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COLUMNIST JOE JENNINGS

Soul or Success?

By Joe Jennings :  22/07/2009 :  Comments (41) :

Manchester United, Liverpool, Aston Villa, West Ham United, Portsmouth, Sunderland, Newcastle, Chelsea and Manchester City have all experienced changes in ownership over the past five years. Everton continue to huff and puff and search behind the sofa, but the Sugar Daddy is still to be found. Some will question whether Everton are “for sale” after all…

Our magnificent run all the way to Wembley in the FA Cup Final was the evidence, for Blues that cling to the burning belief David Moyes is the greatest manager of all time, that Everton can return to its rightful place at the forefront of the English game. The outcome of that match told us everything we sadly already knew.

It would be easy to justify our progress under the current custodians on the pitch, given the Cup Final, but sadly, in the end we all must admit that it was an unsuccessful Cup Final for Everton Football Club. Wembley is no place for losers and the surplus of being the only club to have lost eight Finals only reinforced it.

Sooner or later, the supply of players available to us is going to dry up. Our luck will eventually run out. For me, our resurgence is proving something of a ticking time-bomb. Time is a precious thing and we really don’t have much of it. How long is it until David Moyes loses patience and seeks pastures new with a club that can match his ambitions? And who, really, could blame him? We’re a laughing stock in the world of football commerce.

Manchester City have upped the ante in their pursuit of talent, netting Gareth Barry, Carlos Tevez and Emanuel Adebayor to name but a few, and are of course chasing Joleon Lescott like a hungry hyena. How long can David Moyes keep making wine from water in a game where money now, whether rightly or wrongly, reigns supreme?

So what’s the way forward for Everton Football Club?

Do we stay proud and staunch, forget about the gravy train because our owner is a Blue who went in the Boys Pen and had tears in his eyes when Johnson scored the third against Liverpool, or do we honour the Latin on our jersey?

The simple fact is Evertonians will never be happy until we are once again the toast of English football. We can’t just enjoy the moment. That doesn’t mean David Moyes isn’t doing a great job. Of course he is given the circumstances, but I don’t think you’ll find an Evertonian anywhere who is fully satisfied until we are challenging for the Premier League trophy.

Investment, despite insistence to the contrary, is out there if the club’s owners are REALLY prepared to let go. Look at fucking Notts County for evidence of that. Some will argue that Everton are cut from a different kind of cloth, and Russian billionaires, American tycoons or oil-fuelled Sheikhs don’t fit in with the traditions and culture of the club. They will argue that Everton would be selling their soul, and jeopardising our identity.

The harsh reality is that this attitude will lead us into the darkness for the foreseeable future. Gone are the days of a Nottingham Forest winning the league thanks to a world-class manager and tight knit group of players.

Everton are Magic... The School of Science... The Mersey Millionaires... Nil Satis Nisi Optimum... The Holy Trinity... Glorious Goodison Park... Everton Football Club need to start thinking big time again. We need real investors with serious ambition and untiring focus to reform the club’s way of life, and give a great manager the full backing he has earned and desperately needs. Or watch him go.

I respect our heritage, style, class and dignity more than most, but resisting the prospect of proper investment into the first-team squad contradicts everything our motto stands for. It is a crass violation to our success of the past. Nothing but the best will do. And until investment is unearthed and Everton are winning trophies, adding to our honours list and making history, how many of us are really going to feel fulfilled?

Reader Comments

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Tony Marsh
1   Posted 22/07/2009 at 12:17:23

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You're right, Joe, some of our fans do need a kick up the arse. There are plenty out there who think this is it for us, as good as we can be, they say. Well without major investment they will be right. We will stagnate then slowly but surely fall by the wayside.

Kenwright is a curse on this club, make no mistake about that. He cost us our best ever chance of reviving the sleeping giant when he fucked up the Kings Dock Arena and I will never forgive him that one. Also, he clings for dear life to our once proud club even though he knows he can't hack it any more as he gets out-spent year after year, only for DM to bail him out.

Why some of our fans think that outside investment will damage us really astounds me. Football as we know it is still evolving and without big money backers, no team anywhere in Europe will survive and do well in the coming seasons.

Sooner or later the big guns will split forming a European or even World super league and those without the financial clout will be left out in the cold begging for scraps.

