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Is it all negative?

By Mike Ambrose :  11/08/2008 :  Comments (31) :
With all the apparent ?negativity? surrounding Everton FC, I decided that a piece of rational thinking was required in order to fully dissect and understand what was going on. The result, I hope will allow some Evertonians the chance to view things in a positive light and see how things can improve, even under the existing tenure of Messrs Kenwright and Earl.

It's been a summer of discontent or at least it has seemed that way. The proposed stadium project has, perhaps, bitten the dust; there have been no new signings (as I write this); the manager has not signed his new contract; the CEO has resigned; we?ve sold a prime asset; and our very saviour has waved a white flag on progress.

Putting the last couple of months' events like this can only lead to dismay amongst the fans and a negativity that rivals that of the Park Hampers and Walter Smith era. But is it really all that bad? It's very easy to apply an irrational view point to the current situation(s). We can all rant on about the misguidance of a Board with hidden agendas, an advisor with his own interests at heart, and a co-owner who had never heard of us before and probably calls the game ?soccer?. We can all complain about the lack of funds and the lack of urgency to obtain new funding to improve the current squad and potential league performance? it's so easy to do ? but what are the real reasons behind the ramblings?

I?m waffling. Terry Leahy has been heavily involved as an advisor to the club due to his interest in the stadium development in Kirkby. It's both a selfish position and a passionate one due to his interest as a supporter and investor. However, for him to gain reward for his efforts, the club has to move forward and produce results. Whether that be to the likings of fans, authorities and other investors or not. Surely moving forward is positive.

To say that moving out of the ?city? is terrible for the club is somewhat baffling to me, apart from sentiment (which I am not patronising), what is the reason for staying? Mr Leahy has a strong business acumen ? he just knows how to get results and how to market a brand and, quite frankly, we are in need of someone who can give that sort of direction? every little helps!

Keith Wyness resigns his position in a cloud of speculation. Not really; he came with a plan and has almost implemented it to his word. He secured investment and borrowings (which allowed the team to improve), raised the fan base (call the box office if you don?t believe me, they can give accurate figures), and also raised our profile in the Far East (and was true to his word regarding sponsorships, corporate targeting, new shirt each season etc).

The brand has undoubtedly improved during his term. Now he has gone, it gives the club the chance to fill his position with another business-minded guru that may, in light of the ?white flag? on progress, be able to engineer the future of the club. Trevor Birch quite simply came at the wrong time. Kenwright couldn?t sell, he would not have returned his original investment without dipping into, in my opinion, the Rooney transfer money...

Wyness was brought in to keep us afloat and above board ? and in many respects he has done that. There is no way Mr Earl would have joined a sinking ship when his past record only ever suggests that he gets involved with brands that he can speculate and sell on at a nice profit. Even passion doesn?t stop business sense? or (to the doom and gloomers) greed. (Again, in a positive light, you can?t be greedy if the cupboard is bare!). At the end of the day, business is business and they are ALL there to make money.

The stadium project ?Destination Kirkby? is called in. Not the end of the world. If anything, it has put REAL pressure on groups (KEIOC) that want the club to stay in the city boundaries. They now have to act and to claim a ?victory? is just outrageous because, if anything, they have only actually gained a stay of execution. It is for them to now come up with the plausible alternative? and not just ?artistic? impressions of pieces of land large enough to hold a stadium.

The ball is also batted back to Liverpool City Council to come up with a site and investment plan that can actually work and isn?t just a missive to fulfil somebody?s task list. Positively, from a fans point of view? this is great. We have a position where things can go back to a drawing-board stage and other offers and investments can be brought forward for consideration. If all of the concerned act quickly, we could see some real, acceptable alternatives to destination Kirkby ? and hopefully alternatives that bring prosperity to the club that I so dearly love.

Selling Andy Johnson has further depleted a ?threadbare? squad. I can?t argue against that point other than to say that it really was a good piece of business that will ultimately provide money for further improvement. The club now has several million pounds in the bank, with more to come (provided that AJ, who only scored 22 goals in 74 appearances can stay fit).

So we have a high earner off the wage bill coupled with a injury prone striker that hasn?t really performed to a 5th place team standard and certainly wouldn?t perform either enough or well enough to get us into that lucrative 4th spot. Simply, a good piece of business. What?s more, it will also allow the team to bring in fresh faces and talent to fill the gaps that are perhaps not up to the required standard.

