Ex-Manchester United defender Gary Neville has criticised the club’s owners for turning the Red Devils into a “midtable club”.
Financial Fair Play (FFP) concerns have restricted the club’s spending this summer but, considering the club’s huge turnover, Neville feels that it is mismanagement from the Glazers that is the main culprit:
“They can’t even compete on FFP anymore. Man Utd are talking like a midtable club when it comes to the transfer market. Man Utd turn over £500m, one of the highest revenue-generating clubs in the world. Chelsea, Arsenal can sign big players, Man Utd are scrambling around on FFP. I know they’ve had losses on Covid and that could be thrown as an excuse.”
Neville believes United should be outspending all of their rivals as they look to get back to the top of the Premier League table but, if you look at the numbers, things are not that straightforward.
United’s spending does not match Chelsea’s but it is quite similar to Arsenal’s
Without making excuses for the Glazers, it should be noted that the Red Devils have made “big” signings. They shelled out £72m on Rasmus Hojlund, £55m on Mason Mount and £47m on Andre Onana, with the club’s spending totalling £180m.
It certainly doesn’t match Chelsea’s £400m+ total, although it needs to be pointed out that they raised £220m in sales as well. Probably a fairer comparison is Arsenal who spent £208m across the course of the summer.
Bad decisions have been made in the transfer market
When we look at the mismanagement by the Glazers, the focus should be on how the money has been spent. United have shelled out over £400m on players over the last two summers alone.
Many have praised Erik ten Hag for the work he has done over the last year but there are big question marks over many of his signings. With the exception of Lisandro Martinez, the rest have not been unqualified successes so far. No matter who has been in charge of recruitment in the Glazers’ reign, too many poor decisions on transfers have been made.