All the other clubs spendings obscene amounts of money for transfers pale in comparison to Manchester City. Putting the cost on transfer fees alone aside, the club actually has spent almost billion pounds on all the costs combined since 2008 on their journey to become a top club from the average team they were. Transfer fees take about half of these costs, standing at a whopping £537 M over last five seasons.
The long journey under ADG ownership
Manchester City got their first billionaire owner in form of Thaksin Shinawatra in 2008, when the club was in a delicate financial position. The shady Thai businessman and then Prime Minister of Thailand soon saw his assets frozen though, which opened the door for Abu Dhabi Group to purchase the club.
After the takeover they immediately went berserk in the transfer market, right away breaking the British transfer record by signing Robinho for £32.5 M. These initial signings didn’t yet see much success, given City only finished tenth in the league. In summer of 2009 the club really upped a gear on their spending. They delved out over 100 million pounds over the summer, and brought in some players that can be considered somewhat key players in the current team like Carlos Tevez joined the club for £25.5 M, Kolo Toure for £16 M, Gareth Barry for £12 M and Joleon Lescott for £22 M.
For all the spending the club couldn’t finish higher than 5th, and Mark Hughes was sacked from the position of manager to be replaced by Roberto Mancini halfway the season. A season and another hundred million pounds later they had finally risen up to top four, finishing third after signing the likes of David Silva £24 M, Yaya Toure £24 M, Aleksandar Kolarov £16 M, Mario Balotelli £24 M, James Milner £18 M (+ Stephen Ireland) and Edin Dzeko £27 M.
Last season, as we all know, the City managed the ultimate triumph by winning the Premier League – it had taken hundreds of millions, but they were at the top of English football.
The current squad
The most expensive player of the current squad is Sergio Agüero, brought in for £35 million pounds. Their current squad has cost them cca 340 million pounds in transfer fees and many players earn very high wages, we mustn’t forget that.
All these massive numbers of course are just mind-numbing in the end – for all the millions spent they probably have the strongest squad in England, even though that didn’t matter all that much when they crashed out of the Champions League and saw Manchester United beat them earlier this season.
Comparisons to Chelsea in 05/06 are apt, as City now are defending champions and have a strong squad ready for years of domination. There are 6 players over 30 years and only Gareth Barry still plays a significant role in the club.
That doesn’t mean there isn’t still some spending to be done. After departure of Nigel De Jong on loan to Milan and aging of Gareth Barry they could use some further steel alongside Yaya Toure in the midfield. Javi Garcia has been something of a disappointment so far.
In any case, the current squad alone can sustain at least five years in the fight for top spots and it’s certain that the club will keep pumping money to the players in future transfer windows, so they will be getting top players in the near future as well.
Of course Manchester City can’t keep spending the way they have spent so far after the financial fair play rules are fully enforced. Lucky for them they have their squad “all ready” and the club is already considered a major club, so it already has increased its revenues as well. So in the end, it looks like the plan of ADG has panned out perfectly – all they need now is European success to back up the domestic success, and to retain their success at the domestic level.
In September Manchester City announced that it’s time to commence on the ground-breaking City Football Academy. Another big “future” investment in 80 acre site adjacent to the Etihad Stadium for youth development and first team traning facility.
It of course won’t be easy, with Manchester United always being tough rival and Chelsea throwing around Abramovich’s money. The money from United Arab Emirates might still come in handy for Citizens in their attempt to retain recent successes.