Theo Walcott’s contract at Everton was worth £7.8million-a-year – more than half of what the club earns from matchday income.

That is according to finance guru and Football Insider columnist Kieran Maguire, speaking exclusively after the Athletic revealed on 24 May that Walcott has taken a 50 per cent pay cut to join Southampton.

The report claims that the 32-year-old’s Everton contract, which will expire at the end of this month, is worth an eye-watering £150,000-a-week.

This site first broke news that Everton had told Walcott he was free to find a new club on 11 May.

Maguire highlighted the risks of being lumbered with an expensive player, revealing the scale of Walcott’s wages in comparison to their Goodison Park takings.

He told Football Insider correspondent Adam Williams: “It’s always a risk to have players on long-term lucrative contracts if they don’t deliver.

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“If Walcott’s wages are at that level, that’s more than 50 per cent of their matchday revenue going to one player.

“In 2019, pre-Covid, Everton’s matchday income was £14.2m. If Walcott was on £150,000-a-week, that’s £7.8m. So it’s taking a big, big chunk of your budget.

“In a non-FFP world, if the owner’s willing to fund that then it’s not an issue. But in an FFP environment, it’s really challenging.”

Everton were given the green light to begin construction on a new stadium in March.

The new arena, situated on the site of the Bramley Moore Dock, will seat 52,000 spectators and is slated to open in 2024.

In other news, ex-Everton star set to be appointed to prominent managerial position.