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The Emperor's New Club

By Matt Willey :  27/08/2007 :  Comments (19) :

I got to thinking about Bill Kenwright; he?s a nice bloke and an Evertonian ? few deny this? He is also the custodian of a great club; the man certainly bleeds blue but that doesn?t qualify him to be a great Chairman nor even a competent one? I am certain that Bill conducts his business well above board and I am sure he has a fine moral compass (maybe this in itself is a failing)? I am doubly certain that he wants ?what is best? for Everton? I am not going to attack Bill Kenwright as the man is undoubtedly doing what he thinks is best? he wants us back playing good football, winning trophies ? every single Evertonian wants the same as him and the sooner this happens the better!

What I am uncertain about is Bill?s ability to judge what is ?best? for Everton, or rather to resist being coerced / influenced in decisions that perhaps deep down he knows are wrong (maybe even immoral)? I?m not necessarily talking about Kirkby, I am talking about the way the club conducts itself in general (PR / Spin / Transfers etc?)? I know that Bill is not business-driven like Daniel Levy at Spurs who publicly (and wrongly) undermined his manager last week; I am, at least, thankful for that? The last thing we needed when Bill took over was a litany of unsuccessful managers, he has backed David Moyes consistently and I believe we will see dividends from this backing in the near future. Loyalty is indeed great as long as it isn?t misplaced!

Bill has surrounded himself with advisors who seemingly 'know what they are doing' when it comes to the business side of things ? they make up for Bill?s weaknesses so to speak and for the weaknesses of us uneducated fans. Bill is Everton?s Emperor and all the Everton fans rely on HIM to lead the club with a clear vision and direction; not to be swayed from this vision by people that may have a vested interest in some other agenda. If we look back, it seems with the Rooney saga, Kings Dock and the 24x7 Fortress Sports Fund, that Bill can be led a merry dance; he may even lead one himself on the odd occasion, especially if he thinks it is the ?right thing to do for his Everton?.

My worry is that, in recent times, we have seen a situation develop where Bill is nothing more than an impotent figurehead of his own train-set; maybe he is increasingly reliant on his ?fat controller? to run the club? maybe he will just go along with the ?more educated? consensus in respect of the advice he receives? To listen to him on the OS recently, talking about Kirkby, the lack of conviction in his voice, the lack of any sense of real enthusiasm about the project (and this from an actor!) made me really doubt his ability as a leader... Bill is the ONLY Evertonian who seemingly has no vested interest and moreover, is in possession of ALL the facts regarding Kirkby. He has allowed the club to browbeat the supporters into a ?yes? vote to satisfy his own conscience (at least he must have a conscience)? By the way, my opinion is that the ?Yes? vote was absolutely right given the question ? my issue being that WE have no way of telling whether ?that question? was loaded!

In history, there have been many cautionary tales about those who ?swallow the ideas fed to them? only to be made fools of later? one that we have all heard is 'The Emperor?s New Clothes'? it would be folly not to realise that such pearls of wisdom may have resonance, even today.

Plot synopsis: The Emperor?s New Clothes, Hans Christian Anderson ? 1837 taken from Wikipedia:'s_New_Clothes

Many years ago, there lived an emperor who was quite an average fairy tale ruler, with one exception: he cared much about his clothes. One day he heard from two swindlers named Guido and Luigi Farabutto that they could make the finest suit of clothes from the most beautiful cloth. This cloth, they said, also had the special capability that it was invisible to anyone who was either stupid or not fit for his position.

Being a bit nervous about whether he himself would be able to see the cloth, the emperor first sent two of his trusted men to see it. Of course, neither would admit that they could not see the cloth and so praised it. All the townspeople had also heard of the cloth and were interested to learn how stupid their neighbours were.

The emperor then allowed himself to be dressed in the clothes for a procession through town, never admitting that he was too unfit and stupid to see what he was wearing. He was afraid that the other people would think that he was stupid.

Of course, all the townspeople wildly praised the magnificent clothes of the emperor, afraid to admit that they could not see them, until a small child said:

'But he has nothing on!'

This was whispered from person to person until everyone in the crowd was shouting that the emperor had nothing on. The emperor heard it and felt that they were correct, but held his head high and finished the procession.

Now, I am not insinuating for one moment that Bill is like the Emperor in that story, it is only a story after all; nor am I suggesting that anyone involved at the club is a swindler ? but maybe, just maybe, judgements have been clouded over time and I feel it would be a good idea for the club to engage again, properly and coherently with it?s fan base ? to take advice and opinion from ALL quarters before closing the shutters. Ultimately I hope that the differing opinions of people with a real passion for this club be considered fully and transparently before they are written off. To treat the fan base with contempt, to only ever present ?one side to a story? is just plain wrong ? assuming that his soul has no ?exclusivity deal? with the devil, I hope and pray that Bill appreciates this too.

Reader Comments

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Dave Wilson
1   Posted 27/08/2007 at 06:59:35

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" we have no way of telling if that quetion wasnt loaded " ?

Let me see ?

