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Criticizing Kenwright: A Basis

By Tom Hughes :  08/04/2008 :  Comments (90) :

In an article on ToffeeWeb yesterday, Adam Cunliffe suggested that to criticise Chairman Bill Kenwright was ridiculous. Tom Hughes responds.

I have nothing against Bill Kenwright personally. He?s a Blue like the rest of us, and I feel certain that his intentions are honourable. However, I feel he has been grossly misguided, and would question is ability to oversee the stadium issue.

He has confessed on a number of occasions that even his major business transactions when managing big theatre productions are written on the back of an envelope, and conducted by word of mouth among friends and associates. He gets by on experience, passion and instinct with very little science/business acumen involved, which has worked well for him in that environment. It has to be said that during his tenure, and before when he was still a board member he has presided over some horrendous periods in this club?s history.

Moyes has helped him paint the rosiest possible picture of a club that is quite literally nearer administration/bankrupcy than ever before. There is nothing unusual about that in football, but it is an undeniable fact that our club is perched on a knife?s edge. The well documented cock-ups, missed opportunities and worse that have brought us to this point cannot be ignored simply because Davey Moyes has performed miracles in getting us closer to the big boys than we?ve been for years. He could just as easily achieved that at our new Kings Dock stadium, and how much better prepared we would now be to step up that extra gear to overtake our nearest rivals?

The latest charade is the biggest illustrator of how he operates. He stated himself at the AGM that Kirkby grew out of a brief conversation with his friend Leahy, whereupon the Tesco boss was essentially given license to go and build a stadium for EFC. This was formalised by way of an exclusivity deal. The full consequences of this act have never really been exposed. Why would anyone do this? How would you ever know if you?re getting the best deal possible? Would you restrict your options to one shop when going shopping? Why would a "deal of the century" need protecting by an exclusivity clause? It?s a contradiction in terms... Surely it can?t be bettered, and is safe to withstand any competition and comparison — in fact you would probably encourage comparison if only to reinforce its obvious merits.

As we now know, the Tesco deal is not the utopia it was painted, nothing like it. Leahy knew this would always be the case, that?s why he insisted on protecting it with exclusivity. That?s why he and Wyness have conducted a campaign to squash any opposition, and avoid any comparison with any other option since he knew that Kirkby could not stand up to it, the precise opposite of what you would expect from the best, indeed ONLY option possible.

The whole decison-making process has been conducted back to front. Creating "A problem to fit the solution" instead of vice versa. Now we are left with a stadium project that WILL cost us more than redevelopment, that WILL cost us more than the Loop site, that WILL NOT be more accessible than the current Stadium nevermind the the "most accessible in the country".

This would have all been avoided if the club had initially approached the issue from an open-minded angle and properly studied all the options via independent advisors, and not just Tesco?s. A design competition, would have generated any number of solutions to redevelopment for the same cost of Kirkby or at least given figures for comparison (In actual fact the redevelopment feasibility study is dated many months after the vote and is conducted by Tesco?s consultants). It would also have notified potential investors like Bestway at the Loop, and Sainsbury?s at WHP to throw their hat into the ring.

Does anyone honestly believe Kirkby would have got more than 5% of a vote compared to any of these options? That?s why we were railroaded into a one option vote.

There are a lot of people saying very little about all these revelations at the moment, watch out for the biggest arse-covering exercise since King?s Dock collapsed... Devoted Blues or not!!

Reader Comments

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Jay Harris
1   Posted 08/04/2008 at 16:39:25

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Tom, as laways, an excellent article bringing on the relevant points of BK?s reign. For what it?s worth I would like to add my tuppence worth to the argument.

I would like to pick up on the point of LCC. It is said that BK caused so much shit with his bullshit over Kings Dock that they did not want to deal with him again.

Even if that is not true you only get the best solutions in life by cultivating positive relationships with people who can help you, not to cut your nose to spite your face by running to some outback town (with all due respect to Kirkby residents)with no infrastructure for transport or amenities and certainly no experience at handling large capacity stadiums.

The only thing I can add to what has already been said about BK is to question where the £20 million came from to buy out Johnson when miraculously Everton?s debts rose by £20 million at the same time as BK was reportedly only worth 1 million (his house) at the time.
Ring any bells together with Kings Dock, NTL, Fortress Sports Fund, asset stripping EFC, Ticketing, travel and marketing fiascos.

And BKites PLEASE don't come on here saying he got David Moyes and backed him to the hilt. Walter Smith recommended Moyes and it wouldn't surprise me if BK couldnt get off his arse to look at other options because that is another weakness of the man. He spends all his time anywhere but Goodison and makes key decisions on a whim.
Now believe it or not I don't hate the man ? I just think he?s an incompetent bullshitter who found himself with the opportunity of a lifetime and is holding on to it for dear life.

We haven?t heard he is "looking for investors 24/7" for a while... I wonder if thats still the case with the perks of what will come with Kirkby?

Tony Waverleas
2   Posted 08/04/2008 at 16:41:47

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" is an undeniable fact that our club is perched on a knife?s edge..."

That’s one heck of a statement, Tom.

Can you please prove it?
Joe Ludden
3   Posted 08/04/2008 at 18:06:46

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Excellent contribution again Tom - wait for all the ?just back the club? stuff that will inevitably arrive. For my part, I cant stand BK, for all the mistakes cited above, and more. Let's not forget "Rooney is worth £50m", week later sold for £10m+£10m+vouchers. Stuck his neck out for the toffees on that deal didnt he. Really put Man Ure out of cink that, bet they were well narked off.

As for the deal of the century (Kirkby not Rooney apparently) - if it was such a great deal then wouldn?t Bully be flooding it all over the website and press, constantly blowing his own trumpet, constant updates on the deal of the century and "look at me". Wouldn?t he be happy to answer all our questions and concerns with a confident and self assured smile on his face - afterall, this is the deal of the century he has created. For every concern we have, wouldn?t he delight in proving us wrong, showing us how misguided we are, and how brilliant he and his deal of the century is? You?d have thought. Instead he uses club money to talk to a supporters group via solicitors. Nowt to hide there then. Don?t know why I'm worried... Tesco are building us a stadium for free (damn hospitable of ?em too), our CEO cant stop himself from allaying our fears and our owner is a failed Coronation Street actor... I'm just a conspiracy theorist in overdrive I guess.

Nil Satis Nisi Optimum - Evertonians do not settle for less.
Tommy Gibbons
4   Posted 08/04/2008 at 19:31:22

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The one overiding factor which Mr Hughes et al constantly miss... no actually they don?t miss they just ignore, is that nobody has put up any money or free land for any other option. LCC did not want to ?help? EFC, never have never will do, Bestway was just a publicity stunt otherwise why did they not propose (with HOK) a detailed plan of the Loop including financing. The exclusivity clause did not stop them from doing this.

I would suggest that Mr Hughes et al put their heads together and come up with backers for their alternatives, but it begs the question, which one will they go for? The club have made their decision and its obvious they ain?t for turning! Unless of course all the different factions unite behind one achievable objective.

Lyndon Lloyd
Editorial Team
5   Posted 08/04/2008 at 20:07:16

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"nobody has put up any money or free land for any other option"

If, as seems to be the case, the Sainsbury?s proposal for Walton Hall Park wasn?t given much, if any, consideration because the club had decided to go with Tesco Terry, what good would it have been for anyone else to offer "money and free land"?

For any alternative to get off the ground, it requires a will and interest from EFC; if there had been any will or interest in scoping out the Loop with Bestway and HOK, I?m sure it would have been done. [The same goes for redeveloping Goodison, which was a good enough alternative to the Kings Docks for Bill 5 years ago that it merited two separate options on the Shareholders? ballot.]

Bestway wasn?t a "publicity stunt" ? if the meetings between Wyness, Bradley, the Lord Mayor and NWRA aren?t proof enough of that then having had conversations with Malcolm Carter myself, I can assure you further ? but how can you expect them to undertake a full feasibility and finance study on their own dime when they were being "stonewalled" by Everton and therefore had every indication that the time and expense would be a waste of time?
Barry Scott
6   Posted 08/04/2008 at 20:15:32

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Tommy, hypothetically, would you be happy for a council to donate some brownfield land to the club on a 199-year lease in return for a large share in the company that owns and operates any new stadium?
Jay Harris
7   Posted 08/04/2008 at 21:50:01

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Tommy Gibbons there was plenty of "Free" money for Kings Dock and it would have only cost us 30million for a Truly world class stadium.
Now what was his name that was behind that failure?

Also as Barry has pointed out the Land will not be ours - we will have to pay a lease on it (Anfield ring any bells?) and is currently worth 9/10 of FA.

