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Season 2011-12
The Mail Bag

The club's overdraft

 28 Comments: First  |  Last

I just noticed an interesting snippet at the end of an article in today's (Friday) Times. I can't link it here as I don't subscribe to the online version, but here's a summary.

The article was actually about Birmingham FC having their overdraft facility withdrawn by HSBC, due to the nefarious activities of Carson Yeung and the possibility that he bought the club using criminally generated funds. Basically, HSBC decided that their predictions for Birmingham's income and outgoings over the coming year made the overdraft facility untenable.

Right at the end of the article was one throwaway paragraph as follows:

"In a similar situation in the Summer, Barclays predicted that Everton's overdraft would peak in excess of £25m this season, which the bank considered too high, and the club were pressured to act, selling Mikel Arteta to Arsenal for £10m".

Now, some will say this is old news. I do not propose to comment one way or the other. I just found it interesting to see that in a respectable newspaper, when throughout the club fed us the line that Arteta asked to leave and that his sale was entirely Moyes's decision. More spin and lies perhaps...?

Mark Boulle, London     Posted 02/12/2011 at 17:36:24

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Ian McDowell
1   Posted 02/12/2011 at 22:05:24

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I believe Everton where forced to sell Arteta why

1. Everyone knows players to talk to agents, clubs, other players and see who wants to go where well before interest is made formally.

2. knowing this any manager would/should tell his players anyone wanting out tell me at least 3/4 days before the deadline because telling me at 8pm on transfer dealing day is too late and I won't want to know.

3. The amount of lies we as Everton fans have been fed.

4. The clubs financial position.

5. The timing of the transfer is ideal for the board to plead we had not time to reinvest.
Peter Mills
2   Posted 02/12/2011 at 22:09:02

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I don't think there was too much spin around Mikel's transfer, he said it all at the time - the club needed money, Arsenal were prepared to pay and it provided him with the opportunity to play in the Champions League. It may be unpalatable, but it was all done pretty transparently.
Kevin Hudson
3   Posted 02/12/2011 at 22:21:31

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I agree with both Ian & Peter..

For me, I believe Ian's 5th point accurately portrays the cynicism of the club in relation to the predictable discord of the fans to this MO.
Eric Myles
4   Posted 03/12/2011 at 00:25:36

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I wonder what our new overdraft facility is then because that will determine how much Moyes has to spend in January.

Max £5 million I'd guess.
Peter Laing
5   Posted 03/12/2011 at 00:19:28

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The leaked e.mail gate serves to corroborate this story and the assertions of Ian McDowell.

The transcript also highlights the financial meltdown that was apparently being played out in the corridors on Goodison road, the lies and suspicion that run riot within the Club's management / hierachy to supress the truth from being out and Kenwright's own pathetic attempt to placate supporters with the now infamous line of "I've pleaded with the bank not to kill us".

The one question regarding the sale of Arteta that remains unanswered is why he did not undergo a formal medical at Arsenal as suggested, or is this another line being spun to ease the pressure on the board for the fact that David Moyes would have no time to spend any of the incoming transfer funds. Seems laughable given the fee and the fact that Arteta has sustained a number of career threatening injuries.

The problem though is that after couple of much needed results the pressure is likely to ease on Kenwright as seen in the recent dissipation of talk regarding potential investment. The acid test for those who continue to offer BK support will be when the transfer window reopens and we are once again left in the stalls waiting for something to happen.
Peter Laing
6   Posted 03/12/2011 at 00:34:11

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Arteta was the 'man' a replacement for Cesc Fabregras and the 'one or two' players that needed to be sold allegedly in the words of Ian Ross to appease the bank. The rumour during the summer was that Everton had tried unsuccessfully to offload Jack Rodwell to Manchester United but at the time his stock had fallen dramatically. The transfer was all but transparent in my opinion and in true Everton fashion.
John Gee
7   Posted 03/12/2011 at 01:50:07

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Peter (#2) sums this up perfectly. We don't need Moulder and Scully for this. The club have talked about this, Mikel has talked about this, the fans have talked about it, the media have talked about it.

I'd imagine that the overdraft of almost every club in country is being reduced.
Richard Dodd
8   Posted 03/12/2011 at 10:21:50

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Perhaps HAVING to sell the player necessitated the use of an agent `go-between` as highlighted in recent publicity?
Sean McCarthy
9   Posted 03/12/2011 at 10:50:00

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On the subject of our finances it was with a certain fanfare that the Club announced its 'deal' with Best Buy and indeed half time has seen the in-house TV cameras select a 'lucky winner' who gets £500 worth of vouchers for the store which is on similar lines to PC World/Comet. This was sold to fans as an exciting new partnership blah blah blah.....

