Profit and sustainability explained and what it means for transfer budgets
Profit and sustainability explained and what it means for transfer budgets
The arrival of Carlo Ancelotti at Everton has been accompanied by almost universal speculation that he has been provided with guarantees of a big transfer pot in which to shape his future squad.
As far as is possible, without getting too technical, I will try to explain the difficulties behind the assumption, then how possibly the situation can be mitigated.
Firstly, a quick look at how transfers in and out are calculated in accounting terms, then we need look at the regulatory restrictions currently surrounding the club and finally the treatment of further money poured into the club:
How transfers are accounted for:
We buy a player for £50 million, earning £5 million a year on a 5 year contract. How does that appear in the accounts?
The accounts take the transfer fee and spread it over the duration of the contract. So in this case the £50 million transfer fee is spread over 5 years creating a cost of £10 million a year (assuming no changes in contract length). Then his annual salary is added to the costs.
Thus in this case, the costs added to the profit and loss account each year for this player would be £15 million per annum.
If we sell a player then the treatment is slightly different. The profit or loss is calculated by calculating the price received for the player minus the remaining book value (remember in accounting terms the value of the player reduces each year as above)
So for example, a player bought for £20 million who is half way through his contract at Everton, but is sold for £30 million would generate a profit of £20 million in accounting terms (£30 million – £10 million). In addition, his future wages would obviously also disappear from future costs.
Everton’s current position:
Despite Moshiri’s capital injections in excess of £250 million, player trading profits approaching £200 million and extended credit facilities, the excesses and poor recruitment of the last 3.5 years has left Everton in a vulnerable position.
In order to understand our position and thus the likelihood of a large transfer pot for Ancelotti we must look at the Premier League rules surrounding loss-making clubs and assess our financial performance over the last three years including the current year 2019/20.
Profit & Sustainability Rules
These are the Premier League rules designed to keep a club from accumulating consistent and potentially unsustainable losses. They provide an explanation for what is included in the calculations and the consequences of breaking the limits.
The key figure is the maximum permitted losses amounting to £105 million over a three year period (including the current financial year) – rule E.59:
From the above definition the only costs that may be removed from the Profit & Sustainability calculations relate to women’s football expenditure, youth development expenditure (ie the academy) and any community development expenditure.
Other than the community development expenditure, Everton’s published accounts do not provide a breakdown of each figure.
Contrary to popular misconception the current costs associated with the development of Bramley-Moore charged to the profit and loss account are included in the Adjusted Earnings calculation. Currently for Everton, as until such a time as planning permission is granted these costs appear in the accounts as expenditure. Once planning permission is secured from an accounting point of view the costs are “capitalised” and the Profit & Loss account is adjusted for that purpose (i.e. the previously accounted expenses are added back in). Therefore currently those costs are included in the Premier League’s calculations.
How close to breaching rule E.59 are we?
At the time of writing the accounts for T-2 (2017/18) are published, T-1 (2018/19) are due to be published any day, and T is the current accounting period. Thus we need to look at projections for T-1 and T.
So before adjustment, actual and projected losses are as follows:
2017/18 : £13.07 million loss
2018/19: £95.00 million projected loss
2019/20: £35.00 million projected loss subject to any further player trading in and out.
Total projected losses for 3 years before adjustments: £143 million. It should be noted that my projection of losses in 2018/19 and this year are less than the projections of other similar analyses.
Regardless, that figure puts us well above the £105 million permitted losses even though the aggregate figure will be lower than £143 million because of the adjustments made for women’s football, the academy and community expenditures.
In addition, if planning permission is granted for Bramley-Moore before 30 June 2020 – the end of the current financial year) the accumulated costs to date (around £30-35 million) would therefore reduce the accumulated losses for the period.
Putting more funds into the club
So far we’ve not looked at how much cash is there to spend and how much cash (capital) will Moshiri be willing to put into the club to support Ancelotti.
Predicting the cash balance within the club is nigh on impossible particularly after at least one (possibly two) capital injection(s) by Moshiri in recent months and weeks. However it is fair to say that cash is limited and with current cash expenditure (wages, other operating costs and associated exceptional costs including Silva and Bramley-Moore) exceeding income, i.e. being cash flow negative, a continued and growing concern.
