Jurgen Klopp’s Model of Low Net Spend and Vast Sustainability

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Jose Mourinho used to be a manager that would fend off constant criticism; a natural winner who achieved monumental success wherever he went not giving a damn what anyone thought.

His honours include four ‘World’s best club coach’ awards, two Champions League trophies, three Premier League titles, one FA Cup, four League Cups, three La Liga titles, three Super Cups, three Spanish Cups, two Serie A titles, one Italian Cup, a UEFA Cup, two Community Shields and one Europa League title to boot.

The titles speak for themselves and there’s never been any question as to the quality of manager Mourinho is. A man able to dance with the media like no other, even if you hated him you could only admire his genius.

Recent years have somewhat diminished that, though. First came the incident with Eva Carneiro in which Chelsea’s team doctor was called a “daughter of a whore” in Portuguese after running on to the pitch to treat an injured player. Brandishing her as “impulsive and naïve”, Carneiro took Mourinho to court before later signing a settlement deal with the club.

What’s emerged since is an increasingly egotistical manager who almost appears to doubt himself so much that he lashes out at whoever’s closest. That was wholly evident after United’s dismal performance against Brighton in which Mourinho’s usual defensive tactics failed to carve out the much sought after three points. In his post-match interview, the boss targeted his frustrations towards BeIN Sports’ reporter in a rude and petulant manner that left much to be desired.

Liverpool is his latest target.

The 55-year-old has been pretty outspoken about Klopp’s summer transfer business after the club spent approximately £176.95m, signing Naby Keita and Fabinho alongside Brazil’s No.1 Alisson and former Stoke City attacker Xherdan Shaqiri.

Brandishing Liverpool a team “trying to buy the league” in an interview alongside claims that Klopp is ‘signing everyone’, the Portuguese has made his feelings known.

When he first arrived, Klopp was keen to replicate the philosophy he utilised at Dortmund; using the squad he inherited, he would help players fulfil their potential and turn a corner in their careers. Although admirable, it was a plan that failed to come to fruition; Liverpool needed better players to challenge for silverware.

Having sustained a record-breaking run to the Champions League final while playing frenetic football in the Premier League, Klopp’s project has become an attractive spot to players in the top bracket.

Yet, when comparing the spending of both sides since Klopp’s appointment in 2015 and Mourinho’s in May 2016 respectively, there still remains a huge divide with the latter the man flashing his wallet about.

According to LFC History, Liverpool’s total spend since Klopp took overcomes in at approximately £408.1m while Sky Sports claim United’s spend is £392.55m.

Liverpool ahead in their spending. Point Mourinho.

However, it’s when you look at the outgoings that the true story is told. Since Mourinho’s arrival, United have only earned £85.3m from player sales while Klopp has stacked up an impressive £305,770,000. In terms of net spend, that correlates to £307.25m and respectively.

In other words, Phil Thompson was spot on when he said “Pot and kettle? Oh, my goodness. You always buy what you can afford and it’s net spend at the end of the day. Our net spend compared to United’s net spend is massively different.”

Key to Liverpool’s low net spend has been their ability to offset their spending by demanding a high price for peripheral players whose future has quite obviously lied away from Anfield.

See Jordon Ibe for £15million, Danny Ward for £12m, Brad Smith for £6m and Andre Wisdom for £4.5m, for example. Arguably the pick of the bunch though has been the £8m offloading of Kevin Stewart; the young midfielder was far from the required standard but his fee effectively paid for the now settled first-team left-back, Andy Robertson. Our magic man from Scotland.

In contrast, Manchester United have developed a knack for spending big on players while recuperating very little – a far less efficient and sustainable scheme. The £90m return of Paul Pogba is the proof in the pudding while all the money in the world has yet to solve United’s dearth of quality at centre-back.

Yes, Liverpool spent big this summer, including the world’s most expensive goalkeeper prior to Chelsea’s capture of Kepa, but they spent it in the right areas on the right players who were carefully selected to operate in Klopp’s system. In addition, the club’s net spend is far below their top-six rivals, illustrating the monumental job Jurgen Klopp has done since taking over at the club.

Obtaining young, versatile and high-skilled players, Liverpool are progressing on a path of sustainability – a model that appears to have put them in good stead to compete for that elusive Premier League title.

If only all that would stop Mourinho from talking about our spending…

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  1. Net spend is overrated.
    Almost half of Liverpool’s player sales in that period is from Coutinho. Would you rather have the money or the player?
    While i agree Liverpool have recently bought players that fit the manager and his playing style, is that something you can say about Manchester United since Ferguson?
    If Liverpool had bought better players before would the money earned from players sales be the same? Benteke and Sakho for example. (I don’t remember when Sterling was sold, but the same question remains, would you rather have the player or the money? Same question about Suarez)
    I’m not a fan of Man U, but they have not sold any of their biggest players since C. Ronaldo? (I must admit i’m not up to date with their recent transfers)
    They have been a bigger club in some time. If the goal is winning, then what does net spend really mean?

  2. The question isn’t whether you would have the cash or the player, Coutinho was always going to leave. What we did differently under Klopp compared to all other managers in recent history was reinvest it properly. So the question is would you rather have Coutinho or VVD + Alisson? I won’t even add more players to balance out the Countinho fee, there’s no need.

  3. Absolutely I’d rather have the money than Lil Phil. We are a better side without him and his fee has funded Keita, VVD and partially Allison. Him leaving made the team much stronger all too round for a low net spend… perfect business

  4. Can the writer tell us what references did he use for the article? Mourhinho didn’t win 3 la liga titles, 3 spanish cups and 3 spanish super cups, he only got one of each.

    One can say we followed blue print set by athletico madrid, get talented strikers and sell them for huge amount of money and reinvest wisely. I know there was 3rd party ownership, so they didn’t get all the money, but formula was there. We got first part right with suarez money, think we got both sides right with couthinho money. I think we might do it once or twice more if we get a crazy offer for salah or keita.

  5. This i an interesting topic.
    The sale of Suarez, Sterling and even Torres, did it make the team as a whole stronger?
    It’s the same as when Tottenham sold Bale and brought in a lot of players, did the sale of the star player help “evolve” the squad/team?
    As a sidenote, are you saying that Liverpool couldn’t pay for the summer spending + VVD without the sale of Coutinho?
    The sale and later reinvestment of said sale money is indeed smart business and has no doubt lead to a low net spend. What has that got Liverpool? a good team? sure, the best of which has yet to be seen.
    If you win titles does net spending mean anything? I say no, and is that not the goal in Football ? For a club of Liverpools caliber net spending should not be a focus. It should be possible to earn enough money elseware to compensate for lack of player sales (best players).


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