If Blackburn and Newcastle are the proof that money can buy success, then Forest are the evidence that a top-level club can no longer get by without it.
England's one team in Europe meet Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup on Wednesday, followed by Bayern Munich in the Uefa Cup a week later. They do so in the worst form of their season, and there is nothing that their manager, Frank Clark, can do except cross his fingers and hope.
A squad patently short of quality in depth requires urgent reinforcement but, when it comes to buying power, Forest are in the little league.
On the day Kevin Keegan was spending a modest pounds 3.75m to make David Batty the "last piece" in his pounds 45m Newcastle jigsaw, Clark was taking Chris Allen - a winger who cannot get into Oxford United's team - on a month's loan, at the end of which he might pay a pounds 150,000 fee.
Meanwhile, Bryan Roy, so woefully out of touch that he was dropped from the last two games, had to be recalled. With Jason Lee suspended and Andrea Silenzi attending to a domestic crisis, Clark had no other choice.
Saturday's defeat might not have felt so bad had Forest shown half of Everton's conviction. Contrast Roy with Andrei Kanchelskis, so infectiously enthusiastic that, almost singlehandedly, he was able to drag Joe Royle's team from a torpid first half into an explosive second.
He scored the first Everton goal himself, brilliantly, and in doing so set off an eight-minute storm in which Forest disintegrated. Dave Watson headed the second goal, Duncan Ferguson the third.
"We got exactly what we deserved. After the first goal went in, there was only going to be one winner," Clark groaned. In the next 10 days, given the game's liking for the perverse, Clark might just be a winner again. If he is, however, it will not have been through answering a crisis by reaching for the chequebook.
Goals: Kanchelskis (52) 1-0; Watson (56) 2-0; Ferguson (60) 3- 0.
Everton (4-3-3): Southall; O'Connor, Watson, Unsworth, Hinchcliffe; Ebbrell, Parkinson, Grant; Kanchelskis, Ferguson (Amokachi, 69), Stuart. Substitutes not used: Short, Kearton (gk).
Nottingham Forest (4-4-2): Crossley; Lyttle, Cooper, Chettle, Phillips; Stone, Gemmill, Bart-Williams, Woan (Haland, 77); Campbell, Roy. Substitutes not used: Howe, Allen.
Referee: K Cooper (Pontypridd).
Bookings: Everton Hinchcliffe, Parkinson.
Man of the match: Kanchelskis.
Attendance: 33,163.Reuse content