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Foreign Investment

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With all the foreign investment that has been pumped into Premier League clubs, I thought it was only a matter of time before our club attracted interest. But no such interest has been shown, whilst clubs like Man City, RS, Chelsea, Man Utd, West Ham, Birmingham have all recieved foreign financial backing or been taken over by foreign tycoons.

As an Everton fan I may be biased but I would have thought Everton would appear to be one of the most attractive investments in the League. Amongst our assets we have, great fans, a fantastic history, one of the best squads in the league, European football fairly consistently and of course one of the best managers in the country.

It has been proposed that with RS being seen as the (bigger) club, we as a club are a less sound investment, but this can't be true as surely Man City are in a similar position (although personally I feel we are a far bigger club than Man City). I'm sure Kenwright has said he would sell the club should he believe it is in the best interests of the club.

For the record, I am happy with the club being owned by a devout fan, it's just that a bit more transfer money could be made available...
Connor Davies, Southampton     Posted 17/12/2007 at 13:29:45

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Michael Kenrick
One word: The stadium. End of.

Oh, and there's already £60M in debt to be assumed.

Add those together and you are looking at splashing anywhere from £160M (Plan A) to £400M or whatever for Plan B or Plan C. With a share price of around £1,000, that values the club at a mere £35M... but the debt has grown substantially since that share priice was tested to any real extent so who knows what the club is really worth now ? or, more importantly, what a real investor would pay for it... if it was for sale.

I wouldn't begin to know how this calcuation plays out with other clubs, but I wouldn't put too much weight on Bill's fine words either. He will only sell this club when he is good and ready, and he will have no idea whether it will be "good for the club" or not ? just how much money there is on the table... when he's ready to sell.

Alex Baker
1   Posted 17/12/2007 at 15:07:18

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Actually Micheal, "the," and "stadium" are 2 words!!!
Dean Johnson
2   Posted 17/12/2007 at 15:19:41

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But is it any different to the debt inherited at Man City?
They effectively had a stadium built for them, but do they own it?
Chelsea were nigh on broke before abramovich took over.
Who really knows the full story? not us, only the people at the helm of the club, the man in charge is an evertonian, so we must trust him.

I, like Connor, would much rather have a blue at the helm than some unknown random foreign investor.

Do you really want to become a Chelsea? or a Liverpool?
Ben Molloy
3   Posted 17/12/2007 at 15:10:04

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I am sorry but this infatuation with finding an investor is ludicrous. Bill Kenwright is supposedly the only premiership chairman who takes no financial reward for his services to the club. Bill Kenwright has found an investor, his name is Sir Terry Leahy.
Now without getting into another debate about Kirkby I would just like to say that, as I see it, Tesco will be making a significant investment into the club, enabling us to build a brand new stadium and increase future revenue streams, without actually expecting to take much of that future revenue stream for themselves. What they do seem to be hoping for is that by associating themselves with a huge football club, they will win favour with Knowsley council for their application to build their Megastore and car parks.
So they do have a selfish reason to invest in Everton. Sir Terry Leahy is not just giving us £50m (or whatever the figure is) because he has always supported Everton. He is doing it beacuse he is a very successful, hard nosed business man. Just like Magnusson, Lerner, Gillet, Hicks, Mandaric etc etc etc (forget Thaksin and Abramovich, they are just money-launderers.) The difference is future revenue from the new stadium should stay with Everton, not disappear into the back pockets of these Americans, Icelanders etc, who really care little for the club.
The money that comes to Premiership clubs from Sky is so great now that we really do not need a greedy investor. Ok it may not last forever but when the bottom club in the premiership receives £30m (I believe this seasons bottom club will receive as much as last season’s winners?), is a debt of £60m really a worry for us ?
We seem to be managing pretty well considering our lack of investors - we could afford Yakubu for £11m and Johnson for £8m, who have both been huge successes. Ok we missed out on ’Lucho’ Gonzales and Manuel Fernandes but do you really think they wanted to come here (at that time UEFA frather than champions league) over Porto and Valencia ?
The only true philanthropist chairman is Steve Gibson, a guy i really admire, but he has found his fortune was largely frittered away and is now almost irrelevant when compared to the huge revenue streams paid by the TV companies.
So in short I guess what I am saying is that as long as the club is run as it should be - ie as a coopoerative which reinvests its profits in the club (team) then we should be better placed than those clubs who have these much sought after ’investors’. So as long as you trust Keith and Bill, and are happy to go to Kirkby every second saturday (or whatever day sky decide to make us play), then now is, in my opinion, a good time to be an Evertonian. Or am I just being naive????????
Dan Mckie
4   Posted 17/12/2007 at 16:23:48

