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Are Skies So Grey, Roy?

By Art Greeth :  07/08/2007 :  Comments (30) :
Putting aside what Roy Warne believes in his piece on WSAG that both camps agree on, in my opinion this whole debate is as much about securing Everton?s future in the medium to long term as it is about finances.

I?m not sure if Roy is correct in his claim that either BK or KW has stated that unless we move to Kirkby Everton will not attract investment, but again for the sake of the discussion I?ll let that pass. The fact of the matter is that Everton has NOT attracted investors as other clubs have. Every other club takeover ? be it hostile or benign, successful or not ? is quickly placed in the public domain. It is newsworthy.

Now many argue that there has been genuine interest by unknown parties in buying BK out, but that he has blocked them at every turn. This rather beggars belief when one considers no such interest has appeared in any form of the media down the years. Given that it would be in any investor?s interest to make any takeover bid public knowledge (all the more so given the level of support it would attract from the BK/KW cynics?), logic suggests to me that no such approaches HAVE indeed been made.

Now again, logic suggests that Everton SHOULD be considered as a leading candidate for investors given the current market climate for exactly the reasons Roy mentions. But I simply don?t follow Roy?s leap to the opinion that the club are misleading us into touting Kirkby as the only option, all the more so for his stated reason: that BK would greatly benefit from any future sale as the club?s assets would be far greater.

Ehrm? forgive me my furrowed brow, but? isn?t that what Roy suggests we all agree upon? That the club needs to attract major investment to compete with the top four? If Roy?s suggested ?ulterior motives? of BK?s come to pass then? that?s a job well done, isn?t it? Or am I missing something? BK benefits? EFC benefits? it?s a win-win that I personally have no problem with.

Roy then gets a little confused, IMO, about BK?s ?morality?, the ballot and the ?propaganda?. I find it highly credible that the fans are getting any sort of say in this decision, let alone a vote on the scale that is being conducted by the independent electoral reform committee. For this BK and the club should be complimented. The single question is straightforward and uncomplicated. I do not consider it ?propaganda? at all that the club ? ever so gently ? is promoting its own particular, openly expressed by the board, recommendation ? a move to Kirkby.

Again, I am personally of the opinion that to date EFC has been very, very low key in the propaganda war in comparison to those opposed and I am comfortable that the final result will be a fair and just one.

Unfortunately, Roy now strays into the emotive and reveals his personal preference and is too easily dismissive of other opinions. Quite clearly, given the ferocity of the debate, people are NOT being gullible, loyal sheep ? but of course by that he means those voting in the ?yes? camp. And on what does he base his suggestion that it is ?in the best interests of the club at this time? (to) suspend the vote due to the clear significant numbers strenuously opposed to going to Kirkby? ??

The Kirkby proposal CAN?T be put on the shelf as he suggests because there ARE time restraints on EFC?s opportunity to take up this offer or not. And why because Roy smells a rat (real or imagined) should the many who consider the Knowsley-Tesco offer an excellent one be wrong??

Roy is 100% correct when he states that as part of the Kirkby proposal the club has indeed already attracted a blue chip investor ? Tesco. And of course they are getting something out of the deal? that?s how investments work. We get a football stadium ? they get the biggest supermarket in the country. It?s a healthy, mutually agreeable symbiotic relationship ? again, a win-win for both parties. As for which is the bigger brand, as proud a Blue as I am, I am afraid we are miniscule compared to Tesco.

Perhaps unknowingly, in calling attention to the above, Roy is in fact paying a compliment to BK and KW? acknowledging that they have, indeed, found an investor that the club could greatly benefit from. Isn?t that achieving their remit and helping secure the club?s financial state and future we all desire??

Nor do I sign up to Roy?s claim that Tesco is the only astute player in this deal. Knowsley Council seem VERY astute, attracting the country?s leading retailer AND one of the country?s leading club?s into its parish, whilst for Everton it is a very neat package at incredibly benevolent rates ? and I speak of the financial aspects only ? not the emotional.

It?s normal business package for a deal of this scale to have an exclusivity period to ensure all parties show ?good citizenship? and don?t walk away without fully exploring the possibilities, thus leaving remaining parties high and dry and out of pocket. Nothing sinister in it at all. As Roy rightly says, it is rather sad and condemning of LCC that it has taken the Kirkby project to embarrass them into action.

As for Roy?s conclusion, it could be ? and has been in this debate ? so easily inverted: don't think that if we DO knock Kirkby back that we are going to get another opportunity like this again. Don't fall for the ?no? camp propaganda. Don't just accept the first mediocre offer that comes along in the guise of Bestway just so Warren Bradley can save face. Because whatever deal is presented to resolve the issues affecting EFC, there will NEVER be universal acceptance of it.

Sorry to twist your words at the end there Roy, but maybe, just maybe, Kirkby IS the right deal, at the right time.

Reader Comments

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Neil Pearse
1   Posted 08/08/2007 at 08:44:07

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Great post Roy, just want to re-emphasise two big points that are now coming out of this debate.

One: Kenwright and Wyness HAVE attracted a very significant investor to Everton Football Club - Tesco. I don’t understand why this isn’t seen as a big positive. All investors get something out of a deal, that’s the way the world works. The point is to get the investment, and BK and KW have (from Knowsley too).