The white flag. There was a destructive piece in the Mirror on Saturday that hurled some intellectual abuse in Bill Kenwright?s general direction for his comments about not being able to take the club any further than he already has. At first, I was off the same opinion. How dare he come out, 9 years after taking charge, and confess that he ?has given up?? but then a moments reflection later, I realised that he wasn?t giving up at all. In fact, its quite the opposite.

Whilst Bill Kenwright admits he has only a limited resource as a millionaire in a billionaires environment, he does imply that the future for him and his Board is to find the correct investment. Enter Mr Earl? the man who has made a living out of spotting potential investment, improving it and selling it at handsome profits. Perhaps, in Kenwright?s misunderstood comments, we actually have a positive situation where those that manage the club are looking for the necessary buyers to help move it forward. We all assume he has a hidden agenda but so what? He still has to achieve that agenda and if it is to make profit (which it probably is) then he can?t do that in a business that doesn?t make profit?

So the rational argument is that things are being done that are positioning the club for the future ? something that we really have to think about. The past, I?m sorry to say, doesn?t matter. We are in a today business, a today world and we need to ensure that the club moves/progresses along its current curve. That can?t happen if we look at things in a negative light.

Bill Kenwright?s days are coming to a close but at least he understands that and knows he has done his best with what little resource he could sensibly offer. We are, by right, the 5th best club in the world?s strongest league and we?ve got there on small funds, spirit and a determination from the top to the grass roots to prove our worth and I happen to think that we have done it gracefully. When Mr Kenwright does sell the club and stand down, I will be thanking him for his efforts, even if I do it alone (because many can?t see past what is perceived to be a defective hidden agenda).

So please, when Saturday comes (sorry for the film pun), let's raise the roof and forget the doom and gloomers, the ramblings behind closed doors and instead get behind the lads that deserve our support. Moans, groans and doom merchants are not welcome at Everton Football Club.

Reader Comments

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Dave Brierley
1   Posted 11/08/2008 at 18:28:01

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Thanks for that erm....long article Bill and regards to Mrs Kenwright.
Paul Gladwell
2   Posted 11/08/2008 at 18:37:04

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He has done his best you say, in my opinion alls he has done is sell us endless lies and it is only now with that great article by Brian Reade that he is finally getting some press stick,it is all very strange that all of a sudden the Post and the echo are now publishing articles with anti Kirkby shouts and questionoing our luvvie now it has been called in, jumping on the bandwagon that is in full steam.
Its only my opinion but I will never forgive him for what he has tried to do with our heritage and soul of the club.
Jonny Voodoo
3   Posted 11/08/2008 at 18:31:29

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Good piece. I agree if I look at it with my objective head on. The trouble with us fans at times is that we have that irrational love for our team. Deep down we know how special this club is and how proud its history and it pains us that we aren't up there challenging for titles and representing England in the Champions League because thats where we believe our club should be.

As regards BK, it's not his fault that he doesn't have enough money and I do believe he would sell to the right investor as long as that investor was right for the club. We need someone who can invest hundreds of millions in the club for the love of it and that isn't an easy investor to find

The real legacy of BK could be who exactly he sells the club to and what they go on to do with it. if someone comes in who can take the club to the next level we wont view Bill half as badly as he is getting viewed now. We may see him as someone who came him appointed the Moyessiah, helped turned this club from lower table fodder in Euro contenders enabling the transition to an even higher status by selling to the right person.

Hopefully he can find that investor or he could turn out to be the man who had potentially the best manager in our history, and let him walk because he couldn't match or find someone who could meet his and the fans ambition.
Jay Harris
4   Posted 11/08/2008 at 18:41:26

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I’m afraid to tell you there’s nothing rational about your article at all.

We have got rid of 7 experienced pro’s from last season’s squad and after limping into 5th place have not replaced a single one of them and with 5 days to go with a game against one of our closest rivals and you come on here spouting about Bill Kenwright

Bill Kenwright has put this club back years with his constant bullshit about wanting to sell to the "Right" investor.

We have had the best performances on the pitch since the premiership began and we cant even afford a premiership squad.

That to me is an absolute disgrace.
Dave Wilson
5   Posted 11/08/2008 at 18:33:26

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Mike that was painful mate

So Bully did a good job , Keioc are now obligated to find us a new stadium, Kenwright?s just misunderstood and "Mr Earl" will be our knight in shinning armour.