You can come to kirby for next to notten, there will be miillions of parking spaces, the manager will have untold riches to spend on top players, the stadium will be filled with 50,00 - but thats only temporary, coz we’ll easily sell 60,00 and if you dont believe us we’re throwing in a shinny brochure/comic with super images of our new super super stadium to prove it! ! !
Alternatively we have no plan B . . .

Ten thousand people were castigated as disgusting, lazy, or so indifferent they didnt deserve a vote, when the reality is, they couldnt bring themselves to vote for Kirkby and the club told them there was no plan B. What were they to do, the club told them if we stay at GP we die,
In essence the question was, vote for Kirby or death ! ! !

A loaded question ? thats the understatement of the year remember only 40% said they want to move 60% didnt

The emperors clothes was a terrific analogy though Matt, thats why ultimately we will not make mistake of going to Kirkby, more people will see the board naked - sorry guys I know its early

for those too young to know the old Max Bygraves song, go to Utube. For the rest . . altogether now

" the king is in the altogether , the all together , the all together, he’s all together as naked as the day that he was born"

2   Posted 27/08/2007 at 08:24:30

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Is Bill any good at his job? In fairness, we’re in a better place than a few years ago.

Sadly, every talent has its limits and in football club owning terms, he doesn’t seem to be much good. I don’t believe he’s a liar or a cynical cheat. I do believe that,relatively speaking, he’s a fool.

Witness the usual list of let downs PLUS the latest transfer fiasco with Fernandez.

Danny Mullally
3   Posted 27/08/2007 at 10:00:01

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It is a terrible bitter pill to swallow seeing what has happened during the last 24 hours with Fernandes, but to be fair to BK, there is not much else he could have done is there? Valencia got blitzed last night 3-0 by Villareal too, just shows how impressive a club we must look. Bang goes the theory that players sign for us to play at our new ground in knowsley, and I wonder whether all "yes" voters are getting sweaty palms.....
Anthony Newell
4   Posted 27/08/2007 at 10:33:27

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Still nothing on the club site about the collapse of the Fernandes deal

Bill Kenwright shouldn’t be running Everton Football Club, he is out of his depth and has shown this on numerous occasions now. If this wasn’t bad enough he makes the club look a laughing stock to boot. Hand it over to someone who knows what they’re doing and keep the club close to the city centre for gods sakes
5   Posted 27/08/2007 at 11:07:11

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There IS confirmation on the OS, you just need to dig to findit. Look in Football News on the left side menu bar
6   Posted 27/08/2007 at 11:12:28

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sorry, first click on the News tab, then Football news
Neil Pearse
7   Posted 27/08/2007 at 11:55:16

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Danny, I don’t think I’ve read anyone saying that new players sign for us to play in o ur new stadium in Knowsley. I was a YES voter, but that’s ridiculous. I don’t think either that Manny was too bothered by the fact that Stubbs was picked ahead of Lescott on Saturday.

What I think we see here is that players usually sign for the team that pays them (and their agent) the most money. Even if that means at the last minute screwing over the team you’ve been training with.
Colin Potter
8   Posted 27/08/2007 at 12:36:05

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If after all these years you cannot see through Kenwright,there is no hope for you.The man is a liar,conman,and an utter charlatan.He is taking us on a ride of which there is no return!!!
Neil McKinney
9   Posted 27/08/2007 at 12:51:29

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Just a quick note on the Fernandes saga.

I don’t think this is an issue about our club being attractive enough or stadium crap (let’s face it it’s going to be a while before any of them will play in, or see the benefits from a new stadium). It seems to me to be an issue of ownership. The Premier league have been scrutinizing this deal and it looks like the noises they were making were that they didn’t want any kind of third party involved.

No problem, Everton even appeared happy to spend £12m to buy him outright. However, while all this procrastination went on Valencia come in and say "we’ll pay £10m for the 50% and we’re not bothered about the third party stuff"

Decision made, deal done!

Kinda glad we didn’t get stung by some dodgy third party deal to be honest. Disappointed though that
a) we miss out on a quality young midfielder
b) Very little window left to find alternatives.

Conclusion: For all BK’s balls ups, I don’t think you can chalk up the Fernandes deal as one of them.
Neil McKinney
10   Posted 27/08/2007 at 13:14:24

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What’s this rubbish about having to put full names on to post.

Apart from the fact that the new rule seems to be sporadically enforced (see higher on this page for evidence) it seems to me to be a pointless exercise in party pooping! What does it matter what somebody’s name is, as I could quite easily put in any name.

I quite like reading the funny nick-names that people come up with and I think it takes nothing away from any debate. If a post is offensive then remove it (you quite clearly don’t judging by the vitriol that has been posted recently).

Let’s stopp pissing on peoples’ parade over such pathetic matters as nick-names and get back to debating the issues that matter so much to us.

Rant over.
Gerard Madden
11   Posted 27/08/2007 at 13:27:29

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A bit creative with the ballot figures there Dave Wilson.

