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Stop Obsessing about Kenwright

By Neil Pearse :  20/11/2010 :  Comments (120) :
Why do we all obsess so much about Kenwright ? for or against, Apologists and Haters?

Here is an alternative view: Kenwright is not really the issue. Kenwright has neither ruined the club, nor revitalised it. He has done an okay job, some pluses and some minuses, in decidedly difficult circumstances.

The key to where we should be looking is in the phrase "difficult circumstances".

The basic psychological stance of many on ToffeeWeb is to be in denial about the fundamentally difficult circumstances we have been in for the last twenty years (at least). The Haters are actually the optimists. By obsessing about Kenwright, they can indulge their fantasy that our great club would really be on its way back to former glories if only he stepped aside, and that he is the major reason for our relative decline over the past few decades.

He isn't and we won't.

The problems of our club are structural not personal. They are much deeper than anything ascribable to Kenwright, and the levers he realistically has to get us out of our situation are massively more limited than most on here seem to imagine.

As boringly so often, I can do no better than attach the Swiss Ramble report below. Hardly a Kenwright Apologist! But presenting a much deeper and less personally trivial analysis of our situation than is found in the endless obsessions about Kenwright.

We have a fundamental structural difficulty in raising our revenues such that they adequately cover the costs of mainitaining a top level Premier League management team and squad. It is that simple. And there are no easy answers. Mostly we are in a series of Catch-22s.

Trap 1: we can only spring the revenue trap if we consistently qualify for the Champions League. But we cannot do that without more revenues to pump into our playing staff (yes, a striker and a right winger wouldn't go amiss...).

Trap 2: Goodison Park does not generate enough revenue. But we do not have enough capital to fundamentally transform it so it does generate enough revenue, or to pay for another ground. In our desperate situation, Kirkby was all we could afford to try to spring this particular trap. Some of you might have noticed that we have not found any other alternatives since. Simply because we can't afford them.

Trap 3: if someone bought us and (for some reason) just pumped some money into us, that would be good. Unfortunately we are not an attractive purchase (read Swiss Ramble). One of the major reasons being that we need at least £300M of additional investment (i.e. a charitable donation) to spring traps 1 and 2 (more players, new ground). Hardly likely in a global recession.

Those who hate Kenwright so vehemently owe us an explanation as to how THEY would spring us from these fundamental structural traps.

It is indeed true: Kenwright hasn't managed too. In that sense, he has indeed failed. But he has kept our heads above the water (unlike many of our rivals), which is certainly a modest achievement in the circumstances.

We are still in the game. We are neither facing immediate disaster, nor are we in good shape to advance. Perhaps we are 2-1 down at half-time. Uefa Fair Play measures should help us, but again wouldn't fundamentally spring the traps.

Stop obsessing about Kenwright. It's missing the woods for the trees. And it's boring. Our problems are much deeper, much more difficult to solve, and go back even before Bill. Thankfully we are still in the game. Just.

Reader Comments

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Charles King
1   Posted 20/11/2010 at 13:40:09

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Neil, a thoughtful piece that deserves to be an article in its own right. I concede the financial issues you raise, I'd argue there's always been haves and have-nots and people such as Bill Shankly, Matt Busby, Brian Clough and Bobby Robson took on those special challenges and defeated them. I am of the opinion there will always be somebody, somewhere who can do the same.

One of my gripes with BK is I have no faith in him searching for, let alone finding such a man; unfortunately DM isn't of that calibre and Kenwright's servile relationship with him is a case of the tail wagging the dog, not right. His other stuff would be incidental if the team were winners.

His hand is on the tiller, he steers the ship... and if he has back-seat drivers, they're at his invitation. It is his call whether we remain becalmed or not.
Eugene Ruane
2   Posted 20/11/2010 at 12:35:56

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Neil Pearse, given everything that has been written on this, you appear to be more or less making it up as you go along (tuts - 'structural not personal')

Consequently, I'm not going to waste time going through it point by point.

Instead I will address just one point.

You say..

"Those who hate Kenwright so vehemently owe us an explanation as to how THEY would spring us from these fundamental structural traps"



Fact: They don't 'owe' you anything.

(nb: Everton FC - THEY owe you!)

To me the counter-'argument' (used by many a desperate poster) of "Well what's YOUR suggestion then?" is lazy and just doesn't wash.

For instance, I think the prison at Guantanamo Bay is a fucking disgrace, should never have opened and should be closed. It is obvious human rights were abused there on a daily basis.

Are you suggesting I'm not allowed to put forward this opinion, UNLESS I have a viable alternative method, of countering Al Qaeda's worldwide campaign of indiscriminate bombing? (coz I don't)


Glad you weren't in charge at Hammer in the late 60's...

Man walking in woods encounters a werewolf (there...there wolf!).

Man has a gun containing a silver bullet.

He takes aim as werewolf hurtles towards him.

He's just about to squeeze the trigger when a thought occurs to him.

"I could kill him but...who do we replace him with?"

Man is savaged to death.

Neil Pearse
3   Posted 20/11/2010 at 14:32:13

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Eugene, clever as usual but of course as usual you miss the central point.

It is not: you need to tell me who exactly would replace Kenwright (where do I say that?)

It is: all you Kenwright haters might have a go at explaining how replacing Kenwright with anyone (apart from a Sheikh Mansour sugar daddy) would address the fundamental issues I mention.

Would you like to have a go at this?
Eugene Ruane
4   Posted 20/11/2010 at 14:47:38

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Fuck me, Groundhog day (again!)

Neil, it's not not about being clever, it's about making sense.

I'd love to answer your response by sending you back in time to actually read my initial post.

Or maybe I could help you understand if you could explain which SPECIFIC bit of my post you didn't understand?

Was it this?

"To me the counter-'argument' (used by many a desperate poster) of "Well what's YOUR suggestion then?" is lazy and just doesn't wash"

Because if it WAS this, I think my reasoning was explained (simply!) in the two paragraphs that followed it.

Seriously, are you ACTUALLY reading posts, or just seeing names of people who get on your tits and responding based on what you GUESS they wrote.

I'll spell it out (again!)

Those who think Bill Kenwright is shifty, dishonest and/or fucking useless are entitled to say so, without having to first provide alternatives.

That should be that, but I know your next post will be "Yeah but who do you replace him with?" so I'll give you a list of 5 who would NOT be perfect, BUT I would (honestly!) not lose not a wink of sleep if they, not Bill, were in charge tomorrow.

1) You.
2) Me
3) Bernie Madoff
4) Lord Sugar (as in 'Morning Lord Sugar')
5) Anyfuckingone.
Neil Pearse
5   Posted 20/11/2010 at 15:28:25

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Fine Eugene. You obviously don't care to answer my question about how any of our club's fundamental issues might be solved. Best not to worry our heads with actually thinking, eh?

Your view is that Kenwright is so evil and useless that ANYONE would be better. Although of course you have no idea HOW they would be better. You just don't like Kenwright much.

Let's just be thankful that you are not in charge of selecting our new owners. You can ask the fans of Leeds, Liverpool, West Ham, Portsmouth etc. whether truly ANYONE is better than Kenwright. But then again you might just prefer to make another witty but irrelevant response.
Neil Pearse
6   Posted 20/11/2010 at 15:35:02

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By the way Eugene, in none of my three posts did I ask you to provide alternatives to Kenwright. In my scond post I said explicitly that I was NOT asking you for an alternative.

So why in your most recent post did you say that my next post would be: "Yeah, but who doi you replace him with?"

Do you have a reading problem Eugene?
Ste Traverse
7   Posted 20/11/2010 at 15:40:52

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Neil Pearce. Kenwright shouldn't be judged by what goes on at other clubs, he should be judged on what he's done at our club and his record at addressing the needs of this club is FUCKING SHOCKING.

The sooner he's out the door the better.
Neil Pearse
8   Posted 20/11/2010 at 15:49:10

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Ste - You simply ignore virtually everything I say. When you say his performance is FUCKING SHOCKING - are you saying that I am simply wrong that we have been operating for decades in difficult circumstances? Do you think we would be fine if only Kenwright left?

Do you think Kenwright SHOULD have been able to find £250 million from somewhere for a world class stadium in the city?

Or SHOULD he somewhere have found a sugar daddy purchaser who would have ended all our worries?

To say you don't care about other clubs is idiotic. Imagine saying: "M&S performed poorly this year compared to twenty years ago. Half their competitors did go bust in the current economic environment. But of course that's irrelevant. Let's fire all the M&S management!"

Anyway, I guess you are with Eugene. Kenwright is so evil that absolutely anyone would be better. I guess you really don't read much about what has been going on at other clubs.
Mike Allison
9   Posted 20/11/2010 at 17:28:26

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"Here is an alternative view: Kenwright is not really the issue. Kenwright has neither ruined the club, nor revitalised it. He has done an okay job, some pluses and some minuses, in decidedly difficult circumstances."

Oh no you've done it now. A calm, reasonable, balanced point of view that dares to suggest there are myriad factors involved in why Everton don't challenge for the title every year like we have a right to because we did for a bit in the 1980s.

Only trouble is, if we do what you say, this thread will be very short. I suspect, if people have the energy, this will be another thread of people obsessing about Kenwright...
Frank McGregor
10   Posted 20/11/2010 at 17:29:18

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An excellent post, Neil, glad someone has the common sense to put things in perspective rather than the usual hate mail with perceptions rather than facts.

