NICK ARMITAGE COLUMN
So what has Groundhog Day got to do with Everton? Has Bill Murray finally declared his favourite soccer club is Everton? No. Has Andie McDowell got a job selling jumbo hot dogs in the Park End? I doubt it. Is some washed up asthmatic pisshead wearing a Groundhog suit, replacing our pre-match entertainment, the Toffee Lady? Unfortunately, no.
I used to get excited about the promise of new signings being imminent. Every summer there would be an announcement that “funds are in place” and “signings are expected soon.” Now call me a cynic, but these announcements seem to coincide with Season Tickets going on sale. Following “record Season Ticket sales” things usually go quiet and the club gets linked with some overrated foreign (usually African) defensive midfielder.
This summer we were linked with yet another defensive midfielder that only people who play Championship Manager have ever heard of — Ever Banega — which coincidentally is an Argentinean acronym for ‘complete load of bullshit that was never in a million years going to materialise.’
The only early pre-season transfer tripe was the non-movement of Joleon Lescott, who, as I predicted, would be painted as Satan himself by the Goodison PR machine. Everton, after acting like knobheads for three months, saw their bank balance swell by £22 – 24M. Shortly after the cheque cleared we watched the usual late purchases that, entirely by coincidence, roughly equated to the transfer fee for Satan himself.
Now maybe the above is all a coincidence and maybe I am just a cynic. Or maybe the above is not a coincidence and Everton, as everyone knew, didn’t have a pot to piss from the outset. This means us fans were lied to again, just like we were the year before this and the year before that.
Groundhog Day is Everton, but we should call it ‘Groundhog Summer’ because like Bill Murray, Everton make the same gaffs time and time and time again. The only difference is that our Bill doesn’t ever appear to learn.
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 03/09/2009 at 06:41:32
I admit ( as will everyone else ) that these past 3 summers have been a joke in pre-season and transfer terms. How long will it take for all 3 signings to gel? Isn’t that what a pre-season is for? Now the squad is broken up for the international break. Fulham might be 10 days away but I believe that Moyes will dish out the same players with the same defensive dross tactics with Heitinga and Bily benched.
Awaiting "I want to bed them in slowly" coming!!!
2 Posted 03/09/2009 at 08:01:29
Come on Doddy or Walter give us a laugh, why don’t you write an article?
Nick, nail right on the head - pity there will be too many still convinced Billy Bullshitter’s way is the only way.
3 Posted 03/09/2009 at 08:33:16
4 Posted 03/09/2009 at 08:49:34
5 Posted 03/09/2009 at 08:26:41
Had Bill Kenwright gone out and got a 30 million bank loan, and spent every penny, then these people would have been satisfied that we were showing ambition. They wouldnt care that behind the 30 million actually is going to cost 60 million.The true meaning of this is that each season, we would go 4-5 million further into debt with no way of paying it back. Yet they WOULD care when end up like Portsmouth/Leeds/Blackburn/Newcastle/West Ham/Middlesborough who all have shown the pitfall’s of spending money that is in excess of your means. Some clubs more so than others. Then once we have paid back the banks what we owe (the FULL amount, not just the borrowed money), and destroyed our credit rating so we cannot get any further invesment, they would call BK Satan for ruining their club, even though it was those same fan’s screaming for ’investment & ambition’ which put the club in that position.
Keep looking for that pot of gold.
6 Posted 03/09/2009 at 09:36:25
7 Posted 03/09/2009 at 09:45:29
8 Posted 03/09/2009 at 10:00:55
Just simply Boolllllooocks.
Leeds united spent the guts of 200million...
We spent nothing beyond sales. Thats right NOTHING....so the comparison is about as fucking assinine as it can be!
It gets on my tits - that whenever there is grumbling about the lack of spending - that people bring up a mindless scaremongering argument about leeds united.
We are not looking Kenwright and co. to spend 200mill, 100mill, 50mill or even 30 mill!
FFS..spending 20mill on top of money recouped from sales before the season started - would have seen us in an excellent position to actually do something about the top four...
