Everton's waste of £500m under Farhad Moshiri

Everton have splurged over £500m on players under Farhad Moshiri but their current crisis and Marcel Brands’ exit shows up the waste… hits like Digne or Richarlison are eclipsed by far more flops such as Klaassen or Tosun

  • Everton are in crisis with fans mutinous and terrible results on the pitch
  • Majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri had to give Rafa Benitez public backing
  • Club have splashed out £500m on new signings since Moshiri arrived in 2016 
  • But an often scattergun buying policy has created far more misses than hits
  • Financial Fair Play pressures mean Everton can no longer spend big sums
  • That’s maybe just as well given some of the criminal wastes of cash in the past 
  • The crisis cost director of football Marcel Brands his job over the weekend

Angry chants of ‘sack the board’, one supporter confronting the now former director of football Marcel Brands and another running on the Goodison Park pitch to remonstrate with the players.

A manager in Rafa Benitez under serious pressure after six defeats in seven Premier League games but receiving a public vote of confidence from majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri.

And that’s before we even get to the humiliation of a 4-1 defeat at home to local rivals Liverpool that leaves them just five points above the relegation zone.

It certainly feels like pantomime season at Everton with fan anger spilling over again during last Wednesday night’s Merseyside derby.

Given that over £500million has been spent on new players since the British-Iranian businessman Moshiri took a 49.9 per cent stake in Everton back in February 2016, you’d really expect them to be doing better, and Brands has now paid the price, with Moshiri allowing him to quit on Saturday while again publicly backing Benitez in their power struggle.

It was another night of misery for Everton as rivals Liverpool thrashed them at Goodison Park

Manager Rafael Benitez is now under serious pressure following six defeats in seven games

Since Moshiri’s buy-in, the Toffees have seen Roberto Martinez, Ronald Koeman, Sam Allardyce, Marco Silva and Carlo Ancelotti all come and go in the dug-out.

Premier League finishes of 7th, 8th, 8th, 12th and 10th have been recorded – seriously underwhelming given the investment – and the club appear no closer to ending a trophy drought stretching back to 1995.

What’s more, the enormous spending on players between 2016 and 2020 now sees Everton struggling to meet Financial Fair Play obligations and meant recruitment last summer had to be pared back – hardly the best start for Benitez.

A recent analysis of Premier League club’s ‘wriggle room’ when it came to FFP, conducted for Sportsmail by Kieran Maguire at the University of Liverpool, showed how much trouble Everton are in.

Everton have spent over £500m on new players since Farhad Moshiri took a 49.9 per cent stake in the club back in February 2016. But they don’t seem to be making any progress 


Everton’s now former director of football Marcel Brands was involved in a heated argument with one fan during last Wednesday night’s 4-1 defeat in the Merseyside derby

One fan invaded the pitch at full-time as he remonstrated with Anthony Gordon (left), Seamus Coleman (hidden) and Abdoulaye Doucoure (right) 

Supporters protested with a banner complaining about the club’s lack of ambition

What’s criminal to the fans is that the majority of players expensively brought in have failed to live up to expectations and this is both before and after Brands came in to head up recruitment in 2018.

Steve McManaman, part of the Amazon Prime Video coverage of the Merseyside derby, was critical of the wasted cash.

‘Somebody, I don’t know who it is, has spent a lot of money at Goodison. The new owners have come in and spent a lot of money,’ he said.

‘When you looked to the bench today and what they could bring on there was nothing there.

‘So who’s wasted this money on these players? Because someone has to be held accountable for it.’

We take a look at all Everton’s 43 signings during the Moshiri era and assess whether they made the grade. 

