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Plus Ca Change ...

By Mike McLean :  31/05/2009 :  Comments (28) :
"Osman and Hibbert were found out today."

"If only we'd had Yak, Arteta and Jags."

Of all the various strands of depressed navel gazing that have sprung up in the wake of yesterday's match, these two deserve some examination before we venture on another look at the wider issue.

Osman and Hibbert were not found out yesterday. They were found out some considerable time ago. Decent players both against weaker teams, it has been pointed out ad nauseam that they stink the gaff out when it comes to stronger outfits.

Is Moyes in denial about this? Of course not. As a professional, he will be acutely aware of the weaknesses of the side, but has had other prioriies to deal wih in the past.

As to Yak, Arteta and Jags ... did they also miss the semi final against Chelsea last season?

Reflections on yesterday also included the investment game:

I only want Scouse investment;
Evertonian investment;
English Speaking but OK if from another country investment;
Not Arabs;
Not left handed people;
Only if Bill stays;
Only if Bill goes .... blah blah ....

Bill and his flying monkey have already dug the ground for next season by pointing out we're not in the market for players who can make a real difference to results / achievements: i.e., those who cost more than a couple of lotto tickets. They have said it loud, clear, and often.

Bill has also said that his daily / weekly / monthly search for new investment has been fruitless ... "The money is just not out there". So don't look for redemption down that route.

Kenwrght may be a liar. He may be a fool.

Or ...

We, all of us, may just be extras in his new producton, "Football Just Like It Were, When I were a Nipper."

The one thing that is certain is that this precious Little Englander approach to investment will leave us, in future years, without a trophy, stroking our "principles", secure in the knowledge that we were right and just everybody else was wrong. Oh won't that be lovely. All so snug in our smugness that we won't notice that our competitors are playing another game called "Winning Stuff". Naturally, the fan base will diminish as we grow older, but hey! What does that matter? We're Everton ... true to our principles.

Principles that we've had to adopt over the last 20 odd years in place of success. Principles largely manufatcured by the suits to make us think that there is something very special about a club run like a 1950s' bingo hall refusing to get into new fangled electronic displays. Principles that will get us through the gates no matter what because... erm, well, that's how they used to do things so it must be the right way and even if we lose it's still OK and...

And so the twisted logic of the mad impressario impregnates the minds of the fans. Investment is good but new ownership is vital. We can't allow a man whose mind is mired in sentiment to run the club. It isn't the fifties, Bill.

Investment is imperative. Eleven lads gave everything they had yesterday and were found wanting. In the case of Osman and Hibbert, the lack of quality was so glaring, it was laughable, not least because it had been advertised for three or for years.

Moyes knows this but will only be able to do somethig when supporters give up this crazy idea that because the club's ownership speaks with the rght accent, all will be well. And then gets on Bill's back to relinquish the reins.

If nothing happens then next season will be a case of plus ca change, plus ca la meme chose.

Reader Comments

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Ade Williams
1   Posted 31/05/2009 at 16:54:35

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Good post. The only way Everton could have won yesterday was by every single one of them having the game of their lives and Chelsea having a bad day at the office...

Someone has already said on this site that if you remove the sky 4 from the equation then Everton won the league. This then is the problem. What do we want? I suspect we want to win. What will DM do when he gets fed up with it ? How can we win the league? How can we win the cup? We either accept second best, for ever always failing, Chelsea, Fiorentina.

We just ca'nt get past these teams often enough to win anything. You have to start being honest with yourselves. We can't win anything because we don't have enough money. Just being the People's Club is not enough. Investment ASAP

Phil Hamer
2   Posted 31/05/2009 at 17:19:56

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Brilliant, clear minded post. More nails hit on head there than in an episode of Changing Rooms.
Trevor Lynes
3   Posted 31/05/2009 at 17:27:56

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Unfortunately all the points made have been apparant for a long time and we will only attract really top players if we can realistically expect to win trophies...

