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Into The Future IV

By Thomas Roberts :  30/07/2008 :  Comments (17) :
It is apparent that most contributors to this site are gleeful at the departure of Keith Wyness. To be honest, his departure means next to nothing to me as Everton's roll call of historic CEOs does not register with me in the same way or to the same extent as do the roll calls of players and managers. Whatever he may be blamed for (and DK seems to be the main theme), whatever he proposed became the policy of the Club, whether we are talking of DK or anything else. Bill Kenwright and the Board (as small as it is) had the power to overule DK, and didn't, and so to blame Wyness entirely (if that is what people want to do) is unfair and inaccurate.

Since Wyness came to the Club we have broken our transfer record three times and while there is some doubt as to where this money came from, I didn't hear anybody complaining about it when AJ saw off Liverpool in his first season or when Yakubu was scoring his goals last year. If Beattie was shite in the end, we have to blame the manager for that, not Wyness. He just made the money that was never seemingly available before he came on anything like such a consistent basis.

Sometimes just having somebody to blame for circumstances that we don't like or agree with, especially if that target can be called a 'fat bastard' (or worse) or a 'lardarse' or 'worse than Agent Johnson' just helps the vitriol to flow.

But Wyness is now a part of the past and we have to look to the future. If indeed Wyness's departure is linked to the imminent demise of DK, what happens next? What does the Club do now to improve the stadium and it's revenue streams? If DK dies, what is the real alternative? But please, before the whole debate starts again as it may well do in a day or two, please remember that the answer is at least in two parts. Pipe dreams are not enough and what also has to be answered is who would fulfill Tesco's role in any redevelopment of Goodison or the building of a stadium elsewhere?

It is not enough to elicit the assistance of a company who currently occupy the Loop but who have a turnover of about £2m. That is not realistic. It is not enough to burn the midnight oil preparing lovely drawings of new or redeveloped stadiums without any indication of how they are going to be paid for. It is not enough to believe that somehow whatever we wish for can be achieved if we wish for it hard enough. It is not enough to decry DK on the basis of transport infrastructure without recognition that that was always going to be a problem at the Kings Dock too and would be even more at the Loop unless you happened to live within walking distance.

In a few days we may have a blank drawing board again but let us not have the same exasperating comments that we heard (or read) in Warren Bradley's reply to Peter Kilfoyle, Walton MP, when he (WB) listed the sites he had supposedly discussed (offered) to Everton and then added the proviso that with.... 'additional investment', he saw no reason why these sites were not achievable but without any indication of where that additional investment was going to come from... If Warren Bradley cannot explain where this 'additional investment' was going to come from, then perhaps I am right in wondering whether any insights could come from mere Evertonians like myself and that is why ideal solutions (our wishlist) pipe dreams and castles in the air are not enough.

Today, I was able to listen to a part of the Roger Phillips phone-in on Radio Mersyside, a large percentage of which was taken up by the Wyness departure. Near the end of the programme, an Evertonian came on who suggested that he would rather see Everton playing in the lower leagues than see the Club leave the city of Liverpool. I am not suggesting for a moment that that comment is in any representative of a typical Evertonian viewpoint, but I have always been concerned that there was an element of that within the oppostion to DK. That is what I am worried about. I am worried that plan B will be no more than staying where we are in both space and attitude and that we will die of financial malnutrition.

We are already the 'poorest' Club in the Premier League. I never thought I would see the day when we could not compete financially with the likes of Portsmouth and Manchester City but we can't anymore and that needs to be fixed. DK, however unpopular in some quarters, was at least a first step in addressing that imbalance. If DK falls what do we do then?

Please don't send any answers on a postcard ? send them on a balance sheet and a builder's estimate.

Reader Comments

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Lee Kidd
1   Posted 30/07/2008 at 21:09:52

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A good post, but a lot of your points are speculation posted as fact. We are, by no stretch of the imagination, the poorest club in the Premier League.

Before I begin to dissect your opinions, i’ll make it known that i’m actually in favour of DK as I believe it is the only viable way of Everton moving stadia any time soon, and Goodison is a bit of a joke these days.

