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Timed To Perfection?

By Peter Piper :  06/08/2008 :  Comments (40) :
As an ardent No voter, the decision to 'call in' the Kirkby project gives me no pleasure whatsoever. Goodison Park may well witness Everton's last game but not in the way many of us had imagined.

The future of Everton Football Club is now under serious threat. Those who believed that moving to Kirkby sounded the death knell for our beloved club - including myself - may find that 6 Aug 08 is etched on our collective gravestone.

Given Mr Kenwrght's 'moving is the only option', without a Billionaire an assault on the top 4 is at the very least unlikely and the behind the scenes activity during the last few weeks it would seem that those in the know (Green, Earl et al) were very much aware of the likelyhood of the 'Call In'. They may now decide to carry out their very own call in on monies owed by Kenwright and Co.

Evertonionans have suffered many trials and tribulations and usually manage to keep their heads up and stick together through the many dissapointments which have occured on the football pitch. However, there are many things in which we have little or no influence ? political manouvering, financial ebbs and flows, selfish interference at all levels by our rivals at home or abroad. These things have all happened in the last couple of decades due to the Everton Football Club having no real power since the late Sir John became ill and his sad and untimely demise.

I would suggest that we are now edging back to the era of the mid-50s ? still reasonably well known but seen as a spent force unlikely to rediscover former glories. Punching above our weight on many occasions but always just one bout away from a knock out blow. I realise that people will say that we came out of that period to produce some of the finest football ever seen at Goodision but the truth is at that time we were grossly undervalued as a club.

Where is the value in the club at this particular moment in time? Few if any politcal friends, a limited amount of financial backers but with no real clout, and ravenous rivals who were once seen as friendly now waiting at the gates ready to deliver the coup de grace with very ittle grace and far less sympathy.

Timing is everything in in life and Everton especially under Kenwright have mis-timed most things.... Looking ahead to January ? Moyes leaves for pastures new and Neville agrees to become player manager... indeed the Sixth of August 2008 is a dark day indeed. The club has never before needed a true 'saviour' like it does today.

Reader Comments

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Peter Laing
1   Posted 06/08/2008 at 22:34:40

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So now we truly know the reasons why that weasel Wyness jumped the sinking ship like a rat, Kenwright’s comments a few weeks back at the London supporters meeting, lack of transfer activity, the pulling of the plug on funds from Green and Moyes failure to sign a contract extension. Surely now is the time for a clean sweep at Everton and thankfully the EGM will be the platform for some hard truth and seriously needed stock taking. Kenwright’s tenure has been truly abysmal, our one and only saving grace has been David Moyes. Time’s up Bill please do the honourable thing and sell up.
Eric Holland
2   Posted 06/08/2008 at 22:43:36

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Time?s up Bill please do the honorable thing and sell up.
Who is going to buy us now?
Steve Pugh
3   Posted 06/08/2008 at 22:34:14

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I was halfway through writing a really morbid piece in agreement with Peter. I also do not feel like celebrating despite getting the answer that most of us hoped for. But I will not be down.

I grew up in Northwich, not Liverpool, and when I was little the town had 2 teams. Whilst I still lived there one of those teams, Witton Albion, moved out of town to a new stadium, just like Kirby. Start of last season Northwich Vics moved to their new out of time stadium. Both of those teams attendances dropped from a couple of thousand to a couple of hundred.

This season may be tough, and maybe next season too, but we will get through it.

There will be many doom and gloom merchants, there will be many Yes voters asking if those who voted NO are happy now. Well I for one am, no matter what happens this season this is the best thing for Everton FC. Hopefully now the board will look properly for alternatives and save our club from fading into obscurity, a fate most definitely awaiting both of the Northwich clubs.
Daniel Howard
4   Posted 06/08/2008 at 22:43:34

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To whom?
Peter Laing
5   Posted 06/08/2008 at 22:45:42

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Eric we have now had two failed stadium plans from the drawing board to the dustbin all under Kenwright’s tenure. On BK’s watch we have had lies, spin and an egocentric that has presided over a shambles of an operation, I reiterate our only saving grace has been DM who has worked absolute miracles with a clown of a Chairman at the helm. Beg, borrowing and stealing from wealthy friends is no way to run a football club, I would argue that nobody in the right mind would be prepared to touch Everton with BK in charge,
Daniel Howard
6   Posted 06/08/2008 at 22:51:44

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Peter, I truly agree with you about Kenwright’s time in charge. But the problem we face now is not Kenwright, but how to find somebody to buy him out and take on the challenges the club faces.
Christine Foster
7   Posted 06/08/2008 at 22:43:19

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This project is not dead until the fat lady sings.But lets just say its terminal.

