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Leahy - and the real explanation?

By Neil Pearse :  29/06/2008 :  Comments (92) :
Fair play to the guys putting together the relatively sober and measured (and complete) document requesting the EGM. It raises many legitimate issues arounding Kirkby (the most important being transportation), and I am glad that this pressure is being put on the Kirkby move. As a Yes voter, it is also nice to see the acknowledgement that the value of the club actually does go up (at least in asset value terms) as a result of the Tesco / Knowsley 'subsidy'.

But that's not what caught my eye in the submission. I would like instead to quote from Terry Leahy's open letter from last year, as I think this most likely provides the explanation for many puzzling factors about the whole Kirkby move. I quote: "The prospect of outside investment in the club is massively increased by the Kirkby proposal. Without it any prospective investor knows that the first £150M of new investment would have to go into a stadium, with nothing to show on the pitch. With Kirkby, new investment could go straight into the team, with the prospect of a return by way of better results".

Remember this is one of the UK's premier business leaders talking, and these are rather direct and clear words about the ownership of Everton Football Club (and clearly ones approved by the current Board).

One of the biggest puzzles of this whole situation is why, with a host of Premier League clubs changing ownership, Everton has not been bought. For rather obvious reasons, the explanation that this is simply because BK is 'holding on to his train set' is implausible. In a world in which Premier League clubs are fully in the spotlight of investors the world over, Everton is not a secret (indeed we are the most successful club outside the top 4 in recent reasons), and any serious investor would have gone public to secure what he wanted. Of course, the line in the Kirkby planning submission of 'having no intention to sell' is transparently a necessity of the submission, and does not bind the current owners to anything anyway.

The alternative explanation is precisely what Leahy says ? potential new owners who have approached the club have been deterred by the cost of building a new stadium. The Board have realised that the only reliable route to opening up the club to major new investment is by first securing this new stadium. That has to be one that the current owners of the club can actually afford ? hence Kirkby. They have concluded ? quite reasonably on the basis that no-one has made a clear and serious offer to take over the club ? that it is a matter of 'new stadium first, new owner later'.

So the real game in town is to secure Kirkby - and then to secure a new owner. Indeed, I don't think it is too far-fetched to suppose that a potential new owner or new owners are already lined up for once the Kirkby deal goes through.

Many readers will conclude that this is all an appalling and confirming example of how the Board is solely interested in lining its own pockets. It is certainly true that this is a route to BK et al making a good return on their investments. But I also believe that it is very likely the only route to securing a new owner with the necessary financial pockets to fund a major Premier League football club. If there was another route, it would already have happened.

Ironically, swallowing Kirkby is probably the only way for us to get the new money. Still, at least we will get some better players on the pitch. And the Kirkby stadium will no doubt be rather better fitted out than currently planned as well...

Reader Comments

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Eamonn McConnnaghgey
1   Posted 29/06/2008 at 14:03:12

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Neil, I am utterly disgusted in your piece. I find it hard to believe that any Evertonian would write such tripe and wish this for our club.

What your actually saying is that the only way we will get rid of Kenwright is after he and the board have raped it, lied to the fans to line there own pockets. But this is okay as we will have attracted new owners who will load the club with further debt and will have no qulams about raising prices to support the borrowing?

It is factual that The board have already turned down investors and that?s the reason we do not have new owners now. Nothing to do with GP at all.

Neil, can I suggest that you are so desperate to debate this move that you have actually lost the plot here. To arrive at your conclusions is deeply alarming.

Paul Columb
2   Posted 29/06/2008 at 14:05:20

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From my own perspective as an Evertonian, the idea of moving to Kirkby has always seemed desperately wrong for reasons previously deliniated on this site by myself and others. But from a business perspective and thus in terms of attracting an wise investor who plans on mid to long term involvement in the club, the move seems just as unwise. Take the sentiment out of the equation and look at the main arguments against (location, transportation, stadium quality etc) and there are the do-nots from a businesss and investment stand point. Add in the sentiment and the surrender of the city and there’s you denuding fan base. Leahy’s responsibility is Tesco’s bottom more, no less. Football and its business side is a different ball game and sites like this are testiment to that. Been on recently to post a passioate post?? Thought not.
David Mathieson
3   Posted 29/06/2008 at 14:34:23

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Post removed. Stop being abusive please.
John Lloyd
4   Posted 29/06/2008 at 14:44:12

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Neil, I understand you have your reasons for voting Yes, like I would've had for me voting No had I gotten a form (another bone of contention but not for now).

I still can't help but feel that the statements that the No camp are slowly proving to be false one by one, are the same lies that have convinced you to vote Yes.
Chris Jones
5   Posted 29/06/2008 at 14:42:16

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Neil; a very lucid and thought-provoking piece. It deserves careful thought and a well-measured response from the "No" camp, rather than a knee-jerk, emotive one.

The worry is that if we don?t find a big injection of moolah from somewhere we are destined to be left behind, becoming the sort of "small club" the chap across the park alluded to.

Maybe the choice for fans of clubs like ours is to decide ? do we want our integrity or do we sit at the big table, requiring us to sup with with the devil? It seems these days few have any other choice.
John Andrews
6   Posted 29/06/2008 at 15:04:05

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What happened to the alleged Russian chap?
What happened to the, once again, alleged Indian chap?
Pie in the sky mate.
Neil Pearse
7   Posted 29/06/2008 at 14:57:37

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Not that surprised by the vitriol here guys, but you might think about this a little more.

What I am actually saying is that BK realises that of course Everton needs major new investment. None has been forthcoming (Eamonn - could we have the facts you point to on the investors who have been turned away?). One of the major reasons for not getting investment is that the new owner would first of all have to shell out for a new stadium. Hence BK has realised that we need a new stadium in the bag to attract a new owner.

I am not sure how this equates to ’raping’ the club. Don’t all of us actually agree that the club needs major new investment? The point at issue is whether this is the best way of achieving it.

Again, I am not at all saying this is the IDEAL of way of achieving it. Of course it would be better if some rich guy rolled up right now and plonked down £300M to build a new stadium and buy us £50M of new players. We can all agree with that too. But no such rich saviour has in fact showed up and they don’t look like doing so anytime soon.

Coming on Toffeeweb these days is a bit like being in a game of ’shoot the messenger’. Of course it is painful to face up to certain facts: we are pretty poor; desperately need more money; can’t afford very much; no-one has wanted to buy us etc. etc.. I don’t like these facts any more than any of you do. I am sure that it is much more comfortable to believe that we are still pretty rich, have lots of stadium options, and people are lining up to pump money into us. But unfortunately these things just aren’t true. If they were we would be building on Stanley Park instead of the RS.
Gavin Ramejkis
8   Posted 29/06/2008 at 14:58:15

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Neil a critical flaw in attracting new owners to a club would be the need removed to fund a new stadium, well due dilligence would show a massive increased debt for a mediocre stadium without sufficient transport and support infrastructure to allow it to ever achieve maximum capacity at great cost and a disenfranchised customer base who have been loyal for decades. Who is to say a new owner wouldn’t have sufficient funds to build their own stadium in a location with proven transport and support infrastructures which would also be able to hold non footballing events and thus maximise it’s potential. Tesco Terry has one thing he is concerned about and that is Tesco and that’s what Kirkby is all about not Everton FC.
9   Posted 29/06/2008 at 15:04:45

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Chris Jones, it is not a very lucid piece at all it is in fact a very stupid piece.

First the board of Directors are on record as saying they have no intention of selling but Neil actually thinks they are in fact lying and supports this as maybe the best way to attract investment.

Now as the share holders have personally pointed in the original piece calling for the EGM Bill Kenright stands to make an extra £13 million personally from this move. Neil thinks this is okay, no one would begrudge Bill a reasonable profit but it is perfectly fine to lie to Knowsley borough Council and get away with it.

You see he would make this money not only from the sale of our last remaining assets but also would profit from the land deal that KBC struck with Tesco. The land belonging to one of the poorest boroughs in Europe.

You see Chris what, Neil has done is trip himself up as he is calling the board as a yes voter, liars. Is that what Neil intended with this article?

He in actual fact agrees with the two shareholders information on the motives behind the move.

Michael Kenrick
10   Posted 29/06/2008 at 15:14:10

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Neil does present a very compelling rationale that bears more examination and discussion, rather than these vitrioloc knee-jerks. I will continue to remove abusive posts and ones that do not discuss the issues raised in this thread.
Michael Kenrick
11   Posted 29/06/2008 at 15:17:55

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Eamonn, firstly, let?s have your full name please. Secondly, stop with the "stupid" comments. Thirdly, the idea that the board or any shareholder will not be selling their shareholding at some point in the future is (to use your word) stupid beyond belief. If you cannot debate these issues sensibly, I will remove your posts.
Gary Kerrigan
12   Posted 29/06/2008 at 15:06:32

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Leahy was always the reason why this will likely get approved, along with the regeneration and 2,300 jobs needed by Labour Knowsley council for the north of their deprived borough. And before someone points out that Tesco dont get everything they always want (eg. new stores and extensions) well thats because it would look weird and corrupt if they were always allowed everything they wanted and quite often its the local council itself that is opposed to the particular Tesco scheme in its own area as you see time and again on Unlike whats happened over the Kirkby scheme, I doubt that Leahy has ever got himself involved personally in any other Tesco development, he’s the evertonian CEO of a 51bn pound giant and like it or not what he wants he will get.
13   Posted 29/06/2008 at 15:34:08

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IMO a blind man can see what this crowd are up to.
Just look at the mounting debts since Kenwright took over (19 million in 1999 to 59 million 2007)despite the sale of most of our assets.

