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Professor Tom Cannon on Radio Merseyside

By Barry Scott :  07/08/2008 :  Comments (34) :

Alan Jackson interviewed Tom Cannon on his radio show last night because the stadium has been called in and 'Jacko' wanted Cannon's thoughts as he is seen in media circles as an expert in football finances.

Somebody emailed the show to say that Cannon actually works for Knowsley Council in a consultancy capacity. I was curious enough to search on a search engine and found it to be true. There is a photograph of him with Knowsley Council's Ron Round and Sheena Ramsey (two of the people who are main players in the ground move). I believe he should have declared this when asked to comment on the stadium issues but he chose not to.

Tom Cannon (back left)

I was disappointed with his decision to the blame outcome solely on "Keep Everton In Our City" when in truth it was because the plans were controversial enough to warrant a public inquiry.

He said: ?Keep Everton In Our City have cost Everton Football Club fifteen million pounds?

He also said that there were five votes on moving to Kirkby and all outcomes approved of relocating to Kirkby, he also stated the stadium in Kirkby was going to be one of the most expensive stadium per seat in the country with each seat costing around £3,000. I suspect he was being mischevious with this number. Former CEO Keith Wyness stated that the stadium would have a value of £150million but a cost of around £130million. I suspect that Cannon has divided the value (£150,000,000) by capacity (50,401) to reach this conclusion. The planning application stated that each seat would cost aproximately £2,000 (below average amongst 20,000-60,000 capacity stadiums).

Sadly I can see some people being influenced by what Professor Tom Cannon had to say because of his qualifications and impressive CV but personally I was not impressed at all by what he had to say.

I may be out of order saying this but it seemed like propaganda and self-interest to me.

NB: Professor Cannon penned this article in response to Barry's article — Editorial Team

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Tim Keen
1   Posted 07/08/2008 at 14:59:57

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Here is a copy of the open letter he sent on the eve of the ballot last year. The same time he was working for KMBC.

Dear Chairman.

You?ll recall that two years ago I was elected as a ?special advisor? to the Board at the club?s Annual General Meeting, so it is only right that I give you my advice on the proposed Ground move.

I am, also, writing to you because so many of my fellow Evertonians have asked my views on this crucial issue. I guess this reflects not only my role of a Business School Dean, but my long term ? and very public ? interest in sports finance.
Like every Blue, I feel many emotions. Some of the best nights and days of my life were at Goodison; against Fulham, when we won our first post-war title, against Bayern and the 4-4 against Liverpool. Goodison was great ? but even greater were the players and the fans. I want my children and grandchildren to look forward to the same kind of success so I?ve looked closely at the case for the move to Kirkby and the alternatives.

Sir Terry Leahy has already completed some of the analysis I would normally make. He flags the scale of the Kirkby development ? 80 acres against our current 7 acres and the slightly larger (than Goodison) Scotland Road Site ? with all that means for development and new finance. He highlights the £150 million cost of the same stadium as a stand-alone project against £35M the Kirkby development is likely to cost Everton.

Looking at the alternative sites to Kirkby, it is hard to see how the costs to the club could be kept below £150 Million. The contribution of local and corporate partners is crucial to keeping the costs to the club down. I admire Sir Mohammed Anwar Pervez and his achievements at Bestway, but there is a world of difference between its financial capacity and that of Tesco. According to the latest figures Tesco?s profits are twice Bestway?s total turnover! At £4 billion, its profits are fifty times greater than Bestway?s £73 million profits.

It is hard to see how Bestway could provide significant financial support, when a £150 million stadium development would pretty well wipe out their entire profits for the last three years! Similar comments can be made about the local authorities. Here, I confess to some personal interests. Although I was born and lived off Stanley Road, my family ? like so many Liverpudlians ? was moved to Kirkby by the Council when I was eleven. Even now, although my company is based on Rodney Street, I have worked with Knowsley Council and found it an outstanding partner, as have Ford, Vertex, QVC and a host of others.

