Shopping in Sainsbury’s not Harrods

If Farhad Moshiri is going to continue to invest, does the purchasing strategy need to change?

It bugged me: How can our club be stuck up against the FFP cap and yet we are struggling to put a team together and the only players brought in this summer were 3 free agents and someone for less than £2M?

I needed to do some investigation and the answers are – well I think so – interesting.

Farhad Moshiri took over Everton in February 2016, after the closure of the January transfer window for the 2015-16 season. Since his acquisition of the club, there have been 150 players signed by Premier League teams which cost £20m or more. Of these, Everton purchased 16 of them. Only Chelsea and Man City have purchased more players costing £20m or more.

I have used the database so it is possibly open to some question with Abdoulaye Doucouré being valued at £19.89m so not in the 150 players.

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It is when you take it to the next level and just consider the players who cost £40m or more. There are 44 of them. Spurs, West Ham, Leicester and Everton have purchased 4 of them – the other 40 players were purchased by just 5 clubs, Man City, Chelsea, Man Utd, Arsenal and Liverpool. They are buying players who are deemed to be quality, high performing, team changing. These five teams are shopping in Harrods for Chateau Lafitte while the rest of us are at Sainsbury’s trying to find a decent red for Christmas Day and hoping it tastes like the nectar of the gods and not vinegar.

Yes, there may be some dud buys for these clubs, Fred and Pépé come to mind, but the rest of us are buying relatively cheap and hoping. It is like one of those Christmas comparisons where the Aldi mince pies are better on a blind tasting than the ones from Marks & Spencer. But we all know, when you buy in a better quality shop, you are more likely to get consistently better products for your money. You may be lucky every now and again (Tim Cahill; Seamus Coleman) but that is the whole essence, you have to be lucky.

As we enter the winter of our discontent, which we hope will be made glorious by this son of Francisco and Rosario, it does seem that while we have spent big – 6th both gross spend and 6th net spend (with Lukaku, Stones, Gueye and Vlasic all leaving and generating £125m profit) since Mr Moshiri took over, we have bought a significant number of players but are still shopping for the bargains. We have bought quantity, not proven quality. I use that phrase as a number of players were gambles or panic buys. If I put in names, the responses will be another litany of vitriol against certain players or directors of football, or owners or chairmen and that is not the purpose of this article. We all have our names but all except one player was Sainsbury’s pricing not Harrods.

It is too late to wind back the clock but was the club’s real error back in the summer of 2016, and the 5 summer transfer windows that followed, to not spend the £400m on 16 players, but to have spent it on between 6 to 8? What difference would there be for the team if it was stacked full of 8 players who cost £50m plus Tom Davies, Calvert-Lewin and Seamus Coleman? If Farhad Moshiri is going to continue to invest, does the purchasing strategy need to change?

Sadly I think the general feeling on here is that we need 11 new players and I am not sure even the combination of Moshiri and Usmanov have £700m to spend when there is a stadium to be built.

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Reader Comments (16)

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Clive Rogers
1 Posted 04/12/2021 at 22:14:06

It is not what we have spent on players that has got us into problems with FFP. It is the fact that we made a record loss of £128 million. FFP rules are based on clubs' turnover and especially profit. The greater your profit, the more you can spend on players.

The bad news is the calculations are done on 3-year accounting, so the problems last for 3 years. I think the first year is the worst.

The even worse news is that it is speculated that our next years' figure could be even worse at £170 million loss. If so it will be more severe and goes back a year, so will screw us for the next 4 years.

Don Alexander
2 Posted 04/12/2021 at 23:14:35
Clive, Paul the Esk recently said as you say. I believe you're right. This causes me, and I hope an increasing number of others, to once again see how inept Moshiri and his minion boardroom have been.

It really shouldn't take an Emergency Board Meeting (EBM) to now address problems that have been crystal clear and worsening for years.

Changing managers has been a catastrophe to improvement of the squad - and that's the owner/board's fault.

Signing "Sainsbury" players and then giving them "Harrods" contracts has been a catastrophe to improvement of the squad - and that's the owner/board's fault.

Ignoring any liaison at all with the fans, except for when Moshiri grants an annual two-minute audience to the execrable Jim White, has been an arrogant insult to every fan - and that's the owner/board's fault.

So, I hope the alleged EBM took account not of Benitez (much) but on those in the room itself. They, and no-one else, are responsible for what will inevitably turn out to be, if he stays on, a decade of Miserable Moshiri Mundanity.

