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Why no investment?

By James Crolla :  10/03/2008 :  Comments (64) :

I have just heard on Sky Sports news that DIC are in advanced talks with Liverpool owners. It looks like fresh investment may give Liverpool millions more to waste on some more average players!

I am probably sounding bitter already however I can?t help wondering why Everton does not attract investors like many other clubs around the country. Where would we be if we David Moyes was backed to a similar level to richer clubs, but more importantly why do we struggle to find new investment?

I can remember reading something on the BBC website last year which measured how attractive each Premiership team was to potential investors, unfortunately Everton ranked very poorly which was a massive surprise. I think one of the most important measures was capture area and size of potential fan base, making Aston Villa a significantly better investment than Everton.

Maybe I am very biased because I love Everton so much but surely we should be a very attractive investment considering the following:

 1. GREAT HISTORY
2. Very talented manager (already shown business ability and delivered 5 year plan)
3. Great youth set up (likes of Vaughan, Vic, Kissock, and Rodwell)
4. State-of-the-art training facilities
5. Passionate and loyal fan base
6. Much improved first team squad (good age and strong sell-on values)
7. Challenging for top 4 on small budget
8. Trying to grow Everton internationally (Asia via the Chang sponsorship)
9. Possible new stadium (reduced cost via the Tesco partnership) 

I don?t think any other club outside the rich 4 can offer a stronger all round package, but still no investment?

I?ll bring it back to the BBC?s measure of potential fan base and maybe they were spot on? Our average attendance has been dipping, I hate to admit but we cannot avoid the fact. We failed to fill Goodison recently in an important game against Portsmouth, would Liverpool, Man U, Chelsea, Arsenal have failed to fill their stadiums for a game with as much impact to their seasons?

Even yesterday the Stadium of Light was full (42,500), the truth hurts but there are other clubs which have better attendances than Everton ? Newcastle and Aston Villa. All of this is more worrying considering we having our best season for almost 20 years and playing better football, so perhaps this is the reason Everton is not attracting new investment?

I am left frustrated and confused by this issue. I live in Southampton and go to more away games than home and I am confident that our away support is second to none; we always take our ticket allocation and generate an incredible atmosphere!

I don?t want this post to be an opportunity to knock Kenwright, but I would welcome your opinions on our inability to attract investment and whether there is anything the club can do to improve our average attendance.

Reader Comments

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Jonathan Fletcher
1   Posted 10/03/2008 at 17:27:27

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It has worried me for some time to be honest.

We have so much going for us you’d think we would be prime for a takeover.

I have a sneaking suspicion we are in more debt than we let on...
Dean Johnson
2   Posted 10/03/2008 at 17:37:12

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I personally believe that Bill is running a tight ship until he finds a blue who wants to run the club.

Would you really want DIC, GillHicks, abramovich, glazers, shinawatra running this club?

The only one who would be ok would probably be Randy Lerner, given his money, and stayed right away from the limelight
Geoff Barnes
3   Posted 10/03/2008 at 17:35:35

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I think the above analysis is largely true and comes down to a number of factors. The cost of the new stadium or modernising the existing one, the fact that Everton are sadly the poor relation in a city which now plays up the successes of our rival at every opportunity and isn’t really too bothered whether we stay or go, the fact that Everton’s fan base is overwhelmingly local and working class and yes, the fact that we are already carrying significant debt.<

I think there are though some positives in avoiding the sort of investment that is rampant in football at present. With the exception of Abramovitch just about all the overseas investment that has come into English football has one aim- to make money for those investing and they won’t let anyone stand in the way of this, especially supporters. If and when the Premier League bubble bursts some of the clubs which have been the subject of international investment may well find themselves in substantial difficulties and left with an alienated fan base to pick up the pieces.
Michael Hunt
4   Posted 10/03/2008 at 17:53:13

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Often to get ’investment’ it appears football clubs have to sell their soul to hard nosed businesses or characters with no affinity with the club other than looking to make profits from it. Understandable of course, but it has severe risks. Spunking many tens or hundreds of millions chasing CL qualification is a dangerous game...ask Leeds United!
Moyes is doing just fine and if the board can find the cash for a couple of top notch additions this summer we could be regularly dipping in the Champions League honey pot regularly under Evertonian blue blooded stewardship of Bill Kenwright (warts an all!) and David Moyes. That is just fine by me, let’s grab 3rd or 4th this year for starters!
Adam Crockett
5   Posted 10/03/2008 at 17:49:24

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I think you make some good points and the article does highlight some of the reasons why we should be a target for investment. However, looking objectively, there are several other reasons why investment has failed to materialise:

History counts for very little to some of these foreign investors; with the exception of Abramovich, they are generally investing with the long term aim of making money.

I agree about the passionate and loyal fan base, but average attendances are around 36,000, well down on lesser clubs like Newcastle. Additionally, most of our support is based in or around Merseyside; Liverpool is a relatively poor city, it?s not like a good chunk of that 36,000 is corporate seats, where high revenues can be generated.

I think the stadium may be a key point. I am not expressing an opinion on whether the move should go ahead or not, but to a potential investor a brand new stadium is an attractive factor. This may increase attendances and also increase day to day revenue generated from the stadium making the club a more attractive opportunity.

I still hold hope of investment, but we may have to wait for a while, perhaps when there is more clarity over the stadium. After all the price of the club is likely to fluctuate based on whether we move o Kirkby or stay at Goodison.
Martin Cutler
6   Posted 10/03/2008 at 17:58:28

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Looking on the bright side.............
According to MY figures if you take ALL the HOME Premiership games last season (19 games) and get the average and then do the same for the 14 home game so far this season, the average is only down by 46 people per game.
However if you take the games this season so far compared to the first 14 last season the average per game this season is higher by +126 per game.

Make of that what you will (I?m not talking about away games or cup games or comparing team vs same team comparison (although I could)....point is I don?t think we can say, yet, that home attendance has dropped.....in fact it IS higher!

