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Why do Birds ask the silliest questions?

By Jamie Rowland :  16/11/2008 :  Comments (50) :
As part of my birthday ?box? my old man has purchased me some top quality executive suite (Alex Young Lounge) tickets for the upcoming Chelsea game.

Of course, my girlfriend thought that these tickets were a crap present. That was until I told her what the ?executive? part meant. Now of course, with the promise of free drink and a meal she seems to want the invite (by default) for the spare ticket. I?m happy to take her, of course, but first I wanted her to experience the match day ?atmosphere? from my normal season ticket seat (Park End). I took her to the Boro game in an attempt to educate her on our great club (I, sadly, wasn?t expecting to have to teach her EVERYTHING about the game!).

Anyway, enough about taking her the match and enduring the stupidity of many questions (like ?why do you want a win, when a draw is always the fairest result??)? Just before the kick off, whilst talking about the stadium debacle, the money situation and other conspiracy theories to get her footballing juices flowing, she asked me a question that left me dumbfounded and without an answer with real substance.

She asked me: "Who is famous in Everton? You know, Liverpool have Gerrard and Manchester have that fake tan guy [Ronaldo]... who do Everton have?!" (She also commented on the condition of the stadium, price of catering and state of the facilities.) In a pathetic attempt to make her believe that we had someone famous ? I said "Tim Cahill." She gave a blank expression. So I said "Mikel Arteta" ? again the blank expression followed by "Just give up ? you haven?t got anybody have you!"

Embarrassingly I agreed when the guy next to us piped up "Fellaini ? household name that"? It may have had the faithful within earshot in stitches but it actually made me think. Think, unfortunately about the ongoing financial crisis that cripples the club and the complete lack of investors knocking on our door with open cheque books.

Apart from all the obvious arguments (old stadium, debt etc) that hinder our progress, what have we actually got that is even slightly attractive? By that I mean ? what assets does our club have? I hate to point to the top four but each of them has a pin up, a shirt seller and a living legend. Liverpool have Gerrard and Torres (every market stall in town has pictures/posters/calendars of that little Spanish shit). United have Ronaldo (before him Beckham and Giggs).

We have nothing. Even Arteta, a flair player (not that we would know given his latest performances) and a guy with a stunning celebrity girlfriend and boyish good looks himself, is not portrayed by the club as the pin up. Cahill has a bit of a bad boy image but the club does not utilise this to make cold hard cash.

Let's face it, Liverpool have such a fan base not only because they win (4th place every year is a bit boring, right?) but they attract every type of fan ? the guys wanting to watch football (and their lads) and the girls wanting to watch footballers because they are constantly seeing merchandise of the better looking players. Attracting this many fans gives them a great selling advantage above clubs like ours.

I remember when that lot signed Berger ? all the young girls round my way where wearing the shite shirts with his name on it. They couldn?t even name the first team or name the clubs in the Premier League but nevertheless they had parted with their cash for a shirt (and probably a poster or two) of their favourite footballing hunk).

Moving on swiftly, investors must look at clubs in a similar way to my girlfriend, and ask "What and who have they got?" When it comes to Everton, sadly the answer is "not much". Couple that with the asking price and I can only imagine what comments are returned and how much laughing must be had in Keith Harris?s office?

Then that makes me wonder, what kind of ?deal broker? would take on mission impossible? Or am I overlooking something here? Is fifth place a good enough position to attract investors? Is the prospect of a new stadium enough pulling power? Is the asking price low? Is the debt more positive than we think? What possibly makes an investment and deal guru like Keith Harris think that he can still find our great club a new owner? Surely it's not the profit from the 300% margins applied to the stadium catering?

Having my girlfriend with me at the game today (although painful at times) gave a view from a new pair of eyes and perspective. Unfortunately her first impressions were embarrassingly true: the club's in a mess. The stadium is a dump, the team has no superstars, and the atmosphere was damp at best. Sad but true.

Reader Comments

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Kevin Sparke
1   Posted 17/11/2008 at 07:58:11

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Three points Jamie.

1. Leave her at home watching ?celebrity come dancing on ice factor get me out of here?... she?ll be happier... you?ll be happier. Apart from washing the kit women have no place anywhere near a football pitch (Tongue firmly in cheek here).

