Everton will avoid any punishment from the football authorities, despite revealing a loss of £111.8m over the past 13 months.
That amounts to an increase in post tax losses of an eye-watering £98.8m on losses of the previous year, and raised fears the Blues could fall foul of Premier League profitability and sustainability rules.
Owner Farhad Moshiri though, injected more cash into the club in the form of loans, with the billionaire businessman taking his interest free lending to Everton
That allowed the board to actually reduce debts to just £9.2m from the previous year’s borrowings of £65.7m.
And with Moshiri’s long-term business partner and multi-billionaire Alisher Usmanov stepping up his investment in the Goodison club through sponsorship and naming rights, the Blues remain solvent.
But the record losses over the past accounting period point to a deeper problem in meeting the club’s heavy outgoings, with a wage bill of £160m that is now almost 90 per cent of income.
And privately, the club’s financial experts admit that means income must be increased significantly over the next financial year, to avoid penalties from either FIFA Fair Play rules, or the Premier League regulations.
Insiders at the club point to the appointment of Carlo Ancelotti as proof Moshiri is serious about aiming for on-field success, to increase revenue streams.
The decorated Italian coach was told qualifying for the Europa League this season is still the main aim, with the money from a European campaign vital to creating a stable and profitable base on which to build.
The Blues believe a top-seven finish will deliver not only greater Premier League income, and a place in Europe, but also commercial opportunities which will expand revenues significantly.
Ancelotti has been tasked with taking Everton into the European places this season, and in the medium term towards the top four.
Moshiri has promised funds during the January transfer window to bring in signings to achieve that aim – though his new manager will also have to sell in the summer in an attempt to balance the books.
In what was a fascinating and often heated AGM, Chief Finance and Commercial Officer Sasha Ryazantsev delivered an upbeat message despite the alarming headline losses.
What was clear was the influence of Usmanov. The former Arsenal shareholder – who is regarded amongst the world’s wealthiest tycoons – has made no secret of his desire to buy into another club after selling his shares in the Gunners.
In a recent interview he hinted he could take a financial stake in Everton to work alongside his close friend Moshiri, and already he has stepped up his Goodison involvement.
Usmanov’s company USM already sponsors the training ground and has a training kit sponsored deal, but it was revealed his has also paid a £30m fee to get first rights on a naming rights deal for the new stadium, which is due to be built by the summer of 2023.
That money will be used to develop the stadium plans over the next six months, with the club hopeful they can secure permission to build by the end of next summer.
Usmanov’s increased involvement will lead to further speculation that he will take a more formal role in the club, and he may be persuaded to invest in the stadium, with build costs likely to be in excess of £500m.