Elstone reassures fans over funds
The Toffees released accounts today covering the period from June 1, 2009 to May 31, 2010, which showed an operating loss of £0.5million on turnover of £79.1million. Everton's overall debt, though, rose from £41million to £48million as a result of investment in players like John Heitinga, Sylvain Distin and Diniyar Bilyaletdinov and increased player wages. The later-than-usual release of the figures prompted speculation the club were in serious financial trouble, but Elstone insisted that is not the case. He wrote in a blog on www.evertonfc.com: "According to the minority, it seems that late accounts can only mean one thing; Everton must be in 'financial meltdown?' The Blues are set to go bust? Of course, it's simply not true. "Spending every last penny strengthening the team has meant that we spend every day of every week looking to drive revenues and raise funds. "It means financially, no one could ever describe us as cosy. But then again, very few clubs are particularly comfortable "I'm pleased to say our accounts are now signed off, with a clean audit report. "Debt needs to be managed and ultimately repaid and it should be recognised and acknowledged that Everton has a strong finance team and the long-term support of our bankers and lenders." Chairman Bill Kenwright has repeatedly said he is ready to sell the club if the right bidder comes along, but so far that has not proved the case, and Elstone categorically dismissed rumours that the club have turned away potential benefactors. "Truly, the billionaire is yet to knock on the front door at Goodison," he said. "Truly, our longed-for Russian, sheikh or our media mogul has not been put off by a ridiculous selling price." Elstone also answered criticism from fans that not enough money has been invested in the playing squad, revealing that 85p in every £1 brought into the club is spent on players and staff. Everton's poor start to the Barclays Premier League season has increased the frustration of supporters, but the chief executive insisted there should be no complaints about the quality and depth of the squad. He added: "We've plenty to show for our money. We have a great Academy and, according to almost every Evertonian, the best Blues squad in years; a squad we all believe will see us in Europe next season. "That investment, and most specifically a player wage bill that's increased significantly over the past three seasons demonstrates one thing above all else and that's ambition. "It shows Everton has a board of directors that wants, and pushes hard for, success on the pitch." Kenwright also took encouragement from the figures, adding: "From a financial perspective, the year was one which was underpinned by sensible business management, which enabled us to continue to do everything within our collective power to help the manager in his concerted efforts to build a squad which would challenge the top four." Meanwhile, Slovakian goalkeeper Jan Mucha is considering his future with Everton. Mucha, signed from Polish side Legia Warsaw last summer as cover for first-choice stopper Howard, has made only two appearances - both in the Carling Cup - and wants to speak with manager David Moyes about whether things are likely to change any time soon. "I thought I would be in a better situation than I am," said Mucha, quoted in Polish newspaper Przeglad Sportowy. "I have asked the manager if we could have a talk about the entire situation. We should sit down on the upcoming Friday and discuss my position. "I will consider my future according to what he has to tell me. If Tim extends his contract and I will continue to be regularly on the bench, I will start to look for a new club."