Money? No Issue

Dylan Joseph 11/12/2020 5comments  |  Jump to last

As the oft-quoted and memed phrase from the disgruntled Blue coming out of Wembley following a depressing semi-final defeat says: “If this Iranian fella has got the dough he says he has…”

The truth is, this Iranian fella, Farhad Moshiri, has got the billions he says he has. He is also business partner with Alisher Usmanov, who is currently known to have wealth around £12bn making him the 99th richest person on planet earth with a wealth comparable to Chelsea’s Roman Abramovich. The levels that Uncle Ali is involved to are always debatable with no official public involvement as of yet, bar the sponsorship for Finch Farm, and the Megafon sleeve deal. Although you would be hard pressed to find many Blues who don’t believe that Usmanov will have a significant investment in the Bramley-Moore Dock project. Given he has put up £30m for first choice of naming rights, if the new stadium isn’t called Bramley-Moore USM Arena (or words to that effect), I would be mightily surprised.

So, without further ado, I think that, with the news that Mr Moshiri is due to increase his investment to circa £400m, financial wealth is no longer a problem at Everton. The days of being run permanently in an overdraft and having to sell a key asset every season or so to keep the balance sheet straight are behind us. To think of it, how we managed to remain competitive whilst still letting our brightest prospects leave to bigger and better things season after season is a body of work that we maybe didn’t appreciate at the time but we do now.

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To answer the title of this article: Money? No Problem… dead right, it’s no longer a problem. The summers of £5m transfer budgets, free signings and loan deals have gone. In fact, since Moshiri has been with us, we have signed around 22 first-team players and several more for the U23s. That’s on top of a Martinez squad with circa 28 players in it. So, in the 4+ years of Farhad, we have seen over 50 players through the door of Everton.

Looking briefly at the history prior to the major investment by Moshiri, Roberto Martinez’s last first XI was: Howard, Coleman, Jagielka, Funes Mori, Baines, McCarthy, Barry, Delofeu, Barkley, Mirallas, Lukaku.

It should not be lost on anyone that only one of these players (Seamus Coleman) remains at the club. In fact, if you look at the 18-man squad for that day, you will also find that not one of the substitutes is at the club either. So, as well as disposing of 17 of them, we have also been through (including Martinez) 4 managers and are onto our fifth now with Carlo Ancelotti.

Revolution rather than Evolution has been the by-word of the Moshiri time. If it hasn’t worked as he expected it, he makes the change and isn’t afraid of doing so. Twice in his four years, we have been relegation contenders going into the festive period before he has sacked the incumbent manager (first Koeman, and then Silva).

So now to the thrust of this article. It’s never been about how much money that Moshiri has, it has been all about how he has chosen to spend it. Under Bill we hand nothing, so every penny spent on a player or a contract had to have a Return on Investment for the team, and thus continued revenues through league position or European TV money. All of that disappeared overnight, where we started to throw money at players who were in the wrong phase of their career to ever get us a return on investment.

I don’t honestly think Moshiri knows much about football, and how to build a successful team. In fairness, I guess he thought he could rely on Steve Walsh and now Marcel Brands, but I also believe he directs who the club signs with his hand on several big-money players that he ‘likes’ and certainly with the managerial appointments.

We all know some of the dross that he has spent a fortune on; I could give you 5 names that cost Farhad over £100m and between them have done very little or a little more than nothing for our club (Bolasie, Tosun, Klaassen, Schneiderlin, Walcott) which itself is just purely foolish.

He is clearly a very intelligent businessman and, whilst I am nowhere near his league in terms of how much money I have, I do know a little about how to run and manage a business. So here is the foolproof 4-step plan to setting up and running a big fast-moving operation:

  1. Select a strategy based on market segmentation, ie: What segments of the market do we wish to target to sell ourselves into? So, in footballing terms, do we want to be a club full of big names? Or a club bringing through youth? Or a club that has an overseas youth network bringing through South Americans, Africans etc?
  2. Now you have selected your strategy – attract and recruit the best people to execute it. That’s CEO, CFO, Operations Directors, Head of Recruitment etc.
  3. Fund your strategy to acceptable limits without risking damaging your business.
  4. Tweak your model as operational demands change.

So Liverpool have done that. They have a strategy and the right people behind the scenes; Man City the same; Spurs the same. All of whom seem to move far more intelligently than we do. They all have better squads despite not spending lots more money than we have, and have defined projects that they are executing.

