18 July 2024

Jurgen Klopp v Pep Guardiola: How head-to-head record has developed |  Football News | Sky Sports

Liverpool is aware of the $1 billion truth. Man City’s transfer gap is evident thanks to Jürgen Klopp’s talent.
Since the triple was won, there have been attempts to downplay Man City’s financial sway, but Liverpool and Jürgen Klopp are aware of the inescapable truth.

Since Manchester City eventually claimed the Champions League in Istanbul, completing the triple, there has been an odd occurrence. There seems to have been a shift away from asking the major questions about the competitive state of the game, even though it would seem like a more crucial time than ever to do so.

The lengthy final broadcast on BT Sport without any critical examination of how Manchester City got there wasn’t just noted by Liverpool fans. But the broadcaster is not alone; given the unsettling outcomes of pulling at that thread, there seems to be a general reluctance to acknowledge that the game has evolved into such a fundamentally unequal playing field.

Jürgen Klopp vs Pep Guardiola - The Liverpool Offside

Money alone does not win matches, and there is space in which to acknowledge Manchester City’s footballing achievement. Pep Guardiola is truly one of the greatest coaches of all time, and he has helped turn a group of highly talented individuals into an almost unbeatable unit over the past few years — with Jürgen Klopp and Liverpool the only reason the ‘almost’ can be included.

But to remove the money from the discourse altogether is an oversight at best, and disingenuous at worst.

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Football can often be short-sighted, and 2008 seems like ancient history — a lot of the transfer comparisons shown across social media focus on the more immediate past, with Manchester City’s spending looking relatively in line with rivals over a window of five years or so. It even turned a net profit last summer, while Liverpool had a net spend of around $62m (£49m/€57m).

Yet it would be madness not to look back further. Consider the players sold last year: Raheem Sterling was signed for big money way back in 2015, a summer when Manchester City racked up a net spend of more than $151m (£120m/€140m). Gabriel Jesus was a slightly more recent addition, but his 2016 arrival still falls outside a lot of the typical reference periods for assessing the spending of Guardiola’s side.

That creates the false impression of pure profit being made on Manchester City’s recent sales. But really, being able to sell for big money is the almost inevitable consequence of keeping the squad topped up with expensive players over a sustained period.

In data taken from Transfermarkt and compiled by Statista, Manchester City is credited with a net spend of $1.57bn (£1.24bn/€1.45bn) since 2008. By contrast, Liverpool has a net spend of $541m (£430m/€501m). There is a gap of more than $1bn. Even taking it season by season over a 15-year period, that’s still a difference of $66m (£52m/€61m) every single campaign.


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