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How Times Have Changed

By Sur Jo :  03/01/2009 :  Comments (13) :
I would like to quote the following from a Wall Street Journal, 2 January 2009 article:

?Many owners? primary business incurred deep losses in 2008. As a result, league officials and investment bankers fear a market flooded with teams for sale at a time when potential buyers are few and credit for acquiring sports teams is difficult to secure, which would lead to shrinking team values.?

In light of the above, I am curious to know more about the short- to medium-term outlook for my beloved Everton FC. I recently read that we just had a season of record turnover. Next, unlike many, there is someone willing to part-finance the construction of a new stadium for us. But then, our manager does not have money to make signings. We have close to £50 million in debt. Our gate attendance is lower. Bill Kenwright can?t find a buyer of his choice for the club despite working 24/7.

Hence, while my favorite club is showing some signs of progress, yet their financial problem seem insurmountable and keeps growing over time. To bring solace to myself, I decided to look around the finances of the other Premier League clubs and see where we stand in comparison.

First, let us look at the known financial problems:

  1. Liverpool have postponed plans for a new stadium because of a lack of financing; it is also rumored that their owners have to refinance their current debts
  2. Newcastle have reached a standstill as far as financing goes
  3. It is rumored that West Ham are up for a forced sale
  4. It is also rumored that Portsmouth are up for a forced sale
Hence, 3 out of the 4 above teams won?t bother us for the near term in terms of our standing.

Teams that can?t invest at the moment include:

  1. Blackburn ? it is reported that, if they go down, there is no comeback (OK, if they sell Santa Cruz then it may be a different story; but who do they bring in his place?)
  2. Middlesbrough
Hence, at least for now, we are not too worried about these two posing a significant risk to us.

Let us consider those who may spend but not big:

  1. Wigan Bolton
  2. Hull
  3. Stoke
  4. West Brom
  5. Sunderland
  6. Fulham
I expect us to perform better than those seven teams.

Let us now look at the big spenders:

  1. Man City
  2. Chelsea
  3. Man Utd
  4. Tottenham
  5. Arsenal
  6. Aston Villa
  7. Liverpool
I think, because of their financial muscle, these 7 teams will edge us for the time being.

Conclusion: Based on the above, I see Everton as the 8th most powerful team in the League, and I would love to think that this means we are a well-established Premier League team that won?t be besieged by the problems that are currently haunting West Ham, Portsmouth and, in the past, Leeds.

Well then who do I thank for that? I guess David Moyes and Bill Kenwright (and for sure: us, the fans).

I can?t forget how we saved ourselves and stayed in the Premier League on the last day of the 1997-98 campaign. I can?t forget the beating we were taking under Walter Smith towards the end of his tenure. I can?t forget the uncertainty and mounting debts at the club under the chairmanship of Peter Johnson. I can?t forget how the club was saved from relegation with a few minutes to spare in its last game of the 1993-94 campaign, and how we could not collect points under the management of Mike Walker.

I have seen dark days at the club and there was no end in sight until the last few seasons, and for a few seasons when Joe Royle and Big Dunc were at the club. And when I look at the top of the club?s hierarchy for the last few seasons, I see Bill Kenwright and David Moyes. Remember that they inherited a club in crisis that was heading down.

It?s true that we have not won anything since that memorable FA Cup Final under Joe Royle with Southall and Watson as the rock of the team, Limpar orchestrating that memorable FA Cup run alongside hotshots Rideout, Ferguson and Amokachi. But it is also true that these days I am not as anxious about my club as I was in the past. It means a lot to me as a fan that these days we are not talking about our Premier League survival but about how we make it to Europe! Thank you, David Moyes and Bill Kenwright. Though I hope they do not prove me wrong soon.

Reader Comments

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Dennis Stevens
1   Posted 03/01/2009 at 18:04:41

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Indeed! Thank goodness those debts have stopped mounting since the Johnson era ended!
Derek Thomas
2   Posted 03/01/2009 at 18:08:59

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You are Doddy in disguise and I claim the £10 prize.
Michael Jennings
3   Posted 03/01/2009 at 18:11:11

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Good article, mate. Despite you seeing us as 8th biggest team, based on final league placings from last season were the 5th biggest team, this proves how good a job Moyes has done (it's no fluke either as we currently look comfortable in 6th). Long may the steady stable progress continue.
Alan Armstrong
4   Posted 03/01/2009 at 20:54:55

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A good piece from a fan who knows his stuff but probably doesn?t get to as many games as he?d like. There are 88 league clubs who?d like to be where we are, and I think many of us forget this when we're ranting on about past glories and current performances.

Yes, Moyes is negative at times, but let's be honest, he now knows his way around the Premier League, he has shown he can achieve top ten without mega resources, he?d probably struggle if he was given millions to spend!!

We all strived for mid-table obscurity when he arrived, we?ve got that now... I know, I know ? what's next? Let's just enjoy a bit of consistency and consolidation at present, cos over the next 2 years the Premier League is going to go bismark. Administration awaits 1 or 2, points deductions etc. Man Utd, Liverpool, Chelsea cutting spending...

Let's try to sit tight and see where we are in a couple of years. And let's hope the ground move goes on the back burner for a while, oh and I for one think we will win the cup this season, I think we (Moyes) are due!

