The Premier League this season has added a new rule that all teams in the EPL must have a maximum 25-man squad, eight of which must be ‘home grown’. To qualify as ‘home grown’, players must have played for at least three seasons before reaching 21 with a club affiliated to either the English or Welsh FA. Once registered, only these 25 players can feature in Premier League games until the next transfer window, although players who are still under 21 do not have to be registered and can still play.
At last count, City have 42 first team players in their squad, meaning they need to sell, or loan out at least 17 of them.
Likely to leave Eastlands are in the coming weeks are Craig Bellamy, Nigel De Jong, and Stephen Ireland, all for knockdown prices. Bellamy, for example, who cost City £14m when they bought him from West Ham, is expected to be sold for around £4m. Wayne Bridge cost City £10m in January 2009 and he could be sold for less than half that.
Brazilian superstar Robinho, who cost a record £32.5m in August 2008 has intention of coming back to City and his price is expected to be less than £20m, which is a £15m loss. Brazilian striker Jo, another disastrous £18m signing is not wanted at Eastlands and City will be lucky to recoup a third of what they paid for him. Ecuadorian striker Felipe Caicedo has also been told to find another club.
In addition to Robinho and Jo, City overpaid for Joleon Lescott, at £24m, Roque Santa Cruz, who cost £17.5m, Kolo Toure for £16m and Nigel De Jong, bought for £16m. Selling these players plus Bellamy and Ireland will result in losses in excess of £60m, and could reach £60m, for City in the 18 months since the Abu Dhabi Group’s takeover in August 2008
Has any other team in history lost that much money on player transfers in such a short period of time?