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The Triumph of the Bill

By Tony Heslop :  07/11/2007 :  Comments (27) :
Forgive the slightly laboured pun but it?s one I wouldn?t mind seeing as a headline if the Blues pull off a victory on Thursday night. And there?d be none more gleeful than our beloved chairman who has made two high-profile appearances this week to remind us how committed a fan he really is.

First the MOTD sentimentality, which ticked all the boxes, and then a genuine message of sympathy for the 1500 or so Evertonians who bought Nuremberg tickets thinking they had entered into a contract and who now face being locked out, penned in, rained on or a combination of all three. Bill is clearly upset that as many Blues as possible will not be in that Stadium (remember how he was at the Leyton Orient game, ushering fans in where he could?) and his message hits the right note, expressing annoyance with the organisers but hope that fans will uphold the good name of Everton Football Club as ambassadors for the game and the city.

Less triumphant, I would suggest, should be those who have presided over this recent farce. Whether it be the influence of the local police Obergruppenführer, reacting extremely late to a situation known about four days earlier, our own plod tipping them off after an extensive trawl of Evertonian websites ? loose lips sink ships and all that ? or, most likely, Uefa, pro-active as ever, stamping their authority on a situation whose consequences they will wash their hands of, they collectively (pun alert) deserve to be known as the Nuremberg wallies. Is this really the best they can do? A less than final solution to the problem, I fear.

Few come out of this fiasco with any credit and whilst we could initially applaud the Nuremberg ticket office for a welcoming and common-sense approach to Evertonians openly requesting seats in home areas, it does beg the question as to why a few thousand extra tickets were not given to Everton FC as part of their official allocation. The 5% requirement is a minimum, not a limit, and, we are told, Everton, in their intense negotiations over a period of a few days, did ask for the maximum possible.

Conspiracy theorists might say that this reneging on the promises of tickets to ordinary fans sets up a nice little earner for the ?agencies? which abound in Germany and in this country but, in seriousness, it also sets up a crowd-control situation you?d have thought the police wanted to avoid. Were it not so damned annoying and potentially dangerous, one could feel a certain Schadenfreude that others get things so badly wrong, that in comparison our own ticket office is decidedly ept.

Remember Celtic, failing to satisfy our fans? demand for tickets for a friendly, giving us a fraction of what we?d give their fans and reserving all other seats, free of charge, for their season ticket holders, many of whom failed to turn up?

Or Villarreal, who started selling tickets just a week before the tie, providing no information on their website and, presumably, totally underestimating the demand from English fans, giving us a paltry allocation when they knew they couldn?t fill the ground with their own? Similar activity with our own Club and we?d have absolutely slated them.

Evertonians will, I am sure, enjoy themselves in Nuremberg, will mix well with the locals and still get into the stadium in numbers. They will though be resentful of a situation which has led them, in many cases, to pay well over the odds for tickets they should have had at face value. It is to be hoped that they, along with the thousands unable to get a ticket, will, as Bill says, uphold our good name. I?m sure they will, no thanks to Uefa and all they have done to stir things up. Meanwhile, 20,000 Rangers fans will be in Barcelona spreading their sectarian charm and nobody bats an eyelid, least of all William Gaillard. Gaillard, in French ,translates as ?fine fellow?, which he ain?t .

When it comes to Evertonian credentials Bill Kenwright is, though, and our fervent hope has to be that, in spite of Uefa et al, he and all fans are celebrating on Friday not only a Nuremberg peace and love fest but also, on and off the field, the Triumph of the Blues.

Reader Comments

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Pierre Corcoran
1   Posted 07/11/2007 at 15:16:57

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Like all Evertonians I would have loved to get a ticket for the Nurberg game and I did consider getting one from Nurnberg direct, like many fans have obviously done. However, I decided not to bother for exactly the reassons that the authorities have decided to nullify those tickets that were acquired that way.
I have absolutelt no worry about EFC fans misbehaving as we are just not like that - but what are the Nurnberg fans like. Surely it makes sense not to sit amongst the Germans and put ourselves and our reputation at risk.

Sorry chaps but I think the authorities havedone the right thing.