Eric Myles
5   Posted 04/01/2009 at 01:35:38

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You give credit to Kenwright and Moyes for saving the club "over the last few seasons" but Kenwright has been on the board for 12 seasons and has been a part of the problem for much of that time.

To many he may have ?saved the club? (lol, I remember how he ?saved the Playhouse?) but since becoming owner/chairman has still done nothing to halt the slide and in fact has deliberately harmed the club in regards to Kings Dock and the fictitious Fortress Sports Fund.
Stephen Jones
6   Posted 04/01/2009 at 10:01:36

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Kenwright has actually been a member of the board at Everton since October 1989. So it?s his 20-year anniversary soon, perhaps Doddy will be having a whip-round on ToffeeWeb so we can buy him a present... Ok, maybe not.
Peter Hall
7   Posted 04/01/2009 at 09:43:52

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I totally disagree with your rankings. If it were only a question of money then you might be right, might as well do away with the league and just see who can write the biggest cheque.

Everton are by a clear margin the best perforing club outside the top four in the last 4-5 years. We average 1.55 points per game with Spurs next below us on 1.41 ? an average of 5 points per season worse.

Yes Villa have edged ahead of us ? but this is not just down to American money, though that helps. O?Neill is a first-rate manager (on some sort of a par with Moyes) and has been at the club for years and developed his own squad and vision.

As I predicted here several months ago to disbelief from the gloom merchants, we will almost certainly finish sixth this year. We all hope for better, but that would be unexpected. And we are head and shoulders above the rest as a club, a squad and an organisation.

In contrast, where do you think Man City would be without the takeover and spectacular Robinho deal? They?d have a lot more points in my view ? some of their players (and their manager??) have given up the ghost knowing they?ll be out as soon as they can be replaced, and the whole management set-up is dysfunctional, with marketing people undermining the players ("Richard Dunne doesn?t go down big in Beijing"). What are Robinho?s goals worth against this?

By the way, what of QPR ? the ?richest club in the world? we were told last year? Shouldn?t they be in your top three?
Mike McLean
8   Posted 04/01/2009 at 14:26:01

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Liverpool are one of the teams that won?t bother us? Like it or not, this is the strongest Liverpool side since the ?80s.
Don't get me wrong, I wish God?s pox on each and everyone but they are way out of our league.
Neil McKinney
9   Posted 05/01/2009 at 15:43:17

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Not quite sure what this post says really, but it was always going to get the BK haters going.

Eric ? I disagree with you on one point: " fact has deliberately harmed the club". You think what you like fella, but I do not believe that any harm that has befallen our great club was deliberately inflicted by BK.

You use two examples of a BK balls-up, which show ineptitude and possibly even some truth stretching, but there is no evidence to support your "deliberate" sabotage claims. Ridiculous what lengths people will go to to defame BK?s character. What great gains has he made from any of these harmful cock-ups?

Mike ? not sure where you read that "Liverpool are one of the teams that won?t bother us", because the original article does not state that, nor do the responses. You?re arguing with your own statement. However, I agree that the RS do seem to have finally got their act together (only taken a decade or so and several hundred million quid). It?s given me a new found hatred for them though.

I would be happy if we won at least one of the two games against the RS coming up.


Andy Crooks
10   Posted 05/01/2009 at 18:57:31

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An interesting article Sur Jo. I am not a Moyes or Kenwright hater but I do not feel that I owe them too much gratitude. I was once an admirer of David Moyes but was appalled at his miserable contract wrangling which I feel has cost us a Champions League place. Kenwright is living the dream at the expense of Evertonians. He loves being chairman of Everton more than he loves Everton.
Ben Aston
11   Posted 05/01/2009 at 20:05:49

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I've just read that Planet Hollywood has gone into administration. I wonder were that leaves Robert Earl and DK???
Kevin Mitchell
12   Posted 05/01/2009 at 22:50:15

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I agree with most points you bring up Sur. On the field we have been ticking along quite nicely.

I was always a Kenwright fan, until the dreaded Kirkby shambles came up. In my eyes now, he is the enemy of EFC and everything we stand for.

Chad Schofield
13   Posted 06/01/2009 at 09:38:17

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Amokachi, the "hotshot"? ? sorry, you lost me there a little. He never really did much for us other than stand miles offside in my memory.

I appreciate what you?re saying, but there is an argument that having sold off as many assets as possible and being at great pains to shout from the rafters how inadequate GP as a stadium and site, that we?re in a worse situation... Meanwhile the new vision of Kirkby is being slated by a significant percentage of the fan base.

With the league being so tight, we could easily find ourselves scrapping near the bottom if we string a number of poor results together. Whilst that sounds pessimistic, given the media?s craving to hype either good or poor runs of form, it?s always a possibility.

Let?s make no bones about it, we have and continue to punch above our weight in many respects... I could continue with the cliches, but everyone?s heard them before. The very real reality of the situation is that at this moment no team are too big to go down if their fans turn against them and their funding gets pulled, because there are not queues of investors waiting in the wings with credit streams large enough to make a difference ? and yes, that includes the Sky 4, let alone the teams we appear to be superior to.

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