But no! People like you would rather placate Kenwright and co. with tall stories about dragons and trolls in ’them there hills’.
Leeds united my arse. Stop talking bollocks.
9 Posted 03/09/2009 at 10:30:56
Shed some light on this 20 million.
10 Posted 03/09/2009 at 10:36:29
Dan, try readin it again.
20mill should not be a massive amount to a premiership club with ambitions of breaking the top four...
The point I was making is that your scaremongering about leeds. SO, knock it on the fuckin head.
11 Posted 03/09/2009 at 11:14:01
All these suggestions of Banega being a dangling carrot story are absolutely ridiculous. Do you really think that type of shit goes on? Are you really that fucking stupid? Why would anyone, or any club, consider doing that – it just does not make sense. Before you come back with the inherited ‘so the fans get there hopes up’ bullshit please consider the point of your article - irony. Nobody would ever win. It just does not fucking happen.
Banega is quite simple – we tried and failed – it just was not meant to be. Was the club wrong for announcing the progress? Not really – they were simply relaying information to the fans. Should they consider not stating anything until the deal is done – yes they probably should.
You need to learn to not consider every link as a possible signing. The media is used as to tool in football transfers. Falling for this is simply naïve. You rise so easily your wife should be concerned.
We are criticising the club and not taking any responsibility for your emotion let-downs. The fact is you are blowing things out of proportion yourself then looking to blame others when it does not happen. You tell me a premiership club who have signed everyone they have been linked with and I will prepare the coffee for you to smell when you wake up.
Naïve – very, very naïve.
12 Posted 03/09/2009 at 11:05:44
There is a clear distinction between having no money and spunking millions you don’t have and going into administration. It isn’t a case of shit or bust at Goodison and thankfully we are in no way analagous to Leeds. Using them to further your arguements doesn’t hold water.
The issue for me is that we don’t have any money, and I can fully accept that, yet the club pretends, on a yearly basis, to have a massive war chest for Moyes to strengthen. This is not true and it never has been true. What galls me is the lies that the club spout to us supporters year on year.
13 Posted 03/09/2009 at 11:29:18
There’s a hell of a difference between trying to sign a player and failing - and one side saying it was granted a work permit...and the other side, plus the players agent, stating that there was never any contact in the first place..
Those two versions are mutually exclusive - so one of the parties is lying. So by virtue of this ’lying party’...it’s categorically true ’that type of shit’ does go on..
14 Posted 03/09/2009 at 11:39:59
You, my friend, are one of our naive supporters. This is nothing new Ciaran and it happens with every football club. Learn for next season and continue to study hard.
15 Posted 03/09/2009 at 11:19:19
We all have access to the club’s accounts. Isn’t it contrary to speak with such authority on finance without at least knowing this much. It’s one thing praising prudence, it’s another being short-changed year after year!
I don’t believe many people’s reactions to BK’s serial fibs are misplaced nor conspiracy theorist in nature. Nor are they whimsical or kneejerk in a "kicking Catterick" sort of way, because the list is far too long. Don’t get me wrong I don’t envy BK. I think he’s beholden to others, but that cannot excuse the endless deceptions.
Everton have one of, if not the smallest nett spends every season nearly. Smaller clubs regularly outspend us. All when we are so close to really challenging to get on the real gravy train. Unfortunately, every year that passes will see this squad age.... and unless Davie continues performing miracles to find those canny signings we will never make that leap especially with such a tiny squad.
16 Posted 03/09/2009 at 11:48:18
Anyway next season let Bill come out and say, "We have not got a pot to piss in folks"... Sell our better players we keep any shite and buy some more ala Nugent.
Even if this was to be is true it would be suicidal to say so.
17 Posted 03/09/2009 at 12:00:51
You’ve just contradicted yourself by stating that smoke and mirrors do occur in transfers — immediately after suggesting that ’dangling carrot stories’ are ridiculous. Yet I’m naive?
Make up your mind.
18 Posted 03/09/2009 at 12:14:58
"It was me who didn’t want to leave, I wanted to continue because I think in having a place in the team and I want to continue in that way.
