An over-sized, over-priced, mostly under-achieving squad, financial constraints, and the impact of the Covid-19 crisis pose significant challenges to Everton this summer. Where is the money coming from for new signings?
With the news we have agreed terms with Napoli over Allan, I thought it may be of interest to cover how we fund transfers and account for them.
The need to improve our squad, particularly in midfield, is obvious to all. There is complete agreement among Evertonians as to the need to bring in quality players. Preferably, players that meet Brands’s requirements in terms of age, price and future value, whilst also meeting Ancelotti’s more immediate need of putting quality onto the pitch, quality which can understand, relate to, and perform in line with his expectations and tactical requirements.
Both Brands and Ancelotti will be aware of the legacy issues facing the club. A largely over-sized, over-priced, under-achieving squad (albeit with exceptions), plus financial constraints, real (ie, cash flow) and regulatory (Premier League profit and sustainability constraints). These problems are compounded by the impact of the Covid-19 virus with reduced income in the last 5 months, most likely this next season and an increased risk to future income.
So let’s deal with the finances first.
Profitability & Sustainability
The Premier League permits aggregate losses of £105 million over any three year period. The calculation for permitted losses allows for (without penalty) expenditure items such as women’s football and community expenditure. Therefore, the figures presented to the Premier League will be different, to a degree, to those in the published accounts.
The rules require all clubs to produce forecasts. In March of this year (2020) Everton will have produced a set of figures looking at the previous 2 years (2017-18, 2018-19) and projected figures for the full financial year 2019-20 ending 30 June 2020.
The projected figures are not in the public domain, however it’s not overly difficult to calculate, within a reasonable margin of error, what the figures will be.
The 2019-20 projections include a reduction in gate receipts, a reduction in commercial and merchandising income. They also include an adjustment for operating costs. They do not include, for this year, any reduction in broadcasting revenue as a result of the recovery of some costs by the broadcasters.
For these projections, they do include the £30 million naming rights option payment by USM. This will be treated as income for accounting purposes. Despite that, I am forecasting a loss of around £65 million for the year ending 30 June 2020.
That produces an aggregate loss (before deductions) of £185 million over the last three years, getting close to double the permitted losses of £105 million. It is against that backdrop that I have consistently questioned our ability to buy in this transfer market, despite the footballing need to do so.
Having rounded up previous years’ figures, the figures are shown below:
|Profit & Loss £’000s|| |
|Total income|| |
|Other operating expenses|| |
|– 15,500|| |
|– 22,000|| |
|– 117,100|| |
|Exceptional costs|| |
|Profit on player sales|| |
|Profit before interest & tax|| |
|– 104,500|| |
|Interest income|| |
|Interest expense|| |
|Profit before tax|| |
|– 111,000|| |
|Net profit|| |
|– 111,000|| |
Figures rounded Projected figures
So the issues are as follows; cash flow arising out of the repeated costs being greater than income and secondly, the regulatory position. The former is potentially a solvency issue; the latter a regulatory issue.
The losses of recent years, since 2016, have been funded by (i) shareholder (Moshiri) contributions £350 million (ii) Increase in debt (estimated £25-50 million) (iii) player sales (player trading profits of £200 million plus) and (iv) possible changes in creditor terms.
It is impossible to put a precise figure on our current cash flow without knowledge of the above, but it is certain that our cash flow continues to be negative and, without further contributions from one of the above, solvency becomes a real issue. This also has to be contextualised with the future earnings arising out of a second wave or post-Covid world. The economic damage is already being felt in terms of cancelled sponsorship contracts and (most worryingly) rights holders.
Financial year 2020-21
This financial year (2020-21) will see some significant changes to the previous year. Firstly, matchday income will be significantly less. Fortunately for Everton we are not as reliant on matchday income as the top six. Nevertheless, on the basis of 25% capacity across the season, match day revenues will be no more than £3.5 million (£10.4 million 2020, £14.2 million 2019). Our commercial revenues will be hit by the non-recurrence of the £30 million option payment by USM and the much reduced physical attendance at grounds. Finally, as with all clubs, we will start repaying our share of the £330 million rebate to broadcasters. I estimate that to be £8 million in this year.
