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In praise of Bill Kenwright

By Anthony Evans :  04/05/2009 :  Comments (60) :
For the 5th time in the last 6 seasons, Everton are on track for a top 6 finish, plus qualification for European football. During this summer when we hear about how Man City and Tottenham are spending heavily to challenge the top four, we all know that their real aspiration is to compete with us.

I spent the 2003-04, 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons living in the US, and needed the banter and camaraderie of the internet to replicate the mates I?d left behind in Liverpool. Evertonians are a special breed, combining all the irrational zeal of following a team who punish and reward your support in equal measure, together with a pragmatism that comes from experience.

ToffeeWeb is an unparalleled source of information and sophisticated comment, and is surely the best fan site in the Premier League. However there is an undertone of cynicism ? directed predominantly at the current board ? that I would like to challenge. The editorial position is shared with the inimitable message board The People?s Forum, and I have long harboured an urge to write an open letter sticking up for Bill Kenwright.

Fora like The People?s Forum embody all that is good about the internet ? full of knowledgeable, passionate, and genuine individuals. Indeed it has long been a compulsory resource, despite the inevitable instances (and, by some, toleration) of homophobia and racism that are taken as given for internet discussion. However, I haven?t posted on there since transfer deadline day back in September, after being banned for mocking the administration.

Most Evertonians I know fall into two categories. The first started going to the match sometime between the 60s and late 80s, and can remember Everton sides that were the greatest in the land. The second type of fan is under 30 and, although they might have distant memories of winning trophies, they?re more likely to associate Howard Kendall with relegation scraps against Coventry City than nights of triumph in Rotterdam.

The way in which Evertonians interpret the club?s motto ? nil satis nisi optimum ? is telling. For some it is pretty simple: only the best is good enough, and unless it?s the best, it?s not good enough. For others it is a statement of intent, an aspiration to achieve. If we?re improving, and getting better, it?s fine to celebrate.

As the clock approached midnight back on Deadline Day, The People?s Forum was saturated with Evertonians criticising the club?s inability to make any signing of note. Simultaneously rumours emerged that we had agreed a club record deal to sign Belgian midfielder Marouane Fellaini, and the irony began to build. For several minutes the obscure situation existed where fans were lambasting a board that had just broken the club transfer record.

Once the news began to be absorbed, and independent sources confirmed the reports, a sizable proportion immediately criticised the lateness of the deal, whilst others objected to spending so much money on someone they?d hardly heard of. I?m sure I wasn?t the only observer tickled by the situation, or the only one who doubted the retrospective claims of sarcasm (that are so routinely invoked to deflect from plain stupidity) ? but I was the only one who posted a series of comments mocking the inconsistency of the criticisms being levied at Bill Kenwright.

Why couldn?t we just be exited by a big new signing? Why did we have to find cause for complaint? Regardless, I was promptly banned with the admin invoking the ?if you don?t agree with us you know where the door is? rule.

This article is written by an Evertonian who saw Wembley 1995 as an interlude to mediocrity - where nil satis nisi optimum is an aspiration not a birthright. It is possible to be informed by the club's history rather than constrained by it, to enjoy an FA Cup semi-final penalty shoot out as glory, and not lament the fact that we have to treat that as a highpoint.

We can let go of what might have been in 1985, had Heysel not happened; of what might have happened in 1992 had our Chairman been active enough to take advantage of the dawn of satellite football. Our hostility to the ?Sky Four? is not so much that it exists but that we?re not part of it. But if we are ever to be part of it, Bill Kenwright will have been to a certain extent responsible. Partly for what he did ? hiring David Moyes... but mostly for what he didn?t do ? destroying the club.

In this article, I am appealing to those who base their opinion of him on his actions as Chairman. I am aware that for many the fact that he was brought up in Liverpool but moved to London to make his fortune is reason enough to dislike him. This is a trait that afflicts many people who have roots in, and remain loyal to, places that suffer for jobs and prosperity.

Whether they admit it or not, a big reason why some fans despise Kenwright is because he?s a prodigal son. The fact that he left Liverpool is an insult, and nothing he does subsequently can compensate. These are the same people that deride Paul McCartney for living down south, and the rest of the celebrity circuit of Scousers who sack off Liverpool at the earliest sniff of fame.

But although I think this is a large factor, Evertonians by and large are more reasonable than this. The dissatisfaction with Kenwright is usually based on his actions as Chairman. But I think his record is worth consideration.

Firstly, for what he has done. The biggest decision the Chairman of a football club makes is the appointment of a manager. In this regard, Kenwright deserves unqualified applause. When David Moyes arrived, he was an untried prospect. With hindsight we all know that Moyes has done a remarkable job, turning the club from serial underachievers to the ?best of the rest?. He did the most important thing any Everton manager can do ? restored a sense of pride ? and reminded us of how big a club we are, with European nights, Cup Finals, and derby wins.

Moyes has been a messiah. But there have been times when many Evertonians questioned whether he was the right man for the job. The 2003-04 season was full of scepticism, possibly glossed over due to the memories of the previous year and the emergence of Wayne Rooney. When it dawned on us that Marcus Bent was Rooney?s replacement, and a summer of speculation saw us miss out on the likes of Forssell, Bellamy, Parker, Emre, and even Ryan Taylor, it seemed to many that ?Dithering Davey? had taken us as far as he could.

