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Foreign Tycoons In The Wings

By Alan Kirwin :  03/08/2008 :  Comments (25) :
I read the Observer article over breakfast today. It's the main article on the Business section front page.

If all is to be believed, the machinations & shenanigans within our blessed club is worthy of a Channel 4 documentary. We seem to be at a crossroads, literally, in every sense. If Planet Kirkby goes ahead (I was ambivalent, now I'm against) then it would seem that all the Kenwright-bashers may finally have their wish. Take your pick from faceless, dubious, couldn't-care-less trillionaires from Russia, India, USA & surely Thailand.

I believe in the maxim of "be careful what you wish for"... I prefer stability, identity & affinity, rather than ludicrous bids to tempt Ronaldinho to somewhere he doesn't want to come. Our development in the last 5 years has been fairly steady, occasionally boring, but always within us. I would hate for us to become the latest Chelsea, despised by other clubs or constantly in the spotlight for the wrong reasons.

Perhaps there are still some of us left who, naively, maintain some form of Corinthian ethic in football. The idea of winning something simply because you bought it isn't the same. Sure, I want to win everything, but I would rather come 2nd and be admired for how we play & how we act as a club and as fans, than simply adding another financially induced notch on our trophy list.

EFC seems to be in a mess. Hard to say, if one is objective, if that is Kenwright's fault, or if he has in fact steered us through a much better course than we have a right to expect. As an institution the club has been teetering financially for over 30 years. Due mainly to a total lack of success, or, when success did arrive (1984 - 1989) it was rendered meaningless and played out in front of home gates averaging much less than 30,000 (which will surprise some).

Personally I would be sorry to see Bill Kenwright vacate his role. He has many faults, but that is the indictment of a fan and a human being. He has tried his best and, in a relative scale, I think he has over-achieved in some areas, whilst missing the point spectacularly on others (local, regional & national marketing & merchandising being the obvious one).

I want to identify with my club, with the owners, the players, the venue and the ethos. It will be a sad day if the Grand Old Lady sells out to become the latest Chelsea/Liverpool/Man City. It has been a difficult close-season for us Evertonians. Probably only matched in its abject misery by the summer of 2004, when even we believed that relegation was more likely than the gravity-defying achievement of CL qualification. It would be peachy to think something similar was possible this coming season. But lightning doesn't usually strike twice.

BK's recent statement smacked of forced desperation. It's now a badly kept secret that we are stuffed financially & seemingly incapable of securing the targets that Moyes wants. It's a bold attempt by Moyes to try & placate the fans by saying he's more focused on signing new players than his own new contract. On this occasion Moyes should have kept quiet rather than spout such drivel. His own contract is THE main source of stability the club needs. The fact that it remains no closer to being signed now than last season, and that we haven't signed a single player, and that we are now front page news for the wrong reasons, just makes a crap summer even worse.

And to think how we laughed when the devil's sperm were tearing themselves apart through dodgy joint US ownership & lack of funds. Oh, when skies are grey...

Reader Comments

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Ian Martin
1   Posted 03/08/2008 at 15:22:04

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£260 million, two of the richest companies, one of them run by an Indian whos the 5th richest guy in the world. Can anyone point them in Everton's direction?
Ian Martin
2   Posted 03/08/2008 at 15:22:04

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Asians fight over barcodes: 260 million, two of the richest companies, one of them run by an Indian whos the 5th richest guy in the world. Can anyone point them in Everton's direction?
James Elliott
3   Posted 03/08/2008 at 09:07:05

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I have been told before that I'm being pessimistic and that Everton are not a club i crisis. I've been told that we are going to be fine next season and we have nothing to worry about.

I think we do have problems. Ignore all the rumours and look at the facts. We lost Mcfadden last January, Carsley to Birmingham and have sign no one new. Then there's Johnson. Fernandes has gone back to his club. For the first half of last season we were great. The football was good to watch and we were picking up alot of points. Then the size of our squad and the African Cup of Nations meant our season lost momentum and we fell off the top 4. This time round i think we are in a worse position and other teams around us have strengthened. I think we'll end next season in mid table with the current size and quality of our squad.

