So what about this idea to throw into the melting pot... Our many loyal fans have been down to Wembley twice now within a month, and marvelled at the brand spanking new stadium and the facilities. Brilliant, imagine Goodison was like this.
After the ticketing fiasco, I think all fans are now fully aware of how Wembley is currently being paid for. Businesses and individuals can buy a Club Wembley membership for a minimum of £2,250 a year and are committed to the scheme for 9 years. In return, each member is looked after by Wembley in the form of 12 matches a year including the cup finals, rugby league finals, England matches and they get to buy concert tickets, hire the meeting rooms for posh clients and probably more. See http://www.wembleystadium.com/seatsandboxes/.
And up here in Stirling, Scotland, the the local Stirling Albion fans are looking to become the first 100 fan-owned Club and have set up a website called http://www.buystirlingalbion.org.uk/. I only mention this as there are a couple of good ideas on there.
So, to my point ? Club Everton. The idea is simple. Offer a similar package as the Club Wembley deal to our fans, local businesses and anyone who wants to become a member of... Club Everton.
For a membership you would get:
1. A season ticket.
2. Guaranteed tickets for any cup final we get to (have to pay for though)
3. Tickets for 3 home European matches (or more?)
4. A ticket for every home FA Cup game.
5. Entry into a members draw to travel on the team bus every week (from Finch Farm to Goodison at home games, and away matches too). Only winnable once per member. (I got this idea of Stirling Albion site. See other perks too at http://www.buystirlingalbion.org.uk/what-you-get/)
6. A discount on club merchandise.
7. A ticket for a major pop concert that will be held at Goodison at least once a summer.
Open to further suggestions...
The cost of membership will obviously reflect what you get out of it. And there will be money left over for whatever the Club needs it for (... a stadium!).
Now I will refer to an article posted last year by John Hughes about raising money to build a new stadium (venue unconfirmed) or redevelop Goodison. [See here and here]. John Hughes's original idea was to set up a Trust to raise the money to build a stadium and let Everton use it. To my mind this is not too far from the Club Wembley business model because the wembley "fans" are effectively servicing the loan to pay for the build.
If Club Wembley can generate 40,000 members to pay for the stadium, then why can't Everton? I base this figure on the ticket allocation they kept for the final so I could be well out on the number. I know we are in the middle of a credit crunch but, in the words of our Chief Executive, it is a definite objective to expand our fan base and encourage more people into our Everton family to increase revenue and profitablity of the Club.
So let's say you buy a Club Everton membership and get all of the above. Out of the membership fee, a percentage of the revenue will be used to fund the stadium project. Let's say for argument £500 per year from a Club Everton membership of say £2,000 (to keep the numbers simple) will go towards the stadium.
Now if we end up in a new stadium (somewhere), Everton will be looking to sell about 40,000 season tickets anyway. So why not sell 40,000 Club Everton memberships? In fact, I would bet that this kind of thing has already been discussed at board level.
Revenue in season 1 = £500 x 40,000 = £20 million. Would this be enough to service a loan in the first year?
Revenue in season 2 = £20million... and so on over 25 years, like paying off a mortgage, we raise £500 million to pay off the loan for the build. The stadium is paid for effectively by Club Everton members who have collectively taken on a big mortgage to get it built.
In return, we would also want a say in how the Club is run and look to have a Club Everton member voted on the Board of Directors of Everton FC. We would also own a share in any redevelopment or new build stadium equivalent to value of "our" contribution.
Is this just one of those ideas that everyone thinks is good but is not "achievable, deliverable and sustainable" (or words to that effect by Mr. Elstone).
I'm holding my breath for a backlash.
Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer
1 Posted 31/05/2009 at 17:37:06
You may or may not have noted my own article on a similar vein about Barcelona?s membership model, and the benefits (not just financial) that it brings to the club. I see no reason whatsoever why Everton should not be considering such a concept. There is so much upside and no downside as I can see.
But be careful what you promise: membership and co-ownership is one thing, but promising tickets for cup finals where we may only get 20-25,000 tickets makes such promises pointless.