As a result, we will see revenues fall by an estimated £49 million compared with financial year 2019-20.
The biggest cash costs are staff wages. Everton have already made a start in reducing this year’s wage bill by a projected £15.3 million following the sale or release of Schneiderlin, Stekelenburg, Dowell, Niasse, Garbutt, Martina, Baines and several junior players.
Assuming planning permission is granted for the stadium and funding is achieved, the current costs associated with the stadium development will effectively disappear from the football club’s P&L, effectively reducing costs (on a year by year basis) by £7 million. Additionally, previous costs would be capitalised benefitting the P&L (£18 million approx).
Elsewhere, the club may be able to make marginal efficiency gains in operating costs but I am not expecting anything significant.
So, in the absence of further player sales, be it “the deadwood” or perhaps a trophy sale before the end of June 2021, before any incoming transfer activity & assuming planning permission is granted, the club’s P&L would deteriorate by a further £8 million taking losses for the year to an estimated £74 million.
The aggregate loss for the three years would be an estimated £250 million.
The importance of player sales this summer or before June 2021 cannot be overemphasised.
So, in the knowledge of the above, how do we improve our squad, and pay for it?
So let’s assume we complete Allan, Rodriguez (loan) and Doucouré.
Using Paul Joyce’s estimate of £25 million, it is likely we pay in instalments, possibly £10 million followed by two further payments of £7.5 million.
From an accounting point of view, I am going to assume he signs a 4-year contract worth £5 million a year. His annual cost to the P&L account is therefore £7.5 million a year (£3.3 million in wages plus £4.2 million in amortisation to June 2021)
Rodriguez realistically (and that’s a stretch!) can only come to Everton on loan – at least initially. We will pay a significant loan fee and an element of his salary. For example, 60% would be €120,000 a week – £110,000. A loan fee of £5 million plus the wage contributions would see Rodriguez costing the P&L £8.6 million.
The Doucouré deal may be a combination of cash and players. Using a player as part of the deal is beneficial in that it saves cash, might reduce the amortisation cost and reduces wage costs. All of which would be beneficial, but Doucouré coming to Everton still increases our overall cost base.
Assuming we could acquire him for £25 million (significantly less than Watford’s apparent valuation) and a £80,000 a week salary on a 4-year contract would see him cost the P&L £6.9 million this year (£2.7 million in wages, £4.2 million in amortisation to June 2021)
Thus the total cost of acquiring Allan, Rodriguez and Doucouré to the P&L would for the remainder of this financial year be in the order of £23 million.
In terms of cash flow the impact would be close on £31 million (assuming we made 40% initial payments on Allan and Doucouré).
So, where does this cash come from?
It is a remarkable roll of the Ancellotti weighted dice if these three deals come off. The club is already operating at significant losses as I have pointed out on many occasions, losses which have been funded by Moshiri, debt, a creative commercial deal and player sales. This against a backdrop of a possible new stadium and now a global pandemic.
Increased debt seems very unlikely in the light of what funders of Bramley-Moore Dock would require before agreeing to fund the stadium.
Increased financial commitment from Moshiri – possible, indeed probable, but remarkable in the context of what he has contributed previously and for what he is about to contribute towards the stadium.
Aside from the players we really need to keep, it’s a hugely difficult market. This is what we have on offer and the current costs associated with employing each player:
|£ millions||Wages||Amortisation||Annual cost to P&L||Book value (1.7.20)|
The sale of Sigurdsson, Bernard, Bolasie, and Ramirez would balance the books in terms of the incoming trio of Allen, Rodriguez and Doucouré. It would not improve our position financially, but clearly improve the squad and make the team far more competitive. A top 7 finish would improve our Premier League payments by £9 million.
More than that, it would make tens of thousands of Evertonians much happier!
To conclude, we are stretching the financial envelope to the furthest it can go. We can fund these purchases if we can sell players this window. In the absence of sales, we rely further on Moshiri and travel deeper into a financial dark hole. In that case, the only alternative is sales of the likes of Richarlison and Digne in June 2021.
It is an extraordinary display of financial commitment or risk by Moshiri depending upon where you sit re financial responsibility. Me, whilst I want the players in, am entirely uncomfortable with our financial position.