It should therefore come as no surprise that they've gone bust!! After announcing £65m losses, Best Buy are closing all their UK stores including the one in Aintree. Now I'm sure they haven't turned into a loss-making company overnight so it begs the question what research the Club did before signing a deal with them only a matter of months ago. Do they just accept any old deal in an effort to make a few quid or were they misled by Best Buy claiming they were a secure and sound business to go into partnership with?

I'm sure the Club weren't making too much from the deal but I think it's a bit embarrassing to see the name 'Everton' linked with such a two-bit company who go belly up as soon as the ink is dry!!

The parent company (Best Buy Inc) in the USA is on the Forbes 100 list and worth somewhere in the region of $40billion...
Dave Usher
10   Posted 03/12/2011 at 11:29:31

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Don't get this Sean! Are Best Buy a two bit company or are they a listed company worth 40Billion dollars???

I don't think it takes a genius to work out that they haven't gone 'belly up' and are probably just pulling out of the UK which to be honest given the current financial climate is probably unsurprising.

I'd probably rather have shares in BestBuy than EFC at the moment and its arguable that it was them that got into bed with the two bit company!

Mark Riding
11   Posted 03/12/2011 at 11:56:42

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Best Buy announced their entry into the British market too early... It gave PC World and Curry's the chance to merge and create larger superstores and take them on for price and location. Best Buy have admitted this error of judgement and to imply that somehow Everton didn't do their homework is not really accurate.
(Gary Speed's Prem teams in an accumulator... Everton, Newcastle, Bolton and Leeds: pays over 150/1 this weekend, maybe Bill will get on and if it comes in them we will be ok!)
John Gee
12   Posted 03/12/2011 at 13:45:15

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Best Buy are just following a well worn path by US businesses. The UK arm may well have been profitable (albeit with a large credit facility) but if the dividend payments drop or the profitability of the US arm drops then they'll pull out of foreign territories. It happened quite recently in the banking sector where the UK arm was actually keeping the US arm afloat. They pulled out here and then sunk over there.

I'm sorry, I forget the name of the company and I can't quite remember if they went bust over there or if the US government stole loads of money off the working class to maintain the lavish lifestyle of the super rich (aka recapitalising).
Lyndon Lloyd
13   Posted 03/12/2011 at 15:42:39

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I think the sales of Beckford and Yakubu would probably have "kept the wolves from the door" for a while where Barclays was concerned but the Arteta transfer was a deal that made sense for all concerned.

He clearly wanted to play Champions League football with a bigger club at the peak of his career and Everton needed the transfer windfall and its highest-paid player off the books.

That's not to take away from the fact that the Club's custodians got us into a position whereby its best players had been sold without enough fresh blood to replace them ? emailgate clearly spells out the need to raise cash last summer, as if we didn't already know ? and a player like Mikel felt he wasn't going to achieve his ambitions at EFC, but I don't believe this particular deal was forced.
Stephen Kenny
14   Posted 03/12/2011 at 15:53:07

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I agree, I think encouraged rather than forced would be the best way to describe it.

The sale of Arteta has put about £14m extra in the clubs (or Barclays) kitty this year alone.

The wages of Yobo, Yakubu, Beckford et al must be saving in the region of £6-7m a year also.

That's around £11m freed up from players our manager never rated. I disagreed about his handling of the Yak and I would have liked to see Beckford given a run too but if he has some kind of plan then it's not bad business.

The only sad thing is that if we could have done our business earlier we may have got a proven striker like Ba to lead the line.

Also, Yannick Djalo is going on a free, absolute quality player.
Roberto Birquet
15   Posted 03/12/2011 at 17:59:00

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The overdraft has been reported in several places as being £5 million.

Other debts: the £25 million-ish mortgage, paid at around £2.5 mn a year until 2026 (inc interest), I think. Then there was a £17 million debt that had to be paid off over the next two years: via training ground £9 million, and about £10 million in player sales. They were completed before Arteta sale.

If the Times has other sources disputing that, they should say so, or not be careless with reports. Because the £25 million sounds rather close to the maturing £17 m plus reported £5 mn overdraft. Maybe they added the two and reported the sum as an overdraft.

Unless either a consistent reporting or better some proof, this is all speculation.
Roberto Birquet
16   Posted 03/12/2011 at 18:06:03

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The wages of Yobo, Yakubu, Beckford et al must be saving in the region of £6-7m a year also.

