Blinded by the lights

By Les Roberts
Last updated : 18 December 2008

Picture the scene, Bill is slumped in his office chair, dribbling all over his blue Armani and mumbling like Rowly Birkin, when in bursts Robert Elstone, waving a piece of paper and shouting: "Bill! Bill! We're up! Turnover is £75.7 million for the past year and only 59 per cent of that was spunked on wages!"

Bill, roused from his slumber wipes the spit from the side of his mouth with his sleeve, hastily adjusts his glasses, sits up and rearranges some papers to give the impression that he's not been asleep at all and starts incoherently starts jibbering away: "Champions League qualification, people's club, Kirkby, Bestway bollocks! Goal! Collina you c**t! Moutinho! Bastard! Wyness? Fuck off! Fourth Spot? Ours I tell you! Jenny? Jenny? Poll you tw…"

Elstone's arm slowly drops to his side, he shakes his head and leaves…

Anyway, somewhere amongst all that nonsense was the news that Everton have reported a record tunover of £75.7 million for the past year.

As far as number crunching goes that's an increase of £18.3 million on the previous year with the Blues receiving £3.4 million more on gate receipts largely due to our prolonged runs in the Carling and UEFA Cups.

The club also benefited from an improved television deal that saw Everton receive a massive £46.6 million compared with a paltry £27.5 million the previous year.

As far as costs go, club wages went up from £38.4 million to £44.5 million, no, really, but the club consider this a result as, in the scheme of things, wages only account for 59 per cent of the club's turnover and not 75 per cent as it was last year.

Maintenance costs increased from £51.9 million to £68.8 million, due in no small part to Everton relocating from Bellefield to Finch Farm.

And, before you can say 'Safety certificate' the club only spent just over £1 million to keep Goodison up to 'Premier League standards', whatever they are…so she can't be in that bad a state then!

The figures have led to some chest-thumping from Kenwright who states that Champions League football is Everton's primary target.

Kenwright said: "We have laid claim to a Champions League berth already during David Moyes's tenure and we shall strive to do it again; that is what all of us want - that remains our non-negotiable objective."

Which is all very well as Bill has, if nothing else, always talked a good game.

He continues: "As ever, David Moyes was fully supported, both by myself and fellow directors - something which I have repeatedly stressed is absolutely crucial if we are to build a future that is both enduring and meaningful."

He was probably cut short there before he could compare that particular relationship to a marriage or something.

And, again, it's all very well talking the talk, telling Moyes what a great job he's doing and rewarding him with a new contract, but the truth of the matter is that Moyes needs financial backing, not plaudits, to move the club forwards!

And it's all very well reporting a record turnover but it means nothing if there's to be no investment in the team as we'll then only tread water at best.

For all the talk of fourth spot, it's now Aston Villa, the team we pipped to fifth spot last season, for all the good that did us, that are in the box seat to break the monopoly.

And Villa are similar to us in so many ways.

They're trophy haul is almost identical, have a manager who is very similar in style and stature to Moyes but they have a chairman that can back him with all the funds he requires.

We simply do not have that and, for that reason alone, we will not progress past our current level no matter what the turnover.

Don't get me wrong, if we were to achieve any level of success then I'd sooner go about it this way, through hard work, steady progress and good buys in the transfer market.

But even that's not possible anymore, as was proven in the summer when we splashed out just £3 million, the first instalment of a 5-year, £15 million deal, on the signing of Marouane Fellaini.

And even that was, literally, a last minute thing!

So for all the hyperbole surrounding this record breaking turnover, there has been no mention of funds being released for the January transfer window, let alone any mention of where the money for McFadden and Johnson fits into the grand scheme of things!

Which leaves us just as in the dark as ever!

Everton Match Reports

Premier League Sat 10th February 15:00

Everton 3 - 1 Crystal Palace

Last game - Match Centre


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