It’s that time of the year again. We jealously look at every other team in the division and their spending power in the transfer market compared to ours. We sulk about how the established top teams are beyond us financially, about how Spurs have yet again managed to spend big, 17m on a Brazilian this time, and about how even the promoted clubs are spending big. We wring our hands and moan about how in the name of God we are going to keep up this year.

If you look at the top four or five teams, they just have more money than us. There is no great mystery or novelty in that. It’s easy in ways to accept, jealousy aside. We’re used to it. We will never be able, in our current financial situation, be able to achieve the squads they have, it’s stating the obvious.

With Spurs and Liverpool, it’s harder to accept, we’re their level as a club in many ways yet every year, there’s ready cash made available to them. Neither club are cash rich like City or Arsenal yet neither appear to be fending off the banks with a big stick. Liverpool can still offer their international reputation to attract players, even if they can’t offer CL or Europa League football. Spurs, well with Spurs I’m not sure what they can offer to attract players apart from money and the potential of European football, but they still manage to attract quality players.

With the mid table teams and bottom tier teams, the vast majority of them are like us, spending money they don’t have to hand, doing it on the never never. It’s easy to accept as we’ve always managed to stay ahead of them on the pitch and can always manage to attract better players, just on reputation, decent enough league finishes and slightly better wages.

This year, though, instead of sulking and worrying wholesale about how we will manage to compete yet again on pennies, I would be happy to think about the club trying a different approach.

I am thinking more and more about the idea of taking one step back to take two forward. Instead of selling a big star and spending most of the money on three or four players, I would be happy to sell what fringe players we have and buying one decent player. Keep the current quality in the squad in place and then add the three or four under 20 and u21 players who seem to be on the fringes. Give Barkley and Duffy and Stones and Lundstram their chance. If only two of them really make it then that’s two players from within the existing set up. The other two will get enough experience and recognition to generate a transfer fee.

The recent article entitled ’Starting line up with an old squad?’ has shown that this current squad does not need the drastic surgery we all feared. We do have a season or two to try this approach. Adding one quality player and giving youth it’s chance may pay dividends in the long run.

Yes, we may lose a couple of places in the league next season, but any financial loss would be offset by the savings made on promoting from within instead of importing at a cost of cash we haven’t got and the export of star players just to raise funds. Our squad in twelve months could be all the stronger for it and with a younger profile.

With a new manager, there may be a transition period anyway as he implements a new style of play with a new coaching staff that our very settled squad will need time to adjust to. Why not turn this to our advantage next season?

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Patrick Murphy
1 Posted 02/07/2013 at 19:27:13
You have a strong argument Kieran but it looks like we will lose at least one or both of either Baines and Felliani. We cannot as a club even contemplate keeping what we have as that would lead to greater financial losses and put us in even greater peril. I was excited by the appointment of Martinez, but not overly,. As usual that excitement has been undermined by the realisation that we are truly a 'cash-strapped' club, rumours continue that season tickets are down on previous years so be prepared for the same old cycle.

Chris Hannon
2 Posted 02/07/2013 at 19:42:52
Like Villa have done with their kids?

Great Idea

Mark Frere
3 Posted 02/07/2013 at 19:47:40
Which fringe players do you have in mind Kieran? Can only really think of Heitinger and Big Vic and I would be more then happy to see the back of them 2. I don't see us getting more than 7 million for the pair.

I would rather sell Big Vic, Heitinger and Fellaini, then RM would have plenty of money to play with

Raymond Fox
4 Posted 02/07/2013 at 19:57:10
I agree with basically all you say Kieran, theres going to be some comings and goings though, but I also see this season as a sorting out period where we will be lucky to see any improvement as far as league position is concerned.
Kieran Fitzgerald
5 Posted 02/07/2013 at 20:25:30
Chris, read the piece again. Where do I say sell all the senior players and only play people under the age of twenty four? If you're going to be sarcastic, get your facts straight first.

Mark, I was thinking Hetinga and Naismith, especially now that we seem to be getting closer to a deal for Kone. I think that Vic has shown more than Naismith, even though Naismith didn't get a decent run last season.

