A depressing week on the football front has got me thinking about how, for most of the last 40 years, we have ended up playing second fiddle to the RS. In 1970 we had the edge in trophies (just), money, glamour and reputation (yes, honestly) and facilities. The reason why my generation struggle so much with the current situation is that we were brought up to believe that we were the the ones with the history and heritage who deserved the best.
As with our current 'passing game', most of our wounds down the years have been self-inflicted and the most important errors have undoubtedly been made off the field. The ones that spring to mind are:
- Lost to Panathanikos in the European Cup and Liverpool in the FA cup semi final in the same week - a blow which knocked the club for six on the field
- Failed to sack Catterick straight away when he had lost his way and sadly his health ? a crucial error
- Fucked up the appointment of Bobby Robson ? what might have been
- Blew the '75 title when we should have strolled it
- Sold Lineker before the World Cup, at a knockdown price, but more importantly we openly advertised ourselves as a selling club, a policy which has continued ever since
- Appointed Harvey as manager when the club must have known he was totally unsuited to the top job
- John Moores leaving the club in limbo with no exit strategy and no funds ? I personally believe this was far and away the most damaging episode in the last 40 years. When his health was still good he must, as a top businessman, have known what would happen. To think that some fans still hold him up as some kind of hero figure ? if I had my way I would dig up his bones and...
- Reappointing Kendall ? has that ever worked?
- The King Dock fiaso ? it still hurts and was a golden opportunity lost. For those that love 'Blue Bill' just ask yourself has he ever explained why it went tits up. No, of course not, and to this day no one really knows and this says everything about our current chairman
And what can we learn from the above tale of woe? Get the right people behind the scenes and the rest is easy. I somehow think we have some way to go on that front.
John Doolan, Posted 09/04/2008 at 18:42:51
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1 Posted 09/04/2008 at 21:04:35
2 Posted 09/04/2008 at 21:25:30
Liverpool recovered because at that time they were about to go through a rebuilding exercise whilst we had a youngish side that could have stayed together for several years. Liverpool still have that minority of "yobs" as supporters as evidenced once again last week at the Emirates stadium when a number of genuine fans were denied access to the stadium because the "yobs" had forged tickets.
I am in my 60s and I get more bitter about all this as the years pass and see Liverpool getting richer and richer whilst we scratch around to enable one decent signing each year, if that. I hope all this fiasco with Gillett and Hicks ends up as a disaster for the RS.
3 Posted 09/04/2008 at 21:46:17
My only hope is that we dont fall back into mediocrity as even after we finished fourth in 2005 we still managed to have a woeful season afterwards, it could all go wrong again if we start selling our best players and not replacing them (another Everton trait over the years, think Lineker). I hope we are breaking the cycle now but with EFC you just never can look too optomistic without a negative cropping up somewhere..
4 Posted 09/04/2008 at 22:10:48
5 Posted 09/04/2008 at 22:56:45
6 Posted 09/04/2008 at 23:13:49
If this had happened we wouldn?t be having this Kirkby fiasco being forced upon us.
7 Posted 09/04/2008 at 22:58:16
8 Posted 09/04/2008 at 22:57:48
whilst I agree with a number of your thoughts in principle I cannot agree with your feelings on Colin Harvey.
For the record as well as taking us to an FA cup final that we were unlucky to lose in 1990 here are the league placings for the years in charge:
1987-88 40 14 4 2 34 11 5 9 6 19 16 70 4th
1988-89 38 10 7 2 33 18 4 5 10 17 27 54 8th
1989-90 38 14 3 2 40 16 3 5 11 17 30 59 6th
I.e. better than Moyes.
He was only considered a failure because our expectations were so high at the time following Kendall 1. Even a couple of the players of that era said he was only a couple of good players away from being a top side again.
Our main problem was the knock on effect of Heysel which resulted in the loss of key players who wanted European football and also the aging/injury of a number of other stars. Nobody following Harvey with the exception briefly of Joe Royle has managed to get near Harvey?s record until Moyes.
9 Posted 09/04/2008 at 23:37:12
There can be no comparison, Harvey succeeded Championship winning team wherever Moyes has build it from the ashes, moreover Everton were spending in the higher end of the market and are in the low-middle range of it now.
