A Detailed Look at United's Finances

Lentwood

Full Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2015
Messages
3,093
Location
West Didsbury, Manchester
Let's start by saying this is not a defence of the Glazers. The Glazer family have been nothing short of disastrous for Manchester Utd, I don't believe there is even a debate to be had here. However, one thing has continued to frustrate me recently - and that's this idea that Manchester United can and should spend £200m+ net every single year.

I believe our fans are right to question the impact the Glazers have had on our spending over the duration of their tenure as owners of the club. I believe it is an indisputable fact that between 2005 and 2010, the Glazers dramatically curtailed transfer spending in order to balance the books. During this period, we actually had a positive net spend, which is crazy for a club who at the time where competing for major domestic and European trophies.

The reason for this is that when the Glazers initially bought the club, they did so by borrowing £275m at an interest rate of 14.25%. The debt grew steadily during the early years of Glazer ownership and this resulted in us paying back upwards of £70m in interest repayments alone up until around 2012. All during a time when the clubs annual turnover peaked at around the £363m mark.

In 2010, the debt was restructured to be much more manageable as the Glazers used a £500m bond to wipe out the high-interest PIK loans and borrow at a much cheaper rate. As of 2013, finance costs have been reduced by about 66% and now stand at about £20-25m per annum.

However, I and many others rightly believe that a huge amount of damage was done during this period. Those first ten years of Glazer ownership are often referred to sarcastically by Utd fans as the 'no value in the market years' - as this was the line the Glazer puppet Alex Ferguson would often trot out to justify their penny pinching approach. That of course is absolute, utter nonsense and looks even more ridiculous now with hindsight than it so obviously was at the time. Even before we get into the recent transfer inflation caused by the new TV deal, it's just an incredibly nonsensical statement to make because the 'value' of a player is what a club is willing and able to pay.

Some posters may remember I created a not-to-dissimilar thread to this one where I analysed the Glazer spending up until around 2017 which transfer inflation applied for context. The purpose of this thread was to disprove the notion that United had spent enough money to guarantee trophies and was partly a defence of Moyes, LvG and Jose Mourinho - who at the time was constantly beaten with the stick of having a squad costing £900m which was 20pts behind City's less expensive squad (as the gutter press constantly delighted in reminding us without context). My point at the time being obviously that we had done most of our spending during peak transfer inflation years whereas City had sensibly accumulated a squad consisting of many players purchased before fees increased exponentially (Aguero, Silva, Fernandinho, Kompany etc...etc...)

Nevertheless, this thread is not about going over old ground. So yes, the Glazer family cut costs between 2005 and 2010 (especially) and harmed the club immeasurably during this period.

HOWEVER - as I said in the opening paragraph, my frustration is with a few very prominent voices on social media who are constantly misunderstanding (deliberately or not) our current predicament and misleading a large percentage of our fanbase in the process. These social media warriors are constantly banging on about our lack of spending, the lack of investment, cost-cutting etc...etc...writing about all manner of conspiracy theories as to why Ole has been appointed, why we are focusing on young, English players, why we have missed out on certain players, amongst many other examples.

This notion of cost-cutting post-2014 simply does not stand up to any kind of scrutiny whatsoever and it's incredibly frustrating for me because I believe constantly moaning about spending (or lack thereof) ignores the real issues with how the club is being run in 2020. I personally believe that one man is responsible for our predicament right now and that man is Ed Woodward. The man who was given a warchest by the Glazer family to go and revitalise and rebuild Manchester United after the retirement of Alex Ferguson - only for him to piss this money down the drain faster than you can say "Adult Disneyland".

So, I'm not a financial expert by any means and I am happy to be corrected on any of the statements I make or the figures I put forward below. However, I have spent some time going over our Annual Reports since 2013 and have found the following (apologies if I've interpreted any of this wrong - correct me if you can)

NET TRANSFER SPEND

2012/132013/142014/152015/162016/172017/182018/192019/20Total
PSG
£131,620,000​
£98,460,000​
£42,570,000​
£83,880,000​
£67,230,000​
£157,140,000​
£101,700,000​
-£9,810,000​
£672,790,000​
Manchester City
£14,000,000​
£89,800,000​
£60,000,000​
£73,700,000​
£165,050,000​
£177,550,000​
-£2,050,000​
£91,350,000​
£669,400,000​
Manchester United
£51,100,000​
£66,700,000​
£104,200,000​
£28,150,000​
£102,000,000​
£136,200,000​
£47,030,000​
£65,500,000​
£600,880,000​
Barcelona
£29,250,000​
£65,790,000​
£76,430,000​
£11,430,000​
£81,860,000​
£127,800,000​
-£4,460,000​
£87,390,000​
£475,490,000​
Inter Milan
£11,480,000​
£44,040,000​
-£5,890,000​
-£11,760,000​
£126,950,000​
£52,480,000​
£13,950,000​
£97,970,000​
£329,220,000​
Juventus
£44,550,000​
-£11,560,000​
£24,920,000​
£67,840,000​
£17,020,000​
£16,830,000​
£134,100,000​
£20,740,000​
£314,440,000​
Chelsea
£72,000,000​
£49,309,000​
£5,100,000​
£9,100,000​
£51,300,000​
£80,200,000​
£144,600,000​
-£152,000,000​
£259,609,000​
Liverpool
£41,300,000​
£20,300,000​
£38,380,000​
£28,000,000​
-£6,460,000​
-£28,000,000​
£127,500,000​
-£28,600,000​
£192,420,000​
Real Madrid
£4,500,000​
£55,800,000​
-£12,000,000​
-£62,410,000​
-£6,750,000​
-£79,200,000​
£25,790,000​
£186,750,000​
£112,480,000​
Tottenham
-£1,300,000​
-£16,300,000​
-£1,250,000​
-£7,850,000​
£27,700,000​
£24,750,000​
-£11,000,000​
£61,000,000​
£75,750,000​

These are the net transfer spends of some sample 'big spenders' from across Europe since 2012. I picked this date as to the best of my understanding, 2013 was the last year we paid out £70m+ in interest repayments.

Quite clearly you can see from this table that the notion of any kind of cost-cutting or restrictive spending (restrictive NOT restricted - PLEASE NOTE) just does not stack up. Only the two clubs owned by countries and pumped full of oil-money have spent more than Utd net over the last seven years. I've got United supporting friends who mean well but just like this forum they seem to believe that clubs like Barcelona and Real Madrid spend £200m+ net every Summer. They don't. Simple. It's a myth. Remember, whether enough money has been spent to win trophies is not my argument here...my argument is that I think it's pretty difficult to say 'lack of spending' or 'lack of investment' is the reason we're currently 5th and playing in the Europa League when clubs like Real and Liverpool have managed to win European trophies on much more limited budgets.

OPERATING PROFIT

Operating Profit
2013​
2014​
2015​
2016​
2017​
2018​
2019​
Manchester United
£146,419,000​
£23,835,000​
-£483,000​
£36,598,000​
£39,209,000​
-£37,629,000​
£18,881,000​

Now, another common argument when you point to our net spending is 'we are Man Utd, we SHOULD be spending that every year' and very often users of this argument will point to our status as one of the richest clubs in the world, as measured by TURNOVER. However, what this clearly ignores is the amount of profit we are making. As the old saying goes, 'turnover is vanity, profit is sanity'. That certainly applies when you're measuring a companies/club's ability to invest in capital assets i.e. players! So what are we asking the Glazer family to do here? You can see the club is not making huge amounts of profit which is somehow being left sat in the bank or taken out of the club by the Glazers (hang on...before anybody jumps in at this point...will clarify shortly!)...so are we asking the Glazers to spend beyond their/our means? The facts and figures don't lie...there's barely been any surplus since 2014 to actually spend on additional transfers!

