MANCHESTER, ENGLAND // Sir Alex Ferguson has accused some of Manchester United's rivals of going on a "kamikaze" spending spree. Ferguson did not mention any club by name. However, given cross-town rivals Manchester City unveiled their latest big-money capture, Mario Balotelli, barely an hour before the United manager spoke, and confirmed James Milner is on the verge of completing his switch from Aston Villa, it was fairly easy to come up with a suggestion.
By the time they sign Milner, City will have spent around £125million (Dh725m) this summer, way in excess of any other Premier League club. City have done much to fuel a situation where Ferguson insists there is no value in the transfer market. United's critics argue that is a convenient foil for the financial restraints that exist due to huge debts incurred by the Glazer family. Yet, flanked by his own close-season purchases - Javier Hernandez, Chris Smalling and Bebe - Ferguson outlined his own view of transfer inflation that he does not believe will come to an end for a good while yet.
"Over the last two or three years we have seen wealthy owners become part of clubs and therefore go on this kamikaze effort to spend their money," he said. "It is amazing the amounts of money that are being bandied about. Some people may think it could be dangerous. But if they have that kind of money, they are certainly using it. "I don't see it abating. It will be here for two or three years, until such time as they understand you can't necessarily achieve all the time by spending."
Although United failed to capture two of Germany's rising stars, Sami Khedira and Mesut Ozil, who have both agreed moves to Real Madrid, Ferguson views investment in younger players as being of far more benefit to the clubs, as they are cheaper and they can build an affinity and loyalty to their surroundings. "Young players develop if you are looking after them properly," said Ferguson."They do have a loyalty because they appreciate the education you give them.
"The foundations of this club were built on young people, going back to the 1950s. It has not really left. Maybe the difference is that other clubs don't have the consistency in manager and staff that Manchester United have." Not that Ferguson is ruling out the possibility of ever signing more experienced players. "There will be a time when we have to buy a more mature player," Ferguson said. "At the moment, this is a young players club."
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