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People Power

By Jay Harris :  27/11/2009 :  Comments (43) :

Looking at the title, some fans will get the impression it's an attempt to get a mass protest against Bill Kenwright. It is not. Although I have no respect for the man, I have no wish to create further unrest at our club.

In times of crisis — and I believe we are very close to that description right now — the only solution is for those with calm and clear heads to establish a way forward that will unite everybody behind the plan.

Destination Kirkby clearly was never that but I hear some people say "Well, it was all we can afford." Absolute bollocks. Any proposal that carries a good return on investment is affordable and, in my opinion, DK never was.

Now that brings me to the title, "People Power".

All marketeers will base their calculations on the number of people their "product" will reach. Now for me that presents a problem as well as an opportunity for EFC.

For a start, with average attendances of around 36,000, no season ticket waiting list and very few sell-out games, Everton's matchgoing support is obviously not enticed by what's on offer. Therefore some thinking outside the box will be necessary.

Although 36,000 gates will not exactly fill EFC's bank account it is very attractive to the likes of breweries, hotel groups, restaurant groups in fact any commercial entity that can see an opportunity from 36,000 people at least once a fortnight added to the number of people residing in or visiting Merseyside.

Although there has been a fiscal tightening of belts there is still plenty of cash around waiting to be invested, what with pension funds, investment funds, etc and companies with cash so. I do not accept that there is no money other than TESCO available to us.

There are 2 other myths I would like to take this opportunity to put to bed:

  1. Goodison Park will cost £230 million to develop
    Utter garbage perpetrated by those with a vested interest in Destination Kirkby. In 2001 a study was done to redevelop GP by a top engineering group who estimated a cost of £40 million. OK, so construction costs have gone up, but not 500% in 8 years.
    In addition, Tom Hughes (an experienced engineer) has constantly posted how GP can be developed for around the cost of DK.
  2. "Only Newcastle supporters buy shirts" — Bill Kewnright
    I throw that one in because the level of thinking at board level shows they do not have the vision nor enthusiasm to take us forward.

Besides a ground share which is the common sense way forward but tinged with emotional problems I believe there are still a number of affordable options available to us.

  • Redevelop GP
  • Look at detailed proposals for the Loop.
  • Invite Sainsbury and the council in for talks re Walton Hall Park possibilities.
  • Look at the Docklands area.
  • (Off the wall) Create a "Football" disneyland across GP, Stanley Park and Anfield.

All of these have significant commercial opportunities so would attract interest from commercial investors.

One final note on funding returning to the value of "People Power" EFC could issue bonds in the new stadium development so that fans with money available could also invest.

Our future needs visionary thinking so to Elstone, Kenwright, Bradley et al: Get it sorted out now!

Reader Comments

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Lyndon Lloyd
Editorial Team
1   Posted 27/11/2009 at 18:30:08

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If only life we that simple, eh, Jay? A proposal can have all the return-on-investment potential in the world but if you can’t afford it in the first place, then, by definition, it’s not affordable.

I don’t think any of the options you cite are affordable to Everton right now and each pose their own significant problems — Goodison’s footprint, NIMBY opposition at Walton Hall Park, real estate at the Loop, lack of remaining available openings in the Docklands given Peel Holdings’ stated reluctance to include football stadia in their plans, etc.

Kirkby was never the right answer but the club’s challenges remain as real as they were after the Kings Dock collapsed and "getting it sorted" will be a Herculean task.
Tony Waverleas
2   Posted 27/11/2009 at 20:49:56

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Sure, Jay, you don’t want to have a pop at BK cos apparently it’s time for the split fanbase to all start hugging one another again but you can’t help yourself with throwing in one daft quote from the man himself to "prove" he’s utterly incompetent at running our club.

Well, Jay, now’s the time - "get it sorted" yourself if it’s all so blindingly obvious what needs to be done. Harness some of your "people power" and we’ll soon be back at the summit of English, nay, European football, won’t we?

Oh, and one word of advice - using crass, childish expressions like "Analfiled" says far, far more about why you should never be taken seriously as an adult than I could ever explain.

Neil Pearse
3   Posted 27/11/2009 at 21:18:19

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Jay, we have very little money and all of the options you are talking about would cost more than we currently have or could raise.

