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Will Everton's financial losses force them to sell key players?

Everton Football Club have released their financial figures for last season in which they recorded losses of £5.4 million.

Their turnover was down at £80.5 million with player wages accounting for 75% of that turnover – £63.4 million spent on player salaries alone.

Their highest earner at present is none other than Marouane Fellaini – the Belgian takes home around £84,700 a week (taking in to account his annual 10% wage increase on his £70,000 five-year contract in 2011).

Co-incidentally, Fellaini is a transfer target for a number of Europe’s most prestigious and elite clubs – the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Paris Saint-Germain, and Zenit St Petersburg. Everton manager David Moyes knows how this narrative unfolds like the back of his hand by now.

Moyes has consistently built strong and competitive teams formed of developing quality and industrious talent that start off as bargains and end up as stars at other clubs with varying degrees of success. He is by far one of the most financially astute managers in the Premier League and certainly one of the most diligent and efficient coaches.

It must aggravate him somewhat that as soon as he develops a world-class talent, he must sell one of his key players and start the cycle all over again.

The fee being bandied around for Fellaini is £30 million. With Everton’s financial predicament, all be-it an improvement on debilitating debt, means that, despite his insistence that the Belgian will not be sold, he probably will be.

The club simply cannot afford to turn an offer of that size down and, for the big-spenders like Chelsea, City, PSG, and Zenit, that’s practically pocket change.

Leighton Baines is another candidate for sale – the boss does not want to sell his two best performers, his key players and he does not want to perpetuate Everton’s selling club status. But he may have no choice.

The list of names – Wayne Rooney, Joleon Lescott, Jack Rodwell, Mikel Arteta, Andy Johnson and the recently returned Steven Pienaar – have financed the acquisitions of their current crop of stars.

They bought Baines, Pienaar, Phil Jagielka, and Sylvain Distin for less than £10 million – most of those came in under £5 million. Marouane Fellaini was their record transfer at £15 million – they stand to double their money.

Their youth academy produces some of the best talent in the country but, at this rate, it’s becoming something of a finance farm. They’re not the only club to fall into this vicious cycle, by any means – Southampton and their unofficial parent club Arsenal (and their unofficial co-parents Chelsea, City and Barcelona) have fallen into the same pattern.

Unfortunately, the modern football world is dog eat dog by definition – except now it’s very big dog eats big dog eats small dog eats very small dog. The names, the faces and the numbers change; the only constant is capitalism.

image: © nicksarebi

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