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FAN ARTICLES

True Lies and Perspective

By Stephen Guy :  01/08/2008 :  Comments (29) :
Apart from the odd comment on the odd mail thread, I have pretty much kept my own counsel since the end of last season. This was a promise to myself; given the manic nature of Evertonians? close season speculation (and the fact that as per previous seasons, 99% of discussion would be so much wasted space), I decided I would get on with the rest of my life!

Don?t misunderstand me; if you have been kind enough to read my ToffeeWeb contributions in seasons past, you will know I am as passionate about the Club as anyone; with a 25-year record as a season ticket holder to back that statement up.

However, there are some things I know I can?t affect; the main one being who comes and who goes at Everton. I also don?t know anymore about what is actually happening inside the walls of Goodison than 99.9% of the fans who write into and read ToffeeWeb; the only persons with full knowledge are the Board. As a result, I try to keep the news (real or otherwise) in perspective.

Having said all this, the hysteria (you can call it little else) which seems to have increasingly gripped everyone in recent weeks has compelled me to break my promised silence.

The resignation of Keith Wyness, a man who almost single-handedly set supporters at each others? throats over the Kirkby Project, seems to have created conspiracy theories akin to those not seen since the X-Files disappeared from our TV screens. Most of us, including myself, will never know the truth of the matter and I?ll wager that his statement when it comes out serves only Keith Wyness. At best, it can only be ?the truth according to Bully? and at worst it will, in all likelihood, stay just the right side of the libel laws in reference to Kenwright or other Board members. In itself I don?t see it as an issue; CEO?s do not affect the short term too much as player?s contracts can be negotiated by others. Wyness?s legacy is Kirkby and its associated issues, as well as what would appear to be questionable commercial decisions such as the outsourcing to JJB.

With regard to Moyes and his contract ? Why not believe him when he says he?s much more interested in a) getting the team fit for the start of the season and b) getting in new players? I understand this sounds naïve and should the conspiracists be right he will not sign and at best will see out his contract this season. But?.why would anyone not sign a £60k a week contract? What?s the downside from his perspective? Understandably perhaps, we have become a fanbase of cynics who don?t believe anything anyone associated with the Club says.

This permeates into everything else, as fans add 2 and 2 on any given issue and come up with every answer except the obvious one. Take the availability of transfer funds. ?We don?t have any money? is the general view; but, do any of us actually know how much is available? I doubt it. The current received wisdom is that we need the money from the sale of AJ before we can buy. In which case what happened to the £30M (or whatever number) we receive from Sky TV? Why not take Moyes?s statement that AJ wanted to leave as the truth of the matter? In which case, maybe we?ve actually got £40M to spend (when the AJ deal goes through) but we are just not shouting it from the roof tops so that agents keep their expectations low. Lest we forget, the Yak was bought in the last week of the transfer window last year; when I seem to remember the doom merchants were again out in force over Moyes?s lack of purchases.

There have already been a number of positives in the close season for me which I think have tended to obscured by the lack of transfer activity and (in recent weeks) by the aforementioned hysteria that seems to have accompanied the latter, Moyes?s unsigned contract and Bully?s resignation.

We have a new coach in Steve Round and those in the game itself have acknowledged this as a shrewd move by Everton, with the players already making positive comment on his influence. We have been able to get key players signed up to new long-term contracts and Pienaar has signed on a permanent basis. Four players from the Youth team and Reserves are looking like excellent prospects for the coming season and beyond. Cahill and Vaughan are both well on the road to recovery.

Frustration is one thing we all share at the moment, but a sense of perspective would help too.

Reader Comments

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Ray Robinson
1   Posted 01/08/2008 at 20:54:48

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Steve, I’m normally chipper when it comes to matters EFC but I’d like a pint of what you’ve been drinking. At this point in the season, I think we’re on the verge of throwing away the best springboard for a good season that we’ve had for years. i do hope I’m wrong!
Trevor Lynes
2   Posted 01/08/2008 at 20:56:46

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A well written article but I feel the frustration of the fans is caused by the exodus of players and the total lack of replacements. The season is upon us in two weeks and we have had our already small squad diminished. We have lost McFadden, Carsley, Fernandez, Wessels and Gravesen plus Shandy and Hibbert injured. The prospects of Vaughn being suspended plus the lack of match practice for Cahill and Baines..we do not at the moment have sufficient premier standard players match fit to provide a team and fill a bench. If the money that is gleaned from finishing 5th in the league is not enough to be able to improve our squad both in numbers and quality, then we are in a sorry state.
Brian Waring
3   Posted 01/08/2008 at 21:04:07

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Steve, how long does it take to put your name on a contract, if you have agreed to it? Surely Moyes could have taken an hour of his time to tie it all up?
Lyndon Lloyd
Editorial Team
4   Posted 01/08/2008 at 21:10:52

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Steve: ...what happened to the £30M (or whatever number) we receive from Sky TV?