I don?t doubt Warren Bradley?s sincerity, but I question his ability to deliver his promises about funding, planning permissions, access roads etc. I remember the Kings? Dock and the apparent promises about planning permission around Goodison and developments around the planned arena. Working on Rodney Street, I am acutely aware of the problems faced by the Mathew Street Festival, The Fourth Grace, The Tram etc. I am, also, aware that Warren?s already going cap in hand to Gordon Brown to cover a £20 million deficit on the Capital of Culture.

I am less than encouraged that a key role in Everton?s future will be played by Jason Harborrow, the Council?s newly appointed Executive Director for Culture, Media and Sport. We know him best, of course, as the Chief Executive of the Culture Company.
This means that I must conclude that the sites in Liverpool require that the club must fund any new ground development here out of its own resources. That means finding at least £150 million, plus any lost income while the parts of Goodison are redeveloped if the ?redevelop at Goodison? option is pursued.

This raises some of the greatest concerns that I have about the future not just about Everton, but about many other top flight clubs in England. Despite the new money coming into the game through television, increased ticket prices, merchandising, Premier League clubs (if we include the risk investments of new owners) are massively in debt with total indebtedness now over £3 Billion or roughly the total Premier League TV income for the next 3 years.

I want Everton to be relatively debt free, if the feared financial crunch happens and Hedge Funds (already under pressure from crashing stock markets) and others start demanding their ?pound of flesh? from new investors in the Premier League.
Every ½% increase in interest charges costs a club borrowing £150 Million an extra £1 Million a year? we?ve had four of these increases over the last year ?on top of the £10 million required to service the basic debt for a stadium costing £150 million, plus any other of the club?s debts.

The Kirkby alternative will involve debt, but using Sir Terry?s figure of £35 Million, an annual outlay of around £2.5 Million to service the basic debt for the stadium against at least £11 Million for the Scotland Road site. Even staying at Goodison with no redevelopment costs but lost revenues from obstructed views, limited executive facilities, weak local amenities etc. is expensive. The table below answers many questions for me.

Comparing the three most widely touted alternatives and using conservative estimates of income and expenditure, the move can give us a minimum of £6.5 Million a year more than we have now to spend on players and other developments. The Scotland Road loop would actually mean £4.5M less than we have now or £11M annually less than Kirkby, even if we assume, as I do here, bigger average gates at that site.

Besides this, the likely two year delay could cost the club around £15 Million in lost income and added costs. Similar analysis for a redeveloped Goodison indicates that this is the most expensive option with the lowest returns. Over the next 5-6 years, the Scotland Road site would reduce Everton?s spending power by £50 million compared to Kirkby.

Kirkby Scotland Road Undeveloped Goodison
Costs Annual £M £M £M
Debt Servicing 2.5 11 0
Obstructed Views - - 1
Operating costs -1 0 0.5
Total 1.5 11 1.5
Net Additional Annual
Gate 4 4.5 0
Executive 2 2 0
Amenity Development car parks etc 2 0 0
Total 8 6.5 0
Balance +6.5 -4.5 -1.5

I?ll always remember the glory days and nights, but if I want my grandchildren to have more glory days and nights from the great players we can sign ? rather than the bank charges we can pay ? for me Tesco and Knowsley is undoubtedly the best choice.
I confirm, however, that whatever the outcome of the vote, wherever we play ? I?ll support Everton.
Yours truly, Professor Tom Cannon. (20/08/07)
Tim Keen
2   Posted 07/08/2008 at 15:03:12

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And here are the replies by Colin Fitz and myself. Notice how Colin gets the figures almost dead on and Cannon is miles out.

My reply first
So just looking at his figures comparing the options of Goodison, Scotland Road and Kirkby:

Debt Servicing:
Kirkby - £2.5m a year
Scotland Road - £11m a year
Goodison - £0 a year

£2.5m of debt servicing for Kirkby indicates an additional debt of £30m. Now you could argue he is being prudent but we have been told repeatedly the debt would be around £10m.
£11m for Scotland Road would indicate additional borrowing of £120m, where is he getting these figures from? He wouldn?t be plucking these figures out of the air to illustrate his point would he?

