Gary Neville says Liverpool haven’t spent enough money to reclaim their place among European football’s elite.
The former Manchester United defender was discussing the Merseyside club’s failure to qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League following Tuesday night’s disappointing draw with Basel.
And ahead of Liverpool’s trip to Old Trafford to face their bitter rivals on Super Sunday, he says the summer outlay of over £100million is small fry when you take into account the money they received for the sale of Luis Suarez to Barcelona.
He said: “They obviously sold Luis Suarez for £65m and spent (around) £100m on five or six players, so they spent £40m. That’s not even touching the sides of what the big European teams do, and are spending when they’re really going for it.
“When you’re talking about a big club and Liverpool winning European Cups over the last 30 years, building a new 65,000-seater stadium; £40m net is not ‘going for it’.”
Brendan Rodgers paid large fees for Adam Lallana, Emre Can, Alberto Moreno, Lazar Markovic, and the injured Mario Balotelli over the summer, but none of those players started against Basel.
And while Neville says the manager must take responsibility for the signings, he says Rodgers hasn’t been given the budget that many of his rivals, including Louis van Gaal, have enjoyed.
He added: “Man United have done it, City have done it, Chelsea have done it, Real Madrid will do it.
“If you want to go big, go big, and that’s not big! So the idea that he’s spent a lot of money in great club terms, he’s not. He’s spent £40m.
“They took a star off Brendan Rodgers and he’s got five in return and he’s obviously picked them so he has to take responsibility for that. And he’ll accept that I’m sure.
“Big is going to sign a player for £80m. He hasn’t gone big; he’s touched the sides a little bit. The net spend is £40m, and I don’t see that as big net spend for Liverpool Football Club.
“If they measure themselves in terms of a club winning the Champions League, then they need to spend like one. Then they’ve got to enter that level and that level is not £40m net spend.”