I hope a decision confirming as much is made quickly by the club, the exclusitivity agreement torn up (of no use now is it?) Then the club can review and go forward with a hopefully more united fanbase.

There are and always have been alternatives to Kirkby. The true facts of DK as a choice have been speculated on for all of the two years concerned. The real issue is funding, the £78 m that the club would have had to find through borrowing and namining rights (very, very debateable) should reallyhave been viewed as a minimum requirement. Most of which would be required up front so to speak.

The redevelopment of GP as a staged project could be done but its the will to do so that may be of issue. Its cost may well be as much as our projected borroings for Kirkby but its debt servicing less as all the momeny would not have to be found up front.

The oft stated alternatives now have the chance of putting a solid case before the club, the LCC are also now back on the spot as in calling for Kirkby to be called in they have a roll to play with any redevelopment of move within the city for the club. It will be interesting to see. Mr Peter Kilfoyle? a footnote in history, I am sure his electorate will remember his actions at the ballot box.

A sigh of relief, but no comfort, A new day, a new direction, a clean sheet of paper. Its not a doom and gloom period, its an opportunity to get it right this time.
Tony Williams
8   Posted 06/08/2008 at 22:59:11

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Peter, yes the KD was a farce and Bill’s fault, I can’t see how we can blame him for this one. Things were in motion until the counselor who is apparantly a Blue decided to speak up with his other counselor buddies and wreck any chance we had of an affordable new ground.
Eric Holland
9   Posted 06/08/2008 at 23:06:02

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Peter my question was "who would buy us now"

This is not a failed stadium plan just a plan that too many evertonians - councilor’s included- don’t want to work.

We are now burdened with a dilapidated stadium and worth about 80 million.

We would have been worth about 200 million and had investors falling over themselves to buy us.
Peter Laing
10   Posted 06/08/2008 at 23:15:20

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Eric well my answer to your question would be we havent sold our soul to would be investors and we remain in our rightful birthplace as the City’s first club. Would Liverpool move to Kirkby ?, no they have plans to move 100 yards into Stanley Park. Kenwright has gone on record as saying that he was the Chairman that sold Rooney and he was terrified of being the person responsible for taking Everton out of Liverpool. What he is saying and doing now should have been done when Birch walked, when Gregg revolted and when the King’s Dock fell through. We have had a lucky escape, thirty pieces of silver and the DK fiasco should be enough to tell you that.
Colin Wordsworth
11   Posted 06/08/2008 at 23:13:46

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Tottenham are thinking about redevelopment, have you seen the projected cost?

Apparently 300 million......yes 300!

It’s all very nice and sentimental staying at the grand old lady, but can we afford to redevlop the lady properly?

Other than location DK was a great deal.

To develop Goodison properly will cost well in excess of DK, we now need a billionaire...and quick!

Let’s hope our helpful ’friends’ at LCC can help us........

It could be a huge opportunity lost, only history will tell.
Matt Willey
12   Posted 06/08/2008 at 22:44:58

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Everton are in serious trouble ... DK was doomed from the outset and was never the ’siilver bullet’ that the Board treated it as ... Tesco can afford a ’punt’ at Kirkby given their profits.. Everton can’t.

We are in a credit crunch ... funds are hard to come by even if you are a good risk .. but to play premiership football with the big boys without a billionaire backer - well, you’re havin a laff - at least as far as the banks are concerned.

Paul Niklas wrote / joked on here a few weeks back that we should sell all our first team to raise 90 million - I hope those words don’t come back to haunt us. All we can hope for is a Moyes miracle - he has done it before and the humiliation that would befall one of the big four should Everton steal one of their ’places’ - well that would be worth seeing again... I wouldn’t put it past him as Moyes is by far the best £-for-£ premiership manager.

