A number of us were having a natter on the Spanish loan / rumour thread about loaning as practice and principle and it made me think that it might be worth dedicating a thread to these issues.

Over the last few months or so, the question of loaning as a strategy has popped up all over the place over and over again on ToffeeWeb. There have been, no surprise this, negative and positive angles and my impression for what its worth is that the negatives have outnumbered the positives.

The principal point on the negative side of things is put simply: how on earth can a team be built on loans with the future in mind?

Not that long ago, if I remember correctly, loans were for the most part emergency cover or blooding youngsters elsewhere and the pattern was nearly always clubs in loftier positions sending players out to clubs well beneath them and more often than not in another league. More recently with Chelsea in the driving seat clubs are starting to send newly purchased greener recruits with something still to prove to clubs on the European mainland or comfortably below them in the league for a season with something gained on both sides: Lukaku to West Brom in 2012-13 is a classic case.

In this last season, however, something rather different has been happening and loans more and more in some circles say Everton have become more of a shrewd strategic art form, not to replace someone or to blood someone, but to win things.

The big difference in 2013-14 is that an astute but level-headed gaffer you know who I mean loaned top-class players from top-class teams to put together a team capable of challenging for a top-4 seat and, Lordy Lordy, he nearly pulled it off, delivering Evertons best Premier League season in everything else but final finish with verve in his first season with us.

Everyone took notice, didnt they... and, to be fair, a good number of worldly wise journos expressed deep admiration and support. Mr Wenger, on the other, clinging for life to 4th had if nothing else for appearance sake decided as part of his save-my-ass policy to have a pop at the iniquities of the loan system for loan system read EFC who just happened to be at that particular point in time snuggish in pole position to nick 4th.

It is in my view deeply unrealistic to launch wholesale critiques of Bobbys loaning strategies and indeed more broadly loaning for success in this day and age at The Old Lady with its economy of makeshifts. Never mind this and that external revenue source we have a mingebag zip-up-pockets board with deep pockets who rather than gift loan theres that word again money to their club and by God they want every single penny to be paid back on time. Martinez can only make use of the cards he has in his hands and the great thing for each one of us is that he made excellent use of them.

We have an acutely perceptive gaffer right now who is every bit as scientific and research-orientated as the last one but with quite different priorities and strategies. Smart loaning will be a large part of our wheeling and dealing in the next window because our gaffer has made the choice that it will be and it is also a practical/pragmatic necessity. I believe that his astute use of the loan angle was an essential element in his pre- and post-appointment back and forth with the Boys Pen alumnus. It was clear in present circumstances that savvy loans unlike the directions taken by Manchester Uniteds former manager were a serious strategy and, on the basis of last season, Bobby Martinez was dead right.

The season-in, season-out Moyes/Kenwright steady-the-ship mentality is now gone and we are no longer Moyes-steady but Martinez-ready.

I have a happy hunch and yep I know how thin this argument is and Im getting ready already to eat the humblest of pies 12 months from now that Martinez will get bigger and better backing from this board, one year after another, because they need to match his vision for Everton over the next two or three years. I believe that Bobby will walk quite rightly if this vision is undermined by lack of support; and that, with TV incomes spiralling upwards and a debt that has been trimmed quite nicely in recent years, the Coronation Street producer is well aware that he now is in a totally transparent position he cant escape from: if he fails to fund Bobby with gusto, he will forever be persona non grata with too many Blues to count if, that is, he really cares and continues to put his interests above those of the club.

Listen, Moyes got some decent financial support and bargained incoming and outcoming with some acumen but he never really made the sort of use of the loan system that we have seen this last year. But, until the day the day I dream of that we have a true war chest Martinez will need to make sharp strategic use of the loan market. We will get sussed by the likes of Chelsea at home but it wont matter one iota to classy teams on the mainland (Barca?) who see in Martinez/Everton a lovely opportunity to blood their flair players in a team with flair with a truly creative gaffer at the helm.

I for one completely support this creative use of the loan system. And who knows: two more years of it and we might well be top four and in a better position to attract better players than Remy and Townsend and attract/earn more money. (And, dont forget Martinezs more positive approach to youth and the large amount of dosh going into Finch Farm that some mock right now, but our under-18s have today won their league title seeing off yep the Sheiks team.)

But until then a life-long fan like me with so many highs and lows behind me will trust in Bobby Martinezs creative strategies and perhaps it is with a heavy dose of blue-tint that I say this but with Martinez we will be stronger in say May 2016 than we are in May 2014.

Loans, youth, Finch Farm, deeply-researched purchases, and Martinez, the future is not that ship-steady is it? Loans will be a huge part of our strategic planning for the time being. Get used to it, enjoy it for now, it will pay dividends.

Stop moaning about loaning!

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Reader Comments (46)

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Dick Brady
1 Posted 18/05/2014 at 17:28:03
Ok Im excluding Barkley from my following point because hes a youngster David Moyes had already handed first team football to. Im also excluding John Stones because technically hes not a youth team player, we bought Stones for 3 million from Barnsley.

