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Billy was a good man

By Dan Sanderson :  04/09/2008 :  Comments (25) :
Despite never having lived in Liverpool, i've been a blue all me life through my fathers side of the family. Now I'm 29, my first game was a friendly at Fulham in '87, my first at Goodison was Leeds '89, when Nev came out and sat by the posts at half time.

In my life I've lived in various parts of the country, from Preston and the Lakes to London, Bristol and Devon in the south. I was there for Wimbledon (too many of them, the escape from relegation in '95, the lowest ever Premier League attendance in '94, the League Cup wins, the FA Cup defeats, Plough Lane, Selhurst Park... the lot unfortunately).

I was there for Rooney's debut and I was there for his return, basically I feel I've seen the highs and lows of being an Everton fan despite never having had a Liverpool postcode.

As an Evertonian who doesn't get his news from the Echo or Granada or whatever's local to the game, I think Bill's due a massive pat on the back for rescuing the club from a load of shambles.

The sensible approach that the club has taken over the last few years when dealing with the media has in my eyes set Everton apart in the in the national spotlight. Having grown up in the nineties dotted around the south as an avid Everton follower, I had a pretty fair view of people's idea about Everton from the playground and workplace, and a lot of experience of the general public's view of Everton outside of Liverpool.

While there wasn't ever much hate towards us, apart from kopites of course, it wasn't like anybody ever really thought we knew what we were doing. We always had some quirk going on, despite having a manager in Walter Smith who still has one of the most authoritative and calm manners you could ask for.

One day of the Johnson regime that sticks out in memory was the Muller saga, whenever that was: a Brazilian striker signing for the blues, a done deal it seemed... Ace! we were in the news for being positive for once and had reasons to be proud. But then it fell through, and everybody knew and we were back to being a club fast approaching the status of a club like Coventry.

This wasn't the School of Science we'd been told about; this was a club that from the playground level didn't have much difference in profile to clubs that are now permanent fixtures in the Championship. Apart from Duncan, of course... everybody knew who Duncan was, legend.

My point is that slowly but surely under Kenwright it seems Everton have gained back a lot of the respect that older fans of the club are probably used to, but to a boy who can barely remember any of the 80s cup finals it seems a completely new thing. Despite my old man educating me fully in the ways of the blue, from Hickson and Finney [Editor's Note: Who???] to Latchford and Lyons it's not quite the same as gaining the repect of your mates, and not just because Duncan's either nutted someone or decided he may bring his boots to the game.

Getting news out of Goodison since Kenwright took over has been like getting blood out of a stone, the stubborn approach the club took to keeping stuff out of the headlines didn't make it easy to keep enthusiasm about being a fan without attending the few matches that were in reach or affordable.

But in the last few years, the people who write the news have been creeping back and wanting to find out more, the stuff that you really want to know about. Their attitude towards the club has changed from not one of the underdog or the battler but the shrewd cookie, not just another team but an institution, because of a change in policy that came from within the club and has helped the team as much as the team has helped it.

It was tough love there for a bit but we pulled through it and nowadays from my point of view I believe we have the respect of people that enjoy the game for the right reasons. That's no thing to underestimate. It can't have been any easy thing to do as, after the mess Mike Walker left us in, we didn't know whether we were coming or going. For us to turn around on a basis of good PR and management and not huge wads of cash is something that big companies don't even try any more, they don't have to ? the wads will do it just as well.

Everton and Bill did and that made us a lot of friends. Maybe Bill has now taken us as far as he can go, that is a shame because he and the staff he appointed have been revolutionary for the club and we're a hell of a long way from where we were ten years ago, on the pitch and in the eye of the public. The merits are now there for all to see; people think positive things when they think about Everton, without the need for Gillette sponsored players, WAGs and Calvin Klein models.

Everton are a football club, a proper football club being run properly in the way a football club should be run. A few statements to the press during a time when the club are trying to sign players shouldn't be allowed to spoil what has been a very good few years in terms of public announcements and PR for the club, other clubs do it all the time with press conferences here and there to hype one thing or another. For us to do it may be strange but I wouldn't say particularly worrying or embarrassing.

I for one would have taken one £15 million player at the beginning of the summer and it seems it was only the leaks coming from Lisbon that caused us to think we'd ever be spending any more.

