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The Flip Side

By Kieran Fitzgerald :  03/08/2010 :  Comments (33) :
I have been giving a lot of thought to the fact that we have spent all of £1.6m over the course of the close season so far. I'm starting to think that it's not just a case of us not having access to funds.

Everyone, myself included, feel that this is the best squad that we have had in years. Well, what if David Moyes can see this too? What if he has sat down with Bill, with this in mind, and they have decided that they will put what money they would have spent, be it yet more extended credit, Sky money, favour from a mate money, or whatever, into clearing some of the club debt and giving the club a bit of breathing space with the banks?

What if they decided to manage the debt as per this year's budget plan , and then tuck the cash from the Sky money we would have spent on players into a reserve fund? Imagine,we would actually have ready cash when we needed it, at the right time, to buy a player we really needed in a pinch come January.

It's a reasonable chance to take, given that we have no injuries coming into the season, cover for most positions on the pitch, and no particular position screaming out for a player. ( Yeah I know, a right winger. Well, Anichabe showed enough last season to give him a go there in my opinion.)

If we need to pick up a player, there is always the January transfer window. And for once, we would actually have proper money to spend. It won't be money that's increasing our debt, it won't be money that will have been raised from the sale of an essential existing player, it won't be money that we have had to scramble for at the last minute.

This is a good sensible plan, one that is obvious enough with even a little thought, and perhaps is what Moyes is putting in place right now. I know people will pour cold water all over it but let's try being a little bit positive going into the new season. It could be happening!

Reader Comments

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Kevin Wynn
1   Posted 03/08/2010 at 13:44:18

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if only....... there has never been a manager who is not two players short of the perfect team and Moyes is no exception
Andy Crooks
2   Posted 03/08/2010 at 13:54:39

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Kieran, I really wish what you say was true. It would indicate that the club is under prudent, forward thinking stewardship. It isn't.
Tony McNulty
3   Posted 03/08/2010 at 14:44:03

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Well, no-one could accuse you of not trying to put a constructive spin on matters. It is indeed rare to see the Pollyanna approach so in evidence on Toffeeweb, so maybe some people will find your views engagingly positive. As for me, I am not sure whether you have been at the magic mushrooms, or whether the ?flip side? referred to in the title means that you have indeed flipped. Or maybe I?m just getting too old.
Mark Murphy
4   Posted 03/08/2010 at 14:54:41

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I'm positive!
I really think that without any additions to the current squad we will have a really great season.
I dont think we will win the league but I'm convinced we will finish top four.

BUT if we sell Arteta, as seems increasingly likely to me, then we'll once again fall short and start all over again.
Ciarán McGlone
5   Posted 03/08/2010 at 14:57:26

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"Imagine,we would actually have ready cash when we needed it, at the right time, to buy a player we really needed in a pinch come January. "

I love the way people delude themselves whenever our manager comes out every year and says we have some money...

The inevitable stories start to propagate in people's heads... you know the ones, my personal favourite is this one: 'aha, it's all a big con job to stop buying clubs knowing how much cash we ACTUALLY got' ..

It's not.

There appears to be a few new ones doing the rounds this year as well...'We don't need any players' being particularly loathesome...

And now we have this one: we're squirreling it away for January...

After subsequent seasons, where it's been proven that we actually didn't have any money - and only spent what we've sold, what the hell does it take for people to realise that we are a financial basket case!
Erik Dols
6   Posted 03/08/2010 at 15:11:00

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Saving money will be just like a new signing!

Seriously, I hope that you're right, I really do, but I just do not believe it.
James Flynn
7   Posted 03/08/2010 at 15:02:24

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Kieran - Good stuff. While none of us know exactly what's being done with the money, beyond being pretty sure there's not much of it, your post seems a little closer to what we can actually see.

DM stated at the end of last season, that his big concern off-season would be to keep what he's got. Can't blame him, given we've finally accumulated talent everywhere and in some depth. And that's what he's done. Pretty clear-cut.

You have Donovan all but an open supplicant trying to get back and DM wanting to get him. Yet, he won't break the bank to do it. You have to give him credit, however much lack of funds stopping a good idea sucks. Which it does.

I'd only "criticize" the last 2 sentences. Why qualify your post? It was good stuff. And, again, without any of us here knowing exactly how DM and upper-management run things, probably closer to what actually happens.
Mike McLean
8   Posted 03/08/2010 at 16:23:34

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Umm. At £67, 500 per WEEK, you would hope that the manager is at least aware of how good or not his squad is.