10 Posted 09/04/2008 at 23:41:49
1960-61 42 13 4 4 47 23 9 2 10 40 46 50 5th
1961-62 42 17 2 2 64 21 3 9 9 24 33 51 4th
1962-63 42 14 7 0 48 17 11 4 6 36 25 61 1st
1963-64 42 14 4 3 53 26 7 6 8 31 38 52 3rd
1964-65 42 9 10 2 37 22 8 5 8 32 38 49 4th
1965-66 42 12 6 3 39 19 3 5 13 17 43 41 11th
1966-67 42 11 4 6 39 22 8 6 7 26 24 48 6th
1967-68 42 18 1 2 43 13 5 5 11 24 27 52 5th
1968-69 42 14 5 2 43 10 7 10 4 34 26 57 3rd
1969-70 42 17 3 1 46 19 12 5 4 26 16 66 1st
1970-71 42 10 7 4 32 16 2 6 13 22 44 37 14th
1971-72 42 8 9 4 28 17 1 9 11 9 31 36 15th
1972-73 42 9 5 7 27 21 4 6 11 14 28 37 17th
1973-74 42 12 7 2 29 14 4 5 12 21 34 44 7th
1974-75 42 10 9 2 33 19 6 9 6 23 23 50 4th
1975-76 42 10 7 4 37 24 5 5 11 23 42 42 11th
1976-77 42 9 7 5 35 24 5 7 9 27 40 42 9th
1977-78 42 14 4 3 47 22 8 7 6 29 23 55 3rd
1978-79 42 12 7 2 32 17 5 10 6 20 23 51 4th
1979-80 42 7 7 7 28 25 2 1 9 15 26 35 19th
1980-81 42 8 6 7 32 25 5 4 12 23 33 36 15th
1981-82 42 11 7 3 33 21 6 6 9 23 29 64* 8th
1982-83 42 13 6 2 43 19 5 4 12 23 29 64 7th
1983-84 42 9 9 3 21 12 7 5 9 23 30 62 7th
1984-85 42 16 3 2 58 17 12 3 6 30 26 90 1st
1985-86 42 16 3 2 54 18 10 5 6 33 23 86 2nd
1986-87 42 16 4 1 49 11 10 4 7 27 20 86 1st
1987-88 40 14 4 2 34 11 5 9 6 19 16 70 4th
1988-89 38 10 7 2 33 18 4 5 10 17 27 54 8th
1989-90 38 14 3 2 40 16 3 5 11 17 30 59 6th
1990-91 38 9 5 5 26 15 4 7 8 24 31 51 9th
I.e. the most sutstained period of success in EFC?s history.
John Moores is an Everton legend and God bless him for what he did for Everton. However, I have to agree he was not good at building Dynasties. His family was very fragmented as was his Littlewoods Empire after he died but even at the age of 94 he attended every Everton match he could and still led from the front.
An absolutely amazing True Blue ? unlike the current Charlatan.
11 Posted 09/04/2008 at 23:55:33
The point about Harvey is that while he did well compared with Moyes he didn?t do well compared with Kendall. Harvey inherited champions and an open check book whereas Moyes inherited debt and a relegation threatened bunch of misfits and has beens. Obviously it would appear that Harvey did "better" but you can only work with the tools you?re given so CH taking Everton down to 4th is actually pathetic compared with Moyes raising Everton to 4th.
As a manager Harvey was to Kendall as Harford was to Dalglish at Blackburn ... a good number 2 but a manager who quickly took the team downhill despite spending a tonne of money. Moyes has never broken a British transfer record to sign a player as Harvey did with Cottee. Yakubu has been his biggest signing and cost half as much as any number of players at the "big 4."
I think Harvey was a great player, great coach and great guy by all accounts but I do personally blame him to a large degree for our demise. His terrible signings left us broke and a succession of other failed managers and terrible directors/owners/Chairman have added to the problem with gross mismanagement.
With regard to Moores the original poster said that Moore?s should have sorted things out before he croaked he didn?t say that Moores was terrible for the entire duration of his reign.
