Behind Blue Eyes 2014-15 accounts review

24/11/2015  26 Comments  [Jump to last]
Notable football finance blog, The Swiss Ramble, has undertaken its annual dispassionate look at Everton's latest accounts.

The analysis breaks down the club's revenues and expenditure across commercial, broadcast and personnel verticals while offering some comparison with rival clubs and some commentary behind the figures and the Blues' performance.

The report describes Everton's latest financials as "a mixed bag" that reflect the shortfall in Premier League merit payments last season due to the fall from 5th to 11th place, increases in player wages, and monies lost to interest payments on outstanding loans but also improvements on the commercial side and in terms of match-day receipts.

Read the full report  

Reader Comments (26)

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Marc Williams
1 Posted 24/11/2015 at 18:53:14
Other operating costs... up AGAIN by another ٢ mil' to an eye watering 㿊 mil....

Where does this money go?

Martin Mason
2 Posted 24/11/2015 at 19:11:50
Exceptional explanation of what the accounts show. Generally a lot more positive than many believe.
Peter McHugh
3 Posted 24/11/2015 at 19:13:02
A comprehensive analysis of the accounts. Overall, appears to me we are doing well but, if we didn't have to service the interest payments, we would be in a far healthier position.

Whilst a new ground would improve our performance, it is pie in the sky as too is redevelopment of Goodison, not (in my opinion) because it is not feasible, but because owners will not or cannot put their hands in their pockets.

Personally, I have a lot of time for Kenwright and the way the club is run. They have a lot but I just can't fathom why we have not been sold. I can only conclude that the reason is that we have not truly been for sale. For that reason, and lack of clarity from the board, I concur wholeheartedly with the protests.

James Flynn
4 Posted 24/11/2015 at 20:09:21
I read thru the entire thing. Good stuff.

What's to say? Thank God for the EPL's popularity? English as a second or third language everywhere? Yep, Kenwright's signing Moyes. Who knew?

Anything else, anyone? Any other possible way to congratulate or thank the controlling shareholders? I'm open here.

John Tyrrell
5 Posted 24/11/2015 at 20:29:18
Still think there should be a 2 for 1 share issue at � a share. As far as I can see, no shares have been traded in Everton above this price, this would value Everton at 𧶊 mil.

With 𧵄 mil in cash which 㿔mil can be used to wipe out gross debt, 㿼 mil for WHP, and 㿀 mil for new signing. Any thoughts?
Paul Jeronovich
6 Posted 24/11/2015 at 22:02:15
Good read and even though I'm not in a position to comment on how a business operates, it does reaffirm that our current owners do not put a penny of investment in themselves and never have. Very sad to think that we have previously sold a lot of players purely to balance the books and service multiple loans.

This is a sad state of affairs and complete lack of vision which does not bode well for the future and also highlighted that our current owners are happy NOT to try and go to the next level!!

I would now more than ever like to see this lot vacate the building fast.

Michael Winstanley
7 Posted 24/11/2015 at 23:13:11
Thanks for posting this.

What I didn't expect was rise in Other Operating Costs, why do we need to loan 㾿 million each of the last two seasons?

To quote the article 'especially as this cost category has shot up by 40% (٧ million) in the last two years without any substantial explanation.'

Adding: 'an annual loan of 㾿 million renewable every August, securitised on Premier League TV money, at a stonking 8.2% interest rate.'

The article also quotes 'the Vibrac loan was repaid in August, but has been replaced by another loan with the equally mysterious James Grant (JG) Funding.'

What's that about? If anyone can answer me that, I'd be delighted.

Dennis Stevens
8 Posted 24/11/2015 at 00:55:04
It's a shame this Board haven't felt able to offer the Club the interest free loans that John Moores provided. Just think how many millions would have been saved in interest over the last 15 years – probably enough to redevelop Goodison Park!
Mark Andersson
9 Posted 25/11/2015 at 02:15:48
So does one or all of the board have shares in these lending companies?
Nick West
10 Posted 25/11/2015 at 11:22:52
Re. a new stadium. If we ever get to that point, I hope the club get it right.