Some say that Moshiri will just continue to bankroll the club. Whilst him doing so would keep the club solvent and depending upon the scale of future investment provided funds for transfers (i) I think is extremely unlikely and (ii) doesn’t solve the profit and sustainability issues mentioned above. Capital injections do not solve the P&L account issues.
Why do I think it unlikely? Primarily due to the sums already invested and the future sums required for Bramley-Moore. Whilst a large element of the Bramley-Moore funding will be provided for by debt, a still substantial sum has to be raised from the majority shareholder. Additionally the primary lenders will wish to impose restrictions on Everton’s ability to spend over and above their income for a sustained period. (I will address the options for Bramley-Moore post the publication of the 2018/19 accounts).
What does this mean for Ancelotti (and indeed Brands)?
As things stand and assuming we wish to remain compliant with the Premier League rules, it is almost inconceivable that Ancelotti has a large transfer budget immediately available.
We have options though albeit relatively limited and/or undesirable.
We could choose to ignore the Premier League rules but the consequences of doing so may be wide and far reaching:
Alternatively, and I’ve mentioned it in previous podcasts, we can look to dispose of as many players as possible, not only including the “deadwood” to reduce the wage bill, but more effectively in the context of reducing losses, those players who we can sell at significant profits.
From a fans perspective, it hardly seems credible that selling some of your best players for profit is a wise strategy. However, it is consistently how the largest clubs operate when faced with costs leaping ahead of growth in income. Developing and selling assets to be re-invested in developing new assets is very much part of the modern game. With growth in income unlikely in the next few years, it remains our only viable compliant strategy. It also happens to be one of Brands’ primary areas of expertise.
Ancelotti at the age of 60 is entering a new phase of his career. Not only does he have to turn around a largely ailing club but he may have to do so by having a totally different operating practice in the transfer window.
The assumption that he is just going to spend big in this next window and the summer is flawed in my opinion. He has already said he needs time to become effective at Everton. That (in my opinion) will mean working with what he has and only very selective forays into the transfer market. Our financial performance will also highlight to him the very real need to be regular participants in European football.
The exciting part of this (and if you wish, the one shining light of hope) is that with Brands and Ancelotti we have two of the most intelligent senior executives in European football. We are in a tricky situation but at least we have, in Brands and Ancelotti, people who can plot a path to better times and for once, people with proven track records of success…
Success which is likely to have to be earned rather than bought.
Reader Comments (50)
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1 Posted 28/12/2019 at 18:50:56
I'm still somewhat bemused by restricting Ancelotti to working with tools he's not necessarily skilled with rather than providing a few better tools than he has, thereby enabling him to achieve what his reputation is based on as a winner.
I'm also, as a bloke who worries about going into the red, perplexed as to how Mr Moshiri is piling money into our club to an extent beyond several owners of other clubs who are reportedly significantly more wealthy than him. Question; do magic money trees originate from Monaco?
2 Posted 28/12/2019 at 18:54:17
And as for costs, there's about six or seven high earners whose contracts will end or they will be sold.
Income will also be up.
3 Posted 28/12/2019 at 19:09:12
4 Posted 28/12/2019 at 19:21:44
5 Posted 28/12/2019 at 19:28:58
He has to work with and tweak the present squad and hope we can maintain this present good run.
Get rid of some deadwood in January and the Summer then look at what we can do at that time.
No doubt we and Ancelotti are going to have a number of setbacks during the rest of this season but having such a knowledgeable manager now in place will see us safe in mid/upper table.
6 Posted 28/12/2019 at 19:40:05
Thanks to you and regular contributors throughout the year, your efforts are really appreciated. Keep up the good work.
7 Posted 28/12/2019 at 19:41:22
Julian 4, other than his preference for cups where his tactical nuance can rule the day, I think he also wants the cup as a statement for his resume. I can't imagine a high profile manager as him would take a trophyless season as anything but a failure, a high bar we all would love to aim at. Additionally, it would be good for morale too. Winning is winning. Of course, as a fan of his for so long, righting our ship is more important although that shiny cup doesn't hurt.
8 Posted 28/12/2019 at 20:09:53
I think he has already assessed Everton, before taking the Managers job. Brands will continue try to reduce the wages bill and move on deadwood.