One of the craziest things I think we could do right now is get vocal against Bill. Turning against the board isn't really the done thing in the Premier League anymore. Most teams are just happy to be here and happy to deal with whatever shit the media throw at them... we're lucky though, we have it a bit better than that, we don't take the shit and they don't throw it and I reckon that's because of Bill.

He's now saying his time's up and that's a shame. I hope he can stay around the club because, despite what anybody says, there was no other man willing to take the job when it was backs against the wall. That spirit, if nothing else, is what defines the Everton I know and love. That is what Everton should be known for, loyalty and respect, something I feel he's due in bundles.

One day soon we will find that owner ? Bill will probably find them ? and then it will be onwards and upwards, wouldnt it be nice if we could do all that the right way, the Everton Way.

Come on you Blue Boys!!

Reader Comments

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Paul Niklas
1   Posted 04/09/2008 at 14:14:31

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Well said, totally agree with you.

Their are people who righly have an opinion about Bill and how Everton is run, however they have no clue whatsoever when it comes to the financial aspect of running a club and all of the difficulties attached to it especially when the main funder can gaurantee no more or the business has no further asset to offer up as security.

The world is risk averse especially in todays market and that is what Bill is up against.

At least he is honest about his status and the need for a billionaire as he puts it ,but even then what fool would risk any of his billions personally especially with no attachment to the club.

I hope Bill finds someone for Evertons sake and his own sanity and health.

Then we can thank him for taking it as far as he could which in my opinion is the sign of a good man.

I am totally against Everton moving but even now in the light of the EGM no one has come up with an alternative that allows us a new stadium to a cost of 78 million, where we will get that from heaven knows, I would suggest it may be installments back to Tesco over a long period of time.

so for me whilst not happy about it at least the man has put the effort in to achieve something rather than those that scream and shout without coming up with anything tangiable at all.

It showed in all its glory a the match on saturday when an idiot in the main stand stood up to the right of Bill and started to abuse him, calling him a liar, unfortunately Bill had left to which he had not noticed.

The blinkers clearly were working well.

I hope more supporters like you will begin to realise we are punching above our weight and for that we should be thankful.

Joe Rourke
2   Posted 04/09/2008 at 14:33:05

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He’s not gone just yet.

I don’t like the way you are comparing him to what went before as it invariably is going to make him look good almost no matter what he had done.Was he not part of Johnson’s regime?

His steadfastness behind Moyes has been the cornerstone of Everton’s recent progress it has to be said. And I’d believe those who call him ’Blue Bill’ that his heart is much to do with why he is at the club.

The Kirkby move is just plain wrong and shows up his limitations. I’m not sure begging for a billionaire is the way forward either. Real vision and inventiveness does not seem to be part of his repotoire.
colin potter
3   Posted 04/09/2008 at 14:30:18

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Dan, are you on day release or is it the splffs that make you talk utter bloody twaddle?Kenwright is a LIAR and if he doesn,t go soon, he will solely be responsible for the demise of this once great club.
Paul Gladwell
4   Posted 04/09/2008 at 16:14:10

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Dan obviously you dont get Granada or the Echo to come out with a shout like that about our great PR over the past few years, they are clueless and if you lived here you would also realise in capital of culture year we are invisible in the City center which is a PR disgrace and a commercial disgrace too, he is a liar and I am sick of writing his lie list that is longer than our previous Knobhead chairmans and that is saying something.
Peter Howard
5   Posted 04/09/2008 at 16:36:37

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Why does this capital of culture crap keep getting mentioned.Last time I looked it involved a giant mechanical, French spider climbing up a building- at a cost of 1.5m to the taxpayer. I’d rather take a chance on Saha.
James Asquith
6   Posted 04/09/2008 at 16:57:50

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The "capital of culture crap" keeps getting mentioned because by all accounts this year will see about 7 million visitors to the city, most of them because of the "capital of culture crap". Any one of that 7 million would be hard pressed to find any mention of Everton FC in the city centre, while being assaulted on all sides by red propaganda.

Maybe it?s not the most important thing in the world of EFC at the moment, given the stadium issue and transfer desperation, but in a well run business, you would expect the marketing team to be able to capitalise on that number of visitors to the city.