Two: the Kirkby move is MORE likely to lead to a major takeover of the club and a new investor. Just think about it: who wants to invest in a club needing massive funding to build a new stadium and nowhere to build it?

I really do urge NO voters to think through the actual consequences of what might happen if we don’t go to Kirkby. Please don’t be blinded by mirages like the Loop. It’s too small, and there’s no funding.

The most likely scenario of a NO vote will be chaos and uncertainty at the club, sitting around in a decaying Goodison hoping that somebody is going to come along and save us.
Ravo Stanley
2   Posted 08/08/2007 at 09:11:13

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Investment and Bill Kenwright. In my opinion, based on what we know of our luvvy Chairman, allied with what friends in the Theatre trade tell me, the man is a complete ego maniac and I wouldn’t be surprised that the major block to investment is Kenwright himself.

I’d hazard a guess that he wants the investment AND retain control, which is sort of what he’s got with Tesco, although I understand that their actual ’investment’ is in reduced construction costs, which I suppose with economies of scale also benefit them - They’ve got a massive store to build at the same site remember!

To what end Kenwright is holding on we don’t know. I don’t think he’s going to produce a detailed 5 year plan, and we’ve had enough episodes of ineptitude under his stewardship.

I don’t think he’s savvy enough in business terms to do this to boost his return, he can’t even chair an AGM properly, so for once let’s allow him his (self-proclaimed?) title of ’Fan on the Board’.

Is Wyness the ’mastermind’ possibly, but am I right in thinkng that he doesn’t have one share of EFC to his name, so how does he benefit?

All in all I don’t trust Kenwright and Wyness because I think they’re both short sighted in their outlook and I think that Wyness is very arrogant. If I had a vote I’d vote NO, not only because I agree with Roy’s original article, but also as a vote of no confidence in our modern day Peter Swales and his CEO by numbers mate!
Steve Hogan
3   Posted 08/08/2007 at 09:35:51

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Good article, and one without the deeprooted suspicion and cynicism from the NO camp brigade.

Danny Mullally
4   Posted 08/08/2007 at 09:22:36

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Art, I respect your views and analysis on Roy Warnes post, but you say some things that I find quite laughable

Art: "I do not consider it ?propaganda? at all that the club ? ever so gently ? is promoting its own particular, openly expressed by the board, recommendation ? a move to Kirkby. Again, I am personally of the opinion that to date EFC has been very, very low key in the propaganda war in comparison to those opposed and I am comfortable that the final result will be a fair and just one."

Really? I seem to remember Wyness going on something of a crusade appearing on Radio City, Merseyside, Front page Liverpool Echo, Everton TV, Sky Sports News....very low key my friend. All that the "No" voters have had to publicise their views have been the occasional mention 6-7 pages into a local paper, a self funded display of a viable alternative to Kirkby, and the assorted Everton related webpages.

The ballot is indeed a good thing, and I respect balanced opinions from both sides, but you accuse Roy of being a little confused-Well I will be the first to admit I am also "a little confused" by the vast amount of spin the board continues to apply to this move.

I vote No, I presume you vote yes. We differ - lets just see what happens on the 28th.
Danny Mullally
5   Posted 08/08/2007 at 09:59:49

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PS: For another subtle example of "spin" look in the booklet accompanying the ballot paper.
Look at players quotes and in particular Lee Carsleys, and see the insertion of (Kirkby) into his statement about how the club should move. He did not say we should move to Kirkby, he just states we should move. As does Cahill and Arteta and Johnson. It’s only Stubbsy who says anything about Kirkby.
This is just ANOTHER example of the not so subtle spin that appears to be a part of the boards DNA.
Dan Mckie
6   Posted 08/08/2007 at 10:22:39

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Excellent response Art,I got my ballot form yesterday and my ’yes’ vote got posted straight back! This IS a good deal for Everton and I cant wait for it all to be resolved to be honest.
Art Greeth
7   Posted 08/08/2007 at 10:11:07

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Thanks for your comments, Danny.

Naturally, I stand by my position on how I perceive EFC is conducting the campaign.

You offer examples of Wyness appearing in various forms of the media as undermining my opinion. I don’t accept that. This is a BIG story - of course he is going to be approached for comment and as CEO he is obliged to respond. Having sought his views, they will inevitably appear in the medium you mention.

Added to the fact that the official club circular related to the ballot(which some present as evidence of club propaganda) clearly states that the board recommends the move to Kirkby... well... to me that is simply being transparent. Naturally, the club is going to support and promote the position its governors prefer to adopt.

What I DON’T see on a DAILY BASIS, either on the club’s website, in the Post, the Echo, whatever, is a constant drip feed from the club of stories pushing for a ’yes’ vote.

So - yeah! - I stand by my claim that EFC IS being incredibly low key in trying to persuade the hearts and minds of its supporters in contrast to those opposed.

