Rafael Benitez has spent £171,425,000 on transfers in his five years at the club, an average of £34,285,000 a season.
“When you talk about United you’re talking about a side spending big, big money on every player, every season,” said Benitez. “For me that is the main difference between the teams. You have seen that with regard to Chelsea before, spending big money. The advantage United have is that they have a big squad, in the last years they have spent money to improve that squad even more. They have spent big on top-class players, so they can make mistakes and they can change players. When we won there, they had Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Dimitar Berbatov on the bench. We cannot do something like that. We spend too much time worrying about whether Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres can play while they can play Cristiano Ronaldo, Carlos Tevez, Berbatov or Wayne Rooney – it doesn’t matter to them.”
1. United always pay over the odds
Clubs know how much money we are prepared to spend to get the best, so on pretty much every transfer we will pay over the odds. Liverpool will not be forced to pay as much for their players as United would be if they showed an interest.
2. United buy English
Sir Alex Ferguson has always made it a priority to have an English core to the team. To buy English means you will pay a hell of a lot more than you would if you were to buy players of an equal talent, but from Spain. Benitez has a Spanish core to his team, from Reina to Arbeloa to Alonso to Torres which will always be cheaper.
3. United play their youth
United have more money to spend on one off big buys, like Dimitar Berbatov or Rio Ferdinand, because so much of our squad is made up of players that cost us nothing. Looking at the eleven outfield players who have made the most appearances for this season, they carry an average cost of £12.9m each. The eleven outfield players who appeared most often for Liverpool cost an average of £7.4m.
Nemanja Vidic (£7m), Dimitar Berbatov (£30m), Cristiano Ronaldo (£12m), John O’Shea (free), Wayne Rooney (£30m), Carlos Tevez (£10m so far), Michael Carrick (£18.6m), Patrice Evra (£5.5m), Ryan Giggs (free), Rio Ferdinand (£29m) and Darren Fletcher (free)
Jamie Carrager (free), Dirk Kuyt (£9m), Yossi Benayoun (£5m), Steven Gerrard (free) Alvara Albeloa (£2.6m), Albert Riera (£8m), Ryan Babel (£11.5m), Javier Mascherano (£18.6m), Leiva Lucas (£6.75), Fabio Aurelio (free) and Fernando Torres (£20m).
Outside of these top appearing players, United have Wes Brown, Jonny Evans, Gary Neville, Darron Gibson, Paul Scholes, Federico Macheda and Danny Welbeck who cost us nothing and have played for us in the Premiership. Outside of the top appearing players, Liverpool have no players who came from the youth team costing them nothing. Spending £30m on Rio Ferdinand, for example, can be justified by spending a total of £7m on four other players who have played in his position in Premiership games when he has been missing this season (Neville, Evans, O’Shea and Vidic). Spending £18.6m on Michael Carrick, for another example, can be jusified by spending nothing on four players who have played in position in Premiership games when he has been missing this season (Scholes, Gibson, Fletcher and Giggs).
Still, we shouldn’t pay too much attention to Rafael Benitez’s ramblings, who still believes it’s hard to decide who has been the better team this season, and given that he is employed by a club that has published articles claiming they should actually have 20 league titles to their name, after United looked to equal their 18.
Let’s do it today lads!