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Spend or Lend?

By Tony Marsh :  01/07/2009 :  Comments (50) :
I wish the new season was kicking off this weekend just so all the long suffering Evertonians could be put out of thier misery... I mean, we're all at it again, aren't we? Throwing the names of potential imaginary transfer targets around as though there was actually some substance to the rumours.


It's the same shit every pre-season yet still we indulge ourselves in the pastime of Name that Player and see how he may or may not fit into our side. It's all bollocks and we all know how it ends... don't we? Yes, a last minute scramble for the bargain basement left overs on the last day of the transfer window.

The truth is we can't afford to sign anyone early doors because we would have to start paying them wages during the summer with no revenue coming in. Three players on £40k a week for two months whilst not playing is a million quid down the drain for a chairman like Bill Kenwright.

For those of you who don't want a foreign investor, wether they be Arab, Russian or American, then this is all we will ever be able to look forward to. Shopping at the Whoops counter for out-of-date goods. Tins of Spam — three for a £1.00!

Like it or not, the only teams in England who are or will be winning trophies and playing Champions League football every season are those who have been taken over by out-of-towners... It's not fantasy but fact. We cannot survive much longer in our present state and soon we will be little more than a stepping-stone club. Selling our prize assets just to tread water. A Northern version of West Ham if you like.

For those fans who keep bleating on about the club being in debt if a take over happens, then tough. This the way the game has gone now and those who don't have the financial muscle to compete with the big hitters might as well give up all together.

Take the past seven years under Moyes. Slowly but surely, we build a squad that is on the verge of breaking the Sky 4 monopoly. Without much help from a skint chairman, David Moyes and his players get to within touching distance of the holy grail — Champions League football — and then, WHAM, the Arabs arrive at Man City with the oil money.

SHIT... What do we do now if this is how easy it is to get overtaken in the race for 4th place? Is it worth all the hassle trying to keep up? Will there be another club breathing down our necks next season? Can we keep the squad together paying players £40k a week when other clubs are prepared to pay £100k???

This is the dilemma we now must face up to. With the intervention of foreign investors, there is the risk of going tits up and debt being lumped on the club... but without their money we will go tits up anyway. It's not possible to survive much longer with the "Just wait and see" formula BK wants us to embrace.

I just want someone to come in and give us chance to really have ago at cracking the Big 5 — because that's what it has become now, a Big 5 — and those who believe it is possible with BK at the helm need certifying.

Spending huge amounts of cash on players and their wages is not something I like but, after watching the way it's gone over the past few years, it's the only possible way we can ever hope to be competitive again.

The facts are that the teams who spend and pay the most in this country are the same teams that win everything and play CL footy every year. With this in mind, would you still want Bill Kenwright in charge of the club in five years time or some nasty foreign billionaire from Dubai???... I know what I would opt for.

Reader Comments

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Kevin Chung
1   Posted 02/07/2009 at 06:33:39

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Haha.... you’re funny....
Gary Tan
2   Posted 02/07/2009 at 07:06:25

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For a moment I though that you were praising David Moyes and the team! Then I read your name again and decided that I must be mis-reading it.

Yes, we all know that all the names being thrown about means very little because we are unlikely to sign any of them. But it still provides some entertainment during the summer and its more fun speculating about players because eventually, someone will be signed (I hope!) but the club will still belong to poor BK because he ain’t gonna sell.
Dave Wilson
3   Posted 02/07/2009 at 07:31:32

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If you think BK is going to sell, it’s you who needs certifying.
Gareth Humphreys
4   Posted 02/07/2009 at 08:34:54

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It is a valid point, Tony. Anyone in the bottom 16 needs a bucket load of cash to break into the top 4. If I remember correctly though Man Utd were consistently in the CL spots before the Glazers arrived, Liverpool were there or thereabouts before Dumb & Dumber turned up and there hasn’t been long-term foreign investment at Arsenal.

Looking at it in that way, Chelsea are the exception.

Robert Lam
5   Posted 02/07/2009 at 08:53:17

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I want some nasty foreign billionaire from Dubai. Now get me one, half, a fraction... no. Please.
Ciarán McGlone
6   Posted 02/07/2009 at 09:24:50

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But what about blue Bill having the club’s interests at heart, stabilising our debt, appointing Moyes and clapping along to Z-Cars!?! Isn’t that enough to keep the smug-faced git on at this club ad-infinitum!! And keep those evil foreigners out!