I firmly believe that had some of the posters lived through the years when we graced the 2nd Division watching teams like Doncaster Rovers and the biggest thrill being beating Oldham Athletic to gain promotion to Division 1 they would really have a legitimate concern.

Yes the years of McKay and Manager Cliff Britton were not top drawer. Glad to see we are getting different views on the state of Everton Football Club rather than selective journalism that has been the order of the day in the recent past.

Max Main
11   Posted 20/11/2010 at 17:43:44

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Good article, Neil. I'm so bored of the Kenwright articles, it's nice to see someone explain why I'm bored, without me having to do anything.

Clearly some people didn't appreciate/understand it, but let's face it, some people were never going to.
John Keating
12   Posted 20/11/2010 at 17:46:18

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I don't particularly think only Kenwright is to blame for the present split in the support. I think the whole board are equally to blame and that includes Grantchester and Elstone. Let's be honest, the lies that have come out of the club, the arrogant disregard shown to supporters, have come out of the boardroom and not just BK's mouth.

By supporting, by saying nothing to the Chairman in his exploits of recent years, I reckon the whole board are culpable. Yes Elstone is BKs' man, he appears extremely articulate and clever but as far as I'm concerned he ? and Grantchester ? has no guts.

Andy Crooks
13   Posted 20/11/2010 at 18:09:47

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Neil, if Bill Kenwright was open, honest and truthful I would take an entirely different view. It is not, in my view just about money, it is about transparency and genuine respect for the supporters.
Mike McLean
14   Posted 20/11/2010 at 18:14:37

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Good to see you posting on here, Neil.

To a point, I agree with you. Kenrwright is not the fundamental source of all evil, nor yet a saint. In a sense, for me, he is the latest in a long line of Chairmen who have either had vision and no money, or money and little vision.
John Daley
15   Posted 20/11/2010 at 19:01:06

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.... or no money allied to no vision.
Gavin Ramejkis
16   Posted 20/11/2010 at 19:33:05

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Neil, the article has gaping flaws which attempt to detract from BK's failings as if they are not his fault; as BK is the Chairman of the club I've always been astonished by his claims and similar responses such as this as to just how the hell he isn't responsible?

Surely Business Class 101 should be a QED of the top man/woman is ultimately responsible for the decisions and directions of that business; they employ suitably skilled staff below them to drive their strategy and vision. If those staff succeed, they claim the glory of employing them... and if they fail, they get bounced and you get the brickbats for employing them.

The "poor old Bill can't win" scenario smacks of naivety, his is failing as custodian of the club to develop it and either employ staff that can, or move on, accepting defeat and make himself a handsome profit in the process. The trouble is he has hung on and hung on and failed to do either.

The sceptic in me personally sees him as little more than a con-artist way out of his depth, clinging on whilst the club suffers his ineptitude and lack of business acumen or kudos.

Dean Adams
17   Posted 20/11/2010 at 19:51:55

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This constant Kenwright bashing and corrupting of just about every fact is probably why the RS call us Bitter Blues.

I just don't care enough about the things that I cant influence by virtue of being neither rich enough or dodgy enough to be in that position!!!! I support EFC and for now that includes David Moyes as manager and Bill Kenwright as, well, Bill Kenwright!!!!

John Daley
18   Posted 20/11/2010 at 20:05:11

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Best post of the day:

To me the counter-'argument' (used by many a desperate poster) of "Well what's YOUR suggestion then?" is lazy and just doesn't wash.

"For instance, I think the prison at Guantanamo Bay is a fucking disgrace, should never have opened and should be closed. It is obvious human rights were abused there on a daily basis.

Are you suggesting I'm not allowed to put forward this opinion, UNLESS I have a viable alternative method, of countering Al Qaeda's worldwide campaign of indiscriminate bombing? (coz I don't)"

Nothing like getting your point across with an amusing analogy.
Andy Callen
19   Posted 20/11/2010 at 20:31:47

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Neil, do you not agree that it was Kenwright?s fault that the Kings Dock stadium failed to materialise. Something that would of meant for the last 7 years we would have been in a position of increased match day revenue, allowing us to be able to spend more on playing staff and ending the need for the so called sugar daddy.

Even ignoring this he has been in charge of our great club for 16 years now and has not shown an ounce of forward planning. He is not a business man, and his failure to get the right business men in to help move the club forward after all these years means that he should shoulder most of the blame for the stagnated state we currently find ourselves in. NSNO.
Neil Pearse
20   Posted 20/11/2010 at 20:39:03

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Thanks for the comments guys.

Gavin, what I am really saying is that any assessment of Bill's tenure needs to take into account the severity of the constraints he faces. And I think they are pretty severe. I don't doubt that someone else might have done rather better; and also that many would have done a lot worse. You really do have to take seriously the situation we are in, and not assume that Kenwright could simply wish it away.

Except... Although I do not know all the details of what happened on Kings Dock (does anyone?), I am in no doubt whatsoever that this was our big opportunity to 'spring all the traps' that I refer to. This is Kenwright's big failure, no doubt, dwarfing everything else. Because it really could have made the big difference. So I agree Andy.
Brian Waring
21   Posted 20/11/2010 at 21:05:23

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Neil, for me, I can't stand the man because he is a total bullshitter.

Some of the lies he has spouted are a disgrace. But for some on here, they are only little white lies, and the type of thing that happens in business all the time.

By the way Neil, BK is in charge of the club, so the buck stops with him.
Gavin Ramejkis
22   Posted 20/11/2010 at 21:13:17

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Neil, BK may well have had constraints to work under but he has not made the right decision and admitted defeat but rather clung on as the business has slipped further into debt. His legacy at Everton will include KD and DK and a history of blatant lies to the fans and supporters of the club as well as the shareholders.

I personally don't hold out for a billionaire to suddenly appear on a white charger but rather a more competant businessman or woman who will finally demolish the old boy's club and run the club as a business and turn it around on the P&L sheets.

Michael Kenrick
23   Posted 20/11/2010 at 21:17:07

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Neil: "I am in no doubt whatsoever that this was our big opportunity to 'spring all the traps' that I refer to. This is Kenwright's big failure, no doubt, dwarfing everything else. Because it really could have made the big difference." ? For once, I agree with you 100%. And that really is what this is about for me, and I think for many honest Everton fans that you glibly label as Haters.

No-one seems to know what really went on over KD, but what we do know seems so shameful, such a total misuse of power, such a glaring abrogation of a unique opportunity... Yet Kenwright got away with it completely, was never held to account.

For him to follow that by a foisting a fundamentally flawed Kirkby project on the trusting Everton fanbase, and trying to sell it to them with another pack of shameful lies was more than salt in the gaping wounds. Calling it an obsession is disingenuous: it is part of our history now... and a very crucial part.

You know, I take it back. I don't blame any Evertonian for hating him. Those two episodes alone are all we need to know about Kenwright and his abject failings as Chairmen of Everton Football Club. Yes, it's been tough times aside from them, but I think you are far too generous in exonerating him as you ask us to turn a blind eye...

If he had acted differently and secured a workable deal with his one-time friend Paul Gregg over Kings Dock, then surely things would have been far far better for us, and your £300M shortfall would be far far smaller.

I know it doesn't help us going forward but how do you bring yourself to trust someone after two dismal episodes like that? They hugely outweigh any positives ? especially as the positives you cite are contexted within a negative environment that was created for Everton primarily through failings precipitated and/or overseen by the man himself.

Neil Pearse
24   Posted 20/11/2010 at 21:23:26

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Brian - I dont have a big problem with the so-called 'lies', and don't really understand the huge upset around them. Mainly because various forms of not telling the truth is basically how the public world goes round; because most of Kenwright's 'lies' you can see the purpose behind them (e.g. stay in the game for Kings Dock, raise the price of Rooney to ManU); and because within reason I am the kind of Leninist who is more focused on what is ultimately achieved than how. I appreciate that others have different sensibilities round this.

On the 'buck stops with Kenwright' - of course, but the context has to be taken into account.

Let's look at an actual political example. The buck stops with Obama, sure. But he is dealing with an economy that has been living beyond its means for decades and is increasingly in hock to the Chinese; with the fall-out from the worst economic crisis for a century; and with some of the most stupid and intractable 'wars' that any country has ever been involved in.

Obama's made loads of mistakes, appearing distant, poor communications, not explaining policies, letting the bankers off lightly etc. etc,. But any assessment has to take into account the context, which is even more severe than Kenwright's!

So, unlike the Tea Party crazies who seem to think that Obama should be able to create instant prosperity, I would say he was doing okay in the circumstances. A bit like Kenwright.

A meaningful assessment of what you have achieved is never absolute, and always has to be relative to what you are up against. Drawing with Chelsea when half your team is missing is not the same as losing to Blackburn with a full squad.

What's interesting to me is that the debate is still centring on, indeed obsessing around, Kenwright. I would be pretty interested in people commenting, positively or negatively, on what I was really trying to convey: namely, the severity of our situation and the traps we are stuck in.

Could we forget Kenwright for a moment and get some discussion of that? It would make a nice change.
Andrew Gilbert
25   Posted 20/11/2010 at 21:30:40

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I'm with you Neil, good post.
Simon Jenkins
26   Posted 20/11/2010 at 21:49:52

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Great post Neil, I totally agree with everything you wrote.
Neil Pearse
27   Posted 20/11/2010 at 21:40:42

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Well, back to Bill Michael!

