man united i would come and get gibbs. monreal is only just better than gibbs. however, gibbs is clearly a better left back than luke shaw or danny blind, who happens to be a midfielder. gibbs is also homegrown. if i were mourinho or guardiola, i would consider both keiran gibbs and serge aurier from psg. well, guardiola has bought two players who are both worse than aurier. gibbs is still an option.

    apparently, leicester city had a bid for elneny accepted by arsenal but the egyptian turned it down, opting to remain at arsenal. he seems to be a popular guy in the dressing room. on the field, he’s the only natural cover for xhaka. he just seems a bit too quiet. if the kid want’s to stay, i say keep him.

    apparently, lucas perez is a bit salty about losing his number to lacazette. it’s not so much that the club didn’t tell him first, but the fact that they still haven’t told him; reminiscent of gilberto finding out he wasn’t going to be captain. i feel for the kid. he’s done everything the club has asked of him and he’s still getting screwed over. so much for our so-called class organization.

    chamberlain still hasn’t signed a contract extension. for some ungodly reason, many don’t see this as a big deal but it’s huge. chamberlain is, arguably, the most naturally talented english player right now. at 24 years of age, after 6 years under arsene wenger, he still doesn’t have a position? wtf!!!!!! wenger has provided this young man with absolutely zero direction. he could probably be world class in a couple of years but it’s unlikely as wenger keeps moving this kid to different positions, just like theo walcott. how has it worked out for theo? ox has every right to consider whether he believes arsene wenger can make him better. everything he’s accomplished to now has been based on his talent, alone. perhaps another manager would set him up for success by allow him to focus on playing one position well. we’ll see.

    • I saw both halves of the Chelsea games. It’s a frustating match and a complain about wasting time on watching it is a fair one. Defensive error cause us the match and individually, Maitland Niles is miles apart from a PL challenger squads whereas Brammal a liability in offense and defense. For the Chelsea match in particular, we lack sparks in attacks and besides Ox, only Nelson could provide it. Offensively, we really need either Ox or Sanchez to make it works for us to challenge the PL. I do think Lemar or even Mahrez, if we got him could provide that extra sparks which we really needed. Defensively though, same as the relatively bad Arsenal defensive performance from all these years. It lacks organization. I think the organization will come and go relative to the opposition and how up for it the players will be. So pray that we have a really great offensive performance most of the time to stand toe to toe with the best.

    • It was a pre-season friendly, and very little should be read into it. I prefer to dwell the fact that we beat them in the FA Cup final, and won 2 out of 3 over the course of the season.

      That said, they keep adding power and physicality. Last year, Kante, who is small but brings the physicality; this year Bakayoko and Morata.

      You know what’s striking (no pun intended?) We still don’t have competition for Giroud, two signings in a row. Im happy with Lazacette, but I’d have preferred Morata, who adds speed and and more prolific goalscoring to Giroud’s skillset. Not sure he’d have wanted to come, though. Lots in the background that I can’t know.

      • I don’t get this “very little should be read into it” arguments. I agree that we shouldn’t make those performance as a final judgement and brush it all in one stroke as we’re a lost cause in the PL. But saying that there’s nothing to see on the performance in preseason result scream escapism for me. Good or bad there’s something to be gained from it. Not a final product but it’s not something that could be throw away like it’s nothing, especially against a good side.

      • i agree 100% concerning morata. unlike lacazette, morata can play center forward for a top bpl team. particularly last summer, i believe arsenal could have had him. i suggested last summer that arsenal endeavor to convince him that it was his time to be the main man. no longer behind benzema, ronaldo, higuain, etc. oh, by the way, we’re going to support your attack with alexis sanchez and mesut ozil, and you’ll be living in london, and you’ll be rich, and you’ll be the undisputed #1 striker for spain. i think he would have gone for it.

