West Ham United vice-chairman Karren Brady has been critical of Manchester City’s activity in the summer transfer window in The Sun.
Brady has used an old phrase from former Tottenham Hotspur chairman Lord Sugar to describe the big spending of City over the past few weeks.
“Combing through the Premier League summer transfer dealings today, it becomes clear that to top English clubs Uefa’s Financial Fair Play rulings are about as relevant as discarded chip cartons,” the 46-year-old wrote in her football diary in The Sun (Friday, September 4 entry - quotes taken from the iPad edition, Saturday, September 5, 2015).
“Not so long ago, Man City were told to pay £50million for unacceptable book-keeping. After a rules amendment friendly to zillionaires, Sheikh Mansour can spend what oil-well earnings he likes - and did so in huge transfers, plus skyscraper wages.
“What was it Lord Sugar said about the prune-juice effect?”
The 'prune-juice effect’
Former Tottenham chairman Lord Sugar used the phrase, the 'prune-juice effect', in the early years of the Premier League era.
BBC Sport reported the ex-Spurs chief using the phrase back in November 2002 to describe a situation where what goes in one end comes out the other.
As clubs were able to get millions of pounds from Sky’s TV deal, they were able to spend them on players’ wages and new signings.
Lord Sugar used the same phrase as recently as February 2015 to describe the new £5 billion Premier League television deal.
“The more money that is given to the clubs, the more money is spent on players,” the 68-year-old told BBC Sport in February 2015.
Manchester City’s summer spending
City made a number of big signings in the summer transfer window in order to strengthen the squad and reclaim the Premier League title this season.
England international winger Raheem Sterling arrived from Liverpool, England international midfielder Fabian Delph joined from Aston Villa and 18-year-old attacker Patrick Roberts moved from Fulham.
Defender Nicolas Otamendi was recruited from Valencia, while former Chelsea attacking midfielder Kevin De Bruyne came from Wolfsburg.
As for De Bruyne, BBC Sport claims that City had to pay a club-record £55m for his services.