Its not the deal of the century its "THE CRIME OF THE CENTURY".
Rob Hollis
8   Posted 08/04/2008 at 21:59:30

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I don?t know the truth behind the stadium or the club finances, but having just read the Pienaar article what I do know is this.

If they let him (our best player for me) slip away at that price then the whole set up is a complete waste of time, money and effort. If he goes somewherer else then Everton is just a name for something that used to exist. His deal should have been completed the second it was possible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Tommy Gibbons
9   Posted 08/04/2008 at 21:48:54

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Sainsbury/Walton Hall Park: see LCC Warren Bradley's comments... something along the lines of 2 wrongs don?t make a right, vis a vis LFC/LCC can break a 100 year old covenant for Stanley Park but EFC can?t have land without breaking any such covenant.

I?d imagine you?d also have the snide remarks about Sainsbury car park etc... and I do wonder about Sainsburys so called plans as they do not have anywhere near the financial clout of Tesco.

Bestway.. well there?s a thing... everybody says Tesco are in it for themselves (so what I say! because we benefit!) but of course so would Bestway and if they thought the finances stacked up for them they would have continued with a feasability study as nothing ventured nothing gained; or are you telling me Bestway just wanted to help poor old Everton out of the goodness of their hearts!

In the cold light of day Everton have only been offered one concrete proposal that stacked up for them... and it seems your friends at Bestway don?t have confidence in their own proposals so why would Everton want to speak to them?

(Barry... hypothetically speaking I don?t deal in hypothetical scenarios/debates/questions etc. You?ll find loads on here to indulge you. Either say what you mean or don?t say anything at all.)

Jay Harris
10   Posted 08/04/2008 at 22:24:36

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totally agree with you but there is a Pienaar thread now.
Anyway we might as well add this to all the other fiascos BK has overseen.
Tommy Gibbons
11   Posted 08/04/2008 at 22:26:32

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Jay... BK/EFC did not have the £30m. As disappointed as I was like everyone else with the Kings Dock outcome, it did bring to the forefront how skint Everton have become. That fault being the historical mismanagement of EFC since the early 70?s.

As for Barry?s comment... he?s being hypothetical isn?t he?!

Robbie Skinley
12   Posted 08/04/2008 at 22:51:07

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Can i just ask a question of anyone in the know. I was under the impression that whenever two big companies are involved in a massive multi-million pound project then they normally enter into a period of exclusivity to ensure both sides are genuinely interested and committed and not wasting money on researching a possibility that may never be agreed.

Am I right on that or just mis-informed?
Brian Donnelly
13   Posted 08/04/2008 at 22:56:12

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A good article Tom.

Too many people think that because Kenwright & Leahy are Evertonians then there is no need to question their motives. The problem is that one of them is incompetent and the other is only interested in the performance of one company ? Tesco.

Tommy, supporters could have accepted that we didn?t have the money for Kings Dock. The problem was that Kenwright insisted that the money was ring-fenced!
That?s why people find it hard to believe anything that the bullshitter says.
Lyndon Lloyd
Editorial Team
14   Posted 08/04/2008 at 23:05:46

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"I?d imagine you?d also have the snide remarks about Sainsbury car park etc... and I do wonder about Sainsburys so called plans as they do not have anywhere near the financial clout of Tesco"

It all depends on whether the stadium would actually have been put in the bloody car park or whether their plans had a bit more imagination, wouldn?t it? Guess we?ll never know.

And you don?t need the financial clout of Tesco to get a retail development underway, moreover we?re not benefiting from Tesco?s money in any way except to get a discount on breeze-blocks for the mid-range, St Mary?s-alike they?ve got planned for us.

Regarding Bestway, they could believe the finances stacked up for them all they liked but unless they felt that EFC had any interest whatsoever in what they proposed, what would be the point? Would you prefer they build the entire stadium first and then say, "Here y?are, Bill. Whacha think of that then, mate?"

"In the cold light of day Everton have only been offered one concrete proposal that stacked up for them"

The cold light of day is that redeveloping Goodison is now probably as financially viable as the increasingly expensive Kirkby stadium. Trouble is, it doesn?t stack up for Wyness? CV, doesn?t stack up for Tesco Terry because he needs EFC for his £400m retail heaven, and doesn?t provide an entertainment/leisure playland for Hollywood Bob. So why even seriously look at it, eh?
Mark Stone
15   Posted 08/04/2008 at 23:18:36

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"Quite literally nearer administration / bankruptcy than ever before"

Is this correct? I can?t say I know too much about the club's finances to be honest - but this is a worrying statement if true. Where is this info from?
Tommy Gibbons
16   Posted 08/04/2008 at 23:17:48

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Sainsbury.. never really had a plan then did they! except for a store... So no use to everton

We?re not benefitting from Tesco..but...
So we are benifitting from Tesco then aren?t we?!

And we?re doing it all for Wyness?s CV..
That's just where your credibility as with so many other dissenters lapses into farce!

And sideshow Bob.. in my humble opinion, the lynchpin in the deal to save EFC from being also rans for the next 20 odd years. He hasn?t bankrolled us for nothing now has he?!..

Everton are now building teams both on and off the pitch to challenge the bigger boys; time it wil take, chances will have to be taken, but moving in the right direction we surely are...

Jay Harris
17   Posted 09/04/2008 at 00:15:28

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I admire you for steadfastly supporting BK but the KD fiasco was totally down to him.
He misled LCC about having the £30 million available they got around £100 million in Grants/EECfunding sorted on the strength of that and then Paul Gregg was prepared to put the £30mill up if BK would agree to some security (i.e. extra shareholding or a mortgage on the stadium)BK declined the rest as they say is history.

BK has since sold off our training ground, retail store and mortgaged GP and gate receipts and we?re still making losses. All this during a time when Sky money has been at levels that even Sir Phillip Carter couldn?t have imagined.

So all you BKites tell me again ? what has he done for the club?
Ciaran Duff
18   Posted 09/04/2008 at 02:20:31

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Tom re your statement
"...Now we are left with a stadium project that WILL cost us more than redevelopment, that WILL cost us more than the Loop site.."

Can you back that up?

I?m not going to go into the exact figures but to me it just beggars belief that a greenfield site where the main stakeholder (Tesco) is willing to build the stadium structure for us (we do the fit out) and a council that is pushing the proposal could be more expensive than redeveloping Goodison or using a brownfield site and dealing with LCC etc. Who else has tried redevelopment? Very few, because its time consuming, causes loss of income during devmt, would be a nightmare with local residents, would have to be funded by us mainly, probably won?t give you the best outcome because of the limited footprint etc.
Ciaran Duff
19   Posted 09/04/2008 at 02:45:42

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and Robbie Skinley ..
I have; you are on the mark with the exclusivity agreement. Standard practice.
Jay Harris
20   Posted 09/04/2008 at 03:16:10

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where do you get this stuff.

"(Tesco) is willing to build the stadium structure for us (we do the fit out)"

Tesco have stated categorically "They will not be contributing financially to the stadium development.

It has now been estimated to cost EFC between £80 and £150 million.
Jay Harris
21   Posted 09/04/2008 at 05:38:19

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I am no expert but I think it would cost considerably less to develop GP in stages (less interest for a start) over the close season.

And the Bonus is WE OWN THE LAND AND THE GROUND and fat Keith won't cost us another huge bonus.

You obviously have not read previous threads on this subject. Newcastle, Villa, Spurs and Man Utd have all successfully developed the grounds they?re in.

There was a fashion a few years ago when there were huge EEC grants available to rush out and build new stadiums when we could have got KD for £30 million but they are no longer available so the economics do not stack up as much. GP has a bigger footprint than Newcastle and is on a par with the Emirates so the footprint bullshit doesn't add up either.

Tom Hughes put some useful figures together for developing GP but I?m sure, like me, he gets fed up repeating himself on here. The only logic for taking on a mortgage of £150 million is it facilitates some very creative accounting. And if as a result we end up in some backwater with a Legoland stadium on Tesco?s car park why should the culprits worry? ? they will have got what they want.
Tom Hughes
22   Posted 09/04/2008 at 06:54:14

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Exclusivity agreements can be standard practice, but surely not before studying the options fully.
Ciaran Duff
23   Posted 09/04/2008 at 07:02:11

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Re: Stadium costs and Tesco role. Has some something changed since Sir Terence Leahy made his statement :-

Quote...Clearly it?s possible to lift the stadium design for Kirkby (or one like it) and drop it onto Goodison or the loop site ? and in my heart as a fan, it looks nice. But unless the club is offered a concrete proposal to own a £150 million stadium for around £35 million investment by Everton, and delivered by 2010 / 11 then I?m afraid it is not a realistic option....end quote.

