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Turning Left...

By Steve Guy :  04/09/2008 :  Comments (21) :
Imagine the scenario. With a suitcase full of readies and a desire to buy a Premier League Club, you get in the Bentley and drive North on the M6. You get to Warrington and the junction with the M62, where you can choose to go left (to Everton) or right (to Man City). With little or no hesitation you turn right and head for Manchester. Why?

The transfer sagas of the close season and the ?drama? of deadline day initially overshadowed the Arabian capture of the Sky Blues. It is only now, as the transfer dust settles, that media and fans alike are starting to digest the real drama of 1st September, 2008; the purchase of these perennial underachievers and the immediate statement of intent made with the signing of Robinho. I read in one paper that the ?tectonic plates of the footballing landscape had shifted? and I don?t think this is an overstatement. Its effect at Everton has been immediate.

From what I have read of Blue Bill?s EGM speech he was absolutely frank in his assessment (albeit he was stating the obvious); that Everton needed a billionaire to compete and we needed that person NOW. The shift in emphasis, from what have in the past been labelled platitudes (?24/7? etc.), to this very blunt statement has, in my opinion, been brought about by the purchase of City. Everton and a host of other clubs can no longer comfort themselves with the thought that we are all in the same boat and that money goes to money i.e. the Big Four. Indeed, I doubt that the latter will be sleeping as easily as they have done for the last 15 years and next January and the following Summer will see plenty of aftershocks from the aforementioned tectonics.

However, it?s all very well to say ?go get me a billionaire?, the Club has to be an attractive proposition for there to be even a chance of a dialogue. How can City attract two (!) such billionaires on the bounce, whilst we are now officially ?paupers??

We bear comparison with City on a number of levels. We each have a cross to carry in the shape of Man Utd and Liverpool. The latter are global ?brands? whilst we hardly register. We both have good managers; currently still learning their trade. Both sets of fans are staggeringly loyal and attendances are not dissimilar at home matches. The difference seems to be the stadia; where City once inhabited a large shed, they now play their footie in a great stadium in the heart of Manchester. Whilst we play in the City, our stadium looks increasingly worn and jaded. City can already generate good revenues without a billionaire; through streams which are not open to us because our ground does not have the capability.

Poor management has also played it?s part in this latter regard; for example, at a time when outsourcing is increasingly seen as poor business practice we went against that trend and gave JJB rights which, by any stretch, cannot be said to have been fully exploited, with representation in our own backyard not even well managed. Wyness has much to answer for and has scuttled away without any explanation, which says more to me than any statement he could have made.

As we all know, City appeared to get lucky with their stadium, inheriting a modern complex off the back of the City Council?s (MCC) construction of it for the Commonwealth Games. However, did ?luck? have anything to do with it, or was it in fact ?joined up? writing between public sector and private business in a way we don?t see from Liverpool City Council (LCC)?

I believe it is the latter and that the consequence has been financial success for both parties even before the new investor turned up. It was this clear bedrock of financial credibility and the associated positive image of the club (when combined with the actual City stadium itself) which made the Arabian Bentley turn right and not left and head for Manchester and not Goodison.

My opinion is that LCC now have a responsibility to attract investment to Everton by following a similar approach to their counterparts at the MCC. Everton and Liverpool football clubs should be acknowledged as a significant part of the economic landscape of Liverpool (as a City) and LCC should react accordingly. We have a small window of opportunity brought about by the deferment of the Kirkby Planning approval and the delays to the new Anfield. Before this window closes and both Clubs commit themselves to a mountain of debt by going their separate ways, LCC need to move centre stage.

I would like to see LCC sit down with both Clubs and agree to build a stadium that LCC would own and which could be leased out to both Clubs. In this way, the economic issues of massive capital investment facing both Everton and Liverpool would be eradicated. Neither Club would own the stadium, so neither should see itself as the lesser partner. The terms of the lease would see Liverpool tax payers receive a great return on their investment over many years.

Most importantly, in the context of getting our own billionaire, a major stumbling block would have been removed and we may finally see our own Arabian Knights arriving on Goodison Road complete with Bentley and that suitcase full of cash.

Reader Comments

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Kevin Victor
1   Posted 05/09/2008 at 04:13:25

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The Sultan of Brunei is one of the richest man in the world, why don’t we approach him?
Peter Bradshaw
2   Posted 05/09/2008 at 04:29:03

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Kevin, in answer to your question regarding the Sultan of Brunei, I don't know how old you are but a few years ago there was a certain chappie by the name of Mick Lyons who, after a long jinxing career at Everton, finally landed the dream job, not playing for Sheff Wed, but coaching the Brunei national team. Great wages etc but there was a certain condition: don't shag the Sultan's daughters.

Unfortunately, after a short career in Brunei and his picture in the press with both daughters under his armpits, that's maybe a factor.......

3   Posted 05/09/2008 at 06:09:33

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Didn’t Mick Lyons used to run his football team?? Maybe he can put in a good word for us.

