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The Financial State of Play

By Ciaran Duff :  20/04/2010 :  Comments (62) :
Maybe I missed it but I thought the Bleacher Report (Why Has nobody bought Everton?) is deserving of some serious discussion. If you haven't read that article, pls do so now.

From my point of view, it seems to be fairly impartial and well written. The main items that I took from it are Everton are maxed out debt-wise; despite growing revenues, we are making a loss each year mainly due to high player salaries and overall are not an attractive option for a potential buyer.

This is sobering stuff (for me) and should be a reality check for all fans, I would suggest.

To my thinking, it seems that we are not in a position to buy new players unless we sell some — The Fellaini for two Belgians swap deal makes a lot more sense in light of this.

Even if we can sign someone, can we afford to pay their wages? Can we afford to increase the wages of existing players — maybe a reason why Pienaar's contract negotiations are ongoing?

We cannot afford to fund a new stadium, shared stadium or a refurb of Goodison based on further debt.

A pretty gloomy outlook and no obvious way out unless Moyes can work some miracles (within budget).

Reader Comments

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Gareth Humphreys
1   Posted 20/04/2010 at 13:35:04

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Sadly I think you are right and is why I think Pienaar will be on his way.

We can't afford to lose him for nowt and can't afford to pay him what he (arguably) deserves.
Ciarán McGlone
2   Posted 20/04/2010 at 14:02:27

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What he (arguably) deserves?

Now there's a debate.
Rupert Sullivan
3   Posted 20/04/2010 at 22:21:33

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...which is why I think Everton need to develop a marketing strategy which moves them out of the Liverpool catchment area.

To my mind Everton have failed to capitalise on two of their prize assets: Cahill and Pienaar. Why Everton do not tour in Australia is beyond me, and with the World Cup in South Africa coming up, you would have thought that Pienaar would be the perfect bloody marketing tool for Everton - EFC have had well over 12 months to take advantage of a known quantity in South African football; and seemed to have failed in even that!

I am not one for paying stupid wages but this surely is a no-brainer; pay the man the wages, publicise this heavily in SA, take pictures of Steven in an EFC top; run a SA training camp this summer; link to SA beer companies.

This complete absence of a strategy linked with the lack of willingness to push the Timmy Cahill image is for the biggest own goal going.

The marketing plan of Real Madrid aims to recoup the Ronaldo money on Shirt Sales, EFC will be lucky to buy the can of four X with their strategy.

Anthony Hawkins
4   Posted 20/04/2010 at 22:53:51

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Everton's marketing strategy is severely lacking on many levels.

My guess is that because Moyes/Kenwright bring in relative unknowns, the thought is they remain that way. Very WRONG

Cahill and Pienaar are now two of the top stars in the EPL, particularly in light of the impending SA world cup. Everton FC should be capitalising on these two assets and gaining higher recognistion, publicly. of who they are and who Everton FC are.

From what I can tell, most of the squads extra activities are Liverpool based or taken up by the players themselves. There is massive marketing potential which needs to be utilised.
Dave Wilson
5   Posted 20/04/2010 at 14:52:34

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Maybe If we could get £15M+ for a player who is totally at odds with the style of football we all want to see. We could bring in somebody a little more cultured AND pay a footballer like Pienaar what he is undoubtedly worth
Martin Mason
6   Posted 20/04/2010 at 14:58:42

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I think that article puts our position very much into perspective and possibly destroys the criticism aimed at not only Moyes but Bill Kenwright too. We are a small club punching miles above our financial strength and I believe that we should congratulate the club not slag it.

Those who live by the "Only the best will do (by right)" philosophy need a dose of reality when only the best costs about £50 mil a year in new players. Lets bask instead in the performance of the current team which is little short of amazing given the circumstances.

It may be that Liverpool can only have one premiership club and that the best option is that we merge with Liverpool and build one new ground. It's the unthinkable but we are taklking about reality here.

James Stewart
7   Posted 20/04/2010 at 23:20:23

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The problem is if you make Pienaar the best paid player at the club what do you say to Jagielka, Heitinga, Fellaini,
Arteta, Rodwell etc... All could quite easily be asking for Parity with Pienaar.

