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Where to Next? Investment or Billionaire?

By Mike Oates :  20/10/2010 :  Comments (34) :
Football is changing; are we are witnessing the fall from grace of Liverpool and possibly Man U as well, and further a field Barcelona? All at Everton will probably be over the moon about this first sentence, but should we be overjoyed? Are we heading to a football world where only the ?The Billionaires? win?

No longer is it sufficient to have a group of business men or even a millionaire owner, you need an Arab Oil Sheik, a Russian Oil oligarch, who treat you as a bit of fun, or in Real Madrid?s case a City Council which wipes your debts off every few years. Money is not an issue to these people.

These are the people who for now are demonstrating the ?ambition? to go out there and splash the cash in order to buy the top players and also give them huge inflated salaries. Top players like all of society want quick and instant success and will seek out these Billionaires not only for these huge salaries but probably because it guarantees, as best as anything can, success on the field. I suspect once you?ve banked your first £5-10m the rest of all you life is about obtaining goals, awards, recognition by your own peers.

If Mr Rooney does indeed jump ship on the pretence of lack of ambition by Utd, then it won't be long afterwards that the huge fan base of the World?s No 1 club unites to obtain its own Arab or Far East Billionaire owner. Glaziers' debts will be written off just like that.

Are there any other like-minded clubs out there who see the future and react to it by seizing their own Billionaires? Well yes, I think here in the UK, Arsenal and Spurs could possibly join those ranks, I think both boards already have Billionaires on board or behind the scenes. Or will there be only a small handful of clubs who can obtain that prized Billionaire? ? I don?t know. Can Liverpool? Not sure... but they are a global brand. Can Everton? ? A most definite NO!

Is football such a unique business that economic pressures don?t affect it and the normal equations of supply/demand, income/expenditure, profit/loss do not mean a thing? Where does this leaves us? Well, our ambition will always be to demonstrate that, with basically zero investment, we can sneak into the Champions League with home grown talent or cheap purchases, and with minimal investment we might one day win it.

I for one would be mighty proud of even achieving the first goal of CL football, and probably prouder with the process we used, but am I living in Cuckoo Land thinking it's even possible to win against the odds of the Rich and Famous?

Reader Comments

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Jimmy Hacking
1   Posted 20/10/2010 at 21:29:54

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Its getting harder all the time, but it's still possible to finish 3rd or 4th without spending like a sheikh on vacation. You just need
a good manager (check)
a good squad (check... injuries permitting)
an ambitious board (hmm)
and a lot of luck (nope).

To win trophies you need the billionaire.
Trevor Lynes
2   Posted 20/10/2010 at 21:53:27

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I just watched Gareth Bale score an unbelievable hat-trick against Milan and he will definitely be the target of every club with cash to burn... he is the best around and can name his price.

I'm afraid that football will suffer because of the ability of the few to buy the best so that others cannot keep them... it will decline as a spectator sport in my opinion.

Already United have let Ronaldo and Tevez go... next Rooney and they are still left with an aging group of former greats eg; Giggs, Scholes and Neville to replace in a season or so... I can see them following the path of Liverpool unless they spend like City.

I for one am dismayed at the reserve squad we have and I have not seen any amongst them who excite me. >Our first team squad is all we have I'm afraid. :(

Guy Hastings
3   Posted 20/10/2010 at 22:04:33

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Trevor, not so long ago Bale held the record for the most consecutive appearances for Spurs without appearing on the winning side. At the moment he's a more powercharged version of Coleman. If someone wants to snap him up for £15m, more fool them. If Inter had been arsed to nail a fifth the papers wouldn't be raving about him and harryfuckingredknapp wouldn't have straw to grasp at.
Iain Love
4   Posted 20/10/2010 at 22:25:27

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My cousin wanted to build a golf course, not because he likes golf but because he could make money from a landfill to build the golf course.

These billionaire owners dont like football they just want to make money from global tv rights. So I'm a billionaire and I want to buy a football club; realistically in England, Manure, Chelski, and Citeh have been bought, I secretly think Citeh where bought thinking they where Manure. So worldwide Liverpool are bigger than us and have now gone... who's left? (remember, these people know fuck all about footie): Villa, Newcastle, Spurs, Arsenal, Us... Leeds ? all about he same, so why buy us? What Jimmy says doesn't count as a buyer would probably change the manager and team anyway.

