The Financing and Accounting of Transfers and How We Operate in this Window

A detailed look at the financial implications behind the transfer options open to us, how it's financed and what it means for Everton

Paul The Esk 04/08/2020 115comments  |  Jump to last

From a pure footballing perspective, the need for Everton to be active in this transfer window has never been more apparent. We finish the 2019-20 season with a desperately unbalanced, uncompetitive squad devoid of direction, leadership and the numerous qualities required of a competitive football club.

Every poor decision, and execution thereof, every mistake in recruitment and every failing of our players have drawn to a crescendo at the worst possible time. A time when the club is performing badly financially and at a time when the finances of the football industry look their most vulnerable for decades as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Premier League’s profit and sustainability rules permit losses of up to £105 million over three years (covered by the shareholders and with exclusions for ladies football, community expenditure and costs relating to fixed assets (stadium)). Everton’s Profit & Loss (P&L) account reads +£30 million, – £13 million, -£112 million for the last three years, projected -£60 million for this year (19-20) and -£58 million for 20-21 subject to player trading.

So that’s the background to Brands and Ancelotti’s task of turning around the good ship Everton, seemingly destined for a considerable period becalmed in the doldrums.

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I have explained on many occasions both on this site and the numerous podcasts on the topic that Everton are beset by cash flow and working capital issues. So let’s work through the possible sources of cash:


It is possible for Moshiri, should he have the resources or should he wish to do so, to pump more money into the club. To the last accounts (31 June 2019) he has injected £350 million and there’s a fair case for assuming he put more in during 2019-20. The downside of that is that, given football is a regulated business (Premier League profit and sustainability rules and UEFA financial fair play rules), investing capital for the purpose of paying transfer fees and paying wages can only be done as long as the club is profitable. However, Everton are loss making, have been for the last two completed & published financial years, and will be for 2019-20 and for 2020-21. The regulations limit those losses and de facto limit the use of capital unless there’s an increase in income or the losses are covered by player trading. As we will see, the ability to do either appears limited.


It is possible to fund capital purchases (players) through debt. However, for Everton, this is problematic given that we are already using debt facilities to meet our negative cash flow arising from ordinary operations. Compounded by the reduced income arising from Covid-19 shutdown, empty stadiums, TV rights rebates and reduced commercial income, it’s difficult to see lenders (even those who appear more relaxed, such as Rights and Media Funding) playing ball with that game.

Increased sponsorship & commercial income

Increasing income is the clear optimal solution. Firstly, it helps reduces losses; secondly, it assists cash flow; and thirdly, with the right partner and contract, might be securitised (ie, we receive a significant sum upfront for a multi-year deal).

The difficulty is finding new commercial partners at a time when most major corporates are reducing advertising, marketing and promotional budgets. If they’re not reducing those budgets, they will be allocating existing resources to existing relationships.

Therefore, it is extremely unlikely that significant new commercial partners will be sourced. Theoretically, there is the possibility of further support from USM. The only major remaining sponsorship open currently would be naming rights attached to Goodison Park. The limitation is how much are they worth on a fair value market (FVM) test. Established industry research suggests FVM of around £3-3.5 million per annum at best. Helpful, but not a significant sum in the wider context.

Player trading

The final option (and one that Everton have relied upon heavily in recent years) is player trading. Selling a player above his book value provides three major benefits:

● A player trading profit which goes straight to the bottom line

● A reduction in this year’s wage bill

● A reduction in this year’s amortisation bill (only applicable for players we purchased for a fee)

The obvious challenges for Everton are (i) with the financial damage to the game caused by Covid-19, the market is clearly a buyers' market, thereby suppressing player values; (ii) many of Everton’s players are enjoying wages above their market value, have had a poor season, or have not featured at all for Everton; and (iii) it is difficult to simultaneously strengthen the squad and sell your (best) most marketable or most valuable players.

So, what do transfers look like from an accounting point of view? (Not boring – it will help make sense of the financial consequences of players being bought and sold.)

Remember, the key here is how much cost do we add to the P&L account when buying a player, and how much cost do we take off the P&L account when selling.

Transfer options and the financial implications:

Buying a player

Let’s assume we buy a player for a transfer fee of £20 million (including agents fees etc).

The player signs a 5-year contract for £75,000 a week.

What does that do to our P&L account?

The £20 million purchase fee is spread over the length of the contract, so over a 5-year period (assuming the player stays) we add £4 million to the amortisation costs on the P&L account each year.

The player is on £75,000 a week. Ignoring any bonuses which would also be added to the cost, the wage bill increases by £3.9 million a year (£75k x 52).

Therefore, the annual cost of buying this player is £7.9 million a year – our profit reduces by (or our losses increase by) this amount each year for 5 years.

The payment terms, for example paying in 3 instalments, do not affect the P&L account, so do not form part of profit and sustainability regulations nor financial fair play.

Selling a player

When we sell a player, the impact on the P&L account is as follows:

Let’s say we sell a player for £15 million. He joined us 3 years ago for £30 million and has a 5-year contract worth £100,000 a week in wages.


● Our wages fall by £100,000 a week – £5.2 million a year

● Our amortisation costs fall by £6 million this year (£30 million divided by 5)

The P&L account shows a £3 million profit because his book value was £12 million (£30 million – (3×30/5) million) and we received £15 million.

When the accounts are presented next year, this transaction will have produced a £3 million trading profit, a reduction in amortisation of £6 million and a reduction in wages of £5.2 million.

Thus, for this year the P&L account would benefit by £14.2 million.

If we sold the same player for £9 million, then it would look like this:

● Our wages fall by £100,000 a week – £5.2 million a year

● Our amortisation costs fall by £6 million this year (£30 million divided by 5)

The P&L account shows a £3 million loss because his book value was £12 million (£30 million – £(3×30/5) million) and we only received £9 million.

Thus, for this year, the P&L account would benefit by £8.2 million.

This demonstrates how it is possible to sell a player for less than book value but still benefit the P&L account.


Bringing a player in on loan

There are two elements to the finances of a loan: (i) a loan fee, and (ii) how much of the player’s wages do the borrowing club pay?

So we might loan a player for a year. In P&L terms, the loan fee and the element of the players wages we pay are treated as direct costs against the P&L account. So a player with a loan fee of £2 million and we pay £50,000 per week of his wages would cost us £4.6 million for a 52-week loan.

Putting a player out on loan

Let’s put a player out on loan for a year. We bought him for £30 million 2 years ago on a 5-year contract at wages of £100,000 a week.

The club receiving the player has agreed to pay a £1 million loan fee and pay £40,000 a week towards his wages.

So, the player costs us £6 million in amortisation charges and £5.2 million in wages – total annual cost to the P&L account £11.2 million.

However the receiving club is contributing £1 million in fees and paying £2.08 million in wages. Therefore the costs to the P&L account reduce by £3.08 million from £11.2 million to £8.12 million.

Player swaps

In many economies, when cash is short, bartering takes place. Bartering is the exchange of goods and services without using money. It is possible in football when two clubs decide to swap players.

If the players are of equal value, then no cash changes hands (apart from any taxes or levies due). If one player is more valuable than the other, the balance can be made up with cash. The accounting treatment is the same as mentioned above in terms of buying and selling.

There is one opportunity though for clubs to barter and that is by inflating the value of the deal. Increasing the value of each player by a similar amount allows both clubs to temporarily (ie, in this accounting year) inflate their profits but the downside is it increases amortisation costs over the long term.

In truth, it is a rather desperate measure – for example, the inflated Arthur/Pjanic player swap between Barcelona & Juventus helps satisfy some of the profitability issues both clubs have, but does nothing to solve the structural issues both clubs have that forced them down this route in the first instance.

So where does that leave us?

Here’s a summary of the main players in our squad, what they cost, and what their current book value is (when considering selling).