I also quote from KWs FAQs :-
Quote ....we have been able to work with Tesco and Knowsley to create a situation where Tesco will make a contribution of £50m towards the cost of a new stadium.....end quote.
Am I missing something?
Jay Campbell
24   Posted 09/04/2008 at 07:28:30

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It makes me laugh when Everton fans are debating about Kenwright then start using comparison’s with Hick’s and Gillett and dodgy russian oil barrons etc.

Correct me if i’m wrong but these men provide their managers with massive amounts of money EVERY summer where as our true blue(ha ha), I’d die for this club chairman produces pityful sum’s of money to a very promising manager. Moyes will walk in the not too distant future i’m telling ya.

I still can’t believe he kept his job after the kings dock fiasco and to quote David Dein of Arsenal saying "I’d have given all my limbs for a deal like that". No doubt Kenwright was the brunt of the league chairman’s jokes.

Never will this club suceed while this oaf is running the show. Never!!!
25   Posted 09/04/2008 at 09:09:37

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One of the best articles i’ve read concerning Kenwright & Co. very well written
Ciarán McGlone
26   Posted 09/04/2008 at 09:26:57

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The figures you have quoted have changed several times according to the mood that Wyness was in that day..

Originally Wyness and Earl (the failed businessman) claimed that Tesco would be donating 50mill and that the costs of the stadium were neglible..Tony Fletcher obviously immeidately denied this...then Earl admitted to the 2007 shareholders meeting that the cost to Everton would be 150million...

I hope this clarification helps you to stop repeating the erroneously constructed mirage that Tesco will be contributing to the stadium build..or that the cost is minimal a la ’deal of the century’
Neil Adderley
27   Posted 09/04/2008 at 10:25:47

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Ciaran - "Am I missing something?"

The following email was sent to Radio Merseyside at 6.30pm on 17th July 2007:

"Reports in a number of news outlets today have stated that Tesco will fund £50m towards the cost of a new stadium for Everton FC. Tesco wish to point out that the intention would be for the proposed stadium funding package to be derived from the value generated by the overall retail led development scheme not as a result of direct funding from Tesco."

Tony Fletcher, Tesco.

Now unless Tesco/Knowsley can persuade the powers that be to allow a total of over 52,000 sq m net of retail development in Kirkby, a figure somewhat above and beyond Knowsley’s own recommendation from the summer of 2006 of 9,000 sq m, then there will be no value to be derived.

Joe Rourke
28   Posted 09/04/2008 at 11:02:43

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Excellent article Tom.

I have a question if you Tom, or anybody who is knowledgeable on the subject can answer.

1) Is the Kirkby proposal likely to be refused or objected to sucessfully?

I agree with Tom about the railroading of the project and I feel it well may never happen for a number of reasons - being kicked to touch by the Local Authiority being an obvious possibility. The club baulking at the real financial cost at the last moment isthe second possibility. This is a white elephant for the club as far as I can see.

One thing bothers me is that ’ Blue Bill’ Kenwright and company have spent a lot of time and energy trying to shunt everybody along with their ’vision’ of the project. This for me means that they would be unlikely to ’about turn’ and admit defeat until well, well after the project is actually consigned to the dustbin. This could take years - and there has been a sizeable level of acrimony throughout which usually prolongs things further.

A resolution of the stadium issue for me would probably only actually occur if and when Bill Kenwright leaves and some other chairman looks at the issue openly and logically - as Tom suggests was not the case here.
Ciaran Duff
29   Posted 09/04/2008 at 12:07:01

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Fair enough Neil, that is info that I was missing.
Still, I think we need to wait for the full story to emerge. It would be a good time for BK, KW, Tesco etc to come out and clarify the situation. Until it is clarified I’ll still give them the benefit of the doubt.
If the whole thing did fall through then my biggest fear is that neither of the other options (Goodison or the Loop) will be viable. I feel that Kirkby is the lesser of 3 evils (4 if you count staying in Goodison ’as is’).
Roy Warne
30   Posted 09/04/2008 at 13:08:51

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The current "Destination Kirby" events remind me of Berlin, March 1945. The inevitable collapse of the National Socialists was there for all to see, but the hierarchy refused to believe and fought to the death. Hitler refused to allow any of his soldiers to take a backward step at any stage, and refused to acknowledge defeat right up until the day he committed suicide with Eva Braun.

And now that I think of it, I suppose a certain CEO looks a bit like Hermann Goering...
Joe McMahon
31   Posted 09/04/2008 at 13:29:30

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Well put Roy, I may be wrong but didn’t Hitler marry Eva the day before the suicide, therefore making her Eva Hitler. Yeah I picking holes...sorry.

To be honest I just wonder where the Bloody Hell our club is going. I can see Moyes eventually leaving this mess behind him.
Neil Pearse
32   Posted 09/04/2008 at 13:54:09

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Tom, some good points as always, but I think some exaggeration on a couple of issues.

On being "nearer to administration / bankruptcy than ever" - excuse me? We now have over £50M of readily saleable assets in the shape of a handful of prized players on long-term contracts (Lescott, Arteta, Johnson, Yakubu, Cahill...). I expect they might just keep us solvent in the immediate term (if not very healthy for the long term).

On Kirkby costing less than the Loop - I very much doubt it. One site is extremely simple and open, the other is extremely complex and boxed in. One benefits at the very least from the buying power of the world’s second largest retailer and from a supportive council, the second has an insignificant wholesaler as partner and a hostile council. And the second is going to cost LESS than the first? I don’t think so.
Ciaran McGlone
33   Posted 09/04/2008 at 14:10:11

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"Still, I think we need to wait for the full story to emerge."

Surely if those who had a vote were expected to make and informed decision then the ’full story’ should have been provided at that point...

You see, this is the problem...smoke and mirrors...

How can we trust a chairman who hasn’t opened his mouth during this whole sorry saga and a CEO who constantly contradicts himself...a lot of people think that this amounts to deception...

David Kiely
34   Posted 09/04/2008 at 14:33:28

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Just to echo Joe Rourke?s earlier question again regarding the likelihood of this scheme getting the nod through planning.

It?s gone pretty quiet on the planning application front (I know elections are upcoming), but does anyone know if the planners in Knowsley are getting cold feet about this... just on the Transport Plan alone it looks all over the place and I?d expect at least another delay to take us way past the psychological ballot anniversary point without anything of significance having come from the so called mandate the club got.

Once we?re past that, I?d venture to say that the already sceptical majority will start to get very restless with this project... especially if it?s being perceived to hold us back on the field with respect to transfer money and the general ?feelbad? factor the thing has generated.
Neil Adderley
35   Posted 09/04/2008 at 14:18:56

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"Now unless Tesco/Knowsley can persuade the powers that be to allow a total of over 52,000 sq m net of retail development in Kirkby, a figure somewhat above and beyond Knowsley?s own recommendation from the summer of 2006 of 9,000 sq m, then there will be no value to be derived."

"Slight" correction to the above; For ’over 52,000 sq m’ read; ’over 90,000 sq m.’

Neil Pearse - Could you expand on the "extreme complexities" of the Loop?

Also, describing the proposed site at Kirkby as "extremely simple and open" is to underestimate the works needed to remediate and prepare a landfill site for a development of this size, the problem that part of the site (coincidently exactly where the stadium would sit) is a flood plain, the re-routing of the Kirkby Brook/River Alt, the CPO’s on 70 homes and the re-housing of 70 families, similarly the CPO on a nursing home and the re-housing of its residents and the future transport/logistics issue that plainly the "partners" are still struggling with etc. etc. etc.

Finally Neil, I’ll grant you that compared to Tesco, Bestway is no giant (not many are) but to describe a multi-million pound business as "an insignificant wholesaler" suggests you should do some research on Bestway or that you are being a little mischievious.
Barry Scott
36   Posted 09/04/2008 at 15:20:33

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Tommy, would you be happy for a council to donate some brownfield land to the club on a 199-year lease in return for a large share in the company that owns and operates any new stadium?

I hope that was clear enough for you.
Barry Scott
37   Posted 09/04/2008 at 15:41:03

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I suppose that’s not really a hypothetical question as that’s what the deal is with Knowsley.

LFC are to pay LCC £300k per annum on their lease.