The Kings Dock is a big failure, and it happened under Kenwright. No blind eye there. Is it enough for him to have been forced out there and then? Quite possibly, but it didn't happen, so we have to look at his record after that.

One major failure does not mean everything you do subsequently is a failure. To continue with a political example: in my view Brown's Prime Ministership up to the financial crisis in 2008 was abject; but his role in preventing a devastating financial crash was rather impressive. Thank God the boys Osborne and Cameron were not in charge!

On Kirkby as you know I take a more benign view, precisely because of the context points I have been making (not because of the stupid things particularly Wyness said - which were utterly pathetic, as I said at the time).

Kirkby was an attempt to spring the trap in our very severe situation. It might just have worked, might have got us increased revenues and new owners with greater resources. After all we are now in exactly the same trap with no obvious means of escape. So it wasn't as if there were any real alternatives that I am aware of. I fully accept now, as I did then, that sitting in the trap, and hoping for an unknown better solution at some point, is a perfectly respectable approach. But that's what we are doing.

So for me with Bill it mainly comes down to the failure over Kings Dock. Which is a very big thing, which one day may be regarded as the key moment when EFC slipped into the second tier in English football, and which should be regarded as a huge failure under Kenwright's leadership.

But still it does not invalidate some of the modest achievements that have been secured since. Life is complicated.
Michael Kenrick
28   Posted 20/11/2010 at 22:04:15

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Neil, you want us to stop "obsessing" about Kenwright and instead focus on the severity of our situation and the traps we are stuck in... as if there was no connection between the two.

My point, and perhaps that of others, is that the connection is so obvious and so blindingly dominant that forward progress is fundamentally compromised. We have a pathological liar as Chairman ? a man who provenly cannot be trusted because he lies with impunity.

A man who says he is meeting weekly with various groups interested in buying the club... all of whom evaporate into thin air when asked to show him the money. So, even the path forward of selling the club to another party who might make a better fist of it, is hugely compromised by the guy in charge ? the very personality you want us to ignore.

Neil, you're trying to separate the inseparable.
Neil Pearse
29   Posted 20/11/2010 at 22:13:01

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Well that is where we differ Michael. In my view Kenwright inherited the traps; he did not cause them.

He could have got out of them with Kings Dock, but he failed, and he is culpable for that as I say.

He also can hardly get a high rating as the leader of our club because still we are in the traps.

But since I have never seen any plausible proposal on Toffeeweb or anywhere else as to how to spring the traps, I cannot be too harsh. I don't expect Obama to transform the US economy, even if he is in charge for another six years. Not everything is possible.

For my part, the best route out of our situation now looks like a ground share. We would have to swallow hard and be a junior partner, but for sure we would increase revenues and likely get new ownership. I personally cannot think of anything else.

And I sincerely can't see much relevance in all your worrying about Kenwright being a 'pathological liar'. How does this prevent us solving our problems? Would the problems somehow go away if he stopped lying? If he stopped lying would £250 million suddenly appear out of mid air to buy us a new ground? Would a new owner magically appear? (I am in business Michael. I can assure you 100%: businessmen can do deals with liars much worse than Kenwright. They usually do.)

The traps are real. Kenwright did not make them. Neither he nor any of the rest of us have found a way of getting out of them. Lovey-isms and lies are simply an onsessional sideshow.
David O'Keefe
30   Posted 20/11/2010 at 22:16:17

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Nice to have you back, Neil, doing what you do best defending the indefensible, the chairmans lack of integrity and credibility.

Echoing EJ Ruane (apologies for this Eugene): You can't point out that the Emperor is naked, unless you find something for him to put on.
Stephen Kenny
31   Posted 20/11/2010 at 22:21:06

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If Obama tries to move America to sub Saharan Africa expect the people he purports to serve to have a grumble and call for his head, much like what has happened to our own true blue knight in shining armour.
David O'Keefe
32   Posted 20/11/2010 at 22:24:43

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Step one to solving those problems is the removal of Bill Kenwright and his retail mercenaries; that much must be obvious to you?

You may be an apologist, Neil, but it will be a hurculean task taking on EFC in the state that BK and Co will bequeath it to their eventual buyer. That much i grant you. Sadly, Neil, you are an apologist with a different tactic-which is admirable- downplay the culpability of BK.

For that I salute you. You have always been my favourite apologist.
Stephen Kenny
33   Posted 20/11/2010 at 22:25:31

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Your post and subsequents posts are full of untruths, half truths and some of the most naive tomfoolery posted on here. My favourite is this one;

'Kirkby was an attempt to spring the trap in our very severe situation. It might just have worked, might have got us increased revenues and new owners with greater resources'. Nothing to do with 'outside influences'?
Neil Pearse
34   Posted 20/11/2010 at 22:24:51

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David, I am not defending Kenwright's 'integrity and credibility', because in truth I have exceedingly little interest in his personality, or whether or not he stood in the Boys Pen. I just don't care. That is what I keep saying.

I am focusing on the outcomes of his tenure as leader, and assessing them against the context he has been operating in. Which is rather severe in my opinion.

Result: major failure on Kings Dock, generally moderately okay since. He hasn't cracked the code for sure; but neither has he actually plunged us into ruin. That's all. Overall okay in the circumstances since KD.
David O'Keefe
35   Posted 20/11/2010 at 22:33:58

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I see you became rather abusive on the other thread, Neil-unbalanced fanatic indeed.

Oh, did I mention my mum loves Blood brothers?
Mike Allison
36   Posted 20/11/2010 at 22:28:02

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"Neil, you want us to stop "obsessing" about Kenwright and instead focus on the severity of our situation and the traps we are stuck in... as if there was no connection between the two."

Is it not the case that Bill Kenwright is stuck in those traps? To my eye Michael what you write implies he's put us there, and is watching us flounder from the outside. This leaves him open to far worse accusations than I think he are actually fair (to my mind he's been incompetent and a fantasist, but never malicious or uncaring)

I guess the big question then is 'has he had the chance to find a way out of them but failed to do so?' Maybe he has, and that's why people hate him, but I don't claim to know enough about the behind the scenes goings on to be sure enough that he is to blame. Put simply I'm going to keep sitting on the fence as I would imagine trying to front a football club when its not really your money is quite a complicated task, and I don't know enough about who gets to make what decisions at Everton to feel strongly one way or another.
Michael Kenrick
37   Posted 20/11/2010 at 22:28:01

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Neil, I think there's a bigger problem than you're trying make out. You as a fellow businessman (presumably also prone to lying?) are willing to give Kenwright a pass on the lies that are so endemic of his reign, so egregious to the fans and shareholders he has duped...

You fail to see any problem in the credibility gap that this has created, and ? let me venture ? perhaps the biggest single impediment to securing the investment he's been seeking "24/7" ? or the sale of the club, despite hiring a champion of such deals in the form of Keith Harris.

Kenwright has very successfully spun us the line you have parroted ? that we can't move forward because (a) he can't find suitable investment, or (b) he can't find suitable buyers with money. (It's a terrible time and no-one is investing... er... Liverpool? Blackburn???) Therefore, we must stagnate.

I have trouble believing that ? for the simple reason that I know Kenwright to be a liar. If I know him to be a liar, and I know YOU have no qualms about businessmen who lie, do you really think I should trust what either of you are saying?
Neil Pearse
38   Posted 20/11/2010 at 22:31:32

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I agree and don't agree David.

I agree that it has been a good thing for Kenwright to move on now for several years. If ? very big if ? we can find a good new owner. I am not holding my breath on this. But Kenwright has served his time, seems exhausted, and it is time for new blood.

I don't agree that Kenwright would be handing over the club in an especially bad state ? apart of course that we have the fundamental revenue / cost problem that I keep banging on about.

Relative to other clubs, if a new owner took over today he would inherit: a very good manager (with flaws); a very good squad of players; a decent CEO who has been improving the off-field side of the club; and manageable if high levels of debt. Not so bad really. Certainly better than the new owner would inherit with most other Premier League clubs.
David O'Keefe
39   Posted 20/11/2010 at 22:35:17

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Neil #34 is absolute rot, but then debating with you enjoyable though it is bears little fruit.

You're an unbalanced fanatic yourself, Neil, for a different cause, and the wrong one.
David O'Keefe
40   Posted 20/11/2010 at 22:40:17

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Neil #38 I'm going to remember that and use it against you, when the accounts are published. When you deliver your next lot of unbalanced fanaticism.

Neil Pearse
41   Posted 20/11/2010 at 22:39:47

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Michael, whether Bill lies or not has no relevance whatsoever to whether we are taken over by a new owner.

It is not all about Bill!!! It really isn't. Stop obsessing about Bill!! Please.

We do not have a new owner because we are fundamentally unattractive. We have a largely local brand, no season ticket queue, and need £200 million plus for a new ground before we even get to the new players.

This is a rather bigger obstacle than whether Bill occasionally does what virtually all businessmen, politicians and journalists do.
David O'Keefe
42   Posted 20/11/2010 at 22:49:44

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Neil, you can't raise the issue of Bill and then tell us all to stop obsessing about it. It's ridiculous.

