Fans View: Where is the family silver going?

Everton pass by another transfer window, making one minor signing with a Greek youngster named Vellios for a nominal fee.

With rumours of a financial crisis at Goodison, where is the family silver going?

There´s a few interesting things to note about Everton. Firstly, we´re one of only seven teams to be perennial contenders in the Premier League and as such have been afforded the heightened television revenue in this era every season.

However, we´re regular outspent in the transfer market by many teams who do not have this pedigree, including teams that come up from the Championship. Indeed, the net transfer spend of Everton in the last decade is close to breaking even.

Bill Kenwright, much maligned by large sections of the Everton fanbase, is of course not the richest football club owner in the league. Little to no personal investment into the playing squad comes from Kenwright, meaning that the club relies on traditional forms of revenue generation such as gate receipts, sponsorship, TV money and bank loans.

The turnover at Everton has increased year on year due to the TV money boom. Coinciding with this, our wage budget has grown but not exponentially (meaning that we do not have a relatively astronomical wage bill in comparison with our general income). In short, Everton are not paying massive wages as a gamble to keep quality players.

So with low transfer fees and relative low wages, it does become a mystery to the layman as to where the clubs money is going.

The answer to that is extremely elusive.

It is clear that Everton only come out of running in the red each season due to a major transfer sale such as Wayne Rooney in 2005, and therein lies the problem.

With no major sale to boost the clubs coffers since then (Lescott was swallowed up by the signing of Marouane Fellaini, for example), Everton have racked up a gradually higher level of debt season on season, which has in turn produced higher amounts of interest payments.

Even so, debt levels at Everton are not substantial on the surface. We took out a decent-sized bank loan in 2008 to subsidise the purchase of playing staff, but what is unclear is why that was needed in the first place. When comparing Everton with similar clubs in the division, there appears to be a financial black hole that has never been explained adequately by the club.

Everton have sold off key assets in recent years, increased sponsorship revenue whilst not overstretching in terms of outlay. The situation, to be blunt, is baffling.

With an infamous veil of secrecy concerning finances at Everton showing no signs of lifting, Evertonians will continue to wonder just why a club that on the surface appears well run can fail so drastically when it comes to investment in playing staff.

Whilst the rumours of administration where way off target, it is easy to understand the concerns of Evertonians right now.

It is unfortunate that there isn´t a type of WikiLeaks facility to find out what is going on at Everton, because without some kind of undercover expose, it is unlikely that Evertonians will ever effectively look "under the hood" at Goodison Park.

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