I imagine we will be paying a similar anount to Knowsley in exchange for this ’free land’, this in addition to them having a third party ownership in the stadium management company at the new stadium of course.
Neil Pearse
38   Posted 09/04/2008 at 16:10:51

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Neil Adderley; I was indeed being a bit mischevious about Bestway, but it is after all the relative difference between Tesco and Bestway that matters. Bigger firms get bigger discounts and have more political clout. Bestway is much smaller and can bring us much less.

Similarly, my point is that the Loop is a much more complex site than Kirkby (taking into Kirkby’s complexities). You are basically shoe-horning a large construction into a small space, building overhangs, road flyovers etc.. That’s more coomplicated and more expensive.

Anyway, this is probably all a bit irrelevant since the Loop is certainly now dead as an option, and never had much life in it anyway. I think it is basically a myth that other options in the city weren’t explored. You don’t need to do a lot of exploration of basically hopeless options.

None of this of course means that Kirkby is a great option. But the basic choice in reality is between it and redeveloping Goodison.
Neil Adderley
39   Posted 09/04/2008 at 18:06:54

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Neil - Your view on the Bestway site seems definitive - can I ask were you have this information from? My understanding is that despite the very best efforts of Wyness/Leahy et al, the Scotland Road site is not ’dead as an option.’

I would agree that Tesco do have bargaining ’clout’ although I think you would agree their partners’ - Barr Construction - portfolio regarding stadia is far from inspiring. As you say, Kirkby is not a great option.

I would say that it is now firmly established that Everton’s proposed relocation to Kirkby is dependant on the huge amount of retail development planned for Kirkby town, being given the nod by the Sec of State.

Given that Knowsley officers have stated that their are "fundamental issues" regarding the Tesco planning application, let us all hope that the only myth concerning alternative options was the one perpetrated by Keith ’no plan B’ Wyness.
Nick Flack
40   Posted 09/04/2008 at 19:30:49

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Any of you doom and gloom mongers out there care to offer any alternatives, you can write your essays as long as you want, give as many "facts" as you like, but pretty much everything written here is rumour and hearsay.

I for one am proud to have a chairman like ours in the current climate. On the one hand you?ll be happy to shout "Yeeee haaaaa" once one of our red neighbours mentions tesco, yet you all seem so intent to join ranks and ship in the next johnny foreigner with a cheque book.

I used to love hearing Wigan fans singing their chairmans name, can?t believe the stick we give Kenwright. Right man for the right job at the right time.

Juan Roman
41   Posted 09/04/2008 at 20:32:35

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Problem is Nick, there is a glossy image of our chariman who has been quite happy to step aside and leave the running of the club to fat pants and whoever else, only appearing on the glory nights(!) to claim praise. Under fat pants we have sold the family silver and borrowed against future earnings right up to and including some of next years tv money. The big mortgage is in the US to a company still in shock from the sub prime mortgage fiasco that has cost it gazillions.

We are in a precarious position proven by borrowing money from Spurs fan Earl against ?naming rights? to fund Yakubu buy, having spent our kitty on Baines, Howard (Jags was Beattie funds).

No point in painting it any other way.

Tom Hughes
42   Posted 09/04/2008 at 20:11:34

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The only assets we have are on the pitch, and I assume if we sell them to remove our debt, we cease to exist. There is nothing else left in the pot. We have sold the lot, and are operating on a hand to mouth basis as far as I can make out, although I don’t profess to any finacial expertise, the bottom line doesn’t look too great!!

When I spoke about EFC being on a knife edge, I wasn’t just talking about our immediate financial situation which I believe is alarming enough, if not that unusual. There are other indicators that might be a bit worrying. According to fan demographic stats we have an aging fanbase, the longest serving fans in the premiership apparently. On average a sample of Evertonians had been watchin our team for 27yrs. When I first heard that I thought it was a good sign, then I wondered if we are a dying breed, and why. Most other clubs were much less than this. LFC’s success means that in real terms and proportionally we are nowhere near as well supported as say a generation ago. I take my kids to play for various football teams in South Liverpool, and the blue:red shirt ratio is frightening. When I was a kid it was pretty much even. We’re still represented in numbers but there is no comparison in my experience. Therefore given our financial position, and the continued relative success of our main competition I do believe our long and medium term future is indeed perilous. In the short term I think Davey Moyes may be able to help us gain back some ground..... and/or LFC implode, but at present we are well and truly punching above our weight, and we’re still not filling the ground nor making a profit and we are miles behind them by almost every measure (If not in league placings).

As far as the Loop costing more than Kirkby. The location’s awkwardness in construction terms is a red herring. The cut and cover part of the build would be a tiny percentage of the construction costs, especially as the cutting is already there. The range for enabling developments around the site, (and there are some big packages available) could be far broader than at Kirkby, which violates all manner of legislation in anycase. At the time of their initial outline plan, Bestway stated that they envisaged EFC’c contribution to be in the order of £60m. The enabling developments would be residential/commercial..... hotels/office blocks and appartments etc to link in with all the other developments in and around the city centre which will be valued in the order of Billions..... dwarfing anything planned at Kirkby. There are still £billions more in the pipeline for the same area and the extended North Shore etc. There is lots of scope.

As far as redevelopment of GP, IMO there is real potential to create a mouthwatering stadium at GP, a combination of old and new perhaps. Something unique, not bland and unrepresentative of our history/heritage/identity. This wouldn’t need to cost £80m+ minimum that Kirkby will be costing us, not to mention all the other unknowns that Kirkby represents.
Alan Michael
43   Posted 09/04/2008 at 22:32:15

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You need to have a lie down Tom - No way on this Earth would Evertons contribution at the loop be as low as £60M, there is next to ZERO space there nearby for enabling for a start and that's before we even begin to debate the small size of the actual site and the total inaccessibility of it too - there?s some TW members who you?ve managed to get eating out of your hand but those of us who have some grey matter between the ears can see what you?re saying is childishly unrealistic and deliberately misleading.

Editor's Note: Guess who?

Yes, one "Gerrard Madden"... or whatever his real name is...

Neil Pearse
44   Posted 09/04/2008 at 23:41:16

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As always, we will have to agree to disagree about a lot of things here.

One point that I have made before that I want to emphasize again: it is completely right and proper for Everton NOT to own physical assets like training grounds, shops, stadiums etc. etc.. Everton is a football club, not a retail outlet or a property developer. I for one do not want it tying up its capital in bricks and mortar, or running businesses that it does not understand. I want the capital to be working for us on the pitch, and the club to focused on being a successful European football power.

Everton is investing all the money it can in the playing staff (not enough of course IMHO), and reducing all direct investments in peripheral and support activities. If it is ?taking a risk?, it is taking the risk that this manager and these players will continue to perform well, bringing in crowds, sponsorship and TV revenues. Is what you guys want that instead we own playing fields and shops ? but not Yakubu?
Harry Meek
45   Posted 09/04/2008 at 23:37:04

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I am on record from day one in believing that the Kirkby project will never come to fruition because of planning issues and government intervention such as prevented the completion of a similar Tesco in my own community.

When, several years down the line, the scheme is abandoned, to whom will Kenwright turn ?having foresaken all others??

Jay Harris
46   Posted 10/04/2008 at 00:34:50

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Everton have owned GP and therefore not payed any rent or interest for a very long time until BK remortgaged it in the last couple of years. If we lease assets instead of owning them then our operating costs and consequently our losses go up.

Also we are a much less attractive proposition with no assets except players so banks and investors would be less inclined to support us. That is the direction our current leadership is taking us.

Jay Campbell
47   Posted 10/04/2008 at 07:10:56

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Everybody enjoy the red shite gettin to another CL semi??? Thought so.

Don’t worry though when Kenwright arms Moyes with another treasure chest this summer we’ll all be licking our lips at the prospect of the worlds top players joining us won’t we??

Still cannot believe there is Evertonians that defend this man.
Tommy Gibbons
48   Posted 10/04/2008 at 08:55:09

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Well, sick & tired of the same old arguments now and how we’ve gotten to where we are...
Fact is we do not have any disposable income, we have only two prospective partners (Tesco & Knowsley MBC) who have shown concrete evidence of actually wanting to help Everton Football Club, and believe me it isn’t because they like who runs it, it’s because they see supporting Everton FC helps their own causes.
Everton themselves have now realised they are not getting any help from Liverpool City Council and that is an irrefutable fact and a more alarming aspect is that as I’ve said previously and Mr Hughes has alluded to in his last ’tome’ we cannot attract anymore support from within the arbitrary city boundaries, a support we will keep if/when we move to a more accessible site which will enable our catchment area to grow significantly, this is a geographical fact.
As we are dealing in facts, no matter where we move to or indeed stay at Goodison Park, the cost to Everton is too much for them to bear alone so unless someone invests mega bucks in EFC it can only move forward with 3rd party help.
(and by the way..I still say that Robert Earl and the possibility of investment from the USA is what is driving the move, and I know this may not be a fact..but its damn probable)!
Ciarán McGlone
49   Posted 10/04/2008 at 09:16:13

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Robert Earl couldn?t organise a piss up in a brewery.