FINANCE COSTS

INTEREST
2013​
2014​
2015​
2016​
2017​
2018​
2019​
Overall
Manchester United
72,082,000​
27,668,000​
35,419,000​
20,459,000​
25,013,000​
24,233,000​
25,470,000​
230,344,000​

Now, when I said a few sentences ago that there wasn't a huge amount of surplus money sat left in the bank every year or being taken out of the club by the Glazer family, I appreciate many will have instantly thought of the interest payments the club makes every year. Now again, remember, I'm not here to defend the Glazer's ownership. They are parasites in that they have contributed nothing and only take out of the club. The interest payments above demonstrate this. United would have been £230m better off at least since 2013 had we not been leveraged with debt by the Glazer family. So in that respect and in the eyes of fans I'm sure, £230m extra could have been spent on footballers. (I realise this is too simplistic for any finance bods out there as corporate debt reduces tax etc...etc...but let's not go down complex financial wormholes here!) However, ask yourself....think back to the net spend table. Would we be significantly better off had we spent another £230m over a 7 year period under the direction of Ed Woodward? I for one am not at all convinced we would be. Looking at the interest payments and money taken out IS relevant to the anti-Glazer argument of course....but I don't think it addresses the issue of WHY we are SO bad right now. Clearly, interest payments or not, enough money has been spent since 2012 to enable us to AT LEAST be competitive and the truth is we're far from it and our squad is an appalling mess.

WAGES

Wages are often overlooked by those who often cry under-investment because it REALLY doesn't suit the narrative in any context. Now, many are aware that Utd set an upper limit of 50% wages/turnover....i.e. no more than 50% of the clubs turnover should be spent on wages. This is actually fine and many clubs have higher percentages ratios without having such a big total bill. I accept that argument and it's reasonable to expect the club to spend 50% of it's turnover on wages moving forward. No problem here. However, look at the table below;

WAGES
2013​
2014​
2015​
2016​
2017​
2018​
2019​
Manchester United
£202,561,000​
£232,242,000​
£263,464,000​
£295,935,000​
£332,356,000​
£363,189,000​
£367,056,000​

Would any fan in their right and sane mind describe those annual wage bill as 'value for money'?. I think we all know the answer to that! How on this Earth do we spend £367m annually on wages for the absolute mob that turn out for us week in, week out? This is very relevant to me for a few reasons. One, offering players insane wages makes it hard to sign new players and difficult to shift existing players on daft wages. Two, money spent on wages is a HUGE percentage of our overall expenditure, therefore reducing spending on wages COULD be re-invested in the transfer market as capital expenditure. Three, I keep seeing this 'cost-cutting' argument...well of course costs have to be cut don't they! I believe Alexis pushed us up to the 'ceiling' of 50% wages/turnover and I believe the club has recognised that if we want to remain profitable moving forward and continue to be able to invest in players, this has to be reduced before new signings can come in.

CONCLUSION

I have decided to summarise a lengthy OP with a few bullet-points for ease of review.

* Glazers undeniably cut-costs whilst high-interest loan repayments were made, especially against the backdrop of much reduced revenues compared to recent years.

* This very likely hurt us well into the LvG/Jose era, with respect to actually competing for trophies

HOWEVER

* Fans need to re-assess their expectations on what Manchester Utd CAN spend...even if the Glazers did want to benevenently pile every penny earned back into the club £200m+ summers every year put the club in financial jeopardy

* The Glazers DO drain money out of the club but this hasn't stopped us having one of the highest net transfers spends in the world over the last seven years

* The Glazers clearly threw off the shackles once Ed took over as CEO and interest payments had been reduced/TV money increased significantly.

* Ed Woodward has overseen all of that money being wasted

* I believe the club have recognised this and are attempting to remedy the situation by moving players on and setting a platform for a re-build

* I do not believe any conspiracy theories about prolonged 'cost-cutting' exercises. It makes no sense for the Glazers to deliberately weaken the team and devalue the brand. Remember, they bought the club with just £270m of their own money...the long term strategy is SURELY to increase the value of the club significantly and sell for a big profit.

* Following on from the above....why would the Glazers cut costs to make £12m a year between them in dividends when a successful Man Utd could be worth £3.5/4BN to a potential buyer. It would be like having a Golden Goose and slaying it for it's meat!

* Would United be better off without the Glazers? Almost certainly so.

* Are our recent troubles down to under-investment and cost-cutting when it comes to the playing staff....I believe not. I believe our issues sit firmly with Ed Woodward (and again arguably with the Glazers as the people who appointed him and continue to allow him to do a job he is making a right pigs ear of!)

Comments and input welcome - please read the OP carefully before critiquing, I can't be bothered fielding loads of lazy responses where posters trot out lines they've read on Twitter that have been addressed above!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Invictus

0le

Full Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2017
Messages
2,617
Location
UK
WAGES

Wages are often overlooked by those who often cry under-investment because it REALLY doesn't suit the narrative in any context. Now, many are aware that Utd set an upper limit of 50% wages/turnover....i.e. no more than 50% of the clubs turnover should be spent on wages. This is actually fine and many clubs have higher percentages ratios without having such a big total bill. I accept that argument and it's reasonable to expect the club to spend 50% of it's turnover on wages moving forward. No problem here. However, look at the table below;

WAGES
2013​
2014​
2015​
2016​
2017​
2018​
2019​
Manchester United
£202,561,000​
£232,242,000​
£263,464,000​
£295,935,000​
£332,356,000​
£363,189,000​
£367,056,000​

Would any fan in their right and sane mind describe those annual wage bill as 'value for money'?. I think we all know the answer to that! How on this Earth do we spend £367m annually on wages for the absolute mob that turn out for us week in, week out? This is very relevant to me for a few reasons. One, offering players insane wages makes it hard to sign new players and difficult to shift existing players on daft wages. Two, money spent on wages is a HUGE percentage of our overall expenditure, therefore reducing spending on wages COULD be re-invested in the transfer market as capital expenditure. Three, I keep seeing this 'cost-cutting' argument...well of course costs have to be cut don't they! I believe Alexis pushed us up to the 'ceiling' of 50% wages/turnover and I believe the club has recognised that if we want to remain profitable moving forward and continue to be able to invest in players, this has to be reduced before new signings can come in.
I remember reading a long time ago that we pay larger wages because we take a larger portion of the players image rights. I think I read this about Rooney's new contract but I could be mistaken.
 

Sanchez7

Full Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2011
Messages
824
Location
London
Very good post. Ed Woodward has to take majority of the blame as he is ultimately in-charge of management and we have thus far failed miserably under him despite huge amount of CAPEX(transfers) and ballooning operating costs(wage bill). In financial terms the return on investment when it comes to transfers has been poor.

Another point to note is the common misconception that United are so rich that 5-10m is penny change for us and that we shouldn't try to negotiate transfer costs and just pay up. The fact is that our op. profit in 2019 was 20m and although the cost of transfers is amortised over a longer time period, it is still a lot of money for the club.
 
Last edited:

hobbers

Full Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2013
Messages
8,844
The wage bill is 100% the most disgusting thing about our finances. It's inconceivable that this squad has that wage bill, and it's the single biggest indicator of incompetence in our board room, both in terms of negotiating and assessing what represents value.
 