Come on, where’s the merit in being able to compete... the real value is in be able to say that we occupy the moral high ground and don’t embrace the avarice of modern football!

ps: I hear £40k a week couldn’t buy you a pair of socks these days!
Matthew Lovekin
7   Posted 02/07/2009 at 09:17:34

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Tony, a few points for you:

1. Are you suggesting Moyes has done a good job over the seven years?

2. There has never been ever any official confirmation that an outside investor wants to take over Everton. The likes of the Glaziers and Hicks/Gillett made it known before they bought their clubs that they wanted to buy them to put pressure on the existing owner/board. We have never heard of a billionaire saying he wants to buy Everton.

3. Do you know how the top 4 regularly make their money? It’s through the CL. Arsenal still do not spend big. Liverpool can’t afford much due to be heavily in debt, ditto Man Utd so Chelsea are the exception. The other billionaire owners in the PL are Man City (twice), Portsmouth (twice), Villa, West Ham and they always finish below us in the table. Even Tottenham and Newcastle spend more than us and look how well they are doing!

Clubs need a consistently high income to have high revenue and that comes from the CL only. What if we can come 4th this season (we’ve done it before under Moyes)? What if we have that bit of luck and run of good form? We are capable of doing it. If we can get 4th and have a good qualifying draw for the CL we can earn big money. With that a couple of good signings such as Moutinho or Defour and we could finish top 4 again the following season and invest again with a couple more signings like Wagner Love.

We are almost a top 4 team. There only will be top 4 due to only 4 teams qualifying for the CL, there will never be a top 5 or 6 unless FIFA change the rules again. We are doing things the right way, the way it should be done. Have patience and faith, Tony.
Ciarán McGlone
8   Posted 02/07/2009 at 09:48:51

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Real Madrid’s income from image rights will dwarf their CL income...

In fact, unless a team wins the CL, an English club's take-home pay from the competition will be less than their television income.

In short... implying that the top 4 ’make their money through the CL’... it's simply wrong.

They make it through varying sources. The CL being only one of many... and it is not the most lucrative!
Anthony O'Sullivan
9   Posted 02/07/2009 at 10:24:32

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Ah, Tony, come on now — you are not even trying anymore.

1. You say we have no income in the summer? When actually the vast majority of our income comes in the summer months (Premier League money & TV rights money).

2. You say Man c City gets Arab money there goes our chances of 4th? You may not have noticed but that Arab money arrived a year ago and the same thing was said last year about City breaking the top 4 but I didn't see them do anything.

3. You say only clubs to win competitions are ones taken over by out-of-towners? But as i'ts been pointed out that only applies to Chelsea. So that's 1 club out of all the clubs taken over to buy success. Liverpool, Arsenal & Utd all were successful first.

4. Man City, Newcastle, West Ham, Villa, Pompy, Fulham, Sunderland to name a few have had massive investment from billionaire investors all spent fortunes (which you say is the only way to get success) and yet they all finished below us. So where does that leave you, Tony, when almost everything you have written is just plain wrong?

That's about 10 teams that have gotten the magic investment you desire but only 1 team that has managed to turn that investment into instant success. So that's what — a 10% success rate for you theory. Still think it's our only hope?

I know ToffeeWeb like to tell us anyone can post anything on here but I think a little bit of an effort to read the article first and make sure they are correct and not just trolling with blantant inaccuracies would help.
Al Reddish
10   Posted 02/07/2009 at 11:07:58

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The big 5!! Have we not finished in there for the last two years. However, some very valid points.
Phil Bellis
11   Posted 02/07/2009 at 11:41:33

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"...teams who spend and pay the most in this country are..."
sometimes relegated!
Brett Bradshaw
12   Posted 02/07/2009 at 12:32:08

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I got news for you: Everton achieved CL footy without this investment only a few years ago... And!

Portsmouth won the FA Cup without it only a year ago.

So spending the most and paying the most is NOT the only way to win things and gain Champions League entry. Even if it’s luck you might need along the way.
David Grace
13   Posted 02/07/2009 at 12:22:49

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Got to say, Anthony O’Sullivan, everything you said is spot on!!! The teams that regularly compete for trophies are clubs that have had success for many years, not driven entirely by money!

Man City had their money a year ago, and we still finished above them; each year we hear people moan saying we need a megabucks buyer come In otherwise were going to lag behind! Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying we don't need it, I can imagine what two or three £15m+ star signings would add to our team on top of the current crop we've got.