At the time there were fans who defended the manager, and blamed the financial straightjacket he was working under for his inability to strengthen the squad. But, throughout it all, Moyes has publicly defended Kenwright. In truth we don?t know the extent to which Moyes is complicit in the lack of spending, and whether his inherent caution is a cover story for a lack of funds. We don?t know how often he?s threatened resignation, or tried to walk out. But it?s because we don?t know the details that demonstrates how close they both are.

Lest we forget, Moyes has been able to break our transfer record each of the last four seasons, and it is his decision to spend money this way rather than on a slurry of other teams' rejects. It is rare for manager and Chairman to share mutual respect and unity, and ? whether Evertonians want to admit it or not ? Moyes is not leading any mutiny.

We?d also be wise not to forget 21 February 2007. It wasa little over 2 years ago that we lost 2-1 to Spurs, in a game where ? poised at 1-1 with minutes remaining ? Moyes made a defensive substitution. On the night he was booed and jeered, and over the next few days a horde of Evertonians (myself included) questioning whether he?d taken us as far as he could, with a substantial number calling for his sacking.

Kenwright didn?t just hire Moyes ? he stood by him, demonstrating sound judgment and incredibly rare patience. And Evertonians need to realise that to admit being wrong about Moyes shows that Kenwright was right. And as Chairman, that?s the biggest decision he has to make about our football club.

The second reason I want to defend Kenwright is not for what he?s done, but for what he hasn?t done. Evertonians are optimistic to a fault, and there?s a common assumption that, ?if only? Kenwright would sell his train set, a benevolent billionaire would stroll in and provide Moyes the transfer funds he craves.

I don?t know enough about either corporate finance of Everton?s balance sheets to comment on the financial management of the club, but a couple of points to note.

Yes, it can damage the long-run health of a company to sell of its assets and outsource its production. But ? especially in light of the current financial crisis ? it looks conservative to build the club's income and streamline its operations. The debt levels at the club are a concern but, compared to most other Premier League clubs, we don?t look too unhealthy.

We?re signing some of the biggest commercial deals in the club's history, and I have suspicions that much of the criticism about the clubs finances are merely gripes about the commercialisation of the game in general. At the end of the day you either see replica shirts as a soul-destroying indictment of football being fooked, or a sensible way for the club to grow.

Even Kenwright?s management of ?Destination Kirby? is less devious when seen through this lens. The whole point of stadium relocation has been about increasing future revenue streams, and growing the financial base of the club. Yes, Kirkby is not the answer to this and would cost far more in the loss of integrity and identity of the club than we could recover from all those corporate boxes; but some of the most vocal critics are confusing the genuine needs of the football club with their own anachronistic whinges about the direction of modern football. That?s a separate issue to our current Chairman.

But my aim isn?t to claim that Kenwright?s stewardship of the business side of the club has been a triumph. The only way we can judge it a triumph or failure is know what we?re comparing it to, and for that we need to look around us. Sure, look at Aston Villa, where a billionaire that seems to ?get it? has installed an excellent manager and given him the funds to make big signings. But on what grounds would you believe that this is the alternative? Isn?t it more likely we?d end up with an oil-rich playboy with a desire for cheap headlines?

Robinho cost Man City more than £32m ? he cost them their soul. Spare a thought for Man United, Liverpool and Chelsea, and the levels of debt and vulnerability they?ve sold themselves for. We are not on a stable financial footing, but neither are they. And let's not forget that the reason they can leverage themselves to the hilt is the steady stream of Champions League money, something Everton cannot provide.

Regardless of who our Chairman is, any influx of money spent runs the risk of going the way of the likes of Leeds United, Southampton, Sheffield Wednesday, Nottingham Forest ? and possibly Newcastle. Yes, we are a bigger club, but the bigger you are the harder you land.

The fact is that, under Kenwright, we are as close as anyone to breaking into the sustained operating income that are required to get to the next level, and even if we sold up to the next billionaire on the list there?s no guarantee that we?d get closer. Our small squad is not necessarily a hindrance to out efforts to finish 4th, but one of our strengths. The fact that we don?t bring in a superstar and break our wage ceiling is not necessarily a sign of weakness, but what makes us strong. Tevez might have saved West Ham from relegation, and Robinho is one of the leagues top scorers, but we cannot merely assume that an influx of cash will improve matters. We?re not Spurs fans.

This will be an interesting close season. We know that the likes of Villa and Spurs will strengthen, but so will we. We came closer to finishing fourth this year than anyone seems to give us credit for, and if Yakubu and Arteta had been fit all season who knows.

But rather than spend summer fearing the worst unless we strengthen, my main concern is losing players. The current Everton squad has a higher number of top quality players than we?ve ever had, and we are witnessing Everton legends all over the pitch, week-in, week-out. I for one don?t take that for granted, and will cherish watching us walk out at Wembley on 30 May.

Everton are enjoying glory, and the potential for more glory. These are good times to be an Evertonian, and I thank Bill Kenwright for helping to make that happen.