Patrick, my thinking was that our current model of managing our finances is unsustainable long term. My feeling was that developing the squad from within would ease the pressure to provide a transfer fund, either through selling players or from already stretched 'other' revenue streams. But then, what do you do short term over the next season or two?

James Martin
6 Posted 02/07/2013 at 20:28:41
To do that though you need fringe players and we hardly have any. Even the deadwood like neville and Hitzlsperger still played big roles last seaosn and they're already out the door. Where else could this squad be trimmed, most of the reserves are youth players already. It is perhaps only Heitinga and Anichebe that oculd be sold but they are the 2nd choice striker and third choice centre back. You'd have to replace them with youth and what top 6 side would start a season with one senior striker and two senior centrebacks. I agree that i'd much rather trade quality for quality, the Lescott money was largely squandered on players who haven't kept their value. That could have been used to buy one or two world class players that may have increased in value and doubled our money. That's what teams like Liverpool and Atletico Madrid do well, they never dilute their quality. When Torres went they got Suarez who can now be sold for 40 million himself - they've never lost that 40 million and could plough that into buying some up and coming striking star that could then be sold for a similar fee in just the same way Atletico sold Torres for Aguero then Aguero for Falcao, they've got the money now to buy some other striking sensation and keep their asset. Our 26 million from Lescott has largely dissipated much like the money from Rooney did because at both times the squad was in need of an overhaul.
Noel Early
7 Posted 02/07/2013 at 20:38:10
I agree with you Kieran, I wouldn't be sorry to see Heitinga and Victor leave along with Naismith. By selling these three, we could surely get another top player on board.

We need to keep Baines at all costs, he is just irreplaceable in my opinion. I have my doubts as regards Fellaini leaving, Arsenal seem to be his only suitors, we can't afford to let him run his contract down much further as Martinez needs every available penny.

Barkley and Stones look most likely to make the step up to the first team,surely these lads deserve much more game time this year. I always think back to Cheltenham in the FA Cup last year when after complaining about his squad being tired Moyes played a full strength team! How the likes of Duffy, Junior, Vellios and Barkley must have felt not being trusted to play against a League 2 side can't have done their morale any favours.

Martinez I'm sure will do the opposite: Wigan always played youth players in the lower rounds of cups, this can off course have an adverse effect on cup runs but at least he finds out if the young players are good enough; I'm thinking Calum McManaman benefited by taking his chance in this years cup run.

Ross Edwards
8 Posted 02/07/2013 at 21:15:39
Ross's Top Tip lads, Surprise package, Southampton. Splashing the cash at the moment, possibly looking for top 8 if they can keep the likes of Ramirez and Shaw.

Kev Prytherch
9 Posted 02/07/2013 at 21:26:58
James -

Alberto Aquallani
Andy Carroll
Jordan Henderson
Stuart Downing

If this is what clubs like Liverpool do well, then I'm glad we're not a club like Liverpool!!!!!

James Martin
10 Posted 02/07/2013 at 21:29:34
Kev I understand your point that they waste an awful lot of money as well - although they have it to waste whereas we don't. You could therefore argue that they wasted their Alonso money on Aquilani although it was only because he was injured the principle of replacing one for one was still correct.

All of our money seems mostly to be raised by homegrown talents like Rooney and Rodwell (potentially Barkley at some point). My point is that if we sell Baines I don't expect us to go out and buy another world class leftback to replace him, one that's younger and that if sold later would retain the 20 million value of Baines' sale. We'll probably sell Baines and use the funds to buy squad fillers at CB midfield and upfront that will either retire with us or be sold for a nominal fee. That 20 million asset that Baines was has now gone. A bit like the 30 million for Rooney has now gone and we haven't had a world class striker since. Atletico Madrid on the other hand had their wonder prospect of Torres but still have the cash value of that asset after selling Falcao because they did not dilute that asset and have had a world class striker at the club ever since Torres. Likewise Liverpool paid 20 million for a star striker in Torres - money invested from the owners, and if they sell Suarez they'll double that figure. The only way that amount of cash is ever going to be frittered away is if they buy badly (Carrol - fortunately Suarez's value has bailed them out of that mistake) or if they dilute it by by using it to buy squad players who either decrease in value, retire with them, or don't all develop into superstars that if sold would give you that cash sum back.