Obstructed Views
Goodison - -£1m a year
Why has he factored in a cost of £1m a year for obstructed views? We don?t actually pay out £1m a year in compensation for obstructed views do we? If he is counting this figure as the amount we reduce ticket prices for the obstructed view seats then why not just factor this into the "Gate Receipts" item later on?

Operating Costs
Kirkby £-1m a year
Scotland Road - £0 a year
Goodison - £1.5m a year

According to these figures we would reduce our operating costs by £1m by moving to Kirkby (fair enough if you believe the hype), but why would we not save this by moving to Scotland Road? Surely the correct assumption would be that a new build stadium, whatever the location, would have a similar saving?

Gate receipts
Kirkby - £4m
Scotland Road - £4.5m
Goodison - £0m

The assumptions that gates will go up by 8000 per game at Kirkby (£4m / £25 per ticket average) or 9000 at Scotland Road are optimistic would you not say? There is no evidence of demand.

Kirkby - £2m
Scotland Road - £2m
Goodison - £0

So a city centre site would generate no more executive income then an out of town retail site? Without knowing the number of boxes or having seen any plans for Scotland Road we have a guess from Prof Cannon.

Amenity Developments - car parks etc
Kirkby - £2m
Scotland Road - £0
Goodison - £0

What is this category all about? How could he possibly know what facilities Scotland Road would or wouldn?t have to base this arguement on? And the randon £2m of income (all profit as no allowance of cost has been made in the operating costs section?) for Kirkby comes from 1000 parking spaces or the Park and Ride scheme?

And the shocking news for Yes Voters hailing this piece of research.....a £6.5m best case scenario profit for the scheme we are told will easily bring us £10m a season to spend on players.

Ever feel you?ve been had?

Posted 20/08/2007 at 11:13:17
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Out of consideration I usually begin my posts with an acknowledgement to the writer I?m responding to, in this case Prof. Tom Cannon, but on this occasion I?ll reserve the courtesy. This is perhaps the most transparent and disgraceful piece of propaganda that Everton Football Club have used, perhaps prepared in desperation, in a bid to manipulate the spectators minds. To some, the clarity of thought from a Professor who as a ?special advisor? to the board will add a certain amount of gravitas and either endorse the instinct followed by many voters or persuade those late voters that this, as an academics appraisal, is honest and candid.

First of all I would hope the Prof. Cannon could put me in touch with the bank that will offer a £150,000,000 at 5.34% interest when the base rate currently stands at 5.75%. Loans involving large amounts such as this are currently obtained between one to two points over base so, specifically, a loan of the size indicated would cost, at 7.25%, £13,162,785. Yes more than is indicated, but all those dazzled by academia just wait for the rest, and before accountants start to argue about tax effectiveness just remember that Everton?s current long term debt liability, a £30,000,000 securitization loan, is at 7.79% (£2,767,000 p.a.).

Second, loans of this magnitude are not subject to fluctuations in the interest rate, the risk is spread to both parties, look at Arsenal, Newcastle in deed look at Everton?s loan, it?s not like nipping into the Nat West and getting a house mortgage, the insinuation that it is frankly beggars belief. All the aforementioned have fixed rate loans over a 25-year period, why introduce a topic that has no relevance whatsoever?

If, Prof. Cannon, you intend to take matters at face value then the figure you use for potential debt for Kirkby, provided by Mr. Leahy, must be taken with the proverbial pinch of salt. Notwithstanding the indisputable fact that the £35,000,000 is a 133% increase on the £15,000,000 figure, as the likely amount of debt supplied only two weeks earlier by the Everton CEO Mr. Keith Wyness, I find it incomprehensible that you have not questioned the possibility that this potential debt will actually range between £75,000,000 and £100,000,000 unless of course we are having built the cheapest stadium in the history of premiership football.
A loan of this magnitude, £75,000,000 at 7.75%, would cost £6,876,482 or £8,775,190 for the top figure.

