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Gimme some Hope

By Christine Foster :  01/08/2009 :  Comments (19) :

Hope... funny word — we all want it so bad, though, don’t we? The cynics, the romantics... and even the hard-nosed amongst us actually have all used the term “We live in hope” When you read through many of the threads in TW it really is clear that being an Evertonian is synonymous with that phrase.

We ALL live in hope everyday.

Many of us hope that we will be able to win the Premier League for the first time.

Many hope we will just stay in it!

Many hope we will play the type of football with the type of players who have pride in pulling on a blue shirt.

Many hope for a club well run, led, successful on and off the field, one that can see further than an exit strategy.

But Hope drives us to believe in something, Hope brings faith in those you want to see succeed. Without the hope it becomes cynical and critical and faith is lost. Many of us still have hope because we desperately want to believe that our faith is not misplaced.

My Hopes are simple.

I hope we find a home that befits our great club.

I hope we find a buyer who is an investor and cleans the board room to replace with good business ideals that give some transparency and inclusion to the shareholders and fans alike.

I hope the board sees that the fans in this great club need hope more than they need them. I hope they can see their role as custodians and not just as an opportunity to make money.

I hope we can give David Moyes the opportunity to make a good team great before the lure of gold elsewhere becomes to powerful.

I hope we can see a club who is respectful of its supporters and shareholders alike, a club that not pays lip service to its share holders but has principles and is still SEEN to be accountable (AGMs) even though in truth we all know it isn’t. But at least it stands by the principle. Is that too much to ask for?

We all hope for something better in everything we do. Everton FC is a major part of our lives and we all hope they do well. We all hope that our voices are heard, we all hope that someone, somewhere is listening.

Hope is worth aspiration and dreams but many have lost so much when they see their dreams trampled on without care or concern. Trample hope and you undermine faith, without faith you are left with charity.

I Hope for better days, I hope for a well funded, well run football club. I hope that the club will find a good buyer, I hope we will stay were we are, improved or at the very least move to a location that has flagship not flotsam as a by line. I hope that my pride in the club will never be diminished.

I live in Hope but want to make a difference to the important things in my life.

Reader Comments

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Mike McLean
1   Posted 02/08/2009 at 07:07:44

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In writing about the gateway to Hell, Dante wrote the words which could be engraved over each entrance to Kirkby, "Ogni speranza che voi entrate" ... abandon hope, you who enter here.
Dave Wilson
2   Posted 02/08/2009 at 08:03:57

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If DK gets the nod, we’ll have two hopes.
Richard Dodd
3   Posted 02/08/2009 at 08:21:29

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I’m sure Chairman Bill’s hopes are similar to yours, Christine! In the meantime, he just has to get on with running our Club in the businesslike and very sensible way that has marked his tenure. Long may it continue!
Gavin Ramejkis
4   Posted 02/08/2009 at 08:29:45

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Doddy - mushrooms bad, reality good. Black Bill is making another dog’s dinner of it despite record profits.
Thomas Surgenor
5   Posted 02/08/2009 at 10:04:58

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Hallum Hope?
David King
6   Posted 02/08/2009 at 10:48:54

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I hope we don’t sign Phillipe Senderos!
Richard Jones
7   Posted 02/08/2009 at 13:46:04

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Richard, he even admits he hasn’t got a clue — he’s just a fan like us.
Peter Roberts
8   Posted 02/08/2009 at 14:34:29

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Mike, I did Italian at university and can assure you your translation of Dante is inaccurate. The full translation is "Enter with every hope". Maybe we should scribe that over all the turnstiles at GP.
Gavin Ramejkis
9   Posted 02/08/2009 at 15:05:38

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The translation from the Divine Comedy reads:

Through me you pass into the city of woe:
Through me you pass into eternal pain:
Through me among the people lost for aye.

Justice the founder of my fabric mov’d:
To rear me was the task of power divine,
Supremest wisdom, and primeval love.

Before me things create were none, save things
Eternal, and eternal I endure.
All hope abandon ye who enter here.

Such characters in colour dim I mark’d
Over a portal’s lofty arch inscrib’d:
Whereat I thus: Master, these words import.