We have many talented homegrown youngsters in the squad like Browning, Pennington, Kennedy, Garbutt, Ledson, McAleny and Lundstram. Last season the total amount of first team football they played was just a couple of minutes. Literally Garbutt played 2 minutes against Southampton.

All the first team football experience went to Barcelonas Deulofeu and Chelseas Lukaku. Two footballers who will probably never play for Everton again.

Next season we will have all the young players I mention above plus a whole selection of title winning U18 players.

There is very little chance to give these young players a chance in the Premiership. First team experience is essential to young players and our young players are in desperate need of it.

And yet all the rumors suggest Martinez is about to sign Chelseas Thorgan Hazard on-loan or possible Atletico Madrids Saul Niguez on-loan.

So basically next season all the first team opportunities for young players at Everton will go to Chelsea and Atletico Madrid kids while the likes of Ledson, Browning and Garbutt watch from the sidelines.

I simply do not like the loan system. I hate the idea of Everton developing younger players for other teams. Let Chelsea and Atletico Madrid develop their own youngsters.

Give what little first team experience is available to Everton youngsters.

Patrick Murphy
2 Posted 18/05/2014 at 17:36:23
Paul - As you will have realised I advocate the abolishment of the loan system for many reasons, however, if Roberto and Everton wish to use it to help the club then it is a legitimate strategy and should be used.

But I cant help thinking that it also represents its own pitfalls for Everton FC that being if two of the spine of the team i.e. Barry and Lukaku decide to move on or the parent club decide to put them into their own first-team then we have to start all over again with their replacements needing time to settle in at Goodison and with the possibility that they will not be of similar quality of the outgoing players.

It is impossible to create an excellent team if year on year you have to replace your engine room and your main target man, short-term it might help the cause but in the longer term I want Everton FC to have the main elements of the team tied to the club and be 100% Everton players.

Kev Johnson
3 Posted 18/05/2014 at 17:47:41
Dick - would you be interested in going on permanent loan to another website?
Kevin Tully
4 Posted 18/05/2014 at 17:48:46
When the likes of Liverpool are sending out 11m strikers on loan (Borini) you realise how wide the financial gulf is.

As you say Paul, Bobbys hands are tied and its no use going for the likes of McFadden or Hitzlsperger only to see them rot on the bench. What was the point of those loans?

Its a catch 22 situation, a look what you could of won if they turn out to be a hit at the club, so in a way its even more galling those fuckwits in the boardroom will not move aside.

I sincerely believe Martinez will walk away if he feels his ambition is not being met.

Colin Glassar
5 Posted 18/05/2014 at 17:49:54
Patrick, you and Brady/Brody have a point but the sad fact is, we need to employ whatever means we have available to get that top 4 place and a passport to financial nirvana.
A club the size of Everton will always have to fight to keep its best players be it loanees or otherwise. Roberto did well to keep Bainsey in January and he will, most probably, have to fight to keep Seamus, Barkley and Stones. These are our core players. In a perfect world we would make serious bids for Del and Lukaku and watch them prosper under Roberto but unless a miracle happens they will probably move on at some point.
Until we have the financial clout to compete with the richer teams we will always be at a disadvantage. But saying that, everyone has his price e.g. Ronaldo, Bale, Ozil, all of whom went from one wealthy club to another.
Jay Harris
6 Posted 18/05/2014 at 17:51:10
As Paul
rightly points out the loan system used to be based on sending youngsters out to get a bit more game time (usually to a lower division) or to cover emergencies.

I have and always will be opposed to teams loaning out players in the same division.

I think the fundamental problem is the gap between youth/reserve football and the Premiership.

While we flood the Premiership with quality foreigners we do it to the detriment of developing good English youngsters.

I also think players and agents earnings have gone crazy and would like to see some sort of legislation to control this.

The Financial Fair play policy is a step in the right direction but is far too open to abuse and circumvention.

I think there should be a cap on players earnings,Agents fees and the value of transfer money a club can spend.

Paul Columb
7 Posted 18/05/2014 at 17:52:44
Alright...alright....I know he pulled a major one on himself with his Oviedo homophobic comments but for me there comes a point where it needs to be put to bed.
DBs opinions are as valid as each of our own as a participant in this community and his castigation for each and every comment is getting old.
Dick, do us a favour and apologize (if not already done) for the Oviedo comments and open the way for an end to the hounding which has followed.

As far as the loan system goes, it seems as though the demands of the loaning club in terms of guaranteed appearances is becoming problematic (eg Dela). Also, if a club loans a player they should have to run the risk of the player in question affecting their parent club (i.e playing against them) in the same way they do their competitors in all competitions.

I see our business in the loan market increasing for good or bad this summer until such time that restrictions are placed and/or our domestic & European success limits clubs willingness to loan.

