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Fans Comment
Peter Rea

The Official End of the Season
4 February 2006

Yet another transfer window slams shut with all Evertonians once again disappointed to the extreme. The lack of any transfer activity during this window from our Board and Management signals the official end of our season. Potentially the most exciting season for Everton FC and their devoted fans for many years has ended prematurely. Not to help Sven give more rest to the World Cup Squad ahead of Germany of course. Our collective Management Team have resigned themselves to muddle / struggle through until the end of the season with Premiership survival the sole aim.

Forget the spin about the FA Cup and challenging the teams above us for Uefa Cup berth the prime objective for the rest of the season is to finish 4th bottom or higher. Disagree with me if you want but any club with any ambition would have moved heaven and earth to at least get a loan signing in to address our diabolical lack of forward talent. What happens with Everton? We sell a bloody striker (albeit an average one) to cover a 2M loss on a lemon of a centre-half who was not properly scouted in the first place. Then we allegedly scrap around in the last days of the transfer window making enquires about any waif and stray when all the pedigree talent has long since been identified, sounded out and secured.

Personally, I do not believe we did anything, made any serious approaches except to journalists to spin how the club just missed out on Player X, Y and Z just to keep the fans hoping. Once the window is shut and all fans' hope is gone, the message is that we must all get behind the team until the seasons end when the tawdry cycle begins again. We must have been linked with 10 or 15 strikers in the last two weeks without any materialising. Ive never known a gaggle of hacks to get it so wrong... unless of course it was all bluster in the first place.

The plain fact is Everton FC must be absolutely skint to the point of liquidation. The Board had no business plan in place to countenance not qualifying for the group stages of either European competition. We obviously manoeuvred the mountainous debt in the summer to secure the likes of Davies, Krldrup, Vann der Meyde et al. When we failed to secure at least one European revenue stream, the Board had to suddenly revert to emergency financial planning. In football parlance, this means selling assets even if it means making a loss on some and weakening the overall squad. We instruct our manager (the fans' tangible link to the Ivory Tower) to put as positive a spin on the negative situation as he can. The fact that this emergency financial planning basically ignores the fact that the higher up the league a team finishes the more prize money it receives is of no relevance to Bill & Keith.

As many have suggested on this website, the fans have been lied to time and time again. Everton FC is obviously in serious financial trouble and the Board are trying to keep this from the fans (the real shareholders). In defence of David Moyes, I honestly cannot believe any manager at any level of football would be satisfied with the lack of goalscoring options we have at this club. Any manager would have moved during the autumn and during the early days of the transfer window to secure at least a loan replacement for Bent and another for cover in case of injuries to Beattie. Unless of course he was told he couldnt?

This covers mis-management at the highest level of Everton FC but what it does not cover is the appalling lack of judgement and squad management by David Moyes and Alan Irvine. When they had the funds in the summer, they made very poor decisions. I am not going to drag up the Krldrup affair... suffice to say we never needed him in the first place and the 5M lump sum couldve been spent better on down payments on at least two quality strikers. With Ferrari on loan we didnt need another centre-half.

However, we categorically needed a proven goalscorer with pace to give attacking options. This is now even more apparent with the situation we are currently in. Yes we are on a mini-revival and I am enjoying it as much as the next Evertonian but let's all be honest, it is only a matter of time before the long season tells on a wafer thin squad. Can any Evertonian be happy with a starting 11 with James McFadden as our lone striker and supposedly our main striking threat? Can any Everton Manager for that matter be satisfied? Have no doubts this squad is now well and truly David Moyes's squad. The statement when he first arrived was that it would take a few years to mould his own squad. Well David we did not think you meant moulding a squad in your own likeness, i.e. lacking in depth, experience, flexibility and flair. Thats exactly what we have after four years of toil.

It is going to be a long second half of the season as we muddle through (as the Board has decreed). Let's hope when our Pandoras Box shuts at the end of the season, hope still remains for our viability as a Premiership entity.
Peter Rea

Everton FC are pleased to announce The Official End of the Season

Peter Rea writes a piece that is so stock full of popular misconceptions, errors and false conclusions it is impossible to name them all. But his response to the fruitless transfer window likely sums up the feelings of so many who placed all their hopes and dreams on this opportunity. How many times do we have to go through this before people start paying some attention to what David Moyes says? He told us not to expect any incoming.

Just pickling a couple of items form the first paragraph:

"all Evertonians once again disappointed to the extreme." No Peter, there are those who actually listened to David Moyes, read his lips, and saw there would be no incoming. 

"The lack of any transfer activity during this window from our Board and Management signals the official end of our season." what utter tosh.  It is NOT the end of the season in any way shape or form, and anyone making this totally asinine statement needs shooting.  There are 13 more critical games to be played in the league, and we are still in the cup.  This is why the club exists to play in the League. Saying the season is over, is just plain stupid.

And at that point, I'm sorry but I lost interest in yet another droning moan. Michael

Peter will be pleased to know that I'm not so easily satisfied by the club party line as my colleague. My take? Where there's smoke there's fire. It is common knowledge that Everton budgeted for a decent run in the UEFA Cup and a top-ten finish as a minimum this season. Having failed at the first hurdle in three consecutive cup competitions, plummeted to the bottom of the Premiership and then had to absorb first the wages of the new signings and then the first payments due on many of them at the start of 2006, it's not a stretch to deduce that the club could not afford to pay the going (or demanded) rate for David Moyes's short-listed players.

Conspiracy theorists say there was absolutely no money and the sale of Bent and Kroldrup were absolutely necessary. Where's the evidence to the contrary? It's not hard to imagine that the money received for Marcus Bent offset the loss on Kroldrup so the cash would not have been there even if Moyes had decided he wanted to go head-to-head with Manchester City over Georgios Samaras, for example (City eventually got him for £6m). If wages are up, attendances are down and there's no flow of investment into the club, where, apart from TV revenue and player sales, does the annual transfer kitty come from? Certainly not the £100K operating profits of the last fiscal year.

So, show me some evidence that there was a healthy kitty in place and then explain to me how a manager can play an entire 38-game season with just one decent striker on his books. It doesn't add up to me. So, if the club exists to play in the league and there are 13 critical games to be played, why not meet the investment it will expect from the fans in terms of passion and money with some ambition of your own? Why expect the fans to while away the last four months of the campaign watching Moyes's cloggers slog their way to the finish line playing scrappy football and hoping that we finish high enough in the table to earn enough cash for the manager to supposedly spend in the summer?

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