Although I do like Peter’s suggestion for the turnstiles for GP.
Keith Glazzard
10   Posted 02/08/2009 at 16:39:26

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As we’re doing the linguistics — the Spanish verb esperar means both to hope and to wait for. "To wait in hope" can’t be literally translated into Spanish — but is perhaps something which could be inscribed above the entrance to the close season.
Matt Traynor
11   Posted 02/08/2009 at 16:49:57

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Peter / Mike, I have:

Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’entrate.
- All hope abandon, ye who enter in.
(Canto III, line 9)

Durante degli Alighieri

Checked on Wiki-quote, or whatever it is. And surely not everything on Wiki is made up??
Will Leaf
12   Posted 02/08/2009 at 17:12:45

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Wiki: "You get what you pay for"

"Many of us hope that we will be able to win the Premier League for the first time." Christine, don’t fall into the trap that football was invented in 1992. We have won the league nine times. When we win it again, we will be doing NOTHING for the first time!
Gerry Morrison
13   Posted 02/08/2009 at 18:35:12

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Keith, I am very impressed with your Spanish, but Dante wrote in Italian.
Kevin Tully
14   Posted 02/08/2009 at 19:25:57

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This may give hope to all of us.

It looks to me as if the economic truth has finally caught up with football.
Rupert Sullivan
15   Posted 02/08/2009 at 20:08:34

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Well good grief... ToffeeWeb contributors have always ’spoken in tongues’... although not usually modern languages.

Congrats Christine on a fantastic achievement.
Daniel Mcloughlin
16   Posted 03/08/2009 at 00:00:38

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To Richard Dodd who says ’long may it continue’. Kirkby and Kenwright will end all our hope and we’ll end up a mediocre club like Bolton and Wigan. I can’t believe some people seem happy with the same crap every season.
Tony Williams
17   Posted 03/08/2009 at 09:04:11

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As we are writing in different languages, I will add what my friend said to me in fluent drunkenese.

"That Senderos is fucken shite and Lescott can get to fuck too."

Music to the ears, the way it fell off his tongue.
Alan Kirwin
18   Posted 03/08/2009 at 17:31:32

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Christine, IMHO there are too many Everton fans that expect too much. Few can articulate their aspirations as eloquently and gently as you, and some actually expect and demand rather than aspire.

Sure, it’s easy to cast an eye down the East Lancs to veritable no-hopers who were in the 3rd tier not long ago, but now claim to be the world’s richest club. Things like that simply distort everything, football in particular, but also life itself for many — as is evident from their increasingly desperate posts on TW.

I don’t think there’s an Evertonian anywhere who wouldn’t want us to compete stronger in the transfer market, or to have some financial headroom to play as others do, although not as many others as some Evertonians claim.

So, whilst I respect both your arguments and the way in which you make them, I’d like to turn it around again and ask you to consider it differently for a moment.

Many talk about Everton as former greats, once great, truly great, pedigree, history etc etc. And of course some of this is true. But (at the slight risk of my stalker, D Wilson, accusing me of "talking down our great club, bla, bla, bla...") I think that, however much WE love Everton, it calms the mind and helps to appreciate what we are currently achieving by looking at our recent history.

We’ve had god & bad patches, or decades, throughout our history. The ’50s were poor, whilst the ’60s were pretty good (albeit only 1 championship & 1 FA cup). So perhaps we should take a look at things from 1970. The year I started grammar school (Cardinal Allen) where I had several of Colin Harvey’s books.

We’d just won the league when I was 11. Most of us thought we’d have a chance of the European Cup. But we lost in the QF to a Panathinaikos away goal. They got to the final (at Wembley). Probably the first big "should’ve been" of my life as an Evertonian.

Alas, one piss poor Milk Cup final aside, the 70s were poor. Couple of near missed under Gordon Lee, but nowt much to rave about.

The ’80s started the way the ’70s ended. Poor, getting poorer. In fact right up until December 2004 under Howard, we were bad. Those were the days when 13,000, yes, 13,000, turned up for a league game at Goodison.

But it all changed one cold night at the Manor Ground, and the next 5 years were almost non stop bliss.

Then the ’90s came... and went. With the exception of an FA Cup win and one season where we flattered to deceive when the flying Russian was runing havock and looked like scoring whenever he got the ball. But we flirted with the big R on too many occasions. I can hear the words now "a club of our size / stature / history / pedigree / etc etc...". Yeah, yeah, yeah. Newcastle. Man City. Leeds. And so on.

