It’s no secret that Everton have been relatively inactive in the transfer market this summer – and also that this inactivity was not necessarily through choice. It has been revealed by Toffees chairman Bill Kenwright that their hands are tied by the financial constraints of operating in post-recession Britain – and there have been more unsettling words to have come from the man in charge of the Goodison Park purse-strings:
“We've come to a stage with our bank where we just can't borrow any more. We know the situation at the moment: we cannot spend money like other clubs – that is sensible, even if it is not very popular – but at least we have been able to keep our best players.”
And it is this approach of keeping hold of their best players that has concerned a number of fans.
Their worst nightmares were realised on deadline day when influential play-maker Mikel Arteta was sold to Arsenal, with the player later stating that the club needed the money. With Jermaine Beckford and Yakubu also leaving, the arrival of two loan players is not going to do much to allay the fans fears over the size of David Moyes’ squad heading into the new campaign, as well as their ability to keep hold of other established stars the next time the transfer window opens.
Having finished seventh in the league last season despite a nightmare start to the season in which they collected just two points from their opening six Premier League matches, Everton will need improve their opening few football scores this year as the strong manner in which they tend finish seasons could push them towards European qualification rather than away from relegation.
Having had their first live football of the season against Spurs postponed in the wake of the London riots that sprung up in the Tottenham area, and then going on to lose their first home league game against newly-promoted QPR, Everton grabbed a somewhat fortuitous win away at Blackburn courtesy of a controversial 90th minute penalty.
It wasn’t a display to inspire confidence and with the Arteta sale following soon after, many fans have reached breaking point, with a protest planned for their next home game against Aston Villa to voice their dissatisfaction to a board they feel is slowly killing the club through stagnation and inactivity.
Miracle maker Moyes is once again going to have to pull anotehr rabbit out of the hat to keep Everton competitive this year. But the growing feeling is that he may not be willing to do so for much longer.