At some point people will finally have to wake up and face this very painful truth. Obviously it’s going to take a little longer yet. Perhaps when we are still sitting in GP and Moyes and many of our best players have left.
David O'Keefe
4   Posted 27/11/2009 at 21:45:16

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Neil, we are all aware of the club's parlous finances, but it still doesn’t turn a bad idea into a good one. Also, condescension is no way to win friends or influence people.
Chris Butler
5   Posted 27/11/2009 at 21:55:55

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Redevelop Goodison but don’t make it bigger. Arsenal and Liverpool have long season ticket waiting lists. Nearly every game sells out home and away. They had the need to make their grounds bigger when they could fill 60,000 seats.
Pat Finegan
6   Posted 27/11/2009 at 22:16:36

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I’m in favor of the football Disneyland. Actually, let’s put a big rock in the middle of Stanley Park and people can come walk around it 7 times, we’ll call it Mecca Jr. That’ll get people to come. But seriously, we just don’t have the money. I’d love to redevelop Goodison but you have to look at what is reasonable and what will put us in a position, on the pitch, to challenge the top 4.
Dick Fearon
7   Posted 27/11/2009 at 21:46:48

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After years of doing just that and getting the DK result he craved, isn’t it nice of Jay not wishing to create further unrest within the club?

I can picture him leading a motley collection of KEIOC and Gavin and Tony and the usual crowd of back-stabbing bastards (er, sorry about that Tonyism creeping in there...) prancing behind St Vinnies band to the Z-Cars ,tune waving banners that proclaim a deep and undying love of all things blue as, dodging dogshit, they wend their victorious way to their beloved Goodison. Oops, another Tonyism crept in there.

Jay Harris
8   Posted 27/11/2009 at 23:09:36

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The point of the article which I must have made badly is to point out that WE (being EFC) don't necessarily need the money.

Neil, you for one, were baniging the drum about Tesco funding at one point in the DK debate.

You all might be surprised to find its not only Tesco that has ambition and money.

I know we need OUTSIDE investment and with the right project I am sure we will find it but all attractive investments start with "LOCATION, Location, location".

Dick, I would like you to point out how from a few posts in ToffeeWeb I created unrest in the club and got the result I crave.

Kirkby was dead in the water the day it was thought of and with very little persuasion from anti-DKites was exposed for the farce it was by the planning inspectorate.

Any unrest between supporters and the club lies solely at the feet of the current board.
Dick Fearon
9   Posted 28/11/2009 at 01:04:34

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Jay, so you don’t wish to cause further unrest at our club, eh? I have made New Year resolutions that lasted longer than that. Already you are putting the boot into Blue Bill by blaming him for any and all unrest.
Derek Thomas
10   Posted 28/11/2009 at 02:45:35

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Whispers,monorail; louder,monorail; louder still, monorail; shouts, MONORAIL!
Matt Traynor
11   Posted 28/11/2009 at 03:21:09

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This is all moot. Jay, your heart’s in the right place - you’re a fan. We all are.

Everton do need a new ground, or a phased redevelopment of Goodison. If I were a betting man, I think Peel will now talk to the club about Central Docks. We may well get the waterfront stadium we were promised. But, continuing my betting streak, I think there will have to be a change of ownership before those discussions can develop further.

Despite what people on here think, LCC never wanted Everton to leave the city (I know that Walton isn’t technically the city, and Kirkby has an L postcode). There had to be a willingness to engage, and due to Tesco Terry’s exclusivity handcuffs, that couldn’t happen. Also, LCC bent over backwards for us to get the King’s Waterfront site (and I worked on that). It was our current custodian that allegedly wound people up.

The DK fiasco was doomed from the start because it broke every planning rule in the book - but Tesco have been bending the rules (to suit them - and ultimately their shareholders) for years. DK was a step too far. KMBC were patsy’s. It was never going to go through, but thanks to the bad advice, that’s another few million down the tube on consultants fees etc.

We, as passionate fans, deserve so much better. That’s all that I ask for. Is it too much?
Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
12   Posted 28/11/2009 at 04:05:30

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Got to agree with your last point, Tony Waverleas, that is childish and crass. I apologise for it getting through — I was off on editorial leave.
Neil Pearse
13   Posted 28/11/2009 at 07:17:55

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Fair enough David, but I genuinely fear for our club in its present situation.

