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The Money League

By Steve Ferns :  14/02/2008 :  Comments (5) :
It was interesting to read the publication of the Top 20 Money League in various newspapers. Once again, it made me think about the question of Everton?s continued development, and how I perceive it all to be about reputation and publicity. Look at this graphic in The Times for an insight into the income for the top money clubs in England.

Manchester United make £212M a year, of which £92.5M comes in on match day. £92.5M per season is made from around 70,000 fans. That is £1,321 per fan per game. Yes, a lot of that figure comes from corporate sources, but it shows what we are up against and how far we have to go, just to get to where they are now... Can Kirkby really deliver that? Kirkby will be at its best when the facilities are new. But by Everton?s own admissions it will be more middle-of-the-market than state-of-the-art. If we are aiming for new facilities which are short of the what Man Utd have now, are we not settling for midtable rather than aspiring to climb back to the summit?

What we need to work on are the two other areas: Broadcasting and Commercial. The way to boost these goes hand in hand with reputation and publicity. Right now, we are in the best position we have been in since Sky invented football. We are fourth and going strong in Europe. People are once more taking notice of Everton and casting glances at us. The key is to further boost our reputation and to publicise the club. This will obviously have a knock-on effect on Commercial success and Broadcasting revenue. Quite simply, the more people who are aware of us, the more who will want to watch us, regardless of the medium, and the more who will want buy the t-shirt.

I?m not sure what our exact figures are, but I can only assume that as we?re eighth in the income league we will be a little short of Spurs and Newcastle. Where did Tottenham go right to get in £103.1M? Well this was mainly due to commercial success and through Broadcasting Revenue on the back of just missing out on 4th ? remember they were there or thereabouts all season only to limp into 5th a couple of years ago, and then last season they got 5th with us breathing down their necks in 6th. Also, they had fairly decent cup runs: a League Cup Semi, FA Cup Quarter-Final, and a Uefa Cup Quarter-Final. All of this recent success combined with Spurs? allure as a fashionable club in London results in cash coming into the club through Commercial streams and increased Broadcasting revenue.

So what this means to us in the short term is that we need to ensure we continue to inhabit the top 6, have attractive runs in the cup, have fashionable watchable players and play attractive football. If we do this, we can boost our income and spend more on the team and so boost our income and so spend more on the team ... and so the cycle continues until we have surpassed Spurs and Newcastle (and not forgetting Villa) in the money Leagues.

Everton need to put themselves about; we need to be on early on Match of the Day, being waxed lyrical about, being written about in glowing terms in the press, and being that team that other teams? fans will tune in to watch play in an easy home tie against an unfashionable side, because there should be some good goals, and we will win by three or four...

Let's not forget that there is a big battle-ground to come in terms of broadcasting. And I?m talking Everton TV... no, not the crappy website, but the 24-hour-a-day TV station that is inevitable in the same way other clubs have been broadcasting for years. Its only a matter of time before all clubs have these channels. By then Man Utd will probably have about three stations (Man Utd 1, Man Utd 2, and Man Utd Gold I bet). What will happen is these will be readily available through pay TV and over the internet and then on mobile phones. That is where the battle-ground is; that is where the next round of revenue will come and that is where we will have to be at the forefront of the take advantage. Everton has long been a club who waits and reacts; it's time that we took some initative in these markets and really pushed the boat out whilst our star is on the rise.

What have I been rambling on about? Well to go back to the main point, all of this is about Everton getting back up that money league. We need to increase our revenue streams and it seems to me that it is crucial that we act now. This is the time for Blue Bill to come out and start being the showman; this is the time for David Moyes to be on MOTD2 every other week and on Soccer Sunday. This is the time for Everton and its affiliates to capitalise. We were in fourth before, but we did not have the reputation to really take advantage.

Over the last five years, we have really established ourselves as one of the ?best of rest? and you really get the feeling that the tide in the media is turning, that old opinions of us are being reconsidered, that people are starting to take notice and that people do want to watch us play. Come on, Keith ? it's time for you to earn your money.

Reader Comments

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Dave Wilson
1   Posted 16/02/2008 at 05:22:05

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Interesting read Steve

Your right of course, we have got to make the tabloids recognise us, we have to force Sky to sit up and take notice, coming 4th would do that briefly,coming 4th while playing sexy football would keep us in the spotlight a bit longer, but the custodians of this club have to do more too, we have to be marketed, we a still a football club while others have become "brands"
I was slightly embarressed earlier in the season when Phil Neville felt the need to point out to the people of MOTD, that we are always on last, but I realised later what he was doing, having grown up with the worlds greatest self publicist he knows the value of media attention, probably better than his bosses.
This season represents our best chance yet of returning to footballs top table, only by playing CL football are we ever likely to generate the sort of wealth you speak about, that of course constitutes a double whammy as not only do we enjoy the benefits, we starve the RS and Totenham’s of this world of the money they need to pay for their expensive signings

Michael Hunt
2   Posted 16/02/2008 at 10:17:14

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I agree Steve. Perhaps we will be helped by the END of the G14 group (protectionist cartel!) announced yesterday.
I’m surprised it was not reported more widely, as I suspect the group had a big bearing/influence of the shape of the game i.e. rules re European competition etc. than is admitted. Perhaps therein lies the answer!
Jay Harris
3   Posted 16/02/2008 at 12:13:46

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one of the most important articles written on Toffeeweb.

I have been critcising the Board of Directors for this for some years now. We must be the most inept club in terms of marketing and organisation.

I totally agree with your point about broadcasting. The RS get £58M a year from that. EvertonTV needs a major overhaul and needs selling in to all the foreign cable and satellite companies. In the US (The capital of marketing) all the cable/satellite companies have Chelsea and Man Utd TV with associated commercials for kits etc.

It always seems to me that the only people that can be arsed at EFC are the tea ladies and the cleaners (No disrespect meant to either of them). No senior management spend time there and it is my most critical point against Bullshit Billy(who should be great at marketing/media)and Fat Keith.

THERE IS NO DRIVE TO MARKET AND ORGANISE THE CLUB ? and only good leadership can achieve this!!
Steve Ferns
4   Posted 16/02/2008 at 17:44:57

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Interesting point, Michael; perhaps even more interesting is the formation of the European Clubs Association (ECA) to take its place. See this document detailing its membership:

I assume we will have five places for England, the Big/Sky/Money 4 and another. It is important that we are that other and not Spurs, Newcastle, Villa or City.
Ant Mill
5   Posted 17/02/2008 at 17:04:02

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We would earn a lot more money if Sky had us on live more often. We finished 6th last season and every other team seems to be on more than us??!! It was like that season we finished 4th and the next season Liverpool were still on about 15 more times than us! Surely Everton have earned the right to be shown live on Sky more times than all the other average and bottom-half Premier League clubs.

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