Manchester United has suffered the most transfer losses in Europe in the last ten years, with only one Premier League title to show for it (won by Sir Alex Ferguson).
Manchester United’s fans, who have had to endure mediocrity in the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era, would be unsurprised to learn that they have accumulated the most transfer losses in Europe over the last decade.
United’s failures in the transfer market have cost them a lot of money – around £1 billion – revealing their lack of a consistent and successful recruitment strategy.
United amassed losses of about £900 million under the leadership of former executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, who stepped down on February 1. United spent £1.3 billion on signings but only recouped £400 million via player sales.
United are no closer to capturing their first Premier League trophy since Ferguson’s sparkling reign ended in 2013, despite having the biggest net spending in world football over the past decade.
United has finished 21.75 points behind the champions on average in the eight seasons after Ferguson’s retirement, irrefutable proof of the club’s drift and demise.
CIES Football Observatory, a Swiss-based independent research company, presented the numbers that expose United’s transfer market stupidity over the last decade.
The acquisition of Paul Pogba from Juventus for a club-record cost of £89.5 million in 2016 epitomized United’s failure in the transfer market during that time.
Pogba has failed to justify his value on the field, but United are likely to lose money on the France midfielder, who has been allowed to run down his contract and might go for nothing this summer.
Ander Herrera was another United player who was permitted to leave on his own terms. Herrera, who joined United for £30 million from Athletic Bilbao in 2014, ran down his contract and joined Paris Saint-Germain in 2019, with United receiving nothing in return.
Jesse Lingard, whose market value is roughly £25 million, will also be allowed to leave for free this summer; he is another player who has been allowed to run down his contract, assuring United will lose money when he leaves.
Anthony Martial, who cost £36 million in 2015, and Donny van de Beek, who cost £40 million in 2020, were both expensive signings who failed to make an impression at United and are presently on loan at Sevilla and Everton, respectively.
Manchester City spent £1.43 billion on players, but that was offset by £600 million in sales, including the sale of Ferran Torres to Barcelona for £60 million – three times what they paid for him.
While United has only won one league title in the last ten years, City has won five, PSG has won seven, and Barcelona has won five.
United’s last trophy came in 2017, when Jose Mourinho led the club to victory in the Europa League, and the club is now facing their worst trophy drought in nearly 50 years.
And with United currently 19 points behind City in the Premier League and the Champions League as their only remaining chance of winning anything this season, the wait is set to continue, and will almost certainly continue until they can improve their abysmal recruitment and sales strategy in the transfer market.