The reality is that we are operating with massive financial restrictions. In my opinion we have never operated at the Best end of the market even at the peak of United’s transfer spending power we invested wisely in Talent that was on the cusp developmentally and need the rough edges knocking off.
United were never able to entice a Zidane, Ronaldinho or maybe we chose not to, what we did was buy Rio from Leeds after his performance in WC 2002 and paid a premium to a perceived rival for a talent that was very much unfinished. Ronnie came in 2003 after a great performance in the friendly against us and at the Toulon U20 cup, Rooney after Euro 2004. Hazard for me represents the peak in terms of European talent and maybe previously we could have got him, unfortunately our rivals have learned from us commercially and exploited there global potential and increased there revenue and spending ability (Bayern, Madrid) or they have benefited from investors with deep pockets who distort the market. United’s business model is run on profit maximisation at minimal cost, whilst servicing a growing amount of debt. The profits we make are in the main filtered out of the club to service debt or taken by the Glazers as dividend and not reinvested. Until the glorious day when the Glazer family decide to extricate themselves and United from the financial hand cuffs we operate with by selling the club Fergie will do most of his transfer business in the talent bargain bin section of the transfer market.