Date:Tuesday February 17 2009
Rafa 'Fat Spanish Waiter' Benitez is at it again: his latest excuse is that he can't compete financially with Manchester United and that's why they are always lagging behind.
'Every year United collect £60 million more than us - that means they can buy three £20 million players each season,' he told the Mirror. 'Chelsea will have spent £500 million over the last five years.
'We've made a team that can compete with them but economically we're inferiors and can't afford the players they can. I have enough data to bore you with but if you look at United it wasn't just spending £31m on Dimitar Berbatov - they can spend whatever it takes for what they need every year.
'In my five years I've paid less in transfer fees than I've received, even though I bought Fernando Torres and Robbie Keane.'
This last one is of course simply a lie. His net spending is around 82 million which in theory means that he could have FOUR 20 million players in his squad at the moment - United have three in Rio Ferdinand, Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov.
As everyone knows Benitez instead decided to splash the cash on mediocre players, signing 51 of them during his five years in charge. Reina, Alonso, Torres, Mascherano, Skrtel and to a lesser extent Agger: these are his quality buys. The rest is made up mostly of duds like Pennant, Gonzalez, Morientes, Bellamy and so on. He wasted an awful lot of money on an awful lot of awful players.
But of course there's the argument that he had to overhaul a Liverpool squad which was poor because in previous years they haven't been able to compete with us financially. It's a convenient excuse but in a sense it's absolutely correct to say that Benitez's predecessors messed up Liverpool.
According to lfchistory.net Liverpool have spent £388.2M since Sir Alex Ferguson took over the reins at Manchester United. Their income from player sales stood at £184.4M before the sale of Robbie Keane.
Now look at United's spending. Since November 1986 Sir Alex has spent around £410M (fee paid for Tosic and Ljajic also included, even though they've contributed nothing to our successes yet) while receiving around £180M from sales. The figures are calculated based on the data of red11.org and soccerlens.com.
Of course this 410M figure is only an approximate one; we may never be sure how much we actually paid for Carrick, Rooney or Anderson, not to mention the absolutely murky deal of Carlos Tevez. But on the grand scale, give or take ten million and it won't make too big a difference.
So, United spent roughly £20M more than our lovely rivals from down the East Lancs Road in the past 23 years. In this time Liverpool won two league titles; United won 10. If we conclude that yes, poor little Liverpool needed £388M to win two league titles then we also have to conclude that the £20M difference between the spending of the two clubs is responsible for the difference between the number of league titles won by each club.
So, United needed only 20M to win eight Premier League titles. There you are Rafa: the purchase of Robbie Keane should have set Liverpool up to dominate English football again.
Date:Tuesday February 17 2009
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