Biggest shame is that we were given a woefuly few number fo tickets in the first place. Having said that Nurnberg?s attendances are higher than EFCs this season!
Carl Sanderson
2   Posted 07/11/2007 at 16:06:06

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Tony, that was an excellent article spoilt only by your references to Opergruppenfuhrer, final solutions, etc. The present generation of Germans aren’t all Nazis. Cut it out, eh?
John Stanley
3   Posted 07/11/2007 at 16:13:13

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All well and good Blue Bill " speaking up " for all the fans who are missing out due to the ticketing farce. I really feel for all the blues who have parted with hard earned cash and won’t be able to get into the match. However, Bill has conveniently forgotten about a few other Blues also not going. I am one the unfortunate 125 or so who were expecting to be there tomorrow, but won’t be due to EFC’s and Everton Travel’s complete incompetence on match tickets. I wonder if Bill feels we should also be due some compensation ??[answers on a post card please.] I emailed Keith Wyness the day it all happened - result nothing. In desperation I then wrote a letter to Bill Kenwright last week in the vague [ and probably blind ] hope the club would hold up their hands and say " sorry lads " we cocked up. Since the email and letter, the silence is deafening.The Peoples Club - don’t make me laugh

To those of you now winding up for the trip - good luck and have a great time. If you see Bill or Keith send them my very best regards.
Tony Marsh
4   Posted 07/11/2007 at 16:40:25

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I spoke to some one earlier in the week who works for the club and they told me that Everton FC declined the offer of additional tickets from Nuremberg for Thursdays game.Please dont tell me Kenwright didnt know about this.The box office is in meltdown at present and the thought of more tickets arriving and the problems with distribution to the fans was not worth the hassle apparently.
Crocodile tears from Mr Kenwright I am afraid.
Lyndon Lloyd
Editorial Team
5   Posted 07/11/2007 at 16:47:18

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I?ve been weighing up whether to respond to this one ? and not just to groan at the Nazi-era puns for which I?m sure the Nurembergers will love you! ? or not as it carries the usual risk of more catcalls of "negativity!" but if we win in Nuremberg tomorrow evening the triumph won?t in my eyes be Bill?s.

What David Moyes has achieved thus far appears to be in spite of the Kenwright Board and it?s singular failure to provide any meaningful inward investment over the past seven years.

The "Blue Bill" sycophants pipe up that "he?s supported the manager by giving him money to spend!" but the £20m-odd net that Moyes has spent over his tenure has come from a) prize money from the manager?s own on-field success, b) the Sky TV deal bounty, and c) rising debt. And don?t even get me started on our Chairman?s near complete silence during the Kirkby Schism...

So, if we pull off a superb win over Nürnberg, I?ll be absolutely over the moon but Mr Kenrwight?s name is not the first I?d think of when it?s time to dole out the praise.

Ian Ankers
6   Posted 07/11/2007 at 16:53:22

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Spot on Lyndon
Ged Hughes
7   Posted 07/11/2007 at 16:42:36

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John, I totally agree. I an a friend were also two of the 125, or was it 200, whom ’booked’ with Everton Travel, not as Mr Ross states in the Daily Post/Echo merely on a ’waiting list’. I for one would expect a written statement, with evidence, from Everton and Everton Travel as to why this happened and at the very least an apology. Everton Travel have said sorry blaming Everton. Everton have stated we were mistaken in our belief that we were booked. I was lucky in that I was able to obtain a ticket elsewhere and book my travel with Bluekipper, my friend could not get a ticket so isn’t going. It has been a roller-coaster ride to say the least. The ’Peoples Club’ is nothing but spin . The club is owned by the shareholders - the fans are life long ’customers’ whatever, and don’t they know it !
Peter Corcoran
8   Posted 07/11/2007 at 17:03:03

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I could not get a ticket and am living with it. EFC did not turn down the opportunity of more tickets for the game so lets stop the princess Dianna conspiracy theories.

You call yourselves Evertonians - you make me sick!

I extremely envious of those that are going over to Germany and hope you al have an absolutely fabulous time.