Five years of lavish outlay on new players under Farhad Moshiri has left Everton with no room for manoeuvre when it comes to Financial Fair Play – hence a frugal summer window 

2016-2017

Yannick Bolasie (£25m, Crystal Palace) – An exciting winger but his time at Goodison Park was ruined by a serious knee ligament injury that meant he never established himself. Return of just two goals and four assists for the club in 32 appearances was followed by four loan spells. MISS

Morgan Schneiderlin (£20m, Manchester United) – Wanted to revive his career under his former boss at Southampton, Koeman, following a dreadful time at Old Trafford. A promising start but struggled in the 2017-18 season amid a rapid turnover of managers. MISS

Morgan Schneiderlin wasn’t able to revive his career at Everton after joining from Man United

Ashley Williams (£9m, Swansea) – Having shone in the Premier League with Swansea, Williams started off brightly enough at Everton and looked very good value for money. But they were far too leaky at the back in 2017-18, conceding 58 times (only five teams were worse), and Williams’ stock fell. MISS

Ademola Lookman (£7.5m, Charlton) – One of the most promising youngsters in English football at the time and he scored on his debut in a 4-0 win over Manchester City. Sam Allardyce wasn’t keen, however, and Lookman went on loan to RB Leipzig, where he impressed and earned a permanent move. MISS

Idrissa Gueye (£7.1m, Aston Villa) – The Senegal international performed very well in midfield for Everton and his transfer fee would come to look like a bargain. Energetic and committed in the tackle, he was one of Everton’s best performers and jointly won their player of the season award in 2018-19. Was spirited away by Paris Saint-Germain in 2019 with the French club paying £30m. A rare good bit of business. HIT

Idrissa Gueye represented a rare bit of good business by Everton as they made a big profit 

Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£1.5m, Sheffield United) – One of the most exciting strikers in the EFL when he joined and Calvert-Lewin has certainly done well at Goodison Park. 56 goals and counting for the England international at Everton and they’re certainly missing him right now. HIT

Maarten Stekelenburg (£850,000, Fulham) – Played only 26 times for the club as he served largely as Jordan Pickford’s understudy after losing his place post-Koeman. MISS

Enner Valencia (loan, West Ham) – Three goals and two assists in 30 games was nowhere near enough to convince Everton to activate a £14.5m option to buy the Ecuadorian winger. MISS

2017-2018

Gylfi Sigurdsson (£40m, Swansea) – A club record outlay at the time, Sigurdsson has made 156 appearances for the club, scoring 31 goals and contributing a further 25 assists. The Icelandic attacking midfielder has delivered some memorable moments but never scaled the heights expected of such a big transfer fee. MISS

Scoring a penalty as Everton registered a rare win at Anfield was a Gylfi Sigurdsson highlight

Michael Keane (£25m, Burnley) – The defender has been a mainstay for Everton since signing four years ago. There have certainly been plenty of moments where Everton have looked too vulnerable at the back but Keane should still be judged a success after 164 games for the club. HIT

Jordan Pickford (£25m, Sunderland) – Another signing from the summer of 2017 who has established himself as a No 1 pick. The keeper has also gone on to be England’s regular first choice despite semi-regular errors of judgement for his club. HIT

Jordan Pickford has established himself as first choice for both Everton and England  

Davy Klaassen (£23.6m, Ajax) – A great example of squandered cash. Promised so much when he came in from Ajax but the midfielder played in only seven Premier League games and departed for Werder Bremen just 12 months after signing – and for half the cost. MISS

Dutch midfielder Davy Klaassen is a great example of how Everton have squandered money

Nikola Vlasic (£8m, Hajduk Split) – Signed after catching the eye of Koeman and then director of football Steve Walsh when playing against Everton in the Europa League. Completely surplus to requirements, played only 19 times, went on loan to CSKA Moscow as Marco Silva cleared the decks and ultimately moved to the Russian club. MISS

Henry Onyekuru (£6.8m, Eupen) – Easily forgotten, the Nigerian never played a game for the club because he was immediately loaned to Anderlecht and then spent time at Galatasaray. Moved on to Monaco in 2019. MISS

Sandro (£5.2m, Malaga) – Another signing that makes you ask ‘why?’ Spanish forward was never really needed, played only 15 times for the return of a solitary goal, then went out on loan three times. MISS

Spanish forward Sandro during one of just a handful of appearances when at Everton

Eliaquim Mangala (loan, Manchester City) – This didn’t work out because the unfortunate defender suffered a serious knee injury in only his second game and required surgery. 

