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EDITOR'S VIEWPOINT

24th Richest Club

By Michael Kenrick :  10/04/2009 :  Comments (0) :
So what do you make of this latest valuation exercise by Forbes? Everton slip to 24th after holding steady at 21st — down from those heady days when Keith Wyness could crow that Everton were in the Top Twenty, thanks to his diligent policies of outsourcing and liquifying assets.

Forbes have similar tables going back over the last five years, and I guess they reflect what we already know about the difficulty EFC has in holding its own with the current financial business model that has been in place through most of the Kenwright era. Does our recent slide down the table reflect the fact that there are no more assets left to liquify?

On the one hand, it is really quite remarkable that the club is where it is given the lack of heavy-duty investment, and so we must give credit to the Board for holding the ship steady-ish amidst the hurly-burly of life near the top. It reflects too the incredible value of the Finch Farm investment and the talent production line that is the Everton Academy.

People bemoan lack of investment by the Board of Directors but the reality is that securing an ever-increasing line of debt is what it has all been about. But you have to wonder: is this model sustainable as we go forward? What of the credit crunch, the recession, and the presumably inevitable impact on revenues and any further increases in the line of credit?

One thing I perhaps have neglected is the dramatic fall in the value of the pound against the dollar over the last year... although this should affect all (English) clubs the same, I assume. Still that should not have affected the increase in debt, from 30% to 49% in just one year. Which makes all those calculations about selling AJ and McFadden to buy the Big Fella somewhat moot — where the hell has all that extra money gone?

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