As for LCC they are nothing but a gang of lefty fuckwits who couldn’t run a whelk stall, money, business etc all that stuff that actually makes growth is against the lefty religion and dogma. Mind you the know how to tax you till the pips squeak and then spend it the lefty PC way.

The opposition (HA!) are no better, they are only Lib Dem coz they can’t all be Labour. Tories without the bottle to wear proper boots to give the workers a decent kicking as and when we need it....

OOh a bit of politics.

My names Derek Thomas,

Bill Green
4   Posted 05/09/2008 at 09:21:11

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The sultan is only worth a cool £60 billion, I think he is individually the 6th richest man but he would do I guess, you can actually get his Email address and Tel number if you google him. Maybe if enough of us do Email him he may cough up.......hey I?m an optimist!
Iain Latchford
5   Posted 05/09/2008 at 09:40:53

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Roman Abramovich is worth around £11B. Until these guys bought Man City, RA was regarded as being stinking rich and if we could have got someone worth half that (say £6B) we would have been absolutely over the moon.

However when you think about it if someone with £6B bought EFC, how much of his fortune would he put into the club ?? I’d be surprised if they would be willing to risk even 10% of that. When you think that there is around £60m debt, what the club is valued at and then say £200m on a new stadium you are looking at over £300m before you even consider buying a player.

We have to face facts. Investors don’t want to build us a new stadium or pay for GP to be redeveloped. They want to put their money straight into the team.

I’m strongly against DK but I really now do not know what the answer is.

Basically we’re f*cked and although I never thought I’d hear myself say I think a ground share may be the best thing.

Mike Oates
6   Posted 05/09/2008 at 10:09:34

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LCC has been a joke organisation ever since the lefties Hatton & Co took over. Manchester has completely outstripped us - airport, business attraction, commonwealth games etc . What do we get - tallships.

Capital of Culture , can the LCC use that as a springboard to better things - I doubt it.

As the recent government quango stated " unfortunately those living in Liverpool , Bradford and Glasgow have been let down badly by their local government and would best now move down south"

Never a truer word
Dan McKie
7   Posted 05/09/2008 at 10:03:49

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I think a ground share would be a good plan, if we can raise any sort of capital! I personally think Liverpool would, at least to begin with, own a bigger percentage of the ground which may be a stumbling block as far as Everton are concerned, but it would surely strengthen any application for borrowing to have both Everton and Liverpool secured against it! Also, things like naming rights and advertising would be worth a fortune. I would have thought that this would already have been looked into numerous times, who knows?
ged simpson
8   Posted 05/09/2008 at 10:21:00

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"Oh please please please Mr Billionaire, please come and play with us."

It’s the dignity of the modern day fan I love
Richard Harris
9   Posted 05/09/2008 at 10:30:19

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Forget the investment groups based overseas, we should ask Sir Philip and Lady Green who according to the Times rich list 2008 are worth £4900 million. Not as much as the Dubai or UAE billionaires but I understand that Bill Kenwright has some contact there !! They are at No.9 in the top 2000. Lakshmi Mittal at No.1 is involved with QPR, Roman Abramovich at No.2 we know well from Chelsea, Alisher Usmanov at No.5 has Arsenal shares to play with. Does anyone have links with the Duke of Westminster as he is No.3 in the list with £7000 million ?
Jay Mullarkey
10   Posted 05/09/2008 at 12:22:23

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That age old question... Who wants to be a millionaire? Yeah that would be great we all think but would it make us happy? would we waste our natural talents? It could make us lazy! Does the same apply to football clubs, I believe it does. Where is the home grown talent for all of the big boys? Gone. Even Man Utd don’t produce anywhere near the amount of players they did. Liverpool well, Carra & Gerrard are their most influencial and they haven’t got long. What then.
Arsenal buy them in at a young age, thats not home grown. Chelsea, well theyr’e are a joke in any case.
On the subjest at which way the Bentley turns at Warrington, my view would be to let it go to Man City. Their fans have been starved but they have still followed ther club and are amongst the finest in the land. Will this make them truly happier? Man Utd are full of glory hunters. Will City get a new type of supporter? Utd fans only in blue! We probably all know true kopites who are as passionate as we are to Everton. How do they feel? The ones I know feel cheated. Not because of the two yanks but because they have sold out and as a consequence their coaches (english ones only), have to go to spanish class so their players can understand them. Do we want a dressing room full of foreigners, players, coaches and manager? I don’t. Foreign players are good for the game but not when they are here in shedloads.
Are trophys that important when you buy them. One of my friends is a mad Rochdale fan, he never misses. The passion he feels for his team is what football should be about.
The modern game has suffered and will one day come full circle I would like to see Everton in pole position having ’grown their own’ when that day comes. If the Billionaire comes my days of supporting the blues over 35 years will be over!
Norman Merrill
11   Posted 05/09/2008 at 12:28:40