Daniel Lawrence
8 Posted 18/05/2014 at 18:20:42
Martinezs astuteness in the loan market will prop this board up again the way Moyes did with his bargain signings. We may have got Lukaku for a season, but Im sure Martinez would have signed Bony last year if given the funds, thereby wed now have a 20million asset on our hands instead of a gaping hole in our forward line.
Traore on loan will be Lukakus replacement, with Kine back to supplement this.
89 million and this board will get away with it year in year out...
Iain Johnston
9 Posted 18/05/2014 at 18:39:49
No one moaned when big Dunc arrived on loan... no one moaned when Arteta arrived on loan... No one moaned when Tommy G arrived back or Pienaar signed, again on loan initially...
No one gave a shit when WBA signed Lukaku and no one moaned when we got Stracqualursi and Drenthe.

All of a sudden it’s an issue and detrimental to the club... Why?

If City offered us Dzeko on loan for a season, would that be wrong too?

Kevin Tully
10 Posted 18/05/2014 at 18:56:02
Iain, although most are happy for us to bridge the gap by using the loan system, it’s a bit much when nearly half the side are made up of loanees because that’s all we can afford.

We could have seen a starting 11 including Lukaku, Barry, Deulofeu and Traore. It’s also makes it difficult for the manager as these players know they’re only here for one season - so full credit to Martinez for motivating these players.

Whatever we think, it shouldn’t be our long term strategy.

Iain Johnston
12 Posted 18/05/2014 at 19:03:53
Yeah Kev, I understand and I agree long term it’s probably not the answer..


If RM now has an advantage of further funds due to Traore being here instead of the 7m "rated" Jelavic and a fit Barry ready to sign instead of an unfit player who has sat on the bench up the East Lancs all season, I can see the point of it...

A few years ago a lot of us bought our cars on HP then got peanuts for them when we wanted a new one. Nowadays a lot of us pay for them for three years, never own them and get the keys to a new one once we resign a contract...

Could football be going the same way...? Today, Most clubs only turn a profit on home grown talent, only a few of their signings are moved on for a greater transfer fee...

Probably a shit analogy but you get the gist.

Dean Adams
13 Posted 18/05/2014 at 19:12:59
Paul. Another gem from you. What is going on these days? We seem to be firmly on the same wavelength regarding most things blue. I think possibly we may have been heavily influenced by the fantastic side of the eighties, which was solid, but was still quite fluid in its make-up. Players come and go, some stay longer than others, but the facts are simple. Utilize every asset, regardless of where or who owns them.

Our own youth sides have only had one season learning to play the Martinez way and will need a few years before we see some positive results, but I believe the amount of young players making the grade will rise as the whole club play the same style and the Martinez brand becomes ingrained. We need patience now so that the seeds being sown have time to blossom and flourish. IN 3 years time I beleive we will no longer need to use loan players, rather more of us becoming the loaning club to others in our league, getting them to blood our promising youngsters. We really are on the road to the school of science and Nil Satis Nisi Optimum may soon be a reality.

Bill Griffiths
14 Posted 18/05/2014 at 19:24:22
The loan system may be wrong but until it is either scrapped or changed for the better there is nothing wrong in our using this system to our advantage.

My belief is that this is mostly a short term strategy for Roberto and once his ideals and philosophies start to take fruit we shall see more of our younger players start to come through thus diminishing the need for so many loan players.

Dick, probably going forward Roberto will start to give some of the youngsters game time as he has had time to look at them and how they have adapted to his ideas.

What amazes me on this site is the number of posts that indicate Roberto will walk due to Bill and the boards penny pinching etc. Have none of these posters read or heard Roberto’s views on BK and transfer funds etc. He has made it quite clear that he is a great admirer of BK and that he is more than happy with the transfer funds that will be available to him.

Dave Williams
15 Posted 18/05/2014 at 19:36:00
Seems simple to me- play to the rules and, whilst loans do not provide solid foundations for team building, they do give clubs like us the chance to build gradually and use loans to plug the gaps which need next season’s transfer pot, or the season after that to finance the purchase of the permanent guy who is to fill it or to buy the time needed for the youngsters to be ready.
Tony Draper
16 Posted 18/05/2014 at 19:39:47
The reason that City & Chelski loaned us Barry & Lukaku is because they have been able to buy anything that moves......then loan em out again.

I recall reading somewhere that Chelski had 22 players OUT on loan this season......

We did nothing wrong, we "borrowed" the maximum number of players (2x domestic, 2x continental).....Arsenal could have done that too.
One of our loanees scored and then went sick.

We do loan out young players to gain experience because there is no "Central League" (reserves) as once there was to rehabilitate injured first team players whilst simultaneously educating up an coming prospects....but also keeping bench warmers match ready.

The bottom line is that "The Game" deliberately slants ANY and EVERY opportunity in favour of "The Fastest Buck", and via the route which involves zero thought, investment or forward planning.

Wenger utterly crapped himself when he thought we might overturn his applecart.

Despite it meaning that we would begin our Europa campaign earlier, I REALLY wanted Hull to win the FA Cup. I wanted it because I want the "Assisted Monopoly" broken at every single turn, repeatedly and for years and years to come.

Malcolm Joyner
17 Posted 18/05/2014 at 19:49:59
The loan system is about expediency - and with the lifespan of Premier managers down to an average of 13 months, developing kids and building teams is no longer on the agenda.