£ millions Wages Amortisation Annual cost to P&L Book value (1/7/20)
Pickford 5.20 4.20 9.40 16.80
Mina 6.20 5.70 11.90 17.10
Gomes 5.80 4.70 10.50 18.80
Sigurdsson 5.20 8.90 14.10 17.80
Bernard 6.24 0.00 6.24 0.00
Richarlison 4.68 8.00 12.68 32.00
Digne 4.68 3.60 8.28 10.80
Bolasie 3.90 4.95 8.85 4.95
Walcott 4.55 5.06 9.61 5.06
Keane 3.12 4.85 7.97 9.70
Tosun 3.12 4.00 7.12 8.00
Kean 2.76 5.60 8.36 22.40
Ramirez 4.60 1.25 5.85 1.25
Iwobi 4.16 6.80 10.96 27.20
Delph 4.16 3.60 7.76 7.20
Holgate 3.90 3.90 0.00
Calvert-Lewin 3.90 3.90 0.00
Davies 3.12 3.12 0.00

* multiple sources

I have said on many occasions we find ourselves in a difficult position both from a cash flow point of view (we’re spending far more cash than we are earning) and we have significant debts based on my previous cash-flow analysis.

Our P&L situation is such that we cannot add to our costs without (i) significantly increasing our revenues (see above); (ii) significantly reducing our costs; and (iii) generating player trading profits.

The need for changes in the squad is clear and obvious. How it is achieved will be down to the skills of Brands in selling players in particular, plus his and Ancelotti’s ability to use a buyers’ market to find bargains. Despite the messages in the media, it remains my belief we will trade our way through this window – the outgoings will be as important financially as the incomings. We will not, however, be seeking to add to the overall cost of the squad – that must reduce even further despite the reductions achieved already this window.

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Reader Comments (115)

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Jerome Shields
1 Posted 04/08/2020 at 20:35:38
The amount of money that Moshiri has put in and what he has got in return is frightening. It is looking to me that he needs to take a further hit and inject more money, both going hand in hand together, if Ancelotti is going to have a chance of doing what he has to do.

I personally think it's time for Moshiri to swing the axe, rather than try to manage his way out of the mess. It's the only way to establish a firm foundation, to build from.

When you look at Everton's actual situation, it is hard not to think that there is a fair amount of lack of reality within the club. Do a lot of them even care?

Conor Skelly
2 Posted 04/08/2020 at 20:46:54
Thanks for that, Paul. This is great complimentary reading to your excellent Podcast.

I believe we are going to have to lose two of our only appreciated assets – Digne and Richalison, who we could expect to make back around double what we paid for them.

If selling those two will allow us to start again, so to speak, then so be it.

I'd also accept anything over £20M for Calvert-Lewin if it came in.

Stephen Vincent
3 Posted 04/08/2020 at 20:59:35
Paul that is brilliant analysis, thank you. Am I right in thinking that there is a moratorium on FFP regulations for this season?

I know that this is just putting off the inevitable issues but at least we would have breathing space to plan.

I still think that the board is woefully short of the experience required to deal with issues of this magnitude.

Rob Dolby
4 Posted 04/08/2020 at 21:19:18
This is pretty sombre reading.

I don't agree with selling our biggest assets to address FFP as it will also put us firmly in relegation trouble.

We aren't the only club in this position, most prem clubs will be in the same boat.

Spurs applied for furlough cash but are now trading multi-million-pound players with Southampton!

For me one way out of this is to look into what the so-called big boys are doing. After all the whole thing is designed around keeping the big clubs at the trough.

Paul Birmingham
5 Posted 04/08/2020 at 21:47:36
Thanks Paul, for a reality check on the clubs finances. Frightening and it's the fact that EFC is staggeringly worse off than before Farhad came, in terms of open, and capex gone through the roof and no easy solution, to address the situation.

If we end up selling Richarlison and Digne, then I sense there will be a lot of fans who will accept it as a survival plan and those whom, will see this as further demise and fall from grace.

I live in hope every day and for Everton, hope eternal. Can Marcel Brands raise a £100M in sales of our dead wood, this window?

If we can get £60M, it will be an achievement, and I wonder how much Kieran Dowell, went for?

Will this be a good transfer window for Everton?

Jason Li
6 Posted 04/08/2020 at 22:06:58
Very good financial analysis.

Luckily, like the PSV model that's slowly being implemented, we've now got 4 players in the squad 20 or under: Kean, Gordon, Branthwaite and we may count the new left-back from Marseille, Nkounkou. In 2 years, they should all appreciate in value, and starting from a low wage base.

Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison and Holgate are excellent at 23.

If we sell Tosan and a couple of other fringe players in this window, that will be a big help according to the data above.

Yes, grim reading. However, we're in a better position in terms of the number of good young players on lower wages, once we shed the fringe players. Possibly better than when Moyes took the helm and he had to refresh the squad over a few seasons?

Robert Tressell
7 Posted 04/08/2020 at 22:26:05
Paul @ 5. I would be surprised if we get more than £20M from player sales this summer.
Tony McNulty
8 Posted 04/08/2020 at 22:30:26
I think it was a film critic who managed a brilliant summary of Gone with the Wind in a few words. As I recall, it was something like: "An egotistical Southern girl survives the Civil War, only to lose the man she really cares for."

Your second sentence brilliantly summarises our season for me: "We finish the 2019-20 season with a desperately unbalanced, uncompetitive squad devoid of direction, leadership and the numerous qualities required of a competitive football club."

I couldn't have put it better myself.

Barry Rathbone
9 Posted 04/08/2020 at 22:44:30
I don't have the patience for financial minutiae – I always demanded summary sentences from those producing reports back in the day.

Would the summary be:

"We bought poorly at inflated prices, spunked loads on managers, and now it's biting us on the arse"?

Peter Warren
10 Posted 04/08/2020 at 22:46:53
Evening fellas. Don't worry – there's always bargains, massive bargains. We have to buy very cheap excellent players and sell overrated players for profit.

Richarlison & Digne are probably our biggest assets. Don't get me wrong: I like them both... but they are irreplaceable for little money – most definitely.

I think Digne will be sold and a left-back bought with money left over to invest – then more fringe players sold, freeing up wages.

Michael Mcloughlin
11 Posted 04/08/2020 at 22:48:58
Very good analysis, Paul. And by the look of it, player trading is the only way out of the mess we are in – and by the look of it, a new drawing board is required.

Where would selling Mina, Sigurdsson, Bernard, Bolasie, Sandro, and Delph get us? Maths lesson, please!

Dennis Stevens
12 Posted 04/08/2020 at 22:50:46
I was trying to work out whether we're better off selling somebody at the Sigurdsson end of that table or the Calvert-Lewin end... and then I realised we'll probably sell whoever we get a decent offer for!
Jerome Shields
13 Posted 04/08/2020 at 00:08:24
I'm beginning to think that, if Everton can realise value in the current squad, then take it in most cases.

Jay Harris
14 Posted 05/08/2020 at 00:17:26

That is an excellent analysis and highlights to me the worth of getting expensive wages off the books while achieving a profit on book value.

Seems to me Mina looks the most promising in that category and Delph would also contribute positively albeit a much lesser effect.

Sandro and Bernard too would help reduce the wage bill.

Don Alexander
15 Posted 05/08/2020 at 00:34:28
Nevermind Paul's forensic analysis, folks, us mere fans can always rely on our boardroom to drag us outta the financial mire, can't we?

After all, it's occupied by a second-rate theatre producer, a woman who agrees with everything he says and takes personal credit for the achievements of people under her doing good work in a very parochial charitable field, a Russian whiz-kid (allegedly) who seemingly agrees with everything his delusional boss tells him, and some other bozo whose career details escape me.

Wow! The Premier League boardrooms must surely quake in their boots when Everton get in contact!!!!

Bill Watson
16 Posted 05/08/2020 at 01:51:18
Thanks for a brilliant analysis of our financial situation, Paul.

Like Stephen #3, I thought FFP regulations had been relaxed this year, which would be a help as quite a few expensive contracts end next summer.

John Keating
17 Posted 05/08/2020 at 06:53:21

I hate to say it but, in these Covid-19 times, might an option be to do nothing? Might we have to accept that we remain where we are for the next 2 seasons and just try and hope we can pick up a couple of players like Calvert-Lewin or Holgate along the way?

Drastic for the football and supporters but beneficial to the Club?

Bob Parrington
18 Posted 05/08/2020 at 08:13:48
Thanks Paul.

Being a simple SME owner, I see the main drag on the P&L to be player wages. Surely, player transfer fees and values are assets and go to the balance sheet.

So, get rid of the dross in terms of ridiculously high wages, even if it means not achieving the price(s) we paid.

Chris Williams
19 Posted 05/08/2020 at 08:16:38
Arguably, on the basis of this excellent analysis, the homegrown players with no book value, but who would command a fee, would have the most beneficial impact on the bottom line, if sold.