Make no mistake, there is huge pressure on the club, on Moshiri, the board and Brands to find the financial solutions.
Reader Comments (56)
Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer
1 Posted 30/08/2020 at 16:41:28
Very sobering reading.
2 Posted 30/08/2020 at 16:49:59
Ssell some fucking shirts in America!
Just gotta vent that one every couple of months.
3 Posted 30/08/2020 at 17:13:09
Are the Premier League bosses likely to consider that penalizing clubs may be cutting your nose to spite your face or will it be business as usual, virus or no.
4 Posted 30/08/2020 at 17:27:22
Another great piece of work summarizing the challenges the club faces.
I have a queation which I asked on another thread.
If we extend a players contract (e.g. Michael Keane) does that extend the amortization period?
5 Posted 30/08/2020 at 17:37:08
If the Premier League has fulfilled it's obligation to broadcasters in making the scheduled games available to broadcast, why should clubs have to make any refunds?
What is in the contract that makes this possible?
ps: Your table needs a "profit if we sell" column.
6 Posted 30/08/2020 at 17:46:51
7 Posted 30/08/2020 at 17:59:26
FFP may have something to do with extending his contract then.
8 Posted 30/08/2020 at 18:01:41
Do your numbers include for Keane's new contract? If not, I assume that will help a little with the amortisation figures?
9 Posted 30/08/2020 at 18:03:37
10 Posted 30/08/2020 at 18:37:47
Additionally, I think we will sell one or two and replace them with loanees. This could help balance the books, whilst refreshing and strengthening the squad.
Has there been any indication yet of FFP being relaxed for a period?
11 Posted 30/08/2020 at 19:00:42
Whos making these decisions?
We have over payed and handed contracts out to easily to over hyped players...
12 Posted 30/08/2020 at 19:27:49
Player Wages. Amor...P&LCost
Schneiderlin, £5. £6.5m. £11.5m
Stekelenburg, £1.5m. £0. £1.5m
Dowell, £0.8m. £0. £0.8m
Niasse, £2.8m. £3m. £5.8m
Garbutt, £1.4m. £0m. £1.4m
Martina, £1.8m. £0m. £1.8m
Baines £3.3m. £0m. £3.3m
Therefore there would be £26.1million less coming off the P&L account, as well as the estimated £5million coming in for transfers from Schneiderlin and Dowell.
Does this not cover the estimated £23million being added to the P&L for those 3? Or does the book value of Schneiderlin (surely hes the only one who would have a book value) negate this?
13 Posted 30/08/2020 at 20:08:00
14 Posted 30/08/2020 at 20:12:51
Before the pandemic, wages to turnover was at approximately 85%. Since then, despite some players departures, with the new additions, improved contracts to existing players and the damaging combination of reduced income, I fully expect wages to exceed turnover in the coming season. This is an absolute disaster of a financial mess however its looked at.
The other issue I'm concerned about, is what kind of financial institution would be willing to lend a (3 year in a row) loss making business a massive loan to build a £500m+ stadium? Anywhere in the world it would be impossible unless it was a government bailout!
As I see things now, the club is spending money they don't have, to buy players they cant afford, to try and achieve something highly unrealistic. They are basically betting everything on achieving qualification to the champions league, anything less would see a Leeds type meltdown. It's very dark days ahead.
15 Posted 30/08/2020 at 20:34:16
16 Posted 30/08/2020 at 20:42:41
17 Posted 30/08/2020 at 20:49:01
18 Posted 30/08/2020 at 21:02:14
I have no idea how Chelsea hope to avoid further punishment. When Havertz signing is complete they will have spent north of £225m plus wages. If I remember correctly they lost £110m in 2018-19 and ok they sold Hazard for £90m but the figures still don't add up and they have just served a two window transfer ban. Presumably they are just willing to accept the consequences.
19 Posted 30/08/2020 at 21:10:24
I think some us get over-exicted about Moshiri's wealth. In comparison to other Premier League club owners I doubt he's close to top half, nevermind top six. That said, Liverpool's reported owners wealth is on a par with Moshiri's. The difference is maybe the personnel in the boardrooms.
20 Posted 30/08/2020 at 21:13:01
The gravity of this situation, looks precarious, and makes you wonder if theres further twists down the line, in terms of the ownership of EFC.
