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What is the state of play?

By Phillip Martin :  20/08/2008 :  Comments (16) :
Having read so many articles and posts from other fans/journos, there is quite obviously a huge split of opinion on EFCs current state. Are we in crisis? Where?s the transfer kitty? Why hasn?t Moyes signed a new contract? Why no investment into the club? Why are there no new players?

In time it will be revealed exactly what has happened and what the current state of play is. But until then all we can do is speculate and hope for the best. Given Moyes?s desire to take this club forward, I firmly believe that there is obviously a huge cash flow problem at the club. Hence the lack of signings and Moyes?s reluctance to commit long term to a club he feels deeply passionate for. You can?t blame the guy for not signing. He has served his apprenticeship and built the best Everton squad in 20 years on a mid-table budget.

If the funds are available for him to buy the players he needs, why wouldn?t he sign the new contract? If this was true, surely the board held their end of the deal? Clearly funds aren?t in place. Moyes being the man he is, refused to allow the board to take all the blame by saying he was responsible for not signing any players.

Again the true character of the guy came out after last weeks? dire result. He blamed the players and himself for not delivering the points. By not allowing the current squad to feel sorry for themselves or lose heart at the lack of big signings. He ensured the current players do not lose focus on their own form.

He could have said ?We don?t have any cash to build on last year, and this is the squad I have?. But that would only have sent out a bad message to the likes of Arteta, Lescott and Yakubu who could undoubtedly transfer to a club which plays regular CL football.

If as most people speculate, the cash flow problem is more serious than the board let on. Then the next question is why a club with a huge fanbase, good attendances and with strong league finishes over the recent years is broke? Considering we have not really spent big (on fees or wages) compared to the likes the Newcastle, Spurs or West Ham let alone the Sky4. Kenwright in his usual perceptive manner spoke last month on how the top 4 have very rich owners. That he can?t compete with that wealth. This monopoly by the top 4 has been like this for several years now and yes is due to their owners' financial muscle. Which leads me to my next point.

Why didn?t BK do more to attract investment years ago? Has it really only just now dawned on him that he can?t take the club forward any further? Or was there an ulterior motive for hanging onto power? Moyes and the Players? relative on field success have cloaked the state of the club off the pitch. Allowing BK to sit in his throne with relative comfort for recent times.

I?ve read people state ?EFC is not investible? and even today ?EFC are the worst investment possible in the PL?. I?m sorry but I have to say that is BULLSHIT. Yes I accept economic downturn, credit crunch, LFC in same city, blah, blah? however, a good business man will look at the books and say we are nowhere near our potential.

Everton has a massive fanbase that would increase further more with some success. Yes EFC aren?t based in London, and we need a new ground. The fact that we aren?t in London (where land is very expensive) but in the European Capital of culture would surely offer a good opportunity to redevelop or build a new stadium.

Surely with a competent Marketing & Sales team the Everton brand could be built, and attract more corporates, bigger sponsorships and increase profits. There are so many things wrong with the club off the pitch. We all know that!!!! Why do we allow ourselves to be defeatist and accept the comments that we aren?t worthy of investment. BULLSHIT!!!

What has Portsmouth (small fan base and require new stadium), West Ham (average fan base and also require new stadium), or Sunderland have over us? Why do Villa, Spurs (who also need a new stadium) and Newcastle regularly get linked with takeovers? While no-one will touch EFC with a barge-pole. The 4th most successful club, in the World?s most famous league, with a huge fanbase, and a big growth potential, with a good young squad that isn?t far away from being back in the big time.

If we got our shop in order off the pith we would have much more money for transfers. There is so much more this club can improve on. Let?s not undersell ourselves and our club. We deserve better on and off the field!

Nil Satis Nisi Optimum.

Reader Comments

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Michael Kenrick
1   Posted 20/08/2008 at 13:58:33

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So, your conclusion is that Everton are a fabulous investment opportunity just sitting there... but you don’t answer the obvious question: why hasn’t anyone invested? Philip, there have been plenty of threads on here providing opinion on that key question, most concluding the exact opposite of you, that anyone investing in Everton FC with Bill still hanging on to the helm would be throwing good money after bad. And anyone buying him out would need to put hundreds of millions into the club, one way or the other. Doesn’t sound like a very good investment to me.
Phillip A Martin
2   Posted 20/08/2008 at 14:14:52

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I’m not saying we are a fabulous investment opportunity in which we will return billions to a willing investor.
I was partly responding to what I believe as ridiculous statements that we are less attractive than the likes of Portsmouth, West Ham and the other clubs I listed in my post.