The concept of a global membership with some tangible stake in the club is hugely appealing... but hold on cowboy. It?s a big leap from investigating, consulting and establishing such a thing, to delivering £Xm extra each season to fund a super stadium.
My views on the stadium remain as they were. The idea of 2 large clubs in a city the size of Liverpool (small) borrowing huge amounts of money to fund 2 separate decent stadiums of 55-60,000 each is total madness and, dare I say it, impossible for some years.
However, a large world-class Merseyside stadium of 65-70,000 would attract significant local, national & international investment, enormous naming rights, regional & European grants and would pay for itself so much easier than the alternative. It would also be much more of a monument to the city.
Fan stakeholdings in EFC? Absolutely yes. Stadium? Different kettle of fish.
2 Posted 31/05/2009 at 18:19:54
I hope people don?t start arguing about the pros and cons of a shared stadium as that was not the point of the posting. My main point is that if it?s working for Wembley, then it?s a proven business model.
In these economic times, we may end up with a shared stadium whilst retaining our own identity. Would anyone want to become a Club Everton member based on the Club Wembley idea?
3 Posted 31/05/2009 at 20:18:47
Many thousands of True Blues see a move to Kirkby as the beginning of the end for Everton, I can't imagine any of them being prepared to actually fund it.
I love the idea of some sort of membership plan; I?m completely sold, but I feel a move to Kirkby may well see half the potential membership abandon the idea before it gets off the ground.
4 Posted 31/05/2009 at 18:17:38
If we could get 40,000 fans to contribute say £1,500, this would provide £60 million which would be more then enough to buy the club. This would truly give is the right to be "The People's Club". I know it's far-fetched but imagine how great it could be if it did happen. However, there are three main stumbling blocks:
1. Could we get enough fan's during the economic climate?
2. Would Bill sell?
3. Who would organize the buyout and carry out the research etc?
5 Posted 31/05/2009 at 23:34:26
6 Posted 31/05/2009 at 23:37:45
Tom, I feel that the problem with a buy-out is that you need a far more cash once you?ve bought it, as Bill has found out himself over the years.
7 Posted 31/05/2009 at 23:45:07
But it is Everton?s objective of increasing season ticket sales, a wider fan base and increased revenue. This is just an idea of how to do it whilst giving supporters a say in what happens to the cash.
The fact that we can?t find the right investor to buy the club means other ways of generating revenue need to be looked at.
8 Posted 01/06/2009 at 00:23:03
My own feeling is that it is not impossible for someone to come up with a plan or composite plan to raise the £400-500M required to do the job properly. If men of vision can do it in the backroom of the Sandon Inn in 1891-92. We should be able to do it with all the tools at our command today, or are we not the men our Fathers were??
Messrs Lyndon, Michael et al. call for tenders, expressions of interest, if you have to, cunning plans. At the worst, all you will be left with is a big cyber bin of pie in the sky shite, nothing the delete button won?t cure.
Or are you chicken... nobody calls me chicken... Great Scott!!
9 Posted 01/06/2009 at 10:44:22
Whilst stadiums have traditionally been inextricably linked to clubs (in England anyway), I see no reason why that absolutely must be the case. I have little doubt that, if the powers that be on Merseyside sat down together and thrashed this out, then the logic would be beyond overwhelming and the "reasons" for not doing it would become risible.
To me, the "club" concept, as I posted after Barca?s triumph, is much more to do with stake-holding, buy-in, emotion and culture than it is anything to do with stadiums.
I?d like to seriously explore ways of getting this idea out into full public gaze and in front of Bill Kenwright. If well considered and presented, this has got legs.
10 Posted 01/06/2009 at 11:06:43
I agree that we should separate out the stadium from this and I?d also be tempted to separate some of the ticketing elements too (certainly season tickets and cup final, etc). These latter elements could easily be offered as optional extras at discounted rates, to what I feel is the most appealing thing here, i.e. a chance to have some sort of ownership of Everton and a say in how it was managed.