2. Yak isn?t exactly an unknown.

3. Foreign ownership is so passe... being skint and owned by a Brit is much more preferable than being in mega debt and owned by a yank or an Arab.
Steve Sanchez
2   Posted 17/11/2008 at 08:12:07

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Louis Saha?
Jason Lam
3   Posted 17/11/2008 at 08:22:39

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How about Tony Hibbert and Philip Neville? And before them, those Chippendales pin-ups Gravesen and Carsley? Phoarrr!!!
Christine Foster
4   Posted 17/11/2008 at 09:35:06

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I sometimes wonder why the world of football is in the mess it's in and remember it's run by men. I look at my club and find it hard to imagine who, except after several vodkas, would make a girl flush...

Women cut to the chase and sometimes when we are allowed an unshackled moment from the cooker, we can give an objective view of the world that many men marvel at. But of course, Football is a man?s game and we aren?t supposed to understand are we?

Except of course it doesn?t really matter when you're a supporter, gender bias blah blah... More women should be involved ? perhaps next year, due to the obvious popularity of the pink EFC shirts, the team will play in pink?

Joking aside, sometimes it takes those without the passion to see the wood for the trees. Women do when men only wish...

Marc Williams
5   Posted 17/11/2008 at 09:39:56

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Jamie, what about Andy van der Shandy ?

He?s the pin up of every publican in the North West & a legend in his own lunchtime session! (allegedly)
Peter Bradshaw
6   Posted 17/11/2008 at 10:08:27

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According to my missus, the last pin-up we had was Pat van den Hauwe, she went every game when he was playing until he was shagging Mandy Smith, Bill Wyman's ex wife. She hasnt been since and has since found another love in David Beckham. I?d shag his wife though???
Patty Beesley
7   Posted 17/11/2008 at 10:09:35

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But Jaimie we have 11 pinups or, at least, they are to me and the pink shirt brigade. Suggest you leave that girl friend at home ? she is obviously a complete novice where the beautiful game is concerned, or get a new girlfriend who knows something about it!!
Craig Wilson
8   Posted 17/11/2008 at 10:01:39

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I think it's fair to say the Liverpool side of the eighties, their most successful side, was as ugly as they come complete with an array of dodgy moustache?s and perms!!!

So I think we need to be successful before you can win supporters over with good looking footballers!!!

Arteta has looks but on recent performances I have my doubts if he is even a footballer!!! I know a bit harsh but all light humoured
Andy Ellams
9   Posted 17/11/2008 at 11:21:37

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I think this post shows what a pathetic joke football is becoming. Who cares what celebs we have and which WAG they are currently attached to.
What a load of bollocks.
Michael Hunt
10   Posted 17/11/2008 at 11:27:43

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Coz they have bird brains ;-)

On a more serious note, of course the criteria to impress your ?bird? in terms of filling the team full of ?pretty boy pin-ups? does not equate to footballing success, and make it more likely we?d be regular CL qualifiers does it? Peter Beardsley was hardly considered a pin-up in his pomp was he, but his invention would have been pretty flaming useful yesterday and could?ve helped us get back in amongst the mix for top 4.

In terms of takeover potential, it is the financial potential that is relevant so while ?pretty boys? help sell more overpriced rip off merchandise it is hardly a key requirement is it. Man U seem to have done alright with such ?pin ups? as horsehead Nistelrooy, Shrek Rooney and Turdneck Tevez!
Tony Williams
11   Posted 17/11/2008 at 13:17:09

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Birds eh! Can live with them, can?t.... skin them alive when they forget to make your tea.

Jamie, to be honest I wouldn?t want a business partner that based their buy-out on whether we have a few pretty faces or not. I would expect a little more nous than that.
Ben Brown
12   Posted 17/11/2008 at 13:20:14

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Who have you got, eh? You haven’t got anyone have you, you worthless little shit. Everyone else has got someone and you haven’t, how does that make you feel? Come on, name me one player... you can’t can you, because you haven’t got anyone. You’re a bunch of nobodies, you are, no one cares about you. Fuck you.

Girls are so mean sometimes.
Lori Fekete
13   Posted 17/11/2008 at 13:22:15

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They?re all ugly as the football we?re still playing.

Although my Mrs is a goodluck charm whenever she?s been to GP, I stoped her going after the one too many stupid comments: when realising Gazza was on the teamsheet she said ?He can?t play for Everton, he plays for England!? (and he hadn?t even played for England for years by the time we had him).
Colin Potter
14   Posted 17/11/2008 at 10:35:12

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Your best bet, Jamie, would be to dump her, she seems a bit of a thicko to me.