If you had to put your hand on your heart when asked: What is Everton’s strategy of the last 4 years? What is the direction? Where are we doing? – I don’t think I could answer as I think we have had 4 or 5 different strategies in the time under Moshiri. We have gone from an up-and-coming coach in Marco Silva, who played 4-2-3-1 with young players of Spanish/Portuguese origins with a quick press. Then we get Carlo in and sign players approaching 30 for instant success who have worked with the manager before, but don’t fit with this precious strategy. It’s what led to appointments like Sam Allardyce and signings like Cenk Tosun and Davy Klaassen. Simply put: no strategy, no vision, just throwing everything at it all at once.

At this point in Moshiri’s time, we shouldn’t feel like we need a rebuild of our squad every 18 months with lots of expensive players that we struggle to get rid of. I mean, with Bolasie, we will lose £28m, and with Schneiderlin we lost around £23m. But yet all 3 of the really high-quality players we have had in Moshiri’s time (Lukaku, Gana, Barkley), we have let leave our club.

So the fella has got the dough; whether he has a clue how to spend it, is another thing. Based on the evidence of the last 4 years, where the best-placed finish we have achieved is 7th followed by 8th. 8th and 11th, after throwing around £400m at players, is not what you would call astute spending of cash.

I hope I’m wrong. Whenever I write anything critical about the club I love, I always hope I’m wrong. But, if the past is an indication of the future, then we could find ourselves blowing a lot more money without any tangible improvements and then what happens if the money dries up or Moshiri has enough and decides to finish his days out on his yacht in Monaco?

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Reader Comments (5)

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Derek Thomas
1 Posted 12/12/2020 at 00:41:45
Another similar thought-provoker to add to The Esk's efforts.

My take is that they both add up to one big "What The Actual Fuck???" And, if things don't change, we'll still be saying "What The Actual Fuck?" in 2 years when Ancelotti decides... "Sod this for a game of soldiers, 3 yearsat 㾶M a pop is enough to retire on."

Your last question: "What happens if the money dries up or Moshiri has enough and decides to finish his days out on his yacht in Monaco?"

My answer is: We may find that Everton Football Club suddenly has a shit load of debt on the books, to go with a load of shit players on the field.

While we are busy saying, "What The Actual Fuck???" West Ham United are quietly blowing bubbles at 5th.

But then I look at the main page and see a headline that contains the words "Record Loss" ... "What The Actual Fuck?" indeed!!!

Robert Tressell
2 Posted 12/12/2020 at 09:33:37
My view is that on the field affairs are a side-show for Moshiri. He is here to build a stadium and use Usmanov steel to do it.

He will act to ensure we don't drop into the dangerzone below 10th place - but he won't spend big to get us into the top 6.

The likes of Ancelotti and James keep the world interested - and give us a platform to kick on when the stadium is complete.

He's not a fan. He isn't trying to win trophies. He isn't going to outspend Abramovich.

Barry Rathbone
4 Posted 12/12/2020 at 10:31:20
The trouble is Mosh has no idea about football as illustrated by his Koeman and Silva picks and far too sensitive to fan opinion as shown by his sacking of Allardyce who had earned at least one transfer window.

His drive for top echelon appointments like Brands and Ancelotti is laudable but hasn't worked maybe he's just a footballing Jonah

Jason Li
6 Posted 12/12/2020 at 11:09:56
I think Moshiri is learning, and will do well over time. The man is a numbers genius.

I'm guessing his model is looking like a ratio of annual transfer budget, say two-thirds percent manager, 33 percent DOF (must be U24 each purchase) for example.

Silva had his shot, and bought badly. Big Sam got a good league position but bought badly - so this leads to a terrible squad over time.

Ancelotti has bought really well, so will stay in the job longer. As Moyes proved, you can play dour defensive football and still win if you buy effective attacking players, and Martinez proved playing exciting attacking football worked and then you can give up leads if you buy terrible defensive players.

Not necessarily price-based, but if you keep buying very good players, more likely than not, the squad does better on match day. I think Morshiri is right to give managers the whole decision on their transfer wishlist and tactics - and some did not do it well. He will learn from Ancelotti that bringing in a manager who can see a top player is a necessity in the future alongside man management and coaching.

All businesses and organisations are based on good recruitment, and football is absolutely defined by the summer transfer window. Get this right, and we'll be self funding and improving each summer.

I can only dream!

Shane Corcoran
7 Posted 12/12/2020 at 22:34:55
Barry, in fairness, Koeman was generally seen as a sound appointment and getting rid of Allardyce might've appeased the fans, but was there a long-term argument for keeping him?

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