We had 26 million from the sale of Lescott and between Bilyaletdinov (10), Distin (5) and Heitinga (7) we'll probably recoup about 7 million of that when they've all left the club (Distin probably being through retirement). I know one of them has given us good service but has it been worth the loss of 19 million? Lets say hypothetically we'd taken the 26 mill and offered an eye watering amount for a young CB like Varane, Luiz or Thiago Silva (lets pretend this is a fantasy world where they'd actually be interested in joining) a fee that size would be hard to turn down. If we were looking to sell them now to a top club you'd at the very least get your 26 million back and you'd probably make more . You'd then have around 30 million to spend on a CB whilst always ensuring that you had a world class one at the club the same way that Atletico always have a world class striker from Torres to Forlan to Aguero to Falcao despite for a while not being one of the very top teams in Spain. The genius of Moyes was turning Lescott from a 5 mill asset into a 26 mill one but once he had it was squandered.

Tom Bowers
11 Posted 02/07/2013 at 22:04:47
Seems to be a lot of gloom and doom when there should be new optimism now that Moyes has gone. One doesn't expect to become a billionaire club overnight and anyway just look at Redshite who again finished below the Blues last season despite the millions they spent.

Money doesn't guarantee success but the right blend of managerial skills and team spirit goes a long way. It was obvious that some of the players Everton have do not measure up even some of those who played regularly over the last few seasons and it's time for new blood and new opportunities.

Everton have gotten some real bargains over the years so why not again. Does a player have to have a 10 or 20 million price tag before we say he is going to be a good fit?
Let's give the new manager, his procurements and his system a chance before we get hypercritical of anything.

Harold Matthews
12 Posted 02/07/2013 at 22:17:54
James. Very interesting piece on Athletico Madrid. Food for thought.

I see the Wigan on loan cup final keeper has returned to Athletico.
A fine talent. Rumours are circulating that we may be in for him.
Robles is the name. A young athietic giant with safe hands.

Kev Prytherch
13 Posted 02/07/2013 at 23:04:40
I think I did misinterpret your post slightly.
I see that Ruddys been linked with Chelsea for anything up to 10 million, kind of answers many people's arguments of 'What has anyone ever done after leaving Everton'!!!!

We did sort of follow this one saleable marquee signing for a few years; Beattie, Johnson, Yakubu, Fellaini..... It also coincided with consistent European finishes. Food for thought??

Alan Smith
14 Posted 02/07/2013 at 23:12:31
I think it could be done without finishing lower. Only 38 important games and possibly 6 fa cup. Hers my firs choice side alongside my carling cup side

GK Howard. Given---------------------------------springthorpe--------------
RB Coleman. Stones---------------------------------------------------------------
LB Bains. Oviedo------------------------garbut-------------------------------
CB jags. Duffy------------------------------------------------------------------
CB distin. Alcaraz--------------------------------------------------------------
CM Fellaini. Gibson ----------------------junior---------------------------------
CM Barkley. Osman-------------------------------------------------------------
CMA Honda. Naismith-------------------------------------------------------------
RW mirralas. Redmond-----------------Kennedy -----------------------------
LW Pienaar. --------------------------------------------------------------------------
CF Kone. Jelavic---------------anichebe--------mcalleny------------------

In; Given(free), Alcaraz(free), Honda(5m), kone(5m), Redmond(3m). Total 13m

Out: Hibbert, Neville, Hieghtinga, Velios, mucha, hitzlesperger, gueye total 3m

10m net spend to make two strong sides and 6 good kids

Alan Smith
15 Posted 02/07/2013 at 23:46:18
828 James

A truly excellent post.