Of course from my armchair in snow-laden Ohio, USA that?s easy to say!
Phil Martin
7   Posted 10/03/2008 at 18:15:17

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Yep we would all love Moyes to have £150M to spend over the next few years but unless we get an Abramovitch type chairman then it wont happen. Lets not forget the Yanks, DIC, Randy Lerner, they all want a profit. They are all in it for business reasons. Of course they would stump up cash upfront but they want a profit at the end of the day!
So whereas the RS have some nonesenical idea that DIC will "save" them from the Yanks. Its just a case of another Investment company buying another asset to profit on.
The stadium issue for Everton is huge to afftecing takeovers. I think that debt (around £40M) isnt too concerning when you compare that to RS, City and Newcastles. However we will need to spend a lot to get a top stadium (i dont really see Kirkby as being a top stadium - but thats another argument) and take the club to the next level.
These foreign investers currently pimping several Premier league clubs are hardened businessmen and a stadium is simply going to eat into their profit margins. Not to mention their ROI.
It all comes down to $$$ and while BK doesn?t have the financial power to buy us trophies you cant argue about his motives and priorities.
Remember Al Faed 7 years ago when Fulham got promoted and he bankrolled them big time. He said "I want Fulham to be the Man United of the South". He eventually got bored, stop throwing cash around and they are now about to be relegated.
Jim Hourigan
8   Posted 10/03/2008 at 18:46:33

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James I think you underestimate one thing and miss another in your analysis. Firstly the fan base is not as completely local as you might think, yes we may be called the ’peoples club’ but there are significant numbers of people who follow Everton who do not live in Liverpool. They do not all come from north Wales either!! Secondly the state of the restricted views is a real turn off. I for one have 2 kids who would watch matches regularly if I could get them a decent view. When I get tickets for the Park End they come with me as I’m a season ticket holder there, but if they have to go to other stands they often come back moaning about the view. When you think how much I pay and they complain it does have an impact. I also think you underestimate how many would invest in corporate facilities if they became available.

In terms of investment I think it boils down to one thing - BK - it’s his train set, he wants to be the fat controller and won’t allow anyone else to play. No one in their right mind would put millions into the club with no power and then someone with limited finances makes all the decisions because he’s a supporter.
Jay Harris
9   Posted 10/03/2008 at 18:29:29

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I don't want to turn this into a Bill bashing session but if I was looking for a big investor 24/7, I?m absolutely sure I would have got one by now. With all the Sky/Setanta and potential marketing money income levels have soared in the Premier League.

As Paul Gregg said some years ago, Bill has set up the shareholding in such a way that it's unattractive to investors. I don't doubt that he?s blue through and through but so am I and most people on here.

As well as Randy Lerner you have to include Glazier who has backed Ferguson to the hilt. Most big investors will want success and ONLY if they dont get it (Al Fayed) do they start to pull the pursestrings in. JUST LIKE WE DID only on a much bigger level and with a higher chance of success. The biggest single factor in any success is the manager and thankfully we are up to square one on that one. But to get to the next level we need investment in top quality players which Bill is unable to do irrespective of rabbits, sheep or anything else. And for those who say we cannot afford to compete I would say we cannot afford NOT to compete.
Robert Carney
10   Posted 10/03/2008 at 19:43:20

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The answer is simple to me. Sir Leahy stiched the stupid bastard up.
Jay Campbell
11   Posted 10/03/2008 at 19:48:34

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There is no arguement here because our chairman is not interested in attracting investment.

He may well come out this nonsense that he?s looking 24/7 for money but it is the biggest load of rubbish and is one of many fabrications that he continually comes out with.

Doug Ellis has got fuck all on Kenwright. The man will never let go and is only interested in one thing his overflated ego. He is so far out of touch with the club?s supporters but he?s that deluded that he thinks he is.

I just wish he?d go because his nonsense is predictable and boring.
Keith Glazzard
12   Posted 10/03/2008 at 19:15:40

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This discussion seems to sum up a major problem for Evertonians. Do we want to be bought out by someone - anyone? - who will just let us buy loads of players? Is that what investment means? Pouring money into a Goodison Park rebuild might be nice on top of that.

And this investor expects no financial return. Great. Does Abramovich make anything out of Chelsea? I really don’t know.

If he doesn’t, we really need a fairy godmother gangster like him.
Steve Templeton
13   Posted 10/03/2008 at 20:22:46

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So James asks for a balanced view when replying and what do we get? Jay using it as a chance to put the boot in to Kenwright!

I think there have been several good points made such as the state of the facilities in attracting supporters but if I could just add one point I would reverse points 1 and 9 on your list James.

Whether we like it or not the fact that we need to either invest in Goodison or move to a new stadium is probably the biggest turn off factor for any potential investors.
The ironic thing is that if we do eventually move to Kirkby I wouldn’t be at all surprised if we then attracted new investment which will probably lead people to accuse Kenwright of moving us to make a quick buck!
Neil Pearse
14   Posted 10/03/2008 at 20:05:43

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It is really important to distinguish two very different things here - ’getting investment’ and ’being taken over’. They are very different!

’Getting investment’ is best understood as Bill staying in charge, and yet a party coming in and taking a minority of the club’s equity, and then in addition pumping extra money into the club. To be honest, I have always been more than a little confused by Bill’s saying that he is "working 24/7 to get new investment" for the club. It is possible, but pretty unlikely and uncommon, for minority parties to invest large sums of money in a business without having ownership. I’m not sure I know of an example of this in the Premiership, but I can certainly be corrected on this. If it is done at all, it is usually as a stepping stone towards a take-over.

The pattern of other Premiership clubs is indeed of course the second - ’being taken over’. This involves someone new coming in and taking over majority ownership of the club, replacing the previous owner(s) (see Chelsea, Liverpool, Man U, Villa, Newcastle, Portsmouth, Man City, West Ham etc. etc.).

Now, my first point is that I have not much of a puzzle at all about why Everton has not been ’getting investment’. This is not common because people generally want to own something they put a lot of money into. Arguably, Bill hasn’t done too badly on this score by at least getting Robert Earl on board - who at least appears to have stood surety for a larger bank loan (probably enabling us to buy Yakubu).

It is puzzling to me why no-one has approached us to take us over. We are certainly now by far the most attractive Premiership asset not to be taken over. Perhaps we do have great debt than appears; or perhaps people are put off by the necessity of investing in a new stadium. But everything has a price.

What cannot possibly be the case is that we have not received a takeover offer or interest because Bill has ’prevented it’ (he is ’keeping his trainset’). In the case of almost all the Premiership clubs I mentioned above, the new acquirors and owners did not ask the permission of the current owners before expressing interest in and bidding for the club. That is just not how these things work. If someone was interested in buying Everton, the overwhelming probablity is that, as in the case of all other clubs, they would go public and make a bid to buy it. Bill then may or may not sell his shares. But he cannot prevent anyone expressing an interest and then bidding. And these things tend to leak to the media, even if the parties involved want to keep things quiet (just look over the park...).

So the puzzle is that there seems to be no-one out there who wants enough to buy Everton that they have expressed an interest and made a bid. I don’t know why that is.
Jay Harris
15   Posted 10/03/2008 at 20:42:58

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Neil, I agree with a lot of what you?re saying but I fundamentally disagree with your point about BK and takeovers. Willing buyers have to have willing sellers and contrary to what you say like to do the business in private not public.

