Fans Focus Agenda

 

Meeting held on Tuesday 5 December 2000 at Goodison Park.

Present:

Michael DunfordChief Executive

David Harrison†††† Club Secretary

Graeme Sharp††††† Fans Liaison Officer

Mark McVey††††††††† Megastore Manager

Kevin Nolan††††††††† Small Shareholders

Norman Dainty††††† Small Shareholders

Barry Murray†††††††† Secretary, Independent Blues

Tony Batty†††††††††††† Committee Member, Independent Blues

Ian Macdonald††††† Vice Secretary, Independent Blues

 

THE GROUND MOVE TO THE KINGS DOCK:

 

It has been shown by an overwhelming majority of eight to one fans that this magical site is the where the future of Everton is hoped to be. As I have stated already, just because we have voted to move does not mean we can have the JCBís at the Kings Dock next week, no this is just the next stage of continuing the battle .A lot of hard work has to be put in now to get this much sort after site. I believe that if this war is to be won it is in the next six weeks .Do we have a team in place to do this battle justice and if so who are they? . The PR has to be more forceful than ever before from Goodison. Putting forward all the positive aspects of this majority dream move, articulate to all the negative aspects that WILL be overcome.

 

The other contenders for the bid have to be analysed for what they are to the long term future of Merseyside. How can upmarket flats generate long term jobs and income to our city? More shopping malls? What will the city centre businesses think of that! We have to know our enemies, the other bidders, we have shown our hand and we will develop it more. I am under no illusion Queensberry rules will be the order of the day. Our own Daily Post still makes out from Ďreliable sourcesí that we are wasting our time and losers already, lets root that one out now and use it to our advantage.

 

I also believe that the fans can be the deciding factor in our hometown. As people of Merseyside we have more right than anyone to have a say who should ultimately own this land in our city. NOT OUTSIDERS. Yes its government lands, then letís ask the government for it directly! Payment for this plot of land was done along time ago by countless Merseyside workers donít insult us with highest bids from non-city dwellers. We need an entertainment complex now!

 

How then can we help? Who are the people who we should lobby just EP, who?

Are we to join a consortium (personally Iíd be the biggest whore in town and go to bed with anyone to make this dream a reality) and if so will we still own the ground and will it still be Everton led?

 

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity lets pull together on this serious matter of our future. Lets not be selfish if you wanted to stay fair enough but please let the majority of fans have a clear route to get this great site.

 

Fighting amongst ourselves gives the reds a laugh. Lets stop them laughing and let them start being jealous.†††

 

The Club have put together a team of people to further the bid.A formal proposal is to be entered on the 17th January.It is to be hoped that this team will realise the dreams of many.Professional companies and associates have been brought in, and further details will be released at a later date.

Fans may think this is frustrating, but the Club is pressing on hard with the bid.Much of what they're doing must remain confidential for obvious reasons - we don't want to give our opponents any clues.

 

 

 

 

††††††††††††††††††††††††††† OTHER BUSINESS

 

 

Media deal update:

Is it dead in the water? Rumour has it that Celtic are to tie up a £30 million pound investment with NTL source soccernet / Daily Mail reporter Roddy Thomson. I thought NTL had gone cold on club investments. How can the likes of Southampton tie up deals and we canít?

 

It is still optimistic, despite rumours to the contrary.Again, the Club can't release details - confidentiality is paramount.

 

Youth Academy:

The above I am led to believe affects our unfinished / started academy. Now I know we are still struggling because of the previous tenureís damage but if we donít do something soon about the Academy will we lose our license when it comes up for renewal? If that happens will we lose our excellent current crop of young players after all the hard work put in with them. Have we identified a location for our Academy, hopefully Fazackerly .Its geographically better in my mind and area? Can Netherton please have those porta cabins soon? Weíll knock the old building down ourselves and skip them if need be!

 

Netherton - planning permission being pushed through (we even need it just for the porta cabins!) but is expected early January.This is being treated as a matter of utmost urgency.

As for the new site, the expectancy is that the complex will house both the academy and the training ground, and the Club is pressing on with negotiations.

The loss of the licence for the Academy is not a possible outcome.

 

Concessions:

The dad and lad tickets were not really advertised properly. How about all restricted views dad and lad tickets at say £18 -£20 . The reason I say restricted views is that no season ticket holder in their right mind has a restricted view so they canít really moan about the prices. A height restriction like at Disneyland would deter adults taking advantage of this offer. Also can we access all areas for kids when a low gate is expected .Many fans would like to bring their kids to the game if they could sit by them in their stand were they are season ticket holders.