Oh and best of all, the moaners are barred from GP!

I know your trying to be positive, but come on, we?re big boys 'n girls ? we can handle reality . . . . .just
Ste Kenny
6   Posted 11/08/2008 at 19:03:29

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I appreciate your trying to put a positive spin on things and you make a few good point?s but..... Just because some of us are dismayed by the way the club is run, lack of signings etc, doesnt mean we won't in your words " raise the roof " because we always do when it matters.

And the way things are going up to know it will definately matter this season. The way the squad is a couple of injuries and the crowd may have to be the 11th man never mind the 12th.
Glen Strachan
7   Posted 11/08/2008 at 18:59:40

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Did you really mean to write that it was up to KEIOC to find an answer to the stadium riddle?

Does that task not lie with the owners of the club who will stand to gain or lose from the decisions they take?

Does this KEIOC group that you refer to have a majority shareholding in EFC or, as I suspect, is it merely a concerned group of supporters with few or even no voting rights at EFC board level?

Do you believe it might have been easier for BK to be forgiven for his leading role in these two catastrophic stadium fiascos if he had told the truth to the club?s devoted fans on a more regular basis?

That EGM should be quite interesting!
Stephen Stuart
8   Posted 11/08/2008 at 21:19:44

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The negativity is not apparent - IT?S REAL - and with some justification. Your rewriting of history may serve you proud with the current government but does absolutely nothing for me.

I cannot believe the number of so-called Evertonians who come on here and elsewhere proclaiming that the fans have it wrong and that all?s well with the club - it?s just a matter of believe or faith in the Board and manager - precisely the people who have got the club ion this mess.

You know, this sort of plaudit makes me want to give up - it is so laughable - and so naive - I?m not sure I can stand much more of this unexpergated dross.
Steve Pugh
9   Posted 11/08/2008 at 21:44:18

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Learn to read people (you know who I mean).

Mike did not say it was up to KEIOC to find a new stadium. He said that Kirby being called in put pressure on groups that want Everton to stay in the city (like KEIOC) to act.

So (1) he is talking about groups like KEIouOC not just KEIOC, and (2) he said "act" not find a new stadium. If you are an organisation trying to keep your club in the city, maybe you should be canvassing some other organisations to see if you can do something.

So much negativity comes from people not taking the time to read things properly.
Jay Campbell
10   Posted 11/08/2008 at 22:08:36

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Pienaar’s out for 6 weeks now!!!

Fuckn get’s better and better.
Steve Grimshaw
11   Posted 11/08/2008 at 22:24:53

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Not a ball kicked in anger yet and Pinnear is gone for 6 weeks. I don?t see many positives. If no additions are made I see a bottom half finish to this up coming season. Our players are not energizer bunnies, which Kenright and company seem to think they are!!
Neil Scott
12   Posted 11/08/2008 at 22:22:39

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No Mike Steve and Ped ? it's not all negative.

We can now look forward to Peanuts coming back into our midfield in October to lift us out of the dogfight we?ll be in by then.

It?ll be like having a new signing...
Simon Hughes
13   Posted 11/08/2008 at 22:35:46

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Mike, just to save you having to write another thousand words, the answer to your question is YES.
Alan Ross
14   Posted 11/08/2008 at 22:31:46

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Ped Pearl...

Bet you still believe in Father Christmas
Anthony Newell
15   Posted 11/08/2008 at 22:46:00

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Cue Richard Dodd to tell us all is well and in good hands on the good ship Goodison and Moysie and Blue Bill will come good...
Richard Dodd
16   Posted 11/08/2008 at 23:25:57

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Sorry to disapoint you, Anthony.
I was invited to put my name to a piece similar to this thread ? and declined. You might have gathered that I am out of love with the Media boys ? particularly the head honcho.
Now even I am getting twitchy!
Brian Christopher
17   Posted 11/08/2008 at 23:04:10