In my opinion Arteta and Fellaini are the most important players at the club and should be at the top of the wage pile not Pienaar.
Rob Hollis
8   Posted 20/04/2010 at 15:18:37

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I like to think I am pragmatic and understand proposals like Kirby, why we sold Rooney etc.

Merge with Liverpoo! Are you living on this planet? Mad as a bloody hatter!
Ciarán McGlone
9   Posted 20/04/2010 at 15:34:35

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"It may be that Liverpool can only have one premiership club and that the best option is that we merge with Liverpool and build one new ground. "


A single ground is one thing...a merged team is fuckin ridiculous.

Is this a wind up?
Ste Traverse
10   Posted 20/04/2010 at 23:51:30

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Martin Mason.

What an absolute Joker you really really are.

Merge with Liverpool??
Dermot Ryan
11   Posted 21/04/2010 at 00:22:08

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I agree with Martin. These are tough times and I, for one, would be ready to hold my nose and allow former kopites to don the blue of Everton and return to the real Liverpool team. That said, I would be unwilling to let the fat bastard anywhere near our ground nor allow any of the other red scum he currently has playing crap football for him a place on our squad. Except maybe Gerrard. Even though he's a red scumbag. FTRS COYB.
David Hallwood
12   Posted 21/04/2010 at 00:41:41

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I'm with a lot of the posters in saying that we need to market the club aggressively, and it should be done like any other brand taking on a market leader. The news that Real Madrid has recouped the money spent on Ronaldo in merchandising, should be the model, if we buy Donovan, that must be in conjunction with a massive merchandising campaign in the USA, which is the largest sports market and of course it is relatively untapped by football, with the exceptions of the usual suspects.

Same should apply to Pienaar and SA, Cahill down under, and we should be promoted anywhere Chang beer is sold. Everton have been slow to promote itself, something that can be laid at the door of BK and a new marketing strategy is needed; increase income or die.

Alan Kirwin
13   Posted 20/04/2010 at 16:35:37

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Notwithstanding the issue about what players should be paid (because THAT is the elephant in the room that is fucking up most clubs in the EPL), but:

Pienaar is a fantastic player for us and, I suggest, fundamental to our current more expansive, ball retaining, incisive style of play. I see Arteta, Pienaar and Fellaini as the new Holy Trinity on which we can have a serious go next year. Having Rodwell, Osman & Billy is support ain't bad either.

In my view, even if we really do buy NOBODY this summer (and let's face it, as a business we can't afford it) I will feel positive about next season. With Yak having a full pre-season, if Pienaar stays and we get Fellaini back to his best ASAP, then we are a match. My main concern is defense.

As honest and objective as my soul allows, I think perhaps only Chelsea can match the power and finesse of our midfield in the EPL now. It's sad that we won't have a European stage to show it off.

Martin Mason's suggestion is truly worthy of scorn, but not of analysis.
Phil Bellis
14   Posted 20/04/2010 at 16:51:29

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There's been some misuse of the word 'reality' on TW over recent years but Martin Mason — you take the f'n biscuit. That post was the literary equivalent of an out-of-body experience.
Ted Smeethes
15   Posted 21/04/2010 at 00:51:09

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I feel like slashing my wrists reading that report.

The key headline figure for me is: 'The balance sheet has been deteriorating for a long time with net assets of £18.5m in 1999 declining to net liabilities of £26.7m ten years later.' That's over a £45m difference — where the flying fuck has the money gone?

Abramovic, the middle east chap at Man Shitty and Sky have totally screwed football. Portsmouth are the first of many clubs to go tits up.

I fucking hate footballers with their fucking poncy sports cars doing sweet fuck all but run for around for 90 minutes a week and getting paid mega amounts while the average hard working football fan gets shat on and keeps paying more and more to sit in our shitty seats in our shitty Goodison ground and eating crappy, overpriced shite.

We are technically insolvent without any cash. What the fuck has Kenwright done with all the money?
Bob Turner
16   Posted 20/04/2010 at 17:39:39

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Ted, I think you answered your question with the previous paragraph.
Andy Crooks
17   Posted 20/04/2010 at 17:44:12

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Dave Wilson,you've got a bee in your bonnet here.The only player we'll get £15 million for is Jack Rodwell and we know you're not referring to him.
I agreed with the principle of your recent article on Jags i,e someone must be sold if we are to move on.You just got the wrong man.
David Holroyd
18   Posted 20/04/2010 at 17:46:48

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Very much doubt we will buy anybody as we can't afford it. Best to spend the money on keeping the squad intact and having a real go next season.
Alan Williams
19   Posted 20/04/2010 at 17:44:54

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I really do find the debate about brand “Everton” extremely interesting.