What you mean to say is don't hold him to account for anything; be it good or bad. This whole debate was started in bad faith ? it's not a call for balance, it's a call for silence and I for one will not heed it.
Neil Pearse
43   Posted 20/11/2010 at 22:48:09

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David, I assume you are supposing that it might turn out that we have Portsmouth or West Ham or Liverpool levels of debt. On what do you base this?

I very much doubt it myself. We pretty much know our revenues, and we are hardly spending very much. So I think 'high but manageable debt' looks a pretty safe prediction.

I admire your attempt, David, to paint me as unbalanced fanatic like yourself. But there have already been quite a few posters on this thread who have said the opposite. And I have criticised Kenwright pretty extensively, and damned him with rather faint praise. "Okay" is not usually the assessment of a fanatic.

I have never heard you admit that Kenwright has done anything at all of any value (apart from produce Blood Brothers, which your mum likes).

Perhaps now you would like to show us your balance by telling us what Kenwright has done that you think was beneficial?
Neil Pearse
44   Posted 20/11/2010 at 22:56:03

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David, I am just saying that Kenwright is not the most important factor accounting for our poor situation currently.

Of course we can and will talk about him. No silence proposed, so don't worry.

Let's criticise Obama all we like. But it would be a bit crazy to blame him solely for the economic mismanagement of the US for the past two decades.

Could we talk for once about the more fundamental factors at play at our club? And even how we might get out of them.
David O'Keefe
45   Posted 20/11/2010 at 22:59:49

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Neil, I think a fuller response is necessary and I apologise to Mr Kenrick in advance.

Have you seen Blood brothers my mum says its very good?
David O'Keefe
46   Posted 20/11/2010 at 23:01:40

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"I admire your attempt David to paint me as unbalanced fanatic like yourself. But there have already been quite a few posters on this thread who have said the opposite. And I have criticised Kenwright pretty extensively, and damned him with rather faint praise. "Okay" is not usually the assessment of a fanatic."

Thats an outright lie, I haven't forgotten your outrage over the failure of DK. But you think it's okay to tell big massive whopping lies, as anyone reading this thread will soon ascertain.

You're a fanatic, Neil, albeit one with their own facts and no moral compass.
Ste Traverse
47   Posted 20/11/2010 at 23:06:38

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After 11 years of fuck-ups and lies by Kenwright, all of which have been very damaging to this club, we have Neil Pearce telling us to "stop obsessing about Kenwright".

God help us FFS!!
Neil Pearse
48   Posted 20/11/2010 at 23:05:21

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Actually David I've never seen Blood Brothers. But I hear it's very good. Well done Mr Kenwright!

Seriously David (and others): in my view Mike Allison has the right question above. Has Kenwright had the chance to take us out of our traps but failed to do so?

It seems we all agree that Kings Dock was a failure. But what else could Kenwright have realistically done, given the resources we have access to, to fundamentally transform our revenue / cost problem? That is the major issue.

(And I am really not interested in Jenny, the lovey-isms, the lies, or the Boys Pen. Please.)
David O'Keefe
49   Posted 20/11/2010 at 23:14:01

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Neil; according to you and your defence of DK, the answer from you is Yes.

He's had 11 years ? more in fact to get out of these traps and failed. Should we ignore that? I mean he's been on the board since 1984 for goodness sake, how many attempts should we give him? His own record, which you and others dispute and downplay, damn him.

He has to go. That's the first act of getting out of these traps.
Neil Pearse
50   Posted 20/11/2010 at 23:12:27

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Which lies David?

I was indeed upset over the failure of Kirkby because I could not see any other ways to transform our position.

I still can't, although I am hopeful now about ground sharing.

I have no clue what most of the rest of you think ? you included David ? is going to solve our problems.

Apparently a solution will magically appear if Bill resigns tomorrow. Maybe.
Neil Pearse
51   Posted 20/11/2010 at 23:18:04

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David, I AGREE he has to go. I have agreed for years.

But I am not in the Ste / Eugene / O'Keefe tendency that ANYONE is better ? that is irresponsible lunacy (as we can see from many of our rivals).

Nor does wishing that Kenwright go just make it so. Someone has to want to buy our club. No-one does currently.

And Kenwright going will only solve our problems if someone comes in with enough money to do things like get us a new stadium and some better players. Changing one poor owner for another does nothing. Ask Portsmouth.
Ste Traverse
52   Posted 20/11/2010 at 23:17:46

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To be fair, David, it was the back end of 1989 Kenwright joined the board. If it had of been 1984, his deluded fans would be giving him credit for our mid-80s glory years!
David O'Keefe
53   Posted 20/11/2010 at 23:19:54

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I have given you the first step, Neil, stop defending a man that has failed to get us out of these traps.

Neil, it is not incumbent on anyone upon identifying a problem/pitfall to come up with a solution. Is this how you run your business? Someone points out a flaw/error and you tell them to stop complaining unless they come up with a solution?

Doesn't work like that, Neil, and you know it. Arguing in bad faith again.

I don't think you've criticised Kenwright extensively, you think he was justified in lying to the supporters. A course in business ethics is required, speak to your HR department and get it sorted.
David O'Keefe
54   Posted 20/11/2010 at 23:26:20

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Thanks for the correction, Ste.

Neil; You have used a straw man argument there, we* don't want a dodgy new owner either, but you can't use that as an excuse to defend Bill.

I expect better from you.

* Apologies to Colin/Ste/Eugene.

David O'Keefe
55   Posted 20/11/2010 at 23:30:49

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Anyone up for a Monty Python sketch?
Neil Pearse
56   Posted 20/11/2010 at 23:27:13

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David, I have seen many many times that organisations think that by changing the leader they will solve their problems. But the problems still remain and have to be addressed. That is a lot of what I am saying. Let's talk about the problems, not the leader.

On the lying issue, you guys always talk as if Kenwright lies randomly for no reason. That would indeed be 'pathological'.

But of course he doesn't. Not at all. All the lies that you obsessionists repeat endlessly all have very clear reasons (raise the price of Rooney, stay in the KD game, get rid of Gregg, get some support behind DK etc.). This kind of thing happens all the time, and everyone knows it does.

Clearly it does not prevent Kenwright achieving rather successful deals in the theatre world for several decades. I wonder why?
David O'Keefe
57   Posted 20/11/2010 at 23:34:48

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Fanatics, obsessionists, haters ? perjorative terms used to describe those that hold BK to account.

Neil, I'm familiar with terms such as confidentiality, but in the business world or just life you have to conduct yourself with integrity. I have no objections to people telling a white lie now and then to spare someone's feeling, but telling some whoppers to push through a stadium project that would benefit Tesco and Sir Phillip Green is beyond the pale.
David O'Keefe
58   Posted 20/11/2010 at 23:39:30

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Holding someone to account is obessive. I hope your employees use that one when you see to hold them to account on aspect of their work place performance. I should have used that myself at the council.

Supervisor: "I don't think you're focused on your job, and things aren't getting done?"

David: "You said that in our last supervision."

Supervisor: "And I will keep saying it..."

David: "You're a bit obsessive aren't you?"

I want to work for you, Neil, if only I can have just one review/supervision session so I call you obsessive for holding me to account.
Andy Callen
59   Posted 20/11/2010 at 23:50:30

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Neil, when you talk about resources and the lack of them, are we ignoring the 18 consecutives years in the Premier League, the richest league in the world? Including 4 top 6 finishes in the last 5 seasons? On top of the Rooney money, the Lescott money, the McFadden money and other profits we have made from transfers? There is also the selling of Finch Farm along with many other assets which Kenwright has allowed to happen.

You mention that our debt is manageable. If we continue to stagnate like we are, that manageable debt will soon turn into a massive burden which could see us go the way of Portsmouth. And it all could have been avoided if Kenwright, in his first day in the job, just sat down and thought, "Right, what does the future hold? How can I best manage the resources I have to help move this great club forward and back to the glory days?" NSNO
Neil Pearse
60   Posted 20/11/2010 at 23:42:38

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You really are obsessed, David. It seems that you and others are desperately worried that somehow you are going to be cheated of 'getting your man' and 'holding him to account', like some Old Testament morality play.

So even when someone like me comes on says that he has a lot of faults but has done "okay" ? you have a mental attack. Okay is going to cheat you of your prize. Hence why of course you can never yourself admit to any beneficial thing that Kenwright has ever done ? which makes you look unbalanced and fanatical.

But let's shift the topic. I really am bored with Kenwright. Tell me what ideas you have for solving our deep-seated problems.

I'm just not into hunting down Kenwright.
Neil Pearse
61   Posted 20/11/2010 at 23:55:35

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Andy, read the Swiss Ramble. Please. Relative to all our major rivals we have very low revenues per game. That is a major problem. We don't currently have a way of solving it.

The debt could indeed become unmanageable at some point, although the sad reality (in one sense) is that we have quite a few players (Rodwell first) who we can sell who will keep the wolf from the door for a while longer. But obviously that is not a sustainable strategy.

As I say, our fundamental position is pretty severe.
Gavin Ramejkis
62   Posted 20/11/2010 at 23:45:32

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Neil, two major flaws in your response in #24 and #27.

Firstly #24, Obama had the cojones to tell his electorate that fixing the US economy would take years, he didn't promise an instant fix but has certainly made mistakes; BK has all-out lied, nothing similar there.

