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The Devil in the Detail

By Christine Foster :  26/06/2008 :  Comments (37) :
Having read Ian Ross?s comments in the Estate Gazette posted on the KEIOC website my mind is drawn to a couple of PR friends I have known and some lessons I have learnt about how to present messages in the way of press interviews and press releases and how to read between the lines what the intended message is.

Essentially, the norm is to highlight a piece of good news and sandwich between it the message you actually want to get across (usually not so good or laying the ground for expected bad news). In effect you dress up the bad news with a piece of good news! Here in this piece the headlines are good news! We won?t sacrifice funding player purchases on account of the new stadium. Wonderful! Thank goodness for that, we are all relieved aren?t we? That?s all we care about so any other comments are just padding aren?t they? Well actually no they're not.

Read on: we have the leverage on the politicians to call in a few favours from labour politicians, hmm doesn?t that smack a little of desperation? Then an admission that a public inquiry could kill the project from the club's perspective; That?s a threat, short and sweet to Knowsley, Tesco and the government.

Then there is the ADMISSION that Plan B is to redevelop Goodison Park.. Well, Halleluiah suddenly it?s an option? After all that has been said and the reasons why it can?t be an option??

Me thinks My Ross was being very clever in announcing quietly in an obscure and limited edition periodical what may well come to pass. He effectively laid down the foundations for an excuse to bail out of the Kirkby Stadium and for the announcement of redevelopment of Goodison Park. Leak it out to lessen the impact and the flak at a later date by saying, ?This has always been our stated position? and pointing at the article.

Cute, very cute. But not cute enough. It also highlighted the less than spectacular ambition of the board in stating that; The Kings Dock project was "perhaps too spectacular" and that this time around Everton, Tesco and Knowsley Council clearly know what they must provide financially. I think perhaps the Kings Dock in its overall concept frightened the board and took it far beyond its comfort zone. Kirkby is something they can handle better. Well guess what, if they had the vision and leadership (courage) we would have had something to be proud of. Something Spectacular... instead of ........??

I fear Mr Ross may well regret those words for it speaks volumes of the board and how they have rationalised their decision not to go ahead with Kings Dock.

It also shows a crack in the silent resolve. Otherwise unheard of admissions and alternatives suddenly raised as possibilities. I think there was more to this than met the eye. Interesting times ahead, I wonder how the spin will go? Mr Ross may well have to work overtime in the months ahead....

Reader Comments

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Carl Rutherford
1   Posted 26/06/2008 at 21:48:35

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Please, I’ve tried to stay impartial on the ground move, but this anti board bandwagon is getting ridiculous. We’ve reached the stage where any statement, however innocuous, is slammed by the anti kirby group. It is becoming counter productive as the board will grow more and more defensive and we’ll be fed even less information.

The ground move does not rest easy on any Evertonians shoulders and we are all frustrated at largely being kept in the dark. This has left a sickening taste at a time when we should be enthused and positive about progress on the pitch. However when the parties take cheap swipes at each other we are just devaluing our proud history. I know I will be roundly critisized for saying it but I feel there is an element of the anti kirby group who are almost waiting for the club to sink to its knees so the can savagely put the boot in on the board

A lack of dialogue and trust has led to this situation of mistrust between the club and the fans, please don’t fuel the fire with petty outbursts at the board for trivial articles. Let’s stick to facts and not let cloud the issues with non stories dreamt up from tenous links.
Jay Campbell
2   Posted 26/06/2008 at 22:18:36

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Carl you have got to be kidding.

Them imcompetant oaf’s are to blame for everything. If they are not then who is?? Moyes?? don’t think so. The players??? Again million miles away, The fan’s who turn up in their thousands year after year?? Bollock’s.

They are solely responsible.
arthur jones
3   Posted 26/06/2008 at 22:11:44

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One thing concerning me Christine is the persistent rumours of the sale of AJ which indicates that he’s being sacrificed to raise transfer funds , plus the lack of contact from Robert Earl since the AGM last december after all his big promises of helping to raise funds for team bulding during his Everton tv interview and even more disturbing , David Moyes not signing his contract . Does this point to the boards idea of a decent transfer budget completely at odds to Moyesy’s figure ? because if DM was to walk away then i daren’t even imagine the consequences !
Kev Wainwright
4   Posted 26/06/2008 at 22:22:28

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"Cute, very cute. But not cute enough", should read dull, very dull, Christine.

