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Bring your boots

By Steve Mc Bride :  12/07/2007 :  Comments (27) :
Let's examine this closely. DM has loads of money but he is reluctant to spend it on quality players to ensure we have a good chance of a run in Europe, a top 6 finish in the league and a decent tilt at a domestic cup to realise his ambition of winning some silverware and proving himself as a top manager.

That's what some fans/posters seem to believe is a realistic assessment anyway.

Well here's my assessment for you: Bill Kenwright, for the second time, has not been able/willing to financially support the guy who, without the moans of other managers I could name, has managed to take EFC into Europe again only to be left floundering.

When will the BK supporters wake up and smell the coffee? It's time to say thanks for helping us get shut of agent Johnson but you are now past your sell by date and are slowing the progress of our club. If you think about it 'Super' Kevin Campbell has made a bigger financial contribution to this club by scoring the goals that kept us in the top flight and we weren't sorry to see him go were we?

I won't go too deeply into the investment lark except to say that selling the club lock, stock and barrel may not have been an option so far but surely there are a few smaller investors willing to pump in £10-15m each in return for a place on the board and a vote in the club's future, I've heard this has been the case in the past but all approaches have been rebuffed, train set and all that.

So stop blaming Moyes for the lack of signings, there are other things he can be rightly criticised for, when the facts are pretty obvious, our 'top' targets have to cost well under £5m. We never bid for Barton, wasn't it convenient for BK that his character could be blamed, and justified, for that? Koumas goes to the super power that is Wigan for a massive £5.3m. Both these players were supposed to be amongst our top targets and both reportedly had EFC as their first choice destination. Baines has been priced at £6m and now Keane is bidding £5m for Richardson so that's another two targets going west.

For those who say that any of these players isn't worth £5m then tell me what price you would expect to pay for a player who was a key part of the selling team, Richardson excepted, and, although not exceptional, capable of doing a decent job in the PL?

This is 2007 and average players cost more money because clubs have more to spend and, unlike EFC, if they feel that player is a must for their progression they will pay the price, end of, so stop apologising for the club's (BK's) lack of ambition because you don't think player A is worth a measly, by today's standards,£5m.

Last season we needed 3 or 4 players to bring the squad up to a decent level, we have 'lost' four since January and brought one in which, in my reckoning, means we still need at least 5 or 6.

If we can't pay the price for the 'better' of the available above average players then I may as well get my boots out of the loft 'cos they'll be scraping pretty close to my standard very soon.

I will now do a Tony Marsh and be a Prophet of Doom: Unless BK pulls a rabbit out of the hat and we sign Fernandes and a few other top players before the season starts here is my prediction for next season.

Small squad, barring a miracle, will most likely mean we struggle in Europe and in the league, Moyes will take a good look at the situation and as an ambitious man will say 'Tell you what Bill, I've worked my socks off for six years, never complained about the lack of money to spend, had shit from the fans, taken the team into Europe twice and on both occasions you've failed to take a gamble and back me to make a decent fist of it. Well Bill, time has come for me to prove what I can do with more support and an ambitious club, like Wigan. See ya.'

Mik and Timmy will realise that the club is going forward far too slowly for them as they would like to be in Europe every year and start putting a few medals in the cabinet and, new contract or not, they can't see the club's ambition matching theirs. See ya.

Is Kirkby alrady having an adverse effect on the club? Kirkby's going to cost us something, (£30-50m?), is Bill being so short sighted that he is starting to save now to the detriment of the team? Surely not!!

Get out or sell some of your control before the club slides back into oblivion, Kenwright.

Reader Comments

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Dutch Schaffaer
1   Posted 12/07/2007 at 13:29:23

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I understand your point but I do not think we have to worry too much. David Moyes is one of the best managers working today and if he feels his current squad can handle the demands of the upcoming season then we have to accept his judgement.

If Moyes was really concerned he would undoubtedly push Kenwright for extra money.

All the doom and gloom people are predicting a bad season but until that actually happens I don’t think its worth shouting about. Remember the same people were shouting doom and gloom this time last season and we finished in a Euro place.

Have some faith in Moyes. He is a very determined man and wouldn’t do anything to hurt Everton or his reputation as a good manager.