As you are aware, I’m a fan of BK but I honestly believe he and the club fail on marketing in many ways. Some of the problems are parochial and we need to look at them in isolation:

History, this needs to be placed were it belongs and respected but not a weight around our neck which is exactly what it is. History means nothing in modern branding and if I’m honest on some products it de-values the product. I see EFC as the Woolworths of the retail industry.

“The People's Club”... again, whilst a great sound bite against the RS, is has become the brand and it’s far too parochial and has no meaning outside Merseyside.

The brand “EFC” as it stands today is tied and dare I say redundant; unless you are part of the family you love it... otherwise, it has no tangible value at all — hence why no single party or consortium is interested in EFC as a business.

How do we change this?

Well, that is the million dollar question because, whatever anybody will put forward will lead to a local outcry, the cost alone to re-brand will be large and like some posters say using players may well be the obvious lead... but, be aware — if we do put them on the world stage, then expect them to be up for offers.

First thing we must do is get the brand correct, thereafter take on USA, Far East, Asia and Australasia. If we don’t, people will see through us from then start; sadly, the latter is where are today. COYB

Tony McNulty
20   Posted 20/04/2010 at 18:23:02

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Two points:

(1) Our marketing generally sucks like a vacuum cleaner;

(2) Merging our pure mountain spring water with effluent from a stagnant pond doesn't result in Evian.
Brendan McLaughlin
21   Posted 20/04/2010 at 19:32:26

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Martin Mason
You're 19 days late with that April fools post!
Phil Martin
22   Posted 20/04/2010 at 19:39:29

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It's like street racing against a Ferrari in your mums Vauxhall Corsa. Even when you stick bits on and tune bits here and there, you may get an improvement in performance but you'll never truly compete.
Dave Wilson
23   Posted 20/04/2010 at 19:35:53

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Andy Crooks

You disappoint me, I had you down as somebody who really appreciates the beautiful game.
Mike Oates
24   Posted 20/04/2010 at 19:39:15

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Everton's financial model is unsustainable and we all know that one day it will likely collapse and the bigger names (including Moyes) will go elsewhere - its only a question of when. Our only hope is an Everton billionaire somewhere out there who wants to back us with his play money.

One of the biggest obstacles to anyone wanting to invest to possibly make money or at least be associated with football success is/was the ground issue. With a new ground, even in Kirkby, it took £150-200m out of the investment requirements — but once again we failed.

Our continuation is about selling a good young player and taking on a couple who might perform after a season or two and keep us around 5-8 place in the Premier League. Even a new "Rooney" academy graduate, would (if sold) only give us respite for a season or so. You only get the big, big money when the player is about 22-23 and has been hugely successful internationally and in the CL. We would never have the opportunity to keep good players that long — I fear Rodwell will be next.

I really don't know the way forward; our injury lists this season have robbed us from qualifying for the CL — the possible big step into bigger brand opportunities. I suspect next season it will be even harder to break into it with both City, Spurs and probably a re-financed Liverpool pushing on from this year, and instead of a Top 4, we'll be taking on a Top 6.
Dave Whitwell
25   Posted 20/04/2010 at 20:12:17

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I seriously can't stand this constant crap about punching above our weight. Taking this into context basically only Man Utd should ever win the league as only they are able to generate more resources than any other club.

That's complete bollocks. Football is ultimately a sport and whilst money will have an effect throughout different periods of its history, it is quite possibly the most unpredictable sport around.

At the end of the day, every match begins with 11 v 11 men, not superheroes, they are just men; if they are correctly organised and have some ability (which the vast majority of PL players now do) then anything can happen.

We should be concentrating on what we can do, not waiting for someone to bail us out or settling for mid-table.

What we can do is add another tier to the Park End, even if this is a 10-year payback at some stage in the future this will produce more revenue (Old Trafford wasn't expanded overnight).

We can as others have suggested exploit marketing campaigns with Cahill, Pinnear, Howard and dare I say Donovan.