Please take a couple of weeks off from this, nothing can be done either way now until the Government makes its decision. Please don’t think that they will consider the narrow interests of us Blues against the wider regeneration of the North West, regardless of which side they come down on.

I doubt your mind was drawn but rather you spend hour after hour looking for the evidence of what you want to see until you see it.

Have a holiday from it, then you can work out your strategy for whatever happens next. This stage of your "war" is over for now.

It really really will do you and the some of the rest of us some good.
arthur jones
5   Posted 26/06/2008 at 22:39:24

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Won’t kirkby still be regenerated without a stadium ? Tesco’s still have plans without the Everton input . It’s called a contingency plan . Without the stadium it just means the size of the development will be reduced to a more managable and acceptable size for the area
Kev Wainwright
6   Posted 26/06/2008 at 23:00:48

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I know, my point is that sometimes, just sometimes it worth giving a subject a rest for a bit. Do you think all the comments on this board might have at this point become a "white noise" to all but the most ardent either way.

When something happens fine but to start to have headlines on some accountancy magazine making what is of course a lazy journo mistake and Christine spending her time looking for a smoking gun, just looks well a little anal.

I’m bored with it all for now, and I know i don’t have to read but I cannot ignore anything to do with Everton. Sad but true
Kev Wainwright
7   Posted 26/06/2008 at 23:07:35

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Arthur- I forget Kirkby could be regenerated without the stadium but I suspect that the objections and possible call in are not based on the stadium, the Government would agree to that regardless of transport plan, but the retail element.

So I think your asnwer is not quite right in so much that if it was not for the large retail then the ground would go through. If only we had some money !

One final point I am confused about how can moving to Kirkby be the death of Everton yet still make Kenwright and the board lots and lots of money. In particular as the public element will draw the attention of the audit commision. In fact don’t answer that as I need a holiday from all this.


Bilbo Baggins
8   Posted 26/06/2008 at 22:56:30

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I bumped into Mr Ross going to his apartment at the Waterloo Dock last week, what an arrogant upshot of a person he is. I tried to talk to him about the ground move and he continually ignord me and refused to answer any questions, just about sums up the way EFC have treated and neglected its fans since this episode started.
Remember that famous quote : WE WILL BE THE MOST TRANSPARENT CLUB IN THE COUNTRY !!!!!!!!
Glen Naylor
9   Posted 27/06/2008 at 01:21:03

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Kev... enjoy your "Kirkby new ground seat " and stretch your legs as far as you want because neither me or the majority of the wirral blues I know will be there.....ok.
Ciaran Duff
10   Posted 27/06/2008 at 03:57:48

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Sorry Christine, I don’t really get your point.
Redeveloping GP is now plan B - gasp, gasp. Of course it is plan B. BK has stated that in the past that if Kirkby fell through, that redeveloping GP is only other option. He also said that it would be more expensive, take longer and there is no guarantee that we’d get planning permission, agreement to expand etc.
Similarly, if the Govt calls in the project then EFC’s involvement with Kirkby project would probably be stuffed. Again, no big surprise. They also haven’t hidden the fact that financially the deal is finely balanced. They have been banging on about that for ages and are obviously trying to put as much pressure on the Govt as possible. You may call it desperation, others would say that it shows how important this decision is to the board and the club.
Alan Willo
11   Posted 27/06/2008 at 07:46:28

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Christine, by your standards a very, very poor post! If you?re getting off from dissecting every bit of information in the public domain then you need to have a look at yourself. Nothing in that article is new, its common sense and reality. If the plans get called in then the delay may mean EFC can?t sustain the financial side as it stands today. If I was part of KEIOC or a No voter I would see that article as a positive one as you all have a clear aim now and should be trying your best to get it called in. To all the Wirral Blues who look to withdraw support if we move, do me and all the other loyal fans a favour and stop going now!! Go and follow Rovers if it?s not too much trouble, or is that in Cheshire? How can anybody stop going the game and following the team we all love because we move 3.5 miles away? Nothing wrong with being against it or even protesting but to withdraw your support is stupid. If your believe its such a poor move then why not withdraw your support now and make it a protest, surly that would show the board how many people don?t like the idea and maybe make them rethink. Either stop going now or stop the whole ?I?m not going when we move to Kirkby Crap? Or even just go to away games? COYB not matter where we play!!
Barry Sherlock
12   Posted 27/06/2008 at 09:08:02

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I read the article but regarding the redevelopment issue Ian Ross was not actually quoted as making any comment.....