I for one would rather stay as we are. I don't want to support a group of highly paid mercenaries, a manager who changes every season, and a chairman who doesn't care; give me Kenwright or Gibson any day.

James Flynn
5   Posted 20/10/2010 at 21:44:00

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Billionaire or not, the team still has to be well-run. That never changes.

Whatever the debate about Moyes' tactical ability (particularly with the quality of our ownership), he seems always mentioned as one of the few who can get the players in and make a team out of them.

The RS just was purchased by a group that don't fit the billionaire stereotype. But they're well-known over here for running a sports club franchise properly. I'd go so far as to say that if LFC was priced at their actual market value, this group wouldn't have bid on them. That's why, I'm afraid (especially if our current ownership group is still in place) that by 2013, EFC better watch out for the RS. I hope I'm wrong, but I don't think so given the success (on the field and in the pocketbook) of the bunch who just purchased that team. And they are NOT billionaires looking for a toy to play with. It comes down to good management in the end.

I believe Chelsea's success has skewered perception of money trumps all. It should be clear by now that this is an incredibly well-run club. Then? Yes the money makes a difference. I think it's telling that the first thing done was to raid SafU for its top executive and they've run, what 4-5 managers through there yet are better than ever. A well-run club. And, by the way, how much did it hurt Ferguson's organization losing that guy (forgot his name)?

I've read folks here comparing our ownership situation to Villa's. Whatever our owners are or aren't (and I'm in the incompetent camp; without the venom), Lerner owns the Cleveland Browns in the NFL; considered, with great justification, a joke of a team throughout his ownership. Poor management, beyond a doubt. Villa is going nowhere under Lerner.

Look, obviously having an owner with deep pockets would be nice. Even having competent ownership right now would be better. But the billionaire "solution" is an illusion. Not the billions part, but that money is the cure-all/answer-all.

And, yes, I know; let's get the billions and worry about the brains after.

Jay Harris
6   Posted 20/10/2010 at 22:47:46

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I totally agree James.

Spurs and Arsenal are very well run clubs by savvy businessmen and IMO they have far more chance of winning the league than us.
Dennis Stevens
7   Posted 20/10/2010 at 22:59:48

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Nail on head, James.
Christine Foster
8   Posted 20/10/2010 at 23:21:34

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Excellent post James, for all the talk of finding a billionaire (highly unlikely) its much more probable that Everton FC will be placed under new (off field) management as part of a 3 year buy out deal / investment. ( Doesn't exist yet but I think thats the way it will go)

The real issue behind Everton FC is and always has been for the last 20 years, is how the club has been run commerciallly. It is the reason we are where we are today. I believe Moyes to be extremely competent given what he has, I think Elstone also has his head screwed on, but then we appear to have a delusional board of Directors led by a fan whose business accumen does not appear suited to the commercial reality of running a football club. A fan yes but there it stops.

We have had make do solutions and muddled through since the mid 80s, the rest of the footballing world moved on while our board rested on its laurels.

The first step has to be to return the management of the club to a more business savvy, well run, organisation. That lot across the park have been picked up by a very smart sports organisation, not a billionaire. In truth thats where we should be looking to as well.
Tony McNulty
9   Posted 20/10/2010 at 23:34:31

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Reading between the lines (and some of our Toffeeweb brethern regularly fill in these blanks for us) there are several problems regarding investment in, or the purchase of, Everton. And so long as these problems exist, we will carry on spinning our wearing wheels, the last corner shop in a town in which the hypermarkets moved in long ago.

At one time I had a much greater degree of confidence in our Board ? the régime brought stability whilst people at many other clubs seemed to be losing their heads. But the world has now moved on, and make no mistake, the clock is ticking for us. Take the playing side alone, how many more Colemans can you seriously expect to find at sixty grand?

Tony McNulty
10   Posted 20/10/2010 at 23:34:31

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Reading between the lines (and some of our Toffeeweb brethern regularly fill in these blanks for us) there are several problems regarding investment in, or the purchase of, Everton. And so long as these problems exist, we will carry on spinning our wearing wheels, the last corner shop in a town in which the hypermarkets moved in long ago.

At one time I had a much greater degree of confidence in our Board ? the régime brought stability whilst people at many other clubs seemed to be losing their heads. But the world has now moved on, and make no mistake, the clock is ticking for us. Take the playing side alone, how many more Colemans can you seriously expect to find at sixty grand?

