Everton - Amortisation
When Everton signs a player we generally know how much has been paid in transfer fees, the figures from www.soccerbase.com are a good source.
The club has to pay the transfer fee to the selling club. In the club accounts it then has to report how much it views each player's worth has declined each year. So for example Jaguielka for £4m on a four year contract costs the club £1m per year. This is what is reported as 'amortisation' in the club accounts. At the end of the contract the player can just leave on a 'free' so he is viewed as potentially no worth to the business after that.
This only covers the costs for players bought in. So Tony Hibbert, for example, does not have any effect on the amortisation costs of the club, as he was never bought from another club. Also once a player has finished his initial contract he stops being counted.
The annual amount the club are paying out for players was fairly flat up to 2007, however the club has invested in players int he last two years and this is reflected in the increased amortisation cost.