Imagine a tramp looking through the window of a Berni Inn on a Saturday night while someone scoffs away on a fillet steak, fries, mushrooms and all the trimmings knowing full well his meal for the night lies somewhere at the bottom of the rubbish bin.

This is how I see Everton in the next 10 to 20 years. Lost forever... and always having our face pressed against the window looking in with envy.

It's do or die time and that time is right now. Kenwright hasn't got the vision or the nous to take us any further and its about time this conman stepped the fuck down.

Someone somewhere will buy us but only if they get the right vibes coming from the club. Right now BK is waiting to dump us in Kirkby while he loads his pockets and fucks off to the Caribbean.

Some Evertonian Bill is, having a great club like this stuck on a retail park... KENWRIGHT OUT!
Steve Carter
2   Posted 22/07/2009 at 13:03:09

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Your point about missing our chance upon Kings Dock falling through is clearly correct, Tony. That location would have given us the best location in English football, and we would have been irresistible to the big money, I thing. Is it right, though, to place all (or even much) of the blame with Bill Kenwright?
Chad Schofield
3   Posted 22/07/2009 at 12:55:37

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Joe Jennings, 100%. Tony, agree almost entirely... but sadly I can’t see any change 'til DK is decided.

Being the plucky over-acheivers is not good. Of course it’s better than narrowly escaping relegation, which I spent most of my youth seeing — but if Moyes and some of the players leave we will seriously struggle, other than simply bringing in the mercenaries.

For all Man City’s wealth and purchases they are unlikely to shine this season... but they will build once they have acheived even a moderate level of success.

Paul Gladwell
4   Posted 22/07/2009 at 12:59:47

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Some good shouts Joe.
I have said it before, are Man City fans crying they have sold their soul and want to get back to a Franny Lee or Peter Swales? No they are dancing the streets of Manchester just like we would be.

I and many others are sick of this same shit each year, which only comes out after our early bird money is safe in the Kirkby pot.
Everyone seems to think a foreign investor is a Hicks and Gillet well they are not, they are businessmen just like Bill, only better at it. Who comes out pleading poverty when a money bags club is after our prized defender?
Would this not encourage them to put in a cheap shit bid which they did, knowing how skint we are? and dont be fooled by his sky sports tear jerkers.
As you mentioned, this coming season is the big one and if something is not done soon Moyes, Arteta and co will soon jump ship and who could blame them.
Chad Schofield
5   Posted 22/07/2009 at 13:07:49

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Steve Carter, yes. If the money not been ringfenced then others would have had an opportunity to invest in us. At the last minute BK failed LCC and Everton. Is it any surprise that they haven’t run around looking for other potential locations for us... and then some blame them after we signed an exclusivity deal tieing us to a out of town shed.
Paul Gladwell
6   Posted 22/07/2009 at 13:18:34

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He has been at the launch of the World Cup 2018 bid in which us and the shite are involved in the bid on the basis we both have new stadiums.
Him and Bradley speaking about the city being a football hotbed.
It’s going to be strange how that one is going to work out in the coming months.
Marco Buonfiglio
7   Posted 22/07/2009 at 13:07:33

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Here we go again: there’s nothing much new added, apart from Notts County joining the list of clubs preparing to gang up on us. Except I just watched the unveiling of Svennis, and was made apparent that they’re in Div 4, so whatever miracle their new money works, it’ll be four years before they’re outspending us in the race for fifth place (assuming Svennis is still there at Christmas).

Similarly I read that Portsmouth’s new saviour is coming under close official scrutiny, amid suspicions that he’s a front for Shinawatra.

The Ashley Experiment at Newcastle has already turned out badly, with all concerned standing there with scorched eyebrows and a confused look on their faces.

The Icelandic billionaires have turned WHU into a club that will be, for the foreseeable future, shopping at Iceland.

The money sloshing round Eastlands hasn’t washed away the suspicion that Manchester City will retain the comedy club gene in their DNA.

Across the Park, the Texan Abbott & Costello have been quiet lately, but then they’ve got a lot to be quiet about.

Who else? Oh yeh. Spurs. Always plenty of money. Good little outfit. Bit of a managerial trampoline, but they’ve managed to finish fifth twice in the last five years (I forget who finishes fifth when they don’t ...)