If, the next few weeks, do see much needed, new players coming in, then hopefully the recovery plan can start on the pitch, and drive towards a better place for EFC.
21 Posted 30/08/2020 at 21:27:56
1. Sheikh Mansour, City $20b
2. Roman Abramovich, Chelsea $11.3b
3. Stan Kroenke, Arsenal $10b
4. Srivaddhanaprabhas, Leicester $6b
5. Lewis & Levy, Tottenham $6b
6. Nassef Sawiris, Aston Villa $5.8b
7. Guo Guanchang, Wolves $5.6b
8. Glazer family, ManUtd $5b
9. Joshua Harris, Crystal Palace $4.3b
10. Mike Ashley, Newcastle $2.8b
11. Henry & Werner, Liverpool $2.7b
12. Farhad Moshiri, Everton $2.4b
Interesting that with the exception of the RS and Villa, the financial rankings roughly reflect the standings in the Premier League.
22 Posted 30/08/2020 at 21:28:34
23 Posted 30/08/2020 at 21:58:10
24 Posted 30/08/2020 at 22:01:24
Mike, the same is observed when comparing the table with clubs' player wage bills. Quite deflating actually.
25 Posted 30/08/2020 at 22:01:50
I don't know the ins and outs of what they are going to do but I suspect they have a plan. Probably involving a cuddly fella sailing his yacht around Monaco.
26 Posted 30/08/2020 at 22:17:26
I still can't get my head round Sigurdsson, Pickford and Keane comes to £100 million spent, nevermind Rooney coming back on £160k a week. During that season Salah with his 30 + goals was on £60k a week less than Rooney. Premier League football clubs with nous are not run like this.
27 Posted 30/08/2020 at 22:49:18
Wolves seem to be doing it right as well, although how they handle themselves when the big boys come in for Traore will be a major test.
28 Posted 30/08/2020 at 23:14:38
The BMD project, to get the backing, must have some solid financial support, so I'm expecting Everton could be taking medicine next season under FFP, else there's a longer-term plan to ease the burden on Farhad.
Getting any deals done is gonna be some feat, all facts considered.
Hopefully the escape from Purgatory starts very soon.
29 Posted 31/08/2020 at 00:25:00
If we do, he's just below Mansour and way above Abramovich.
Dream on in terms of him having an interest in buying Everton.
Watching his minion Moshiri as he surely does, I'd expect him to sack him given Moshiri's wanton stupidity over the years since he took hold of us.
Then again, it may just be another dastardly plot by ruthless 21st century ultra-capitalist Mavericks, sponsored in effect by Putin, to gain a foothold in the ever so welcoming-to-billionaires UK that our country has become under years of Tory "leadership".
If you didn't know better, you might just think Premier League football and the Tory UK notion of "enterprise" is thoroughly corrupt.
30 Posted 31/08/2020 at 07:20:01
31 Posted 31/08/2020 at 07:33:32
However, what I read about posts blaming Moshiri, I think it's really odd, to put it mildly.
Some other contexts to consider:
None of the monied clubs 'benefited' from being able to invest their monies into the team, without the FPP as a consideration, and none had to consider building a stadium from scratch, so soon into the new owner's tenure. Everton FC had to.
Chelsea rebuilt their stands, more than 10 years after Abrahimovic's ownership; Man City inherited the City of Manchester stadium; Liverpool and Man Utd rebuilt their respective stands along the way too.
The other thing comes down to what we expect owners to do. Do we expect owners to decide which player is better, how much wages to pay, which manager to hire? Yes, it's their money, but they are to be advised by the people at the club. He wanted to get "Hollywood" managers who can attract players/ He wanted to get managers who will develop players. He wanted to get a "Director of Football" infrastructure to take the club forward.
For the supposed waste of money, it's down to the people who advised him re the appointments.
Robert Elstone has never impressed most people, and Kenwright has been out of his depth (people skills aside), compared to other chairman. Denise seems to be doing a good job, as an extension of her EitC work but, beyond the shores of UK, Everton's efforts to grow the international market is quite invisible.
