• Spurs have 'pulled away a little bit' from underfunded Everton
• Moyes will not be able to spend proceeds of Mikel Arteta's sale
David Moyes has lamented the widening gulf between Tottenham Hotspur and Everton and confirmed that the £10m raised from selling Mikel Arteta to Arsenal last August is not available to spend in the January transfer window.
Everton have competed consistently with Spurs for European qualification in recent years, despite Tottenham's greater spending power throughout the Premier League era, but have seen Harry Redknapp's team continue to invest and improve over the past two seasons to a point where they are now viewed as credible contenders for the title. Moyes, by contrast, has had no fresh investment in his squad for several years and has seen Everton fall away from European contention as a result.
"It is a little bit sad they are starting to pull away from us a little bit more than I would like," admitted Moyes, who faces Tottenham at White Hart Lane on Wednesday night in a game rearranged from the opening day of the season because of the riots in London. "It is frustrating because all managers will tell you when you are close and competing with teams you never like to see them go away from you, but we are looking at them going away from us at this present time.
"They have continued to kick on and over the years they have got in some really good players. Rafael van der Vaart is one and Scott Parker another recently."
Members of the Blue Union, a supporters' group formed in protest at the "stagnation" at Everton, challenged the club's chairman, Bill Kenwright, on a range of financial issues as he arrived at Goodison Park for Saturday's FA Cup tie against Tamworth, including whether the proceeds of Arteta's £10m sale on transfer deadline day last summer would be reinvested in Moyes' squad. The Everton manager raised approximately £17m through player sales in the last transfer window after Barclays insisted the club remain within its £25m overdraft limit.
Moyes has said that the decision to sell Arteta was taken for "football reasons" but conceded on Tuesday that he will not be given the proceeds to spend on new players. "I think everybody knows that the bank wanted the money. I think you all knew that," said Moyes. Everton officials demanded and received an apology from the Liverpool Echo last year when the newspaper reported that the Arteta money would not be given to Moyes in January.
Despite the different courses taken by Tottenham and Everton over recent seasons Moyes insists the financial chasm between the clubs is not a new occurrence and there will be no envy on his part at White Hart Lane. "I never really think that way but I do think that over the years we have competed quite closely with Tottenham," he said. "But I would guess that they have been one of the biggest spenders in the Premier League over the last 10 years. Certainly since I came in they have always supported whatever manager they've had, whether that be Juande Ramos, Martin Jol or Harry Redknapp. They have always backed their managers.
"We know that we have to [invest] if we are going to hang on but it's hard. I see one or two other clubs that could say they were competing with Everton and Tottenham not too long ago who are in a similar situation. That's the way it is. A big part for us will be to make sure we develop our own players and bring our own players through and pick up one or two from the lower leagues who we can hopefully turn into Premier League players." Asked if he could pursue that policy in this transfer window, Moyes replied: "I would be surprised if we did. I don't think that is going to be the case."
Moyes is sure to be a leading contender for the Tottenham job should Redknapp become England manager and create a vacancy this summer. And the Everton manager credits Redknapp, not finance, as the key to Tottenham's emergence as the main threat to Manchester United and City in the league.
The Everton manager said: "I think the appointment of Harry Redknapp made the big difference to Tottenham. Harry has given Tottenham an edge. He has been able to attract good players and his team play in a really good style. I like the way his teams play.
"He has turned them around since taking over with Tottenham not in a very good position. A lot of foreign managers have enhanced the Premier League and if you look at the Premier League there is very little typical English football any more. Harry has continued the Britishness while introducing the likes of Van der Vaart and he's done it very well. What they are doing and the way they are playing is terrific."
Martin Atkinson will referee an Everton game tonight for the first time since controversially dismissing Jack Rodwell against Liverpool in October, a decision that was overturned by the Football Association but for which he never apologised to Moyes. "It would have been interesting to see if they'd given him the job at Goodison instead of away from home," the Everton manager said.