It'll perfectly reflect the two decades of Konniving Kenwright Korruption of the club though.

BMD? Think Stadium of Shite Mk 2 I fear.

Jeez, we couldn't even be a first in that regard!

Danny O’Neill
3 Posted 04/12/2021 at 23:27:49
When I moved to Woolton, I thought I'd stepped up a level because I started shopping at Sainsburys.

Last window, we were in Asda at best. Realistically, Aldi or dare I say Netto in Garston?

Derek Moore
4 Posted 04/12/2021 at 23:29:14
Sainsburys? Asda?

I wish!

This is like buying your chrimbo presents from a car boot sale isn't it?

John Raftery
5 Posted 04/12/2021 at 23:48:03
With no prospect of Champions League football, elite players did not want to join us. One that we already had, Lukaku, decided to leave because he could see we were going nowhere fast. So we settled for lesser players but overpaid for them. Other clubs and players’ agents saw us coming.
Jay Harris
6 Posted 04/12/2021 at 23:53:13
It doesnt matter where you shop as long as you do it wisely and get what you need.

I was only thinking today of the players we have let go like Lukaku, Stones, Barkley, Delofeu with Bainesy retiring and Pienaar and Jags coming to the end of the road. Apart from Bainesy could we say any of those were Harrods

Can we honestly say we have improved any of those positions with the replacements we got for the all inclusive bill of 450m less what we had incoming.

Our recruitment and buying of players has been atrocious.

It is rumoured that Bill, Mosh and Brands all bought players without even consulting the others. What a pantomine and we know that Koeman took his bat and ball home when we let Lukaku go with 2 years of his contract to run and replaced him with Rooney. We all know who that piece of magical thinking was down to.

Colin Glassar
7 Posted 04/12/2021 at 23:58:38
Origi and Fernandinho are two players I’d be seriously interested in. Origi is a goal scorer and Fernandinho is a leader and a real captain. Something we have lacked since Rats hung up his boots.
Barry Hesketh
8 Posted 05/12/2021 at 08:25:22
Lidl old Everton, the truth of the matter is that there hasn't been any strategy to which players were signed. When the club was short of money, circumstances dictated that the money was spent with more consideration, but even during the austere times, money on the rare occasions it was availabe was also wasted on some poor players.

All that has happened since the arrival of cash, is that the same mistakes have been amplified and not many if any bargains have been bought.

John Zapa
9 Posted 05/12/2021 at 09:06:02
It doesn't help that in each of the last years players signed for big fees have run down their contracts and walked out without a fee. Last summer it was Bolasie, Walcott, Besic and others who cost over 55m to sign. This summer Siggy, Tosun, Delph and others who cost over 70m will leave without earning the club a penny back. This is the source of the financial problems.

Signing players for much more than their true worth, paying them much more than they could feasibly earn anywhere else, then a combination of injuries, poor game management, tactics etc... leads them to a downward spiral in their careers while at the club. This is gross mismanagement and without a clean sweep of the entire leadership and management of the club, this will only continue to suffocate the club.

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
10 Posted 05/12/2021 at 13:12:45
John, that is the point. We have bought lots of the £20m players and none of the ones you mention have been worth anything after their initial contract with Everton. 3 of the 4 that we have sold for over £20m were bought for a comparative pittance.

The article was actually about buying players who were a class above, which we have not done.

And Clive #1, yes it is the losses, but these include profits on sale less cost of acquisition spread over the initial contract. Not that much of the former and most of the latter were never given a new contract where their only cost is wages as the purchase fee has already been amortised.

Ajay Gopal
11 Posted 05/12/2021 at 13:19:19
I agree with Jay (6), it doesn't matter where you shop, but it matters how carefully you spend your money. You can find the best values in the unlikeliest of places. There is value to be found, if you do your due diligence. And I am afraid Moshiri has blown away his precious (I assume hard earned) money by acting like he has bottomless pockets. With the result that Everton are in a very dangerous situation now with the risk of relegation looming larger by every passing round of fixtures. Since Moshiri has come in, we have looked down on the loan market. I know, Zouma and Gomes, came in on loans, but we got unlucky with those players. In Zouma's case, he would have joined Everton on a permanent transfer, if not for Frank Lampard deciding to sell 2 of his CBs. In Gomes' case, he suffered a very bad injury shortly after signing permanently. Gbamin, Delph, Tosun, Mina have been crocks. Iwobi and Kean who were supposed to be transformative for Everton turned out to be duds. The upcoming January transfer window is going to be crucial for our chances of staying up. We need a transformative couple of players and need to get lucky with injuries. I hope Brands has been working day and night to line up a Plan A, Plan B, Plan C and that he and Benitez are working closely together to make things happen. Surely, EFC deserves better.
Simon Harrison
12 Posted 05/12/2021 at 15:33:20
Brands has left the club...

