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Europe: Competitive advantage? No

By Mike Oates :  10/06/2008 :  Comments (33) :
I?m writing this article now as for the first time I?m starting to get that feeling that we might not have as good a summer signing spree that we?re expecting.

Keith Wyeness recently stated (and supported by Moyes) that it was absolutely essential that we obtain a place in next season?s UEFA Cup. They went on to state that having done so Everton have now the prime position to attract top class talent. Being pragmatic I always thought that meant the remaining top class talent left over after Man U, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool had taken their cut.

My worried feeling comes because the way things have worked out:- vs a vs our main competitors. Spurs , League Cup Winners, — UEFA Cup spot
Pompey, FA Cup Winners — UEFA Cup spot
Aston Villa, Intertoto Cup — virtually guaranteed UEFA Cup spot
Man City, Fair Play League (!) — UEFA Cup spot.

So we are now faced with the problem of competing for the remaining talent post-Top 4 with 4 of our main competitors.

If we carry out some basic financial evaluation :-

Spurs , Income £103m , Valued £200m , owned by ENIC and bankrolled by cast of billionaires, expected summer kitty £35m?... but £50m if Berbatov sold. Also far bigger wage structure than ours.

Pompey, Income £40m , Valued £50m , owned and bankrolled by Russian billionaire Mr A Gaydamak, expected summer kitty £20-25? Bigger wage structure than us.

Aston Villa , Income £53m , Valued £90m , owned by American billionaire Mr R Lerner, expected summer kitty £25m ?. I?d suspect similar wage structure to us.

Man City , Income £57m,valued £85m, owned and bankrolled by T Shinawatra expected summer kitty £75m? Wage structure just about to be smashed if reports are true.

Last but not least...
Everton, Income £51m, valued £80m owned by small millionaire Mr B Kenwright. Expected summer kitty £20m ?

What this means for us I believe is one where as an example only the British talents ie the Sidwell?s of this world already on £50k a week at Chelsea come onto the market — clearly already Man C, Aston Villa and reportedly Everton are interested. So is Sidwell faced with a dilemma — European football, yes all 3 qualified, all boxes ticked. Which team will better £50k a week, Everton — no , Aston Villa — no, Man City — why of course, also good young manager. City it is then.

Example 2 — top class 20 year old Portuguese player available. European football ? yes all are playing ? good. Location of teams ? bye bye Villa and Pompey . This leaves Spurs, Man City (I?ll be close to Man U and Mr Ferguson might like me), Everton (I?ll be close to that world-renowned team Liverpool). Now who will pay me mega Euro?s, why Man City and Spurs will so bye-bye Everton.

Therefore Spurs vs Man City who shall I pick ?? , well lets go for Spurs as my parents will enjoy visiting London and see all the top shows and royalty.

Lastly again only through suspect press reports but I see our £5m for Ramsay was likely to be paid over a number of years vs Arsenal?s straight £5m now , cash in hand, and latest reports of Portugal?s new wonder midget Moutinho possibly coming to Everton on a one year loan! — because we ain't got the cash. I cant believe Moyes would risk losing these players if he had the cash .

I sincerely hope that Moyes again manages to find those elusive gems — Lescott?s, Cahill, Pienaar etc? — in the bargain basement store as I do not for the life of me see us competing at the level just one below the top talent table unless Bill finds us our billionaire.

The problem he faces is that he needs talent from that table NEXT YEAR to compete for that Top 4 place. As I?ve stated before I don?t think Moyes, Lescott, Arteta, Yakubu will want to be around if we haven?t qualified for the Champions League.