Reader Comments

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Stuart Davies
1   Posted 05/05/2009 at 00:45:55

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That’s a lovely post. Well done. I’m proud to be Evertonian. Good luck to Kenwright, Moyes and the boys for the FA Cup Final and the Future.
Graham McCann
2   Posted 05/05/2009 at 00:58:31

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Well said Anthony, Moyes & Kenwright are building for the future. It is slow, but well worth waiting for.
Steve Sweeney
3   Posted 05/05/2009 at 01:32:19

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I have been one of BK's bigest critics but would like to congratuate you on your post ? it is well thought out and gives a good and positive insight to the club. BK has stood by Moyes and took on the chin all the vitrol and now can hold his head up and take in the whole Wembley experience.

The profile of the Club is at its highest for many a year and it would seem that we have someone with a little bit of commercial nouse guiding the ship. I just wish that BK would not come across as such a lovey.

Let's hope for great result on May 30th.

Gary Sedgwick
4   Posted 05/05/2009 at 01:44:28

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Agree totally. No more to be written.
Jarrod Prosser
5   Posted 05/05/2009 at 03:59:34

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In my 3 or so years or reading ToffeeWeb, this might be the most considered and balanced article I have seen.

Excellent stuff.
Grahame Bradley
6   Posted 05/05/2009 at 06:16:39

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Great article; best fan site for articles. I really enjoyed the read.
Christine Foster
7   Posted 05/05/2009 at 07:48:21

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Anthony, a good article, well thought out and well written. I am one of those who believe that the current Board and Kenwright himself have left themselves open to critics, myself included, for their poor commercial management of this football club.

The commercial deal that sees an Everton marketing / retail outlet in Liverpool One (I do like the idea of naming it Everton Two) I believe it is a positive venture, the first seen in many a year, from the club. Congratulations to the CEO and the board because it looks a positive step towards making the club commercially viable once more. Well done!

I do however, as you would expect of me, counsel caution in your undying praise of the Board and Kenwright in particular. Success on the field is a result of the team and the manager getting their act together from what was an awful start.

I said then, since and will continue to say so, that if you are deserving of praise when it's due your also deserving of critisicm when that's due and frankly there have been numerous occasions when such things fell at the Board's feet. There is no point in repeating the reasons for this as they are already well documented. The club has taken positive commercial steps with the deal with Kitbag, one that will give us some prominence, we hope, in the city once more.

But as for the many plaudits for BK, just remember, he deserves brickbats too. A truck load. But who knows? We will win the FA cup and ditch Kirkby and if reports are true, redevelop GP. We may even have a great start to next season and finally upset the applecart that is the Big Four...

We live in hope! COYB!!
Eric Myles
8   Posted 05/05/2009 at 09:18:24

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Yes, let’s praise BK for Destination Kirkby and foget all about Kings Dock, NTL, Fortress Fund, etc.

Well done Mr. Chairman, you’ve pulled the wool over a few more eyes.
Richard Dodd
9   Posted 05/05/2009 at 09:22:57

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As I have always said, Blue Bill is the saviour of Everton. Good to see so many agree with me. NOW!
Matt Traynor
10   Posted 05/05/2009 at 09:20:36

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Anthony, a very good article.

One minor correction though. Everton were one of the advocates of the Premier League, and collective bargaining of TV rights. The squad, team management and commercial operations were all in decline post-Heysel at that stage, and an ongoing series of mistakes has meant a long road towards recovery, arguably having missed the boat - or in this case, a gravy train.

Such is life...
Eamonn Turner
11   Posted 05/05/2009 at 09:16:54

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Enjoyed the article Anthony. Thankfully all is happy in the camp at the moment due to the impending Cup Final, but if we did get turned over by Chelski the doomsday crew will be out for Moyes and Kenright again. This will not happen of course... COYB!

Now, as Christine says above, nobody is or should be above criticism, but some fans' vitriol beggars belief. Kenwright and Moyes deserve more respect, even when the chips may appear to be down.

Colin Potter
12   Posted 05/05/2009 at 09:38:37

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I?m with Eric Myles on this one: Kenwright is a lying deceitful prick, and the sooner he leaves this club, the better off we will be.

It makes me want to puke when people come on here praising him. He has let us and the club down so many times, it's amazing he?s still got the gall to still be here!

Steven Wolfe
13   Posted 05/05/2009 at 09:55:57

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So, in a nutshell, Anthony, you want us to be thankfull that Bill didn't sack Moyes and hasn't spent as much money as other clubs!?!

With regard to "breaking our transfer record", Everton used to break THE transfer record, so I don't see this as something to shout about.

When Moyes was getting stick from fans back in 2007, it was widely known we had no money to strengthen so tell me, if Bill had sacked Moyes, who could have Bill brought in that would have turned the club around with no budget? So you see, it was more a case of having to stick by him as opposed to not wanting to bring in a top class manager.

Alan Kirwin
14   Posted 05/05/2009 at 09:23:57

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Anthony, your observations are simply those of an intelligent and fair individual. When one considers our position now, in every way, compared to when Bill Kenwright took over, the bombardment of nonsense (dressed up as "facts") and the level of insults from some quarters (I’m sure they’ll show their head here) is risible (Eric Myles gives a hint of what I’m talking about).