        in the pre-season game against chelsea, while you may not have read too much into it, i certainly paid attention to lacazette playing center forward. what i noticed is that every single time the ball got played to him high up the pitch, he lost the ball. every single time! he was as bad as theo walcott. if you can’t hold the ball high up the pitch and allow your attack to develop, you’re not a good center forward. it’s too easy for good defenses to stop you running behind as a lone front man. if that’s all you’ve got, you’re not going to make it in north london, kid. this has been my stance all along. this is the main reason the arsenal attack lacked spark, nikki. it was poor center forward play.

        i could be wrong about lacazette. in fairness, it was only one game. like i always say, we’ll see. time always tells. but i agree, besides welbeck, we don’t have any competition for giroud. on second thought, welbeck can’t score or create so you’re right, we don’t have competition for giroud.

      • btw, a tired per mertesacker was at fault for the first two goals that chelsea scored. while others made mistakes, mert played bad (tired) soccer.

        • No he wasn’t AMN gave the ball away in front of the penalty area for one of the goals. Another youth team not sure who the player was also gave the ball away in front of the goal so how was this Per’s fault.
          The 3rd goal was a shot from outside the box surly that’s the area our midfield players should have dealt with.

          • per was dead on his feet after about half an hour. when niles gave the ball away, arsenal still had a good shape and the ball rotated about 40 meters from goal. the defense’s shape collapsed when a tired mertesacker went to ground 40 yards from goal in a challenge he had no chance of winning. batshuayi rolled a grounded mertesacker and some good diagonal runs by willian and someone else collapsed the arsenal defense; a fatigued mertesacker was probably still on the ground when the ball went in the net. on the second goal, mertesacker didn’t get tight to batshuayi and allowed him to tun at the top of the box. batshuayi picked his spot and finished, kind of like a free throw in basketball. arsenal almost gave up a couple more before halftime because of mert’s fatigue. i don’t remember the third goal; didn’t watch the second half.

            mertesacker is a smart player and knows better than those untypical errors. however, i believe it was vince lombardi who said “fatigue will make any man a coward”. per gave up those goals, not because he’s a bad defender, but because he was tired. instead of staying in the fight, he hid (like a coward). in fact, he was so smoked, i thought wenger might take him off before halftime.

    • Chamberlain is more talented than Kane or Alli? Hmm.. I don’t know about that. I think he is an excellent athlete but his touch, vision, passing has always left a lot to be desired. He still doesn’t look up when he dribbles and that’s supposed to be one of the things he does well. I would have no problems with us selling him if he insisted on playing center mid, provided we buy wisely.

      I saw the first half of the Chelsea game and all I took from it was that AMN and Bramall are nowhere ready to be in the first team.

  3. City’s spending aside, I’m envious of their ability to get their deals done. While we were and are still engaged in Hamlet-like deliberations about signing Lemar, they’ve gone out and got Mendy, having signed Silva earlier in the window.

    In anticipation of a rebuttal from Shard, let me argue for a minute against my own case 🙂 Being willing to pay silly money is the best transfer inducement of all. Besides, we don’t and can’t know how long these deals have been in the works… they don’t happen overnight.

    However, this has been happening for about 4 -5 summer transfer windows now, except for the post 8-2 supermarket sweep that saw up bring in Per, Benayoun, Park and Arteta (we certainly got those over the line sharpish). Surely by now we are out of excuses for the comparative long time it takes us to complete transfers. Chelsea got gazumped on Lukaku in week X. Week Y, they had Morata in the shed. We bid for Lacazette LAST SUMMER — for a full £20m less than we snagged him a year later. Meantime we bought a player that we really didn’t want and who the manager didn’t think was not good enough to make an unarguable case for displacing anyone, for 17m. Where is the careful planning? The financial sense?

    Xhaka. Arsene called him a box-t-box midfielder before re-classifying him when it became clear that he wasn’t. And then, he criticised his tackling ability in unusually, publicly brutal terms. Who recommended Xhaka? Did Arsene even watch a tape of him? Good player, but (a) not what the manager thought he was getting, and (b) not what we needed most in the middle of the park, a cultured brute, a player with the skillset of Arturo Vidal. Elneny was cheap…£5m or so, but again, not what we really needed. Plus, bought in January, after buying only Petr Tech the previous summer.