Moyes is working with his squad as we speak, he is well aware of the situation he is facing. Aruging that Everton could struggle and crash in Europe is pointless because it may not happen.

Lets wait and see how Everton do and then if the worst-case scenario does happen, then we can claim Moyes made mistakes.
Laurie Cooper
2   Posted 13/07/2007 at 05:02:43

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I agree with Steve in believing that the crux of the problems currently facing us go further than the purchase of new players and, in my view, arguably, even beyond the question of "Goodison or Kirkby".

To me the fundamental issue for all Evertonians is Bill Kenwright’s continuing inability to adequately fund the business that is Everton FC and his stubborn refusal to genuinely encourage investment in our club. We could also add to this his apparent inability to provide straight answers to direct questions. Then add to this the negative impact his well-documented intransigence and stubborness is having on prospective investors, and we have a clearer perspective of the very real damage Kenwright is doing to the club we all hold so dear.

This summer, we have been overtaken by another seven Premier League clubs in terms of funding. The attraction that David Moyes had hoped our qualification for Europe would present and help bring in quality players has been replaced by the view that we are a club without ambition despite the efforts of the Manager and that we are quickly becoming a financial ?also-ran?. This view is down to the efforts of Messrs Kenwright and his off-sider, Keith Wyness.

After the fiasco that was the Fortress Funds affair, and in an endeavour to understand why he "got away with" that little sideshow, I asked business associates in the UK who specialise in the higher end of the commercial sector if they could explain from a market perspective the real reasons why a football club with the history, standing and global support of Everton could not raise adequate investment funds from credible sources despite the Chairman’s claims that "we are working very hard 24/7 to bring in new investment".

The responses I got were that the Club had little credibility amongst serious investors, apparently because of the severe limitations placed on investors by the Club’s Board (such as it is) and the perception that Mr Kenwright didn’t really want to play ball and was only trying to placate disaffected Evertonians.

It seems to me that the only way this situation can be rectified and we do not experience this farcical situation again next year (and quite possibly lose key players and a competent manager because of it) is by removing Mr Kenwright and his cronies from the club.

In my view, the situation with our Club is as serious as that and requires this action.

And the only way that is going to happen is if the supporter base organises and constructively puts pressure on Mr Kenwright to depart this club through activities such as organised demonstrations, or by demanding detailed written answers from him in public forums to critical questions regarding funding and then publicly and legally holding him accountable for his answers. This would send him a very clear message that he could not ignore or hide from.
3   Posted 13/07/2007 at 08:20:27

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Its always been the same at Everton Football Club when it comes down to buying players. Last summer we spent 13 million on AJ and Lescott, plus 3 million for Tim Howard in mid season..All three of these have moved the club forward immensley and without them we would have struggled to make Europe for sure..But people who get fooled into thinking Everton have not raked in that cash must be on another planet..We sold Kilbane for 2.5 million, Simon Davies went for the same fee.. There straight away is 5 million.. We signed Jagielka for 3 million really as the following day we sell Naysmith to the same club for 1 million.. Then the wages of Pistone and Wright and also Weir are no longer there to be paid.. Fernandes has left.. So deep down Everton spent absoloutly nothing compared to some clubs.. Look at Portsmouth and Fulham going hammer and tongs to sign players.. Then there is Wigan we cant compete with.Dont forget they matched the bid for Johnson last summer infact they were willing to pay more than Everton which says it all about the club under BK..Luckily for us AJ chose us over cash but how many will do that these days?. Davie Moyes has shown his first signs of frustration yesterday by slamming the big spenders..It makes you wonder though whether that jibe was aimed at Kenwright..It was only two years ago that Moyes came out after the supposed bids for Michael Owen and Dirk Kuyt and told the fans the money WAS there and that we could expect to be bidding for the best class players going ( which makes me wonder why they would not shell out the extra million for Robbie Keane a few weeks later on the August deadline day). This was the summer when everyone wanted to be in the Premiership because of the T.V money..We heard Derby and West Brom (play off game)quoted as the 60 million pound match.. So all of a sudden even the players that are top of Moyes wish list are too expensive at 5 million pound!! I think it really is time for some questions and some answers from B.Kenwright about what is going on at Everton ON the pitch for a change and not OFF it.
Steve Linden
4   Posted 13/07/2007 at 08:43:37

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These arguments that Kenwright is preventing investment are all missing one thing - facts. Does anyone have any evidence of anyone trying to invest in the club and being put off by the current chairman and chief executive? If not then how do you know he?s even been approached?