The new millenium started the way the ’90s ended. Fairly miserably.

And then Bill Kenwright decided enough was finally enough under Walter. He looked tired & the team looked dead. And Bill took a punt on a young & hungry manager with it all to prove at the highest level. It hasn’t been all plain sailing. We’ve had a couple of nightmares. Some independent pundits, most of them experienced and well informed, have eulogised about Everton’s "relative success" both on and off the pitch in recent years. This view doesn’t find favour with some TW contributors who judge themselves to be more astute in such matters.

Is there such a thing as "relative success? Well, that just depends how much you like context. Some like none of it, whilst others (such as myself) see it differently. I believe success has to be judged by the full context in which it is achieved. Money rules the roost more than ever before. Everton finds itself at a major disadvantage to the Sky 4, and Man City, and perhaps to London based clubs, all because of money.

But this is not a simple canvas to paint in which the villain always looks like Bill Kenwright, as some simpletons believe. The roots of this imbalance can be found in history, misfortune and demographics.

It is to Man Utd’s eternal relief that they broke a barren spell of 27 years without a Championship trophy at precisely the time the EPL & all its hullaballoo was launched... and Sky did the rest.

It is to Chelsea’s relief that, rather than enter administration, a certain Russian oligarch who amassed unmitigated billions through unfathomable methods, took a shine to a club with the finest real estate base of any club in the EPL, and possibly the world.

It is to Liverpool’s credit, I guess, that they amassed a world wide following from over 20 years of constant success. It just kinda happens like that. Kids and the unaligned follow the winners.

And it is to Arsenal’s huge credit to have appointed a man such as Arsene Wenger, who has gone from unknown to genius and visionary. He too has delivered success without spending the huge fortunes thrown around by others. So it can be done, to a point.

And it was not Everton’s fault, and certainly not Bill Kenwright’s fault (last time I checked) that fans of Liverpool & Juventus ran riot and caused a long ban, at precisely the start of the most successful period in Everton’s history. The cost to us of that ban can only be imagined over several pints (or rose wines). We lost players to Rangers because they were in Europe. It was tragic, but the rot was beginning to set in.

And so to the simple conclusion. Firstly, the rots of our current predicament are not the sole domain of Bill Kenwright. That’s just rot. Had we not been banned from Europe the who knows where we would have been in the 90s, and where our fan base and revenue model would be today. But many of the malcontents on TW constantly overlook the fan base issue because it is at odds with their idyll of Everton reigning supreme over all. The reality is different. We only fill our stadium once a year. We have no waiting list for season tickets. There is no golden goose to lay the egg of a new stadium in the way that Arsenal had, or Spurs seem to have. We have the 10th best gates out of 20. It has been this way for most of recent times. And, perversely, as our relative success has increased under Moyes, our relative standing in the support stakes has declined. So work that out and explain what it is that underwrites our claim to be "big" and "great" and to "deserve to be at the top" etc etc.

Fact is, on top of our declining support, the last 40 years has yielded 3 championships, whilst the preceding 30 years yielded just 1. So that’s 4 in 70 years. And we’ve won the FA cup twice in that 40 years.

So look, whilst we all love Everton and we all want to win the league, play great football and thrash Liverpool, can we dispense with the ubiquitous bollocks about how great we are and we deserve this and that? A fan's love of a club can be limitless, his or her hopes and aspirations can be orbital, but when it comes to expectations, please, excuse the facts and take a reality check.

There are plenty of reasons to be cheerful. You just have to look (in the record books).
Christine Foster
19   Posted 04/08/2009 at 07:16:16

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Alan I use the term "great club" meaning my pride in the club and its tradition and history. Not in its current standing. But we ARE a great club, maybe not with the clout, maybe not with the money, not with the right leadership, but we are still a great club, I for one am proud to have great tradition, great support and great pride in my club. It is a great club.

Its relevant. Its got some great players, great HOPES.

We are not a Eurpopean championship contender / winner / Premier league winner who can afford unlimited transfer funds. But that alone doesn’t make a club "Great"

Or lastly and quite simply put, "Great" as in the scouse definition. Great as in great time, great people, great place, great club to be associated with.. Get it?

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