Any fee received would drop straight to the bottom line, although their relatively low wages, would have less of an impact.

Carlo might not be keen on losing Holgate or Calvert-Lewin, but maybe losing Kenny or Davies (or Dowell) might be more acceptable to him, providing a decent fee can be received in this environment.

It's a hell of a balancing job to be done here, and some decisions may be painful, but the fact remains that our young homegrown players are probably more desirable than most of our expensive ‘superstars'. Although the sale of the likes of Richarlison or Pickford for a decent fee may well be attractive too.

These are the sort of conversations that may well have been taking place.

What a shambles. Weaken the squad further to enable further purchases, and hope we get it right this time.

Eddie Dunn
20 Posted 05/08/2020 at 08:42:39
Paul, a sobering article exposing the parlous situation surrounding the club.

Of course other clubs are mired in a similar mess but it shows just how daft our sport has become. So dependent on the TV masters, so desperate to stay in the Premier League for fear of falling off the gravy train ad into oblivion.

For me, there are two solutions and Ancelotti has already alluded to one of them. We need to cease carping-on about the flaws in our players and get on with improving them individually and instilling into them the patterns of play that the coach requires. These men have been very costly, either in transfer fees, or development and of course in wages.

The skill will be in reducing the squad thus lowering the wage bill. If it means getting very little for those players then we have to take the hit. In terms of recruitment, we simply have to look more carefully at where we can get bargains, and take a punt early in a player's emergence.

Kerney cost Arsenal about £25 million but I recall us all talking about him a year earlier when he would have been far cheaper. Our trouble is that we have purchased some players clearly not physically strong enough for our league. Mina and Bernard fit this category, the defender having long levers and tendons and ligaments unable to cope with them, and Bernard, a man with lovely skill but trapped in the body of a little girl.

There must be some bargains to be had out there, the football league, the Championship, Scotland, Portugal. Do we actually do any scouting or are all of the players brought in on a list by agencies?

So sell Mina, Benard and Pickford. Off-load the high wage earners for whatever we can get, Walcott, Sigurdsson, Iwobi, Tosun, etc. If we really need the money sell Digne, he is good but only a left-back. keep Richarlison, Holgate, Calvert-Lewin and go out and buy some hungry grafters. And don't offer such high wages.

Jerome Shields
21 Posted 05/08/2020 at 08:55:35
Everton have been treading water for over 20 years. The difference now is that the other Premier League Clubs have moved on commercially, tactically and technically making the current Everton model impossible and costly to maintain.

In the absence of the internal. Management of the club being totally gutted, which we still need to be done no matter whatever is candy on the playing side, Ancelotti tenure now hangs on six factors.

The ability of Brands to off-load the deadwood which Ancelotti has exposed as being of a larger extent than first thought;

The effectiveness of Brands changes in Youth development initiated before Ancelotti started.

Ancelotti's team's effectiveness in changing the culture and level of training at Finch Farm. This includes the buying into Ancelotti's tactical and technical coaching.

The ability of Brands to find the players that Ancelotti deems necessary to strategically turn the first team around, within the financial constraints, as outlined by Paul the Esk, and Everton's accompanying reputation.

The financial commitment of Moshiri, given previous losses and misuse of funds.

Danny Baily
22 Posted 05/08/2020 at 09:38:51
Excellent summary. It's clear that signings in the mould of Nkounkou and Branthwaite are the way out of this mess. Let's hope Carlo uses his clout, contacts and scouts to their full effect.

I'd love to see Pickford replaced but that looks like it would be asking too much of the next two windows.

Phase one is clearing out the real deadwood, at bargain prices if necessary.

Thomas Lennon
23 Posted 05/08/2020 at 10:34:04
Here's a question, Paul. Once again amortisation defeats me.

We buy a player for £30 million on a 5-year contract, we pay all of this upfront. That figure is recorded in the books at £6million a year, but then we sell him at the start of year 3.

1. Must he stay in the amortisation figures until year 5?

2. If not, how do we account for the £30 million upfront fee that has already been paid? ie, do we see the sudden disposal of £18 million at the start of year 3 when he was sold hidden in the amortisation figures?

If 1 is correct then amortisation numbers could get very high if your player turnover is high regardless of who is actually in your squad? Amortisation reflects your spending and not your selling.

If 2 is correct then we should not sell for less than the residual amortised figure as then we would have a technical debt ongoing until year 5.

Amortisation = real cost that can become virtual cost.

Tony Everan
24 Posted 05/08/2020 at 10:43:44
Thank you Paul,

I am hoping that we don't have to sell the family silver in Digne and god forbid Richarlison. That is an easy route out of it for Brands.** He was brought in to build a team and not dismantle one.

Ancelotti need our best players and his own reinforcements to make any sense of his appointment.

In light of our financial situation, as Paul excellently summarises, Brands has to be bang on form with transfer dealings. He has to look at player-plus-cash deals so we can offload some players who are not in Carlo's plans and use them as makeweights for the players we really need.

Some of the players we have can do a great job used in the right way for a different club. So such creative transfer deals will be difficult, but possible.

I think this window will make or break Marcel Brands's tenure at Everton. We will soon find out if he has got what it takes.

** In reality, every player has his price – I mean, if Man City submit an £80M offer for Digne or PSG sell Mbappe or Neymar then offer us £140M for Richarlison, what do we do then? At some level, a debate will open up.

Dick Fearon
25 Posted 05/08/2020 at 10:59:14
We hear of a new players down sides from supporters of his old club only after he signs on for us while we take delight in rubbishing our own selling list.
Paul [The Esk]
26 Posted 05/08/2020 at 11:14:23
#23 Thomas

Okay, it doesn't matter (other than for cash flow purposes) what the payment terms are, whether we pay the whole amount in one go or over 2 or 3 years (as is typical now). We will pay that amount regardless of how long the player stays.

You are right that the cost is spread over the contract. £30 million over 5 years costs £6 million a year in amortisation.

If we sell on the first day of year 3, the player's book value is £18 million (30-6-6). That figure is used to calculate whether we have sold the player at a profit or a loss. The moment we sell him, amortisation stops, there's no further cost to the P&L.

Hope that helps

Derek Knox
27 Posted 05/08/2020 at 12:26:59
Thanks Paul for the insight into the Financial Workings and transfers. Yes, it is almost unbelievable, and embarrassing that the Club have wasted so much on so many occasions.

Most Clubs do make the odd faux pas when buying players, and every high-cost signing doesn't always guarantee success, but to have repeated it so many times is unforgivable.

One saving grace, if you could call it that, is that the fans have had no part whatsoever in who was bought or brought in, more's the pity that we didn't. Although we rarely all agree on everything I think if it had been left to us, or at least we had a majority vote on who we wanted (or didn't want), the Club would be in a much healthier position than they are now.

I don't know who the main finger of blame can be pointed at, but the changes of Managers and DoF leave 2 constants in this whole mess: Kenwright and Moshiri himself.

Patrick McFarlane
28 Posted 05/08/2020 at 12:56:47
The need to blame an individual, whether it be the Director or Football or formally the manager, is overwhelming for some people. Get rid of the 'bad guy' and all will return to normal; however, the way the club is run has been normal for a very long time. Those who sanctioned the moves and signed the cheques are the real culprits.

If we didn't know better, you would think that Everton FC is being deliberately ruined financially from within. I really don't understand how so many mistakes have been made in the last five years or so. Either Mr Moshiri is a foolish guy who doesn't mind losing cash or he is an egotist who wants to see the players of his choice wearing a blue shirt.

I think we were all hoping to see a slicker, sharper operation when the Iranian bought the club, but it seems that we've somehow managed to make things worse by spending huge sums of money on mostly second-rate signings.

We can no longer spend ourselves out of this mess, so we have to hope that all departments improve significantly and somehow Ancelotti can forge a team that can produce a higher number of points than we've seen in recent times.

Patience, which is understandably wearing thin, will be required yet again by the long-suffering supporters of this club. Winning football matches more regularly is the only way to improve the club's standing and its financial well-being.

Phill Thompson
29 Posted 05/08/2020 at 13:12:43
Excellent article, Paul, it seems to paint a realistic but slightly depressing picture and we're not going to be able to buy or sell our way into the top six easily. Marcel and Carlo become even more key in this.