Rather than fans buying the club outright, imagine a structure instead where a percentage of the club (say 25-33%) was opened up and sold to a fans consortium (Club Everton). This would guarantee a genuine stake in the business and a proper say in developments without having to run/finance the club.
As well as owning a small stake in the club itself (complete with share certificate, etc) the fans would have proportional representation on the Board of Directors and be consulted on major decisions with our position outlined as a result of consultation and/or a vote by fans who were members.
Membership of Club Everton would therefore entail owning a part of the club (probably a very small one, but a chunk nevertheless) and the right to have your say and vote on key decisions.
The financial model would constitute a one-off fee (for the shares) and a much smaller annual membership fee which would ensure the ability to vote that year and maybe offer other soft benefits (like the chance to ride on team bus, regular competitions for signed gear, etc). The annual memberships could even be created in different packages, with the basic being the voting alone and the latter including tickets, chances to win, etc.
By keeping the Club Everton separate from season tickets, we not only maintain existing revenue streams but also allow for a wider audience of fans to participate (i.e., those who don?t live in Liverpool and can?t get to most home games).
Obviously there?s a lot of ifs and buts and probably more holes than a Swiss Cheese in this suggestion, but I definitely think this is a thread worth pursuing.
11 Posted 01/06/2009 at 12:21:03
We could easily get publicity for this thing, making it even more self-generating. But it?s really important that this is pitched as a benign strategy to help us gain leverage as a club and to empower the true ideals of a People?s Club, rather than some revolutionary action from a bunch of malcontents.
I do not see such a concept as being incompatible with having a chairman/figurehead like Bill Kenwright (some will disagree) nor an operational top man such as Robert Elstone. Quite the reverse. This idea, to me, is supplemental. We will always need a chairman and chief exec and I believe (as almost every non-Evertonian believes) that we have good officers both on and off the pitch.
But ownership and stake-holding is different and that?s what we?re really talking about. I have absolutely no idea how much might be raised this way. Depending on where the bar is set, somewhere between £5M (50,000 x £100) and £250M (250,000 x £1,000). Then it?s a question of whether it?s a single amount for everyone or whether fans can buy more than 1 "stake".
And then, what do fans get in return for their stake? If you get 250,000 fans with a stake then clearly they can?t all have match tickets and cup final tickets. So there has to be some creative thinking around this.
I must say, the idea of the club having an extra £100M or more for players, or new money for capital investment, is exciting. Such a move would need a serious charter regarding Everton?s status and potential saleability etc. The club would have to adopt a commitment to paying dividends to stakeholders and we would have an equal say in important matters like who the chairman is, should we move/expand etc etc.
I?ve just dropped Michael & Lyndon a line about setting this up if they can promote it.
12 Posted 01/06/2009 at 12:20:57
The facts are quite simple: Everton have a very loyal hardcore support and another large amount of fans from across the country and the globe who turn up every 14 years, if you get my drift. The glory hunters ? and again, if we are being honest, that's all these people are ? are highly unlikely to fork out a significant sum to support a club they rarely go and see.
I for one have been a season ticket holder since 1987, so would bracket myself in the hardcore, but if it's a choice between taking the kids to EuroDisney and spending it on Everton, it would not be a hard decision to make.
I do, however, like Chris James's opinion that the fans buy a proportion of the club. It would be interesting to see this investigated further via and put to Bill Kenwright or a new owner.
13 Posted 01/06/2009 at 12:46:46
We also have a cup ticket scheme in place. What I would like to see is the supporters who go to six games a year pay more to encourage them to buy a season ticket.
14 Posted 01/06/2009 at 12:54:53
To expand the appeal of share ownership (which is what you will have to be doing to inluence the Board) you will have to make it much cheaper. FC Barcelona membership is around £100 and has 150,000 members out of a population of 3 million. We have a local population of around 500,000 so assuming similarities of feelings of loyalty (though Barca fans have MUCH more say in the running of their club than we are envisaging) apply, we are looking at selling 25,000 at that price, bringing in £2.5M a year.
Even at those rates, we are only talking about a couple of thousand shares per year but of course then there is the issue of getting private individuals to sell those shares to us.