Paul Gregg,a top businessman and financially wordlywise despite any other shortcomings stated categorically that the way Bill structured his holding discouraged anyone from making a bid. Even if we are worse than we think financially an investor/buyer would not discover that until they had done due diligence which is not done until an offer is accepted. The only figures available are the ones we see and they would actually encourage a bid not discourage a bid.

To answer another question Chelski are losing £75 million a year so Abramovic is NOT getting a return on investment but with his money its just a hobby like his investment in the Russion national team. Who says we don't want somebody like him? And for all those who say look at Chelsea when he?s gone take a look at us post 1989.Every team goes through cycles its just that the UP cycle is a lot more enjoyable with a rich benefactor not a poor man's jester.
Simon Gilmovitch
16   Posted 10/03/2008 at 20:03:24

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HOLD ON LADS! Investment is a double edged sword. If Bill sells out we could end up like Barca or LEEDS! We have a team that can finally win something. Not since Big Joe in 1995. Do we really want to sell the club & risk the next 4 or 5 years! We are going great guns, another couple of players in the summer and we will be up there! Look at the RS who wants that! BK has done alright at least we belong to a Supporter what do City have - nought. I wanna see good football for the next 5 years and not boardroom headlines. I predict that when the investment finally comes it will be from an Evertonian and will be worth the wait. For those who cannot wait to plunge the club onto the stock market for what end? to be a commodity that is bought and sold like the Barcodes! owed by a Surs Fan! get a grip. Do we need a £150 million, I would settle for another Arteta.
Neil Pearse
17   Posted 10/03/2008 at 20:58:54

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Jay, agree with your point that the only available figures should encourage a bid.

On Bill, I agree also that willing sellers need willing buyers (ultimately), but that does not prevent many buyers going public to put pressure on the sellers (look again across the park). And the reality is that many of these Premiership takeovers have been rather public, however private the parties involved would have liked them to be.

Bill may be indicating that he does not want to sell, but I still think it is very strange that we have not even had a whiff of someone sniffing around Everton to potentially buy us. I really don’t think that can be purely about Bill. Only a few major Premiership assets still available, and no-one is interested in us?

After all is said and done, doesn’t Bill have his price? Or do you really believe that he wants to keep hold of the club even if someone comes along willing to make him fabulously rich? If someone wanted us enough, wouldn’t they at least have a try to get us?
Dave Southword
18   Posted 10/03/2008 at 21:24:23

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And there’s the rub. All these people who have supposedly been beating down BK’s door to try to invest only to be rebuffed. How many have gone to the media? None.

If Bill snubs a serious offer then they can force him to accept their terms within a week. They go to the Echo and lay out their plans and a transcript of any conversations they have had with Bill. The fans would do the rest.

However, that’s not so good for the conspiracy theorists and the "train set" fanatics. Just because we don’t have some loud Yank pumping millions of dollars in and trying to change the name of the club to the "Blue-Sox" (not the White-Sox, because they’re not really fans), then Bill must be rebuffing all attempts to buy. Rubbish. No one is interested.

Why no one is interested is another matter, but we are making progress and when we do make the really big time and boot The Shite out of the Sky Four then all the money is ours, not some American’s.
Arthur Jones
19   Posted 10/03/2008 at 21:50:35

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Nobody in this thread has mentioned Robert Earl. His involvement seems to have Quietened lately. Only a few months ago he was on Everton tv saying he would use all his business contacts and acumen to attract investment in Everton but nothing since! Doesn?t look like he?s going to be the fairy gomother I was hoping he was .
Karl Masters
20   Posted 10/03/2008 at 22:14:19

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Don?t be surprised if Robert Earl ups his stake in the Club if we go to Kirkby via a new share issue, probably. I think you?ll find we already have an Investor and he?s been very good at keeping it quiet.

Not a bad strategy for the Club to follow whilst trying to build on the pitch, but a Spurs fan won?t care if we end up in Kirkby, Everton or Southport as long as the numbers stack up.

When the obstacle to a takeover, the cost of a new stadum, is overcome with the Flatpack stadiumin Kirkby, 3 things will happen: Wyness will leave with a large bonus, Robert Earl will buy shares from Kenwright and run the site itself and both he and Kenwright will punt the club around fo a Buyer. Both will make a packet and Bill will probably try and stay on as a Director although he?ll probably find it difficult.

Although the Club changing hands would not necesarily be a disaster, the price to make it happen ? moving to a second rate home with poor transport links in a small town ? is likely to be.
Gerry Sheppard
21   Posted 10/03/2008 at 22:34:13

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For now we should just be thankful that an Everton fan is in charge, and not forget what went before.
Neil Pearse
22   Posted 10/03/2008 at 22:35:17

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Dave S - thanks for making my point much better than I have ever been able to be able to!

Imagine someone who wants to buy Everton, gets initially rebuffed by Bill, goes to the media: "I want to buy Everton. I have offered Bill a very good price. I plan to put money in to build a super new stadium, and to ensure David Moyes can buy the players he needs for Everton to become a Champions League club".

You think Bill would find it easy not to sell?

The fact is: at the moment no-one wants to buy.
Jay Harris
23   Posted 10/03/2008 at 22:45:10

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Can you guys name anybody that went to the media and said I want to buy but they wont sell and here are my terms.

I have been involved in quite a few takeovers and believe me confidentiality agreements are put in place before any offers are put in place and I dont know any bidder that would make it public (because it might alert competition and people with money like a bit of privacy). It is always the seller?s party, if any, that leaks things.

Responding to one of the people who said even Bill has his price. Yes he does ? remaining as chairman or a place on the board. For those who say he has turned our fortunes around you need to know he has been on the board since the late 80s when our demise started and was also the person that was "talking to Walter every day" and we all know what it was like to watch the blues then.

There is only one person who has turned our fortunes around and he has done it in spite of the board not because of it. Before you all start throwing up Yakubu you need to know that Moyes was on the brink of resigning if we didn't get some decent players in ? hence Earl?s underwriting a bank loan. That does not mean he gave us the money ? we are still paying interest on it so it is just like the other yanks across the park except for lesser amounts.

Ask youselves where Bill got the £20 million to buy Johnson (a good friend of his) out and why Everton?s debt miraculously rose by £20 million at the same time. Ask yourself why Trevor "whatever his name is" walked out on the Chief exec?c job instead of doing some creative accounting.

All conspiracy theories have quite a bit of fact behind them and we have already seen how many lies Bill can trump out.

See you?ve all started me again and I didn't want to do this while the team are doing so well and we have Fiorentina on Wednesday... But please DO NOT be naive about Bill Kenwright.
Ed Fitzgerald
24   Posted 10/03/2008 at 23:19:37

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Whether you like Paul Gregg or not he told us why no investment has come in during BK?s reign ? Kenwright wants to retain control. By the way, Gregg and Earl are on the Times Rich list... is Bill? Is he fuck!