And we can sell 1 top player a year or every other year, if it helps the team move forward. None of these players are irreplaceable; in the past new heroes are found in the wake of those that leave. Arteta for Gravesen, Cahill for Rooney, Heitenga for Lescott, Fellaini for Carsley, and the list can go on...

We are Everton; we must drive our club forward doing what we can bit by bit and as the motto says "nothing but the best is good enough". Do not allow the "we are punching above our weight" drivel to continue. We want the best and that means winning the PL; maybe we can and maybe we can't... but we must never stop believing!
Mike Oates
26   Posted 20/04/2010 at 20:34:06

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Well said Dave Whitwell, congratulations on rising above the negativity, mine included.
Dave Wilson
27   Posted 20/04/2010 at 21:11:41

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Is right Dave Whitwell, is fucken right, Mate.
Brendan McLaughlin
28   Posted 20/04/2010 at 21:19:15

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David Wilson had to read it twice but fucking hilarious!
Peter Hall
29   Posted 20/04/2010 at 21:37:14

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I read the Bleacher Report — interesting and probably reasonable. Thanks to TW for the link.

Not sure what this thread adds to it really. I see no critique of it's accuracy.

On the other hand, I do know that we might well break into the top four if we can keep this squad together — at least in quality if not excatly in players.

And then perform well in Europe unlike our smacsh and grab of 5 years ago.

And — as the Bleacher Report expresses far better than this thread — that could change everything.
Andy Crooks
30   Posted 20/04/2010 at 23:04:53

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Dave, I certainly do appreciate the beautiful game but who is going to pay big money for a hoofballer?
Anthony Hawkins
31   Posted 20/04/2010 at 22:59:25

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To all those who say Everton are punching above their weight - look at Everton's league position the last few years and tell me (and everyone else): At which point does it stop being punching above it's weight and start being a true reflection of what is possible?

Finishing in the top 6 once is an accident or down to luck. Finishing there or there abouts on an increasing basis becomes more than luck.
Martin Mason
32   Posted 21/04/2010 at 00:48:56

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Everton survive by running a debt mountain and selling to buy, service debt and pay inflated salaries. As the report says that is an unsustainable business model and Everton will either need to find an "investor" with more money than sense (which they won't nowadays) and the board will have to give them control of the club. The alternative is that Everton will slip down the league as the players that we buy and develop are picked up by other clubs and eventually we can't buy cheap. I don't believe that outside of London there is a city that can support two top clubs without somebody piling money of their own into the club. This isn't 1970 or 1986, this is reality land and reality is hitting football clubs after years of living in la la land

Everton don't have a brand btw and selling a few scarves in LA or Sydney isn't selling 2 million in Madrid alone and countless millions in Asia where nobody has or ever will have registered Donovan or Cahill on the radar.

I'm absolutely serious about the concept of clubs merging especially in a relatively poor area like Liverpool although I recognise that there is far too much blind prejudice for it to happen in Liverpool. 1 mega club challenging the world from two debt ridden sides challenging for 6th place.

United are no better than Everton now with both sides fully fit, why they will always be ahead of us in cups though is that they have 25 equally good players where we have 13 or 14 and that is what wins over the course of a long season.
Ciarán McGlone
33   Posted 21/04/2010 at 11:59:25

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DO you support Everton Martin?

You know, Everton? Blue top, White shorts....125 years of at a little place called goodison?

Any of this registering?
Roger Trenwith
34   Posted 21/04/2010 at 11:44:41

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Martin Mason - you're not really a football fan are you? If Everton & Liverpool were two struggling car dealerships/coffee bars/launderettes/porn shops - take your pick - in close proximity, then a merger is a very sensible solution.
Sorry for stating the bleedin' obvious, but football has never been run like any other business, and a merger is emotionally, psychologically, and a lot of other words ending in "ly", UNTHINKABLE.
If you're a WUM, then congrats, you've succeeded.
Steve Carter
35   Posted 21/04/2010 at 12:21:05

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Well, look, Ciarán, for all your wit, and Roger, whilst, yes, football may have a greater emotional element than your local launderettes or even porn shop, Martin's suggestion is based on several undeniable facts to anybody that isn't an out and out Luddite which the 'Why has nobody bought Everton' article highlights.