As for your chart, applying some realistic data and not relying on frankly naive assumptions that a city centre site would not offer substantially increased benefits when attempting to develop the commercial revenue streams that are available outside of the normal match day experience, according to experts such as Simon Inglis, is, in addition to the inescapable fact that if Kirkby were to be developed the contribution from the retail only site to Everton Football Club would be, and this isn?t an estimate, zero, no hotels or leisure facilities are to be built, according to Mr.Wyness, it doesn?t take a genius to work out why, yet another attempt to distract .

Debt is a fact of modern premiership clubs, look here at Liverpool, Top premiership clubs have two fantastic enabling partners, their fan base and their presence in the premiership. Look at all the top clubs, look at the rest, then tell me, as the 21st richest club in the world, why we?re adopting the commercial tactics of, with respect, Bolton, Portsmouth and the rest.

You Prof. Cannon are either incredibly ignorant of your subject matter or you believe that the supporters of Everton Football Club are incredibly stupid and will believe whatever is wheeled out in front of them. I can assure both you and certain members of the club that the supporters are not as stupid as you think. No wonder Mr. Kenwright has remained almost silent throughout the ballot period.

I have found the actions of the club in the past week to be disgraceful, I?m at a loss to explain why the club should adopt these tactics as my gut feeling tells me that whilst far from being a massive vote of confidence the Yes vote will prevail as most voters have only heard a monologue from the club and the local press.

I?ll be glad when the vote is over; I?m frankly sick and tired of it now.

A very disappointed Evertonian

John Farrely
3   Posted 07/08/2008 at 15:11:57

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Does it really matter who says what or who was right or wrong.Everybody has got their own agenda.Personally Im sick of all the drivel being written about DK whether for or against..
Jay Harris
4   Posted 07/08/2008 at 15:14:27

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Really good post Colin.

I used to have a lot of time for Cannon as a very competent economist but I have to say Everton aside I found he seems to have got a bit senile or gone off the rails in the past 10 years.

A lot of his economic predictions were so wide of the mark you wouldnt have thought it was the same person.

The other thing I clearly remember at the time was he was an opponent of the way the club was being run but now seems to play the piper’s tune wherever he is.

Thirty pieces of silver spring to mind.
Paul McMonnies
5   Posted 07/08/2008 at 15:40:42

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Anyone who was present at the AGMs where Tom Cannon bleated about his "swagger" or where he "disassociated himself" with some perfectly valid views of fellow shareholders or where he put himself forward for a place on the board then retracted at the last minute will already be well aware that this guy can’t be taken seriously at all. Even his "professor" status is highly dubious.

To see him linked with KMBC doesn’t surprise me one bit, and the heralding and trumpeting of his "open letter" on the official website is up there with their same heralding of Kilfoyle’s as CLEAR evidence of the desperate measures the club has employed to try to get fans on their side with this ridiculous scheme.

For shame.
Trevor Lynes
6   Posted 07/08/2008 at 15:53:39

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Enough ink and paper has been to my mind wasted on debating the pro’s and con’s of the DK project...we are football fans not financial experts. Concentration must be placed on the important issues that remain..a lack of squad members..players leaving at an alarming rate..the Africans abroad during August, the injury list and impending suspension of Vaughn.
Days are passing very quickly and still no incoming players..other managers with small squads eg; Villa are actively strengthening their teams while we continue to dither. Watch this space BK said..the space is growing by the hour and nothing so far is happening except for the mention of Alan Smith..what happened to the players DM had as his choices, they were supposed to bring improvement and a serious challenge to the top four...?????
Ciarán McGlone
7   Posted 07/08/2008 at 16:03:20

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Mr Cannon taken to the cleaners by a not very naive Mr Fitz.

Do these people think everyone is thick?
Richard Harris
8   Posted 07/08/2008 at 17:09:08

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The good Prof is given credit as if he is the only person commenting on sport who understands economics. Why people have been quoting him for years I’ll never understand.
He’s at the University of Buckingham which is of course recognised around the world as a centre of excellence :0) He seems to be good at putting himself forward as an academic rent-a-quote and media people often contact universities for their ’experts’ when they need a more ’informed’ opinion.
If he was just an ordinary man in the street people would probably be far more critical of his opinions....
David Kiely
9   Posted 07/08/2008 at 18:23:01

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I think Brian Reade summed this man up best when he called him a sage who doesn’t know his onions.

