Everton have clear summer priority to address as average weekly wage laid bare

Everton posted their accounts for the 2020-21 season and the current wage bill compared to their Premier League rivals is a huge concern.

Everton's latest set of accounts make for grim reading.

Against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic, losses were always expected.

But the Toffees lost a total of £120.9 million for the 2020-21 season.

Background

It means that the club has posted a £100 million-plus deficit for the past three campaigns, taking them up to £371.8 million in the previous three years.

Luckily, Everton will avoid Premier League sanctions under profit and sustainability rules due to the impact of the pandemic and investments in the new Bramley-Moore Dock stadium, Everton Women and Everton in the Community.

But it's a stark reminder of how much the Blues are reliant on majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri, who will continue to provide 'unwavering support and commitment'.

Marked changes need to be made for Everton to improve their financial position.

The obvious starting point will be the playing side of things, which has suffered years of profligacy during the Moshiri era.

No-one can deny that since the Iranian arrived in 2016, he hasn't been afraid to put his hand in his pocket. Some £500 million has been splashed out on new players.

However, it's proven perilous. The supposed outcome was to build a side regularly challenging for Europe.

It's the antithesis. Everton hover just one place above the relegation zone.

Wages concern

That's despite being the seventh-highest club in the top flight when it comes to wage totals.

Finance expert Kieran Maguire, the author of the best-selling book The Price of Football: Understanding Football Club Finance, has broken down the Toffees' accounts on Twitter.

In total, Everton pay out £98 per £100 of revenue earned on wages.

Their average weekly wage is a staggering £84,848 per week.

Given their precarious league position, it's a bleak situation.

It needs to come down significantly - and Moshiri, chairman Bill Kenwright and manager Frank Lampard will know this.

Of course, some of the higher earners have already been shifted on since the latest set of accounts ended on June 30.

There were sections of Evertonians disappointed that Rafa Benitez got rid of James Rodriguez to Qatari side Al-Rayyan. He added stardust to the team.

Yet the Blues simply needed to get his salary of around £200,000 per week off the wage bill.

Former Everton playmaker James Rodriguez. Picture: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Meanwhile, Bernard left for UAE outfit Sharjah last summer. He was likely on a healthy pay packet.

Lucas Digne, sold for circa £23 million to Aston Villa in January, was alleged to have pocketed £100,000 per week.

Slashing costs

Yet Everton will know that there's still more money that must be saved.

The summer will be a needed opportunity to slash the wage bill further.

In truth, Cenk Tosun epitomises Moshiri's period of ownership.

The striker was signed for £27 million arrival from Besiktas in January 2017 by a manager in Sam Allardyce who was always a stop-gap.

Tosun’s weekly wage may understandably match the price tag paid for his services.

Everton striker Cenk Tosun. Picture: Jan Kruger/Getty Images

The Turkey international has made just 61 appearances in four years, though, scoring 11 goals. This term, he has played just three times and has not been included in nine of the past 11 match-day squads.

Tosun's deal expires in three months' time and will depart. That'll free up some funds.

Gylfi Sigurdsson hasn't been available all season and his contract is also nearing a conclusion. The Icelandic remains Everton's club-record £45 million signing and his wages will also reflect that.

However, the midfielder's managed just 36 appearances since he arrived from Manchester City in 2019.

Said to be on close to £100,000 a week, Delph has not represented value for money on the whole.

In addition, there might be some players still under contract who Everton would likely be happy to move on if there were suitors to free up funds.

Yerry Mina's regarded as the best centre-back at Goodison Park. There are no questions about his ability.

Andre Gomes has struggled for form since recovering from a horrendous ankle injury in November 2019.

When the Portuguese joined from Barcelona permanently in 2019, it was reported he would net £120,000 per week.

Jean-Philippe Gbamin's now enjoying a decent loan spell at CSKA Moscow.

But since he was recruited for £25 million from Mainz in 2019, he's been ravaged by injuries and made just eight outings.

Back to Moyes’ mantra

Tim Cahill, Seamus Coleman and Leighton Baines all proved shrewd buys under David Moyes at Everton. Picture: Scott Heavey/Getty Images

David Moyes left Everton almost nine years ago when their average weekly wage was a modest £29,302 per week.

It's risen each year since the Scot's exit. Now, Everton are paying out close to three times that figure.

Yet no tangible progress has been made on the pitch.

Under Moyes, Everton's recruitment was carefully processed and, over everything, savvy.

The likes of Leighton Baines, Tim Cahil, Mikel Arteta, Seamus Coleman, Joleen Lescott, Steven Pienaar, Phil Jagielka and John Stones were brought in for moderate fees - a meagre £60,000 in Coleman's case.

However, what Everton fans would unanimously agree on is that the group of players Moyes assembled had the attitude, resolve and steel, which yielded a top-four finish and an FA Cup final appearance.

There's currently a paucity of those attributes at Everton.

To get out of their financial woes, it's imperative the Toffees get back to their former model.

Recruitment must be more creative and sage. Lampard and recently-appointed director of football Kevin Thelwell are tasked with unearthing gems who're capable of performing on the pitch at a fraction of the price.