This comes some weeks after our own infamous chairman admitted that he was looking to offload his share in Everton FC. After the EGM (and indeed before if we include the so called ?white flag? article in the Mirror), there was lots of press across the usual channels about EFC being available for takeover. Since then there hasn?t been much in terms of a buy out or rumour (apart from one Indian guy) of one.
What is interesting is that the moment Mike Ashley formally announced that the skunks are for sale, the former chairman Freddie Shepard came to the fray. Immediately he told Sky Sports News that he had two offers available to buy back the club.
That?s enough of the introduction. Last night, after celebrating our nail-biting affair against the leagues minnows, I started to wonder (again) why Bill Kenwright?s public admission of wanting to sell EFC had not sparked the same response (business wise) that Newcastle?s had. I think I can safely say (without bias, and also with bias) that Newcastle United is NOT a bigger club than EFC. It doesn?t have the history, it doesn?t have the achievements of late and it's certainly not in any better shape other than having a more modern Stadium. So why do investors seemingly look towards the North-East?
Even our one and only rumour regarding a Billionaire Indian mentions that he looked at us AFTER negotiations with Newcastle broke down (which I am sure are now back on). The Abu Dhabi United (apt name, United) group didn?t even consider us and yet from my point of view we are primed for a take over and a bit of good fortune.
The ADUG said that they picked City as they offered the ?best challenge??Well what challenge do we offer then? We are skint, need to build on a team that is almost there and we most certainly need a new stadium. Is that not a challenge? Is that not a bit of hard work with clear milestones of achievement for anybody looking to put a smile on their on and a set of fans faces?
Baffled by all of this (which I am sure you are too), I attempted to figure out why EFC is so unattractive...
- We have debt? but then so do our neighbours
- We have a poor Stadium? but then so do our neighbours
- Our fan base is low? but then so is Man City?s
- Our Merchandising and brand name is small? but then so is Man City?s.
Good PointsWe have a good manager
So why do they not want to purchase us? Is it because of our neighbours' success (but again, overtaking them is surely a challenge and it didn?t put off Man City?s new owners). Is it because of our spiralling debt? LFC has much more ? they service an interest charge that is probably more than our debt.
Ii can?t be because we are not in the Champions League ? neither are Newcastle, Man City, Villa etc.
The conclusion of my exercise is that I am no more the wiser as to why no massively rich businessman wants to buy EFC? Can anyone else shed some light onto the situation (preferably not the standard ?BK just wants it all to himself? argument)?
Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer
1 Posted 15/09/2008 at 14:28:01
2 Posted 15/09/2008 at 14:18:35
Billionaires want to see results pretty quick. They want to buy a dream team and watch them play immediately in a super stadium. I am in favour of the redevelopment of Goodison Park but I cannot believe that a rich buyer will buy the club, invest heavily in the team, build a new ground and then for years watch their fantasy team play on a building site.
Nor, I suspect, would they want to invest in Kirby. Now, Kings Dock. That would have been something...
3 Posted 15/09/2008 at 14:34:18
4 Posted 15/09/2008 at 14:47:47
Run down stadium
Low national recognition
Whereas the teams you?ve mentioned only have one or two of those problems in isolation. The Abu Dhabi group who have taken over City are reputed to have turned down buying out Hicks and Gillett because they considered the cost of building a new stadium for them. We?ll suffer from the same problem.
5 Posted 15/09/2008 at 14:51:33
6 Posted 15/09/2008 at 14:52:07
It just ain’t gonna happen,old son!
He-and we-are buggered!
7 Posted 15/09/2008 at 15:10:58
I do not want to see the Manager replaced because of one bad season, I want to see the team built on solid ground rather than buy-in this seasons fashionable names (although there has to be an element of that) And would like to see a team who at least know who they are playing for and understand what an English Football Club is.
It is difficult to put into words but somebody who might buy Newcastle or Everton or whatever placates their billionaire ego this week does not fit the bill. An Arab owner who will not entertain Jewish players is wrong (see Rod Liddle in yesterdays Sunday Times).
BK is a custodian of the club who cares about it, whatever you think of his business management. Would you rather see Moyes win something under BK?s ownership or some big name foreign Manager who buys the football equivalent of the Harlem Globetrotters.
The latter would actually not be Everton and would not be earned. I would be cheering with the rest but in your heart you would know it is a sham.
Hang on Bill!
8 Posted 15/09/2008 at 15:14:22
For example: would Cahill be the player he is without Moyes, would we be the team we are without Cahill (granted a fit Cahill). And so on... I could add more to this but I?m sure you get my drift. Bottom line is that I don?t want all new players, foreign players bought in because they are flavour of the month! And demanding high salaries etc.
