Fixtures between Liverpool and Everton remain one of the biggest and most hotly anticipated clashes in the English football calendar.
The game currently holds the record for the most consecutive years featuring a league derby between two neighbouring clubs, having been played every season since 1962/63.
Unlike many other local rivalries, the Merseyside Derby is a unique event that is not built on hatred. There is mutual respect between the two sets of fans, but that doesn’t detract from how much each side wants to win.
Off the field both clubs seem to be in great shape financially, with their respective owners overseeing excellent commercial improvements.
Liverpool are perhaps further down the road in terms of sponsorships and partnerships, although Everton’s possible move into a new stadium could change the landscape for them over the next few years.
Other Premier League clubs have tested the waters with cryptocurrency by signing a partnership deal with the trading platform eToro, and more and more clubs are experimenting with new ways to raise revenues – whether for investment in infrastructure or in signing new players.
It's something the Toffees can be expected to look into, especially as they push forward in their bid to take a European spot and challenge their local rivals on a more serious and consistent basis.
Fenway delivering on their promises at Anfield
Fenway Sports Group have come in for criticism from certain sections of Liverpool’s fan base since taking over in 2010, but those criticisms are increasingly looking unfair.
Many supporters dream of fan ownership models where they can invest personally in the club, something they believe would give them a platform to deliver success.
However, in an era of untold riches in the Premier League, clubs need the financial clout of an organisation like FSG to have realistic hopes of winning silverware.
FSG’s methods have already had a positive financial impact, with the investment in expanding the main stand at Anfield allowing matchday income to increase by 18% to over £73 million.
The Premier League’s £5 billion broadcast deal has helped to swell Liverpool’s coffers even further, while their involvement in the Champions League has brought in more millions.
Liverpool’s commercial income has grown by £20m, largely fueled by their new kit deal with New Balance, as well as the main stand extension generating more corporate box and catering income.
The boost in revenue has given manager Jurgen Klopp more clout in the transfer market, a fact evidenced by their £175m outlay on players in the summer of 2018.
With the club now valued by football finance experts at over £1bn, it’s difficult to pick holes in the progression Liverpool have made under FSG.
New era for Toffees under Moshiri
Having lived in Liverpool’s shadow for much of the Premier League era it is no surprise to see Everton lagging behind in the financial stakes.
However, new owner Farhad Moshiri’s impact at Goodison Park already appears to be positive and the club looks well-placed to enjoy a bright future.
Successive top-half finishes in the Premier League have brought in additional prize money, while sponsorship of their training ground boosted income even further.
Increases in broadcast and commercial income helped to offset a rise in transfer and salary expenditure, although the club’s squad still looks some way short of the quality needed to challenge the big clubs on a consistent basis.
However, significant outlays on players like Gylfi Sigurdsson and Richarlison show that Everton are working towards being able to compete on an equal footing in the coming years.
If plans to move to a new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock come to fruition, Everton would have even greater financial clout.
Given that the club has risen in value from £175m to almost £450m in the last couple of years, these are certainly exciting times for the blue half of the city.
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