12 Posted 09/04/2008 at 23:48:29
And I?m sorry but I don?t buy this shite about key players jumping ship after the European ban. Perhaps my memory is starting to fail me but the key players only left after we started sliding down the table and it was obvious that Harvey wasn?t up to the job.
13 Posted 10/04/2008 at 00:21:36
I didn't intend to suggest Harvey was a better coach than Moyes; what I was trying to point out was that, with the situation he inherited, ie, a disillusioned squad used to winning championships and cups and some past their sell-by dates, his short record stands against most and therefore he was not as bad as many thought.
And I don't apportion much blame to Harvey for our demise. The whole squad needed rebuilding and "The Premiership" was looming and we hit the "Down"cycle at exactly the wrong time. We needed stability and building and we got instability and destruction instead mainly brought on by the Johnson/Kenwright era at the time.
14 Posted 10/04/2008 at 02:45:50
Couple of points though.
- Lineker was sold after the World Cup, when he finished with the Golden Boot. Carter decided to cash in. Lineker has always said he wanted to stay, but was sold by the club. This played a big part in Kendall?s decision to leave. Manage in Europe, Atletic Bilbao - think about it...
- Harvey never wanted the job, never asked for it, but his feeling for Everton was such that he felt he could not turn it down. In hindsight he wishes he had done.
- I remember meeting Sir John in 1990 or 91 when I worked in one of the sponsor?s lounges. You could see then he was on his way out. In a wheelchair and to be honest, looked more like Davros than the great Businessmen so many had told me about. But a lovely, genuine guy to the end (though told he was ruthless in the boardroom, and rightly so).
Otherwise top post.
15 Posted 10/04/2008 at 02:42:24
Although now there’s more investment in clubs like Spurs, Newcastle, Portsmouth, Villa, West Ham, I believe the top4 will always continue to be one step ahead of the chasing pack. It’s something that the FA, UEFA, FIFA, Act of God must interfere and change the way football’s run, for the continuing interest of the sport.
16 Posted 10/04/2008 at 03:38:32
Also, what?s the deal with Lord Granchester? When my grandad was alive he used to write to me bitching about the "fifth wealthiest man in Britain" being on EFC?s board and refusing to spend a penny of his cash on us. Is this true? Is he still around?
17 Posted 10/04/2008 at 05:26:58
His claim to fame more recently is playing a significant role (and coughing up a not insignificant wedge of ready cash) to facilitate the purchase of the David France Collection and provide it wiith a permanent home accessible to all Evertonians.
Sean’s question, however, raises this common misconception about the role of Everton Directors, and especially the thorny issue of their financial contribution. There is an requirement that they own shares in the club, although the number is nominal (1 or 3). Th thing about that "investment" is that it is a one-off, and it really does not benefit the club.
As I understand it, however, there really is no other mechanism, behind simply handing over the cash, for them to invest further in Everton... and why should they? People of power and wealth don’t start simply giving away their hard-earned for no return. To expect as much is plain daft.
Why do some Evertonians believe that is their fuction?
18 Posted 10/04/2008 at 08:33:45
19 Posted 10/04/2008 at 09:40:13
Mis-management was to blame, we were on top in England and we fell off big time.
20 Posted 10/04/2008 at 09:26:11
Both my Dad and Uncle worked for Littlewood’s Pool’s for 25 years apiece. My Dad says that when John had all his faculties he was indeed a very shrewd operator and even ruthless with his own family.
Although he made Everton into the Mersey Millionaires this was in the form of an interest free loan(s).
Both John and Cecil Moores left this world as paupers; however they left their children as asset rather than cash rich.
This allied to the fact that none of the Moores children have absolutley no business acumen (David Moores used to spend his days at the Walton Hall Ave Office reading Shoot!) led to the gradual selling off of their businesses, and running the pool’s side into the ground and the need for DM to sell LFC.
So I understand why Lord Granchester hasn’t bought the club, he’s just a non-entitiy when the issue comes up.
21 Posted 10/04/2008 at 09:25:22
The last game defeat of Wimbledon and the last day survival in Kendall III come to mind as the obviuous ones. The sale of Dunc to Newcastle when it was obvious that the hamperman?s empire was going tits up and the fans finally had seen enough stopped us turning into a Sheffield Wednesday. Not sacking Moyes during his terrible 3rd season and after the Villarreal / Uefa Cup exits was also pivotal.