I also tried to stay away from the anti-BK debate of why we haven?t had major investment in 8 years of his reign.
IMHO BK has only sought investment for EFC that would allow him to retain his control over the club. He fought long and hard to become Chairman and I believe he has NOT looked at investment which involved him relinquishing control. Hence the sum of investment into the club during his reign, being loans and guarantees from personal friends (who have no interest in football). Had a billionaire lifelong Evertonian stepped forward. I feel BK would?ve been forced to make way. Fortunately for him that has never happened.
However that does NOT mean there has not been interest in Everton. Why do we have to have an Evertonian chairman/owner? Surely an excellent and ambitious business person who understands the clubs traditions and supporters is just as good ?if not better!
Why is BK fit to judge why another individual is worthy of investing in Everton?
BK ?lured? KW to EFC, so if that?s his idea of someone right for Everton. Then I give up!
I don?t agree with people that we are a bad investment compared with other clubs. Glazers wont make back their money on United for a long time and the amount of cash required to get Everton a new ground/redevelopment would be minimal compared. Same with the Yanks and the RS. What about Spurs and their annual spending sprees?
Yes it?s a huge ask for someone to pump £200M into the club to build a new stadium and fund some big signings. However on paper, Everton will be worth so much more. That?s the nature of an investment!
Everton FC with an excellent squad and a big, new 55000 stadium will be worth £250-300M. If you compare us to someone like Newcastle - who are reported to be worth that.
As per my OP ? get the Marketing and Sales sorted. Build the Everton brand and create bigger revenue streams. We all know Everton can be so much bigger and better!
Jay Harris
3   Posted 20/08/2008 at 14:42:05

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It wont come as a surprise to many but
I share your view entirely and have posted much the same.

Unfortunately the timing is not now as good as previous years because even rich people are reigning their investments in right now.

That doesnt mean we won’t interest somebody but there also has to be a willing seller and the price needs to reflect current market conditions and the amount of debt Kenwright has run up.

If he was half as blue as some people make out he would sell his shares for what he paid for them and let somebody more astute takeover.

One thing is certain his position is becoming untenable and the EGM will hopefully resolve some of the issues burdening our great club.
Stephen Muir
4   Posted 20/08/2008 at 14:56:37

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I can tell you quite categorically that as a resident of Cheshire, Randy Lerner looked long and hard at Everton before putting his money into Aston Villa. Both clubs had ?patriarchal? owners, loath to give up the reins but Villa had the advantage of an already re-developed ground and next to no debt. As a plc, it was necessary for Lerner to buy up ALL the share capital valued c£56M and take on responsibility for c£10M debt. He solved the ?Doug Ellis Problem? by making him ?President Emeritus? and put him in charge of matchday hospitality!

If he had opted for Everton, his commitment including stadium costs would probably have amounted to three times that figure. Not a hard choice to make was it?

Phillip Martin
5   Posted 20/08/2008 at 15:46:23

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You are right in that example, Villa were the better choice IF Lerner’s criteria was to purchase a top half PL club for as little baggage as possible.
However Villa will also need to increase the size of Villa Park in the future if they wish to compete with the Top 4. They also required more investment in terms of players than we did. So i dont believe it was totally that clear cut.
While I would never state EFC represent the best value for money of any club in the World or even England. I am mystified why clubs with bigger debts and smaller fanbases have been snapped up. It’s no longer a case of our superiors or equals being invested in. Now much smaller inferior clubs have been purchased and Everton remain untapped. Is Everton FC really so bad - in which case we are in huge trouble? Or has Billy managed to mantain his grip so tight, that no-one invester/group has been able to get in?
John Lloyd
6   Posted 20/08/2008 at 17:34:30

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So many business experts on this site yet no-one EVER comments on the obvious.

Around the time the details for the stadium were submitted there was actual documentation stating that the club is not looking????

24/7 is a lie, why believe anything that comes out of the club when 9 times out of ten the truth comes out afterwards????

I want to & enjoy talking football, I don't own my business or work in the city or have any knowledge of how business is ran so I?m sure more intelligent people than me can come on & explain how you sell a club thats NOT FOR SALE????

I will try and look for the documents I?m talking about, I?m sure there will be a link on this site somewhere, it was where the details of the stadium & site were submitted & we found out it was only a medium class stadium & no concerts would be held there. That same document (help someone... please!)

I don't like blues tearing themselves apart over the ground move but not over something like this, another lie from the board/chairman. HE HAS NEVER SOUGHT OUTSIDE INVESTMENT & WON'T UNTIL KIRKBY IS BUILT OR A CONFIRMED NO-GO!!!!
Brian Christopher
7   Posted 20/08/2008 at 18:06:46

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Sitting here reading this topic and wondering what if this happened?............
If Robert Earl bought 24% for approx £8/9 mill (if the figures are wrong then apologies, I’m sure someone will correct them), does that value the club at £30 - 40 mill? So, on Friday when I buy a lottery ticket and win £50 mill on the euro and (after enormous consumption of alcohol) I go to Bill and say "right Bill I want you to start the ball rolling for a share rights issue. I’ve got £50 mill to invest and knowing how much EFC need this investment, I’m sure you can persuade people to accept having a lower stake in the club." pauses "Bill with this £50 mill, we can clear some debts have money in the bank for players and although not perfect the club would be a lot better off." another pause before...."By the way, Bill, I can be chairman and you can return to being an ’ordinary’ supporter as thats what you keep telling us you are."
What response do you think that would get?
Andy Phythian
8   Posted 20/08/2008 at 18:58:55