Oh, and if you think the Capaital of culture amounts to a giant spider, you?ve obviously not been to any of the hundreds/thousands of events which have been going on.
Peter Howard
7   Posted 04/09/2008 at 17:09:38

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.... and your point is ?
Steve Wolfe
8   Posted 04/09/2008 at 16:58:48

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It's plainly obvious to me now that Bill Kenwright has got more support for himself than Everton FC have from some people on this website. He is ruining are club right before our eyes and yet he still gets staunch support, lie after lie year after year, and yet he still gets support and praise Its now clear that this man could literally do anything to this club and he would still get support from some fans.

I support EVERTON FC not BILL Kenwright, I want what's best for us and Bill is definatley not it, and those that think he is need educating, that to be a successful you need to win things, and under his chairmanship we have not won anything, and have fallen further behind other clubs in a footballing sense as well as finanacially.

Andy Crooks
9   Posted 04/09/2008 at 17:43:52

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I am going to try and be fair to Bill.He is a fan who took over when things were as bad as they good get.He stood by DM and he has been a hands off chairman.Unfortunately he has no money and therein lies the problem .He,as is typical of the profession he is in,keen to make everyone love him.He will tell people exactly what they want to hear and this is the root of all the lies he has told.He probably meant no harm,but,harm he has done.
Philip Chappell
10   Posted 04/09/2008 at 18:16:35

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JAMES A & HOWARD...REF:-capital of culture...would have looked better if we got to build the new Goodison on the Kings Dock,like it should have been.Would have stood out-Right up the LIVER BIRD NOSE
Mark Griffiths
11   Posted 04/09/2008 at 19:05:04

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I will always like BK, he has done some great things for the club, but recently I have been pissed off with him, all he had to do was state the abvious about our financial situation andtell us that he is doing everything he can to improve the club, by getting money in for players, sorting out the move and looking for investment (he did tell us that) but he chose to try and hide and bend the truth and that led to so much anger from the supporters becuase we were kept completley in the dark and were unsure of what expectations we should have.
Joseph Moore
12   Posted 04/09/2008 at 19:21:49

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Bill Kenwright has put Everton first.
He has done the club proud and whats more has took the club forward.
He has asked and answered the painful questions honestly. But as always the truth hurts.
Dave Moorcroft
13   Posted 04/09/2008 at 19:42:07

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Billy kenwright = Billy LIAR.He,s done nothing 4 EFC.Everything he has done has been 4 Billy LIAR(Kenwright).We are in a bigger hole now than at anytime in our history.And guess who is at the helm?.Yes your right Billy Liar,(Kenwright.
Ian Pilkington
14   Posted 04/09/2008 at 19:38:38

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I’ve been a supporter long enough to see four League Championship teams, real "highs". I want to see those days return, and it can’t be done with BK in charge. If City can find a billionaire, so can Everton. I’m baffled why younger fans who’ve enjoyed no success seem happy to put up with the shambolic way the club is run.
Alan Ross
15   Posted 04/09/2008 at 21:01:48

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Oh fuck it. I can’t even be bothered any more.
Andy Burke
16   Posted 04/09/2008 at 21:15:43

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He He.
Thrown he toys out the cot Alan?

Colin and Dave, am I missing the point here? Can you tell me exactly what it is kenwright has lied about?

Without making up some entirely ficticious story of your own?

You could be subject to more information to me but I am not sure that you are and I for one cannot conclude that Bill Kenwright is a liar.

I was just wondering if you have proof or that you have just decided that this is the case.
Matt Willey
17   Posted 04/09/2008 at 22:15:18

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Jay Harris
18   Posted 04/09/2008 at 22:28:54

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I wasnt even going to join in this debate because it’s so ludicrous to even imagine Billy liar in a good light.

But you forgot to mention the
NTL fiasco,

the deceipt of Paul Gregg(a previous good friend)

"The transfer fund has been there since the end of last season"(not according to Moyes)

"David will sign his contract this week there is no problem"(Obviously there is)

"I have been looking for investment 24/7" (What for 8 years without success and contrary to what has been quoted in the Tesco document for Kirkby).

"the check will be in the bank in the morning"(we’re still waiting).

"The 30 million for Kings Dock is ringfenced"(Is it any wonder that LCC no longer have a cosy relationship with EFC.

The man is a compulsive liar and a deceiptful, incompetent dreamer.
Dave Johnson
19   Posted 04/09/2008 at 23:15:55

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Can I give an opinion from a neutral point of view? I didn't mind BK cos he's a Blue. I liked the twinkle in his eye when we won.