It goes to service loans taken out in advance and secured against that revenue. (Sky pays out in stages and not always when we need the money.) In that respect, we’re always playing catch-up.

Why not take Moyes?s statement that AJ wanted to leave as the truth of the matter?

Because there are first-hand accounts from supporters who were in Switzerland and spoke at length with Johnson that are direct opposition to Moyes’s statement.

The issues here are

  • that AJ has always maintained he wants to stay
  • he seems like one of the game’s honest pros
  • few could find it easy to believe that the club have enough money to fund Moyes’s spending plans this summer without selling Johnson — if we did, we’d have bought by now and would not be struggling to come up with enough players to name a full team-sheet for pre-season friendlies.

There is too much smoke, Steve, for there to be no fire. It may not be as dire as some are saying but the fact is that there is plenty of evidence to support the fans’ concerns this summer. More so than usual.
Gavin Ramejkis
5   Posted 01/08/2008 at 21:58:52

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Steve, it?s hard to say the kids are not the future but they most certainly aren?t the here and now: - Cambridge 4 (Conference side) - Everton (5th in the EPL) 2 ? and that was all we had to put out. Even given injuries, the squad is way too small to mount a challenge. I wouldn?t be at all surprised if we don?t get to the numbers we had last season seeing a good few kickings from the teams at our level. Our end-of-seasons with such a small squad have always been a damp squib - let?s hope we have the points on the board before injuries and suspensions and fatigue kick in.
Oliver Molloy
6   Posted 01/08/2008 at 21:45:43

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I’m sorry Steve,the club has has been too quiet.They spin whatever is needed to try and calm the feelings of geniune supporters who care deeply about this football club..The biggest & best signing of this great club in the last 15 years has been D.Moyes and the fact that he has been offered a new contract worth around £60K per week remains unsigned-WHY ?

I want us to sign players,not just any player,but one’s who will contribute and add to the talent we already have,but before any of that ,the priority has to be the manager being retained.
Moyes has to be retained..I may be naive but he and the club keep saying it’s close and Moyes has recently said I’m going nowhere-well if that’s the case why don’t they just agree to release a statement saying he has signed,maybe it’s against the rules but it would make sense if Moyes was 100% genuine.If we lose Moyes it will set us back 5yrs,and that would be a tragedy !
I like many others believe he has been waiting to see the outcome of his list that apparently he gave to BK & KW at the end of the season,obviously new targets can be added to that list and others perhaps out of reach!It is the likes of the Moutinho transfer which is sure to annoy Moyes if we don’t get him.
His club want 18m we offer 11-5m..this is the type of thing Moyes is now not prepared to take any longer and that is why is contract is unsigned..
Andy Maher
7   Posted 01/08/2008 at 22:31:51

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Strange day to be an evertonian, wake up optimistic.....


http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/606/A39026388
Mike Hughes
8   Posted 01/08/2008 at 22:09:44

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Stephen - I look at Toffeeweb most days and it is my primary source of EFC information. Following the last couple of pre-seasons I came to the same conclusion as you - "get on with the rest of my life!". But it’s been difficult to do that this week.

The issues for me are in the title of your piece, "True Lies and Perspective". How many times do we have to read (from various sources) assertions such as, "Kirkby decision expected this week"; "AJ will sign imminently", "Moutino......"; "Betfair stops taking bets on DM." Clearly not truths. Maybe half truths.

The speculation is getting stupid. I work in healthcare and if you read descriptions of various symptoms of diseases, you get this nagging suspicion that you may have the disease. The imagination goes into overdrive and it’s a bit like this with EFC right now.

So how do we cut though all of this to get some perspective? Forget the finances and speculation, the bottom line for me is what happens on the pitch. The stark reality is we have no new signings. This was not planned as DM has expressed his concerns publicly and we were already punching well above our weight last season. Our "weight" is less than last season with various departures. DM has stated he hopes to play 60+ games this season....????!!!!! Progress? I don’t think so.

It is difficult to put things into perspective - especially given BK’s statement on the OS tonight. Like many others, I’ve got enough worries with the economy, job security etc. Footy should be a positive distraction from this but, being an Evertonian of 42 years, I should know better. I just hope that next week brings happier news.

On another note, pre-season results are about as meaningful as an ITV telephone quiz. Just avoid injuries to key players - which is everyone we have right now!
Donka Doran
9   Posted 01/08/2008 at 22:30:48

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It is a bit of a shambles but as Evertonians we should be well use to it. But in a strange way this could work in our favour with players leaving, no signings and the loyalty showed by the ceo. I think expectations were getting to high and all this will help bond the players and club. Remember what happened when Rooney left everyone was predicting another relagation scrap and we finished 4th. Then the following year was a flop when all was geared up to go well. This will keep us as the underdogs for europe let the press talk about spurs, man city portsmouth and the villa’s of the league. I would love some quality but in the transfer market i think we must trust Moyse.
Ray Robinson
10   Posted 01/08/2008 at 22:51:49

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Donka, I believe that lightning rarely strikes twice! Even if the players do put in a massive effort again, there aren’t enough of them!

