In the 1994/95 Premier League, nee Premiership season, Blackburn Rovers under Kenny Dalglish, with Jack Walker’s money made record signings as they lifted the title in only its third season. Tim Flowers fee was a record for an English goalkeeper, Graeme Le Saux the same in defence. And up front was £5,000,000 English transfer record signing Chris Sutton, partnered by Alan Shearer.
A decade later, Chelsea won their first Premier League title. This came during Roman Abramovich’s second season as the Blues owner. An over-proportional transfer budget left Chelsea as many people’s favourites. Over £100,000,000 was spent during his first year in charge, in which Claudio Ranieri was in charge. Failing to win the Premier League that season lead to his sacking and the arrival of Jose Mourinho. Another £90,000,000 later and the Special One delivered the goods during his first season in charge at Stamford Bridge. More than £50,000,000 spent the following season would ensure Chelsea defended their title before Mourinho departed.
In between Blackburn Rovers and Chelsea’s successes, Sir Alex Ferguson has spent a fare few million at Manchester United, creating the most successful side of the past two decades in English football. Across the city from Old Trafford lies the newly built City of Manchester Stadium, host of their rivals who are looking to become only the fifth Champions of the English Premier League since its establishment in 1992.
Since being taken over by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan two years ago, Manchester City have spent over £300,000,000 on players. From British record signing, Robinho, to fringe players like Craig Bellamy and Jo, to recent summer arrivals, Jerome Boateng, Yaya Toure and David Silva. Their plans to increase the line between the rich and the poor has succeeded. Their plans to win the Premier League are in development.
Where Blackburn Rovers, Manchester United and Chelsea have successfully spent and won the Premier League title, Manchester City do not want to join the likes of Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle who have spent high figures but not succeeded. The fine line between success and failure is finishing 1st and 2nd for Manchester City. Roberto Mancini may not be expected to win the league title this season, but you can expect him to be out of the door if he does not bring it in two.
Recent reports have linked Manchester City to James Milner and Mario Balotelli. It seems Manchester City are capable of bringing almost any player to the club (with the exceptions of Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo so far). Even Fernando Torres has been linked. Completing the signing of the World Cup winner this summer would make Manchester City a serious contender this season.
Manchester City are currently 5/1 to win the Premier League; the same price as you can get on Roberto Mancini being the next Premier League manager to leave his post.