My reaction on first news of DK was to think long and hard. After much thought, I came to the conclusion that DK was too risky. Not risky in the short term cos, despite everyone getting a titty lip, nobody is really going to boycott Kirkby. Massively risky in the long term, yes... cos as I've already said on the 606 site.

Can you imagine in 50 years time trying to peel a 15-year-old away from his Playstation to watch a match in Kirkby? Franny Jeffers came from an LFC family and said he chose Goodison cos it was half a mile nearer and its this that worries me. A club is nothing without its fans and I reckon that in 50 years time we might not have many.

Us fans punch above our weight too. It's remarkable how many of us turn up when you consider how many profess to be LFC fans in this city. So, to me, Kirkby is suicide.

As for Bill, I reckon he and his chums stand to gain when they eventually sell the club and Kirkby. There is no doubt in my mind that he has deceived us and maybe deceived Moyes too. He's a blue who will prosper from Kirkby. He's just crossing his fingers and hoping that moving wont kick the stool from under us. Thats not good enough for me.

A blue, I've no doubt... but a blue willing to risk all for a new stadium and a wad full of cash. Let's hope he's right and I'm wrong...

Craig Taylor
20   Posted 05/09/2008 at 06:44:01

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I am neither for or against Bill Kenwright however, i dont understand how you can sit and judge this man over the running of the club when we are not privvy to ALL information to ALL desicions regarding EFC. He makes statements and if they dont happen he is branded a liar. What if after making the statement something behind the scenes has changed?

We have progressed both on and off the field in the last 10 years and that can only be down to ’Black Bill’
Daniel Cremin
21   Posted 05/09/2008 at 10:02:50

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Kenwright is a lightning conductor for the ire and sub-concious insecurity of Everton fans who rightly are proud of our club, its history and its culture.

’Billy Liar’s’ to blame for the fact that we’re not winning cups and finishing in the top 4 season in season out, and there’s many an arm chair chairman, whose skills have been honed from Champ Man, who believe they could run this club better than that shower...

But that’s the problem - football club executive management is not a game, its a business these days fraught with uncertainty and very steep slopes. Look what getting in the top 4 did to us the season after - we finished 17th and were looking deeply shaky at points of the season. That’s because we didn’t have the squad strength and financial muscle to sustain success - we over-achieved and then confidence the following season plummeted.

We have to be realistic as fans - Kenwright has finite limits on what he can spend - there is a budget but its not inordinate, and he’s done the best he can for the club to bring in quality down the years when Moyes has set the direction: Arteta, Lescott, Yakubu, Jags, Cahill (admittedly cheap), Fellaini and Saha (35k a week ain’t cheap for a risky player).

He isn’t Judas - he’s human; he’s taking a decision on DK that is deeply unpopular with a vocal section of Everton fans because he believes its the only way forward. I don’t necessarily believe that Goodison couldn’t be re-developed by a new owner, but I know that their would be no business sense for banks or private lenders to invest in a Kenwright board led improvement programme. So DK is for him the only way foward.

We say we want him out and that he could sell anytime he wants - but in our heart of hearts is anyone truly comfortable with a Shinawatra or an ADUG or god forbid a Gillet/ Hicks style takeover - look at the chaos it leads to.

I believe that Bill’s reluctant to sell to any old ’chasing a fad’ buyer because he’s got the club’s best interests at heart. Of course he wants to make a healthy return on MULTI MILLIONS he’s pumped into the club - that’s again the natue of life - but he also wants to sell it to the right buyer. An AUDG would sack Moyes and sell players like Osman, Yobo, Jags, Lescott to bring in more photogenic ’galatctio’ players. I want an owner and backroom management that will be in keeping with the culture of our club.
tim lloyd
22   Posted 05/09/2008 at 10:59:32

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Let’s name names.
Colin Potter
Paul Gladwell
Steve Wolfe
Dave Moorcroft
Ian Pilkington,
Jay Harris

In different degrees, all have joined in the game of denigrating Bill Kenwright, some of the comments almost libellous. So much of the criticism arises from the fact that he has made statements of events which later prove to be unfounded

e.g. Selling of Rooney. Its clear from the events we now know, that nothing could have prevented the move. Largely he was promised lots more cash, playing against the best in Europe, the Champions League, Premier League success etc etc.
Bill, I think, genuinely believed he was ’Once a Blue, always a Blue’ and that the offer of £50,000
a week would be sufficient to keep him at Goodison. He was wrong but I believe he thought he was right at the time.

