Is Financial Fair Play just for us?

by   |   25/08/2021  66 Comments  [Jump to last]

I have submitted a few articles to ToffeeWeb and often contemplated others, but I have always decided not to bother if I felt I did not have the necessary depth of knowledge of the subject. In this instance, I know I don’t have the depth of knowledge but have decided to go ahead anyway. In fact, my lack of knowledge knows no bounds and can be termed minuscule or less.

Indeed, if I consider the rules associated with Financial Fair Play, assuming there are some, my knowledge is even less than the less than minuscule previously mentioned. Let’s just call it zero, while we cannot go negative.

The limit of my assumed knowledge is derived from the three words themselves which lead me to believe that, to level the playing field, your outgoings should be related to your financial incomings and you cannot spend money you don’t have. Perhaps someone else can post and enlighten me further?

However, without ever reading about Financial Fair Play, consciously avoiding the subject wherever possible, and believing it may never affect Everton, I have found that, in the last few days, it has figuratively jumped up and bitten me. Firstly, we have made bids for two young players considered outstanding prospects which I personally consider quite low, even for opening bids. Indeed the Rangers manager, who needs no introduction, described the bid for his player as “a joke”.

“Ah, that’s because of FFP,” some fellow Blue friends tell me. In neither case has the bid been increased as yet.

Next, I am reading in the press that our newly appointed manager (whom I am quite happy with, by the way) has stated that our fans understand our problems with Financial Fair Play. Well... I for one do not understand really, especially when the next day I read that Real Madrid – who are £1.15 billion in debt – have made an opening offer of £137 million for Mbappé of PSG. Previously, I had read of other Premier League clubs making large bids for players and actual signings for large fees being reported.

All this leads me to ask: Are we different? Are the rules just for us? Or is it that the rules are solely guidelines and we are the only ones abiding by them?

Or is it all down to my lack of understanding?

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Reader Comments (66)

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Clive Rogers
1 Posted 25/08/2021 at 19:44:45
I see Real Madrid who are £1.15 billion in debt have offered almost £140 million for Mbappe. Obviously this is just their opening offer and will probably rise to over £200 million. This financial fair play is so restrictive. It is levelling the playing field to be fair. I think we should raise our offers for Patterson and Jebbison to £6 million each before Barcelona who are also over £1 billion in debt, gazump us.
Barry Hesketh
2 Posted 25/08/2021 at 21:26:05
Clive, I think the fact that you admittedly stay away from FFP information is your downfall in writing an article about FFP and that other pesky Premier League 'Profit and sustainability' rule.

Apparently, the amount of debt held by a club doesn't come into the equation particularly for Barcelona and Real Madrid, but the amount of outgoings in relation to income is a major factor in all leagues.

If you have a good search of this very site, Paul [Esk] has written many and very detailed articles on the subject and how they affect Everton FC.

BTW I also have a lack of knowledge about the whole FFP thing too.

Lyndon Lloyd
3 Posted 25/08/2021 at 21:47:33
Clive, in a sense the FFP rules are only for us (and clubs of our current level) because while Manchester City have been pulled up before Uefa accused not only of flouting the rules but also of either obfuscating or withholding the evidence that would prove it, they were never banned.

They can do that because they are now big enough that their absence from a competition like the Champions League would damage the product. (Which is also why, even before the uncomfortably favourable recent court ruling in their favour, the Super League clubs weren't turfed out of the European tournaments for this season by Uefa.)

No one is going to miss Everton, either from Europe (in the event we were banned for violating FFP) or conversations about the top places in the Premier League (were we to be docked points for transgressing the domestic profit and sustainability limits) so I would bet a sizeable amount that we would be censured by either or both footballing body if we continued to spend with abandon.

Of course, the rebel six, who tried to join the Super League, were fined just £3m each and faced no points penalty because they are too important to the Premier League. Had it been us, West Ham and Aston Villa for example, you could bet the punishment would be much harsher.

At the end of the day, we are paying the price for some horrendous recruitment errors and, by the letter of the law, can have few complaints. Nevertheless, it does feel hugely unfair that the big clubs (like City) were allowed to go through the same cycle of waste before the ladder was pulled up behind them once they had established dominance over the rest of us. Likewise, that the likes of Real Madrid can be so heavily in debt that they can keep spending massive amounts of money simply because they have enough revenue from the Champions League, etc.

Clive Rogers
4 Posted 25/08/2021 at 22:41:18
Barry, I think the article is rather about the effect that a fan like myself eventually sees rather than FFP rules and regulations that are too tiresome to be read and digested.
Lyndon, thanks for the information. I’m beginning to get the idea of how it works in practice. When the window closes though I’ll go back to players’ abilities and tactics etc.
Joe Corgan
5 Posted 25/08/2021 at 23:02:14
In a nutshell, FFP is about spending less than you earn, calculated on a rolling three year basis. That’s not quite accurate as some losses are allowed.

