Malcolm Glazer's legacy at Manchester United is one of restriction. The club's net spend, before David Moyes spent £64.1 million on Marouane Fellaini and Juan Mata, was lower than Stoke City and Aston Villa's over the last five years.
Since Malcolm Glazer and family's leveraged takeover in 2005, over £680m has gone towards interest fees, bank charges and debt repayment, while Sir Alex Ferguson and Moyes have invested £382.9m on players. Ben Foster, at £1m, was the first signing under the Glazer regime.
United have been outspent by Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham over the last nine years. Ferguson broke the British transfer record five times to bring Gary Pallister, Roy Keane, Andy Cole, Juan Sebastián Verón and Rio Ferdinand to Old Trafford, yet during the eight years he worked with the "brilliant owners" the biggest fee he paid was the £30.75m for Dimitar Berbatov.
Suddenly, Ferguson said there was "no value in the market" and lamented the "kamikaze spending" by other clubs. The summer United sold Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid for a world-record £80m and Carlos Tévez's loan ended Ferguson brought in Michael Owen, Antonio Valencia and Gabriel Obertan.
The Scot also developed a phobia of signing midfielders. Owen Hargreaves was the last to arrive in 2007 before Fellaini joined last year but, fortunately for United, Ferguson was a wizard at managing and United overcame Chelsea in 2011 and Manchester City in 2013 to record two additional championships.