However, look at what DM has done, with the backing of BK! He has his critics but he loves this club and any other chairman would've sacked Moyes when he had a bad spell years ago. Where would be then, say, if Mike Ashley bought us instead of Newcastle!

It isn't always the silver lining or the answer, and I for one trust Moyes to make the right additions this summer, AGAIN, and I trust BK to find the right buyer for the club at the right time! My personal opinion is there are investors out there; however, the impending Kirkby decision is probably why they are reluctant to take the plunge just yet.

Tony Marsh
14   Posted 02/07/2009 at 13:40:50

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Anthony O'Sullivan, Man Utd were light years behind Chelsea once Abramovich stepped in and it took the Glaziers takeover to put them back on the road to success. Without the Yank,s the Mancs would still be trailing behind.

Liverpool were crowned Champions League winners not long after the Yanks took over at Anfield; their previous European Cup win was back in the 1980s.

Your Man City quote is also laughable mate. Mark Hughes is only now being able to assemble his squad with the Arab billions the team he is breaking up was not his own. Even Robhino wasn't his player. Watch them go this season.

Puttting names like Fulham, Pompey and Sunderland in the same bracket as Everton is also a joke. Why compare us to these minnows and who gives a fuck what they do or don't do? We are concerned with what Everton do on this site and not interested in the fortunes of yo-yo clubs like Newcastle etc.

Please Anthony it appears it is you who is not trying with your lazy defensive response. Tell you what — let's just put up with Kenwright for another decade and forget any new money coming in. I mean Lescott, Rodwell, Arteta and Piennar could all leave this season because of our woefull financial state but that won't worry you, will it, pal??
Giles Larkman
15   Posted 02/07/2009 at 13:51:09

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You have a valid point, and it is frustrating seeing the Man City types, but fuck me, when is life fair? I’m not going to give up just because of the competition!

With regards to Everton, I wish life was like Championship Manager. But there isn’t even a a game called ’Premier League Chairman’. In my lifetime, most I can’t remember a ’great’ Everton chairman.

Has Kenwright got money? No. Do we believe everything he says? No.

Is he Peter Johnson? No.

Swings and roundabouts.
Alan Clarke
16   Posted 02/07/2009 at 14:46:40

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I honestly don’t think there’s an Everton fan out there that wouldn’t want Kenwright to sell up to the right investor but be careful what you wish for. This is taken from the Times email transfer bulletin I receive each day:

"Should West Ham fans be worried about all the talk of loan signings instead of permanent transfers? Surely our player sales last season have raised some cash."

Gary Jacobs: It’s complicated and there is a lot of detail, but the bottom line is that there is not very much money to spend after taking into account the wage bill and other money that is owed, or could be owed.

The Icelandic owners took over in November 2006 and spent around £17.25million on transfers in the January window to try to ensure that the team stayed up. Matthew Upson, for instance, was also rewarded for leaving Birmingham City, then in the Championship, with more than £50,000 a week. Madness really, since he was desperate to return to the top flight, so might have taken a lower wage. In addition, his wage was relatively in excess of what a player who cost an initial £6m is usually paid.

In the summer of 2007, the club spent around £8.1m, but many of the arrivals, such as Kieron Dyer and Craig Bellamy, were put on hefty contracts. By the time that Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson, the club’s then owner, realised what had happened under the control of Eggert Magnusson, the former chairman, things were too late. The club reined in spending and last summer made a profit of around £14m on transfers. But they were still saddled with some high wages that helped to push the club’s debt from £22m, when Gudmundsson took over, to around £49m by the turn of this year.

Entering the January transfer window, the club were losing more than £700,000 each month, but selling Bellamy and sending other players out on loan meant that they could stabilise the cash flow because of the reduced wage bill. The club still have a debt of around £45m, which is shared between six banks, who do not want it to increase, and ideally would prefer to recover some of their money.

On top of this, the club have to pay Sheffield United compensation for the Tevez affair, which will be a minimum of £21m and if there is a takeover this will rise to around £27m. Also the club have to have a contingent liability until the results of their case with Alan Curbishley is settled. He is suing the club after his resignation last summer. West Ham also owed money to businessman Kia Joorabchian after a court case was settled out of court.