Sure. We need a billionaire. Who knows about football, but not too much, and who’s willing to keep it to himself in Moyes’s presence. Preferably with a spotless human rights record.

I’ve no brief for Kenwright, but he’s only going to sell this club once. Take a look at the list above and hope that he gets it right.

Joe, ever read The Monkey’s Paw? I recommend it. "Be careful what you wish for."
Tony Marsh
8   Posted 22/07/2009 at 13:46:55

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Marco, I notice there is no mention of the Glaziers, Abramovich or Learner.

The only mistake Newcastle have made is appointing Gobshites to run the club. Souness, Keegan, Allardyce, etc spend millions and millions but got nowhere because they are shit managers.

Mike Ashley didn't fuck up because he invested in the club, he fucked up because of who he employed. They fucked him in the end.

Are you saying, given the same money as Souness, Moyes would fuck up as much? No, I thought not. Money aint bad but giving it to muppets to spend will kill you in the end.

Ciarán McGlone
9   Posted 22/07/2009 at 14:17:29

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Soul or success?
----------------

For me - a thoroughly false dichotomy.
Paul Gladwell
10   Posted 22/07/2009 at 14:39:44

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Marco, we are in a healthy state, league position-wise, as Moyes has got us there, end of, not through cash or a great Chairman. Yes, hats off to Kenwright, he got Moyes with a bit of assistance from Walter Smith, but Moyes is surely on his last legs with us unless something happens SOON.

I don’t know about you, but I am sick of finishing a season all confident, I then buy my next season ticket with promises of not making the same mistakes as last year and then, when the money is in the coffers, out they come telling us it’s Bosmans again. I am sick of getting lied to by that fake fucker, year-in, year-out, Ring-fenced... Fortress... Virtually free.. Rooney £50M etc. These issues are as bad as anything all these other chairmans have done and yet, just because he cries on Sky Sports about his beloved blues, he’s better than them. Well, wake up!

Paul Gladwell
11   Posted 22/07/2009 at 14:55:06

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Oh and it is just on Sky now the two Kyles sign for Spurs but it’s not our fault is it? It happens every year but it’s never our fault... laughing stock comes to mind.
Jamie Rowland
12   Posted 22/07/2009 at 14:59:30

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Tony Marsh — totally agree. Newcastle’s downfall of late (I think that they have been on the spiral for a long time) has been the employment of bad management. Allardyce can’t make it in the big time — his speciality is producing fallen players back to somewhere near their best (not stroking egos of megastars).

Keegan was just an appointment to pacify fans eager for something to cling onto. They would probably have been better off now had they kept Roeder.... (maybe).

I think that Everton, BK especially, need to look harder to find a buyer. I would prefer one without a dodgy past but that's clearly not going to happen. They make their billions be stamping on some big toes... so to wish for a billionaire who has an impeccable record is probably wishful thinking (and I admit that I am a member of the formerly ’keep BK until we find the RIGHT buyer’) - now I am thinking — just find a buyer!

Marco Buonfiglio
13   Posted 22/07/2009 at 14:50:46

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Hi Tony, glad you’re well.

The reasons I didn’t mention the Glaziers, Abramovich or Lerner were multiple, but just for the record:-

The Glazier takeover doesn’t really match the EFC scenario; it was leveraged, corporate raiderism on an existing cash cow. MUFC is still there as a financial behemoth, albeit one that’s already caused at least one schism among the fathful.

Abramovich: ah, Chelski. Yes, grand model. I’ll admit to a clangorous collection of silverware since the cuddly oligarch turned up, but will point out a turnover in managers that doesn’t suggest it to be the most stable of regimes. Admittedly if England’s Brave John Terry had managed to stay on his feet 14 months ago, Roman would have got the Big Cup he really wants, but I wonder how long he’s going to wait. And when he stops waiting, the skin and hair will start flying at the Bridge.

Lerner: If the rumours I’ve heard bruited about re Randy’s looking at Everton before Villa, then this was a genuine opportunity missed. ’If’, however, is the longest two-letter word in the language.

As for your impassioned defence of the Barcodes and Mike Ashley, you appear to have demolished it yourself:

"Mike Ashley didn't fuck up because he invested in the club; he fucked up because of who he employed. They fucked him in the end."