You’re dealing with people who are blinkered, ungrateful, never satisfied and for whom a few Latin words written 100 years ago are akin to a sacred stone, rather than a simple & noble statement of principle & aspiration. Those fans who inhabit the "Kenwright ate my hamster" space have short memories and short fuses. They forget the annual relegation fights that went before, the selling of players behind the manager’s back, the arrival of aged playboys like Gascoigne & Ginola. They also forget him sticking with Moyes when we all wanted him sacked following our worst run ever.

It’s reassuring to know that there remains a good constituency of Evertonians who can separate wheat from chaff and not keep hold of the chaff. Oddly enough, the fact that you’re an international Evertonian who lives more than 2 miles from Goodison also means you’re not Evertonian according to some. You do realise that don’t you? :-) They’re the same people who don’t want us to play in Europe at the expense of the Carling cup.

Blue Luddites everywhere will be choking on their cooked breakfasts reading your piece.

Well done!
Chris Briddon
15   Posted 05/05/2009 at 10:16:04

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Steven, That?s never stopped Newcastle or Spurs or any other number of clubs. If you think the manager is crap, you get rid of him and then work out what to do next. That?s why so many clubs have got into so much bother. The fact that he didn?t shows a great deal of common sense and no knee-jerk reactions to the whims of fans (who anyone will tell you are reasonably fickle anyway)

Why do people always have to jump on the negatives. Nobody has said that BK hasn?t made mistakes, just that without him we could and probably would be in a much worse position than we are now.

Of you don?t want to give him credit for anything, then you may as well bury your head in the sand and believe whatever you like, as no arguements however strong will make any difference.
Christine Foster
16   Posted 05/05/2009 at 10:24:31

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Alan... a tad over the top perhaps? After all, this is the guy who stonewalled the EGM, sought to gag debate by threatening legal action on fans, over-promised, over-dramatised and frankly attempted to steam roll the fans into Kirkby. Blah Blah Blah... yep and some would say a great deal more. If balance is what you want then you have to balance some of this into that equation as well.

Competence for the job? Heart in the right place? Self interests?

It's a shame we focus on BK, he has been the mouth piece for some awful management. But he has also been the cause of it too.

Praise is deserved all round for the position we are now in and some of that praise is undoubtably due to BK. From my perspective it hasn?t been a long time coming for all of the above reasons and it certainly does not sanction any move to Kirkby!!

Moyes and the team have got their act together and that's brilliant. The CEO appears to have got his act together in the commercial deal with Kitbag. Now if only BK could get his together then we could all pull in the same direction once more and ToffeeWeb could return to discussing the Team!
Sam Higgins
17   Posted 05/05/2009 at 11:03:06

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Great article Anthony - certainly a refreshing change from Mr Marsh.

Kenwright may not be everyone's cup of tea and sure he has fucked up royally on several issues in the past... but I think his backing of Moyes, and his relationship with Moyes has been one of the key reasons as to why where we are now...

What I will say is this. Who would want to be a Newcastle supporter right now?? Millions and millions spent. Nearly the same number of managers over the last 18 years since Keegan took them into the Prem. Not much loyalty to managers in the last 10 years. And what have they won? Absolute fuck all. And now they are going down...
Andy Herbert
18   Posted 05/05/2009 at 10:22:29

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Excellent read, and for a change a positive article on Blue Bill. For me though I think a little too positive.

I sit here happy and content with the progress that club has made over the last 5 years. With the consistency of finishing in the top 6 for the 5 time in 6 years, looking forward to the Cup Final. With the unity of the squad. With optimism for the next campaign and what we can achieve. So why does something needle me?

I remember the bad days, the despair at looming relegation, the portrayal of our club by the media as a spent force, the failure to attract players and the holding up of an anti-hero in Duncan Ferguson as a shining light for our hopes and aspirartions. So for me I am proud of the achievements of the team. The credit for which I think must go to the Management team and the board, but something's not right?

Moyes has done a remarkable job: the appointment of his backroom staff in Steve Round as his assistant, Chris Woods who must get credit for the work he is doing with our keeper. These are all contributing to the overall morale of the club. Creating the team spirit that is the envy of the entire league. The same spirit that has helped us triumph in the face of overwhelming obstacles to our success. So what is my problem?

The problem for me is this. Despite all the positives I?ve mentioned, our Board sought to divide our fan base by entering into a ridiculous agreement with Tesco that could have seen our great club tied into an almost disastrous one-way ticket to oblivion. Seeing our great club tied into an exclusive deal to move away from its core support to an out-of-city development. This has caused so much ill feeling and I believe the wounds left by the events of the last 24 months are going to take a long time to heal.

If what looks likely to happen now does ? i.e., the project does not receive planning permission ? I hope the Board can recognise the mistakes they have made and look to make amends with the supporters by coming out and acknowledging the complete and utter shambles the whole sorry episode has been. It must not make stupid excuses and finally it must recognise the why the fans have been so angry.

If this happens the support may then get behind the Board and recognise the positive contributions they have made and the role of Kenright at the club.
Dave Wilson
19   Posted 05/05/2009 at 10:39:58

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Well it was a good thread... but if you ever wondered why good threads descend into insult swapping, look no further than Alan Kirwins posts, full of his usual spite and mallice. Perhaps Mr Kirwin could point to a post ? just one will do ? where any blue has said that they don't want us to play in Europe at the expense of the Carling Cup?