Now Danny, you won’t find me being abusive or name calling in this very sensitive debate. I fully appreciate the emotions involved. That said, I do not care for some of the rhetoric and tactics used by the likes of KEIOC. THEIR propaganda has played on fear and intimidation (showing footage of football violence), to character assasination (last week’s brochure before the Werder Bremen game and the recent phone-in) which, IMO, lends nothing to the debate. Whilst I may respect their followers for their passion for the club, for their stamina and dedication to their particular cause, I cannot buy into their arguments or rationale, least of all - as I state - the tactics they employ on a daily basis.

Because from where I’m sitting, it is the ’no’ camp rather than the club who is more active in the so-called propaganda war...
Tony Marsh
8   Posted 08/08/2007 at 11:03:36

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Art I would love you to be sitting at the same poker table as me mate. Once again I ask How is it that you and the rest of the no voters can so easily forget what BK did when we were going for the Kings Dock project.>Lets just sweep all the lies,the hoodwinking and in the end the toal shambles he made of it and sweep it under the carpet.>Why are you so guillible? Why do you believe it such a good deal>when all you know about it is what 2 con men tell what they want you to know.>Obviously you dont fully grasp the impact moving to Kirkby will have on the club.Thousands upon thousands of our loyal fans will turn thier backs on Kirkby wether you want to believe it or not.It will happen.Liverpoo FC will become sronger we will get weaker>and slowly but surely we will be the forgotten team who once used to play in the city of Liverpool.>Dont you get?Kenwright and Wyness are only concerned about themselves.If dragging Everton off to Knowsley secures BKs tenure as chairman for the next 10 years then thas what he will do.Historical and emotional issues
will count for nothing as you and the rest of Kenwrights puppets take us off to the knackers yard.>What will really make me cringe if we do go there will be all the woodentops singing if you know your history at the game because our history will be dead and buried along with the future of our club.Vote NO every one and dont sell us out like Art and his cronies want to do.
Art Greeth
9   Posted 08/08/2007 at 11:43:04

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Phhtt! How can one argue against the well-structured, rationale arguments that our dear friend Tony Marsh puts forward? Truly, a winning, knock-down argument to all the salient points of the debate.

All the gullible, woodentop puppets and cronies that oppose his views should hang their heads in shame.

Oh? and a heads up for you on poker playing, Tony? you?re meant to remove the Jokers before dealing the cards.
10   Posted 08/08/2007 at 12:35:01

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This article makes two good points about the investment issue.

(a) Kenwright supposedly blocking investors wanting to buy the club - I agree with Art, I just can’t see it staying secret if a potential investor approached the club and Kenwright sent them packing.

(b) We will surely be more likely to attract investment if/when we have a new stadium.
Paul McCann
11   Posted 08/08/2007 at 12:46:12

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Tony Marsh: ’Kenwright and Wyness are only concerned about themselves. If dragging Everton off to Knowsley secures BK’s tenure as chairman for the next 10 years then that’s what he will do’.

Tony, I think that paranoia may be getting the better of you. While I share some of your general concerns regarding the possible Knowsley move [to a much lesser extent], to suggest that BK is being underhand or purely selfish in championing this proposal is, based on all the known facts, simply not true.

You may not support the Knowsley proposal, you may not like BK [or KW], or have doubts regarding his/their business acumen [which I to some extent share], but to suggest that BK is in this solely for himself is wrong.

I for one think that the suggestion that BK would stand in the way of an investor who would improve the financial situation at the club [and line BK’s pockets] unbelievable. After all, it would be highly likely that BK would retain either an executive or non-executive position on the board, and therefore remain in a position of some power.

In the absence of any financially viable deliverable alternative, I will be voting yes.
Baz Johns
12   Posted 08/08/2007 at 12:12:16

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Excusing Tony’s limitations regarding his grammatical expertise I couldn’t agree more with him on this issue. You really are missing the point with all of this.

Here’s a ’what if’ scenario for you. What if the Tesco’s offer hadn’t come along and Bill was merely selling on the brand of Everton Football Club to a so called Sugar Daddy investor. What would be the first thing an investor would build into (or rather remove) when assessing the valuation of the club? Yes, the cost of building a replacement for Goodison or renovating the existing site. Who would this exclusion impact most? The major shareholder(s) within the club by any chance? It is strongly rumoured that Randy Lerner, the new Villa owner, did approach Everton as his first choice, but that was the first thing that was apparent to him in assessing that a lot of money would need to be invested in a new or renovated ground. If an offer was made then was at a much deflated level to take this into account. Therefore, if you are Bill, why not take the opportunity of getting a freebie from a corporate leach so that they can get their planning permission pushed through and then through the fact you no longer have this financial millstone hanging around your neck, sell your shares on at a premium! Basic ecconomics in my eyes and one, which if it was being planned by a non-so Blue chairman would be challenged by all and sundry within the fan-base, including the likes of yourself. If Peter Johnson was suggesting such a notion, would you be so quick to back him or would you have even the slightest of cynicism with his plans?

I cannot believe that Kenwright is not being seen through with this proposed move. Do you really believe that he is doing this for the good of Everton FC and not having any amount of self-interest in his thought process? It’s human nature that we all have self-interest with big decisions in our lives. But most of us when we make these selfish decisions are honest enough to admit it. He chooses to promote it as the best for Everton. Is it? How can we make an informed judgement when we haven’t been presented with alternatives and please don’t insult me by using the sort of naïve statements that are being bleated out on other posts such as ’we have no other option, Bill will never sell’? Again, I ask if it was Peter Johnson at the helm, would you be so quick to support or seek ways in which to remove him?