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For me, out of this so far troubled summer, the one good thing to come out of it is the confirmation that we as supporters feel so strongly about our club. Whether you agree with the other persons opinion is up to you and sometimes, it results in a slanging match. Who cares if we disagree as long as the team is winning. A few good signings and a decent start to the season will go a long way to build bridges. That said the underlying issue is the way forward for the club. I have to say that if I were physically sat on the fence then I would have splinters and be raw on both cheeks through moving so much. So many ’facts’ have been brought to our attention e.g -
1 -’its costing us money not moving to Kirkby’ i.e £15 mill , no concerts etc (although planning application states no concerts etc anyway).
2- ’Phil Green is pulling the strings by lending us money to buy players’.
3 - ’We need a billionaire to get into the top four’.
Questions rather than answers -
1 - What actual facts back up this £15 mill figure, but then again initial applications can be nullified by applying for a licence later for these events.
2 - Has anyone seen the loan agreement between ’Sir’ Phil and EFC?
3 - Do we really? Not sure Mark Hughes is happy he moved jobs a few weeks ago. Its obvious we need investment but it has to be from the right person (how much is Robert Earls stake worth now compared to when ’he’ (facts now people! lol) bought it?
So many more questions to be asked/answered but at the end of the day we all support the same team and come Saturday will all (hopefully) prove that!
Terry Maddock
18   Posted 11/08/2008 at 23:51:26

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Jay Harris, Brian Waring. et al.... its always the and Marsh and Remejkis.. .its always doom...

According to your last two seasons predictions we should be struggling for promotion to the championship this season...but no ..REALITY CHECK..we are with a NET spend of 4.5 mill a season since Moyes, he most consistent challenger to the "big 4"...even when challenging on 3 sides last season, you all still predicted...A) we wouldn't get thru the group stages of uefa, B) wouldn't qualify for Europe, and ... ludicrously C) were actually relegation candidates...??????


Never happy unless you are complaining ..never post unless something isn't perfect...THAT IS NOT A SUPPORTER..!!!!

Look it up in the dictionary.
Jay Harris
19   Posted 12/08/2008 at 03:29:08

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Terry Maddock
you should get your facts straight before you come pointing fingers and quoting people.

I have never said we would be in the championship or fighting relegation last season.

I was pleasantly surprised how well we did in Europe but unpleasantly disappointed how quickly we fell away at the end of the season.

Since then we have lost 7 experienced pro’s who played 123 games and scored 16 goals for us last season and we’ve not yet replaced one of them.

FYI I think Moyes is doing a great job and my biggest complaint as most people on here know is the King of Bullshit not Moyes or the team.

As someone who has watched EFC since 1958 I think I have earned the right to complain when I see things I believe are detrimental to our club and if you think that is not a supporter then in your terms we’d be getting gates of about 3000 including you,Doddy,Neil Pearse and Alan Willo.

If you all took your heads out of Bill’s arse for a minute you’d see why the rest of us are complaining.
Steve Carter
20   Posted 12/08/2008 at 05:13:52

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Alright then, let’s see if Mr Shinawatra’s interested in taking over from Bill.
Dave Wilson
21   Posted 12/08/2008 at 04:57:24

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Steve Pugh

Mike talks about pressure groups, singles out KEIOC, then states, very clearly, thats its up to them to come up with a plausible alternative and just not artistic impressions . . . .etc etc

How have I misread that ?

Its not about being negative, its about being realistic
IMO Mike was being a wildly optimistic in his article.
Fair play to him if he can remain so upbeat, but most of us are disappointed with the way things have goen this summer

Gavin Ramejkis
22   Posted 12/08/2008 at 08:15:13

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Terry can you find the post where I actually said that? Thought not, your usual diatribe against anyone not in the rose tinted BK fanclub, If you bothered your blinkered arse to check I posted plenty of praise last season but why bother with the truth when it doesn?t serve your repeated bullshit.

If you don?t agree with someone try to put forward an alternative view, give you a head start: go to and look up "debate".
Mike Ambrose
23   Posted 12/08/2008 at 08:30:31

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Wow - such debate from encouraging positivity. I think that speaks for itself.
I am commenting really, though, to clarify the stadium comment that has created a sticking point in the debate. To clarify my meaning. As the stadium development has been called in, I believe that it is now the RESPONSIBILITY of all those groups (apologies for only quoting KEIOC - I include LCC, Warren Bradley, Bestway et al) to now accept the unwritten challenge (until this post) of coming up with fresh ideas and development opportunities that would: BE VIABLE (loop site? get real) and BE INVESTOR FRIENDLY - why would anyone invest in a site and club off Scotty Road, with crap transport links no room for retail expansion etc.etc.