I am as concerned as the next man that we appear to be left behind but do you want someone who might leave us in the same situation as agent Johnson? I certainly don?t.

Until the season kicks off and we?ve played a few matches we won?t know what the impact of other teams? overspending will be. If come Christmas and we?re in the bottom half that?s the time to start worrying not when a ball has not been kicked in anger.

Just get behind the team from Augist until May. Support the players that are there not the ones who might have been.
Alan Burnham
5   Posted 13/07/2007 at 08:58:03

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I can only assume that Dutch Schaffaer is actually David Moyes’ mum’s nom de plume. Let me get this straight - your approach to risk management is do absolutely nothing in the hope that all is well and then if it does go wrong luxuriate in claiming that Moyes made mistakes. What a way to run a club.
Albert Velthuijsen
6   Posted 13/07/2007 at 08:49:44

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David Moyes has 10 million to spend i do believe that Bill kenwright saves 30 a 40 million for the new stadium so he doesn?t get another stadium saga again(waterfront)But Bill keeps his mouth shut...and that is Fucking frustrating
Steve McBride
7   Posted 13/07/2007 at 09:11:09

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Me Old Dutch seems to have missed the whole point of the post as I don?t believe any of my post was blaming/criticising DM for the ?situation? we find ourselves in. Kenwright is the problem not Moyes.

Moyes isn?t satisfied that the squad, currently smaller than last season, is good enough as you suggest. He states on the official website that he wants to bring in more players to ?give ourselves a chance?. He has also publicly stated, the obvious, that the squad was very stretched at times last season, and we basically only had the league to worry about.

So, overall, I do trust Moyes but even he has doubts and because he hasn?t publicly demanded more money, (well it?s not his style is it?), doesn?t mean he hasn?t asked or doesn?t believe he?s done enough to warrant more backing.

So you wait and see for the umpteenth time/year and I?ll start getting on Kenwright?s case big time because I don?t want to ?wait and see? and say ?told you so? because it?ll mean our club has taken a massive step backwards on the playing front.

Steve L asks for facts, well in these situations enquiries are normally made by a third party on behalf of potential investors who would check out the response before proceeding so if they are totally blanked you are unlikely to have the potential investor kicking off publicly about it.

Besides ?rumours? from people I know who worked in the club for a long time I would take you back to the power struggle involving Gregg and Kenwright. Gregg stated categorically that Kenwright was blocking investment and not letting the club develop. All of sudden the con that was Fortress was unveiled, the less said of that the better.

Gregg was character assassinated because he didn?t go to games and wasn?t a Blue so most people fell in line behind ?True Blue? BK. I don?t recall BK challenging the accusations, threatening libel action etc.

Incidentally Gregg was accused of only being interested in EFC because of the King?s Dock, strange that as he is now linked with buying Sheff Utd who have no such option.
Dan Clare
8   Posted 13/07/2007 at 09:03:16

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Nothing changes at Everton, you?ve said it and we all know it, so perhaps we should watch the team and not worry ourselves too much. Realisticly theres nothing any fan group is going to do to pursuade people to invest in a club, even if we oust BK from his seat. Its simple business evaluation that stuffs Everton. To the outsider we?re too close to our neighbours(are we really going to fill 50k stadia with an average of 35k?)and are already overachieving. Investors want to see a return for the substantial risk that come swith football. The clubs who?ve had a few million thrown their way by speculators have either got large half empty stadiums that need filling (villa) or are potentially large income streams waiting to happen(Portsmouth). If I?m honset I think we?re neither of those and to boot we?ve already made the top 6 twice in three years, so to make the next step is we?d need the kind of finance limited to multi billionaires of which theres few. I?m going to try and enjoy the current era while it lasts as perhaps its that tradition of making do? and overachieving thats kept things interesting in the last few years. A slightly larger squad of mostly average players in a souless Kirby development won?t pull in any more punters.
Sean Dylan
9   Posted 13/07/2007 at 10:04:38

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I?m with Laurie...the only way we can exercise the potential power we have is to get together and put some collective pressure on BK that forces him to at least give us a clearer picture into what is going on at the club.