Reader Comments

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Lyndon Lloyd
Editorial Team
1   Posted 10/06/2008 at 20:08:38

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I think the first concern is that it’s a month since David Moyes sat down with Bill Kenwright and agreed a contract "in principle" but he still hasn’t signed an extension. If his decision to commit his future to Everton is predicated on sufficient transfer funds being available, it’s more than a little disconcerting.
Gavin Ramejkis
2   Posted 10/06/2008 at 20:22:24

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When is £20m not £20m? When it’s a BK or KW £20m. If it’s another tale of the same old Everton gaining an advantage only to sit on it’s laurels then it’s another disgraceful chapter in our history. I despair of BK and KW for countless posted reasons that don’t need repeating over and over. I’m not going to launch conspiracy theories over DM signing or not signing on the dotted line on his own contract but surely he can’t perform miracles every season and any owner of the chasing pack must surely notice he’s a gem worth picking from the club at some point.
David Wallbank
3   Posted 10/06/2008 at 20:23:48

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I don?t think Moyes would leave, unless something behind the scenes blew up! I am gutted so far with the amount of transfer nonsense though! If people want to sit in Arsenals Reserves and earn a fortune then so be it. I trust Moyes to pick a few gem?s up! TIm Cahill will be like a new signing, fingers crossed an injury free season, James Vaughan will be back, fingers crossed again. Add 4 more players (fingers and legs crossed) and we?ll have a crack at the Uefa Cup again!

Brian Waring
4   Posted 10/06/2008 at 20:41:19

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Don’t you just love it! " Tim Cahill will be like a new signing "
Dean Gwilliams
5   Posted 10/06/2008 at 21:03:03

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Weren’t we all saying the same thing at this time last year? And we didn’t turn out to have too bad a season now, did we?
I understand it’s going to be difficult to attract these top-class players, but for some reason this year I seem to have faith in the board in backing Moyes. They have always seemed to find the money from somewhere since he’s been here - and he’s mostly (MOSTLY) spent it on the right players. Everyone’s just getting all panicky because it’s silly season and no-one’s got anything else to talk about.

Just watch, the Blues may yet pull a few rabbits from some ’hitherto-cunningly-concealed’ hats
Jay Campbell
6   Posted 10/06/2008 at 21:59:42

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Answer to all of Everton’s problems - Bill Kenwright and Keith Wyness.

Moyes will go if serious dosh is not provided this summer.

See ya later then Davey!!
Dave Wall
7   Posted 10/06/2008 at 22:14:52

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Well I would rather have Bill Kenwright, a True Blue, rather than Hicks T Shinawatra, Mr R Lerner, etc, that have now taken a fancy to our game and will as quickly go, if the prestige and big dollars don't turn up. So if its £20million to spend on players and those hard up young men (bless em) can't survive on only £30/40 grand a week, well so be it. If I remember correctly, didn't we have the same rivals last year, and didn't they have a lot more money than us? Leeds United lost to Donny Rovers i believe in the play offs, if you aint got, you shouldnt spend it.
Ryan Holroyd
8   Posted 10/06/2008 at 22:22:40

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I think we will have to see if this move to Kirkby goes ahead (I hope it doesn’t)before we see how much transfer money we have to spend. If Kirkby goes ahead I expect Robert Earl or whoever is behind him to put some cash in the kitty. If Kirby goes tits up, then no money to spend. IMO.
Andy Lea
9   Posted 10/06/2008 at 22:40:08

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Why the panic? Who has embarked on a spree already - specualtion is all these posts generate from.

They may have more to spend but few things for me stand out - we finished ahead of all quoted and our manager is better than all quoted and our rebuilding is far ahead of any quoted so lets just see what happens - its still June after all!!!!
Gavin Ramejkis
10   Posted 10/06/2008 at 22:59:06

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Dave Wall can you let me know what exactly Randy Lerner has done wrong so far? Fair play on Thickskin Sinatra or Waldorf and Stadtler from the Muppet Show, then again can you hear Chelski and Man U fans crying about their foreign owners?
Jim McMahon
11   Posted 10/06/2008 at 23:39:33

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That is why we need the Kirkby project to go ahead to provide DM with the funds to genuinely challenge for the Champions League and the Premiership title.
Jay Harris
12   Posted 11/06/2008 at 00:29:19

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Jim McMahon

I despair.