19 Posted 03/09/2009 at 12:13:21
20 Posted 03/09/2009 at 12:00:10
I have not seen one statement issued by the club saying we have vast amounts to spend. I look forward to this years financial report.
21 Posted 03/09/2009 at 12:19:46
You are now my choice for the most incoherent Everton fan. You frequently miss the point that people are making. Your defensive mechanism (have you been hurt in the past?) rapidly comes up and you chose to use come-backs weaker than a Phil Neville strike at goal.
I look forward to meeting you one day — and I will know you when I see you - there will be hundreds of suspended pennies hovering around you waiting to drop. Your disjointed understandings border on humourous and unfortunately are becoming quite predictable. I sometimes feel sorry for very naive little boys and will always be here for you if you ever need to talk about things.
22 Posted 03/09/2009 at 12:30:16
Hopefully you have just put an end to this stupid conversation. Good man.
Is this the last of the smoke and mirrors theory? Not with the mor enaive among us.
23 Posted 03/09/2009 at 12:16:23
Leeds were the extreme example of spending ridiculous amounts.
Our net spend is comparable with the likes of Bolton Wanderers. Yet we expect more than midtable finishes. Slightly hypocritical I think in all honesty.
It’s like telling a builder to construct you a Palace but asking them to do it on a budget of a few dead bits of wood, 2 loose bricks and £1.79 in cash.
24 Posted 03/09/2009 at 12:41:19
25 Posted 03/09/2009 at 13:05:19
26 Posted 03/09/2009 at 12:48:00
first of all I wish people would stop using Leeds as an example of overspending and going tits up.
A. It was a one off.
B.It was light years ago
C.There is now far more money available from Sky and world wide markets.
My issue with Kenwright and his entourage is that they do not run the club with any business sense at all.
They stagger from one financial makeover to the next.
Our marketing is totally second rate,for example Spurs get 40 million a year from commercial activities,we get 3 million.
Now for a team that has fairly consistently been top six and made a cup final to go with our previous history of the 4th most successful team in the league not to exploit that history is nothing short of criminal especiallly given how the worldwide markets have now opened up.
How come we have never attempted to exploit Aussie( a major continent) with the goodwill and following created by Tim Cahill.
How come we dont push the Tim Howard card in trhe States.
Apart from Moyes nobody can be bothered getting off their arses at EFC and making it happen.
Kenwright for all his 24/7 bullshit spends about 24 minutes a week on EFC.
27 Posted 03/09/2009 at 13:05:19
As a character assasination - that was poor..
The simplest option would’ve been to admit you contradicted yourself.
Getting personal and petulant simply doesn’t work in favour of coherency...a virtue you clearly admire. Calling me naive is like calling Hitler a humanist. Catch a grip.
The subtle point clearly being missed by you - is that if the current incumbents of the club can’t find 20mill a season to have a go at the top four...then they are useless fúckers. Capiche?
28 Posted 03/09/2009 at 13:09:00
Where does £40 million come from? Did McGlone tell you that?
29 Posted 03/09/2009 at 13:36:00
The comments from EFC this summer that losing Naughton to Spurs was not the club’s fault I find quite laughable, and if true suggests ineptitude and incompetence and a lack of understanding of the market place in which it operates. It also sheds a rather innocent and pathetic light on the club in my opinion. This in addition to maintaining that money was available and had been put aside for transfers and that the club intended to buy early and bed players in...
Now I am sure that there is a lot which transpires behind closed doors to which I am certainly not privvy, but I have an ever increasing impression that EFC and PR do not go together at all - the DK Press Management was an almighty fuck-up from start to finish and every transfer season the club apparently ’fails’ to land Big Name players. Perhaps being linked to Big Names helps the clubs image somewhat, but failing to land them, being snubbed by them and complaining that transfers don’t go through due to unforseen circumstances makes the club look like Oliver Twiist.
30 Posted 03/09/2009 at 13:53:21
Could you please do a Leeds?