Not being a great fan of BK, I would say that this was more down to lack of other available options than to clear thinking but had he succumbed to some of the screaming at the time we would now be a Yo-Yo club like West Brom.
22 Posted 10/04/2008 at 10:28:21
To my mind Everton were badly damaged at the end of Sir John Moores’ reign, when the club was left in limbo.
Colin Harvey wasn’t cut out for management, but that’s hindsight talking ? at the time it seemed a good idea.
23 Posted 10/04/2008 at 11:31:22
24 Posted 10/04/2008 at 11:57:35
In this time they also won the FA cup only once, but reached 3 finals and 3 semi finals. With greats such as Geary, Sharp, Makepeace, Jack Bell, Freeman to name a few. The tragedy is these hero’s have never been given the recognition they deserve - we couldn’t even organise anything a few years ago to celebrate 100 years since our first FA cup win (my 7 year old son pointed out that cock up). So, given we all know our history so well, lets give these arl’ fella’s their long overdue praise.
25 Posted 10/04/2008 at 12:28:51
26 Posted 10/04/2008 at 12:40:13
Add to that the man who employed Walker, Peter Johnson, and there you have two culprits for our sad recent demise.
27 Posted 10/04/2008 at 12:30:50
Its purely down to gross mis-management.. With hindsight Colin Harvey should of never been given the job, but at the time he was the perfect choice.
I am one of those Evertonians who like many others have posted here have witnessed the decline from pitchside.. I managed to get to see a couple of games in 86-87 being only 15.. But my most attended games are from 87-88 to the present day.
Its all been very painful up until the past few seasons.
Harvey in my mind turned us from a championship winning side into relegation material in 3-4 years.
Ok so players get old and lose their form or move on, but look at their replacements.
Stephan Rehn, Ray Atteveld, Mike Milligan, Neil McDonald, maybe Cottee ? They never really replaced what we had.
The football we played then was awful and it got even worse for many years to come..
Its not all Harveys fault, you have to look at the board, where did all the money go ??
How were a club like Everton in 87 allowed to slip into debt ridden relegation material.
God knows how we stayed up and what would of happened if we had gone down..
Thank you Hans Segers !
But please dont blame Heysel and Liverpool for everything.. Arent we better than that ?
28 Posted 10/04/2008 at 13:11:00
29 Posted 10/04/2008 at 13:25:22
30 Posted 10/04/2008 at 13:20:11
How anyone can blame John Moores is beyond me. Without his investment we may never have reached the heights of the 60s, nevermind the 80s. To have only finished in the bottom half 5 times in 30 years is a fantastic achievement. While doffing a cap to the early Everton teams, the league was well and truly established by the 60s and so much more competetive.
Heysel, obviously had a big impact with players leaving, however we have never really had a long period of absolute success, unlike some neighbours in red. So I?m not convinced that it had the impact that we all assume it must have done.
One of the big mistakes we made was not taking advantage of the Premier League era. At the time of the discussions for the Premier League, we were still well and truly at the forefront of English football and actually had an input into how it was to be formed etc.
A failure to invest in the team at that point left us slipping to the lower half of the table where we were unable to escape until Moyes.
It?s hard to remember but UTD had won only 7 league titles at the start of the 1st PL season, 2 less than us. They now stand on 16. They have benefitted hugely from the exposure of winning during the PL explosion.
Kendall Mk II clearly wasn?t the answer, but the refusal to buy Dion Dublin, was symptomatic of that period where we really fell behind the leading figures of English football.
31 Posted 10/04/2008 at 13:58:47
32 Posted 10/04/2008 at 14:41:57
I agree with Micky Norman that not sacking Moyes during the disastrous first couple of months of the Villareal season was a huge thing for us re: on-field stability. How many other top-flight clubs would?ve stuck with the manager who had won, what, one of the first ten league matches?
33 Posted 10/04/2008 at 15:03:11
34 Posted 10/04/2008 at 16:43:12
35 Posted 10/04/2008 at 17:32:12
At that time the Club tried all money making schemes you can think of - even opening up a Travel Agents under thge Bullens Road stand! We were the first Club with an electronic scoreboard, a triple decker stand, seats and standing on all 4 sides, undersoil heating, Bellefield was the best training ground in the country, we were the first team ,along with Liverpool, to put sponsors’ names on shirts. The list is endless.