A mate took me to the Emirates last night and what a crap experience that was. The design just doesn't suit the game. The circular rings of seats don't work, as the middle ring is all twats in hospitality who destroy any atmosphere. Arsenal 'fans' no longer have any chants apart from the old Clock End/North Bank thing... which they now stick Highbury on the end... so "Clock End Highbury/North Bank Highbury"...cos at least Highbury had some cred. Apart from that, it was like going to the cinema.

Not that Evertonians would necessarily do this... but then they all fuck off before the end of the game. I'm not kidding, the place was empty with 5 mins to go.

The soul of that club was left at Highbury.

It was food for thought....

Derek Thomas
11 Posted 25/11/2015 at 11:47:39
Mike @ 7; Although I’ve known this loan has been going for a few years, I forget just how long... how long has it been going?

Does it work like this... without prejudice... in theory... hypothetically... year dot; there you go Bill, 㾿M...@8.2%. It might be payed monthly or annually, let's say annually.

㾿M in £20.58M out... automatic roll over each year, every year. Nice little pension for his kids via Vibrac and when ever it ends, if it ever does.

Should the worst happen – heaven forbid; the loan will end (?) and the 㾿M will STILL go to Vibrac free of death duties... luverly jubberly.

Frank Wade
12 Posted 25/11/2015 at 18:49:46
Every year, we have the questions re 'Operating Costs' or 'Other Expenses' as they are referred to in this P&L. I assume these are the usual costs associated with running a business when wages and salaries are excluded.

For example, I see from the official site that we paid ٣.7m in players' agent fees in the previous year to Sept 2014, so with contract extensions and the few signings we made, that could be something similar or higher again:

Player's insurance, Public Liability Insurance, medical expenses, maintenance incl painting and cleaning etc at Goodison and Finch Farm, travel expenses, hotels, training camps, match day policing, lawn mowers, electricity, rates, diesel for the team bus, printing matchday programmes, hospitality for visiting teams and dignitaries including the bottle of vino for visiting managers would be my guess to make up part of Other Operating Costs.

Patrick Murphy
13 Posted 25/11/2015 at 19:10:59
Frank (#12),

I'm sure you are correct that the 'other operating costs' will be legitimate business costs; however, as was noted by Michael (7) earlier in the thread: To quote the article 'especially as this cost category has shot up by 40% (£9 million) in the last two years without any substantial explanation.'

£9m is not an insignificant amount of money and I would have thought that financial fair-play rules would want every club to declare agents' fees, players' bonuses etc in a transparent a way as possible – not all lumped together under a one-size-fits-all category.

Graham Mockford
14 Posted 25/11/2015 at 19:20:46
Patrick (#13),

I think the whole 'Other Operating Costs' goes back to when Bill was asked about them and he didn't have a fucking clue.

This then has become legend and there is a point of view that this is somehow a vehicle for nefarious activity.

For reference, in the last accounts I looked at, Man Utd was £80m, Tottenham was £40m.

Eric Myles
15 Posted 25/11/2015 at 19:45:39
Graham (#14), but wouldn't you think that the chairman of a company that had just signed off on a set of accounts that said the "Other Operating Expenses" amounted to 30%(!) of the Club expenditure would have a fucking clue where that money went???
Graham Mockford
16 Posted 25/11/2015 at 19:57:04


Denis Richardson
17 Posted 25/11/2015 at 21:09:56
While the Sky gravy train carries on rolling into town, we won't go bust...

What's sad to see is that everyone's prediction that the increased Sky money would simply translate to increased wages has come true. There seems little gain for the club (or any other team) from the Sky money as so much of it just goes to the players.

The wage increase in the numbers doesn't even include any deals done after May. Transfer fees are just a merrygoround: Club A pays Club B who pay Club C etc (obviously with larger fees to agents sucking some of it out).

We tread water whilst we make the odd profit from player sales. Until the stadium elephant in the room is finally sorted out, we're just hoping we avoid relegation every season.

Frank Wade
18 Posted 25/11/2015 at 21:12:23
Looking at Graham's figures from Man Utd and Spurs, my maths show their Operating costs as 18% and 22% of turnover respectively (based on 2014 figures of £433m and £180m), not a million miles away from our 24% of turnover. I am sure Man Utd will have economies of scale along the way, but still spending £80m on operating costs.