Secondly #27, referring to Kirkby "It might just have worked, might have got us increased revenues and new owners with greater resources", the business case for Kirkby was nigh on disastrous with abject transport capabilities and little if no non-match revenue capability. Unless the ticket prices for the reduced souls getting there were dramatically increased and the discredited "freebie" from Tesco and KMBC didn't really amount to increased debt and the need to service it, then it would have needed a miracle to increase revenue. Subsequently, due diligence from any potential buyer would have sounded alarm bells loud and clear and a swift "No thanks!"

The theatrical world of BK is a galaxy away from running a Premier League football club; he is a glorified ticket tout, any engagements in terms of employment are short-term fixed contracts, he owns no theatres as far as I know and if actors get crocked they have cheap stand-ins waiting but it's all short term.
Charles King
63   Posted 20/11/2010 at 23:59:05

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Neil, quite odd you've signed on to the Kenwright arrest warrant with your previous admissions but can't see where the deep seated problem lies.
Eugene Ruane
64   Posted 21/11/2010 at 00:02:49

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Here are some of the points raised by Neil Pearse in a post described by Simon Jenkins as 'a great post'.

NP: "He has done an okay job, some pluses and some minuses, in decidedly difficult circumstances"

Minuses - Kings Dock, Banning AGM's, Kirkby, constant lies. Pluses - We haven't been relegated and his bird knows a decent if unimaginative manager when she sees one.

NP: "The Haters are actually the optimists. By obsessing about Kenwright, they can indulge their fantasy that our great club would really be on its way back to former glories if only he stepped aside, and that he is the major reason for our relative decline over the past few decades"

Ok, let's nail this bullshit once and for all - there are many posts defending Bill. Yet with Kirwinesque sleight of hand, Neil suggests it's only those against BK who fall under the label 'obsessive' (nb: and remember, this is from someone posting about...Bill!). Btw - if you see a post that has the word 'Bill' or Kenwright in, rather than telling people what to post, simply don't read it - easy!

NP: "The problems of our club are structural not personal"

'THE problems' - what ALL of them? This is total nonsense as it suggests no matter how competent, or honest or imaginative our chairmen was, we'd be in EXACTLY the same position (anyone ACTUALLY believe that?)

NP: "We have a fundamental structural difficulty in raising our revenues such that they adequately cover the costs of mainitaining a top level Premier League management team and squad. It is that simple".

If it's 'that simple' I'd have hated to have heard the complicated version..but wait, here's an EVEN simpler way of saying that.'s difficult making ends meet.

I won't comment further, that particular 'insight' can just sit there.

NP: "In our desperate situation, Kirkby was all we could afford to try to spring this particular trap. Some of you might have noticed that we have not found any other alternatives since. Simply because we can't afford them".

We couldn't afford any OTHER alternatives? Fact: We couldn't fucking afford Kirkby! (however if I'm wrong and you know something different - LOVE to hear the details. It could be a TW first!)

NP: "Unfortunately we are not an attractive purchase. One of the major reasons being that we need at least £300M of additional investment".

Think you'll find we're not an 'attractive purchase' for exactly the same reason as the Mona Lisa isn't an attractive purchase - BECAUSE IT'S NOT FOR FUCKING SALE' (how many times on this?)

NP: "Those who hate Kenwright so vehemently owe us an explanation as to how THEY would spring us from these fundamental structural traps".

As I stated three times earlier (and gave my reasons) no they fucking don't 'owe' you a carrot. It is MUCH more reasonable to ask those who defend and make constant piss-weak excuses for a proven liar to explain themselves without resorting to guesswork and pure invention"

NP: "We are still in the game"

Really...what game is this? Certainly not the win the PL game? The should avoid relegation game - almost certainly and even the top half finish game fucking what?

NP: "Stop obsessing about Kenwright. It's missing the woods for the trees. And it's boring"

Shouldn't this post have been called 'Stop obsessing about Kenwright..unless like me you're obsessing in a positive way'? It's only 'missing the wood for the trees' if you want to avoid what is staring you in the face. Namely that Everton FC can't progress with this untrustworthy buffoon in charge. You can piss around with all the semantics, sleight of hand and flim-flam you want. That is the wood AND the, trees (bushes, weeds and grass).

I said earlier this was a piss-weak apologist post and nothing I've heard changes my mind.

(and Neil, if you're bored, there is an off button)

Apologies to Mr Allison for the lack of Blair-speak.
Neil Pearse
65   Posted 21/11/2010 at 00:06:16

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Gavin, actually Obama hasn't really told the electorate what a disastrous state to the US economy is in. That's the problem. He campaigned on all that hope stuff, and has found it very hard to tell the truth to the Americans. Of course, they don't like pessimism very much. But that means the Tea Party has been able to expound all its fantasies.

I don't take as bleak a view as you on Kirkby, Gavin, but there hardly seems much point on re-engaging on that particular debate. (My only deja vu is that given that due diligence on DK would have deterred any buyers, at least you are at last admitting that DK would have been a major financial disappointment for BK. It seems he can't have been going there to line his pockets after all. At least now we have that sorted.)

Not sure I understand your point on the theatre Gavin. My point was that if Bill is - as many of you believe - a pathological liar, it seems strange that he has managed to do so many successful deals in the theatre. Why does anyone deal with him? Are you saying that being a pathological liar somehow works for theatrical deal making?

All I am really saying is that Bill's lies are not the reason we don't have either a new owner or a new stadium. Rather deeper-seated factors are at play. The ones it seems that no one wants to talk about because it is much more comforting to believe that everything is Kenwright's fault and if only he went away we would soon be back to the glory days. Dream on.
Jimmy Hacking
66   Posted 21/11/2010 at 00:06:51

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Good article, Neil, but I think you are totally missing the point regarding Bill Kenwright.

Most sensible Everton fans are all too aware of the financial limitations of the club. we are not delusional. Our beloved club has been skint for 20 years, and routinely bypassed by investors, both real and phantom.

Yes, this isn't necessarily BK's fault. BUT...

He hasn't done a bloody thing to improve our situation. I cannot speak for all Evertonians, but THAT is why I dislike the man.

The opportunities that arose during his reign might have been slight and dogged by problems, but.. they were STILL opportunities. and every one of them has been fluffed like a stuttering actor out of his depth on the big stage.

In fact, I would argue that in the last decade, we have moved backward off the pitch and are in a worse financial position than at any point in our history. So Kenwright has been an abject failure.
Brian Wilson
67   Posted 20/11/2010 at 21:34:18

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Just trying to get beyond BK and the exchanges about him. The Swiss Rambler sets out what any owner faces, all with very worrying implications. Rambler echoes what analysts have been saying for some time ? that we have serious structural problems with our finances with long-term decline inherent. All continues to be problematic to reverse.

So how will we get back on a more stable footing? No sheik-like saviour means no quick fixes. So then what is in prospect ? higher ticket prices? More of a selling club? Ground share? Pretty unpalatable stuff... but can some/all be avoided ? whether under BK or A N Other?

Gavin Ramejkis
68   Posted 21/11/2010 at 00:29:12

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Neil, Obama is quoted as telling his electorate it will take a few years to resolve the underlying fiscal problems and this is a current debating point after the recent loss in the lower house. The tea party and predominantly Sarah Palin is still forthright in condemning Obama's move for an NHS clone for the poor in the US but Palin is so far right wing I'm surprised she hasn't actually met herself coming round again.

A great quote from Palin when heckled years ago by an anti war heckler was and I quote

"Bless your heart sir, my son is in Iraq fighting for your right to protest.
Right, because if Saddam Hussein had remained in power in Iraq -- or if we were no longer occupying the country -- then the U.S. would have been invaded by the Iraqi Army by now and we'd be living under the tyrannical rule of Ace of Clubs Qusay and Ace of Hearts Uday (and Five of Hearts Dr. Germ and cardless Mrs. Anthrax) and they would have abolished our First Amendment rights of speech and assembly. So that's exactly what the U.S. military is doing in Iraq: "fighting for our right to protest." And those who oppose that war, therefore, are unwilling to Fight for Our Freedoms. And Freedom is on the March" - anyone voting Palin into the White House frankly deserves no pity.

DK sounds more and more like it was an opportunity for Green and Earl and Leahey to line their pockets, the former a shady character with far more influence over the club than sounds healthy as again discussed at some length by the broadsheets not tabloids.

My point on Bill's theatrical background was a counter to your point in #56 "Clearly it does not prevent Kenwright achieving rather successful deals in the theatre world for several decades. I wonder why?" his deals there being completely different from running an EPL club.
Andy Callen
69   Posted 21/11/2010 at 00:41:35

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I have re-read the Swiss Ramble after reading it for the first time when it was published on here. All it does is strengthen the argument against Kenwright and his lack of forward planning. In 1999 we had net assets worth £18.5M; 10 years later we have net liabilities of £26.7M.

How, as Chairman, has Kenwright allowed this to happen? How was it, in 2003, Kenwright couldn?t come up with the money for Kings Dock despite only 4 years previously the club having assets of nearly £20M? Why was it another 5 years before a new stadium plan was purposed?

As a football club, your bread and butter for raising money has to be matchday revenue. Why in all these years is Kenwright only now looking at spending money on improving Goodison Park? (? where the matchday revenue comes from!) With the new admin building being built behind the park end, hopefully this will allow for improvements to the corporate facilities within the Main Stand, increasing the ? you guessed it ? matchday revenue!

Going back to your original point, Neil, Kenwright may not have set the traps, but he has done very little to free Everton from them, both as a business and a football club. NSNO.