Our few successes this season have been around younger players brought in cheaply, developed and then further improved by Carlo: Calvert-Lewin, Holgate, Branthwaite, and also Gordon who's come through our system. If Marcel can identify them and Carlo can improve them, then we may have a way forward.

It seems ridiculous to see talk of us paying £18M for a back up for Digne unless we really are going to sell him when we have potential cover in Lewis Gibson and recently signed Niels Nkounkou. Neither I would add would replace Digne, but certainly Gibson could provide left-back cover if developed.

Jay Wood

30 Posted 05/08/2020 at 13:38:15
As ever, Paul, thank you for such a well-researched article.

I am by nature eternally optimistic and considered the new world order as a result of Covid-19 could benefit the club in terms of financing and building the new stadium.

Similarly, this transfer window should be a buyer's market, but the stark numbers in your sobering piece gives me pause for thought.

Since Moshiri opened his wallet the previously frugal player purchases which we had adopted during the Premier League era was replaced by scattergun high priced players, on long-term contracts and high salaries, making them unattractive to move on, with seemingly very little thought given to whether each signing added to the squad. £450 million we have expended on Moshiri's watch, and not a lot to show for it.

Exactly as you describe, Paul, four - going on five - years of poor recruitment have now come together at the worst possible time.

Now when Carlo Ancelotti was recruited in December, it was on the presumption that life would continue as normal, there would be a full summer of more studied recruitment and yet more deadwood could be trimmed from the bloated, unbalanced squad.

The Coronavirus has completely torpedoed that scenario, leaving Everton's finances and player resources severely exposed.

Paul starkly lays out how this all impacts on the club's finances. An article in the Echo yesterday reinforces Paul's belief that 'the outgoings will be as important financially as the incomings.' Already, 14-15 players have left the club.

And more will follow. Just this morning, I read that Bolasie, who some are lobbying to be retained for next season, does not figure in Carlo's plans and is training with Unsworth's U-23s rather than the first team. The aim is again to find him a club for next season, be it a loan or permanent transfer.

Tosun would likely be another one out of the door, but for him being injured until November.

Any Evertonian who knows their football can identify what most needs addressing in the squad. For all the reasons Paul lays out, it is not going to be an easy task for Brands and Ancelotti to resolve in the topsy-turvy new order under which we are currently living.

Jay Wood

31 Posted 05/08/2020 at 16:52:56
As if further evidence of how deeply the pandemic is impacting on clubs was needed, we have this breaking story:

Arsenal to make 55 redundant

Thomas Lennon
32 Posted 05/08/2020 at 17:48:32
#26 Thanks Paul, sounds like option 2 is the right one.
Jack Convery
33 Posted 05/08/2020 at 17:54:20
Without 3 quality players coming in, we will be relegated. This lot are not good enough and selling Richarlison will be a blow too far. If Arsenal are laying people off and they are in Europe next season, what hope for us, with the wages these players are on? God help us.

Thanks for the analysis and explanations to go with it. Grim isn't the word.

Jerome Shields
34 Posted 05/08/2020 at 17:58:08
Jay #30,

Everton could still have an advantage regarding the stadium. Speaking to an architect today, he told me that builders and developers had difficulty getting finance and most of them are financed by loans on a preagreed interest rate by rich individuals, providing funds. Though how Covid-19 will play out is the great unknown. Arsenal are well run and timely in any action they take.

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
35 Posted 05/08/2020 at 18:16:24
What we really need is players who are good and we get them to sign a new contract.

For example. Richarlison costs £12.68M per year at the moment (and for the next 3 years). But get him to sign a new contract and from 23-24 season his cost will be reduced by £8M a year as his purchase fee will be fully amortised.

Problem with this strategy is few of the high cost players we (as supporters) would want to give them a renewed contract.

ps: Paul. Can you check the figures. Richarlison has been here 2 years and I thought cost £40M so surely his NBV is £24M?

Paul [The Esk]
36 Posted 05/08/2020 at 18:40:14
Phil #35, don't forget, Richarlison extended his contract by another year.
Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
37 Posted 05/08/2020 at 19:23:02
Paul – in which case, his £40m in 2018-19 would have been written down by £8m, and then the 2019-20 by £6,66m as spread over a 6 year contract – or £6,4m if the remaining £32m now spread over 5 years.
Dave Abrahams
38 Posted 05/08/2020 at 19:49:52
I don't dispute that 15 players have left the club, seems a lot though, can anyone, if they've got the time, put a list out please.
Dave Abrahams
39 Posted 05/08/2020 at 20:07:59
Paul, these wages, for the players, are they the actual wages the players are getting or an estimation? One stands out: is Tom Davies actually on £60,000 per week?

Who decides these wages? Not having a go at Tom in particular but they seem very excessive, does his agent carry a gun by any chance?

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
40 Posted 05/08/2020 at 20:24:33
Baines - Retired
Schneiderlin - Sold
Hornby - Sold
Sidibé - Loan finished
Stekelenburg - Contract ended
Niasse - Contract ended
Martina - Contract ended
Garbutt - Contract ended (was on loan)
Feeney - Contract ended (was on loan)
Dowell - Contract ended (was on loan)
Foulds - Contract ended
Denny - Contract ended
Adedoyin - Contract ended
Philips - Contract ended
Mampala - Contract ended

And to cheer you up, Dave, next year contacts are ending for
Pennington (was on loan at Hull and not doing well)
Tarashaj (some weird contract stuff)
Connolly (at Fleetwood so will not be kept)
Broadhead (at Burton so will not be kept)
Virginia (disaster at Reading so probably not retained)

So at least another £25m reduction in our losses from 3 of them!

Joe McMahon
41 Posted 05/08/2020 at 20:27:05
Jay @31, isn't the leech Mesut Ozil on over £300k per week? There's money to get off the books.
David Chait
42 Posted 05/08/2020 at 21:42:05
Thanks for the hard work and time to write that all out... appreciate the table of player costs... have wondered where we stand on that.

Truth is we could do with another Lukaku or Stones windfall. Plus of course we have some very expensive deadwood. That would allow a bit of a reset and give us the war chest we need.

But I feel every year somehow we spend more than expected, not always wisely but we definitely find a way. I feel we will have good money to spend this year as a fair chunk of annual costs will fall away with some very material contracts coming to an end. It’s easy to budget for the contract and player costs ahead of time and judge how in advance you can set the stall out and buy before you sell.

Jay Wood

43 Posted 05/08/2020 at 22:14:10
Just to add to the list of those that have left Everton, whisper this one quietly to Mike Gaynes, or better not tell him at all:

Everton Lose Out on Sell-on Free for Antonee Robinson

We had a 20% sell-on fee if Wigan sold him for more than the £2 million they paid for him. However, Antonee also has a clause that, if Wigan were relegated, he would leave the club if anyone met a £1.5 million fee, thus excluding Everton from any sell-on bonus above £2 million.

Now, which club could do with a young, cheap, international class left-back cover for Digne at that price..?

Sam Hoare
44 Posted 05/08/2020 at 22:30:12
Sounds like Gabriel is going to Arsenal. Wonder if Todibo will turn out to be a genuine target?
Robert Tressell
45 Posted 05/08/2020 at 22:35:18
Todibo or Salisu or Zouma, I expect Sam. Shame about Gabriel. If Arsenal get Willian also, they start to look pretty strong.
Fran Mitchell
46 Posted 05/08/2020 at 22:46:42
I hope not Zouma, Robert. I think he is vastly over-rated on here.

He was decent alongside Keane for the second half of his loan, was very average to below average for the first half (alongside the whole backline).

Then, this season, he has proven to be not good enough for Chelsea, culpable to mistakes and overly clumsy.

Taking into consideration that, before he joined us, he spent a season at Stoke who got relegated and were miserable at the back.

So, in 3 seasons in the Premier League, he has had about 12-15 games of consistent form.

I'd rather both Mina and Keane. So Zouma, sorry but not good enough. He was just good cover for Mina when he was injured, nothing more.

Sam Hoare
47 Posted 05/08/2020 at 22:47:34
Robert, I think Salisu has signed with Southampton. Not sure many would be delighted with either Todibo or Zouma. The former is very raw and the latter is (somewhat unfairly I think) seen as error-prone. Plus I don't see that Chelsea will be that keen to sell Zouma who started most games post-restart for them.

I don't know why we weren't or aren't in for Salisu. £11M for him is superb value. Perhaps Todibo on loan or (gulp) Thiago Silva on a free makes more sense for FFP?