Forget the yanks this is even worse tha them.

This move is just a short term fix to make our balance sheet look better but that would not fool any potential investor.
I just think that Kw has fooled BK into believing they can cosmeticise the numbers and with Moyes continuing to overperform it will all come good tomorrow.
So its Jam for Tesco,Jam for KW and BK and fuck EFC.
Eamonn McConnaghgey
14   Posted 29/06/2008 at 15:41:38

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Michael. Firstly as I have said above no one minds Bill Kenwright making a profit when he sells his shares. There was nothing stupid in what I said I fully realise that Bill will sell his shares at some point.

I acccept your point on not calling his piece stupid. Neil is perfectly entitled of accusing the board, in writing of what he wants. Neil. my apologies.

There are several flaws in the argument though surely. One of which is why are potential investors been put off by GP. Surely they know what it costs? They would not enquire at all would they?

What Neil is suggesting is that the best way to get an investor is to build the ground first whilst also ensuring the major shareholders get the best return. They are on record for saying the opposite.

So is it correct then that the board could have had investment had they either sold for a lower price? Or is it as Neil suggested they want Kirkby as the best route for finding a buyer and the board are liars?

I cannot see a good reason why an investor would be put off buying us just because of the ground... It didn’t put off Gillette and Hicks for example.

David OKeefe
15   Posted 29/06/2008 at 15:36:03

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Kirkby is not a viable business plan that is the rationale behind the EGM petition that has been submitted. That is the issue.

The plan behind Kirkby has always been to increase the clubs value in the short term, but the argument against Kirkby essentially and this has been my view all along is that it will not improve the clubs finances.

These shareholders are contending that the clubs board are promoting their interests to the detriment of the clubs long term future.

An investor would want to buy an underperforming business (which is how I see EFC at the moment), not a failing business which I fear the Kirkby move will turn the club into.

The stadium must make money, but considering that the clubs financial figures justifying the move have been erratic then i must conclude; that I don’t know if the move would make the club the additional monies for player trading.

If you think the club is going to find a buyer on the basis of DK then I am worried. I have no confidence in the board and none in Leahy

Take off the blinkers Neil, Leahy and the board have led a lot of people up the primrose path. That you don’t recognise this concerns me.
Sean Allinson
16   Posted 29/06/2008 at 15:59:46

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I’m sorry, but I’ve never understood Leahy’s assertion that Kirkby makes us more attractive to investment. If the club is now worth £80 million, it will only take another £30 - £50 million to revamp Goodison to a standard acceptible to most as a fantastic and unique stadium. Or, the prospective owners could wait until we have moved into our new, unpopular, mid-level home, with a split and disillusioned fan base and pay £150 - £200 million for the privelage. It doesn’t make sense, unless you are the ones receiving the benefit of the increase in value.
Neil Pearse
17   Posted 29/06/2008 at 15:56:13

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Eamonn, no offence taken. I am just trying to connect some dots. What I really don’t understand is why no one has bought our club. That is the biggest puzzle of all for me in this whole situation. Why would no-one buy the arguably ’fifth’ club with a massive fanbase in the world’s richest football league?

What Leahy says just provides some explanation, that’s all. It’s always struck me that he said something so clearly and so obviously thought through. And that it was was then knowingly published on the official website. It may be another red herring in this whole saga, but somehow I don’t think so. Just don’t be surprised if a serious bidder emerges not too long after (if) the Kirkby deal is settled.

By the way, I do sometimes think that some of the posters on here must work in some rather genteel profession, like perhaps in a rural library! Big dealing businessmen are often highly self-interested and don’t always tell the whole truth! Whatever next?

I think we should follow the fundamental facts of the situation, and what it means for the future of our football club (however much we may disagree about that), and not get too distracted by what precisely Bill or Keith said on a particular day.
Neil Pearse
18   Posted 29/06/2008 at 16:12:59

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Sean, but if you are right, can’t you see that it doesn’t make sense that someone hasn’t already bought us? Why would they wait for us to secure Kirkby? They can have us now for a pretty low price, and could then rebuild GP. Why wait until we cost more? Sorry for the heresy - but perhaps some of them don’t believe that redeveloping GP is such a good business idea?

Let’s remember, many potential investors will have looked into Everton as possible owners. Everton is just about the largest sporting franchise in the UK that has not changed hands in the last five years. Why?
David OKeefe
19   Posted 29/06/2008 at 16:23:09

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Neil this is conjecture nothing else. All other arguments about Kirkby being agood idea have been rubbished and now we have this load of codswallop.

Kirkby is a lame duck and hopefully a dead duck.

(Rushs back to the rural library)
Eamonn McConnaghgey
20   Posted 29/06/2008 at 16:17:04

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This is the problem though Neil. The board are being accused of personal greed.

If you are in agreement with the conclusions of the shareholders article, EFC is not benfiting from this move, only primary shareholders are. You concluded that yourself.

Whereas I think this project has run away from them and what started off as looking like an economical prospect has left them looking self interested should the move go ahead and they then sell.

As for why Bill has not sold before now? Your guess is as good as mine. It defies logic.

I would say that if Kirkby is called in and Earl hastily departs then Bill may just yet end up finding a buyer!

Les Anderson
21   Posted 29/06/2008 at 16:35:24

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Just read the info on the EGM Resoultion and again to confuse us it says that a new station at Headbolt Lane would not serve Liverpool City Centre.

But sorry for doing some research but the Mersey LTP its says it will

I hope this is the only thing wrong in the document but this is what does my head in, there is too many poor/none/selective references to prove a point (e.g KW 10 million extra a season and KEIOC not putting the whole HOK report on their webiste). Along with wild claims and assumptions on both sides on kirkby or other sites what is best for EFC is lost in peoples attempts for point scoring.

Sorry Rant over.
Jay Harris
22   Posted 29/06/2008 at 16:53:44

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The reason for no investor approaching EFC is blatantly clear.

If you put up a brick wall and make it common knowledge that you dont want to sell then no-one will make an official approach.

A lot of these takeovers start with an enquiry from a 3rd party and if they are given any encouragement they might follow up but if it’s a firm rebuff why would they bother.

You heard what Malcolm Carter of Bestway said when he tried to approach EFC and then the club apparently lied about
the content.

Neil I really cant understand why someone so obviously intelligent as you cannot see through this bunch of incompetent liars and believe me it grieves me to say that about anyone connected with our club let alone the chairman but even the shareholders have had enough now and they are much closer to what’s going on than we are.
arthur jones
23   Posted 29/06/2008 at 17:07:32

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"The prospect of outside investment in the club is massively increased by the Kirkby proposal. Without it any prospective investor knows that the first £150M of new investment would have to go into a stadium, with nothing to show on the pitch. With Kirkby, new investment could go straight into the team, with the prospect of a return by way of better results". ..... this is Terry Leahy’s quote , pre vote ... Erm , forgive my ignorance but why ? we are NOT £150m short of being a Champions league team , would this not increase the value of the club if we were pereniall Qualifiers for this competition ? It’s how Arsenal have been able to afford to produce the Emirates stadium . Am I too "past it " to think along the lines that if you get the team successful then the Stadium will follow ? , £33m earned from the CL is a bit better than £400k from the Uefa cup , season by season then this adds up , isn’t it how Liverpool can afford to buy bad players like diouf diou cheyrou etc and wait for a Torres to come along ? It’s the outside investment and the promise of a new superstadium from the Yanks thats put the skids on them , !!!!! Redeveloping Anfield would have been the best thing they could have done , they have the land , , Manure have rebuilt old trafford , its done them no harm , We could easily redevelop GP , (ask Tom Hughes) , Leahys quote is wrong , we dont need kirkby , not as much as tesco needs us !!!
Gavin Ramejkis
24   Posted 29/06/2008 at 16:45:57

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Neil isn’t it in the current documentation that none of the major shareholders are willing to sell or dilute their holdings for the Kirkby stadium, that would incline me to believe that is why they haven’t sold as it is their belief that this will new stadium will provide them the window to open for sale signs up tied to the exclusivity deal would make anyone steer clear until the fat lady sings on this being called in or not. The exclusivity deal and supporting documentation appear to all intents and purposes show that right here right now the club is not for sale, without any transparency from the club who is to say this hasn’t been the case for a long time hence the baffling lack of interest given all and sundry clamouring to take over much lesser clubs.
Graham Morris
25   Posted 29/06/2008 at 17:23:11

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It amazes me the number of people that claim business sense and then display very little of it. The issues over BK’s intentions are open to conjecture, however those over the interest from new buyers are very clearly black and white.

