Mikel Arteta got married just over a year ago and, like many newly-weds, gave serious thought over where to set up home. That was how he described the decision to reject interest from Arsenal and Manchester City and to sign a five-year, £75,000-a-week contract at Everton anyhow.
"This club has the ability to make you feel at home," said the Spanish midfielder in December. "When you are at home and you are building a beautiful house and you are close to completing it, you want to enjoy that house. You don't want to move away, and that is how I felt about Everton." Arteta was outlining his vision for Champions League football at Goodison Park, a feat he and many others believed possible despite the financial disadvantages facing David Moyes. That ambition collapsed long before the season was out. The evidence of a draining summer, crystallised on transfer deadline day, is that the house is following suit.
Everton could have banked far more than Arsenal's £10m for Arteta 12 months ago. Instead, they invested in the belief that Moyes had constructed the club's finest squad since Howard Kendall's title-winning era and gave the 28-year-old a contract they could not afford without Champions League qualification. Or new investment. Or a new stadium. Now the banks have called in Everton's debt, capping its overdraft at £25m, and a club that denies being in financial peril is slipping dangerously behind its peers. A growing band of disgruntled supporters' groups have accused Everton of stagnating under the ownership of Bill Kenwright. Deadline day left the team in a worse state than that.
As always, the venom is reserved for the parting player rather than the selling club. Moyes, who gave Arteta six days off when it transpired his wedding date clashed with a pre-season tour of Australia, has good cause to be aggrieved with the midfielder. The move to Arsenal was off until, two hours before the deadline, Arteta told Everton he was so desperate to go he was prepared to take a £10,000-a-week pay cut at the Emirates Stadium, weakening the club's negotiating stance at a stroke. That does not fully explain their willingness to accept £2m less than Liverpool received for the inferior Raul Meireles, however. lol rude
But Everton cannot feign shock and disgust at Arteta's volte-face. They have not given Moyes a net spend on players for three years. They have failed to deliver two stadium projects and Kenwright's search for new investment has unearthed more con men than cash. The fact Royston Drenthe was flying in from Real Madrid to complete a season-long loan on £40,000 a week indicates Everton knew that too.
Everton have dismissed talk of a financial crisis. In 2011, however, they have generated approximately £30m and Barclays Bank has seen far more of that than Moyes. Transfers have yielded £3m for Steven Pienaar, £2.5m for James Vaughan, a £1m loan fee from Leicester City plus a £2m permanent deal from Blackburn for Yakubu Ayegbeni, an initial £2.5m for Jermaine Beckford and the £10m for Arteta. The £9m raised by selling the former Bellefield training ground for an executive housing development also went to the bank.
The salaries of the departed totalled around £9m, although it is not £9m off the wage bill once Drenthe and Denis Stracqualursi, the Argentina striker signed on a season's loan after failing to impress Sven- Göran Eriksson on trial at Leicester, plus their loan fees are factored in. Nevertheless, it is a spreadsheet of a club in retreat, yet one that still hopes to convince Marouane Fellaini to extend a contract that has two years remaining.
Arteta has hit top form only in flashes since returning from a cruciate ligament injury and yet, with little strengthening around him, the midfielder's importance to Everton was undiminished. Rafael Benítez's tactics for a Merseyside derby involved stopping his compatriot as, the former Liverpool manager would argue, Everton had no one else with his passing ability or creativity. He was usually proven correct.
Yakubu is no great loss to Moyes. The Nigeria striker was never the same player after an achilles injury and it will be a relief to remove his £40,000-a-week wages from the books. Cashing in on Beckford, who often looked out of his depth in the Premier League yet still scored 10 goals in his only season at that level, and provided much-needed pace, does keep the focus on Everton's finances. Taken together, their joint departures place huge responsibility on Stracqualursi, the injury-prone Louis Saha and the mediocre Victor Anichebe.
The argument against implosion at Goodison is, as always, Moyes. The two arrivals are typical of the acquisitions he excels in – Arteta being a classic example – and Wayne Rooney's deadline-day departure in 2004 did not prevent Everton finishing fourth that season. Seven years ago, however, his funds were not draining away to the bank.
source: the guardian
pretty interesting read. i feel kind of bad for the bitters