I am afraid Kenwiright is a liar and a coward the evidence is legion. Sorry we can't say that can we, because he is a true blue, like Rooney, Stubbs etc and more badge kissers who make me sick. It sounds like Moyes is starting to tire of his rhetoric too judging by his comments about transfer funds to move the club forward. As Jay states, please abandon the naivety over BK.
Graham Atherton
25   Posted 10/03/2008 at 23:47:54

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You all seem to be missing something - Bill Kenwright does not own Everton FC!
Any sale would require agreement between two of Kenwright, Woods and Earl. None own enough shares outright to control the club - any two of the three could oust the third.

Kenwright cannot block investment if the other two are in agreement. This is a team rather than an autocracy.

There isn’t a fast buck to be made out of Everton FC so buyers are few.
The amazing progress of the first team makes us very much more attractive - who knows what this summer may hold. But the main holdup is the new stadium - once that is in place (or at least has a firm delivery date) things look much better.
Pat Domingo
26   Posted 11/03/2008 at 00:01:38

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Jay Hharris, you don?t half spout some bull mate..."All conspiracy theories have quite a bit of fact behind them"!!!!
What like, Lady Di was murdered by Shergar! You are laughable. You mention ?Glazier? sic. I think you mean Glazer. He?s not an ?investor? - like the two yanks over the park, they?ve borrowed to buy and put both clubs in the level of debt that makes ours look insignificant. I don?t know the ins and outs of EFC?s finances. So I don?t bullshit about it, unlike some. I suspect we haven?t got a big investor because we are a poor club, from a relatively poor city, with relatively poor fans. We aren?t fashionable or as successful as LFC - which carries the name of the city - a worldwide ?brand? in itself.
We don?t quite have the profile of some other clubs. And we?re not in London.
If you?ve got facts about lack of investment, state them and where you got them from - don?t just spout ?conspiracy theories?.

And to Ed Fitzgerald, et al. You can say BK is bad at his job, you can say he?s a crap chairman and has failed, that could be seen as fair comment. But when you start saying he?s a "liar", "coward" or dishonest, you?re in libel territory there ? I think whoever runs this site should note that.

Jay Harris
27   Posted 11/03/2008 at 00:23:26

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Pat Domingo
I did not call BK a coward however I did call him a liar and if he wants to issue a libel suit I?ll be quite willing to take it on.
I may be many things but a bull shitter I am not.

FACT - BK has been on the board since the late 80s when our demise started and continued under his chairmanship until recently.

FACT - BK was worth about £1 million when Johnson was bought out for £20 million.Coincidentally or otherwise Everton's debt rose by £20 million according to EFC?s accounts if you bother to read them

FACT - BK stated "The check will be in the bank in the morning" referring to Fortress Sports Fund who were supposedly fully checked out.

FACT - "I wouldnt sell Rooney for £50 million".... a month later he was sold for £20 million plus add ons.

FACT - "Kirkby is the deal of the century, with Tesco?s contribution the stadium will cost next to nothing"
Last estimates have it costing EFC between £100 and £150 million and we wont even own the land its built on.

You say we are a poor club, from a relatively poor city, with relatively poor fans and that will deter investors. Let me tell you, mate, Football is a global sport now so attracts more than a few thousand from Stanley Park. There?s a worldwide television audience of 500 million and billions of fans buying merchandise - thats where the serious money is which is why you have Man Utd TV, ChelseaTV etc. That's what investors are interested in and with Everton?s history to market anybody working 24/7 would have had a queue of investors by now.
Our profile to contradict you is better than most in the Premier League!!!!

So you go back to your own narrow world of calling other people laughable and continue to make a fool of yourself.
Russell Shoult
28   Posted 11/03/2008 at 01:27:20

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I agree with some of those above that Everton are doing just fine without the stupid investment some clubs have. I wouldnt want anyone but a true blue running the club and Kenwright, despite his limitations, at least has the club at thought.

I think the main reason Everton are not seeing investment is simple. Year upon year Evertons AGMs have shown that we are not a hugely profitable club, so when you consider the poor lack of net profit combined with the cost of purchase plus the investment that Everton requires to not only make but also confirm them as a regular top 4 fixture is not worthy of the pay out.

Saying all that. Im quite content with how Everton are progressing. If we can tie up Lescott and Moyes to longer contracts and make a couple of top quality additions to the team (notably central midfielder and perhaps a right back) then we can be looking at a first team with quality to rival any other team in the country.

Were making strides in this league and that can be seen by the way that managers set out their stall when they come to Goodison. This couples with Uefa Cup football is seeing the team flourish.

Basically. Were doing great given the circumstances. Lets all just get behind the boys!
Russell Shoult
29   Posted 11/03/2008 at 01:40:36

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If all those above are so content that Evertons lack of investment is a conspiracy theory with BK at the heart of it then do something about it rather than talk on a website!

With the Moyesiah anything can happen. If he goes for the reasons stated above I will be more than happy to hold a banner alongside you asking for Kenwright's exit as I agree with many of your comments but until then let's just get behind the lads, hopefully turn this Uefa Cup tie on its arse and then beat the red scum to 4th and see how they cope with £30 million interest a year and no Champions League money.

We're on the up so let's try and be the 12th man until the season ends as, given the amount of penalties weve been awarded this season and the poor decisions, the referees certainly aren't going to be!
Dave Williams
30   Posted 11/03/2008 at 01:49:22

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Gentlemen, I may have missed it above but there is a simple rule of marketing for the simple minds who run the show (From George Soros to Hicks & Gillette) and that is Brand Brand Brand.

Liverpool is Liverpool. Everton is where? It’s like Stoke City and Port Vale to a lesser extent. Lots of people know where Stoke is but who knows where Port Vale is?

We are doomed presently by the status of the bastard offspring. Investors want return. They are not romantic and misty eyed like all of us silly sods!

You are quite right to point out that prudent stewardship and fiscal policy is correct but Football seems to subvert the very sense that goes with all other business matters. Witness the money that is tossed off by our nearest and not so dearest.

Since the mid sixties we have gradually dropped from our exalted position as one of the big five. You can call the current set up all you like but like it or lump it we are vastly better off than Bolton, Newcastle, Portsmouth, Villa, Man city et al.

There is currently a drift in Football to the capital. With the dearth of young English talent all the mercenary badge kissing carlos kick-a-balls want ’hello’ lifestyles in the worlds capital.

It aint going to get better. Relish the times we live in. They may be thin on the ground in years to come.
Jason Lam
31   Posted 11/03/2008 at 02:40:16

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Dave Williams’ got it. It’s simple - marketing.

The school of science is not enough to attract investement - which has no interest in the football.