Only Southampton have felt able to buck the trend but with a mass exodus likely this summer, what’s the betting that they will be loaning with the best of us come August !

Bobby does right to play the system - he can hardly compete in the market with ’the big boys’ can he?- but what’s the betting that if he ever makes top four they will change the rules overnight.

Wenger says that teams based on loans are built on sand and, of course he’s right. But at least we get to get to see new faces every year , don’t we ?

Nick Entwistle
18 Posted 18/05/2014 at 20:15:44
If the post had consideration to the principles of the loan system, it may have recognised the big clubs have everyone else by the balls.

All the biggest teams inhale the best youth players from around the world. A talent vacuum is created and the biggest teams end up screwing clubs like Everton in this secondary market place, co-created by the two.

Martinez is left having to pay bigger clubs huge fees for players they don’t need and we can’t have.

Everton wouldn’t have got 4th without Arteta’s loan, wouldn’t have done a number of things without Campbell, Howard, Jobo, Ferrari, Pienaar, Fernandez, Donovan, Jo. In this flowery re-imagining, what it doesn’t tell you is that now there’s little other choice.

Peter Mills
19 Posted 18/05/2014 at 21:37:31
Exploit the rules to the maximum. We have been helped enormously this season by having a vastly experienced midfielder and a 20m striker, the other players have learned from them and benefitted from their presence, it has helped them to become winners.
Dennis Stevens
20 Posted 18/05/2014 at 22:15:01
Within the current total financial imbalance in football, then the loans system is now a very different beast to what it was & we need to fully exploit it. However, I still think it is wrong to loan players within the same league division, & if it is to continue then there should be no ’but he can’t play against us’ type clauses allowed.
Danny Broderick
21 Posted 18/05/2014 at 22:58:53
It can sometimes suit the clubs to loan players out - mainly a young lad in need of experience, or a player coming back from injury, or even to get someone off the wage bill.

It works both ways. I don’t agree with loans in the same division - there is potential for a conflict of interest, and I don’t think it’s right that you can’t play against your parent club.

But the loan system is here to stay, and while we can’t compete with the big boys financially, this is one area we can use in our favour...

Jamie Carroll
22 Posted 18/05/2014 at 23:22:13
I see Kevin Richardson in the Sunday Express having a dig at Everton for the their loan signings: Deulofeu, Barry, Lukaku... saying that Everton’s season was built on the loan signings!

What a bitter bastard. Now that his mate Moyes got the sack he, like a lot of journalists, are now made to look stupid with their Moyes patronage!!!

Si Cooper
23 Posted 18/05/2014 at 23:52:39
This whole debate seems a little over-blown to me.

We have been using the loan system as a "try before you buy" option for ages and in all that time it has never been guaranteed that the loanee would become a permanent signing. We have had the chance with each of the 4 players we have loaned this season to forge a relationship that stands us in good stead if/ when they come onto the open market, though the explicit reason for the loans has simply been to strengthen the squad for the 2013-14 season.

The idea that we are stifling our own talent and merely benefitting other clubs is absolute nonsense. There has been plenty of opportunity for youngsters from our own ranks to step up when the loanees weren’t available or would have benefitted from a rest. The fact that they didn’t is simply an indication that they are not ready yet (if they ever will be) and not because their development is being suppressed. The opportunity for youngsters to train with good quality players every day is a good thing, and the sustained good form of the first team actually makes it easier to bring in the occasional inexperienced player. Chucking them in in a sink or swim manner is a situation that is more likely to damage their career permanently.

Player hoarding is not a good thing but there is little that can be done about it without changing global economics and attitudes. In the meantime, if we are able to successfully exploit the unusual loan opportunities it creates then that will benefit our club by making immediate success potentially more attainable. Alongside the loan strategy, sensible club hierarchies will also look to combine it with developing their own prospects and astute permanent signings whenever possible.

Terence Leong
24 Posted 18/05/2014 at 23:36:43
Without going over again what many have pointed out in great thoroughness, my main point will be:

In this time and age, the notions of " long term" and "development" have to be re-visited.

Anyone can be sold for a price. How many times have we seen a player signed on for a huge contract, only to be sold the following season? And I believe those long contracts (from the club’s perspective) serve primarily to ensure some transfer monies, rather than to tie the player down. It is more often than not, about not losing your assets without getting anything in return.

Thus, my point is - anyone can be moved, and when this is the case, a team of fully contracted players can be as "transitional" as one with loan players.

What I believe Martinez is recognizing is that you have to use the loan system as a strategy, especially when the club doesn’t have lots of money to burn.

What I feel optimistic about is that Roberto has shown himself able to maximize the loanees’ development. That can only be good for us we become an attractive team for more of the same.

I think it’s conjectural at best to claim that the loan players are being developed at our own youth players’ expense. While Stones and Barkley are Moyes’ players first, Martinez’s willingness to deploy them suggest to me that he will give youth a chance. And by extension, he will give our youth players a chance if they are good enough.