First, Everton's business model is unsustainable. Secondly, the Liverpool area can only really sustain one top level PL team. Thirdly, here's news Marge, Liverpool (the City) is not sexy. The Beatles were 50 years ago. It won't become the Venice of England in our lifetime. And it won't be getting any closer any closer to London, or even Manchester, any time soon. And, if Henry Ford wasn't correct in saying it was bunk back then, he turned out to be right.

Ciarán, the only history that's 125 years, mate, is that what's in the minds of your 40-50 year old Everton supporter living in or around Liverpool average demographic. Otherwise, it's what Gen Y everywhere else in the World can remember - which means that, unlike LFC, we have no history and so nobody's really interested in our Blue top or White shorts.

So, thirdly, sorry to disappoint you two Virginias, no Santa Clause will be turning up any time soon, or even in the foreseeable future, to wrest us away from Mr Kenwright et. al. and return us straight back to the wonderful future of 1985 - unless, perhaps, LFC goes bust. So, better pray they do. Otherwise, the outcome of what the word 'unsustainable' means will happen. And that's the same for a football team as it is for your struggling car dealership, coffee bar, launderette and porn shop, Roger.

Yeah, we might live on, Ciarán, at our little place called Goodison (if it hasn't fallen down by then), looking forward, in particular, to derby day against our local rivals, Tranmere Rovers (or would it be Southport). If you're happy with that, fine. Martin's suggestion is simply that, if those who make the decisions at Everton would not be happy with that, but nonetheless cannot turn around the current model, then merger is a, repeat 'a', possibility that is not entirely fanciful.

The fact is that the merger or relocation of football teams (granted in other codes) every bit as loved by their respective supporters as separate entities as EFC is by us has had to be swallowed in Australia and the US. Remember, there's already serious talk about ground share, in respect of which, if it goes ahead, and assuming LFC doesn't turn to shit, we will, realistically, turn out to be the junior partners. Merger is only one step after that.

And I haven't even begun to talk about the realistic prospect of pressure from Uefa to reduce the amount of teams in premier divisions, and what effect that might have on us. I don't want a merger any more than you do. But it is not an entirely fanciful prospect.

David Judic
36   Posted 21/04/2010 at 13:02:45

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Can someone explain this debt mountain malarky to me as I just don't buy it.

All businesses are 'leveraged' i.e. carry debt. The important thing is the business can service the debt - and Everton can and have been. We have amongst the lowest debt to turnover ratios in the premier league. Out assets are supressed as accounting standards mean we're not allowed to account for the 'market value' of our players as subjective i.e. Cahill / Pienarr / Arteta will be classed as c.£2m assets on teh books when we know they're worth more than that. Rodwell et al will have no attributable value.

Yes, there are things we can do to drive up revenue (definitely agree with poor marketing comments). Yes we are marginally (and it is marginal) down each year unless we sell - but this also includes player purchases - and we've grown our squad in size and quality over the last 5 years. A 10 year view of debt is rediculous unless you look at the relative turnover of the club in the same period - I've not read the 1999 accounts myself but I'd gamble our debt to turnover ratio was probably higher then given: ticket prices c. half what they are now; negligible TV income and prize money by comparison with today; significantly lower sponsorship deals etc... It's all relative. As far as Premier League clubs go, as far as I can see it, we are amongst the best run, with the most manageable debts, with a young team that can progress, on some of the lowest wages in the Prem (think I saw Hull have same wage bill as us) all of which are highly saleable assets if the worst really came to the worst. We can wipe out our entire debt - secured and unsecured - with the sale of 6-7 players - Portsmouth have sold an entire team and are still £120m in debt!!!!

I just think people are blowing our position out of all proportion. I buy the reason why we've not been bought i.e. there isn't much profit in Everton as not a 'big brand' anymore, limited ability to grow locally (Liverpool is not London), need a new stadium, and no big brother to trade-off (Man City can trade off the fame of the 'Manchester' in Man Utd). So given the circumstances I think we're performing bloody excellently as a team and a company and for once (blasphemy on here I know) I have to congratulate BK. Nil Satis Nisi Optimum - and directionally this is where we're going - the motto doesn't have a timeframe.

Gavin Ramejkis
37   Posted 21/04/2010 at 13:11:05

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Rupert, I believe Real Madrid have already made the money they paid for Ronaldo through shirt sales, it was mentioned on the BBC website either this week or last week.