As Ciaran Duff aluded to, redeveloping GP would be very expensive and we would get no additional help from anyone. Plus alot of hopes then get pinned on LCC to provide support..... don’t then get me started on LCC and there continued lack of support for the blues.

P.S. I’m a Wirral blue and will follow them at GP or Kirkby.
Christine Foster
13   Posted 27/06/2008 at 09:13:26

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Seems I am out of step with some. Thats ok, I can live with that. At least I don’t decend into the personal crap that has been fired my way for the past few posts.

Alan Wilo, Since when did you agree with ANY post I have written? I have not responded in like because I see no point. You have one take on life I have another. End of story.

Carl / Kev appreciate you tired of it and whilst it would really be blessing if there was a REAL STATEMENT from the club one can only view Mr Ross’s comments as stating realityas we know it but not previously the position of the club. Thats all.. nothing more.

My war is over? I didn’t know I was at war. All I ever wanted was some honesty and integrity. I’ll stop asking for it when I see the club acting in such a way. Nothing more, but certainly no war.

Enjoy the holiday
EJ Ruane
14   Posted 27/06/2008 at 09:35:29

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Carl says "We?ve reached the stage where any statement, however innocuous, is slammed by the anti kirby group".

’However innocuous’!?

What, like Everton admitting there is (therefore always was!)) a plan B?

That is ’innocuous’?

I’ll tell you what stage we HAVE reached.

The stage where, no matter what lies, bullshit and shiftiness is exposed.

No matter how much incometence the board demonstrates.

No matter how many experts say the move is dumb/wrong/bady thought-out/cheap etc

Those who have promoted this move, will still be accusing those who disagree, of doing so because of ’sentimentalism’ (or some such non-argument).

It’s truly desperate bollocks and leads me to believe very few of them are who they say they are.
Ciarán McGlone
15   Posted 27/06/2008 at 10:24:37

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Perhaps you don’t understand the concept of PR or political spin. By it’s very nature every piece of information needs to be dissected in order to attempt to understand the nuances of the information being imparted.

Abrogation of this approach merely serves the alternative descendency into a double bind of naivety! But then again, why digress from the approach you’ve championed all along.

You’ll excuse me if I choose to read between the lines, because that’s where the truth hides.
Dan Brierley
16   Posted 27/06/2008 at 11:22:13

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I have seen a lot of mentions about the Kings Dock, and I dont really know much about it apart from a picture, and the fact it didn't go ahead.

Looking at the design, and location, it seems 100 times more grand than DK.

So just so I understand, can somebody explain to me where the funding for that project was coming from? I didn't hear anything about potential partners etc. Wouldn't that project crippled the club had it gone ahead? I haven't seen vast volumes of money being spent since the project was cancelled. I?d be happy if someone could explain.
Chris Lawlor
17   Posted 27/06/2008 at 12:21:44

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I like Lamp!
Paul Lally
18   Posted 27/06/2008 at 13:17:55

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Christine - keep posting and fighting.
The ’war’ will not be over until Destination Cowshed is finally put to bed.
This ’battle’ is still there to be fought until the ’call in’.

Nil Satis Nisi Optimum
Jay Harris
19   Posted 27/06/2008 at 13:30:58

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Dan KD proposal was at a time when Large EEc grants were available.

95 miilion in grants were organised by LCC and together with LCC and other commercial sweeteners the cost of a then 250 miilion pound stadium to EFC was only 30 million.

LCC were assured by BK that EFC had the 30 million ringfenced and spent close to 2 years putting this project together but when it was required for BK to show the colour of his money he couldnt.

They then extended the deadline and he asked his then pal and fellow investor Paul Gregg for the 30 million.

Gregg agreed on condition his 30 million could be secured on the project or on BK’s shareholding.

BK declined the deadline came and went and quite a few members of LCC allegedly stated they would never work with Kenwright again.