Well, exactly. Poor old Ashley. Who’d have thought it?

Richard Dodd
14   Posted 22/07/2009 at 15:14:17

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Whilst you would expect me to say it, I’m more than happy at where we are now.

We haven’t’ sold our soul’ or been struggling in the lower regions and ’the club’s greatest-ever manager’ is quite content to work his magic alongside the most honest-to-goodness Chairman in the Premier.

So we haven’t yet signed any big names! But July isn’t out and we all know Davey likes to bide his time and jump in ’at the death’. Even if we add no-one, last year’s team was good enough to finish fifth — and that’s like top of the league for most of us. Oh,and we did get to the FA Cup Final which meant two fabulous days at Wembley for the non-malcontents who make up 95% of our following.

I’m just looking forward to the big kick-off and know Everton is in safe hands with Bill and Davey at the helm. Here’s to another great season!!!!

Paul Gladwell
15   Posted 22/07/2009 at 15:32:29

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Yes, Richard, bide our time to the point we start the season with our manager stating ’We are not ready to play Premiership games yet’. We still weren’t two months later but that’s fine is it?

This is no dig on Moyes either, the only manager to be claimed as our greatest ever despite winning jack shit.

Ken Buckley
16   Posted 22/07/2009 at 15:51:19

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I find myself agreeing with both sides of the argument to some degree. Yes, we have done well under the present model; and yes, to move on from that platform we need to find the funds to allow it to happen.

The doomsday scenario, however, is that Mr Kenwright tells the truth and no-one is at present willing to buy us or invest in us. Now that is soul-destroying.

Tony Marsh
17   Posted 22/07/2009 at 15:52:51

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Marco, you're back-tracking, lad... you can't have it both ways. First you are saying that Newcastle throwing money about didn't stop them getting relegated but I say it's who throws the money about and where they throw it that matters.

Now you are agreeing with me and saying it's Ashley's mistakes that got them relegated and not the fact they had money to spend. You come across as very confused to me and you don't really know what you are arguing about.

Money doesn't get you relegated — it's crap managers that do that. They buy the wrong players and play the wrong tactics then they get sunk. Money is a wonderful thing to have as long as it's used properly. WHY can't you see this?
Paul Gladwell
18   Posted 22/07/2009 at 16:10:22

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Lescott will be sold soon and, come November, if Kirkby goes tits up, the club will be within weeks too. Making a mockery of "we are selling nobody" and the "24/7" shouts.
Marco Buonfiglio
19   Posted 22/07/2009 at 16:30:30

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Tony, I didn’t say Ashley’s mistakes got them relegated - the Keystone Kops on the pitch did that.

What I said was "The Ashley Experiment at Newcastle has already turned out badly, with all concerned standing there with scorched eyebrows and a confused look on their faces."

However, nothing Ashley did prevented relegation. As for ’confused’, I refer you to your own doughty defence of Mr Ashley’s acumen. I think I quoted it in my last post.
James Stewart
20   Posted 22/07/2009 at 16:59:48

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Tony;

"Kenwright is a curse on this club" ... "Money doesn't get you relegated, it's crap managers that do that. They buy the wrong players and play the wrong tactics then they get sunk. Money is a wonderful thing to have as long as it's used properly."

Hear, hear! Finally some sense!

Also a quick point on the Naughton disaster! I am not too bothered we haven't signed them. What does Bother me however is this: Everton clearly wanted him so how the hell did Spurs win this struggle!? Something must be seriously going wrong with our efforts to win future signings over if they choose Spurs over us! And before the idiots who believe it wasn't his choice start with that, please! — Every player has a choice where he plays!
Steve Hogan
21   Posted 22/07/2009 at 18:00:42

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Oh dear, Tony Marsh, this letter must have been music to your ears... now your predicting the club will be on the verge of bankruptcy in November!

Your last prediction if I recall was just prior to the Cup Final when you accused the Chairman of ’supplying hundreds of his luvvie friends with Cup Final tickets galore’ and the shit was going to hit the fan in the local press!

Well perhaps I must have missed the final editions that week?