Seems to me to be the basicrequirement of the job really.
Martin Mason
9   Posted 03/08/2010 at 16:26:59

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I believe that you are about right. A good squad means good wages and you can't pay transfer fees, good wages and reduce debt as all clubs must at the same time when you have a fixed and relatively low income. Who has actually spent money apart from the Citeh?
Ged Simpson
10   Posted 03/08/2010 at 17:49:51

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I reckon there may be something in what you say..........and perhaps the club may be bought if the debt was lower.

But of course " forward thinking " in the eyes of many is to blow a fortune, increase the debt and have us evven less attractive to buyers.

To spend a fortune to get into the top 4 is crazy. The figures don't stack up to make it wise and look at last time.

To get in the top 4 spending £1.6m is fantastic though.

Tony McNulty
11   Posted 03/08/2010 at 17:51:04

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Maybe I should clarify my earlier post further. Few Evertonians would have a problem being positive about our team, and about the potential and prospects for this season, provided we can keep the squad together. I am positive too.

However, the idea that some of the Goodison hierarchy, people on whose watch the Gosling fiasco unfolded, with its associated loss in revenue, were in parallel thinking strategically in the manner in which Kieran suggests, seems to me ludicrous. If I consider some of what has gone on, and then muse on Andy Crooks?s wonderful phrase, ?prudent, forward-thinking stewardship?, frankly, I guffaw.

Brian Waring
12   Posted 03/08/2010 at 19:25:34

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Didn't Moyes say he went to see BK about Donovan, and was told there was no money. So it's not about it being the best squad, putting money off the debt etc, why we haven't splashed big, it's plain and simple, we are skint!
Stephen Davies
13   Posted 03/08/2010 at 19:23:48

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If you look at the squad of players we have then we should get into the top 4 easily (if we keep them and they play as well as they can)
Why should the management waste money that does not improve the squad.
I would like to see Landon in the team, thought he did really well on loan. We have to trust Dave and Bill to do the best for us
Matt Traynor
14   Posted 03/08/2010 at 19:45:30

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So there'll be no scrambling around once the Sky money hits? Assuming there's no outgoings...

For many, that would be a good close season. I'll watch this space...
Roberto Birquet
15   Posted 03/08/2010 at 19:54:47

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quite delusional; tuck away Sky money? Really? We don't spend large amounts compared to any other top ten club, and yet tread water. That is; we get by WITH Sky money.

We have a malfunctioning RHS; opponents push us to go down the right, because they know we're crap down there, and then we find a solution. That solution is sought after by others; is excellent, fits into out team; wants to come here - is near begging on international TV; and we cannot get him.

At the same time, we are considering keeping a man (Pienaar) for just one year who does not want to play for us, and who will lose for no recompense in ten months' time. Even though his sale would allow us to get Donovan, our best RHS player (Arteta side) in over a decade, with a bit left over.

This from a Club that lost a young player with a £3-4 million price tag.

There is nothing about this that makes sense. And now Liverpool (I know they are a big international brand, but even so) have several offers within months of going on sale. We have FAR less debt, and in years have had no-one after us.

Enlighten me, where is the sense? the masterplan? I hear mad scientist laughing; wa-ha ha ha hA!
Ciarán McGlone
16   Posted 03/08/2010 at 20:41:48

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Here's something for consideration.....if we are lucky enough to keep Arteta - and he gets an injury...we will more or less be effectively relying on the team that played so crap in the first third of last season...

Just something for the joy mongers to consider.
Mark Scarratt
17   Posted 03/08/2010 at 20:40:58

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Why are you all obsessed about money.
Having money doesn't mean you have a divine right to success.
Look at Man City
They spent £24M to take Lescott from us and there is talk they are looking to offload him after only 12 months, same with Adebayor

Having money doesn't build team spirit or help with youth policy.

I would much rather see a team built on spirit and good young players coming through than support a team that change the mangaer and players twice a season, but have loads of money and no identity.

We have a very good squad and manager and if we can keep hold of Arteta and Pienaar, I can see a good season ahead
Richard Dodd
18   Posted 03/08/2010 at 20:53:07

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It`s so true that every manager considers he is two or three players away from a good side.It`s also true that supporters are NEVER happy unless directors are throwing money at managers often to sign worse players than those they replace!
ONLY if one of our key players decides to move on -and that wont be of Bill or Davey`s doing-should we be throwing money at the transfer deadline.
This,surely,is the first time this century we havent `needed to bring numbers in` as Davey is fond of saying!
Lyndon Lloyd
19   Posted 03/08/2010 at 22:05:39

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Richard: It`s also true that supporters are NEVER happy unless directors are throwing money at managers often to sign worse players than those they replace!

Right (and this is in reply to Mark S. as well), but David Moyes doesn't do that, does he? With very few exceptions, he spends wisely and only when he needs to. Most realistic supporters aren't asking for millions to throw about Man City-style, they're just wondering how the hell a club of Everton's stature can only afford an outlay of £1.6m this summer and have to sell before they can buy a player like Landon Donovan who demonstrably improved the team for 2 and a half months last season.

