What Happens With The Money From These Massive Transfers?

Posted: August 11, 2017 in Arsenal, Chelsea, European Football, Football, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, Transfers
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Cristiano Ronaldo went to Real Madrid from Manchester United for a world record transfer fee. He was followed, not too long afterwards, by Gareth Bale from Tottenham Hotspur also for a world record transfer fee.

What did the two clubs do with all this money? Well, one wasted it and the other doesn’t know where it is! As yet, nobody has spent it wisely.

Who, for example, is in the current Manchester United team and was bought with the Ronaldo money? Who is in the current Tottenham team and was bought with the Bale money?

United also faced the problem of replacing Carlos Tevez at the same time as Ronaldo left so who did they get?

They got Michael Owen on a free transfer, Antonio Valencia and Gabriel Obertan. Of the three, only Valencia is still playing at United and he cost around £17 million. So what happened to the rest of the money? That is not a question which can be answered here but David Conn of The Guardian wrote an excellent article on the subject back in 2009. It’s here for those interested.

Spurs fared better at spending the Bale money, in fact they spent more than they received, but they fared little better at buying good, long-term players. In a couple of months of absolutely uncharacteristic madness, Dastardly Dan allowed André Vilas-Boas to behave like Viv Nicholson on Speed and spend around £107.6 million bringing in seven new players.

Of these players only two are still at the club and only one is a first team regular. Christian Eriksen turned out to be, by far, the best buy from the Bale money and he only cost £11.5 million.

The other, Eric Lamela, who was bought for £30 million, has the potential to be a great player, he just needs to spend less time on the treatment table and needs to be much more consistent.

If you wish to see all the players Spurs bought with the money from the Bale sale and what happened to them then read here.

So here were two different approaches as to how to spend, or not, around £80 million or more in received transfer fees.

One club spent virtually nothing but the money still disappeared while another blew the lot! But what is the best thing to do?

Tottenham certainly had the right idea in buying as many good players with the money as possible. They just crammed it all into a very short period of time instead of waiting for players to become available or scouting more options. Spending the money over two or three transfer windows would have made more sense.

With £80 million in the bank it is not unreasonable to expect to buy maybe three players, with potential, for around £20 million each, then get another four for £5 million each just to see how good your scouts really are.

That way, if one or two of the signings don’t work out, then it hasn’t cost a fortune. A case in point was Dele Alli. He cost an initial fee of £5 million and has turned out to better than every one of the Vilas-Boas signings with the possible exception of Eriksen. He was a product of good scouting and smart negotiation and is now worth anything up to £80 million himself!

Barcelona now have around €222 million burning a hole in their pocket and are looking to immediately spend up to €100 million on Philippe Coutinho of Liverpool. Why?

Yes, he is a great player, but there are many out there who wouldn’t cost anything like as much. Barcelona hardly need a “big name” as they still have Messi and Suarez and will still challenge for the top honours irrespective of whether Coutinho is in the team or not.

Again, they could get four players with great potential for €25 million each, why blow almost half of their windfall on one player?

We suppose the answer to that one is “because they can.”

In concluding it is fair to say that different clubs will react in different ways to the sudden influx of a large amount of cash and if and how they spend it is one of the things which keeps us checking out the transfer rumours every day.


  1. RedMe says:

    The money paid for the interest of the debts the Glazers took on the club whatever they want to say that is my opinion.


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