31 Posted 03/09/2009 at 14:09:54
Also, we all know that most of the money we make goes into the players pockets, the likes of Cahill will be on 4 or 5 times what he was when he came to Everton, same goes with most of the other players! They are the first to be rewarded for a good season, what with bonuses and things! If we make an extra million quid for getting far in the FA Cup, you can safely say that its the players and manager that will get it cos it’s in their contracts!
32 Posted 03/09/2009 at 14:28:29
"I have not seen one statement issued by the club saying we have vast amounts to spend. I look forward to this years financial report."
As oft times before (hence the groundhog reference)..... BK/the club more than intimated that big players would be in place early this year. If we have no funds, why say anything? Once again we have had to wait till deadline day or until we have offloaded someone before we can buy, resulting in an awful start to the season once more with no new signings despite a seriously depleted squad and key players missing. Personally, I think the Lescott deal was good business, but that model alone is probably unsustainable if we ever want to really progress further.
33 Posted 03/09/2009 at 14:54:46
There seems to be an understanding that a football club is different to another business and that Kenwright should be able to produce the amount of £15/20million out of a business which has increasing debts. Spending has also been affected by the economic position, it’s not as easy to refinance and the weak pound is an obvious issue as is the tax changes.
This summer in the Premier League, net spending only just passed the £80million mark. Manchester United, with their inferior midfield and lack of striking reinforcements, replaced Ronaldo and Tevez with.... Valencia and Owen. They failed to spend on a weak midfield and it goes without saying that they recouped considerably more than they spent.
Arsenal again, recouped over £40million this summer and spent a minimal amount, despite the need to address several positions. Liverpool lost one of their most influential players and purchased an unproven and injury prone midfielder and a right back, and had a minimal net spend despite their obvious squad deficiencies.
It’s not just us who have failed to spend a good amount of money, everyone is affected and it makes no sense to put our club at risk by spending beyond our means. There are Premier League clubs that have been very close to administration (Pompey, West Ham), there are clubs that have been relegated because of mismanagement, and there are clubs which sit unsecurely even now because of suspect finances (Manchester United and Liverpool among them).
It is not realistic for us to spend the amount of money that is being talked about (although we would all like it to be in the case). But all-in-all, it’s not been a terrible window. Yes we have lost Lescott, who is a superb defender, but we have got an insane amount of money for him and from that deal we have been able to buy Distin, a suitable replacement, and purchase a Dutch and a Russian international, both of whom should add to our squad and first team.
34 Posted 03/09/2009 at 15:12:38
35 Posted 03/09/2009 at 15:52:08
I’ll send you a ball of wool in the post Timmy..
36 Posted 03/09/2009 at 16:17:37
37 Posted 03/09/2009 at 16:03:25
You mention nett spending for this season only, conveniently omitting to mention that our nett spend has been tiny throughout Moyes’ tenure. Have Man U, Chelsea, Liverpool etc all got tiny squads too....? Could they barely field a fit team, and only fill the bench with kids for the first game, as we have had to do on so many occasions? Arsenal who you say "need to address several positions" didn’t look very needy to me when they slotted their 6th past us at home! So, why the inane comparisons?
You say: Our debts have increased by a large amount but you don’t say why you think that has happened, or how other clubs have managed even within the financial conundrum that footy is to outspend us, rebuild their grounds, and find new investors..... some several times over. Could we have been mismanaged? Everton stated they had money to spend on new players and that they would be in place months ago..... we have only spent what we received for Lescott and at the last minute once again. Now the teams we should be competing with have already stolen a lead, and our 2 best players who we knew would be out injured till October did not have replacements in place despite knowing that since last season.
38 Posted 03/09/2009 at 16:54:28
Out of courtesy - thank you as well Ciaran.
39 Posted 03/09/2009 at 20:55:06
With respect to the strength of squads, a couple of points need to be considered (which you have omitted, maybe deliberately) First, those clubs mentioned (top four) all started with a much stronger base compared to us when Moyes took over(both in terms of league position, infrastructure and financial pull).
At that time those clubs were established in the top five of the Premier League whilst we were staring relegation in the face, with an awful awful squad. I think it is far to say that we have progressed to a greater degree that anyone in the premiership at that time. So I think it’s fair to say we’ve done something right don’t you?