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It’s gone way beyond investment. Nobody in their right mind is going to come along and offer BK massive sums of money to do what he wants with. The only solution is for somebody to buy BK out... but when BK talks about looking for investors, he should have been looking for a buyer instead.
Ian Bruce
9   Posted 20/08/2008 at 21:32:45

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Andy, you might have hit the nail on the head. Its a buyer we need, not investors. Investors come in on BK’s terms. A buyer comes in on his / her terms and then can decide what to do with this Board of Directors.
Brendan McLaughlin
10   Posted 20/08/2008 at 21:31:31

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What I don?t understand is, if Everton are an attractive investment proposition & there must have been interest (as the original article suggests) but Bill won?t simply relinquish control; then why don?t these mysterious money men declare their hand & expose him for the "liar" he is. I mean BK has said often enough that he doesn?t have the money & would gladly stand aside if it was in the best interests of EFC.....expose his hypocrisy then!

I tend to agree with Michael Kenrick - the reason no-one has come in for this investment opportunity of a lifetime is simply because it ain?t!
James McCarthy
11   Posted 20/08/2008 at 22:14:52

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There is no doubt in my mind that a DK go ahead would make us an attractive proposition to would be investors.

If we stay at dear old decrepit Goodison we may as well forget it.

A staged rebuild is a financial and logistical nightmare and it would be in the shadow of an RS super stadium.

Bradley, Sainsbury?s and Bestway have 3 months in which to come up with an affordable alternative.
After all the talk about those entities being prepared to help I am very surprised that Toffeeweb and KEIOC are not on their case.
Jay Harris
12   Posted 21/08/2008 at 04:43:51

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John this is an extract from the Tesco proposal that you were on about:-

16 April 2008
Tesco: Everton Directors Would Not Sell

Everton chairman Bill Kenwright’s words ?I have said for years that I am constantly on the lookout for investment for Everton" have seemingly come back to haunt him, that is if the latest document released by Tesco is anything to go by. The revised Planning Statement (document 18) released yesterday by Tesco, reveals that if there were investors who had the financial clout to wholly or partly fund any new or redeveloped stadium for Everton Football Club, then those investors would be turned away by the current board;

6.10 A further point that is of relevance to any debate on the options that might be available to the Club to fund a new stadium, is the willingness and abilities of the Club?s directors to sell some or all of their interests in the Club in order to attract an investor who or which might have the ability in financial terms to fund a new stadium in its entirety or at the very least fund the shortfall that exists in the context of this proposals. As is pointed out in greater detail in the financial statement document 26), this is not an option as the current directors have no intention of selling any of their interests in the Club.

Does this mean that despite his consistent claims, Bill Kenwright wasn’t searching for investment "24/7" after all?

Will Brennan
13   Posted 21/08/2008 at 09:23:13

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So Billy Bullshit has reinstated Philip Carter to the board ! I wonder if this is anything to do with the EGM on 3rd Sept ? Couldnt be an attempt to deflect any flak on the night eh. Lets hope he does’nt get away with it and is made to answer some questions that have been mentioned above.
Phillip Martin
14   Posted 21/08/2008 at 09:54:46

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You mentioned...
"What I don?t understand is, if Everton are an attractive investment proposition & there must have been interest (as the original article suggests) but Bill won?t simply relinquish control; then why don?t these mysterious money men declare their hand & expose him for the "liar" he is..."

Because if you are an investor (using an example like Randy Lerner). You will probably have different options, and more than one club to consider buying. If you fail to get one club (EFC for example) do you want to jeopardise your chances of getting another buy saying ?I tried to buy EFC but BK is a liar?. That would not endear you to the fans of the second club you try to buy. Simply because they know they are then second choice. And most of the takeovers are so much easier when the fans are onside!

Again, why has BK?s total 24/7 investment search over 8 years simply amounted to loans from personal friends?
John Lloyd
15   Posted 21/08/2008 at 15:30:05

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Thanks Jay, I appreciate you finding that. Cant the editors print this at the top of every debate regarding investment, or lack of it or whether we are a good proposition. I believe we are, if there are investors out there willing to invest in some championship clubs then a top half premiership club will attract the same amount of investors as say Portsmouth or Villa easy......bottom line is.


And dont give me all this he saved us from Johnson crap, cos he was on the board then. if he was such a white knight then he could of done more back then.
Its a power trip he is on & I beg of Everton fans to not believe a word that is coming out of his mouth ever!!
Andy Crooks
16   Posted 21/08/2008 at 16:31:47

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I agree with you John.Bill Kenwright just loves being chairman of Everton and any investment will only be welcome if it means he remains chairman.It’s all part of the world of ego that he inhabits.If we are to be stuck with a chairman with no money then let’s at least have one who knows what he’s doing.

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