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Chairman defends Everton's 'sensible' spending

Everton manager David Moyes with chairman Bill Kenwright
Questions have been raised whether Moyes and Kenwright share the same vision

Chairman Bill Kenwright has defended low-spending Everton's "sensible" management of the club's finances.

Boss David Moyes recently stated he was concerned disgruntled players might leave because of limited transfer funds, causing worry among some fans.

But Kenwright, who admitted money is tight, said the club's latest accounts showed that they are still competitive.

Chief executive Robert Elstone stated Everton "walk football's tightrope of good financial management pretty well."

Football's finances are once again under the spotlight with a new government inquiry into how football is run, which started on Tuesday, looking at whether there is too much debt in the professional game.

The Toffees announced a turnover of £79.1m, with £79.6m of operating costs, for the period covering 1 June 2009 to 31 May 2010.

Everton's net debt had gone up £7m from the previous financial year - now standing at £44.9m - while their wage bill had increased from 62% to 69% of its turnover.

During the 12 months in question, the Toffees reinvested some of the profit from their £19m sale of Joleon Lescott to Manchester City and signed Sylvain Distin, John Heitinga and Diniyar Bilyaletdinov.

They also recruited Landon Donovan on loan while renegotiating contracts for Louis Saha, Tim Howard, Jack Rodwell, Joseph Yobo and Phil Jagielka as Everton finished eighth in the Premier League.

"From a financial perspective, the year was one which was underpinned by sensible business management," explained Kenwright in a statement on the club's website.

"This enabled us to continue to do everything within our collective power to help the manager in his concerted efforts to build a squad which would challenge the top four.

"Irrespective of their standing within the various leagues, clubs will invariably be judged on two things - performance and level of support.

"Our average attendance for Premier League games at Goodison Park rose to almost 37,000 during the course of the last campaign.

"That's a statistic which delights me but does not surprise me, simply because we are fortunate enough to boast the most loyal and knowledgeable crowd in British football."

Everton's average attendance increased from 35,667 to 36,729, while season ticket numbers went up from 23,717 to 25,671 - a rise of 8%, which generated £19.2m.

Kenwright also stressed that spending a vast amount of money, the likes of which Chelsea spent recently with the £50m capture of Fernando Torres from Liverpool, is not the sole factor in winning matches.

"Yes, those clubs fortunate enough to boast a rich and generous benefactor undoubtedly have a clearly defined advantage," added Kenwright.

It is a healthy set of accounts, but like the vast majority of football clubs and businesses today money is tight

Chief executive Robert Elstone

"But the outcome of crucial matches are quite often decided not by the size of the bank balance but more by skill, good fortune or the whim of a referee."

Chief executive Elstone told the Liverpool Daily Post that the club is continuing to look for an investor to buy out Kenwright but that Everton do not need to sell stars like Marouane Fellaini or Rodwell to balance the books.

"We're looking at a pretty good set of accounts, based on turnover holding up and looking solid in tough economic times," he said.

"It is a healthy set of accounts but like the vast majority of football clubs and businesses today money is tight.

"It will not stop us being ambitious and we will continue doing that.

"Our chairman has repeatedly said money is tight. In football you walk a tightrope of good financial management. I think we walk that tightrope pretty well.

"It is fair to say we have not got a big transfer war chest, I can't see us smashing our record transfer fee on a regular basis.

"We have to continue to invest in new players. We have brought in some talented youngsters from abroad. We have to be astute in the transfer market and the manager and the chairman have a good record in doing that."

Manager Moyes recently said he would talk to Kenwright about the ambition of the club in order to offer squad members "some hope and encouragement over what we are going to do [in the future]".

The Toffees sold midfielder Steven Pienaar to Tottenham for £3m in January.

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see also
Pienaar picks Spurs over Chelsea
18 Jan 11 |  Everton
Lescott completes Man City move
25 Aug 09 |  Man City
Moyes worried by lack of signings
10 Aug 09 |  Everton
Kenwright open to 'right' offers
06 Aug 08 |  Everton
Kenwright raises new funds
14 Aug 04 |  Everton
Kenwright becomes chairman
01 Jun 04 |  Everton

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