DBT85

Full Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2017
Messages
600
We have undoubtedly spent a lot, the tragedy is how badly it was spent. The likes of city spent that much to add to an already decent squad albeit with holes to fill.

We've spent that much and had to replace the likes of Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra, Carrick, Giggs, RVP and (at the startoof the period in question) already declining Rooney. Not to mention lower level players like Nani, cleverly, Anderson, chicharito, Rafael etc etc.

The blame for how the club has been run can only fall at one door and you have to ask how much longer he can be tolerated by his own masters if things don't turn around.

If the reports of the Saudis buying Newcastle are also true you have to wonder who would ever be able to buy the club from the Glazers should they ever actually want to sell because of the sums involved. I don't think Bezos has much of an interest sadly!
 

neilv93

New Member
Newbie
Joined
Dec 18, 2018
Messages
209
Location
Bristol
Good idea and really interesting to read. Agree with other posters in that our wage bill is totally infuriating and a prime example of the negligence within the boardroom for some time.
 

Bastian

Full Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2015
Messages
9,266
Compared to other clubs we've spent shitloads since SAF retired. You rightly identify that we had stopped being ambitious with the squad for years - only to be helped by SAF's managerial ability - but started spending when the market was already inflated. So our position was that of needing to catch up. Now, because we've spent terribly and because we've wasted tens of millions annually on wages for players nowhere near good enough, we've limited the self-sustaining ability of the club to keep ticking along nicely.

If the Glazers (or Woodward) had installed a professional structure, we would not be in this mess now. Now, when they talk of a rebuild, that's something that obviously costs money. There's a catch 22 with that whole "many transfer windows" bit, because you can't expect to hold onto the best players if you are lowering expectations for a number of years because "it takes time". So that could, ironically, end up being more costly.

If they honestly feel they've got it wrong in the last 6-7 years (which they obviously did) and now want to start a new "rebuild", they simply have to hire capable people.
 

Amerifan

Full Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2019
Messages
692
Six hundred million spent, two world class managers, and we barely cracked the top 4. Not a great resume for Ed.
 

cyril C

Full Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2017
Messages
1,492
Replacing CR with Valencia, not replacing Hargraeves, replace Scholes with Scholes 2.0, letting Giggs play in the middle, those were the mistakes Part A. I won't even call that Hindsight because everyone of us have been screaming. Was it financial? I think so, because we stop paying 50m (at that time) for top players, but going after Hernandez (and Tosic, Obertan) type of jewels instead.

Paying 30-50m for inflated average players, long list which you don't need reminder. I think the Club realised falling behind, but don't know what to do. Fergi was obviously in his final years and didn't bother, hence getting RVP instead of an excellent opportunity of getting Lewandoski, whom Dortmund was keen to sell instead of letting him join BM. But mostly due to lack of procurement strategy and relying on Manager's input. But I also thought our Scouts need to bear a bigger share of blame, because no way the manager would have heard of half of the players that we bought. e.g. Schwestiger you can blame on LVG, but do you think he has heard of Schneiderlin?
 

The Boy

Full Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2014
Messages
1,225
Supports
Brighton and Hove Albion
Let's start by saying this is not a defence of the Glazers. The Glazer family have been nothing short of disastrous for Manchester Utd, I don't believe there is even a debate to be had here. However, one thing has continued to frustrate me recently - and that's this idea that Manchester United can and should spend £200m+ net every single year.

I believe our fans are right to question the impact the Glazers have had on our spending over the duration of their tenure as owners of the club. I believe it is an indisputable fact that between 2005 and 2010, the Glazers dramatically curtailed transfer spending in order to balance the books. During this period, we actually had a positive net spend, which is crazy for a club who at the time where competing for major domestic and European trophies.

The reason for this is that when the Glazers initially bought the club, they did so by borrowing £275m at an interest rate of 14.25%. The debt grew steadily during the early years of Glazer ownership and this resulted in us paying back upwards of £70m in interest repayments alone up until around 2012. All during a time when the clubs annual turnover peaked at around the £363m mark.

In 2010, the debt was restructured to be much more manageable as the Glazers used a £500m bond to wipe out the high-interest PIK loans and borrow at a much cheaper rate. As of 2013, finance costs have been reduced by about 66% and now stand at about £20-25m per annum.

However, I and many others rightly believe that a huge amount of damage was done during this period. Those first ten years of Glazer ownership are often referred to sarcastically by Utd fans as the 'no value in the market years' - as this was the line the Glazer puppet Alex Ferguson would often trot out to justify their penny pinching approach. That of course is absolute, utter nonsense and looks even more ridiculous now with hindsight than it so obviously was at the time. Even before we get into the recent transfer inflation caused by the new TV deal, it's just an incredibly nonsensical statement to make because the 'value' of a player is what a club is willing and able to pay.

Some posters may remember I created a not-to-dissimilar thread to this one where I analysed the Glazer spending up until around 2017 which transfer inflation applied for context. The purpose of this thread was to disprove the notion that United had spent enough money to guarantee trophies and was partly a defence of Moyes, LvG and Jose Mourinho - who at the time was constantly beaten with the stick of having a squad costing £900m which was 20pts behind City's less expensive squad (as the gutter press constantly delighted in reminding us without context). My point at the time being obviously that we had done most of our spending during peak transfer inflation years whereas City had sensibly accumulated a squad consisting of many players purchased before fees increased exponentially (Aguero, Silva, Fernandinho, Kompany etc...etc...)

Nevertheless, this thread is not about going over old ground. So yes, the Glazer family cut costs between 2005 and 2010 (especially) and harmed the club immeasurably during this period.

HOWEVER - as I said in the opening paragraph, my frustration is with a few very prominent voices on social media who are constantly misunderstanding (deliberately or not) our current predicament and misleading a large percentage of our fanbase in the process. These social media warriors are constantly banging on about our lack of spending, the lack of investment, cost-cutting etc...etc...writing about all manner of conspiracy theories as to why Ole has been appointed, why we are focusing on young, English players, why we have missed out on certain players, amongst many other examples.

This notion of cost-cutting post-2014 simply does not stand up to any kind of scrutiny whatsoever and it's incredibly frustrating for me because I believe constantly moaning about spending (or lack thereof) ignores the real issues with how the club is being run in 2020. I personally believe that one man is responsible for our predicament right now and that man is Ed Woodward. The man who was given a warchest by the Glazer family to go and revitalise and rebuild Manchester United after the retirement of Alex Ferguson - only for him to piss this money down the drain faster than you can say "Adult Disneyland".