Drew Shortis
26 Posted 19/05/2014 at 02:03:52
I would much prefer to sign players on permanent deals rather than loan. However there are advantages to the loan system. Martinez has a limited transfer fund available and can only afford to bring in a few quality players each window. The loans allow him time to build his squad without having to rely on sub standard players. It is a stop gap that allows us to build without a drop in quality. I would hope that in a few years time we have a a squad with more depth and quality and will not need to loan players in. Until that time I’m more than happy for Roberto to exploit the loan market to give himself time and flexibility to assemble his team.
Paul Ferry
27 Posted 19/05/2014 at 04:12:00
Si Cooper - 23 - I wish that I had had the nous and prose to put it like this, nice one:
’The idea that we are stifling our own talent and merely benefiting other clubs is absolute nonsense. There has been plenty of opportunity for youngsters from our own ranks to step up when the loanees weren’t available or would have benefitted from a rest. The fact that they didn’t is simply an indication that they are not ready yet (if they ever will be) and not because their development is being suppressed. The opportunity for youngsters to train with good quality players every day is a good thing, and the sustained good form of the first team actually makes it easier to bring in the occasional inexperienced player. Chucking them in, in a sink-or-swim manner, is a situation that is more likely to damage their career permanently.
David Ellis
28 Posted 19/05/2014 at 04:22:07
I would prefer if we were giving time to and developing our own star youngsters. But as Martinez has said this is only an option if you have them. Yes we have some, but we did not in fact have players like Lukaku or Deulofeu in our U21s squad. In the real world the choice is (a) do we want them for a year or (b) do we buy an inferior player or (c) do we sit on the money/ use it to give a pay rise to Bainsey or whatever else we might use the money for?

I think option (a) makes sense if it is an icing on the cake situation - we can make the first team a little bit stronger in the short term then this can yield longer term benefits. However we do need to bake a proper long term cake underneath with youth structures and long term contracts for the bulk of the squad. Both of which I think are now in place.

Given that we can only have 11 on the pitch at anyone time the key is to ensure that we have sufficient depth of the right quality. I would rather have a couple of loan stars around than any number of below par signings that have no impact on the pitch - and who also block the introduction of youngsters. Its also a much less risky way of proceeding than blowing large amounts in the transfer market.

I do think there should be regulation on the number of players a club can loan out (22 from Chelsea is ludicrous) - but those who want to cap wages, cap agent’s fees, cap transfer fees clearly do not understand economics. Perhaps we should regulate summer time temperatures as well whilst we are at it? A cap on wages we had until the 1960s and it was a disaster for the players and in the modern day would simply drive the best players overseas and destroy the Premier League.

Capping transfer fees would mean that under the table payments would need to be paid to attract the best players - practically hardwiring in corruption into the system and forcing otherwise honest managers to become crooks. I have no idea how you could stop players paying their agents what they please. I would like agents to be forced to declare their conflicts of interest, but I am not sure this would make much difference. Agent’s could and to some extent do provide a genuine service to players, but unfortunately their interests are not at all aligned and this is where the problems start - bluntly it is in the agent’s interest for a player to agree to a transfer because this results in a big fee to the agent. Why player’s have not worked this out I do no know, but them a professional football player may wonder why I can’t do more than two keepie ups!

Steve Pugh
29 Posted 19/05/2014 at 08:05:48
This season, Martinez concentrated on two of our youngsters, Barkley and Stones (sorry Dick but excluding them as youngsters is pathetic). Had he used more youngsters, we would probably have ended up like Villa.

He also brought in Barry and Lukaku as short-term plugs to fill two of our biggest holes. Traore was signed as cover for the injured Kone and outgoing Jelli and Del Boy was signed as one of the hottest talents in the world (and probably to try and forge a relationship with Bara that will end up with us getting more chances for loans and purchases until Martinez takes the trip in the opposite direction).

Over the summer, I expect to see either Lukaku, Barry or Traore replaced with a permanent signing and a loan player coming in to replace either Ossie or Pienaar. Other signings will probably be squad players.

Wayne Smyth
30 Posted 19/05/2014 at 08:44:58
Comparing our youth team to the quality of loans we have brought in is barely worthy of a response, as is the suggestions that somehow our own players are being stifled.

Is McAleny anywhere near as good as Lukaku? No. Conor Grant as good as Barry? No. Quite how Deulofeu or the injured Traore (who changed hands for 30M in his last 2 transfers) has kept out Garbutt is anyones guess.

Our young players need to go out, probably on loan, to lower league clubs to get 30 or 40 competitive games under their belt. Most will sink, but some will swim. Any that are good enough will get game time under Roberto who clearly believes in giving young players first team chances.

The loan system provides a number of opportunities for a club like ours:

1) Gives us players with exceptional ability, and/or very good experience for generally good value. They are players we’d struggle to afford, and to be frank, players we may not actually want to take on permanently.

2) It gives the gaffer time and space to move players out he doesn’t rate, and wait for the best shopping times to get new players in.

