Interview with Sasha Ryazantsev

Paul sat down for an exclusive interview with Everton's Director of Finance today.

Paul The Esk 19/12/2018 23comments  |  Jump to last

Following the publication of the 2017-18 accounts, Paul sat down for an exclusive interview with Everton's Director of Finance and Commercial Office today for The Blue's Room's regular Everton Business Matters podcast.

The two discussed the club's current financial situation, the improvement in Everton's non-playing commercial performance, Ryazantsev's thoughts on the role that recruitment, academy development and player trading plays, funding for the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock and Farhad Moshiri's fresh capital injections into the club which now stand at £250m.

Sasha expressed his desire that Everton now become self-sustainable rather than have to rely on support from the major shareholder.

We have huge potential as a team & club. The move to the new stadium is a compelling proposition. The challenge for me is to ensure we grow our commercial revenue away from reliance on broadcast revenue alone.”

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Reader Comments (23)

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John Malone
1 Posted 19/12/2018 at 22:09:30
Where is it?
Colin Leckey
2 Posted 19/12/2018 at 22:20:55
He’s a quiet lad is that Sasha...
Brent Stephens
4 Posted 19/12/2018 at 22:24:47
Nothing to argue with there.
Geoff Lambert
5 Posted 19/12/2018 at 22:28:48
Just click on the start of the graph.
Bill Watson
6 Posted 19/12/2018 at 22:30:44
Thanks, Paul. A very interesting interview especially about the financing of Bramley-Moore Dock. It appears the club is a lot further along that road than many of us realise.
Joe O'Brien
8 Posted 19/12/2018 at 23:05:09
Can't see the graph either Geoff..
Beresford McWilliam
9 Posted 19/12/2018 at 23:05:25
Is that our old mate Bobby Martinez peddling himself as a banker these days?
Brent Stephens
10 Posted 19/12/2018 at 23:06:26
What graph? Not on my iPhone.
Ian Hams
11 Posted 19/12/2018 at 23:40:54
I see nothing.
James Flynn
12 Posted 19/12/2018 at 23:43:59

Interesting listen.

Stephen Davies
13 Posted 19/12/2018 at 23:51:10
You may need access to Twitter to view/hear.

Click on PAUL THE ESK and scroll down to interview.

Lyndon Lloyd
Editorial Team
14 Posted 20/12/2018 at 00:15:40
Apologies, folks. It looks as though there is an issue with the body of articles displaying on mobile devices when there are fewer than three paragraphs. It should be showing now.
Derek Knox
15 Posted 20/12/2018 at 01:34:28
Interesting and encouraging for the future, both of the Club as a whole, and for the Bramley-Moore Dock project too!

Always thought Matt Munro was Born Free, didn't realise he was also Born a Blue, a Russian blue! :-)

Mark Louch
16 Posted 20/12/2018 at 10:13:30
Excellent interview and hugely reassuring.

The professionalism that the interview clearly shows gives you great confidence that in both the short and longer term we are doing things right.

Let's get 5th, 6th or 7th plus a Wembley appearance and 2019 could be a big step forward on and off the pitch.

Jay Wood

17 Posted 20/12/2018 at 12:30:19
Derek @ 15.

I wondered what the frig you were on about, referencing Matt Monro. And I was thrown again when clicking the link to first hear the crooner singing 'From Russia With Love', thinking I'd picked up a radio broadcast instead!

Then it clicked and I laughed. Disappointed not to hear the full song.

Settling down now to listen to the actual interview...

Jay Wood

18 Posted 20/12/2018 at 13:57:51
Fascinating stuff.

On the footballing side, he speaks highly of Brands's professionalism and the short and long term vision on recruitment and developing players from the academy.

Silva has evidently been given goals for this season as Ryazantsev, when asked where he hoped Everton would be in 12 months time, replied in the top four of the league, having just qualified for the knock-out stages of the Europa League.