Anyway anyone who uses 'Bernie Inns’ (circa 1976) in their analogy is clearly not in touch with things, are they?
Neil Steele
22   Posted 22/07/2009 at 18:11:13

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Spot on Joe. I can’t be bothered with a detailed response at this time, I am in too bad a mood as things stand. Suffice to say Bill Kenwright makes me sick to the pit of my stomach. It’s not just that he doesn’t have the money, we’ve all heard the begging bowl stories a million times. It is the deceit. I don’t believe a word that proven liar says, he is a cancer eating away at this club from the inside.
John Martin
23   Posted 22/07/2009 at 18:27:59

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Every time I think of what we missed with Kings Dock, it makes me so angry. We’d have been playing now in a fantastic stadium in a prime location, almost certainly have new owners and a brighter future. With BK in charge we have achieved all we can: 5th place. We will never cement a place in the top 4 on a regular basis without money.

Our most valuble asset is Lescott and City are sniffing, how long will the likes of Arteta & Co stick around knowing 5th is all they can hope for and others are leaving to earn more money and have a better shot at success? We may dislike City & Spurs because they are not as good as us at the moment but at least they have the ambition to be better than us and be CL sides. With the backing they have, they at least have a chance.

Tony Marsh
24   Posted 22/07/2009 at 18:34:32

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Steve Hogan, whatever you are smoking, snorting, or swallowing... stop it now. You are a deranged fool, mate. Maybe you can't read but whatever it is, PLEASE show me on this site where I have predicted bankruptcy by November.

You can't, Steve, because it wasn't me. Making shit up so you can get some kicks is pretty lame, mate. Why don't you take up yoga or knitting to relax your mind as it's obviously running away with you, Lar.
Stephen Kenny
25   Posted 22/07/2009 at 19:07:24

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There's something really simple that BK could do that would prove he’s as much of a big Evertonian as he likes to tell everyone he is! Sell the club for what he bought it for.

Recently, there have been a few posts by people more clued in than me which had the club valued around £160 million, if I remember correctly, he bought the club for £40 million. He could even include some condition that the new owner has to spend £30/40million on GP. Still a good deal for anyone.

Nobody can tell me that wouldn’t encourage some very wealthy people to come in and invest and allow us to stay where we belong.

Before anybody says, "Why should he?" — he shouldn’t, but if he won’t then he should stop saying "I’m a big blue" and admit he’s in it for the money — like 99% of other people.
Paul Gladwell
26   Posted 22/07/2009 at 20:04:56

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Tommy the most bile in this thread came in your little post: shithouses, idiots, imbeciles etc. What is wrong for having a go at a man who constantly treats us all like dickheads? The people who stump up their hard earned cash each year only for him to come out with lie after lie each year.

To be fair I am sick of repeating the lies myself as it seems his backers turn a blind eye to them when they are mentioned. It’s our club and we deserve better, not to be treated with "I am bored of your question" or "How do I know? I am only the chairman’ shit and then have his cronie tell us his business is suffering because of his love for the club!?! ... utter shite.

Ciarán McGlone
27   Posted 22/07/2009 at 20:17:32

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Tommy Gibbons,

Your overall ignorance of who’s paying for the stadium serves only to indicate that you belong at the back of the class wearing a pointy hat ... or we could simply take Swift’s advice and eat your post... because it certainly is poor!
Brian Waring
28   Posted 22/07/2009 at 20:21:21

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Tommy, That's the problem, you see. We still have fans like you who believe that Tesco are giving us a wad of cash towards the development of a new stadium.

Also, if you don’t like what is being posted in, here's a thought (if you can grasp it): don’t fucking read the thread!
Ryan Holroyd
29   Posted 22/07/2009 at 20:28:06

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Tommy Gibbons,

Tesco ARE NOT PAYING FOR 2/3RDS of the new Cowshed in Kirkby.

Do some research kid then come back when you’ve a clue.
John Audsley
30   Posted 22/07/2009 at 20:37:07

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Tommy Gibbons

You ask that the editors curb the "bile" on this site... Moderate the lies and personal abuse you say.