Eamon brings up the reds saying ’I cannot see a good reason why an investor would be put off buying us just because of the ground... It didn?t put off Gillette and Hicks for example.’ So lets use that as an illustration. Gillette & Hicks bought Liverpool using debt which they’ve subsequently loaded up on to the club and leveraged against current and future revenues, they’ve added to the debt to finance the stadium and buy Torres and Babel. The reasons for the delays over Stanley Park was because they were struggling to find the necessary finance.

Hicks & Gillette have possibly spent absolutely bugger all of their own money on Liverpool and used a classic private equity trick of buying an asset by borrowing against it. The debt leverage from the value and cash flow of Everton by comparison wouldn’t come close to the cost of buying the club and financing a state of the art stadium so any buyer will have to stump a large slice of cash. In effect Everton would be more immediately costly to buy and develop than Liverpool for any investor.

So we run at a cost of £200m for the stadium, why would any investor take this on when there’s an option of a stadium for <£75m on the table? And, why introduce the risk associated with buying before a decision when they can just wait until the building starts, or even better, is completed?

Gavin says ’Who is to say a new owner wouldn?t have sufficient funds to build their own stadium in a location with proven transport and support infrastructures which would also be able to hold non footballing events and thus maximise it?s potential.’ yet doesn’t answer the question of where this buyer is because he certainly hasn’t shown any interest in the club to this date. Ambramovich hasn’t managed to finance a new stadium for Chelsea so Gavin’s investor is going to have to be very very wealthy.
Neil Pearse
26   Posted 29/06/2008 at 17:39:51

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Gavin and Jay, we’ve been down this road before and just differ. I think that anyone who seriously wanted to buy Everton would go public in some form; you think they will stay away just because Bill says "I don’t want to sell" (which to my knowledge he never has). Why a determined buyer would be turned away so easily remains a complete mystery to me. It would be completely unchacteristic behaviour for rich businessmen when there is something they have decided they want to buy.

The Kirkby submission on intent not to sell is pretty irrelevant. First of all it still does not explain why no one has publicly tried to buy us up to this point. Secondly, we all know that they had to say this to strengthen the submission. Otherwise the authorities could easily say: Everton don’t need to build in Kirkby because they could be taken over by someone richer who can build elsewhere.

The puzzle remains as to why no-one has bought Everton. Attempts as usual to make it ’all about Bill’ (or Keith) just don’t stand up to any scrutiny.

There really are more fundamental factors at play at our football club than the behaviour or competence of Bill and Keith. Like the facts that we desperately need more money and are not currently a very attractive business proposition. Starting here rather than with Bill and Keith is a much better route to understanding.
John Crawley
27   Posted 29/06/2008 at 17:54:28

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Sorry Neil but if you are looking to actively sell the club then there are ways to go about it, one of them would be to specifically appoint a company that are specialists in this field. That is exactly what the previous owners of Man City did.
The facts are that unless you are a fan of Everton why specifically would you go public on an attempt to buy them if they are a privately owned company and the owner shows an unwillingness to discuss the matter? I think you would simply move onto another club where the owner either want to sell or it is a plc. Hence the sales of Man City, Aston Villa, Newcastle, Chelsea etc
James Tunstead
28   Posted 29/06/2008 at 17:26:26

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I am firmly against DK and have been scratching my head thinking why anyone could actually still be in favour of the whole debacle. I do find myself in agreement with Neil though and feel that this is the only straw that the yes camp have left to clutch to. We get a stadium that costs us far less than its worth. An investor might be attracted to this, take over and pump millions into the club for players. This brings success on the pitch, more fans etc etc Its all pie in the sky of course and thats all the yes camp have left. Les Anderson. Yes, the document incorrectly states the proposed Headbolt Lane station will not serve passengers from Liverpool. What it should have said was the station will be even further from the Tescodome than Kirkby station and of not much use to Evertonians going the game (Unless they are from Northwood or Tower Hill)
Graham Morris
29   Posted 29/06/2008 at 18:02:13

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Neil, there is no puzzle. The only white knight investor in the premiership is Abramovich. If we’re suggesting that we risk the future of the club on the hope that we’re going to attract the second then we’re even more foolish than the picture of BK & KW that’s being painted by certain members of the fanbase.

If we’re therefore expecting an investor looking for profits we’re again in cloud cuckoo land if we think that a businessman, even one with a passion, is going to look at a club running at a £10m loss, with an aging stadium and no growth prospects, is going to see any sort of profit in club currently.

For an investor stumping up £50m on the field he could, I believe expect CL football and an increase in stadium revenue from 45-50k through the gates. He can’t realise that growth currently. He can’t even invite his mates around to show off his fabulous new team.

Doing away with the rights or wrongs of Kirkby, or how the directors will personally benefit, it will make Everton a more attractive prospect to investors. We’re never going to find an investor willing to pay for a stadium, wherever it’s built, people just need to get to grips with that.
Graham Morris
30   Posted 29/06/2008 at 18:18:30

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Oh dear, Man City had a brand new stadium, Abramovich wanted a London club, Newcastle were bought by a staunch Geordie fan, only the purchase of Villa would be comparable to the situation we?re in, except they?re the major club in the Midlands and we?re within the catchment areas of Liverpool & United.

Lets not confuse the arguments. We?re borderline uninvestable. Even the £20m Fortress fund would have been injected on the basis of the short to medium term sale of the club for a profit.

BK is either keeping hold of his train set or profiteering, he can?t be doing both, and if he?s profiteering he certainly didn?t take over the club with that intention, lest you forget Peter Johnson.
Graham Morris
31   Posted 29/06/2008 at 18:28:33

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On the issue of the rights and wrongs of Kirkby I do accept that this question over investment might be the only good thing about the project. But I do believe it is valid and should be considered.
Morgan Tarr
32   Posted 29/06/2008 at 18:35:47

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So you’re trying to tell me, that the only way for a top 5 EPL side, who are competing in Europe on a now consistant basis, are also currently (and hopefully for many years) in one of Britain and Europe’s major cities, to gain investment is to move into a basic, mid ranged stadium in a town with less than 50,000 people? Makes sens that doesn’t it.
David OKeefe
33   Posted 29/06/2008 at 18:29:55

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"There really are more fundamental factors at play at our football club than the behaviour or competence of Bill and Keith. Like the facts that we desperately need more money and are not currently a very attractive business proposition. Starting here rather than with Bill and Keith is a much better route to understanding."

Neil this is getting desperate. Leahy’s statement brings up the issue of trust, so Keith and Bill’s conduct is a legitimate concern.

We need more money and are not an attractive business proposition; agree with the first part the second part is contentious.

The club has no accurate figures regarding the extra revenue that will accrue from DK, from that it is not clear how the club would become more attractive to investors. DK will cost 78 million but any increase in the clubs revenues would be eaten up by debt repayments
John Crawley
34   Posted 29/06/2008 at 18:38:02

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Sorry Graham but Mike Ashley is not a staunch geordie fan despite his football shirt wearing antics.

One of the main problems that Everton have got and which Kenwright has actually made worse is that we are a very poorly run club off the pitch. Since Kenwright has become chairman he has singularly failed to improve the marketing, merchandising and maximising revenue from Goodison Park. What we have instead seen is a series of short term measures which have not been designed to fix the underlying problem. Kirkby is the worse in a long line of short term approaches which do not address long term issues.
Gavin Ramejkis
35   Posted 29/06/2008 at 18:28:50

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Graham using the logic you are so clearly happy to portray as having then isn’t Kirkby in the catchment areas of Liverpool, Man United and closer to rugby with St Helens and Wigan closer from there too? What does a stadium with limited access give you exactly? Build it and they will come in their thousands by bicycle and foot from all directions from how many miles away? I also didn’t claim to know who a potential investor would be but before they bought Man U had you heard of Glazer? Before they bought the RS had you heard of Gillett and Hicks? Before he bought Aston Villa had you heard of Randy Learner? Before he bought Chelsea had you heard of Roman Abramovich? The majority of the wealthy people are unknown to the masses and exist in great numbers as the majority are unknown it’s impossible to say who among them would or wouldn’t be interested in buying into the EPL.
Graham Morris
36   Posted 29/06/2008 at 18:45:12

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Morgan - I didn’t say that, I just said it wouldn’t be possible with GP / Everton as it is now, there’s no growth potential and the costs / risk would be too great.

John - absolutely agree, the merchandising and cost cutting measures assoicated with this have been a disaster and the failure to correct the errors is nothing short of a disgrace. Again I’ve not advocated Kirkby all I was responding to was the initial article and subsequent comments about why we haven’t seen any investment.