On player recruitment and finances, he mentions the media deal means many Premier League leagues have similar budgets, other than those who regularly qualify for Champions League football who have a jump on the others. The idea is not to outspend them (because we can't), but rather, outsmart them, because where we currently are we unable to pay over the odds for a player, or sustain the astronomical salary the very best command.

Whilst saying Everton is not now a selling club, player trading remains an essential part of how the club operates. Yes, we need to profit on player deals, but we have to strike a balance between selling a player at a big profit, or retaining him to improve results and our standing.

He spoke how Everton cannot afford 'free loaders' (my words, not his) – that is, players receiving a salary, but playing no or very few minutes in the first team to justify their salary. Thus the cull we saw in the summer, which will no doubt continue in January and into next summer. We've had a hint of this already with (Brands..?) recently saying January recruitment will be along the lines of 'one in; one out'.

He made a lot of positive noises about the stadium. Quite simply, the project continues until it does happen! There has been significant progress in the last 6 months with regard to the different funding options and that there is no single plan, but Plans A, B or C depend on which way we go to fund the project.

He added ours is possibly more an Arsenal model, rather than a Spurs model (without detailing how so), that we can learn from their stadium projects whilst very much following our own.

He spoke in detail also about increasing other revenue outside the media deal and how deals such as that with Angry Birds (mocked by some fans) is the way to go to capture the younger generation who, more than an older generation, increasingly consume content over hand-held tech and who maybe don't engage with the full 90 minutes of a live game exclusively, but flitter between different apps as they do so.

I found this part particularly revealing and evidence of Everton's (newly-founded) forward thinking in this area.

Highly recommended listen.

Winston Williamson
19 Posted 20/12/2018 at 14:14:41
I can relate to the younger generation and their consumption of media during games.

My 12-year-old lad cannot sit through 90 minutes, at the ground or at home, without going on to a media platform to either discuss the game or get info on the game.

I used to find it annoying, but he comes out with some interesting facts during games, so I've come to appreciate it.

Today's youth multi-task online, and it's good that EFC are aware of it.

John G Davies
20 Posted 20/12/2018 at 14:17:33

It's a sign of the times. Similar is the Live Forum. Posting while watching the game surely means you miss parts of the game?

Mike Gaynes
21 Posted 20/12/2018 at 14:31:48
John G, I've trained my eyeballs to do the frog thing. One on the game, one on the Forum.
John G Davies
22 Posted 20/12/2018 at 14:54:57

Apparently you can train either eye to be dominant.

A few people on here have been posting one-eyed for a while now so it's not a new thing... :-)

Stan Osborne
23 Posted 20/12/2018 at 15:58:49
The funding options for the ground move will be crucial to the financial planning and performance for EFC for years to come. There are lots of positives to be taken from this interview and from Farhad Moshiri's tenure at the club so far in terms of professionalism, financial commitments and input generally.

The vast majority of fans appear rightly to be well on board with developments so far. The move to Bramley-Moore Dock is such a massive step for us that, until its funding is clarified and, more importantly, delivered, it will probably be difficult for fans to accurately assess and have complete confidence in what the future holds.

Joe O'Brien
24 Posted 20/12/2018 at 16:11:50
I was very impressed with Sasha... he seems so measured and focused... no waffle. The board have a clear idea of where we are and where we want to get too... and how are we going to get there.

Although I dislike the Angry Birds logo on our sleeve, the club seem very happy with them, opening them up to the younger generation.

All-in-all, as Jay said, it's fascinating stuff.

Paul [The Esk]
29 Posted 20/12/2018 at 23:57:58
Thanks for your comments to date. Sasha is an extremely interesting person, highly intelligent and very dedicated to his role at Everton. I've been able to speak to him on a number of occasions this year in the lead-up to this interview, and it does represent a thawing of relationships and willingness to engage with fans even from board level.

Please encourage as many Blues as possible to listen to it, thank you for having done so to date.

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