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Who can voice the fans concerns?

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With the recent ticketing fiascos, and groans about marketing, I would have thought there may have been an ?official? independent body for Everton supporters (i.e. not Evertonia run by EFC) to represent all the fans and voice their concerns and maybe have some input in certain issues. A group who can really speak to the big wigs at EFC and ask (nay, demand) an explanation for the off the pitch actions which have put so many people out.

At the moment the club seem to issue a press release that states the obvious (5,000 tickets have gone missing, UEFA have stopped Nuremberg selling tickets directly to Everton fans), or just ignore the issues completely / bury their heads in the sand.

Is there no voice of the fans. At match days we are all to busy supporting the players than to start chants of ?Where the fuck are our tickets?!? etc..

I see on ToffeeWeb there is mention about an Everton Independent Supporters Association, but the page was last updated in 2000! Other clubs appear to have such groups (e.g. Independent Manchester United Supporters Association who have been vocal in issues such as standing and the Glazer takeover).

Can anyone shed any light on this? Or does the campaign start here? I for one am fed up at the club not being held accountable for its actions.
John-Paul Foster, Reading     Posted 07/11/2007 at 18:34:44

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Michael Kenrick
Some interesting questions there, John-Paul. The short answwer is: No! There really is no one independent organization that speaks for the fans.

There are, of course the various Regional Supporters Clubs, whose main function seems to be to organise travel to Everton matches. The EISA is a local group that does this for away games and may or may not be an officially sanctioned Supporters Club (I suspect not) that prided itself on having direct access to the powers that be... at least for a while, until it's prime spokesperson, Ian Macdonald, fell out with his one-time buddy, the luvvie Bille Kenwright.

Is such an entity needed? Well, from all the fiascos reported on these pages ad neauseam, I guess the answer is Yes. Yet the thing is, to my knowledge, it has been tried numerous times before... and the comom thread? It always fails, losses steam, dies a death due to internicine squables, turf battles, personality clashes and the like.

You can see a microcosm of it on these pages. For anyone who proclaims injustice and seeks reparation, there are always those who will say they are wrong, expect too much, want to be spoon-fed by the club, etc. So the whole idea that the maligned and mistreated fanbase will speak with one voice is palably nonsense. The Everton fanbase is so diverse, and so split on any given issue, that unity of thought and purpose are nothing more than a pipedream.

So by all means start your own movement to hold the club accountable for its actions. And good luck to you.... You'll need it!

David Barks
1   Posted 07/11/2007 at 21:40:26

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What the hell are you talking about regarding tickets. The information is out there for everyone to see and it had absolutely nothing to do with Everton. Kenwright gave numerous statements about it, it’s all over the press, UEFA have issued numerous statements. How is UEFA canceling tickets bought from Nurnberg Everton’s fault????
Karl Masters
2   Posted 07/11/2007 at 21:48:55

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David: What about the 200 who had their trip cancelled only 6 days before the match? Cuddly Bill has remained silent on that hasn’t he? Now this other matter has cropped up and he can blame someone else, he’s all there with his hat on!

Instead of telling us all on MOTD2 that he’s no time to enjoy being Everton Chairman because ’’ it’s way too important for that’’ he should prove how important it is by shaking up the Clubs abysmal Ticketing, Commercial and Catering operations.

The bloke is nice enough, but he he’s not even close to running that Club properly and seems to have employed bungling sycophants to try and do it for him. I think he just changes what he says to suit the situation.... an act. Oh, he was an Actor in a previous life wasn’t he?
Allan Hobbs
3   Posted 07/11/2007 at 22:38:38

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Its not his fault!!!! Why do Evertonians on here demand they be spoon-fed directly by the chairman?!? Its ridiculous - the germans were the ones who made the mess, and ones who revoked the tickets on the say-so of UEFA - what has this got to do with EFC or Bill Kenwright!?

EFC make it very clear that they have a certain amount of tickets; or at least they try to until other clubs start screwing with the allocation. They don’t recommend you go and buy tickets direct from our opposition, and if you asked them, they’d tell you you’re doing so at your own risk - they are in no way liable for anyone who buys a ticket from a source they DO NOT endorse.

Its very simple. If you bought a ticket from Nurnberg direct, its been revoked on the say-so of the governing body, UEFA, so its just tough luck. Live with it. Sorry but thats the truth of the matter. Don’t turn on the club ffs.
Davey Montagyue
4   Posted 07/11/2007 at 22:53:47

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Allan,

I take your point regarding the ticket fiasco and I agree that it is actually Nurnburg at fault for the latest capitulation of ticketing. However, I presume you have not had the personal experience of being on the wrong end of an Everton club blunder. Well myself, plus 3 of my friends have experienced a catalogue of errors on a number of commercial, ticketing, and clerical blunders.
I tried to arrange a staff party at Goodison in 2005 after having one in Anfield the previous year. I had the actual Cash in my hand to pay for the venue in August with a view to hosting the event in December. I visited Goodison 4 times, made twelve phone calls, wrote two letters and typed two e-mails to attempt to book the Legends suite, and I still failed to book it. Why? Double booked? Busy Diary at that time of year? Unexpected events by other business partners? No. Due to complete and utter un-proffessionalism, and ignorance from the people in the positions that matter. We eventually hired the room and Everton almost forgot to bill us for the event.
Compared to the previous Anfield staff do, I booked it within ten minutes of enquiring by phone, visiting the suite and paying by cash. Money In Liverpools coffers by close of play that day.

This is just one example, I wont even go on about my friends season ticket being duplicated and someone else siting in his seat of 13 years, or the fact that the Everton boards idea of hospitality is to erect a tent in the car park.