Kenwright must be getting haunted on a nightly basis from the likes of Sir John Moores over the way he has allowed his tenure to come to this. It is an absolute disgrace that we are being pushed out to a site that WILL have a degrading effect on our image. I’m sorry, it will. Sure, we will have a NEWER ground, but will it have the same sort of image that envious eyes looked upon when Goodison was at it’s height? No it won’t, it will be a second rate offering that is produced for the cheapest possible price.

From being the millionaires of 60’s and 70’s to accepting freebie handouts like some down and out from an organisation that also has total self-interest at the top of their agenda. How can you not look across the park and get angry at what Kenwright is doing in accepting second best for our club? Regardless of how many spotlights you put into the sky, this is a second rate offering to the first club in Liverpool and one of the most successful in English football.
Dan Mckie
13   Posted 08/08/2007 at 13:17:52

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Your right Art and Julian,rich business men dont like being told no and they would have kicked up a fuss in the media to rally support if they wanted Everton! Also why would anyone come in knowing the first thing they have to do is shell out £200 - £300 million on a new stadium?
Art Greeth
14   Posted 08/08/2007 at 14:05:16

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Thanks for your reply, Baz. I?m a bit concerned that ? as you state you fully agree with Tony Marsh ? that you regard me and others as ?gullible, woodentop puppets and cronies who are selling the club out?, but that aside, allow me to respond.

Your ?what if? scenario represents a marvellous fantasy, but that is all it is ? a fantasy invented by you. Who can say that Tesco?s just ?happened to come along?? Why not credit BK and KW for seeking out the partnership and carefully negotiating it in a tri-party agreement with Knowsley Council over the past 18 months, rather than implying they have not worked diligently to cut a deal, that it has just fallen into their lap, or that they are somehow being coerced into this by ?a corporate leach? (your words)?

Your statement acknowledging that any investor, real or imagined, would first build into (or as you rightly say) subtract when assessing the valuation of the club would be the cost of building a new stadium or renovating Goodison actually helps support my position. The current state of EFC, and Goodison Park in particular, discourages investors... so? we AIN?T had any interested parties! YOU say it is strongly rumoured that Randy Lerner approached Everton as his first choice? do you know for sure that the RUMOUR (again, your words) are true? Because as I stated in my original piece, moves and deals on this scale simply do not stay out of the public arena. It is in the would-be buyer?s interests to make their interest public. No one ever has. So forgive me on this one, but I prefer the rational and logical to the imagined and rumoured.

You say you cannot believe that Kenwright is not being seen through with this proposed move ? you say his motives are selfish and he is only doing it for personal gain and profit. By saying that you are conceding that the club will be a more attractive proposition to investors and that Bill will get a premium rate for selling the club. Again, as I said in the original piece ? job done! It?s a win-win for EFC and BK, should that come to pass. Everybody is crying out for investment in the club. Everybody recognizes a new stadium wherever it is located (including the redeveloped GP option) is a must as the club moves forward into the 21st century. I have no problem with BK walking off into the sunset with a suitcase of money if it also means that Everton?s future and financial well-being is secured. That?s business.

As for the rest of your post, I?m sorry Baz but evoking Dickensian memories of ghosts past, alluding to Peter Johnson and Sir John Moores as you do, is irrelevant to the current debate, IMO. I don?t subscribe to your view that a move to Kirkby is ?an absolute disgrace?, or that ?we are being pushed out to a site that WILL have a degrading effect on our image?, or that a new stadium will be ?a second rate offering, produced for the cheapest possible price?. None of those latter statements constitute fact, Baz? merely your opinion. As much as you are entitled to them, they do not represent a convincing counter-argument to my own personal stance.
Neil Pearse
15   Posted 08/08/2007 at 14:23:00

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Tony, you and some of the NOs can’t really have it both ways.

BK has turned away "numerous" investors. That is - people wanting to pay him MILLIONS for his shares.

BK is solely in it for himself.

Which is it to be then?

By the way, like Art, I actually do resent being called a "woodentop puppet and crony" by a fellow Evertonian. I personally have criticised BK, KW and DM on this site on quite a number of occasions, when I think they have merited it.

like all the other YESs I know, we are putting a lot of our own hearts and minds into trying to work out how best to support our beloved club at this time.

I appreciate your strong feelings Tony, nothing wrong with that (I have strong feelings too). But a little respect wouldn’t go amiss.
Baz Johns
16   Posted 08/08/2007 at 15:31:33

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Firstly, you’ve no need to thank me for my reply; I’m not that insecure that I need a pat on the head from one so patronising as yourself for my contributions.

As far as my concurring with Tony, it is the agreement only of the sentiment of his post, rather than the detailed content of it.

’We ain’t had any interested parties’? You have hard facts to support THIS statement? Or do you take it as read anything that comes from the mouths of Kenwright and Wyness as fact? Now who’s creating a ’marvellous fantasy’ (another condescending statement of breathtaking levels). The ill-fated Christopher Samuelson affair is reason enough for me nowadays to seriously question anything that comes from the mouth of Kenwright. The list of lies and failings is now reaching ridiculous levels and I would seriously question their capabilities of finding a millionaire in a room full of Sheiks never mind find it within their capabilities of getting the Tesco deal on the table.