Eugene Ruane
70   Posted 21/11/2010 at 01:10:28

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NP: "The ones it seems that no one wants to talk about because it is much more comforting to believe that everything is Kenwright's fault and if only he went away we would soon be back to the glory days. Dream on"

Flim flam and spin.

Show me one (JUST ONE!) post by a 'Bill hater' that says 'when/if Bill goes, we'll soon be back to the glory days'.

If Bill was gone tomorrow, I believe most like me, who can't wait to see the back of him, would only see it as a tiny, tiny step forward (despite all the pitiful attempts to portray us as quick-fix fantasists). However, tiny or not, forward I believe it WOULD be. The first small step in the RIGHT direction and infinitely better than standing still or going backwards.

(All irrelevant though as we KNOW he's not selling).

By the way, can I add that I was once a big fan of BK.

I wasn't BORN hating him.
James Flynn
71   Posted 21/11/2010 at 02:06:32

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Mike (14) Good one
James Flynn
72   Posted 21/11/2010 at 02:07:11

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JD (15) - Even better
James Flynn
73   Posted 21/11/2010 at 02:07:37

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Gavin - (68) "DK sounds more and more like it was an opportunity for Green and Earl and Leahey to line their pockets"

Thank you.

That's all it ever was with the current ownership group. A chance to get in on the Mersey River stadium and make a killing. Nothing wrong with that. Except it didn't happen.

Now they own with a product they only invested in to make a thumping profit. But everything fell through and they're stuck with the product; Everton Football Club.

Folks here say what they feel about BK and I'm not arguing. If I read everything right, he does not control the pursestrings (shares). The guys you mention do. BK is just the front man.

We're in a bad spot, because Moyes has managed to build a competitor despite fiscal restraint. That restraint has kept EFC from attaining a predator; the final piece of the puzzle.

We're stuck with ownership who were only in it for the payoff. Which didn't come. Let's see what happens.

We're minus a predator. That's all.
James Flynn
74   Posted 21/11/2010 at 02:57:23

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Speaking of which Predator-wise.

My Moyes - "Juan Agudelo". Turning 18 next month with Star written all over him.
Christine Foster
75   Posted 21/11/2010 at 04:41:29

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James Flynn, for my money, you hit the nail on the head with #73 ? that's exactly where we are and for the reasons stated.

Neil, we have locked horns many times over Kenwright and Kirkby; the latter is done and dusted, the former will happen at some point, timing being the issue.

There is a real problem with your post and may I say it, other articles posted previously in the past week, who have attempted to distance Kenwright from the plight our club is in.

The problem is not that black-and-white because Kenwright has been instrumental in many of the poor decisions, the deceit and financial failure that you speak of in terms of the traps. So it is as much his judgement and commercial decision-making that is to blame for our predicament as well as those who failed to invest in the club prior to him.

But, if that was not enough, to airbrush his lies under the basis of the fact that he is a businessman, and it's a fact of life, is accepting and condemning all those who do not operate a business in the same way as unrealistic.

Furthermore, as a businesswoman of some experience, I fully understand that there is also a line when an exageration becomes a dammed lie and the difference it makes. e.g. 2 p on the share price or going to prison... It's all in the context and the enormity of the lie and the implications it carries.

For me, when someone lies to you in business (or not) then they are no longer trustworthy and one therefore has to question their integrity and credibility.

Your post and subsequent comments dismiss this as if it's the norm and it's ok. It's not and prison constantly sees Directors who have lied, cheated or stolen to increase their wealth at the expense of their customers, their shareholders and fellow staff.

If we are to go forward, then we agree it has to be with credibility at the helm and integrity in the boardroom.

You ask how we may remove the traps?

1. Make Everton FC a public listed company, raising funds, and assuring a better degree of accountability from its directors.

2. Forget a private owner, there aren't enough to go around, seek a deal similar to what the RS have, if possible; experienced sports groups, they are not fans, but they know what's good for a club to make it work.

The difficulty remains that no directors want to sell or dilute (yeah, well... everyone has their price) and in line with James Flynn's post, there are interests that want their pound of flesh and are not interested in who or how they get it.

Kenwright may now never get the large pay day he and others wanted, but if he really does have the interests of the club at heart above his own, then that would not be a problem. But it is and will be.

We are left in a position that is difficult for the club and in truth for Kenwright. He needs to go, he wants to go, but he wants the glory and passion of belonging to a club and influencing its future. He can't let go.

Until something happens (not investment, that's a red herring) we are stuck with him. That does not make him a better choice. He holds all the cards, for now.
John Keating
76   Posted 21/11/2010 at 07:59:53

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Don't know what business you're in, Neil and I don't know if you're successful or not. What I do know is that, if you worked for me, you'd be out on your arse... and if you didn't work for me, I'd have nowt to do with you work-wise.

I'm doing not too bad and I believe it's because I'm straight with all my customers. If I say I can do the job, it's done... and in my particular case, honesty is everything.

You spout all this shit about Obama and lying in business is acceptable. Maybe it is and maybe that's why the country's in the shit it's in!!

Tony I'Anson
77   Posted 21/11/2010 at 09:12:33

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Neil, you said: "I agree that it has been a good thing for Kenwright to move on now for several years. If ? very big if ? we can find a good new owner. I am not holding my breath on this. But Kenwright has served his time, seems exhausted, and it is time for new blood."

Solution: Fans get organised to offer Bill the price of his shares, plus 10% over what he paid for them.

Bill has said many times he's just a fan. So maybe it's time we all shared the burden of responsibility and appoint a person(s) to make decisions who is directly answerable to the fan base. Our PM, David Cameron, thinks this is a good idea.

Neil Pearse
78   Posted 21/11/2010 at 09:25:52

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Well, I wished I'd never started on the lying! All I am really saying is that Kenwright's exaggerations and negotiating tactics are pretty common in business... and, in any case, are not what is holding our club back. The second point is the most important.

The next red herring of course is to shift obsessing over Kenwright to obsessing over Earl and Green. Here's an alternative explanation of Kirkby: we desperately needed a new ground, and Kirkby was the most we could afford (if we could even afford that). Simple, eh? (It seems likely that Earl and Green, and of course Tesco and KMBC, were helping us to afford Kirkby. But then beggars can't be choosers.)

Once we get away from all the fantasies and conspiracy theories, we get to the real meat of the issues: Jimmy at #66 and Andy at #69. I think you guys are asking: okay, Kenwright inherited a tough situation, with all the traps; but he has been there a long time, and really shouldn't he have done a lot better?

First of all, given that we are still in the traps, the very best assessment of Kenwright would have to be a cautious 'okay': we are scarcely flourishing, but nor did we go down in flames like some of our rivals.

What could have been done differently? KD seems a big and tragic failure, as we all agree. Since we never had enough money, no other new ground options apart from DK were ever realistic. We could have done more at GP, but a reasonable analysis is that, to spring the traps, we really have to move ? so that would have been good money after bad. And, in any case, we never had (still don't) have the money to truly transform GP to create the revenues we need.

I think it is more difficult to get our club to a good place than it might seem. Which is in the end my main point. Although I certainly do believe that a more creative businessman than Kenwright could have done better. Even if I'm not sure how.

He could probably have sold out in the boom years, but then we don't know how that could have ended up. And I have always thought that he could have done much more to try to get a ground share, although the RS have so far been stubbornly against.
Richard Jones
79   Posted 21/11/2010 at 09:44:41

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Heres my response from another thread with regards to the Swiss Rambler, as you now have your own thread.

I was reminding you that at the Public Inquiry, the club had said that the club was not for sale.

Richard ? you're on here and have posted on another thread "You know as well as I do that in the Kirkby process it was necessary to give assurances that the club would not be sold. You also know as well as I do that since then the club has very publicly retained advisors to sell the club. You also know very well that Bill himself has said that he would sell the club to the right buyer. What is your problem?"

My problem is, Neil, that those assurances ? that the club is up for sale and that Keith Harris was retained to sell the club ? were given to shareholders, the people who own the club, BEFORE the public inquiry took place ? and at the inquiry the Government was told by our club that Keith Harris WASN'T retained and the club WASN'T for sale.

What never ceases to amaze me, like many others, is the sheer lack of shame you have on here. Despite all your contradictions to the contrary, we all know you were an avid fan of Kirkby. As has been pointed out by others, you swallowed the club line ? hook, line and sinker ? but you're convinced you weren't and now deny everything ? obviously that must have been another Neil Pearse!

Now, to complete your transformation, you're now promoting the ideology of KEIOC though your enthusiastic support for the Swiss Rambler ? the piece is based on what KEIOC has been telling the fans for years, here's just a few:?

  1. Their financial problems may not be quite so spectacular, but the fact is that Everton?s business model is bust.
  2. Something has to be done to boost the club?s revenue, as the profit-and-loss account looks simply awful.
  3. The debt largely arises from a £30M 25-year loan arranged with Bear Sterns in 2002.
  4. Even where revenue has grown considerably, as with broadcasting increasing from £27M in 2007 to £49M in 2009, this has little to do with the club.
  5. Although the club promised to improve its commercial operations a few years ago, it remains feeble at £9.2M, up just £0.5M from the prior year.
  6. But where Everton really fall down is match day revenue, which was only £21.9M last year, even though it rose 7%.
I read all that when it came out, I remember the first person to respond to it, the one that is now marked anonymous but in April it was from Colin. I've just rung Colin, I know him well, he was laughing his head off at the thought of you now agreeing with everything KEIOC have said.