After all these years of debate, for people to be still coming on here and talking as if we have lots of affordable options that will now magically open up to us after Kirkby and the dreaded exclusivity agreement - it makes me want to scream with frustration.

People still don’t get it, and now they are going to have to learn the hard and painful way. Elstone can’t say a sentence at the moment without using the words "money", "finance" or "affordability". He’s practically begging for someone to come forward and give us some money, it’s pitiful to watch. That’s because he knows what the books look like.

More dreamy hopes from Kenwright or ignorant musings from Moyes make no difference. Sure, something or someone might just turn up that might get us out of our current hole. But very probably that will not happen. At least not now for a few years until we get to the other side of the current financial crisis. By then I think we might have fallen rather a long way behind. Let’s hope not.
Stephen Kenny
14   Posted 28/11/2009 at 07:59:41

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FFS Michael

What’s the big problem with slipping a few snide comments into a column on an Everton fansite about the R/S in the build up to a derby?
Richard Jones
15   Posted 28/11/2009 at 09:33:43

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As Father Ted once said DICK, DICK, DICK, DICK, DICK. shaking his head and smiling.
Neil Pearse
16   Posted 28/11/2009 at 09:58:28

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Rich, if you could let us know what there is to smile about in our current situation (both on and off the pitch!), I for one would be sincerely grateful for the cheering up.

Last time I looked we had very little money, no affordable options, a failed and demoralised leadership, and were pretty unattractive to any potential new owners. The reasons to be cheerful are?
Richard Jones
17   Posted 28/11/2009 at 10:12:43

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I’m happy today that Kirkby failed, because I believed that it was plan to make somebody very rich at the expence of our club, it doesnt mean I’m happy with how our club stands at the present, in fact I’m very angry.
Colin Wainwright
18   Posted 28/11/2009 at 10:20:49

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Reasons to be cheerful?

Well we’re not going to Kirkby! It may have been our only affordable option Neil, but an affordable mistake is still a fuckin mistake.
Richard Jones
19   Posted 28/11/2009 at 10:35:21

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In fact, if you look at the post I was responding to from Dick, he seems to be pointing the shity end of the stick in the wrong direction. Hence my response, I’m not sure I need to justify anything to you sir at present!
Dick Fearon
20   Posted 28/11/2009 at 11:29:17

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Richard J, my goodness you are a bit touchy today.
Chad Schofield
21   Posted 28/11/2009 at 11:07:03

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Frankly even if we can show good potential ROI, it looks unlikely that they’ll any kind of white knight investor/buyer for a few months. While the financial forecasts still looked particularly bleak next year, there was a sense that things were looking up... and then Dubai made its announcement.

Obviously, it’s not just those of Arabian descent that will have lost with World markets dropping. Post drawn out Abu Dhabi bail out people will be looking to invest - and on the flip side we might look like an interesting prospect then as we’ll be a bit more desperate and European.

Anyway, I’m waffling... and we might just get bought before 2010 - just don’t expect any kind of Disneyland soon.
Richard Jones
22   Posted 28/11/2009 at 11:51:04

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I dont recall me calling anyone a back-stabber Dick thats a bit touchy if you ask me. I can understand why, after all your leader has made a bit of a twat out of you and all who supported him.
Ryan Holroyd
23   Posted 28/11/2009 at 11:48:39

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Neil Pearse

You kept on saying that Kirkby was ’Affordable’ without realising it WAS NOT DELIVERABLE which was one of the mantras of our Chairman.

It was never gonna happen.

You were duped like every over sheep at our club.

We all know we have fuck all money. That’’s why we never spend more than what we get back in transfers.

God knows where we would be now without Moyes taking us to 6th, 5th and 5th with all the ’prize’ money that brings.

Get Kenwright out. He’s worse than PJ ever was.

Derek Turnbull
24   Posted 28/11/2009 at 13:18:49

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The Everton hierarchy are sayng they can’t afford to rebuild Goodison.

Fine just rebuild half of it then Fuck Off.

We can all stop arguing and worrying, and in three seasons time we’re in a far better position than we are now.

New Invester comes in, he only has the hassle of half a stadium and will have a current ground with better corporate crap and capcity of mid to late 40k.

Otherwise, all that will happen in 3 seasons is that we may have found a site in bloody Skem or Cronton, only to mess it up 2 years on from that again, and we haven’t progressed an inch ad wasted more money on botched up schemes.