Traore is a bit of a bad example; he was injured just after Jelavic left, but had Martinez known that I don’t think Jelly would’ve been sold.

So, Martinez used the fact that he (thought he’d) brought in cover, to allow him to move Jelly on and we got a decent fee, and replaced Jelly in the short term with a better player... someone who looks like may stay on for another season, perhaps longer.

Who would Martinez have bought to cover Jelavic in that January transfer window if we were stuck with permanent signings only? We’d have paid over the odds, and got a second-rate purchase.

One final comment: I don’t buy all this "Roberto will leave if not supported". That suggests that he hasn’t and/or won’t be given the same freedoms as Moyes was, ie, that he can spend 70-80% of whatever the club turnover is (but no more).

Roberto didn’t come here expecting to be able to spend like Spurs or Man Utd. He’s been very careful with his cash in his first season, and having had a full season to see the first team and youth squads, has a much clearer idea of where he needs to spend money.

With the new TV deal kicking in, we now have much more to spend than we have ever done. This gives us no advantages over our Premier League rivals, but it does give us much more spending power in foreign leagues, which is where I’d expect Roberto to do most of his shopping.

Andrew Ellams
31 Posted 19/05/2014 at 09:16:18
If we can get two more seasons out of the loan system while Martinez shapes his team, then I think it will be job done. Everton can’t afford wholesale changes in one transfer window so we have to do it bit by bit. Maybe if I had a slight criticism it would be bringing in a virtually untried youngster from abroad who isn’t going to play every week but, as stated above, this could forge a relationship between us and Bara and then that can’t be a bad thing.
Jim Lloyd
32 Posted 19/05/2014 at 08:55:29
Interesting debate! I’m firmly on the side of using loan players. Unless every club starts from the same financial position and can only spend the same amount as everyone else, then the same four or five clubs are going to take one of the top four positions every year.

I’d love EFC to have the same financial clout as those but were nowhere near it. I wouldn’t have minded one bit if the people who took over LFC, had taken over us and I’d have been chuffed to bits if those who took over Man City, had taken over us.

I know that’s another debate all of its merry own but the fact is, we cannot go out and buy 40 million worth of players, just to take one or two forward places, as one team is rumoured to be considering. If we could buy Lukaku for 20 million then I guess Roberto would get him asap. Whether we do or not we’ll have to wait and see but the likelihood is, we might have around 20 million to finance All our transfers in, not just on one player.

We could, I suppose, bring on the kids like one or two have suggested; and one post made a very impassioned plea to do just that. The poster, I think, hates the loan system and would rather see our "Young Guns" be included in the first team. I think though, that Robbie would play them if he thought they were ready. My view is that there is a real danger of ruining a kid, if he is brought into the team and expected to leap into "first team player" mode instantly.

Deulofeu is rated to be one of the best young prospects in European football and in my view, he has got loads to learn yet. He’s naturally gifted with loads of skill and pace but he hasn’t been as effective as he could be. That skill isn’t fully effective if he keeps thinking he has to beat every man in sight and score. He hasn’t learnt how to use his skill to bring in other players in the team. That is why we’ve got him (had him!). We send our young lads out to teams in lower divisions to gain first team experience and I’m sure that affects the chances of teams they go to, of wining their division or fending off relegation. Those clubs use our players as Roberto uses the players he has brought in on loan.

Lukaku and Barry have been excellent loans and I hope we could sign one or both. If teams like Liverpool can bring in loan players, when they are streets ahead of us financially, then Robbie is using the system as effectively as anyone I’ve seen.

I believe we will have no chance to compete in the transfer market with Spurs, Arsenal, Liverpool, let alone Man Utd, Man City or Chelsea.

Personally, this season has been one of the most exciting I’ve experienced at GP for years. We are going into Europe and Robbie boy has said we will be getting another five or six players in. We’ll have to wait and see but I believe that he means what he says.

I’ve had enough of the philosophy of bringing a knife to a gunfight, I want to see us packing six guns, if not Kalashnikovs. If some of those guns are borrowed for a season or two, bring it on, as our American cousins would say.

Kevin Tully
33 Posted 19/05/2014 at 09:25:32
Wayne # 30, I wouldn’t say Martinez will walk if he isn’t given funds to purchase star players. He won’t however stay here for over a decade if he can’t deliver some tangible success.

That may be down to lack of funds, or a falling out along the way, but he strikes me as the type of manager who won’t stay at the club mumbling about having to sell players etc... he’ll just accept another offer to go elsewhere. I don’t imagine we would ever hear the reason why he left, as one thing our Board excel at is keeping former employees quiet.

Obviously this is all guesswork on my part, but I think once he has proved himself over a few seasons at Everton, he will be offered a chance at a massive club. We have to match his ambition, which goes far beyond a top 7 finish.

Wayne Smyth
35 Posted 19/05/2014 at 09:44:05
Kevin, I think Martinez understands fully that he has a budget to work to and is completely happy to work within it. He’s already said that having less cash(than our peers), is no barrier for him to get us in the top places in the league.

