Everton have made an early strategic decision ahead of the summer as three players attract interest

A general exterior view of Everton’s Goodison Park ground – Credit: Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA / Getty Images

The season is not over yet, but Everton is already preparing for a challenging summer.

The headlines this week were based on the expected collapse of the 777 Partners takeover deal, which had been dragging on for eight painful months. A solution to ownership – and therefore to the leadership vacuum at the top of the club – is crucial.

Behind the scenes, the club also seems to be positioning itself for further significant battles. Everton’s final season at Goodison Park will be heavily determined by the events of the coming weeks and what happens before the first ball of the new season is even kicked.

READ MORE: Questions and answers on Everton takeover: bid from 777 Partners, Farhad Moshiri, MSP Sports Capital role, administration

READ MORE: Everton face brutal transfer reality as key 16-day window approaches after second points deduction

The most important issue is undoubtedly the takeover. A wave of developments surrounding 777 Partners has put their plans in jeopardy. The high-profile allegations against the group brought forward in a $600 million fraud case in New York remain just that – currently unanswered allegations raised in a civil case – but have raised concerns about the group’s broader business activities and increases their ability to find the money they need. to firstly complete the deal, and secondly to run the club sustainably.

But the real, tangible signs that the deal could be on the brink include the group’s Australian airline Bonza coming into voluntary administration, alleged payment problems with a PR firm used during the Everton bid and the need of an extension of a payment term to meet the payment obligations. Premier League terms for signing off on takeover. It is believed the Blues have the resources to see the club through the transfer window, after which it can sell players to raise corporate funds and will have earned payments and TV money on the horizon, but the health and stability of the club In the long term, they will become increasingly dependent on the arrival of a new owner.

The events of the past two weeks have made one thing clear: Sean Dyche and Kevin Thelwell will have to prepare for a summer without stability above them. Budgets, strategy and expectations will need to be fluid and contingency plans will be drawn up for different scenarios.

It has long been known in the football world, and reported as such by the ECHO, that Everton are facing another tight summer. Transfer funds will be limited and the focus will likely be on the money that can be generated and how to rebuild the squad after likely significant departures. This isn’t all bad news. The expiry of a number of long, expensive contracts will give director of football Thelwell the opportunity to sign new players while reducing the wage bill. It will be his first chance to shape the team since he was appointed more than two years ago. This is an opportunity to build a team that makes sense and that boss Dyche can place more trust in after inheriting an expensively assembled, threadbare and disjointed Frankenstein unit that represents the different ambitions of the many different football managers and – directors from the Farhad Moshiri era.

Players will be sold, make no mistake. Thelwell noted this in his program notes ahead of the match with Sheffield United – a clear attempt to manage expectations during a tough summer: “Whilst we want to ensure the team is as competitive as possible, we cannot shy away from our central objective lose an eye. to protect the club’s long-term stability. That does mean that players will be sold, and also that every tool at our disposal will be used to secure new additions to the squad, including tapping into the loan market. Both Sean and I understand the responsibility we have – and it is a responsibility that must be our priority. That may not be exciting to hear, but under our current circumstances it is the right choice for Everton.”

The January transfer window was a landmark one for the Blues as it was the first in some time without the sale of a key player – think Richarlison, Anthony Gordon and Alex Iwobi in the three previous windows.

This summer each player is likely to receive an award and the question is whether the money raised will be available for Dyche and Thelwell. The likes of Jarrad Branthwaite, Amadou Onana and Dominic Calvert-Lewin are already attracting significant interest. Everton’s team has talent and players worth serious money. Even if only a small portion of that is made available to the recruiting team, it can still yield valuable, useful deals.

How much will be collected and what part of it will be made available for reconstruction are questions that need stability at the top to be answered. But early transfer activity is expected regardless of the club’s income. That’s because the football financial year ends on June 30 – the deadline for clubs to meet their profit and sustainability thresholds. Everton’s accounts for the current year are not publicly available, but last year’s losses of £89m are really worrying. The cases brought against the club by the Premier League suggest the Blues face a battle to meet the three-year £105m loss limit for a third consecutive season. Thelwell alluded to this in his notes, writing: “It is also important that I be completely candid with you. The reality is that, given the regulations in force and the club’s current financial position, we have to do the right thing.”

Everton’s position will improve due to the lack of departure packages for management staff and board members compared to last year, while a higher ranking will increase the merit pay compared to the previous season. But a sale, or sell-out, between the opening of the transfer window on June 14 and the financial deadline on June 30 will undoubtedly benefit the club’s position.

It is against this background that the withdrawal of the appeal against the deduction of two points for the second offense makes sense. It was announced on Friday and appears to mark a new strategic effort to get the club ready for another battle. Everton are safe from relegation but are unlikely to move up the league in the remaining games of the season, meaning the value of the points recovered has diminished since the appeal was lodged. Account will also have been taken of Nottingham Forest’s failure to win back points in their appeal, the ruling of which was announced this week, while the limited history of these proceedings suggests that working with the Premier League may be worthwhile .

This is important because Everton has an excellent hearing into last year’s finances. Centered on interest payments for loans that the club attributes to stadium costs. Should the Blues lose that argument, it could lead to a deduction for next season. A defeat in that hearing would also make regulatory compliance more challenging during this fiscal year. This means it is only fair that the club gets clarity before June 30, so that in the event of a loss it has time to take action accordingly. While Everton are still battling Brentford for 15th place, the reality is that future discussions with the Premier League on this subject are inevitable. And now that the Blues are safe, club chiefs can see this as an opportunity to build goodwill in advance.

Next season should be a celebration of Goodison Park in his final year and Dyche has shown he can progress against all odds. This summer does offer him an opportunity to build on this season. But his reward for a remarkable campaign is more instability off the pitch and the extent of his next task is likely to be determined by what happens long before Everton return to action in August.

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