The move is confirmed in Gavin Buckland’s book on Everton in the 1960s “Money Can’t Buy Us Love”.
The Liverpool Echo reports the book reveals that John Moores, the benefactor of the Mersey Millionaires, tried to use his financial muscle to sign the Real Madrid magician in 1960, the year Puskas scored four goals in the famous European Cup final against Eintracht Frankfurt at Hampden Park.
Moores’ words delivered to Everton shareholders in December 1960 are published:
“It is no use people telling us to go out and buy world-class players like Real Madrid can do. The League rules will not allow it.
“If I had offered Puskas a £15,000 signing on fee when he left Hungary, and made him a director of Littlewoods at £10,000 a year, I still could not have signed him for Everton because the Home Office would not have admitted him into the country as an alien, the Players’ Union would have objected and the League would have vetoed it too.”
The Everton chairman then bitterly fired off his frustrations to Mike Langley of the Daily Express in August 1962.
“Real Madrid, with naturalised Hungarians and Argentinians, are almost helped by the Spanish government to build the world’s best team.
“Our government has no interest in football apart from taking millions in pools money out of the game and putting none of it back.”