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  • Writer's pictureKai Abbott

Everton FC: A Club In Turmoil

Updated: May 26, 2022

When British-Iranian billionaire Farhard Moshiri purchased a 49.9% stake in Everton Football Club for $112.9 million dollars in April 2016, hopes were high for the future of Everton. At the time, they had just come off the back of an astonishing 2-0 win against Chelsea at their home ground, Goodison Park, and therefore had qualified for the semi-finals of the highly coveted FA Cup, making it past the quarter-finals for the first time since 1995. After the game, alongside chairman and majority owner Bill Kenwright, Moshiri hailed his team’s performance, and exuberantly looked upon the future of his club, saying “for me I bought into a new family and that’s what is special for me.” Moshiri went on to pledge his undying support to the club, referring to them as a family, and a collection “... of incredible fans,” with which he would promise “... whatever I have,” to secure the success of Everton.

Flash forward to the present day, Everton sit in 17th place, just 2 points above the relegation zone. Moshiri’s relationship with the Evertonian fans has been anything but one which a family has. With an unserviced debt of $76,594,927 million dollars, and $702 million dollars spent on incredibly miscalculated and unsuccessful transfers in the past 5 years without any silverware to show for it, it seems that Everton will not be climbing out of this hole of debt and failure any time soon.

In 2020 alone, Everton reported losses north of $300 million dollars. The club's financial situation did raise a few questions from other Premier League clubs, who called for UEFA’s Financial Fair Play Regulations to be imposed on the club. Just this past week, Everton dodged potential fines and point deductions by the skin of their teeth, even though the Premier League only allows an adjusted loss of $130 million dollars over a three year period. Instead, Everton have lost $300 million dollars more than that, accumulating losses of $486 million dollars in the past three years.

Though, these problems which Everton have do not only stem from their finances. In the past 6 years, Everton have had 9 managers. The longest stay a manager has had during this period, was former Real Madrid and AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti, who only stayed 18 months at the club, leaving last summer. Just to portray how poorly Everton are financially mismanaged, Carlo Ancelotti was earning $1.4 million dollars a month at Everton, and received $3.5 million dollars as a leaving bonus when he departed the club for the Real Madrid job in June 2021. While you could blame this feat on the managers themselves for coming up with poor results, it is an issue for the board of a club to so blindly place their faith in random managers every few months, and expect results. Without the ability to tie down any coach for a long period, a footballing philosophy and vision is unable to be placed in the club. Not only does this cause an issue with players, who must adapt to a new playing style every few months, but it also causes serious financial strain on the club. An average of $78 million dollars has been spent per manager on player acquisitions, with the focus of trying to build a new team to suit the manager’s style of play. However, when the average stay at the club for a manager is just under 8 months, it is nearly impossible to create an equally efficient, and cohesive team with that little time to build.

Everton’s performances domestically have also fallen short for the past few seasons, failing to qualify for a European competition for the past 5 years. Taking the helm of the club just over 2 months ago, former Chelsea manager and playing legend, Frank Lampard has simply just added onto this failure. Everton have lost 9 of their last 11 games since Frank Lampard was appointed, with relegation becoming a serious reality for the club if they do not keep their results up. Other managers like Roberto Martinez, Rafa Benitez, and Ronald Koeman, have all moved on to do greater things in their careers, though no man seems up to the task of fixing the disappointment which are the blues.

While the squad is in need of some freshening up, that would simply cost the blues money which they now do not have. Instead, Everton should first focus on finding a way to lower their enormous wage bill, which sits as the 6th largest in the Premier League. The board must learn, that throwing around millions of dollars on players who are far past their prime, like Alex Iwobi and André Gomes, is simply not feasible nor intelligent, as clubs like the newly promoted Brentford FC, have been able to keep their wage bill at $15 million dollars, instead of Everton’s $71 million dollar bill. Though not spending even a tenth of what Everton have spent in the past 5 years, clubs like Brentford, such as Brighton, Wolverhampton Wanderers, and Leicester City, have been able to outperform the Toffees for years.

At its center, it is simply a lesson that football clubs should not be treated as just cash hungry tycoons, which require hundreds of millions to service and finance some sustainable level of success. Everton should take a leaf of the book of their arch rivals, Liverpool, who have been able to win the League Cup, Premier League, and Champions League all just in the last 3 years, while still maintaining a sustainable financial system, which supports a fluid footballing philosophy, which will most likely be successful for many years to come.

With the fans calling from all over the world, and even at their home stadium for their resignation, it seems that for Moshiri, and the whole board of Everton, that their time in Merseyside is long overdue, if Everton are to achieve some sort of success, any time soon.

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