32 Posted 31/08/2020 at 07:36:48
33 Posted 31/08/2020 at 08:22:55
I can only assume the Everton board have a plan and know what they are doing.
From a simple perspective, I think we will spend astutely but big this summer and recuperate by spending very little next summer providing Carlo gets his players in now.
34 Posted 31/08/2020 at 08:35:24
35 Posted 31/08/2020 at 08:53:17
You make two references to Bramley-Moore Dock. But, being a non-accountant, I am left scratching my head on how this aspect of the club's finances (player transfers and wages) would intertwine with the costs of building a new stadium.
If it goes ahead, would we each year be making repayments on loans taken out to build the stadium?
If so, I assume such annual loan repayments would be rather sizeable. and only feasible if:
(a) broadcasting income remains the same or rises,
(b) we fill the stadium on a regular basis,
both of which are dependent on
(c) the team at the very least staying in the Premier League, but hopefully performing better than it has done in recent seasons.
36 Posted 31/08/2020 at 09:07:03
The two loans referenced were the advances provided by Santander on the transfer instalments due from Manchester United in July 2019 and July 2020 relating to the Lukaku sale. In the year ending 2019 Moshiri injected £149.25 million to keep us solvent.
37 Posted 31/08/2020 at 10:13:45
Thank you for your prompt response. I found it introduced into the reserves from Blue Sky Finance Ltd, interest- free. It seems that Paul Hewitt (on another thread) was right with his £300 million figure. The difference between Kenwright and Moshiri is that Moshiri had access to funds that Kenwright would have never had.
No wonder Messi is not turning up for training for Koeman. How Kenwright is still Chairman shows you how comprehensive the negotiated Shareholders agreement must have been between Kenwright and Moshiri at the takeover.
I reckon that Covid-19 will buy Moshiri two more years to get Everton's house in order. Ancelotti needs to pull things around. Every other Manager has failed to produce the goods, all adding to the deficit, one way or another. No wonder Ancelotti was pushed for a Top 7 finish in the latter days of the season past. The players did not appear to be up for it or, in some cases, arsed.
I think the sale of Bernard looks a quick solution. Ancelotti did not play him as a preferred choice before the break. I am sure Ancelotti would like to move Sigurdsson and Walcott on, but any takers are unlikely. Davies might find himself at Newcastle.
38 Posted 31/08/2020 at 10:43:00
#35 Mike, yes we will have annual repayments of interest at least, probably interest and capital. Those costs will be met by the increase in matchday income and sponsorship. In the time between starting to draw down the funds and the stadium opening, we will probably capitalise the interest payments (ie, add them to the outstanding amount drawn down).
39 Posted 31/08/2020 at 15:06:59
I see where you are coming from in relation to the Projections now. Ancelotti and Brands are really going to have to make a go of it this coming season.
The actual cost considerations and twists of how Everton have to operate in this transfer market, explains the prolonged negotiations.
At least there are now people in place that can get done what is required on the football side but it's going to take further changes to get the Commercial side in gear.
40 Posted 31/08/2020 at 16:03:29
On your previous article you did a comparative analysis of the effects of Covid-19. I am right or wrong in assuming that lower gate receipts and lower commercial operations receipts would mean that the effects are corresponding less. Probably in Everton's case, this is irrelevant given the poor performances of the football side in returns. Like not getting 7th place and losing out on £9million as a result.
The figures being bandied about are mind-boggling. Hope it is not akin to digging a very large hole.
41 Posted 31/08/2020 at 16:58:24
Of course there's risk with signings but we need to start taking risks or stand still, even worse go backwards.
Get those three in and maybe one more;it will have to do until January, I feel.
43 Posted 31/08/2020 at 22:51:14
Best case, we cook the books like Man City and pull it off. Worse case, we go bankrupt and reform as Everton AFC in the Northern Pontins League and attempt to emulate Glasgow Rangers 2.0.
44 Posted 31/08/2020 at 23:38:06
We won't go bust as we can still sell our way out of trouble if absolutely required. Where that would leave us in footballing terms though is anyone's guess.
There's not many more options if this roll of the dice isn't a winner.