Don’t expect a repeat of 3 seasons ago!
Peter Hall
11   Posted 01/08/2008 at 23:25:42

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Stephen

Sorry, but yours seems one of the more hysterical contributions, all emotion jumping to and fro, beating your breast, waving your season ticket, and saying - well, not much really.

Or did I miss something?
James Lewis
12   Posted 01/08/2008 at 22:52:49

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I’m afraid that all of the above points back to the common factor in all of our gripes and that’s how the club is being run.

I consider myself to be a balanced individual who can step back from a situation and see both sides of the coin. I’ve been doing this for a good number of years with EFC and I along with many others don’t like what I’m seeing at our great club.

Whether a stroke of luck or by judgement we’ve got pretty much the best young manager in the league and we need to support him as every company supports their employees irrespective of the business within which they operate. It seems though that the club is being run by a number of half-witted twits who haven’t two years of hard nosed commercial business experience between them running the club.

Whether its the commercial angle, the PR always following the gossip not leading it and the stadium situation is farcical. We’re part of a worldwide brand that should be generating much closer to £100m turnover that the "solid" £51m of last year. Whilst this article is about us fans being less hysterical about the current plight I’d like to turn that on its head to say - if we had the correct personnel running our club this wouldn’t be the topic of conversation on these forums.

I for one propose not just a change of directorship at the club but a complete change of direction for the People’s Club. Why not turn EFC into a co-op with the board elected by the shareholders and fans. Maybe then we might see the club being run by men and women - experts in their respective field - and an upturn in our fortunes.

God bless you Bill for getting us out of the dark times but its now time to pass on the baton to make EFC great again and that needs some new blood, maybe a financial injection but most of all a board of directors that can lead a multi-million pound company.
Christian Watson
13   Posted 01/08/2008 at 23:28:33

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Worried? You bet! If Moyes jumps ship (and let’s be fair who would blame him) we will be in the sort of mire not heard of since Walter Smith.
I have on more than one occasion been a bit of a Moyes knocker, however, I have eaten my humble pie and now would agree that, sliced bread aside, he is one of the best thingsthat has happened to Everton FC. He also has a habit of ’not suffering fools’ and I unfortunately think that in Bill Kenright we have a king sized fool! A FOOL that DM can suffer no longer. The only thing I would ask form DM is that when you go (as I’m sure you will) spill the beans, come out and say how let down you feel, how the chairman promised and failed to deliver. I think we all know it, but to hear it from ’our’ manager would speak volumes!!!!
Adam Cleggett
14   Posted 01/08/2008 at 23:25:39

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Stephen, interesting article, on balance though the perspective to me is that the pre-season is way behind plan. Not to say we can’t recover somewhat before the new season starts.
Moyes has consistently found promising players, at good prices, players that fit with his culture, transfers limited by funds. In return is given a longer period of time to obtain results. Now we reach a junction, and I think Moyes is starting to play hard-ball, "show me the transfer money" to take the team he has built to the next level. I hope EFC has the investment & balance sheet to meet DM’s vision
Andrew Nelson
15   Posted 01/08/2008 at 23:35:13

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Why have we got a squad that is 5 players less then the squad that played Oldham in January???

Everton fans, look at the situation?. Liverpool FC recovered from Heysel? Why can't we? Stop looking for outside reasons? the problem is within our club
Mark Gray
16   Posted 02/08/2008 at 00:15:34

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It’s very sad to see so called Evertionians defending the indefensible

Why do ’Evertonians’ strive to defend Kenwrights regime. Surely real Evertonians would strive to be Nil Satis Nisi Optimum?

Wake up Blues (Fools)
Dave Robbo
17   Posted 02/08/2008 at 02:07:05

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Come on lads and lasses!
Lets not cry over milk that’s still in the bottle!
Lets stop listening to crap printed in crappy newspapers. Also lets knock off the.....my Dads mates dog goes for walks with Blue Bills dog and his dog told my dog that Everton are infact owned by Lego....etc.
DM says he will sign......
Blue Bill says there is money.......
So until we hear it from the club lets all move our fingers from the panic button, because if you remember it was the very same knee jerk reaction that landed us in Kirkby!
John Hall
18   Posted 02/08/2008 at 03:29:03

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Well put Dave Robbo.

How many times do we read false truths in most of the shite newspapers that we idiot’s fund when we buy every day.