I am certain that Rooney left us because of the lack of ambition shown and he wanted to win things... top players are not measured by salary scales but by trophies won during their career.

We will win nothing without substantial investment and I get really frustrated when I read of other lesser clubs attracting investment and we are never mentioned. I'm afraid that we will soon start to lose other players and perhaps even DM if we continue to tread water at best.

I would never complain at the efforts displayed by our team and the lack of squad numbers has emphasised the miraculous nature of our achievements of late. However, as has been mentioned, Chelsea would have needed to have an off day and us to have played at our absolute best to get a Wembley victory. The bench was a clear indication of the disparity between the sides in quality and class...

Many congratulations to our valiant band of brothers who totally confounded the critics by once again getting the absolute last drop of ability and effort from our depleted squad. COYB

Stew Marsland
4   Posted 31/05/2009 at 18:57:41

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I am so totally proud of the boys for a supreme effort, we only lacked that extra little bit of class, and yes I think we could have won with Arteta,Yak, Jags and Anichebe. Without investment, we almost certainly cannot make any more progress and I am worried that if after maybe one more season without success the team may start to break apart .Where will we be then?

It is unbelievable that Kenwright says there is no money out there when Portsmouth and Sunderland and others appear to be being taken over.... there is no way that they are more appealing than us; obviously we are not for sale. Somehow, someway this man has to be forced to let go of his toy.

Yesterday, I was proud to be a part of the experience at Wembley, but I want to be back there again in my lifetime and with Kenwright in charge I doubt it.

Jason Broome
5   Posted 31/05/2009 at 19:09:21

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Don?t agree.

Be careful what you wish for. Not every billionaire owner is Randy Learner.

Would a billionaire investor really allow Moyes to maintain 100% control of the club?

Would he buy Everton to rebuild Goodison or send us with a big ?fuck you? to Kirkby? His investment, his club, his way!

Would he buy the club, invest in a new stadium and expect less than Champions League qualification every year?

One sub-standard season and Moyes could be sacked out on his arse. Would Moyes really be the same manager with a squeaky anus? Would the stress of being axed improve anything about his managerial ability? I think it would only make things worse.

Yes we have some dodgy players but we also have 3 months to rectify this issue. We WILL be stronger next season? In Moyes we Trust!

We have an identity and we have an honest brand, honest money, honest manager, honest players and an honest club.

Love him or hate him Bill recognizes these values and the fans contribution? under Kenwright we remain ?the peoples club.? He understands what it means to be an Evertonian (better the devil you know?).

Sometimes Bill?s mouth is faster than his brain but this substandard bingo-hall club had a cup final yesterday. We also eclipsed Randy Learners Villa to 5th. We remain one of the lowest invested clubs in the country and have been so for a decade yet we are the only ones who have cracked the top 4 and remain the best of the rest.

Spurs, Newcastle, Manchester City, Aston villa and West Ham have all had huge amounts of money pumped into their squads every season yet they lack the two things we consistently have? stability and progress!

It took Arsenal and Manchester United 20 years to become the quality they are now. It took Chelsea £500 million and 10 years to arrive in third place.

A billionaire provides money and a new set of expectations, problems and fuck all else! We need to utilize other options available right now to improve our game-play (see my post).

We lost yesterday and it fucking hurt but I have absolutely no doubt that this is the start and not the end of an era.
Vijay Nair
6   Posted 31/05/2009 at 19:19:59

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Perhaps Moysie should have a look at this little fella.. Absolute gem..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kiUA_JriWMs
Rich Jones
7   Posted 31/05/2009 at 19:45:17

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One of the most naive posts I?ve ever read, Jason. I?m sorry, mate, you're just being conned.
Jason Broome
8   Posted 31/05/2009 at 20:24:05

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Rich - easy to write one line mate... explain?

