After Everton FC's accounts reveal rising debts fans need to temper their expectations
Everton FC's accounts released today are likely to do little to comfort fans who believe the club faces a less and less competitive future.
Sure the club is not going bust, as has been suggested by some fans in recent days.
But neither is it swimming in cash as debts are rising and now stand at Â£45m, up 18%.
The wage bill is a key issue, now almost every Â£7 of income goes into wages. Not as high as some clubs, but higher than the likes of Liverpool FC and Arsenal.
So what about the future then? When Elstone jokes that he can't see the record transfer fee of Â£15m for Fellaini being broken, he means that fans need to temper their expectations.
And that is part of the problem. Writing as an Evertonian, expectations were so high at the start of the season. On paper we had the best squad in years, yet we now languish in mid table.
We have got used to competing for Europe and it is hard to accept that really we never had the cash to do so. Certainly not to compete with the big money available to Man City, Chelsea, even Tottenham and Villa.
David Moyes has spent, and sold players wisely. But when you live on the tick there comes a point when you can borrow no more.
Everton may have reached or be reaching that point.
That said there is no need to panic, the club's finances are manageable, for now. Clearly the management have decided not to do a Leeds United and keep ploughing money in on the hope that success on the field will lead to more cash.
Even if they did do that, as chief executive Robert Elstone admits with Champions League football comes a higher wage bill, which is already hard to meet.
So where next? As we all know Everton needs a new ground. Without the extra revenues a new ground would create, we are destined to continue walking a financial tight rope.
As Bill Kenwright has consistently made clear, we need a new owner with deep pockets.
But sadly the club seems to be stuck in a catch 22 situation. Without a new stadium prospective new owners balk at having to shell out on buying the club and then building a new ground.
But without the finance to build a new stadium the club is unable to entice new owners.
There is no clear short term solution. Maybe we just need to get used to a world where we are not competing for Europe every season?