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A Riposte to Rubles

By Dawson Boyle :  26/05/2008 :  Comments (11) :
Dr Rogan Taylor?s idea to make Liverpool FC a fan-owned democracy should be a serious consideration for Everton Football Club.

If recent tittle-tattle is to be believed, our very existence could be in doubt from foreign investment looking to saddle the club with long-term debts in the pursuit of short-term gains. Before the price of a club reaches the giddy stratosphere that only an oligarch can afford, now is possibly the best time to make our move that could safeguard the existence of our EFC forever more.

Rogan Taylor?s idea was to get 100,000 fans, each paying £5,000 a share to effect a takeover of £500 million. A democratically-elected board would oversee the club finances and all money would be pumped back into the club itself rather than the current system that always looks to award shareholders first.

Anyone who has been to the Nou Camp would agree that success is not impossible under such a structure. Although they haven?t enjoyed the best results of late, Barcelona have enjoyed bountiful trophies in recent years. They have attracted some of the world?s best players on the world?s best salaries while keeping admission prices ridiculously low and given the fans a genuine say in all aspects of the day-to-day running of the club.

What?s most admirable about the way Barcelona conduct their affairs is that they have never needed to pander to commercial interests and the free-market prostitution of the Premier League. In their centenary year they paid Unicef to sponsor them, a far cry from the recent craze of naming entire stadiums after companies.

Why couldn?t Everton follow their example? Why couldn?t we turn the People?s Club into a team that is actually owned by the people with the same people?s interests foremost in their mind?

While we still have the luxury of a chairman who might actually care about the future of our club, now might be the only opportunity to make such a move. 40,000 fans. £5,000 each. None of the spin and the bullshit and the lies. Every decision made by the club for the club. The only drawback would be we wouldn?t be able to complain to forums anymore. We?d only be arguing with ourselves?

Reader Comments

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Matthew Morgan
1   Posted 26/05/2008 at 15:55:33

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Surely a great idea in principle, but I would like you or anyone to find 40,000 Evertonians with 5 grand ready to spend, bearing in mind many people struggle to save up for a season ticket.
Jay Harris
2   Posted 26/05/2008 at 16:11:52

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I don't know what success Barcelona have had but the Liverpool scheme is a non-starter so where would that leave us?

I would willingly pay £5000 to get Kenwright out but the old chestnut of "willing sellers" and "willing buyers" prevails. It also raises a number of other issues like who runs the club, finances etc. Would the management be voted for? What happens if the duly elected official has a blip? Do 100,000 get the chance to vote him/her out and then who votes the next executive in? Are fans the best people to run a club?

Too much to worry about; let's just enjoy the football and let some Russian do the worrying.
Colin Jones
3   Posted 26/05/2008 at 16:43:40

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You?d really need to flesh out the idea with concrete principles before you could get people interested in spending money.
Steve Williams
4   Posted 26/05/2008 at 17:21:29

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Nice dream ... but in reality a complete non-starter.

We can’t get 40,000 to stump up £20 - £30 every fortnight, so where would we get 40,000 to stump up five grand?

Even if you could, £200m would only buy the club, clear the debt and leave a very small deposit on a new stadium. Where are you going to leverage another £150m from to build the stadium and another £30m - £40m for player investment? We would be in a worse position than we are already because money raised would be taken off the table by the sellers and, like now, no individual would be wealthy enough to offer security for the borrowings.

The reason Barcelona works is because they have 150,000 members who invest each season in an almost religious way. We just don’t have that luxury.
Michael Hunt
5   Posted 26/05/2008 at 18:11:28

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No need for 40,000 to stump up £5k each as there would be some able to contribute more. Putting a £5k cap would make it more difficult and unrealistic to reach the traget fund.
To safeguard such a fund, an account could be set up with a solicitor i.e. a Solicitor?s trust account to collect the money with a stated goal, size and timeframe objective, eg, £200M target by 31/12/2008 which if not met would trigger a refund to the contributors.

ps: Why not just raise the cash and give it to Blue Bill / Davey Moyes with the proviso it provides the supplementary cash to ensure the new stadium is up to NSNO standards (with the rest on players ? maybe 50/50 split between stadium and players)?