Or perhaps he could point to the post ? again just one will do ? where someone claims if you're not local, you're not an Evertonian.

I won't hold my breath because Alan Kirwin has a habbit of making himself look extremely foolish by raging against things He THINKS he?s read.

"nonesense dressed up as fact" ... Indeed; Christine, Spot on.

Tony I'Anson
20   Posted 05/05/2009 at 11:25:58

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Great article. If any Toffeewebbers have ever been the owner / boss / chairman of a business they can only appreciate how difficult it is, made even more impossible by a passionate and opinionated customer / fan base baying for blood at every opportunity.

On our normal level, think of how you would handle making a middle aged employee (with family and mortage) redundant. Every decision is scrutinised to the hilt even if we don?t know all the facts. "Control the mob, and you control Rome". Well BK has not succumbed to this and praise indeed where it?s due.

I just hope he doesn?t start crying like a luvvy before we kick off in the final. It would remind me of Elton John ? and he lost that day.
Dave Brierley
21   Posted 05/05/2009 at 11:40:46

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Good positive article, Anthony, and although BK has made mistakes, the positives far outweigh the negatives. Mind you the reasoned response from that successful entrepeneur Colin Potter does give food for thought ? happy puking Col.
Damian Wilde
22   Posted 05/05/2009 at 12:12:55

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Anthony, great article. You don’t get too many on here, but it’s great to read a ’balanced article.’ Some people (Colin Potter et al) must be confused with this sort of article, you know, where you look at both sides!
Ciaran MacGiollaEoin
23   Posted 05/05/2009 at 13:08:54

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So let me get this straight... You?re congratulating Kenwright for listening to Walter Smith and appointing Moyes? And for sticking with Moyes when he no other option...?

And you?re also thanking him "not for what he?s done, but for what he hasn?t done".... which is provide us with the ability to improve upon the success that Moyes has achieved?

That sounds awfully like you?re thanking him for holding Moyes back... strange.

I give you a little insight on why Kenwright's actions stick in the craw... He treats the fans like mugs ? he will say whatever gets him out of a sticky situation... Like whenever he wanted to stitch up Paul Gregg and said the money was ring-fenced; like whenever he attended the ESCLA meeting and said he knew nothing about Kirkby; like whenever he comes out with things like ?watch this space?; 24/7 etc etc.

This is a man who was happily complicit in Peter Johnson's era, who sat on the board alongside him, who said nothing throughout those years. A man who has presided over a fan-splitting issue that Johnson could only dream off.

Oh and by the way... where is last years AGM??? Has Kenwright changed the Articles of Association to ban them along with EGMs?

There?s two sides to this story, yours is the furry, cuddly side of Kenwright. Your version will prevail this season because Moyes has yet again propped up Kenwright's era. But it may not prevail this summer, when he?ll undoubtedly go into bullshit mode again.

Ah, but he?s an Evertonian I hear you say... If Sweeny Todd was an Evertonian, would you let him cut your hair?
Dave Wilson
24   Posted 05/05/2009 at 13:35:13

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Surely you're not suggesting the Emperor isn't wearing any clothes?
Stephen Stott
25   Posted 05/05/2009 at 13:28:49

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Ciaran, If I may respond to your individual points:
  • Walter Smith suggested Moyes as his successor ? Kenwright didn?t have to agree.
  • As for no alternatives should Kenwright have got rid of him ? not according to other Toffeewebers ? Allardyce & Martin O?Neill amongst others are regularly trotted out.
  • I would think providing funds to break the club record fee 4 times is backing the Manager ? yes it would be great if he could have provided more but from were I don?t see anyone lining up do you.
  • It?s also worth noting that the commercial deal we?ve just signed with Kitbag is because we are now seen as successful ? do you think anyone would want to invest/sponsor when we were consistently relegation fodder ? no, neither do I.
  • I will not get into the Kings Dock saga because I couldn?t put it as eloquently as Mickey Blue Eyes on Blue Kipper who has written the definitive Kings Dock resume.
  • Yes Kenwright embarrasses me at times and I wish he would engage his brain from time to time before going into luvvy mode.
  • As for the Johnson era, do you think he had any say as Johnson held the purse strings; at least he ended up getting rid of him.
  • As for changing the Articles of Association I can?t blame him as we?d be mired in EGMs every week ? is that the way to progress.
As for Sweeney Todd cutting my hair ? if only I had the hair!
Jay Harris
26   Posted 05/05/2009 at 13:41:52

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Ciaran, good post providing a bit of balance to the debate.

I don't know why we keep linking Moyes and Kenwright as if they are Siamese twins ? like you cant criticise one without being seen to criticise the other. To put it in perspective, a number of the posters praising Kenwright on here were openly calling for Moyes head at the start of the season because he wouldn't sign his contract and results were abysmal. Why? Because Kenwright fucked up the whole of the pre-season by lying yet again.

Anyone remember the quotes: "The transfer fund has been there all summer" ? Yeah sure that?s why we had to sell AJ to fund Fellaini?s downpayment in the last minute of the transfer deadline.