I dont know where he got his qualifications from...the Academy of Jack-the-lad-amy
most probably.

Rob Burns
10   Posted 07/08/2008 at 19:31:09

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stick the twat in a cannon and fire him from Goodison to Kirkby
Ian Edwards
11   Posted 07/08/2008 at 19:35:19

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I listened to the phone in and I think Tom Cannon was the only one that spoke sense.

I am sad that Kirkby has fallen through but one god think out of it is that Killing Evertons Only investment chances group will now crawl back where they came from
Dave Wilson
12   Posted 07/08/2008 at 19:54:51

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Rob Burns

You might have stumbled across something here, What did you have in mind mate, Pre match or a sort of half time entertainment ?
arthur jones
13   Posted 07/08/2008 at 20:10:20

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Ian Edwards , what a stupid remark , it reminds me of an old saying , " Why let the facts get in the way of blind predjudice and ignorance " !
John Dooley
14   Posted 07/08/2008 at 22:20:44

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It won?t surprise you to know Tom has been talking crap for ages and not just about Everton. Try this:-
Nich Starling
15   Posted 07/08/2008 at 22:31:21

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Iain, The acronym is KEIOC would be "Keep Everton In Our City".

You thought you?d be clever and write "Killing Everton's Only investment chances", which makes KEOIC, which is the wrong acronym.
Tom Hughes
16   Posted 08/08/2008 at 02:07:47

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I can remember Tom Canon trying to give Peter Johnson a similar lecture at an AGM during his tenure, the self-made multi-millionaire rather sarcastically thanked him for his lesson on "all things business"...... basically intimating the old adage: that "those that can, do. Those that can’t...... teach". Academia is full of them, particularly in the so called social sciences!!! More worryingly though, his stance appears to have ulterior motives behind them!!
Robin Cannon
17   Posted 08/08/2008 at 03:37:44

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That people disagree with my dad on many issues, or want to offer alternative points of view or alternative analyses, that’s fine. I often disagree or debate him on many issues, including Everton.

I find the fact that some need to throw random accusations and personal insults around about him to be pretty sad though.

Like the rest of us, he would like what his best for the club. Given he buys his own season ticket in the Main Stand, has no role at Everton on the board or otherwise, I’m not entirely sure of how he’s supposed to have "sold out" by supporting the ground move.

He regularly appears in the press to discuss aspects of football business. He doesn’t phone around TV and radio stations begging them to put him on the air. He’s a widely respected analyst of sports business and finance - so they contact him because they’d like his input on specific stories. He’s also willing to enter into debate - the fact that he was on a phone in show demonstrates this. That you don’t agree with him, that he’s not perfect in his predictions 100% of the time, hardly makes him a rent-a-quote.

Arguing that his title of Professor is in some way tenuous, that his other academic qualifications are unreliable is frankly laughable. Making more abusive personal insults is pitiful.

As I say, disagree with him...fine. Argue the opposing point of view, seek to undermine his figures and analysis, cool. But to suggest that he’s anything other than an Evertonian who wants the best for the club, who puts his opinions forward honestly, and merely by his background and his area of expertise may have a greater opportunity to do so than some, is insulting.
Dave Wilson
18   Posted 08/08/2008 at 05:22:32

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Your Dad was given a platform - radio show - to express his opinion. Given your background you’ll probably know how these things work.
He DOES have a better opportunity than ,not only some, but most, to get his views across. although you could, with some justification, claim he has earned that
If the report is correct - I didnt hear the show - He chose to use his opportunity to make a claim " KEIOC have cost EFC 15million "
Many people - myself included -will construe this, not merely as his opnion, but as a polictical point scoring statement, Random accusation if you like
Your dad often puts his head on the block, You can only do that if you have particularly thick skin, you’ll know that better than me
He who lives by the sword . . . . .