He also said that the Swiss Ramble writer, Kieron O'Connor, is good but isn't an Evertonian and hasn't had the benefit of having lawyers set on him, being lied to, and battling with the club and the media for three years until proven right... so his pieces tend to be sanitised versions gleaned from the accounts and the media.

I asked if he was pleased to have a new supporter, I can't print what he said but it had something to do with preferring a water based lubricant and a kopite.

Neil Pearse
80   Posted 21/11/2010 at 09:53:27

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Tony and Christine, I think what could be really attractive is a combination of your two suggestions: a specialist sports group emerging to buy Everton, with at least minority ownership from the fans.

I think if such a grouping came forward the current owners would not be able to resist them.

The problem is finding the sports group with deep enough pockets to take us on. Maybe John Henry over at the RS has some friends who would like to come in and do the other side of a wonderful ground share?
Peter Norris
81   Posted 21/11/2010 at 09:53:23

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David 35. Your words "I see you became rather abusive on the other thread" ? you must have more faces than Big Ben ? isn't this the type of rhetoric you were using in response to your article when you didn't hear what you wanted to hear? Case of pot kettle black mate.

I see you have no reply to Neil's challenge in 60 either ? again! A similar nil response to the challenges made of you more than once in your own article about starting the anti-BK demonstration which, correct me if I am wrong, was going to be your brain child over a considered weekend.

I'll be looking for the uprising at Sunderland when I go Monday night or at WBA next Saturday with all the banners and you chaining yourself to the goalposts and all that. Switch the lights off when you leave.
Neil Pearse
82   Posted 21/11/2010 at 10:02:01

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Richard ? what are you on about? I acknowledge that I was a supporter of Kirkby numerous times on this thread!

On Colin and KEIOC: if agreeing with them is agreeing that our financial plight is pretty severe - well, I am very happy to be in agreement. And indeed always have been. There.

Many people like me who don't support KEIOC's proposals can be in agreement with their underlying diagnosis of the problems.
Ernie Baywood
83   Posted 21/11/2010 at 10:08:08

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My brain hurts.

FACT - We couldn't afford Kirkby.

Yet Kings Dock was the one that would have closed the gap. How exactly could we afford Kings Dock?
Robert Daniels
84   Posted 21/11/2010 at 09:59:44

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What have Green and Earl bought into Everton for? Is it because they are diehard fans? >Is it more likely they have seen an opportunity, spouted by our leader, as a way to make major money out of Everton?

If they're involved as shareholders, and major ones at that, shouldn't they be investing in our club?

You know, all this talk of a new owner with billions, and we've got one hiding away out of the spotlight doing fuck all. Why? The truth is, they dont want to be here, and they are as much to blame as that buffoon you keep defending.

There are poeple on this site who would be willing to invest, there have been many suggestions of ground redevelopment, reasonable logical informative options, about how this can be done, and all debate about this comes to nothing, because your liar isn't interested in taking this club forward.

He involved Green and Earl for his own ends ? him, no-one else. If he stepped down as chairman, or moved upstairs, and had a share rights issue, therby dilluting his shares, allowing poeple with forsight, instead of greed, onto the board, this club would then move forward.

But he won't... Why?

The traps you talk about are irrelevent, the biggest trap we're in is Green, Earl and Kenwright.

Wake up and smell the coffee. Stop defending the indefensible.
Neil Pearse
85   Posted 21/11/2010 at 10:21:09

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James - Hope you are not going to start obsessing about me as part of some evil Kenwright / Earl / Green / Pearse conspiracy theory!!

You guys just can't believe that anyone who disagrees with you could do so because they see things differently. You are so totally convinced you are right that anyone disagreeing must somehow be in the pay of the company. Truly truly weird and sad. You need help.

You can google me anytime you like. I do not work for Everton, nor have I had any commercial relationship with Everton of any sort at any time.

I just disagree with you James. Is that okay? Can you get your head around that?
Sam Higgins
86   Posted 21/11/2010 at 11:34:34

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Ah... this is one of those ToffeeWeb legendary threads!
John Keating
87   Posted 21/11/2010 at 11:48:29

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Neil (#78): Kenwright's lies are now exaggerations and negotiation tactics? Sorry, Neil you were correct first time ? they were lies.

As for your alternative explanation for Kirkby are you for real? Did you actually follow the enquiry? Did you actually read and hear what various people said? No one, not Earl, Green, Tesco or KMBC were giving us anything.

Please, Neil, you have to get it into your head that DK was never never an option. Read the enquiry report and you'll understand why. It's not a case of disagreeing with you it's a case of you closing your eyes and ears to what actually happened.

Martin Mason
88   Posted 21/11/2010 at 12:03:51

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The only sensible article that I've seen on this subject. The anti-Kenwright fantasists have neither a credible case against him nor any credible alternative strategies. I don't believe that there is any real died-in-the-wool pro-Kenwright side ? only those who, like me, can see that we have actually done quite well with very limited resources.

This isn't the time of Shankley and Busby and they couldn't do now what they did in the 1960s, these are limited companies now not members clubs; there are no restrictions on pay for and movement of players and the leagues are infinitely more competitive now.

Well thought out argument, let's have more.

David O'Keefe
89   Posted 21/11/2010 at 12:18:32

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I suppose some individuals want their own facts to match their own opinions, but Colin Fitzpatricks case against Kenwright has not been countered effectively.

I do find this "Kenwright hater" business strange, as I didn't hate Kenwright until 2007 ? in fact I had a rather benign view of the gentleman. Unfortunately, the facts changed and I had to change my opinions (to paraphrase Keynes).

As for the obsessive charge, Neil, that is a very low blow, and despite our disagreements, I consider it beneath you, but you don't have a moral compass ? integrity matters in any walk of life. The use of the term "obsessive" to describe any critics of BK is an attempt to silence or shame them into self-censorship; shows your weakness as the facts and events turn against your man.
David O'Keefe
90   Posted 21/11/2010 at 12:43:11

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Peter Norris: I have read Neil's reaponse in #60 on another thread and its light on content and has then gets a little abusive. This is a man without a moral compass and believes that holding someone to account is an outmoded and outdated concept.

Must I respond to every bit of nonsense from the Kenwright apologists/Deniers. Neil Pearse is an intelligent fellow, but he has chosen to misrepresent his opponents/denigrate them as obsessives and deploy straw man arguments against them.

I have heard them all before Peter, if I appear to be frustrated at having to deal with all this nonsense again, its because I am. As every fact aginst Kenwright's chairmanship, rather than undermime your arguments actually strengthens them in your view.

David O'Keefe
91   Posted 21/11/2010 at 12:50:54

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Now for some light relief.
David Thomas
92   Posted 21/11/2010 at 13:11:05

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"I'll be looking for the uprising at Sunderland when I go Monday night or at WBA next Saturday."

Yes i am looking forward to this as well. Dave how are your plans coming along? Do you feel you are in a position yet to tell us why your previous protest failed?

David O'Keefe
93   Posted 21/11/2010 at 13:30:00

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Ask and you shall receive in due course.
Steve Pugh
94   Posted 21/11/2010 at 12:35:46

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Phew, that took some reading.

First thing I want to do is come up with an anology to describe Kenwright. Unfortunately I can't remember the name of the film, but it centred around a monkey. In the film the monkey was seen to drive a Limo around town. In reality somebody else was sat in the closed of part of the Limo with the real steering wheel and other controls, the monkey had absolutely no control at all. That is how I see Kenwright, he is a monkey. To look at he is in charge, but if you look at where the money is in the club it is fair to assume that his power is not real. Somebody was commented that in any other industry Kenwright would be sacked, and maybe he would. But at Everton the people with the power to sack him have the most to gain by him staying. Kenwright deflects all of the blame away from the money men. Every time he opens his mouth he splits the fanbase with his lies, drivel and arrogance, thus weakening opposition to the powerbase. We need to get rid of not just Kenwright but the whole lot of them. Only then can we start to move the club forward.

Now to Neils big gripe that nobody comes up with a way to bring the club out of the traps. Well here goes, replace the board with people that have enough money to keep the club exactly where it is with no loans or selling off of assets. Appoint a Chairman who has experience of building a business up. Allow the chairman to employ a team to promote Everton Football Club.

How many times do we read about the lack of merchandise available outside of Liverpool? What about revenue streams inside the ground, if the club took back catering and hospitality, provided decent products and nice surroundings how much money could they raise? If the club took proper advantage of developing markets how much would income increase?

As income increases then investment in non-team matters could also increase, redevelopment of the stadium could begin, thus hopefully increasing revenue even more.

None of this would involve finding a Sugar Daddy, ok it might take a while to turn things around but most Everton fans would be prepared to wait if they could see that progress was being made.
David O'Keefe
95   Posted 21/11/2010 at 14:05:32

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Steve Pugh: Thank you for that sensible contribution.
Jay Harris
96   Posted 21/11/2010 at 13:27:42

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welcome back.

I thought you had disappeared up Kenwright's arse after defending the case for Kirkby for 2 years.

I have to give you credit for being provocative and attempting to defend the indefensible.

I have no wish to enter the debate as my views on Kenwright are very well documented and I am getting very bored (apart from Eugene's usual humorous posts) reading ToffeeWeb's version of Two Tribes.