 

The price increase category games have not really worked have they?. .Sorry but fleecing our loyal supporters is the only way of putting it. It would cost in excess of £40 for a parent and child to come and watch a premium game and thatís just entrance fee . So what happens is the child is left behind hence the lower gates .At this festive time a visit from the ghostly past to scrooge comes to mind . The fans will love it The Christmas spirit arrives at Goodison !.We have to encourage the floating fan back. Recently against Arsenal we had a gate of 33,000,comprising of 2,800 Arsenal fans ,22,300 season ticket holders and just under 8,000 Ďfloatersí .Well I think that 8,000 Ďfloatersí is a worrying amount and needs work on increasing this number as soon as possible.

 

How can Man City charge £8 and £16 just down the road. Three thousand three hundred tickets sold in a few days for our away game. The fans are there if the price is right. Is 1200 tickets enough for the forthcoming away game at Charlton ?.

 

This was the longest part of the meeting.The Club has accepted that the pricing has not been a success.Sunderland's experience of filling the Stadium of Light was endorsed whereby concessions are given for poor views, and if the forthcoming game was likely to be well below capacity, all the local schools were contacted for party bookings for children at £5 per head, to be accompanied by a responsible adult or team leader.

Everton will allow for a voucher in the season ticket book to be used to bring in a friend at £10 LESS than the advertised price for this situation, to try and get more into the ground.Among other ideas discussed were accessing all areas for children.

 

As for the Charlton game, tickets have been limited to 1200 because that's all they offered us because of Stadium work.Frustrating, but there you go.

 

 

Disabled fans: Can they be re-located to another area. It is not ideal to sit directly below the away fans for example Chelsea at home the other week a situation occurred.

 

Steve Hennigan (Disabled Blues) in constant discussion on these matters.Ian suggested that lower Bullens near the Gwladys Street would be a good place for the disabled fans, and the Club will look into the idea as the family enclosure is fully subscribed, and there would be no other logical place.The Club will continue to talk to the Disabled Blues on the matter.

 

 

Players comings and goings:Nyarko and Myre is their departure inmenent? The constant paper talks about impending doom on Goodison selling this and that jewel to appease the banks. Walter going Reidy coming in etc. Can we dispel these accusations as soon as possible and not let the fans be tortured please! . Otherwise is no smoke without fire ideas planted. Alan Nixon, who I had a lot of time for, seems to want to paint a picture of despair, who is feeding him these stories?.

 

Francis Jeffers is a reflection of our ambition or lack of it . Move heaven and earth to keep this talent. Comebacks Franny, Duncan, Gazza AlexandersonGough etc And donít let Danny cut his locks off ,heís getting better now his hair is growing back.. Young Samson indeed.

 

We are under NO pressure from the bank, the Co Op have been very supportive.It is ultimately Walter's decision as to the comings and goings - but it is expected that a couple will be going soon - as this is Walter's decision.

 

As to Franny Jeffers moving, the Club made it plain that for a move to happen, BOTH parties have to agree!And we don't agree.

 

Obviously, Franny wants to negotiate a new contract, and feels he is worth a pay rise, and the Club will (over the coming months) be talking to his people to try and reach an agreement.This is normal for all players with less than two years to go on their contract.

 

 

††††††††††† Updates on previous topics:

 

 

The vacant advertised Marketing manager post to be filled in November update please.

The position is filled.The new man is a 30 year old high flyer with a blue chip company, with World wide experience, currently working in Japan and USA, and he starts on 8 January.

Dixieís statue is it still on course ?.

 

Bill has a meeting early in the new year with Tom Murphy, Sculptor, and as already stated the statue will be ready for the anniversary of when he joined Everton, in the early part of the year.

 

Fans share issue; Any chance of participation in owning our club?. WE could wipe out the overdraft in one stroke Iím sure. The Waldorf and Fans Trust experiences showed there is some healthy investment out there. The squad could then be allowed to grow. There are signs Walter is getting it right.

