Everton will be left in a sticky financial situation if they fail to maintain their Premier League status and the freezing of Alisher Usmanov’s assets will make matters even worse at Goodison Park, according to journalist Pete O’Rourke.
The Toffees are at serious risk of suffering relegation to the Championship and a host of their stars are on big-money contracts.
What’s the latest news on Everton’s finances?
According to the Daily Mail, Everton are facing up to the prospect of a major wage crisis if they drop out of the top flight.
The report suggests the Merseysiders will be contractually obliged to continue paying players their current basic salaries next season even if they are consigned to the Championship.
Yerry Mina, Andre Gomes, Jordan Pickford and Dominic Calvert-Lewin are understood to be among the club’s top earners, taking home in the region of £100,000-per-week.
Meanwhile, Uzbekistan-born billionaire Usmanov has had his assets frozen by the European Union after it announced further sanctions in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The 68-year-old’s USM Holdings company began sponsoring the Toffees’ Finch Farm training ground more than five years ago and Usmanov also struck a £30million deal to secure an exclusive naming-rights option on Everton’s proposed new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock.
But Everton have cut ties with its Russian sponsors, including USM Holdings, and the Mail on Sunday have claimed the sanctioning of Usmanov has left Everton with a black hole of up to £300million in their playing budget.
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What has Pete O’Rourke said about the situation?
O’Rourke believes Everton could be in trouble financially if they were to suffer relegation to the Championship.
The journalist has hinted the Toffees may be forced into offloading their top earners if they are demoted to safeguard the club’s financial future.
He feels being unable to take advantage of Usmanov’s riches will cause further havoc, making it imperative that Everton stave off the drop.
O’Rourke told GIVEMESPORT: “If they were to suffer relegation, and with this Usmanov stuff as well, it could be a real financial burden for the club.”
Are Everton likely to get relegated?
Everton are at serious risk of the drop as they are just one point above the bottom three having won six Premier League fixtures all season.
Monday’s 5-0 defeat at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur emphasised the severity of the situation Frank Lampard, who was appointed as the club’s boss in January, has walked into.
Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher reacted to the north London humiliation by claiming Everton’s back four is ‘Championship level’ and the Toffees have a ‘real chance’ of being relegated from the top flight for the first time since 1951.
The Goodison Park-based club still have to face the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal before the campaign reaches its climax.