    No, don’t give me the argument that we need a clearout before brining in new players. Nothing triggers a clearout faster than the realisation that the new acquisition will be taking your games. The flip side of the logic is that if you don’t get the clearout, you’re stuck with players you don’t want. Besides, our only spend to date has been 53m on Lacazette, so there are no financial barriers to stop us recruiting big.

    As for players who need to go, we can’t even shift Jenkinson. Jenkinson. Arseblog reported that deals for Gibbs are getting shot down, because we want £15m for him, not £10m. Madness.

    Let’s face facts. Arsene and Arsenal’s transfer management has been a shambles for years, and it’s time that we stopped making excuses for them.

    Last note on the commodification of Wellington Silva. What disgrace for this great club. Wenger and Gazidis should be ashamed of themselves.

    • I don’t know about the Wellington thing (the whole failing the medical shambles looks bad, but then, I kinda wish we were more willing to do this kind of thing regularly, i.e. put in buy back clauses and use them; Lord knows Chelsea do).

      Otherwise, I completely agree with you. It’s ridiculous that we can’t get rid of our dead wood, and it’s ridiculous that we think we need to before we can move on to other targets (I don’t know if we think this, but it’s been suggested that that’s what’s happening by multiple semi-reliable sources).

      I’m not sure our inability to get Lemar is down to our dilly-dallying as much as down to Monaco’s unwillingness to sell, but then we either need to decide to pay silly money to convince them, or we need to move on. Surely we have other targets for those attacking positions?? Or, if we’re playing the waiting game, confident that they’ll fold and sell to us later in the window (unless he throws a strop, why would they? by all accounts THEY WANT TO KEEP HIM!), then in the meantime we need to improve our squad elsewhere. WHERE’S EVEN THE HINT OF INTEREST IN A CENTRAL MIDFIELDER????

      Sanchez or no Sanchez, it will be close to a disaster if Sept 1 arrives and we’re still stuck with most of our deadwood and haven’t brought in any more top quality additions. We finished fifth last year, has everyone at Arsenal forgotten?

    • I don’t disagree with any of this but don’t you think City’s ability to close deals is directly correlated to their ability to seemingly produce cash out of thin air? Yes we are poor in the transfer market but I think any comparison to City is unfair given money is not an issue for them. I would say we are pretty poor even if you only look at our situation in itself, without the comparison to City.

    • Question – did anyone REALLY expect Arsene Wenger to change over the summer? I almost get the sense that a lot of fans thought, “OK, he’ll be shocked into action by the 5th place finish, he’ll be make changes because he’ll want to avoid the vitriol of last season. He’s seen the light.”

      No. All false. That would not be characteristic of Wenger at all. He has not changed. He still dilly-dallies on transfers. He is still failing to address what might be a critical area of need, a solid holding midfielder to rotate in with Xhaka and Ramsey. He’s still chasing aesthetic whims with Lemar, another attacking midfielder comfortable on the flanks. He’s delaying resolution on new contracts and/or departures for most of the players in question. He’s still unduly loyal to players like Walcott, a loser.

      He’s still the old Arsene Wenger we all know and love… and wanted to get rid of last season.

      • It’s amazing how Arsenal fans get into the thick of criticizing Wenger even after a friendly loss. It’s like you wait for the opportunity to pounce on the team at the first sign of trouble.

        Criticizing a team who have been playing their warm up games with a makeshift defense, I’d say they’ve held up pretty well up until now.

        Departure of deadwood – how is Keiran Gibbs not worth 15m if Walker is worth 50m? Yes, he doesn’t play as often although, I am sure the folks at Arsenal are smarter than you & I and can strike a better deal as the window closes. Its frustrating and feels odd not to be able to move these players but, lashing out at the manager so early in the season seems premature.

        As for Walcott, he scored 19 goals last season and that’s after not playing in the final two months once, we moved to 3 at the back. I wouldn’t go so low to call him a loser.