Our marketing is an absolute joke and when the club do bother to do anything it's always too late to capture the moment - Capital of Culture and city centre presence. We have a number of internationals who will be plying their trade at the World Cup yet not a peep. For christ's sake no wonder we get frustrated and are making a loss. We just aren't exploiting every avenue of potential income whilst clubs around us are.

Martin Mason you really can't be serious with some of your suggestions. Can people also look beyond the idea that the whole of Liverpool is a slum, admittedly Manchester has rebuilt itself but that's down to lack of in fighting at their council and businessmen with vision being allowed to develop there. Liverpool One shows you there is plenty of money out there but without a will from the entire community council included a lot of plans have never progressed. Go to Liverpool during the sales and tell me it's a poor city.
Ciaran Duff
38   Posted 21/04/2010 at 13:48:18

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Steve/Martin - While many of points you make may be true, I think it is blindingly obvious that a merger of the two clubs would be completely unacceptable to most supporters of both clubs. That may be based on emotion but that's just as much a reality as our precarious financial position. So, I think we should leave that option and move on.

The main point I was trying to highlight in the post was the reality of our financial position. Hopefully that is clearer now and people will understand the position that we are in, It should come as no surprise that we will struggle to make big signings or meet the salary demands of current players, that we may need to sell to buy, that we cannot fund a ground move etc etc. How we deal with this reality is whole new post.

Swiss Rambler
39   Posted 21/04/2010 at 14:30:18

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David Judic,

You make some valid points, especially on the very conservative accounting treatment of player valuations, but I'm not sure that the debt to turnover ratio has any meaning. Yes, it is correct that the important point is whether the club can service the debt, however this is not done from turnover, but from profits - and if the club does not make a profit, that is a problem.

You are, of course, correct that the club could clear its debt by selling players, but that places a huge burden on the manager's ability to rebuild. This has actually been part of Arsenal's financial strategy and has worked to a certain extent.

As I said in my article, I do feel that Everton manage their costs reasonably well. Then again, they have to, unless they find ways of increasing the revenue. Like many on this board, I agree that there is much room for improvement on the marketing side. When the commercial revenue is about a third of Spurs, something has to be wrong.

One correction - Hull's wages are a fair bit less than Everton: £33.6m vs £49.1m. What I would say (with no disrespect intended) is that Everton are indeed "punching above their weight" if you only consider salaries, as they are 11th in the Wages League, but 8th in the Premier league. I know this, as it's part of my research for another article, which shows an incredible correlation between wages and Premier League success. For example, the 6 best-paid teams are all in the top 7 of the Premier League.
David Judic
40   Posted 21/04/2010 at 15:46:51

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I agree that selling the players wouldn't be a good proposition, the point was that Everton are a long way from being insolvent, as we are capable of paying our debts if armageddon happened.

I disagree on the paying debts from profits comment though. Debts are serviced from turnover, profit is what's left over after all financial obligations are resolved. In Everton's case it means year on year our overall debts are marginally increasing, but this is due to buying players rather than inability to service existing debt obligations. This is akin to me paying my mortgage from my monthly salary but buying some jeans on a credit card - I can choose not to buy the jeans as Everton can choose not to buy more players (in fact they can sell whereas my jeans wouldn't fetch much).

The club is making a conscious decision to increase debt in some seasons and reduce in other seasons to manage overall debt, but monthly / annual debt obligations are being met and revenue streams are sufficient to cover for the time being. Different argument if we start budgeting for top 4 status (ala Liverpool, Portsmouth, Spurs etc...).

Martin Mason
41   Posted 21/04/2010 at 15:54:59

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You guys can attack me personally all you like but I'm thinking only of how we can possibly become a top club and it isn't how we do business now. We are a small club with Championship potential and doomed to failure when Moyes eventually moves on which he will. I believe that outside of cloud cuckoo land a merger between the clubs is the sensible option. That dooms it to failure of course.

I've come off the pot now, I rate our present team as absolutely magic and Moyes as close to a Messiah as he can possibly get. I class anybody who thinks we can become top two material because of our motto as basically lacking in brains.

Swiss Rambler
42   Posted 21/04/2010 at 16:10:27

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Sorry, I should have better explained my point.

Clearly, turnover provides the cash to pay the interest on the debt, but interest is effectively paid out of trading profits - and Everton have not made a profit at that level for at least ten years.