More worryingly, once control has been bought, £2.5M a year doesn't buy much improvement in the club. We would be left more or less where we are now.
15 Posted 01/06/2009 at 19:32:51
It doesn?t matter to some degree how we raise the money, whether it be fans buying more shares in the Club; or putting money in via a package like "Club Everton"; or going back to the John Hughes original idea that got everyone excited with the concept of setting up a Stadium Trust. So long as we look at ideas that are "achievable, deliverable and sustainable" (Elstone) we might just get Everton to look at these ideas and take some on board.
Derek Thomas ? yes it could all be run as a web-based project as most fans will have access, or could at least get access if they needed to.
Alan Kirwin ? if a shared stadium is what we end up with, then both sets of fans contributing to it via a Club Everton / Club Liverpool could be looked at. Or, DARE I say that both sets of fans set up a joint Stadium Trust to raise the funds to pay for a stadium build, then both sets of fans rent the stadium back to both Clubs. (Gee whiz... can you imagine the meetings though!) If Everton buy into one of the ideas we come up with, I reckon the publicity will follow, especially after the way David Moyes has built the team without megabucks.
Chris James ? you are probably right about separating out what people are buying into ? shares, Club Everton, a Stadium Trust. But all are potential additional revenue streams and we need everyone we can get. Add to that stadium naming rights and other revenue generators and we could get there.
Gareth Humphreys ? Your comments only serve to strenghten the point about both sets of fans joining forces to make a significant contribution toward the build of one stadium. Maybe this is the way to go? Even though I can?t get to the match enough, I would throw in the cash and, judging by the people who come on ToffeeWeb, I reckon there are many more out there. After all, you don?t have to go to church to be good Christian!!
Stepen Williams ? I heard an interview given by Robert Elstone and he confirmed that a major increase in season ticket holders and expanding the worldwide fanbase is an absolute clear objective of Everton Football Club. Plus, the Club Wembley deal allows members to sell back a ticket via the Club Wembley website for any matches they couldn?t make (minus admin fee). No reason this cannot be done for an increased season ticket fanbase from further afield, who are more likely not to make it to all the games.
Graham Atherton ? I agree with you. Buying a share in Everton FC is a way of having your say, and if this is what any fan wants to do, great. That?s more money in the pot. In fact, if all the ideas in the melting pot came to fruition, I would bet there will be fans out there with shares in Everton, a member of Club Everton and have a share in the Stadium Trust as well.
Is it a pipe-dream to think that we could get a worldwide fanbase of 250,000 to part with £100? What would they get for this? Someone mentioned last year their name in one of the bricks on the stadium (like along Mathhew Street for famous scousers). I think they would need something they would value but not necessarily cost the Club anything to provide ? eg, A discount of 10 to 20% on Club merchandise from the official website?
Michael Kenrick ? Based on Alan Kirwin?s suggestion, if you are going to promote a "Melting Pot of ideas", is it possible to keep a permanent link on the ToffeeWeb home page (even during the summer with no games on) and invite fans to come up with cash-generating ideas for the Club?
At the moment we have two:- The Stadium Trust (Aug 2008) and now Club Everton. It could be a good traffic generator for ToffeeWeb too and may inspire some genius to have a eureka moment of inspiration that changes the face of World Football as we know it, where it was heard first on ToffeeWeb.com!
16 Posted 02/06/2009 at 00:14:15
Every idea needs a champion and you?re right ? Toffeeweb could be that champion.
There are a couple of points I would like to make however.
1. I think the "Club Everton" membership fee would have to have various levels like Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze because not everybody wanting to contribute has the wherewithal to contribute large amounts.
2. The "Club" would have to have some form of value or rights. I think assisting, in whatever way, in running the club is a non-starter. That?s why we have a Board of Directors and a Club Manager. My feeling is it would only work if it "owned" a part of the new stadium or a renovated Goodison Park with rights given in lieu of interest repayments.
3. As already mentioned by a few, Destination Kirkby would be a non-starter for many and certainly for me.
4. The prevailing mistrust of Bill Kenwright and the Board would also have to be addressed but, if a stadium development that had broad appeal would be the basis of shareholding, that could be a way around that thorny issue.