Paul Hewitt
48 Posted 05/08/2020 at 22:48:24
Jay @31. Arsenal are offering Willian £200k a week. Doesn't sound like they're struggling.
Peter Warren
49 Posted 05/08/2020 at 22:54:18
Jay 43 - Everton lose out on nothing given, if Robinson is that good, buy him back for £1.5m and then keep or sell him which would result in benefit more than 20% sell-on fee if he is any good.
Mike Gaynes
50 Posted 05/08/2020 at 23:15:16
Nah, as I previously commented, I couldn't care less about the sell-on fee for Robinson. I just think we should have kept him.
Jay Harris
51 Posted 05/08/2020 at 00:06:07
It would be a good option to get Robinson back as cover, Joe Williams back to reinforce midfield and Joe Geldhart for the development and sell on fee.

Bill needs another night out with Dave Whelan but the mugging needs to be the other way round this time.

Kieran Kinsella
52 Posted 06/08/2020 at 01:09:57
Why would Robinson come back? There's a World Cup not too far away, he's going into his 20s and he will want first team football. Being a back-up to Digne almost puts him back to square one.
Stephen Vincent
53 Posted 06/08/2020 at 02:23:21
Paul #48, that is exactly the sort of deal that indicates they are struggling, signing over 30 free transfers where they can pay a little over the odds in wages but no fee.

So Willian costs Arsenal £10m a year spread over 52 weeks. Okay, a little simplified as there will be a signing-on fee and image rights etc. But basically there is very little initial outlay.

Laurie Hartley
54 Posted 06/08/2020 at 02:24:05
Paul, thanks for a very clear cut explanation of our situation – even though it makes grim reading.

Bolasie, Ramirez, Delph, and Tosun would be my priorities to remove from your table. That would give Brands and Ancelloti between £15 & 16 million in wages for any potential new signings.

I would be surprised if Brands could move Bernard, Sigurdsson, or Walcott in this window because of the wages they are on.

They certainly have got a job on their hands – unless of course they produce some money from another source.

Jerome Shields
55 Posted 06/08/2020 at 06:37:31
Kieran #52,

Robinson won't come back, he will go on to greater things.

Bobby Thomas
56 Posted 06/08/2020 at 08:29:48
The aim of the game is to sign younger, better and cheaper.

One player that should definitely be shipped out, and it would represent good business to do so, is Bernard. Signed on a free and on a thick wedge, he doesn't contribute a great deal and is basically an extremely inferior version of Pienaar. At 28 years old, we should maximise his value and take the £10 - 20 million he'd fetch. Roma are supposed to be interested and in my view his absence would barely be noticed.

I'd also happily max the value of Digne. It would be a rare example of us doing business as we should, which is to sign at 20- to 25-year-olds and then sell high. Has he honestly been all that since he's been here? Started great. I thought he was abysmal for large parts of last season. There was a more than reasonable case for him to be dropped.

These days, playing full-back is a young man's game. At 27 years old, he already doesn't have too many seasons of bombing up and down the flank left. It's one of the reasons I was against giving Baines a long-term deal at 29 years old. From here, Digne isn't going to improve too much, if at all, and if offered, we should seriously think about taking £35 - £40 million.

Robert Tressell
57 Posted 06/08/2020 at 08:48:44
Sam, I hadn't spotted the Salisu report. That's a shame.

Zouma – is quick and complemented Keane. The team functioned well with him (and Gueye) in it. Whether he's a good partner for Holgate in a team without Gueye, who knows. He's tall and generally more physically imposing than Holgate so maybe. I think Chelsea would sell for about £20M.

Todibo – is a classy footballer. But raw. I did wonder whether the plan would be to use him in midfield (he's played there a bit) with a view to moving him back to defence in a couple of years. But the emergence of Branthwaite may have complicated that.

Not sure either are the perfect partner for Holgate.

Bobby Thomas
58 Posted 06/08/2020 at 09:19:13
Eddie #20

You are spot on about Mina. When signed, I noticed the comparatively small number of games he'd played in the previous 3 or 4 seasons. I knew the intensity and number of games in England would come as a shock to his body and he'd get injured. It was nailed on.

He's just too tall and leggy. It's purely an opinion and a personal preference, but I don't like a centre-back to be too tall. Anything over about 6ft-3in leads to problems on the turn, getting moved about, pulled wide and exposed.

Mina was an overly expensive, lazy and complacent post World Cup signing by Brands that didn't provide what we still require at centre-back – physicality and pace on the turn/cover. We then had to get those qualities in on loan in the shape of Zouma. We are yet to resolve this issue.

As long as Keane and Mina are still there, the mix of centre-backs is a problem. One of them needs to go. The upside on Mina is that, due to his age and reasonably high profile in South America, his fee should hold up okay and a Spanish club may take him. But the top and bottom of it is he's injury-prone, not that good, and represents extremely poor value. He should be moved on.

Jerome Shields
59 Posted 06/08/2020 at 09:52:53
Bobby #58,

I agree with regarding Mina. He is even lazy in recovery and gets away with it at Everton when the emphasis is on rest. I doubt very much that Mina likes hard training.

Mina was okay in a static defensive system with Schniederlin in front of it and moving up to receive passes across the back unchallenged. His distribution of the ball was good in one point, it highlighted how good Holgate was in comparison. He is always totally exposed on 'turn/cover'.

In Ancelotti's system of playing from the back and pushing into midfield, he is not suitable. He will be reluctant to put the work into recovery prevention where the new emphasis will be, as Ancelotti's placements kick in at Finch Farm. He also likes an extended Summer holiday, which he won't get this Summer.

I think Mina knows the training is going to get harder and that he will be asked to play out of his comfort zone. According to Sam, he has recently changed his agent.

Derek Taylor
60 Posted 06/08/2020 at 10:07:26
Getting back to the money theme of this discussion point, I should be very surprised if Moshiri's lieutenants had not yet factored in most of the risk items The Esk has pointed out.

The Russian paymasters would not be literally chucking money at the kind of basket case Esk outlines if they didn't see Everton as the enablers in a quest to own a large portion of Liverpool Docklands.

I suspect that 'they' will be happy if Carlo is able to keep the team in a respectable position in the Premier League in the run-up to completion of Bramley-Moore Dock stadium but will no longer be setting trophies as the prize mark for the Italian's survival. In other words, 'as you were' in days of Moyes, although, in all truth, there is much to be done before we get back to days of sixthish!

Sam Hoare
61 Posted 06/08/2020 at 10:15:16
Robert, I really like Zouma. People talk like he's failed at Chelsea but actually he ended up being their first-choice centre-back (all of their centre-backs are similar quality) which is why I'd be very surprised if they sold him for only £20m. If he was available then he'd bring a lot of what we are missing (ie excellent physicality and recovery pace).

Todibo looks very interesting but has played so little and does seem error-prone. I wonder if we might get him on loan like Schalke did. Could be more cost effective.

Or possibly Brands has some options that the media merchants have not guessed at.

Brian Harrison
62 Posted 06/08/2020 at 10:32:29
I think what may be even more alarming than the dire picture Paul paints is how this will impact on the long term plans of Ancelotti. Nobody could have known that the pandemic would arrive and completely destroy any plans that the club and Ancelotti had hoped for.

I am sure that before he signed Ancelotti would have wanted assurances from the club as to what his transfer kitty would be. As he would have known that this wasn't taking over a club like Chelsea that was full of good players, this was a club that needed a major overhaul.

But I now wonder given our precarious financial position how can the board honour the assurances they gave Ancelotti when he signed. So, if they can't meet those assurances I think Ancelotti may reconsider his position, and the last thing this club needs is to be looking for a new manager, with the knowledge that he will have very little to spend.

Brian Murray
63 Posted 06/08/2020 at 10:40:00
I see Paul Scholes trying to tout Lingard to us. We have the t-shirt on helping Man Utd offload nearly men. No thanks, kidda!
Clive Rogers
64 Posted 06/08/2020 at 11:31:07
Sam, 61,

I agree about Zouma. In his season with us, he started off poorly and was error-prone, but after he had settled he improved and by the end off the season was playing really well. I am not surprised he has established himself at Chelsea.

Another factor is that he would probably be prepared to come to us unlike Gabriel, Højbjerg and others. We can't attract he top players.