The problem with your views is the fact that you focus on what you deem to be the positives of Wyness’s reign to the complete neglect of the negatives. True, the board have to take some accountability. However, Wyness did exactly the same at his former club as he did at Everton in regards to the stadium move. It has to be said that, however "good" DK is, it’s not without its flaws. As time has gone by, it has become clear that we have been decieved as to the quality of the new stadium, the financial benefits and the openness at looking at other alternatives. In fact, the one-track approach to DK smells of individual profiteering rather than whats best for the club - the club, by their own admission, are not even entertaining alternatives to DK.

As for Evertonian dismay with Wyness, it’s not so much in his physical appearance (although that is how we express our displeasure), it’s in his complete lack of knowledge of the tradition of our club. Money is important, yes, but not at one single stage did Wyness care to think how Everton would exist when not being anywhere near Everton - the area of Liverpool that is our namesake. We may as well rebrand ourselves "Kirkby" as it’d make more sense geographically. That is the core point of concern amongst Evertonians against DK regardless of facts or figures.

Saying that, I was all for DK "despite" of that worry. Simply because, as you say, we are no longer welcome in Liverpool. LCC treat us as a joke, destroying King’s Dock, disallowing Stanley Park (but allowing LFC to have their way years later)... even the most staunchest KEIOC member must admit that Warren Bradley and co. are just as bad, if not worse, than Keith Wyness in terms of the gradual destruction of our club.

The answer to our predicament? Well, there isn’t one. Not a single solution within the next decade for moving grounds. As you say, WB is full of shit - no matter what KEIOC say, there is NO viable location in the Liverpool area that Everton can develop on within our means.

The only possible solution to keeping us at the top of the footballing game in England is simply to secure massive investment from abroad. I started by saying we aren’t the poorest club in the Premier League. However, we ARE the poorest club in the top 10. Kenwright cannot support us financially for what we want from the club. The time has come for Kenwright to actually sell the advantages of our club to investors and, ultimately, releash his dictatorship in the boardroom - allowing his "toy" to actually develop into something meaningful.
Gavin Ramejkis
2   Posted 30/07/2008 at 21:05:03

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Why does anyone believe ANY figures from the DK project? The OS still has the original statements which have all been proven as lies. One of the lies banded about by Tesco Terry was we would crumble into the lower leagues and oblivion if we don’t jump on his supermarket project, as other statements have been proven as lies my viewpoint is to now blank everything the club and it’s partners have said as lies as they have not once investigated any other options, Terry is first and foremost responsible to Tesco and the whole project DK is to get them an oversized supermarket. Ignoring their location which has nothing to do with the underlying mission but Arsenal achieved success on the pitch and multi-tasked building merchandising and marketing in line with that success. Everton have qualified for European football four times in the last five years, it’s home is the Capital of Culture, the city is awash with international visitors some with no knowledge whatsoever of the footballing history and thus empty vessels able to absorb marketed goods in the city if they existed. Unfortunately the former CEO despite having a CV claiming a successful background in Marketing was unable to multi-task marketing and merchandising and a strategy to embrace this opportunity in a similar way to how he failed marketing the Sydney Olympics, we have missed the proverbial launch of the boat but it’s still within reach.

Bread and butter recognition and exploitation of bread and butter revenue streams - whether it’s a scarf or hat or van load of kits it puts our image out there walking around for all to see, we should be milking this capital of culture for every penny and at the same time seeking our CEO, who should be of sufficient calibre to lead, to introduce new ideas and potential money making avenues in the here and now. The board’s role is long to medium term strategies and giving approval to the CEO’s day to day activities and funding for such. It should also be noted that as an organisation’s project DK’s obvious project sponsor is BK himself as major shareholder and not KW who was just the project manager. It’s common practice to use a project manager to run projects which may be deemed unpopular within a company or it’s customer base and the project manager will always be the scapegoat as people see them as the instigator when in reality it’s come from the board.
Greg Murphy
3   Posted 30/07/2008 at 22:11:12

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Last time I checked the company occupying the Loop was Bestway and its turnover was the thick end of £2 billion.
Neil Verdin
4   Posted 30/07/2008 at 22:21:00

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"It is not enough to decry DK on the basis of transport infrastructure without recognition that that was always going to be a problem at the Kings Dock too and would be even more at the Loop unless you happened to live within walking distance."