Brands goes!

""By Simon Mullock

14:59, 5 Dec 2021UPDATED15:13, 5 Dec 2021

Everton director of football Marcel Brands is leaving the club following a slump in form that has seen the pressure cranked up on manager Rafa Benitez.

Brands, 59, will step down from his role with immediate effect after agreeing a severance package with the Merseysiders.

He is only seven months into the three-year contract he signed in the Spring - but it is understood that he will only be paid until the end of the season after agreeing with owner Farhad Moshri to leave by mutual consent.""

David Pearl
13 Posted 05/12/2021 at 15:36:31
Yes Simon, and another severance package for a failure. Wonder if l can get a payoff if l go and support another team. I also want damages.

Are we going all in with Benitez and giving him control over signings. Don't know how l feel about that.

Simon Harrison
14 Posted 05/12/2021 at 16:04:11
Yep, David, more money pi$$ed away. I don't think it was on a dud, as Marcel Brands' track record shows, that when given free rein, and a full remit, he is a very impressive operator.

However, this just highlights the major issues at Everton.

i) Kenwright prior to Moshiri, who was taking money out of the club, and relying on Moyes to do all the work.

ii) Kenwright post Moshiri, who believed that it was he and not Moyes who made EFC competitive in the top third of the table.

iii) Kenwright through lack of investment in the club; and the lack of aggressive commercial and financial operations,has allowed a gulf to open up between us and the now 'top 6-8'
[City, RS, Chelski, Utd, Spuds, Gooners, West Ham & the Foxes!]
That's with Wolves and Villa being given funds from their new owners, AND now the bl00dy Barcodes!?

So, in reality we are aiming between 10th to 12th, or hope one of the above under perform!

iv) Moshiri has left Kenwright in charge of the train set that is EFC now... Gross incompetence in my book.

v) The club needed to be swept clean with a new brush, to get rid of all the Bill's barnacles, and the under performing dross, and bloated department sizes within the club.

vi) USMFF needs to be completely re-evaluated, along with the academy by an expert in the field. Maybe arrange a couple of days (Weeks?) visit by a Red Bull specialist?

vii) Decide if we need an academy and how to identify and progress the youth thru the ranks to the 1st XI.

viii) Consider investing in a lower league feeder club?

ix) Determine exactly what strategy the club will follow, and how to get there with immediate steps, sort term plans (3-6 months), medium term plans (one season), and finally long term, where do we want to be in two years, are we getting there; if not readdress immediate/short/medium goals?

x) recruitment, Recruitment, RECRUITMENT!!! Hire the best person available for each position required; AND only recruit players that fulfil a role in the club's, team's and manager's strategic plan!!! No more spending on names!

Lastly, the owner (Majority share-holder) has to decide to either be hands on, or appoint a competent or better (Footballing!) CEO, and let them get on with the job...

If he's going to stay hands on, we're well and truly stuffed still. Why can't he realise that Brands was never the problem, a) his lack of footballing matters control was, and ii) Bill is STILL there!!!

Just my tuppence worth!

Barry Rathbone
15 Posted 07/12/2021 at 21:09:00
In addition we pay over the odds for Sainsburys spuds.

Just can't get around the fact Chelsea and City leapfrogged into (and more importantly STAYED) in the top tier by throwing shedloads at managers and players in the early stages. Once upon the same platform as Utd, Liverpool and Arsenal they nuked 'em by buying at that level year on year.

Leceister had a little dabble falling onto a title no one seemed to want as every possible star aligned but even with a nice cup win their regular absence from the title race hasn't raised an eyebrow.

We are so far removed from the top tier re financials it beggars belief and I'm sorry to inform our resident business experts it won't be remedied by new plans and a mission statement at boardroom level.

Paul Kossoff
16 Posted 09/12/2021 at 23:42:56
Looks like another cast off coming to us in January, Aaron Ramsey no less. Seems he's surplus to requirements at Juventus so he'll join the last big payday brigade at good old soft arse Everton.
I would put more faith in Gordon Ramsay, at least he would give the fans better butties!

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