Viva la revolution!
Lee Mandaracas
10   Posted 13/07/2007 at 10:00:26

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Isn’t that a bit like saying; "Don’t worry about learning to swim until after you’ve hit the iceberg"? I’m as concerned as any supporter and it is essential BK and the board are aware rather than allowing them to go on thinking there will be no acountability. I don’t want to be one of the people saying; "I wish I’d told you so." That would make me as guilty as them for allowing continued lack of investment.
marcus dawson
11   Posted 13/07/2007 at 10:37:39

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A good article I think, it’s pleaseing to see someone else accepting that our lack of transfer activity is is not all the fault of David Moyes. I’m bewildered at the number of people who demand Moyes pulls his finger out and signs someone, with what exactly?

Bill holds the purse strings and Moyes can’t spend money we haven’t got, the transfer market is crazy (see Koumas), but it is beginning to look as though we just don’t have the funds. My only criticism of Moyes in this resepct is that he’s not shopped abroad this time, but I think the Koldrup saga has put him off for life and we just don’t have the depth of knowledge of foriegn players to make a signing.

All that said, it would be nice if the club could attract new investment and I’m puzzled at what is going on in EFC, Robert Earl, Phillip Green et al. I think we have a Chairman who is a genuine supporter (and there aren’t many premiership clubs who can say that), but doesn’t have the means to raise the money. The big question is what do we really want, an Evertonian running the club or a moneybags with a hidden agenda?
Jon G
12   Posted 13/07/2007 at 10:58:25

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Is this a joke? Third biggest spenders in the PL for the last two years running, 8M for Johnson, 6M for Beattie, 4M for Lescott, tied up our best players on long (and no doubt lucrative) deals to name but a few of our recent dealings under BK.

5.3M is too much for Koumas - a player that we dont even need. Barton would disrupt the team spirit. Oh and Nugent is overhyped and a bottom half of the PL player at best.

Wake up and stop moaning - the players being thrown around for extortionate transfer fee’s at the moment are average at best and represent a short term investment, where we require genuine quality plays to relegate th likes of Osman and co. to the ranks of squad players.

And last time I checked Pisto, Wright and Nace had about three starts between the lot of them - big loss.
Peter Laing
13   Posted 13/07/2007 at 11:30:17

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Some really salient points there Steve, to me Kenwright has hidden behind the cloak of being an Evertonian and the fact that he got rid of agent Johnson. During his tenure he has been fortunate enough to have a man in Moyes who has shown integrity, loyalty and an ability to work within a prohibitive transfer budget. As far as I am concerned Moyes has worked a masterstroke in bringing stability and progress to Everton, however there comes a point when to raise the bar and move onto the next level financial support must be forthcoming. Kenwright’s whole persona smacks of vanity with an almost delusional air of grandiose when it comes to being the Chairman of Everton. Please BK for the love of Everton will you either attract some financial muscle or do the gracious thing and move aside.
harry charles
14   Posted 13/07/2007 at 11:14:48

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I am Everton through and through, so is Bill Kenright, so is David Moyes,and i want Everton to stay Everton on Merseyside name and in soul, not owned by Russians or Americans , i dont want it to be milked dry then dumped ,i would like to see eleven scousers running out on to the pitch one day ,and from are state of the art new training complex,it is the way forward ,at worst are first team made up of eighty per cent british players,and manager and chairmen are british,yes Everton is MADE ON MERSEYSIDE not sold lock stock and barrel to the yanks,if anyone deserves to stayin or about merseyside its EVERTON .iSALUTE YOU FOR STAYING SCOUSE.
Steve McBride
15   Posted 13/07/2007 at 11:30:35

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Read the post again Jon because the whole point is that we are in Europe and Moyes hasn?t been given enough funding to compete for ?quality? players because BK spent this year?s money last year. We all want quality but we aren?t bidding for quality are we?
Everybody realises, including the manager, that the squad is too small, Moyes said that being in Europe again would be the catalyst to attract quality players to GP, BK obviously didn?t tell him the true situation. We need numbers and at least two of those numbers should be quality but if we can?t even afford the average to above average players who would make up those numbers then where do we go from there? ?Wait and see? until the end of next season when BK spends the following year?s money on a quality player, or maybe he could spend the money brought in from the quality players who decide enough is enough?
Kenwright should be working 24/7, while he?s doing nothing else, to make sure he can support his manager and allow him to at least bid for some quality if not numbers.