        • Those things don’t happen in isolation though? You We’ve been here before. And no, we’re not getting 15m for Gibbs under any circumstances, he’s in the last year of his contract and on big wages. We’re now suffering the long-term effects of our shoddy business dealings. We just sold a three times Golden Glove winner for 10m. We’re poor in the market and our management is content and just doing things like they have always done them. We really needed a DoF to coordinate our strategy but Arsene apparently doesn’t think so.

          • Agreed, we are clearly lacking managing contracts.

            When Arsene signed an extension, he made it clear he does not approve of a DoF. It makes sense to have these delegated but, now that he has signed, let’s back that decision. The one thing that is clear is that the club did not plan for a post Wenger era. Now, they have 2 years to do that. Let’s hope they are well prepared 2 years from now & then, they can introduce all the new positions they want.

            If the same situation arises again, then let’s be mad. Right now, I hope some of the fringe players on high salaries make way.

        • If you want to argue that Arsenal are gambling that the market will become more desperate as we move into August and that the fee offers for our players will go up, I’m game, that may be the case. It’s a foolish gamble because we may end up getting stuck with “deadwood” on the roster, but I’ll grant you maybe that’s what’s going on.

          I’m not so much ripping Arsene Wenger – he’s a well known quantity, he is what he is – but am ripping on a general vibe I get reading some comments like we almost thought this summer would be any different than the 5 or 6 summers previous.

        • if you think the criticisms of Arsene’s transfer management has anything to do with the Chelsea friendly, you’re missing the point entirely. This is our own Friday the 13th Part V movie. Gooners are getting concerned, because we’ve been here before. And before.

          I agree with you on Walcott. Calling him a loser is harsh. I’ll tell you two people he scored more goals than last season — Dele Alli and Riyad Mahrez. And that’s despite not sniffing a game after we switched to 352.

          If Gooners could vote, the decision to sell him would be overwhelming. I’d keep him for his league-leading productivity from the wing.

    • Huh? What commodification are you talking about?? We had a 45% sell on clause in his contract (per the Brazilian club) Contrary to reporting we didn’t buy him back to sell him on. For one, as far as I’m aware one player cannot be registered for 3 clubs in one window, so I have no idea how that would work, for another, wouldn’t we now have Wellington on our books?

      On the summer of the 8-2, I would think those deals were in the works for a while and it was once we confirmed CL football (and our budgets) that they moved to completion.

      Once again, you are concentrating on the transfer spend side of budgets. Just because we got Seo on a free doesn’t mean we didn’t pay to sign him. His wages will show that.

      And I agree, there’s no NEED to reduce the wage spend and if we don’t manage to get rid of the ‘deadwood’ (I hate that term) we’re stuck with them.

      So instead of buying a (eg.) Keita for 70m, we buy a Fornals for 20m. Or of course, we could buy Keita first without clearing up more budgets and after we’ve increased our transfer and wage spend, then still risk being stuck with the same ‘deadwood’? Gibbs, Jenkinson, Debuchy, and Perez already know they won’t be playing and we’re not buying in their position.

      Look, I think it makes sense to get the players you want out, out! I think we need midfield reinforcements! I also think it makes sense to know the full extent of our budgets to get the preferred targets. Sure, if the club feel they can stretch the wages and transfer budgets to buy (big) before (and if it comes to it, without) selling, then they should. But evidently they don’t think that. I merely give a suggestion of WHY they aren’t buying now and I think it is a more logical and elegant solution than shouting incompetence.

      However, I agree Wenger and the club have left us short in the past, most notably the season we bought Cech, so the fear that we won’t buy anyone else is valid. We’ll see.

  4. Tim, I think you’ve been spooked by that idiot a couple days ago who called your criticism of Man City’s owners as “racist”. F that.

