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How to sign Landon Donovan

By Graham Broyd :  02/07/2010 :  Comments (28) :
I believe Landon Donovan should be a priority signing for the whole season.

The question is how do you do that. The American league - MLS - is a different world, with different priorities than most European Leagues. You have to solve for their issues to get this deal done.

We should propose a sign/loan mix. Donovan should remain the "property" of the LA Galaxy, but they should agree for him to play a full Premier League season with Everton. Everton should pay MLS/LA Galaxy not only Donovan's wages, but also an annual fee, probably £2M, each year he stays with us.

What does this do? "Soccer" is a developing industry in the US, its "brand" is extremely important. Donovan has big name status now. By having him remain Galaxy property, they can sell his named shirts, he can talk as a member of the Galaxy team, he can represent them globally, he formally will go back and play for them after he has completed his time with us ? but not playing their season and the Premier League season, he ends up with a Beckham injury if he did that.

After 2 or 3 years at Everton he could return ? free of charge. Free of charge is important because MLS teams can't pay big transfer fees. He could play one or two exhibition games for the Galaxy, we should be receptive to that.

How does this work for us? We get a full season, and we pay £2m if he does this for one year and it's not great; if he is fantastic and stays for 4 years, we end up paying £8m and have to sell him back for nothing... not great, but not awful compared to all those £20m player risks out there. Most likely we have him for 2 or 3 really world class years, for a very little accumulating transfer fee.

The US media know that LD became great for USA because he went to Everton, they understand that, it actually makes them feel pretty good that he succeeded here in the best league. The USA is very nationalistic, they know that their national team is based around 4 quality players who could compete at the top level ? Donovan, Dempsey, Howard and Bradley... three playing here, one in the Bundesliga.

They know they won't progress as a national team ? yet ? without getting their top players that experience. They just want them back before they are 35, to make their league ever more competitive. And they want brand ? which this gives them.

By the way, Uncle Bill K should not miss the merchandising opportunities that a US superstar, attached to a Los Angeles based sports team, would sell a lot of Everton everything in California... tickets, shirts, trips... maybe even shares.

Can someone get this idea to Uncle Bill and young David?

Reader Comments

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James Stewart
1   Posted 02/07/2010 at 21:36:27

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NIce idea and I hope something happens along similar lines. Stumping up a big transfer fee for Donovan would be stupid given his age, so this makes more sense
Dean Smith
2   Posted 02/07/2010 at 21:48:43

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Ian Tod
3   Posted 02/07/2010 at 22:07:10

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Dean 2, that's not true Everton are now a very popular club in asia and australia because of those two deals and Landon's loan deal here has made us popular in the US as well
Dean Smith
4   Posted 02/07/2010 at 22:12:29

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Rupert Coghlan
5   Posted 02/07/2010 at 22:36:58

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This is pipe dream stuff. Seems to be all gain for us, little gain for MLS or LA Galaxy.

So we get Landon Donovan's best years for £2M a year, and £1.5M wages, they sell a few more shirts? It won't add up to £3.5M that's for sure.

A better option (if possible) would be to link up with LA Galaxy formally. Each year, a few of our kids go out there on loan, get first-team football, and we get their best player(s) for the 2nd half of the Prem season (ie, Donovan). We set up an 'Everton 3' store in LA, we install an LA Galaxy area at Everton 1+2.
Ian Tod
6   Posted 02/07/2010 at 22:52:14

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Rupert, I was thinking exactly that
James Flynn
7   Posted 03/07/2010 at 00:57:01

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Rupert (5) - A great idea especially as MLS kicks off just as EPL finishes. Galaxy in particular are a great fit (pursuit of Donovan considered). Arena loves the grizzled veteran mix with lots of youth. Always been that way and still is. Plus, he doesn't kid around. Very organized.

As EFC is signing young strikers by the bushel and MLS is starved for that talent (the singular deficiency in our National side), send them out to Arena for a few months. Great idea.

Plus, a few months in SoCal in the Summer and Fall. The kids could handle that, couldn't they?
James Flynn
8   Posted 03/07/2010 at 01:29:20

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LD wants to come back to Goodison. Keep this in mind when discussing him. Plus, I understand he has some money coming endorsement-wise (He's paid more by Galaxy for that then salary). EFC can do the same.
Andy McNabb
9   Posted 03/07/2010 at 01:39:27

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Dean 4 ? sorry, mate, you're quite wrong. I have lived an hour East of Melbourne for the last 9 years. LOTS of Toffees out here and Tim Cahill is everywhere you go, both in Socceroos and Everton tops. At our local Footy club there is even a signed Everton shirt and Everton legends framed picture behind the bar and I didn't put them there!