What I don’t quite understand is what prevents a wealthy benefactor from pumping money into a club. Is income from sources such as directors’ loans disregarded?

The reason the “big clubs” can spend so much is simply because their income is much, much higher than ours. That, and they have better, sneakier accountants.

There should be little preventing Moshiri or Usmanov from getting money into the “income” column through sponsorship. Like sponsoring a seat for a billion quid. But I do believe there are checks in place to ensure that those kinds of deals make commercial sense. Anything that raises red flags (such as my example) is outlawed by the powers that be.

But as Lyndon says, less eloquently than me I reckon… ultimately we’ve pissed our cash up the wall. ;)

Jerome Shields
6 Posted 25/08/2021 at 23:23:32
At Messi's unveiling, the Chief Executive of PSG was asked about FFP rules. He said that before any player is purchased advice is sought from their Legal and Finance advisers regarding FFP rules. . Its obvious that Everton when Moshiri made funds available did not. As a result, whilst there are issues regarding fairness, Everton have no foundation to fight them on. Value for money spent doesn't stand much scrutiny either.

Wonder what the outcome of Koemans tenure at Bacra will be? Would be the last regarding sorting out FFP compliance. .

Ian Pilkington
7 Posted 25/08/2021 at 00:40:29
Until this problem raised its head at roughly the same time as the transfer window opened (and coincidentally or not, Ancelotti’s departure), I assumed that the Premier League’s FFP rules were introduced to ensure that its member clubs did not accumulate unsustainable debt due to unscrupulous or incompetent owners recklessly overspending on players.

Unlike the European version, which appears to operate entirely in the interest of the same clubs who were invited to join the European Super League, I imagined that the Premier League FFP rules would operate in the interest of all 20 members.

In our case, I thought that the vast wealth of Moshiri and Usmanov would allow us to continue to strengthen the squad, if perhaps in a more modest manner this summer.

The finance for the new stadium is reportedly in place and in any case I thought that infrastructure spending was not affected by FFP, so despite studying Paul the Esk’s recent article on the subject,
I still remain baffled and agree entirely with Lyndon’s comments.

Derek Thomas
8 Posted 26/08/2021 at 01:09:07
The other week Pep said, in an - 'Everything is legal if you don't get caught manner' "Prove It"
Thus, the new defacto Golden Rule (Modern Football Clubs v2.0)

'Them that has the gold...and, more importantly, are willing to spend said gold on legions of lawyers...not only make the rules but can flout them as well.'

We're not big enough (brave/daft enough?) to flout them. But we are big enough to be made an example of if we did.

Everton That.

Don Alexander
9 Posted 26/08/2021 at 01:09:29
Lyndon is, as ever, informative to a large extent.

That said, his comment, "At the end of the day, we are paying the price for some horrendous recruitment errors and, by the letter of the law, can have few complaints" hits the nail on the head not just since the introduction of so markedly bent a system as FFP, but ever since the EPL was created.

We've been "paying the price", and still are, for thirty years because of horrendous, yet complacent and knowingly greedy inadequacy in our boardroom, but hey, let's all focus on the abilities (or not) of managers, coaches and players week after week, year after year, decade after decade, whilst ignoring the one presence in our boardroom who's overseen everything, to a very large extent indeed, that's now long since left us a nonentity in world football.

But 52,000 BMD is supposed to make us great again! Yeah right, but only if you think it stands for Blind Mens' Dreams.

Kieran Kinsella
10 Posted 26/08/2021 at 02:47:11

Speaking as someone in the financial services industry, this is where it’s murky. As others stated, they look at your outgoing as a percentage of your income. Just like when you apply for a mortgage. The idea is that you don’t take on liabilities you can’t afford. However, unlike credit cards, car loans and mortgages, loans to clubs don’t always have set monthly payments. So the likes of Real owe a billion to people due to be repaid at some point. But it’s not a monthly expense like your mortgage so not factored into FFP. Taking on new debt is factored in but the old IOU accumulating interest with due date TBC isn’t. So the teams who over spent pre FFP eg Juve, are good unless their creditors call in those loans and they go bankrupt.

Terry White
11 Posted 26/08/2021 at 03:06:00
Getting classier by the post, Mr. Alexander (#8). Do you stay up all night thinking of all the tasteless things you can say about our Chairman?
Kieran Kinsella
12 Posted 26/08/2021 at 03:49:58
Terry White 10,

Kenwright is a public figure who’s run our club and put himself in the spotlight for 25 years. Don Alexander is a 61 year old Evertonian who lives in Oz. You keep critiquing him for his obsession with Kenwright. And yet you seem just as obsessed with Don. Whose obsession is stranger? Give it up mate. He’s entitled to his view even if he’s been saying the same thing for 20 years. If the problem remains, he’s going to keep talking about it.

