Man City FFP ‘cheating’ among three reasons why net spend is irrelevant

Editor F365
Champions League draw
Mikel Arteta and Pep Guardiola.

Man City boss Pep Guardiola is right about having a lower net spend than Arsenal but does that really mean anything?

Read on for Man City, but also Man Utd and a guide to supporting Spurs. Watch the game and then mail


Why Man City net spend argument is flawed
The subject of Man City’s ‘cheating’ is understandably rife at the moment, and I can see Pep has been asked about their spending and has taken the line, as most City fans do, of pointing at the greater recent spending of, in particular, Man Utd, Chelsea and Arsenal.

Now as an Arsenal fan it’s rough to be lumped in with those two clubs when it comes to spending because a) whilst I’m not denying Arsenal have a high transfer spend in the last 4 years it’s nowhere near what those two have spent and b) Arsenal have spent very well and wisely, especially when compared to Chelsea and Man U.

However, a glaring point that most people wilfully ignore when trying to point score on spend and net spend is they only look at base transfer fees. A lot of the top clubs can spend £100-200m per season in transfer fees, but the wage bills of these clubs generally match this yearly outlay, so to ignore wage bill when trying to put down rivals spending is missing 50% of the budget/cost.

When you add in wages a team like Arsenal were until recently spending £100m LESS per season than the likes of City and Man U, and also significantly less than Chelsea and Liverpool. So if Arsenal spend £100m more on transfer fees in a season they are just breaking even against the spending of the other big clubs.

It’s one of the reasons Spurs can spend £250m in the summer (which has been kept very quiet by the media), they have a very low wage bill in comparison to the other big 6 teams. Of course there are many other expenditures clubs outlay, perhaps we can assume that those sorts of things (equipment, facilities, maintenance, match day costs) will be relatively similar irrespective of what the total outlay is, so the two main defining factors – likely overwhelmingly so – for a club’s expenditure is transfer fees and wages.

It’s also worth noting to Pep and the City apologists that since 2008 City have spent nearly double Arsenal’s transfer fee spend and goodness knows how much more on the wages in those years. And that is if we even believe the accounts that City submit conveying these figures and there are 115 reasons to maybe believe that these have not been reported accurately.

So yes Pep has had a decent net spend in recent years, mainly due to a) potential dodgy accounting b) an extraordinary wage bill and c) that a very well established team was already there that hasn’t needed major surgery like Arsenal’s. When City stocked their team some time ago transfer fees were a lot lower compared to now. So Arsenal trying to buy a world class striker now will need to spend £100m but the going rate 10-15 years ago was half that.
Rich. AFC

📣TO THE COMMENTS! Does Man City ‘cheating’ make their success irrelevant? Join the debate here


Man City success is mundane, not special
Special: better greater or different to what is usual.

Is Man City winning the title special?

Mundane: lacking interest or excitement, dull.

What Pep should have said if he was being honest…

“We’re really trying to achieve something mundane here.”

Not as exciting as we’re trying to do something special.

But then again no one ever said the truth had to be exciting.

The truth has a different sound however, like the hull of a boat vs a sail flapping in the wind.
Dave LFC


Man City are given an easy ride
Of course Arsenal should be crowned Champions.

Man City are being treated with kid gloves by the FA and most others.

No other team puts as much pressure on the officials in a game if it doesn’t suit them. No one seeks as many free kicks or penalties in the box unfairly as them. This is accompanied by an attitude of arrogance and this includes Guardiola.
Dennis Schultz


​But Pep is a genius
Pep’s press conference seems to be doing the rounds on social media this morning. People are taking issue with his claim that City’s success is not all down to the money.

He is absolutely right. While the money isn’t exactly a hindrance, does anyone seriously think Pelligrini or Mancini would have won the treble or won the league three (probably four) years in row if they had stayed on?