Yes, I want to watch an Everton team winning, playing exciting footie (haven?t seen it yet - not consistently) but I would much prefer to see David Moyes take his team (with a few added quality players) to a final or top of the league!! Few clubs with a rich owner have made it work smoothly ... Villa and their owner come to mind (oh, Stoke beat them didn?t they???).
Man Utd appear to have done it but they were already incredibly strong before their new owners took over.
I did read this morning one reason why Newcastle could be sought after and I quote: "exploiting the commercially valuable land surrounding the stadium". Aside from needing a stadium (which Newcastle don?t), we don?t have valuable land surrounding Goodison for sure and presumably there wouldn?t be anything at Kirkby either. What isn?t ours is Tesco?s I guess.
9 Posted 15/09/2008 at 17:43:14
Every investor of the proportions we?re talking about would want to put their own team in.
Additionally if you are a willing seller you should appoint a proper broker not the Liverpool Echo to get a buyer.
The likes of Shepherd and Shiniwatra, although I have no time for either of them, know how business works and were able to generate interested parties quickly through using PCP, run by Amanda Staveley, and which has been involved in negotiations for the successful purchase of Manchester City by an Abu Dhabi group.
I dont believe it?s anything to do with EFC?s financial position nor stadium.
Look at West Ham, Portsmouth, Sunderland, QPR, Villa and even Newcastle who haven't won a trophy in 50 years.
10 Posted 15/09/2008 at 18:16:17
11 Posted 15/09/2008 at 18:12:26
1, I personally do not believe we have the pulling power even if we won everything to get attendances in excess of 50,000, which financially is limiting to a prospective buyer wanting a return.
2, I really do believe Newcastle, Liverpool, Manchester have attractions because they are big city names not necessarily big Clubs but from a branding perspective and global identity far stronger than Everton.
For example if you started a new team tomorrow and called it London I think it would be a different proposition.
Liverpool have the city name and that makes a difference particularly with branding, we are percieved to be a small club from a suburb of Liverpool, history, success does not matter if this is an overiding requirement.
Even Portsmouth has the city name to it self as do Sunderland, West ham is in London as is Fuham as is Tottenham and that also is an attraction by association alone.
We need someone who does want the challenge, same as the Manchester City lot, but they go the city name also so that was the bonus versus Everton.
Maybe we need to change the name to Liverpool 1 or something. (I know, sacrilege and I should be shot for even suggesting it) but if a new buyer came along and said, "Here's £250 million to build a new stadium and as much as you want to buy players but the name changes to Liverpool 1", for example... what would you do?
There are no doubt lots of other reasons but I can tell you one reason that is not in the way, that is Bill's desire to sell; he would do it tomorrow and I would suggest for not that much of a profit.
12 Posted 15/09/2008 at 18:28:56
13 Posted 15/09/2008 at 18:39:49
And before anyone mentions Aston Villa, well yes you would struggle to have achieved less than Birmingham FC over the years.
If we had Liverpool in our name it might be a start! At the moment we’re the Espanol of Barcelona.
14 Posted 15/09/2008 at 20:42:17
We missed out on Kings Dock.
Our best current prospect is DK
The RS dominate international recognition
The RS dominate local marketing.
This happened on BK’s watch.
BK loves to negotiate futile deals.
Billionaires aren’t stupid.
Deal done. Not.
15 Posted 15/09/2008 at 21:15:14
16 Posted 15/09/2008 at 21:43:22
We also don't get linked with buyers left right and centre because we like to try to do our business in private ? something we should thank the Chairman for.
17 Posted 15/09/2008 at 22:06:14
18 Posted 15/09/2008 at 23:33:31
19 Posted 16/09/2008 at 01:16:07
20 Posted 16/09/2008 at 05:38:05
Paul. Good post. I know you had tongue in cheek on that one.
21 Posted 16/09/2008 at 08:33:57
I do think we lose out to our neighbours on this score but their outstanding record in Europe probably has more to do with it in all truth. Anyway, it didn?t stop the Villa finding a mortgage did it? And did Roman think he was buying into a cake factory? Perhaps when we become KFC we shall see a queue round the block!
22 Posted 16/09/2008 at 10:27:57
You can keep your celebrity over paid faggots, and if that means we drop into the realms of real football then so be it.
BK might be skint but he is still a blue. Have we all quickly forgotten the Johnson years, not me!
23 Posted 16/09/2008 at 11:44:00
When you?ve only had the occasional taste of glory in fifty years as an Evertonian, you tend not to lust after fame and riches.