Fair play to you for supporting your old fella, your post was dignified and serves as a reminder to us all that personal insults are unessassary and can often hurt far more people than their intended targets,

I appologise for my part
Jay Campbell
19   Posted 08/08/2008 at 07:28:04

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Cannon’s another know all.

Tony Kelly
20   Posted 08/08/2008 at 09:32:51

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Robin. Your "dad" also told 2 blatant lies on the Jacko show he said LCC turned down Everton"s bid to build a new ground on Stanley Park. He also blamed LCC for the Kings Dock fiasco. Even the dogs in the street now know that Kenwright is full of shite. and your "dad" is an apologist for him.
Arthur Jones
21   Posted 08/08/2008 at 10:04:07

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Robin , as you have so rightly said , your father is entitled to his opinion , as are all of us but when he starts quoting facts and figures that are quite obviously wrong , ie KEIOC costing the club £15m/year... , with his qualifications , don?t you think that without backing up this claim then he?s leaving himself open to criticism , people in glass houses ..etc , Those involved with KEIOC and their supporters are all to a man and woman , as staunch a group of Evertonians as you can find , to suggest that they would harm the club is ludicrous .
Gordon Blair
22   Posted 08/08/2008 at 10:19:05

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First of all, top marks for sticking up for your old fella, we’d all have done the same, however, the reason people got uppity was that they found out that the man voicing his opinions as an independent expert, was actually a consultant for KMBC.

It’s not a personal slant against your old man if people subsequently adjust the import they ascribe to his views when they find out he has a vested interest.

I’m also sure that in the cold light of day, he realises that blaming KEIOC for the government calling in a retail park that broke all 6 key guidelines was just plain silly.

Anyway, onwards and upwards.

All the best
Robin Cannon
23   Posted 08/08/2008 at 10:27:34

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I would assume the logic goes something like this (and I haven’t spoken to him about the phone in or the quote):

Without the added highlight to the DK plans that is in large part due to the efforts of KEOIC, then the move would have been far less likely to be called in. Therefore KEOIC, or more generally, the anti-move campaign, have been a major cause of at minimum a year’s delay to the move. With lost revenue and standard rising costs within the construction industry, a year’s delay...even if everything continued entirely as is after that year...would cost Everton in the region of 15 million.

I’m not saying that you have to agree or disagree with such an analysis, nor am I going to say whether I do myself. But the figures are not "obviously wrong", even though in the context of a sound bite the wider justification and reasoning might be lost.

It’s not ludicrous to suggest that KEOIC and their supporters would harm the club. Just as it’s not ludicrous for KEOIC to suggest that supporters of a ground move would harm the club. It is ludicrous for either side to argue any of those groups want to *deliberately* harm the club. But the whole crux of the ground move argument revolves around the point that one side or another would harm the club, even though acting with the best intentions, if they succeeded in their aims.
Robin Cannon
24   Posted 08/08/2008 at 11:09:24

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Just in response to Gordon - that’s an entirely fair point to make, and I agree it’s no personal slant against my dad if people feel that his existing relationship with KMBC makes you feel that its inappropriate for him to be tagged in the media as an entirely independent analyst.

I think it’s clear from the article linked to in Barry’s original piece that his work for KMBC is in relation to their Silver Entrepreneur scheme - i.e. promoting self employment and small business entrepreneurship among the over-50s in the borough. So it’s not exactly a direct link, and nor do I think he is in any way wilfully misrepresenting his independence. But, like anyone commenting on such issues, I think it’s fair enough to highlight related business interests and relationships.

Anyway, I feel like I’m allowing myself to get too bogged down in detail.

The main point I’ve been trying to make is that like everyone else my dad is an honest Evertonian who wants what he thinks is best for the club. He’s lucky enough that his background gives him a greater opportunity to put forward his arguments than most. His arguments for a ground move have been consistent over a long period of time (and it’s not like he’s touting a public line that he doesn’t support privately, given I’m in a position to know that and to have discussed/argued matters with him more personally). Nor is he just throwing out figures or accusations that he doesn’t feel he can back up (again, I’m in a position to turn around to him and say "how do you come to that conclusion?" and he always has a reasonable justification, whether I agree with it or not).