It's not asking much, really.
David Thomas
20   Posted 03/08/2010 at 23:00:26

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Apart from the fact that we will have Jagielka, Pienaar, Neville, Coleman, Anichebe, Beckford, Gueye, a fully fit Tim Cahill available. Also, Billy, Heitinga and Distin will not be finding their feet at a new club.
Ciarán McGlone
21   Posted 03/08/2010 at 23:48:38

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How many players would you play at the same time David? The full 25?

If we lost Arteta the starting team would effectively be the one that started last season in a blaze of glory - that includes Pienaar, Neville and Tim Cahill.
Roberto Birquet
22   Posted 03/08/2010 at 23:52:19

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Mark Scarratt
Also delusional. The Premier standings almost precisely fit the wage levels of each club. Spurs are the first club outside usual supects to make 4th since Everton fluked top four in 2005 (be honest, 61 points for 4th - we got that last season with half the team out til Xmas).

There s no other period in English football history that that has happended. There is no other period in English football money differences have been s large among clubs. You only example is man city. But over the last 4 years (to Jan 2010), they probably spent less than Spurs.
Brendan O'Doherty
23   Posted 04/08/2010 at 01:32:54

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"tuck the cash from the Sky money we would have spent on players into a reserve fund."

THE SKY MONEY IS ALREADY SPENT. We are still paying for Fellaini in installments amongst others. And the rest of it goes on players' salaries, interest payments to our creditors, etc. It's gone already! There is NOTHING to stash away for a rainy day. Get real.
Kirk McArdle
24   Posted 04/08/2010 at 04:57:42

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As much as we all like exciting additions to a squad I think that is what Donavan would be. Exciting in regard to his profile and directness of play, but I think he would be played on a rotational basis, so I do question the absolute need to purchase him. Yes he would be fantastic for marketing purposes but that is not what is being discussed here. There was a link to Ben Arfa earlier in the window on a loan to buy deal which for footballing reasons I would prefer. As I said Donavan with his huge marketing potential would generate cash but you can imagine his agent has already thought of that and can see dollar signs with the phrase "weekly wage + IMAGE RIGHTS".

Do I think we should sign anyone? Here is the flip side for you.

Sign someone and get the fans whipped up for the new season.

Sign no-one and the same side that was 3rd in the form table for the 2nd half of last season is the one that you have faith in and stick with.

I think that the continuity of the players we have instead of trying to blood in 2 or 3 first team players will help us this season. It took Distin ( premiership experience) Heitinga ( 2 major leagues and International starter) and Bily (Ok on the back of a seasons football in Russia but another International) quite a time to settle into their roles. Add to the loss of Jags through injury and Lescott in search of money and a warm bench and the disruption of last summer would not happen with no major additions. But also with NO MAJOR LOSSES!!
Kirk McArdle
25   Posted 04/08/2010 at 05:32:04

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If anyone is interested: Ben Arfa can be played on either wing and can play behind or off the lone striker. He is lightning quick and a good finisher. He is only 23 and seems to be available on a years loan to buy for £6M next summer. On the downside there are reports that he can be a bit stroppy and be seen as a trouble-maker.

Seems to be the kind of utility player and troubled soul that Moyes seems to like. Pienaar had the same reputation when at Ajax and further at Dortmund. He didn't turn out to be that bad did he?

If only someone can find a pen for him!!
Roberto Birquet
26   Posted 04/08/2010 at 08:23:11

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re: Brendan
THE SKY MONEY IS ALREADY SPENT. We are still paying for Fellaini in installments amongst others.
to be fair, that is just normal. Just about all players at every club are paid for over period of contract. We pay for Fellaini that way, Fulham pay us for Johnson that way. It's normal practice.

A $13 million fee would mean that
Donovan would cost £4 million a year. £2m salary and £2 million fee
David Thomas
27   Posted 04/08/2010 at 08:47:51

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I would only play 11, unless they have changed the rules for this season.

Also, our season started to go wrong when players that were considered senior players got injured and joined many of our other senior players on the sidelines. For example Pienaar got injured in the 10th game of the season and after that game we had won 6 drawn 1 lost 3, so it was not that "crap" as you put it.
Ciarán McGlone
28   Posted 04/08/2010 at 09:01:45

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We played terrible football from the first game of the season David. Irrespective of beating a few rather poor teams we also were beaen by poor teams...we beat the likes of Wigan, Portsmouth, Hull and Sigma....but we were outplayed in most matches were and beaten by the likes of Fulham, Bolton and Burnley...and drew with the likes of Wolves and Stoke - and were embarrassed by Benfica. The football was crap. Now, that may be my subjective opinion...but it was also the overwhelming opinion of the media and those who commented on the early games on this and other sites.