Talking about our celebs, what about Moyes as one of the Simpsons (don?t know their names), and our most famous celeb of all, actor, entrepeneur, show stopper, and the biggest liar on the planet!

Jim Slade
15   Posted 17/11/2008 at 13:43:08

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Can't live with 'em; can't have straight sex without them. The stupidest question I ever heard was in a pub watching Utd and Everton back 10-ish years ago and some typically fair weather wannabe United shithead asked in a big loud voice Why the fuck Dwight Yorke never got called up for England? Nerd.

Women have their place at football, why not, as long as they dont ask 5-year-old's questions like our poster's missus.

Anthony Hawkins
16   Posted 17/11/2008 at 13:53:35

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Two words.

Joleon Lescott. He?s well known and played for England very recently.
Tony Williams
17   Posted 17/11/2008 at 13:59:05

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For the sake of parity they do ask sensible questions but even they piss you off.

I was asked by an ex once, "Why are you shouting at the telly? They can’t hear you?"

After I punched the wall several times to avoid cracking her around the chops, I said, "You know you are right but I can’t help it, why don’t you go out an buy some shoes you daft bint"..........did I mention she was my ex?
John Charles
18   Posted 17/11/2008 at 14:54:39

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Jamie, dump her man.

When I got with my girlfriend we did so with the following two clauses:

1) She instantly became an Evertonian.
2) I am allowed to cheat on her with Shakira.

You gotta put that bitch in her place bro!
Joe Daly
19   Posted 17/11/2008 at 15:58:47

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Women? At the football? What a shocking state of affairs, as you implied in your post, ?birds? are too stupid to be interested in anything but how cute a man is so we should stop them from going to the football. Whilst we?re at it, let?s stop the gays too, after all they?ll just start having sex with you during the football and that?s just annoying.
Steve Breswick
20   Posted 17/11/2008 at 16:22:10

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Mate, my missus has been harping on at me to take her to her first football match. She hasn?t got a clue either. It?s like when England went out of the World Cup in ?06 she said to me "Don?t worry about it there?s always next year!" Dunce. Goodison has had its day and is the only experience I would sample with my mates don?t take your bird if she don?t know about football.
Steve Hopkins
21   Posted 17/11/2008 at 16:12:17

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Do gays like football? I?m not sure if I?m asking a serious question or joking!!
Andrew Brown
22   Posted 17/11/2008 at 18:23:11

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Christine Foster..........Women do when men only wish...

How true, men wish to have a life after marriage, women DO have one when they take the kids, the house and the furniture!
Steve Mink
23   Posted 17/11/2008 at 20:22:44

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RIP Reg Varne, your spirit lives on at Toffeeweb....
Rob Costain
24   Posted 17/11/2008 at 20:48:18

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Am I being thick but I thought Gerrard, Torres & Co were gay icons, hence their popularity.
Arthur Jones
25   Posted 17/11/2008 at 21:29:55

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It?s easy, we are the ?chosen ones?, we did not choose. For all our recent attempts to lull the Sky 4 (cough) into a false sence of security, none of us could ever change allegiance. Your lady friend has obviously not got the bug, the "Everton Thing".
John Sreet
26   Posted 17/11/2008 at 21:40:29

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So she takes you to the world of Benetton and asks you about other high street brands... you have no interest in women?s fashion, she has no interest in Football, why would you expect different?

Yeah, Gerrard is famous, so ask her to name two other Liverpool players. Christine Foster shame on you, I think you have more balance that the that which you posted. Humankind thrives because men and women have so many different attributes.

Football is a game played by men and women, it just so happens that more men watch than women. I don?t think anyone here would have a problem with 30,000 women turning up to watch the blues!

Sean Patton
27   Posted 17/11/2008 at 22:41:20

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I would counter her questions with questions such as, Which Premier League player has scored the most goals in the last 4 seasons?

Who does he play for?
Alexa Dunne
28   Posted 18/11/2008 at 00:58:53

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To be honest, as much as you all say "what do women know about the sport, it’s not just about pin ups, who cares about the WAGS" etc. when you have a household name (and not just in the soccer community. I mean, Tim Howard is a huge name in the American soccer scene) it inspires outside interest. You need those one or two gay icons, eye candies for the women, as well as the exceptional skilled players for the ’real’ fans so to speak. you need all those so that you get those extra pounds when you sell the shirts and posters and calendars etc.