Can you please explain how the hell Kirkby is going to give DM more money either long term or short term.
James McCarthy
13   Posted 11/06/2008 at 01:26:37

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Jay Harris, from wherever Moyes gets transfer money it very definately will not come from staying at Goodison Park.
Erik Dols
14   Posted 11/06/2008 at 08:56:10

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To answer the question in the topic title: Yes. If we hadn’t qualified all those clubs would have an advantage over us and they don’t have that advantage now. KW is wrong in a number of things but what he said about qualifying for European football is absolutely right, albeit that the man of course overstates the type of players we can attract. I didn’t evne bother to read any further as I think you’re unreasonably harsh on him on this particular subject. You’re changing his words, he never said anything about competitive advantage over the clubs you mention.
Graham Atherton
15   Posted 11/06/2008 at 09:02:15

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Jay - transfer funds come from the business. Moving to a stadium with 15 000 more useful seats (40% improvement), three times the capacity to entertain corporates and far superior capacity (3x the serving space) to sell food & drink to name but three profitable matchday activities has a very great potential to grow the business?
Counterbalancing that is the potential to lose walkup supporters - something that I don’t see happening when push comes to shove after a survey on a neighbouring forum after the vote last summer revealed over 90% of ’no’ voters were prepared to attend the match at Kirkby.
Additional debt is another issue, but this looks like being minimal compared to our competitors with even the most pessimistic guess (e.g. assuming no income from selling naming rights, Goodison Park, Bellefield site etc.) being 4-5 million a year in payments.
That equates to roughly £3.50 per head more than our present mid level prices or an average price increase to see the Premiership each year - not something that will be extortionate in 3 years time and corporates should be prepared to pay far more than that per head for a far better product than they currently pay for - 100% more for many of our closest rivals. The extra cost of debt should be more than covered by the initial increase in corporate income alone.

Once you have a good product the task is then to grow it year on year, and that will be far easier in new purpose built modern accommodation. Debt payments of £4 millllion a year are going to be insignificant in 5 years time.
Overall a new home provides the capacity to improve year on year over and above the capacity to improve at GP. This gives us a better chance of success, and that surely is the primary reason to run a football club.
Chris Briddon
16   Posted 11/06/2008 at 09:57:36

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You need to read the article in the Welsh press that said Ramsay was going to come to Everton ahead of Man UItd until he met Wenger and decided to go to Arsenal.

How we offered the £5m is irrelevant as Cardiff had accepted it. Installments is perfectly normal for a teenager as you pay out more if he proves to be any good. I believe Lescott is on a similar deal (but that was due to questions over his old knee injury).
In fact Arsenal were the only club to offer £5m straight up, even Man Utd didn?t do that.

Not all players go to a club because they will pay high wages, it is also down to the manager, the set up and the history as well as signs of consistent improvement.

Over the last few years, we are the only club to qualify for the UEFA cup twice on league position alone, showing clear signs of consistency & progress. We have also shown that we can challenge for CL places which is where most top European players really want to be.
Dan Mckie
17   Posted 11/06/2008 at 10:33:33

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I don't think its time to be worrying just yet! Only Spurs have spent anything and that is on 2 big gambles (also, how tiny is Modric?) Moyes has gone to the euros to have a fish round and im sure he will sort it! Plus in the article, its mentioned that we offered £5 mil over so many years, so what? Cardiff still accepted it and it will have made no difference to Ramsey's decision, that would have been good business!
Jay Harris
18   Posted 11/06/2008 at 12:04:09

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I would concede that GP generates less than desirable levels of income especially corporate but I firmly believe that Kirkby even with "better" facilities will not generate more corporate income and I doubt after the short term the gate receipt income will be significantly improved.
IMO and at the end of the day we?re all speculating I would guess that extra gate receipts of £2.5 million,extra "other" income £1 million and I believe interest payments will approach £8 -10 miilion (£100 million @ 8 to 10%) thereby leaving us with a loss of net income.
With all the concerns over the standard of the stadium,the cost of decontaminating the land and the transport and infrastructure problems I beleive it?s too much of a risk.
My alternative (See report front page) to redevelop GP which could be done to a much higher standard than Kirkby in our own time and with far less risk.
The only problem with that is it doesnt carry the "incentives" for KW,BK and Tesco Terry.
Damian Wilde
19   Posted 11/06/2008 at 12:39:35

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I nominate Jay Harris and Jay Campbell to take over the roles of KW and BK, these guys sound like they have all the answers.
Ciarán McGlone
20   Posted 11/06/2008 at 12:37:04

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Thats a pretty píss poor piece of mathematics come soothsaying...

