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GOODISON RAW: Latest accounts put new stadium into focus
by Peter Bottomley

The latest set of annual report and accounts from Everton, published on Thursday, served to confirm how the sharp increase in TV broadcast income, which results from the Premier League’s new three year deal, has transformed the club’s financial position. For the year ended 31st May 2014 TV income amounted to £88.5 mln compared to £55.7 mln in 2013. Interestingly despite a fifth place finish in the league the club finished seventh in the broadcasting money rankings. This resulted from having only 16 live televised matches compared to Spurs who had 24 and Manchester United with 25 and both therefore finished above Everton, in fifth and sixth places respectively, in the TV money table.

The single most significant line in these accounts is the one which shows that net debt has declined to £28.1 mln from £45.3 mln in the previous financial year. Net debt had been stable at about £45 mln for a number of years and has been a cause of concern and a constraint on every aspect of the club’s activities.

Other aspects of the club’s finances have been transformed by this flood of TV money. Total revenue jumped to £120.5 mln from £86.4 mln and there was even a healthy after tax profit of £28.2 mln compared to £1.6 mln in the previous year. One keenly watched metric is the ratio of wages to turnover which has declined to 58%. This stood at 73% last year and while not as high as some – Aston Villa 86%, Fulham 92%, Stoke 90%, Sunderland 76% – it showed how stretched the financial situation was and how constrained was Everton’s ability to compete in the transfer market.

This latest snapshot of Everton’s accounts also puts into sharp relief the need for a modern, cash generative, stadium. Last season the average league attendance was 37,732, the highest for many years, yet despite this, gate receipts of £19.4 mln and catering revenue of just £934,000 were almost identical to those generated five years ago when the average gate was 36,729. Total ‘match day income’ per game last season was £924,000.

To put this in perspective Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium generates ‘match day income’ of £3.4 mln per game. And while the Emirates’ average attendance is much higher at 60,000, the bottom line is that while the Gunners get on average 38% more people through the turnstiles their income from every match is 70% higher than at Goodison. Thus Everton are locked into a low income stadium which provides little scope to generate new income streams and no opportunity to maximise revenues from premium priced seating, corporate hospitality and an improved food and drink offering for the ‘average’ fan. Even Sunderland at their modern, yet modest, Stadium of Light generate some £6 mln per annum from catering and conferences; six times more than Everton.

While the rise in broadcasting income has sharply increased Everton’s revenues and transformed its overall financial health, there still remains a huge opportunity to further enhance the club’s cash flows if and when it can replace its atmospheric and historic, yet sadly financially moribund, stadium. The strength of this latest set of accounts is probably a wholly necessary precursor to any further developments on this subject.

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


I would gladly take having no debt, owning our training facilities again and having a competitive squad at the end of this current TV deal. I am not convinced that there is an additional 12,000 fans out there only willing to watch Everton in the comfort of a new stadium. I take your point regarding Sundrelands better catering facilities but again it is a club servicing it’s own city. Have we got affluent fans desperate to buy executive seats/boxes that find Goodison not good enough? Discontent with ticket prices is growing, a new stadium will only send prices even higher. I would just hate to move to a third empty stadium and take on additional debt just when we are making inroads to clear it.

by Gareth Fieldstead on Nov 1, 2014 at 5:26 pm

Bill Kenwright is 70 and not in good health so he’s bound to call it a day in the next few years, and when he does god help this club because the rest of the directors are a waste of space, and there’s no buyer in the wings while we’re stuck at Goodison. If Kenwright wasn’t so committed we wouldn’t even be in the running in League One never mind the Championship. Lets face it if you had 30 million (which is what he’s supposed to be worth) would YOU risk it in a football club where the only sound is of whining? That would just about buy you an averagely good player anyway. As for this crap that we wouldn’t get more than our current average gate in a bigger stadium, that’s just bullshit. No we wouldn’t fill it every week but if we don’t get a bigger stadium we have NO CHANCE of ever again competing at the top, eventually we’ll just rot and die where we are, we’re treading water as it is. Anyone who thinks we’ve only got 36,000 fans forever doesn’t know the history and potential of this club. No business of any kind works without an overdraft or some form of debt laid off against its assets, why do you think so many businesses are whining at the banks these days? We should have built a new stadium right at the start of the Prem, like Man United did, that would have given us a better chance. But we didn’t, so we have to deal with what we’ve got and live from week to week like it was the last chance we’ll get. That’s what Kenwright’s brilliant at and if he wasn’t we’d be well fucked by now. Anyway we won’t get a new stadium now for maybe ten years, so the reality is we ‘re stuck in no man’s land. We might win an occasional Cup or even do well in Europe but that’s a big IF. What we don’t need is miserable bastards as fans who can’t see reality or what we could be again if we get a new stadium. In the long run we’re better off without people like that. As for new owners, who do we want, Randy Lerner, Daniel Levy, David Gold, the mafia man at Leeds, Vincent Tan, Yeung, Mike Ashley, the Glazers, the Arsenal lot, Fernandes etc. etc? I’d rather stick my arse in the fire than get any of that lot. We are where we are and hard though that is it’s a miracle we’re even THERE. Kenwright’s not ideal and he knows it and said it often enough as well as saying he’ll sell to the first viable buyer. In fifteen years he’s had to appoint two managers and each time he’s made brilliant choices, compare that to what’s happened elsewhere, even at the clubs with more money than us. God help us when Kenwright decides to go because the banks won’t and nor will any number of whiners in the crowd.

by Neil Clark on Nov 3, 2014 at 9:40 am

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