I sometimes wonder why our club doesn’t push our players into the public eye a bit more, tho being so far away I don’t know exactly what goes on in Liverpool. Why not get someone out there in the papers, modeling, whatever. get some girls interested, get their boyfriends to bring them to the game (and yes, some will suffer the ridiculous questions) get the money in from tickets, concessions, merchandise. use that money to improve what needs improving. Get the brand name into the papers more and more. Marketability is probably the most important aspect when looking at a new product to invest in. You go anywhere over here (USA) and you can probably find that Man U, Ski, Arse and dark side are recognizable names. Everton not so much. Once that changes for the better, and not just over here, it will improve our odds of an investor.

People hate on the Beckham’s but damn do they know how to get their name out there. And just by that, they’ve cashed in. We need the club to be much more like that...

Oh, and yeah... You might try finding a woman who actually understands and cares if it bothers you that much... We are out there :) just keep looking!
Alan Ross
29   Posted 18/11/2008 at 06:43:25

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I didn?t know Gerrard was Spanish.
Stephen Jones
30   Posted 18/11/2008 at 10:00:05

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Way back when in the eighties, a friend of a friend brought his girlfriend along to watch a match with us at Goodison, this was the first match she had ever been to. Just prior to kick-off, all the players were warming up with half a dozen footballs between them as usual. My friend asked her what she thought of it so far, to which she replied that it was different to how it looks on the television. In what way? he asked, to which she replied, ?On the TV, you can only see one football?.... True story.
Chris Boyd
31   Posted 18/11/2008 at 10:08:34

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What a load of crap this is!!!! Who gives a shit what the players look like? I don't. Any investor concerned with the good looks of our squad obviously is not the one we need.

I would be happy with a squad full of players that look like Steve Ogrizovic as long as they played well and won trophies. In future, leave her at home.

Sam List
32   Posted 18/11/2008 at 11:33:08

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She has a point. Real Madrid bought Beckham and others purely as they had a huge female following which sold them loads of shirts world over. Even now you see Beckhams LA GALAXY shirt on sale and on the backs of girls here (Australia). Good looking stars bring attention to a club, no matter how average the team is.
Jamie Rowland
33   Posted 18/11/2008 at 11:58:10

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Such anger!

The point is that names in football are brands (Beckham etc.) and they sell shirts and merchandise which makes fortunes. We haven?t got anything like that ? not one player ? and Investors do look at that. 30% plus profit margins on shirts and those little crappy keyrings make a difference and investors, not bothered themselves with the actual looks of a player, are bothered by what they can tap out of every resource ? and if it happens to be a pin-up, then thats even better and more profitable.

Household names exist on football ability of course but they also exist because kids like them, girls fancy them and they have a bit of scandal every now and then. Everton ? as much as I love them ? just have nothing and that; to an investor, is not attractive at all...

On a lighter note, my girlfriend has a little boy (4-year-old). His Dad is a red, his grandad is a red, his uncles are red. He is a blue and he wears his Everton kit with pride and makes sure that he sings "What's our name? EVERTON!" every time he visits any of them. So what his mother lacks in football know-how is more than made up for in my teachings to her son!

Allan Barratt
34   Posted 18/11/2008 at 12:19:29

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My girlfriend is a plastic redshite, she's been to Anfield once & Goodison twice. She knows more of our lads then theirs but insists she?s a die-hard red!! Torres, Gerrard, Kuyt & Riena are the only names she knows. Does my head in when she trys to talk about football or starts telling people how she?s this huge RS supporter.
Canny good cook tho!!
David McKee
35   Posted 18/11/2008 at 12:29:31

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Football or Politics are no place for the fairer sex. My wife asked me who Tony Benn was after seeing him on telly. I said he is a famous left winger. She said "Oh!.... did he play for Everton when he was younger"?
Alex Taylor
36   Posted 18/11/2008 at 13:44:21

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I took my missus to the Newcastle game and she looked genuinely hurt when they equalised for 2-2.

Asked what her thoughts were at full time, she told me: "Everton aren?t very good, are they?"

I was was inclined to agree.

Patty Beesley
37   Posted 18/11/2008 at 15:30:27

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So David McKee thinks that football is no place for the fairer sex.... God, I wished you had told me sooner.. I?ve been going for 50 years!!!
Lee Aitch
38   Posted 18/11/2008 at 18:56:20

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My Mrs had a thing for Beattie...
Victor Johnson
39   Posted 18/11/2008 at 22:32:40

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I had a thing for Beattie too... a fucking ballistic missile up his arse with the smart chip programmed to target Brammall Lane
Maurice Brown
40   Posted 19/11/2008 at 08:42:05

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Thank you very much, this thread had me in stitches all morning. Especially like Victor’s last reposte.
Paul Niklas
41   Posted 19/11/2008 at 10:16:24

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She has unfortunatley a very valid point.