Alan J Thompson
13 Posted 26/08/2021 at 05:42:42
If some mysterious benefactor's legacy to his favourite football club is a couple of billion pounds, is this classed as income and if so then what is the difference between this and the current club owner using his airline to sponsor his club?

Was it Jack Walker(?) who thought he was guaranteeing Blackburn Rovers survival when he left them 20M in his will? Let's just hope Mr Usmanov hasn't been inhaling the fumes down at his foundry and takes in the country air at his sponsored training grounds.

Tony Abrahams
14 Posted 26/08/2021 at 07:58:49
I was going to say that Don, should just copy and paste, but there is nothing classy, that Bill Kenwright, has given to Everton Football Club, (unless EITC was all Bill’s doing?) but even Terry, acknowledges the tasteless things that Mr Kenwright has overseen, because plucky little Everton, have definitely become a non-entity in the footballing world, until we remember the words of the great Evertonian, who said we will never find a better owner than him.
Tony Abrahams
15 Posted 26/08/2021 at 08:04:54
Maybe better to erase a few of these posts Lyndon, otherwise a very thoughtful article will just become another point scoring thread, possibly making you think why you even bother writing some of the very intelligent and thought provoking stuff, that you write, along with Clive.
Danny O’Neill
16 Posted 26/08/2021 at 09:00:34
I'll have an equally uneducated stab at why the Madrid's can keep spending when in seemingly crippling levels of debt.

I nowhere near have Ian's financial experience, but I liked the mortgage reference. I suppose they can point to assets. I have a mortgage, which is technically a debt. But I also have a house, which has a fair amount of equity in it. So if I need to spend or borrow, I can point to my asset that is worth more than my debt.

I guess the likes of Real Madrid have assets including their players. We do too, but they are the likes of Tosun and Jonjoe Kenny (not picking on them specifically, just pulled them up as examples). So they can have debt, but their assets most likely outweigh it? As well as pointing to large income from global branding / marketing and continuous (guaranteed) Champions League participation.

Apologies for my Danny aged 10 attempt at an understanding! I don't even look after my own bank account!!

It's like I've said many a time, initially, we all thought that, at face value, it was the holy grail of setting a level playing ground. It has proven not to be; it is to further secure the elite club. City are challenging that, but they've had resistance.

Jerome Shields
17 Posted 26/08/2021 at 09:33:33
The problem Everton have is that Benitez maybe able to work within FFP rules and those that created the problem will ride on his back during his tenure, but they will ultimately be a constraint on the Clubs progress due to a glaring lack of ability.
Jeff Hough
18 Posted 26/08/2021 at 09:40:08
Can we please stop saying 'big clubs' and substitute rich clubs instead?
Andrew Ellams
19 Posted 26/08/2021 at 09:53:45
Jeff, can we not substitute rich for corrupt because with the amount of debt the ESL 12 are currently wallowing in they ain't rich.
Kevin Prytherch
20 Posted 26/08/2021 at 10:01:08
In terms of why we can’t just get more sponsorship. There are rules somewhere (again looking like they protect the corrupt) that sponsorship deals have to be representative of market value. Therefore Usmanov can’t sponsor us £300m for a shirt deal because we wouldn’t be able to get that elsewhere.

Again, it only serves to protect the corrupt because you can’t get money from big sponsorship deals without a continued champions league presence, and you struggle to get a continued champions league presence without money from big sponsorship deals.

Tony Abrahams
21 Posted 26/08/2021 at 10:07:30
I have two theories Jerome. The first is that the head-honcho knows his mate has gone and had a disastrous go at playing football manager, aided and abetted by some terrible appointments, and his smarmy mate, who just kept taking, and has now decided he’s going to become more serious.

If this theory is correct, (50/50) then he (head-honcho) will now want to see how the current manager works under the current financial restraints, before deciding if he can trust him, with money in the future?

All pie in the sky, but one thing I’ve heard is that Benitez was confident (note; not Brannds for obvious reasons) he could get rid of a few of our players, until he saw how much some of them were earning.

Which leads me on to theory three, which is that if the players Benitez brings in, do a better job, for half the wages, and one twentieth of the transfer fee, then we might just become plucky little Everton again. A very frightening thought.

Barry Hesketh
22 Posted 26/08/2021 at 10:39:23
Clive @3
Fair enough, but knowing the rules of Association Football helps the ordinary fan to better understand the game itself, likewise, having a grasp of the financial side of the game, helps us, ordinary people, to try and understand how Everton find themselves constrained in this summer's transfer market.

The club has made some terrible mistakes in the last five years, however, almost as soon as the financial clout of Moshiri arrived, wages and transfer fees for the really top players rocketed and that helped to inflate the cost of even the most ordinary players.

Until Everton and similar-sized clubs are in a position to purchase the very top stars, with or without the constraints of Financial Fair Play, those clubs will always find themselves among the also-rans. The richest clubs drive the market, aided and abetted by the agents and it would seem the governing bodies too.