That is why I get fed up with some people on this site who constantly criticise LCC.

The fact is EFC have never asked LCC about Stanley Park, redeveloping GP or pushed for any site in Liverpool.

They have lived behind this shroud of "The longest running exclusivity agreement" in history and therefore closed the door on everything but the Tescodome in Kirkby.
Barry Sherlock
20   Posted 27/06/2008 at 14:35:22

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If BK let LCC down regarding the Kings Dock situation that is news to me. But I’ll take your word for it.

That being the case I still believe that LCC have allowed EFC to walk away from the City and have not offered alternative sites. They are letting down 40,000 other Evertonian’s. They are allowing this to happen without fighting for them to stay.
Christine Foster
21   Posted 27/06/2008 at 14:49:57

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Barry, I think its been made perfectly clear to LCC that EFC don’t want to stay in the city, are not interested in promoting the city or having a presence in it.
LCC may well have given token interest in keeping the club in the city but EFC have slammed the door firmly in the faces.

Fingers in ears and all sing "Exclusitivity Agreement" its gone on so long it will become a nursery ryhme.
Dan Brierley
22   Posted 27/06/2008 at 15:48:57

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Ok Jay,

That being the case, Everton were being given £220million in grants and BK knocked it back on the basis he had to give 30million?

But in this instance, EFC have to stump up £80million and BK is happy to do so? Something doesnt make sense here.

I dont care what anybody says, BK is a true Evertonian just like the rest of us, why would he give us a poisoned apple and destroy the club he loves? Again, it makes no sense. I am rational and will listen to both sides of the argument. But it seems that both sides dont have any explanations to anything. I do find it very amusing though reading people’s articles who clearly dont know what they are talking about, and live in a conspiracy dream world. Keep up the good work, and keep me smiling. All I can say, is that I am glad it is these people running the club, and not those who think using big words etc. means you know more than those in charge.
Carl Rutherford
23   Posted 27/06/2008 at 15:27:53

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Christine I’m not tired of the ground move issue - I don’t think there has been a more important decision made by the club in my lifetime and therefore try to soak in as much information as I can. My issue is that IR’s comments contain no new news but it has been used to roundly slam the approach of the board. In my opinion hostility breeds mistrust and how can we expect anyone to level with us when they are greeted by derision with every statement they make.

EJ I used the word innocuous because BK has already stated that redeveloping Goodison is plan B.

Jay like you I was gutted that Kings Dock did not go ahead but we have to remember that at the time £30 million was still a lot for a football club. The sky money was just starting to trickle through and the economic climate was far worse than it is today (the country was probably still in recession). I don’t know where you heard what part BK had to play but I always put the fact we could not afford the money down to poor management from the previous board who did truly leave us in the shit.

I will concede that there are gaps in my knowledge but no Everton fan can say they are possession of all the facts. I welcome posting on feesibility studies of developing goodison or possible partners for developing within the city. However we are becoming destructive and personal in our criticism and at this will only have a negative effect in the end and may end up damaging our club more in the long run.
Barry Sherlock
24   Posted 27/06/2008 at 16:45:46

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I think it is very easy to say that LCC would have come up with the sites if Everton did not have an exclusivity agreement. LCC shouted very loudly about a sham of a site in the Loop/Trumpet site. It’s a joke of a site to build a stadium that would work or function. But LCC never the less offered it and pubicly made a song and dance about it. So okay, they were prepared to do something for us. Why not come out and give us say, Wavertree Park or the Garden Festival site??? Why not publically offer them? Then Evertonian’s would have said... hang on - what about that. Because the Loop site was being offered at around the time of the vote. So a really good site would have also acted as a positive reminder to supporters that there is another option available to Everton.

Like Dan Brierley I don’t have all of the facts but find it hard to believe that BK was getting £220mil in grants and had to stump up £30mil and didn’t do it. And now we have to find £78mil and get £120mil in grants/other???

I guess it’s irrelavent now. But most people liked the Kings Dock plan. But there is a big chunk that hate the Kirkby idea. I just want the club to move forward. That means that whatever we do it HAS to contain a business partner. I think that is why LCC can’t/won’t accomodate us.
EJ Ruane
25   Posted 27/06/2008 at 17:16:58

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Carl you say.

