Analyzing Manchester City's Transfer Spend in the Sheik Mansour Era

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Analyzing Manchester City's Transfer Spend in the Sheik Mansour Era

Manchester City announced their second signing of the summer on Thursday, confirming the arrival of Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho from Shakhtar Donetsk.

City's official release did not touch on the fee, but BBC Sport report it to be, "around £30 million," for the 28-year-old.

Fernandinho joins winger Jesus Navas at City, who arrived for a reported £17 million just a few days before. The 27-year-old swapped Sevilla in Spain for Manchester.

Navas and Fernandinho are unlikely to be the end of the summer spending for City, who have dipped heavily into the market since Sheik Mansour became their majority owner in 2008 (Mansour took 100 percent of the club a year later). Here are some graphics to illustrate City's investment under Mansour rule.

 

The above chart illustrates the incoming players during Mansour's ownership at City—with the size of font dictated by the fee paid (amounts courtesy of Tranfermarkt). Free transfers are not included.

If we look purely at weight of numbers and the nationalities of the signings, here's how City's incoming activity looks since Mansour took his controlling stake in September 2008.

Breaking things down to pure finances, here's season-by-season spend during Mansour's reign in Manchester. Again, we start with the January buys from the 2008-09 season, as Mansour's control began in September 2008, after the summer window had shut.

As mentioned before, there is likely more spending to come for the 2013-14 season.

Next, let's try and establish a value-for-money principle, looking at City's biggest signings since Mansour took over and calculating their cost per starting appearance in the Premier League last season. For obvious reasons we won't include Fernandinho or Navas here, with both yet to play a game.

Mansour's outlay hasn't just been on transfers. By December 2011, the Press Association were reporting he'd already spent £1 billion in his attempt to turn the club into a global superpower. Just last month it was announced City will own MLS franchise New York City FC, at an initial cost of around $100 million, as per the Guardian.

On a Bleacher Report visit to City's Etihad stadium this year I was shown expansive development plans to build a new academy on the site—a facility that will be the envy of the football world when it comes to fruition.

Mansour's ambition, like his oil money, is endless. And while City are very much aware of UEFA's financial fairplay rules they are happy enough with their business model to believe they can keep being aggressive in the transfer market.

"Our revenues will increase and we are not worried about FFP at all," said chief executive Ferran Soriano in May, as per Fox Sports.

FourFourTwo magazine ranked Mansour no. 1 on their 2012-13 football rich list, estimating a net worth of £20 billion. You can bet your life a little more of that will go on big-name signings before this summer is out.

All infographics produced using Info.gr.am

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