Surely, if Moshiri and possibly his mate Usmanov wanted to try and join the elite, they have enough contacts and friends who own businesses outside of the USM umbrella who they could try and bring on board as sponsors? I tend to believe that Usmanov is no more than a friend of Moshiri, and won't be pulling the strings at Everton officially or unofficially anytime soon, despite the many rumours to the contrary.

Danny O’Neill
23 Posted 26/08/2021 at 10:42:21
Isn't that how City skirted it a few years ago? Emirates "sponsored" them for £400M? I think it was over 10 years but they could ultimately point to having £400M in the bank. That seems to be my recollection but I'm not sure how accurate I am. And is that something that has changed now to stop that type of circumnavigation?

Tony stop it. It's too early to be thinking about a consoling drink to lift the spirit and I'm trying to get myself up for Saturday!

I know what you mean. The worry being we spiral into being satisfied with low expectation. Hopefully your earlier theory on the owner having had his fingers burned is waiting to see if he can trust this manager.

But then that begs the question why we have a Director of Football surely? I'm for the model by the way, but if that part of your theory is possible, then it would question the reasoning.

Anyway, Wembley in May, Europe in August.

Jerome Shields
24 Posted 26/08/2021 at 10:55:29
Tony you theory one I think is right. Benitez was appointed with the continuing remit to reduce wages and offload deadwood. Then he got to see their contract terms as you say.

Your idea of wait and see fits in with my theory of Direct Rule by Head Honcho and his side kick and the fact that the Board is a collection of offshore type Directors who are being bypassed on major decisions.

Though the Board are still involved in maintaining the unproductive little Empires within Everton, lead by Don's, correctly described, nemesis, . They are in position because it suits the Head Honcho and his side kick, though I don't believe it is the way ultimately to progress the Club. Would prefere Don's straight approach.

Of course a lot would like things to be straight forward at Everton, but they are not. Suh theories as yours with local insight are good analysis of what is actually going on.

I shy away from corruption and unfairness, because it's a bit like calling the kettle black. Benitez once proven will get the money he needs as you theorize, one way or another. Benitez possibly has assurances on that.

Tony Abrahams
25 Posted 26/08/2021 at 11:33:46
I also believe that he will have been given assurances Jerome, and it’s probably why he was the best candidate they interviewed, because he was prepared to “try” and prove himself first?

My other theory, which I can’t put my finger on is why won’t Usmanov come to the fore? Is it because of what Barry said, that he’s not really that interested, and only wants to help his mate?

His mate who has spent nearly a third of his fortune, (before Bramley-Moore) on something he didn’t expect/want to take up more than 10% of his time?

That really doesn’t make sense to me, (only wanting to waste 10% of your time, whilst spending a fortune) but I’ve heard people with connections to Man City, have told Moshiri, not to worry too much about FFP, and the fact that he hasn’t listened so far, maybe because he doesn’t want there to be to much scrutiny on Everton, which would probably happen, if they took a chance and ended up opening a massive can of worms, that might or might not exist in the background?

Alan J Thompson
26 Posted 26/08/2021 at 11:50:50
Tony(#24); If Usmanov is not that interested and is just helping out a mate then appointing his nephew(?) to the Board in place of your own man is a large repayment.
Tony Abrahams
27 Posted 26/08/2021 at 11:57:38
It’s all questions Alan J, but very few answers, and this has been the way of Everton’s ownership for a very long time now.

We can speculate, but we don’t know the answers, but when you hear our owner, the man who possesses 92% of Everton’s shares, say he didn’t want the club to take up to much of his time, then this leaves the biggest question mark of the lot for me, because this is difficult to really comprehend imo.

Alan J Thompson
28 Posted 26/08/2021 at 12:04:56
True, Tony, and I do wonder why he sold back the Arsenal shares that he was gifted and also, as you say without an answer, if his main job/source of income rests on it. We may never know unless, heaven forbid, a yacht in Monaco is burgled.

The thick plottens!

Colin Glassar
29 Posted 26/08/2021 at 12:33:20
Clive, nothing wrong with you admitting to your thickness, I do it all the time.

FFP is all a big pile of bullshit! We aren’t skint. Moshiri, and his dad Usmanov, are loaded. They are using FFP as an excuse not to keep on wasting money by giving it to dopes like Walsh and Brands who’ve wasted almost £500m quid on substandard shite like Iwobi, Bolasie, jailbird and Gomes.

They’ve been burnt once too often so have told Rafa to scrape out any dregs he can find in the bottom of the barrel. Deep down I don’t blame him. Who would?

Chris Williams
30 Posted 26/08/2021 at 12:41:46

It was reported earlier this year that Moshiri’s personal wealth increased from £1.8B to £2.1B, so he’s not doing too bad for someone who’s spent a large amount of his personal fortune.