That's around £11m freed up from players our manager never rated.
I think you're getting carried away with yourself a bit.
Those three players had £5m a year in wages; we have brought in Drenthe, McFadden and Stracqualursi, who must cost at least £4m a year, I'd say.

We will need to bring in a striker and the wages of Arteta will pay for him, and Fellaini's pay rise.

The wages of Vaughan and Pienaar will either pay wages for one new player, pay down our running costs, which have been reported as being £5m a year too much (Blue Union), or pay for a bit of both.
Thomas Williams
17   Posted 04/12/2011 at 01:37:07

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Regarding the overdraft, Arteta £10M, Yak £2.5M including loan fee, Yobo £1.5M loan fee, Neill £1.5M, Pienaar £3M, Beckford £4M = £22M.

Wages saved on the above £12-13M

Add to the above the amount of reserves sent out on loan, making more savings.

Bellefield £9M, Kitbag £4M, Chang £4M = £17M.

The above lot equates to around £50M... that's without ticket sales, merchandise, TV money and prize money.

How and why are we still in bad debt?
Mike Allison
18   Posted 04/12/2011 at 09:37:57

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"...the nefarious activities of Carson Yeung and the possibility that he bought the club using criminally generated funds."

But why can't we find a buyer when the likes of Birmingham, West Ham, Blackburn and Portsmouth can?
Stephen Kenny
19   Posted 04/12/2011 at 12:01:19

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Yobo and Yak were both widely reported to be on 50k an Beckford was on 20k, Arteta was on 75k, roughly that comes to 11m.

Drenthe, Denis and Mcfadden wont be on half that.
James Flynn
20   Posted 04/12/2011 at 23:55:52

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Mike (18) - "But why can't we find a buyer when the likes of Birmingham, West Ham, Blackburn and Portsmouth can?".

I believe there are interested parties all the time. It's Everton Football Club, for goodness sake. Kenright etal name a price, interested buyers say "We'll get back to you".

They discuss the price asked and decide to just wait until the banks apply serious pressure for payment, meaning:

1. Kenright etal have to drop their asking price.
2. They keep dumping the only assets still left to dump ( the team's top players), causing relegation a genuine possibility, which surely will drop the value of the Club.

I know I'm speculating here, but that's what I think is happening. When Kenright (or whomever) keep insisting they're fielding inquiries all the time, I believe them.

What current ownership never mentions is what price they're asking that keeps scaring off those interested.

As frustrating as things have been these last few seasons, we'll be sold. When, though? That's the thing.
Lyndon Lloyd
Editorial Team
21   Posted 05/12/2011 at 18:01:24

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Gary Jacob, the Times journalist who penned the referenced article from Friday, contacted us with the following to expand upon his references to the club's overdraft:
I hope this explanation is of benefit to your discussion about the last paragraph about Arteta in my Birmingham City piece in The Times last week.

The starting point is that Everton lose about £5million-a-year based on expenditure and income (lower sponsorship deals than other clubs, fewer corporates etc) .

At the start of last summer, Manchester United were expected to move for Rodwell, which would have injected cash for Everton to sign players, but when they instead signed Phil Jones, there was a black hole.

Everton also expected Yobo, Yakubu and one other player to leave and bring in cash but as importantly to reduce the club?s wage bill. But at Aug 30, they were still at the club.

So the club were constrained to sign players and under pressure to reduce their overdraft facility, which stood at about £30million in the summer of 2010 but was reduced to about £25milion when the club sold its training ground, which formed security for the overdraft. What was not clear, was the actual level of Everton's overdraft, rather than facility, in the summer.

The bank made a prediction of what would happen to Everton?s overdraft over the next year and figured it was going to rise above the £25million facility ceiling and pressure was put on the club to cut costs (via sales and reducing wage bill). It was no different to the bank looking at your or my finances over the next year.

Moyes ruled out selling Neville, Jagielka, Baines and, as I recall, one of Fellaini/Cahill. Arteta was the obvious person to try and sell as he earned £70,000-a-week, could fetch a sizeable fee and had not played as well post injury. Theory was that Arsenal might have a need for him, post-Fabregas and their proposed deal for Mata collapsing. In fact Tony Barrett, The Times reporter, wrote as much in mid August.

Arsenal became increasingly desperate towards the end of the window, when proposed deals in France did not come off, and a bid was made on Aug 30. Arteta?s move suited both clubs, even if he was happy to move. As it happened, although Arsenal made at least two bids for Jagielka, the defender never pushed to leave and that was one reason, apart from his valuation, that he stayed.

