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2011 and beyond

By Phil Martin :  17/01/2011 :  Comments (82) :
I struggle to put into words my disappointment with how the last few seasons have panned out for Everton FC.

In 2007-08 with a decent run in the Uefa Cup and a 5th place finish. We looked the business. The perennial "only 2-3 players short" talk began then. Shame it never happened. Since then we've lost a key player every year and not replaced them. We've also failed comprehensively to display any ambition in the transfer market. A new low was earlier this month ? Moyes stating even loanees would have to be funded by player sales.

The old ?playerX agreeing a new deal, is like a new signing? chestnut has been also abused far too much in our recent history. I understand the board doesn't have the means to chase such ambitions. However, it still pains me to think 6th best is all we can ever amount to.

To those who suggest our better performances against some of the big 4 at home indicate serious credentials... I disagree. There's about 7-8 teams in the Premier League who can turn over any other team on their day. Yet only 3 (now 4 including City) can really claim to be a genuine force. Money buys you quality. Quality provides strength in depth. Strength in depth allows you to win more games.

If we had top replacements for Jags, Arteta and Yakubu in the 2009 FA Cup Final, I think we would?ve won. As it happened, we just ran out of steam. Beating the top teams occasionally doesn?t mean we?re comparable. It simply means on our day we have the potential to compete. The sign of great team though is winning regularly even when on your off days. We?ve not done that since 1987.

I wrote a couple of fan articles two and three summers ago suggesting that we were at a crossroads. One path would lead to a full restoration of EFC to its glories. In which we could challenge for major honours and become part of the elite once again. The second path would be a slow erosion, a gradual regression back to the pool of mediocrity, in which we scrap with the also-rans, striving for 40 pts being objective No. 1. The difference between the two paths was the funding of said two or three quality players.

I?m not stating that they?d be the final pieces. However, I believed we could go on to grab a seat on board the Champions League gravy train and afford lengthy cup runs. From then on, it would?ve been a great platform.

Well it may be another 5 years before we can say for certain which way we went. But paying a manager £65k a week and asking him to sell our best players is nonsensical. Would you pay for an expensive chauffeur to drive you around in a rusty Ford Fiesta? Pienaar wanted parity (or close to) Arteta. We couldn?t afford that. That?s fine but who can we bring in who?s better, for £2M?

David Moyes is far from perfect. However, with every year, he is presented with ever decreasing resources. Yet our expectations for success grow. No mistake, he is incredibly lucky to be managing EFC and even luckier to be earning £3M a year. But can we honestly expect year-on-year improvement (in league position), when we reduce our squad size in terms of quantity and quality?

It?s a fine line between success and failure and I think we were once very close. We may still be close. But every transfer window we can?t participate in (aside from selling) is a step away from where we should be. Moyes has stabilised the club over the years. However, with each high profile player we don?t replace. We risk undoing all that.

It seems a new elite is forming, a top 5 with greater resources than the rest. With some investment in new players we could join them. With steady investment we could gradually rebuild Goodison and even cement a position among them. Or we could just be glad we?re not Leeds or Pompey and drift.

Watching LFC?s troubles almost anesthetises us from our own woes. Big debts, no assets, and no more easy revenue streams (loans). To the Everton board: what happens next is up to you.

Reader Comments

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Andy Crooks
1   Posted 17/01/2011 at 18:39:20

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Phil, we were really close. It needed a bold initiative from the chairman. I'm not talking about Leeds style madness but something carefully planned with champions league. football as the reward. It could have happened but I feel that the Moyes legacy will be one of wasted opportunity. It could have happened,
Alan Clarke
2   Posted 17/01/2011 at 19:02:34

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There is a black hole inside Goodison where all the money goes. I just don't get it. The TV money's increased, the squad size has decreased. Granted the wage bill's gone up but by that much we are totally skint? I don't think so. Even without access to the accounts something seriously stinks at Everton for us to be in such a bad position financially.

Even Bolton admitted they were in 90 million pounds of debt yet they're not having to sell their star players and are being linked with a bid for Wright-Phillips. West Ham's new owners talked about how poor their finances were when they took over yet they're forking out 90k a week for Wayne Bridge. League 1 sides outspend us - even Crawley Town spent more then us last summer!