As to getting rid of players and recruitment, remember that Brands has recently signed a new 3 year contract, which took a long time to come to fruition since it was first announced as imminent, much earlier (February?) I’d be amazed if he would have signed it if it had entailed diluting his prime area of responsibility. He’s also on more of the club’s boards now, so if anything arguably, his influence has grown.

So far, since the end of last season,I think we’ve got rid of 16 players, including the 2 most recently announced, including some meaty earners. Their wages won’t be included in this years accounts. Possibly a few more to go. It doesn’t help our current situation, which is based on our historical financial performance, but it certainly heralds in a new more disciplined approach for now and the future.

Don’t underplay Brands’ input in this. It’s possible that Benítez was aware of this and was keen to play his part. If it means a more disciplined, creative approach with no interference from the owner, we should all be glad about that.

That’s how Brands made his reputation in the first place. But it might be an interesting few days to the end of the month!

Jerome Shields
31 Posted 26/08/2021 at 12:42:44

Moshiri was arm length from the start, but had to get involved when his money was being spent left right and centre incompetently. So imcomptently that he thought he could do no worse on the football side. Silva wasn't a bad choice, but stood no chance amongst the old regime of Everton. Anchelotti was also dealt with similarly.

So Usmanov had to come to the fore, rather than the background role he pursued before. , With hints of Anchelotti involvement

I do think that Usmanov and Moshiri felt they needed a front to deal with authoritative bodies and as a cushion in front of their other interests. . This front, the Board, is increasing looking irrelevant, and the progress of Everton and the Dockland development will be more directly controlled by those that actually own the Club. Board changes I would take with a pinch of salt.

As for the reasons in their own business that should pursue such a policy it's anybody's guess. As for FFP rules I would not be surprised that the Man City advice was given.

Danny O’Neill
32 Posted 26/08/2021 at 12:44:25
My son is of that opinion Colin, I don't believe we or the owners are skint. And if they wanted, I'm sure they could get creative.

I appreciate we're not one of the rich or elite, so it would be more likely for the authorities to come down on us where they wouldn't dare elsewhere.

We are paying (no pun intended) for the reckless spending of recent years. But you do wonder if that's because the owner and his backers have said enough is enough. Stop it.

Hopefully just a pause for breath. Improve on the pitch and they might dig deep again, but with the lessons identified and learned.

Laurie Hartley
33 Posted 26/08/2021 at 12:45:17
Financial Fair Play is an oxymoron.

Edit: I have just thought of another one. Victorian Government Australia:-

“Staying apart keeps us together”. 😉😉

Brian Murray
34 Posted 26/08/2021 at 12:57:49
Jerome. So the likes of kenright are irrelevant. Hope to god your right. He’s done more damage than the heysel van ever did.
Chris Williams
35 Posted 26/08/2021 at 13:01:09
That last one is a bit Orwellian, Laurie!
Brian Murray
36 Posted 26/08/2021 at 13:01:13
So the earth shattering news of every Evertonian that we was about to lose our manager ( ok he turned out to be very average but that’s not the point ) was met with a paralysed won’t or can’t respond by the chairman and or his dynamic sidekick. That alone was disgusting never mind inept.
Tony Abrahams
37 Posted 26/08/2021 at 13:37:09
I was meaning that Brands obviously already knew why he couldn’t get rid of those said players Chris, but really hope we do become a lot more professional and certain people just leave the other people alone, to get on with the job they were brought here to do in the first place.

I won’t be holding my breath, and honestly hope that Brands has also learned loads of lessons, but the more I think of his appointment, the more I think of it has being very naive, because England is a much more competitive league than Holland, and so I’d argue it’s much more difficult to achieve the same results in this country, because of how different things obviously are?

By this I mean blooding youngsters, although one of the things that has pleased me about Brands, is how he’s started trying to fast-track the younger players.

Jack Convery
38 Posted 26/08/2021 at 13:38:44
As far as I am concerned FFP = We ( Top 6 ) have spent millions, getting established.

Now others can spend millions too, we have decided to protect our income streams and investment.

Therefore you cannot spend millions like we did and the EPL / Uefa agrees with us because they dare not do otherwise.

Chris Williams
39 Posted 26/08/2021 at 13:45:31
Agreed Tony,

I just think it’s beyond idiocy to employ a proven specialist and then stop him from doing his job. I think, for whatever reason, he’s only belatedly got himself involved with FF, and his influence seems to be being felt. He’s also been busy improving the scouting infrastructure apparently.

The word you used, professional, is the key here. You certainly can’t use that word for our efforts over the last 5 years or so. Hopefully we can start now, and not before time.