So, I'm not a financial expert by any means and I am happy to be corrected on any of the statements I make or the figures I put forward below. However, I have spent some time going over our Annual Reports since 2013 and have found the following (apologies if I've interpreted any of this wrong - correct me if you can)

NET TRANSFER SPEND

2012/132013/142014/152015/162016/172017/182018/192019/20Total
PSG
£131,620,000​
£98,460,000​
£42,570,000​
£83,880,000​
£67,230,000​
£157,140,000​
£101,700,000​
-£9,810,000​
£672,790,000​
Manchester City
£14,000,000​
£89,800,000​
£60,000,000​
£73,700,000​
£165,050,000​
£177,550,000​
-£2,050,000​
£91,350,000​
£669,400,000​
Manchester United
£51,100,000​
£66,700,000​
£104,200,000​
£28,150,000​
£102,000,000​
£136,200,000​
£47,030,000​
£65,500,000​
£600,880,000​
Barcelona
£29,250,000​
£65,790,000​
£76,430,000​
£11,430,000​
£81,860,000​
£127,800,000​
-£4,460,000​
£87,390,000​
£475,490,000​
Inter Milan
£11,480,000​
£44,040,000​
-£5,890,000​
-£11,760,000​
£126,950,000​
£52,480,000​
£13,950,000​
£97,970,000​
£329,220,000​
Juventus
£44,550,000​
-£11,560,000​
£24,920,000​
£67,840,000​
£17,020,000​
£16,830,000​
£134,100,000​
£20,740,000​
£314,440,000​
Chelsea
£72,000,000​
£49,309,000​
£5,100,000​
£9,100,000​
£51,300,000​
£80,200,000​
£144,600,000​
-£152,000,000​
£259,609,000​
Liverpool
£41,300,000​
£20,300,000​
£38,380,000​
£28,000,000​
-£6,460,000​
-£28,000,000​
£127,500,000​
-£28,600,000​
£192,420,000​
Real Madrid
£4,500,000​
£55,800,000​
-£12,000,000​
-£62,410,000​
-£6,750,000​
-£79,200,000​
£25,790,000​
£186,750,000​
£112,480,000​
Tottenham
-£1,300,000​
-£16,300,000​
-£1,250,000​
-£7,850,000​
£27,700,000​
£24,750,000​
-£11,000,000​
£61,000,000​
£75,750,000​

These are the net transfer spends of some sample 'big spenders' from across Europe since 2012. I picked this date as to the best of my understanding, 2013 was the last year we paid out £70m+ in interest repayments.

Quite clearly you can see from this table that the notion of any kind of cost-cutting or restrictive spending (restrictive NOT restricted - PLEASE NOTE) just does not stack up. Only the two clubs owned by countries and pumped full of oil-money have spent more than Utd net over the last seven years. I've got United supporting friends who mean well but just like this forum they seem to believe that clubs like Barcelona and Real Madrid spend £200m+ net every Summer. They don't. Simple. It's a myth. Remember, whether enough money has been spent to win trophies is not my argument here...my argument is that I think it's pretty difficult to say 'lack of spending' or 'lack of investment' is the reason we're currently 5th and playing in the Europa League when clubs like Real and Liverpool have managed to win European trophies on much more limited budgets.

OPERATING PROFIT

Operating Profit
2013​
2014​
2015​
2016​
2017​
2018​
2019​
Manchester United
£146,419,000​
£23,835,000​
-£483,000​
£36,598,000​
£39,209,000​
-£37,629,000​
£18,881,000​

Now, another common argument when you point to our net spending is 'we are Man Utd, we SHOULD be spending that every year' and very often users of this argument will point to our status as one of the richest clubs in the world, as measured by TURNOVER. However, what this clearly ignores is the amount of profit we are making. As the old saying goes, 'turnover is vanity, profit is sanity'. That certainly applies when you're measuring a companies/club's ability to invest in capital assets i.e. players! So what are we asking the Glazer family to do here? You can see the club is not making huge amounts of profit which is somehow being left sat in the bank or taken out of the club by the Glazers (hang on...before anybody jumps in at this point...will clarify shortly!)...so are we asking the Glazers to spend beyond their/our means? The facts and figures don't lie...there's barely been any surplus since 2014 to actually spend on additional transfers!

FINANCE COSTS

INTEREST
2013​
2014​
2015​
2016​
2017​
2018​
2019​
Overall
Manchester United
72,082,000​
27,668,000​
35,419,000​
20,459,000​
25,013,000​
24,233,000​
25,470,000​
230,344,000​

Now, when I said a few sentences ago that there wasn't a huge amount of surplus money sat left in the bank every year or being taken out of the club by the Glazer family, I appreciate many will have instantly thought of the interest payments the club makes every year. Now again, remember, I'm not here to defend the Glazer's ownership. They are parasites in that they have contributed nothing and only take out of the club. The interest payments above demonstrate this. United would have been £230m better off at least since 2013 had we not been leveraged with debt by the Glazer family. So in that respect and in the eyes of fans I'm sure, £230m extra could have been spent on footballers. (I realise this is too simplistic for any finance bods out there as corporate debt reduces tax etc...etc...but let's not go down complex financial wormholes here!) However, ask yourself....think back to the net spend table. Would we be significantly better off had we spent another £230m over a 7 year period under the direction of Ed Woodward? I for one am not at all convinced we would be. Looking at the interest payments and money taken out IS relevant to the anti-Glazer argument of course....but I don't think it addresses the issue of WHY we are SO bad right now. Clearly, interest payments or not, enough money has been spent since 2012 to enable us to AT LEAST be competitive and the truth is we're far from it and our squad is an appalling mess.

WAGES

Wages are often overlooked by those who often cry under-investment because it REALLY doesn't suit the narrative in any context. Now, many are aware that Utd set an upper limit of 50% wages/turnover....i.e. no more than 50% of the clubs turnover should be spent on wages. This is actually fine and many clubs have higher percentages ratios without having such a big total bill. I accept that argument and it's reasonable to expect the club to spend 50% of it's turnover on wages moving forward. No problem here. However, look at the table below;

WAGES
2013​
2014​
2015​
2016​
2017​
2018​
2019​
Manchester United
£202,561,000​
£232,242,000​
£263,464,000​
£295,935,000​
£332,356,000​
£363,189,000​
£367,056,000​

Would any fan in their right and sane mind describe those annual wage bill as 'value for money'?. I think we all know the answer to that! How on this Earth do we spend £367m annually on wages for the absolute mob that turn out for us week in, week out? This is very relevant to me for a few reasons. One, offering players insane wages makes it hard to sign new players and difficult to shift existing players on daft wages. Two, money spent on wages is a HUGE percentage of our overall expenditure, therefore reducing spending on wages COULD be re-invested in the transfer market as capital expenditure. Three, I keep seeing this 'cost-cutting' argument...well of course costs have to be cut don't they! I believe Alexis pushed us up to the 'ceiling' of 50% wages/turnover and I believe the club has recognised that if we want to remain profitable moving forward and continue to be able to invest in players, this has to be reduced before new signings can come in.

CONCLUSION

I have decided to summarise a lengthy OP with a few bullet-points for ease of review.

* Glazers undeniably cut-costs whilst high-interest loan repayments were made, especially against the backdrop of much reduced revenues compared to recent years.

* This very likely hurt us well into the LvG/Jose era, with respect to actually competing for trophies

HOWEVER

* Fans need to re-assess their expectations on what Manchester Utd CAN spend...even if the Glazers did want to benevenently pile every penny earned back into the club £200m+ summers every year put the club in financial jeopardy

* The Glazers DO drain money out of the club but this hasn't stopped us having one of the highest net transfers spends in the world over the last seven years

* The Glazers clearly threw off the shackles once Ed took over as CEO and interest payments had been reduced/TV money increased significantly.

* Ed Woodward has overseen all of that money being wasted

* I believe the club have recognised this and are attempting to remedy the situation by moving players on and setting a platform for a re-build

* I do not believe any conspiracy theories about prolonged 'cost-cutting' exercises. It makes no sense for the Glazers to deliberately weaken the team and devalue the brand. Remember, they bought the club with just £270m of their own money...the long term strategy is SURELY to increase the value of the club significantly and sell for a big profit.

* Following on from the above....why would the Glazers cut costs to make £12m a year between them in dividends when a successful Man Utd could be worth £3.5/4BN to a potential buyer. It would be like having a Golden Goose and slaying it for it's meat!