They sell on stories and we buy their rhetoric and believe everything they print.

When I was a kid in Breck Road, I used to wipe my arse with newspaper cos we could not afford proper toilet paper.

Maybe we should revert back to the same use and wipe the shite instead of reading the shite everyday.



I
John Hall
19   Posted 02/08/2008 at 03:29:03

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Well put Dave Robbo.

How many times do we read false truths in most of the shite newspapers that we idiot’s fund when we buy every day.

They sell on stories and we buy their rhetoric and believe everything they print.

When I was a kid in Breck Road, I used to wipe my arse with newspaper cos we could not afford proper toilet paper.

Maybe we should revert back to the same use and wipe the shite instead of reading the shite everyday.



I
Jon Martin
20   Posted 02/08/2008 at 04:41:30

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Betfair has David Moyes bracketed with Keegan, Hodgson et al as favourite to be first out of his job this season. Obviously, that means he?ll walk away rather than be sacked, but as Mark O?Brien said, Holy Fucking Shit!

Hibbert injured is a plus, however...
Alan Ross
21   Posted 02/08/2008 at 05:18:25

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John Hall

You mean to say newspaper is not proper toilet paper.
Tony Ainscough
22   Posted 02/08/2008 at 06:30:48

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Moysie still not signed (why?)... Fact. A depleted squad and no new signings with two weeks to go... Fact. Wyness gone with no plausible reason given... Fact. Still no decision on DK... Fact. AJ had a medical on Monday and has still not signed... Fact. But hey, come on... let's all chill out!
Micky Norman
23   Posted 02/08/2008 at 11:28:06

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Alan Ross - of course it is but don?t try the Echo, it leaves red stains. Two points to cheer us all up. Firstly if Wyness did resign over an argument with Moyes then Davie has done us a massive favour. Secondly - we can still laugh at the goings on at Anfield.
Jeff Spiers
24   Posted 02/08/2008 at 12:26:59

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Would AJ be allowed to tell supporters the REAL reasons for his exit?
Steve Guy
25   Posted 02/08/2008 at 12:36:00

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A lot of the reaction I had expected. Even the home page intro to the article "There?s always one......." says a lot about the cup half empty attitude of what seems like the majority of TW readers. I?m not one of them, but that doesn?t make me a Kenwright "apologist"; why, unless you are wholly negative / critical are you immediately labelled as a supporter of the ?regime??

Peter Hall, how was anything I said hysterical? If you couldn?t understand what the point of the article was, you can?t have read it in full (or English is your second language). I?ll put it simply for you.... try believing what is said rather than what you paranoia tells you to believe. Moyes has come out today and been (again) about as categoric as anyone can be about his intentions. Simple question to you and others, do you believe him? If the answers ?no?, then fair enough, but I?m just glad I don?t have that attitude.

Would I prefer that we had players in already? Of course, but there are still four weeks of the window left, why assume we aren?t going to make any signings? Kenwright has also come out and in clear language stated the intent. Still not good enough for some.... fair enough..... but I like to live in the real world were you don?t always get what you want when you want it.
Graham Nolan
26   Posted 02/08/2008 at 14:10:13

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Could it be that Moyes let AJ go because he has failed to live up to his price tag? He has hardly set the world alight during his time at Everton and the money Fulham are willing to pay makes good business sense?
Neil Leatherbarrow
27   Posted 02/08/2008 at 15:25:54

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Agree with what you say in that some fans need to stop panicing for a moment and have a serious look at the club. Wyness was never a good CEO, in my opinion, there is a number of things he could and should have done better and mistakes he made should certainly stop at him. As a CEO the blame lies with you. The JJB deal certainly seems to have failed. The lack of presence in the city centre is also worrying, however the closing of that store is more than justified if it was losing money.

Everton do need players in, and I am sure everybody at the club knows this. Everton have until the end of the month to sign the players and I believe that they will.

I like your approach to looking at positives this summer. You seem to be one of the few who have had any consideration of these facts.
Chris Connell
28   Posted 02/08/2008 at 18:03:55

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Let's just have a bit of faith in David and Bill and they?ll come good. Let's get behind the team and board.

I?m very happy to read David?s comments:

?I will not bring in just for the sake of it,? said Moyes. ?We need to bring in three or four main players that are going to cost big money and my standards are that high that I?m not going to bring them down."

This pleases me and I'm sure the rest of you all too....

Jon Martin
29   Posted 03/08/2008 at 04:15:04

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Graham Nolan, yes.

Sad fact is, FFC have found a hole in his knee. Fuck me, I can remember times when EFC would just wave brown bags full of tenners around, and players would sign suddenly.

Alan Ball

Never mind, it?ll be ?interesting trekking off to Ipswich, etc. Are we allowed to shoot the board if we are season ticket holders? Democratic vote and all.


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