9 Posted 28/12/2019 at 20:24:20
Whatever the legal financial shackles are a way must be found tinkering around the edges is what drove us down this non-entity road in the first place.
Delusional to think otherwise
10 Posted 28/12/2019 at 20:25:35
11 Posted 28/12/2019 at 20:32:43
12 Posted 28/12/2019 at 22:01:23
13 Posted 28/12/2019 at 22:16:41
14 Posted 28/12/2019 at 22:28:10
15 Posted 28/12/2019 at 22:45:34
16 Posted 28/12/2019 at 23:19:04
I am amazed we have spent what we have since the owner has taken over. Season tickets have remained the same prices and the stadium capacity has not increased. The new stadium is crucial to be able to sustain players salaries and fees.
I agree the squad will need triming down as we have average players on large salaries. Selling top players to make a profit will be pointless if progress is to be made. Ancelotti will take us forward but will need funds to do so. Money will be found. Football is like no other business.
17 Posted 28/12/2019 at 23:41:13
Moshiri's much vaunted three years project is now provably laughable largely on account of the managers he personally, we're told, pursued. He's now appointed a top class winning manager. Why would anyone making such an appointment then deny the man the tools to do what he's famous for doing, and that's also precisely the much vaunted aim of Moshiri we're told?
Anything less than full financial support will to me reek of Kenwright and his never-ending dissolution of the club as a viable contender for trophies whilst he, Kenwright or now Moshiri, perpetuate the fans' misery as the one/two of them pursue their own interests in terms of their own bank accounts, and fuck the fans/supporters.
18 Posted 28/12/2019 at 00:15:00
Maybe Carlos remit is simply to keep us stable for the next few years until were in the new ground. At best we may fluke a Lesister city but tgars highly unlikely..
Its going to take a small miracle to break into the top 4 over the next few seasons...
We will still be a selling club simply because players heads will be turned if they become good enough for the top clubs..
Carlo might attract a higher calibre of plyers but it will still cost a lot if dosh.
Shame the red shite are going from strength to strength whlie we still yoyo in mid table.
However as Carlo rightly says anything is possible in footballkeep tge faith ciz thats all we have...
19 Posted 29/12/2019 at 00:28:52
Also - being aware of the possibility of something is not the same as being happy about something.
20 Posted 29/12/2019 at 00:48:47
I think the problem with Everton has been that they did not spend enough money getting a top manager. What they did get was cheapo Manager who spent big money on average players or hadn't the ability to utilise a purchased player. The selection of Koeman was the exception , being plain stupid having not researched his recird.
21 Posted 29/12/2019 at 01:18:32
22 Posted 29/12/2019 at 01:28:28
23 Posted 29/12/2019 at 04:12:02
Would he be happy with the rise of Holgate answering any questions on the number and quality of central defenders and similarly with Richarlison, DCL and Kean as strikers. Can Baines continue as cover for another season and would Kenny and Coleman be sufficient if Sidibe was not signed permanently. I think that he must bring in one or two players into midfield particularly a playmaker whether Gomes comes back fully fit or not.
Then there is the question of raising income. If any ground costs, EitC, the Academy and Women's football are eliminated there may be other ways of raising money other than selling players albeit there will always be some that are moved on other than for necessary monetary reasons. Given that our newly appointed manager may raise our profile would any of our sponsors consider paying upfront for extended rights? This then increases the need to qualify for those European cash cow competitions as even for allowing for spreading transfer costs over the length of a players contracts we are not likely to improve any playing areas unless top dollar is paid even if Mr Brands uncovers some lesser known young players.
Can somebody explain how the figure of 105M was arrived at and if there is any likelihood of this figure changing?
24 Posted 29/12/2019 at 05:47:41
1) Man City tried to book expenditure of almost £1bn to their development of facilities around the Etihad, academies, other community projects etc. and were rightly told to try again.
2) Our loveable neighbours booked over £100m to their Stanley Park project, without even a spade going into the ground, and that was deemed to be "allowable expenses".