I need inside knowledge, evidence or something or is this all just another hypothetical bashing of Kenwright to relieve the stress of losing the cup final?
Stew Marsland
9   Posted 31/05/2009 at 20:29:39

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Whenever Mr Kenwright is on the radio or telly, he gives the same old speech ? Boys' Pen etc... you all know the one, no need for me to elaborate. Yet you can sense that he is so emotional that he simply clearly will not give the club to any one else. You cannot tell me that we are not he most appealing club yet to be taken over in the Premier League and yet we are told that despite, 24-hour-a-day searching, there is nothing out there?

Randy Learner, before taking over Villa, apparently contacted Mr Kenwright but, according to press reports, never had his calls returned allegedly. What about the Fortress Sports Fund... conjured out of thin air to help Billy survive a particular potentially difficult Annual General Meeting? As you all know it fell through, even if it really existed.

The only way we are going to break the ?glass ceiling? is to get some sort of investment, and that means Billy has to be forced out by some method or persuaded to sell... but how? He has proved to be unreliable at the best when it comes to investment opportunities.

Jason Broome
10   Posted 31/05/2009 at 20:58:21

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Makes me laugh when people think that a foreign billionaire will arrive, spunk money all over Everton and demand nothing in return. Football is a business and you have to be incredibly naive to believe that a billionaire will arrive because he loves the club over money.

He will change our brand forever. If Kenwright is truly looking for a suitable investor (and I understand it is a big IF) then I would prefer he found the right one.

Yes we need investment but posting hypothetical assumptions and demanding that we sell to the highest bidder provides no long term answers? and to suggest that it is nothing more than a political smokescreen is highly cynical.

Kenwright loves Everton and I truly believe that faced with selling the club or losing Moyes, Kenwright would choose the former. That day might arrive sooner than he thinks, as for now our game-play needs work, but I would rather be us than Newcastle or City.
John Doolan
11   Posted 31/05/2009 at 09:23:00

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Will our time come again? My feeling at the final whistle yesterday was simply one of immense sadness and it is a feeling which has actually grown in the hours that have followed.

With a couple of minutes to go, the guy sat next to me, whom I did not know but with whom I has shared an epic celebration after our goal, turned to me and said we had to win today because we would not be coming back for a long time. I almost started crying there and then, and this from a grown man who has not cried since I was 5, because deep down I think he is right.

In the days leading up to the final there has been rubbish spouted by some fans saying that we will go on to greater things. The reality is that we are skint and are likely to remain so with a number of clubs outside the top 4 far better resourced than we are. If we finish in the top eight next year it will be a miracle and ultimately you can't beat the house odds for ever.

I'm sorry if this post depresses everyone but I have to unload as it will take me a very long time to get over yesterday. I just hope that the thousands of fans who were quote "absolutely desperate" to get a ticket turn up in the diffcult times that may lie ahead.

Brett Bradshaw
12   Posted 31/05/2009 at 17:06:18

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In my opinion, we do not need major investment to crack the top four, and here are the reasons why I believe that:

Look at the right result (linked on these pages) and this tells us we should have only fell short of the 'top 4' by a couple of points.

                                   RR    	Actual
1  	Manchester United          90  		90
2 	Liverpool                  85 		86
3 	Chelsea                    85 		83
4 	Arsenal                    66 		72  
5 	Everton                    64 		63
6 	Aston Villa                63 		62
Now, take away our piss poor start to the season. Add a little luck with injuries. Then add to that a couple of little 'gem' signings. I'm talking about a couple of players being brought in for £3-6m and being top 4 standard, and lets be honest here, this is one of David Moyes's strong points so not out of the question is it?

Some will disagree and obviously the money would make it easier, but is a sugar daddy really that necessary?

Jason Broome
13   Posted 31/05/2009 at 21:36:42

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Thank you Brett - fully agreed.

So we didn’t win the league this season and won’t be in the Champions League next term... Some of you lot need to calm down with your expectations and start having a bit of faith in our club.