Tony, would you sell Everton at all costs? Nobody has any facts about whether there ever has been any concrete offers to Kenwright for Everton. And do you think Kenwright doesn’t have a price? If a rich investor was really serious about buying Everton they would surely be able to put a bid together that BK couldn’t refuse.
Stephen Kenny
17   Posted 02/07/2009 at 14:51:46

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Brett, I’ve goy news for you:

We have never qualified for the Champions League! We got knocked out in the qualifying round because our Idiot, mingebag chairman wouldn’t release the funds to let our manager buy Champions League quality players.

Secondly, Portsmouth were taken over by a fella called Gydamak a few seasons ago and initially they also spent quite heavily.

Nowhere in the article does it mention that spending the most and paying the most is a guarantee of success; however, any fool can see that that's what's needed to be competitve at the top end of the Premier League.

One last thing, for some reason people seem to think that Arsenal aren’t big spender’s. They were paying Sol Campbell £100k a week six or seven years ago FFS!
Ciarán McGlone
18   Posted 02/07/2009 at 15:28:05

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Ah, that’s right Stephen...

Our ’assault’ on the Champions League... and we bought Phil Neville!

If it wasn’t so tragic, it would be hilarious.
Anthony O'Sullivan
19   Posted 02/07/2009 at 16:02:02

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Tony, sorry I didn't realise we are not allowed to mention clubs that got huge investment but didn't win anything as it does'nt support your arguement, my mistake.

I see you have taken the 'put your fingers in your ears and go la la la la' approach to debating a topic when someone uses those pesky facts to support their own arguement.
Brett Bradshaw
20   Posted 02/07/2009 at 16:18:22

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Stephen, you might want to read the article Tony wrote before you comment. The conclusion cearly states, and I quote:

"The facts are that the teams who spend and pay the most in this country are the same teams that win everything and play CL footy every year."

This is what I was contesting in my original post, because clearly Everton and Portsmouth break the rule.
Ciarán McGlone
21   Posted 02/07/2009 at 16:27:11

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This is what I was contesting in my original post, because clearly Everton and Portsmouth break the rule.

And what have we won?

You were hoisted by your own petard in that last post. Notice that quote you use from clearly has the word ’win’ in it.
Brett Bradshaw
22   Posted 02/07/2009 at 16:31:14

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Everton played CL football - Check

Portsmouth won FA Cup - Check

So the teams who spend the most in this country are the same teams that win everything and play CL footy EVERY year??

So why don’t Everton and Portsmouth do it every year? Because Everton clearly played CL footy, and Portsmouth won the Cup?

I just don’t believe money is the be-all and end-all.
Ciarán McGlone
23   Posted 02/07/2009 at 16:54:34

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So you consider playing in the qualifying stages of the Champions League as winning something?

Very strange.
Brett Bradshaw
24   Posted 02/07/2009 at 16:58:17

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Yes. I class winning the FA Cup as winning something and I class the qualifying stages of the Champions League as CL football.

Round 1 of the FA Cup is still the FA Cup even if we don’t have to play in it.
Stephen Kenny
25   Posted 02/07/2009 at 16:37:23

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Brett, Portsmouth won the FA Cup the season before last with a foreign owner who spent big at the time, the first time in god know’s how long that a team outside of the ’debt 4’ have won it.

We never qualified for the Champions League and we haven't won anything, so how does either prove your point?
Brett Bradshaw
26   Posted 02/07/2009 at 17:06:47

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I class the qualifying stages of the Champions League as Champions League football, same as I class Round 1 of the FA Cup as FA Cup football. You gotta be in it to win it, as they say.

I don’t class Portsmouth a team who ’spend and pay the most’ and they won the FA Cup.

So in these two situations albeit in different seasons we have two teams that do not ’spend and pay the most’ playing Champions League football and winning something.

If you can convince me Everton and Portsmouth are teams that ’spend and pay the most’ I will agree.
James Boden
27   Posted 02/07/2009 at 18:47:25

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Well to be honest, Tony, I gave up hope on who we might sign long ago. Until he is paraded in an Everton shirt, I won’t believe a thing. And I totally agree that, so long as Kenwright is in charge, we will fail to win a trophy and eventually fall apart.
Andy Callen
28   Posted 02/07/2009 at 21:02:27

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James, how can you say Everton will fall apart if Kenwright doesn’t step aside? Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure we were shite the years leading up to Kenwright taking over as chairman, and we are now considered by most football pundits and those within the game as a club moving in the right direction.