Furthermore with respect to tiny Squads, have you looked at liverpool? they have one recognised right back, No quality backup to Torres or in centre midfield (Lucas playing is testament to that). Liverpool’s subs against spurs were as follows — Cavalieri, Voronin, Benayoun, Spearing, Kelly, Dossena, Ayala. Now wouldn’t you say that Liverpool’s squad looks pretty poor and that they had indeed filled the bench with youngsters? Bearing in mind that only Agger, Aurelio and New signing Aquilani were missing due to injury.
Whilst on the first day of the season our bench was Carlo Nash, Louis Saha, James Vaughan, Gosling, Rodwell, Duffy and Baxter. We have Arteta, Yakubu, Anichebe and Jags to come back info fold whilst we’ve replaced Lescott with Distin and added Heitinga and Bily, and I would argue, with justification, that with a fit team our bench would be better than Liverpool’s, whilst Arsenal do not have a great deal of strength in depth (Their bench first day comprising of Mannone, Eduardo, Ramsey, Silvestre, Eboue, Gibbs and Merida).
I think we need to look beyond our poor start of the season and realise that our squad is stronger than is sometimes suggested on here with the extra summer additions and with rodwell and Gosling getting older. It needs to be stronger in a couple of positions but is certainly getting there and doesn’t warrant the pessimism and criticism expressed on ToffeeWeb recently.
40 Posted 04/09/2009 at 10:32:43
Arsenal and Manchester United will continue to appear in the Champions League for the foreseeable future but have significant debts due to their developed stadia and in Man U’s case the debt transferred upon it by their owners. Yet against these "debts" the two have arguably the best stadia in the league by a country mile and fill them to the rafters for the majority of games, they also have marketing and off field incomes that Everton can only dream of.
The galling element to BB’s 24/7 failure to find investment whilst we have all seen the most admirable challenge by the tiny squad upon the top four for decades is Everton’s trade mark failure to kick on. We can all see that DM could well break this glass ceiling with just a small investment into the squad.
If the summer has taught us anything its that BB is an abject failure in this business and we have become a selling club just to stand still, I have little doubt the vultures will be circling again soon and wonder who will be next. What will the Pravda line be next transfer window when it’s Rodwell or Arteta or Yakubu leaving?
41 Posted 04/09/2009 at 09:46:23
"Tom, they are not inane comparisons, I’m using the examples of the best teams in the league to illustrate that the economic conditions have affected everyone this season."
But the point is as so many times before EFC stated these players would all be in place and prepared for the new season (not those on toffeeweb), that therefore they had the cash and were not constrained by the "economic conditions", so that is not an issue. They have done similar nearly every close season, it’s not as if this is close to being a one-off, often while all around us (not just the top 4) have managed to spend. Thankfully most of their managers haven’t been as astute as Moyes and they haven’t been able to exploit the disparity. The comparison is inane because those clubs you mention are not chasing the top spots like us. They are already there and long established with much bigger and higher quality squads than us already. How much have say Spurs and Villa spent in recent years? Thank god they haven’t got Moyes.
"Furthermore, everyone know’s arsenal have some problem positions. Bringing up the 6-1 defeat, a result that was caused my so many other factors, makes no sense. Because a team win’s 6-1 does it mean they are perfect?"
I never said it made them perfect.... but what does it make us? I agree there were other factors.... mainly not solving the problem of filling the gaps left by 3 key players being injured since well before last season ended, and only miraculously finding the funds after selling one of our best players. All of which of course is the reason for the original gripe. Regardless..... 6-1 at home is an absolute disgrace by any standards...... more so now that you have highlighted Arsenal’s relative weakness ;).
"First, those clubs mentioned (top four) all started with a much stronger base compared to us when Moyes took over(both in terms of league position, infrastructure and financial pull). At that time those clubs were established in the top five of the Premier League whilst we were staring relegation in the face, with an awful awful squad. I think it is far to say that we have progressed to a greater degree that anyone in the premiership at that time. So I think it’s fair to say we’ve done something right don’t you?"