The model of Real Madrid and their ’galacticos’ in the one you should be looking at. Your plan is to spend first and attractive the entertaining players (and play like Brazil) and send them off to world tours every summer, christmas and bank holidays to recoup the investment. These teams attractive more investment which in turn snowballs further.

Incidently, I was looking at a local footie magazine the other month and to my utter surprise it had the Everton team poster in the middle pages (it was a UEFA away game). I showed my better half in delight and she was in horror at the absolute ugliness of our lads. It had 3 bold men in Cars, Grav and AJ. Hibs was on drugs. Valente was a thug. Lescott was a Klingon (God bless him), Wessels just got out of bed.

We played school of science on the pitch but that’s not the point here is it?

Jay Harris
32   Posted 11/03/2008 at 02:57:02

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Dave
Very eloquently put and the words of romance and yet there are some things I would differ with.

Put in words of the liver. Liverpool is not the arse end of the world. Everton has not been "in decline since the 60s", in fact we were the most successful team of the 80s and won the European Cup Winners Cup. We are well known throughout the world but due to other more successful teams (I won?t name them) are not seen as a top side currently.

There are plenty of top players who want to play outside of London. How do Manure and the RS attract them. There are plenty of top players who prefer winning things than a mercenary lifestyle... although they do seem to go hand in hand with clubs wanting to buy success.

What you cant buy is team spirit and the will to win which we can thank Moyesy for.

It is a fact of life that success breeds success and I believe as many others do that to achieve that success will require more than Kenwright's capabilities.

I know a lot of people think the sun shines out of his arse or that he is at worst the best option we have but I and, I believe, quite a few others think he is holding us back not taking us forward.

In the meantime as I said in an earlier post I didn't want to get into this so lets all unite for now and get behind the lads for the rest of the season and see what the summer brings...
Rory Slingo
33   Posted 11/03/2008 at 02:53:30

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Well James, I think the main barriers are areas 1 and 8 in your list and they’re mostly psychological ones.

We have a great history, yes, but not many non-Evertonians know their history and if they don’t, it’s too late for them to care. The slate seems to have been wiped clean when the Premiership started and if a club hasn’t done well since 1993 then they might as well just not exist. An RS friend of mine just put to me today that Everton are having their best season ever. I had to point out barring 1995, it’s been our best season in the PREMIERSHIP, not ever. And I still hear loads of people commenting on us and predicting match results like we’re still the same team from the late 90s. In the last 15yrs we’ve gone down in people memories as a club that plays dire football, coupled with the fact that we don’t get as much TV coverage around the world as the Sky 4 (thanks Sky!), many people have not tuned in to watch our games to take notice how much Everton have improved in the last few seasons. Unfortunately, I think any type of potential investor or his advisors, unless they are real avid football fans, still see us in that same negative light. Until we finish 4th a few more times and prove it’s not a flash in the pan or punching above our weight for a season, it’s unlikely the stigma surrounding our club will be broken.

About the Chang sponsorship, to put it bluntly Chang is viewed as a cheap, lousy beer. I imagine it’s much the same in rest of the world. In Singapore pretty much only the Thais and other foreign workers drink it coz it’s $1.50 cheaper than the good beers. And some cheap bastards like me drink it as well, if only because I’m a bit strapped and they do sponsor my beloved Everton. But yeah, when you have a sponsor like Chang emblazoned across your team’s shirt, it’s not exactly Carlsberg, it doesn’t help but conjur up an image of a cheap and lousy second rate team, which is exactly how the media portray us compared to the shower across the park.

Imagine what a few more Top 4 finishes and a Heineken sponsorship for eg. would do for our global image.
Jason Lam
34   Posted 11/03/2008 at 03:43:43

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Good point about the Chang, taste fcuking piss.
Dave Williams
35   Posted 11/03/2008 at 03:38:15

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Hey Jay, I am an Evertonian.
Since 1966, trust me, I know my history and that of my father who when he was eight saw Dixie Dean score some of the goals that won that record that will never, ever be beaten.
I have been lectured by my arl fella and his brother (who played for the darksides reserves in the 50’s with Fagin & Paisley but was always a blue) about TG JONES, Joe Mercer, Ted Sagar, Dave Hickson, Roy Vernon, Alex Scott, Bobby Collins and many more, never mind Alex Young, about what an Everton allegiance stands for.
David Moye’s is the best thing to happen to this club since Howard Kendall Mk1. Mr. Kenwright employed him.
Read the post above yours and the one below. I am not having a go. I am merely stating facts surrounding the mindset of those who are rich enough to invest in Premier league football. They do not do it from a philanthropic view point and they most certainly do not do it from a romantic notion.
We may, in years to come, look back on this era and be glad that Mr. Kenwright stayed in control. I disagree with Kikby but personally cannot see it ever going ahead for many reasons.


As the Bhuddists would say, "Live in the moment", it’s the only one thats real.
Jay Harris
36   Posted 11/03/2008 at 04:35:34

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Dave
you?re either up late or up early but whichever it is its too much for me right now so I?ll leave on one note we can be cordial on.
Kirkby is a definite no no.
Simon Whittington
37   Posted 11/03/2008 at 08:50:37

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I heard recently that Sir Paul McCartney is an Evertonian through and through so if he can get his divorce sorted ASAP - and without too much financial pain on his part - then maybe BK should tap him up for a minority shareholding. Mind you, need to make sure its a new share issue to ensure its new funds coming into the club and not going to other shareholders. How about a 20-25% share for say 30-50m ? That should get us the 4-6 better quality players that we need to push on for regular top 4/5 finishes (bearing in mind there are others outside the top 4 still spending big-time).
Richard Parker
38   Posted 11/03/2008 at 10:02:10

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Jay Harris, gotta disagree with your comments about BK.

For all his bad points, this guy has taken us from certain relegation and receivership to a brief flirtation with the Champions League, which we are in with another pop at, if we do well in the next 10 games. If BK hadn’t come along when he did, we’d be where Sheffield Wednesday are now.

Look at where we are, I don’t understand all the negativity over the running of the club. We’re on an upward curve, without risk. If the wheels come off one season, we regroup and have a go the next. We don’t implode a la Leeds.

Put yourself in BK’s position. If you had control of the club you love and have that club in a relatively good position, would you hand it over to the first American, Japanese, Mongolian investor that came along with the cash and a promise of glory? If I were in his position, I’d want to make bloody well certain that the club I love was in good hands. I’d want to know that we weren’t going to be another Leeds, Fulham, Liverpool, Man City....

I’d much sooner continue with the baby-steps towards the right end of the Premiership and consistent European competition, than sell our souls like those clubs above.

I’m not saying that BK is the best man for the job, but so far, in our improvements he hasn’t, IMHO, come up short yet. There have been promises not delivered, sure, that was bad and people are holding it against him. But we’ve broken our transfer record over and over since Moyes arrived. We’ve got a team that is a million miles away from the one that Johnson left us with.