"When I see videos of the players we are looking to sign I go wow"

"We will be signing 2 or 3 high quality players watch this space"

At that point a number of us were still defending Moyes while the Bill Luvvites were blaming Moyes. He didnt get the nickname Billy Liar for nothing and that is an aspect of his character I cannot stand.

If Kenwright was more of a man and told the truth I would have more respect for him. Unfortunately he can't and therefore neither can I have any respect for him.
Stephen Williams
27   Posted 05/05/2009 at 14:08:10

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I am not posting to critisize a certain individual,s still employed, but the Keith Wyness saga (working for his mate while being paid by us) still irks me. He was our CEO and during his tenure he failed to take our commercial strategy forward ? that's if we had one!

Regardless of what is happening on the field now, we have in the last 10 years been very slow to improve revenue and club image. Now we have the right exposure ie, the FA Cup Final, off the field may improve. I would have BK over any sheik or others any day.

Alan Kirwin
28   Posted 05/05/2009 at 14:57:51

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Anthony, I did warn you :-)

Andy Herbert - best comments so far. Lacking in any malice (unlike my own, according to my stalker).

As for the sad stalker, if you are really suggesting that there have been no posts on here questioning the valid locality of fans, or that we should ignore the Europa cup and pursue domestic ones instead (like, erm, you did very recently) then your blindspot & poor memory has reduced the value of your inane contributions even further. Your village needs you back urgently. In the name of Bill Kenwright, just go.

Again, well done Anthony & Andy.
Chris Briddon
29   Posted 05/05/2009 at 15:07:48

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Ciaran ? since when has just listening to Walter Smith been an acceptable behaviour? Just cos he was recommended doesn?t mean he has to appoint him, and to say he had no options is just ludicrous, there would always be managers wanting to come to Everton ? just not necessarily the ?world class? ones that Mr Johnson once promised.

It took a degree of bravery to appoint an unproven Championship manager instead of a journeyman 'been there, done that' type who we could have given the job to in the first place.

Jay - I am sure you know the in-depth goings on inside Goodison to know what happened with contracts, funds players etc. Davey never denied the money was there either but you don?t go round calling him a liar as well do you!

Nobody is denying Bill has sometimes done things differently than we would have liked, but without knowing the full facts NO-ONE can say they would have done it differently.

However, compared to some people on here, I am prepared to give him credit for the good he?s done as well as give him stick for the bad bits. I just wish some of you would be prepared to do the same, and not try and give responsibility for the good bits to someone else, just cos you don?t like him.

Colin Potter
30   Posted 05/05/2009 at 15:03:45

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Damian Wilde, There are no sides to Billy 'Liar' Kenwright, he is one lump of luvvie deceit ? just watch this space when he buggers off and leaves us to it, if Kirkby gets the go-ahead.
Ciarán MacGiollaEoin
31   Posted 05/05/2009 at 15:42:23

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Imagine..... opposing viewpoints raising their ugly heads...what a clever plan to stifle argument...why, oh why, oh why..did I ever fall for it..

Now you look really clever in predicting responses to a forum thread, and i’m complicit in that masterstroke!

Who thought balance would have been so depressing!

Moriarity you have me a broken man!
Dave Wilson
32   Posted 05/05/2009 at 15:20:33

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Alan Kirwin ? Lol, I?m not suggesting anything at all, I merely asked you to point to a couple of posts to prove you weren?t lying; you haven't... you can't.

If you want to continue to make a prize idiot of yourself arguing about things you THINK you?ve read, I suggest you do it with a tad less spite ? it makes you look an even bigger prat.

So, show me the post were you THINK I argued we shouldn't play in Europe at the expense of the Carling Cup. Of course you won't be able to, because it doesn't exist. It's just something else you THINK you?ve read.

Suggestion: try to read the posts a little slower... give your brain a chance to catch up!

EJ Ruane
33   Posted 05/05/2009 at 16:03:10

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Football really is THE oddest phenomenon. All logic just flooooooats out the windee

Fact: If BK was your bank manager, in charge of your savings, and you had caught him out (banged to fuucking rights!) in as many lies as he?s been caught out in regarding Everton, you?d have your money out of The First Bank Of Bullshit in an instant.

But coz Bill "lives and breathes Everton" (SIGH!), he can spoof his big fat grinning napper off and all he gets a "..I?m not sayin? he?s perfect like but..."

Fuck THAT!

As I?ve said before, many Evertonians remind me of the battered wife who insists, despite all the lumps, bumps, bruises and broken promises, that her violent, insane husband is in fact a ?good man? who ?loves me?.

So... um consider this the TW equivalent of a sly phone-call to social services.
Jay Harris
34   Posted 05/05/2009 at 16:47:28

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EJ, as always a privilege to read your posts in what was always going to be a divisive post.

Even now with the potentially disastrous and at best totally ill-thought-out move to Kirkby on the horizon some people still have their heads stuck up Billy Liar's orifice.

That man has done more to divide Evertonians than Ratha Beneathus could ever hope to achive.
Dennis Stevens
35   Posted 05/05/2009 at 16:45:05

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What a long-winded way of saying: be thankful BK is in charge, the alternative might not even be as good!

