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ToffeeWeb Viewpoint
Thoughts from the Editor

In the Grip of Keith the Don ...
but does he know our history?

22 November 2004

Ticket from the past: what of its future?


Few if any Evertonians had heard of Keith Wyness before he picked up the poisoned chalice of the Everton CEO in the summer of 2004.  During his four-month honeymoon, he has presided over the outbreak of much-needed stability and on-field success at Goodison Park.  Certainly the club has not looked back since he cast his giant smile over our future.

Wyness's accomplishments during this period have been far from modest  David Moyes is under contract and the team is contending for a Champions League berth.  Also he has exposed the Royal Blue finances for objective scrutiny like never before and he is primed for action.  The future under 'Keith the Don' may not be pain-free but it seems unlikely to rely on the smoke and mirrors of previously administrations.

But, in addition to removing the red ink from our future, he must secure the blue ink of our illustrious past.  Keith the Don must secure the incredible David France Collection of Everton memorabilia for the benefit of future generations of Evertonians ... that is for our children and our children's children.  Ironically, he may not know our history... but our history is clearly very much in his hands.

Without doubt, it is one of the biggest challenges ahead of him if not the biggest.  Time will allow delays to the Halewood Academy and redevelopment of Goodison but, sadly, the hesitations of Mr Dunford and others have seriously jeopardised the integrity and coherence of this unique collection that charts our greatest possession ...  our history.  For 18 months the club has procrastinated so much so that time is no longer on the side of Keith the Don and generations of proud Evertonians.  He must act ... and he must act fast! 

As we reported, several viewings were organised last week for qualified acquirers... although ToffeeWeb was not invited.  Nevertheless we managed to persuade our intrepid agent, Travis Furious, to locate the proceedings and see what he could find out.  This is the decoded transcript of his report ... [Warning: it will send shivers down your Royal Blue spine!]

Runcorn to Seattle ... are you there boss?  Can you hear me ... I hope you can hear me boss ... I'm in Chester ...

I staked out the target building for 48 hours ... posing as a builder from across the road ... Don't worry, no-one sussed me ...

Boss, there have been lots of comings and goings ... the first punter showed up at 8 in the morning; the last left at 10 at night on both Wed and Thurs ... I counted seven different groups turned up ... they were all suited and booted ... most of them stayed for 70 minutes ... there was never more than one group in the building at any one time ...

In the Grip of the Don...

And you were right, boss, they all left smiling ... even the foreigners, who I'll get to later ...  In addition there was a bunch of big guys with the television cameras and the usual rabble of press gangs ... I spotted the bald fellow from Everton (he wasn't smiling like the fella in the picture) but he wasn't the first to show up ...

Two lots of pin-striped public school types were first ... they came in taxis .... followed by a scruffy Brummie-sounding fella in a BMW and a well-heeled Cockney geezer ... the Cockney was in a really flash motor the plate RED 1 ...

They were followed by a couple of Everton-types ... but worse was to follow:  on Thursday morning, a guy from Anfield bounced in ... smart looking guy with the Liver bird on his overcoat carrying a brief-case ... he stayed for 2 hours and 23 minutes much longer than the others ...

The last to show was a bunch of foreigners ... I think they were the international syndicate you mentioned ... they stayed the night at the Grosvenor Hotel.  I didn't see his lordship but he could have sent his rep one of the Everton blueboys ... I couldn't see through the windows and there were bouncers on the front and back doors as security ...

One of my associates chatted to the Brummie guy in the Pied Bull pub (I'll include the bar bill on my expenses) ... he was closed-lipped but confessed that he would split up the collection and sell it off over three years ... and would double his investment!!! 

He said that his biggest competition is from the investors the types who speculate in whisky and the like they would hold on to the gems from the 1800s and sell them in 5 or 10 years time for telephone number prices!  We are in the wrong business boss!

He also said that only 1% of the 10,000 items were on display ... that said, he was overwhelmed by the quality and condition of the items ... he had never seen anything like it ...

There were official ledgers, cash books, turnstile books, programmes, season-tickets, handbooks, photographs, player's contracts, construction contracts, ravel itineraries, letters and medals dating back to Everton's days at Stanley Park and Anfield. 

Ominously, the collection arrived and left in six red metal boxes...

My invoice is in the mail.  Glad to be of assistance, TF.

Hopefully 'Keith the Don' knows enough about our history to understand that he doesn't want to be a part of our history as the CEO and Board member who let our heritage slip through his fingers! 

The thought of other parties fingering our history revolts me.  But the thought of Liverpool Football Club out-manoeuvring Everton yet again and claiming our history as their own sends shivers down my spine. 

I've heard that they need quality memorabilia for their expanded museum to be incorporated in their new state-of-the-art stadium.  Well they must have salivated at the thought of displaying the ledgers which detail 'The Split', the Stanley Park season tickets, the Anfield documents and the 1,000 plus Liverpool pre-war programmes in the collection. 

The honeymoon may soon be over for 'Keith the Don', I fear that he will have to deal with an angry mob if he hasn't taken the initiative and secured these priceless heritage before the AGM next month.   Please send you comments direct to and copy them to us via our Feedback page.


Michael Kenrick
ToffeeWeb Editor

©2004 ToffeeWeb


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