I hate the way the Prem is going and the sooner it all goes tits up the better. Give me an Everton with a true Blue owner-and playing at Goodison - and I?d take playing the Championship anyday!
24 Posted 16/09/2008 at 12:08:25
In the 60’s we were the rich club, buying players left, right and centre.
That is part of who we are.
If someone were to come in now, and we did the same, why would it be any different?
25 Posted 16/09/2008 at 12:20:25
But you still have to qestion why the Club have not realised this and, more importantly, done something about it.
Everton’s PR machine is like a clockwork train in comparison to what it could be. For a start, we should be majoring on our close proximity ( across a park ) and historic rivalry to our better known neighbours. Much as we don’t like them, we can ride on the back of their publicity. We should be making it clear internationally that the Merseyside Derby is the oldest, most matches played, biggest derby game in England. That Everton were here first, that Liverpool came frrom Everton etc, etc. All promo material should mention it somewhere.
The sign outside Goodison should not say the bland, ’ Goodison Park, Home of the Blues’, it should be saying, ’ Goodison Park, Home of Liverpool’s Senior Football Club.’
Get the Liver Bird onto our badge in some way. Get a City Centre store ( even if it made no profit, it’s worth a fortune in promoting the brand, although we have already missed this year’s golden opportunity on that one ), get serious News coverage of the fantastic FITC work in Liverpool, the groundbreaking former players charity - a world leader - , and just insist that all media coverage has Everton being in Liverpool mentioned all the time. Furthermore, improve the scouting system so we pick up even more of the best local young players. With Liverpool getting youngsters in from abroad all the time that is a great opportunity for us.
Get rid of the People’s Club banners ( not true anyway it seems ) and re-brand everything from the signage and stationery to the website with, ’Everton - The Senior Club in Liverpool’ or similar.
It requires a real effort from the Club, but they seem to assume that everybody knows EFC is in Liverpool, because we all know it. Clearly plenty of the ’new age’ fans in the UK have not grasped that fact and nor have many of the new international fans.
Awareness is vital.
26 Posted 16/09/2008 at 13:09:40
I agree with most of what you are saying, the marketing is crap but.....
the Liver Bird in the badge - steady.
27 Posted 16/09/2008 at 13:01:06
28 Posted 16/09/2008 at 13:20:21
Or something like that, its factual, you might need some type of permission but hey its worth a try,.
29 Posted 16/09/2008 at 13:14:54
We need identity and this is going to be difficult, the only way I can aline EFC to the city is the fact Paul McCartney and John Lennon both attended the cup final in 66 or 68 (can't remember which one) but my late father told me so we must have this photo in the archives? Karl has some good ideas but the brand name he suggests could be difficult if we move to Kirkby, but to the outside world its Liverpool anyway.
I have some old photos of King George visiting GP and backing EFC so maybe QE2 could pop in and present the old players with award but publicity like this doesn?t have a long term effect. EFC are doing the X factor with kids in America & China and this should yield us some air time so if we backed that up with the Beatles and the City?s senior club then maybe we could give it some credibility.
Changing the name would make the Kirkby debate look tame, so if you had too move that way why not add ?Mersey Everton?? all just points for debate but very interesting and also very difficult to get it correct which is probably why we have chosen the easy and most obvious routes.
30 Posted 16/09/2008 at 13:57:53
31 Posted 16/09/2008 at 16:00:31
2 issues I see:
Brand: Lots of discussion about that here. Bottom line - you cannot build a strong brand without success on the pitch. The top 4 have it. Newcastle owes some of its brand visibility to its success in the Champions league under Keegan v.1. They didn’t win it, but they achieved European exposure at the highest level of competition. Outside of these 5 (with perhaps Spurs as an exception) show me a top flight team with a stronger brand than Everton. Unfortunately we are caught in a vicious circle where success means brand awareness, and comparitive mediocrity means stagnation.
Secondly: partly to account for where we are, are the folks who own deal negotiation - whether it be for players or investor/partnership opportunities, have demonstrated consistent ineptitude. Everton has consistently lost out on players due to lack of acumen/decisiveness and sheer lack of know-how. This same trait is evident in the brand/marketing aspects of the club. I believe Moyes’s frustrations rise from this.
I think we need a new owner/chief negotiator...but as someone once said..."be careful what you wish for"
32 Posted 16/09/2008 at 20:49:14
Amalgamate boths clubs and call the team ’Merseyside’.
Kit: 1/2 Blue 1/2 Red.