Gavin - again I wasn’t advocating Kirkby specifically but spending £200m on Everton in the catchment area we’re in as opposed to spending £50m and then having capital available for on or off field developments to compete with our neighbours is a no brainer, any investment will be infinitely more likely if they don’t have to pay for a stadium or service debt associated with it. Again, like the reds, the Glazers bought United by borrowing against the club, the fact you can throw all the names up doesn’t get away from the fact that Everton isn’t worth enough to finance a stadium by leveraging against it. I’ve pointed out that we could wait for the next Abramovich but it would be crazy to do that as he seems to be one of a kind, plus the Russians are only interested in London.
Les Anderson
37   Posted 29/06/2008 at 18:42:47

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If thats what it should of said why didn’t it ?, its the selective use of things like this as fact without references by both sides (by purpose or accident) is what is annoying me. Making it a mud slinging exercise rather than proving points properly and rationally.

Not getting technical but depending on what the extension to Headbolt Lane consists of, it could mean a better train service from Kirkby Stn for EFC fans (however considering it took 10yrs to get £10m to build 1mile of track/signalling at Olive Mount and there has been no extension to the Merseyrail network in 10years+, its not a good sign.
Eamonn McConnaghgey
38   Posted 29/06/2008 at 18:56:28

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Actually Graham, Anyone with sufficient financial clout could buy Everton. If they want to and if the board allow it.!

I think the board are relying on future TV revenues to bail them out of a hole? After all, For the next three years after this current deal elapses it is the only tangible reason why you would still want Kirkby. Maybe the new TV deal makes the loss of fans unfortunate but in the wider scheme of things acceptable?

You can keep it and stick it where the sun does not shine.

Maybe they will throw us Evertonians a bone or two to get us back into the stadium, create a bit of atmosphere for the tv viewers? A pleasant thought that.
Graham Morris
39   Posted 29/06/2008 at 19:30:42

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Eamonn - for the final time, I haven’t advocated Kirkby. Please bring something new to the table, I’ve said that we could be bought by a billionaire and you can keep repeating it until your blue in the face but I’d much prefer you come up with some reasoning as to why such a person would want to invest, because as previously explained it’d be difficult for that to be for profit with the risks that would come with it. This white knight investor, ala Abramovich doesn’t exist, deal with it.
David Thompson
40   Posted 29/06/2008 at 19:45:22

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Neil Pearse,

You cite Sir Terry Leahy as ’one of Britain’s premier business leaders’, and use his letter to Evertonians as the basis for your argument.

In that same letter, he states ’...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.’

We now know, from the planning documents, that it’s a £130M stadium with an investment of £78M by Everton. Unless building starts very soon, the 2010/11 dealine won’t be met either.

Would you therefore agree, that based on the very assertions of your hero, the stadium is not viable?

Les Anderson,

In the document you link regarding the station at Headbolt Lane, it clearly states that it is on the line between Kirkby and Wigan. Unless therefore, someone has moved Wigan, it won’t serve Liverpool City Centre,

Dawson Boyle
41   Posted 29/06/2008 at 20:15:16

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In the past few weeks, Tesco’s has received the following publicity:

Heavily criticised for the welfare of their £1.99 chickens- now a national, highly publicised, debate.

They have been importing produce in vast quantities from Zimbabwe!

There is proof of them using a sweatshop in India where the employees earn £1.50 a day for a 60 hour week

And now they’ve been criticised by potential United States president Barrack Obama for union bashing.

Do we need to be associated with a company that receives this attention?

Tesco are universally despised and by jumping into bed with them in what will inevitably become the ’Tesco Stadium’ we could tarnish our image beyond repair.

They are little better than Thaskin Shinawatra although they invest considerably less.

James Tunstead
42   Posted 29/06/2008 at 20:44:11

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David Thompson. Les is right. The proposal is to build a new station that will be added to the Merseyrail line, 1 mile north of Kirkby station. This will serve Liverpool City Centre, therefore, but will be even further away than Kirkby station from the mid range new stadium. It wont be of much to blues supporters goin the game.
Bilbo Baggins
43   Posted 29/06/2008 at 20:40:30

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Les ,

The extention to headbolt lane wont give you a better service , the frequency will still be 4 trains and hour because it is a single track. Headbolt lane station is further away and will be a 30 min walk from the Town centre and will be the same size as Kirkby station.
Karl Masters
44   Posted 29/06/2008 at 20:55:02

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Although we are on opposite sides of the fence on this subject, I can see the dilemma the Club faces. This is what you are clearly searching for answers to. There is no magic wand, no Abramovich, and what we must all understand, NO QUICK SOLUTION.

I’m sure the Board know this, but I think it was Leahy who approached them ( at the Man City game in May ’04 according to BK ) and really it’s been Tesco driving all this on ever since. People question his motives, but I know people who have seen him at games in London with his kids and he’s definitely a genuine fan. So is BK, but sadly this does not make them perfect. I think they have tried to come up with the best solution for all concerned, but frankly they have failed. In my mind it really is that simple. There is an element of personal gain for all of them should they sell of course, but I really think it’s just short term thinking on Everton’s part that has brought us to this ludicrous DK situation.

I would like to congratulate the people who have produced the very lucid,clearly explained petition for the EGM. Thank you on behalf of other Evertonians concerned at this impending leap into the dark.

Neil asks if an investor can be found without a new stadium. Possibly not, but on the other hand West Ham, Newcastle and Villa merely redeveloped what they already had before somebody apoeared. So, in response to all the people who keep saying, ’ give us an alternative!’ here’s mine:

I’ll assume, incidentally, that the most logical solution of a shared stadium in Stanley Park is off the radar.

Aston Villa spent 10 years redeveloping Villa Park. In that time the team was fairly successful with mainly top half finishes and a League Cup win. They expanded the footprint in the process, but maintained the traditional feel of the place and expnded capacity by a few thousand. Then Randy Lerner came along and bought the Club and cemented its financial position.

Everton have done bugger all to redevelop Goodison in nearly 40 years bar a roof on the Street End and the cheapjack Park End ( only actually cost the Club £800k after grants!! ). BK is responsible for some of that, so is Johnson, so is Carter, so is Dr David Marsh, so are old dinosaurs like Jim Greenwood ( remember him - the cautious accountant Secretary for years? ), there has been a stream of weedy Marketing men like Derek Johnston, Andy Hosie, Yes men like Dunford and Clifford Finch and people of seemingly endless bullshit like Keith Wyness. Let’s face it, the Club has been run like a corner shop by a whole crew of people who had either no foresight, were too cautious or plain incompetent. We’ve all had our fair share of Ticketing, Club shop, Marketing, PR disasters haven’t we? Yeah, yeah, I know Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but since the mid70’s Everton haven’t done anything groundbreaking and neglecting Goodison whil every other Club has made wholesale improvements is the biggest crime of all.

We now have to do a Villa. We have to gradually redevelop Goodison. We’re playing catch up. In 10 years time we may have the stadium we want in the right location. In the meantime, the Club should get its house in order commercially. Stop pissing around and do things properly. Sack any members of staff not up to the job and back Moyes as much as possible at he same time.

Consider this finally: The Club could borrow £50m over 25 years at 8% and pay back roughly £7m a season to do it. With an income of £50-60m that is do-able and as time went on that £7m would effectively be less every year due to inflation. Alternatively, as happened at Celtic, a bond scheme for the fans with 50,000 of our supposed worldwide support of 900,000 paying £1000 each would get you £50m. With £50m you could redevelop the Bullens Road into a mega-stand complete with mass corporate facilities ( how LCC could block this after the song and dance made that we have to stay in the city is beyond me even if the possibly to close school has to be relocated ), put a second tier on the Park End and perhaps construct a Hotel or similar behind it. Then, as hopefully the Club progresses o the pitch, the Gwladys Street is redeveloped and finally the Main Stand which is still comparatively modern and can wait till last.

So there are other solutions, BUT THEY TAKE TIME! THERE IS NO QUICK FIX! That’s what BK thinks Kirkby would be. Then, depending on how he feels he either sells up and trousers the barrow load of cash or hangs around and enjoys it. I don’t expect he knows himself yet, but all I am saying is that he’s made a massive error of judgement and egged on by Leahy and Wyness he can’t or won’t see it.

I’m 42, I may have another 40 or 50 years on this planet and I say think Long term. Good things come to those who wait, but more importantly sow the right seeds to make them happen. If Everton’s board were farmers we’d have all died of starvation years ago! Get it right on the pitch, get the Club operating properly, devise a long term plan and make it happen! New stadia and Investment will follow.
Neil Pearse
45   Posted 29/06/2008 at 21:56:43

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Just to say thanks for the responses guys. If anything has come out of this, I would point to the following.

Everton as a club in financial terms is between a rock and a hard place. As Graham Morris has pointed out, we are borderline uninvestable - poor part of the country, aging stadium needing repalcement, in the shadow of much wealthier and more famous neighbours, running at a consistent loss... and so on. None of this reflects well on any of the owners of our club over the past twenty years.

I am not a wholehearted supporter of Kirkby, Wyness, Kenwright, and certainly not Terry Leahy. Who could be? But the question remains, in the very difficult financial situation we are in, how we can make progress and hang in there with the top teams. There are no easy options. As far as I can see, there are not even any particularly good options.