"David will sign his contract next week". Once again, I think he genuinely thought he would. He is privy to conversations with David Moyes that Jay Harris is certainly not.
I confess I thought he would have signed by now but certain things were happening in the confines of the Club that we are unaware of.

"As for Bill, I reckon he and his chums stand to gain when they eventually sell the club and Kirkby. There is no doubt in my mind that he has deceived us and maybe deceived Moyes too. He’s a blue who will prosper from Kirkby. He’s just crossing his fingers and hoping that moving wont kick the stool from under us. Thats not good enough for me.

"A blue, I’ve no doubt... but a blue willing to risk all for a new stadium and a wad full of cash. Let’s hope he’s right and I’m wrong."
So writes Dave Johnson.
Are you sure you have all the facts Dave. Have you ever been present at even one of the conversations that Bill has had over the last couple of years or so regarding DK? Very unlikely. Just vitriol, I suspect.

Ian Pilkington "If City can find a billionaire, so can Everton. I?m baffled why younger fans who?ve enjoyed no success seem happy to put up with the shambolic way the club is run."

What rubbish. City have a brand new Stadium in the heart of Manchester. The very recently built Stadium for the Commonwealth Games. What does a prospective buyer have at Everton. A decrepit old Stadium (And I do mean old, I first visited Goodison Park in 1932!) which would need millions to make acceptable and then would be in the heart of a really run down part of the city.

Most criticisms come without careful thought. Some are disgusting to read IMHO.

Fortunately, from time to time I read both on this site and Toffeewb, constructive articles setting out the problems which presently beset the club. These are interesting to read as it does give me some ideas as to the problems that confront the Chairman and the Board.

Don’t get me wrong, Bill has undoubtedly made mistakes, will almost certainly make more. I suggest most of us are human too, rarely infallible. Criticize by all means but make such criicisms constructive and offer alternative ways to proceed which aren’t plain stupid. It would make this Forum so much more interesting to read
Tony Connor
23   Posted 05/09/2008 at 12:16:49

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Tim Lloyd

Well said that man..a voice of reason surrounded by a sea of ill considered conjecture and vitriol

Jay Harris
24   Posted 05/09/2008 at 14:44:22

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Tim Lloyd,
what’s with this shit "let’s name names".

Do you fancy yourself as a mafia hitman or something?

You havent even enought time or space to list the names that are critics of Kenwright’s regime.

The man is a compulsive liar and while some may see it coming from good intent or wishful thinking I dont.

I am not even going to list the lies that have come from the man’s mouth but suffice it to say I cant stand liars.

How many posters have come on here and said "If only Bill would tell us the truth we can stand it"

The man even "burned" his previous good friend Paul Gregg, a far richer man than him when his "power base" was threatened by Gregg becoming disillusioned with his incompetence and threatened his position.

You name City as an example of a club ripe for takeover.They dont even own their own ground and have a far inferior performance to EFC’s rich history.

But that aside what about Aston Villa,Portsmouth,West Ham,QPR,Spurs,Newcastle,Sunderland etc.

Are they all more attractive than Everton with 40000 plus new stadiums?

Or were they professionally brokered by people that were willing to sell on market terms and not their own!!

City were brokered by a top London agency.

If Bill is so serious about selling who is he employing to sell on his behalf. The Liverpool Echo?

Believe me I have no wish to denigrate BK but after 8 years of deceipt,incompetence and fantasy I have had enough and so have many others.

And while you are quite entitled to your opinion so am I and the others on your self styled "hit list"

Lets hope that Moyes doesnt walk and/or the team go into meltdown because you will no doubt be one of the first crying "Kenwright out".
Ian Pilkington
25   Posted 07/09/2008 at 12:40:36

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Tim Lloyd
A billionaire owner would probably open negotiations (from a position of strength) with LFC for a joint stadium.
It would of course be located at Stanley Park, rather close to the run down part of the city you describe as Goodison’s location.
City’s stadium may be in the heart of Manchester, but the area looks pretty run down to me...oh and by the way haven’t you forgotten that they don’t even own it?

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