Everyone is free to have their own opinions and disagree with me at will, but in my opinion Bill is doing a pretty good job with his resources. And we’re still improving.
Dutch Schaffaer
39   Posted 11/03/2008 at 10:21:55

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The simple fact is that Bill Kenwright loves the club and has no intention of giving it up.

And why should he? Everton are currently riding high in the Premier League, Enjoy a terrific relationship between manager and board. And are able to spend major money in the transfer windows (£11M Yakubu).

With things going so well you can understand why Kenwright isn?t looking to sell. Clearly potential investors recognise this and that's why they dont approach to buy Everton.

Considering the mess Liverpool and Newcastle have landed with their new owners I?m surprised some fans still want Everton to be bought out by a foreign investor.
Colin Grierson
40   Posted 11/03/2008 at 07:15:24

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I’m sorry if I’m missing the trick here fellas but a few of you have said it more eloquently than I will perhaps state it but its simply really...

I am a die hard blue but there’s no way you would get me to invest in the club unless I had the cash of one of the oligarchs.

The RS, like it or not, along with Manure have sewn up the market long ago. If you cant see that then you are blind. Chelsea lose money, Arsenal are well supported but not to the extent (globally) that the RS and Manure are. Arsenal’s support fluctuates depending on on-the-field success. If they have too long a barren spell then the fickle global support will (like the character from Harry Enfield) switch allegiance to a more successful side.

If we were to win the Premier League and in the process gain a global following (incidentally it would still be dwarfed by the following for the RS and Manure) then an investor, buyer or whatever you might dream about might come sniffing as the potential to make a few quid might be apparent.

All but the most biased (and thick) fans must accept that the likelihood of us winning the Premier League at the moment is, frankly, ridiculous.

We have been playing some attractive football this season and winning games. It has been enjoyable to watch for the main part and long may it continue to be so.

I’m glad to be blue in a world full of moaning, expectant Sky 4 fans. Let’s not sink to their level!
James Mooney
41   Posted 11/03/2008 at 10:52:42

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I'm only 21 years old and so never seen the glory years at Everton but I have seen a lot of rubbish. But at the moment we are making real progress without any form of investment. Aside from probably Villa, none of the takeovers have gone without scandal: Man City, West Ham, United, Kopites, Newcastle even Chelski. I wanna see what Blue Bill and Moyesy can do with another 5 years, cos in the last five years we?ve gone from laughing stock to contenders for the Champions League, from worlds apart from the kopites to, I believe, a better overall team than them. Forget the money just get behind Moyesy and Bill...
John Hughes
42   Posted 11/03/2008 at 10:43:18

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You have to realise too that when new owners come in and invest in a business (and that?s what Everton is) they are focused on getting a good return on their capital and also have one eye on an exit route at some stage so that they can realise their investment. This means that successful clubs are now likely to see several changes in ownership in the medium to long term. I think this is why Sport and business is a bad mix, football especially as people like us (and I include BK) are emotionally attached to the history of the club and what it stands for. This could be the main reason that BK has structured the ownership of the club in a way that makes it difficult for opportunists as opposed to investors with genuine affinity for the club. Unfortunately, this is probably a noble but naive point of view in 2008. That said, what would you rather have-someone who geniunely cares for our great club or the shinnagins that are going on across Stanley Park at the present time?
Mark Stone
43   Posted 11/03/2008 at 11:11:39

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A bit off topic but the Stadium of Light was nowhere near full - there was hardly anyone in the top tier.
Ciaran Duff
44   Posted 11/03/2008 at 12:36:40

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Well, we are top of one league - Fantasy Premier League (FPL)! For those who are members, check out :-
http://fantasy.premierleague.com/M/stats.mc?stat=bestfave

Everton currently lead the table for highest average score per supporter. So, it proves Everton fans are smarter than the rest!



While on that page I noticed that there were totals for the no. of fans from each club. Ok, I know its not very scientific but I decided to divvy up the nos to see if I could get an idea of our global fan base versus other clubs. Here’s what I found :-
Total FPL fans = 1.4m. MUFC=30%, RS=20%, Arse=14%, Chelski=8.7%, Spurs=5%, Newcastle=4%. Hammers/EFC=2.5%. The rest trail off down to .5% for Wigan.
Geoff Doyle
45   Posted 11/03/2008 at 12:46:54

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I don’t buy into the conspiracy theories.
Jay Harris, you asked someone to name a case of investors going to the press before a deal was done, does DIC’s current wrangling with Gillett and Hicks ring any bells? Also, you bang on about confidentiality agreements around takeovers - they would be more likely for PLC’s and are not so relevant for privately owned companies. This is because of legal issues such as insider trading and so on. Private companies are much less of a risk for this sort of thing.
There was also talk about shareholders not being aware of the extent of debt the club are in. The financial statements have to give a complete picture of the club, the amount of debt disclosed in these is the full extent of the debt - it is against the law to lie.
At a guess, EFC would be a difficult club to value at present because of the uncertainty surrounding the stadium. Also, not many investors are going to jump until a definite outcome has been established.
Kevin Tully
46   Posted 11/03/2008 at 13:27:09

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New stadium + Champions League + worldwide coveradge = queue at the door.
Tom Davies
47   Posted 11/03/2008 at 12:32:09

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Bill Kenwright has had a few big offers in the last couple of years but always turns them down, in a way it’s good because we don’t get taken over by some money hungry untrustworthy cowboys like them across the park.

It’s probarbly best that we have a chairman who is an Evertonian, even if he’s a man who me and many other fans no longer trust.
Neil Pearse
48   Posted 11/03/2008 at 13:58:35

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Tom D - any chance you can share with us the identities of the "few big offers" that Bill has turned down? Would certainly add to this debate!
Jay Harris
49   Posted 11/03/2008 at 14:41:34

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Geoff
just to correct you I did say that if anything is leaked its usually from the sellers side - in this case Gillett who couldnt help spilling his guts all over the media.
Secondly it is usual for all takeover bids whether they be private or PLC?s to be subject to confidentiality agreements.
I did not say shareholders are not aware of the company?s financial position in fact I said the reverse - that the club?s records are in the public domain albeit historical so are open to potential investors as well as everybody else.
what I did say is that it was very strange that BK who was apparently was worth about 1 million at the time bought out Johnson for 20 million and the clubs accounts which were late on being published that year showed Everton?s debts had risen by 20 million since the previous accounts - now you can read into that what you want,but it is also fact that a well respected chief executive and accountantant joined Everton for a number of weeks and then quit mysteriously.
You are also being very naive if you believe accounts are totally accurate and people dont lie.
Have you never heard the expression "Creative accounting".
David Edwards
50   Posted 11/03/2008 at 15:09:26

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The posts on toffeeweb can be variable at the best of times, but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading all sides of this debate and in true ’fence-sitting’ mode, I can see sense in many of the statements made.