5. I totally concur with Alan Kirwan that the most logical, economic and commercial thing to do would be a joint stadium... but again, I ask the question, Would this have mass appeal?
For every problem there is a solution so let?s start the collective heads of ToffeeWeb thinking positively instead of deciding which player is the boo boy this month.
Come on Michael/Lyndon ? get that project heading sorted out.
17 Posted 02/06/2009 at 08:56:34
I think all we are doing here is trying to get a groundswell of support and ongoing exposure to give any ideas the chance of making it to the dizzy heights of Kenwright Towers for in-depth discussion.
18 Posted 02/06/2009 at 10:44:51
Glad to see the old grey matter is still working. Great Idea though!
But, like my idea from last year I think you are targeting too big of an audience. One thing I have learnt over the last 12 months from my own experiences is about the market we should be targeting for these ideas and what realistically we can achieve from the market we are targeting.
So, taking your very good Idea on board, I will use the following example to explain my idea and how this idea could become attractive to the club.
Firstly, I love the Club Everton Idea. I had to buy a Club Wembley seat for the final last week. (My fault ? not enough credits... but hey!) I will use a variant of the Club Wembley model for this idea.
Basically we want to help the club. We want to help the club become richer and more attractive to investment. We want better facilities and we want better players. But we won?t get 150,000 supporters putting £2k in each to help us achieve it.
My idea is based around redevelopment rather than owning or building a new stadium. It will cost the club nothing but will generate circa £5m per year in revenue for the club with one stand redevelopment. This means pure profit to EFC.
The example is to create a Club Everton Membership. This membership will be modelled on the Club Wembley facility. Membership will be limited to 2000.
Using Trevor Skempton's main stand redevelopment idea but moving away from corporate boxes, I propose that a ?Plaza? type facility be installed underneath the Top Balcony overhang. The ?Plaza? would have a restaurant, café and bars with seating arrangements. And would have a glass façade and would open out onto a pitch view, with the ?Club Everton Member? seats just below.
The rest of the main stand would be constant all the way to pitch level so this would mean the removal of the existing corporate boxes and the family enclosure joining the main stand seating. The roof would of course be reconstructed and all stanchions removed.
Having looked at the original cost estimates and taking into consideration the current financial climate, I would put the price for redevelopment of the Main Stand at around £15M (I think this is way too much for what I am suggesting but it?s better to use worst case).
So we have 2000 available memberships. They would vary in price. But what do you get from being a member? Most of the fans who replied to my original post said they would part with their money for it but wanted something in return. This would require buy-in from the Club.
I think memberships should include: all league home games; all home cup matches, both domestic and European; and priority allocation for Cup Final tickets! This way, you are getting something tangible in return.
So Prices and how do you guarantee £5M per season for the club from one stand redevelopment?
Firstly I should say that this won?t be £5M from year one. It has to be planned and over the course of three seasons to profit to the club could be in Year 1 £1M, Year 2: £2.5M, Year 3: £5M extra in the transfer kitty.
Tickets could be Club Everton Executive with a 300 membership limit. Prices would be £10,000 per season with all benefits as above plus pre-match meal and access to a VIP bar at end of match to meet and greet players etc.
Club Everton Members (1,700) would have the benefit of use of the Club Everton Plaza before and after the match and all the (ticket) benefits as mentioned above. Prices would be £2,500 per season and leather seats with arm rests and cup holders. Plenty of leg room and best views in the house!
What does this mean price-wise and value-for-money-wise?
Club Everton Executive seats will cost £10,000 per season; based on an average season you could expect 25 home games based on the new Europa League format and domestic cup games. This equates to £400 per seat per game. Including ticket benefits and pre-match meals!
Club Everton membership will cost £2,500 per season. This equates to £100 per seat per game, including ticket benefits.
The revenue generated from such a scheme would be £7.25M per season in seat sales alone. This does not include catering and merchandise sales on the Club Everton Plaza. Based on this figure and having a realistic repayment plan in place, the scheme would pay for itself in three seasons. (@£5M per year).