Wayne Rooney (free, Manchester United) – A romantic Goodison return for England’s all-time record goalscorer, with no transfer fee involved, was a no brainer. Scored 11 times, including a memorable halfway line strike against West Ham, to prove class was permanent before relocating to the MLS. HIT 

Cuco Martina (free, Southampton) – A versatile player and well-known to Ronald Koeman from their time together at Saints. Played a fair bit in his first season but then loaned to Stoke and Feyenoord when the manager changed. MISS 

Cenk Tosun (£27.5m, Besiktas) – A costly January buy as Everton desperately searched for more firepower – Romelu Lukaku had left the previous summer – to elevate themselves from mid-table. Scored a handful of goals early on but was never prolific and moved out on loan, where injuries have severely disrupted his career. Still on Everton’s books, somehow, and came off the bench against Liverpool. MISS 

Turkish striker Cenk Tosun made his latest comeback from injury against Liverpool 

Theo Walcott (£20m, Arsenal) – Looked like a smart January acquisition at the time. Scored 11 goals and added nine assists for Everton in 85 outings – acceptable but hardly spectacular returns from the winger, who is now at Southampton. MISS 

2018-2019

Richarlison (£35m, Watford) – The first signing of the Marcel Brands era and certainly one of the few that stands up to scrutiny. The Brazilian came with the pressure of a large price tag but has justified it, finishing as the club’s top scorer in his first two seasons. The feeling persists there should be a lot more to come if Everton buck their ideas up. HIT 

Brazilian Richarlison has delivers goals and creativity and remains one of Everton’s best buys

Yerry Mina (£27m, Barcelona) – This was a time when Everton could seemingly raid Barcelona squad players with impunity. One was Colombian defender Mina, who has performed well enough during three-and-a-bit seasons with the club. Unfortunately, he is susceptible to an injury which has checked his progress. JURY’S OUT

Lucas Digne (£18m, Barcelona) – Another signing from Barcelona but one who has done a little better at Goodison, establishing himself as their first-choice left-back over the past three seasons. Has been a consistently good performer and important to several managers. HIT  

Lucas Digne fires a shot off during Everton’s 1-0 defeat at Brentford on Sunday afternoon

Andre Gomes (loan, Barcelona then £22m in 2019) – Joined initially on loan before sealing a permanent move to Everton a year later. Impressed enough in the midfield during his first couple of seasons but saw 2019-20 wrecked by injury. Since then, hasn’t quite reached the same heights. JURY’S OUT 

Kurt Zouma (loan, Chelsea) – Impressed during a season on loan from Chelsea, playing in almost every game. Everton probably regret they weren’t able to get a permanent move over the line. HIT 

2019-2020

Alex Iwobi (£27m, Arsenal) – Plenty of fans were stunned Everton would pay so much to bring Iwobi in from Arsenal. A return of just six goals in 78 appearances for the club suggests they were correct. Just hasn’t shown his quality often enough. MISS.

Alex Iwobi has struggled to measure up to expectations since a £27m move from Arsenal

Moise Kean (£25m, Juventus) – Even though Kean was regarded as one of the brightest young talents in Europe, he never looked like a good fit for Everton. Scored just twice in 33 appearances during his debut season and subsequently has done a whole lot better out on loan. MISS 

Jean-Philippe Gbamin (£22m, Mainz) – The Ivorian defensive midfielder promised much but has endured rotten luck with injuries and has made only five appearances for the club. A thigh problem which required surgery ruined his first seasons then he injured an Achilles tendon. Having returned from that, he injured his knee. The only way is up. JURY’S OUT 

Everton will hopefully finally see a bit of Jean-Philippe Gbamin after terrible luck with injury