So what I am trying to say (apologies for those who just didn?t get it first time round), I don?t want these groups and individuals to submit planning applications and submit all the bumpf at the EGM... but I would like to see the correct feasibility studies/surveys and not just a series of computer generated images that, quite frankly, I could generate on my home PC with photoshop and CAD.

Constantly in the press, and pressure group websites (the KEIOC website for example) we read just how bad the Destination Kirkby project is/was but there's very little in the way of alternative. The point I am alluding to (have I spelt that correctly or is that something else I?ll get pulled up on! ;)) is that I couldn?t approach my boss in work to moan about something without having a sensible solution to suggest to overcome the problem... that's called progress and improvement. But quite clearly from the replies, its easier to just present and harp on about the problems with little in the way of viable solution.

Will Brennan
24   Posted 12/08/2008 at 09:24:51

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Steve, I dont want to get into a prolonged argument with you. I agree that sometimes people go a little overboard with their comments, but that’s only because they care about our club. We all agree that DM has done a great job for us without mega money, but every time we get ourselves into a good position we shoot ourselves in the foot. There’s 4 days to go to the new season and not 1 signing brought in !! Somebody is clearly not doing their job properly. So who is it ? Pienaar is out for 6 weeks and as good as the kids may become they are not collectively ready yet. We will still all be there on Sat behind the team, but you must admit it’s a bit worrying. COYB
Steve Templeton
25   Posted 12/08/2008 at 11:42:07

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Will, fair comment.

I don’t enjoy having a go at other Evertonians but I just get annoyed as it’s the same names on here everyday preaching the same message and I just feel that their outlook would not change even if we were top of the league.

I’m a ’cup half full’ kind of person so I find it depressing when I read all of the negative posts which appear on Toffeeweb with such regularity.

Let’s hope Moyesie defies the odds again and get’s us motoring up the league.
Neil Scott
26   Posted 12/08/2008 at 12:14:00

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Steve i admire your optimism, I really do, but that is the whole point.

What manager within any business (because that is what everton is) should be expected to ?defy the odds? every time they turn up for bloody work??!

None. Especially ones that have ?defied the odds? to achieve success in the past. And the fact that things are getting worse not better only underscores the injustice of it all.
Damian Wilde
27   Posted 12/08/2008 at 13:09:28

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Jay Harris, you bang on about these experienced pros. You make out they?re great losses. Some hardly played (Wessels, Grav) and were shite and the rest played occasionally and were - average. Sorry, Carsely often played, but he was shite last season (used to be great). They?re not great losses.

Yea, we are very short, but hopefully we?ll get a few in, plus the kids alonside many of our great players and hopefully we?ll be okay. Let?s all get a grip FFS. Most on here on acting like we?re already down. Support your team. COYB.
Mike Ambrose
28   Posted 12/08/2008 at 13:10:05

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One other small point - and this is not a dig but I attended EVERY game last year..yes thats every game, home and away..including Europe and I have to say that many of the home games were silent. little in the way of singing or chanting. The occassional scream of frustration from the odd doom and gloomer (same doom and gloomers who only a couple of seasons ago when we dumped out of the champions league were calling for Mr Moyes head! what?!) to say that we always raise the roof is something that I?m going to have to disagree with. The big four, first game and last game and away games - singing and atmosphere. Fulhams/West hams etc.etc. nothing to write home about...
Brian Waring
29   Posted 12/08/2008 at 15:14:58

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Terry, I have never once said we would be fighting relegation. Also, in my opinion Moyes is actually doing a good job, even though I’m not his greatest fan. Maybe, if you took off the blue tinted specs, you would see that in the boardroom, we are a mess. instead, we have to hear you spouting your, everything is great crap.
Jay Harris
30   Posted 13/08/2008 at 01:20:27

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I would call playing in 123 games and scoring 16 goals a great contribution to our success last year.

Granted some of the players contribution was greater than others but I bet you’d give your right arm for Fernandes,Carsley,McFadden or Johnson going into the first game with 6 substitutes named.

In fact I defy you to name a squad of 17 without players who couldnt hold a candle to those who have gone for Saturday.
Damian Wilde
31   Posted 13/08/2008 at 11:30:51

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It?s not just about Saturday. In the long term, best to get rid of the shite. I see you didn?t mention all of the mistakes that lot made. 16 goals from two forwards and two midfielders, not great is it?

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