When Manchester City lifted the Premier League trophy in truly dramatic fashion on 13th May, people and pundits alike declared this as the moment for City, the moment for them to kick on and truly dominate English and European football. Since they were first bought by Sheikh Mansour the moment when they won the league was described as the point where they could attract the best available players. In this transfer window, Zlatan Ibrahimovich and Thiago Silva have been sold to Paris Saint-Germain. What I am asking in a nutshell is, why? Firstle, why would both of these world superstars trade AC Milan for PSG? Considering the stature of the leagues, the chances of winning trophies and the quality of the team-mates; the only thing PSG can offer that Milan can't is wages. Hold on, Man City are supposed to be able to afford the kind of wages these two players must be on; there can be no doubt that Man City are a much more attractive option than PSG, so did Man City not offer the same amount of money?
Roberto Mancini was reportedly furious at Man City losing out on Thiago Silva, a player regarded by many pundits (the most recent I've heard Andy Brassell) as the best defender in the world. So no doubt he made him a target, and the money could not be summoned. The transfer of Robin van Persie remains to be seen, but reports are that City are losing ground on this transfer as well. This seems mysterious; surely this was the time when they could attract these kind of players? Are the owners not putting up the cash? Is it a worry about Financial Fair Play?
Money spent this
time that year
Money spent per
As the table here shows, Manchester Citys spending has dropped each season since their mammoth splash out. They are also beginning to spend more money on each player, which suggests that they are now buying fewer player, but better players. This indicates a gradual improvement of the squad and not revamping it every season. The table also shows that usually they have acted fast in the transfer window, buying players early on and not leaving their transfers until late. With regards to the 2011/12 seasons spending, it cannot be forgotten that Aguero was signed a few days later for £38,000,000. While it may be that they are just trying to improve their squad, surely the aquisitions of Thiago Silva, Ibrahimovich and van Persie fit perfectly into that. No real City fan can deny that they need improving, off the top of my head I can highlight right-back, centre-back and central midfield as areas that could use improvement. They did only win the Premiership on goal difference after all!
If we compare City to a team that are also building on recent success, we can also see strange figures. Chelsea achieved the dream of Roman Abramovich by winning the Champions League and are now creating the club Roman wants to own. They have spent £65,000,000 since the transfer window opened (negotiations for Hulk remain ongoing), while Man City have failed to make a single signing. All of these figures all point to a dramatic drop in spending by City, at a time where they should be spending more. You may point to FFP, but Chelsea and PSG seem to be ignoring it; it seems that hardly anybody seem to really know how or when it will work.
Questions to ask
But the question must be asked again, why have City not bought anyone? Its not like no one is available, and its not like its what should be expected of them. It is also true that Mancini has shown ambition is pursuing Thiago Silva but the club could not put up the money. They can't be running out of money?! Are they simply happy at being the top team in England? I certainly hope that they are eyeing Barcelona and Madrid, and not sitting comfortably where they currently are.