I am not accountant (so anyone who is qualifies with in such things please feel free to analyse the figures for me) but the release of Everton's accounts - admittedly only up to last May - has quickly dimissed fears of imminent administration, but paints the picture of a club operating on the edge of the financial precipice, with their very future resting at the whim of the banks.
Everton released their accounts yesterday and immediately set about on a huge pr excercise to try and ease the fans fears.
The absence of the accounts had led to fears of 'financial meltdown' and while their subseqent release does ease those fears, without a take-over it will be another summer on a shoestring for David Moyes.
Again as I am no number bod I will use the Daily Post's City Editor David Bartlett's interpretation of the figures:
Turnover at EFC remained fairly static for the year ended May 2010, down £600,000 to £79.1m. The club recorded a pre-tax loss of £3.1m, with £4.5m paid in interest charges. Net debt now stands at £44.9m, up £7m from 2009.
The club’s overdraft facility expires in 20 days but its bankers have already indicated their intention to extend it on similar terms.
Crucially the club’s wage bill increased to 69% of its turnover, from 62%.
In December the club sold its former training Bellefield training ground for around £8m, but that cash was swallowed up in paying off existing debts.
TURNOVER fell from £79.7m to £79.1m, and gate receipts were down £2.7m to £19.2m, however the previous year included the long FA Cup run that culminated in the final against Chelsea.
Average attendances for Premier League games increased from 35,667 to 36,729.
BORROWINGS increased to £47.6m. However, £21.1m is not due for repayment for more than five years.
Net debt now stands at £44.9m, up from £37.9m.
BROADCASTING income increased to £50.2m, up from £48.6m due to reaching the round of 32 of the Europa League. But the amount the club received from domestic games fell due to finishing 8th in the league.
In 2010 there were 13 live Premier League matches broadcast, compared to 17 in 2009.
THE club’s wage bill as a proportion of turnover was 69%, up from 62%.
The accounts state: "It is still considered an appropriate level of investment in staff costs. This increase primarily arises from further investment in the playing squad."
The wage bill now stands at £54.3m, up from £49.1m.
The result means that while we don't have to sell any of our key stars (Robert Elstone insisted that we didn't have to sell),but all of our income is tied up in the current playing squad, meaning there is very little lee-way for bringing in new players. Plus there is also the small matter of whether the players will want to stay - we don't want a repeat of the Pienaar situation.
The only hope for Moyes is that he can bring vital funds in with the permanent sales of Joseph Yobo, Yakubu and James Vaughan. If he can raise say, around £10million for that trio - not an unrealistic figure - then coupled with the Pienaar money it can at least give him something to work with. It is all pretty tight though and you wonder how long we can keep operating just above the red line.
Speaking on the results chairman Bill Kenwright said:
"From a financial perspective, the year was one which was underpinned by sensible business management which 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.
"In modern football, the difference between success and failure can be wafer-thin.
"Yes, those clubs fortunate enough to boast a rich and generous benefactor undoubtedly have a clearly defined advantage 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.
"Irrespective of their standing, clubs will invariably be judged on two things –Š 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, 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.
Chief Executive Robert Elstone - who to be fair seems like a honest and trustworthy bloke - said:
"In essence what we are looking at is a pretty good set of accounts based on turnover holding up and looking solid in tough economic times. 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 tight rope of good financial management. I think we walk that tight rope 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."
"In simple terms we have replaced one international player, Joleon Lescott, with three Bilyaletdinov, Heitinga and Distin.
"That is two new wages to find, and there were new contracts for Louis Saha, Tim Howard, Jack Rodwell, Joseph Yobo and Phil Jagielka. And there was also the loan signing of US international Landon Donovan. This contributed to an increased wage bill, we feel that is manageable and sustainable.
"The ratio (of income to wages) has increase and that is a valid performance indicator that we have to keep an eye on."
"The crucial issue for Everton going forward is new facilities and new investment.
"We are in progressive dialogue with Liverpool City Council, but the stadium is a challenging proposition at the moment.
"It’s about funding and there is not that money out there. There is a shortage of a viable funding model."
"We know we have to keep working hard to give value for money to the fans."
Again anyone who is good with figures who can provide a decent summary of what our financial situation is like - minus the spin - please fell free to contact me and I'll put your thoughts up on the blog.
I found a great review of our financial situation by Joe Beardwood, published on Toffeeweb here. Again it exonerates Kenwright of making money out of the club, but it also highlights the pressing need for new investment from somewhere if we want to even contimplate competing at the top end of the Premier League.