Everton enter transfer window with continuing uncertainty over finances and ownership

This New Year transfer window is likely to be very much a low-key one as the club are constrained by financial problems and lack of clarity over when or whether new owners will take over.
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Everton FC - Premier League
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Everton FC - Premier League / Malcolm Couzens/GettyImages

As we reported earlier, Director of Football Kevin Thelwell has again put Everton supporters on notice that this month will be a quiet one in terms of transfer business.

None of this will suprise any fans given the relentless uncertainty and off-the-field problems that have plagued the Blues over the last few months.

The later part of 2023 was perhaps the most chaotic and distruptive in the club's history, certainly even in the context of a last five years or so of almost constant upheaval.

In September came the news that owner Farhad Moshiri had agreed to sell his 94% stake in the club to US investment group 777 Partners.

This was a surprise as the Miami-based consortium weren't the favourites to potentially take over the club with rival group MSP Sports Capital having already previously entered into exclusivity talks with Moshiri and loaned the club over £100 million.

Immediately, questions began to be asked about whether 777 had the finances to carry through a deal and if they were in fact fit and proper people to own a Premier Leagues club.

It also became clear that with an interim board of directors essentially holding the reins until the takeover was complete, the club was in a sort of limbo awaiting the outcome of all this.

So far the deal has not been authorised with the Americans still waiting for all the regulatory hurdles to be cleared, who knows when.

Then in November came the report of the League's independent commisson which had been looking into allegations the Toffees had broken FFP regulations.

To no one's surprise the commission reported that was the case and Everton were guilty.

But the severity of the punishment recommended was a shock as the Blues were to be docked an unprecedented ten points with immediate effect. It was the biggest single points deduction ever in English football.

All this meant that there was very little chance of the Toffees being highly active in this month's transfer window.

However, the last few weeks of 2023 saw Everton's results tail off as they lost the final three matches of the year after having won four straight previously.

It was becoming increasingly clear, as I had previously written, that the Blues small squad would likely come under severe pressure as the games piled up around Christmas and into the New Year.

Injuries have grown with Sean Dyche having to do without several key players, in particular his club captain Seamus Coleman and midfield dynamo and leading goalscorer, Abdoulaye Doucoure.

Rumours of several player departures dominate potential transfer discussions while thereare also stories concerning one or two players previously linked with the club.

Whatever happens it is very likely any incomings will only a few loans possibly with a view to buy later in the year when the summer transfer window opens.

We may well have to hope that Dyche gets lucky with further injuries otherwise Everton may face a real struggle to get up the table and out of the relegation quagmire.