Pep Guardiola is a literal genius. He also seems like a monumental dickhead (check him out giving slavish quotes about the leader of the UAE that look like propaganda straight out of a dictatorship and then wearing a Nina Simone T-shirt to press conferences) but he is the best coach in the world by a distance.
Eamonn, Dublin

👉 Man City pick £129m De Bruyne ‘replacement’ as ‘very unhappy’ team-mate ‘considers’ departure
👉 Man City sixth in Premier League five-year net spend table behind Newcastle


A helpful guide to supporting Spurs (for Arsenal fans)
Feeling trepidation (and a little bit grubby) about supporting your rivals tonight? Here is a helpful guide to help you make the most of the experience:

– Embrace the concession of goals. You know that warm, cosy feeling of having the league’s best defence and a rock-solid defensive shape? Yeah, leave that at the door.

– We WILL concede the first goal. Don’t be surprised or disheartened – it’s just who we are, mate.

– Our manager may not leave his technical area, nor gesticulate furiously, for the entire game. Don’t worry! It doesn’t mean he’s lost interest or doesn’t care.

– We don’t have anyone who cost as much as Declan Rice, or Kai Havertz… or even Ben White! So if we misplace a pass or fluff a presentable chance, don’t be concerned that we’re ‘throwing the game’ – our players are just not quite as good as yours.

– Corners are NOT OK. Fear facing one, and fear a counter-attack when we have one.

– Expect injuries. Arsenal’s physios are some of the best in the league, enabling players who appeared to suffer a game-ending injury to be up & running around in minutes. Tonight, you’re more likely to see one of our players develop a ‘little niggle’ then suddenly be out till November.

– Having ‘something to play for’ may not improve our chances of actually playing well. In fact, we usually do much better when we have nothing at all to play for… so maybe you should have been cheering on Villa last night after all 😉

Enjoy the game, and COYS!
Jeremy (both looking forward to and not looking forward to tonight), Oxford


Quicker than a Raya light
I don’t think Will Ford can get through an article without shoehorning Arsenal or Raya into it in some ridiculous way. I find him to be a peculiar writer. Will, Aston Villa just pretty much secured CHAMPIONS LEAGUE football.

A big Aston Villa comeback to get them on the verge of top four, a massive transformation by Emery from where they took over, and Ford chooses to ramble about Arsenal and Raya again. I like Emi, I wish we had kept him too, but he didn’t want to stay unless guaranteed first choice, and he had only played half a season for us. We still had Leno and we were offered 20 million. What would you have done?!

But back to Raya…his low save percentage I will reserve judgement on until next season but we’ve conceded 28 goals all season, five less than City, so clearly Raya is playing his part.

READ: Who is the best goalkeeper in the Premier League?

As you point out, he has indeed made us better via his feet, much much better in my opinion. Raya with the Golden Glove, and with one of the highest cross claims in the league. The one who Arteta says “prevents things we don’t see”. You can’t measure that of course, but Arteta is no mug, it was he who moved Ben White to right back… and last season after one game Vs Palace away (where we kept a clean sheet) Mr. Will Ford trashed Ben White – yes the one who’s gone on to be arguably the best all-round right back in the league.

Maybe don’t judge quite so early? I think Raya in his first season at a big club, replacing a well liked (but not quite good enough Ramsdale) has been very good at most things, and like most of this Arsenal team has, Raya too, will improve.

Is Will Ford F365s version of Adrian Durham and talksport? Just shouts from the rooftops to get clicks? I presume Durham is still there, if not, that’s where Ford should go.

Well done Villa, good team who play the kind of football I enjoy watching. I always liked Emery, who was on a hiding to nothing with the shambles he inherited at Arsenal, and just not the right fit.

I’m happy with second (it’s the real first place if you ignore the cheats). Next year we’ll get the real, real first place, with Raya in goal, just to irk Mr. Ford a little more.
Strevs, Afc, Canada (We all move up one place)


Why Man Utd should sack Ten Hag…
As we (finally) reach the end of a pretty spectacularly bad season as a Manchester United fan, it’s time for the ‘should he stay or should he go’ discussion that inevitably comes from such disappointment. Personally, I think it’s actually simple, when you reduce it down.

He should stay if the powers that be can see evidence both on the pitch and perhaps more so behind the scenes that this team is finally moving forward.

For me that includes removing the bad influences in the dressing room, addressing the wage issues where possible, creating pathways for youth and creating a blueprint for a successful team. While it’s not clear on some loans, if we assume those players leave he will have overseen 23 players from the first team leave in two seasons. I don’t think any major squad has seen a culling of that sort.