But my biggest concern is Mr Moyes. Moyes was going to sign a contract at the end of last season. He didn't. Then Moyes was going to sign at the start of the summer break. He didn't. A couple of weeks ago he was quoted as saying everything is going fine, i will sign in a couple of weeks. He didn't. Now he's said it again, that he will sign in a couple of weeks, he wants to focus on getting the team fit and bring in new faces.

What's the problem. Either he wants to stay at our club and the board can give him what he wants or the club can't meet his ambitions , there's no cash and he's off. To me, this is a sign that something is massively wrong at our club. Moyes knows all is not well. I think he knows that the money for the 5-6... no sorry, now its 3-4 players is not there or will not be in place until after the start of the season.

I really believe that we are a club in crisis. We have been the most consistent club outside of the top 4 and we should be building on that to break into that group. I believe its make or break time. Either we find the money and push for Champions league football or we sit back, and watch all the efforts of the last 5 years slip away... and Mr Moyes.

Adam Cunliffe
4   Posted 03/08/2008 at 09:50:18

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So when will the decision be made on Destination Kirkby?I hope it's soon because I can't stand much more of the waiting. I was thinking about this last night whilst watching Die Hard 4.0 on Sky Movies Premier.

Is Moyes hanging on 'til a decision is made on DK? If so, would I want Moyes to go in order to stay at a redeveloped Goodison? I would have to say stay and loose Moyes but hopefully Moyes won't leave just because DK gets called in.

I'd just like a to gauge the opinion of Evertonians who are against the move and to find out what they would do if it came down to Moyes or Kirkby.

Kev Sanderson
5   Posted 03/08/2008 at 21:29:17

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Just been told from good source that Moyes walked on Wednesday night but was persuaded to come back.....funny thing is Kenwright decided to talk to the fans on thursday....good timing BK....get OUT now....
Graham Brandwood
6   Posted 03/08/2008 at 21:48:05

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I have been against from the start but sitting reading The Observer and eating my breakfast in Matthew Street i totally lost my nerve and suddenly found myself wishing for Kirkby to get the go ahead. I have been saying that Kirkby would be short-term gain for long-term pain, but i am now thinking Kirkby = investment = Moyes staying, and that we will have to worry about how we will fill Kirkby at a later date. I know this is pathetic but we could be in a real very short-term mess if it is No to Kirkby.
John Andrews
7   Posted 03/08/2008 at 21:53:01

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Sad to say it but I would prefer to stay at Goodison. If that necessitates Moyes leaving then it would be very sad. However, as peviously mentioned, I suspect he will stay until his contract runs out.
David Thompson
8   Posted 03/08/2008 at 22:30:28

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See this article for what it is - Club-placed propaganda promising jam tomorrow - the usual AGM/EGM tactic from Everton.

Put it in the same cupboard as the Fortress Sports Fund.

Kirkby was a poor porspect before you read the article and there’s nothing of substance which should deflect from that.

Alan, you say Kenwright has many faults but you wouldn’t like to see him go. The problem is that he is a fan, and as such, incapable of making hard-headed decisions. For example, the recent idea of LFC using the Marquee would have netted Everton over £500,000 per year in revenue. The deal was agreed before Kenwright squashed it. Why? Because he thinks like a fan, not a businessman. It’s why we fall behind on so many aspects. HIs contiued failings and financial misjudgements over the years have cost this club dear.

Wyness has gone. We just need Desperation Kirkby to be called in and Kenwright to fall on his sword to make me very happy.
Ian Pilkington
9   Posted 03/08/2008 at 22:32:06

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I read the Observer article myself, but surely BK is more likely to be forced to sell up if Kirkby is called in?
I certainly hope so. A new owner is the only way we can rejoin the elite.
Steve Ryan
10   Posted 03/08/2008 at 23:25:07

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With Wyness gone who is currently responsible for securing the naming rights deal that will be required to fund DK. The fact is that even if its not called in, Everton are unlikely to find the 78 million (and rising) quid.
Ian McDowell
11   Posted 04/08/2008 at 00:22:33

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This is the latest according to the Telegraph
Dave Wilson
12   Posted 04/08/2008 at 06:02:08

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The article says an awful lot, but gives very little information. No quotes, names, or source
Strangley enough, just listening to Talk Sport, Mike Parry has just spouted the Ross comments absolutely word for word.