I think the main person to learn lessons is probably Moshiri

Peter Warren
40 Posted 26/08/2021 at 14:00:57
I don’t think we can cry too much given the 100’s of millions we’ve wasted in last 5 years. FFP has not hindered us until this transfer window - ludicrous bad management has.
Brendan McLaughlin
41 Posted 26/08/2021 at 14:15:07
Tony #20
"but one thing I’ve heard is that Benitez was confident...he could get rid of a few of our players, until he saw how much some of them were earning"
Are you seriously suggesting that Benitez with his long experience in football, the fact that he lives locally and his suppposed attention to detail (database of 3000+ players) wasn't aware of the high wages a lot of the Everton players were on until he became our manager.
Seems very unlikely to me?
Tony Abrahams
42 Posted 26/08/2021 at 14:24:40
I’m repeating something that I heard Brendan, and even with all the managers experience, I still reckon he’d have been surprised to hear what some of the players at Everton are earning, especially when he could probably take at least 500 players out of his database, to do a better job for half the wages, which is hopefully not the only reason he has become our new manager.
Tommy Carter
43 Posted 26/08/2021 at 14:34:58
I think this suits us and could be a blessing in disguise.

If the board were in the mood for splashing ridiculous money on players that no other clubs were prepared to spend such fees on, then this is only a good thing.

If this means we signed Demarai Gray for £1.5m instead of Wilf Zaha for £50m this summer then this has already served us very well.

Even if Gray turns out to be a flash in the pan, the point being we were spending ridiculous money on very average players. There is a reason why no other clubs were challenging us for the signatures of Sigurdsson, Keane, Iwobi etc

As a football club, a system of signing hungry players with a point to prove has served us well before and I think it can again.

The ideal scenario is that we build with astute transfer business then when the time is right and the correct players can be attracted, supplement with a big money signing of proven top class players.

Tony Abrahams
44 Posted 26/08/2021 at 14:52:32
I’d agree with that Tommy, and also think it will be interesting to watch how Southampton now get on this season, because it looks like they’ve adopted a similar policy, and I’d guess they’ve also got Walcott, on the cheap, because he’s already made his fortune once he signed for Everton?

I don’t know how Grey and Townsend will work out, but their combined wage will probably be 80% covered by removing Theo, and that’s a policy that I think Everton will now adapt, but hopefully not for ever.

Robert Tressell
45 Posted 26/08/2021 at 15:07:51
Agree with the sentiments. If you're going to sign average players, then get them at good value. We have spent £1.5m on three players who, although not world beaters, have improved the squad. In previous seasons we'd have spent between about £30 to £50m or more to get the same incremental improvement.

Value is not generally found in established Premier League players especially those who have peaked below Champions League level like Sigurdsson, Keane, Bolasie, Iwobi etc. It is usually found in:

- firesales at relegated clubs and others in dire straits

- the championship

- richer clubs' reserves

- other academies

- foreign leagues

Hopefully we use this period as a chance to reset the club, regain some healthy principles on and off the pitch.

Tom Bowers
46 Posted 26/08/2021 at 15:08:00
I totally agree with Tommy Carter. We need to rebuild but not by going crazy with big name, way overpriced signings.

Everton have more than been stung by flops over the years.

We have a squad that like most others can always be improved but we have some players who have gotten themselves fit again after missing many games last season plus some really promising youngsters and a couple of experienced signings who have cost nothing.

Whilst you have to crawl before you can walk there have been some encouraging signs in the games so far and one hopes that continues this Saturday if the defence plays their part.

Tommy Carter
47 Posted 26/08/2021 at 15:48:34
Tom, Tony, Robert. It's good to see that many Evertonians are on the same page. And Robert I agree massively with your list.

It astounds me sometimes how top-level clubs continually ignore these avenues.

West Ham have done some very shrewd business in the last 18 months by moving away from the system of trying to bring in star names.

The only real stars are going to Champions League clubs and nowhere else.

I certainly think that there is market in players who fall out of the big clubs because they aren't getting enough game time.

I've cited a few names on here over the past few years who've gone on to become top Premier League players. Soucek being one when he was still playing in the Czech Republic.

Also, I highlighted Reece James at Chelsea after watching him throughout his loan spell at Wigan. James was there for the taking that summer in 2019 and he is developing into an awesome player. I think if we'd have offered £20m he'd have been ours. But instead we spent more than that on JP Gbamin. Who may have been an awesome player, we don't know. But what we do know is that Reece James is an awesome player.

Barry Hesketh
48 Posted 26/08/2021 at 16:10:54
Since the summer of 2016 and using Transfermkt's information, the top 10 spending Premier League clubs are as follows:

Chelsea have been the biggest spenders forking out £908m on 168 players whilst recouping £619m on 161 players meaning they have a net spend of £289m

Manchester United (£818m) have bought in 67 players and released 67 with a net spend of £617m

Arsenal (£664m) 87 bought, 86 sold with a net spend of £412m

Everton (£528m) 110 bought, 113 sold with a net spend of £256m

Liverpool (£512m) 93 bought, 90 sold with a net spend of £148m

Leicester (£468m) 78 bought, 80 sold with a net spend of £146m

Spurs (£441m) 60 bought, 59 sold with a net spend of £200m

Aston Villa (£426m) 113 bought, 119 sold with a net spend of £235m

West Ham (£378m) 87 bought, 93 sold with a net spend of £172m

Wolves (£359m) 162 bought, 162 sold with a net spend of £208m

(Figures in brackets equal total spent)

Obviously, Everton as a club had to rein in the spending on transfer fees at some point in time, but it is the wages that really cripple the club, to obtain the best players a club has to pay premium market rates for the top players. If we can't compete economically with the rich clubs, how is the club going to find a pathway to sustained success?