* Would United be better off without the Glazers? Almost certainly so.

* Are our recent troubles down to under-investment and cost-cutting when it comes to the playing staff....I believe not. I believe our issues sit firmly with Ed Woodward (and again arguably with the Glazers as the people who appointed him and continue to allow him to do a job he is making a right pigs ear of!)

Comments and input welcome - please read the OP carefully before critiquing, I can't be bothered fielding loads of lazy responses where posters trot out lines they've read on Twitter that have been addressed above!

Great OP and well thought out. I read someone commenting on here recently that the debt was still rising though, I thought that was wrong and after a bit of googling discovered the club's debt has increased quite significantly - is this correct and if so is sustainable? Presumably the debt is on more favourable interest rates terms. But it would be interesting to know where it comes from because contrary to popular belief not all debt is bad!

For example I'm a Brighton fan and we rank in the top 10 European clubs for debt and top two in the premiership (behind United!) But the vast majority of our debt is owed to our chairman Tony Bloom on nominal interest rates with possibility of parts of it being written off, so it's not something I worry about, in fact I welcome it as it has allowed us to build a new stadium after being homeless for years and build a good team.
 

Denis79

Full Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2014
Messages
4,156
Compared to other clubs we've spent shitloads since SAF retired. You rightly identify that we had stopped being ambitious with the squad for years - only to be helped by SAF's managerial ability - but started spending when the market was already inflated. So our position was that of needing to catch up. Now, because we've spent terribly and because we've wasted tens of millions annually on wages for players nowhere near good enough, we've limited the self-sustaining ability of the club to keep ticking along nicely.

If the Glazers (or Woodward) had installed a professional structure, we would not be in this mess now. Now, when they talk of a rebuild, that's something that obviously costs money. There's a catch 22 with that whole "many transfer windows" bit, because you can't expect to hold onto the best players if you are lowering expectations for a number of years because "it takes time". So that could, ironically, end up being more costly.

If they honestly feel they've got it wrong in the last 6-7 years (which they obviously did) and now want to start a new "rebuild", they simply have to hire capable people.
By the time we started spending (2013) we needed a complete rebuild caused by reasons you mentioned.

I am convinced that a lot of our signings failed not because they were necessarily poor players but because they didn't have anything to fall back on. We needed them to be instant successes, we had no proper back-up to give them the time they might have needed to settle, the pressure was on from the second they joined.

I keep reading on this forum how we spent equally much as City etc, that is true but we didn't spend on equal terms. City had a solid core in place with many key players in their prime years, we were replacing ageing stars. City could afford mistakes in the transfer market, we couldn't, we needed every transfer to be a success and instantly. There is so much more behind our problems than just 'poorly' spent funds.
 

Red_toad

Full Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2010
Messages
7,618
Location
DownUnder
Bought the club with $270 million of their own money? It was a completely leveraged buyout. Where did you remember that from?
 

caid

Full Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2014
Messages
4,874
Location
Dublin
Good op.
The figures for wages are pretty shocking. You'd love to know how much of that is due to Sanchez type signings and how much is just to every player being on inflated wages. If we managed to move Sanchez on could it be brought back under control? Or is it going to be an albatross around our neck for the foreseeable future?
 

kundalini

Full Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2004
Messages
4,579
WAGES

Wages are often overlooked by those who often cry under-investment because it REALLY doesn't suit the narrative in any context. Now, many are aware that Utd set an upper limit of 50% wages/turnover....i.e. no more than 50% of the clubs turnover should be spent on wages. This is actually fine and many clubs have higher percentages ratios without having such a big total bill. I accept that argument and it's reasonable to expect the club to spend 50% of it's turnover on wages moving forward. No problem here. However, look at the table below;

WAGES
2013​
2014​
2015​
2016​
2017​
2018​
2019​
Manchester United
£202,561,000​
£232,242,000​
£263,464,000​
£295,935,000​
£332,356,000​
£363,189,000​
£367,056,000​
Excellent post but your figures for Wages don't match the right dates. For instance, for the last full year 2018/9 the total wages was £332m, for the year before it was £295m, 2016/7 Salaries £263.5m. 2015/6 £232m. 2014/5 £202m. I make a note of the figures each time the annual, and indeed quarterly, results come out. Your figures for 2018 and 2019 are pure fiction. The Q1 salaries for this season were £70.2m.

See the annual report. Page 1 has details.

https://ir.manutd.com/~/media/Files/M/Manutd-IR/documents/2019-mu-plc-form-20-f.pdf
 
Last edited:

Eleven-Eighteen

Full Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2015
Messages
685
Let's start by saying this is not a defence of the Glazers. The Glazer family have been nothing short of disastrous for Manchester Utd, I don't believe there is even a debate to be had here. However, one thing has continued to frustrate me recently - and that's this idea that Manchester United can and should spend £200m+ net every single year.

I believe our fans are right to question the impact the Glazers have had on our spending over the duration of their tenure as owners of the club. I believe it is an indisputable fact that between 2005 and 2010, the Glazers dramatically curtailed transfer spending in order to balance the books. During this period, we actually had a positive net spend, which is crazy for a club who at the time where competing for major domestic and European trophies.

The reason for this is that when the Glazers initially bought the club, they did so by borrowing £275m at an interest rate of 14.25%. The debt grew steadily during the early years of Glazer ownership and this resulted in us paying back upwards of £70m in interest repayments alone up until around 2012. All during a time when the clubs annual turnover peaked at around the £363m mark.

In 2010, the debt was restructured to be much more manageable as the Glazers used a £500m bond to wipe out the high-interest PIK loans and borrow at a much cheaper rate. As of 2013, finance costs have been reduced by about 66% and now stand at about £20-25m per annum.

However, I and many others rightly believe that a huge amount of damage was done during this period. Those first ten years of Glazer ownership are often referred to sarcastically by Utd fans as the 'no value in the market years' - as this was the line the Glazer puppet Alex Ferguson would often trot out to justify their penny pinching approach. That of course is absolute, utter nonsense and looks even more ridiculous now with hindsight than it so obviously was at the time. Even before we get into the recent transfer inflation caused by the new TV deal, it's just an incredibly nonsensical statement to make because the 'value' of a player is what a club is willing and able to pay.

Some posters may remember I created a not-to-dissimilar thread to this one where I analysed the Glazer spending up until around 2017 which transfer inflation applied for context. The purpose of this thread was to disprove the notion that United had spent enough money to guarantee trophies and was partly a defence of Moyes, LvG and Jose Mourinho - who at the time was constantly beaten with the stick of having a squad costing £900m which was 20pts behind City's less expensive squad (as the gutter press constantly delighted in reminding us without context). My point at the time being obviously that we had done most of our spending during peak transfer inflation years whereas City had sensibly accumulated a squad consisting of many players purchased before fees increased exponentially (Aguero, Silva, Fernandinho, Kompany etc...etc...)

Nevertheless, this thread is not about going over old ground. So yes, the Glazer family cut costs between 2005 and 2010 (especially) and harmed the club immeasurably during this period.

HOWEVER - as I said in the opening paragraph, my frustration is with a few very prominent voices on social media who are constantly misunderstanding (deliberately or not) our current predicament and misleading a large percentage of our fanbase in the process. These social media warriors are constantly banging on about our lack of spending, the lack of investment, cost-cutting etc...etc...writing about all manner of conspiracy theories as to why Ole has been appointed, why we are focusing on young, English players, why we have missed out on certain players, amongst many other examples.