The fact is that our ability to compete comes down to one thing, money...and the importance of this is current - not five years or ten years down the line.

We?ve already píssed our previous chance at advancement up a rope - CL qualification who did we buy - Phil fúckin Neville...and we will continue to píss other opportunities away while people are sucked into this whole ?Kirbky is our top four financial saviour? lie!

I don?t know any Evertonian who doesn?t want the best players this club. How about we all put our stubby crayons down, stop having erroneous arguments about how Kirkby will bring guaranteed financial success and demand that the club concentrate, here and now, on matters that definitely will improve our gate receipts - a decent team!

Or is football just becoming a sideshow?
EJ Ruane
21   Posted 11/06/2008 at 12:41:18

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Here is a perfect example of how so much ’Yes’ debate works.

Jim McMahon writes - "That is why we need the Kirkby project to go ahead to provide DM with the funds to genuinely challenge for the Champions League and the Premiership title".

Jay Harris responds asking - "Can you please explain how the hell Kirkby is going to give DM more money either long term or short term?"

Is this explained?

Is it fuck!

Instead from James McArthy we get - "wherever Moyes gets transfer money it very definately will not come from staying at Goodison Park"


it MUST be Kirkby then.

Seriously do you think pointing out faults (THAT WE ALL BLEEDING KNOW) with Goodison is a ligitimate response to ’How will moving to Kirkby provide sufficient conker for transfers?’.

It’s like Pee Wee Herman’s "I know you are...but what am I?"
Jay Harris
22   Posted 11/06/2008 at 14:01:00

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Damien Wilde
at least we have some answers and we’re not being paid 400,000 a year and a fat bonus to run our own business in EFC’s time.
Instead of ridiculing people that post on here maybe you could spend more time justifying the "potential" move to Tescoland.
Graham Atherton
23   Posted 11/06/2008 at 13:54:18

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Your comments about risk are well taken, but we are in a hell of a hole and risks are needed. Taking out a mortgage to buy your own home is a risk that is scary at first but as inflation erodes the value of the money borrowed and capital gains in the value of the property increase the original risk quickly starts to look smaller. The same will happen with a new stadium.

This project minimises risk as much as possible while maximising benefits. Redeveloping GP minimises some potential revenue streams, maximises several setup costs with no idea when it could be realistically carried out - we have been waiting 35 years already.

Ciaran - I am talking about planning for the future - the way ManU were thinking in the 60’s and look what they built in time. We have to get away from the short term fixes leading to long term costs we were plagued with in the 90’s.

The extra money for transfers comes from growing the business - the same as any other business. The way to grow a business is to improve your product, charge more for it and have something to market better. A new stadium achieves those aims.
Ciarán McGlone
24   Posted 11/06/2008 at 14:32:41

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The way to grow a business is to improve your product, charge more for it and have something to market better. A new stadium achieves those aims.

So our product is hospitality is it?

And there’s me thinking is was a football team!
Jay Harris
25   Posted 11/06/2008 at 14:59:41

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I just cant see that Kirkby improves our "product" at all.

It has major transport and infrastructure problems and is a cheap bolt on stadium at the end of a Tesco store and car park all built on a landfill site.

You have heard the saying you get what you pay for and I believe we deserve a lot better.

As for the other" aspects of the "product" our marketing is a shambles.

Spurs get almost 40 million from commercial activities with a ground capacity of only 36000 and nowhere near EFC’s history as opposed to our 8 million.

Now doesnt that give you a clue as to where we should start looking to increase revenue instead of the millstone that will be Kirkby.
EJ Ruane
26   Posted 11/06/2008 at 15:04:38

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Fact; A ’new’ ground guarantees absolutely nothing.

