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Another way

By Ottar Gadeholt :  13/07/2007 :  Comments (0) :

In the time post-Roman, several foreign billionaires have come to see the Premier League as a good investment (or as a more interesting toy than a new yacht, however you see it), spending more or less dubiously earned millions on players. The overall effect of this is clear: transfer fees and wages are sky high, and presumably the competition for Europe will harden considerably.

On the EFC supporter sites, one sees many contributions complaining about why we are not taken over by some billionaire or other, so that we too can flog out 16 million on Bent, or pay Bellamy 70k a week. Granted, it has become difficult for us to get the players the club (and the fans) want, and not even the alleged love of Nugent for our club was not enough to keep him away from Pompey's Russian rubles. Emotions are running high, and the complaints over Moyes' and Kenwright's stinginess become ever louder.

It is true, and admittedly, I don't see us really making the grade in the upcoming season either. But still, there are a couple of things to consider.

First of all, we should be proud of being the people's club. Not Boris' Boy toys, The Liverpool Reds international franchise or Thaksin's Money Laundering Manchester branch. We are Everton, the owner of our club has the good sense to stay out of it and leave the squad and the players to represent.

Second, one should not forget that these people mostly are out to make money. The Glazers forked out 50 million for new ManUtd players this summer, but who is paying for this? The fans. ManU are increasing ticket prices to serve the £62 million(!) interest(!!) payments the Glazers must pay every year. Benevolence? Hardly. The owners of our most despicable neighbours have financed the takeover in a similar way, and it will be no surprise in who will have to pay.

Third, and most important, we have to remember that money cannot buy success. This statement is clearly trite and stale, but look at the evidence: Basically, we now have 6-7 clubs acting like Newcastle have done for the past 10 years. How well have they done compared to us? What did they get from blowing over 15 million on Owen, buying Luque, Emre, Parker or Titus Bramble? Nothing. How much did West Ham gain from Tevez and Mascherano? They should have been relegated, and not just for their fraud. The newcomers ruined team morale and upset the other players. And for our own case; who have been our worst buys of the past years? Beattie, VdM and Kroldrup. All (as far as I remember) relatively costly players with big names (PK excepted) who were expected to go straight in and strengthen our first team, but who lacked the hunger to do so.

So what should we do? We're already doing it! As far as I'm concerned, Moyes has performed some of the shrewdest transactions of the past years, getting hungry, cheap players from lower leagues (or the reserve team of a big team in the case of Arteta), instilling them with the proper fighting spirit, a sense of comradeship and a willingness to bleed for the shirt. For a further improvement, the most sensible thing to do is probably to ignore the horrendously overpriced PL players and look abroad or into the lower leagues. That's where we got Cahill, Johnson, Lescott and Arteta, and that's where we can find players whose performance is higher than their price, not the other way around.

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