45 Posted 31/08/2020 at 23:56:08
Of the three players who are apparently tipped to be wearing our shirt this coming season, Doucouré for me is proven in the Premier League and will give us 100% in the middle of the park, the other two, who without doubt are Ancelotti signings we can only hope they work out in the toughest league in the world.
47 Posted 01/09/2020 at 00:23:19
I have seen this before in business where each new initiative does not produce the desired turn-around in fortunes, and circumstances work against them. It's back to the drawing board and consolidate what you have.
48 Posted 01/09/2020 at 03:21:24
I think that there are just a handful of players in the team that fit both criteria. The rest would have to be subsidised sales.
49 Posted 01/09/2020 at 06:43:31
And why is this important to us fans? Simply because, if the club is being badly run with loose monetary controls, then it is a very slippery slope to financial meltdown, administration, points being docked, relegation, dropping down the leagues – the consequences are too horrifying to contemplate!
Paul, I don't know if you have factored in the increased wages of Ancelotti and his coaching team for Financial Year 2020-21?
My observations are as follows:
From the projected numbers for 2019-20, against the total income of £204 million, Wages + Player Amortisation makes up approximately £260 million! If you take out £52 million (profits on player trading), then that is still £208 million, which is £4 million more than revenue and clearly unsustainable.
I did a quick calculation based on Paul's numbers and if Brands were able to move on the following players (numbers in brackets indicates their Annual Cost to the P&L, in £M, again from Paul's table above):
That is £59.5 million that we can take off the P&L! And most of us would agree that, if Brands and Carlo can get in the 3 players rumoured, then we would not miss all these players moving out – even if it is all at once! (I would still keep players like Iwobi, Kean and Davies in the hope that with a better system and players around them, they will improve and so will their value).
Of course, we all know that it is an almost impossible task to take off all these players in one window, given that their combined book value (as on 1 July 2020) is £44.2 million. This is probably where Moshiri bites the bullet and takes a substantial loss on player sales – say sell them on for a combined £20 million instead of their book value of £44.2 million – a loss of about £24 million.
This would still be an overall improvement in the P&L because we would save £59.5 million in wages, but lose £24 million on them on the sale, still resulting in a reduction in losses by £35.5 million.
Carlo may go a step further and tell Brands to sell Pickford and Mina and get him someone like Sergio Romero and Tomori on loans. Then, our squad looks much leaner and we take our first baby steps towards financial sustainability:
GK: Romero, Lössl, Virginia
RB: Coleman, Kenny/Arias (sold/bought)
LB: Digne, Nkounkou
CB: Keane, Holgate, Branthwaite, Gibson, Tomori
MF: Gomes, Doucouré, Gbamin, Davies, Allan
ST: Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin, Kean, Gordon, Iwobi, Rodriguez, maybe 1 more.
50 Posted 01/09/2020 at 07:28:23
That is the type of astute plan that is needed. But being able to bite the bullet like that is not Moshiri's style – he is more have an objective and depend on others to work towards it. To do as you say is to arrive at a clear statement to sell the players you have listed and say get it done, no bullshit.
What you say is clearly the way forward. I agree with your player assessments for your list to go and probable extension.
51 Posted 01/09/2020 at 10:33:31
52 Posted 01/09/2020 at 10:54:57
That won't happen in reality as selling our main asset would be highly unpopular. You never know, though, as there is a big Spanish club in need of revamping.
53 Posted 01/09/2020 at 16:52:32
54 Posted 01/09/2020 at 21:41:22
55 Posted 02/09/2020 at 18:15:26
I've quoted Mal at post 13 here, but it's been said many times on the forum. The reason I've posted this is, every time EFC buy a player, that is what they're striving for.
However, It's not an exact science and they get it wrong sometimes. It's not an exclusive trait that Everton possess; all football clubs have the ability to buy flops.
56 Posted 02/09/2020 at 20:38:47
At the end of the financial year, most of the transactions will be logged as a profit, with any losses balanced by a reduction on amortization costs and reduced cost of the players wages, resulting in a net profit in most of Ajay's selected sells.
57 Posted 03/09/2020 at 22:39:59
A new rule E55 gives clubs another 12 months to get their finances in order.
58 Posted 04/09/2020 at 19:31:06
Add Your Comments
In order to post a comment, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.
Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and Talking Points submissions across the site.