We desperately need major new investment if we are not to become at best a mid level Premiership team. That can only come from a new owner. None has been forthcoming. Delude (or comfort?) yourself if you like that this is because of Bill Kenwright rather than because of the intrinsic financial state of our club. It is clearly to my mind the latter.

The question really facing us is how we secure a much wealthier owner. Denying that we are in fact poor is insanity. Hoping, as Graham says, that after all these years a white knight is just around the corner, is simply unfounded wishful thinking.

I am of course not at all sure that moving to a new home in Kirkby, out from under the Reds and with the potential for a new start and a new owner, is the answer. But at least it is trying to address the problem. Pretending that either we are still rich or that it is all simply the fault of Bill and Keith is not even engaging with the important issues. If Bill and Keith left tomorrow the basic problems we face would still remain just the same. Pretending otherwise to my mind is the true surrender.
Alan Clarke
46   Posted 29/06/2008 at 22:13:56

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I am not well off but I would gladly fork out £1000 if it meant my kids and their kids and their kids too could keep attending games at GP.
Graham Brandwood
47   Posted 29/06/2008 at 22:18:19

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Neil, I am a no voter but I think what you are saying makes perfect sense in that we probably have got an invester lined up and the confirmation of the move to Kirkby will bring it on. Maybe we will have to wait until they have taken over and then work on the new board to realise that in the long term there new busines may suffer. Would I be correct in saying that Juventus are planning to move away from the stadio de alpe as the fans have disapeared since they moved in. (i am not sure about this could somebody confirm). Maybe our new owners will be so rich we can buld a new stadium in a few years in a more fan/business friendly location. ( I really am dreaming now)
Neil Pearse
48   Posted 29/06/2008 at 22:25:15

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Karl, I missed your response while I was myself typing. We disagree with our end positions, but not our starting position. I think we are in full agreement that we are in a poor position and that there is no easy or quick solution (and also, it seems, that sharing with LFC would be the best overall solution).

I suppose I disagree that we can incrementalise ourselves out of our problems by slowly rebuilding GP. I think we will actually be more demoralised in the shadow of LFC’s Stanley Park mega stadium. And I do not think this will make us attractive to a new owner - at least not in the timeframe required.

Time unfortunately is not on our side. All the other teams around us are getting stronger and richer. Moyes will have less money to spend this summer then perhaps ten other managers in the Premiership. He cannot be expected to perform miracles every year.

So far as I do support the Kirkby move it is because I am convinced that sitting in GP and hoping for the best is very dangerous for the future of our club. Kirkby is of course a gamble. But so is sitting in GP.
Steve Ryan
49   Posted 29/06/2008 at 23:44:56

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Neil Pearce you really haven’t got a clue mate and I have thought that from day one. How could anybody be so gullible to be sucked in by the spin, deceit and lies.?
Jim Lloyd
50   Posted 29/06/2008 at 23:07:48

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Neil, Graham, If I’m not mixing up your arguments, you both appear to be saying that,if we take our medicine and leave Liverpool to go to Kirkby, the new stadium that we shall have will attract an investor, or maybe more than one. You both appear to say that if we stay in our home, we won’t get an investor. Well maybe so; but if I remember correctly, this stadium was going to cost us "virtually nothing." However, Is it just a rumour bthat the American owner of Aston Villa chedcked us out first?
Even if we went to Kirkby, I don’t believe that the current board would wish to sell. I think that all along, when Kenwright refused to take a mortgage from his friend, for Kings Dock, to now; he’s not interested in selling up. Don’t forget, the club told us that this stadium would be a minimal expense for the club. It’s now apparently something like 70 or 80 million£ss. It seems to me that the deafening quiet we are hearing from the club, is because the current board are panicking about how to find this money. Therefore, to me, if your arguments stack up, some investor should be galloping to our rescue now because it would only cost him 70 or 80 mill to fit out a brand new stadium. Much less than the reds are likely to pay. So, if you believe there were no investors while we looked like staying at GP. Why aren’t they all fighting to own this club, complete with new stadium now.
Finally, Neil, who is proposing to sit in GP and just hope for the best. It surely would be a gamble if we just sat and hoped for the best. Wouldn’t it make sense to at least engage with LCC to see what planning permission would be available. Wouldn’t it be worth investigating whether a share issue could raise the funds requireed to begin to revamp GP. If I heard our club come out with something on these linesw, even if it was to say "we will try", I think that a lot of blues would get behind them who will never get behind them during their current antics.
I’m sorry, I sholdn’t say a lot of blues, I can only speak for myself. I cannot help but feel that we were just expected to all vote for Kirkby and I believe we wouldn’t have got that vote if the board felt there was any danger of losing it.
51   Posted 29/06/2008 at 23:55:28

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Karl, an excellent post. I just wish the bloody board would have some of the same vision. I think then, that you’d get all Blues pulling together
Harry Charles
52   Posted 29/06/2008 at 22:56:32

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If there is any chance of staying at Goodison Park then do it reinforce the stands, and get rid of the pillars. put a couple of second tiers on, capacity 55,000... A pItch is a piitch ,and a seat is a seat, and are hearts belong in Goodison. Total cost about £35 million; regeneration money and local council money should amount to 34 million that's been on the table for over three years now for LFC. So City Council, and Euro money people, let's hear from you. You've moved haven and earth for LFC, so lets have a bit of the action, This the PEOPLE'S Club after all,
Christine Foster
53   Posted 30/06/2008 at 02:02:24

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Karl, an excellent post, I agree fully with the approach and sentiment behind it. The focus on a new stadium as economic indicators are slipping meas that better options like redeveloping Goodison over a longer term is the better way to go.

With respect to investment, any new investor has to stump up the cash to join the club. Initially they would either have to buy shares from a sitting shareholder BK, or the club woul have to dilute its share base. Thats BEFORE the management of the 59m debt servicing. So its realistice to say that any newcomer would have to buy shares and have funds available for operating expenses. What that number for a buy in to the club is depends upon how much Bill would sell his shares for, its reasonable to assume that any new major investor would want a sizeable chunk (51%)? of the shares so at a minimum amout the inward investment would be 50m plus support for debt. Thats a total of nearly 80m plus before he sits down at the table to even look at a stadium.

With the tie ins from the council and Tesco that would not be as attractive to a new investor even if we could find another white knight.

Karl is right, there are no GOOD quick fixes for EFC.
Steven Broadbent
54   Posted 30/06/2008 at 07:25:20

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Interesting piece Neil, I can?t help but feel there?s some truth to your article. I wouldn?t be at all suprised if Kenwright and Co. sell up as soon the turf is laid. Yet as a staunch ?No to Kirkby? man I still feel uneasy about the spin and drivel which has been dished out by Wyness and can?t help but feel Everton are getting a pretty poor and souless stadium. Nothing but the best - it ain?t.
John Lloyd
55   Posted 30/06/2008 at 09:06:22

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If we cant atttract investors cos of all the reasons stated above, how did Portsmouth whilst in the championship atttact investment led by Milan Mandaric then attract a 2nd investor in russian Gaydamak (Prob mispelt)??

They were struggling in the championship with a ground that was piss poor in the 60’s and no history prestige to speak of, yet beacuse of good decisions by board members of the past and a willingness to look for investment they are a club that is about to start building a brand new stadium, they challenge in the top half of the prem & continue to splash out on good players.

Until someone can tell me how they can do that from a worse position than ours yet we cant unless we go through with this tesco/kirkby debacle then you havent got a valid point I’m afraid.

Neil Pearse, you obviously want the same as us, which is the best for Everton mate but how can you explain this?
EJ Ruane
56   Posted 30/06/2008 at 10:33:56

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Contained within Neil’s piece is the following paragraph. which I believe is Key to the whole issue.

"The prospect of outside investment in the club is massively increased by the Kirkby proposal. Without it any prospective investor knows that the first £150M of new investment would have to go into a stadium, with nothing to show on the pitch. With Kirkby, new investment could go straight into the team, with the prospect of a return by way of better results".

There are two words in this paragraph that are ABSOLUTELY key.

They are ’the club’.

If you just allowed yourself to read the piece and drifted by ’the club’ without question, I can see how you could/would buy into all Leahy’s Logic, moving to Kirkby etc.

If on the other hand, like me, you come to a halt at the words ’the club’ and start to think along the lines of " won’t BE the club" then the rest of it, and AAAAAALLLLLL the logic in the world, means nothing.

Kevin Tully
57   Posted 30/06/2008 at 11:22:46

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We have already been left behind most Premier League clubs in terms of re-development and marketing. It is common knowledge that our Chairman has had to mortgage himself to the hilt to buy the controlling interest in EFC.