Back to reality, because that is where we should be in truth ... If the club had been given sound, impartial advice instead of dancing around as ’yes men’ to the tune of Tesco Terry this nonsense might not have ever gotten this far -

We should have had a CEO looking for investment, increasing revenue streams from all kinds of areas and focusing on commercial activities rather than making a quick buck on the company assets... all in order to finance chasing a bloody pipedream.

We should have had a chairman with real business gravitas - someone who knows how to steer a company effectively .. rather than a ’fan’ brainwashed by brighter people with alterior motives.

We should have a ’special advisor’ without a conflict of interest.

As the holders of ’all the aces’ in terms of DK, the club should never have agreed to a ’period of exclusivity’.

If the club falls on its arse - into the championship or further - then it will be a victim of its own mismanagement... admittedly no one was clambering to buy the club .. but why would they whilst all management activities have been focused elsewhere...

Perhaps, one hopes, another successful season in the face of tremendous adversity will serve to attract a more wealthy, more philanthropic type of investor ? I just hope Moyes sticks around long enough to deliver it !
Eric Holland
13   Posted 06/08/2008 at 23:59:17

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Peter one minute you are saying sell up next its we don’t want to sell our soul, have you got any real answers?

Jon Woods
14   Posted 07/08/2008 at 00:02:21

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I try to think like the "superfan" and say I’ll stick at it, but life is far, far too short for this crap. I could be in my 50s or 70s before we have a team as close as this one is to being challengers again. No new players, no new stadium, no new money... I think I’ll try to find my weekend pleasures elsewhere, like gardening or something. Morale is so low right now, it’s like we’ve been just relegated.
Steve Green
15   Posted 07/08/2008 at 00:08:47

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Colin, I have a read of what you wrote - ?Other than location, DK was a great deal?.
Right then, that means it wasn?t a great deal. Doesn?t it??
Matt, agree with a lot of what you are saying, but Paul Niklas ?joking?? Don?t think he was. Flying a kite maybe, joking no he wasn?t.
Colin Wordsworth
16   Posted 07/08/2008 at 00:26:10

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I have written a few times on this site and as a yes voter it was always a heart against head decision.

My argument has always been that if the same scheme was anywhere within the existing city boundary then the opposition would have been minimal! It is still a great deal financially and I feel most no voters would have come round eventually to the reality, if built, of the new stadium. This is what I inferred, my command of the English language was never that great!

Where else are we going to get a similar scheme for less than £78 million to enable us to compete better financially... I fear we are not. So the compromise was location......all 5-ish miles of it! Quite sad really.... all because we are fearful of the kopites singing "the city's all ours".

Please look at the Tottenham figures, new stadium £500 million, refit £300 mill, money we can only dream about as a club.

Sometimes in life, compromises have to be made, this was ours... was!
Tony Doran
17   Posted 07/08/2008 at 00:30:37

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I’m glad it’s been called in but not in any mood to celebrate. I now wait in anticipation to see what happens next. In a strange way i still feel pride for supporting one of the last bastion’s of club not in the hands of foriegn invester’s. I know the only way forward is this investment but with it comes a load of baggage. It was only a few months ago people everywhere in football were holding Everton up as an example of how to run a club on limited funds. It was supposed to be the way other bigger spending clubs like newcastle, spur’s and the shite had to go. Does anyone feel my ambition to have a team ful of promising young English, Irish Welsh or scottish talent that cost nowt giving it a proper go to win the league. Moyes has already got the ball rolling and you can see he takes great pride in this. Everybody say’s Moyse has done a great job and i would have to agree, but his skills have been provin in getting the best out of average players like Bent, Carsely Osman and also grooming young players like Vaughen. He’s spotted some diamonds other clubs dithered about like Lescott Jagielka, Arteta. I would like just enough money to sustain our record as the longest serving members of top flight football but also allow moyse to continue the good work he has started. Let everybody else shop all over the world we’ll have the best of Brittish.
Ann Adlington
18   Posted 07/08/2008 at 01:22:49

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We’ve been asking for years now - "Give us a shares issue." This has the potential of raising several million pounds for the club. Kenwright has always resisted this as, in my view, it woud dilute his shareholding. We had the pudding Tom Cannon tonight blaming KEIOC for losing £15 million a year in "revenue streams". This is more moral blackmail. KEIOC have fought hard for what they believe in. If Teso/EFC/Knowsley can’t get past this stage, they seriously need to go back to the drawing board and engage in dialogue with the fans. We pay the money and are the best placed to advise the board where it’s all going wrong. As I said after the Villarreal ticket fiasco - "Everton, you should listen to your supporters."
John Charles
19   Posted 07/08/2008 at 02:25:17

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I despair at the ?sell up Kenwright brigade.