Tony, has it ever occurred to you that some players may be happy on £40k a week if it means they are playing week-in, week-out for a good manager and for a club with a rich history and a fantastic fan base?! Meaning as long as such a club has a good manager, that club has every chance of attracting the best of the rest, together making a pretty good team, and challenging for honours both domestically and in Europe… Now can anyone think of a club like that? NSNO!
Adam Fenlon
29   Posted 03/07/2009 at 01:37:28

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C'mon, Tony, as others have pointed out, you come dangerously close here to giving Moyes the credit for our relatively successful last few years.

Let's hear you say it — "Moyes is a good manager"!

Ernie Brentwood
30   Posted 03/07/2009 at 04:58:35

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It strikes me that some people on here would love to see Kenwright go and have no real preference for who buys him out — maybe just that they be foreign, preferably Arab. That’s what the media say you need nowadays — although of course it’s just the rest of us who read the papers.

For all his flaws, he rids us of Johnson, rightly sticks by his manager when the highly intellectual Toffeeweb vigilantes are calling for his head, breaks the club transfer record 3 (or is it now 4?) years straight, and under his guidance we are witnessing the best Everton squad for many years.

It must take every inch of patience and devotion to the club not to tell the ungrateful lot of you to fuck off... and then sell the club to the next opportunist who passes through L4.

Be careful what you wish for.
Jamie Crowley
31   Posted 03/07/2009 at 06:06:20

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I, for one, am just glad you’re back Tony. You disappeared for a while.

We have a very solid club assuming no one leaves. We’re only a right sided midfielder away from seriously competing.

Time will tell.

Wouldn’t you rather do it with BK? See what happens. It’s very possible this "proper" football club busts through the glass ceiling this upcoming season.
Robert Lam
32   Posted 03/07/2009 at 06:51:31

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Ernie, actually we need not be careful what we wish for. However hard we pray, nothing changes. Come next season, no foreign billionaire will buy us out, we will still have the same chairman, same manager and practically the same squad with maybe a couple of additions. So why not have some fun building a castle in the air?
Steve Edwards
33   Posted 03/07/2009 at 09:46:10

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I am surprise by the number of people on this site who are writing off Manchester City... They had money last year but we still finished above them. That may be true but it's not the whole truth due to the fact that the money arrived very late in the last transfer window.

Mark Hughes has now had twelve months to take stock and decide where his squad needs improving. They didn’t finish that far behind us last year. He has added quality already in this transfer window and no doubt there will be more — and I’ll be surprised if that does not include Lescott.

It's no good comparing Manchester City with West Ham when it comes to investment. You're better off comparing them with Chelsea because that's the level of investment we are talking about. I am convinced that City will be the ones to put serious pressure on the current top four and, if it's not this season, I’m convinced that the following season everything will be in place.

The big problem City have at the moment is being able to offer Champions League football to the top players. They can’t do it and so at the moment they are scooping up very good players just under the top tier and even these players are well out of our price range.

In my opinion, it's going to be a very interesting season due to the City factor and, as we all know, 5 into 4 won’t go.

Gary Drain
34   Posted 03/07/2009 at 11:55:44

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I honestly don’t think with the players City have signed so far they will break in to the top 4. If you look at the players they have signed so far — Barry, Santa Cruz and the ones they paid a bucket load for last season — Bellamy, Given, etc..

When was the last time any of them played CL football!? I really like Given but Barry I think is a bit overated, Santa Cruz had a good first season to try and put himself in shop window then pulled a Zaki and decided he could’t be arsed playing anymore!

All the big players from overseas aren’t interested cos City haven’t won anything in years.

I know folk will start saying Tevez will be great for them, but I think he’s over-rated too. Ferguson would have snapped him up ages ago if he thought different.
Ray Burn
35   Posted 03/07/2009 at 13:19:06

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"I know folk will start saying Tevez will be great for them, but I think he’s overated too. Ferguson would have snapped him up ages ago if he thought different."

To be fair I wouldn’t put too much faith in Fergies’ opinion. Owen to replace Ronaldo! Classic!

I can’t tell you how happy I am that he won’t be coming to us.
James Boden
36   Posted 03/07/2009 at 14:24:20

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Yes, Ray, I would not put much faith in what Alex Ferguson thinks. This the same Fergie who replaced kids with seasoned and successful pros and what was the end result? Even more success. Or am I imagining things.

As for City, one wonders how they will work around with the players they have got. As for Owen signing for us, it wouldn’t have been such a bad option if we could afford it. Still, let’s hope he scores against The Shite.

