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We, fans, are the best

By Mark Phyle :  26/05/2008 :  Comments (10) :
Here are three interesting issues (among many others) that we are currently discussing on ToffeeWeb:
  1. Russian takeover rumored.
  2. Bill Kenwright does not have the financial clout to take this club forward.
  3. Keith Wyness is the man who wants to take us to Kirkby.
What I think we should not lose sight of is that, whenever an Everton takeover is rumoured, the news/rumor never comes from the buyer?s side; most of the times we read that "BK is talking to investors". Hence, when it comes to an Everton takeover, it?s never the case that a buyer wants to buy us, but it is always the case that a seller is looking to sell.

Unlike us, consider the takeovers of Man Utd, Chelsea and Liverpool. In the case of Man Utd, the Glaizer family wanted to buy the club, and it was not that the existing owners were desperate to sell. The same applies for Chelsea. The buyout rumours came from the buyer?s side. The same applies in the case of Liverpool. The rumours came from the buyers? side, ie, Tom Hicks, Gillettt and DIC.

A few months back, I read that a Russian and/or American wanted to buy into Arsenal and one of their chiefs left in protest. Except for Arsenal; Man Utd and Liverpool are loaded with debt. Why? Because they are owned by businessmen who borrowed to buy and loaded the entire debt on the club to be taken care of. If the gamble pays off, then the businessmen win; if the gamble is a flop, then their losses are limited. But who will bet that Man Utd and Liverpool will go out of business? I don?t think too many. Chelsea is not in debt as it is a cuddly toy for a Russian billionaire who likes fame, the city, and who needs entertainment. Having said that, I wonder how many billionaires are seeking weekly entertainment in Kirkby? I do not think, too many, if at all any.

Now, I do not follow all the news such that I can tell you what happened in the case of Man City, the Barcodes, and the Villains. In all three cases, it is most likely that it was a case of someone wanting to buy, than the fans pushing for the sale. However, I see Birmingham City's current owners desperate to sell (but to no success).

If we are expecting someone to step in and buy the club, and start splashing the millions that we want, then I think BK is looking for a donation rather than an investment. If we were the only club in a major city (outside London and Manchester) with 50,000+ fans who would pay a premium week-in and week-out to watch the club, then we would be looking good in the eyes of investors.

If our own city is doing nothing to prevent us from leaving, then I think that says tons to whomever is looking to buy us. With attendance averaging 37,000 and with our ticket prices being in the middle compared to those of other Premier League clubs, then we still have some mileage to cover. Plus, with our debt being in the £40M region, the equity in the club being lower than that, coupled with the fact that we need a new stadium that will cost £150M to construct, we are still a team that is in the reconstruction phase. We do not have any data on our international appeal and fan base, I strongly believe that we are still not a sweetener for the Russian roulette or American war chest.

I agree that if we want our dreams to be fancied, then BK at the helm does not augur well. Nonetheless, we should not lose sight that BK is the man who brought the Moyessiah to the club. We should not lose sight that, under the chairmanship of Peter Johnson, he progressed the club to a stage that we stayed in the Premiership thanks to Bolton losing at Chelsea on the last day. In stepped BK, and we struggled but somehow we saved ourselves for the last day.

We have been in Europe twice in succession and we (fans) now are dreaming to break in the top 4 and restore our glory (because we care about our past glory, we have every right to believe that a billionaire needs to buy it and hand it to us).

Since we have hit the 40,000 mark in some games, how about all of us contributing £1,000 each (that will total £40M) and give it to the club!!! Like that we put our money where our mouth is.