David Thomas
43   Posted 21/04/2010 at 16:33:00

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"but I'm thinking only of how we can possibly become a top club"

I presume when you say "we" you are talking about everton. Well surely if we were to merge we would no longer be everton.
Phil Bellis
44   Posted 21/04/2010 at 16:59:35

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Fair enough, Martin
Let's replace NSNO with WC Field's motto --
"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then give it up. There's no use in being a fool about it"
Dennis Stevens
45   Posted 21/04/2010 at 17:43:16

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Martin, the merger idea is a non-starter for many reasons, not least because there's no incentive for rs. If your reading of our plight is accurate then they can happily await our slide into lower division obscurity & they'll become the only top flight team in the city. In football, as in life, things change : Everton will rise to the top again!
Charles King
46   Posted 21/04/2010 at 18:48:30

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Martin Mason

You just don't get it so please re admit yourself and continue with the electro therapy.
Dermot Ryan
47   Posted 21/04/2010 at 19:06:23

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Dennis' point is well-taken: The game-plan for every lover of the redshite is for Everton to drift into lower league obscurity. That is how Shankley and those who have inherited his withering attitude to EFC conceive of their dream of only having one club in Liverpool (and we should remember that this was an explicit and oft-stated goal of Shankley).

So it seems to me that all this talk that Liverpool city can only support one team works on the assumption that this team will wear red.

All Martin's handwringing and praise of David Moyes and "our little Engine that could" seems a little disingenuous.

Unless, of course, he wants to come on here and explain the process whereby we end up with one Liverpool team called Everton. Or explain why the fuck the shite would want to merge with (as opposed to 'absorb') Everton?
Larry Boner
48   Posted 21/04/2010 at 19:05:19

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I have today read the catalogue of monies owed by Portsmouth FC, a peoples club if ever there was one, and it is a disgrace. They owe £120m, their capacity is 20,000 at Fratton Park.

It is clear to me that the people running this club were taking the piss, (Mr Redknapp ?) a lot of small local businesses were hung out to dry, no attempt made to pay the small amounts of money to a PL club, but massive for a small local business.

I find the whole football thing now disgusting to the extreme, I hope Portsmouth go bust and drop 10 divisions into oblivion, if there is a similar situation at Everton then I hope we go the same way, same with Liverpool, Man U etc. Everyone is suffering in the current financial climate, but football clubs just carry on as if nothing has happened, disgraceful salaries, outrageous ticket prices. I have just renewed my Dad's, my son's and my season tickets, but what the hell am I thinking of, the money is not helping the club, it's going straight into players, agents and managers pockets. I must be completely fucking stupid.

As Groucho Marx once said "I don't want to be a member of any club that would have me as a member."
There must be a South Sea Bubble just around the corner, surely this cannot continue as it is now, the most successful clubs in more debt that the less successful?

Where the hell are we going with this?

David Hallwood
49   Posted 21/04/2010 at 19:37:45

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It would be interesting to hear the Swiss Rambler's views on Liverpool's & Man U's leveraged business model, or for that matter, Spurs'.
Swiss Rambler
50   Posted 21/04/2010 at 19:51:26

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David Hallwood,

You will be delighted to hear that I have written about all of those clubs:

Liverpool - Money (That's What I Want)

Manchester United - Greed Is Good

Spurs - Are Tottenham's Results Too Good To Be True?

I have also written about Villa:

Aston Villa - Randy Lerner's Money Talks At Aston Villa

I'm not overly positive about any of them ...

If you manage to get through all that lot, you should definitely reward yourself with a beer or two afterwards.
Dennis Stevens
51   Posted 21/04/2010 at 21:40:21

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Haha, Larry - Portsmouth & Southsea, very neat!
John Daley
52   Posted 21/04/2010 at 22:09:06

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Thank fuck the old guy sat opposite me knew the Heimlich manoeuvre. I got to post 6 and nearly choked to death on my bloody sandwich.
Ciarán McGlone
53   Posted 21/04/2010 at 22:12:55

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"But is is not an entirely fanciful prospect"



It's about as ridiculous as an idea can get...In fact, it's right up there with Mike Parry's suggestion that horses should be fitted with wing mirrors...and deserves nothing but ridicule.
Ciarán McGlone
54   Posted 21/04/2010 at 22:17:58

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"You guys can attack me personally all you like but I'm thinking only of how we can possibly become a top club and it isn't how we do business now"

No Martin, you haven't suggested a way for us to become a top club- you suggested how we could cease to exist. I cannot understand why an Evertonian would even entertain this ludicrous end game.