What planet are you on Thomas??? The loop is a 5-minute walk from teh centre of liverpool"LCC treat us as a joke, destroying King?s Dock,"

Lee - where did you pull this gem from? LCC gave EFC repeated extensions to deadlines to find their 30-35 mill of a 250 mill venture and billy liar could not find it

I despair at some with so little patience they will accept any old shite!
Karl Masters
5   Posted 30/07/2008 at 22:23:51

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I?m pretty certain that Bestway estimated Everton?s share of a stadium at the Loop being £60m. That?s about £20m less than Kirkby.

Price Waterhouse Cooper also said our non footballing revenues being that close to the City Centre were likely to be 10 times higher than Kirkby.

Added to that world renowned stadium designer, HOK, stated that a 55,000 seat stadium would fit on the site.

Being in Everton and only half a mile from the Prince Rupert?s Tower made it an ideal choice should redeveloping Goodison be impossible. Even LCC supported it.

And yet despite it stacking up as being better for Everton financially, better for Everton?s public profile and more in tune with the Traditions of the Club, Wyness and BK continued to tell us that it was rubbish and Kirkby is the only option.

They are having a laugh aren?t they? More to it than that though with a grubby local MP also seemingly involved for some reason and illogically demanding the Club leave his constituency in a stunning u-turn

Wyness knew the EGM is going to be uncomfortable to ay the least and has buggered off looking for his next ? New Stadium? victim.
Greg Murphy
6   Posted 30/07/2008 at 22:49:26

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Couldn’t be expanded to 75k though Karl ;-}

Don’t forget the 75k!
Karl Masters
7   Posted 30/07/2008 at 23:08:30

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Ha Ha, the great 75,000 capacity lie.

He really was full of crap.

By the way Greg you couldn’t cycle to the Loop though - too small to park a bicycle outside.

Don’t forget the thousand cyclists!!
Graham Brandwood
8   Posted 30/07/2008 at 23:13:15

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One thing about the loop. You are wrong to say that the transport infrastructure would be as bad. The Cities financial quarter and roads off Leeds street are full of Car parks all within 20 minutes walk that are empty on matchdays. Queens square bus station is between 10 and fifteen minutes away, Moorfields station(trains going north, south, and west) is 15 minutes away, and Lime St all stations east is 10 to 15 minutes away.
Rob Hollis
9   Posted 30/07/2008 at 23:22:27

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Price Waterhouse Cooper! Wyness may have had major faults but do not quote a bloody firm of consultants.

I am sure they estimated their fee correctly though..
Brian Donnelly
10   Posted 30/07/2008 at 22:52:04

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As Neil v writes ?what planet are you on??

Kirkby is on the edge of the city, the public transport doesn’t exist to cope with anywhere near the crowd that would be needed. The car parking doesn’t exist with a 2 mile no parking zone around the stadium. There is one railway station ? less than 4000 people an hour.

The loop is within walking distance of the centre of Liverpool, where virtually all public transport links converge. How can the loop be worse, transport wise?

We can argue about other things such as where the finance would come from - that’s a different matter. I just see statements dismissing transport problems at Kirkby as if they are a minor inconvenience ? IMO the transport problems will ensure that Kirkby is a financial failure. If people can’t get away from the ground easily they won’t go, not to mention the number of people who will not renew season tickets. Where’s all this new support coming from?

It is about time that the club produced some figures to justify why Kirkby will be so successful for EFC ? given that it has split the fan base in two. Funny how nobody who voted yes ever wants to see the facts & figures behind the Kirkby decision , but are always demanding to see facts & figures for any other suggestion.
Steve Smith
11   Posted 31/07/2008 at 00:51:29

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I don?t think any of us {even those who voted yes in the ballot} will be bothered if DK falls through, it was sold to us as the only option and basically that we must say yes. Even now the club is posting statements on the os saying they are still commited to DK.