Who is going to take over if he sells up????
Eric Myles
20   Posted 07/08/2008 at 02:27:39

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’We are now burdened with a dilapidated stadium and worth about 80 million.

We would have been worth about 200 million and had investors falling over themselves to buy us’

So Eric you’re saying that an investor would be prepared to pay 200 million to buy the club rather than 80 million?

I don’t think many investors have gone to your business school.
Ann Adlington
21   Posted 07/08/2008 at 02:52:06

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If Kenwright’s true wish is to better the club, why didn’t he say to the potential investor - Look, I’ve taken them as far as I can go. I want out with a good return on my shares>=No problem Bill except that it’s David Moyes who has kept the wolves from the dooor and yet you can’t even back him. It wil be a sad day if Moyes walks. However, Moyes is a principled man and he would never desert us in our hour of need. Unfortunately, the Board knows this and they are preying on his loyalty. DUNCAN FERGUSON’S AN EVERTONIAN!
Stephen Stuart
22   Posted 07/08/2008 at 05:33:00

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You couldn’t have made this up.

"Everton FC: the Musical"

The laughing stock of the Premier League, watch every sordid and funny moment in the comfort of your own home. Now live on Sky TV. An absolutely bloody shambles of a situation to be in. How can anyone support what is going on??
Neil Scott
23   Posted 07/08/2008 at 06:01:26

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Indeed Stephen. But is it a comedy or is it a farce?!

Two things.

1. The EGM will be a waste of time and a lot of hot air.

Why? Because there will be NOT ONE PERSON in attendance with the power, money or influence to change the current situation. What?s done is done.

2. Moyes no longer has to be loyal.

The terms of his employment and our future capabilities changed radically yesterday and as such he can walk away whenever he likes with his head held high.

John Andrews
24   Posted 07/08/2008 at 06:22:46

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So could somebody please tell me why Kenwright cannot still sell the club and move on ? The only difference would be that he will not now line his pockets with ill gotten gains.
He may have to sell at a more realistic price but from that which I have heard/read it has not actually cost him anything as he borrowed the money to buy the club in the first place !
This may, or may not, be true so if I am doing Kenwright a disservice then I apologise.
Jay Campbell
25   Posted 07/08/2008 at 06:37:31

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Taxi for Kenwright and Madden.
Paul Heery
26   Posted 07/08/2008 at 07:24:36

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John Andrews, what do you consider to be a realistic price for a club £80 million in debt and losing money every year? He can’t sell because no-one will want to buy a club that has made a loss for 4 out of the last 5 years. What happened in the one year we didn’t make a loss? - we sold players. The only thing that makes us attractive to investors are our saleable assets - the players. What DK gave us was a medium / long term strategy that at least held the prospect of competing - we’re now back in limbo. Obviously there should have been a plan B - but there wasn’t.
Derek Thomas
27   Posted 07/08/2008 at 07:16:28

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Colin Wordsworth.....other than the shooting Mrs Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play.

Bill doesn’t have to go anywhere, just resign, or even stay on as a none voting token Chairman if he really wishes the ’ glory’ thus proving it was all about the ’ It’s my trainset’ concept.

The club is a private entity and as such can do almost anything that it wishes, in a procedural way.

The first thing they have to do, as always, is admit there is a problem and see that the number of shares you have doesn’t mean that you are automatically right. The EGM is fortuitously well timed. get ALL the options on the table... exclude nothing...Celtic style fans buy in, anything. This much is certain,

mark mccann
28   Posted 07/08/2008 at 07:48:51

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Well, I just hope the KEIOC members are happy now. Not that i was looking forward to dk, just with a sence of "it has to be done to survive". so i hope you get what you wish for now boys. Also lets see if Councilor Warren and his mates come up with anything for us, but i for one am not holding my breath.
Sonny Phillips
29   Posted 07/08/2008 at 08:13:25

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mark mccan: Well, I just hope the KEIOC members are happy now. Not that i was looking forward to dk, just with a sence of "it has to be done to survive". so i hope you get what you wish for now boys.