Every day the cost of raw materials is rising, and this will ultimately jeopardise any new projects that involve long term borrowing. Gillette & Hicks now have to find £100M of their own cash to secure the funding of their new stadium. The credit crunch is real and any projected costs for re-development of GP made in 2000-03 are no longer valid (even if you build in inflation). We can fast forward five years when clubs can no longer borrow against the huge Sky TV deals and the financial bubble has burst as soon as subscriptions start to dwindle, we will be left with an average team and a crumbling ground. These pages will be full of posts slagging off the board, insisting we should of acted whilst times were good and we had the chance move forward. Our Chairman cannot raise the funds for any other alternatives; until this changes, we have two options.
Les Anderson
58   Posted 30/06/2008 at 12:28:41

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The proposals for Headbolt Lane merseyrail terminus is to have more than 1 platform for Merseyrail services (e.g more like West Kirby than Kirkby) and poss some sections of 2 track from just after Kirkby Stn to Headbolt Lane, (There would also be better facilities for Wigan trains) it needs to be bigger for it to be a worth while extension.

This COULD allow for more trains through the 1 track section of Kirkby stn as trains can stack at Headbolt Lane. Also track capacity and train frequency is dictated more by signalling and train speed, (some single track has more capacity than double track), if the current signalling is improved it COULD allow for a more frequent trains.

The Kirkby development should be contributing to this scheme or to make it happen or improved signalling rather than mad bus plans.

This isn’t a support of Kirkby as even with those COULD’s it still won’t make it better than Kirkdale station for passenger capacity. Sorry for going off point but i’m fed up of poor statements on the stadium issue made as fact by both sides confusing the matter further.
EJ Ruane
59   Posted 30/06/2008 at 12:59:45

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Whenever I see ANYTHING in support of the our ’board’ I get an ’odd’ feeling.

A feeling something doesn’t seem...’right’.

Part of this is due (as I have admitted before), to natural suspicion...but NOT all.

Some of it is down to posts like Kevin’s.

Kevin states that "our chairman can’t raise the funds from any other alternatives until this changes"

Now we all know BK’s..

?I have said for years that I am constantly on the lookout for investment for Everton"

But can we REALLY trust this?

Some SEEM to which is baffling

Because given the evidence (eg: fact!) why would ANYONE (without some other motive) state what is now proven nonsense.

Proven where?

Well, according to the revised Planning Statement (document 18) released in April, it was revealed that if there were investors who had the financial clout to wholly or partly fund any new or redeveloped stadium for Everton Football Club, then those investors would be turned away by the current board;

Here it is verbatim

"6.10 A further point that is of relevance to any debate on the options that might be available to the Club to fund a new stadium, is the willingness and abilities of the Club?s directors to sell some or all of their interests in the Club in order to attract an investor who or which might have the ability in financial terms to fund a new stadium in its entirety or at the very least fund the shortfall that exists in the context of this proposals. As is pointed out in greater detail in the financial statement document 26), this is not an option as the current directors have no intention of selling any of their interests in the Club".

This EVIDENCE has been ’out there’ on a TESCO document and since...APRIL!

Consequently, when I see posts asking "But what else can Bill do?" forgive me, but it can ONLY lead me to believe of two things.

1) Some people have a great deal of difficulty understanding what is staring them in the face.

2) They DO understand, but have an agenda all of their own and that agenda isn’t going to let facts or evidence get in the way of anything

Kevin Tully
60   Posted 30/06/2008 at 14:33:01

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They say there is a surefire way to make a small fortune from football, start out with a large one !

Seriously though, I cannot believe there has been a serious approach to take the majority shareholding at E.F.C. (maybe you can offer the evidence)

I would also compare B.K. to someone claiming benefits for their Council Tax, one of the reasons this offer of land etc. is on the table is that it has been proven we cannot afford this or any project on our own. Sad really.
EJ Ruane
61   Posted 30/06/2008 at 14:49:48

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Kevin a question


I pointed out a documented fact, that indicates why Bill has ’no alternatives’ (ie: coz he doesn’t fucking want any) and your response is to ask me what evidence there is that there ARE offers?

What kind of surreal debating ploy is THAT!?

(Kevin: Favourite colour?: "Telephone!")

Kevin, if I have a bike and I put a note in the paper saying..

"My bike is not for sale under ANY circumstances!"

How many enquiries do you think I’ll get to buy it?

Take your time............none?


You suggest ’maybe I can offer the evidence’ (of an approach etc)

The point being discussed is NOT about whether I (or anyone else) has heard of definite offers (or needs to)

You stated BK can’t raise funds, I countered by pointing out that given Bill’s intransigent position, the chances are, he never will (ie: for same reason I’m stuck with my bike)

To repeat, a person (ANY person) who says they are 24/7 trying to find investment, yet has by certain actions, shut off many potential (POTENTIAL!) avenues, is (sorry - it’s true)l full of shit.

And as I suggested, defending such a person/actions is, in my opinion, either naive in the extreme, or suspect.
Kevin Tully
62   Posted 30/06/2008 at 20:35:59

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"looking for investment 24/7" does not necessarily translate into " I will sell the club to anyone who wishes to purchase it".

I’m playing devil’s advocate here, but it can be debated that B.K. has in fact found this investment in the form of finance for the Yak’s transfer and the money for Fernandes last season. The whole D.K. project could also be construed as outside investment.

You can take the business model of any company or C.E.O. and find a million faults with it ( have you ever travelled on a Virgin train?) Is Richard Branson a complete wanker or one of the most successful businessman of the modern era?

Now I don’t for one minute compare B.K’s business acumen with Mr. Branson, but we can all be sure that you and I EJ, could not improve either E.F.C. or Virgin as a business.
Neil Verdin
63   Posted 30/06/2008 at 22:47:35

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Neil Pearse,

A question... Would you like to see a successful attempt at calling an EGM or are you happy to put your trust in the board and let them move forward in their current mute way?
Be interested to hear your response.
Graham Atherton
64   Posted 30/06/2008 at 22:26:57

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The choice a potential investor has had to make before Kirkby was to buy a business worth £60-80 million less debt, but more importantly with minimal capacity to improve income unless at least £150-200 million and lots of time was spent on redevelopment/resiting the business.
No profit = no return so this investor would have to be in it for the long term - a very risky business, especially when the team was resident in the lower half of the league. A high risk business has to be bought very cheaply and this isn’t it! Much better to go for a club with high growth potential going cheaply - Portsmouth comes to mind (lots space, little local competition), even Aston Villa (no debt).
Alternatively buy a large business which is already hugely popular and has a reasonable chance of turning a profit due to large numbers of fans and high profile. Then dump debt on that profit making club!

Everton falls between the two extremes - it is going to be much harder to expand the support base and interest corporate concerns. We are one of several teams hoping to break into the top 4 - all available CL places are used up - another major problem.

Now wave the magic wand and offer us a 50 000 new stadium at minimal cost (£78 million minus various large sums available after a move = a huge saving over paying for a new stadium ourselves), top 5 team, huge increases in TV income. We maximise our chances of growth but no guarantees - some problems still exist but at least the potential is there for improvement. That potential is what investors or buyers are looking for, and cheap potential at that. That is why Leahy predicts massively improved investment potential - it is purely business sense.
That investment potential becomes available at the moment planning permission is cleared - at that point the saving is made (global credit allowing) and we become a better bet.

Neil Pearse
65   Posted 30/06/2008 at 23:00:48

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Fellow Neil (v) - I would be very happy if there was an EGM. I believe that there are serious concerns about Kirkby which should be addressed, not least about transportation.

Of course, the EGM would be a wasted opportunity if it was used to attack the Board with such inanities as that Bill and Keith are only out to line their pockets, that there are lots of affordable other new build options out there in the city, the original vote was a fraud etc. etc.. The EGM submission avoids almost all of that, apart from a rather confused and ignorant attempt to show that Kirkby is all about creating a windfall for the existing shareholders (see my response to David O’Keefe’s post on that issue).

EJ - did you read my posts arguing why Bill’s submission on ’not intending to sell’ is an easily explained irrelevance? And do you really think that a determined businessman with a couple of hundred million to spend (and a desire to spend it on Everton) would just walk away if Bill said he wasn’t interested in selling?

And, er, what started all this thread off was my citing of Leahy’s letter to the official website indicating that Kirkby might well lead to a new owner. So they’ve even published a ’we are open to offers’...

There have been no serious offers to buy our club. This is because we are not currently an attractive business proposition. If Bill and Keith resigned tomorrow nothing would change that basic situation.
Colin Grierson
66   Posted 01/07/2008 at 02:42:00

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Nobody has bought our club as it has not been for sale. IMO the current board are doing a ’makeover’ job MDFstyle to make us look more attractive. We DONT have a MASSIVE fan base. We have a large LOCAL fan base which is now split. I live abroad now and know a HANDFUL of Evertonians whilst I meet RS upon RS and Manure upon Manure every day. THEY have a massive fanbase and therefore have attracted investors. I know other clubs such as Pompey and Man City have also attracted investment but I wouldnt swap with either of them. City got their stadium courtesy of the Commonwealth Games, which helped them get investment.