Paul Hewitt
65 Posted 06/08/2020 at 12:08:02
Mina injury-prone? He played 29 league games out of 36. Doesn't sound 'injury-prone' too me.
Kevin Prytherch
66 Posted 06/08/2020 at 12:21:54

According to Transfermarkt, Mina was injured for around 250 days in the 3 years from July 2016 to May 2019. That doesn't include the several weeks he's been injured this year.

I'd say it's safe to say he's missed nearly a complete year out of the last 4 years through injury, with at least 8 separate injuries.

That does sound 'injury-prone' to me.

Ian Horan
67 Posted 06/08/2020 at 12:44:12
I think we need to clarify what the injuries have been: a hamstring is usually 3 to 6 weeks minimum. Unlike Ozil at Arsenal who has had a fragile wallet etc!!!!

In all fairness, we are now tier 2 teams in the Premier League at best. So we have to be pragmatic about our signings. All our targets should be given a timeframe to sign. It may look like shooting ourselves in the foot but at least we can move on quickly.

Martin Mason
68 Posted 06/08/2020 at 16:37:48
Paul, my interest in the TW site now is to pop in now and again, not to post or even read posts but to see if I can learn whilst at the same time trying to break my attachment.

This article is a very good learning experience and a very sobering insight into the mess we've made in transfers. Many thanks for a very informative read.

Clive Rogers
69 Posted 06/08/2020 at 16:40:46
Ian, yes it's beginning to look like we are going to be getting our second choices. Højbjerg wants to go to Spurs; Arsenal are now after Gabriel; James Rodriguez may be going to Atletico; Todibo prefers to stay in Italy, etc..

Of course these are all rumours, but there is no doubt that we are not attractive to the top players, even if we could afford them. I think we are back to young players with potential this window.

Dave Abrahams
70 Posted 06/08/2020 at 18:10:48
Sam (61),

I'd swap Keane for Zouma no problem, we could even make some money doing it. Zouma covered Keane at the end of last season getting him out of a few cock ups.

Zouma alongside Holgate will do me. If we could swap Mina for another decent player, I'd go along with that, especially if it was a good central midfielder coming in.

Joe McMahon
71 Posted 06/08/2020 at 18:19:03
Dave, fully agree. It's just so lovely that Sigurdsson, Keane and Pickford combined cost £100 million. That is costing us big time now.
Jay Harris
72 Posted 06/08/2020 at 18:21:24

Right now, I'd swap Mina for Branthwaite. At least we would get more games out of him.

Mina's major contributing factor was he could score goals.

He can't do that from the fitness table.

Jerome Shields
73 Posted 06/08/2020 at 19:04:15
Whilst the figures look stark and do not lie, a lot depends on actually what Moshiri is trading in. I have seen wealthy men who put the emphasis on trading with the accounts and legal end catching up later.

If Moshiri's trade is to own an asset, Everton Football Club, that will appreciate in value, he still will be able to sell his shares for more than he paid for them. Whilst he has invested a lot of money according to Paul the Esk's figures, it has not been all paid over yet. Meaning he could be still ahead.

On top of that, he is in control, being the anchor tenant of the Peel group development, indirectly, an appreciable asset. The other factor is that he has access to funds on a peer-to-peer bases, that the Peel Group does not have. If an architect I spoke to yesterday is correct in saying that most development funding is peer-to-peer borrowing, more so now because of Covid-19, Moshiri's position is even better.

He also now has a very experienced manager in place who will manage the situation to the level of his considerable ability and make necessary changes, which should at least stabilise things. . . and a Director of Football who can negotiate the players the wants and reduce the effect of those he does not want. Brands is and has been dependent on the manager knowing what he wanted.

In Silva's case he may have known what he wanted, but his standard was not the required Premier League level in tactics or coaching. Moshiri also has Kenwright who may be a good frontman to deal with and bullshit the authorities.

If his trade is, as many of us see it, as the stopping of 20 years decline at Everton and producing a top 4 challenging team, he has failed according to our interpretation of what we see on the pitch and in the accounts.

This would be a disaster if no attempt had been made to progress the team or the new Stadium. But that is not the case.

Sam Hoare
74 Posted 06/08/2020 at 19:19:20
Dave@70, I'd definitely sell Keane now if we could, his value is seldom likely to be higher and swapping with Zouma would be great in my eyes. Though unlikely I fear.

Mina is only 25. Fitness allowing, I think he's been decent. He's actually one of our few defenders able to pass through the lines (more so than Holgate) and is obviously decent in the air. As Zouma is great in the air but also lightning quick, he'd make a good partner for Mina or Holgate.

Mina is on huge wages though so financially if we got a good offer from a club he was keen on it may make sense.

Mike Gaynes
75 Posted 06/08/2020 at 20:11:04
Sam, I watched him last year, and I watched him this season, and I cannot for the life of me understand your continuing attraction to Zouma.

In my view, he is a more expensive (yearly salary £1 million higher) and lower-quality alternative to Michael Keane. Quicker? More talented? Of course. Superior in the air? No. As consistent and error-free? Not a chance.

If we're gonna sell Keane, buy somebody better. That is not, and never will be, Kurt Zouma. Watch the FA Cup Final again.

Robert Tressell
76 Posted 06/08/2020 at 20:53:39
Mike, I agree with you on Zouma to some extent. He will not reach the standard of a top-level center-half. Chelsea fans don't seem to rate him. They are building for an assault on the title. He's not good enough for that. That's why I think they'd sell for about £20m.

I know Mike you do like Mina but I think those that prefer Zouma (like me) like him purely because he allowed us to play a higher line. That's it.

Assuming the good ships Gabriel and Salisu have sailed, we are also linked to Fofana, Disasi and Min Jae. Fofana is a young French prospect. Disasi captained Reims to their excellent defensive record in France last season. Min Jae is a giant South Korean playing in China. Of them, Disasi looks a very good player - quick, strong, mobility and leadership. Min Jae, who knows. Looks great but query the standard.

With the focus being on tall left footers, other options are Diakhate (Mainz) and NDicka (Frankfurt). The former is a young captain. The latter is very young and keeps getting linked to Arsenal. Can also play left-back. Neither as good as Gabriel from what I can see.

There is also Zagadou at Dortmund but I think he might push pineapple shake a tree.

Jerome Shields
77 Posted 06/08/2020 at 22:24:53
Mike #75,

I agree with you regarding Zouma. I was not impressed with his performance in the FA Cup Final. He was easily beaten for the first Arsenal goal and also noticeably looked wildly around him, almost in panic, when he realised he was totally out of position in a few instances.

Sam Hoare
78 Posted 06/08/2020 at 22:29:19
Mike, I agree with you on the speed but don't see Keane being much more consistent or error-free than Zouma.

As Robert says, Zouma allows us to play a higher line and it's not coincidence that our best period as a team in the last 2 years (end of Silva's first season) was when Zouma was established in the team, and we played a higher line.

He's not top class necessarily but he's very quick, very good in the air and though not a leader he does a good job in an organized defence. Plus he knows us and knows the league. I don't see it happening but if it did I'd be confident he'd improve us as a team.

Graham Hammond
79 Posted 06/08/2020 at 22:39:22
Zouma over Keane every day of the week.
Mike Gaynes
80 Posted 06/08/2020 at 00:56:24
Robert #76, some interesting possibilities there... some I've heard of or seen, some not. I get a chuckle when I hear Kim Min-Jae described as a "giant" because it's relative to the country he plays in... he's actually considerably smaller than Yerry Mina.

Robert and Sam, agreed on the high line, but my view is that Holgate is swift enough to enable that.

Laurie Hartley
81 Posted 06/08/2020 at 01:17:55
Jerome # 73 - I read your post two or three times because there is a lot in it.

As you said, Moshiri's tenure so far has been a failure on the pitch but I also agree that the stadium development and its importance to the Peel waterfront development offers him another avenue to make money through “peer to peer” lending. He most definitely has access to huge sums of money.

Of course it is all contingent on Everton retaining its Premier League status and probably why, at the first sign of a relegation battle, he has changed managers.

My personal view is that he has steadied the ship with the appointment of Ancelotti – managers are cheaper than players and much much cheaper than relegation.

When the world has recovered from this coronavirus pandemic, I think there will be and tremendous growth and investment and, because the world is the way it is, people with money will make more money.

