Toffees continue investor search
Everton chairman Bill Kenwright has stressed the cash-strapped club is doing everything in its power to back manager David Moyes as the search for a new investor goes on.
On Friday, the Toffees released details of their accounts for the financial year ending May 31, 2011, which showed their net debt remaining stable at £44.9million. The Merseyside outfit reported an increase in turnover of 3.7%, but an operating loss of £500,000 before player trading.
Kenwright has been criticised by fans who believe he is the main barrier to the club's sale, but he insists he hopes it will happen soon, telling www.evertonfc.com: "Once again, try as I might, I was unable to accomplish the task which has dominated my life for these past few years - finding the man, or the institution, with the finances to move us forward."
He added: "Hopefully the day will come soon when I will happily - even enthusiastically - hand over control of our beloved club to a substantially wealthy individual or well-funded investment group.
"Until that day, it goes without saying that, as ever, we will do everything within our power to fully support the ambition and vision of David Moyes, a man with few peers in football.
"David is fully aware of precisely where we are in terms of available funds. He is appreciative of the fact that every penny we can find moves to his transfer kitty, and whilst he would obviously like more, he has a sound sense of business and accepts the parameters within which we must operate."
Moyes has been working within considerable financial constraints and, since the period covered by the figures, he has only brought in free transfers or loan players such as Royston Drenthe and Denis Stracqualursi, despite selling Mikel Arteta, Jermaine Beckford and Ayegbeni Yakubu for a combined total of around £15million.
Everton chief executive Robert Elstone recently said that "genuine conversations'' were taking place regarding ownership and future investment, and has emphasised that development of Goodison Park is top of the agenda as well. He also denied that the asking price for the club was being set too high.
"The search for new investment is the top priority within the club, and I would again go on record to refute any claims or assertions that the reason the club is not being sold is because the shareholder or owners are asking too much money for it. That is 100% not the case," said Elstone, quoted in the Liverpool Echo.
"Our stadium is undoubtedly in need of modernisation and expansion. Prioritisation means alongside our own internal team and its network of contacts, we have financiers, accountants and lawyers looking for the right buyer, all working hard to find the investor with the desire, intent and ability to move the club forward."