The Everton chairman Bill Kenwright has spoken of his despair at where the money for summer transfers for the FA Cup finalists might come from, stating that his bankers have told him to "stay away" and that there is no prospect of a buyer for the club on the horizon.
Kenwright has allowed David Moyes to break the club transfer record three times in his five years as chairman. "Where do you get the money from?" he said, ahead of tomorrow's Wembley encounter with Chelsea. "You want a £1m house and you have £200k, where do you get the money from? You go to the bank manager and, every year, say: 'here I am again'. But this year they're saying, 'Stay away, don't even bother coming to us.'" Kenwright, who will know that Jose Moutinho's new contract at Porto is structured to make it easier for the player to leave, suggested that the banks may be willing to do business on the basis of him providing personal guarantees. That reflects the way lending works with newly nationalised banks unable to charge higher rates and arrangement fees as they once might have.
But he remains gloomy about the prospect of the club finding the billionaire owner he has said they need, with the profile of a first FA Cup final appearance since the defeat of Manchester United 14 years ago unlikely to make a difference. "It won't trigger anything, but you'd think it would," Kenwright said. "People seem to be flying in, looking at clubs, coming to see me and saying we're the one and you literally don't hear from them again. There's just no money."
Kenwright said the pressures of theatre production pale by comparison with chairing the club. "Being a producer is not in the same world, because this to me is... I don't want to be emotional, but this is what I am." With the outcome of the public inquiry into Everton's proposed new stadium at Kirkby unlikely to be known until the autumn – the club feel that Communities Secretary Hazel Blears' ruling could go either way – Kenwright is taking comfort from his prime asset, manager David Moyes. The two men speak half an hour after every game and Kenwright suggested, ahead of taking the trip south down the M6 in the coach he will hire for his family, friends and wife Jenny Seagrove, that the Scot's achievements surpass even Howard Kendall and Harry Catterick.
Kendall and Catterick were, he said, "phenomenal managers, but it was a different time then, a different playing field. There wasn't the pressure, the money, and what he has done, forget hyperbole, is a miracle. He has transformed the club. It's not always been easy for him."
Moyes's tenacity in the transfer market is illustrated in Kenwright's story of how his manager secured Marouane Fellaini's services from Standard Liège last summer immediately after a work permit application for Internazionale's Nigeria striker Victor Obinna Nsofor was turned down with the transfer window deadline looming.
"If [the story of the] next eight hours and us signing Fellaini is ever filmed, you won't believe it. Fantasy time," Kenwright said. "It was David who jumped in the car at 9.30pm to get to Luton airport to go to Liège to meet the boy at a hotel [with] me on the phone to the [Premier] League and FA and eventually at 11.50pm he walks in the room. David [calls me and] says, 'I can see him,' and I asked, 'what's he like?' and David just says: 'big.' We managed to get it through by seconds. Like any fan I'm [suggesting players to buy] but he won't. He knows. He's focused."