Ismael Bondarenko
37   Posted 03/07/2009 at 15:33:54

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Jamie Crowley, Right midfielder short?? Shouldn't it be that we haven't got a left midfield? Pienaar does a great job there (especially his link up with Baines) but just imagine how good he would be playing on his natural side. (I know Messi is not right footed and plays on right but it hampers Pienaar because he does not have his ability to run past a defender.) After all, that is where he played for Ajax and in the Confederations Cup for SA (bar the 1st game) he was played was also deployed down the right but kept floating into the ’hole’ behind the forward, he was sublime.

In my opinion, it's a right back and a proper left mid that we need. But this could also be solved by getting in a proper central midfield general and throwing Neville back to right back where he can once again make use of his very good crossing ability, a la Bainsey.

John Lloyd
38   Posted 03/07/2009 at 16:06:10

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"... and then, WHAM, the Arabs arrive at Man City with the oil money."

What, like when Thaksin Shinawatra arrived with all the money (and a better manager)?? Like then?

City will have a better players but I don't think they’ll have the consistency or the team ethic and desire to break the top 5.

WHAM??? Funny!
Jamie Crowley
39   Posted 03/07/2009 at 16:39:45

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Ismael — The reason I’d never move Pienaar over to the right is exactly what you stated: his link-up with Baines. He’s a central mid anyway, so if he’s gonna play a wing, keep him on the left.

I agree with moving Neville back to RB if we don’t sign anyone. I’d put Rodwell in the CDM role as I think the kid is pure class. I really believe it’s his time to be in the starting 11 full time and step up. He’s got the ability from what I’ve seen. Why sign a mercenary in M’Bia that’ll cost money when we’ve got a talent in Rodwell?

So, it’s the right mid that must be addressed. Osman doesn’t cut the mustard out wide.

But dude, I’m no tactician. I could be proven incorrect quite easily....

Rob Hollis
40   Posted 04/07/2009 at 00:26:31

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I see by the ’big five’ you do not mean the top five. This of course would include Everton, or are you just referring to levels of debt?

Don’t let the results spoil a good rant!
Alasdair Mackay
41   Posted 04/07/2009 at 16:12:47

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There are a lot of quality players available for nothing this summer. I know Michael Owen has now gone, but with no Jacobsen or Valente providing cover for Hibbo and Baines, I would think that Lucas Neil or Lauren would be a good addition at RB and Michael Ball is available at LB. I would also not mind getting Pennant. Despite his red leanings, he is a right winger who has pace and can beat a man. He brings something we don’t have to the squad. If we signed three from four, our £12million kitty could do a lot more for us in the otrher two positions.
David Hallwood
42   Posted 04/07/2009 at 21:39:25

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Tony, You stated "With this in mind, would you still want Bill Kenwright in charge of the club in five years time or some nasty foreign billionaire from Dubai???."

And the name and address of the investor itching to throw hundreds of millions our way is.....

Alan Kirwin
43   Posted 05/07/2009 at 00:36:59

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Dear me, the miseries are out in force yet again. Zzzzz...

Let’s correct a few myths being pedalled on the billionaire front.

1. Have Arsenal won anything in the last 10 years? — YES, two Premier Leagues (& several runners up), FA cups, a CL final.

2. Do Arsenal qualify for the CL regularly? — YES, for last 10 years.

3. Do Arsenal have a rich benefactor? — NO.

4. Do Arsenal have any income other than gate money, prize money, TV money, sponsorship & merchandising? — NO.

5. What’s Arsenal’s record transfer fee paid? — You’ll love this, £12m for Arshavin... only recently eclipsing their previous record of £10m paid fir Henri & Wiltord.

ie, Arsenal regularly spend less than Everton. So please, be miserable bastards if you wish. But do look at the whole truth. If we follow the logic of you people then our football league will just end up as a more transparent version of the Palio. That’s the horse race run twice a year in Sienna where the winner is the state who’s paid the biggest bribe.

Some of us prefer sport for itself, not just to win things by spending more than anyone else. Football needs to step back and breathe some reality. Running up wage bills of 70-95% of turnover on overpaid tarts is the economics of the playground.

Give me Arsenal & Everton any day. There is so much more to sport than money. The fact that this is lost on the daily malcontents amongst us simply strengthens the argument.

If you want the club to give even more money to footballers, who obviously are underpaid, then I suggest you all dig deep put your own money where your mouth is rather than whinge incessantly about how little Kenwright puts in.

