Everton’s lavish spending in recent summers was always going to come back to bite the club with matching underperforming seasons. With little sustained revenue that comes from European football, the Toffees were always going to be hard-pressed to balance the books considering how many overpaid players are still bloating the weekly wage bill.
As recently as January the Blues showed little inclination for making transfer window splashes despite bringing in superstar manager Carlo Ancelotti to replace Marco Silva in December. The record losses from last season meant that this would be a year of financial prudence that the veteran Italian was willing to endure when signing a four and a half year contract with Everton.
Now Director of Football Marcel Brands in an interview with the Dutch media confirmed that Financial Fair Play would dictate what the club did in the summer transfer window [De Telegraaf, via SportWitness].
“It won’t be a big-spending summer. It’s not a question of ownership or wealth. As a club, you have to deal with the financial parameters of the Premier League.
“An owner can’t say I’m doing 50 or 100 million extra. It’s about the budget. You also have to deal with Financial Fair Play when it comes to investments.
“We’re in the final phase of renewing the selection. We’re trying to sell some players from the past with less perspective for Everton.”
The performances on the pitch might say otherwise, but the club’s leadership appear to believe that only a couple of areas need fixing and will rely on Ancelotti’s expertise make the difference.
“A lot has changed already. We didn’t plan a transfer window this summer with five or six major purchases. We want to strengthen the team in two or three positions and have no extreme wishes. We are no longer in the phase of crazy names.
“Carlo Ancelotti and the owner are behind it. We have a trainer who knows the way to success. Now it’s just corona improvising. In the end, all efforts must lead to sporting success.”
Ancelotti has always had a reputation of coaching clubs that were on the brink of success, needing that extra little push to start bringing in the trophies with star-studded squads. Brands, having worked with a number of successful, big-stage managers, admits having spoken to Ancelotti before he joined Everton to get to know his coaching style better.
“He’s a wonderful man. I have previously worked with interesting and very experienced trainers, such as Martin Jol, Louis van Gaal and Dick Advocaat. Carlo is also such a coach.
“You’re talking about the currants in the porridge of top football. Carlo has won everything there is to win.
“Before he signed, I had conversations with him, and I was a little conservative. I knew where he’d worked and what purchases he’d made before.”
When asked if his stint at Everton would take the club to the levels of Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Paris St. Germain, and Chelsea, Brands acknowledged that could come in the more distant future, with more immediate priorities being stability.
“How’s he doing with Everton? Does he think he can do the same here? We don’t have that kind of ability.
“But he was behind the whole project from day one. He wants to help build. It’s a little different than he did before.”
Nothing from the interview that we didn’t know really, but more of a confirmation that Everton’s plan to rise to the top of the English game is going to be one that will require patience on all fronts, from the club’s ownership, Board, management, players and most importantly, the supporters.