Manchester United outspend Manchester City for first time in...

Time And Money

Manchester United spent big this summer in a bid to topple Manchester City and win back the Premier League title. Will it work?

In May much to the displeasure of Sir Alex Ferguson, it was the 'noisy neighbours' who shouted loudest.

Manchester City won their first league title since 1968, and so it was United who made the bigger moves in the transfer market, principally bringing in last season's top scorer Robin van Persie.

Yesterday we ran an article detailing the net spend of every single Premier League club for the summer's transfers. United were the second highest spenders this summer, behind Chelsea.

United's net spend was £41.1 million. City's was £31 million. But when was the last time the Red Devils laid out more cash than the current champions?

Let us take it season by season...

Manchester United: 2011/12 - £38.1 million, £2010/11 - £13.5 million, 2009/10 - Minus 64.5 million, 2008/09 - £33.75 million, 2007/08 - £26.5 million, 2006/07 - £4.1 million.

Manchester City: 2011/12 - £48.2 million, £2010/11 - £116 million, 2009/10 - £99 million, 2008/09 - £112.9 million, 2007/08 - £39.1 million, 2006/07 - Minus £2.4 million.

So as you can see, this is the first time in seven seasons, United have outspent Manchester City in the transfer market. City in the same period have outspent the rest of the Premier League, not even Chelsea come close to matching them.

But it remains interesting to see if the funds put up by United this summer leads to the club getting results on the pitch. Many feel their squad is still lightweight in midfield, while City strengthened in midfield and defence but not up front.

In fact, the £41.1 million released from United's accounts to acquire new players this summer, is their highest net spend ever. Even when they spent big on Jaap Stam and Dwight Yorke in 1999, their total outlay was just £25.9 million.

So it really shows the lengths the club are going to, to win back their title, and the scale of the challenge they accept lies before them. For fans demanding they sign more players even, it puts what they have done into context.

As for how it compares to City's highest ever net spend, it is dwarfed. They may have outspent their rivals by £10 million this summer, but the season before City spent an incredible £116 million (net). 

With a Premier League title in the bag fans will argue it is money well spent, but with Financial Fair Play on the horizon the club have clearly decided to scale back this summer.

The question ahead, is whether United will feel their outlay is money well spent come May, or if indeed they did splash the cash strengthening the wrong areas of their squad?

What do you make of the figures? Will United's spending be enough to win them back the title?

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