Money Talks

Adam McCulloch 30/07/2018 6comments  |  Jump to last

So the Brands - Silva partnership has kicked off in earnest, with our first signing. We have bought a player with potential, a player with Premier League experience, a player who the manager knows well. Sounds good… except the reaction from many on Toffeeweb, on the street, and in the mainstream press has been dubious at best. Much of this pessimism extends from recent transfer windows. The Moshiri era has left a lot of us feeling like lottery winners who invested in a Ponzi scheme. So can the singing of Richarlison inject some life force into the upcoming season?

We Evertonians have had nearly 30 years of transfer anonymity. We (briefly) broke the British transfer record to sign Tony Cottee, a year before I was born, and my dad sat me down for my first game, a 6-2 drubbing by Aston Villa that set my despair threshold as high as it needs to be as a Blue. Since then and bar a couple of exciting transfers – Kanchelskis springs to mind – we have been used to selling to buy. Rather than worrying about money that we have spent, we’ve had years of wondering where the Arteta money went.

Well, that riddle has finally been solved… it was a premeditated £10 million loss on Davy Klaassen. We have gone from scraping loose change behind the sofa to throwing money at mediocrity. Our scattergun approach last summer left us with three Number 10s, no quality cover in key positions, and a squad sorely lacking in… well, pretty much everything. It is no wonder, then, that fans are dubious. As the fare on the pitch has grown more stale, fans have become fluent in SkySportsSpeak, chuntering away about sell-on clauses, bonus payments and more.

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Under the stewardship of Marcel Brands, we have started off with a player with potential who, as Lyndon points out in his article, was in great form until a glut of games, extra attention and a change in manager lessened his impact. It is a change in tack from Steve Walsh, who advocated some rather obvious buys at inflated fees. Only Pickford could be said to have increased in value and so it is only right that we are cautious when it comes to fees around the £30 million mark. Yet to spend around £40 million on potential still feels like a risk, with recent big signings like Bolasie, Schneiderlin and Keane showing that big fees do not equate to success.

It should be remembered, however, that this is a different era for football; we signed Tim Cahill for £1.5 million from the Championship, whilst nowadays Derby County and Sheffield Utd are considering splurging £8 million on Martyn Waghorn, a 28-year-old journeyman striker who scored a few for Ipswich last season. Southampton have brought in Angus Gunn from Man City for £10 million, while Danny Ward has left Liverpool for a cool £12 million from Leicester City. You are talking about two goalkeepers in the John Ruddy - Iain Turner variety, who have hardly pulled up trees.

Adam Rooney – no relation to the prodigal son – has signed for Salford United (a rather grotesque conglomerate of people from the 90s that we all loathe) for a big fee and wages of £5k a week. For a non-league side... Yes, it’s crazy; yes, it raises moral questions; and yes, it makes you wonder if we are going to get some Candy Crush branding on Niasse’s snood come Christmas, but it’s the way it is. We all love the game, and we are willing investors in the mania. And yet our recent investments still leave visible scars – a Sandro on huge wages here, a smug Ashley Williams there... But it could be worse.

As a kid growing up in the shadow of the ’80s glory years, I would spend mornings waking up, checking teletext to see who we hadn’t bought. I would watch young talent leave through one door and watch Mickaël Madar stroll into obscurity through the other. If you’d have told me, after relegation near misses and years of hapless financial mismanagement, that not only would we be pretty firmly entrenched in the top half of the league, but buying a hot young Brazilian thing for anywhere around £40 million, I would bite your hand off and call you Rodrigo.

Let’s give him – and the new management team – a chance. Let’s stay positive, let’s make Goodison a fortress, let’s press, harry, play and produce. Let’s beat the Red Shite. Let’s laugh about the time we were angsty about which defender we bought from Barcelona. Let’s play Angry Birds.

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Reader Comments (6)

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Victor Yu
1 Posted 31/07/2018 at 03:25:45
Of course money talks.

That's why I believe we can only be successful if we do it like Chelsea and Man City.

Nowadays foreign players never heard of us. In their minds we are as 'big' as Hull City. Given a choice they would rather join West Ham and Fulham instead.

Very good example this summer. Mina is waiting for better options. Digne has been doing the same (he may sign because he doesn't have another options). Even if we develop and get good players, they are looking to leave when a big team comes in for them.

The only way we can be successful is by overpaying wages to attract players. That's the only way we can attract players (we are not in Europe and no one cares about history).

Good players consider China because they can get ridiculous wages. We should do the same if we want to be competitive.

It is not healthy and it shouldn't be the way it works. But unfortunately that's the reality.

Dave Lynch
2 Posted 31/07/2018 at 05:12:56
For the most part of this closed season I have kept my powder dry with regard posting my opinion on here.

After watching the pre-season, and I know it's only pre-season, I have witnessed nothing that gives me the merest hope that we are in for nothing other than a disastrous season.

No strengthening of the squad, bang average players still on the wage bill with no alternatives and the usual bullshit from the goon squad board thanking us for our support and promising us a ground fit for champions.

I have little or no hope we will challenge for any of the domestic cups either.

Trust me, I'm a glass half full kind of fella but I just cannot see it going any other way.

John Gall
3 Posted 02/08/2018 at 16:39:51
One of the best written, insightful and witty pieces I've ever read on ToffeeWeb. When I was a kid we were always linked with the best and rarely got them. Weren't we meant to be in for Trevor Francis before his £1M move to Forest? He'd link up with Big Bob and they'd reform the goal-scoring partnership they had at Birmingham. Never happened of course. Following that brief 80's glory period we could get the stars of course - Lineker and Cottee spring to mind - but that spell soon ended. I used to comfort myself by recalling how the 84/5 Kendall thing just came out of nowhere, it evolved organically with a few crafty signings, but these days, yes, money talks. It's a closed shop, big business protecting its assets. But then, there's always the rogue case like Leicester
Paul Kelly
4 Posted 04/08/2018 at 08:23:52
Brilliant piece mate, thoroughly enjoyed it, just ain’t got nothing to add unfortunately.

More in future please!!!

Paul Birmingham
5 Posted 04/08/2018 at 09:36:28
Excellent read, perspective and reality now, of life and the times we live in.

The model for me in terms of cost is wrong for the EPL. The Bundesliga in proportion is miles cheaper.

I hope and hope, that if BMD, does happen, and is a big if, the club will give the city region some free tickets for schools and keep the next generations interested.

Les Green
6 Posted 07/08/2018 at 11:32:05
In regard to the cost of/buying success, I don't usually care who wins the league if it isn't us, but I did enjoy when Leicester won it because of "how" they did it - great team spirit, a couple of tricky players, a solid defence, and one star man. It isn't a sustainable model, but for one season only, I'd have taken that

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