Leicester has shown a way and West Ham looks to have a model in place which might prove to be successful for a few seasons and it's that model that originated with Moyes's Everton, which we'll probably see more of in the Benitez era.

As fans, we'll have to hope that Benitez's Everton achieves more than Moyes's Everton ever did, if we are to see any signs of real success at the club, or the owners will have to find ways of making a better fist of the commercial side of the club in order to facilitate greater spending on players in the future.

Robert Tressell
49 Posted 26/08/2021 at 16:18:50
Tommy, I think there is a lot of vanity and short termism at play in the transfer market. We came into money and unfortunately forgot all of the sound principles that had stood us in pretty good stead for many years.

But on Gbamin, I was very pleased at his signing I admit. He was a very highly regarded player with plenty of games under his belt in a strong league and Europe despite being young - and at the time of transfer very much on an upward trajectory. He also had the right physical attributes for the Premier League.

It was not to be!

But top young performers at middling clubs in strong leagues, looking for a step up, should also be a key focus. Even if it hasn't (yet) worked out for the very unlucky Gbamin.

Ian Burns
50 Posted 26/08/2021 at 17:28:55
This thread (apart from the occasional unnecessary comment) is turning out to be a view that the approach we are taking as a club, admittedly being forced to take, is in general being accepted by supporters, albeit reluctantly.

However, we can go onto other TW threads where there are posts expressing frustration at our transfer approach and missing out on signings which would cost in excess of £25M to £30M etc.

We recognise restrictions placed upon us if, as the article suggests, we don't fully understand why but we should not be expressing on the 1st September complaints about a failed transfer window if we don't bring in £30M players to improve the squad.

Jay Harris
51 Posted 26/08/2021 at 17:36:41
Just throwing money at a problem rarely works.

A strategy that builds from the top down all working in harmony is what is required and I still feel there is disharmony at the top.

At least Rafa has the balls to be his own man and may turn out to be an unexpected success.

Clive Rogers
52 Posted 26/08/2021 at 17:49:34
Colin, #28, thickness? I thought I was admitting my lack of interest in the details of technicalities that don't interest me. Sod it... I'll settle for 'thick'.
Colin Glassar
53 Posted 26/08/2021 at 17:55:14
Should I refer to you as, your thickness from now on, Clive?😄😄

What I meant to say was, I’m quite happy owning my own lack of knowledge. Nothing wrong being a bit dense IMO.

Dale Self
54 Posted 26/08/2021 at 18:30:12
Your Thickness, Sire, good stab in the dark here. I guess my wondrous confusion comes from a curiosity of whether the authorities have the forensic accountants or the organizational integrity to monitor what are increasingly nebulous balance sheets.

Do the regulators actually have the ability to investigate claimed financial positions or is this a bit like Enron/Bank of Cyprus types running paper circles around them? The plebs want to know.

Jerome Shields
55 Posted 26/08/2021 at 19:05:00
Brian #33,

Kenwright still has a say in the running of the club through his selected loyal lieutenants. He still haunts most of us in other areas of concern.

Brendan #40,

Another possible explanation is the willingness of those players to sit out their contracts, and not be open to Benitez about any suggestions regarding moving on. It would be only when Benitez had discussions with them personally that he would have realised.

Danny O’Neill
56 Posted 26/08/2021 at 19:13:41
Robert @44. Thank you. Every time I hear "Premier League experience" when referring to a player or manager I cringe.

Barry @47. The telling thing from that is two of those clubs with the lowest net spend are Liverpool and Leicester. They haven't faired to badly in recent seasons.

How you spend, not what you spend.

Brendan McLaughlin
57 Posted 26/08/2021 at 19:38:29
Jerome #54

Don't think so... it's well known that players who aren't performing but are on hefty wages with a few years left to run on their contracts are notoriously difficult to move on. So why Benitez would have allegedly approached the issue with any degree of confidence is hard to fathom.

It also ignores the fact that moving players on is Brands's remit... not Rafa's.

Barry Hesketh
58 Posted 26/08/2021 at 19:48:01
Danny @55,

Agreed, but it's also who you sell and for what price, one club did very well on a Brazilian who sold for £100M plus.

Robert Tressell
59 Posted 26/08/2021 at 20:12:54
Barry @ 58, you also have to ask why are those same clubs so routinely successful in selling for more than they buy.