No one is arguing the point that Davie Moyes has performed miracles and that the transformation has been dramatic. But the point is it’s all HIS doing. He has done it on an absolute shoestring, generating everything he has spent himself by wise spending and having to recoup from selling on, as is reflected by his nett spend every year. This is HIS achievement despite the board, not because of it. I wish I did, but I don’t believe that process is sustainable much longer, nor should it even be necessary given our high placed finishes over the past few years. Our position is still relatively fragile on and off the pitch as illustrated by the first day debacle and our continually mounting debt. That is all despite DM squeezing every last bit of value out of his team and incrementally changing things over time, and despite the club having spent by far the least of any club on ground development.
"Furthermore with respect to tiny Squads, have you looked at liverpool? they have one recognised right back, No quality backup to Torres or in centre midfield (Lucas playing is testament to that). Liverpool’s subs against spurs were as follows — Cavalieri, Voronin, Benayoun, Spearing, Kelly, Dossena, Ayala. Now wouldn’t you say that Liverpool’s squad looks pretty poor and that they had indeed filled the bench with youngsters?"
I am hopeful too that LFC’s failings will prevail, and that Alonso’s departure will prove expensive..... but check how far ahead of us they finished last year. Was it really even close point wise? Check out the value of their whole squad. Thankfully they and Man Utd are hamstrung by their "buy to let" sale to the yanks.... and Arsenal to a lesser extent by a massive mortgage but their problems really doesn’t excuse our failings does it?
I agree that our best side is as close to challenging the top 4 as it has ever been. I am also hopeful that the new acquisitions will consolidate that further but it could have been much better IMO, as we have to be mindful that we wont have another Lescott for sale next year, all our players and our ambitious manager will be another year older and the gaps are already being filled by other wannabe clubs who have already rebuilt their grounds and secured investment.
42 Posted 04/09/2009 at 14:17:42
Gate receipts – Premier League 18,069
Gate receipts – Cup competitions 12,770
Sponsorship/corporate hospitality 25,427
Media and broadcasting 33,734
All turnover derives from the Group’s principal activity in the United Kingdom and is exclusive of VAT.
If you add Corporate hospitality, Merchandising and other together I make that around £40 million.
By comparison EFC’s accounts show:
Gate receipts and programme sales 17,090
Sponsorship and advertising 4,600
Merchandising and catering 1,082
Other commercial activities 1,178
I did get EFC’s wrong it’s £6 million not 3.
I will try to get the 2008 figures and show them shortly too.
43 Posted 04/09/2009 at 14:28:08
Gate receipts – Premier League 18,274
Gate receipts – Cup competitions 10,341
Sponsorship and corporate hospitality 27,778
Media and broadcasting 40,329
2008 TURNOVER £,000
Gate receipts and programme sales 20,460
Sponsorship, advertising and merchandising 5,465
Other commercial activities 2,208
I make the updated figures £46 million for Spurs vs £8 million for Everton.
I agree there is a small premium for London prices but I believe the figures demonstrate that if Everton was as well run at board level we would certainly be competing in the top 4 and I also hate to say I fear Spurs will overtake us because of this.
By comparison Kenwright does his annual financial makeover instead of having a sound business plan in place. I rest my case.
44 Posted 04/09/2009 at 15:40:02
45 Posted 10/09/2009 at 00:40:02
Without Lescott going there would have been no new signings........fact!!!!
I don’t want us to move from Goodison Park but believed the marketing shit I got through. Elstone’s latest comments about the new stadium specifically about marketing is bull shit. A marketing plan should be in place (but i have a feeling it isn’t) and marketing about our brand and how we represnt that commercially does not hinge on the new stadium. That should be part of the core commercial proposition now.
I feel gutted, deflated and have a feeling we are on top of a bad long slide!!!
Sorry to the positive among you but his comments with the fact the ’official’ Everton site no longer let us comment make me feel we have peaked and are about to go on a long hard slide.
I just hope and pray I am wrong.
Add Your Comments
In order to post a comment to Column articles, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.
Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and MailBag submissions across the site.