Everton Business Matters exclusive interview with Sasha Ryazantsev

Following the release of Everton’s 2017/18 Report & Accounts which is analysed in depth here, our podcast Everton Business Matters,  produced by The Blue Room, was given exclusive access to Sasha Ryazantsev, Everton’s Chief Financial and Commercial Officer and board member.

 

In a wide ranging conversation, Sasha spoke with candour about the progress made on the stadium financing. In the conversation the progress made in recent months becomes much clearer:

“We put together an information memorandum that was shared with potential funders. We know the right structure on funds. We have a clear idea on costs. We have a very good grasp of what it looks like. In many ways we’re ahead of our time”

He also spoke about the requirement for further equity investment to complete the funding. Importantly he associated the build of Bramley Moore with that of a long term infra-structure programme rather than a more speculative investment in a football club. As a result this opens funding to a much wider range of finance institutions who gain confidence and security from the long term income streams such a development creates.

In answer to the questions regarding current expenditure being greater than  current income, it is clear that a resolution to this issue forms an important part of their current thinking: “We have huge potential as a team & club. The move to the new stadium is a compelling proposition. The challenge for me is to ensure we grow our commercial revenue away from reliance on broadcast revenue alone.”

On growing Everton’s fan base it is clear that the work the club does with younger fans is key to future growth.  “Increase in younger people engaging with via Angry Birds If you look at our strategy with ticketing & overall engagement with younger audiences, we’re up there. It’s important to future proof – build on our history as well as attracting younger people”

Analysis:

Regular readers of this website and listeners to the EBM podcast will recognise our call for greater engagement from the club and evidence of growth strategies plus of course, demonstrable progress on the Bramley-Moore stadium.

One interview does not answer all the questions, but it must be said that both Sasha and the club were extremely keen to make use of this form of engagement, recognising the benefits of talking directly to a wide segment of the fan base. I think it’s fair to say also that more meat was put on the bone in terms of financing the stadium, certainly more detail than in any other previous communications from the club, and also at last, evidence that commercial growth is a key part of the future thinking.

We spoke about the sea change brought about by Moshiri’s ownership of, and investment in the club. We will continue to question, we will continue to analyse and offer our own views as to the progress the club is making, but this interview should provide a great deal of confidence to Blues looking for evidence of progress.

Up the Toffees!

Radio City Talk  ran a shortened version with my thoughts which can be found here:

PS: A big thank you to all that made this possible at Everton Football Club, John Blain and Rodger Armstrong of EBM, and of course, Dave Downie at The Blue Room.

 

 

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