Remind me, how many businesses has he bankrupted again?

I wish he?d just take Rocky and piss off to be honest.
Les Anderson
50   Posted 10/04/2008 at 12:16:03

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What gets me about the loop is everyone mentions Bestway and LCC but no-ones mentions Mersey Tunnels who own the air-rights around most of the site and will say yay or nay to the proposal (or if not will want access maintained at all times).

Covering a 24hr working road without closing it, upgrading it to tunnel standard (because that is what it will be) with the required escape tunnels/ fire systems isn’t cheap.

The fact that Mersey Tunnels is owned by Merseytravel who want to build a tram line to Kirkby. Which might only get funding for it if a big devleopment happens in Kirkby might also make the site even more difficult...

Which is a shame

On another point I wouldn’t say the ownership of a badly made polyester shirt is an indication of a proper fanbase.
Christine Foster
51   Posted 10/04/2008 at 12:46:43

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Tom, an excellent article and well reasoned out. Those who knock it are in the main the same crew who would argue what's on if Nero played when Rome burnt. Irrelevant objections do no credit to the message that, despite BK having a heart that is as blue as it gets, he has been seen to say some whoppers. Strangley enough, I think that at the time he believed every word he said (and still does believe every word he continues to say) because he says it the way he thinks it is.

Ok, a few things wrong with that scenario, and I think it's quite relevant to the situation we find ourselves in. BK must be sick of hearing the sound bites he made and have long been repeated in this and other forums.

What I would say is simply this. BK is not responsible for the day-to-day operations of the club, Wyness is. Where would BK get his advice from to make such comment? After talking to his CEO. Sorry guys but BK may have a golden heart but he has been allowed to take the flack for the advise of his board and CEO. Wyness has sold BK short and let him be the patsy because it takes the heat away from him. I cannot think that BK would have sued supporters for anything. But I would expect it from Wyness.

Now before I hear that BK has said this that and the other... I agree with all (well mostly all) that has been said about his now legendary foot-in-mouth comments. He should rightly put up his hands and say, sorry, but that's what I believed to be true. He was and is naive to have made such comments but none where made of malicous intent. What was malicious is the puppet master who pulled the strings and hides behind the cloak of defamation.

Contributors have, as usual, knocked the wrong points and missed.

Christine Foster
52   Posted 10/04/2008 at 13:04:06

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And a quick follow up. If we critisize BK for wanting what he believes is the best we critisize ourselves because we have the same motives. However if we critisise the advice and the advisors he is given we may find that the motives of such are far from ours and BK. The trouble is does BK see that? Does he see what we see?

Step outside the box for a while Bill, look back in and cut the strings of those who would sell you, me and all of us down the Mersey
Jay Harris
53   Posted 10/04/2008 at 12:04:57

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I have to laugh that we ridicule foreign ownership like Hicks and Gillette (2 highly successful and RICH businessmen) when we talk about Robert Earl (A previously failed businessman who now owns 24% of Everton in an OFFSHORE FUND) and his pals in the USA investing in Everton.

Whether we like foreign ownership or not people with money to invest are a key requirement to achieve sustained success in the premiership. And part time Luvvies and lying CEOs are NOT a recipe for success.

Dave Whitwell
54   Posted 10/04/2008 at 13:15:55

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Is it me or is anybody else really bored of all this stuff, same old arguments best deal/incompetence, transfer sagas and the rest.

Don’t get me wrong I have a view like most on this site on all these issues, but this season is not over yet and there is so much negativity surrounding this site.

Can we not just really get behind our team and CLUB in the coming weeks, recapture an atmosphere at Goodison to be proud of and finish in the best possible style.

Then when the final whistle blows on May 11th, we can all air our views through to the new season?
Jay Harris
55   Posted 10/04/2008 at 13:33:50

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BK is not as naive as you suggest.
He has manipulated people and club finances to get what HE wants NOT what is best for EFC. Look at what he did to Paul Gregg who I know a number of Evertonians did not like but nevertheless an honourable and successful businessman who was "supposed" to be BK?s longstanding friend and backer but when he saw through his incompetence and selfishness was cut loose by BK.

In addition I say again that it was extremely coincidental that EFC?s debts rose by £20 million straight after Johnson was paid £20 million for his shares and BK was reportedly only worth a million at the time. I still believe he also engendered the non existent Fortess Sports fund "The cheque will be in the bank in the morning" to stave off resistance to his tenure when it was at its lowest point. This is also the same BK who goes "missing" when the pressure is on but who pops his head above the parapet when there is a modicum of success

I am afraid I see a totally different BK than you. I see a highly manipulative Charlatan who has got his Nirvana (Chairman of EFC) and will not let it go no matter what.

Ciarán McGlone
56   Posted 10/04/2008 at 14:11:38

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The suggestion that BK is influenced beyond his control is a little bit hollow, especially whenever we consider the Trevor Birch saga.

I don’t fall for the rhetoric that BK is the Boris Johnson of Everton.
Ed Fitzgerald
57   Posted 10/04/2008 at 14:06:41

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I don?t think people are being negative for the sake of it. I think people are worried about BK, Wyness, Kirkby, Investment because they care passionately about Everton. Who exactly are the club? It is surely the supporters without us ? no club! I would imagine that all Blues regardless of their opinions support the team wholeheartedly when watching the Everton.


As always your posts are measured, intelligent and insightful I do feel however that you are being a little lenient upon BK. Whether he truly believes his own rhetoric is debatable (no one but himself truly knows that). That makes him at best delusional and at worst a liar neither of these scenarios are particualry tenable. He is an actor by trade and I suspect he knows exactly how to play his audience and give them what they crave (his media friendly sound bites that espouse his undying love for the Blues). I would settle for a little more business acumen and a little more attention to respecting the tradition of the club. Perhaps if he decided to relocate his major productions from the Playhouse or Empire to a new out of town theatre in a retail park and then state that the location did not matter to audience I might have more faith in his convictions about Kirkby. Yes Wyness is culpable but BK carries the can for the mess that is unravelling before our eyes, as he is ultimately in charge
Michael Kenrick
58   Posted 10/04/2008 at 14:54:59

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Dave Whittell, when you look at the number of responses to this and the previous thread, that alone should tell you this is a topic of current interest to at least some Evertonians. If you’re not interested, that’s fine. But I’d be grateful if you would not seek to stiffle what we consider to be reasonable discussion on this forum. Thanks.
Dave Whitwell
59   Posted 10/04/2008 at 16:13:35

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To Ed & Michael,

I was not trying to detract from the relevance of this article or suggest that people are being negative for the sake of it.

Indeed I have very strong views on the subject myself. Having been a yes voter for Kirkby, I am now gutted how naive I was to buy into the whole "only option for the club issue" and if I had my vote again I would definately vote against it.

The point of my post is that however unlikely it is for us to finish 4th it is still possible, there are 5 games ahead and anything could happen yet. Since the Fiorentina game my feeling is that both the players and supporters have been below par and seem to be accepting that our season is over, I merely suggesting that there is still a hell of a lot left, and would it be particularly damaging to put our feelings re the board & stadium issue on hold until this season is over.

After that I am fully behind whatever we can all collectively do to prevent Kirkby, and further statements of crap coming from our board.

Michael Kenrick
60   Posted 10/04/2008 at 16:24:55

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Dave, I understand the premise that energies directed at one target may detract from energies that should be directed at another. However, I think they have a word for it these days: it’s called "multi-tasking".

There really is no reasoon why people who want to dicuss the stadium issue should not do so. Look back and you’ll see there have been lulls in the stadium discussion. I have to admit I don’t follow it all as closely as I should, perhaps in part for the reason you state. But it is beyond question the most important issue to face this club for 100+ years.

Does discussing it in the middle of the week really make any difference to you supporting the team for two hours at the weekend?
Greg Murphy
61   Posted 10/04/2008 at 17:29:17

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Quite Michael:

At the end of the 96/97 season (Dave Watson as caretaker) we heard the "not now" talk about the stadium because our Prem status was still in jeopardy.

Then again we heard the same at the end of 97/98 for the same reason.

We heard it again all though the early 2000s.

And now here we are some 12 years on since the first ground move/stay/emigrate to the moon subject was first aired and we’re still going around in circles.

