Dafanews Kenya

Dafanews Kenya

A billion spent by Manchester United and they still trail Man City

Football   |   January 13, 2023


Manchester United and Manchester City will clash this Saturday but who has spent more over the last decade?

This weekend’s Manchester derby, is seismic for both clubs in a rollercoaster season in the Premier League.

United are looking to solidify a top-four place while they have been in fine form in recent weeks under Erik ten Hag while a win would see them go a point behind Pep Guardiola’s men.

And City cannot afford to slip up anymore as they sit five points behind top-placed Arsenal, who are in their own derby clash this weekend against Tottenham.

A powershift in Manchester now sees City dominating United, more often than not, but the Red Devils are beginning a new fightback.

And in the summer they spent big money to land top targets in a bid to further close the gap built between the clubs over the last decade.

But how much has been spent and where has the money gone?


United net spend: £40m (League position: 1st)
City net spend: £20m (League position: 2nd)

In Sir Alex Ferguson’s last year in charge, the Red Devils rounded off his career in typical fashion – dominating the Premier League.

Robin van Persie (£24m) signed from Arsenal in a controversial transfer while Shinji Kagawa (£16m) and Wilfried Zaha (£10m) also joined.

Outgoing, Dimitar Berbatov (£5m) joined Fulham, Park Ji-sung (£2.5m) moved to QPR and Ritchie De Laet and Matty James signed for Leicester in a double deal worth £2m.

City, on the other hand, did not make many smart decisions in the transfer window after signing Javi Garcia (£16m), Matija Nastasic (£13m), Jack Rodwell (£15m), Scott Sinclair (£8m) and Maicon (£2.5m), though they still managed to finish second.

Leaving the club saw Mario Balotelli (£17m) depart for AC Milan, Adam Johnson (£10m) sign for Sunderland, Emmanuel Adebayor (£5m) move to Tottenham and Nigel de Jong also join Milan for £2.5m.


United net spend: £64.5m (League position: 7th)
City net spend: £95.5m (League position: 1st)

David Moyes did not even last the season as United flopped to seventh place – their worst-ever finish in the Premier League as they lost ground on their rivals.

The Scotsman famously bought Marouane Fellaini (£27.5m) and Juan Mata (£37m), but did not sell anyone.

City returned to winning ways in the Premier League with Manuel Pellegrini at the helm and really started to flex their financial muscles with high-profile signings such as Fernandinho (£34m), Stefan Jovetic (£25m), Alvaro Negredo (£22m), Jesus Navas (£18m) and Martin Demichelis (£4m).

Only Carlos Tevez’s £7.5m move to Juventus saw money come back the other way as Wayne Bridge and Maicon left on free transfers.


United net spend: £120.5m (League position: 4th)
City net spend: £56.5m (League position: 2nd)

It was Louis van Gaal’s turn at Old Trafford and helped United to fourth after spending big on some stellar names including Angel di Maria (£60m), Luke Shaw (£30m), Ander Herrera (£30m), Marcos Rojo (£16m) and Daley Blind (£14m).

Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic leaving on free transfers ended an era while Danny Welbeck (£16m), Shinji Kagawa (£6m), Alexander Buttner (£4.5m) and Wilfried Zaha departed (£3m).

City could not replicate their success from the previous year after losing out to Chelsea but that did not stop their spending after splashing out on Eliaquim Mangala (£40m), Wilfried Bony (£25m), Fernando (£10m), Willy Caballero (£5m) and Bruno Zuculini (£1.5m) – not many successes there.

There were not many big departures, though, with just Garcia and Rodwell leaving for a combined fee of £25m.


United net spend: £60m (League position: 5th)
City net spend: £111m (League position: 4th)

The spending ramped up further at United but they ended up going backwards after the likes of Anthony Martial (£58m), Morgan Schneiderlin (£27m), Memphis Depay (£25m), Matteo Darmian (£12.5m) and Bastian Schweinsteiger (£6.5m) all signed.

It was an early end to Di Maria’s United career after just one year and he was sold to Paris Saint-Germain for £45m while Javier Hernandez (£9m), Jonny Evans (£5m), Van Persie (£4m), Nani (£3.5m) and Rafael (£2.5m) all left.

Even City dropped off as Leicester claimed a famous title while the Etihad chiefs really starting flashing their cash, signing Kevin de Bruyne (£55m), Raheem Sterling (£50m), Nicolas Otamendi (£32m), Patrick Roberts (£11m) and Fabian Delph (£8m).

Outgoing, City managed to sell Negredo for £25m, as well as Rony Lopes (£9m), Nastasic (£6m), Karim Rekik (£3m) and Sinclair (£2m).


United net spend: £95m (League position: 6th)
City net spend: £35m (League position: 1st)

The good times came to a cruel end for Solskjaer after some abysmal form despite spending big on the likes of Jadon Sancho (£73m), Raphael Varane (£34m) and Cristiano Ronaldo (£13m) while James was the only departure after joining Leeds for £25m.

City continued their domination of the Premier League by beating Liverpool to the title, signing Jack Grealish for £100m and Julian Alvarez for £18m.

Torres left for £45m to Barcelona as well as Angelino (£16m), Jack Harrison (£11m) and Lukas Nmecha (£11m) to boost the coffers somewhat at the Etihad


United net spend: £208m (League position: N/A)
City net spend: -£15m (League position: N/A)

The Erik ten Hag era has begun and it has done so with a massive summer spree with the likes of Antony (£86m), Casemiro (£60m), Lisandro Martinez (£57m) and Tyrell Malacia (£15m) all joining, though outgoing it was just Andreas Pereira landed a decent fee of £10m.

City might have won the transfer window after landing Erling Haaland at £51m while also signing Kalvin Phillips (£45m), Manuel Akanji (£15m) and Sergio Gomez (£11m).

The Premier League champions cut the squad dramatically with the likes of Sterling (£50m), Jesus (£45m), Oleksandr Zinchenko (£32m), Porro (£7.5m) and Arijanet Muric (£2.5m) all leaving.

Total net spends over the last decade

Manchester United total net spend: £1.021 billion
Man City total net spend: £803.5 million

Ahead of the Manchester derby, Ten Hag has done plenty to close the gap between the two teams and a win would take United to within a point of City.

But it has not come cheaply, splashing out on the biggest transfer window that United have had since Ferguson retired after a decade of mismanaged spending that has seen them accumulate a net spend of over £1bn.

The Red Devils thought they closed the gap under Solskjaer when they signed him Sancho, Varane and Ronaldo months after finishing third in the Premier League – but they capitulated instead.

City, on the other hand, appear to have navigated through some haphazard spending to establish a well-oiled machine that can offset fringe players to pay for world-class stars.

However, that only seemed possible after Guardiola dipped deep into the Etihad pockets in his first few years to completely rip apart the squad and bring in his own players – at a very big price.

But they have been reaping the rewards ever since that Catalan revolution, winning four Premier League titles in five years and becoming the dominant force in English football.

A win for United on Saturday might help change that tide, however, and the club have gone all-in on Ten Hag by giving him a huge transfer warchest – setting up what promises to be an absolute classic for this weekend’s Manchester derby.

Courtesy TS