Then nothing. Whilst cash may have been tight on Merseyside in the mid 70’s, eighties and nineties it does not excuse the utter complacency of our Directors since then. Whilst most other Clubs have re-built their stadia after the Taylor Report, all Everton have done is build the Partk End at a cost of only £800k after grants. Ok, some other stadia were much worse ( eg Stamford Bridge ) , but spending only £800k plus £1m on a Gwladys Street roof in 1987 as your only major stadium investment in nearly 40 years is a fucking disgrace.
It brings us neatly back to where we are now and a Club still badly run off the pitch ( you all know what I mean, the list is endless ) and being transplanted in Kirkby. It’s no too late to re-invest in Goodison and get the facilities and money making operations up to scratch, but after 30 years of cock ups this looks like the one to top them all.
36 Posted 10/04/2008 at 17:48:49
I think the appointment of Harvey and Kendall for a second (and third) time plus Mike walker meant we never capitalised on the new money coming in when the Premiership was formed. We got left behind.
I read some quotes from the Burnley chairman in the 1960s when football was beginning to be televised, he banned tv cameras from Turf Moor saying television would be the death of football. I think he was right.
37 Posted 10/04/2008 at 18:38:34
38 Posted 10/04/2008 at 18:52:07
Over two legs EVERTON 0 INTER MILAN 1.
39 Posted 11/04/2008 at 08:11:59
As a few of us mentioned, in the light of current predicaments (Premier League, Sky4, no finance, 4-5-1, lazy Yak), where do we go from here? I suppose Joe Royle winning the Cup gives us hope. COYBs
40 Posted 11/04/2008 at 08:34:54
The replacement of Lineker, Sheedy and Reid with Cottee, McCall and Nevin was the first nail in the coffin. Good players but not fit to lace the boots of the aforementioned.
the next key disaster in my opinion was the decision to build the existing Park End instead of a massive stand like Villa and the RS did. Had we have done that back in 1993 the redevelopment of GP would no doubt have followed.
41 Posted 11/04/2008 at 09:58:19
42 Posted 11/04/2008 at 15:38:19
Widnes had great cup and league success in the 70s and 80s, but some bad financial control led to an exodus of quality players (such as Lydon and Offiah) and the emergence of a team (Wigan) that dominated the sport in the same way that the RS did in the 70s and 80s - boring the pants off supporters of other teams who knew they were only playing for 2nd spot at best.
Lo and behold, Sky TV come along and revamp the game in the form of the Super League, but unfortunately at a time when Widnes’s form and resources were at their lowest ebb. Not only do they miss out financially from not being in the Super League in those initial years (with an effect on their fanbase, sponsorship etc.), but they find themselves poorly equipped to re-join the big boys when they are able to gain temporary promotion to the Super League in recent years.
I agree with most of the reasons cited for Everton’s problems in recent years, but I think the lousy running of the club in those years just prior to the formation of the Premier League has had the most effect on us. If we could have been anything like the team we were in the mid-80s, we would have been able to immediately benefit financially as a result of our league position, gained more European exposure, attracted better players and gained more of a national following amongst the albeit fickle TV generation of young football fans.
Sadly, a bit like Widnes, timing was against us and by not benefitting from Sky in those earlier years like the usual suspects have done, we have been playing catch-up ever since, until the gap between us and the Sky 4 is significant and more than the single league position would suggest.
For us to be as close as we are now, despite the Harvey, Walker, Royle (FA Cup blip excepted), Smith and Johnson years, reflects superbly on Davey Moyes, but is this about as good as it gets?
Sky TV and the emphasis on money-generation which the EPL and CL have brought have changed football for ever, and unfortunately, unless you have a ’Sugar Daddy’, if you didn’t get on the gravy train in the 90s, you’ve been left behind. Depressing thought, really....
By the way, I agree with Paul Chisholm. That week in 1986 was dreadful. Thanks for mentioning it - it’s put some of the recent disappointments in perspective.