How does the fact that Goodison has been allowed to be run into the ground help support your position? Why is it that other clubs (Newcastle, Tottenham, Villa) have found the funds in the current money-drenched climate to improve (substantially!) their grounds? Is it purely the fact that they have had rich benefactors to dip their hands into their pockets or is it through good business sense that they have found the means (and will!) to renovate their existing homes before it reaches a critical point and then reap the financial and aesthetic benefits of their improvements?

As far as Randy Learner’s approach to Everton, as an ex-employee of MBNA myself and with a number of friends still employed their, it is not a very well kept secret amongst the workforce that his preferred choice was Everton, as it was the larger of the local sides to their Chester base that would be ripe for investing. Fairly ’rational’ (your words) idea? Not fact as you so crave and appear to have a perceived wealth of to hand, but none-the-less, a local multi-millionaire business owner who was looking to invest in an EPL club and you don’t believe that he would firstly look at the local options? ’No smoke without fire’ I’d say, or is that just another of my deluded, fantasist ideas?

How will Everton benefit directly from Bill selling his shares at a premium rate?!? I’m intrigued, please explain. That’s like saying that grass roots British football will be better off through the fact that Kia Joorabchian has more valuable players on his books!! How can it be that Everton ’win’ when Bill sells up at a higher rate now that we have been pushed out to Kirkby.

I was born in Kirkby so I have no axe to grind with my birth-town. But move my club from one of the most famous City’s throughout the world to an unknown local borough is really not mine and many people’s ideas of progress.

I must go now anyway as my nurse has just returned to give me a sedative. My ’Fantasy’ threshold has just been breached.
Phil Bellis
17   Posted 08/08/2007 at 15:25:06

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Well Art, that’s that sorted then. By the way, ’the Kings Dock money is ring-fenced’
Art Greeth
18   Posted 08/08/2007 at 15:48:42

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Sorry that you feel patronised by a simple courtesy Baz. If that?s how you interpret my opening, so be it. I?m glad you DON?T consider like Tony that I and others are ?gullible, woodentop puppets and cronies who are selling the club out? ? much appreciated. To respond:

1) ?We ain?t had any interested parties?? You have hard facts to support THIS statement? Or do you take it as read anything that comes from the mouths of Kenwright and Wyness as fact??

Do I anywhere in my post make a claim that this statement is a fact? No. Do I present the statement as something coming from the mouths of BK or KW which I have blindly swallowed? No. I simply offer an alternative view to your own, based on my own rational and logic. It?s an opinion, nothing more nothing less, but an opinion which jumps through less hoops than your ?what if? scenario.

2) I?m glad that you mention ?the ill-fated Christopher Samuelson affair? as reason enough for you to seriously question anything that comes from the mouth of Kenwright. Along with the Kings? Dock project and the ntlworld sponsorship deal, it is oft cited these days as evidence of BK?s ?lies and failures?. Could you ? anyone for that matter ? provide concrete evidence that the failure of the FFS fund was down to BK and that it was just an elaborate plot to retain power against a rising challenge from Paul Gregg? All I have seen in the public domain, Baz, suggests that the charlatan and true maverick in that episode was Mr Samuelson, not BK. I have challenged any number of people to offer contradictory evidence to this, but to date, nobody has. Similarly, the loss of the ntlworld sponsorship occurred at a time when the stock market collapsed due to the bursting of the dot com bubble. ntlworld ? who from memory already had vested interests and sponsorship deals with the two Glasgow clubs, Newcastle and Leeds ? was a victim of that and had to regroup. Unfortunately, on the cusp of a deal, Everton were secondary victims of it. This cannot be laid at the feet of BK ? greater forces were at play at the time.

3) Introducing the fact that Goodison has been allowed to be run into the ground is a new point you are now raising. Again, in any of my posts in this thread have I at any time given a blanket excuse to the Everton management? No, I have not, so don?t presume that I do. It is self-evident that in the Premiership era we have been seriously mismanaged, that our income streams are way below equivalent clubs of our standing and as a result GP has fallen into disrepair. I recall when Trevor Birch was signed up as our CEO I told friends ?this could prove to be our best signing in years?. I recognized we needed a seasoned campaigner such as him to put our house in order. Alas, we all know what happened within weeks of his appointment. But then? we replaced him with KW, and I regret if my opinion of him doesn?t coincide with yours, but from what I see he is doing a good job.

4) With regards to your comments about Randy Learner, you?ve said nothing new. You yourself admit that your claims are ?not fact?. And I?m sorry Baz, but being an ex-employee of MBNA yourself with a number of friends still employed there doesn?t give extra gravitas to what still ? by your own submission ? is still an unsubstantiated rumour.

5) How will Everton benefit directly from Bill selling his shares at a premium rate? Simple, that means that an interested buyer has valued Everton at a higher level than is currently the case and sees it as a viable investment. To ensure the new owner(s) get a return on their investment, they will wish to make the business of Everton FC a success. That means ensuring decent income streams from multiple sources which should directly benefit the core industry of the brand (sorry to use corporate speech, but this is the reality of modern day professional football) ? the team.