Brian Wilson
11   Posted 21/10/2010 at 00:01:37

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Good grief you mean having enormous resources is now a prerequisite to sustained performance and hence success. Oh and that the board is piss poor so we aren't about to rival those that have!! WOW! Thanks for that fucking revelation. Any more gems?
Gareth Fieldstead
12   Posted 21/10/2010 at 01:26:08

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I don't agree with most of that article. Spurs bought Bale for peanuts because of his potential, something Moyes is just as good at. You talk only about elite clubs being able to attract billionaires but Chelsea and City managed it with bigger debts than our own and a smaller fan base.

I have been to Stamford Bridge and Maine Rd/ Stadium of Manchester on numerous occasions and there has been thousands of empty seats. The minute these non-supporting owners no longer want these clubs will result in a massive fall in attendances. With the exception of Utd there isn't a single team who have a hard core of supporters say over 40,000, who would turn up week after week to watch a team that has little chance of winning a trophy.

Again, with the new rule from UEFA coming into effect in two years, we may see a more level playing field. Even Utd will not be in a position to spend ridiculous amounts of money on players and wages (simply because of there current debt as much as anything) and every other team will be spending little more than what we have. Hopefully, within two years, billionaire owners will be a thing of the past.

James Flynn
13   Posted 21/10/2010 at 01:22:25

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Michael Oates - To comment directly to, "thinking it's even possible to win against the odds of the Rich and Famous?".

I think come March, we'll be talking about the legitimate possibility of lifting the League Trophy. We're that good and no one's that much better.

James Flynn
14   Posted 21/10/2010 at 01:45:36

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Jimmy (1) - "and a lot of luck (nope)".

C'mon Jimmy, luck is luck. Our run has been bad luck. Life being the great circle it is, good luck HAS to come our way to balance things out, right? That's life.

My take. Moyes put the boys on notice that silverware has to happen this season. Well, he built this team over the years with competing as the goal, not silverware. Until last season happened.

Now we have a bunch of fellows credited for "punching above their weight" these last couple of years. Making a nice buck, loved at Goodison, what could be better?

Except Moyes and all of us realize we have a team that can do something special. A different kind of pressure, no? So it's taken the lads a few games to accept this (Let's face it, we should be sitting on 24 points, not 9).

Do we wind up 4th, not lifting the Trophy? We'll see. We already know 19 teams won't be lifting it. EFC might be one. I agree with your checklist except the last one. Everything in me as a sports fan tells me we can go to the top this season.

You mentioned luck (and it's been bad). It's good luck time for the Toffees. I can feel it and so can you.

Yes, money (well-managed) makes a difference. But not this season. We can win it.
James Flynn
15   Posted 21/10/2010 at 02:03:17

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Christine (8) ? Not sure what, "It's much more probable that Everton FC will be placed under new (off field) management as part of a 3-year buy out deal / investment." means.

Is there something existing to make that happen?
Christine Foster
16   Posted 21/10/2010 at 05:42:14

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James, but I think the probability of someone coming along and just investing in the club is unrealistic, as do I believe someone coming in and slapping £200m on the table. I think when a deal IS done, it's more likely to be an investment deal with an option to buy out the current shareholders. It may not be a quick fix but rather a pay-as-you-go over a number of years.

It would minimise risk to the investor / purchaser and be a better alternative to the board as they are more likely to say yes to such a deal (I think). But who really knows? Without BK stating what he ACTUALLY wants the deal to look like, just how will we get a change of ownership for the better?
Jim Potter
17   Posted 21/10/2010 at 10:15:56

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Can someone please explain to me 'what the new rule from UEFA coming into effect in two years' actually entails? I've missed this news. Thanks.
Jimmy Hacking
18   Posted 21/10/2010 at 10:14:34

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James (14) ? I'm sorry but a club like Everton DO need a lot of luck to finish 4th, thats why we've only managed it once.

Several planets need to allign simultaneously (injuries, refereeing decisions, and "general undeserved 1-0 win jamminess"). Otherwise for all our efforts we'll finish between 5th and 8th. I dont think Spurs were any better than us last season, its just that everything seemed to go their way.
Mike Rourke
19   Posted 21/10/2010 at 10:20:33

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You can have this investor v billionaire debate but the answer is already out there.

