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Colm's Corner
Columnist: Colm Kavanagh


Once more unto the breach...
8 December 2005

CEO Keith Wyness: Invest in Me!

This coming Sunday, we return to a ground where recent history indicates well traipse home back down the East Lancs with little to show for our collective effort.  Since the advent of BSkyB and The Premiership weve not enjoyed too many days and nights at Old Trafford.  One solitary night, with the Stretford End resembling a building site, our own dancing minstrel, Bob The Pole Robert Warzycha running riot is all we really have to show, over the years.  Hardly the theatre of dreams some would have you believe.  It is an Evertonians graveyard.

I remember a few seasons back, it may have been Davey Moyes first trek there as Everton boss a Monday night fixture.  I dont think any Evertonian expected much to be honest but the effort of a workmanlike, game, Everton eleven that night deserved better than what they got.  The clock ticking, ourselves holding United scoreless, I had the missus locked away in the kitchen (she professes to being a lifelong United fan but I suspect shes waning these days in favour of those Goodison Blues!) as I tried everything possible to influence the final score from the comfort of my living room.  Standing up, legs crossed, drinking with the left hand, drinking with the right hand.if it worked before and was working now why vary from the tried and trusted?  0-0, minutes to go, in she comes from the kitchen, to catch the last few minutes.  Bang bang bang, 3-0 home win for United.  Gutted.  If looks could kill, they probably will..  No shit, Peter Gabriel!

Being denied the services of Mikel Arteta and Tim Cahill doesnt help what is already an uphill task for Everton on Sunday.  Chuck in the absence of Nigel Martyn for good measure and the recipe is set for another horror show live and exclusive on Sky.  West Brom revisited?  Shit, I hope not!  To be honest, I believe WBA was simply one of those evenings when anything that could have gone wrong did go wrong.  The fact that it was a televised game added to our pain and fears that The End Is Nigh.  Ill not name the two fine Blues who were present at The Hawthorns that evening who availed of the opportunity at the recent AGM to stand before Mr Moyes and air their genuine fears for Everton Football Club.  Both believe Everton are going down this season.  Aye, this is the same set of overpaid shysters wearing Royal Blue shirts who have won four of their last five games.  Relegation form indeed!  Funny arl game

Remember the corresponding fixture last season?  Life, for Evertonians, could not have been more horrible going into that game, entering the lions den at Old Trafford.  Bill was fighting with Paul.  Paul was fighting with Bill.  Everton, both on and off the field of play, were neck deep in shite.  On the pitch, wed not secured even one point there since 1996 and on this day we would be without the presence of both Thomas Gravesen and Joseph Yobo.  Wayne Rooney was also absent, injured, and due to sign for United before the transfer deadline closed.  I doubt even the most tanked up Evertonian walking into Old Trafford expected a result.  We got one.  Against the odds.  We won 0-0! 

One solitary point but it spoke volumes back then for a squad who believed in themselves even if no one outside did.  They would say it again and again over the course of the season and still no one truly believed this squad capable of achievement.  That they did achieve relative success (fourth, and a Champions League qualifier) was a testament to their self-belief.  With the early season capitulation now giving way to a sense of lets roll up the sleeves and dig out a few results, I see no reason why this seasons side cannot go some way to once again muscling in on those with visions of grandeur and potential European campaigns again next season.  Its worth noting that right now we lie ten points off a UEFA Cup place.  Thats not out of sight.  Yet.

I think Im right in recognising then that this Sunday will be Wayne Rooneys first game against us, at Old Trafford.  No doubt the travelling Evertonians will cop an earful from the rank and file Manc brigade.  Be sure to remind them of their untimely demise in Europe this term.  We share their pain, the Champions League being anything but a laugh.  Having said that, I feel for our chairman and his pet CEO, Mr Wyness who may have viewed Uniteds demise in Benfica with tears in their eyes.  There goes another chance of a potential 1M windfall for this season.  Two down, lads, three seasons to go, in order to trigger that clause inserted into Rooneys contract.  Worth a laugh, I suppose, at this point in time to go once again over that small print:

Manchester United, European Champions League Winners - 1.0M
Manchester United, European Champions League Runners Up - 0.5M
FA Premiership Winners - 0.5M
FA Premiership Runners Up - 0.25M
FA Cup Winners - 0.15M
Rooney signs an extension to his contract at Manchester United - 1.5M
Rooney earns 20 England caps in competitive games whilst at United - 0.5M
Rooney plays a further 20 England caps in competitive games whilst at United - 0.5M

Now I aint Bill Kenwright, or the incredibly successful Philip Green for that matter, but nowhere above do I see a clause inserted stating Everton secure even 5.50 if and when Manchester United lift the Carling Cup.  Europes gone for this year (the curse of being tenuously linked to Everton FCs financial well-being?!), United may now lick their wounds and for once, as a member of G14, be forced to acknowledge the domestic game!  On the England front, for those monitoring the situation, Rooney has thus far played in seven competitive games for his country since his transfer to United.  As an Irish Evertonian, Id almost wish England well in their pursuit of World Cup glory next summer the sooner Rooney edges nearer to gaining those 20 competitive caps the better it is for us.  Well have half a million quid!  What say you?  New tent for the Park End?!  All humour aside, we do have the possible safety net:

Even if these events do not occur, Everton will receive 3.0M provided Rooney remains registered to Manchester United until 30th June 2007.  This sum will be payable in equal instalments of 1.0M on 1st August 2006, 2007 and 2008 if not already paid via the above incentives.

If the player is transferred from Manchester United then Everton will receive 25% of any excess sum over all amounts paid under this agreement.

We can only hope that the Glazer family and Paul Stretford resist all temptation to cash in the chips and pack off the Wayne and Colleen Circus to the land of Hello! magazine and a mansion next door to the Beckhams. 

Mentioning our esteemed CEO above, it amazes me that two weeks now since the AGM, not one article anywhere across the media has made reference to the fact that Mr Wyness, when asked at the AGM, was forced to confirm that he has touted potential investors in Everton Football Club to support his private business initiative(s).  Furthermore and this is the beaut its apparently in his contract!  His words, not mine, at the AGM. 

It transpires that Mr Wyness has a vision of family fun, which could benefit Evertonians no less, this being a separate scheme outside his remit as CEO of Everton Football Club.  We have a CEO earning, one suspects, a rather nice wedge for his days at Goodison Park, touting would-be investors (be they singular or plural is irrelevant) to get the ball rolling on matters away from Everton business. 

Im fairly sure that those people who have been directly affected this past year by some of Mr Wynesss decisions raised an eyebrow or two.  His facial expression was priceless when faced with this revelation at the AGM.  However, with the era we now live in, it was hardly surprising to note how the Liverpool Echo failed to even mention this little snippet from the AGM.  Of course, with David Moyes present, suited and booted, seated at the top table, the next mornings back pages were already written.  Think about it.  Everton hold an AGM and the next days papers concentrate on Moyess team selections and transfer policy!  Mission accomplished, another potentially embarrassing night in front of shareholders averted for another year.  A cynic might offer that the Echo refused to air this revelation due to the fact that theyre bidding for the contract to print the matchday programme next season.

Finally, if youve got this far and have a spare million or ten, feel free to invest it in Everton FC!  Give the Club a call.  What odds on a Mr D Ferguson or even a Mr W Rooney knocking on the door in time to come?!  Perhaps not maybe theyll get a call from Mr Wyness and invest in some family fun for all Evertonians.

Meanwhile, the same old problems remain once more unto the breach, dear Evertonians, once more

 

Colm Kavanagh

 


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