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Well said Ben!
Marcus Dawson
5   Posted 17/12/2007 at 16:21:19

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Don?t know if you?re being naive Ben, but EFC is most certainly not a co-operatve, it?s a private company owned by the shareholders. The stadium deal seems complicated, from what I understand Tesco will not be giving us £50m, despite wht Wyness has said to the contrary, no one has adequately explained what will happen to the money and why Keith said one thing and Tesco said another. In any case, looking across Stanley Park right now I?m rather pleased that we at least have a chairman who is a football man committed to the club, for the first time in a long time I don?t envy them, just hope I?m still saying that in a few years time. COYB.
Gordon Blair
6   Posted 17/12/2007 at 17:01:06

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Tesco are not giving us £50M.

What is actually happening is that Tesco are giving us land that - once the development is complete - will have a notional value of £50M.. and I believe that this is via Knowsley Council.

Tesco?s aren?t investing anything in the club, merely using it as useful leverage to get around the Local Planning Framework which has the Land ear-marked for other usage than a really big shop.

As for foreign investment, alledgedly Carsen Yeung and Thaksin Shinawatra both looked at Everton before ending up at the gates of Brum and Citeh respectively.. you can only assume that Bill said "thanks, but no thanks"
Sim Watts
7   Posted 17/12/2007 at 17:22:16

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I cant understand why people are so keen to get investment from foreigners. I am quite proud that we have done this without that investment. People go on about Man City, Liverpool etc, but the facts are far different and less clear. The chairman of Man C is corrupt, and is wanted by human rights organisations for crimes against his own people when he was Thai prime minster. Thats not incompetence like losing data disks etc, but he executed 3500 people in one month, and sold most of the national industry to his own family for nothing. He cant set foot in his own country any more. As for Liverpool thay havent had any investment. They just got re mortgaged, but against a high risk, so have to pay 7% interest. The owners have paid themselves back and deposit the profits in the Cayman Islands. They can run the club to the ground and walk away without any problem or financial burden to themselves. I would rather not rush into this, if indeed we need to. Clubs like Arsenal, havent done this.
Dave OBrien
8   Posted 17/12/2007 at 18:14:37

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Look at the RS. They no longer own their club. The farce with Bentizus is confirmation that these Businessmen care not for sentiment, only for cold logic. If we were to sell to one of these Mogul’s then we could be in a similar position. Alex Ferguson said Man Utd had sold their soul’s to The Devil to get to a higher level. Now the Liverpool Owners seem to be withholding funds, at least Ferguson has been in receipt of funds. It is almost a lucky dip, Man City with an alleged crok calling the shots. We are lucky in that we are still Everton Football Club and not just a business called Everton whose main aim is to be profitable, even at the expense of the fans heritage. Be careful what you wish for, better the Devil......etc.
Sim Watts
9   Posted 17/12/2007 at 18:46:38

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Another thing with the RS. There is a credit crisis going on at the moment, especially in the US, and anyone seen as high risk is not getting the finances they used to. The banks that finance them are holding on to their money as there is no liquidity in the market. A club that raises funds this way is in a dangerous position, especially if seen as a risk, which this may be the case with Liverpool. Maybe that is more of the reason RS are not getting the money they want. If this is the case then they are in a dangerous position in the next few years. They may become footballs poorer relation in Liverpool.
Gordon Blair
10   Posted 17/12/2007 at 19:02:34

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It?ll be interesting to see how this credit crunch affects these ?leveraged clubs? the 2 prime examples being Manure ans the RS.

One can only assume that the clubs debts are secured on fixed rates, otherwise as rates in the US inevitably rise, there will come a time where the club cannot service the debt.