3 years ago we were celebrating the one-off possibility of making Europe, this season (hugely handicapped) we arrived with points to spare!

The bubble is not going to burst. We ARE the 5th best team in the league... enjoy it while it last because we won’t be 5th for long.

Onwards and upwards!
Ian Seymour
14   Posted 31/05/2009 at 21:34:04

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Jason, at last someone has posted a sensible reply to what was a very negative piece.

It sickens me that after what has been a season of relative triumph folk seem very quick to jump on the bandwagon of an arab (or other such investor). I’m with you Jason in realising that its not quite a simple as some people think.
I agree that for us to improve we need a few more major acquisitions and that requires money from somewhere but I’m very wary of any old foreign investor using us as a financial plaything.
I don’t have any answers just hope that whatever happens BK makes the right decisions.
Jason Broome
15   Posted 31/05/2009 at 22:02:10

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Thanks Ian.
Simon Kirwan
16   Posted 31/05/2009 at 23:24:08

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Jason Broome, spot on. Also, people are saying we need a billionaire... we just need a very good right back and pacy winger. How much will they cost us? Well that all depends on Moyes's astuteness. Pienaar ? £2.5M; Baines £6M... £8.5M the pair. Maybe even offload Tony Hibbert for £2M to Newcastle, replacing him with Jacobsen for free (as cover) - Viola.

I think people just revel in the doom and gloom - the reality is we are a top club making more progress than any other team in the league. How far off Arsenal are we? Level if Not ahead taking away our disastrous start too the season. In saying this, Arsenal will probably add a nice £20m CDM to their side. Oops, look at me joining the bandwagon, hypocrite I am! COYB

Frank Nolan
17   Posted 31/05/2009 at 23:09:56

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Be careful what you are asking for. The BK haters, who have been quiet for a few weeks, have now crept out from under their stones are now in full flow. Mike Mclean's opening post was a typical example.

Nothing is forever and that includes the Big Four and Sky TV. Things can change and quickly. Remember how just a short time ago the RS were salivating at the idea that Sheik MO would buy them out? Well, Dubai is today bordering on a failed state, investors withdrawing their money faster than the savers in Northern Rock.

Do we want to be like Man U and the RS, in debt to the tune of £500 million to foreign owners and needing to find £50m every year just to pay the interest?

I want to sleep in my bed at night, not worrying that next morning when I switch on the radio I hear that our rich owners have pulled the plug.
Steve Carter
18   Posted 31/05/2009 at 23:35:24

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With respect, Mike, saying we need investment is stating the obvious. The real question is how can we attract investment. What?s the ?Kenwright?s refusing to sell his train set? brigade?s evidence? Name a single credible report in recent times (i.e. either before or now we?re in the GFC) that?s said ?this bloke?s seriously interested in buying Everton and the level of proposed investment will see the club up there with Man C and the Sky4?.

The plain reason is that we are second fiddle to a global brand in a relatively provincial northern English city. We shot our load when Kings Dock fell in. That would have put us right in the happening part of Liverpool, and enabled us to start favourably distinguishing ourselves from our neighbours. Those who think that Kirby will attract out-of-town investment are just crazy.

Jason Broome
19   Posted 01/06/2009 at 00:00:35

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Has everybody read Moyes? comments in the Daily Mail article? David Moyes is on the same page as those who believe that the club can break the oligopoly of the big four without a billionaire owner.

Very impressed with the "I?m loyal" and the "Everton can match my ambitions" segment.

The FA cup is the past. I have complete faith in Moyes?s transfer policy and the hunger of our young team!
Derek Thomas
20   Posted 31/05/2009 at 23:46:41

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Getting to 5th has been had enough. The next step will be a whole degree of magnitude harder.

Last week, with Ossie lookind top clas, we easily beat the team 2 places behind us, all this with one eye on the next week s final.

This week, with Ossie and others to be fair, looking decidedly mundane, we couldn?t beat the team 2 places above us.

