Managers are primarily judged on their ability to win silverware, especially at the elite level of football. They have significantly less means to impress the masses in comparison to players, who are assessed on not only their trophy cabinet, but other criteria such as their goal output, pass accuracy, successful tackles percentage or saves per shots ratio.
As per usual in the modern game, money is a significant factor in the workings of a manager. Some prefer to invest in youth development, while others chase ready-made superstars in a bid to secure immediate results. Either approach is viable, but more and more are gearing their transfer policy towards the latter as the cut-throat business of top-flight management becomes increasingly ruthless.
Of course, some clubs possess more extensive financial resources than others, which ultimately determines the amount of transfer funds made available to a manager. With each passing season, the likes of Real Madrid, Chelsea, PSG, Manchester City and Manchester United all stake their claim as the biggest spender in world football.
Most supporters would be able to have a fairly accurate idea of which clubs fork out the most cash on player transfers. However, given the constant chopping and changing of managers between these clubs and others at the top of the game, would you feel confident trying to name the highest spending managers?
Here are the top 20 bosses who’ve shelled out the most dosh on player transfers between the 2005-06 and 2015-16 seasons.
20 Juande Ramos – €278.69m
19 Rudi Garcia – €300.85m
18 Luis Enrique – €313.06m
17 Diego Simeone – €317.83m
16 Luciano Spalletti – €327.48m
15 Claudio Ranieri – €338.75m
14 Andre Villas-Boas – €357.38m
13 Laurent Blanc – €358.70m
12 Massimiliano Allegri – €374.71m
11 Sir Alex Ferguson – €398.2m
10 Louis van Gaal – €403.22m
9 Mark Hughes – €408.28m
8 Brendan Rodgers – €411.58m
7 Arsene Wenger – €472.07m
6 Rafael Benitez – €526.64m
5 Pep Guardiola – €542.1m
4 Roberto Mancini – €583.59m
3 Carlo Ancelotti – €797.05m
2 Manuel Pellegrini – €860.23m
1 Jose Mourinho – €891.08m
A manager who’s so often dismissed as incapable of success without having vast amounts of money at his disposal, Jose Mourinho is a solid €30m clear of his nearest rival in terms of transfer expenditure over the past decade. The Portuguese has landed at least one marquee signing at each of his clubs: Andriy Shevchenko and Diego Costa at Chelsea, Diego Milito and Samuel Eto’o at Inter Milan, and Angel Di Maria and Luka Modric at Real Madrid.
It would be unfair to write off his list of accolades as a product of a sugar daddy relationship with his various superiors. Mourinho has developed a distinct ideology that requires particular players, and usually expensive ones, to operate with maximum efficiency. The simple fact is the best players in the world are worth fortune in modern football and they often end up working under the best managers around.
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