In the meantime, I am hoping that we will do a lot better than just retain our Premier League status. Ancelotti has stated that Europe is the target. We will know whether that is going to happen by the beginning of January.

Jerome Shields
82 Posted 07/08/2020 at 07:01:49
Laurie #81,

It's a unfair world and the rich get richer and the gap between the rich and the poor is getting wider, especially in the times we now live in. Moshiri is at the coal face dealing with various businesses that are dealing with the crisis. They are probably less affected by the crisis than the norm.

The actual stadium development isn't, if thought of as a standalone development, given the resources that Moshiri has available to him. It is probably one of the best investment opportunities that Moshiri has at the moment, with pole position on another potential investment.

In another article, Paul the Esk compared the potential effect of the post-Covid-19 crisis on Premier League clubs. Everton ironically were less effected, because their commercial losses were less. The commercial side was smaller than other clubs. . . We would all say neglected and mismanaged. But so much so that Everton do not depend on it. There is a lot of potential for improvement by changing key personnel.

On the playing side, if you were told to get the best proven manager in the world to deal with the deep and complex issues that exist at Everton on the playing side, who would you select? The only other manager I can think of other than Ancelotti, is Alex Feguson and he is not available. The one thing that Ancelotti does know he is going to get paid and paid well. I would go so far as to say his job is secure.

This season is the first season he has been out of the top six in any League he has managed in, during a long career. He is fully aware of the capability of the squad. He has even put them to the test in various scenarios. He has even listened and knows their opinions and attitudes, having been confronted by the more vocal of them after the FA Cup game.

One thing that I have noticed about Ancelotti is there are no hiding places in his team; each individual player is presented with a challenge in his role in the team. The players are left on the pitch to perform for good or bad; changes in the team are always tactical. We are all very aware of the weaknesses in the team.

Ancelotti will be thinking of this Summer as when his project really begins. Transfers are only part of it; coaching and training will have a bigger role in the project. The Everton presented at the start of next season will be fitter and well prepared tactically and technically. They will finish next season in the top six and will challenge in other competitions. If they are to play in Europe, they will have to able to cope with more games. There will be an improvement on the squad potential and finances.

Everton Football Club will become a more valuable asset for Moshiri, with even greater potiential.

Sam Hoare
83 Posted 07/08/2020 at 08:17:22
Robert @76, I think Monaco have signed or are just about to sign Disasi for £15M.

If we miss out on Gabriel, as seems very likely, then I can't help feel we may regret the likes of Salisu and Disasi (two excellent defenders) having been sold elsewhere for between £10-15M. Both look very good value to me.

This is the risk of aiming high perhaps; you wait too long for your first choice target and maybe your second and third choice have moved elsewhere.

Robert Tressell
84 Posted 07/08/2020 at 08:34:16
Mike, Holgate might be quick enough on his own if we didn't have such a ponderous midfield and a declining Coleman.

The Salisu and Disasi deals are not yet confirmed so who knows – we could gazump. It's been done to us.

The frustration is the amount of well-priced players in France especially is astonishing. But I can't recall us tapping into that market. Sam you keep mentioning Sangare for the midfield role. There's also Diallo at Brest who is extremely fast, reads the game well and plays like Kante or Fernandinho. You could probably get both for the suggested fee for Højbjerg.

Brian Hennessy
85 Posted 07/08/2020 at 09:34:44
I'm probably in the minority but I think the central defence and goalkeeper positions should not be our priority in this window. I'm happy to stick with Keane, Mina, Holgate, Branthwaite and Pickford given the financial constraints we are in.

It's all about the midfield for me. It won't happen but I would gladly sell and replace every one of our midfielders and wingers with the exception of Gomes and Gordon.

After that, we need a left-back as cover for Digne, and someone better than Sidibé to fight with Coleman for the right-back spot.

Brian Murray
86 Posted 07/08/2020 at 10:03:09
Brands is about to show why we coveted him so much to get him here. If he is all smoke and mirrors and we have the same squad next season, well it's a big relegation fight on with players who are petrified of their own shadows.
Clive Rogers
87 Posted 07/08/2020 at 10:47:49
Brian, #85,

I agree with what you say, but personally I believe our priority signing should be a striker. I don't think Calvert-Lewin is up to it. He is certainly not consistent and don't think the partnership with Richarlison works either.

I think Carlo has come to the same conclusion and will bring in a striker — the most important position in the team.

Tony Everan
88 Posted 07/08/2020 at 12:07:54
Clive, I am thinking along the same lines. Carlo will bring in a proven striker with more experience, guile and cleverness. Someone he knows will perform. Immobile has been mentioned, you never know but I can’t see it. I think Carlo and Brands will be discussing options and any realistic quality targets.
Robert Tressell
89 Posted 07/08/2020 at 12:20:28
Clive & Tony - I agree with DCLs limitations but he is a good player. I expect our front two to be Kean and Richarlison by the end of next season.

I'd be amazed if we bought an experienced striker in like Immobile.

Based on the frequency / credibility of the rumours, CB + CM are the club's priority.

Then it will be probably be one more at RW or RB.

If those 3 signings are of sufficient quality then it will make a huge difference.

Allan, Zouma and Dalot might be underwhelming but would leave us in better shape. Allan, Zouma and Bailey, better still.

The variations seem very likely to be along this theme.

Clive Rogers
90 Posted 07/08/2020 at 12:36:38
Robert, I don't think he is a good, consistent striker. He didn't score in his last 9 games and frankly was very poor. He has been playing since 2016 and had one purple patch when he got 13 goals. Prior to last season he got 11 PL goals in 78 games.

He did himself no favours in not scoring after the lockdown and Carlo leaving him on the bench for the last game was significant.

Steve Hogan
91 Posted 07/08/2020 at 12:49:06
Interesting to see people stating they would prefer Zouma over Kean or vice versa if they had a choice. Both have the turning circle of the old Queen Mary and are slow and ponderous.

A good example being the recent FA Cup Final between Chelsea and Arsenal when Aubameyang turned him inside out, simply by sidestepping him before he scored.

We need better than that.

Laurie Hartley
92 Posted 07/08/2020 at 12:51:13
Jerome # 82, “The Everton presented at the start of next season will be fitter and well prepared tactically and technically.”

That's what I am hoping for.

As for the distribution of wealth in the world – I have an opinion about that but it's probably a topic best left alone on ToffeeWeb.

Robert Tressell
93 Posted 07/08/2020 at 13:02:49

Calvert-Lewin is a decent footballer. He did get increasingly worse through the restart games though – as he seemed to abandon the good habits that brought him goals. Consistent failure to attack the near post. However I'm not going to single him out for a lethargy that spread through the whole team. And, as I say, I expect Kean will overtake him at some point in the coming season.

Steve, on Zouma. He is quick. And more agile than Mina and Keane on the turn. Is he Champions League or top 4 quality? Not quite – or at least not consistently. Would he be my first pick? No. Is he the club's first pick? No. Probably about 3rd choice.

Is he low risk (compared to players with no Premier League experience)? Yes. Is he likely to be decent value? Yes. Does he help move the whole team higher up the pitch? Yes.

Hence not being too downbeat about us signing Zouma. Just underwhelmed.

Sam Hoare
94 Posted 07/08/2020 at 13:09:46
I'd be very surprised if we bring in a striker. Unless it's with the intention of playing Richarlison out wide.

Priority is definitely central midfield. And Brands is on record as saying the right side needs strengthening. Walcott is our only right-winger.

I'd predict we will definitely sign a central midfielder. Almost certainly sign a centre-back. And then either a right-winger or, if one fails to materialize, then a centre-forward with Richarlison moving to the right.

Graham Hammond
95 Posted 07/08/2020 at 13:20:42
I think Robert #93 has pretty much nailed it for me on Zouma. Kurt would be a relatively low-risk signing that would allow the team as a whole to function better than would be the case without him.

It isn't that he is a massive upgrade per se but his relative pace does allow us to play a higher line which is needed – we do need to get more players into the box from the midfield when attacking.

Ian Bennett
96 Posted 07/08/2020 at 13:26:26
Zouma for Keane in a heartbeat for me. Keane has got 2 years left on his deal, and despite a slight improvement – I would move him on and bank some money in.

Plenty of mid-table teams would be happy to have him I am sure.

Patrick McFarlane
97 Posted 07/08/2020 at 13:40:34
Ian #96,

Isn't the current Everton team a mid-table side – and has been for a good few seasons? Any player who arrives from elsewhere has to be better than we already have.