Forget what’s happening short-term on the pitch, the ground subject is paradoxically far more important long-term.

It goes against the grain as a fan to say that because, yeah, surely it’s all about the "game" when all’s said and done.

But we’ve got to get this sorted.

Doesn’t matter if we’re fighting the drop, fighting for the title, fighting for Europe or whether we we’re waiting to play a major final (some hope!) the ground debate just cannot afford to be back-burnered.

It is the No1 subject affecting everything that concerns EFC right now.
Rob Jones
62   Posted 10/04/2008 at 17:20:50

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LOL, Madden back again? Add Alan Michael to his huge list of aliases: Gerard Madden, Tim Davis, bluehat, ablue, easyasabc, deepsouth, 08_hattie, alleslesrouges, KirkbyRED... Admin, can you not just delete his posts?

Great article anyway Tom; most Evertonians are in agreement now that Kirkby is not the best option for the Club. I and many others appreciate your efforts, along with Trevor Skempton, Malcolm Carter and the KEIOC group. Tremendous work.
Jim Lloyd
63   Posted 10/04/2008 at 19:06:34

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Tom, yet again has written an excellent article and, along with Trevor Skempton, has shown that there are alternatives to this absolutely disastrous move to Kirkby. Admittedly, it’s only my opinion that this move will prove to be the downfall of our club but that’s how I think it will work out.
What really appals me though, is that we appear to be led by a man who is willing to take that risk and, as far as I know, is not willing to discuss, let alone consider any alternative to the move to Kirkby.

I’ve read the posts of a number of supporters who voted yes and they blithely follow the party line and tellus that there is no alternative, or they tell us that the alternatives (Walton Hall Park, The Loop, redeveloping Goodison) can’t work, are in the wrong place, there’s no money, the footprint of GPis too small. We have had men whose profession deals with problems, have told us that the schemes are practicable.

What we haven’t had, and I guess that is why there are so many blues come on and voice their concerns about what has been done to our club, is an open and thorough debate and assessment of all possible options.

What we’ve had, is Mr Kenwright absolving himself of any blame if this move turns out to be a disaster. "I gave them a vote!" he’ll say "who else would let the supporters choose."

Well what we’ve had is Hobson’s choice. We were told we were going to have a Stadium built for us almost free of charge "just over the border in Kirkby. Oh and by the way, there ’s no plan B."

With such a momentous outcome, I believe our club should look at any possible way that we can stay in Liverpool and look at any way that we could raise funds. Have the club looked at a share issue like Celtic did. We aren’t being told.

I couldn’t support Everton any longer if they move out of the City. I’d feel that we have given up our birthright to the Reds.
Tom Hughes
64   Posted 10/04/2008 at 19:15:52

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You keep using the word, but once again I can’t see any facts in this:

"we have only two prospective partners (Tesco & Knowsley MBC) who have shown concrete evidence of actually wanting to help Everton Football Club,"

We have these as partners because it was engineered so by an exclusivity agreement between chums. Previously LCC gave us the chance to have a truly world class stadium, in a sensational location for far less than Tesco and Knowsley are for the back of beyond. It was there on a plate. Why do you ignore that debacle, and furthermore continue to use LCC as an excuse for the club’s misgivings?

"Everton themselves have now realised they are not getting any help from Liverpool City Council and that is an irrefutable fact"

Irrefutable? LCC put a dedicated team together to look at The Loop and other potential sites including the consultant architect for the grosveonor development and the head of planning. The club paid them lip service only (if that), not once requesting planning permission/outline for redevelopment and openly ridiculing the loop..... what do you want them to do..... build it for them? Well even Tesco aren’t doing that much.

"and a more alarming aspect is that as I?ve said previously and Mr Hughes has alluded to in his last ?tome? we cannot attract anymore support from within the arbitrary city boundaries,"

I haven’t alluded to that at all. I stated that the club’s support has shrunk alarmingly partly due to the other lot’s unpresidented success, (and partly due to the city’s equally dramatic drop in population it should be said). That doesn’t mean we need to reinvent ourselves as some kind of mid lancashire entity. We are the first club in this city, it’s a major part of identity, parochial I know, but that’s the way football tribalism is. There are plenty of potential new blues there, but the last thing we need to do is water that identity down..... it is a major asset and god knows we’re short enough of them to want to rebrand our fanbase. There are 1.5 million people in Merseyside, we just need to ensure that we keep our share, and that will only ever be achieved by success on the pitch.

"a support we will keep if/when we move to a more accessible site which will enable our catchment area to grow significantly, this is a geographical fact."

Tommy a couple of the world’s biggest footy clubs also share this mythical bottomless pit of potential evertonians. In the immediate environs to Kirkby are 2 of the country’s biggest rugby league towns. Anyone would think there was a vast metropolis next door without a footy team..... it’s countryside. Countyside that has even failed to support a few of its own professional footy sides in the past yet you think it will fill thousands of new seats in Kirkby. How come Grosvenor chose to build it’s shops in the city-centre, how come the CBD, the theatres, the cathedrals, museums are all in the city-centre, and are never going to be relocated to Kirkby or anywhere else at the periphery? An accessible stadium doesn’t need the biggest park and ride scheme in the country to make it that way. A park and ride scheme that Merseytravel have said they cannot support.

"As we are dealing in facts, no matter where we move to or indeed stay at Goodison Park, the cost to Everton is too much for them to bear alone so unless someone invests mega bucks in EFC it can only move forward with 3rd party help."

Then how are we finding £80m plus for Kirkby? What 3rd party is providing this amount? Why can’t that be provided for a redevelopment option? or for the Loop?

Tommy Gibbons
65   Posted 10/04/2008 at 20:00:13

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Michael something we finally agree on..Free Speech!!

Christine/Tom H et al... now maybe I?m a dull writer not having the guile or wit to write 20 lines where a couple will do, but I don?t see that you?ve challegened the fact that EFC are skint and only Tesco/KBC have done anything to help them. Is that because after all your fine rhetoric you don?t have any clue as to how funding will be found for any other option but Kirkby?! Are you of the opinion that we stagnate at Goodison Park for an inumerate amount of years awaiting THE investor, and are you of the opinion of that poor wretch Mr Lloyd who is about to abandon his club, therefore making his opinion worthless (much like all of ours because without a backer for any other site) We are moving to Kirkby..

Oh yeah..just an aside to that millionaire Ciaran who has that much money at his disposal he feels he can deride that piffling amout Robert Earl has loaned the club... I look forward to your replies or you can completely ignore me if you want coz I?m crossing to another dimension now. You know the one... the real world where Everton are at not cudda/wudda/shudda/wanna world!

Tom Hughes
66   Posted 10/04/2008 at 20:50:50

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I repeat:

"Then how are we finding £80m plus for Kirkby? What 3rd party is providing this amount? Why can?t that be provided for a redevelopment option? or for the Loop?"

No guile, no rhetoric just a simple question, and very much in the real world.

Tommy Gibbons
67   Posted 10/04/2008 at 21:00:13

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I?ve already stated as follows:

(and by the way..I still say that Robert Earl and the possibility of investment from the USA is what is driving the move, and I know this may not be a fact..but its damn probable)!
Jim Lloyd
68   Posted 10/04/2008 at 21:26:57

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Tommy Gibbons

This poor wretch is entitled to his opinion. It will be worthless if I stop going but at the moment it is as valid as yours.
So we’re going to Kirkby on the understanding that there is a possibility of investment from the US of A and that Robert Earl is on board. You say it is not a fact but that it is damned probable.
So we are going to find £80 million for the stadium on the probable possibility of investment!
Wake up lad.

Kenwright made a colossal mess of the Kings Dock and when his former pal and backer offered to fund Everton’s share of the cost, he backed off. So we lost the most prestigious site in the city.

There are other options to Kirkby and what many of us want to see, is that they are explored.
If then, it is shown that no other option exists but Kirkby maybe you will allow this poor wretch to come, on bended knee, to the new mecca in the promised land.
As it stands, I’m convinced that Kenwright is herding us all and our club to a long and painful oblivion and the only way I can show my disapproval is by becoming a sad wretch and refuse to have anything further to do with what he will have done.
Neil Pearse
69   Posted 10/04/2008 at 22:08:18

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Jay Harris, you make my point for me on the question of owning assets. As you say, we "remortgaged" Goodison - that is, we got a pile of money for it NOW that we could invest in other things. Such as players. Yes, we now have to make lease payments. And while we are making the lease payments we have already bought Yakubu. Makes sense to me.

