The Everton Independent Supporters Association's pitch at the 2001 AGM
I'd like to raise a subject that is very much part of the big picture for the fans, and that is communication. The one thing that frustrates the Evertonian more than the field of play is not knowing what is going on at our club from day to day on major issues. We do have an insatiable appetite for news of this club we love. I'm often asked why is that; well all I can say is that we still consider this to be our club, and owners in share value are mainly custodians.
Without the fans there is no club; we are amongst the most loyal when you consider the last twelve years. We never deserted our club in its hour of need like fans of Coventry and Sheffield Wednesday did, we dragged this club over the last hurdles in the relegation battles, we have been worth ten points a season especially over the last six years. Never forget this.
We don't expect to know everything about the club, just the parts that directly affect our thinking. Like the Kings Waterfront project; most fans don't know where we are at this point and the rumour factory is, by nature, in the negative theme. Fans won't believe the new stadium will happen until the JCB's are digging away on our behalf. A little scrap of the position we are in publicly would go far on this subject. It's so important for our future. In this case no news is bad news.
The new Everton web site is good but it's not enough; not everyone has a computer at home.
The fans focus meetings are great but the results of November have still not been published when promised.
I must say that the local press has done an awful lot of damage towards continuing the hangover of the previous Everton custodian. We are constantly spoon-fed the negative aspects of this club we love and we are sick of it. We've had front page headlines like Everton's Kings Dock bid is the last thing English Partnerships want, scrapping the reserves, to where's all the money gone. Just last week our debt was spiralling to over 30 million and we're so skint we could not afford Michael Mols on loan.
One journalist on Friday night had the arrogance to tell the faceless directors to put their hand in their pockets and that their running of our club is a joke, farce and fiasco! Why the poisonous arrows I don't know; bad news is supposed to sell papers. Well I think the opposite is happening on Merseyside and the local Blues are not going out of their way to buy these disloyal local papers to a club that has given so much over the years to the local community, and wider. We know the position we are in, we don't want it rammed down our throats every other day.
And that's why the club has to try harder than most to communicate to all its fans. Let us know as much as possible via another channel if the local rags persist in what is almost a vendetta. They know the board are doing their best to undo the damage left behind by the previous owner, they know there aren't millions at our disposal or a quick fix with a magic wand. And the worst thing is they know what they're doing. I want, via this meeting, to tell these papers to stop it and come back to their senses. I want a symbiotic relationship and help to get this club back on its feet, the hatchet buried if its not too late. I'm very, very disappointed and sad about our local press. Please stop it before the damage is too great in the Evertonian's mind. This type of selective journalism must stop; there are good things about this club, you know!
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