Will your glasses ever be half full? Ha!
Dave Wilson
44   Posted 05/07/2009 at 19:10:27

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OK, if its myths we’re exploding lets start with the one you're peddling:
"Arsenal regularly spend less than Everton."

According to their own official figures, Arsenal’s wage bill is well over £100 million they are able to pay these astronomical salaries because some of the wealthiest men in the game are prepared to bankroll them. For some time now Arsenal have paid top wedge to their stars, how do you think they were able to attract — and keep — people like Henry, Bergkamp, and Vierra? It certainly wasn't from the proceeds of the 38,000 maximum gates they got at Highbury.

Amd it took an awful lot more than hard work and good management to build a £430 million stadium.

Everton's wage bill last season was £44 million and as for our planned stadium? ... well, don't get me started on that.

Before Kenwright took over, Everton were comparable to Arsenal in just about every way possible, but they are in a different financial league to us these days because they were able to secure the necessary investment.

The only time our board have have spent more than Arsenal's is when they were spending a fortune on videos and brochures to mislead thousands of good Evertonians into voting for Kirkby.

It has nothing to do with whether your glass is half full or not, investment in our club has been none existent, surely the fans are entitled to question the people responsible for that?

Alan Kirwin
45   Posted 05/07/2009 at 22:16:01

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Dave, I’ll just throw your own question back to you. I’m not sure what you mean by investment. Do you mean free money, gifts, that sort of thing, from rich benefactors?

Arsenal is run solely as a business. There are no such funds available to Arsenal as there have been to City & Chelsea. It may not fit the argument, but I assure you it’s true.

I don’t mean that to suggest all is ticketyboo at Goodison. It’s not, we clearly have scope for improving & maximising our commercial potential. But it still amazes we what some fans demand from a club that rarely fills it’s stadium despite it being smaller than most major competitors and our prices being amongst the lowest in the EPL.

Perspective is rarely present when reading so often about how crap we are and how much better others are.

If we were filling Goodison every week and enjoying waiting lists like even Spurs do, then I could see the strength of the arguments and raised expectations. But our gates are at West Ham levels, whilst we are lower than City, Villa, Sunderland & Newcastle.

The last of those clubs averaged 16,000 more fans at every game than us, and had a billionaire benefactor AND was relegated.

So Everton are currently punching way above our weight, we have a great young squad and an excellent manager. We are best of the rest, just below CL level (7 years ago we were relegation candidates) and yet on average there are 5-6,000 empty seats at every league game.

So again I ask, what exactly us it that the malcontents think we should be doing or achieving in these circumstances, that we’re not already?
Dave Wilson
46   Posted 06/07/2009 at 09:01:09

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Alan, Arsenal's boardroom is full of extremely wealthy men. Majority shareholder Sam Kroenke is listed among the 400 richest people on earth, Dein recently sold his shares to Usmanov for something like £75 million. You're 100% correct, the club is run as a business, few would argue the £430 million spent building the emirates will prove to be a very solid investment.

If the Arsenal model proves anything, it's that the right type of people — business men with serious finacial clout — are out there. IMO, there lies the problem: would BK consider these people suitable? He is accused almost hourly of treating Everton as "his train set".

Personally I think it's more worrying than that, I think he's like a protective father, who believes no lad can possibly be good enough for his precious daughter. I don't know this of course, it's merely my belief, a belief formed because I simply can't accept a club of Everton's stature has not attracted any interest.

I’m with you in a lot of what you say, but you must know that it's not just Evertonians who complain, many football fans feel it's their right, even their duty, to rage against what they believe to be bad management of "their" club.

I know many Gooners and if it's any consolation, even they are critical of "over-the-hill Wood" and "silent Sam" . They slaughtered the entire board for "leaving Wenger to the wolves" at their last AGM.

Don't expect gratitude or appreciation for the good things; we are football fans, it's not in our DNA.

Matthew Lovekin
47   Posted 06/07/2009 at 20:47:56

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The point about Arsenal, which I have tried to make and Alan Kirwin has put so well, is Arsenal do not receive ’gifts’ from billionaire investors ala Chelsea and Man City. Arsenal did not get hugely in debt by paying large transfer fees (less than Everton!) and high wages. They spent within their means. Arsenal’s means are/were higher than Everton’s because they won trophies and played in better competitions such as the CL and received prize money.