"EJ I used the word innocuous because BK has already stated that redeveloping Goodison is plan B"

I will not contest this, argue it, or slag you.

I simply want people to see it again, as I believe nothing I could think of to counter your ?argument?, could be more effective than simply reprinting this sentence.

I appreciate you conceded there are ?gaps? in your knowledge.

However, given everything that has been written (not least here) re ?NO PLAN B!, saying there?s a gap in your knowledge, is like Mugabe saying "Ok, the election might not be perfect, but.."
Alan Willo
26   Posted 27/06/2008 at 18:09:23

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Christine/Ciaran, you really are so passionate about what you want and miss opportunities for your own side. EFC are admitting that should the whole project be called in then it will most certainly be the end of it for EFC. If I was a no, then surly this has to be good news for you lot??? Why aren?t you pushing that line? You have a clear avenue to peruse that is more than you had when it was at planning so take the bull by the horns and use your energy to do it. Or will it be another missed opportunity and all mouth and no trousers from the KEIOC radicals??? Hitting out at the custodians is old hat and tiresome to the vast majority of fans, that?s why KEIOC has never received any major support from the EFC fan base either at home or away games. I believe you have the right to complain or even protest but the anti campaign has always been based on too much passion when brains should have been used and I honestly believe if that approach was taken then Kirkby may have collapsed before it started. Christine you are a very intelligent lady and I?m surprised with your line of attack, simple analogy ?don?t attack the pain but attack the causes of the pain?. Anyway, have a nice weekend to all Blues. COYB
Tom Hughes
27   Posted 27/06/2008 at 19:16:28

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KEIOC are not radicals. They are just honest hard-working Evertonians. None have any ulterior motives for keeping EFC in Walton. What is "radical" about exposing fabrications and/or blatant inaccuracies? As far as not having support, to get over 10,000 to vote for their stance at a point when the vast majority had only the club?s literature to go on is not indicative of "no support". If you attended the last AGM you would also be left with little doubt about who the majority supported on that night. Likewise EVERY forum poll since. A ballot now would certainly yield a different result IMO. A ballot after an independent study of all options would barely register ANY vote for Kirkby IMO.
Steve Ely
28   Posted 27/06/2008 at 19:07:06

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If the LCC were serious in keeping everton in our city, why did they agree to keep the Sainsbury's offer to build a stadium on Walton Hall Park quiet until after Mr Wyness got his shambolic vote railroaded through. That is a fact told to us by our MP.

The truth is that Liverpool were offered Kings Dock before Everton and knocked it back. Then they contacted Everton.

We did enquire about Stanley Park, the strip that runs down Priory Road, and it was to build a school to replace the Gwladys St school that we were hoping to buy and knock down to extend the ground.

Now it's rumoured that the school is closing soon any way... that's one to keep an eye on .
I do agree with Christine when she says Everton slammed the door in LCC's faces. but I also agree that the LCC have bent over backwards to help the football tourists from across the park with pound signs in their eyes with full hotels, bars and extra visitors every other week .

There are still sites available ? for instance Heyworth Street and Everton Road. It's wether Everton are really interested in staying in the city or not. In my opinion, they're not; that's probably why there are no Everton shops in the city centre when the tourists now have two shops to buy their bags full of shite.

I think it's time to call for a public debate with all parties EFC, LCC and the fans, pro-Kirkby and anti-Kirkby, let's get everything out in the open and let all parties have their say. And let's get our great club back on track and heading in the right direction. It saddens me to hear that DM's transfer kitty is affected by the ground move. If it falls through, so what? They will have a bigger transfer kitty cos they won't have to shell out £78mil. Dreams do sometimes come true.

Come on you mighty blues
Graham Brandwood
29   Posted 27/06/2008 at 19:54:46

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As somebody who has always been against the move to Kirkby, I have always had problems with KEIOC because I think the emphasis of their campaign has been too narrow, focusing too much on the issue of the city boundary which is secondary to the issues of proximity to Goodison or the town centre. I think we could have stopped this move if the focus of the opposition had been wider. I also have a problem with scaremongerers who have tried to scare the people of Kirkby that we will bring a mass of anti-social behavior to the town, which I find offensive and I am sure that many more No voters feel the same.
Dave Wilson
30   Posted 27/06/2008 at 20:25:48

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Alan Wilo

Who do you think you are telling Evertonians to stop going to the match now, these guys are not prepared to skulk away to Kirkby with their tales between their legs.
Bob Turner
31   Posted 27/06/2008 at 20:46:48

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Kev Wainwright

You asked a perfectly legitimate question when you asked "how can moving to Kirkby be the death of Everton yet still make Kenwright and the board lots and lots of money"?