I think any team can afford any world class player of a young age, as the only ever increase in value. We have let spurs outbid us for many young players but what could they sell them for now?

Speculate to accumulate. 15m bid for Lukaku anyone?

Mike Green
16 Posted 03/07/2013 at 07:02:14
James #828

Alan's right, a really good post.

The issue with it is, Moyes gets some whacking great sell on fees for Rooney, Rodwell and Lescott. He then has the choice of buying three or four top drawer replacements or a group of good squad players.

Im a gambling man - but in his, and the clubs predicament, I wouldn't blame him for not putting all his eggs in one basket with star signings (what if they flop or get a career ending injury....?) and probably invest in some tried and tested pro's and some decent looking youngsters.

What I would say though is if when you think about the three sales above (70m+...?), it further asks the question where has all the money gone......?

Sam Hoare
17 Posted 03/07/2013 at 09:36:43
I like the sentiment here but ma not convinced that our kids are all that. I think Barkley has the potential to make a great impact in moments though his concentration and decision making over 90 mins requires development.

I'm not sure the likes of Lundstram and Stones are quite ready to start a series of games at Premiership level but hopefully will get a few chances here and there.

The kids I would like to see more of are Mcaleny and Junior, both look very comfortable on the ball which should suit Martinez' style.

James McPherson
18 Posted 03/07/2013 at 09:42:15
Kieran, good though provoking contribution.

That said, it does not (for me) remove the langour that hangs over the club. I appreciate that there are some fans that are genuinely excited about the prospects ahead. However, not scientific, but many of these people I imagine were staunch ant-Moyes.

Grateful for what he had done up to the three -quarter mark of his reign,I felt it was time for Moyes to move on. The manner of how that was concluded has left a very sour taste. That's gone. We are now focusing on the here and now. That's the issue. The void left by Moyes (like him or not - it is) has been plugged by a lazy and uninspiring appointment. In acquiring the services of a manager and now we hear backroom staff!!!of a relegated club (that were good enough to stay up - FA Cup showed you that) is an appointment that is totally uninspiring. The amount of mail contributions telling us to be cheery in spite of the appointment, in spite of there being no money still!! reinforces the fact that the decline is just continuing. I expect it to quicken with the ageing squad and loss of key players.

Sorry, but a pessemist is only really an optomist in possession of the facts.

Brian Denton
19 Posted 03/07/2013 at 10:16:01
Chris (712) Villa's kids though have had a season being 'tested in the fire' and (especially if they keep hold of Benteke) I would be very surprised if Villa are in the same trouble this season.
Patrick Murphy
20 Posted 03/07/2013 at 10:16:49
James, perhaps the only option was RM or an internal appointment. That is the situation the club finds itself in, , honestly if you were a manager who had built a reputation elsewhere in a foreign league, would you have gambled on taking over Everton? No money, a lousy board and its only real asset being the supporters.

It's not so much of a gamble for RM as he has left a small town club and even if he fails - which god forbid he doesn't - he will be able to claim that the money factor undermined his tenure. If he succeeds his own reputation will have been enhanced and he can do a Moyes' and move to a 'bigger' club.

Like it or not RM is the manager of Everton FC and even if that makes people less than enthusiastic, they still have a duty when the season starts to get right behind the team, because if the crowd turns against the team things will turn ugly very quickly and none of us want to see that.

For those fans who think that Everton having a bad season will hasten BK's departure, I believe that won't happen in fact the best opportunity to see BK relinquish the club is if we are successful on the pitch, COYB and good luck Robbie.

David Chait
21 Posted 03/07/2013 at 10:04:25
I have always been a proponent of buy the best young talent you can afford... And buy few not many. So if you sell one player for X then don't overly dilute that by purchasing 4 with it. Moyes used to love doing this and was quite good at it. He did mess up the Lescott cash though, but at the time I thought awesome.

I get he felt that he was getting great value and for us this meant he could by almost as good for far cheaper and even more.... The theory is valid. However my preference is once you have value, especially upfront, you keep that value. It might take longer to progress but you can progress further in the long run by maintaining your value in an individual player. Rooney - sell for 25 and maintain your striker with that value.