Be safe.
tony heslop
9   Posted 07/11/2007 at 16:58:51

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Carl - fair points. In my pursuit of puns, it got a bit clever clever or maybe not so clever.I got a bit carried away with the Leni Riefenstahl / Nuremberg rally theme but on reflection should have left the puns there. I have some good German friends and know full well they’re not a nation of nazis. Apologies for all such references apart from the title.
Lyndon - in pursuit of the tenuous connection made in the title, Bill K came in for a bit more praise than maybe he’s due.I do think he put the message across well and showed genuine sympathy but, though he can share in any triumph tomorrow, the credit will be down to the manager and the players - and vice versa.
I too am exasperated by Bill’s long silences (he is on safer ground when he talks of fans and the boys’ pen) and, unlike him, oppose the move to kirkby but still believe that he’s essentially a good guy and that, whatever happens to him in his capacity as chairman, he should always feel at home among the fans, not hated as say Peter Swales ultimately was.
darrel pugh
10   Posted 07/11/2007 at 17:13:04

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Its a difficult one to call I would say the next 4-5 games will determine whether the season will be a success, by then we will have a fully fit squad, potentially be up to 5th or 6th, be virtually through to the knock out stages of europe and be in the semis of ’milk cup.’ At present we have given ourselves a real chance of acheiving something lets not throw it away.
Ged Hughes
11   Posted 07/11/2007 at 17:17:31

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I have know idea if Everton were offered more tickets or not! . However, FC Nurnberg seem only happy to part with thousands of them to Evertonians but not to Everton FC? Things don’t add up and until we have some answers people will always speculate. But what I do know is thatI was booked to go and then told six days later that due to a shortage of tickets I was no longer booked. If that was due to a cock-up or zealous sales fine but I think an explanation is in not too much to ask. If we weren’t Evertonians we wouldn’t be bothered but because we are we do.
Karl Masters
12   Posted 07/11/2007 at 18:14:22

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Kenwright neatly deflects all blame for this shambles to the Germans. Yes, people should be compensated, but whether that’s down to Nurnberg or Uefa is something only they can answer.

I may not always agree with Tony Marsh and his sensastionalistic way of expressing things, but I can’t help feeling he is right.

Why would Nuremberg not give Everton more tickets and then sell them to us themselves, opening up potential security questions? ’ A bug’ in their On-line operation is the official line, but as many people bought over the phone and spoke English and gave English names and addresses, this is a load of rubbish.

In view of all our other Ticketing bungles and the Ticket Ofiice not being able to sort itself out, it seems far more likely that Everton declined the extra 2000 tickets because they didn’t want the hassle.

Now, everybody is blaming the Europeans, Blue Bill feels it’s safe to stick his head over the wall and cry ’foul!’

colin potter
13   Posted 07/11/2007 at 18:56:58

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Anybody still believing Kenwright and Wyness need a double reality check!!
14   Posted 07/11/2007 at 19:19:23

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Why blame the german ticket office for selling direct to everton fans ? THEY WERE ONLY FOLLOWING ORDERS.
Steve Jones
15   Posted 07/11/2007 at 20:46:08

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"I spoke to some one earlier in the week who works for the club and they told me that Everton FC declined the offer of additional tickets from Nuremberg for Thursdays game."

Right then lets see some evidence of this?.

None about to prove your story?. Then you’re every bit as bad as Kenwright then arent you Marsh?. After all haven’t you got more form putting the boot into the clubs leadership than they have spinning stories?.

The club passed up the opportunity to generate more revenue from ticket sales than originally expected and they turned it down because the ticketing system couldnt handle an extra few thousand (he guesses) tickets?. Bull faeces.
Steve Ryan
16   Posted 07/11/2007 at 21:00:42

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How anybody can sing the praises of Bill Kenwright with his appalling track record is totally beyond me. We won three on the trot with an easy home again against Birmingham to come and he invites MOTD to yet another phoney, staged performance....cue TC, Duncan McKenzie, the Vicar and Dave Hickson. The man literally turns my stomach and will no doubt dissapear once more after the next run of defeats.
Lee Heath
17   Posted 07/11/2007 at 23:33:41

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Dont see what all the big fuss is about guys. The game is on tele in the comfort and warmth of your own homes. Save all that Christmas money and get the missus something a little bit better. I know nothing beats being there but you’re not gonna miss a thing on tele. Save the money for the semis!!! COYB!!
Stan Mountford
18   Posted 08/11/2007 at 00:06:31

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Let’s face it,all that’s changed at ’The People’s Club’is that the team’s won a few matches lately.The tossers who ’run’ the shambles of an organisation -from Blue Bill down- are still a bunch of incompetant fools who cock-up everything they are involved in.
Can you imagine some of our more experienced European rivals presiding over-or standing for-the shit we’ve suffered this week.I’m very near to being an ex-Evertonian!
Mark Murphy
19   Posted 08/11/2007 at 08:58:43

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"I have absolutelt no worry about EFC fans misbehaving as we are just not like that "

Pierre, have you been to any away games with our lot? Fulham where the racists are cringeworthy and a bottle was recently thrown at an opposing player? Spurs, were the hissing of the concentration camps is "hilariously" reproduced? I?d love to say our fans are great but theres a good many, not the majority but loads, who are dicks!