Wake up and smell the coffee, we need to become more proffessional in how we do things internally at the club. I like Bill Kenwright, but he owns the club and should be held accountable when things are not running as they should.
Roy coyne
5   Posted 08/11/2007 at 01:43:20

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Although this is not the clubs fault it would have been nice if they had tried to help are we not the peoples club.
Chris Lawlor
6   Posted 08/11/2007 at 09:17:01

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Re the Commercial side of Everton. My missus applied for the vacant role of marketing manager back in June. She got down to the final positions and was pipped at the post by the other candidate. Now this is by no means sour grapes, because she has since moved onto a better job here in Manchester, but I notice the position is now vacant again. So it appears the Club picked the wrong person and now is on the hunt for another individual. In retrospect it would have been a lot of work for my missus to undertake, but i?ll tell you this, she would have turned that place around in under 6 months. Everton you turned down a great signing. Keep up the good work!
Allan Hobbs
7   Posted 08/11/2007 at 09:43:29

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Davey - I totally appreciate the annoyance and the problems that do exist within Evertons ticketing system; my point was aimed solely at the Nurnberg issue this last week.You’re right, they do cock it up too often.
Greg Murphy
8   Posted 08/11/2007 at 09:08:06

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Very laudable sentiments John-Paul but I have to agree with Michael Kenwrick. The last 14-years - since PJ’s arrival, basically - have shown that the Evertonian body collective just can’t sustain a single, cohesive, united and effective independent voice.

Much of it is to do with the fact - something I welcome, oddly enough - that we’re a very contrary bunch...whether for good or bad.

Michael Dunford once commented that "Evertonians just aren’t like other fans" and then refused to qualify what he meant. Probably because he couldn’t articulate it! Well, we can’t either. We just know.

Successive bods in the Everton boardroom, from Dr Marsh, through PJ, Buckley Finch, Dunford and now Wyness have failed to grasp just how "different" the Evertonian "attitude" is.

Any Blue who dares to stick their head above the collective parapet without a clearly defined remit risks the "Who gave you the flute? You don’t speak for me, lad" biteback.

It’s healthy in its way because it’s our own system of checks and balances to ensure that no single Evertonian - or grouping of Blues - gets too big for his or their boots. Because no matter how genuine that person/group’s intentions are, it will be perceived that it’s an ego trip. It’s a very old-skool "Scouse republic" mentality that runs right through Evertonia like a stick of rock. And while it sometimes does my head in, I often reflect that it’s probably a better-the-devil we know situation. This is Evertonia for better or worse. The day we suss out what it’s all about is the day we might unwittingly let the genie out.

Rather than it being about egos clashing per se, I think it’s actually about ensuring that there aren’t any egos allowed. At all.

The downside, of course, is that in the absence of a committed group to represent the fans, we can occasionally get trodden all over and episodes like Exeter, Orient, Villareal, the Bucharest-JLA farce, Metalist etc will continue to happen.

Another reason why such a group is doomed to fail is that there are too many "point-scorers" out there just gagging to take a pop and hole it beneath the water-line.

For instance, look no further than some of the responses to your letter.

To me it was immediately obvious that you were talking quite empirically and you didn’t think there was any need to be overly specific. Yet it was also clear that you were obviously referring to the Metalist home leg as one recent example, in addition to mentioning the Nuremberg caper because that’s the topical issue right now.

Result? Your passing implied reference to the Metalist home leg is ignored, your general comment about marketing is ignored, your wider and valid sentiments are ignored and it all becomes about Nuremberg and how it seems that you’re blaming the club.

And that’s how it is with fan groups. Too often the bigger representative picture gets ignored at the expense of chasing down a single-issue rabbit hole because someone’s said something that someone doesn’t like.

I don’t pretend that all’s love and peace at IMUSA (and let’s not even start with how divided kopites are about RTK - and who gives one anyway) but I do know many Utd fans and they’re happy that IMUSA are there in readiness whether or not they agree with everything they stand for.

A co-ordinated Evertonian group along IMUSA lines? Just can’t see it.

Keep-on keeping-on, though, John-Paul.
Ben Howard
9   Posted 08/11/2007 at 10:56:15

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Michael’s response to the question is, I’m sure, the reason why such a group hasn’t been able to sustain itself. Therefore I believe we need two groups: Doddy’s Evertonian sycophants, and Marshy’s Toffee moaners. That should satisfy both extremes. h, maybe we also need a group for the 99% of us inbetween too!
John-Paul Foster
10   Posted 08/11/2007 at 13:42:07

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I only gave two examples of things that have recently gone wrong, and was not meant to be singling them out specifically. As Gregg mentioned the marketing thing has been missed by almost everybody. Mismanagement of this is something which could be more damaging to the club than the occasional ticketing farce.
Also I was not having a go at Bill - I used the term ?big-wigs? as I?m not sure with whom the buck stops on the various issues - which is also the problem. If someone is to blame who is it? Everyone seems to agree that Bill?s heart is in the right place - but the club to employ various managers etc - Keith W for instance to run the club on a day to day basis - and it is perhaps those people who need to be accountable for their actions.
I don?t pretend to have the answers about an independent supporters group. I sure as hell don?t fully understand all the history and politics as to why we don?t have one. I just wanted to simply ask if why don?t we have one, and perhaps stir up some debate as to if we should have one - which is probably the most important / fundamental question. As much as I?d love to become involved in such a group, perhaps my location in Reading puts me too far out of touch.
I could go on and expand more but my lunch break is up. Over to you?

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