And despite the money, he’s actually only brought in a small number of permanent signings, and been forced to do emergency loans. Neither of those things are his job, nor his fault. Every coach should get an Antony, a Pepe etc. I think the squad is in much better shape now for the future than before he got here.

And the injuries are debilitating, no matter what statistics someone produces. United have only had a left-back available in 20% of matches this season. The first choice back 4 has played twice. The first choice midfield (I assume Mainoo, Casemiro, Mount) has played twice. The entire season has been played with a single, young centre forward, with no others on the bench.

The squad is threadbare, and critics basically only have the fabled Wolves game as an example of the first XI, and even then Martinez, Hojland etc were clearly not fit. I have no idea what a fit first XI for ETH plays like, because we haven’t seen it this entire season.


If squad building was his job, we should have stuck with Ralf. ETH’s job is to create the system, coach the players and develop their ability. As hard as I try to want to see it, I do not. The front 4 does not link up well, or look like they understand how to create chances. Bruno creates, but not for Hojland. Rashford and Garnacho are fast and direct, but both are selfish and terrible finishers (this season). A front 3 of Rashford, Hojland and Garnacho is built for chaos and counter-attacking, not the control we crave. It is not better coached than under Ole.

And then there’s the defense. As above, destroyed by injuries, but look at the actual performances. There is no cohesion, no consistent line, clear responsibilities and so forth. Maybe some of these players can’t be coached (looking at you AWB) but some can, and seeing Maguire and Evans utterly incapable of holding a line is clearly not down to them, they’ve both done it their whole careers. The back four is not coached well.

Finally there’s the donut formation. Who needs a midfield, let’s let big Scott have a free, pass-free, defending-free role to create…something? Let’s leave Casemiro alone to defend at least 2 often 3 attackers. The midfield is being coached out of existence.

So the TL:DR is ETH has done good things, but he’s failing at his actual job. Therefore, he should go.
Ryan, Bermuda (unless it’s Southgate, then sign up ETH for life)

Why oh why don’t Man Utd fans want ‘collegiate’ king of ‘husbandry’ Gareth Southgate?


An open letter to Jim Ratcliffe
I am a Malaysian of 73 years of age and am an ardent supporter of Manchester United from 1966….when I finished schooling.

Have followed the ups and downs of the team….

My favourite player of yesteryears was George Best…followed by the Charlton Brothers….then EricCantona….then Ryan Giggs…Paul Scholes….Wayne Rooney…Marcus Rashford…..and a few others…..

The current state of affairs is so deplorable that it is hard to digest what is happening….

Eric Ten Hag is so immature in planning and to execute the game plan….

Be reasonable and consider this… come a player who was so fantastic and scoring goals,,,,last season…suddenly become a wash out in the current season…did anybody dissect the REAL PROBLEM…….

I believe EricTen Hag came with an agenda to dismantle and destroy the team to help out the bookies…serious allegation

Bringing in players who do not know how to fit themselves in the most progressive team, in the English Premier League and the world…..

THE BIGGEST JOKE OF THE 2023-2024 SEASON…..IS ANDRE ONANA…ONE very, very stupid player…goalkeeper.

To be crude….I believe even Malaysia wont employ such an idiot of a goalkeeper….A REAL CRAPPY JOKE OF AN IDIOT……
Even in worst teams around the world….never seen such a total waste and wash-out….


Just sack Andre Onana and EricTen Hag……the team will do well…

One more player to mention…..Rasmus Holjund…..he is very very slow in capitalising at the front…..extremely very slow….

These players do not know the pressure….REAL PRESSURE…of playing in a very high level of progressive football such as in the English Premier League….even bottom-of-the-table teams play with a high level of commitment…

Mr.Editor, kindly please forward this epistle to the management team of MU….God willing….some sense shall and will prevail for the next season…and the glory days of MU be heard resounding around the world…

Thank you, Mr.Editor
God bless you.
Paramjothy Sabaretnam

(Would have forwarded the epistle but then you said Mr Editor – Ms Editor)