It?s all very well saying that you?ve got a Stadium worth 700m and debts of only 500m, but your stadium is only ever actually worth what a buyer will pay... and there aren?t many buyers out the for a 70/80,000 seater stadium.

Not that I?d wish the fate on anyone, but should the money markets falter further and the next TV deal be less lucrative than this (quite likely with the global economy in a depressed state).. these ?leveraged clubs? would be the first to ?do a Leeds? global brand or not...

Merry Christmas one and all :oD
Jason Cooke
11   Posted 17/12/2007 at 20:04:11

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There have been many people wanting to invest in the club but BK still wnts to run it and have his cake. Nobody will invest without being in control. i heard thatb DM was going to walk away in the summer without money to spend. WE need BK to understand that if we are to move forward he needs to step down a role. So we can be the club we once were.

I still think this season will bring a trophy under the currrent owners , then we need to move forward.
Steve Williams
12   Posted 17/12/2007 at 20:05:56

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I’m not going to argue for or against Kenwright or a foreign invester. Instead let’s take the pragmatic view:

- we have owners who haven’t the muscle to invest in the club,
- we are NOT generating profits, so we can’t reinvest back into the club,
- TESCO are not proposing to give us any cash,
- the very real improvements to the playing staff are at the expense of ever increasing debt,
- at some point we will reach a ceiling on the maximum debt, so no more investment in the playing staff,
- instead we will then be asked to start repaying debt - effectively soaking up funds

Now people, be realistic - yes, enjoy Kenwright’s tenure if that’s what you want (and I’m not saying it’s bad thing), but also be realistic and expect a squeeze not so far down the line.
James Elworthy
13   Posted 17/12/2007 at 20:29:27

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Foreign investment will dilute BK’s ownership in the club, BK will not let foreigners invest in the club despite his assurances he is always looking for it. He just got rid of Gregg he is unlikely to sell some of his shares to someone else.
Peter Laing
14   Posted 17/12/2007 at 21:24:25

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Is Robert Earl still that mythical !!! Recently joined the board in his full capacity of director and significant shareholder.
Mick Mac
15   Posted 17/12/2007 at 21:08:59

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Why would a foreign investor come into a premier league club and invest millions? Why would a Russian billionaire or an ex Thai Prime minister ( allegedly corrupt) come into a premier league club and invest millions.These are the only reasons I can think of and if thereis more I dont mind being told.

1. The obvious reason must be they think there is big profit to be made in this arena and it is the best vehicle for thier money. An awful lot of money coming into the premier league from TV rights and the like.

2. Prestige. The premier league get a lot of exposure around the world and people want their time in the sun. The have a lot of money to spend and giving a tip of say 10 ooo in a restaraunt will only get them noticed in and around that place. People will pay a lot of moeny ti be noticed.

3. They love the sport/ team. Dont think this one is much of a goer but if you rememebr Jack Walker, he loved Blackburn qand duly paid to get them where they are today winning the premiership on the way. Dave Whelan is another with Wigan. Dare I say Blue Bill ??

Dont see foreign investors coming in because they like a particular club they may have seen on the TV cannot see that happening.

I think sometime or other this sky deal with the premiership will falter for whatever reason and the moeny will not be around like it is now. I also beleive that we have built the club up prudently just as we have built the team up. Quality over a period of time. We are going ion the right direction and just like a farmer planting crops. There aint not quick way from planting to harvest you have to nurture the land feed the crops the right food and show it a bit of love. That is happeneing at Everton inder the auspices of Bill and the rest of the board.
James Dore
16   Posted 17/12/2007 at 21:22:31

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Following on from Sim’s comments about Citeh’s owner being a nasty piece of work. And the RS debt mountain. Man Utd have had to ’re-structure’ debts a few times, each time adding to the huge amounts of debt they already have.

One of West Ham’s Icelandic lot has already buggered off and sold his share in the past week or so... How long before the others realise they’ve stumped up heaps of cash for no return?

And Birmingham have had to give Yeung a deadline to stump up the rest of the cash, as he’s a big no show with the balance.

What happens when Abbramabitch gets bored with his train set? Sure he can afford tosell it off cheaply enough, hey he could even give it away! But who can afford to run it? With several players on over £100k a week, it must be losing money faster than my missus on a shopping trip!