I also don’t think Martinez has a problem with selling players. Moyes was always against selling anyone, unless his hand was forced, or they’d somehow got into his bad books. We got good offers for players like Saha, but Moyes didn’t take them, and kept grumbling for more cash; cash we don’t have.

Roberto has shown that he’s happy to move players on (Heitinga, Jelavic, Anichebe) if he thinks we don’t need them or can put the cash to better use.

That’s not to say Martinez will stay for 10+ years; I think if Barcelona come calling he’ll be off, but I think he has a long term vision for us, based on our current spending level, and I can’t see him jumping ship to Spurs, Man Utd, Arsenal etc, just because they can give him 40M more to spend per season.

I think in terms of ambition, a club like Everton need to be challenging for the Premier League, winning cups and getting into the Champions League regularly. I think that is enough for Martinez. In terms of financial "ambition", I think Martinez is perfectly happy to work with what we have, based on a long-term plan.

I think someone here posted that Atletico Madrid had won La Liga with a wage bill less than QPR’s (and Real Madrid’s and Bara’s). It goes to show that having less cash is not necessarily a barrier, and foreign transfer markets can be good places to shop for clubs in the Premier League.

Andy Crooks
36 Posted 19/05/2014 at 10:16:30
Good article, Paul. I believe that our use of the loan system is pragmatic, sensible and, frankly, essential. In the absence of huge investment there is, in my view, no alternative. Luckily we have a manager who is respected enough to be able to use the system perfectly.

It is helping us to challenge the richer clubs and the resentment it is causing is a sign that it is working.

Wayne Smyth
37 Posted 19/05/2014 at 11:08:12
One other thing I’d say about our club, when talking about the club supporting the manager, is that, if Martinez moves to any other club in the league which has more money than us (and many clubs which have less), he is not going to get the time and control that he does here.

Either some owner or technical director will buy and sell players under his nose or, if he has one "bad" season, he’ll be out the door.

BK at least offers stability to let the manager get on with his job. BK has a lot of faults, but letting the manager work without undue pressure is probably one of his greatest traits.

Sam Hoare
38 Posted 19/05/2014 at 12:04:36
I have a few issues with the loan system in general as I think it encourages and facilitates hoarding of the best players by the richest clubs but, given that it does exist, I have no issue with us utilising it so long as it is done within reason.

Ideally for me that means:

1) That we are never loaning players in positions in which we have talented youngsters who are ready to step up.

2)That we are not paying exorbitant loan fees that would be better put towards permanent transfers.

3) That we loan players who genuinely want to play for the club and will offer something to the first team.

4) That we don’t loan players from our direct rivals thus helping them develop their youth.

Last season it would seem that maybe only rules 2 and 4 were in danger though I don’t know exactly what the loan fee’s were and perhaps you would not consider Chelsea a direct rival. I would like to think that they are.

All-in-all, I have no issue with Martinez using the loan system sensibly so long as he is also bringing in permanent players to replace the ageing legs and bringing through the youth players where merited.

Kevin Tully
39 Posted 19/05/2014 at 12:36:55
Andy #36 ’In the absence of huge investment’

Did you mean In the absence of ANY investment?

Tony Draper
40 Posted 19/05/2014 at 12:37:13
Whilst a loan system exists we should/must exploit it to OUR benefit.

a) gain regular first team experience for our up and coming players because such opportunity does not presently exist.
b) "try out" likely players for our first team with a genuine view to purchasing them.

If there is any abuse of the loan system it is simply that their is monopolisation of the TRANSFER market by the fat hogs.
The loan system allows them to stifle "free market" opposition almost as a cartel and arguably to actually stifle rather than develop talent.

Their actions also inflate transfer fees and players wages for "better players", thereby making "Challengers" (such as us) fewer in number.

So perhaps an abolition of the loan system and a development of a "Central League" could address this.
But certainly a numerical limit as to just how many players at "First Team" level (as already happens in ECL) any one club are allowed to register would be a great step forward.

Clearly fair numbers would need also to be applied to the various age "divisions" too.

None of this will happen because the favoured few are the favoured few and will continue to be both favoured and few in number.

A Cartel.

Jim Lloyd
41 Posted 19/05/2014 at 16:46:01
Of course, only time will tell whether Robbie can get us into regularly occupying one of the top four places without anything like the same financial backing as his opponents. I feel fairly certain that he will provide us with a fine first team that plays attractive football which gets us results.

I think the problems will start when we get the injuries, suspensions, Africa Cup etc. as I don't believe our young lads are going to be able to fill all the gaps that will come throughout a season, though they will certainly get their chance

While the loan system is with us, I've every confidence that Robbie will use it well. While the unlimited numbers that the rich teams can afford is with us, it will get progressively harder to break into the top four. Someone said it was one of Bill Kenwright's greatest strengths that he puts no undue pressure on a manager.

I don't see that being a great strength, I see that as Billy Boy continuing the scene that he began with David Moyes and would have left us with Walter Smith as manager if he could have provided us with mid table mediocrity. For a Chairman of one of the biggest clubs in England not applying pressure is, in my opinion, a massive letdown to the club and it's supporters.