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One theory that has been blasted out of the water by the middle eastern takeover at Man City, is the one that has been circulating Merseyside for some time, that no-one wants to take on Everton, because of our illustrious Red neighbours (reporter's words, not mine). As we all know there is NO club more successful than Utd.
So lets hope some rich consortium, feels the need for a challenge and comes a calling.
Andy Crooks
12   Posted 05/09/2008 at 12:39:32

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Instead of going cap in hand to millionaires who know nothing of Everton or our traditions how about getting on with what we’ve got and running the club properly.
What about some imaginative marketing.How about commiting every available penny into strengthening the squad and sneaking a champions league place.
Lets try and play some attractive football and go to Chelsea and Man U with a little bit of ambition.We are Everton!
Paul Lally
13   Posted 05/09/2008 at 12:56:56

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A billionaire would not go ahead with Kirkby.
They did not get to where they are by settling for second best.
They would probably offer a deal to LFC re sharing and this time LFC would be very willing as they would know we could actually afford our share and it would save them a fortune in the current financial climate.
Hopefully they would also see the long term benefits of having the best staium in the Permier League on Stanley Park and will market the history accordingly.
Is it a coincidence that Bill was at the PSV game with Anil Ambani’s son Joi ( Ambani net worth 42 billion dollars), then at the EGM tells all he cannot go on and has to sell ( in true drama queen style) and the Indians are arriving in UK Monday for ’various’ reasons?
Could Bill be setting the scene for his show stopping announcement that Ambani is buying the club ?
It reads like one of his shows.
Just a thought as I do not believe in coincidences. Everything happens for a reason.
Carl Roper
14   Posted 05/09/2008 at 13:00:34

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In reply to the "political" nature of the posts above by Mike Oates and Derek Thomas.

I may have missed something here but both Mike and Derek seem to be unaware of the political colours of the ruling groups on both Liverpool and Manchester City Councils.

From his post, Derek appears to think that Labour are in power on LCC. However its the Lib Dems in power with Labour in opposition.

The city council in Manchester to which Mike appears to be in thrawl is a Labour run council and has been for a very long time.


Kevin Jones
15   Posted 05/09/2008 at 11:20:59

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Just another view on the zillionair front. If we have a mad influx of these mega rich Arab, Taiwanese, American or even English types, the only people who are going to profit will be the players and we’ll end up in exactly the same position where in now but with oodles of cash. Lets say the top 10 teams in the EPL get a Billionaire owner willing to pump millions into each club. There are still only a maximum of 4 teams who can win anything. So our Billionaire offers £50 Grand a week more than Newcastle’s billionaire to a top quality player but Man Utd offer him £10 Grand a week more than ours and so on and so forth. The billionaire gets bored, because we still haven’t won the champions league and he’s been chairman for nearly 18 months, pulls out and we have players sitting on £5million a year contacts going nowhere. Be nice to have a go though
Lee Hind
16   Posted 05/09/2008 at 13:24:03

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Attention, bringers of doom and billionaire wanters alike:

Who would you rather EFC fan in this time of uncertainty or a Toon fan, knowing that its all gone to fuck now?

There's always a silver lining :0)
david alexander
17   Posted 05/09/2008 at 13:23:36

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kenwright should have borrowed the extrea £30m for the kings dock - gregg was right all along if he had we would be starting this season in a state of the art stadium in the heart of the city for a total cost less than DK. Not listening to Greg could well be the worst decision in the history of the club.
Brian Waring
18   Posted 05/09/2008 at 13:42:41

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Spot on David, if BK had stopped being a total tithead, instead of the, it’s my trainset, and I’m keeping it shite, and took Greg up on his offer, as you say " we would be starting the season in a state of the art stadium " I will never forgive him for that. It’s funny though, how some fans just put it down as ’ just one of those things ’ and keep telling us to " just get over it " Sorry lads, but I can’t.
Peter Howard
19   Posted 05/09/2008 at 16:40:00

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David & Brian
Suggest you do a bit of research into Gregg.Google him and have a good read.
john colfar
20   Posted 06/09/2008 at 00:23:40

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Derek Thomas... Where do you live ?? Liverpool City Council has been run by the Lib-Dems for about 10 fucking years !! The only thing Red (leftish) about them has been their clear favourism towards the RS... Between getting messed around over possible ground sites (not that i want to move from GP) to the objecting of the re-development of Bellefield to the way that they fall over themselves to support ANYTHING that LFC feel like doing. They even fucked off their own Council employees from working on the Stanley Park Car Park so they could let LFC have and run that car parking site: that was, incidentally a fucking all weather football pitch !!!
Lyndon Lloyd
Editorial Team
21   Posted 06/09/2008 at 05:54:58

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If there’s one thing that the limitlessly wealthy denizens of the Gulf emirate states like to do it’s spend money and build stuff. If I had more money than you one could possibly spend in a lifetime then I’d like nothing more than the challenge of a club like Everton and the opportunity to build something truly awesome by way of a new stadium... and thumb my nose at Liverpool, Manchester United, yes, Manchester City in the process.

After all, if you’re worth half a trillion dollars, what’s £300m for a new stadium between friends?

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