And no-one has attacked you personally..they have attacked your idea...and rightly so.
Andy Crooks
55   Posted 21/04/2010 at 23:02:37

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Martin, as someone who has read and, to be honest, posted some nonsense on this site, I would suggest, and this is in no way personal, that your comments really and truly are the most ludicrous I have read.
Martin Mason
56   Posted 22/04/2010 at 03:06:54

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Absolutely brilliant. I was of course intending to come back with a really humorous stinger about my proposed merger and Liverpool being too much of a depressed area to support two clubs but the ongoing responses were far funnier than I could ever be so I let it run and even added a bit of Moyes love talk to spice it up and the snapping became deafening:-)

Perhaps our best chance of becoming a top club is this team and it being together and successful for the next few years rather than selling scarves? If what you are selling is crap (as most EPL clubs are) then you won't sell but if we can get amongst the top three then we could get enough momentum going to become a world brand. Everybody likes the underdog and I believe that we now have the core of an exceptional side. What will likely stop us is lack of depth but the way we are producing good players now we may be able to get depth without laying out millions.
Ciarán McGlone
57   Posted 22/04/2010 at 12:55:51

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So Martin.....Where's the pride in producing a stupid suggestion simply to facilitate responses...

The responses were merited. You're response was clearly daft..but manufactured that way..

I fail to see the point.
Martin Mason
58   Posted 22/04/2010 at 14:46:02

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Ciaran, I never understand people who come on to discussion boards with a total inability to discuss an issue from any perspective. People who would impose their opinion on others and deny them their right to state their own if it was to their disagreement. People who's only form of argument is ad-hominem and who take themselves far too seriously. Some deserve winding up I apologise to anybody offended or made grumpy by my attempted injection of non-seriousness.

I had intended to post again a post later and say of course they'd play in blue with Moyes as Manager and no Liverpool players

The suggestion could be a very good one for two businesses in such dreadful health as both EFC and LFC. Ailing businesses very often merge. But wait, they are two businesses.

The difference of course is they are also sporting clubs with loyal fan base but then again many people are brand loyal in other forms of business too.

Actually it is a brilliant and visionary idea, I think I'll write to EFC and LFC and offer them my services as merger consultant on a mil per year. I don't mind taking the pay cut for the team I love.

What would we have as our merged club anthem? I think You'll Never Walk Alone is very good when sung well (clue, I have my tongue in cheek)
Ciarán McGlone
59   Posted 22/04/2010 at 15:37:37

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Your argument appears made of straw...Firstly, that's the second time you've raised the ad-hominem point - whenever no-one actually attacked you personally, but rather your argument. Maybe that's what you expected - and when it didn't materialise simply fabricated the result.

Secondly, you've all but admitted you made your suggestion in order to facilitate responses..that it was tongue in cheek. So any credible point you try and subsequently make regarding the attitude of posters seems rather gobbled up in your own mischievousness..

Thirdly, I'm really, really hurt.......

.....that I actually fell for your clap-trap.

Although, in my defence I did ask was it a wind-up early on.
Martin Mason
60   Posted 23/04/2010 at 06:55:30

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Just one from about 30 comments, this particular one from Ste Traverse:

"Martin Mason: What an absolute Joker you really really are."

I rest my case.

Very depressing reading the Times this morning. As a result of our good recent form the vultures are circling and the worst is Liverpool for Pienaar. Surely he wouldn't but why not in this era of greed takes all. The United sites are talking about a done deal for Rodwell and they rave about him.

What I don't understand though is why there are no rumours of top teams after Arteta? This really is make or break for Everton but given that the wage bill will rise I doubt we'll see many signings
Ciarán McGlone
61   Posted 23/04/2010 at 15:36:06

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Calling you a joker would be factual Martin...would it not?

Lets just be thankful nobody's in for Arteta... maybe that means his agent isn't angling... which I assume Pienaar's is...

We can live without him.
Dave Wilson
62   Posted 25/04/2010 at 19:50:29

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"In my defence, i did not ask if it was a wind up"

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