The report is excellent and well worth the trawl. I have added the bookmark to my favourites for future reference. Some good charts comparing our figures with other clubs. As I got further enthused, I compared some others and found Villa 24%, Newcastle 18%, Chelsea 24% and Liverpool 26%, so we are in the same ballpark.

Hopefully Bill will recover good health and make it next year's AGM and be able to have a stab at the 'Operating Costs' question/conundrum.

Don Alexander
19 Posted 25/11/2015 at 22:52:26
I don't pretend to be an accountant but the fact that such vast sums of "Other Operational Costs" sustained by us are being matched by other top-flight English clubs doesn't reassure me at all. I just wish we could see what other countries' top teams produce by way of accounts, such as Germany's for instance. Over there, things seem (I repeat, seem) to be arranged in a way that's beneficial to clubs AND their fans, comparatively speaking

What I do know is that England is the chosen destination world-wide for every leech to suck the life-blood out of our football to feather their own nest, and all at the stupendous personal cost of fans who receive mere lip-service, at best, from clubs for their commitment... life-long as it is for most of us.

Someone, and it ain't the fans, is laughing all the way to the bank with these EFC accounts.

Winston Williamson
21 Posted 26/11/2015 at 12:02:31
I'm going to put all board-bashing to one side and neglect to mention (in detail) how ineffective our current fiscal policies are long term.

Evidently, the player wages are increasing in-line with increased TV income. Thus, it becomes even more important to remove deadwood players (by any means) from the wage bill to maximise efficiency in the player wage costs...

Just saying...

Michael Winstanley
22 Posted 26/11/2015 at 21:09:51
Derek, I think it's how Earl gets paid for buying his shares. He puts no money in and has no intention of doing so, I think he paid about £8 million for 23% of the club in 2009, if he's not getting a bunce then what's he doing it for?
Ognjen Mojovic
23 Posted 13/01/2016 at 12:00:19
I know it's two months late but I will give it a try:

"There are basically two elements to Everton’s debt: (a) 25-year loan of 㿁 million, which bears a high interest rate of 7.79%, leading to annual payments of ٠.8 million; (b) an annual loan of 㾿 million renewable every August, securitised on Premier League TV money, at a stonking 8.2% interest rate."

How did we get an annual payment of £2.8mill for the first loan, and why do Everton have to loan so much every year? I assume that, without broadcasting money, the club doesn't have the cash for everyday life and weekly paychecks, or is it something else (that has been mention in comments already)?

Michael Kenrick
24 Posted 13/01/2016 at 15:33:07

I think it is primarily to sustain cash-flow, as you suggest. Given that most players are paid for by installments, it includes the cost of buying players.

Ognjen Mojovic
25 Posted 20/01/2016 at 09:29:47
Thank you for the answer, Michael. Of course, is that kind of financing appropriate in risky football business is question that comes up? I think this is the path that few football clubs took and finished in lower leagues. Aston Villa could join that group this season.
Michael Kenrick
26 Posted 21/01/2016 at 04:40:44
Sure thing, Ognjen. Taking a middle road here, I'd say it's hard for us to judge whether the debt-financing is wise for Everton FC.

On the one hand, it provides much needed cash to keep the operation liquid, and allows us to go about our business in the Premier League.

On the other hand, it invokes substantial sunk costs in terms of interest payments that have to come straight off the bottom line. Another factor is (or was) that these were the only loans we could get at the time. The banks, which might have provided a cheaper line of credit, looked at those risks and said "No".

Eric Myles
27 Posted 21/01/2016 at 05:32:14
Frank (#18), the biggest questions about the OOC have been why did it jump from 㾸M to 㿄M in 1 year, and why couldn't anyone at the Club explain what they are? Hence BK's famous quote "is it something to do with David" (Moyes) and Elstone's "lawnmowers".

Michael (#25), in an age where banks are given free money to provide loans and guaranteed (within limits) high income from telly rights for clubs reducing their risks, we have been reducing our overdraft with our mainstream bank in favour of hight interest loans from BVI.

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