On February 26, 2023, Man Utd won their first title under coach Erik ten Hag, the English League Cup, after six years, and some of their former players started talking about the `quadruple`.

At the press conference the next day, when asked if Man Utd was back, Guardiola said with a mysterious smile: `Yes, if they spend a little more money. Because they haven’t spent any money in a while, right?

Man City players celebrate the Champions League championship on June 11, 2023 at Ataturk Stadium, Istanbul, Turkey.

During the seven years Guardiola worked at Man City, this team was repeatedly labeled `using money to buy titles`.

Man City’s spending on player transfers has tended to decrease since Guardiola’s third season.

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Over the past seven years, Man City has spent the fourth most on transfers in Europe, behind Chelsea, Barca and Juventus, while Man Utd is fifth.

Another indicator that evaluates a team’s operating efficiency is net transfer spending, which is the money spent on buying players minus the revenue from selling players.

Among the top 10 European clubs according to the UEFA index after the 2022-2023 season, only Real Madrid has a profit from player transfers, with 17 million USD.

According to net spending, Man City spends the third most money in Europe after Man Utd and Chelsea.

Simon Jordan is the former owner of Crystal Palace Club in the Premier League, and he values efficiency, more than pure revenue and profit numbers.

Jordan has a point, but Man City’s treble in the 2022-2023 season may change his opinion.

If considering the ratio of net transfer spending per team title won, Man City only ranks sixth among the top 10 European clubs.

The chart above shows how ineffective Man Utd and Chelsea are, when the `Red Devils` cost 195 million USD for a title, including no Premier League or Champions League.

Real operates most effectively among the Top 10 European clubs.

On average, a top 10 European club spends 43 million USD in net transfer spending for a title, which means Man City is approximately this amount.