DAVID MOYES' uphill battle to compete at the top end of the Premier League was revealed yesterday in annual results which showed Everton are spending nearly 70pc of their income on wages and running at a £3.1m loss, despite maintaining near record turnover.
Moyes said earlier this month that he feared key players may depart if they cannot be convinced that the club has ambition. Though chief executive Robert Elstone delivered a strong riposte against rumours of a risk of administration, the figures do reveal the club's struggle to keep up with Premier League spending and income elsewhere where, for example, Everton take £600,000 on a match day; Arsenal pocket £3m.
A wage bill up to £54.3m -- 69pc of turnover -- and continued investment in players have contributed to the level of debt at the club rising from £41m in 2009 to £48m.
Everton's problem is a fundamental one -- as Elstone put it, "the billionaire is yet to knock on the front door at Goodison."
"The simple facts are (that) nearly 85p in every £1 we bring in ends up, one way or another, at our (FinchFarm) training ground," Elstone said yesterday. "From young prospects, to scouts, to medical support, to coaches and, of course, to our first team squad, almost £70m, out of our £80m of income ends up there."