That is why Bolton got bigger gates in the late 70’s when they were in a shithole like Burnden Park, (in the old second division!), than they are getting right now.

I don’t know for sure about The Riverside, but I know when I see Boro on telly, it looks like you’d have to walk 25 yards to get a light (if you were allowed to have a ciggy that is).

And does anyone REALLY think we’ll see Coventry anytime soon?

Jay Harris
27   Posted 11/06/2008 at 16:27:57

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Apart from the Emirates can anyone name a decent "new build" stadium in the prem.
Trevor Lynes
28   Posted 11/06/2008 at 19:21:14

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Again and again I hear the nonsense of only taking players of quality...We took Gravesen back when he was quite obviously finished..also Anthony Gardner for what...?? There are decent players already either signed by premier clubs or in the throes of signing.Our transfer business is always exceedingly slow. Other clubs seem to sign players much more speedily while we dither and talk about patience. DM has been like ’Old Mother Hubbard’ season after season compared to not only the top 4 teams but lots of others too. How long will he put up with the frustration of being constantly outbid and not being able to offer players salary’s that other clubs can. Our squad is tiny and a lot is asked of them...we faded badly last season and luckily so did Villa who also have a small squad. It is imperative that we sign at least three and possibly four players to fill the gaps left by McFadden and Carsley. We are now having quite a spate of injury problems and its probably caused by late season exhaustion. We lack cover in many positions and we are still carrying non playing players who are worth next to nothing on the transfer market.We must invest regularly and build a squad that can match the numbers in other teams and offload the players past their best.
Micky Norman
29   Posted 11/06/2008 at 20:34:19

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This time last year I’d never heard of Steven Pienaar. Be honest now, had you? I think it says it all about Moyes.
Erik Dols
30   Posted 11/06/2008 at 21:20:11

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Micky, I’ll be brutally honest: I heard of Pienaar the first time somewhere early in 2002. The lad played very good in the semis of the CL in 2003. It says something about your knowledge of players that you never heard of him. No insult intended.
Karl Masters
31   Posted 11/06/2008 at 23:42:57

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Frankly and honestly: If we end up at Kirkby I’ll go a couple of times and see wht I think. I’ll see what the atmosphere is like, the ease of getting and leaving, buying a drink and also whether quite simply I enjoy the matchday experience the way I do now.

Hopefully I will, but if I don’t then I reckon I’ll hardly ever bother returning. I am so disappointed at the abysmal way the Club have handled this whole situation it’s enough to make me think, ’ I don’t enjoy this, why should I drive 500 miles on a Sunday to do it? Tell you what, I won’t.’

And I don’t think I am alone. MASSIVE GAMBLE......
Alisdair Denny
32   Posted 12/06/2008 at 10:12:10

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Hope no-one minds, but my response will be to the original submission rather than talking bollocks about Kirkby.

The advantage Everton have over those clubs you mentioned is that we are now seen as a consistent top 6 side. Villa, Spurs, Man City or Portsmouth aren’t. They are seen as teams who CAN break into the top 6. Yes, they are all bankrolled and can offer higher wages, but I think Moyes has shown in the past that the players who choose their clubs based on pound signs are not the type of players he wants around. And if they are so wealthy and can pay big wages, why didn’t they bid for Ramsay? I’ll tell why I think they didn’t - because their managers are not confident that they will still be in that job in 2 years which is when Ramsay (if the reputation is anything to go by) will be making an impact. So, if they are aware that they won’t be there for long, why would they spend their kitty on prospects? They won’t. They need fast results to keep their jobs and big name signings to appease their owners. This is where Everton can nip in and pig up some gems. This is the strength of Moyes - he can pick up good/average players and mould them into great players with a great team ethic. And as was mentioned in a previous reply - we have been hearing the same tales of woe for the last 5 years, but here we are - in Europe AGAIN
Dave Wilson
33   Posted 12/06/2008 at 13:49:35

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DM?s picked up average/good players and made them into great ones?
I think your being a tad generous there

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