This whole scheme could be applied to all sides of the stadium and they will fund themselves in the same way. Obviously, the Park End and Street End would yield less membership opportunities but would still be a feasible option, especially if they were redeveloped in line with the Bullens Road to create a Club Everton Tier. Obvious considerations to doing this would be the benefits on offer and how attractive they are. With one stand, it?s not so bad and manageable. With four there would be allocation problems and the benefits diluted.
Why could this option work?
Because of whom it would be marketed at. Wealthier Evertonians and businesses that could afford the prices and want the bit of ?exclusivity?. It is a reachable, viable, sustainable target to achieve. It would probably cost less to achieve than my estimate, meaning greater return on investment and sooner.
It would generate more (extra) income per season than Destination Kirkby without the level of debt, meaning more money to invest in the team!
It would maintain the history and tradition of Goodison Park as an innovative and spectacular place to watch football!
My question would be: Are there 300 people/businesses out there willing to pay £10k per season to watch Everton? (considering the prices for the existing exec boxes are £45k per season and they don?t get ticket privileges(?)) And are there 1699 people/businesses out there willing to pay £2,500 per season?
I think this is a much easier market to get money from. As the basis of an idea, I think it combines what I originally wanted to do with the idea Tony has had ? but on a smaller more sustainable, deliverable and achievable scale.
What you have to do here is look at the value-for-money element to the supporter or business. Not the £10,000 cost of a seat for a season but that the seat cost £400 per game and you are guaranteed tickets to all home games and a pre-match meal at all home games and then entrance to the VIP bar at the end of the game. If you had a chance of doing that and considering the marquee is £100-odd, would you do club Everton instead?
19 Posted 02/06/2009 at 14:38:21
I think an ongoing dicussion forum where ideas can be thrown around by all and sundry can only be positive so that we get there in the end with something on a sustainable, deliverable and achievable scale. (I see you too also listen to Mr Elstone.)
If we had an ideas forum up and running it would also save the Club a right few bob as consultants are paid a small fortune to do this kind of thing.
Does anyone know if anyone in Goodison Towers actually comes onto ToffeeWeb for a nosey around?
20 Posted 02/06/2009 at 14:57:07
21 Posted 02/06/2009 at 16:27:58
Now I know we are nowhere near a new/redeveloped stadium, so what about for the start of next season renaming all our Corporate facilities to well known global brands who pay for the privilege? John suggested a figure of £10,000 for Club Everton Executive seats, so what about £250,000 a season for the "John Lewis suite" or the "Virgin Media Lounge", The "Dell bar", the "Egg VISA Suite", the "Sony Suite". Get 10 of those and that?s another £10 million in the pot over the next 5 years.
With the Everton brand and style of football, there could be many who would want to be associated with us at this corporate level. I?m sure that Dixie and the boys would gracefully step down. Plus if there was re-development or expansion, there could be more of these to sell as well as the stadium naming rights.
Any away going fans know the names of the suites at Arsenal? And while we are at it, why not flog off the name of each of the stands for a few years. Now you may think I?ve been on the sauce, but if sponsors put in say half a million for the priviledge, there could be something in this too.
The Gwladys Street becomes the "Quality Street" end (with the Toffeelady throwing out Quality Street before the game). The Upper and Lower "Butlins" Road... Ok, I?m trying to be funny like all scousers are, but some serious brands could be interested in this concept. This is basically more money for nothing for Everton.
Also, with the Everton 2 @ Liverpool 1 store opening up, I?m sure that we could get some decent cash out of Mastercard to use this under their ongoing "Priceless" campaign. (I?d love that one particularly.)
Is this not better than selling our soul? Any more ideas based on this?
22 Posted 03/06/2009 at 11:08:16
I?ve got another great idea that I?ve emailed to Everton for consideration. I think it?s so good I am hesitant to post for fear the competition pick up on it and act first. I?ve asked Everton to consider it and if they do not want me to post, I will hold off for now.
If they don?t come back or tell me to go away and stop bothering them, please look forward to another idea to make us loadsamoney.