Coutinho, whom you refer to, was a talented reserve at Inter with a fairly modest price tag. He had elite level ability but needed a club that would allow him to develop. They did - and sold him for a colossal amount allowing them to reinvest into the playing staff.

We have not been developing talented players - we have been buying expensive players who have peaked below the requisite standard and will never get better (or increase in value).

Hence we spent half a billion pounds to actually deteriorate in squad quality and now have no money to reinvest in replacements.

After this summer, hopefully no-one still holds the view that sell on value is unimportant.

Clive Rogers
60 Posted 26/08/2021 at 21:22:00
This FFP is somewhat like Alice in Wonderland in that it gets curiouser and curiouser the more you learn about it.

For one thing, I have learnt that nobody is actually imposing it upon us. Rather we impose it upon ourselves. The rules are there and the club itself has presumably audited its finances etc and imposed limits as to how much it can spend upon itself, without any imposition from the powers that be.

We were quite free to break the rules if we so desired, presumably at the risk of some form of sanction. If we signed several expensive players, they would still be ours for the next few seasons. It's all very strange.

Tony Abrahams
61 Posted 26/08/2021 at 21:22:09
It doesn't ignore the fact that it's Brands's remit to get rid of players, imo, Brendan. It just shows how stupid Everton have been in handing out some absolutely ridiculous and unsustainable wages that are really hampering the club's ability to do any real business in this transfer window up to now.

Jerome Shields
62 Posted 26/08/2021 at 22:36:32
Brendan #57,

I agree, it is Brands's remit, and has been since he started, but the manager may have some input and connections to get players moved on. It is in the interest of the manager to move on players to get the players he wants, especially when there are financial constraints. I think that it would be at the forefront of discussion between Moshiri and Benitez, the need to move players on.

I felt at the time when Benitez was being interviewed, he would tell Moshiri anything he wanted to hear. Of course, you are right that Benitez would have been far from naive in what he was about to face. Maybe there is an element of back-tracking going on.

Tony, I have found has come up with some valuable insights over the years, often with an element of underlying truth.

Clive Rogers
63 Posted 27/08/2021 at 10:15:46
You wait 25 years for a billionaire, then two come together and you can’t spend their money. Just our luck.
Karl Meighan
64 Posted 31/08/2021 at 10:42:30
Robert @59,

I agree with your comment regarding developing talent, either homegrown or brought in for a fee. Sell-on value will put us in a better position when looking at new signings and hopefully shows that they can improve at Everton.

Let's hope Benitez can bring in players who have the quality required and improve us and drive us forward. There are no guarantees with signings as all managers make mistakes but it would make a nice change for some of the business done to pay off and not look like we have been robbed.

Brian Wilkinson
65 Posted 20/09/2021 at 23:59:28
Someone else quite rightly pointed out, the likes of City etc, can throw cash and risk the chance of a ban.

The poster quite rightly states that to ban any of the elite 12 from the Champs league, would be more damaging for uefa and loss of a tv team for revenue and broadcasting.

Whereas someone like Everton, they would be on us like a dog on a bone, not the so called elite 12, so punishment without fear of a backlash would been seen on acting on any other also rans daring to try and flaunt the rules, like the dirty dozen would be punished.

You only have to look at the petty fine handed out, to the dozen to show it is 12 against the rest.

Only last week, our neighbours were threatened with having certain players missing for the weekend, along with other clubs both within the top 4 and some outside.

We all know the outcome, no player had to miss the game, last weekend.

If Everton go over ffp, you can guarentee we will be hit by a punishment, just like Niasse was the first and only one of 2 players, charged and banned with simulation.

The 2 years this was in place, no other high placed team, had a player banned for simulation.

So in a nutshell, the likes of Everton, Leicester are bad news to the Premier league and uefa, at the moment, they have their darlings where they want them, so god help any other team daring to upset the apple cart.

They will do everything possible, to stop other clubs trying to compete, non more so than bringing in ffp, after the elite have stocked up, and can spend much more, with Champs league every season, sponsorship and tv revenue.

The next 5 years and onwards, you can almost guarentee, City, Utd, Chelsea and the shite in the top 4, likewise Spain, France, Germany, Netherlands with their usual teams in the top 4.

Football is being totally driven by greed, with an elite 16 around Europe, eating at the big table, while the rest fight over the scraps.

Just a shame the super league did not happen, the leagues would have survived, but after a few seasons, the super league would have fallen flat.

As far as I am concerned, football is dead in the water, dictated by the few, and until the rest of the football clubs make a stand and say enough is enough, we will be continued to be bullied and dictated to by them.

Derek Thomas
66 Posted 21/09/2021 at 01:01:28
Answer; Of course ! - next topic?

Edit; We have money to throw at players, but not enough money required to throw at the phalanx of Lawyers required to successfully fight it...or pay the fines.

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