    These Quatari and Emirate trillionaire families, who have the entire wealth of their countries at their disposal, are absurdly perverting the market. $400 million for Neymar? That’s not a story in the Onion? That’s a real, potential offer from PSG? I just read today that Real are set to offer 180 million euros for Mbappe? FFS. That can’t be serious. Sanchez wants 400k a week, why? Because there are teams like City and PSG that will pay it. Everyone will succumb to the siren song of top salaries and the mega-agents will all push their clients in the direction of clubs that can meet their side pay-off demands.

    It creates a top tier that nobody can hope to crack unless you are the very biggest clubs in the world (Real, Barcelona, United) or backed by foreign billionaires (Chelsea, PSG, City) willing to spend whatever they want.

    I don’t know a solution. I personally would like to see a system wherein salaries/transfer spending is capped at 60% of team revenues, thereby allowing the big teams to stay big teams but giving smaller teams an avenue to grow as they become more successful. But I’m just dreaming.

    On a side note (sort of)… Monaco are clearly selling everyone off. That’s amazing. Leicester must be wondering why they didn’t similarly cash in. We are definitely getting Lemar, I’ve changed my tune once I heard Mbappe is just about sold.

    That leaves even teams like Bayern Munich and Juventus in this sort-of second tier of big clubs.

    • I was reading an article yesterday about City’s summer spending, in the column they had a graphic listing the transfer fees of the projected opening day squad. The starting XI clocks in at about 413.5 million pounds while the bench added up to 177.5 million. Perhaps the funniest part was that the 50 million man Raheem Sterling was nowhere to be found in the graphic.

      If City really are in for Sanchez then surely they would have to lose a forward, because De Brunye/B Silva/Sane/Gabriel Jesus/Alexis/Aguero/D Silva/Sterling is beyond crowded. Maybe the best way to cushion the blow of losing Alexis would be to receive one of Aguero or Silva back in return (preferably Aguero) with Arsenal also receiving a small fee. While Lemar is the optimal situation, a swap with City would probably be the easiest to execute.

    • It’s even worse, because I’m pretty sure a lot of this money is super shady. Maybe not the Quatari Fund, but one or two levels below there’s a lot of money laundering involved. Plus it can’t be healthy in general for national (british) assets to be sold off to global capital that in the end doesn’t care much about local interests. Stan Kroenke doesn’t give a cr*p about North London, neither do the new chinese owners of Wolverhampton Wnaderers about Wolverhampton. It’s just a convenient way of laundering capital, getting it out of their country where it can accumulate safely.

  5. I would limit clubs to 3 signings per window. Clubs could then spend what they like on individual players but 1 or 2 of their youth side would then get a look in and lesser clubs could spend big on their buys.

    • How would that work? Let’s say we have 25 players in the first team squad. No way you can structure all the deals so that no more than 3 contracts are set to expire in one particular window. If you have 7 contracts expiring in one window, you would be forced to re-sign at least 4 them. I have over-simplified the issue but that’s the gist of it. What about newly promoted clubs or a club playing in Europe for the first time who need to beef up their squads?

      I think the best thing would be to put a cap that’s a % of the club’s gross earnings or even as a % of projected top line revenue, similar to what Jack suggested above.

  6. The problem for me is not spending, it’s sugar daddies. Or rather oil daddies.

    I like it that clubs with big followings are able to spend big. That’s sort of the point. Supporting the club actually supports it financially thereby supporting the product on the field.

    When there are massive positive externalities to spending big, i.e., exfiltrating money out of the country you stole it from, then it distorts spending and distorts the league. The question is would the premier league be ‘better’ without external injections of cash? I’m not sure. I think I would like it better. I think Arsenal would do better. But would the league still attract the best players in the world? Or would we become a stagnant league like the Bundesliga with a perennial winner (United) and a bunch of also rans. Or worse, a high end feeder league to the Spanish superclubs and the continental oligarch clubs like PSG?

    On the other hand, maybe not being able to buy excellence from abroad would improve the domestic product and there could be flowering of British football talent like in Belgium and Germany.