Jason Kundy - think thats how you spell his name - challenged him repeatedly
"5 years? actively seaking investment for 5 years ?"
"That's an awful long time to get no interest at all."

Parry swiftly moved on, wanting to protect both his buddy Bill and his seemingly eternal freebee.

Kundy maybe a Chelsea man, but give me someone who?ll want direct answers to direct questions, every time.
Dave Wilson
13   Posted 04/08/2008 at 06:34:51

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Adam I?m with you
Moyes may be at Everton for another 5 years yet

The Kirkby nightmare would be forever
Mick Rawlins
14   Posted 04/08/2008 at 08:17:23

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I can't believe some of you. I, like you all don?t want to see Everton move to Kirkby, but how can you say you would prefer Moyes to go in order to stay at Goodison?? I went on the tour last year and it reminded me of how far behind Everton are Stadium wise. I thought to myself, if we are trying to attract top foreign players, you are gonna have lesser teams such as Man City, Villa etc who WILL offer more money..... then these players who have no emotional attachment are gonna see more ££££?s and a better stadium, they won?t take into account our atmosphere, it means nothing to them before they have pulled on the blue shirt.

If we lose Moyes to stay at a very run down Goodison, the team will simply struggle to attract players, meaning that the Club will soon end up back to where it was 6 years ago. There is no other manager in the League (with the exception maybe of Ferguson in his younger days) that could do what Moyes has done, so lets start thinking with our brains rather than our hearts.
Angus Ferguson
15   Posted 04/08/2008 at 09:34:47

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Alan, when was the last time "Corinthian ethic in football" won anything? I’d daily take being "despised by other clubs or constantly in the spotlight for the wrong reasons" if it meant we won, yes won a trophy or two each season. Being loved for a ’Corinthian spirit’ and above average mediocrity patronises us and I cannot wait for the day when I can look a redshite in the eye and not rely on the usual cliches to win an argument. We as fans, and the club are strong and clever enough to make our future work and to make it one with true ambition.

Alan, cheer up or just sod off and form AFC Everton.
Paul McCann
16   Posted 04/08/2008 at 10:34:20

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Steve Ryan,

I think you’ve probably hit the nail on the head. Say DK was to be given the go-ahead in the coming days, weeks, months???!!!, where would the club find the huge [but undefined, due to the clubs spin and rising construction costs]. Say this figure is £100m for the sake of arguement. Where the hell is that going to come from in the current financial climate?

Alan, I know you’ve said ’be careful what you wish for’, and I would normally agree with you. I don’t want the laughable mess that Romanov, the Yanks and even [to a lesser extent] Abramovich and Shiniwatra have brought to their clubs, but what if we were to wish for Randy Lerner? The question is; is BK willing to sell, and can he identify a suitable buyer, both in terms of financial clout and charchter, for his ’beloved’ club.

Lets hope he can do a better job than Moores and Parry.
marcus dawson
17   Posted 04/08/2008 at 11:35:41

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I think Alan’s piece is one of the best I read on here, I go along with pretty much everything he says, particularly his point about being careful what you wish for. Unfortunately there is no ’corinthian spirit’ anywhere in football now, the game is morally bankrupt and for sale to the highest bidder, see Man City, Risdale giving himself a £1m bonus et al.

Football is one of the key institutions in this country, the fall in standards over the last 20 years reflects the times we live in and just how far we’ve fallen. I care about EFC but I don’t care an awful lot for the game anymore and my whole attitude towards the game has changed. I can’t see the club surviving long term without a change in ownership and I do want us to survive, if only to be around for the moment when the game rediscovers itself, whenever that may be.
Darren Dempsey
18   Posted 04/08/2008 at 12:21:09

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Im sorry but i was dead against DK weve been fed bull by bully now hes gone who going to feed us b/s now? Blue Bill? The biggest signing for us would be Moyesey signing his contract but if he doesnt who could honestly blame him for walking at the end of his current contract i for 1 wouldnt! Our beloved club is run by idiots and has been for years! e.g The club kit comes out when summer is nearly over its always the same. Kids want there kit for holidays to show off there club colours! The club is a sham and it doesn’t look like changing any time soon! So BK if your reading this sell to somebody who nows what they are doing for the good of the club!
Jim Potter
19   Posted 04/08/2008 at 12:22:04