We have a good record in Europe but I wouldnt be surprised if some of our neanderthals take advantege of the situation tonight and embarass us!

Hopefully not!
Eleanor Rigby
20   Posted 08/11/2007 at 15:21:50

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Nobody can question William Kenwrights everton loyalties and his desire and passion for the club, even if at some times in the past been guilty of incoherent babbling rants.

It has been no coincidence that since taking over from philip carter the club has been more productive and efficient. At least thats how i feel about it.

Does he not have a basketball team as well, the everton tigers or something?

Could always use moyes as a scratching post if results go downhill. GRRRR...
Brian Waring
21   Posted 08/11/2007 at 15:58:15

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It’s funny how Kenwright is quite happy to come out and speak when things are going well.But when things are in a mess you never hear from him.
BJ McDonnell
22   Posted 08/11/2007 at 14:53:08

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I am truly incredulous and really can?t believe the hate spewed on this site towards Kenwright. Look, I?m as cynical as the next man (more so usually!!), and maybe I am being a little naive, but the fella is OBVIOUSLY a Blue through and through. Well, don?t come crying to me when "our" club is finally taken over by a billionaire Russian who hikes up the prices, or a consortium of yanks who insist you pay up front (along with your now 20% more expensive season tickets) for ALL the rounds of ALL the cup competitions and don?t give a sh*t about the fans!! You lot make me sick, you really do, you whining bunch of maggots!! And as for you Marsh, you?re the worst of the lot!! Dick!! Go over the park and support that lot with the other bunch of whingers!! You deserve each other!!
And just for the record I voted NO to the ground move, but it doesn?t mean I have to hate Kenwright!!
Joe Ludden
23   Posted 08/11/2007 at 17:01:32

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Pointless us all talking about it really, its done, and no one can get through to UEFA. Evertonians occupied a lot of the Villareal home area and not a problem occured, so whilst I agree we do have a certain and small ?dick? element to our support, i am also sure nothing would have happened had UEFA not stepped in. 2 things though, any reference to WWII is grossly out of place in the article and by the amazingly witted "Herr Flick". WWII was fought against the Nazis and not against the ?Germans?. Also, Blue Bill maybe an evertonian like the rest of us, but his job is to run the club not be a supporter. Where is he and his innane ramblings when we are struggling??? As soon as we are on TV doing well, you cant get away from his cameo interviews. Fair weather fan is Mr Kenwright, and I long for the day we part company with him. It?s not his money we spend, but ours generated from TV/fans etc.
BJ McDonnell
24   Posted 08/11/2007 at 18:08:49

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Aye, I agree about the money Joe, but it will be a lot MORE of "our" money getting spent once the yanks move in, don?t you agree? Take a look down the East Lancs and ask any United fan!!
Joe Ludden
25   Posted 08/11/2007 at 18:12:43

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Not sure how the Man Utd thing will pan out, but they are league champions aren?t they?? Didn?t they spend more money in the summer than anyone else?? I don?t want a "Gilette - the best you could get" owner, but I don't think being an Evertonian therefore qualifies you to run a massive business that is Everton FC. You need to know how to run a business. Kenwright is a failed ex-Coronation Street actor.
Scott Eaton
26   Posted 09/11/2007 at 23:34:39

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I get sick and tired of the hatred and bile directed at a man who is more blue than most of the ignorant morons who post on matters Evertonian.He is a successful businessman,youre not.Hes Everton chairman,youre not.When you know enough about business and how to run a football club,then by all means whinge on.But the facts speak for themselves.Were in the best position weve been in in years,financially and football.He stuck by Moyes when many of these ignoramuses were calling for his head and now he and we as his fellow supporters are reaping the rewards.I guess some people dont like being proved wrong and are only gonna be happy when were perrenial relegation candidates again.GROW UP PEOPLE!!!
Peter Hall
27   Posted 10/11/2007 at 21:46:53

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Joe Ludden "You need to know how to run a business. Kenwright is a failed ex-Coronation Street actor".

Sorry Joe - admittedly Kenwright is only a successful West End Impresario, and no more.

But I suppose you are running Tesco Joe, and I have missed it in the news?@

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