  7. All really great, really insightful comments here.

    I’m as befuddled and discouraged as everyone else at the effect that money is having on the state of European (and global) football. The problem of the super-agents has to be addressed. The problem of the oil-daddies has to be addressed. The problem of ABSURD financial inequality has to be addressed (both between the elite clubs and everyone else, and between countries, i.e. the PL and everywhere else). UEFA and FIFA are a shambles on many, many levels and thus seem pretty much incapable of addressing these issues properly.

    I think our only hope is that the bubble bursts at some point, and the game is forced into serious financial reform, but I’m not at all sure what it will all look like on the other side.

    • Agree fully.

      I think the NBA’s got it right. There are caps and limits on spending, with sounds financial and competitions regulations. Derek Rose is joining the Cavs for about one-tenth of his previous salary, because they’re already nearly maxed out on their cap. Kevin Durant is to earn less, so that important players like Andre Iaguodala can remain on the roster.

      You can’t have unlimited spending in any major sport, because teams with rich owners can simply buy success.

      I’ll say it again… the bubble needs to burst, and some clubs need to go out of business to bring common sense back to the sport.

      • I agree that the NBA’s salary cap is a good starting spot, and although teams there have their own different problems to deal with (Market size, state taxes) it is a much fairer system.

        The problem is that in football, you can’t even get the PL to enforce the Championship’s FFP rules as evidenced by QPR and Leicester, and they are in the same country! Forget it happening when you buy a player from Europe or even more South America or Africa. There is no way the sanctity of the wage caps can be enforced. Revenue? City will just ‘sell’ Kompany to their club in Australia for 100m. Wages? Abramovich starts a ‘charity’ in Brazil appointing some young kid’s family members as board members.

        Even the NBA salary caps allow for luxury taxes so owners for whom football is not a (money making) business venture can keep throwing money at it.

        FFP was a good initiative and I think it could have worked, but UEFA developed cold feet or big pockets and let it go down the drain.

        One thing they can definitely do is streamline agent rules. Somehow they allow super agents to muscle their way into a deal dealing on behalf of all parties. Let one player have only one agent. And let each club choose a different agent to oversee the transfer. Set out payment distribution milestones/criteria, and cap agent payments. Both for the club and to an individual agent from a club in a year.

      • I’m not entirely sure about how it works, but I like that the NBA cap has ‘bird rights’, whereby they allow a ‘homegrown’ player to be paid more. And players who stay longer than a certain period of time don’t count towards the salary cap. Or something similar. Basically their cap rules promote stability.

        Oh, another thing I like (but would likely be illegal in football’s context) is that when players and sold/traded, they take their existing contract with them. The player won’t make more money from the team he goes to. (Not counting sponsorship opportunities of course)

      • The problem with the American salary cap models is that it rests on the draft and there is no relegation or promotion. Teams can move established players away and can “tank” and rebuild through the draft without fear of being relegated which would hurt their financial bearing even more. This doesn’t exist in world football, and rightfully so.

        And the other thing I don’t like about American sports is that it is 100% tilted to the owners. The NFL in particular is brutal where the owners pocket billions, get taxpayers to build them stadiums and then if a player is hurt they can just cut the player.

        The players should get the bulk of any team revenues. Cap team outlays at 60% of gross revenues. This will encourage clubs to devote more money to academies; smaller clubs will see sales as part of their revenue streams, bigger clubs will want to be more selective on who they spend transfer money on and so will need more in-house talent.

        The only thing I don’t know how to do is police these absurd sponsorship deals that warp the revenue figures for clubs. It’s not impossible to believe City would find some Emirates company to come in and offer a billion $/year sponsorship deal.

        Cap spending at

  8. I’d just like to say something bad that nobody will enjoy seeing, but I have to say it. It’s just how I feel.

    I don’t think Lacazette is going to be very good for Arsenal.

    There, I said it. It’s probably not going to be true. I hope it’s not true. It’s probably going to be true. It’s just how I feel. Not based on anything objective.

    • After watching Lacazettes involvement in all 4 preseason games and though it’s a bit silly for me or anyone to draw any conclusions I thus far see that he does have an ability to link play around the edge of the box when players get close to him and he does look to make good runs in behind that will benefit himself and the team by pulling defenders with him and allow for the dynamic movement of our forwards (and for the inevitable forward runs of Ramsey).