Again, apologies if you feel patronized Baz. I really don?t know why. I?m simply engaging with you and trying to be courteous without name calling. It doesn?t cost much, fellah?
19   Posted 08/08/2007 at 17:33:17

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Art, The rationale argument put forward by Tony Marsh, the one you tried to belittle. The adjective you were looking for was rational. One step at a time son. Vote no.
Art Greeth
20   Posted 08/08/2007 at 17:47:25

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WOW!! I’m awed Matt... you tripped me up with a typo.

I appreciate your contribution to the thread. Most telling.
21   Posted 08/08/2007 at 17:45:31

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Art, Same schoolboy error (if you are a schoolboy you’re forgiven). You told Baz that "No. I simply offer an alternative view to your own, based on my own rational and logic.". Here you should have used the noun rationale. If you’re going to pull people for grammatical errors you really should get your own house in order. Not a big one for book learning and such eh?
22   Posted 08/08/2007 at 17:54:32

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Not a typo. An over ambitious attempt at fully embracing the English language. By the way, I’m not looking for these mistakes, they’re just glaring. If you don’t like me doing it, don’t do it to Tony.
Art Greeth
23   Posted 08/08/2007 at 18:08:53

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Matty... show me anywhere in this thread where I have "pulled other people up for grammatical errors". I haven’t. Not once.

Have I complained about you pulling me up on my typos/spelling/grammar erros - call them what you will? No, I haven’t.

What I HAVE done, tongue in cheek, to both you and Tony is to highlight that neither of you have contributed anything to the debate.

In Tony’s case it is his usual meandering rant, machine gunning down anything and everybody who fails to conform to his very unique view on all things Everton, whilst you... well... contribute... nothing.

Your choice, your right. Not fazed by it all. Don’t mistake being a pedant for having completely undermined me or my views. You haven’t.
nick blue
24   Posted 08/08/2007 at 17:39:54

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It’s a pleasure to read some of the well thought out and reasoned arguments - makes a change from some of the ill-mannered tripe that is oft-posted on these, and other boards.

People need to stop thinking about individuals and consider the club as a whole. If the move goes ahead and, as a result, we attract new investment - great!

I personally couldn’t care less what BK gets out of it, as long as the EFC benefits.

One thing is for certain in my view - that we won’t see any investors queueing up with the current state of GP as it is. If you disagree then give me the name of one multi-millionaire who has made a positive statement of intent in recent years. Anyone?

Randy Lerner might have (very briefly) considered Everton, but probably took one look at the stadium and thought ’forget it’.

Taking everything into account, Kirkby is the only realistic way for the CLUB to move forward.
25   Posted 08/08/2007 at 22:39:37

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I’m voting no. My decision’s made. I’m not trying to contribute to the debate. Just reading your meandering rant (fits nice there)compelled me to pull you. I wouldn’t bother going into the yes / no thing with you. Let’s face it, very few of us are going to be swayed. I just dislike your attitude to other contributors. Congratulations on the inclusion of pedant by the way.
Roy P. Warne
26   Posted 08/08/2007 at 21:09:03

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Art Greth Thank you for responding to my article in a friendly manner, I will attempt to retort in the same vein as I sequentially respond to the points made in your article. (apologies if this incoherent...I’ve knecked a bottle of barolo tonight)

If I had time I would delve into the google archives and find the quote I remember reading by Bill Kenwright regarding investment. I haven?t, so I won?t.

The bottom line is we don?t know exactly who or who hasn?t approached Everton with regards to a take over. I do think it is naïve to think that an interested investor would automatically blab to the media. Is business not best conducted privately? The point that seems to be missing here though is that the club need to be the catalyst for investment, i.e. a bit like putting your car in automart. No one is going to knock on your door and ask if you want to sell your car if you?ve not put it up for sale. The point I should have articulated better is that I don?t think Kenwright/Wyness have done enough or are simply not competent enough to secure the investment.

I believe they are misleading us by telling us that Kirkby is the only option (i.e. no Plan B) when as the 18th richest club in the world I humbly suggest that there has to be a Plan B? I am not sure what you aren?t able to understand about Kenwright?s personal wealth being greatly increased if he sells whilst residing in Kirkby?

You seem to be missing the point again with the next part?Yes investment probably will follow a move to Kirkby. That is not the problem. The problem is that by then we will be trapped in a tin pot ground in a far from perfect location. Some people think the ground will be fantastic and that being in Kirkby is fine. Others like myself don?t. I don?t have a problem with that. I feel that we are being asked to accept a mediocre proposal when common sense, clear fiscal facts and current trends tells me that we needn?t.

If Kenwright had gone forward with the Kirkby proposal without the consent of the fans there would have been murder. He knows he is on thin ice with large sections of the crowd. He also knows it is a highly controversial thing to do. Had he not have done a ballot (particularly as a precedent had been set, i.e. Kings Dock vote) the backlash would have been immense, and I suggest his position may have become untenable.