This notion of cost-cutting post-2014 simply does not stand up to any kind of scrutiny whatsoever and it's incredibly frustrating for me because I believe constantly moaning about spending (or lack thereof) ignores the real issues with how the club is being run in 2020. I personally believe that one man is responsible for our predicament right now and that man is Ed Woodward. The man who was given a warchest by the Glazer family to go and revitalise and rebuild Manchester United after the retirement of Alex Ferguson - only for him to piss this money down the drain faster than you can say "Adult Disneyland".

So, I'm not a financial expert by any means and I am happy to be corrected on any of the statements I make or the figures I put forward below. However, I have spent some time going over our Annual Reports since 2013 and have found the following (apologies if I've interpreted any of this wrong - correct me if you can)

NET TRANSFER SPEND

2012/132013/142014/152015/162016/172017/182018/192019/20Total
PSG
£131,620,000​
£98,460,000​
£42,570,000​
£83,880,000​
£67,230,000​
£157,140,000​
£101,700,000​
-£9,810,000​
£672,790,000​
Manchester City
£14,000,000​
£89,800,000​
£60,000,000​
£73,700,000​
£165,050,000​
£177,550,000​
-£2,050,000​
£91,350,000​
£669,400,000​
Manchester United
£51,100,000​
£66,700,000​
£104,200,000​
£28,150,000​
£102,000,000​
£136,200,000​
£47,030,000​
£65,500,000​
£600,880,000​
Barcelona
£29,250,000​
£65,790,000​
£76,430,000​
£11,430,000​
£81,860,000​
£127,800,000​
-£4,460,000​
£87,390,000​
£475,490,000​
Inter Milan
£11,480,000​
£44,040,000​
-£5,890,000​
-£11,760,000​
£126,950,000​
£52,480,000​
£13,950,000​
£97,970,000​
£329,220,000​
Juventus
£44,550,000​
-£11,560,000​
£24,920,000​
£67,840,000​
£17,020,000​
£16,830,000​
£134,100,000​
£20,740,000​
£314,440,000​
Chelsea
£72,000,000​
£49,309,000​
£5,100,000​
£9,100,000​
£51,300,000​
£80,200,000​
£144,600,000​
-£152,000,000​
£259,609,000​
Liverpool
£41,300,000​
£20,300,000​
£38,380,000​
£28,000,000​
-£6,460,000​
-£28,000,000​
£127,500,000​
-£28,600,000​
£192,420,000​
Real Madrid
£4,500,000​
£55,800,000​
-£12,000,000​
-£62,410,000​
-£6,750,000​
-£79,200,000​
£25,790,000​
£186,750,000​
£112,480,000​
Tottenham
-£1,300,000​
-£16,300,000​
-£1,250,000​
-£7,850,000​
£27,700,000​
£24,750,000​
-£11,000,000​
£61,000,000​
£75,750,000​

These are the net transfer spends of some sample 'big spenders' from across Europe since 2012. I picked this date as to the best of my understanding, 2013 was the last year we paid out £70m+ in interest repayments.

Quite clearly you can see from this table that the notion of any kind of cost-cutting or restrictive spending (restrictive NOT restricted - PLEASE NOTE) just does not stack up. Only the two clubs owned by countries and pumped full of oil-money have spent more than Utd net over the last seven years. I've got United supporting friends who mean well but just like this forum they seem to believe that clubs like Barcelona and Real Madrid spend £200m+ net every Summer. They don't. Simple. It's a myth. Remember, whether enough money has been spent to win trophies is not my argument here...my argument is that I think it's pretty difficult to say 'lack of spending' or 'lack of investment' is the reason we're currently 5th and playing in the Europa League when clubs like Real and Liverpool have managed to win European trophies on much more limited budgets.

OPERATING PROFIT

Operating Profit
2013​
2014​
2015​
2016​
2017​
2018​
2019​
Manchester United
£146,419,000​
£23,835,000​
-£483,000​
£36,598,000​
£39,209,000​
-£37,629,000​
£18,881,000​

Now, another common argument when you point to our net spending is 'we are Man Utd, we SHOULD be spending that every year' and very often users of this argument will point to our status as one of the richest clubs in the world, as measured by TURNOVER. However, what this clearly ignores is the amount of profit we are making. As the old saying goes, 'turnover is vanity, profit is sanity'. That certainly applies when you're measuring a companies/club's ability to invest in capital assets i.e. players! So what are we asking the Glazer family to do here? You can see the club is not making huge amounts of profit which is somehow being left sat in the bank or taken out of the club by the Glazers (hang on...before anybody jumps in at this point...will clarify shortly!)...so are we asking the Glazers to spend beyond their/our means? The facts and figures don't lie...there's barely been any surplus since 2014 to actually spend on additional transfers!

FINANCE COSTS

INTEREST
2013​
2014​
2015​
2016​
2017​
2018​
2019​
Overall
Manchester United
72,082,000​
27,668,000​
35,419,000​
20,459,000​
25,013,000​
24,233,000​
25,470,000​
230,344,000​

Now, when I said a few sentences ago that there wasn't a huge amount of surplus money sat left in the bank every year or being taken out of the club by the Glazer family, I appreciate many will have instantly thought of the interest payments the club makes every year. Now again, remember, I'm not here to defend the Glazer's ownership. They are parasites in that they have contributed nothing and only take out of the club. The interest payments above demonstrate this. United would have been £230m better off at least since 2013 had we not been leveraged with debt by the Glazer family. So in that respect and in the eyes of fans I'm sure, £230m extra could have been spent on footballers. (I realise this is too simplistic for any finance bods out there as corporate debt reduces tax etc...etc...but let's not go down complex financial wormholes here!) However, ask yourself....think back to the net spend table. Would we be significantly better off had we spent another £230m over a 7 year period under the direction of Ed Woodward? I for one am not at all convinced we would be. Looking at the interest payments and money taken out IS relevant to the anti-Glazer argument of course....but I don't think it addresses the issue of WHY we are SO bad right now. Clearly, interest payments or not, enough money has been spent since 2012 to enable us to AT LEAST be competitive and the truth is we're far from it and our squad is an appalling mess.

WAGES

Wages are often overlooked by those who often cry under-investment because it REALLY doesn't suit the narrative in any context. Now, many are aware that Utd set an upper limit of 50% wages/turnover....i.e. no more than 50% of the clubs turnover should be spent on wages. This is actually fine and many clubs have higher percentages ratios without having such a big total bill. I accept that argument and it's reasonable to expect the club to spend 50% of it's turnover on wages moving forward. No problem here. However, look at the table below;

WAGES
2013​
2014​
2015​
2016​
2017​
2018​
2019​
Manchester United
£202,561,000​
£232,242,000​
£263,464,000​
£295,935,000​
£332,356,000​
£363,189,000​
£367,056,000​

Would any fan in their right and sane mind describe those annual wage bill as 'value for money'?. I think we all know the answer to that! How on this Earth do we spend £367m annually on wages for the absolute mob that turn out for us week in, week out? This is very relevant to me for a few reasons. One, offering players insane wages makes it hard to sign new players and difficult to shift existing players on daft wages. Two, money spent on wages is a HUGE percentage of our overall expenditure, therefore reducing spending on wages COULD be re-invested in the transfer market as capital expenditure. Three, I keep seeing this 'cost-cutting' argument...well of course costs have to be cut don't they! I believe Alexis pushed us up to the 'ceiling' of 50% wages/turnover and I believe the club has recognised that if we want to remain profitable moving forward and continue to be able to invest in players, this has to be reduced before new signings can come in.