      When isolated up front he doesn’t appear to have the power/ability to hold up the ball. That will be problematic if we continued to play the ball up to him in isolated positions like we did against Chelsea. Against Munich he was much better because we didn’t play the ball directly to him in deep positions but rather played through Welbeck and Ozil first.

      From what I see he’s not the powerful CF that will fight and win against the tougher Centre Halfs when played long balls. We can’t play like he’s a Giroud type CF or he will really struggle and the attack will struggle too.

      Hopefully as the team gets to know him things will improve and perhaps he will show more strength on the ball as he gets used to the differences in play. I don’t believe he doesn’t lack strength or a decent degree of fight and the development of those qualities could be the difference.

      When Sanchez is back playing I expect Lacazette should thrive as l actually see them combining well. Hopefully Ozil and Sanchez can have a competition on how many assists they can rack up for Lacazette over the season.

      Time will tell and a little anxiety is fair but I will hold out hope that the goals will come this season.

    • He’ll have about the same impact Giroud had. If I’m not mistaken, Giroud was leading scorer in Ligue Un the year we bought him. He’s not going to light it up, but he’ll be OK.

      Next year, guaranteed, we’ll be b*tching that we need a “world class” striker again.

    • My By the Numbers Column basically predicted him to be an average forward. Something between 14 and 18 goals.

      • He’s set his personal target at 20. I think he meant in the league rather than the season. We’ll see.

        • The man hasn’t played a game yet. Let’s give him a chance.

          A couple of commenters on this blog recently summed up the difference between centre forwards and strikers. Lacazette is a striker. If he has the impact of Eduardo, a player of similar stature, then he’ll have served his purpose. He’s not really a hold the ball up kind of striker. Neither was the briefly devastating Eduardo. Sergio Aguero isn’t either, and he’s a terrific and effective player.

          My own preference is centre forwards — players who bring the complete package, including the ability to run in behind that Giroud lacks. Players like Diego Costa and Ibra in his prime. Players, by the way, like Morata. I think he’s going to be beast for Chelsea.

          Too early to pronounce on Lacazette. The real issue is that we haven’t upgraded on Giroud.

  9. I understand everyone’s shock/disgust etc at City’s spend but for me it was always on the cards. Football has always been a relatively sensible sport when it came to money spent on wages/transfers (when you factor in its global pull).

    Compared to American sports like baseball, basketball and American football the contracts in soccer are only now starting to make sense imo.

    • In terms of players getting paid at the top maybe (Though if there were no salary caps in US sports, you’d have some players making MUCH more money), but in terms of regulations around wages, transfers or even refereeing, football is nowhere close. Basically it is not a professionally run system. It is at best chaotic, at worst an oligarchy ruling over the thousands of clubs around the world. The money by itself should not be a problem, but the lack of regulation makes it such.

      • Absolutely agree. The business side of football is super shady and we’re just starting to crack the surface with the recent leaks.

  10. Not in the least bothered by City’s spending because it’s not an impediment to ours winning the title.
    If the Leicester’s financial juggernaut could squeak by Arsenal by ten points on the way to the title two seasons ago while all other big clubs were restructuring, then we should forever stop worrying about our ability to compete for titles based on net spend alone.

    But wait, that was an one of, of course. One in 5000, according to bookies and Arsene’s apologists.
    Just as missing out on top four last season against two smaller and less spending clubs was another one of.

    Arsenal are so far away from being a well run club that worrying about other clubs’s owners ruining football is not only pointless, but quite frankly ridiculous.
    Let Guardiole spend another half a billion for all I care. At least he’ll provide the fans with a top notch entertainment on the pitch. And if he comes up short again, then we , the Arsenal fans can all feel superior for failing but only at a tenth of the cost.

    • Leceister really exposed Wenger as a fraud and lier (being at a disadvantage due to transfer budget). The real problem at Arsenal is that there is no strategy to anything we do.