Art, you put together a reasoned response to my article in parts, but I do believe you have let yourself down with your next comment about propaganda. A glossy brochure accompanying the voting slip? i.e. one side even though there is two options? Getting the players ? who probably won?t even be there when the ground is built anyway ? to get at the emotions of the fans? Asking David Moyes to lie for the club? Yes lie, because when he was outside the Real Salt Lake stadium the other week he was far from backing the move to Kirkby. Do you read the Daily Post and Echo every day? Have you seen hom many times pro-Kirkby articles have been on the front page in the last few weeks? I?m sorry but I am the one with the furrowed eyebrows now.

Why can?t the Kirkby proposal be put on the shelf? What do you know about time restraints that the rest of us don?t? Do you know that there will have to be a public consultation and planning application if the club proceeds with Kirkby (my experience of Knowsley council would guess the timescale for this would be 12 months plus rather than weeks). You don?t have to follow a planning application up with construction, you know? Why does a vote have to be binding now when 12 months down the line we could get knocked back anyway? My sources in Kirkby tell me that the locals are predominantly against it and are ready for a battle up there.

Yes Tesco are an investor, my point being that Tesco are not the only business out there. Kirkby suits Tesco better than it does Everton FC though, clearly, as there wouldn?t be so many upset fans around at the moment. If Tesco can make a deal work with Everton, so can others. The point is, unlike your good self, I obviously don?t believe Everton will greatly benefit from having a tin pot ground in a town outside of Liverpool. That side of things has been done to death already?

Without wanting to sound condescending, trust me when I tell you that Knowsley Council are as divorced from astute as you can get. Whether they are not is not relevant anyway to any point I have made.

An exclusivity period involving a city council (certainly on Merseyside) and a company from the private sector is very rare, in my experience at least. I am not sure why you think this is normal practice? To say it is not sinister is naïve. Do you know that the exclusivity period was due to expire a couple of months ago? Why did they extend it at this point, especially as they knew at that stage that LCC were desperately trying to liaise with the club. You can believe what you want.

I must have spoken to 100 blues, family, friends, colleagues, strangers in Liverpool city centre bars after work? and I think I have met just 2 who back the move to Kirkby. One of those lives in Kirkby, this being his reason, and the other who is an idiot who wanted Liverp**l to beat AC Milan in the recent European Cup Final.

I respect anyone who votes yes (I don?t know where they are mind?) but don?t tell me this is right, not when so many are against it. We should be united as one on an issue like this?it is that important.
Keith Harrison
27   Posted 08/08/2007 at 23:03:59

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Why don’t we all use the poker table analogy mentioned above !!! It’s your decision wether to play or fold, you wouldn’t tell your playing partners how to play their hand, and you certainly wouldn’t show them yours and ask what they think !!

Everyone should make up their own minds, vote accordingly, and stop slagging FELLOW EVERTONIANS off because they do not happen to subscribe to your own viewpoint.

Constructive discourse is fine, but some of the vitriol slung by and at people who probably sit close to each other at the games, and worship the same gods (Blue)relly make you wonder is the RS tendency have infiltrated this site just for a laugh.

Make your own mind up, and vote accordingly - but do vote !!
Art Greeth
28   Posted 09/08/2007 at 10:57:56

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Good on yer Roy? I live in Portugal and was out to dinner with friends last night, so a few bottles of Portuguese reds were knocked over. Three Porto fans and a Benfica amongst them, if your interested? their impression is that if Lucho Gonzales is going anywhere it will only be to Real Madrid. As for Manny? well, the noises from Benfica suggest they want to keep him, but the word on the street is that he could indeed be let go. Transfer rumours aren?t exclusive to the UK, as you can see!

Anyway, to respond to your own response:

I accept what you say ? that we don?t know exactly who or who hasn?t approached Everton with regards to a take over. That?s pretty much the point I was making. I just wanted to debunk a popular myth that there has been a long list of suitors knocked back by BK. There is absolutely no evidence of that in the public domain. And whilst the fine detail of business contracts may well be best conducted in private, if I was interested in making a benign or hostile bid to a reluctant seller for a takeover, I wouldn?t give the sitting tenant an easy ride. I would publicise it and put it in the public domain. There is absolutely no evidence of that from ANYONE, other than Paul Gregg?s aborted power play in 2004.

You say you don?t think BK and KW have done enough or are simply not competent enough to secure investment. The current deal on offer with Knowsley and Tesco, IMO, rather negates that view. Whilst I agree that KW was stupid to make the ?there is no Plan B? comment, for which he is rightly being beaten up for, as crass a statement it is, it is a largely true one. Of course there is the option to stay at GP, so Kirkby is not an ?all or nothing? option. But for a real, concrete DELIVERABLE (an offensive word to some, but a valid one in the current state of affairs) plan, Kirkby at present is the only new offer on the table.

And sorry Roy, but where do I suggest Kenwright?s personal wealth won?t be greatly increased if he sells whilst residing in Kirkby? I am very explicit to the contrary. I ACCEPT that he could sell up at a profit sometime in the future, but as I stated, that implies that the valuation of the club has greatly increased as a result of any move to Kirkby ? he wins, Everton wins, being placed on a more secure financial footing with a rosier future than is currently the case.

