F E A R — For everything a reason
4 February 2006
In the summer of 2004, I watched (as we all did) as possible targets disappeared to other clubs. Blue Bill had tried to pacify fans after a shocking season by saying “Around £5M will be available for transfers” but still no-one arrived. I wrote to ToffeeWeb saying I found it incredible we hadn’t bid for players like Matteo (Blackburn - Free) or Cahill (at the time he had nearly signed for Palace) who I felt would add weight to a pretty poor squad. Mike replied personally saying “We are skint mate, get used to it” or something like that!!!
He got so sick of people like me complaining that he posted this article.
The Rad left, Toby buggered off and we used the money to buy Cahill and Bent. THEN Rooney left.
The money we received up front saved EFC from financial meltdown and then along came Fortress and we thought/hoped EFC would become a little richer and marketable. We also started to get results on the pitch and finished 4th... Happy times are here again, we all thought.
The Fortress Sports Fund never materialised — without any explanation of any kind. Was it a lie or just a deal that Bill, for whatever reason, couldn’t tie up? We will never know the full story. It could have been that the money they offered in Sept '04 wasn’t anywhere near enough come May '05. Would we take the '04 deal today?? My guess is that, if it was true, then yes.
We spent the money we received from the 4th place, plus the next part of the Rooney cash on a few new players which on paper seemed much better than some of the squad that got us to 4th. We also need to remember that we spent heavily on Beattie in Jan '05.
Then it got worse:
Being dumped out of the CL qualifiers in August sent us all in a spin. Bill then was interviewed in Bucharest saying “it’s a must we qualify for the Uefa cup group stages, financially important as well.”
Ok, the Uefa Cup wouldn’t have brought in a lot of cash but our profile would have risen if we had made it through to the last few stages. As it happened, the 5 - 1 thrashing alone made our stock drop like a stone down a well.
So, come Sept/Oct, we are out of Europe completely and on the worst run I’ve ever seen in the league — a total Fucking Nightmare!
Come Jan '06 we have stabilised in the league and are still in the FA cup; we have been unbeaten in Jan and played pretty well, but all the cash is spent, no money from the CL will be coming our way and we are in serious financial trouble again.
We sell Bent for a great profit, Kroldrup returns to Italy after 1½ games for £2M less than we bought him — surely our worst piece of business for a very long time. The fans, Davie and Bill know we need one striker at least but he never comes.
Players Davie wants are unavailable - I’d agree with that as I’m sure the players he wants wouldn’t touch us with a barge pole at the moment and the prices are too high.
Other players cost too much - Again true but it’s the transfer window and all clubs are out for what they can get so clubs often spend over the odds — look at the Hammers and Dean Ashton.
We are Skint again?? - Probably true... the last few months have boosted the club financially then drained it all away again.
I'm sure some of you will think after Davie’s comments everything is ok at the club, in terms of cash flow for transfers. He is pretty honest and I welcome his address to the fans; it's something Mr K should consider on the odd occasion. It's worth remembering though that Davie has said for a few weeks that the players he wants are unavailable and we wouldn’t be seeing any movement so his comments just echo that.
My opinion is this; we do have money... BUT it's very limited. We might have had £2M available but clubs like Preston wanted £3M or £4M for Nugent — something Bill, Bully and Moyes were not prepared to pay.
You can understand that but it’s a bit scary to think it might be a similar case in the summer. Its not very often that transfer fees are paid in full these days, I’m wondering just how much we still have to pay on Davies, Neville, etc... will it come out of this summers budget???
The tall and short of this is that, unless someone invests very heavily, we are stuck as a club. Bill doesn’t have the cash, I don’t think we will have another chance in the CL for a while and Goodison is years behind compared to most Premiership grounds.
I don’t like it but sadly I have to accept it. We have the best fans in the world at Everton but years of neglect in so many ways means we have to put up with what we’ve got for the moment. Some fans will hate this last paragraph, still thinking we are top club.
That ain’t been true for a long time..