Tag Archives: Everton

Are Everton getting too excited over Usmanov links?

Fans of Everton are getting excited. Some fans of Arsenal are getting angry. The reason? Alisher Usmanov.

Evertonians have already spent his billions, turning the Scousers into champions; Gooners are sitting there saying “that could have been us”.

The truth is this is all very presumptuous. Usmanov has not invested in Everton, has not started spending billions, so it is a lot of fuss about nothing.

What Usmanov has said is interesting, however.

“Should there be a proposal or a possibility to invest in them with good potential returns, I would consider the deal.”

Usmanov has made a lot of his billions making smart investments. What he is talking about with Everton is investing in them. Most interesting is his “good potential returns” comment. This indicates that he would be investing in Everton to make money, like he did with Arsenal.

He invested around £180,000,000 into Arsenal, with a £550,000,000 return. Not a bad profit after 11 years. It should also be noted that bar buying shares, he did not put any other money into the club.

Some recent quotes around his sale of his Arsenal shares make interesting reading.

“When I bought the stake in Arsenal I believed that football brands would be able to generate a profit”.

So in two quotes in a short space of time, we have learnt the true intentions of Usmanov owning football clubs.

He is looking to invest in them to make money. Not to treat them as a play thing like the Manchester City’s owners and Roman Abramovich.

It should also be remembered that having $13bn “worth” is very different to having a lot of disposable cash.

Both City and Abramovich have plunged £1bn into their respective clubs, financing transfers, salaries and ground improvements. In City’s case, that is over a 10 year period. Abramovich has now been at Chelsea for 15 years.

Anyone that thinks that Usmanov will turn up at Everton and throw millions at them to turn them into a force is deluded.

For a start, football is a different world to when Abramovich turned up.

Roman could spend £100million a year on new players, and that was double what Manchester United or Arsenal was spending.

This summer Fulham, Leicester and West Ham all spent £100million on transfers. Everton themselves spent £89million.

It would probably take a good £200million a year investment over 3 or 4 years for Everton to become a top 4 regular, let alone competitors, taking into account transfer fees and the wages – Everton currently pay about £100m in salaries less than Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool.

Usmanov is a very rich man, but his wealth is tied up in investments, in other companies. Does he have £1bn to throw at them, with no guarantee of return? And that is before we even discuss the £500m needed for their new stadium.

I imagine what Usmanov thinks when he sees Everton is a massively undervalued club. A huge chance to make some money, grow his wealth even quicker then he did at Arsenal.

With Everton valued at £200million they are clearly undervalued. When you consider that Tottenham – a similar sized club in terms of historic and recent success – were valued in 2016 at £450million.

Everton need a new stadium, I can see a scenario where Usmanov is thinking the follow:

Spend £100million on the remaining Everton shares – becoming co-owner with friend Farhad Moshiri taking their joint investment to £180million.

Spend £500million on the new ground, whilst selling Goodison Park to Usmanov’s own development company for a nominal fee (the ground it sits on is worth about £6million). Usmanov then develops Goodison into flats for profit.

New buld flats in that area are going for about £300,000, that should yeald about a £150,000 profit per flat. That’ll generate about £80million profit for Usmanov.

So in total, Usmanov would have invested £680million in Everton – with a return already of £80,000,000.

In the time it will take to build the stadium, and with very little debt repayments, over a 10-year period, the club could well be worth nearer £1bn. All with little investment on the playing side.

£1bn would not be unreachable with a 55,000 seater stadium, a top 7 side and new TV deals. It is similar to what Tottenham are worth once the new ground is taken into account.

This is all back of a fag packet stuff, but with Usmanov saying he is looking for good returns, he is clearly talking about money, not trophies.

So Evertonians, cancel that bus period, Arsenal fans, stop talking rubbish about what we could have had.

Usmanov is not going to turn Everton into Manchester City or PSG.



Arsenal spend right rather than big

As the transfer window trundles to a close today prior to the Premier League opener tomorrow, I thought I would share some thoughts on the market, and how Arsenal have performed.

My thought can be summed up in the statement it is not what you spend, but who you buy.

Fans can often become obsessed with the value of the player, rather than the ability of the player. Thinking that the more expensive the player, the better he must be. But with brilliant recruitment you can sign top class players at the fraction of what other clubs are spending.

It is dangerous to look at what other clubs have spent over what they have actually signed.

This summer West Ham, Everton, Fulham and Leicester City have all outspent Arsenal (at the time of writing – Wednesday lunchtime), and some people might use that fact to attack the club. But look at what the actually signed.

Everton spent £42million on Richarlison from Watford. He hasn’t scored since November, and no assists since December.