I asked pretty much the same question a couple of weeks ago, and the best answer I got from the "No" voters was something along the lines of a stupid multi-millionaire who somehow overlooks the fact that the club is not worth that much in Kirkby.

Actually, the best answer I got was that BK believed in the existence of this stupid multi-millionaire who etc etc.

So I gave up expecting an answer to this question, and am glad that you?ve taken a holiday from it all, because I guarantee you that when you come back, this question will still remain unanswered.

And that would be because there is no logical answer to it, something you and I (and others who don?t automatically disbelieve anything that comes out of BK?s mouth) have already twigged.
Gavin Ramejkis
32   Posted 27/06/2008 at 22:17:30

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Bob Turner, this is the same BK that employed KW. Given his documented previous, what does that tell you? I personally think he wants to have a new shiny stadium as an incentive to a potential buyer but just as he didn?t perform due diligence on his CEO I don?t think he is on the new stadium which has countless negative points and a large increase of the club?s debt tied to it. So I?m not sure what the logic is but then again what?s the logic of KW?s ongoing employment at the club given the club?s decreasing performance in terms of overall turnover?
Jay Harris
33   Posted 28/06/2008 at 00:20:56

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Dan Brierley
you asked the question then dispute the facts.

Just check out any archive and you will see what happened.

Kenwright is the one telling streams of lies not genuine supporters who come on here.

Answer me this:

Carl Rutherford
34   Posted 28/06/2008 at 00:34:36

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EJ - my ?argument? is that this article is counter productive to obtaining the facts about whether moving to Kirkby is good or bad for our football club. I do not mention whether redeveloping goodison should be plan a b c or z I stated the clubs position had already been made clear.

Please don?t confuse my message with being ignorant of the facts. I only stated that I was not in possesion of all the information because I don?t believe anyone who posts on this website is privvy to it. Like everyone else I have a gripe with the board about this but I feel we will not get any closer to the facts if we herald articles like this as the opinion of the masses.
Bob Turner
35   Posted 28/06/2008 at 08:40:46

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Gavin, so again it?s the mythical stupid multi-millionaire that BK is holding out for....

Well, I can?t argue with the logic behind that.

As for the decrease in turnover, this is down to the fact that given the outsourcing of merchandising and catering, Everton?s accounts only report the net income and not the total income and corresponding profits.

If you read the accounts, you will see that in 2007, turnover would have been the earth shattering sum of £67, 000 less than 2006.

In fact, if you did read the accounts, you would see that the revenue from the merchandising and catering increased from £7.623m to £7.726m.
Other commercial activities revenue increased from £783k to £1.178m.

Yes, that?s right, on both counts, turnover actually increased.

So please remind me of the evidence to back up your claim that KW is not performing (I won?t use the actual words of your previous claims against KW because I?d probably get into trouble for repeating them) - it would appear that those pesky things called facts contradict your claim....

PS For everyone who has moaned about the lack of availability of Everton merchandise, have you never considered the possibility that they had actually sold out of everything they had? Or would you rather we had masses of unsold merchandise clogging up the shelves of JJB and costing us money? Again, if you worked for the club and had access to the actual facts, you might see the commercial reasons for ensuring that a JJB in Eastbourne does not have £10k worth of stock sitting around when there is minimal demand for it.

Until we are as commercially attractive as the Top 3 and the RS, what is the point of investing thousands (millions?) in merchandising without the demand? You don?t create demand merely by increasing supply, certainly not in the football world. You do this by success on the pitch.
Dan Brierley
36   Posted 28/06/2008 at 13:29:29

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Thats a great question. But again, I don't know of anyone who has made a solid offer to BK for shares in Everton. Can someone enlighten me as to who has made a firm offer and been refused?
Dan Brierley
37   Posted 29/06/2008 at 16:50:54

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I’ll take that as a no then!

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