In the past, under Moyes, this lack of transfer activity would have been grudgingly accepted by most Blues due to the eternal 'lack of funds' at the club. This situation has seemed to exist for at least the last 15 odd years. That is, however, up to 2014….
With the first and now second of the 'new' Sky deals kicking in, the amount of cash given to each and every Premier League side has increased almost exponentially. To put things into context, Cardiff, who finished bottom in the 2013-14 season, received £63m in TV prize money. This was more prize money than Manchester United received the season before – and they just happened to be Champions!
The previous pauper status of our beloved club has been well known by most fans for a number of years. However, in this new climate of Murdoch cash-splash, we are no longer poor and no longer need to pinch pennies... so the question has to be asked: WHERE IS THE MONEY, BILL???
Assuming the wages for Cleverley and Deulofeu are somewhat netted off with the savings in wages from the departures of Distin and Alcaraz, we have so far spent about £4.2m on new players. There simply has to be more money in the club, due to the increased TV cash. So why are we not signing anyone?
There could I supposed be a number of reasons for this ranging from:
- The Board doesn’t trust the manager (odd if true as you'd simply get a new manager)
- Players don't want to come to Everton (hard to believe given the cash available and club history)
- Players don't want to play for Martinez (hard to believe simply given the cash available)
- Using money to clear the debt (hopefully partly true but doesn’t explain the low spend so far)
- Saving money to sort out the stadium issue (sorry, that was a joke)
- Black hole - aka Other Operating Costs
There are still 4 weeks left in the transfer window so time for things to change. However, the fact we have got to the start of the season and the first team is hardly any better than it was at the end of the last season is extremely worrying. Especially when the likes of Newcastle, Swansea, Stoke, West Ham are signing quality players like Payet, Wijnaldum and Afellay. (And what happened to our manager's supposed strong BarÃ§a connection here?)
Never mind the top six clubs, we are being left behind by the next six! Realistically speaking, we are now not in the same league as the likes of Spurs and putting Everton and Champions League or 'top 4' in the same sentence is a joke. People thinking we just need 'a player of two' to challenge need to take a long hard look at our team, manager and style of play. We are miles off!
As usual, the silence from the club as far as anything progressive in general is deafening and the rumours now circulating seem to suggest we need to sell before we can buy – which brings us back to the above money question. The accounts of the club will provide some answers but they will sadly not be available for a few more months and will only cover the year up to 31 May 2015.
It is simply not possible to hide the sums of money the club is now generating so we wait to see what the mythical 'other operating costs' will now be.
I really cannot see us averaging more than a point a game for the first 10 games of the season, if we're lucky.