Don't call fellow Blues who happen to disagree with you, SHITHOUSES or IDIOTS. It's pathetic and totally destroys your argument.
Brendan Fox
31   Posted 22/07/2009 at 22:13:21

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Tommy Gibbons, pipe your fucking mouth! Just because you do not agree with what fellow Blues are saying, what gives you the God-given right to start calling other poster shithouses and idiots? I do believe it was you who lowered the tone in the first place? It is only my opinion but here goes. If BK is such a fucking saviour then please answer the following question:

Which chairman proceeded to sell all saleable assets owned by EFC (GP, Bellefield, even Finch Farm for God’s sake!) and increase the debt leveraged on the balance sheet to almost unmanagable levels?

You cannot defend the indefensible, BK has proceeded to beg, borrow and steal to stay at the helm he certainly has not kept the club afloat at all! At least Agent Johnson brought a hamper to the party! COYB!
Keep Kenwright Out of Our Everton!
Eugene Ruane
32   Posted 23/07/2009 at 10:18:21

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Spot on Joe (and Tony Marsh)
Michael Brooks
33   Posted 23/07/2009 at 13:02:51

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Bill has no intention of selling our beloved club. He lives in a different world from the rest of us. The only way is for the fans to turn on him at Goodison, like Newcastle and Ashley! I know... but it is the only way to save the club!
Daniel McLoughlin
34   Posted 23/07/2009 at 13:27:55

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Great article. I’m 22, never seen Everton win anything other than the FA Cup in 95. It's time for people to open their eyes, we will never win anything with Kenwright running the club and I for one am sick of it. KENWRIGHT OUT!
Matthew Mackey
35   Posted 23/07/2009 at 16:21:13

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Tommy - when you climb out of Kenwright's pocket, you need to reconnect with reality mate. I don’t live in Liverpool. I live a hundred miles away, but I managed to access the DK files that are in the public domain and even travelled up one Sunday not so long ago with the sole intention of viewing the proposed site/area.

You need to see the bigger picture. Everton FC deserves better than DK and BK's attempts to make a quick buck. That’s why us Goodisonites won’t go quietly.
Paul Gladwell
36   Posted 23/07/2009 at 17:31:30

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Oh Tommy,you little minx, you. The thing you don’t get is people are calling him as he lies, cheats and treats us like numbskulls —that’s why he gets stick and deserves it. We deserve better, we work hard and skimp to support our club and yet he is the one coming out with Elstone claiming he makes no money, remortgaged and his business is suffering well boohoo.

He is full of shit and it will soon hit the fan, liars always get found out in the end.

As for you’re little quirky joke, there are plenty more internet sites that are more fitting for such witty lads like you.

Bradley Nolan
37   Posted 23/07/2009 at 19:49:22

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http://www.tribalfootball.com/hull-receive-offer-portsmouth-everton-target-ricketts-258540
Steve Hogan
38   Posted 23/07/2009 at 20:45:46

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Tony Marsh — I apoligise for my last comment re your response to the letter.

It wasn’t you who stated’ the club will go tits up in November’ it was in fact Paul Gladwell.

Please take this in the spirit it was intended (see I’m not on any mind-inducing drugs).
Paul Gladwell
39   Posted 23/07/2009 at 21:13:47

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Steve mate read what I said again too please before making statements.
I said if Kirkby goes tits up in November Bill will sell within weeks, not the club will go tits up and be bankrupt.
Jay Harris
40   Posted 23/07/2009 at 23:10:30

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Tommy, where were you when the maths teacher came in?

Nobody gets a £200 million stadium for £70 million these days although with all the grants and subsidies LCC were able to get we could have had a £300 million world class stadium at KD for £30 million.

The last set of figures released by the club were that the stadium cost would be £130 million as the COST TO EFC stating that the NORMAL cost (if there is such a thing) would be £150 million. EFC are then responsible for getting retail enabling cross subsidies of around £52 million meaning the net cost would be £78 million — IF they get the retail side sorted.

That £78 million will cost between £6 & £10 million a year in additional interest charges before ONE extra penny is earned at DK.

The club has already been bled dry by BK mortgaging or selling every asset we used to own so he’s right we will need a billionaire ....To sort out the mess that he has created!
Marco Buonfiglio
41   Posted 23/07/2009 at 23:27:08

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Gratified to see that Tony Marsh has accepted his apology from Steve Hogan with his habitual good grace; where’s mine, Tone?

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