Everton FC: 4 Biggest Reasons the Club Hasn't Been Bought Yet
Once again, it seems Everton are likely to finish a season falling agonisingly short of Champions League and European qualification.
When the club needed investment in January to revitalise the squad and prolong their top four challenge, predictably, the board came up short, unable to add any player ready for the first-team mix.
Whether David Moyes remains as manager during the summer or not, it's unlikely he'll be handed much ammunition to close the gap on the teams above him. If he is to leave, Everton will need to find a replacement capable of producing similar on-field miracles to keep the club competitive.
It's well known that the Toffees' Chairman, Bill Kenwright, has had the club up for sale over a long period of time, but what's prevented Everton from finding that new owner and being able to kick on?
Here's a look at the main reasons that have hindered the process.
Spiralling Debts and Illogical Business Models
As with many Premier League teams, Everton are in debt. The club have operated under a loss for several seasons and have seen this debt almost double over the past few years.
The club's business model is defunct, and relies on David Moyes keeping the club punching far above the team's financial standing, and even then, the Toffees struggle for resources.
With the Premier League's 11th highest-wage bill, no club is currently further beyond their financial status than Everton, as has been the case for several years. Yet, regardless of this, the amount Moyes has to spend in the transfer window has slowly diminished and now relies almost entirely on player sales.
If Moyes stops over-achieving, the club are in trouble, which is a fragile and precarious position to be in.
With a business model unable to secure profit and a debt that continues to rise despite on-field success and rare transfer spending, all in all it's not an attractive equation for potential investors.
One of the main reasons for Everton's financial struggles is their ground, Goodison Park, which is an instant turn-off for a large amount of potential investors.
As sentimental as it is to Evertonians, it's practically prehistoric in modern football terms and leaves the Toffees falling further behind their rivals every game.
The main issue is the lack of corporate facilities and the fact there's little room for expansion. According to The Swiss Ramble, Everton take home approximately £750,000 per home game, a tally many of their rivals easily exceed.
Tottenham (with a ground smaller than Goodison Park) and Liverpool both take home double this amount while Manchester United and Arsenal quadruple it, showing just how far the Toffees fall behind on a weekly basis.
In roughly 20 home games over the course of a season, these teams are making between £15 million and £45 million more than the Toffees every time.
With no way of altering this without a new ground and no obvious, cost-efficient scheme in the making, few owners are able to look past this troublesome issue.
Asking Price and Requirements
Considering the previous two slides, it's easy to see why so little interest has manifested in the Toffees, yet that's not all.
Not only would a new owner need to fund a new stadium and erase debts close to £50 million, they would also have to balance other payments while having to meet the club's mysterious asking price .
That figure is unknown, officially, but according to Stan Collymore's recent Talksport show where he focused on the subject, it is alleged to be somewhere in the region of £125 million. If that's accurate, it seems a rather substantial amount given the Toffees' current situation.
A potential new owner would need to be incredibly wealthy and generous just to get started at Everton, as The Swiss Ramble perfectly depicts here:
First, they would have to buy out the directors’ shares, which an investment bank estimated would cost £75 million, but they would also have to repay the loans (£45 million), fund a new stadium (£250 million), buy new players (£50 million) and inject working capital to cover losses (£50 million). That doesn't leave much change from half a billion.
Certainly a tall order for any interested party.
Lack of Viable Suitors
Therefore, with Everton requiring such a wealthy investor, the realistic options are limited.
Chelsea and Manchester City are rare examples of the kind of "sugar daddies" the Toffees desperately need, as most clubs find themselves struggling to spend in this current Champions League dominant era.
The club must sieve through vast amounts of unrealistic choices just to find the odd potential match, which is a hugely time-consuming task.
Recent Premier League takeovers at Aston Villa and Newcastle have seen the transfer budgets shrink without players sales to boost them, and other moves at Blackburn, Birmingham and Nottingham Forest have proved farcical. None of these would have suited the Toffees.
It seems for Everton to improve their odds of a takeover, Goodison Park needs to be addressed and an asking price lowered, but the fragility around the club will remain an issue for most.
Unless the Toffees can suddenly make the Champions League and start enjoying lucrative European ties, the club are relying on investment to rescue them, which remains an unlikely prospect at the moment.
For more information on Everton's financial situation, check out The Swiss Ramble, which was a primary source for this piece.