The simple point here is that of course object to some things BK and KW do. But many things criticised here are just sensible and common business practices.
Jay Harris
70   Posted 10/04/2008 at 23:51:47

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the fact is we are still making operating losses and Moyes over 5 years has spent far less than most other top half Premiership sides and still has one of the smallest squads in the Prem.

What do we do when there are no more assets to sell besides the players? Play with half a team and sell the other half to pay our debts off?

The root of the problem is a totally ineffective board who think borrowing £100 million plus to build a stadium in an underpopulated backwater that many blues don't want will enable them to cosmetisise the figures for a few more years in the hope that it will come right one day.

Instead of asset-stripping the club we should be improving the marketing and broadcasting where we have amongst the lowest incomes of any top side ? and please don't talk about executive boxes at Kirkby because
a. Nobody will want one at Kirkby and
b.It will not increase our revenue that significantly even if they do.

The big money is Global marketing and to get £5 million sponsorship over 3 years from Chang for a top 5 side is poor in the extreme.

Selling assets to cover operating losses is not a sound business plan.
Mark Billing
71   Posted 11/04/2008 at 00:06:17

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Sorry - going back several dozen posts - Les mentioned Mersey Travel?s input. With regard to closing the road, this is effectively what Mersey Tunnels do thoughout the day (non-peak periods); they always reduce the Wallasey Tunnel to single bore outside of rush hour. So nothing new there in respect of traffic management - just a bit longer in length. Also look at the width of the road from wall to wall - plenty wide enough for one lane each way and two working lanes in the middle - the lane widths themselves are over specified. Temporary traffic diversion will not be a difficult, insurmountable or extremely expensive option. The length of ?lid? to provide to the ?cut? is not excessive and all of the parts (roof slabs, columns etc) can be cast off-site for simplification of the erection process, and in-situ concrete poured as necesary to beef up the capacity of the lid once the precast elements are n place to act as a shutter. The lid could actually assist in the structural performance of the walls, actuiing as a strut at the top.

The bigger difficulty is Mersey Travel and their fuckin trams (and Beatles Story, and U-Boats, and topiary etc etc). However, if it all kicks off over the aforementioned departures from their stated aim of provision of a basic functioning public transport infrastructure, then there?s leverage to be had by councils (LCC perhaps!) over construction at the tunnel approaches Particulalry if you get onto your local councillor to ask them why MT are spending Council Taxpayers? money on a rusty wreck.

And don?t forget, the southern/western half of the Kirkby stadium will be built on one of those expensive plinth jobbies (copyright Chris Potts).
Alan Willo
72   Posted 11/04/2008 at 07:54:40

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At last a sensible debate about BK and Kirkby. Tom, I?m sorry but you just have a hatred for BK and anyone who doesn?t run our club the way you want it. I like you would love to live in a perfect EFC world as I believe all fans want the same at the end of the day, best stadium & best team.

I can?t understand at all why you keep backing LCC who are a bunch of incompetent idiots. Bradley is the charlatan in this City, not BK. LCC never had the money for KD and used EFC as an excuse. KD would have had to have been a joint stadium otherwise LCC would have to have made a major contribution to LFC new stadium or they threatened to move to Warrington (Burtonwood). I believe the KD site was far too costly for both EFC and LCC and sadly we have all missed out.

No matter what side of the divide we all lay on, one fact that determines EFC progress is we need major investment to move forward, to date other than a handout form KBC and Tesco no major party has expressed any interest. Please don?t mention the crap about an exclusivity deal and this is not worth the paper its written on ? it was just a commitment from all parties to fund the planning and design.

Takeover?s can be made in a hostile way and through the media if you really want the prize. Not ONE businessman or billionaire has made public his/her desire to own EFC and unfortunately that is the problem that faces us all. Every argument and slant is driven by that concrete fact, until we address such an issue then sadly both sides voices will never taken seriously. COYB

Ciarán McGlone
73   Posted 11/04/2008 at 09:58:11

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I’m unaware that Mr Earl has given or loaned the club any amount of money...If you can provide evidence that proves me wrong i’d be happy to accept it..

In my opinion Earl is here for one thing only and thats the profit margin on his buyout of Greggs shares..he’s certainly not an Evertonian.

Or perhaps that not realist enough for you, perhaps in your real world he’s here for the good of Everton.

Tom Hughes
74   Posted 11/04/2008 at 12:13:25

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Alan Willo,
Everything you have said there about me hating BK or EFC, and LCC’s part in KD and this whole process is completely untrue. I am doing you the courtesy of responding when quite honestly nothing in your posting merits further comment, nevermind "debate"!!
Tom Hughes
75   Posted 11/04/2008 at 12:37:10

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"I?ve already stated as follows:

(and by the way..I still say that Robert Earl and the possibility of investment from the USA is what is driving the move, and I know this may not be a fact..but its damn probable)!"

Highly speculative on your part I would say, and hardly a motive for basing such a momentous Yes vote on (especially as Earl was hardly even mentioned, if at all before the vote). However, the main point I’m making is how is this or whatever investment that is supposed to meet this shortfall not applicable to any other project (redevelopment/Loop/wherever), now that we have established that Tesco’s contribution will not meet those costs? Costs that were supposed to be negligible because of Tesco’s involvement, which it would appear has hardly benefitted us at all in the cold light of day. Pro-Kirkby people kept saying mighty Tesco have it all covered end of, now can’t just just think up another investor who will only fund KIrkby and nothing else to justify their decision. If this funding can be raised internally, then it applies equally to any other proposal surely, unless there are ulterior motives and influences outside of the club’s best interests.
Les Anderson
76   Posted 11/04/2008 at 14:58:39

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Sorry I think the traffic management would be bit more extensive than you suggest. I’m not saying it can’t be done but the tunnels are vital in the Merseyside network and it could be like the railways where anything massive is done only over xmas or easter, From my experiences and what I’ve studied/read anything involving structures (bridges/tunnels and stadiums when it comes to it) can be underestimated and expensive.

On Meresytravel I think we agree on buying rusty metal, at least they are more in touch with transport need with introducing trams somthing that in the majority is already working in the UK and Europe, rather than LCC who think a Maglev to Manchester (see todays post) is the answer to god knows what.
Jay Harris
77   Posted 11/04/2008 at 15:44:32

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As ever, excellent contributions and very objective. I dont know how you keep patient with certain individuals.

Alan Willo
You couldn't be more wrong about LCC and KD.
They actually got the funding package sorted and rolled up with about £95 million from EEC grants on the commitment from Bullshit Billy that he could come up with the £30million from EFC. When he couldnt he asked his longstanding friend and investor(now read Robert Earl for that) Paul Gregg to help out. Rightly IMO Paul Gregg asked for some security for his £30 million and suggested that Bill?s structuring of his shareholding in EFC was preventing interest from investors.

As is now common knowledge BK refused and KD went belly up. Having put a lot of time and commitment into the project LCC were apparently furious with BK and some members allegedly stated they would have nothing more to do with the man.

Now I personally understand their feelings but that should not prevent objective support for Everton. However when you are then told "Dont bother speaking to us we have an exclusivity agreement with Tesco and KBC" (which incidentally must be the longest running exclusivity agreement in history) what do you do?

This is one of the main reasons many Evertonians have no time for Bill. It's all smoke and mirrors and rabbits out of hats 24/7 ? no substance, just BS.

Alan Willo
78   Posted 11/04/2008 at 17:43:21

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Cheers Tom; I?m honored and thankful you responded to my post. We have no debate either way as we don?t have a commercial backer so yours and my feelings can?t be done without hard cash. I understand that fact, and I honestly believe you do too but your outlet is to criticize the powers for not having the capital to deliver what we both want. KD is true, as stated LCC could only get £95 million plus EFC money the project was due to cost £2/300 millions hence them happy to downscale the whole project. It was a white elephant in the process, but I agree a lost opportunity for us all. BK major fault is he has no war chest, other than that he has done ok not fantastic, but ok. He doesn?t deserve the abuse he gets, anyway keep posting your thoughts I may not agree with the majority but nevertheless as an Evertonian I will always read them. COYB
Tom Hughes
79   Posted 11/04/2008 at 19:09:30

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RE: KD.....If that was the case, how come EFC have never stated such..... even when BK was asked directly at an AGM that I attended? They simply couldn’t find their contribution end of, you can be certain that if they could’ve laid the blame elsewhere they would have. They haven’t because they know they would end up in court. I am not criticising EFC for not having the capital at all. I am simply highlighting the contradiction between now mysteriously having funds for Kirkby yet stating redevelopment or the Loop or WHP are undeliverable since we do not have any funds. Not to mention the many serious resevations I have about the Kirkby project and the whole process to date that have all been covered elsewhere, and by many people on these sites.
Jay Harris
80   Posted 11/04/2008 at 22:21:45

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Your persistent support of BK is admirable but I wish somebody would tell me what he has done for the club apart from being a blue.