CONCLUSION

I have decided to summarise a lengthy OP with a few bullet-points for ease of review.

* Glazers undeniably cut-costs whilst high-interest loan repayments were made, especially against the backdrop of much reduced revenues compared to recent years.

* This very likely hurt us well into the LvG/Jose era, with respect to actually competing for trophies

HOWEVER

* Fans need to re-assess their expectations on what Manchester Utd CAN spend...even if the Glazers did want to benevenently pile every penny earned back into the club £200m+ summers every year put the club in financial jeopardy

* The Glazers DO drain money out of the club but this hasn't stopped us having one of the highest net transfers spends in the world over the last seven years

* The Glazers clearly threw off the shackles once Ed took over as CEO and interest payments had been reduced/TV money increased significantly.

* Ed Woodward has overseen all of that money being wasted

* I believe the club have recognised this and are attempting to remedy the situation by moving players on and setting a platform for a re-build

* I do not believe any conspiracy theories about prolonged 'cost-cutting' exercises. It makes no sense for the Glazers to deliberately weaken the team and devalue the brand. Remember, they bought the club with just £270m of their own money...the long term strategy is SURELY to increase the value of the club significantly and sell for a big profit.

* Following on from the above....why would the Glazers cut costs to make £12m a year between them in dividends when a successful Man Utd could be worth £3.5/4BN to a potential buyer. It would be like having a Golden Goose and slaying it for it's meat!

* Would United be better off without the Glazers? Almost certainly so.

* Are our recent troubles down to under-investment and cost-cutting when it comes to the playing staff....I believe not. I believe our issues sit firmly with Ed Woodward (and again arguably with the Glazers as the people who appointed him and continue to allow him to do a job he is making a right pigs ear of!)

Comments and input welcome - please read the OP carefully before critiquing, I can't be bothered fielding loads of lazy responses where posters trot out lines they've read on Twitter that have been addressed above!
How have you calculated Operating Profit, because those numbers are bloody dismal. Operating profit is usually before interest costs, so if you're telling me that United has been making losses at the operating level while still carrying a bunch of debt which it needs to service, then Woody and the Glazers are just as inept at the business side as they are at football. But i don't think that's true...
 

::sonny::

Full Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2007
Messages
13,147
Location
Milan
Look at the transfer net spend in the last 2 yrs
 

Lentwood

Full Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2015
Messages
3,093
Location
West Didsbury, Manchester
Excellent post but your figures for Wages don't match the right dates. For instance, for the last full year 2018/9 the total wages was £332m, for the year before it was £295m, 2016/7 Salaries £263.5m. 2015/6 £232m. 2014/5 £202m. I make a note of the figures each time the annual, and indeed quarterly, results come out. Your figures for 2018 and 2019 are pure fiction. The Q1 salaries for this season were £70.2m.

See the annual report. Page 1 has details.

https://ir.manutd.com/~/media/Files/M/Manutd-IR/documents/2019-mu-plc-form-20-f.pdf
That is the report I used for the figures. I’m not a finance bod so happy to be corrected but I used the “employee benefit expenses” line
 

Lentwood

Full Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2015
Messages
3,093
Location
West Didsbury, Manchester
How have you calculated Operating Profit, because those numbers are bloody dismal. Operating profit is usually before interest costs, so if you're telling me that United has been making losses at the operating level while still carrying a bunch of debt which it needs to service, then Woody and the Glazers are just as inept at the business side as they are at football. But i don't think that's true...
Sorry realised my mistake - what I have listed is not the operating profit it’s the profit/loss so includes money spent on interest payments. I didn’t use operating profit because I wanted to highlight that the Glazers weren’t blameless and the interest payments were hurting us also. All of these figures came from our annual reports.
 

Wumminator

The Special One!
Joined
May 8, 2008
Messages
18,540
Location
Obertans #1 fan.
One of the most overlooked aspects of Ole’s transfer dealings is that he will have got the wage bill down drastically.
 

Lentwood

Full Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2015
Messages
3,093
Location
West Didsbury, Manchester
One of the most overlooked aspects of Ole’s transfer dealings is that he will have got the wage bill down drastically.
Yep, never given any credit for it though. Course it has a huge impact. Spurs and City both lose one/two players and it’s widely acknowledged as being huge. We lose 9 senior players, our best player has managed about four games and Martial and Rashford have nothing missed significant periods. Never mentioned.

I believe he is doing all of this out of necessity to enable a proper rebuild rather than a facelift
 

Footyislife

Full Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2015
Messages
874
One of the most overlooked aspects of Ole’s transfer dealings is that he will have got the wage bill down drastically.
Have we though?

We temporarily deflected half of Sanchez's terrible contract which will be back on our books and unmovable after 6 months.

Looking at our contracts we have a lot of overvalued contracts on our books:

Rashford - £200k p/w is steep, for what he's shown and figuring a tax for image rights etc due to his popularity £170k p/w (Kane/Salah earn £200k to put that into perspective)

DeGea - £375k. Even with DeGea at his peak one would question if paying a GK that much money ever made sense for the value they would bring to a top club with an elite defense. With him being washed up & poor over the last yr or so (Liverpool is the only decent game he's had in ages) he's absolutely overvalued and we'd get the same return from playing someone like Romero for £120k p/w & pocket the £250k p/w in change

Martial - £230k. While Martial's talent deserves his hefty salary, his injury proneness and inconsistency with his play at times makes him overvalued (to be fair we have not had a midfield for a few months now)

Mata - £160k. Perhaps the most headscratching move of the summer was to give him a huge 2 yr contract for being a backup player, instead of giving Gomes that opportunity for a fraction of the price.

I could go on with the coaching staff being underqualified, Jessi (Messi in useless games) Lingard, Phil Jones
 

RedBanker

Full Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2017
Messages
439
Let's see the figures since the 2007–08 season for a fair comparison of the spends of the two clubs, because well City was not having sugar daddy (or oil daddy) owners prior to that and they were absolutely small time back then (not that they aren't now lol) Anyway here are the damning numbers-
  1. Total transfer spend in 12 seasons since 07–08
City……..1739.90 million euros
United…..1238.85 million euros
2. Total transfer income in 12 seasons since 07–08
City…….470.83 million euros
United…..477.55 million euros
3. NET SPEND in 12 seasons since 07–08
City ……..1269.07 million euros
United…..761.30 million euros

There is a big gap. Yes we have spent wrong. But that was mainly due to us unable to get a proper manager after SAF. Imagine if we had a man with a plan like Guardiola right after SAF. I think we would not have been in this mess we are now.

But having indulged in wishful thinking, it's still clear that we have not spent nearly enough. We have not signed any top player whose signature was being sought by other top clubs. Last we did was Berbatov maybe? I don't think we had to fight for the signatures of ADM, Fred, Pogba,Lukaku etc.
 

Wumminator

The Special One!
Joined
May 8, 2008
Messages
18,540
Location
Obertans #1 fan.
Have we though?

We temporarily deflected half of Sanchez's terrible contract which will be back on our books and unmovable after 6 months.