We could do with some investment but be careful what you wish for Neil.
Lets not follow the crowd and do what they do. Lets do what is right for the club. IMO staying with GP and making her modern is the right thing.
Adam Cunliffe
67   Posted 01/07/2008 at 07:57:28

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Neil, I don?t agree with you mate but you?ve got some balls. No need for slagin him off so badly, after all I don?t see many other Yes voters giving us an explanation into their opinions on the matter.

Don?t agree but nonetheless no need for the abuse.
Barry Sherlock
68   Posted 01/07/2008 at 09:09:55

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You have got balls and I agree with you. We are not an attractive investment opportunity at the moment. We need to make ourselves more interesting.

One thing that people forget; Terry Leahy, Bill Kenwright both good businessmen and both life long Evertonians.

The Kirkby stadium is not the Emirates. It never will be. But it will be a good stadium. It will be ours. Who else is going to have a new build stadium at the size of ours? Only Arsenal. Over all who will have bigger stadium in the EPL. Arsenal, Man U, Newcastle (prior to expansion of Kirkby). That?s it. I think that?s pretty ambitious. 50k rising to 60k that?s not bad.

Now the other erban myth; the town and it?s size. Where are the boarders? Is there some type of boarder crossing we have to cross? So what we are moving to is nearer to St Helens, Skem, Prescot, Rainhill, Maghull and many other towns. I think some supporters are blind to that fact "we are moving to a town with a population of 50k-80k". So what? It doesn?t dilute fanbase whatsoever.

I would have loved the Kings Dock. But that?s not on the table. It?s not an option.
EJ Ruane
69   Posted 01/07/2008 at 09:13:26

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Not only does Neil have ’some balls’ Adam, he talks some.

He recoils at the idea that two men who WHO HAVE ALREADY MADE MILLIONS may actually be in the business of (shock-of-shocks!) making millions more.

This perfectly logical assumption is for Neil, ’a slur’. (no reason, it just is)

Critisisms of the board are ’inanities’ (no reason, they just are)

Views of those who disagree with his opinions on this are ’confused and ignorant’ (no reason, they just are)

He asks me personally if I’ve read his piece on why the FACTS I presented, are ’an easily explained irrelevance’.

(no I haven’t - I’m more than happy to debate opinion V opinion, not Fact V opinion).

And all of this assertive guesswork makes me continue to be suspicious.

If you need someone to ’cloud the water’ Neil is your man.

His last paragraph is a good example.

"There have been no serious offers to buy our club. This is because we are not currently an attractive business proposition. If Bill and Keith resigned tomorrow nothing would change that basic situation"

It’s confident, assured, he’s ’in charge’, and if you want to dispute it, you’d better have your facts!

Problem is it’s ALL guesswork, 100% devoid of facts.

He doesn’t accept for a moment that the reason "there have been no serious offers" could be because (FACT) Bill won’t sell.

He doesn’t accept for a moment that the reason that we’re currently "not an attractive business proposition" is because (FACT) Bill won’t sell.

And if you present Neil with facts, he’ll merely (using nothing but his opinion) show you how these facts are ’an easily explained irrelevance’.

Talk about read between the lines.

Barry Sherlock
70   Posted 01/07/2008 at 11:34:16

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Just wondering, do you have something FACTUAL to back up the "Bill won’t sell" statement? Or is that your own "guesswork"?

I’ve read alot of your posts over the months. Well written, confident, full of opinion. But I have to say full of NEGATIVES. Do you have anything positive to say about the club? Moyes? Tactics? Ground?

IMO we could sign Arsavin tomorrow and you would say it was too much. You would say that he doesn’t defend enough! When are you happy watching the blues? When are you happy with the club. Give us a positive.
EJ Ruane
71   Posted 01/07/2008 at 12:14:46

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Your post asks a lot of questions.

I am more than happy to answer two.

You say "just wondering, do you have something FACTUAL to back up the "Bill won?t sell" statement? Or is that your own "guesswork"?"

Yes I do and if you actually read THIS page you?d see FROM A TESCO DOCUMENT, the following.

"6.10 A further point that is of relevance to any debate on the options that might be available to the Club to fund a new stadium, is the willingness and abilities of the Club?s directors to sell some or all of their interests in the Club in order to attract an investor who or which might have the ability in financial terms to fund a new stadium in its entirety or at the very least fund the shortfall that exists in the context of this proposals. As is pointed out in greater detail in the financial statement document 26), this is not an option as the current directors have no intention of selling any of their interests in the Club".

I?m REALLY sorry this is factual, but there it is.

As for my ?negativity? on other issues?

Well I?m not Madden or Willo but I?m generally a big supporter of DM and don’t think, on team-manager issues, I’m any more or less ’negative’ than anyone else.

NB: On the thread ?A tale of Two systems?, I began a post with the ultra critical, negative..

?I like Moyes. I like the man, think there?s very few who could have done what he?s done with us, for the same ackers. I hope he stays?

Hardly Tony Marsh is it?

I suggest rather than just diving in, flailing about, and hoping for the best, you (here comes that word again) check the facts.

Oh and as for your Arshavin end-rant, well no, I won’t answer your (FOUR!) hypothetical questions.

(questions I believe will remain hypothetical as long as, I’ll leave it there)
Barry Sherlock
72   Posted 01/07/2008 at 12:48:40

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Read your post. The whole thing.
Did you read the original artical from Neil. It quotes from an open letter from Terry Leahy "the prospect of outside investment in the club is massively increased by the Kirkby proposal". The "Bill won’t sell" comment is a throw away comment. The fact is the price has to be right if someone offered £1billion are you saying he wouldn’t sell - NO. As we know if you are see to be "putting the club up for sale" then two things are affected
1). The grants or funding by KMBC maybe in jeopardy.
2). The price someone is prepared to pay is significantly lower.

I’m not sure if the above is fact or opinion but there you have it......
EJ Ruane
73   Posted 01/07/2008 at 15:02:28

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Barry, you say..

"I?m not sure if the above is fact or opinion but there you have it......"

I can help you there.

It’s (as usual) guesswork.

There YOU have it.
Barry Sherlock
74   Posted 01/07/2008 at 15:15:39

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Well "guesswork" possibly but as these are events that are hypertheically in the future so therefore I would not claim them to be FACT as I’m not a Tarot reader!

So I’m going to agree that it is not fact but not guesswork either it is (and here it is...) an opinion.

I agree with Sir Terry Leahy and many other Evertonians that DK will improve the over all "investability" of the club.
Joe Ludden
75   Posted 01/07/2008 at 17:50:07

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I’ll add my grand to Alan Clarke’s towards staying at GP. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it as often as required: I will never step foot in the KirkbyDome.. And theres a lot of Evertonians who wont either...
Neil Pearse
76   Posted 01/07/2008 at 20:53:18

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EJ - wow! The fact is mate - we don’t know all the facts. We have to piece it together based on the bits and pieces available, and our own ideas about what makes sense.

You say (FACT!): "Bill won’t sell!" I say (unlike you I never claimed this was an undisputable FACT!): "No one has made a serious offer for the club". Who’s right? We don’t know.

But I provide some logic behind my view (e.g no serious businessman would be so easily turned away...). What do you do? Just keep saying FACT! FACT! FACT!...

EJ - we disagree. We disagree about what are the facts. We seem to disagree about how the business world works. It’s okay.

By the way, where in the world you got from me the idea that saying businessmen are selfish is a "slur", I cannot imagine. I have never said such a thing, and it is precisely the opposite of what I believe. And that really is a FACT!....
David Thompson
77   Posted 02/07/2008 at 09:50:05

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The Tesco document submitted to KMBC clearly states the Directors have no intention to sell the club. This was submitted AFTER Terry Leahy?s epistle to Evertonians, and thereby supercedes it.

In his epistle, he also said a stadium which cost Everton more than £35M was not viable.

So, in support of EJ, it appears that Leahy?s letter, pushed out at a time during the voting process, was pretty much bullshit, since we now know it will cost Everton £78M but Sir Terry hasn?t come out and called it unviable.

The Tesco Planning application must be considered to state facts. If it doesn?t, then why on earth is any Evertonian willing for the club to jump into bed with them?

Leahy and Kenwright might be Evertonians, but they are the boardroom sort that haven?t paid to get into a match in years. I know (and am related) to people involved in running a Premier League club, and I can tell you that although they are ?fans?, their view of things is considerably more cynical than the supporters. They make business decisions, end of.

It makes me laugh when I read people write that £78M is basically nothing when it comes to stadium costs. It isn?t; it?s £78M, whichever way you look at it, and when Wyness spoke about ?effectively free? and ?very little debt? there isn?t a single yes voter who thought he was talking about £78M. If you say you did, you?re a liar.
EJ Ruane
78   Posted 02/07/2008 at 10:13:20

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Neil, I don’t understand.

You say..

"By the way, where in the world you got from me the idea that saying businessmen are selfish is a "slur".


Well, as it wasn’t a fact, I suppose..I made it up (and posted it as if it WAS).

I thought you’d be fine with this.

I knew how upset you got with the facts, so decided I’d post some half-baked opinion backed up by "logic" (ie: more half-baked guesswork).

Now I don’t know WHERE I am.