Take it as fact from me that investors apart from revenue and new stadium want profile.

Newcastle and Tottenham and a few others are the same as Everton basically, but with a very key difference, they have over the years bought players with higher profiles on a global basis than we have and this I am afraid has given them much more brand awareness than us.

Even having Keegan as a manager and Owen as a player ,the same with Totenham they buy higher profile players or have higher profile managers and all of this creates noise and interest.

We have never really done this at an international level due to money mainly but believe me Investors, particularly those that want to use the club they buy to promote themselves and their other core business want sexy teams with celebrity asscociation and not that is associated with a traditional surburban club with no real identity outside of the core fans.

Sad but true,.

I had this discussion with someone recently who is involved in this type of investment, he did not know are history, what we had achieved versus the likes of Newcastle and Tottenham because we dont promote it enough for people to see what we are and what we could become again.

So to summarise "what do investors want ?, they want sexy clubs, are Everton sexy, unfortunatley not.

Just watch Sky sports or any other footballing programme, someone only has to fall down a flight of stairs at Tottenham or Newcastle and its headlined.

Why would this be, because Sky and others know globally people are more interested than say a 15 million signing from Liege regardless of whether he is a great player or not.
Patty Beesley
42   Posted 19/11/2008 at 11:34:04

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You're right Paul.... with reference to your penultimate paragraph, you are right and yesterday is a prime example. Sky Sports make mention of the fact and interview with Davey as to his £5,000 fine but don?t bother to give us a bit of good publicity by saying he has won the North-West Manager Award. If it had been friend Rafa that had won it, it would have been publicised on Sky Sports throughout the evening.
Lee Aitch
43   Posted 19/11/2008 at 20:57:30

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Have we all forgotten that we are the football club who had David Ginola at the peak of his career, not to mention... er Steve Watson
George Brooks
44   Posted 20/11/2008 at 20:17:05

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My two sisters have absolutely no idea who (apart from Tim and Mikel) play?s for Everton, and they don?t care either, coz, like me, they were born with blue blood, they don?t care who OWN?S Everton, WHO manages Everton, they?ve never even been to GP, but like all of us they look forward to the weekend so they can shout and cheer for the club they where born to love, be it radio or tv or even vidiprinter on Football Focus, they will happily dress my nieces and nephews in full Everton kit and encourage full support to the team we love. They are the people, Everton IS the People's Club.

If you don?t understand this............

Paul Henshaw
45   Posted 20/11/2008 at 21:00:58

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Why was she unshackled from her handcuffs at the sink anyway?!
Amanda Huddleston
46   Posted 21/11/2008 at 11:52:51

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Oi Jamie!

I am a "bird" and a season ticket and all I can say in reply to your question is why do the blokes sat round me make such ridiculous / mundane / uninformed & obvious comments!?

Its not a geezer or bird think ? some people are daft ? some are not.

FACT! :-)
Jamie Rowland
47   Posted 21/11/2008 at 14:14:38

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Come on people... she had a point though ? and I?m glad that the post made some of you smile ? although a serious point is in there somewhere, it was also aimed at giving fellow Evertonians (and match goers) something to smile about on a Monday morning!
Garry Corgan
48   Posted 21/11/2008 at 21:54:00

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I have to agree with Jamie and his missus! (One of the few).

We can delude ourselves that the likes of Lescott, Yakubu or Arteta are household names but they are not. Ask any non-football fan who they play for and you?ll likely get the wrong answer.

Football is now a business and Everton need to start treating it as such. While it may be distasteful to many of us to start ?pimping? some of our ?better-looking? players and building up their non-footballing portfolio, it?d ultimately be good for both the club?s and their own profile.
Franny Porter
49   Posted 23/11/2008 at 18:08:37

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I asked my Mrs if she wanted to put a bet on who would be the eventual winner of the European Championships in the Summer.

Her choice.............Brazil.

I kid you not.
Philip Drew-White
50   Posted 24/11/2008 at 13:50:56

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I think we should do this every Monday, good one Jamie, brightened my day up, Victor - nearly wet meself with that one!

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