Rob McFawn
16   Posted 13/07/2007 at 11:44:20

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Jon G - you need to stop for a minute and get things in perspective. The money which funded the signings of Beattie, Johnson, Lescott, Howard has not come from Kenwright?s pocket. If you actually look back through player transactions since Kenwright took control of the Club, player sales under his ownership have raked in £89 million. Player purchases amounts to £95.31 million.

Kenwright did indeed inherit a debt, but weren?t we all told this was offset against season ticket sales for twenty years or so? ?Ring-fenced? if you will. Season ticket sales which amount to around £10 million a season, by the way.

Kenwright hasn?t got the resources for Everton to compete. Over the road, David Moores begrudgingly relinquished control of Liverpool because even with their spending power, they could not compete. Everton could not compete with Liverpool under their previous regime, what hope have we got now? Kenwright has to allow investors. I don?t buy into this ?second team syndrome? nonesense. Everton is a world-famous football club with a massive supporter base and a proven pedigree of winning trophies, in a city undergoing massive regeneration and continental acclaim. As it stands we are one of a handful of clubs apparently unnattractive to potential suitors. They?re pulling our leg, surely?
Jay Mullarkey
17   Posted 13/07/2007 at 12:24:40

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Harry.. I am with you mate. I love Everton come what may. Richardson, Nugent, Koumas, Barton.. didn?t want any of them. Liverpool have spent £50m this summer good luck to them, I don?t care let them buy success with American Dollars. The only investment I want is from someone who cares. The kopites might be goin on saying how much they?ve got but what did they say when Glazier took over at Utd. They are embarrassed really, I would be. Can?t wait for August..Mikel, Timmy, James Vaughan, Lescott, Johnson... fantastic!
Eoinzy Brendino
18   Posted 13/07/2007 at 12:49:34

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Kenwright out!!!

Its that simple.
Let me see, on the field he is unable to fund for players that will significantly improve Everton as a team. So the future looks bleak to say the least, especially when those around us continue to improve.
Taking Everton FC out of the city of Liverpool shows he has absoloutly no regard for the history of Everton football club. So only is he robbing is of our past, he is not providing a future for Everton F.C.
So when we talk about foreign investors coming in and having ?hidden agendas?, you have to ask yourself could any agenda be worse than what is currently happening??
And anyway since when did Everton Football Club become a fascist regime under the control of one man. The People's Club??? hmmm
Steve Ashton
19   Posted 13/07/2007 at 12:53:11

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Let?s be honest Buffalo Bill is a paper millionaire, his personal liquid resources are limited, he is however a very shrewd opperator and surely his job, which I think he has done reasonably well, is to firstly ensure that we have a team capable of staying in the top flight, secondly to promote a degree of solvency at the club and thirdly to plan for the future.

My big fear is that as Steve McBride says Moyes (who I think we all have an increasing high regard for)looses patience and decides that his next challenge should be spending a rich man?s millions and leaves quickly followed by our best playing assets.

Its a difficult call - I am greatful for the period of relative stability that BK has brought to the club and for the fact that we have controlled our debt and taken a step forward and that we have done it without selling our soul. My heart says that it would be amazing to achieve success under the current regime but my head says that we have reached the point where they can take us no further and we need fresh blood and investment to move to the next level - but don?t ask me how or where that will come from.
Chris Roberts
20   Posted 13/07/2007 at 14:02:20

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Am I the only one who isn?t that bothered at the lack of signings in this insane market?

Michael Chopra £5 million? Bent £16?

