Everton chief executive Robert Elstone defends transfer dealings

Everton protest
Everton fans protested before league games against Aston Villa and Wolves

Everton chief executive Robert Elstone has defended the club's transfer policy in a detailed blog to frustrated fans.

Hundreds of supporters have protested against chairman Bill Kenwright and voiced concerns over a perceived lack of progress in the last five years.

They have raised questions about a lack of player investment, as stars including Mikel Arteta have been sold.

But Elstone said: "After all ins and outs, a net £35m has been spent buying new players [since 2006]."

Everton spent £94m, including agents' fees, on internationals including England stars Phil Jagielka, Joleon Lescott and Leighton Baines between 2006-07 and 2010-11, while recouping £59m from selling the likes of Lescott, Andrew Johnson and Simon Davies.

"Over that period, as a result of being better than our rivals at negotiating, recruiting, signing, preparing and coaching players, we've finished an average of sixth - an enviable performance," Elstone said in a blog on Everton's official website.

However, supporters still believe there has been a lack of transfer cash given to manager David Moyes.

Prize asset Arteta was sold to Arsenal in a £10m deal during the August transfer window, while Everton gained £5m from selling Jermaine Beckford to Leicester and Yakubu to Blackburn.

Moyes was allowed to use the funds to recruit loan players Royston Drenthe and Denis Stracqualursi. He has also bolstered his squad this month with the temporary return of United States international Landon Donovan and the acquisition of Manchester United midfielder Darron Gibson for an undisclosed fee.

But the Blue Union fans' group, formed to put pressure on Kenwright to sell the Merseyside club and step aside, has demanded to know why more of Arteta's transfer fee has not been reinvested.

The group has staged two protest marches at Goodison Park this season against the Toffees board.

Elstone, who insists Arteta's sale was not forced by the bank, said sell-on fees to the Spanish midfielder's former club Real Sociedad, plus falling gate and television revenues, could slash his fee to £5.5m.

He added: "Even if these attendances and TV appearances pick up, out of what's left, significant money has gone on new deals for Marouane Fellaini and Ross Barkley. We've brought in James McFadden, Marcus Hahnemann and Landon Donovan and our newest arrival, Darron Gibson.

"It feels like we're getting the most for our money and whatever money is left will be stretched, squeezed and re-invested.

"The chairman and the manager have spent the last two months looking at several more potential acquisitions and as always, on all football-based matters at Everton, it will be the manager making the decisions."

Elstone said he wrote the blog to "completely and comprehensively...provide our supporters with every piece of financial information at a level we believe no other Premier League club has done before".

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