I love this wonderful old club and the current team etc. are making me very proud (even if I fear the season might end with a wimper). However, I’m very aware we are not particularly a global (or even a national) football brand and our poor form and often poor performances since 1993 is mainly the reason for that (our impressive pre-premiership form counts for nothing with the new generation of media reporters - whether it’s being last on MOTD or hardly getting any mention on the likes of 5Live or TalkSport (with the exception of our village idiot, Mr Parry!). Our support is either North-West based or via people (and their family) who used to have such local connections (no young lad in London is going to ask his dad for an EFC shirt to wear, because he likes the players and the way we play etc. Even in the successful 80’s I don’t think our young fan-base jumped up much and we still played second fiddle to the RS and Manure).

To some extent most teams rely on close-knit local support and only the Sky 4 (and possibly Spurs) seem to pick up a fickle national fan-base. Villa and Sunderland do well with their fanbase and the obvious example is the Toon - although they benefit from being so closely identified with their city and culture, while the presence of our neighbours and not having the city name definitely hinders our marketing, and may play a part in keeping our profile low for new investment.

While we are proud of our own history, it is actually recent history (not all of our doing) that is holding us back. The domination of the RS in the 70s and 80s switched us to the also-rans in our own city. The Heysel-ban stopped us dominating Europe and building our brand in the late 80s (because we were bloody good then and we genuinely feared no one at all!) and the cul-de-sac we found ourselves in the 90s and 00s (especially Agent Johnson) meant we missed the gravy train that the Sky 4 have all benefitted from (for Rugby League fans the fate of my team Widnes when they failed to be involved in the early years of the Super League has a similar resonance to me).

I think Blue Bill does has his flaws and is over-protective of his position, but I still feel he has the club at heart and doesn’t want us to do a ’Leeds’. I think our debts are probably greater than we think. I also sadly think we are just not attractive enough for foreign investors of the stature that would make Bill stop and think. I don’t think the Goodison infra-structure, sight-lines, car parking, surroundings, limited corporate facilities do help us drag in the, dare I say, more affluent, Cheshire/Wirral, self-employed and middle class fans that the RS, Chelski etc. benefit from. I’m not sure being in a Tesco Car Park is the answer, but in the absence of a viable option...who knows? Are we in a chicken and egg situation, I wonder, where we need to get sustained success on little investment, and move to a new ground before we get the type of investment that might have allowed us not to have to move (or miss out on the Kings Dock) in the first place!

I’ll continue in my support of essentially an unfashionable team and hope our over-achievements can last long enough to embarrass some of our wealthier rivals and attract the type of investment we haven’t had since the Moores days. To the optimists - with Moyes and his team I think we are only a few steps away from sustained progress over the next few years. To the pessimists - enjoy the ride now, because as Buddha said (or was it George Harrison) - ’All Things Must Pass’. In 10 years time when it all ends in tears and we follow the likes of Forest and Leeds, we’ll wonder what we were moaning about on the eve of a UEFA Cup tie!
Robin Cannon
51   Posted 11/03/2008 at 15:51:02

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Far more attractive than outside investment in the form of a takeover would be the long term improvement of Everton as a well run business.

When you actually look at the ’sugar daddy’ concept, it’s only Abramovich and Chelsea who’ve managed any sustained success out of it - and that’s a team who were already on the fringes of the top spots of the table and an investor who is so far ahead of any other Premiership owner in wealth that it’s hardly even comparable.

The model I would much rather we be following would be that of Arsenal, who don’t have major outside investment but are an exceedingly well run business, have developed that over a period of time into a massive success on and off the pitch.

Everton are nowhere near there yet. We are...better...as a business concern these days, but nothing special as you can see from various ticketing issues, failure to take full advantage of merchandising, etc. We have taken steps forward, just not nearly enough. But I’d certainly want to pursue the Arsenal model rather than the likes of Liverpool or Chelsea.
Colin Grierson
52   Posted 11/03/2008 at 15:54:08

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Does anyone really believe that BK is out to fleece the club? I think he is a genuine supporter, not quite in the sense perhaps that you and I are, but with the best interests of the club.
We were in a mess with Peter Johnson at the helm and I, along with many others struggled to see a way forward. We have moved forward under BK whether you believe its cos of him or despite him.
There’s a lot of truth in the old adage "Its better the devil you know..."
It wouldn’t matter who was in charge, the grass could always be greener.
Colin Grierson
53   Posted 11/03/2008 at 16:16:07

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Seamy - You may be onto something there; especially when you add England to that list! We’re hardly well regarded internationally are we?
Karl Masters
54   Posted 11/03/2008 at 16:09:29

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Spot on Robin Cannon.

Arsenal are the moe we should be following. Get it right on the pitch first ( it’s happening slowly ) and the rest will follow.

To that end we must keep our Wenger -Moyesie - and, just as Wenger was 10 years ago, give our Manager support in the Transfer Market when he needs it. Moyes needs to develop an overseas scouting network too, just like the Gunners have.

Aditionally, our off the pitch activities still need a major overhaul in marketing, sponsorship, ticketing and merchandising. Everton are so poor at spotting an opportunity - the pink shirts for girls for example - and the attitude still stinks in many dealings with the Club.

In 1998 Arsenal lost Anelka to Real Madrid and were powerless to stop him leaving to a biggerClub even though they had just won the Double. 10 Years later on, despite having not won a trophy for nearly 4 years the Gunners are much closer to Madrid both on and off the pitch.

What this proves is that it takes TIME to build a giant club. Sugar Daddies are not the answer. Just wait till Abramovich gets fed up at Chelsea - we’ll see some fall out then. At Liverpool the so called answers are nowproviding only more questions and problems.