Mind you, I have to take the credit for brainwashing the kids at the Primary school where I teach. Our kids even play "real football" these days!

Get Landon at the club ? would be a great asset.

Carlos Camacho
10   Posted 03/07/2010 at 01:51:53

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Dean Smith, I disagree. In the year that Moyes joined Everton, I was turned on to the EPL by an Aussie friend. He was a Chelski fan and so I studied all the teams in the EPL at the time. I want to say it was either McBride or Jonathan Wolf who played for Everton, and of course the whole concept of 'The People's Club' that turned me on to the team. So in a way, I looked for a team that had a yank. I see far beyond just that now, but don't estimate this point. The thing is, the signing must play first time and must be good. Look at Park at ManU. I'm sure his success has turned many Koreans into ManU fans. Especially the kids in school.

I won't say Donovan would have such an impact, though many non-soccer fans in the US know of him. Most people can't name beyond him (who don't follow the game.)

Frankly, if we want to give Tim a companion, I'd rather see Bradley or Dempesy. That would be sweet.
Rory Slingo
11   Posted 03/07/2010 at 04:06:21

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It would appear this saga has taken an about turn:

Donovan said he feels so enthusiastic about returning to the Galaxy that he plans to remain in Major League Soccer for the immediate future. His first scheduled game with the Galaxy since his return is Sunday night.

Manchester City and Everton in England's Premier League are reported to be interested in Donovan, who played for Everton on loan for six weeks earlier this year.

"Right now, I want to be in America," Donovan said. "If there's something serious to look at, then I will. I never say never to anything. But for now, I'm very excited to be home."

Matt Traynor
12   Posted 03/07/2010 at 04:06:43

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Dean Smith, Everton do have a much higher presence in Asia over recent years - entirely because of the Chang Partnership.

Unfortunately, we do have to break the top 4 cartel to move to the next level. The TV broadcasters here talk almost exclusively about them, claiming the majority of EPL fans support one of them. Sadly they're probably right. You'll even see Man City shirts out and about now.

It's also true that most of the increased awareness is purely down to Chang. When we were in the cup final, they organised a gathering for Everton Fans (and Friends) - right next to the Chelsea gathering. They sponsored it. We all got loads of free beer (at least it was cold), and given Chang-Everton towels, beer buckets etc to take away. Chang also wrapped up 30 buses in Singapore promoting their brand, but using EFC imagery.

Everton are bloody lucky to have Chang as a partner, and should be looking to increase the value of that partnership over time. If it wasn't for them, I'd be worried we'd be sponsored by "Bargain Booze" or "Netto".
James Flynn
13   Posted 03/07/2010 at 04:49:50

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Dean Smith - State your real name and purpose. If it's to have a laugh fucking with EFC lovers, say so.

If you're in longing for passion gone from the other side of the river, say that. Cause you've found it and welcome!!
Martin Mason
14   Posted 03/07/2010 at 05:12:47

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Dean, I live in Asia and I can confirm that Everton are unknown in a sea of Chelsea and Man Utd.
Matthew Lovekin
15   Posted 03/07/2010 at 07:42:20

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As much as I want to see Landon back in an Everton shirt, the longer it goes on, I just can't see it happening.

It's like coming back from a fantastic holiday, you tell all your friends and family what a great time you had and wouldn't it be fantastic to live out there, but eventually reality has to start kicking in and you have to get back to your day to day job.

Everton went through a similar scenario with Manuel Fernandes. Everyone wanted him back after his first loan spell, and he even did come back for a second loan, but the reality was we never could afford/convince him to sign fully.

It's a dream for every Evertonian to see Landon back at Goodison, but Galaxy don't want to sell, he has got 4 and a half years left on his contract there, and even if we could afford him, another team like Man City would now come in for him after his World Cup showing and blow us out of the water.
Matteo Rosingana
16   Posted 03/07/2010 at 09:42:52

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Hope this can raise a smile.
Colin Potter
17   Posted 03/07/2010 at 13:24:19

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Why oh why are the majority of fans obsessed with getting Donovan back here? He is a good player, and he did us proud, but he is not the be-all and end-all of our ambitions surely. I personally think, with the right coaching, Coleman could a much better job, and he has age on his side.

I wouldn't mind at all if Donovan came back for another spell, but let's not get carried away with all this hype.

Mike Elbey
18   Posted 03/07/2010 at 13:52:57

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Colin, the reason why people are so obsessed with getting LD back is because he gave us a tantalising glimpse of how we can play with a proper pacy right sided attacking midfielder in the side. Not only that he completely fitted into the type of player we require given the system we play and the work ethic demanded by both Moyes and the fans.