KEIOC did NOT call in the DK project.

Everton will ’survive’ without Tesco and without Kirkby.
jim Hourigan
30   Posted 07/08/2008 at 07:30:30

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Eric Myles and others, I think you completely misunderstand some basic business principles and adopt a naive and somewhat unrealistic approach to investment. Nobody will spend £80M (or similar) on a venture that has little chance of a return, or even dare I say it kudos. GP in the middle of a landlocked, dilapidated part of the city will never present a economic opportunity. Expansion of the site to include other revenue streams is completely unrealistic, and other forms of revenue are the only way Premiership clubs survive and compete nowadays - do you think LCC will close a school and gives us the Bullens Road? Do you think that all those Kopite parents who send their children there will roll over and allow the school to be closed to rebuild Goodison? Look down any one of the terraced streets from County Road and what does a businessman see? He sees litter strewn, dog shit riddled streets that shout low income and low aspirations. Why on earth would he buy something that has no economic future? (- unless he’s an Evertonian) LCC don’t seem to be attracting much investment into this area so what would be the motive?

Conversely a new stadium that has modern facilities fit for purpose and with modern retail attractions nearby has far more economic potential. The price is higher but the potential returns are far greater than the zero that you would get investing in GP. Have you ever been to any Premiership club ground for anything other than a football match? Last summer I watched Phil Collins at OT costing £70 per ticket, it was filled with 60,000 people (and they have the MEN and the Appollo !!!) Equally I went to a National Conference there in March, ate in one suite and sat in the International Suite listening to speakers, a suite that had photographs of international players, a roll call of honours etc etc - cost £375 per person - in attendance approx 200 people and on the same day there were 3 other conferences taking place. Did a single person give a monkeys that OT is not in Manchester? NO - because all we did was drive up and park alongside the ground in the designated car park (thats bigger than GP alone), go about our business and then go home. This myth about wanting to visit the city and go shopping or spend a night out is just that - a myth. If you go on business you attend and go home - unless you are very fortunate and your company puts you up in a hotel in the City and then does it matter where the venue for the meeting / conference is ?

Now do you see why it makes sense to invest in a modern purpose built stadium that offers other business streams?

ps substitute OT for the Reebok, its exactly the same principle and very sadly it will be Analfield next and then who will come to a ’quaint’ old football ground?
Sonny Phillips
31   Posted 07/08/2008 at 08:26:39

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ps substitute OT for the Reebok, its exactly the same principle and very sadly it will be Analfield next and then who will come to a ?quaint? old football ground?

How can you substitute a (refurbished) world class ground, the traditional home of Man U, with a shitty plastic new build?

A ’quaint old football’ ground will be attended by Evertonians (it may be an even more attractive proposition if indeed it does become the last ’real’ ground in the country, how many ’quaint’ old buildings are missed once they are bulldozed by idiotic regeneration schemes?).

Please can we refrain from the ’dog shit in Walton’ stuff, dogs are not more well behaved in Kirkby and if some mythical ’investor’ looks up Walton road and decides not to invest because of dog turds then he is a prick as well as a shite businessman..
32   Posted 07/08/2008 at 09:23:07

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Jim, were youa re correct in saying that DK with all of the surrounding retail developments would have been a more attractive site to invest in - but to even mention the site in comparison with OT is utterly obserd. Correct me if im wrong, but wasnt DK only allowed something like 10 events a year with no more than 7500 attendants at a time? That sounds like a great new revenue stream to me.
Gordon Blair
33   Posted 07/08/2008 at 09:30:02

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Yes Jim,

Huge concerts, and large commercial events, that’s we what need to bring in the extra revenue to move us forward.

Sadly, KMBC had already dictated that we would not be permitted to hold Concerts at DK, and we would be restricted to 6 major events per year. Oh, and we certainly wouldn’t have access to a huge purpose built carpark right next door to the Stadium (you have seen the transport plan?)

With all of the restrictions placed on the new Stadium effectively neutering it in terms of revenue generation, what investor do you think would want to spend £200M on a fiscal dead end, rather than £80M (or less now) on a ’Blank Canvas’?