Arsenal is basically a very well run football club with an excellent manager who wants the game played properly and brings young players through. I like to believe Everton is similar just lacks a bit less in quality. A less quality chairman, a less quality CEO, a less quality manager but not necessarily less quality players, but at least we ARE doing things the right way and not hundreds of millions in debt, poaching young players and pissing other clubs off. Keep it going Bill and Moysie, we WILL get there.
Dave Wilson
48   Posted 06/07/2009 at 21:14:30

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Mathew, I’m an admirer of Arsenal but come on, they have spent more than Abramovich has on Chelsea. Let's not get carried away with the fanciful notion that the Arsenal empire has been built on hard work and dedication. Few clubs in the world — if any — have enjoyed the fabulous investment from which Arsenal football club have benefited.

Yes, they chose the right manager (good business). Yes, they are intent on bringing top young talent through (also good business). Yes, they play great football, there is much to admire about them... But it's important to remember that the Arsenal Board backed Wenger to the hilt when he needed to pay big bucks to attract the world class players to give him his trophies, his platform. Success breeds success and the 30,000 people Arsenal were attracting before Wenger's arrival, soon became a 38,000 full house every week with an ever-growing waiting list.

You rightly say they don't recieve gifts from Billionaire investors but the Emirates was the kind of windfall that would make even Chelsea or City think it was Chrimbo

I agree with you, I think we are getting closer to winning something... but, given a financial situation, any success we may achieve can only be fleeting. History teachers us that sustained success is only achievable with sustained investment and income.

It's much easier to create a club that can generate a solid sustainable income if you have the financial muscle to build a £430 million stadium in the first place.

If Moyes could pay the Bergkamps or the Vierras of today, who's to say we couldn't be up there in 5-6 years time? Arsenal fans came in their thousands when Wenger started to deliver trophies. The demand for tickets when Evertonians were given the slightest whiff of success last month provided a fair indication of this clubs potential.

Matthew Lovekin
49   Posted 06/07/2009 at 22:31:31

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Dave Wilson

You ended up seemingly agreeing with my response after your initial sentence.

Abramovich has spent £700m on Chelsea since he has been there (6 years???). Arsenal have spent nowhere near. Arsenal’s debt (£416m) is due to their (£430m) stadium which is a loan they are paying back with about £20m a year interest alone. The Emirates was built to hold more fans to generate more money, which equals more money available for transfers and wages which equals trophies.

As you said, our slight success this season showed what a fanbase we could have as well. If Moyes can get it right on the field, the rest will follow. The trophies will come, the fans will come, the money will generate and the snowball effect starts. Champions League clubs make on average £36m per season just for getting to the knockout stages. That’s £36m per season on average, Arsenal have generated more than Everton from the Champions League. I think Arsenal have qualified for the last ten(?) Champions Leagues which makes £360m more than Everton from the Champions League alone. That is where Arsenal’s money has come from. You don’t need a billionaire investor, you need success which breeds success.
Dave Wilson
50   Posted 07/07/2009 at 05:53:51

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Matthew, No we dont agree at all here.

You talk about the amount Chelsea have spent, yet you talk only of Arsenal's debt. If I take out a loan for a car, the fact that I borrowed the money doesn't mean I haven't spent it, it just means I pay interest on top of the cost; by the time Arsenal have paid for their £430 million stadium, what will the true cost be?

Abromovich's investment in Chelsea is different: he hasn't built them a new stadium, he chose instead to invest his money in players. He has transformed them from being a club on the verge of bankruptcy to a glamorous world super power, he has stated on more than one occasion he considers the money he has put in to be a loan; he wants it back. He employs Kenyon to balance the books, if he sold his players do you think he wouldn't get his money back? He could get £45 million for Terry today! And what price Fat Frank? ... If he went the whole hog and sold this glamorous club from the trendiest part of London tomorrow, do you seriously think he’d be £700 million out of pocket? People like Abromovich don't do charity.

In football today, success alone does not breed success; sustainable success needs investment. I’m no financial expert, but even I can see that. Moderate success without investment may even do us more harm than good, by making people sit up and take notice we have become even vulnerable to predators, in fact if City decide to double Lescott's money, Man U do the same with Rodwell, and Arsenal decide they do want Arteta, Moyes, after seven years of honest endeavour, could easily find himself back to square one.

When Arsenal started to win trophies, they continued to spend on players, not necessarily on transfer fees but definitely in wages. They have continued to pay top dollar to attract top players — £80 grand a week Arshavin. They invested heavily in the future by building the Emirates

When we qualified for the CL ... we bought Phil Neville.

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