Just because you may not think it is the be all and end all why question other people who want him back?

Personally I believe not to at least try and sign him permanently would be just plain daft. If it doesn't happen then so be it but not to try would show a complete lack of ambition. With him in the squad along with keeping hold of the current players we are definately good enough to at least challenge for a place in the top 4 and to go all the way in the cups.

Hers's hoping...
Rahman Talib
19   Posted 03/07/2010 at 17:24:45

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So only Fellaini and Gosling are not available for Australia (plus Shane Duffy too). So, I am thinking, we have enough personel to mount a strong challenge for Top 4 and others. For me, if Landon Donovan is our only Big Money purchase this year, I?ll be most contented.

We may not have big money players like John Terry and Frank Lampard but fat lot of good these people did in the World Cup. For me, we should stick together as a team and focus on winning silverware this coming season.

We should also develop our own talent i.e. Jose Baxter, Kieran Agard, Shane Duffy and others. If anything, the World Cup had taught us, the German model is the better model: young, hungry and motivated players are the best players to play with. Not a bunch of overpaid babies who think the entire team should play around them. COYB, let's have a kick-ass season!

Colin Potter
20   Posted 03/07/2010 at 18:03:34

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Mike, I'm not against Donovan coming back, it's all this "Will he? Won't he?" business that annoys me. We've had enough of it with Lescott last year and Moyes before that... and, bugger me, this year it's Pienaar. I think Everton should make a quick decision so Moyes can get a first 11 settled as soon as he can. And Mike, even without him in the squad, I think we will still make the top four.
Brendan O'Doherty
21   Posted 04/07/2010 at 01:20:58

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Dean Saunders, sorry, Smith,

"it's gonna take more than Landon Donovan to make Everton anywhere near as famous as Man Utd or Liverpool."

I think you just blew your cover there.
Spragg Johnson
22   Posted 04/07/2010 at 06:46:26

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Ship Vaughan and Baxter over to LA as part of a swap deal ... and maybe Mucha to get some game time.
Mike Elbey
23   Posted 04/07/2010 at 13:01:59

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Fair enough, I agree that we could mount a challenge for the top 4 if we merely keep our current squad.

However, we all saw a glimpse of how the team can perform when balanced and with an element of pace introduced, and if we were able to sign him then our chances would be greatly enhanced.

It frustrates me that we do not even have sufficient funds available to go out an buy one player who would probably cost around £6-7M, not a massive fee in this day.
James Flynn
24   Posted 05/07/2010 at 05:23:42

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Colin, Mike - My only dispute is this "we can mount a challenge for the top 4". 8 teams are in the hunt. To me, the only "challenge" is if we lift the Trophy. Never can tell about that.

If ONLY Top 4 turns out to be a challenge, this will be a disappointing season coming. We got what it takes to win the whole thing.
Ciarán McGlone
25   Posted 05/07/2010 at 16:03:14

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Mr Flynn,

If we win the league this season - I will pay for your return flights to and from every game - and a season ticket into the bargain. I'll also eat any hats you can find and a flock of flying pigs.

There's optimism and then there's silliness.

(From another thread that has dropped off the edge of the earth)
Brian Williams
26   Posted 05/07/2010 at 22:50:12

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I'll help with the hats... but I don't eat pork!
Chad Schofield
27   Posted 06/07/2010 at 22:13:15

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I'm not a body language expert, but the interview, whilst saying all the right words in respect to Galaxy, seemed far from convincing. The orignal post seemed pie in the sky stuff to me, especially given the EPL's stance on shared ownership of players... remember Tevez? But the temporary exchange set out by Rupert #5 seems like a sensible suggestion.
James Flynn
28   Posted 10/07/2010 at 03:10:38

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Ciaran - "If we win the league this season - I will pay for your return flights to and from every game - and a season ticket into the bargain. I'll also eat any hats you can find and a flock of flying pigs".

Ahhhh Grasshopper. Always happy at your comments. Delighted really, since I myself selected you for Grasshopper status.

So, reply to this Disciple (a status earned by your repeated and plain insistance that the attacking right flank needs addressing):

1. No injury problems comparable to last season.

2. Our youth (Bily, Rodwell, etc) have improved.

3. Right flank not sorted/sorted (LD returns)/sorted later than sooner (LD returns after MLS season ends).

What place EFC May 2011?
And "They won't lift the League Trophy" is not an answer. 19 teams won't. We know that already.

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