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.
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1 Posted 17/11/2008 at 07:58:11
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.
2 Posted 17/11/2008 at 08:12:07
3 Posted 17/11/2008 at 08:22:39
4 Posted 17/11/2008 at 09:35:06
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...
5 Posted 17/11/2008 at 09:39:56
He?s the pin up of every publican in the North West & a legend in his own lunchtime session! (allegedly)
6 Posted 17/11/2008 at 10:08:27
7 Posted 17/11/2008 at 10:09:35
8 Posted 17/11/2008 at 10:01:39
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
9 Posted 17/11/2008 at 11:21:37
What a load of bollocks.
10 Posted 17/11/2008 at 11:27:43
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!
11 Posted 17/11/2008 at 13:17:09
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.
12 Posted 17/11/2008 at 13:20:14
Girls are so mean sometimes.
13 Posted 17/11/2008 at 13:22:15
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).
14 Posted 17/11/2008 at 10:35:12
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!
15 Posted 17/11/2008 at 13:43:08
Women have their place at football, why not, as long as they dont ask 5-year-old's questions like our poster's missus.
16 Posted 17/11/2008 at 13:53:35
Joleon Lescott. He?s well known and played for England very recently.
17 Posted 17/11/2008 at 13:59:05
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?
18 Posted 17/11/2008 at 14:54:39
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!
19 Posted 17/11/2008 at 15:58:47
20 Posted 17/11/2008 at 16:22:10
21 Posted 17/11/2008 at 16:12:17
22 Posted 17/11/2008 at 18:23:11
How true, men wish to have a life after marriage, women DO have one when they take the kids, the house and the furniture!
23 Posted 17/11/2008 at 20:22:44
24 Posted 17/11/2008 at 20:48:18
25 Posted 17/11/2008 at 21:29:55
26 Posted 17/11/2008 at 21:40:29
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!
27 Posted 17/11/2008 at 22:41:20
Who does he play for?
28 Posted 18/11/2008 at 00:58:53
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!
29 Posted 18/11/2008 at 06:43:25
30 Posted 18/11/2008 at 10:00:05
31 Posted 18/11/2008 at 10:08:34
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.
32 Posted 18/11/2008 at 11:33:08
33 Posted 18/11/2008 at 11:58:10
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!
34 Posted 18/11/2008 at 12:19:29
Canny good cook tho!!
35 Posted 18/11/2008 at 12:29:31
36 Posted 18/11/2008 at 13:44:21
Asked what her thoughts were at full time, she told me: "Everton aren?t very good, are they?"
I was was inclined to agree.
37 Posted 18/11/2008 at 15:30:27
38 Posted 18/11/2008 at 18:56:20
39 Posted 18/11/2008 at 22:32:40
40 Posted 19/11/2008 at 08:42:05
41 Posted 19/11/2008 at 10:16:24
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.
42 Posted 19/11/2008 at 11:34:04
43 Posted 19/11/2008 at 20:57:30
44 Posted 20/11/2008 at 20:17:05
If you don?t understand this............
45 Posted 20/11/2008 at 21:00:58
46 Posted 21/11/2008 at 11:52:51
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.
47 Posted 21/11/2008 at 14:14:38
48 Posted 21/11/2008 at 21:54:00
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.
49 Posted 23/11/2008 at 18:08:37
I kid you not.
50 Posted 24/11/2008 at 13:50:56