Everton’s summer has been a downpour of disappointment. The tale of the club’s financial hardship may be legendary, but, after the recent transcript publication of their perilous situation, the reality is stark. The club has stagnated; the future forecast is bleak. Blame has been placed on chairman Bill Kenwright. Will the financial plight jeopardise Everton’s Premier League competitiveness? Needless to say, never has desperation for fresh investment been so rife amongst those owning a seat at Goodison Park.
The biggest fear, for the Everton fans, is helplessly witnessing a fire sale at the club. Whilst David Moyes affirmed that this wouldn’t be the case, the departure of Mikel Arteta has only escalated the anxiety. The blue half of Merseyside must still be reeling in disbelief. Mikel Arteta, the Toffees’ treasured Spanish midfielder, has traded Liverpool for London becoming Arsenal’s ideal £10million replacement for a certain other Spaniard. For sure, one team’s gain is another team’s loss. Question is, did Arteta jump from a sinking ship?
Two main concerns have arisen from the sale. Firstly, was £10million enough? Without a doubt, some Evertonians will vehemently disagree. With the current market climate, Arteta may have merited a higher price. Others may be more philosophical: he’s 29 years old; injury prone and his best years are supposedly behind him. Nevertheless, he will be missed. Secondly, Everton have not recruited an adequate replacement. Arsenal beat the clock to sign Arteta, which left Moyes no time to make an acquisition. Being in dire financial straits, would they have had the luxury? Everton’s squad has been made even thinner. Consequently, the weight on the shoulders of the young Ross Barkley must have doubled. Also, Jack Rodwell will be expected to step his game up.
So, do the transcript publication and the subsequent sale of Mikel Arteta signify a Bad Moon Rising? Will Everton follow the footsteps of West Ham United (2003) and Leeds United (2004)? Maybe not so soon, but the foundations have been laid. Therefore, Everton fans will rely on David Moyes to dispel these doubts. Moyes’ managerial skills have been widely lauded and he certainly knows how to manage pressure. In past seasons, Everton have been burdened with an abundance of injuries and scarce transfer funds, but still they accomplish a top-half finish.
It really remains to be seen whether Everton will spiral into complete turmoil. At this moment, it’s not the case, but qualms over the future will linger like a bad odour unless there is some much-needed investment in the club. More money equates to more problems? Try telling the Toffees that.