If we sell Baines for instance for 18m, I wouldn't say we must have the same value LB, but I would be tempted to use that to create value upfront or go for a 15m youngster from Germany or Portugal. (I sense the Spanish ones are just waiting for Barca or Real).

James McPherson
22 Posted 03/07/2013 at 10:33:29
Patrick, fair challenge, well put.

I am putting "lazy and uninspiring" firmly at the feet of our shambles of a board. It is not Martinez's fault that he has been appointed.

Worryingly, the lack of imagination of his appointment is now been mirrored by Martinez in his structuring of his back-room team. I think this is exacerbating the concern fans like me have.

If I was RM - I would be attuned to the sensitivity (only choice is irrelevant) some EFC fans may have in recruiting for the first time in 15 managerial appointments a manager who has just palpably failed.

Bringing his back room staff and Kone, Alcaraz down the M58 shows a lack of menatl agility and intuition - which compounds my concern about the appointment.

However, putting all this to one side, nothing, but nothing will ever stop me getting behind the team and supporting whoever is in charge.

I seee Everton in a family context. Out there, in public, we rally, vocally physically and emotionally.

On here (Toffeweb) - we're indoors - we can talk about the family and our concerns - I see these two environments as being quite distinctly exclusive from one another.

Matt Traynor
23 Posted 03/07/2013 at 12:01:47
Patrick #975, sorry, any sniff of success on the pitch will redouble BK's determination to stay on at all costs, and/or put the asking price up. I doubt even if we were relegated he'd quit - he'd still see himself as the true blue to return them to the top flight, and the silent majority would go with that.
James Stewart
24 Posted 03/07/2013 at 13:26:53
Well in theory the idea of this is fine except we don't have fringe players. We can barely fill the bench as it is.

James Martin makes an interesting point and one which has also frustrated me. We have not replaced Rooney with a decent striker since he left and that money was wasted on the likes of Neville.

Gary Carter
25 Posted 03/07/2013 at 17:53:37
Tom Bowers - What a stupid thing to say, that all the doom and gloom should be gone now Moyes has gone !!!!

So we should be happy that a manager that its widely accepted overachieved with our limted squad and resources has gone and we have replaced him with one that got his team relegated after barely staying in the premiership before doing that ?!?!?

Jon Withey
26 Posted 03/07/2013 at 18:15:33
We still have some good, improving players : Coleman, Mirallas, Jagielka, Oviedo, even Gibson.

Osman, Distin, Pienaar, Hibbert, and our ex - Neville need replacements within a couple of seasons.

Losing Fellaini and Baines would really take the spine out of the side. If I were Martinez, I'd hold on to them, promising regular play at a familiar club in a World Cup year. It's not like they won't play in two big competitions !

Whatever small amounts of money are actually there to spend should be for squad players (Alcaraz, Kone, a journeyman keeper...fine) and good youngsters who are on the cusp of making it (Redmond, young spanish keeper, etc..).

I'd steer well clear of Given, he is well past it and woeful for both Ireland and Villa over the last season.

David Chait
27 Posted 04/07/2013 at 09:33:02
Chelsea have just done exactly what I want to see from us - van Ginkel for 8m. I don't doubt we could have pulled that off or something similar.

Why would anyone buy English when you can do that... Reportedly Palace paid 5.3 from Dwight Gayle.... Crazy.

Paul Andrews
28 Posted 04/07/2013 at 09:51:15
Interesting that David.
What type of player is van Ginkel?
Raymond Fox
29 Posted 04/07/2013 at 13:26:03
Who in our team apart from Leighton or possibly Fellani, would the top 6 clubs want?

Just fancy if Roberto could go out and buy 4 say 15m players, now then, we would stand a chance of challenging for something

Managers are in the same boat as a jockey, doesn't matter how good the jockey is, he cant win if the horse isn't good enough.
Roberto seems to have all the attributes to become a top manager, but Im not sure about his horse!

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