Looking at our contracts we have a lot of overvalued contracts on our books:

Rashford - £200k p/w is steep, for what he's shown and figuring a tax for image rights etc due to his popularity £170k p/w (Kane/Salah earn £200k to put that into perspective)

DeGea - £375k. Even with DeGea at his peak one would question if paying a GK that much money ever made sense for the value they would bring to a top club with an elite defense. With him being washed up & poor over the last yr or so (Liverpool is the only decent game he's had in ages) he's absolutely overvalued and we'd get the same return from playing someone like Romero for £120k p/w & pocket the £250k p/w in change

Martial - £230k. While Martial's talent deserves his hefty salary, his injury proneness and inconsistency with his play at times makes him overvalued (to be fair we have not had a midfield for a few months now)

Mata - £160k. Perhaps the most headscratching move of the summer was to give him a huge 2 yr contract for being a backup player, instead of giving Gomes that opportunity for a fraction of the price.

I could go on with the coaching staff being underqualified, Jessi (Messi in useless games) Lingard, Phil Jones
We don’t know if any of those figures are accurate.
 

Sky1981

Fending off the urge
Joined
Apr 12, 2006
Messages
24,338
Location
Under the bright neon lights of sincity
Let's see the figures since the 2007–08 season for a fair comparison of the spends of the two clubs, because well City was not having sugar daddy (or oil daddy) owners prior to that and they were absolutely small time back then (not that they aren't now lol) Anyway here are the damning numbers-
  1. Total transfer spend in 12 seasons since 07–08
City……..1739.90 million euros
United…..1238.85 million euros
2. Total transfer income in 12 seasons since 07–08
City…….470.83 million euros
United…..477.55 million euros
3. NET SPEND in 12 seasons since 07–08
City ……..1269.07 million euros
United…..761.30 million euros

There is a big gap. Yes we have spent wrong. But that was mainly due to us unable to get a proper manager after SAF. Imagine if we had a man with a plan like Guardiola right after SAF. I think we would not have been in this mess we are now.

But having indulged in wishful thinking, it's still clear that we have not spent nearly enough. We have not signed any top player whose signature was being sought by other top clubs. Last we did was Berbatov maybe? I don't think we had to fight for the signatures of ADM, Fred, Pogba,Lukaku etc.
To be fair, why would a top marquee signing wants to play with David Moyes? or Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

LVG / Jose = we still managed to get a few marquee signing (ADM/Pogba/BFS), yes they're duds, but hindsight aside we have no problem signing them under a more reputable manager.
 

RedBanker

Full Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2017
Messages
439
To be fair, why would a top marquee signing wants to play with David Moyes? or Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

LVG / Jose = we still managed to get a few marquee signing (ADM/Pogba/BFS), yes they're duds, but hindsight aside we have no problem signing them under a more reputable manager.
Yes. Pogba would not have signed for us under Ole i think. But if you look at players who have transformed clubs or are at least good whenever they play in the period when we were busy purchasing dross or divas who never wanted to play for us, you will almost tear up.
Fabinho
VVD
Mane
Salah
KDB
Silva (second one)
Kante
Mahrez

Could we not have fought and won even one signature of the above players?
 

Sky1981

Fending off the urge
Joined
Apr 12, 2006
Messages
24,338
Location
Under the bright neon lights of sincity
Yes. Pogba would not have signed for us under Ole i think. But if you look at players who have transformed clubs or are at least good whenever they play in the period when we were busy purchasing dross or divas who never wanted to play for us, you will almost tear up.
Fabinho
VVD
Mane
Salah
KDB
Silva (second one)
Kante
Mahrez

Could we not have fought and won even one signature of the above players?
On the contrary, some of the name there we weren't even interested and snubs our nose
VVD/Fabinho/Salah/Mane/Kante/Mahrez are all snubbed as not good enough in here, only when they've become successful we blame ED for not going after them. We used to laught at LFC for spunking 70m of Van The Fart. It's only 2 years ago, there's still thread about him here.

KDB is the only one we rate, probably Kante. Fabinho was an out of the blue signing
 

Roboc7

Full Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2014
Messages
3,885
Yep, never given any credit for it though. Course it has a huge impact. Spurs and City both lose one/two players and it’s widely acknowledged as being huge. We lose 9 senior players, our best player has managed about four games and Martial and Rashford have nothing missed significant periods. Never mentioned.

I believe he is doing all of this out of necessity to enable a proper rebuild rather than a facelift
It wouldn’t be Ole making this decision it would be Woodward and the owners. Their the idiots that allowed wages to spiral out of control and it will be their decision to reduce.

The Glazers are thick, that’s why club is in this mess. The club has had its big spend post SAF (which was a disaster) and with Champions League football now a rare occurrence it’s necessary to cut costs and have a lower net spend.
 

Focusmate

New Member
Newbie
Joined
Oct 11, 2018
Messages
153
Supports
Non League
A good OP. Interesting that wages are higher now than ever despite a threadbare squad. All those bumper new contracts even for squad players like Jones.....
No one likes the Glazers but the main issue is Woodward etc. No long term plan no playing style vision or continuity. Added to inept negotiations and contract offers.
 

RoyH1

Full Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2014
Messages
2,717
Location
DKNY
Those net spend figures are always an eye opener for me. Yes, we all know about how we've been bolloxing that one up, but...how the hell does Inter Milan end up spending so much money and have so little to show for it?
 

Massive Spanner

Thinks Geoff Shreeves has one
Joined
Jul 2, 2014
Messages
15,069
Location
Tool shed
Yep, never given any credit for it though. Course it has a huge impact. Spurs and City both lose one/two players and it’s widely acknowledged as being huge. We lose 9 senior players, our best player has managed about four games and Martial and Rashford have nothing missed significant periods. Never mentioned.

I believe he is doing all of this out of necessity to enable a proper rebuild rather than a facelift
Never mentioned? Are you joking me? It's been the biggest defense of Ole on here all fecking season!
 

Badunk

Shares his caf joinday with Dante
Joined
Oct 22, 2010
Messages
11,878
Location
Occupied Merseyside
We pay high wages because we seem to be terrified that other clubs will want to poach our inconsistent or untested players. Recent talk of trebling Gomes' wages when he's barely broken into the first team is the type of nonsense which has gotten us into this situation in the first place. We give contract extensions for players who have half a dozen decent performances a season. I'd like our contracts to be more incentive-based. The reported transfer fee for Fernandes is how we should be structuring our wages. You want mega money? You'll have it if you put in mega performances week in, week out, all season. Otherwise, here's your basic salary.
 

Bastian

Full Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2015
Messages
9,266
A good OP. Interesting that wages are higher now than ever despite a threadbare squad. All those bumper new contracts even for squad players like Jones.....
No one likes the Glazers but the main issue is Woodward etc. No long term plan no playing style vision or continuity. Added to inept negotiations and contract offers.
I think you’ll find (including in the op) that the years of “no value” set us up for a steep decline. The biggest problem is the Glazers.
 

Adisa

likes to take afvanadva wothowi doubt
Joined
Nov 28, 2014
Messages
38,126
Location
Birmingham
It's simple for me.
We have spent 1bn euros in six and a half years.
Other teams build reputable squads with half that money.
The biggest problems must lie elsewhere.
 

Adisa

likes to take afvanadva wothowi doubt
Joined
Nov 28, 2014
Messages
38,126
Location
Birmingham
One of the most overlooked aspects of Ole’s transfer dealings is that he will have got the wage bill down drastically.
We don't know this yet. Wages are automatically cut 25% without CL. The most important thing are the margins.
 

Eleven-Eighteen

Full Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2015
Messages
685
Sorry realised my mistake - what I have listed is not the operating profit it’s the profit/loss so includes money spent on interest payments. I didn’t use operating profit because I wanted to highlight that the Glazers weren’t blameless and the interest payments were hurting us also. All of these figures came from our annual reports.
Gotcha. Thanks