Do we really want an owner like any of these? I’m not saying Kenwright is the answer, as I don’t believe he is. He does need to step aside for someone new, but if he turned down Yeung and Shinatra or whatever he’s called, he’s done us well so far.
Mick Mac
17   Posted 17/12/2007 at 22:08:26

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Just as an aside. This was an article written in 2006 Oct. It makes good reading
Bill Dean
18   Posted 17/12/2007 at 22:22:41

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There seems to be a basic ignorance amongst most football fans about what investment (particularly foreign investment) actually means.

In most cases it?s not some munificent businessman opening his wallet, but guarenteeing an extension of the overdraft and more debt. In most cases they?re not even putting they?re own funds into the club, but leveraging it up with their own borrowings. In laymans terms, they?re taking out a mortgage and getting the fans to pay back the interest. Liverpool and Man Utd are the most obvious examples of this.

Man Utd fans are the only ones with enough kop on to realise what has happened to their club. Let Liverpool supporters delude themselves about Hicks and Gillet if they want, but the figure that matters most is £21 million -- the club?s annual interest payment on their so-called investment. It really is going to go tits up at Anfield, and if not their somewhere else.

Say what you like about Kenwright, but we?re in comparatively safe hands with him.
Michael Tracey
19   Posted 17/12/2007 at 23:37:33

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Yeah because Bill has done such a great job. Sold off everything (except GP). Increased our debt to record highs. Planning on stripping us of our identity and pissing off half the fan base by moving from a bustling City growing by the day to a country town on the outskirts. Yeah good on you Bill you are a real hero!
Sim Watts
20   Posted 18/12/2007 at 00:06:36

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I agree. Not many years ago, people used to be up in arms about this sort of practice. I didn?t know of many Liverpool fans at all concerned about it at the time of the Gilette take over. They just saw the £ signs, and were not concerned at all. It seems to be a normal thing to do over the last couple of years to re mortgage and fund a shopping spree to keep up with the Jones?s. Leeds United are a recent club who couldnt keep up with there spenditure, before the credit crunch. Liverpool had been in safe hands before but obviously the hundreds of millions spent previously were not enough, and they had to sell to raise the capital to do it all again. Only this time its to someone who is just in it for the money. Good luck to them, but they will find all this extra money coming into them via gates and tv will be swallowed by interest payments.
Steve Carter
21   Posted 18/12/2007 at 07:44:57

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"They may become footballs poorer relation in Liverpool." Oh that that happy day comes upon us, Sim - and soon.
Ricardo Humphries
22   Posted 18/12/2007 at 10:51:07

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Can anyone tell me the name of the South African businessman that was interested in buying shares in the club?
Paul Lenehan
23   Posted 18/12/2007 at 12:28:26

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A lot is made of our overdraft and not making profits. what football club is making porfits and not in debt. Not many is the answer.
Freddy Rutger
24   Posted 18/12/2007 at 11:21:37

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The sad point is that if and when the ’top’ clubs i.e. LFC MUFC do crash and burn, the FA will be forced into the levelling action that has been required for years in football- but there was no pressure to enact due to the simple reason that it is not thier pet clubs who have been suffering.
This calls for a total restructuring of football -
1. let each and every player in the premier league be paid the same basic wage, with the opportunity to double it by appearing in every game in a season
2. limit the number of players in each team that takes to the pitch to include
a. at least two ex-youth team players
b. at least six british players
3. open the TV markets to allow clubs to sell games themselves, as both individual games and packages / deals with fans or broadcasters.

Something like these three points were made in an FA proposal a few years ago (i forget where) and it is my opinion that only when one of the FA’s pet clubs (not Chelsea) falters will we see them get a leg up by a leveling of the playing field. Just look at what the government is doing with taxpayers money to bail out the greedy bastards who run financial institutions, and you will see how the FA will react to maintain the over-inflated prices that allow the directors to earn thousands once a key player goes bust.

Personally I think we (EFC) are doing as good as we can given the current situation, though I still envy club models like Barcelona (who doesnt?) where the fans play the greatest part of all in running, supporting and overseeing the club’s activities.

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