Oh, yes ? also, the mods on some forum are real meanies!
Neil Pearse
36   Posted 05/05/2009 at 18:18:18

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EJ - So let?s play the ?if? game! If BK was your bank manager, and your bank was steadily improving its performance, had an excellent young manager, great stability and a loyal band of players who really wanted to play for the club, relatively low debt... while nearly all the other banks around you were laughing stocks, continually changing management and owners, making reckless and ridiculous transfer payments, running up dangerous levels of debt, and running the risk of relegation... Well, would you support the Bank of BK? Actually, where else WOULD you put your money EJ?

Personally, I don?t particularly care whether Bill is an Evertonian or not. I also think that he has made lots of mistakes, said lots of unwise things, and that (until now hopefully) the commercial side of the business has been a mess.

But he has also presided over a massive improvement in the club?s relative position and level of respect in the Premier League, such that we are now universally acknowledged as the strongest all round club outside the top four. Actions and performance speak louder than words, and it is just mean-spirited and ridiculous to suppose that the man in charge of the club during this period deserves no credit for the improvement in its standing.
Sam Higgins
37   Posted 05/05/2009 at 23:17:24

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Good grief us Evertonians are a divided bunch arnt we?!! Still I guess its indicative of our passion for our mighty club.

I will ask EJ, Colin, Jay and Alan this: If Kenwright and Moyes suddenly decided to jack it all in tomorrow and said goodbye to Everton ? nice to have known you ? would you shit yourselves in a kind of ?we didnt mean it? way?!!
Jay Harris
38   Posted 05/05/2009 at 23:21:33

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Neil, can I just correct you.

According to BK?s own words, he is "NOT the man in charge of the club he is only a supporter like us and does not know what goes on".

And even you MUST admit that if BK was in charge of YOUR bank you?d be the first in the queue to change banks.

In truth, we all now know that, since the infamous Keith Wyness left and Green and Earl went sailing round the world until the Kirkby Lotto comes up, Moyes is effectively running the club with Elstone running the finances and I have to say it is a big improvement.

But please don't mistake this for Bill deserves a knighthood!!!

I just hope that Elstone has the balls and the foresight to turn the commercial disaster that was EFC into a success then we?ll all be happy (I hope).
Eric Myles
39   Posted 06/05/2009 at 02:33:11

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Sam Higgins, comparing us to Newcastle is not a valid comparison as they have won fuck all in the last 50 years, even when they had consistency of management.
Jay Harris
40   Posted 06/05/2009 at 04:30:21

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Sam, as I said in my earlier post, Moyes and Kenwright are not joined at the hip like Siamese twins.

I have the utmost respect for Moyes and would have been gutted if he chose not to renew his contract prior to this season over the farce created by Ken`wright and his chums.

Unfortunately, as he is such a compulsive proven liar, I cannot say the same about Kenwright and not only would I not be gutted if he left (which he has already stated a number of times that it is his intention to do so ? but there again he is a liar) I would be totally ecstatic.

Thats my opinion and I am perfectly entitled to it as you are entitled to yours.
Sam Higgins
41   Posted 06/05/2009 at 06:27:01

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OK Jay appreciate your response - lets take this discussion in a slightly different direction for the Kenwright dissenters - and to keep the topic alive... If Kenwright jacked it in what type of chairman would you like to see fill the role....?

On a different note altogether I assume we are all supporting Chelsea tonight...............
Sam Higgins
42   Posted 06/05/2009 at 06:32:37

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Eric, OK maybe comparing our situation to Newcastle isn't quite the right thing to do...

What I was trying to suggest though is: would you like a Mike Ashley / Hall / Shepherd scenario where the chairman is happy to spray millions into the managers pocket... and for our every whim to be fulfilled ? we end up with big-money names who don't give a fuck about the club...

Don't we operate better with less? Or is your beef more centred towards the Fortress Sports Fund / Kings Dock / Kirkby affairs?

Ciarán MacGiollaEoin
43   Posted 06/05/2009 at 09:21:46

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Yes, Evertonians are polarised on issues... Including the most divisive issue in our history... Kirkby.

And who has created that scenario?

The answer to that question should be enough to put this sanctimoniously partisan article to bed.

Whether you agree with Kirkby or not, the fact that Kenwright has presided over dividing the fans should tell you something about him.

P.S Stop bringing Moyes into the issue.
Sam Higgins
44   Posted 06/05/2009 at 09:48:25

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Ciarán, aye I think we have established that many fans on this thread disagree with Anthony?s article, and see Kenwright as the bane of the club and the fans.

Now I'm asking the question, what type of person would you like to see in charge of Everton FC?
David Cameron
45   Posted 06/05/2009 at 10:06:58

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I just hope that all you Evertonians who are so offended by Bill Kenwright’s ’lies’ remember to be equally puritanical come the next election. Gordon’s told some real whoppers, with your help we can turn Liverpool true blue.
Ciarán MacGiollaEoin
46   Posted 06/05/2009 at 10:40:05

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How about someone who doesn’t treat the fans like MUGS?

That type of person will do for me.
Colin Potter
47   Posted 06/05/2009 at 10:27:59

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Sam, you ask, who would we like as a chairman? How about someone who isn?t a pathological liar, and doesn?t crawl back into his luvvie hidey hole when things aren?t going too well for the club.
EJ Ruane
48   Posted 06/05/2009 at 11:29:53

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Neil Pearse, you ask "Actually, where else WOULD you put your money EJ?"