My view is those that know Kenwright know what he is and those that don't never will.

I can only say that, after six decades of watching EFC, it is now in the worst state it has ever been and, unlike Obama who has had only 2 years in office and is being run out of town, Kenwright has had more than 10 years and has shown the worst deterioration in finances and lack of business planning of any Chairman I have ever known.

I just ask this one question:

How many people including ex-friends do you think would ever do business with Kenwright again?

Answers on a tiny postcard please.
David O'Keefe
97   Posted 21/11/2010 at 14:47:30

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Postage stamp, Jay, postage stamp. Make it easy for him, will yer.
David Thomas
98   Posted 21/11/2010 at 15:09:25

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"How many people including ex friends do you think would ever do business with Kenwright again?"


Except for Gregg, who he had a very public falling out with him, I have never heard anyone say they would not. So, at this moment in time, I would have to presume all of them except Gregg. Or do you have some inside information???
Jay Harris
99   Posted 21/11/2010 at 20:21:34

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Ask anyone at LCC.

I could name a lot of business aquaintances but I won't out of courtesy.

You might also ask Trevor Birch. I am sure he will give you 1 or 2 reasons not to get involved with him. Four Chief Executives in 10 years also speaks volumes.

Albert Perkins
100   Posted 21/11/2010 at 20:50:03

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I believe the critical issue is around someone buying the club. I do not believe for one second that, if someone really wanted to buy this club, we would not know about it. Kenwright would not be able to stand in the way of any person or group who really had the funds and will to take on the challenge of making Everton FC great again. They would be front page and in the faces of the present board, selling the idea to all and sundry, and they would eventually win the day.

Look what happened across the park. Two groups wanted them and they fought it out, much of it in the media. Blackburn got a sugar daddy and it was big news as the proposed takeover ground its way to conclusion.

Sad to say, no-one wants to be a part of the rebuilding of our lovely Everton. Not right now... but hopefully in the near future.

I think we are a great opportunity for some wealthy suitor to have some fun running a football club in the most famous league in the world. Just wish it could be me sitting in the Directors Box waving at Messi scoring in the Gwladys St goal.
David Thomas
101   Posted 21/11/2010 at 20:45:49

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Jay ? "...ask anyone at LCC". Did Kenwright and the board not work with LCC to get approval for the Bellefield development and the Park End development just recently? So, on that evidence, it would suggest the LCC are happy to work with Kenwright.

"I could name a lot of business aquaintances but I won't out of courtesy". I will ignore this point.
"You might also ask Trevor Birch. I am sure he will give you 1 or 2 reasons not to get involved with him". Have you any evidence that Birch left simply because of Kenwright and that he would never work with Kenwright again? Or are you simply guessing?

"Four Chief executives in 10 years also speaks volumes". Once again, have you any evidence at all that none of these people would want to work with Kenwright again. Or once again are you just purely guessing?
John Andrews
102   Posted 22/11/2010 at 00:35:23

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I really don`t know where to start, Neil. Do you remember the "Fortress Sports Fund" or the NTL deal? Both of which came to nothing. The Chairman would not know the truth, or the truth as it is known to him, if it bit him on the nose.
Lee Kidd
103   Posted 22/11/2010 at 00:43:59

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Once again, the tired old "who would we have instead of Bill?" argument, rehashed and spread out amongst a wall of text.

Bill Kenwright is a relative pauper desperately holding on to his pet toy in a world in which he can no longer compete. Everton could easily be in League One right now due to Kenwright's lack of interest in selling the club to a viable owner ? the sole reason we aren't is because of Kevin Campbell.

If we were in League One, there'd be utterly no defense of Kenwright on these forums. It wouldn't matter if we were "financially stable" or whatever crap phrase you want to tag on the club, the fact of the matter would have been that Bill Kenwright invested negligible net transfer spending fund increases into Everton Football Club during his chairmanship, if not an out-and-out profit on the sales of players.
Peter Norris
104   Posted 22/11/2010 at 08:36:32

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David 90. Seems to me you would be ideal to have a debate with a mule as they can't answer back and then you woud be the only voice ? which is what you want be in this debate. Ever tried going for a job in North Korea ? they don't have a democracy there either??
David Price
105   Posted 22/11/2010 at 11:10:47

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Obama, Cameron, Saddam, Palin, torture chambers, were-wolves, crashed economy, delusive morons, delusive flawed genius, elusive billionaires, elusive strikers, reclusive owner, reclusive cheque book, exclusive insight to the truth, the lies, the half truths, the white lies. The knowledge, the lack of it, the in the know, the haves the have nots.
Yes folks its another Bill Kenwright post.
Terrific !!
David O'Keefe
106   Posted 22/11/2010 at 12:46:05

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Peter: I find the North Korea Jibe amusing because I'm holding BK and the board to account and this concept of holding people to account is an important part of a democratic society. On the other hand, you've conducted yourself in the manner of a committed communist, denying and downplaying the failures/crimes of your side.

I'll make it easy for you:

BK critics: Believe in holding him to account

BK apologists: Downplay/deny/make excuses for his failings/lies and deflect attention away from his failures by attacking his critics/changing the subject.

Do you understand now?
Steve Pugh
107   Posted 22/11/2010 at 14:32:35

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Actually David, people are held to account in Autocracies as well, as long as it suits the autocrat. The big difference is that in a democracy both sides are able to freely air their views and then a decision is made, whist in an autocracy the views of the autocrat are put forward and any other opinions are discounted.

Some people on this thread are unable even contemplate the opposing view before dismissing it as being wrong. Which is a shame because there are good points being made on both sides.
Gavin Ramejkis
108   Posted 22/11/2010 at 14:53:52

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Steve, unfortunately BK is held as chairman in meritocracy by some of his disciples purely because he is supposedly "true blue", thats even worse. The downfall of meritocracy has always been its abuse to suit a cause and misinterpretation and is highly subjective, whilst that old "true blue" chestnut is still used some will still worship at BK's false deity.
Ste Traverse
109   Posted 22/11/2010 at 17:01:03

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Brilliant post, Eugene (#64). I tip my hat to you.
David O'Keefe
110   Posted 22/11/2010 at 17:12:17

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Nicely done, Mr Pugh. Not quite buying it as I have a damn sight more patience with BK supporters that don't know the full facts, those that continue to defend him knowing the full facts will continue to get short shrift.
Steve Pugh
111   Posted 22/11/2010 at 18:05:00

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Isn't it interesting that the so-called BK haters dispute my last post whilst the so-called apologists say nothing.

The only person I named was David to dispute the democracy comment. As to the behaviour, I didn't name either side because there are individuals on both sides who act in this manner, but only two people got defensive.
David O'Keefe
112   Posted 22/11/2010 at 18:10:19

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Steve, you had a sly dig (at both sides) and now you're complaining about getting a response?

For the record, I have reached a conclusion re Mr Kenwright on his record, if I appear to be irrational/emotional it's because I care about the club. I'm sure the apologists do as well, they defend him because they fear change and what that may do to the club. We both want a better Everton, despite our differences.
Martin Mason
113   Posted 22/11/2010 at 18:15:18

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To be fair, surely only shareholders can hold him to account?

Also please remember that it is 100% on his accusers to prove the case against him not for anybody to prove a case for him.

If there are indeed facts that we should know then publish them.
Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
114   Posted 22/11/2010 at 19:21:39

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Hey Martin,

I am a shareholder.

I publish the facts... and reasonable implications based on what limited information is allowed out of the club or inferred by inquisitive minds. That's what has been published here.

Of course it's your prerogative to reject whatever you read... you'll be in excellent company with the likes of the creationists and other history deniers, but don't let that worry you.
Gavin Ramejkis
115   Posted 22/11/2010 at 19:21:12

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Martin, two problems:

1) BK and his cronies removed the rights of the shareholders to call an EGM and 2) when they did last hold one regarding the whole Kirkby fuck-up they closed rank and used the one-share, one-vote and not one-person, one-vote and silenced the valid questions. As not a single member of the Board, who hold the lion's share of the shares, are willing to sell or dilute their shareholding (courtesy of the DK hearings), then you have a Catch-22 with the board sitting like the three wise monkeys ? see no, hear no and speak no.

David Thomas
116   Posted 23/11/2010 at 10:39:48

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"Ask and you shall receive in due course."

Any news yet?
Steve Pugh
117   Posted 23/11/2010 at 12:34:00

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David, I wasn't complaining, I was just saying how interesting it was to see which people got defensive at my comments.

How is it the saying goes, "I think you do protest too much"
Peter Norris
118   Posted 23/11/2010 at 17:52:42

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David 112. Balance at last ? couldn't agree more we all care about 1 thing - the club, nothing more nothing less, it's just we have different views. Apologists don't fear change ? they just want it to be the right change so we don't end up like Pompey, the RS, West Ham etc etc.
David O'Keefe
119   Posted 23/11/2010 at 18:19:43

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Peter: I'm afraid they do, but they should look at what they're defending. Can you drop the balance issue as it's getting boring.

David Thomas: I have a life outside TW and you're going to have to wait.

Steve Pugh: You're the Roger Phillips of TW and I love you for it.
Peter Norris
120   Posted 24/11/2010 at 08:21:02

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David 119 - on balance can think about it - but you're still in denial which I must say is, if anything, more tedious.

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