The Elephant in the Room

Has Moyes finally had enough of Goodison Park. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

With the news coming from Aston Villa today that Gerard Houllier is parting ways with the club by mutual consent, the question on every Evertonians mind is if David Moyes will be leaving the friendly confines of Goodison Park to travel down to Aston Villa. Most Evertonian's remain convinced that Moyes will remain at the club because of the history and greatness of Everton, but the truth is that this will come down to the same thing it always does, money, money, and more money.

Last summer the English papers were rife with speculation that David Moyes would be filling the vacant manager seat left by Martin O' Neil after he abruptly resigned five days before the season started. Instead Aston Villa hired Gerard Houllier who was not able to bring Villa to the lofty heights of the Premier League has O'Neil had done. When O'Neil left the club, many sources said it was because owner Randy Lerner had clamped down on the purse strings and was unwilling to spend money in the transfer window. The truth is rather complicated as Randy Lerner has shelled out almost 100 million pounds since purchasing the club in the summer of 2006. By comparison Everton as spent 32 million pounds in that same time span. The fact is Lerner is willing to spend money, but he may want someone who doesn't need to shell out ridiculous amounts of money to finish in the top 6.

This of course brings us to David Moyes, who is arguably better than any other manager in England at getting thebest bang for his buck in the Premier League. Everton consistently finish higher than their wage bill suggests they should, and it is even more remarkable considering the limited funds he has at his disposal to buy players, and their limited salary. It appears that no player makes more than about 75,000 pounds a week, which is far lower than any Manchester City regular.

Multiple times this season Moyes has told the press that he wants to meet with the board to discuss this summers transfer budget, and that he is looking for 15 million pounds to invest in the squad. Every time one of these comments hits the press, the board then says that any funds Moyes wants will come from player sales. Selling players to buy means that Moyes will have to get rid of some young talent such as Jack Rodwell, Fellaini, or maybe even Leighton Baines. Seems kind of crazy to sell your best players to try and raise money to improve the squad, but that is the reality at Goodison Park these days.

In the end, chances are Lerner is going to try and talk to Moyes, the question is if Moyes will answer. If Lerner can guarentee Moyes 15 to 20 million pounds per year in transfer funds, do not be surprised if Goodsion Park is suddenly looking for a new manager. Earlier this season I said that Moyes would not be the manager come August, and if he is going to leave, the only really job he would take seems to be Aston Villa, because let's face it, Moyes is not daft enough to work for Chelsea if they came calling. Hopefully Moyes decides not to pick up the phone, but after about 10 years in charge at Everton, one has to wonder if he hasn't decided to move on to a new challenge.

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