Manchester City are now odds-on to win the 2013-2014 Premier League title. Rewind fifteen years. City are battling to make the Second Division playoffs (League 1 today). Neighbours Manchester United are on course for their famous treble, the highlight of Sir Alex Ferguson’s reign.
How times change.
Football purists often belittle City’s recent achievements and some accuse them of “buying the title”. This may be so, but did United not do this in the 1990s and 2000s? Were Liverpool not guilty of the same crime in the 70s and 80s?
Even if you buy into this theory, United fans should be concerned about their own spending patterns. While transfer data is notoriously inaccurate, a best guess estimates that moneybags City had a ‘cheaper’ team on show at Old Trafford recently. The home side's starting eleven cost £185.6 to assemble, while City’s cost £178.05. This estimation even uses nominal data. Inflation adjusted estimations would push United even higher and probably put Rio Ferdinard close to £50 million mark!