West Ham also went big on an attacking Brazilian, spending £38million on Felipe Anderson. The former wonderkid has never really developed into a consistent performer and £38million is a lot of money for a man who was restricted to just 9 starts last season due to a serious knee injury.

Leicester City signed James Maddison for £25m, Ricardo Pereira (who?) for £23million and Liverpools 9th choice goal keeper Danny Ward for £12.5million. Over £60million spent on Championship players.

Also buying Championship players are Fulham who have spent £37million on Aleksandar Mitrovic and Alfie Mawson – two players who have previously been found wanting in the Premier League.

Now lets shut our eyes and imagine Arsenal bought the 7 players mentioned in this blog. Nearly £180million spent. Would you say it is good business? No. It would be big money wasted.

Arsenal spent just £67million on Stephan Lichtsteiner, Bernd Leno, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Lucas Torreira & Mattéo Guendouzi.

What would be the better business? £67million on what Arsenal got, or the £180million on a bunch of tripe?

Perhaps what sums up what I am saying is 4 players signed by Arsenal and Chelsea. Two a piece.

Lucas Torreira + Bernd Leno =  £42million

Jorginho + Kepa Arrizabalaga = £130million

Now I am now saying Chelsea have made poor signings. Joringho is a very good central midfielder and Kepa a top young keeper. But are they much better than Torreira and Leno? Are they even actually any better?

Torreira and Jorginho both played in Italy last season, slightly different styles of play. They both bring a lot of ability to the middle of the park. For me, they are both equally as good as what they do. Torrieira defending, Jorginho keeping the ball moving.

As for the goal keepers, Arsenal are getting an experienced German keeper who is on the fringes of the national team, Chelsea a less experienced Spanish keeper who is on the fringes of the national team.

The uneducated amongst us will point to Chelsea and say “they have spent £130million, they have shown ambition” whilst criticising Arsenal for “going cheap”. But the reality is the quality of the players being bought in is not much different.

Arsenal have not gone cheap, they have bought the right players at a good price. Meanwhile Chelsea have probably over paid for what they have bought in.

I have always been a student of Soccernomics where you do not focus on what has been spent, but what has been bought in, and what Arsenal have bought in is plenty to be happy about.


What is happening with Jack Wilshere?

The gossip around Jack Wilshere’s contract seems to have gone quiet.

Gone are the rumours that we had offered him a deal, gone are the rumours that he was not happy with the deal. It is just silence. A stone wall of silence. And it is odd.

The only thing heard recently is that Everton were willing to hand the Englishman an £8-million signing to join the club in the summer.

Obviously Everton could not yet have offered him this deal, as rules dictate that you can only negotiate with foreign clubs in the last 6 months of your contract. You have to wait until your contract runs out before being able to openly negotiate with domestic clubs (I think).

But realistically, there is no smoke without fire.

This story has probably been planted by Everton to see if there is any interest. To see if the phone rings. To see if one of Wilshere’s gets in touch and says it is a deal of interest, lets talk over an ice cream.

If that is on the table from Everton, it would not be surprised if Wilshere becomes interested. £8m is a lot of money, even for a footballer (2 years wages @ £77k a week).

Ignoring that story, everything at Arsenal and Wislhere seem to be at an impasse.

Arsenal have reportedly told Wilshere he must take a pay-cut on his £110,000-a-week wages if he wants to stay at the Emirates.

But his contract will also give him a chance to increase his pay with bonus payments and appearance money.

This to me seems reasonable. If you do not play, you earn less, if you play, you earn more. With his injury background, it is probably the right decision. The sensible decision.

Football, contracts and sensible do not go together. Whilst football is a short career, it is a well paid career. Gone are the days when a player would play for 20 years and have to be a cabby, or go into construction, or appear on daytime TV property shows. Most top level players now retire and never have to work again.

Saying that, football is about money, about greed. Why would Wilshere accept our offer of lower wages, if he can get the same – or higher – wages elsewhere. Players are no longer loyal.

Whilst what Wilshere wants from Arsenal has never been made clear, speculation is that he wants at least the same, perhaps even more.

And this is the impasse. Arsenal have offered him a sensible contract based on his history (36 Premier League games for Arsenal in 4 seasons), whilst Wilshere wants what he could be offered elsewhere.

Wilshere has managed to stay injury free for the majority of the season. He has played 30 games this season – only Granit Xhaka has played more in the middle of the park. And whilst he has shown some of the best form, that form has also been patchy.

With Aaron Ramsey having just 18 months left of his contract, and Granit Xhaka having struggled to settle in England, Arsenal could be facing a midfield crisis come the summer.