Fabian Delph (£10m, Manchester City) – The England international was signed to bring a bit of experience to the Everton midfield. Started well enough but his game time has dwindled because of injury issues. Had an argument with fans on social media last year and looks likely to be another MISS

Jonas Lossl (free, Huddersfield) – The keeper was signed from Huddersfield to provide back-up to Pickford, didn’t make a single appearance and is now back with boyhood club Midtjylland in Denmark. MISS 

Djibril Sidibe (loan, Monaco) – Played well during a loan from Monaco and looked nailed on for a permanent move at one stage. Didn’t materialise, probably because the right-back was much better going forward than he was at defending. MISS 

2020-2021

Allan (£21.7m, Napoli) – Signed by Carlo Ancelotti, who’d worked with him at Napoli, and was one of Everton’s most consistent performers in midfield even though last season was punctuated by a hamstring injury. The Brazilian could end up being one of the few who emerges with reputation intact from the current mess. HIT

Brazilian midfielder Allan has been one of Everton’s better players since arriving from Napoli 

Ben Godfrey (£20m, Norwich) – Thrown in at the deep end by making his debut in the Merseyside derby and out of his natural position too. But Godfrey coped with that well and enjoyed a positive debut season, which ended with him on the fringes of the England squad for the Euros. Looks set to be reliable name on the scoresheet for years to come. HIT 

Abdoulaye Doucoure (£20m, Watford) – Another fairly expensive arrival in what could well be Everton’s last big summer of spending for a good while. Like Allan, Doucoure has fitted in nicely in their midfield and he was missed after he fractured his foot in training back in March. Liked by the fans and the kind of player Everton will need to drag themselves through this current crisis. HIT 

James Rodriguez (free, Real Madrid) – One of the most exciting signings Everton have made in a long while and proof of Ancelotti’s pulling power. The Colombian showed glimpses of the brilliance that had us all wowed back at the 2014 World Cup. But injuries affected what proved to be a disappointingly short time in the Premier League before he moved to Qatari side Al-Rayyan. MISS  

James Rodriguez showed flashes of brilliance during a disappointingly short stay at Everton

Niels Nkounkou (free, Marseille) – Signed as one for the future but the young left-back impressed enough in Carabao Cup ties against lower league opposition to gain a first taste of Premier League action. Spending this season on loan with Standard Liege in Belgium and could prove a good acquisition. JURY’S OUT 

Joshua King (nominal fee, Bournemouth) – A strange deadline day signing earlier this year as Everton looked to widen their attacking options. Failed to score in 11 games and joined Watford. MISS 

Robin Olsen (loan, Roma) – It looked for a brief time as if Sweden international Olsen might usurp Pickford as the club’s No 1 keeper as Ancelotti rotated. In the end, that didn’t happen and Olsen is now in the Championship with Sheffield United. MISS 

2021-2022

Demarai Gray (£1.7m, Bayer Leverkusen) – The winger looks on course to be a bargain asset for Everton, whose spending had to be slashed when Rafa Benitez came in over the summer. Four goals, the latest of which was their consolation on Wednesday night, and two assists so far. HIT

Demarai Gray took his chance well against Liverpool but it proved to be mere consolation 

Andros Townsend (free, Crystal Palace) – Another who started the season in encouraging fashion with a flurry of goals and assists. Like everyone else, has struggled a bit more of late but always has the potential to change a game. HIT 

Asmir Begovic (free, Bournemouth) – The experienced stopper is the latest in line to keep Pickford on his toes. Has played just one league and two Carabao Cup games to date. JURY’S OUT 

Salomon Rondon (free, Dalian Professional) – Well known to Benitez from their time working together at Newcastle and Dalian Pro in China. Has yet to score in 608 Premier League minutes and needs to deliver more. JURY’S OUT 

Andy Lonergan (free, unattached) – The 38-year-old third choice keeper will do well to get a game during his time at the club. JURY’S OUT




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