Zouma is about the same as we already have in the squad so there's little point in splashing too much on his recruitment and wages. If he was to arrive for the right price and wages, then fine if that's what Carlo wants.

If we think that we're going to see a transformation from mid-table to European challengers overnight, we're going to need a mega window and a great deal of luck.

Robert Tressell
98 Posted 07/08/2020 at 13:42:18
I suspect Mina is the likeliest departure if we buy Zouma. Teams on the continent will be interested at circa £15M.

Keane will only be sold to another Premier League club. Palace? Saints? West Ham? Villa? Newcastle?

I'd rather keep him.

Tony Everan
99 Posted 07/08/2020 at 14:01:39
I think it strengthens us selling Mina and buying Zouma if we can. That's if Gabriel is off to Man Utd or Arsenal.

As has been said, Zouma is a safe bet. Zouma, Keane, and Holgate can play and also compliment each other. With Branthwaite and Gibson pressing for games, the centre-back situation looks much stronger.

I think Mina is a good player, but perhaps would be more suited to a continental league.

Dave Abrahams
100 Posted 07/08/2020 at 14:21:27
Steve (91), it wasn't Zouma who was easily beaten in the penalty area for Arsenal's winning goal, but he was left flat well further up the field for that goal.

Somebody blamed him for Arsenal's first goal as well, it was a penalty and Zouma had nothing to do with that either.

Jerome Shields
101 Posted 07/08/2020 at 14:44:47
Laurie, #92,

I agree reference the distribution of wealth. It was the architect I talked to brought it up and I added it in to stress a different perspective. I admire people who overcome struggle, rather than those that need the boost of wealth. I brought my family up to think that way, makes life more exciting.

Jerome Shields
102 Posted 07/08/2020 at 15:03:51
Dave #100,

The first Arsenal goal from open play.

Jay Harris
103 Posted 07/08/2020 at 15:15:45
With Zouma (and Ruttiger), it is worth bearing in mind Chelsea have the opposite problem to us in midfield.

They are all gung-ho with plenty of midfield players in or around the box, leaving themselves wide open to be hit on the break and therefore leaving their centre-backs open to players running at them or behind them.

I think Carlo is much more pragmatic than Lampard and would instill a better sense of defending.

Whilst I would be happy to get Zouma as an upgrade on Keane or MIna I think Ruttiger is a much better all-round centre-back and he would be my preference if we can persuade him to come.

Graham Hammond
104 Posted 07/08/2020 at 15:17:42
Zouma in and Mina out would be a great bit of business if we could do it. Like Robert, I would also prefer to keep Keane but he really does need a fit and pacy guy alongside him if he is to start for us.
Darren Hind
106 Posted 07/08/2020 at 15:37:11
I'm not sure Zouma would be an upgrade on Mina.

Big Yerry looks cumbersome. He's fast, but he takes 2-3 strides to get up to top gear. He also fancies himself as a bit of a hard man, which breaks his concentration, but he does position himself well. He can pass a ball and, if he can improve his heading, he wins more in the air in the opposition box than any player we've had since Tim Cahill.

I haven't completely given up on him... yet.

Sam Hoare
107 Posted 07/08/2020 at 16:09:25
I’m really not sure Zouma is an option to be honest. He played comfortably more minutes last season than any other CB at Chelsea and is a good age. I see no reason why they’d sell him to us; unless we put in a premium bid. Unless they buy one or more likely two CB upgrades which seems unlikely given the money spent on Werner, Ziyech and maybe Havertz.

Tony Everan
108 Posted 07/08/2020 at 16:57:42
Darren, I think it is a matter of staying fit for Yerry. He is undoubtedly a talented player and a good age too. The major concern that he will suffer regular injuries because of his build in the more intense Premier League. I think his constant absences add to our instability. We just can't rely on him.

That said, with a good run of matches and better luck with injuries he could well be a marginally better all round player than Zouma. Unfortunately, that looks like it may never happen.

Jay Harris
109 Posted 07/08/2020 at 17:42:03

Apparently they have put their whole defence up for sale, including Zouma and Ruttiger.

Shocking though it may seem, it is true (allegedly).

Darren Hind
110 Posted 07/08/2020 at 19:09:55
I didn't realise how old he was, Tony. Your post made me look it up.

He's 26 next month. He should be just about approaching his prime. Big, big season coming up for Big Yerry.

He's annoying at times, but he is very easy to like and it would be great if he could use next season as his platform for having 5-6 seasons playing at the top of his game for us.

Patrick McFarlane
111 Posted 07/08/2020 at 22:28:56
Having read Paul Suart's report in the Birmingham Mail, would it be worth Everton pushing the boat out this summer, notwithstanding the Premier League's fair play rules?

It seems that the penalties don't appear to fit the 'crime' and it is a fine way for UEFA to make some extra money too. The price of an average player and a couple of players short in the squad doesn't seem to be much of a deterrent to me, however, the rule of not making an aggregate loss of more than £30m over a three year period also seems to be very restrictive too.

Wolverhampton Wanderers have been fined and slapped with a squad limit in European competition next season after breaching FFP rules, it has been revealed. Wolves have been ordered to stump up €200,000 for contravening profitability and sustainability rules.

UEFA say the fine will rise by a further €400,000 if the club does not get its finances in order by the year ending 2021. Wolves have also been told it will have to stick to a 23-man squad cap, rather 25, if the club qualifies for next season's Champions League, by winning the Europa League later this month.
Related Articles They must also comply with a set spending pattern after reaching a settlement with UEFA.

UEFA's Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) Adjudicatory Chamber said the club must 'report a maximum break-even deficit of €30 million (£27 million) in the financial year ending 2020'.

The club has pledged to record 'an aggregate break-even result' for the financial years ending in 2019, 2020 and 2021, in accordance with UEFA's directive. And it has also vowed that for 'the financial year ending in 2020, its employee benefits expenses are restricted', the Chamber said.

The fine and squad cap will not be viewed as too debilitating by the Wolves hierarchy. The real issue is how the £27 million losses Wolves are restricted to in the 2020-21 season, impact on the club's transfer budget and approach to the summer window.

As perilous as the situation has become for UEFA to take this step, it's thought the club is on relatively strong financial footing having reportedly made a £20 million profit last season despite spending big.

FFP rules vary across different leagues and competitions, with the Premier League adopting a very different policy on spending to the English Football League. UEFA's interpretation is to 'prohibit clubs from making an aggregate loss in excess of €30 million over three seasons'.

The application and enforcement of these rules is the responsibility of the UEFA Club Financial Control Body, which can 'impose a wide range of penalties for non-compliance, including bans from European competitions', with final decisions of the CFCB appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne.

Bill Watson
112 Posted 08/08/2020 at 01:30:17
I'm not paying too much attention to all the rumours etc as much of it is lazy journalism, particularly in the Red Echo.

I suspect the real action will start later next week when most of the players will be back (on their private jets) from their jollies.

John Keating
113 Posted 08/08/2020 at 09:47:41

FFP is a joke – especially now in these troubled times.

It probably had good intentions when it was initially thought about but since it's inception, like VAR, has been open to interpretation.

Amazing to see posters giving players leeway and not the manager? Strange?

Brian Harrison
114 Posted 08/08/2020 at 10:39:32
The FFP rules were set up by the cartel of European clubs who wanted to protect their status in the game, and didn't want multi-bilionaires buying clubs that could threaten their monopoly. I don't know of any other line of business where what you spend on your own business is subject to rules set up by your competitors.

I think clubs should be allowed to spend whatever they like, my only stipulation is they should have to agree to a bond were whatever they spend does not threaten the existence of their club. So the owner would be solely liable to repay the bond to the club should his spending put the club in financial difficulty.

Stephen Vincent
115 Posted 08/08/2020 at 12:08:05
Totally agree, Brian.

Also, surely it is morally indefensible for a club to lay off 55 members of staff, yet still raise the already inflated salaries of footballers.

Should government intervene if clubs who applied for Covid-19 business relief then go out and spend millions on new players? Should they not have to repay that funding first?

Rob Hooton
116 Posted 08/08/2020 at 12:33:00
Considering we are likely heading for a massive recession, I wonder if this will affect most clubs' plans? Might be more important to be sensible given the financial situation at Everton looks pretty grim...

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