Gavin Ramejkis
25   Posted 28/11/2009 at 14:26:29

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Dick by name and by nature? I do my stabbing up front. As Jay pointed out, and I have too, the DK project failed due to it’s blatant disregard of the rules, nothing to do with the football stadium, but why ignore fact when you can pass the buck, come on Dick tell us what the Chairman of a company is responsible for and what they aren’t?

Anyway I think some of Jay’s ideas are good but undeliverable due to the club’s lack of funds. Innovation used to be a byword at the club and the idea of some amalgated venture for off field activities be it concerts, corporates, housing the David France collection which is relevent to both clubs with stadia either side of it or one mega stadium as part of it. Who is to say out there somewhere isn’t someone with a completely new idea to deliver a football stadium. New things don’t come from copying what’s already been built.
Neil Pearse
26   Posted 28/11/2009 at 14:45:09

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Ryan, your demented Kenwright hating is getting the better of you. Tescos for one are not in the habit of investing millions in "shams" and "things that were never going to happen".

It was a bet that didn’t come off. But as we will now stew in the lack of affordable alternatives, we might well come to see the attempt a little differently.
Anthony Cullen
27   Posted 28/11/2009 at 15:17:37

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Reading Kenwright's comments on EFC website regarding financial matters — I realised Kenwright is an idiot.

"They need to be stabilised, improved and expanded. As everyone knows, the club doesn’t currently have a chairman or a board in a position to do those things."

Surely, these comments display clearly to all Kenwright lovers this man is admitting his own (and the Board's) incompetence. Any other individual admitting they can't do their job would lose said job!!!
David O'Keefe
28   Posted 28/11/2009 at 15:22:44

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Tescos for one are not in the habit of investing millions in "shams" and "things that were never going to happen".

Neil, have you been in a coma this week? They have invested millions in a scheme that would not get approved, but they thought differently. However, they have a Plan B having bought Kirkby town centre — that is the difference between Tesco and Everton.
Jay Harris
29   Posted 28/11/2009 at 16:58:49

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it was a mighty expensive bet.

£4.5 million in lost fees and another few years wasted with GP allowed to further deteriorate.

Considering you harp on about our lack of money I would have thought you’d have picked on that one.
Frank McGregor
30   Posted 28/11/2009 at 17:26:52

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Jay, I have tried to come to terms with the "people power" aspect of the rejection however I wonder if there is a much deeper "Lobby" in all this, such as "Grosvenor Estates" which I believe controls a large portion of vested interests within the area. With regards to moving forward, I really am apprehensive about the club's future.
Keith Glazzard
31   Posted 28/11/2009 at 17:49:58

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The idea that a thread on TW could create ’unrest at the club’ seems to me to imagine that anything we say has some influence on the private company that is EFC. Never happened. They did have a vote for season ticket holders as I recall - the only club ever to have done that.

The book being closed on the Kirkby plan had nothing to do with the wishes of Everton supporters, but instead the political wrangling between local authorities, the national government and a massive company called Tesco. As far as I can gather, there was no objection in principle to the building of a football stadium in Knowsley.

Frank - the Grosvenor Estates thing? Can you expand for us?

Anthony - you clearly haven’t worked out that he can’t lose his job until someone else buys the club as he is the owner. That will be called "investment". I prefer the term benefaction.

Jay - Breweries, hotel groups and restaurants want to invest in Walton? Name names please. And if my pension fund goes there I will buy my three acres and a cow tomorrow.

Gavin Ramejkis
32   Posted 28/11/2009 at 19:05:04

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Keith G, dare I say it but come the day when that lot across the park get their stadium built there will be a clamour to provide additional facilities in the area. Does anyone that constantly cites the "Walton is a shithole" etc think Stanley Park is a million miles away and that they thought just that when they chose not to build a stadium elsewhere but right there where they have decades of proven access. Anyone that speculates with accomodation in the vicinity will gain from the travelling fans that will visit it for home games, european games and additional off field activities such as concerts, etc. Turning coin from a competitor would be a master stroke if you ask me.
Neil Pearse
33   Posted 28/11/2009 at 19:05:20

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David, my objection was to Ryan’s claim that the DK project was a complete sham. For poltical reasons due to wranglings between local authorities and central government, it failed. The planning regulations have nothing much to do with it. The Government would have happily overridden them if they had believed it was in their political interest to do so.