25 Posted 29/12/2019 at 07:26:57
There are 3 players from the 1st team squad whose contracts end this season, Baines, Martina and Niasse, with a total wages of approximately £155,000 paid between the 3 of them according to spotrac.com. Baines probably will extend for another year, possibly at reduced terms meaning around £100,000 will be available. The squad will still need a new defender to replace Zuma/Jags and a new striker.
Ancelotti can get away with a defender who can be 3rd/4th choice if Holgate continues to improve, but a top level striker is an absolute necessity. Funding these positions in addition to any other positions in the squad can cost anything from 0 upwards depending on Brands ingenuity in the transfer market, however the club can still expect to pay atleast market wages for the players they sign, which leads to the point that the club wages will rise again and the ratio with turnover further increased.
The other ways the club can deal with this unsustainable problem is by raising revenue, something they have been unable/unwilling to do recently. Raising ticket prices or adding significant sponsorship money are other ways, but don't seem likely.
As such, I cant see the club spending large amounts, because of the wages involved and the potential breach of fair play rules.
26 Posted 29/12/2019 at 08:00:10
I firmly believe personally (like a fair few others) that he is feeding the club in many different ways from outside in.
From what we can gather,the stadium funding still hasnt been firmly established in that we havent accepted the councils offer of funding, we have not accepted the Chinese bank funding as far as im aware,
so who is getting their hand down ??
Small signs can point to bigger pictures, and it is none more noticeable than Megafon (Usmanov),have started ‘sponsoring the home matches, coupled with it simply has to be USM providing the steels for the new ground and even the (press) rumoured murmurings that it was Usmanov who met Ancelloti before Moshiri..?
All conjecture from many angles I know, but I personally cannot see our stadium not having a ‘USM in the title, can you ?
Plus the fact, again, that it simply makes so mutch sense to feed us from the outside to in to stave off unwarranted attention, (from espescially ffp) and the greed of agents thinking they can get more money for their players etc.
No, I simply cannot see past the logic that the coming large scale development of the Liverpool waterfront (inc Stadium AND Liver buildings remember) would be coped with, with a guy with 1bill.,who has, or works for/involved with a guy with 15 bill ! And lets get it right, could buy and sell Peel Holdings in a blink.
No,Meis left out the large ‘Private Mooring only sign outside the front of the new stadium in the plans deliberately methinks !
27 Posted 29/12/2019 at 08:15:12
28 Posted 29/12/2019 at 08:36:41
"there seems to me to be little point in appointing CA if Moshiri doesn't enable him to purchase just a few expensive, classy players.
Monumental mindlessness by those not tuned into this fundamental point. I would add I think we need more than a few and expect the financial titan that is Moshiri to find a way to do just that regardless of financial shackles
29 Posted 29/12/2019 at 08:41:14
The high wages percentage is a problem, that Brands has been trying to address, Those that where sitting comfortably on their contracts will find the attitude and standards around them have changed. The fact that Everton are going through a perceived injury crisis will add pressure to those that are not getting selected.
If Everton can keep improving results wise the pressure will increase further.
Having the right Management in place will make a lot of difference to the financial performance. The internal management underperformance has to be addressed , parallel to progress that has been made on the pitch, if Everton are to progress.
30 Posted 29/12/2019 at 09:28:31
31 Posted 29/12/2019 at 10:00:41
32 Posted 29/12/2019 at 10:05:11
It raises a question now about what the club does when Man Utd offer 80m for Richarlison.
33 Posted 29/12/2019 at 11:10:47
34 Posted 29/12/2019 at 11:22:00
The bean counters need muzzling and the board need to be financially creative to make sure the critical players of our young progressive team are retained. Richarlison is one of them.
35 Posted 29/12/2019 at 11:22:50
Ok, that's two words, but you know what I mean. Ancelotti has already said even before he took charge of the Burnley game, he wanted assurances that neither Richarlison and Digne would be sold and he wants to build a team around those two.
36 Posted 29/12/2019 at 11:39:04
As always a very well researched and a well written piece. I cant argue with the figures you have produced. But I am sure that Carlo would have asked about what his budget would be over the next 12 to 18 months, now if he wasn't told the full picture then we will be in serious trouble. Because managers of the quality of Ancelotti would not have come to a club in 15/16th position in the league without serious guarantees of his ability to bring in quality players. Unless he is coming here to do his best with pretty much the squad he inherited, and if it all goes wrong with a 4 year deal in his pocket he will leave with between £20 - £30 million in pay off payments.