We are only at the lower reaches of the mountain, but with the right men on the pitch and in charge, plus a dynamic Commercial set up the mountain can be scaled. Moyes is the right man, Wyness is not, BK probably isn’t without some help and the Commercial side of the Club needs to get its act together if we are ever to sustain a high position.
Jay Harris
55   Posted 11/03/2008 at 16:29:10

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Seamy
thanks for a bit of light heartedness.
It does get tense on the subject of Bill.
I believe for what its worth he is desparately trying to hold on to his trainset in the hope we can achieve something.
I dont believe he?s in it for a huge killing - he?s already achieved that in becoming chairman and majority shareholder in EFC.Wouldnt we all dream of that.
And that for me is the point.
I really do believe he?s a dreamer and I also believe Moyes is fed up with being told "be patient".Why else would we buy nobody in the transfer window even though we were in the semi finals of the carling cup,doing well in the league,doing well in Eufa but deprived of our Afcon players and carrying a number of injuries particularly in MF.
However as I said earlier its more important to unite and get behind the club and players for the rest of the season and see what the summer brings.
Geoff Doyle
56   Posted 11/03/2008 at 16:43:05

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Jay,
Firstly, how can you say for sure the rumours were started by Gillett? The first official announcement was by DIC who officially confirmed that the had approached them.
Secondly, if there was a confidentiality agreement surrounding DIC then they could not have officialy confirmed anything. Which they did.
I just don’t agree with your points there.
Neil Styles
57   Posted 11/03/2008 at 17:00:33

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Personally I think we are in a wonderful position. Unlike the corporations that are Man Utd and Chelsea and liverpool, we have something they may never recapture:a board and a chairman who genuinely love their club. True, Blue Bill and our board do not possess as much money as the Roman Abramavich and his buddies but what he does possess is a desire to keep our club safe and as financially healthy as he can.
Any potential takeover at this juncture would be a financial cancer.
Colin Grierson
58   Posted 11/03/2008 at 17:12:09

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Its a good healthy debate, however, I think to do your post justice James I should attempt to answer your final query. How to raise attendance.

Its a tough one that as I dont think recruiting new fans is easy. We could try and target the less attractive fixtures such as the Derby County, Wigan, Boro etc home games and make it more affordable for families to come along.
We could target these groups and try to retain their support on a long term basis. The club must look at potential new fans as customers to a certain extent and cater to their needs. Gone are the days when simply opening the gates and sending a team out is enough, as for someone taking a couple of kids, 90 mins watching the blues could be a very expensive way to spend an afternoon. Just a thought.
Jip Foster
59   Posted 11/03/2008 at 20:59:33

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You want ti invest in something - so if you invested in Everton, what assests are there? You want something in place in case everything goes wrong. Everton have sold EVERYTHING off except Goodison Park. Nobody is going to buy into that. For the new stadium we won’t even own the land the stadium is on!
Everton FC - an investment to avoid perhaps?
Michael Hunt
60   Posted 11/03/2008 at 23:32:49

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I believe much of the above is well argued and valid.
Do most people agree on one thing though, that you can’t put a price on the SOUL of the club. Thanks heavens we still have our blue blooded soul and have not sold out to dubious investors without blue blood, whether from these shores or afar. Peter Johnson and his red leanings should serve as a warning that damaging takeover threats lurk not just as far away as across the pond or the likes of outer Siberia.
On a related matter: Brand and perception indeed is important and it is interesting to note that asian blues profess to disliking ’cheap and nasty’ Chang beer so much while prefering the overpriced pisswater that is the Carlserg or Heineken! Having some knowledge of that area, there is very little to distinguish those beers other than price and marketing. It reminds me of the Stella Artois paradox, marketed as ’reassuringly expensive’ in the UK, yet sold as cheap crap and priced accordingly in it’s country of origin! There is a similarity with football advertising and it’s impact, the likes of David Beckham are out on a far higher pedastal than his limited football talent would support. To illustrate, replaying and reproducing in adverts the small percentage of his freekicks that nestle into the top corner rather than the multitude that hit the wall or the stands creates a rather distorted view of reality. The RedShite benefit from such things a lot too, Inter Milan lost three nil on aggregate to our red neighbours, yet had more chances throughout the game, more possession etc and should have scored enough goals to put the bgame to bed in each leg than the evert fortunate reds. Indeed, the reds failed to penetrate them at all while the italians had all their players on the park. To have very dubious sending offs go in their favour very early in the second half in both legs is rather fortunate to say the least. However, it provides the platform to perpetuate the myth of them and Rafael the waiter being some kind of ’Champions’ League demi god! COYB, FTRS!
Ciaran Duff
61   Posted 11/03/2008 at 22:56:40

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I agree that Arsenal are a better example than Manure, RS. They have always been a really well run club and financially responsible. However, they have benefited from having a wealthy fan base (have a look at their season ticket prices!). Still, I think the way forward for Everton has to be, as it has been on the pitch, by way of small progressive steps with a long term plan.

We may not have the big money to compete with other clubs but I think we should try to compete with them in other areas. For example, we could try to be the best club:-
+ For handling young players (I mean looking after them properly, not just football wise, with education etc)
+ For handling retiring players
+ For treating fans
+ For coaching methods
In other words, NSNO, in the areas that we can control to build our name and a reputation to attract talent.
Andy Lea
62   Posted 12/03/2008 at 12:08:05

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One major reason for lack of investment is state of Goodisons corporate offering. Like it or not this is a major source of income when done properly and not in a tent. Whatever your view on the prawn sandwich brigade they are vital to income and attracting investment.

Numbers wise I may be one or two out but this will illustrate the void in numbers between Everton and lesser clubs - Sunderlands Stadium of Light (yeah right) have around 110 corporate boxes that are fully booked each and every match day - Everton have 14. This for me puts paid to the redevelopment of Goodison argument. Any new stadium plans, guaranteed, will have the corporate side of things in the top 5 of priority issues.

As for Bill opinions are varied and more often than not influenced by how well we are doing. Ideally an investor who is an Evertonian would be on most wish lists - I read in the last programme that fab Paul McCartney has confirmed that his affiliation is with the blues - perhaps if he has any money left from his current predicament he could throw some our way!

Please God can we have the result required tonight!
Robert Elliott
63   Posted 12/03/2008 at 14:28:13

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As someone who lives in the midlands with absoloutely no ties whatsoever to the north west area I’d like to address the point raised by David Edwards in regards to the fact that Everton have a mainly local based support. This may be true but he might be pleasantly surprised to learn that in the department I work in there are at least 5 Everton fans that I’m aware of, only one of whom actually has ties to the Liverpool area. Granted, we are somewhat outnumbered by the Man Utd and Liverpool supporters (although I’m not sure how many of these so called supporters would be able to tell you how their respective team actually got on at the weekend!) but there is certainly more support for Everton than any other team outside of those two, including the locally based Aston Villa. I can also say that our efforts to challenge the superiority of the so-called "big four" has got the attention of most neutral football fans that I’m aware of as well. I’ve been fortunate to attend many football matches at Goodison Park, and I’ve always been proud of the atmosphere and support for the team I’ve witnessed which is a credit to the many, many thousands of locally based Everton supporters. I just hope everybody, including people who don’t support the club, realise that the love and support for Everton FC is a country, if not worldwide thing and not just city-based.
Raj Parbat
64   Posted 13/03/2008 at 13:11:47

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The investment should have been searched or made when Kings Dock was on the cards, who knows where our club would be if that happened, because of this Kirkby is the option.

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