Mark Riding
22   Posted 05/12/2011 at 18:12:39

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Lyndon, thanks for posting the writers comments.

Not much else to say really is there !
Alan Williams
23   Posted 05/12/2011 at 18:12:21

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Best Buy pulled out of the UK due to poor sales and a bad deal they struck with car phone warehouse whose profit on the deal was substantial, so much so that the rumour is heads will roll in the USA but the CPW staff are laughing all the way to the bank. The UK arm was never going to make a profit with the franchise with CPW so Best Buy paid them in full and walked honourably they haven?t gone bust so get your facts correct Sean they are worth Billions. Peter, it just amazes me how much you know about the workings of EFC, seems you know far more than anyone on this subject. So tell me is it true that a figurehead of BU met up last weekend with a senior manager/head of department at EFC? I just hope it was to bridge the gap as I?m all for it. On overdrafts, if anybody runs a business these days all banks are trying to reduce risk and lend less, EFC are not different than any other business. COYB
Mark Riding
24   Posted 05/12/2011 at 18:29:58

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#23 Alan, agree with your post, and I even agree about Peter being well informed... Please tell more!

The mention from the hack about Rodwell is an amazing statement... Were we really relying on United buying him to solve our short term problem? Was that the tactic? (I use the word tactic toungue in cheek as far as EFC are concerned at the moment.)

Rodwell lost value with each performance last year as, even by his own admission, didn't produce. Is this why Barkley is not playing? Is he really, just not a bad player? Is this season's tactic to 'keep em guessing' and try and blag £20m for him from a desperate Chelsea?
Colin Fitzpatrick
25   Posted 05/12/2011 at 21:26:04

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Bloody hell , it just goes to show that just like next year?s blue moon or the Preston Guild I suppose if you wait long enough everything eventually happens and it has, I find myself agreeing with a post from Alan Williams; think I need to sit down!

That?s exactly what happened to Best Buy and to be honest I don?t think it should be used as a stick to beat Everton with; it?s nothing to do with them. We?d all like Everton to sign the commercial deals that United, Liverpool, Arsenal and now City make, but the reality is we?re never going to be in a position to do so until there?s a sea change at the top which will enable Everton and our ?brand image? to improve.

I don't think that the journalist?s interpretation of some known facts isn?t completely accurate and it may come as a shock to people that players are simply assets to be used on and off the field for the good of the business but there it is. Of course it?s not a normal business by any stretch of the imagination; who in their right mind would return to the scene of that crime yesterday and hand over good money to be not entertained? It suits football clubs to be businesses on some occasions and cultural assets on other occasions.

Don?t worry, I haven?t undergone some sort of epiphany and had a road to Damascus conversion; I?m more convinced than ever that this board is redundant has to go and the quicker the better. The revelations by Ian Ross, and the earlier insight by Bill Kenwright, just confirmed what we have all known for years.
Alan Williams
26   Posted 06/12/2011 at 08:14:33

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Colin, opinions are just what they are????.opinions. We mould them normally due to life experience and sometimes expectations. I don?t agree with the BU and its approach which is obvious but it doesn?t mean I don?t understand why you feel like that. Simple story that happened to me last week, I was having a crap day and had meeting in and around London area and was out in the evening so had to drop my car off at home and get the train back to Liverpool St, I was mad with people on the train as so full and as usual very un polite to the fellow passenger. Anyway as I got off at LS and was walking off, the mad rush of suits to get back on was madness then I saw a very smart man dressed to kill but he had a EFC hat on and I stopped, shuffled over to him and said ?up the toffee?s? he gave me a hug and we both went on our way with smiles! Now, I can assure you it wasn?t a Michael Portillo moment but just the case of why Evertonains are the best fans and the best team to even consider supporting. What I?m trying to say very badly is being an Evertonain comes first, always. COYB
Colin Fitzpatrick
27   Posted 06/12/2011 at 10:50:05

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Michael err err I mean Alan #26,

I think you?re well on that road to Damascus fella; I may even stop and give you a lift so that you can have some of those opinions ?moulded? by the experience?!!!!!!

Up the toffees is much preferable to coyb ? just an opinion!
Alan Williams
28   Posted 06/12/2011 at 17:48:32

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Excellent Colin, I never even noticed it, that has made me laugh. Alsop education is still in me ha ha. I have been nice to everybody lately I think it?s the Gary Speed thing as its made me think more about EFC collectively. Anyway can I get Damascus on my sat nav, doest it have a valid postcode and do I go via Motorways? On my point raised earlier was it you that had a meeting at EFC last Sunday/Monday????? Up the Toffee?s

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