I personally think Carlo has come for the long haul, but to get this club to where our current owner and fans want it will take considerably more money than Paul believes he will have to spend.
37 Posted 29/12/2019 at 14:37:27
38 Posted 29/12/2019 at 14:44:33
What the club does is ask Utd "Don't you want to buy BOTH legs then"?
39 Posted 30/12/2019 at 07:58:41
Were leaving anyway.
40 Posted 30/12/2019 at 08:29:24
41 Posted 30/12/2019 at 08:53:48
As you suggested in your penultimate paragraph, it looks like Farhad Moshiri now finds himself with a potent combination of Director of Football, Football Manager, and Assistant Manager. He couldnt possibly have planned that but he deserves a change of luck in my opinion.
What I am sure of is that he has planned the building and financing of Bramley-Moore. The one thing that can sabotage that plan is the loss of our premier league status. By appointing Carlo Ancelloti, once again my opinion only, he has removed that risk.
Ancelloti has hinted that he wont be looking for a striker in January, and if Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison, and Kean can maintain or indeed improve on their form in the Newcastle game, he wont have to. I think if anything it will be a centre half he goes for because my gut feeling is he feels he can get a tune out of our available midfielders.
He has also stated that he will be working closely with Marcel Brands, presumably to find new upcoming talent.
The big question therefore is where is the funding for Bramley-Moore coming from? I keep coming up with the same answer - Alisher Usmanov.
Here is a direct question to you Paul, which I am not sure if I have asked you previously. If EFC obtains the planning permission can Megafon or USM fund and build the stadium and lease it back to the club without us falling foul of the FFP rules?
42 Posted 30/12/2019 at 08:58:37
43 Posted 30/12/2019 at 13:58:23
Beyond that, I'm positive that someone with his CV would require assurances that he would be supported in the market to the extent he felt was necessary. I bet FFP was hardly mentioned. 'The money men will sort that out !'
If the new man was expected to work within constraints, they would have gone for a Moyes type on a third the salary at most. As it is, I suspect the owner's silent partner is already lining up his next sponsorship project to put things right.
Although I have always enjoyed The Esk's input, I have to remind him that managing to work round the financial/ legal constraints he mentions is the food and water of those businessmen who decide to park their wagon in the land of top football. My money is on Monaco Mosh to succeed.
44 Posted 30/12/2019 at 18:44:25
I think with Gbamin out and Gomes out, Ancelotti's focus for the moment will be bringing in a quality mid twenties Central Midfielder. Probably someone he has worked with before.
So for the moment DC-L and Mason Holgate being consistently amongst our best players on current form are allowing us to strengthen elsewhere without breaking the bank in the process.
45 Posted 30/12/2019 at 18:50:54
There was me thinking not at several away grounds mate!
46 Posted 30/12/2019 at 23:25:41
47 Posted 30/12/2019 at 23:57:59
Tom#26 I recon you have this right, in your paragraph regards property development. Links well with Paul at 31, Laurie #41, I recon you have hit the nail on the head.
These fantastically rich people have got there somehow. They see an opportunity and seize it. Personally, as with Goodison now, there will be a structure in place as to who owns what. Laurie, as you intimated, I bet a separate holding company owns the ground, land or whatever, and the club pays a rent to it. There will be local generation and the big boys will get involved. Win win for the area really. But the big boys get rich. Richer.
I saw mention of a Chinese bank. Thought it was Canadian. Sorry.
So, who is in it for what? The shares are trading at about £3,500. There is a load of expense that can not be capitalised in to the shares, until planning is given, if it is. Then the picture changes, I have heard rumour that the shares are £10,000 each with planning. Mosh will be happy, very happy.
Someone correct me I am wrong, Paul, especially you. We sat with my good mate Rodger at the AGM last time, if you fancy a chat and even a beer (or six), please let me know. Great thread BTW
48 Posted 31/12/2019 at 00:26:26
The list of who could be the mezzanine funder in the above scenario is extensive.
49 Posted 31/12/2019 at 04:23:08
50 Posted 31/12/2019 at 08:34:31
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