Believe me, I’m not ’having a go’.

I’m a big fan of Irony, so have nothing but admiration for any person who can say..

"We have to piece it together based on the bits and pieces available"

While actually posting in support of those responsible for the fact that there are only "bits and pieces available".

Damian Wilde
79   Posted 02/07/2008 at 13:12:14

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That’s your choice Jo and it’s a shame, but I am sure we’ll survive without you and your pals. All true fans will be there, wherever it is.
David Thompson
80   Posted 02/07/2008 at 14:28:24

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I’ve been going to Goodison for 44 years, and have had a season ticket for the past 30.

I won’t be going to Kirkby,

Are you saying I’m not a true fan?

Or are the 15,000+ new fans to be attracted from the 4 million people in the new catchment area (acc Wyness) of 45 minutes drive, who haven’t been supporting Everton at Goodison the true fans?

If your definition of a true fan is one who will follow the team wherever they play, why won’t they buy an obstructed view? Why can’t we sell out Goodison to Evertonians for 18 out of 19 homes games? I would sit behind a post if it was the only ticket I could get for Goodison.

Damian Wilde
81   Posted 02/07/2008 at 15:22:59

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Fair play to you, the obstructed views are shite. I too would sit there if it was the only seat. You can kind of understand people who don’t fancy paying good money if you’ve got a big post blocking part of your view. Maybe these are people who aren’t that desperate to go though.

I’d love us to stay at GP if it was possible and will continue to watch us as long as we are there. I’ll be gutted if we go, but I love watching Everton play, love cheering them on and even if it is somewhere that isn’t as good an atmosphere I’ll still go because I adore Everton. I just think people (understandable as it’s something very important to them) have got themselves into such a state that they are like ’right, fuck it I won’t go then’. The ground might not be good enough, the people involved behind the scenes could do things better and it is good to voice our opinion, but the most important thing is the team, Everton. I know people will say GP is part of Everton, of course it is. But I love Everton and could not imagine not watching them. If it’s Kirkby, Speke, GP I’ll go because I love Everton. I just find it hard to understand that people would not go. Seems like cutting your nose off to spite your face sort of thing. I think some people could end up very bitter thats’s all. It’s a bitch I know, but change happens in life. Often we don’t like it. If every time something/someone changed and we stopped doing it then the world would be fucked up! You don’t have to like it, but try to get on with it.

I’m not doubting your love for Everton but I think it seems OTT to stop going. Be pissed off, bitch ye, but stop going. It’ll only be you that misses out and for what? You’ll be able to pat yourself on the back because you stuck to your guns. Fair play. While most of the other fans will be cheering some 90th minute winner against the RS, I hope!
EJ Ruane
82   Posted 02/07/2008 at 15:46:53

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Damian says..

"I?d love us to stay at GP if it was possible"

That smell?

Burning pants.
Damian Wilde
83   Posted 02/07/2008 at 16:31:52

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Ye, I voted ?Yes? and ye, because of various reasons I hope we go, but if it was def. on the cards (staying at GP) and we could afford it, etc, etc. I?d be bang up for it because I love the place. So don?t jump to conclusions.
David Thompson
84   Posted 02/07/2008 at 16:30:52

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So Damian, you didn’t answer ’what makes a true blue?’

You say the people who won’t sit behind a post maybe aren’t that desperate - but they’re the people you expect to turn up at Kirkby. So if they turn up, they’ll be true blues, even though they don’t go to Goodison, but those who have supported the club for years won’t be true blues if they don’t go to Kirkby.

I passionately disagree with the move to Kirkby - nothing to do with boundaries particularly, although it doesn’t make sense to me to be leaving a vibrant city that is just coming into it’s own - but on so many levels, to do with transport, stadium quality, lies. The club have left me sickened. I wouldn’t have thought it possible to love the team and hate the club, but that’s pretty much how I feel at the moment. I get an email in from Everton, selling something or other, and it makes my blood boil. But I still want to know who we will be signing and I still look forward to that first game.

True blues....

The problem is that so many proper true blues, who are the backbone of the support and have been for years, won’t be committing themselves to Kirkby. I’m not saying they’ll never go, but they won’t be buying season tickets, and they are the lifeblood. You say Everton will survive without me and my pals?

I sincerely hope that the Government does it’s duty, so we never have to find out.

EJ Ruane
85   Posted 02/07/2008 at 18:50:35

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Damian, do you just hit random keys for a couple of minutes and press send?

You went (in just TWO posts!) from "I’d love us to stay at GP if possible" to "I voted Yes"

Are you under 11? (if so I am genuinely sorry)

If not, do you know what ’love’ (as in"I’d LOVE us to stay at Goodison Park") ACTUALLY means?

Would you know what I meant if I said your posts were ’ludicrously and comically inconsistent’.

As for your big finish?...

"Talking of smells, you turn up like a bad smell many times in most articles. You?re just an irritant"

Well it’s nice to know I’ve at least one avid reader.

(although sorry to hear you’re so know with you being so positive).

Whatever, I shall continue post.

As they say, it’s not over until the fat useless greedy CEO sings.
Colin Evans
86   Posted 03/07/2008 at 12:20:38

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I continue to be dismayed by many who suggest our chairman is simply after lining his own pockets... He lives for our club; commitment beyond question. This is not about money - he is a genuine and lifelong fan.

About time we gave him some credit and trusted him to make the tough decisions and do what’s right for the long term. Kirky is a compromise - we all know that; but it is the best option considering the circumstances.
Damian Wilde
87   Posted 03/07/2008 at 13:27:26

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If had a choice between:

1. GP - get the go ahead, done up, great stadium, able to afford it, generates enough income, etc. or

2. Kirkby

I’d choose choice 1. I voted ’yes’ because I din’t feel there were enough evidence for choice 1. Can you process that?

As for my age, I am often told I look younger than I am, but nobody had ever quoted under 11 before!!

As for some of the other comments/questions, do you have a lot of time on your hands?? I suspect you are quite old.

One thing I’ll give you is that you are consistent, very consistent.

Is there any chance you could post withour berrating people and being pompous? Probably not.


Some people have said they will stop going altogether because we are moving grounds. In my opinion these people are not true blues. Fair enough people who don’t get season tickets and see what it’s like, but some have said they will never go. If they don’t go they can’t be that bothered about Everton, can they?

David, you talk about surviving, how do you know we’ll survive if we stay at GP and nothing happens? Things are changing so rapidly everywhere else that we need to do something and something soon. Only time will tell.

Fair play to you though David, I respect your views. You have put them across in a civilised way. It’s a shame not everyone does this.
EJ Ruane
88   Posted 03/07/2008 at 13:41:51

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Colin, you say Kirkby is the best option considering the circumstances.

Well I think we all know each others views on the move, so I won’t, as the teenagers say, ’even go there’.

What I would remind you of, is the fact that the Chairmen is the person responsible for ’the circumstances’.

I have never questioned BK’s support for Everton, but being an Evertonian does not qualify him, me, you or anyone to successfully run a football club.

Personally, I don’t think he’s ONLY interested in lining his own pockets.

I think he’d rather line his own pockets..AND Everton win stuff

Same with Sir Tez.

As for fat-neck, as long as he’s making money, I believe he doesn’t give a flying fuck either way.
EJ Ruane
89   Posted 03/07/2008 at 13:54:03

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Damien you (sigh) say..

"If I had a choice between 1. GP - get the go ahead, done up, great stadium, able to afford it, generates enough income, etc. or

2. Kirkby

I?d choose choice 1.

I voted ?yes? because I din?t feel there were enough evidence for choice 1.

Can you process that?" I can’t, because it’s really, really stupid.

But to be fair, it’s not just you.

I’ll admit, I have great difficulty ’processing’ ALL baffling contradictary gibberish.

You also asked "do you have a lot of time on your hands?"

Well, as you respond...EVERY time, the words ’neck’ and ’brass’ spring to mind (Irony...anyone ever explained it?)

But if you want an answer it’s this.

I have EXACTLY, to the split second, the same amount of time on my hands as you.

(you’ll figure it out, just think...REALLY think)

What I’m MOST confused by though, is as why a truly great Evertonian like yourself, would bother spending SO much time responding to a non ’true blue’ like myself.

Does THAT make any sense?

Damian Wilde
90   Posted 03/07/2008 at 16:00:32

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I asked whether you could post without berrating and being pompous. I think your last post clearly answers this. I should have added ’waffle’ to the question too, you really do go on.

You are truly a sad, egocentric, and very vacuous man. You say you won’t go to the match if we move. Everton do not need people like you, so that’s fantastic news.

Now, stick to the discussion for a change. Let’s talk Everton stuff. Just because our views differ does not mean we cannot discuss things in a civilised manner, as David Thompson and I have done so.
EJ Ruane
91   Posted 03/07/2008 at 16:19:32

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Kevin Mitchell
92   Posted 03/07/2008 at 22:26:53

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Damian, please please keep responding to E.J.’s posts. the tears are running down my cheeks., for a while I almost forgot about this tragic subject..

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