I don’t think you can just say it’s money anymore.
United have spent money for 25 years and never played anything like this current City team. City have been spending money for nearly a decade and never played anything like this current City team. Chelsea have spent money for 15 years and never played anything like this City team. Liverpool, Newcastle, whoever you like haven’t played like this City team.
This is the Guardiola effect that they craved. That fans of every club in this country craved for their club. It may have been expensive to get this squad together (I’d argue that there’s a City premium on every signing they make and it’s hardly Pep’s fault that they pay it) but it was hardly unachieveable galactico signings. Apart from Aguero (who at the time was affordable for most top clubs anyway but none seemed too bothered), who really was the last established world class player they signed? De Bruyne maybe after he’d had a great season in Germany but I don’t recall a queue of top clubs after him either. Potentially Walker maybe if you’re that way inclined but again, nobody else went out of their way to try and get him.
But either way it doesn’t really matter, what matters to me is this team is no more star studded than peak Chelsea, peak United or peak Arsenal. Whether City pay top dollar for Walker or Ashley Cole appears out of nowhere for Arsenal, who really cares. If City had bought Mbappe, Neymar, Ronaldo and Kroos this season then yeah you could just call it buying the league but Walker and Ederson? I’m not so sure.