Well rather allowing it to be looked after by a PROVEN liar, I’d stick it under the bleeding mattress or in a plazzy bag hidden in the garden, in fact anywhere other than under the ’care’ of someone I KNEW couldn’t be trusted.

(you’re not by any chance a politician in charge of fiscal policy are you?)

You add, "I also think that he has said lots of unwise things".


Question: Do you think Pinnochio’s nose grew every time he said something ’unwise’?

Shit - maybe you ARE a politician!
Paul McMonnies
49   Posted 06/05/2009 at 12:47:40

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As an administrator of The People’s Forum for more years than I care to remember, I’d firstly like to point out that any racism or homophobia would be in contravention of our terms with the people who host our board, so any such instances you recall must have been merely imagined. I would also point out that there is no ?if you don?t agree with us you know where the door is? rule in place (as the vast majority of our members and readers would doubtless agree).

Exclusions are extremely rare from The People’s Forum and though I can’t recall the exact circumstances of your own exclusion, I would say that 99% of them are due to contravention of the "don’t behave like a complete cock-end" rule.

Hope this helps to clear things up.
Victor Johnson
50   Posted 06/05/2009 at 12:52:16

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Be careful with that axe Eugene!
James Renshaw
51   Posted 06/05/2009 at 13:20:01

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Mcmonnies you are a liar! That place has been closed down a couple of times for racist content... I also seem to remember YOU throwing your toys out of the plan and leaving!

I guess self-exclusion is different.
Frank Hargreaves
52   Posted 06/05/2009 at 13:13:49

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So to recap.

Bill is great, so is Moyes, we are all united as one and let?s enjoy the cup final...

..apart from The Peoples Forum, I don?t like them.

Well done
James Boden
53   Posted 06/05/2009 at 13:43:15

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This the chairman who has lied to fans several times previously, talked absolute shite and failed with several massive issues, i.e. Kings Dock and Kirkby. But he gets out of the shit because Moyes saves him every year.

This summer he will no doubt lie about how we are about to sign a superstar. And then a small number of us who moan and groan have no right to apparently. Well hang on just a minute ? if we have been promised something and it hasn?t been delivered, which in other words makes the person a liar, then what right don?t we have to complain? Wasn?t it at the start of the this season where a few fans turned up with boots around their necks to see if the club would get the message?

Kenwright talks about his love for Everton but half the time I struggle to figure out whether he really means it. Obviously the author of this article believes he does. But I shouldn?t forget that he is superior to the previous Red Shite chairman we had and thus it makes it acceptable to lie and fail time and time again.

James McGlone
54   Posted 06/05/2009 at 14:38:26

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Fao Steven Scott.

"I will not get into the Kings Dock saga because I couldn?t put it as eloquently as Mickey Blue Eyes on Blue Kipper who has written the definitive Kings Dock resume."

How hard did you laugh when you wrote that?
James McGlone
55   Posted 06/05/2009 at 14:45:14

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Sam, I?d love someone who doesn?t patronise us. That would be a start.

I?d like someone who knows his place ? as in he doesn?t try to be like one of us until we disagree with something he says.
Damian Wilde
56   Posted 06/05/2009 at 15:23:11

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One of the problems here is that a lot of people on this site think they actually know what goes on behind the scenes at Everton when in actual fact they haven?t got a fucking clue. Kenwright did this, Moyes did this blah, blah, blah... it?s all fuckin guess work on your behalf, so don?t make out you know exactly what has go on, what has been said, etc. - when you don?t!

People bang on about how shit BK is, you think the grass is greener on the other side? Okay, let?s get someone else in. First of all, have you found him? No. Secondly, what happens if the replacement is shit?? Some foreign owner who doesn?t give a shit about Everton? Some of you lot would never be happy anyway. Even if we got a fantastic chairman, you still moan about something because that?s just the way some of you are.

Some of you will only look at one side of things. What also makes me laugh is that if things go bad for Everton it?s BK?s fault, but if things go well, he?s ?lucky?. Learn to think in a more ?balanced? way hey boys. Here?s for a bit of rationality... if possible! COYB.
EJ Ruane
57   Posted 06/05/2009 at 18:15:42

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Damian, when you say - "so don?t make out you know exactly what has go on, what has been said, when you don?t!" - could YOU be more specific?

Are you saying all those people pointing to SPECIFIC quotes from BK that turned out to be false/lies/shite wrong?

Are you saying they were invented by The Echo and that Bill never said them?

Do you want them listed....for the krillionth time?

Do you think he should sue?

You finish by saying "Some of you will only look at one side of things"

Fuck me - goodnight Mr Pot!
Paul Jones
58   Posted 06/05/2009 at 20:54:28

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With reference to all the above comments regarding BK, "Liar, liar, pants on fire".... Think about it.
EJ Ruane
59   Posted 07/05/2009 at 16:14:45

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Paul Jones

Er...we have thought about it.

(why don’t you think about the fact that we have thought about it)
Nick Flack
60   Posted 10/05/2009 at 11:18:07

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Quick, maybe/probably already addressed somewhere on here, but....

How long do the RS get before a rival proposal for a stadium on Stanley Park can be put forward?

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