Saturday 23 March 2019

Everton target overseas growth alongside stadium boost

The club’s chief finance officer admits new partners and “sector expansion” are needed if they are to compete with the Premier League’s biggest clubs.

Everton’s chief finance officer Sasha Ryazantsev is targeting greater worldwide growth (Peter Byrne/PA)
Everton’s chief finance officer Sasha Ryazantsev is targeting greater worldwide growth (Peter Byrne/PA)

By Carl Markham, Press Association Sport

Increased revenue from a new stadium alone will not be enough for Everton to close the gap to the top six, according to chief finance officer Sasha Ryazantsev.

The Toffees have the seventh-largest wage bill in the Premier League but their financial fortunes were put into perspective last week when neighbours Liverpool announced a record £106million profit, with turnover of £455million.

Everton’s last accounts reported £189m turnover and a loss of £22.9m and Ryazantsev believes worldwide commercial growth is key to them catching up.

A new, improved, multi-year deal has been signed with Fanatics, the global leader in licensed sports merchandise, and includes commitments towards extensive work on retail planning for the move to a new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock.

But Ryazantsev insists their global ambitions mean they are looking further afield for other opportunities.

“The top six have an ability to attract sectors which would not seem obvious to partner with and we would like to continue with the number of partners, geography and sector expansion,” he said.

“Whilst we can do certain things commercially now there is only so much we can do without a new stadium.

“The top six all have a new stadium or a stadium that is future-proof – even those with smaller stadia can physically stay there for a longer time without having to move.

“The expectation is we will seek to expand further, obviously in Asia, which is a key market, but Africa is a key market for us as well with the relationship with (shirt sponsors) SportPesa.

“That is where we are. We have to make progress to be able to take it to the next level.”

The return to the club of former England and Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney in the summer of 2017 was seen as the first step in increasing Everton’s worldwide profile.

His departure 12 months later left a void which the club hope will be filled by the likes of Richarlison, who within months of joining in July had made his debut for Brazil.

“The signing of Wayne Rooney did give us a spike in interest through the acquisition of one particular player,” said commercial director Alan McTavish.

“But if we look at the quality of the individuals we have invested in recent times we have two high-profile Brazilians (Richarlison and Bernard), a very high-profile Colombian (Yerry Mina), England’s number one goalkeeper (Jordan Pickford).

“While we may no longer have Wayne Rooney as part of the playing squad the players we do have put us in a different space in terms of global appeal.

“Richarlison, on his first international break, scored two goals on his full debut so having the Brazilian number nine in the squad can only be a positive thing.”

Bramley-Moore Dock still offers the largest single potential for revenue growth, however.

“As we look towards the new stadium we are confident a naming rights agreement will form part of the commercial growth and will be part of the business model going forward,” added McTavish.

Press Association

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