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Like a lot of Blues I am torn between the need for a new stadium (modern facilities, new revenue streams, etc,) and the thought of ending up in a supermarket in Kirby. If Mittel (or any of these billionaires) are serious about taking over our club it leaves me in another quandry. What would their real reason be for such a purchase? A play thing? An asset stripping venture (if we have any)? Or what?
They are after all hard nosed businessmen with no affiliation to Everton FC. The reasons they would want the club could only really be financial ones and may also only be short term.
If they joined for the long term and clearly spelt out a positve and pro-active philosophy / agenda then I would have to say I’d welcome it (and their money). The key for me is - as long as it is THEIR money - and not encumbering the club with a huge debt that, should they leave, we could never realistically hope to pay off.
Moyes needs the money to be competitive - but we have to be alert to the true cost of such a potential deal and its long term implications.
Ah, the joys of being a Blue ...
Jay Mullarkey
20   Posted 04/08/2008 at 12:50:21

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I have faith in Moyes and I believe Kenwright has the clubs best interests at heart, if he’s not got the money thats fair enough. Liverpool took £30m+ from the ECL last season we got £400k, they can’t afford 2 players worth £18m each. Whos in the bigger mess us or them. LFC as a club is an embarrassment run by Americans, managed by a Spanish arrogant GS, they have no English youth or reserve team. Do you really want our club to mirror that. I don’t I’d rather win nothin. God bless Bill Kenwright!
Richard Harris
21   Posted 04/08/2008 at 18:14:38

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Jay Mullarkey wrote "I have faith in Moyes and I believe Kenwright has the clubs best interests at heart......God bless Bill Kenwright!"

Well he is working 24/7 to bring investment in but is fighting off every dodgy oligarch, hedge-fund speculator or ex-politican to retain the corinthian ethos of our club.
Paul Boyce
22   Posted 05/08/2008 at 09:11:52

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At every AGM or crisis time since BK took over, he pulls either the ground move or "investment" stunt. He has no intention of selling unless he makes huge money on his small initial investment. Wyness was supposed to be negotiating the transfers, now he's gone... let's face it, there's no money and no sign of any coming in. BK keeps saying it is because we are the second club in town, absolute BULLSH!T. He is looking after his own money and does not give a sh!t about anything else.
Richard Harris
23   Posted 05/08/2008 at 12:33:32

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Not sure that Bill Kenwright will have time to attend any AGM/EGM as he’s working 24/7 to secure investment.......

Same old, same old everytime there’s some dissent in the ranks. These mysterious investors who suddenly appear.
James Cadwaladr
24   Posted 05/08/2008 at 15:36:52

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Just a hunch but I expect that this would in fact make us more attractive to potential investors.

The reason being that Philip Green, the Russian and The Indian Billionaires aren't Billionaires because they are mugs. It is because they are shrewd businessmen.

If I was thinking about investing (I wish I was in a position to do so) I would be thinking to myself, "Hang on a minute, the club appears to be in financial dilemma, why buy the club now for £40m (for argument's sake), I?ve done my investigation into the accounts and I think I?ll buy the club for a pound off the receivers in a few months! That way I've saved £40m which I can use to help write off the debt and then I won't have to invest as much in paying the rest off and investing in the squad and David Moyes".

We have no apparent assets and therefore simply aren?t attractive to investors.

Also if this was to happen it is the only likely way in which Philip Green will invest as it will be his way of getting his money back / club for free.

-10 points could be a small price to pay in the long run...
Jay Harris
25   Posted 06/08/2008 at 00:57:31

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interesting angle but I would imagine most of the debts are secured on assets such as GP, future gate receipts and directors guarantees so I doubt whether any of the existing directors would want to put us into liquidation particularly when the golden egg is on the horizon.

As regards the league there is a huge potential penalty which could involve 15 points deduction or relegation as far as I’m aware and there would not be the golden parachute that other relegated teams get.

So not a great idea I’m afraid.

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