Until the media deal is finalised, whereby a dilution of 9.9% of shares will occur, the exploration of fans owning a part of the Club cannot be investigated, but the Board will definitely look at this as a distinct possibility at a later date.Recently, a block of shares became available at £1700 per share, which was felt to be above the real worth, at about £1400, but one person has already enquired for fifty of them - there are clearly people out there who want to invest in the Blues, as evidenced by EFT and the Waldorf experience.

AGM when is it to be held now?.

 

Friday 29 December - notices have gone out in the post.It's not the ideal time because of Xmas but for statutory reasons and the redrafting of the memorandum of the constitution, (set up by Kevin Nolan and Tom Cannon, as the constitution dates back to 1878, and is so old now that the price for a season ticket is shown as 7/6d)it has to be on this date.

 

 

Screening of further matches any dates ?. Is the screening as bad as they say when re-laying live games from outside or was it the weather last time?.

 

Charlton £8 and £5, is upcoming.†† The weather was a contributory factor to the quality of the screening at the Derby, so it is to be hoped that future ones will be better quality and not in a downpour.

 

Mega Store: Are pre-stock levels for Xmas good enough. How about advertising posterís in our captive audience in the corridors of Goodison for sales etc.

 

It was felt that Puma at Leeds had a better range.It is been admitted that there have been teething problems with Puma, but new manufacturers always bring initial problems to be sorted out, and the Club is working hard on the situation.Sales are up 20 per cent this year, but the problem with the away mini kit shortfalls wasn't helped by one of Puma's subcontractors in Cornwall going bust.This kit is now discounted at £19.99 to try and obviate the problem.††† Although it is felt that this City has less disposable income than Leeds, we are Puma's largest sale in UK football, and we sell as much as Leeds do with their new supplier now.

 

Stock levels now buoyant, and the spring range will be released after Christmas.

Incidentally, Umbro never offered a child's range.

A suggestion box has been incorporated to see what people want.

Although the megastore is about 75 per cent used in the week, they need one three time the size on match days.

 

The Club is actively seeking "in store" sites at eg Matalan, TJ Hughes etc.

On Thursday 7th and 14th December, at least eight first team players will be at the megastore to meet the fans, including Duncan Ferguson and Kevin Campbell.

 

I was bitterly disillusioned that the thank you letters did not get given out with the derby tickets for the fans that went to the perfect storm at Bristol Rovers . What happened?.

 

Sorry.We should have, but didn't.

 

Ray Wilson; Our world cup winner is selling his medal can you put it about to some of our well heeled Blues . It would be nice to nestle in our trophy room .A real investment has come up for grabs. See David France for interested parties, David has Rays telephone number.

 

Enquiries have already been made to acquire this piece of EFC History.

 

A BLUE father Christmas; If we can persuade our Father Christmas to walk around the ground with the Toffee girl before the West Ham game will you allow it for the kids?

Excellent idea! But perhaps a better idea for the Coventry game.

 

Alan Stubbs.

As you are aware Alan is a great Evertonian, and is suffering again from cancer.It was suggested that since we have such a fine Centre for Excellence in Cancer, the idea is for a pre season game at Celtic Park or Goodison, with all proceeds for cancer research.We all know someone who has been touched this dreadful disease, and Graeme Sharp is already sending a letter of support to Alan, who he knows personally.

 

 

Iíd like to put on record our thanks to Walter Smith and his team for doing us proud, to Bill and his board for what they are doing for our club (remember twelve months ago ) and a special thank you for players such as Gazza who are doing this club proud off the field.

 

I went to a funeral the other week of a good young Blue who had died of cancer, Neil Lewis was his name and he was just 38, and there at the funeral was Graham Sharp and Franny Jeffers what a great tribute to the lad that two of his heroís were there to see him offand giving strength to his heartbroken family in that his loyalty did not go unrecognised by his club. I never mean to criticise my club just trying to make things better for all of us. These meetings really do help bringing back communication with the fans, the main pitfall of the last tenure. The cynics may say its lip service I know itís not.

 

Yours thankfully

Ian Macdonald EISA

 

Footnote

 

The Club will get back to us in a week or so with any other outstanding issues.We didn't cover everything, but did a lot as I hope you agree.

 

Ian is going to suggest that future meetings be extended to include other fans groups, like ESCLA, the North East Blues, the Midland Bluesetc., so that this doesn't end up appearing to be just the Independent Blues.The Official Supporters Club didn't make it to this one, and the Independent Blues are anxious that the meetings are not perceived as just themselves - there MUST be a broad spread of opinion.