      If Atleti and Dortmund can compete with Bayern, Real, Barca on a budget more or less similar to ours then there is something missing in our approach.

      • Mustn’t forget Monaco besting PSG by eight points to the French League title while outspent almost 3:1.
        Another one of I’m sure.

      • Yes, Leicester really showed us how irrelevant transfer spend is. Someone should tell Mansour, Abramovich and ManU’s bankers they’re not helping their team’s chances at all by spending all that money. PSG’s rise was also not down to the Qatari money, but simply because they had better planning. But now Monaco showed them up as frauds. Barcelona and Real Madrid should carve up the La Liga TV money to all the other clubs because it doesn’t help them stay on top.

        • Typical response from a Wenger apologist to a post that doesn’t deny the relevance of spending, hence the line “….ability to compete for titles based on net spend alone”.

          Last season two clubs with a minuscule net spend placed higher than Arsenal but don’t let that fact make too many holes in your neatly crafted logic of net spend being the ultimate king.

          Arsene’s biggest backers should rejoice at the out of control spending which gives him the ultimate cover for failing to compete.Yes ,that’s the proper word, because you can forget about winning the title ,on account of so many obvious shortcomings covered to its fullest on here and other places as well.

          • That wasn’t even a response to you Tom.

            As for your post, there’s no point is there. You’ve decided Wenger bad, Arsenal bad, everyone else who can selectively prove your point good, and you’ll stick to that regardless of facts (such as even those you state) or argument. Adding a tiny half caveat doesn’t change what you were saying and it wasn’t MY argument anyway.

            The worst thing that can happen to a sports fan is to stay as bitter as you. Blame Wenger for it like everything else if you want but my refusal to join you doesn’t make me an apologist because the way I see it there’s not very much wrong with Arsenal (which is not the same as saying they are perfect) and jence nothing to apologise for. So enjoy, or don’t. Your choice.

            But you seem to think you can keep calling me names. Probably because I’ve voiced a political opinion you don’t like ,if you can even comprehend it. Oddly enough, you tend to behave like the guy you dislike so much.

          • Shard, if I do come across as bitter, let me assure you that I’m not.
            I am very at peace about football in general and Arsenal in particular and that’s why you’ll never find me complaining about some of the things you complain about all the time.
            Out of control transfer fees,wages, agents involvement, FIFA and UEFA corruption, none of it bothers me a bit because I treat football solely as a form of entertainment and not a serious thing to worry about.

            As for “Arsenal bad, Wenger bad” as you have put it so eloquently – not at all.
            I expect Arsenal to do every season what they do pretty much every season, and I expect Wenger to do what he does pretty much every season.

            If I were so anti- Wenger , as you seem to think, I wouldn’t want him to continue after the last season’s fiasco, would I.

            If calling you a “Wenger apologist” offends you than I take it back.
            To me that term doesn’t carry any negative connotations. It simply describes a person incapable of any Wenger criticism whatsoever, which is you in a nutshell.

            As for the suggestion my behavior is akin to Trump’s, a bit of a stretch there even for you, don’t you think? 🙂

      • The real problem is that Wenger can’t seem to improve Arsenal’s defense. And I don’t just mean the back four. I mean all over the pitch.

        I don’t know whether he lacks the personnel, the coaching, or if it’s just because his attacking philosophy but he’s consistently the worst defensive manager in the top four.

  11. This season we jumped the shark in terms of transfer fees. There has to be some kind of backlash. I think it would have to start outside the fanbase, in UK politics, in the grassroots. There are plenty of football-loving Brits like me who would happily denounce the obscene levels of money in the game and would support some kind of legislation to rein it in, but it goes beyond the fans – football is woven into the fabric of British life and there would need to be a national conversation, putting massive political pressure on the league and the FA. The same would need to happen across Europe. I can see this happening, but it’s a long shot. The alternative is that the top tier of football becomes a millionaire sport like Formula 1, and unhappily I think this is just what FIFA have in mind.

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