Toffees defend transfer policy

BY foxsports • January 13, 2012

Elstone insists there has been a net spend on new players of £35million.

The club, who are still searching for a buyer to provide the next level of investment, have come under increasing criticism in recent months for the perceived lack of progress on and off the pitch.

Supporters formed the pressure group Blue Union, who are campaigning for chairman Bill Kenwright to sell the club and step aside, and in recent weeks they have raised questions about the lack of investment in players.

In August, Everton sold Mikel Arteta to Arsenal for £10million and also brought in around £5million from Jermaine Beckford's move to Leicester and Ayegbeni Yakubu's switch to Blackburn.

Manager David Moyes brought in loan players Royston Drenthe and Denis Stracqualursi and today signed Darron Gibson from Manchester United in a deal which could cost them up to £2million.

The Blue Union have been demanding to know why the proceeds from Arteta's sale have not been re-invested in the squad and Elstone had now answered those questions.

"Over five years, we have generated a £1million 'cash profit' to fund buying players," said Elstone.

"Of course, we've spent much more than this buying players: from June 2006 Everton paid out £94million (including agents' fees) on a stream of internationals like Andrew Johnson, Joleon Lescott, Tim Howard, Phil Jagielka, Leighton Baines, Yakubu, Marouane Fellaini, Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, Sylvain Distin and John Heitinga.

"The club sold Simon Davies, James Beattie, James McFadden, Johnson and Lescott and raised £59million.

"Accordingly, after all ins and outs, a net £35million has been spent buying new players.

"In the last 48 hours, the question 'where has the Arteta money gone?' has been raised again.

"[The] first thing to repeat is the bank didn't force the sale. The £10million instantly became £9million when we paid sell-on fees to Real Sociedad.

"Sadly, and despite a lot of hard work, £9million could become £7.5million by the end of the year with gate revenues dropping below budget.

"And £7.5million may well become £5.5million as our live TV appearances drop below the budget we set based on previous seasons' appearances.

"Even if these attendances and TV appearances pick up, out of what's left, significant money has gone on new deals for Fellaini and Ross Barkley, we've brought in James McFadden, Marcus Hahnemann and Landon Donovan and our newest arrival, Darron Gibson.

"It feels like we're getting the most for our money and whatever money is left will be stretched, squeezed and re-invested.

"The chairman and the manager have spent the last two months looking at several more potential acquisitions and as always, on all football-based matters at Everton, it will be the manager making the decisions."

In an unprecedented move, Elstone has gone into great detail of the Toffees' financial dealings over the last five years in his blog on the club's website, outlining income and expenditure and transfers.

Elstone confirmed the club's net debt has increased from £22million in June 2006 to £45million in May 2011 and this season they have to find £5million to cover finance and interest charges, admitting they "can add in money from other player sales".

He said in those five years, after making relatively small repayments on our long term mortgage, investing in new technology, furniture and fittings, the club had only "broken even" before they had bought any players.

Purchases have been funded with the help of their increased borrowing and the £9million sale of former training ground Bellefield.


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