With due respect to Brett Bradshaw the table you provide and the senario is so much ?If my aunt had bollocks, she would be my uncle? twaddle.

So all we need is a bit more luck and less injuries... All together now, All you need is love da da dada da, All you need is love etc etc .

We over-achieve now, what if we had no injuries but just had a shit happens under-achieving average season? Ans: Barcodes Mk 2.

Just who and more to the point why do people ever invest in Football Clubs?? Two reasons: Ego or Profit.

Just how many, if any, actually make a serious, fair return per annum for the amount staked? Which is why you invest in anything. I you are not growing the capital AND making more than you can get in the term deposit, what's the point?

Pompey and Sunderland are mentioned... I don?t know much about Pompey. But it seems that Quinn is behind the Sunderland influx, not his cash but as a facilitator / entrepeneur. He is not a local like Bill, just where does his loyalty lie? Back pocket methinks.

Bill (like Moyes) has pluses and minuses, these pluses are the very thing that makes him good for us and the minuses are why he can?t / won?t take us to the next step.

Bills porridge is too cold, a billionaires will in all events be too hot for us to stomach.

WHERE IS OUR GOLDILOCKS?? to get it just right... Oh yeah, the ?minus?:- Bill is looking 24/7, but the ?plus?:- Bill has one eye shut.
Mark Williams
21   Posted 01/06/2009 at 06:44:42

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Just read that Newcastle have two fucking prospective buyers.... Yes, the Newcastle that have huge debts, no history, no Europe, lots and lots of overpaid players.... Oh and have just been fucking RELEGATED.....!!!
Mike Green
22   Posted 01/06/2009 at 10:32:37

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Got to say I?m in the Jason Broome et al camp - nice one Jason.

Bottom line is we got beat by a better team on Saturday, but not a better club.

These people who continually feel it neccesary to stick the knife into Bill Kenwright make me sick - I?d love to see them say some of the things they write on here to his face, he?d laugh them out of town!

Bill Kenwright see?s himself and acts not just as the Chairman of our club but more importantly the CUSTODIAN of it ? it?s this and the ground issue that?s making it difficult to get investment in. He doesn?t just want the right price, he wants the right person and I appluad him for that. Not only does he want the best for our club but he is also a GOOD MAN and a genuine fan ? not a bad starting point if you ask me and people who cant see that are, in my mind, just racked by the politics of envy ? get a life.

What would you prefer? A Chairman like Freddy Shepherd? A horrible gobshite who calls the female supporters of the club "dogs" and then flogs it off when he can get his best price to a big-time wannabe that completely destroys the club?

Each season we are making progress ? admittedly very slow progress which frustrates the fuck out of me but any progress is better than no progress at all ? and the fact is that even though it?s slow at least it?s got substance to it and is real.

This summer could be really exciting for us. We could easily get the right kind of investment and start adding a couple of starlets to the team.

Moyes?s priorites for 2010 will be 1) Finish in Top 4 2) Win Europa League 3) FA Cup 4) Carling Cup. After having a pretty dire cup record we have now had a great run in the Uefa Cup, a League Cup Semi-Final and an FA Cup Final in the past two seasons and I?m betting next year we?ll get to another final and finish 5th AT WORST.

Given the shoestring we are operating on this has been nothing short of remarkable and I am the first to admit it can?t last without real investment. However, we need to hang in TOGETHER until it comes and then we?ll really take off.

It makes me shudder that people are talking like this after we finish as "the best of the rest" for the 2nd year on the trot and get to an FA Cup final after beating Man Utd, Liverpool, Villa and ?Boro on the way.

Moyes wants what?s best for this club and so does Bill Kenwright. In my eyes anyone who can't see that needs their head read.

Well done Jason et al - loyal supporters.

COYB.
Chris James
23   Posted 31/05/2009 at 21:21:12

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Knee-jerk much Mike?

