Everton chief executive Robert Elstone has moved to reassure fans about the state of the club's finances.
The Toffees released accounts on Tuesday covering the period from June 1, 2009 to May 31, 2010, which showed an operating loss of £0.5million on turnover of £79.1million. Everton's overall debt, though, rose from £41million to £48million as a result of investment in players like John Heitinga, Sylvain Distin and Diniyar Bilyaletdinov and increased player wages.
The later-than-usual release of the figures prompted speculation the club were in serious financial trouble, but Elstone insisted that is not the case, and wrote in a blog on www.evertonfc.com: "According to the minority, it seems that late accounts can only mean one thing; Everton must be in 'financial meltdown?' The Blues are set to go bust? Of course, it's simply not true."
He added: "Spending every last penny strengthening the team has meant that we spend every day of every week looking to drive revenues and raise funds.
"It means financially, no one could ever describe us as cosy. But then again, very few clubs are particularly comfortable
"I'm pleased to say our accounts are now signed off, with a clean audit report.
"Debt needs to be managed and ultimately repaid and it should be recognised and acknowledged that Everton has a strong finance team and the long-term support of our bankers and lenders."
Chairman Bill Kenwright has repeatedly said he is ready to sell the club if the right bidder comes along, but so far that has not proved the case, and Elstone categorically dismissed rumours that the club have turned away potential benefactors.
"Truly, the billionaire is yet to knock on the front door at Goodison," he said. "Truly, our longed-for Russian, sheikh or our media mogul has not been put off by a ridiculous selling price."
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