Jamie Carragher blasts ‘delusional’ Man City over ‘insulting’ claims

The pundit has voiced his opinion on City’s financial might.
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Jamie Carragher has claimed that Manchester City run the risk of “insulting” people’s intelligence by downplaying the significance of their 2008 takeover in the success that the club currently enjoys.

The defending Premier League champions have established themselves as the most formidable side in the country over the course of the last decade, and look set to be in the running for a number of trophies again this season. Their cause has been aided substantially by the summer arrival of Norwegian sensation Erling Haaland, who signed from Borussia Dortmund for just over £50 million, and has already made a seismic impact at the Etihad.

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And while there is no debate over the shrewdness of the deal that brought the 22-year-old to England, discussions over City’s general spending habits have been stoked once again in the aftermath of comments made by Jurgen Klopp last week. The Liverpool manager suggested that it was “impossible” for any team to replicate his rivals’ capabilities in the transfer market.

An abundance of subsequent column inches have been dedicated to disagreements over the extent to which City’s vast outlays are justified by their overall net spend, but Carragher has insisted that the incomprehensible scale of the wealth backing the club does mean that they are at a notable advantage - especially with regards to the longevity of their investment.

Writing in a column for the Telegraph, the Sky Sports pundit said: “City would not be what they are but for the Abu Dhabi takeover in 2008. Every die-hard City fan knows how consequential their advantage over rivals. Are we seriously expected to swallow the idea that any team in England can afford Erling Haaland’s wages?

“It sounds like a neighbour winning the lottery and filling their driveway with new Ferraris, only to claim that those cars are affordable because of the shrewd financial management of their accountants.

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“To equate what City and Paris Saint-Germain have done - and what Newcastle United intend to do - with what is possible for other clubs is an insult to everyone’s intelligence, no matter how much ‘net spend’ or salary figures are twisted. Three clubs stand apart because they are backed by sovereign wealth which means there is no prospect of their cash reserves running out.

“City will always be in running when the next Haaland is on the market. If for some reason their signing of the Norwegian did not work, they would use their resources to sign another striker next summer, continuing to invest to protect their status. Long-term, the stakes are not as high for them when compared to the majority who know if they get it wrong it may take years to rebuild.

“That is why clubs embarking on a slow and steady build - like Liverpool and Arsenal - are hailed as a more realistic and sustainable template for everyone else. Liverpool cannot afford to buy another £85 million striker next summer if the Darwin Nunez deal fails.”

The former Anfield defender added: “That is a reflection of contrasting financial models, not a criticism of what City and PSG have done, or what Newcastle might do. Ask any supporter from any club and they would prefer to be top of the Premier League, not the net spend table.

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“I have written on many occasions that money is no guarantee of success. Manchester United are proof of that since Sir Alex Ferguson retired. But it is guaranteed you will not be successful without lots of money, and the more you have the better your chances. Is that really a controversial statement?

“City use their resources brilliantly, but it is delusional to expect to be revered by everyone else. Success always brings an element of hostility. And you can’t just expect everyone else to give up the fight of stopping you winning every season.”

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