Reader Comments

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Mark Stone
1   Posted 26/05/2008 at 21:23:06

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My heart says yes bus my mortgage provider says no :-)
Arthur Jones
2   Posted 26/05/2008 at 22:40:03

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What if Sygma bank , who run Everton Mastercard were approached with a proposal of giving the club £50m for a fans share issue if a group of fans could apply for a £1000 minimum loan per person, repayable along similar lines to the season ticket deal ,ie . repaid over 9 months then interest free , interest charged as normal thereafter . the benefits being £50m generated to invest in the club by a fans share issue and Everton mastercard would generate loads more customers . These figures have just been pulled off the top of my head as is the involvement of Everton Mastercard , just a spare of the moment idea , I’m sure there are hundreds of reasons it won’t work but I bet this idea could be expanded upon
Dave Moore
3   Posted 26/05/2008 at 22:18:56

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Most supporters struggle to pay for their season tickets let alone have a spare grand to put into the club. How about the family of four? Do they put up a grand each?

In terms of the so called big 4, putting Chelsea aside I think that they would have achieved success of some sort anyway without the recent buy outs. Man Utd have been main competitors for the last 20 years or so, so have Arsenal (OK they haven’t been bought out but they have been invested in heavily), and Liverpool, the latter winning the Champions league before the takeover.

Other clubs Villa, City, Newcastle, West Ham even Birmingham have either been taken over or subjected to bids. We ask why not us? Maybe KW and BK have learned a lesson after previous fiasco’s of Sports Fortress and will keep their cards closer to their chest in future.

Maybe the type of investment the club needs is not an aggressive takeover such as what’s happened at Liverpool and City, these takovers have brought nothing but problems on and off the pitch for both clubs. I for one don’t want to read the wrong kind of speculation about Everton every time I pick up a newspaper or switch on big 4 sports, sorry I mean Sky sports.

BK has controlling interest at Everton and whilst I don’t want to sound like his number one fan, I don’t at all blame him if he doesn’t want to sell, but instead prefers to take in smaller chunks of investment. I don’t think we would have spent the money we did last year if Robert Earl hadn’t been brought onboard. OK people want to see things happen faster but this is dangerous as goes to show at City and LFC.

If I were a multi millionaire I think my heart would tell me go and buy Everton and if I did, as a supporter as well as the owner I would want to keep it, no matter what. I bought it with my money so who has the right to tell me I have to sell it?

There are many conspiracy theorists about BK and KW and who knows they might be right, but rather than listen to them I prefer to look at facts.

We now have a good manager (in my opinion)
We are more financially stable than we have been for a long time
We are competing better on the pitch
We have risen as a team and a club above other teams who for a long time have been above us, NUFC, Villa, Spurs
We are consistently getting around capacity attendance levels
We are competing in the transfer market and buying very good players (mostly),agreed we still can’t compete here with the so called big 4 but hey they can’t have everyone.

With regards to the Kirkby move I think the board have decided this is the way to get investment. They may fall flat on their faces and I get the feeling some people hope they do, however they have realized the need for this and are acting on it. Don’t let the location dictate your thoughts on how it will affect future investment, you need to think more of what will happen if we don’t relocate, do you honestly think we can attract any sort of investment whatsoever if we stay where we are and show no vision. I can see people jumping up now and saying "yes but for god’s sake not Kirkby", but that’s a different discussion and one that will rumble on.

In my opinion football has become a plaything for the Billionaire playboys who don’t really love or know anything about the game. They just want to be in fashion and maybe see their faces on Sky Sports now and again.

Clubs who have been taken over won’t go out of business, why? because there will always be another rich brat wanting a piece of the football cake.

I for one would rather see an Evertonian who puts everything he has into the club than someone who mortgages the club just so they can get a bit of the latest fashion.
Dick Fearon
4   Posted 26/05/2008 at 23:27:33

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As I understand it, Michael designated a particular space for Kirkby and asked that it only be used only by those with input on that matter.
If that is the case why do we see the K word continually raised in totally unrelated topics?
I guess that by now an overwhelming majority of mail baggers are heartily sick of it.
It is sad and disquieting to see our much loved and respected Toffeeweb, the very best of its genre, sink into a cess pool of abuse, denigration, slanderous innuendo and outright lies.
Censorship in most cases is abhorrent but at the same time attempted brainwashing is even more so.
With the Kirkby so called debate I am reminded of the saying that "A lie repeated often enough becomes the Truth’.
No one could deny that TW has given both sides a fair crack of the whip yet surely the time has come to say enough is enough.
Michael Kenrick
5   Posted 27/05/2008 at 02:28:24