We have a good squad that last season finished sixth despite some key players being out. If average squad players like Koumas & Nugent are going for such high figures I think it?s better to stay out of the market.
Tony Ainscough
21   Posted 13/07/2007 at 14:11:13

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We need more players and quick. Has anyone thought the only reason we managed to finish 6th is that we were not involved in any cup runs (again)? If we want to compete on all fronts we need to invest in our squad this wont happen under the current Board.
Brian Ormond
22   Posted 13/07/2007 at 15:28:05

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Theres a need to get American investers interested in buying Everton. They know how to spend money for the future. Look at Liverpool & Man. Utd. These two clubs have more TV coverage and are in Europe. Thats were the money is, Everton needs to open those purse strings or else lower half of the table is their future and the loss of some of the good players they have now. Wake up Everton.
23   Posted 13/07/2007 at 15:52:13

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Well said Steve, DM deserves praise for what he has achieved here. Jon G et al, are entitled to their opinions, but blind support through blue tinted glasses of BK is seriously damaging the club. If our summer transfer activity revolved around the signing of Jagielka, then make no mistake, we are in serious trouble.
Speaking to another blue today he made a comparison between BK and Swales at City, not enough money to do the job but not willing to step aside.
This is not knee jerk, I really hope that we go on and have another good season, but that will be down to DM if we do, not BK and how long before understandable ambition robs us of DM, Joey, Arteta etc? No matter how overpriced we have to compete were in the premier league, otherwise there are plenty of other clubs waiting to take our place. If we are this hard up now and still carrying the debt then something is very wrong at the top.
Its time for change!
Steve Grimshaw
24   Posted 14/07/2007 at 05:15:53

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Sure we can claim Moyes or Kenwright made mistakes. But unfortunatly we will probably be doing it from a lower division!!
Sorry but I am just a little bit upset right now with our lack of activity. We just seem to show no ambition to improve.
Ray Hughes
25   Posted 14/07/2007 at 09:40:32

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We are desperate for investment quickly..The thing thats bugs me is practically every top flight club has attracted interest from potential backers whilst at Everton nothing ever happens or materialises.I mean the backing Liverpool have been given now means they are in a position to challenge for the biggest trophys year after year..When did that ever happen under Roy Evans? They used to lose at home to shite like Barnsley and Watford and get dumped out of the UEFA cup with hammerings at Strasbourg..Now as much as I hate to admit it we probably will see them in more Champions League semi finals before we even reach a domestic cup semi final at the league cup or FA cup..Having a manager who knew how the European game worked and good scouting systems have changed their luck and now they have mega bucks to dish out to Benitez..Nobody can tell me that they wouldnt like an exciting summer watching Everton competing in the transfer market for the BEST players?. Or an Everton team with some real chance of winning silverwear once again?.I mean its the same this summer..After reading Dave Prentices column in the Echo last night he expectedly comes out with the usual comments about how many people are really bothered we have missed out on Koumas and Nugent and Reo Coker to name a few..But you can be as sure as anything that if we had actually signed these players then in the same column we would have been reading that these lads are all fantastic additions to Everton F.C, they are all young enough and internationals and come relatively cheap blahh blahh blahh.. Thats obvious..Its also obvious that of course to capture interest the fans want some action and some new faces to feel that BK and Moyes have kept their word.Will it happen or not?
Ian Headen
26   Posted 15/07/2007 at 03:08:52

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Whats happened to the money?
In the January transfer window DM told us he was keeping the transfer kitty for the summer to add more spending power,obviously another lie comming from GP,and now we hear that the cost of players is to high....if a player we want costs 5m then thats what it costs, i am sure DM would not moan about paying that sort of money if he had 50m to spend, i am just sick of the amateur way our beloved club is being run...BK either stump up or get of the pot!
Mick McDonald
27   Posted 16/07/2007 at 15:29:29

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I often hear about these so called investors knocking on Evertons door. As you say. they want to buy in for 15 to 20 million, that money will go straight into BK s bank account so mstill no investment in the club. All that would happen is we get a bigger board which will add to the confusion. Now if you said that David Dein was waitng to put money in for a place on the board, well then you are talking. At least he has a proven track record at running a top premiership club.
But I doubt that will happen, so for the foreseable future, there isnt any white knight other than the club managers as they stand. we are doing ok operating as we are. If Bill wants to put away money to secure the stadium, well good on him. That for me is sound business planning which in the long term will make this club great again. There is no short term fix for Everton we will walk the road but triumph ijn the end, of that I am sure.

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