So I don?t think I am missing the point about investment following a move to Kirkby. As you yourself state, some people think the ground will be fantastic and that being in Kirkby is fine. Others like yourself don?t. You have your opinion ? which I respect. I have mine ? which I hope you respect.

As we both know, it is an extremely emotive issue and as you rightly say if Kenwright had gone forward with the Kirkby proposal without the consent of the fans there would have been hell to pay. So we agree he has done a good and a just thing in staging the ballot that he has.

As for your comment about propaganda, I have to disagree with you Roy. As you now know, I live in Portugal so I don?t get to see a hard copy of the Post or Echo, but I do access it online everyday. From what I can access, I do NOT see an orchestrated campaign by the club to mislead or sway voters as propaganda is intended to do.

I?ve already addressed the question of the glossy brochure accompanying the ballot in my original post. The single question is straightforward and uncomplicated. I do not consider it ?propaganda? at all that the club is promoting its own particular recommendation, openly expressed by the board ? a move to Kirkby. The simple fact of the matter is? YOU take exception to that text as others do. You ?see through it?, as it were. So even if it could be construed as propaganda (which I still argue it isn?t), well? it hasn?t worked! You haven?t ?bought it?, have you?

In relation to the so-called propaganda war, let me now confide in you WHY I chose to reply to your article. On the day it was posted here on TW, two articles related to the debate appeared on the icliverpool website ? ?Grosvenor to fight Scotland Road stadium plan? and ?City to stay in the loop on Blues? move?. Now the former was up for most of the day from early morning. I think it is fair to say it does not help those campaigning against a move to Kirkby. The latter, on the other hand, only appeared towards the evening of the same day. I think it is fair to say that this story DOES help the ?no? campaigners. Now whilst individual posts commented on the former throughout the day, embedding the link to the story within their posts, TW did not put up a link to the story on their home page. However, almost immediately the latter story appeared, there WAS a link to it on the home page. Furthermore, read the very link to your own piece that appeared shortly afterwards on the same day: ?Roy Warne in a persuasive piece on the WSAG website?.

Hmmm? persuasive to whom, Roy? Now understand me very clearly. I am not trying to devalue your position or say you are in any way culpable, Roy, but for me such editorial decisions by TW does, IMO, constitute a manipulation of information and therefore supporting a particular viewpoint. Shall we call it? propaganda? All very subtle, Roy, but by controlling content and making seemingly harmless comments on pieces such as yours is a means to influencing people?s opinions. THAT?s why I opted to reply to your article as I did ? to offer a counter-point of view that I felt was being suppressed (to a degree) on TW.

Far fetched? I don?t think so. All I am trying to demonstrate is that in a campaign like this, as in all and any ballot, the supporters of different camps will naturally work to promote their viewpoint. And I repeat, even if the club is waging a propaganda campaign quite clearly, from the cynicism of many, it ain?t working!! People are NOT believe the hype... people are NOT falling for the propaganda, whether it exists or not.

Why can?t the Kirkby proposal be put on the shelf? Roy, logic dictates that Tesco and Knowsley will go ahead with the supermarket construction with or without EFC and a stadium build on board. It naturally follows that the construct and development will be drastically different depending on if the site will indeed include a football stadium or not. As many have argued, Tesco is in it for themselves ? the company won?t hesitate to revamp their plans exclusive of EFC. That?s what I meant by time constraints. Nothing more sinister, mate.

And finally, what comment can I make against your straw poll opinion? I could counter and say all my family and contacts back in the ?pool whilst not 100% for the move, the majority are. It may not be right for you Roy, but it is for others. Your appeal that we should be united as one on an issue like this is a forlorn one. Whatever offer was on the table, there could never be universal agreement. There will always be dissenting voices.

But good to talk, Blue. Now ? let?s give the Latics a tanking on Saturday!
Roy P. Warne
29   Posted 09/08/2007 at 11:05:50

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Art Fair enough mate. I’m not going to disect your comments again because quite simply it boils to personal opinion on whether you are happy with the ground proposal and Kirkby as a location, or not. Neither of us are right, and neither of us or is just opinion, as you know.

I will address your comments about propoganda on Toffeeweb though. I agree with what you saying. I have questioned fanzines myself over the years for parading their personal views which are not necessarily represntative of the overall fan base. They have an obligation to stay neutral, in my opinion. Saying that, the WSAG website publishes all articles they get, so if they appear to be biased towards the ’no’ voters this is only because far more people are writing to them with that opinion. Toffeeweb is not a site I tend to visit, I only did on this occasion because a friend told me that there was a response to my article on it. What I would add though is that internet sites are only visited by a fraction of supporters whereas the echo and statements from Everton FC etc. are viewed by the masses and is therefore a far more potent tool.



PS - roll on saturday when we can start worrying about the team again!
Art Greeth
30   Posted 09/08/2007 at 13:34:03

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Cheers Roy... really appreciate the civility you’ve demonstrated, fellah. Deep, deep down we all want what’s best for the club and to secure its future AND give us hope for a return to former glories.

It’s gonna be a relief when the ball starts rolling again on Saturday, innit? Presuming you attend the games, add a few decibels from me, OK?

Have a gud ’un matey.

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