The fact is only a quarter of blues voted ’no’ to Kirkby and between 70-75% of blues either couldn’t care less if we moved or voted ’yes’ to Kirkby.
Dwayne Perkins
12   Posted 27/08/2007 at 13:06:41

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Its a done deal according to Sky Neil: conclusion BK not at fault.
Please tell me who the fuck is then? this transfer has rumbled on and on why? a bit like the Yak deal, do we really have the money? In Everton we must blindly follow springs to mind for certain fans who choose to ignore the constant crap we have to put up with. Can someone out there tell me when enough is enough, when do we really get pissed off and start doing something to let the present board / manager know that we can no longer except the excuses/lies that seem to just flow from the club. As far as I was concerned we had bought at least half of Manny’s contrcat from Benfica and in the process of buying the other half, RS and Mancs can have third party ownership, why can’t we. Someone out there please come and find me (seat 122 family enclosure,Park end)and tell me they are as fed up as me with all the crap we put up with. We have to have the most gullible and divided fan base of prem thanks to our inept leaders. we turn up week after week and give our support pay our money, cheer our team why?
Pissed off -dissapointed - angry & disillusioned blue.
Neil McKinney
13   Posted 27/08/2007 at 13:52:22

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Well if reports that I’ve been reading are correct, Valencia are paying £10m for the 50% rights.

If you think that half ownership of Manny is worth that to a skint club like us then ok. I personally don’t.

As disappointed as I am that another transfer has gone begging I don’t think the club should adopt an "at any cost" policy towards the end of the window.

Let’s see what’s happened by the end of August and judge again. Every transfer for us is a massive financial risk, to the RS and MU it’s throw away money, if it doesn’t work out then big deal. We don’t have that luxury.

I agree with you though that the signs of late at our club have not been good and maybe a stronger voice is needed, however, I don’t think it’s quite as bad as you make out. Wrong side of bed me thinks?
Dave Wilson
14   Posted 27/08/2007 at 15:54:50

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Gerard Madden

Thats just it mate, the figures are there to be massaged, you accept it when the club spins them to your liking and you claim that a quarter of the people eligible to vote couldnt be arsed
why cant you accept they its possible they didnt know how to vote. is that so unbelievable ?

The club had convinced them there was no alternative !

Dress it up all you want Gerard but despite the best efforts,and significant amount of money thrown at this campaigne KW BK
TL and the rest of the spin merchants.
only 40% voted to go. this was not an election, it was a referendum, why did they club state that it would take 51% to vote no, but are more than happy to accept a 40% yes vote as a clear mandate
james elworthy
15   Posted 27/08/2007 at 18:30:17

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Once an actor always an actor, make believe land
Neil Madden
16   Posted 27/08/2007 at 19:00:51

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As Danny Kaye might put it "the club was in the all together, the all together" For small boy up tree read 10,000 no voters.
17   Posted 27/08/2007 at 22:36:12

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This has got to be a wind up, right?

Kenwright has done more good than bad for our club. Take a look around at the other chairmen and decide how many of them you would rather see at the helm of our club.

Against the grain, I dont long for a faceless foreign consortium to come and save the day.

On the whole of it were starting to get things right, it takes time and Kenwright like everyone makes mistakes but some of the shit you label at him is mad.
Kev McGrath
18   Posted 28/08/2007 at 00:20:03

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I have nothing against KW as a person or as an Evertonian but I have little confidence that he or any of the current board are the people to lead this club forward. KW has done a decent job at balancing the club (and by that i mean we havnt had a last day survival fight for a while now) however, our finances are no stronger we have spiraling debts and we have sold all our assetts in an attempt to balance the books! I fear there is little KW can do to take the next step and let us compete against the big boys.

we may be in a stronger position on the pitch but this is only because of the poorness of the teams outside the top 6 or 7 clubs. with the exception of totenham our displays this year have been poor and unconvincing and i have little confidence in the Yakubu transfer following the Fernandes saga.

With respect Ged, whilst I agree that it does take time to turn things around, this is the Premier League, you do not get that amount of time, look at Man City, Chelsea etc, they turned there fortunes around in a matter of months with huge levels of investment. Everton have taken 15 years, due to a mixture of poor infrastructure, poor management and a lack of investment.

Wayne Rooney, Kings Dock, Fortress Sports Fund etc etc and now fernandes and i fear yakubu (have you ever known a club to take 2 weeks to seal one let alone two transfers when Valencia did it in 2 days) it doesnt look great! and yet there are apparantly a majority who are happy to follow KW blindly to Kirby based on no accurate info and a smokescreen of a ridiculous exclusivity agreement between efc, Knowlsey Council and Tesco!

See you all at Kirkby retail park! i think not, the only confidence I have is that the board have never completed anything they have promised us, let's hope Kirkby is added to this list cos i dont care how good the car parking is or how quick i can get a sausage roll at half time you will never fill a 50,000 seater stadium in Kirkby,

Nil Satis Nisi Optimum, time to deliver Bill or time to hand over to someone who can!
Andrew Cross
19   Posted 28/08/2007 at 17:23:45

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Money Manny Money, thats why he went no other reason, not because of BK, Better life better money nice Villa on the med, do you think EFC could compete with that.

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