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Sorry, Dick, but I’m not policing content, except when it becomes idiotic. If people want to talk about Kirkby, they know they are welcome to do so. Similarly Kenwright, The Board, Moyes, the players, the pies, the bogs... anything is fair game as long as it has some relevance to Everton FC. Them’s the rules. If you don’t like people talking about Everton-related content.... well, what can I say?
Jonathan Tasker
6   Posted 27/05/2008 at 08:43:22

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I cannot believe that we are talking about Russians again; the story was fabricated last time.
Dave Whitwell
7   Posted 27/05/2008 at 09:00:31

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Some interesting thoughts I do think this is a critical post-season for this football club. Clearly everybody sees that now is the time to capitalise on our position.

Having read many articles this season, I think much like the Kirkby debate we have split opinions on the progress we have made in the last 6 years.

Some believe (myself included) that we are a club heading in the right direction, and that we have made significant strides moving away from regular relegation candidates through mid-table and now into regular contenders for Europe. Others cite that it has only taken Ramos a few months to win a trophy and that we should be aiming higher, and that in big matches we still continue to fall down.

I think there is some truth in both views; however, we are united in our opinion that we want the best for this club. We all want to enjoy success and win trophies. I do think though that Moyes has earned the right to take Everton to the next level. He is a manager who matches the current and future ambitions of this club and has built a squad that is young, vibrant and full of players with similar aspirations.

In terms of the manager and the players this is definitely a work in progress; most of the squad are on long-term contracts. Unlike others seasons, it would appear the only players that leave will be those that the club allows to, and is unlikely to be a forced transfer.

What we need now is to find the money to take us to the next level; I don?t believe we need to ruthlessly spend millions, like Spurs, Newcastle or Man City but we need to spend what is required for Moyes to continue the progress that has been made to date. My guess would be somewhere between £30M and £50M. I would love this to come from Bill but I think he is always going to struggle to find that sort of cash. Not that I can stop it but I would be reluctant for a billionaire using us as toy, my reason being that I want our players to be chosen and managed by Moyes and not a chairman.

That?s why I think that ideas of the fans contributing seem like a great solution. There are arguments of course that many fans already struggle to buy season tickets and such like and therefore may not be able to finance any more which are very valid.

My view is that there are two ways of this happening.

Firstly, a donation to the club, as the article suggests £1,000 if we can find 30,000 ? 40,000 fans that would fund the vast majority of any summer kitty. Many people wonder why we can?t compete financially with other clubs in and around us, with the fact being certainly in Spurs' case that ticket prices are much higher, Spurs also make their fans pay a lot for memberships and bring out shirts every other day. My point being that if we want to compete with those guys then maybe it comes down to us as fans to match the fans of other clubs.

Secondly, a rights issue, I believe this has been suggested on this site recently with the consensus being that Kenwright is unlikely to be willing to reduce his undertaking. Whilst I understand that if he is truly seeking a way of introducing new finance to the benefit of the club, what better investors than the fans?

Tommy Harris
8   Posted 27/05/2008 at 10:02:16

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Give the club £1000? No chance. I have a season ticket and go to all the home cup games and buy a couple of pints in the ground before the game and I pay for EvertonTV and my cousins Evertonia membership thing.

We bring shirts out every season as well.

The fans don?t owe the club any more money.
Peter Roberts
9   Posted 27/05/2008 at 14:24:51

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in response to your last question to Dick, I can think of several things off-hand to say but a) none of them are printable and b) let it be said my parents would be horrified to learn I even knew those words.
mick gallagher
10   Posted 27/05/2008 at 18:03:15

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Give the club a grand,HA.I give them enough money with tickets and new kits for the kids.

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