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GOODISON RAW: Might Everton sale be closer than supposed?
by Peter Bottomley

If you’re selling something it’s always a good idea to do some prinking first; a lick of paint here, a bit of spit and polish there. Timing is important too; selling a house in December or an Easter bunny in May will be tough. So too in the commercial world; “feed the ducks when they are quacking” is an old stock market saw which still rings true today – timing is everything. We suppose the same applies to selling a football club; there are times when buyers might be interested and times when they might not. For Everton the time has never seemed right. Burdened with debt, a decrepit old stadium, and perceived by some (though not this writer) as the ‘second club’ in an economically degenerating city, it is understandable why buyers appear to be rarer than a fortysomething pope.

Interesting then, that a number of factors, happily synchronized, means that the next few months might provide a window of opportunity for a sale of Everton to be negotiated:-

Secure from relegation the club is guaranteed – as a minimum – a top 10 finish and might yet make the top 4 and qualify for the riches of the Champions League.

Everton carry debts of £46m but own a playing squad conservatively worth £100m; unlike bricks and mortar the value of the playing squad is a transitory thing and is never fully recognized in the accounts. The debt burden is of course exhaustively detailed and as at 31 May 2012 stood at £46m. Though the true value of the players isn’t recognised by the accountants it certainly would be by a potential buyer and even on a conservative reckoning it’s never been higher. Let’s say the squad is worth £100m. And if the newspapers are to be believed Everton have one player, who if sold, would raise £25m, and halve the club’s debt at a stroke.

Who knows whether David Moyes will be at the club beyond the end of this season, but he is there now and has repeatedly emphasized that if a takeover were to occur he would relish the opportunity of achieving success at Everton. He has his critics, but is in our view the single most important factor in holding Everton together in the upper reaches of the Premier League these last 10 years. Furthermore it is his activities in the transfer market which have kept the club solvent and the £100m of value we ascribe to the playing squad is largely down to him. He is, for a prospective buyer, THE key employee.

The new Premier League TV deal kicks in next season and Everton’s annual revenues will rise by at least £20m, pushing annual turnover through the £100m mark for the first time.

The lack of a modern cash generative stadium is a double-edged sword, on the one hand a new, state-of-the-art stadium is an urgent requirement and would need to be financed by a prospective acquirer. However, a new owner has all options open – new stadium, re-develop Goodison, ground share – no requirement here to buy someone else’s vision. And, as we outlined in our post of 29 December “Time to follow The Old Lady” a viable, modern new ground doesn’t need to cost the earth.

This coincidence of positives might well be fleeting and, come the summer, depleted by the loss of David Moyes and some key players, so the next 50 days, culminating with the end of season game at Stamford Bridge, could be a pivotal period for the club.

Chairman and controlling shareholder Bill Kenwright has said on many occasions that the club is for sale. We do not doubt him. The question is; how engaged and professional is the search for a buyer? Is Mr Kenwright active or passive in his pursuit of a deal? Has a prospectus been prepared and specialist investment bankers contracted to find a buyer for a fee? Or, as so often in the football world, is it just being left to a persuasive individual, supposedly ‘connected’ to deliver a nod here or a wink there?

Written by Peter Bottomley

Blogs for Everton site Dixie's60. First game at Goodison: 5 Nov 1960, EFC 1 - WBA 1...hooked ever since Follow me on Twitter: Follow me on Twitter: @dixies60pete

11 Comments

What a load of codswallop
How can Moyes be the “main asset “,when he is blatantly failing us
Why would they halve the debt with a sale ? you obviously know nothing about finance a good business borrows to suit the assets ,only a poorly one will have a positive account .
Then again you mustn’t have a life if this is it !
Don’t mean to be harsh but this is incompetent
COYB

by espookid on Mar 28, 2013 at 3:57 pm


Previous comment is a bit harsh, I thought this was pretty good. Moyes is the key employee, like it or not. But key employees are replaceable.

by Gareth on Mar 28, 2013 at 4:28 pm


“a decrepit old stadium”
Under proper stewardship this would be “an iconic, protected-heritage stadium, marrying the tradition expected of the world’s first purpose-built football stadium with the innovations and vision of a proactive Board”

Whose fault?

by Shanks on Mar 28, 2013 at 4:56 pm


Hope someone out their preferably a Billionaire or consortium can be BRAVE! enough to Take Everton into the 21st Century!

by Ray Owen on Mar 28, 2013 at 5:46 pm


what a complete load of crap espookid u have a very short memory

we have been in top ten for years and without moyes we could have gone down
the likes of u are only happy fu!!!!moaning dickhead

GET BEHIND THE BOYS!!!!!

by RICHIE on Mar 28, 2013 at 5:58 pm


You know as much as anybody else, which is the gross equal of absolutely sod all. But you can guess all you like. It’s a free country, sort of. As for staying and ‘redeveloping’ Goodison, grow the fuck up will you. The place is – iconic my arse – a dump, a millstone, a slum, the wonder being that we can exist at all in such a dog kennel, and IT CAN’T BE REDEVELOPED unless we get adjoining land and EVEN THEN WE CAN’T AFFORD A STAND ALONE STADIUM. There’s no mystery about that or the fact that no new worthwhile owner is going to take on the club and its problems let alone deal with the small gang of whining sniveling people attached to the fan base. Anybody who buys is going to take on a project that will take at least ten years to see through and in the meantime dispel myths manufactured by the snivelers. Which means nobody with the best interests of the club and its fans is going to bother, not when they can make a quicker buck at some other club.

by Proletarian Street Ender on Mar 28, 2013 at 5:58 pm


West Ham will be the next to be sold if they stay up. Like Man City they will benefit from tax payers money funding a stadium – just ready for a huge buyout and profit for he owners.

by Ste1j on Mar 28, 2013 at 8:55 pm


Proletarian Street Ender: you call Goodison a dump
Well it wasn’t when it hosted a WC semi, was it?
It’s been allowed to deteriorate
Again
Q. whose fault?
A. successive short-sighted, unambitious, useless Boards of directors

by Shanks on Mar 30, 2013 at 1:13 pm


Shanks – That World Cup semi final was 47 years ago when most of the ground was standing and open to the rain. Even then the gate was only 38,000. Since then two sides of the ground have been rebuilt and the other two sides had their roofs extended and it made all seater with a capacity of 40,000. The Bullens Road stand is mostly made of wood. The place is a raggedy arsed tip that can’t be brought up to modern standards. Anyone who thinks it can is a fucking idiot.

by Proletarian Street Ender on Mar 30, 2013 at 2:07 pm


Shanks – That World Cup semi final was 47 years ago when most of the ground was standing and open to the rain. Even then the gate was only 38,000. Since then two sides of the ground have been rebuilt and the other two sides had their roofs extended and it made all seater with a capacity of 40,000 and 20% with obstructed views. The Bullens Road stand is mostly made of wood. The place is a raggedy arsed tip that can’t be brought up to modern standards. Anyone who thinks it can is a fucking idiot.

by Proletarian Street Ender on Mar 30, 2013 at 2:09 pm


PSE
Goodison was in the 60s, one of. if not the leading English stadium, of and for its time

I understand your view but mine is that succesive Boards have failed to maintian or enhance Goodison, being clueless and short-sighted
It has been a gross dereliction of trust and stewardship – we use to call Anfield the Tin Mine!
If your house was in as relatively bad a condition as Goodison who would you blame – location, lack of money, the weather, time or yourself as the home-owner?

by Shanks on Apr 1, 2013 at 2:22 pm


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