I guess to me it just highlights more personally the biggest sadness about the whole ground debate issue as a whole. That it’s created a situation where disagreement leads to dislike, abuse or insults between Evertonians. It’s a passionate subject to be sure, but I’m pretty sure there’s no Evertonian out there on either side who has anything other than the club’s best interests at heart. Which means that nobody willing to talk about their feelings and their reasoning, whether in a high profile way or on a medium like Toffeeweb, deserves anything other that respect from fellow blues for being open with what they believe will take us forward.
Greg Murphy
25   Posted 08/08/2008 at 11:14:17

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Robin, first to echo all the other comments supporting you for in turn supporting your dad.

The rub concerning his media comments lies in the fact that all too often he lets some very valid points become totally obscured by shrill, ill-thought-out and often knee-jerk outbursts (Bill Kenwright does the same).

These soundbites are then seized upon and deconstructed, all too easily, out-of-context and over time a distorted picture starts to emerge.

For instance, you can’t argue with Brian Reade’s analysis of your dad’s prophecies a year or two back. Because he was spot on. But even Reade would concede that he was probably being a bit disingenuous and mischievous towards your dad but was probably justifying it on the basis that it was accurate "pin in the balloon" copy.

The substance of what your dad had been trying to say was lost simply because, once again, he held himself up as a hostage to fortune.

If he’d just be a bit more conservative and measured in what he says and resist the florid rhetoric he’d do himself a huge favour.

Consider this Cannonball from March 2007 (which I, too, admit to deliberately taking out of context - which is exactly the risk your dad runs when he makes such comments):

""These people (presumably KEIOC) who say being in Liverpool is a guarantee of success should ask what Marine have ever earned?

"Being in Liverpool is not a guarantee of success."

Firstly, to even begin to compare Everton to Marine in the same breath is just ludicrous. Secondly, if he’d thought this one through - given the fact that a large plank of KEIOC’s stance is that Kirkby is not in Liverpool - he’d have realised that Marine don’t play in the city either! Thirdly, wouldn’t you agree that it just would have been far better no to make the statement at all.

On Radio Merseyside he did - no question - accuse KEIOC of costing Everton some £15m. A crazy assertion.

Take him out for a pint, Robin, and have a word and tell him to stop being his own worst enemy.

There are many fans who value some of what he has to say (although I fundamentally disagree with him on plenty of issues) but find it very hard to respect his substantial points when he makes so many left-field pronouncements.

David Kiely
26   Posted 08/08/2008 at 11:43:18

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Robin -

a career in public relations beckons, if you’re not already embarked on one.

It is natural you support your dad, but that defence above is pure sophistry. He IS compromised by his wearing of his ’independent’ professorial hat and conveniently laying his local government hat one side; he DID make an outrageous comment about an organisation he has diametrically opposing views to - the severity of which, if the boot was on the other foot, he might himself consider legal action against.
Barry Scott
27   Posted 08/08/2008 at 11:54:00

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First of all, top marks for sticking up for your old fella, we?d all have done the same, however, the reason people got uppity was that they found out that the man voicing his opinions as an independent expert, was actually a consultant for KMBC.

In his open letter he states he was also once a "special advisor" to the board and on his website he lists Tesco as a client.