Isn't it obvious to everyone that 'Our Wayne' has a grand plan for EFC?

He clearly wants to rejoin us RIGHT NOW!

...but, he has a vision and is prepared to resist the short term desire to move back to Goodison in the summer and instead join Citteh, but he will do this for our benefit, because he REALLY loves the Toffees.

At Middle-Eastlands he will pocket around £500,000 per week or around £25,000,000 per annum + endorsements. If he can string his career out for 10 more years that will leave him with a £300,000,000 fund with which he can buy his beloved blues and keep Chairman Bill in as honorary chairman! Imagine that. True Blue owner to True Blue owner it just doesn't get better than that!

You just have to see the bigger picture, once a blue always a blue, the future is blue the future is Wayne!!!

...hey where the fuck am I? All these clouds, cuckoos and flying pork chops?
James Peter
20   Posted 21/10/2010 at 11:30:40

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Do you think if we were called Liverpool City, we would have attracted Investment?
Larry Boner
21   Posted 21/10/2010 at 12:39:25

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Gareth Bale cost Spurs £5m with add ons, but currently he would probably fetch £30m if transferred.

Liverpool City were a RL club who played in Huyton in the 60s, they went out of business.

Larry Boner
22   Posted 21/10/2010 at 12:44:05

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Sorry that should read £5m with add ons.
Tony J Williams
23   Posted 21/10/2010 at 11:17:06

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Forget investment, Bill has been chasing that for the last decade.....then again the cheque WILL be in the bank in the morning .....
Mike Stewart
24   Posted 21/10/2010 at 15:26:33

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Isn't it time we forgot all this wishful thinking about foreign billionaires? Everton fc seems ripe for fan based ownership - want to raise £300 million, then 3 million 'shares' at £100 each should do it - 1 share only per person prioritised to fans who attend, then geographically worldwide!
Nick Entwistle
25   Posted 21/10/2010 at 18:13:27

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Three million Everton fans Mike? Nahhhhhh.
Ernie McAllister
26   Posted 21/10/2010 at 18:32:39

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Football is changing; I think you will find pretty much it changed with the formation of the sky premier league.

Investment? No one invests to loose money no one, the premier league is far to fickle for anyone to make any kind of payback they'd want. More importantly who in their right minds would want to invest when they could buy and take it all for themselves in the first place?

People talk all the time about the premier league going bust or sky going bust. But face it, neither is going to happen. Sky are now a whole lot richer than they have ever been, and the premier league makes billions from the home and international market for screening rights etc.

The only changes that will likely occur is a change in the top 4 as original teams end up falling away to be replaced by their lesser well off upstarts. City aside, they won't ever win the premier league. I think the shite have shown, you can throw hundreds of millions of pounds on players and still get virtually nowhere..champs league group stages and television rights just about covers the expense.

Chuck all the money you want at City or any other club and it will not win that coveted champions league cup nor will it win you the league. I think Chelsea and Abramo was a one off, coz no one since can even get close to what they did and got away with.

Either Everton find a new buyer or they do not. There is no shades of gray or any other colour. If they don't find a buyer, it won't be too long before the teams coming up will replace teams like Everton with no money. There is only so much you can do or achieve with no funds. Your best players leave due to wage demands you can no longer meet etc, you get aging stars that cannot easily be replaced. It's a continuous downward spiral, and whether you or I or anyone else likes it, Everton absolutely must find a buyer to not just stay in the league but more importantly to be competitive. There is little to no reason to be in a league just to make up numbers.
Tony I'Anson
27   Posted 21/10/2010 at 20:11:24

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Do you mean can't go bust in the Bearings Bank sense?

Have you seen this

Do you not think the power of Google who owns YouTube could take not the might of Murdoch and outbid him for broadcasting rights? Then we could get all Sports legally and properly streamed via the web without the need for a Sky box.

Google could offer a much cheaper subscriptions to consumers, as well as performance related marketing to advertisers that has already proven a successful business model for them, generating millions every day.

David Hallwood
28   Posted 21/10/2010 at 23:20:25

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Ernie McAllister #26, Football is indeed changing, and because we are so obsessed with all things Everton, and rightly so, we tend to be less concerned about the general financial situation of football. If you take Citteh?s ludicrous spending policy (Run that past me give how much for Milner!?), close season was one of the quietest since the inception of the Premier League, and Abramovich has stated that the age of big spending Chelsea is over.