Tescos have a Plan B (and C-Z) for the simple reason that they are one of the UK’s most successful and richest companies. If we were one tenth as rich as them, we would have lots of alternatives too. That’s the point.

Jay, the fees were what was necessary to go after the only affordable option we had. I agree - the club’s management called it wrong that it would be approved. The extent to which they ’wasted’ two years is not clear. Let’s now see what else we can afford to do. As you know, I am not holding my breath.
Keith Glazzard
34   Posted 28/11/2009 at 20:27:18

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Gavin - thanks for your thoughts.

I read the Observer last weekend (for a change). Everton made it in three sections, sports pages, Rodwell made it into their gorgeous top ten in the colour supplement and their magazine featured Walton as the most run down, deprived, constituency, in the land.

I’m not making this stuff up.

So, as I ask Jay, who are these hoteliers that want to buy out those little chippies around the Old Lady to provide £200 a night to accommodate our visitors to the game? I might have thought that more brewers (Jay again) were moving out of the area than moving into it. That’s what is happening in almost every place in England.

Ste Traverse
35   Posted 28/11/2009 at 20:42:55

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Neil "affordable" Pearse. Can't stop going around in circles trying to justify what most Evertonians realised ages ago was a doomed project? Sorry, but you're turning into a complete bore.
Keith Glazzard
36   Posted 28/11/2009 at 20:58:56

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Ste -’doomed project?’.

As I recall the judgement was against the business park, not the football stadium (in principle). So Toffees can give investment advice to the mighty Tesco. Perhaps we should be owning our own club.
David Cornmell
37   Posted 28/11/2009 at 21:22:09

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I never saw it coming. It’s totally unbelievable that the scheme was rejected. Planning permission or not, there’s a recession on, and it’s not like there’s a lineup of big companies waiting to pump cash into Kirby...
Frank McGregor
38   Posted 28/11/2009 at 22:20:55

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Keith, I will try my best to expand: there are powerful vested interest forces in the background who have strong lobbying influences with the government of the day and "Grosvenor Estates" is one of the most powerful who have controlling and vested interest in the commercial area of both Liverpool and central London and no doubt they would not have been sitting on the fence on this issue.

There is an old saying: "Follow the Money and Influence" and you will get pretty close to the facts. Hope this helps...

Keith Glazzard
39   Posted 28/11/2009 at 23:29:18

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Thank you Frank.

I believe the village of Belgravia, between Chester and Wrexham, gave its name to that district of London, actually Westminster, of the same name. An old mate of mine used to meet Gerald, the 6th Duke thereof on account of his charitable brief. He said he was a nice guy. More likely to invest, if that’s the right word, in Chester than us.

I’m still waiting for Jay’s list of brewers, hoteliers and restauranteurs who want to take advantage of the clientele that Walton affords at least once a fortnight or sometimes more.
John Andrews
40   Posted 29/11/2009 at 00:17:33

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Everton FC should have started the rebuilding ages ago. It could/should have been almost complete by now!

We have had the Sky money and spunked it and now it is difficult to see where to turn next. Villa, Spurs to name but two clubs have managed to change their grounds into half decent — why can’t we?

Neil Pearse
41   Posted 29/11/2009 at 09:20:01

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Ste, I am sorry to be boring. But since you believe quite falsely that we are now about to find affordable alternatives which will take our club forward - well, it’s hard not to get frustrated and repetitive.

I am much less interested in the past about Kirkby (that’s gone) than the future. And if you think the future is promising, you simply don’t understand the financial condition we are in.
Ste Traverse
42   Posted 29/11/2009 at 23:50:49

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Neil, Kirkby was the only "affordable" option under the present muppet chairman and board we have was their one and only idea of raising money is to sell our best players. Maybe, just maybe, if we were run by people with a bit more buisness savy, a bit more buisness acumen, we could of "afforded" something far more than a cowshed in a small town. Thank god it fell through.
Richard Jones
43   Posted 30/11/2009 at 19:21:34

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I bet you want to move on, just like Kenwright, Neil... After all you backed him on his undeliverable plan and he and all his supporters are guilty of holding this club back for years and the damaged may well be permanent. Hang your head in shame and we’ll think about accepting you back into our midst.

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