None of us really know the options that are available or affordable but one thing I am now convinced of is that DK is wrong for Everton Football Club and more importantly its supporters.

I have read and taken part in many discussions and forums on this subject since the ballot took place and initially I was a supporter of the move, I now think that the move will alienate too many supporters who feel so strongly that we should stay in the city, I have to say that I was probably taken in by EFC?s not so slick campaign. My opinion now for what its worth is that Everton belongs and has an absolute right to be in the city of Liverpool and, the closer to the area of Everton the better.

I think BK has got the message and is probably hoping that the scheme gets called in so he can give it the swerve and still come out smelling of roses.

What happens after that is anyones guess but don?t expect to be moving for the next ten years or so.
Gordon Blair
12   Posted 31/07/2008 at 02:30:02

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Rob Hollis,

Whatever your personal feelings about consultants, I would certainly trust a PWC report on revenue generation over anything wheeled out by Keith, or indeed, on here.

Failure to investigate options with an open mind in order to arrive at the best solution for the club (I wouldn’t have minded if DK came out as top answer, as long as it was demonstrably best). That alone is enough to have me relieved that Keith’s gone.
Jay Harris
13   Posted 31/07/2008 at 04:41:40

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People are also forgetting that Everton’s own "property expert" admitted that the cost of converting the contaminated land at KIrkby would be more than the cost of the difficulties of building on the loop.

Thomas you also ruined your post by totally underestimating the wealth and power of Bestway who are no Tesco (few are) in size but every bit as capable and were more than willing to engage in discussions.

Lets also not forget WHP and Sainsbury who used to be bigger than Tesco.
John Samuel
14   Posted 31/07/2008 at 11:48:00

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Good lord, some commom sense!

Who does this Thomas Roberts fellow think he is?

Time for a stiff drink!!
Ste Kenny
15   Posted 31/07/2008 at 18:14:40

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Why did we enter into a ridiculously long exclusivity period?

why couldn’t we be honest about the cost and standard of the stadium, I dont believe this would have changed the result?

why didnt we remove ourselves from said exclusivity period to discuss other options? we hold/held all the cards as the development couldnt go ahead without us.

Why did keith state their was no plan b? for a business with turnover in excess of £50m struggling for revenue there should be a plan b for if the tea lady phones in sick, let alone the possible relocation of the single biggest revenue stream the club has?

These are all question keith should have been asking himself, as any successful businessman would, the truth though is that he is not nor has he ever been a successful businessman and thats part of the reason we are in dire straits
Karl Masters
16   Posted 31/07/2008 at 21:49:31

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Rob Hollis.
Regardless of whether you can trust a firm of consultants, it’s bleeding obvious to anyone that you will get better, bigger crowds at a site served by good transport links. Furthermore, the chances of corporate events and other activities such as an Hotel are clearly better at a city centre location than in a suburban backwater.

Of course, consultants can say anything you want them to as perfectly illustrated by Fat Keith’s numpty who was rolled out at the AGM to rubbish the Loop and actually admitted he knew nothing about it ( don’t ask me, I’m only a consultant!! ) or the laughable appraisal by Davies, Gleeve & Steer that Kirkby would have the best transport links of any UK stadium.
Jim Lloyd
17   Posted 01/08/2008 at 00:12:59

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Apart from a whole host of economic and logistical arguments, which many posters have explained why Kirkby is not the easy, painless and almost free solution it was portrayed as. Their are a lot of Evertonians who believe that if we leave our city, we begin the decline to obscurity.
I believe that with all of my heart. Obviously, we could all be wrong.. but, when it comes down to it, once we leave, ther is no turning back.
I would only consider this move as an option if all else was proven to be impossible.
With the exclusivity agreement that Kenwright has signed, no other option can be explored.
I’ll have nothing to do with it. To leave our city is, in my view, a betrayal of all I’ve ever supported this club for, and that is just on 50 years. If you believe it is a good thing to go to Kirkby, then fine but don’t be knocking fellow Evertonians who have a different view.

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