Which brings us back to investment: Suppose you are a wealthy individual, and you are looking to put your money somewhere, would you seriously put it into Everton, or for that matter any other football club? Let?s look at Everton, but it could be any other club....record revenue streams, coupled with rising indebtedness, which is a recipe for disaster whether it?s a bank, a football club or the corner shop.

On this site just like most other sites, football fans don?t want investment but someone with more money than sense who wants to own a football club because of.................. God knows why.

But to get back to you, who remember is weighing up whether to invest in Everton, what can you expect, or if the business is getting lots of Sky money, a reasonable amount over the turnstiles but still hasn?t got a pot to piss in, where can you see a profit. Obviously the business must either increase its revenues or reduce costs-or a bit of both. So let?s examine the options: 1) increase ticket prices...mmmm could be counter-productive 2) increase capacity, and we?re back to the old stadium debate. 3) Increase the marketing arm; but how many people in Penzance, Stockholm or New Jersey want to wear the blue with pride.

Well how about cutting costs; and we?re back to that even older debate, players? wages as this is the biggest slice of expenditure, introduce a wage cap and watch the better players get tapped up and leave in droves.

All in all, not palatable choices, and until football actually turns a profit, I cannot see anyone, football person or not, putting a penny into the game.
Robert Lam
29   Posted 22/10/2010 at 01:43:49

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Nick (25) Amendments. Three million Everton fans? Easily. Three million Everton fans forking £100 each? Nahhhhhh.
Ciarán McGlone
30   Posted 22/10/2010 at 17:51:56

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"I think come March, we'll be talking about the legitimate possibility of lifting the League Trophy. We're that good and no one's that much better."

I thought this bollocks had been disposed of after three games ...

James, seriously - develop some sense. We are not going to win the league..this season, or any season in the near future under the current stewardship..

We have two hopes... Bob Hope and no hope.

James Flynn
31   Posted 22/10/2010 at 18:09:35

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Ciaran - You follow the team your way, I'll follow it mine. What's the point, if you don't think your team will win the game they're playing? What's the point?

EFC might not lift the trophy? 19 teams won't. Everton might be one. But just 25% of the season gone and, "We are not going to win the league..this season, or any season in the near future under the current stewardship"? I can't support a team from that mentality. I can't do it.

We have good players and no one else has shown themselves far and away like the (now old) Sky 4 + Everyone Else. You think we won't now and the forseeable future? Fine. My forseeable future is May 2011. Then we'll see what's what.
James Flynn
32   Posted 22/10/2010 at 18:22:37

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Ciaran - Away from that, where have youe been? You used to be in here almost daily. Not exactly the same site, without you and Dave Wilson.
Ernie McAllister
33   Posted 26/10/2010 at 21:59:35

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James Flynn - You live in cloud cuckoo land literally.

We have never ever once come close to winning anything with this manager or the situation we are in.

There is no point talking about an FA Cup or League Cup semi final. That was a long time ago in footballing terms and is irrelevant right now.

We have strikers who's couldn't hit a barn door 1 yard away. We are 1 injury away from loosing goals from midfield from 2 individuals.

As for Donovan coming back in January, got more chance of hell freezing over. In a recent interview he said "it's very unlikely, no matter how much I'd like to have another spell with Everton." Not that he'd really make all that much of difference in front of goal anyway, plus we have Coleman.

We are falling away every single season, this year regardless of the start we are in trouble.

We have a delusional idiot for a manager, who fully believes this squad is the best he has ever had... then he wonder's where it all went wrong.

Try up front, Moyes... yeah that position you don't have a clue about.
Ernie McAllister
34   Posted 26/10/2010 at 22:09:49

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Tony I'Anson - I am curious about a model as Google buying the rights to the Premier League.

Would the UK government even allow it, considering there is some sort of agreement in place for UK broadcasters showing football? I am not really savvy to what if anything the law could or would say to an international company buying out the whole rights.

With the price of Sky and its sports channels becoming increasingly expensive and not available to everyone who wants to watch the live prem games... then again Tony, how did Sky outbid one of America's biggest networks ESPN and take 2/3rds of their live Premier League games?

Lastly, do you think that 115 live Premier League games could break the camels back this season? I'd like to think so, but then again I don't have Sky and I hate them for what they have done to everything they have ever touched ? including football.

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