33 Posted 16/09/2008 at 21:25:45
Badge: River with Two hands shaking above it.
34 Posted 16/09/2008 at 22:03:54
Would we buy into the hype of a manager who played for us, was good once, then fucked it a couple of times? Buy into the hype of a number 9 enough for one player's form or fitness to cost a manager a job? Would we put up with an ex-Chairman who slated and lied to the fans while slowly asset stripping the side..... no?....... well, not anymore, thing is we have realisied too, we just did it earlier, and although wedge is attractive, those who care about a club want whats best....
Me, you, and to be fair Blue Bill, I think he will say yes if an offer is right, but no if it ain't, and again, good. I mean, what if Special Agent Johnson came into money again?
35 Posted 17/09/2008 at 11:29:16
36 Posted 17/09/2008 at 14:39:00
In the past a wealthy businessman would be content with an expensive yacht moored in St Tropez harbour. It would have to be one of the biggest and he would have to have it full of beautiful people to attract the attention he so craves.
These days, a businessman buys himself a football club. A big one, preferably in London and preferably one with a team that alot of people want to see.
Everton is or was a big club, but its not in London and it certainly is not a team that lots of people want to see outside of the 50000 people hardcore fans we have. Add to that the massive debt we probably have hiding away in the accounts and Bills reluctance to sell its not surprising we havent been bought.
From a businessman looking for an ego trip there is little or no glory to be got in buying Everton at the moment and it will cost alot of money to wipeout the debts in a economically turbulent time so the list of potential buyers is actually probably very very small.
37 Posted 17/09/2008 at 15:40:42
Beware the genie of the lamp fellas!! He may not grant all of your wishes!!
38 Posted 17/09/2008 at 15:48:13
We could all sing you’ll never walk alone with half blue, half red scarves. We could call ourselves Liverpool City United! We coud maybe have half a Carlsberg mixed with half a Chang (An elephant-bite!)
Its a tough dilemma. I’ll sleep on it!
39 Posted 17/09/2008 at 16:26:39
1) Geographical position
2) State of ground
3) Current marketing performance
4) Debt Level
6) Speed of delivering good investment
Any investor wont take a gamble if 2-3 of the criteria above are issues.
We have ground, marketing and identity issues. Forget our history its absolutely meaningless with the type of investors out there. I do feel Bill wants that comfortable feeling that any new investor must acknowledge our past and pay notice of it in any future management.
40 Posted 17/09/2008 at 15:32:57
Ambramovich bought Chelsea when all the construction of corporate facilities were completed. The Stadium was also capable of housing a lot more fans that Chelsea had at that time
Same for Man City, they have a brand new stadium they don?t fill.
Villa have a stadium which they don?t fill, ok it?s not that modern but it?s far from needing to be rebuilt and it has good corporate facilities.
Liverpool are the only club who have tried to attract rich benefactors to build a new ground and look how well they are doing at it
Kenwright?s Plan is simple:
Make the club a more attractive investment by moving to a new ground, because we can?t afford to redevelop GP. The fact is that we can?t afford to build a new ground on our own; so pair with a strategic partner and share the building costs. Then sell the club to someone with much bigger pockets.
I don?t agree with it but I believe that?s what is happening. Personally I?d rather stay at GP as it is and stuff the prawn butty brigade!
41 Posted 17/09/2008 at 17:11:51
You mean more than likely the brigade that you want to finance Everton, even staying at GP requires considerable investment both on and off the pitch.
Whats wrong if you can afford to have a nice meal and drink before the game, sit in a vantage point and leave an hour after the match after a few more drinks.
Animal Farm was fiction and communism was wiped out, bitterness is even worse, get over it, its here to stay.
Hypocritical supporters are the worst of all.
42 Posted 18/09/2008 at 09:02:23
I'm sure you would see a vast difference if we had Arshevin or Moutinho even in their first game... players of top standard will LIFT the fans and the other players in the team. I played at decent pro level and always envied the best players because they had the spark of magic that the run of the mill players do not have. Wenger has some way of finding top talent for buttons and I rate him above the Benitez and Mourinho?s of this world. I really do not see anything to get excited by in Fellaini or Castillo... I truly wish I did.
43 Posted 18/09/2008 at 12:58:33
You start your post by saying "I?ll give them a chance"
Castillo came and took the ball of the back four time and again last week, that's got to be better than leaving Yobo Jag or Neville to hoof it, let's give them half a dozen games at least...
44 Posted 18/09/2008 at 18:44:35
How about we call ourselves the True Blue Beatles? (with our wealthy benefactor's permission of course ;-) )
Just a thought.