We all know Manchester City are flush with wealth, but until the figures are laid bare, it is often difficult to appreciate the scale of their spending power.
Here is the Premier League table alternate top 10, by net spend, for figures over the past five seasons, from 2007/08 to 2011/12.
Manchester City: £430.77 million
Chelsea: £159.7 million
Liverpool: £99.25 million
Sunderland: £57.6 million
Tottenham Hotspur: £49.4 million
Manchester United: £47.25 million
Swansea City: £8.25 million
Everton: £5 million
Newcastle United: -£30.25 million
Arsenal: -£31.3 million
The immediate standout conclusion from this table is just how far ahead Manchester City are above everybody else, with Sheikh Mansour's wealth putting Roman Abramovich in the shade, yet this is the price of propelling a mid-table Premier League club to battling it out at the summit of the Premier League.
What does it say about the Premier League, which is usually such a closed shop and used to feature the same 'big four' teams, that it takes such a disproportionate amount of spending for a team to rise from mediocrity to have a chance of winning it.
Over in the NFL in America this is the exact reason the sport has salary caps and drafts, to prevent clubs becoming so far ahead of others, and to attempt to stop the distance between the clubs at the top and bottom from expanding. If that had happened over here, City may have been able to reach the top organically, rather than being forced to splash the cash to compete.
Liverpool and Sunderland's net spend is also interesting, and both clubs should be asking themselves right now what exactly do the have to show for it?
Manchester United's low spend is offset by the major £80 million fee recouped by the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo, but supporters who used to relish in their financial power, will remain sceptical of their owners the Glazers when their net spend averages under £10 million a season over the past five years. Do they have the capability to compete for the world's best players?
Newcastle United and Arsenal supporters should have the biggest smiles, especially considering their league positions up against these figures, they are both clearly overperforming their financial status, Newcastle in 6th and Arsenal 3rd.
Arsenal of course have kept their net spend so low by selling major stars, such as Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri and Emmanuel Adebayor for huge sums, and fans will hope this trend comes to an end this summer and they keep Robin van Persie. The Gunners finances are in a healthy state, and they reportedly have a £50 million plus transfer kitty, so there is no financial need to sell him.
Newcastle fans will likewise be impressed at Mike Ashley's financial model, but will now want the club to kick on, and keep their major stars such as Cheik Tiote. They will also smile at the fact they are above rivals Sunderland in the Premier League, despite spending far less.
What conclusions do you take from the figures?
image: © 401K
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