John Charles
6   Posted 26/05/2008 at 23:47:39

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Far fetched I know but if you got a main bank or lender to agree to it and give the 5 grand as a sort of mortgage then you could.

100 quid a week. or whatever...

the bank would have secutiry if it was a limited share issue - they’d repo the share and then resell it as they do with a house.

I’m in residential financing, I’m sure you could get a lender on board... but of course you still have to find the number of people to put up the money.
Derek Thomas
7   Posted 27/05/2008 at 06:20:40

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Short version: where there?s a will, there?s a way.

Long version: the Clubs on-line marketing arm estimate the are 900,000 Blues around the world.

50,000 FAMILIES?? Those Ogligarchily challanged, like my self, could muster up, between us, 1 share @ £5k, (some, no doubt more.)

Thats a MIN. of £250M

Using the solicitors trust model, or similar, somewhere between £250M and £400M.

While the cash is amassing, a ? Continental congress ? of all the Blue Brains can be held to sort out a constitution, maybe taking bits from Barca, the Green Bay Packers, etc. put together a ?blue print? that, amongst other things, stops one person with more Rubles than Scruples taking over.

Again, to all the nay-sayers, where there?s a will, there?s a way.


?If we don?t all hang together, then we will surely hang separately?... Ben Franklin.
Richard Parker
8   Posted 27/05/2008 at 07:32:29

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Absolute non-starter. Any regular on the ToffeeWeb boards can see the disparity between the opinions of the fans.

I wouldn?t really want to be in a position where we have presidential candidate X promising to sign Ronaldo and Petr Cech if elected and candidate Y promising to sign Kaka and Eto?o..... then 2 years later it all starts again.... meanwhile we?ve had 3 different managers.

I agree that it?s do-able, but it?s fundamentally flawed. I wouldn?t want to see it tried out with my club.
Alan Willo
9   Posted 27/05/2008 at 07:54:58

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Firstly, this idea does not offer long term continuity as the money would be blown with in the first two/three seasons so thereafter we would struggle. If you look at Celtic in Scotland they had a similar issue and all went well but to date the pot is empty. Yes, we get more TV money in the English league but that is offset by higher expenditure on wages tax etc?.

I?m extremely fortunate to be able to invest much more than the £5k limit offered but I would not invest 1 pence of my money in football as it's dead money. I looked at purchasing many EFC shares only last year around £1,400 each I wanted an initial 20 shares but after taking advice I was told to spend my money in other areas as the value of the EFC share is purely sentimental.

I like others love EFC but I?m not stupid, we all work hard to earn whatever money we get and to waste that on sentiment (especially in today?s climate) is completely irresponsible. Spurs and other teams issued Bonds in the past and this was a disaster, as it never gave any supporter a cut of the club so it was purely blackmail against the fans' loyalty. EFC fans are not that daft and would just surrender our season tickets and buy tickets on a match to match option.

Leave the purchasing of the club to the super rich, because anybody below that level would be far too cautious to make a difference. COYB

Trevor Powell
10   Posted 27/05/2008 at 11:00:29

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Just a note to say that EFC shareholders do not take a dividend each year. This is voted on at the AGM and the shareholders reject a dvidend almost as a matter of course.
Derek Thomas
11   Posted 28/05/2008 at 06:05:34

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Alan Willo: Of course it’s sentimental, of course it’s dead money. So is Insurance if you never claim on it, ( if you do, well, thats another matter). Do you have ’ bricks and mortar ’ insurance for your house, a life policy, for the mortgage, except in the odd case ALL dead money. Once you’ve spent it it’s all dead.

But it’s our money to ’ kill ’.

Money spent on players, ( and cars for that matter ) ALL depreciates... aka dead.

But it wouldn’t be the Banks that went dead / depreciated and we STILL have to pay interest on it.

We, the body corperate, would be making lots of small interest free loans, albeit never to be repayed, but hey, as you say it’s dead money... cue The parrot sketch...’ dead etc etc etc ’

Why not waste it on not a Norwegian Blue, but a true blue.

Me. I’m in.

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