Despite the improvement on the field this year I still think there are some key areas for concern. t is no secret that I do not rate the board at all. There seems to be no executive plan for Everton only a "Moyes" plan. There is a patent inability to improve operations (Ticket/travel fiascos, obstructed views, poor facilities) and extremely poor commercial management (marketing, operating losses and inability to get adequate investment) and the move to Kirkby seems increasingly out of control.

IMO it is BK?s job as chairman to either find a backer with money to invest or find a way of generating more capital instead of asset stripping the club because the operating losses are out of control. If he cant do this then he needs to hand the reins over to somebody who can.

What we really need is some quality additions to the squad, changes in the boardroom (better leadership, strategy and investment) and some alternative stadium options to consider.

That would unite all supporters and management.
Mark Billing
81   Posted 12/04/2008 at 01:01:41

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Sorry fella - I think about this every day but it’s dead easy to ’cover’ the tunnel approach road - a conclusion reached from the perspective of a) being a regular user (daily) and b) as a chartered civil engineer. As Tom Hughes has already stated the ’cut’ has already been done. So the cover is a piece of ’p’. The company that I work for also has historic plans of the Wallasey tunnel construction. If you want to debate this more in depth, we can PM it. Happy to exchange personal messages or indeed meet - I have plans prepared already from OS maps. But, for clarity, the Loop is not my preferred option, so I’m not going to go hyper on this. I just wanted to supress any doubts about how simple the Loop scheme is given that others like to express their concerns as to the construction difficulties.
Tom Hughes
82   Posted 12/04/2008 at 09:34:03

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I would be interested in seeing this stuff, and know a few others who might be too.

People complaining about complexity and suitability of the site due to access issues should remember that many grounds including the latest have worse access than what is potentially available there. The Emirates only has large access on one corner. Two sides are completely bound by railway cuttings with just a bridged access at their apex. This in comparison would have at least 2 full sides of access with the Southern edge of the access cutting bridged.
Les Anderson
83   Posted 12/04/2008 at 09:35:27

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Mark, I have no doubt it can be done, and with some engineering experience myself and working with engineers daily,the principle is sound. But even working on some basic schemes (footpaths etc) the times i’ve seen the budgets go up because of unseen costs and that is what scares me (I think the same about the Kirkby Stadium) theres plenty of examples of clubs who were too ambitous in stadium plans and have had their hands burnt (Chelsea, Wolves and Villa in the 70/80s spring to mind and they were just replacing stands not moving).

But as a transport planner I think the need to keep the tunnel operational 24/7 (the traffic chaos when a lorry last year spilt carmel in the tunnel shows how important it its)with appropriate new safety features is critical.

You raise a good point, maybe us fans with professional experience - engineers, planners, developers marketing etc... should form a group so we offer a independent advice

The problem is SDG who are advising EFC on transport to Kirkby are also the consultants who developed the tram for MT and are preparing to put in another funding bid for the tram based on passenger increases because of the new stadium. The two project are unoffically linked so I think that would kill the loop because MT won’t allow anything to happen to the tunnel incase in kills the tram.

More than happy to meet up maybe TW can pass on my email.
Jay Harris
84   Posted 12/04/2008 at 12:45:39

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Guys I am no expert in transport or engineering so cant comment but you may be interested in this latest bulletin on the transport problems for Kirkby:,cntnt01,detail,0&cntnt01articleid=104&cntnt01returnid=15

It certainly adds to my fears about the transport issue in Kirkby.
Barry Scott
85   Posted 12/04/2008 at 13:54:07

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"maybe us fans with professional experience - engineers, planners, developers marketing etc... should form a group so we offer a independent advice"

Isn’t that effectively what KEIOC is?

I’m sure that they would be very interested to hear comments from Les Anderson and Mark Billing .
Neil Pearse
86   Posted 12/04/2008 at 20:24:48

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I do want to say that Alan Willo is making the most critical point that seems to be getting lost somehow in the debate here.

Our overwhelming problem is that we do not have a major commercial backer rich enough to make much difference to us. We all want the same things, but it cannot be done without money. As I have said many times: we all want to be building on Stanley Park rather than in Kirkby, but the sole reason we are not is that we have less money than Liverpool FC. Is that Kenwright’s fault?

Well, only in the sense that Kenwright clearly does not have the wealth to make the difference to Everton. However, in his defence, in presiding over a period in which we have become a top 8 Premiership side from a close to basket case, he has done a good job with the wealth that he actually has, and in his general stewardshiip (the idea that a Chairman of long standing can take no credit for the performance of the manager and the club is simply ludicrous).

Also, it is hardly Kenwright’s fault that we have not been taken over by a rich new owner. The Premiership is not a secret, Everton is not a secret, and there is absolutely nothing to stop someone who wants to own a major sporting franchise like Everton approaching us to do so. The blunt reality is that no-one serious has. Or we would for absolute certainty have heard of it.

I agree with Jay and others that Everton could certainly have been run better on the non-playing commercial side of its business (especially in terms of marketing and non-playing revenues). And Kenwright must take some blame for this (Wyness more, but Bill appointed him). I disagree of course completely with this red herring of selling non-core assets such as real estate, bars and shops.

But the reality is that under Kenwright Everton have become an established major Premiership force again. And that is by far the most critical thing. Compared with the much wealthier but less successful owners of, say, Tottenham and Newcastle, that is why much of the criticism of Kenwright is basically irrelevant.

Personally, I believe that Kenwright is not wealthy enough to take us to the Champions League level. If we are to achieve this we need a new owner. But that is like saying that I am not wealthy enough to buy a Rolls Royce. It is hardly my (or his) fault. All in all, Kenwright has done a pretty good job with the assets actually at his disposal.
Les Anderson
87   Posted 12/04/2008 at 21:31:12

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Last post as this thread is how crap Kenwright is.

That was my concern when i read the Transport Assesment by SDG for Kirkby too much focus on Buses as the solution.

Theres also no mention of fans who get picked up and dropped off, very likely when a stadium is next to a motorway and little parking.

SDG think EFC fans will accept waiting for a bus/trains in the same way that fans in London do, which i don’t think they will.

Also with so little games played on a saturday 3pm, there doesn’t seem to be any reason why EFC can’t use the retail car parks, shops close at 4pm on a sun, and 8 at midweek, closing a couple of hours early 30 times a year shouldn’t be too much of a financial loss.

Thats why i think its all relates to the tram,(see earlier posts) its either both schemes or none. It wouldn’t be the answer to all the transport issues but it will help a lot. I reckon MT would object to the application as it stands at the mo to get the tram in.

Barry I love your cillt bang but personally i don’t think KEIOC is very independent and if being kind has acted poorly on a couple of things.
Colin Grierson
88   Posted 13/04/2008 at 10:38:30

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"Time it wil take, chances will have to be taken, but moving in the right direction we surely are..."

Tommy, (or is it Yoda?)
Disagree with you I do, wrong I think you are, but right direction football wise, yes.
To continue with the analogy, BK represents the dark side and KW will stop at nothing to deliver his ?master? the Death Star (Kirkby). It is now time for ?The Empire? to strike back or we are all doomed. Use ?the force? no voters.

Neil Adderley
89   Posted 13/04/2008 at 12:07:41

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Barry Scott - "maybe us fans with professional experience - engineers, planners, developers marketing etc... should form a group so we offer a independent advice"

Isn?t that effectively what KEIOC is?

I?m sure that they would be very interested to hear comments from Les Anderson and Mark Billing .

Les Anderson - Barry I love your cillt bang but personally i don?t think KEIOC is very independent and if being kind has acted poorly on a couple of things.

Les, I think you do the the unpaid volunteers of KEIOC a diservice. As Barry Scott suggests above and from what I understand, the KEIOC group has members and supporters that include professionals in the fields you mentioned.

I’m certain that your thoughts, comments, ideas and suggestions, as well as those of Mark Billing and any other Evertonian who feels they would have something to offer, would be very much appreciated by the Evertonians at KEIOC who maintain that this Kirkby proposal is not in the best interest of Everton Football Club.

You should drop them a line;
Pete Bridson
90   Posted 23/04/2008 at 14:38:48

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Just found this quote in an article about and alleged visit to the UK by Elvis in 1960. "It does sound feasible; I heard Bill Kenwright say it and he's not the sort of person to make things up". Can't help but wonder if BK 'would like us all to be so eager to believe!

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