This is why I’m upset with him commenting on the stadium issues when all three parties involved in the Destination Kirkby project have at one time or another been his paymasters.
Tom Hughes
28   Posted 08/08/2008 at 13:45:38

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Wasn’t your Dad against Kirkby when Johnson was proposing it? I seem to remember him addressing members of GFE and their supporters to that effect. It’s a bit dim and distant now, so I may be wrong but he was equally vociferous then. His referral to out of town retail and stadia also contradicts all modern thinking and reports (even those commissioned by Knowsley itself). The whole city’s future is tied into the biggest wealth generator and that is Liverpool city centre which is in the middle of a complete transition. Every report states that this will be substantially affected by a new out of town retail centre. Why jeopardise something that affects the livelihoods of all merseysiders including thousands in Kirkby? Your father’s apparent shock at the "call in" is either manufactured or down to ignorance since many have been stating this would happen for over a year. (I can’t believe it is the latter). Fairplay for sticking up for your oldman, but if he’s wrong..... he’s wrong, or if he’s compromised he should perhaps reserve judgement.
Greg Murphy
29   Posted 08/08/2008 at 15:29:11

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Yes, he was Tom.

I spoke to him on the phone from my office for a good spell and he offered us full support. April 1997.

Doesn’t mean you can’t change your mind, of course.
Graham Atherton
30   Posted 08/08/2008 at 15:44:01

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There is such a thing as professional integrity. I do not know Prof Cannon but the fact he has worked on various projects for all parties is not necessarily damning.

I work on providing impartial advice to a wide variety of individuals on, amongst other things, anti-infective drugs. I am paid by a charity, but if you take a cursory glance at the website I run you will see links for our sponsors - large drug companies.
The advice I give is not swayed by those companies, it is swayed by my professional judgement and advice I get from senior colleagues but you only have my word for that. Likewise we only have Prof Cannons word (and that of his son) that he is acting impartially - it IS possible and I would suggest probable.

The various organisations that set out to oppose the Kirkby move can hardly now turn round and claim the delay to the stadium was nothing to do with them - if that was the case why bother with all the media campaigning and lobbying?
That delay will cost Everton FC money - in 3 years time when we don’t have a stadium to move into.
If of course we are moving into a stadium in 3 years time then I take it back.
David Kiely
31   Posted 08/08/2008 at 16:58:08

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Graham Atherton -

I think the distinction is that protest groups may have reminded many of the ’players’ outside of the application’s ’partners’ of their responsibilities when coming to their decision, but Government itself had the power to cause delay and increase costs. To be fair to Tom Cannon, he did point the blame also in his Radio Merseyside interview at central government’s decision. But that’s where his ire should have been directed if he wanted to let off steam. KEIOC were effective in lobbying. I doubt that he thought Tesco lobbying behind the scenes was problematic.

Greg Murphy
32   Posted 09/08/2008 at 19:50:28

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And there you go, Robin, within 24 hours of posting what I said (above) you dad has blurted out the following:

"Then there are all the other bits of income from a new stadium like conferences to pop concerts which is probably another £5m and means that transfer income until we get a new stadium, wherever that is, is down by up to £15m a year."

What pop concerts?

Has your dad kept even slightly up-to-date with the specificities of the Kirkby debate? Before I even clicked to read his latest assertion I just knew there would be a part of it that you could run a coach and horses through.

And so it proved.

Therein is the problem and that’s exactly why your dad is coming in for so much flak.

Basic research into the "pop concert" restraints at Kirkby was all it took for him to avoid falling into this latest trap. Like basic research into exactly where Marine play etc etc.

Truthfully, it gives no pleasure - at all - to decry your dad’s reputation (especially on a thread where his son has so passionately defended him).

Likewise it’s equally uncomfortable for those of us who have diligently kept up to date with the realities of the Kirkby debate to hear and read the club’s lazy propaganda just trotted out - unchallenged - in leading media channels such as Radio Merseyside and The Echo.
Steve Green
33   Posted 09/08/2008 at 21:16:09

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Greg, I look forward to Robin?s response to your latest mail.
We will all, always defend our papa i9n the face of criticism, but sometimes, just sometimes, you reach the point of not being anle to defend the indefensible.
No one has got any probs with TC being vocal with his point of view. only with that point of view being peddled as independent.
Perhaps though we should lay off the Cannon family (unless he re-enters the fray with yet more learned qualified pronunciations) and pursue Radio Merseyside and Mike Parry at TalkSport for their portrayal of independance.
Greg Murphy
34   Posted 09/08/2008 at 22:22:53

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Wise words, Steve.

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