Have to say one thing that always surprises me is that with all the amassed big business expertise on these pages we haven?t yet had an offer for the club from one of Toffeeweb?s own self-made magnates? Or perhaps we have and Kenwright has failed to return the call?

To my min, the posts lambasting the process of running and selling the club are far more tedious and misplaced than the armchair managerial expertise. At least we can all see what happens on the pitch (and on other pitches), to be fair Mike you have no more idea than I do about what really happens behind the scenes, what it really takes to run a football club in the modern age or how many offers we?ve really had.

I?m not uncritical of BK, I think he?s clearly made some big mistakes in the past (King?s Dock and Fortress Fund - those famous Russian blues, eh!), but he?s clearly better than 80% of the chairman out ther (or would you prefer Bates, Kenyon, Risdale, Shephard, Ashley...). Moreover to accuse him of not doing what he can to get investment or having the club?s interests at heart is a bit of a weak accusation to hurl at someone who?s put pots of cash and a good chunk of his working life into it without taking a salary.

My take is that he?s a true blue fan with some business acumen at a certain level, but he (along with a lot of others) has been drawn increasingly out of his depth as the Premier League set sail for deeper financial waters.

However, let?s follow the argument. Yes a richer backer would obviously be a short-term fix (and maybe even is essential) to get in the players we need to take it to that next level, but what happens then?

For starters, that backer isn?t going to come without his own strings, ideas and interferences (see Chelsea, Man City, Newcastle) and why would he want to stick with Moyes? what happens when these billionaires start to lose interest? After all, they can?t all win the league can they? Without the glory or a big pay off, then what?s the long term appeal for these play boys who have no ties to the club, city or let?s face it the sport?

What happens when this ridiculous bubble finally bursts and football drops out of fashion and catches up with the realities being felt in the rest of the world? Or do you think football can go on expanding exponentially forever regardless of basic economics and common sense? Funny, that?s what they said about the housing market, oh and the investment banking world too I believe.

The reckoning is coming and probably a lot sooner than we expect and when the shake out begins I know who I?d rather have in my corner and it?s not the mercenary desperate to sell all the silver to the highest bidder to get his cash back..

Mike Green
24   Posted 01/06/2009 at 13:53:01

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Chris

Yeah - maybe it was a knee jerk.

I’m not going to apologise for defending a bloke from getting a kicking when he’s one of our own though.

Chris James
25   Posted 01/06/2009 at 15:50:25

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Hey Mr Green, think there was a case of Mike-taken identity there, I was referring to Mr McLean, just a freak that our posts came out in this order (as you can see from the date stamp I’d started/submitted it a while back, but it didn’t work and also seem to have missed a paragraph in the middle about why a billionaire would most likely fuck up the team and spirit that’s been painstakingly built!)

As it happens, I’m actually in pretty full agreement with you! ;-)
Tim Lloyd
26   Posted 01/06/2009 at 21:31:19

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It is taking too long for some people to realise that rich billionaires buy into a Football Club to make money NOT to spend it.

I hope the Kirkby thing goes thro becaue after we have a ground that looks like a 21st Century stadium and more particularly if we can continue to play as we have done this last season, hopefully better, then expect your rich guys to appear.

You must be raving bonkers if you think rich billionaires, who know little about Football but a lot about making money, are pestering Bill with offers to buy our club as it is today. So much talk of our history, history don’t butter no parsnips.
These lads want good prospects of making some money. Wouldn’t all of you?
Jason Broome
27   Posted 01/06/2009 at 22:52:15

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Mike Green - cheers!
Mike Green
28   Posted 02/06/2009 at 09:29:07

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Chris - apologies!

Jason - you’re welcome.

Anyone put their bid in for the new kit yet? I’m praying it’s not a shocker!

Roll on 2009/2010! I’m counting the days already and really believe we’re going to avoid the fiasco of last years close season.

Any predictions for close season signings? Downing? Bent?

COYB!


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