This is an ideal opportunity to do things properly. Go through a full and proper optioneering process so when we upgrade / move, it’s to a Stadium that will see us through the next 100 years, not just a makeshift solution that would help us balance the books and hide debt for a couple of years.
Eric Holland
34   Posted 07/08/2008 at 11:00:23

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Eric Myles

I don?t think many investors have gone to your business school.

I bought a house 6 years ago I paid a lot more than my friend who bought a rundown house.

Guess what his house doubled in price it is now worth £70,000
So did mine its now worth £250,000,

Money makes money and always will.
Steve Pugh
35   Posted 07/08/2008 at 12:21:12

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Eric Holland

I also have a friend who bought a rundown house, about 8 years ago. He paid 45 grand for it, spent 30 grand on it and sold it last year for £325,000. Money might make money, but good business savvy makes more
Mike Green
36   Posted 07/08/2008 at 13:35:50

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DK is a classic case of whether to listen to your heart or your head.

After much deliberation I followed my heart and will personally feel relieved if the club don?t throw good money after bad and scrap the whole idea.

You can do the sums all day long, dress it up and second guess what could have been but intuitively DK was never the right solution for our club.

The right solution will come, I guarantee it. And when it does we?ll know it when we see it. You may call that blind faith but faith can be an extraordinary thing - so trust in it.

Mark my words - we?ll be all right.
Marc Williams
37   Posted 07/08/2008 at 14:06:42

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Jim Hourigan- Sorry Jim your arguments lost all credibility when you admitted spending £70 to watch Phil Collins !
Paul Lally
38   Posted 07/08/2008 at 14:24:49

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For a new buyer -
Sales pitch a) Old stadium, debt
Sales pitch b) Founder members of league, history, tradition, unique football story in world, leader in English football until 30 years ago, team about to break top 4 and on and on and on.
Any investor worth their salt, who is actually interested in football and business will want the city connection, the staggered investment re-developing Goodison will take, sorting out the marketing/promotional side and the challenge of knocking our neighbours down a peg or two.
A sleeping giant in the city or an out of town plastic stadium next to a Tesco superstore ?

Everton FC is now a fantastic opportunity for an investor - a sleeping giant.
Grand old stadium, great manager, great players, fantastic supporters, unique world footballing story and all for only 80 mill.
Invest in stages - money for Moyes first, new Park End tier second etc etc.
Goodison is redeveloped as the team get better and better.
However I think the shared stadium will be number 1 on the agenda for both clubs now the world recession has kicked in.

Anyway this is not the death of Everton - this is just the start of a new chapter.
Onwards and upwards blue boys, as one.
United we stand, divided we fall.
mike smith
39   Posted 07/08/2008 at 16:57:46

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Look....don’t move......I’ve got an idea........
Jim Lloyd
40   Posted 07/08/2008 at 22:24:37

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I thought this a well thought out and thought provoking article, "where do we go form here". Well, I hope that the shareholders can get the board to consider all possible options in depth, including a "Celtic style share issue." In other words, whatever is possible, should not be dismissed until it has been thoroughly investigated. Then, along with any interested parties, a business case could be made for each option. LCC have offered talks, lets see what they have in mind.

Jim Hourighan, you?re a beaut. We all talk about what we believe might be the best route for the club to take. You, however, seem to really have it in for the district of Walton. I find it hard to understand how your dainty little tootsies can manage to wade through the filth and odure of the "dog shit riddled streets, that shout low income and low aspirations." I really don?t see how you could possibly be an Everton supporter who goes the match, as you couldn?t possibly wend your way through such a horribly offensive approach.

After denigrating the People of Walton, you then witter on about how investors couldn?t possibly be encouraged to put their money intop our club.

Well Jim, what about Sir John Moores. How could he possibly have made he break from his Rolls, to climb over the mounds of shit, to provide Everton with one of the best teams the country has ever seen.

And by the way, after giving any investor who ever has the misfortune to read your post, the perfect reason for not coming near the club, just look over the other side of the park. Unless the dogs in Anfield are potty trained and the Walton dogs are canine ASBO breakers, it hasn?t stopped Liverpool from attracting massive investment... and they are staying in the area.

So, when you are developing your arguments as to why we should leave our home, I would greatly appreciate it if you would consider what your words do to the people of Walton. You think we should move, then fair enough. Howver, I don?t see any need to use erroneous and disparaging comments to back up your argument. Give it a rest please.

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