If you disagree that the football was crap during the first third of last season - then I'd really question your ability to give an objective analysis of our perfromances.

In terms of first team personnel we are curently not far from the team that provided that football at the beginning of last season...that is a fact. However we're not too far from the team that provided the good stuff - that's the frustration or two players would make an incredible difference to that team - and we haven't got a board who can provide the money to buy them.

You can spin or revise the position as much as you like - I just hope to hell this zeitgeist of overwhelming positivity and arrogance does not come back to bite my fellow Evertonians.

While i'm looking forward to some better football this season (with Arteta in the side) - i'm tempering my enthusiasm - because of the slightly precarious position we are in. It is also quite clear we played our very best football last season with the balance of a good right midfielder. We haven't filled that most obvious of positions...because we aint got the proverbial pot...therefore i'm a little unconvinced that we'll see last seasons highs...

I hope to god/jehova/flying sphagetti monster - that I'm wrong.
Kevin Fitzsimons
29   Posted 04/08/2010 at 12:47:49

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I think we all love the hysteria and madness that is the 'pre-season transfer shit-stirring' . Everyone would love the rumour mill to be full of tasty morsels for us to dissect but not necessarily swallow.

The stark reality of being skint and publicly stating we are skint ruins the fun of the gossip ....but it is just that .....A stark reality.

However, we do have a good squad now, and if we escape the injury nightmare of last season we will have a good season (as the run-in to last season showed) So quit whining!!!!

We haven't lost anybody of note and are unbeaten pre-season...... This all looks good for the coming campaign

Would I like LD to become an Everton player YES , was I happier when it had been ruled out due to his loyalty to the Yanks YES....

Am I gutted that we cannot afford him YES but then one word brings me to my senses.... LEEDS

So let's crack on ... get a great start to the season, then sign LD on loan to boost through to the second half and see how the silverware returns to the Trophy cabinet..... does anybody know where the Key is????

Ciarán McGlone
30   Posted 04/08/2010 at 12:58:00

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"Am I gutted that we cannot afford him YES but then one word brings me to my senses.... LEEDS"

Sense? You sure?

Leeds spent close to 200 million pounds in their period of mismanagement ...using that as some sort of framework for accepting a summer spent of 1 million pound not in my opinion an exposition of 'sense'...
David Price
31   Posted 04/08/2010 at 18:00:26

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Kieran, nice thoughts but I don't think we are banking anything ,instead just reducing the debt. Would love Landon but if it isn't possible we still have the squad to do damage to a lot of sides. As mentioned who, apart from Citeh are spending money. Villa, Utd, Chelsea, Spurs, RS & Arsenal are sticking with what they've got. Everyone knows wages are too high which is now preventing transfer activity for sides unless they sell.

To say we are starting this season with the same names is not so far removed from reality but light years away from the actual frame of mind, players, Manager and fans find themselves in. Only a repeat of the injuries suffered in the last 18 months in my opinion can stop us from top 4, providing we hold our nerve when with 10 games to go the dizzy heights of unknown ground do not affect us.

Jamie Crowley
32   Posted 05/08/2010 at 04:40:54

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If we buy no one else we still have the best squad we've had in years and one good enough, if health and God smile, to crack the top 4.
Buying for the sake of buying isn't good business. Whether the Sky money is already spent or we bank it I'm not sure. I tend to agree with Brandon (23) that it's already spent servicing higher wages and debt.
But in a way it's a mute point - if we hang on to all our players we have currenty (please God) then we're looking good.

So why spend just for spending's sake?

Either way, can anyone really honestly argue that we're not looking better this season than any season in recent memory?

So why spend?

Finally, for about the thousandth time, if Arteta goes we're screwed. If there's one hinge of the entire pending season it's Arteta. And if he goes we'd better spend quickly on somebody who can at least try to put a band-aid on a massive gun shot of a wound.

Every post / conversation / comment is almost silly - I think almost everything boils down to holding on to Arteta.

I hope to god/jehova/flying sphagetti monster - that I'm wrong.

You're wrong friend. Rest easy. If Arteta leaves jump out a window.
Kevin Wynn
33   Posted 07/08/2010 at 19:17:43

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I think there is a way to get money without going into debt. If you remeber about 4 years ago there was a major telemarketing campain to fans to see if they would buy into a savings product backed by Barclays, I have heard a whisper it is being reactivated and if fans buy a £5000 savings bond that guarantees them getting £5000 back in 6 years with a chance to earn over 5% the club would receive a significant sum in the region of £30m without debt.
It is bloody clever. I hope we go for it

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