Personally, I don't see Kenwright as having any great traits, certainly not as our club Chairman. He might in theatre producing.. I see Robbie having great traits though and if he is given an increase in funding as well as using the loan system, then I think we'll have a chance. If not, I don't think even Robbie boy will break that glass ceiling consistently.

Paul Ferry
42 Posted 19/05/2014 at 18:39:59
Bobby today - and this might help anyone who thinks along the same lines as Mr. Brady/Brody linking loaning to lack of opportunities to 'youngsters': "We have our targets and we have highlighted the positions we need to bring players in.

"But I also have a few young players who will be given an opportunity in pre-season and depending on how they do they will fill some of those positions in the fist-team squad. I think our young players next season will have a massive say in how good we are going to be."

Paul Ferry
43 Posted 19/05/2014 at 20:57:57
Sam - 38 - makes a very good point that in loaning from our highly place 'rivals' we might actually be giving them a huge helping and in developing a player for them at our expense to boot.

Sam doubtless has Lukaku in mind but for what it's worth I don't think that Lukaku is a neat fit for the picture Sam paints and I also suspect - given the ringing success of Bobby's loans last season - that Lu might well be the last player we ever have on loan from say a club with real hope to finish in the top-4.

From what I can unpick from the varying stories we have heard Lukaku will not be at Chelsea next season not least with Jose's famed stubbornness and the reasons for him ending up at The Old Lady might possibly have had as much to do with the wishes of the player himself as the wishes of his parent club.

Sean Kelly
44 Posted 20/05/2014 at 13:55:22
Jim Lloyd, if it's true that Billy doesn't put undue pressure on managers, would that have anything to do with the fact that neither he nor the other members of the board are willing to invest? Surely if Billy put pressure on Roberto, the question would be "Where's the money, fool?"

I suggest it suits Billy and the board to say nothing and let things drift. Unfortunately Roberto may be the maker of his own downfall down the road. He brought us to 5th and the Europa League in his first season while playing a more attractive brand of football.

Loanees are our future as even after reducing our debt, making a profit from previous transfers, and the increase in TV monies we reportedly have a miserly 20 million to spend.

I think it's time for us loyal supporters to put real pressure on Billy and his mates to invest now and not to accept their bullshit of "looking 24/7". Remember everyone else in the league is getting an increase in their TV money and they will invest in their squads. Over to you, Billy... or fuck off.

Denis Richardson
45 Posted 20/05/2014 at 15:20:05
Way I see it I don't really see how anyone can see anything negative from having loaned in Lukaku, Barry and Delboy last year.

Them coming into our squad did not 'hold back' the development of any of our youth players because none of our youth players were or are better than any of the players loaned in. Had we played the youth (not counting Barkley or Stones), for any number of games, we wouldn't have achieved what we did. Also a lot of our youth players were sent out on loan to lower divisions to get competitive experience.

There are many things wrong in principle with the system but as long as its there we should make use of it to try and get the best possible starting 11 on the pitch. If the likes of Chelsea and City are stupid enough to loan out players like Rom and Barry then great, we'll have them, even if its only for one year.

In the longer term, its a simple equation, without a massive investment, the only way for the club to move forward is to try and achieve more and get more global/commercial recognition. Challenging the top 4 and getting into Europe is exactly what we need and if loans are going to help us in the short term, then so be it.

If (hopefully) we can produce some youngsters who have the quality for the first team, then Roberto will give them a run out. The EL will also mean that there will be at least half a dozen more games for us this season to give the fringe players a run out.

Either get rid of the whole system or lets take full advantage of it - we certainly don't need to be loaning in the likes of Straq, Hanneman and Anthony Gardner! Now there was a complete waste of time and money, not to mention a massive confidence boost to the youth!

Peter Barry
46 Posted 20/05/2014 at 15:50:17
The 'Loan System' is open to ALL clubs so all the hype surrounding Everton's loanees was merely 'mejah' pundit trouble-making and it was of course lapped up by Low Info morons because Everton looked like they might upset 'their' top-four preferences.

Of course, the fact that most of said pundits were ex-Redshite accounts for their bias never ending against Everton.

Peter Barry
47 Posted 20/05/2014 at 16:43:18
That of course should have read 'never ending bias'.
Ben Mackenzie
48 Posted 21/05/2014 at 05:36:56
Peter Barry, that is exactly right. We have all been loaning for years. The difference this season has been the quality upgrade our new manager has attracted to the club compared to the old one. Stracq v Lukaku, hitz v Barry as a couple of examples. The ex rs pundits and journos don't like it one bit.
Max Wilson
49 Posted 26/05/2014 at 09:40:10
Who is moaning about loaning? When you are in trouble, which we were at the beginning of the season, it's a good way to get out of it if you are lucky.

Loans have to be repaid... there's the rub. It is not a way to build a career for a good player or build a good team, however. You can be in loan limbo too easily, which we are again now.

It buys you time to get out of trouble. We now have to buy wisely. In Roberto we still have trust. But less loans please and more solid team!

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