So how come we're so skint? Where the fuck does all the money go? We've really got to start demanding some answers from black Bill.
Brian Waring
3   Posted 17/01/2011 at 18:54:32

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The problem for us in the future, is being able to hold onto our better players, when they realise the good ship Everton, is going nowhere fast.

It may just be me, but does anyone feel like this season was last chance saloon, and from now on, its going to be all about balancing the books?

Denis Richardson
4   Posted 17/01/2011 at 19:29:00

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Brian ? trouble is the books to be balanced don't even exist. When the fook are the accounts going to be published? They are now 7 odd months overdue.........

Everton FC are not some global conglomorate with stupidly complicated finances, it cannot be that difficult to prepare the financial statements for the club.

Something does not add up........
John Audsley
5   Posted 17/01/2011 at 19:38:59

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The mad thing is that Moyes LOVES Bill Kenwright, in his last big interview before the derby he said the he might not get the Pienaar money to spend but he had the best chairman in the league.

While i dont expect him to slag Kenwright off in public he doesnt need to be so cuddly

Just shows that as Everton fans we should settle for and EXPECT nothing but being average

What a chance missed these last 4 years have been
Brian Waring
6   Posted 17/01/2011 at 19:46:50

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Denis, maybe they are late, because BK can't find the abacus.
Brian Waring
7   Posted 17/01/2011 at 19:48:07

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John, I think in return for his huge new contrace, Moyes had to trade his soul.
Brian Waring
8   Posted 17/01/2011 at 19:49:45

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Meant to say contract.
John Audsley
9   Posted 17/01/2011 at 20:02:28

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Sadly Brian i totally agree

also whenever the media talk about Everton its always "plucky EFC" or "punching above our weight" or True Blue Chairman"

never anything about how abit of investment could shoot us up into the top 4 or at least give us a chance at that

I dont think Bill will ever strike gold with his 24/7 search and i have a feeling the powers that be think this is the best we can ever achieve

still, if you earn 65k a week may as well keep quiet - no point rocking the boat, espiecally if yer never gonna get sacked and the Media lurve yer..............
Des Kennedy
10   Posted 17/01/2011 at 19:47:14

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Everytime a transfer window comes along under the Bosco Bill era we need to refer back to the scarily accurate swiss ramble blog from last April..

The business model is bust, the only way to buy players is to borrow and what collateral has Bill Kenright got to offer? Advanced ticket sales from a 'monumetal show called Evita' ??

Phil Martin
11   Posted 17/01/2011 at 20:16:34

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I agree with some of the posts that Moyes when he signed his contract worth £3M a year. He signed away any grounds to complain about the chairman or the board.
Kenwright personally has probably supported Moyes very well. Unfortunately the club has been neglected.

I feel awarding Moyes and Arteta massive contracts was just keeping us fans quiet. If either had left there would've been uproar. By keeping them here, it (for the short term) keeps the natives happy. However exciting keeping your highly regarded manager and star player may be. It's futile if you can't buy any more players to strengthen. Or can't pay other top players their market value (it seems Pienaar has a queue of other clubs offering meeting his demands).

If their truly isnt any suitable investors/new owners out there. Then what does the board suggest happpens next. Sit out the next x number of transfer windows and ask our manager to plug the holes thin air? They could offer a fan's buy in by putting 10-15% of the club up for sale. With most of the funds going on players. It may help us out for a year or two.
However it wouldn't be a long term solution and it would mean perhaps the current owners diluting their holding.

So I guess, we sit wait, and watch Fulham, Wolves, and Wigan out manouvere us in the transfer market.
Micky Norman
12   Posted 17/01/2011 at 20:21:25

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Methinks Mssrs Earl and Green want some money back soon. We've been living beyond our means for ages. Moyes knows this and is in a strong position because he has increased the overall value of the squad since he arrived, over and above his expenditure. I smell a Redshite scenario for next year with us having to stave off administration by selling our only decent assets. Players. Unfortunately ther won't be a billionaire cowboy for us. Everything else is mortgaged. BK can't sell because the true state of affairs would come out. I don't really like Moyes as a football team manager/tactician/coach but maybe without him and his ability to find cut price bargains such as Cahill, Martyn, Bent,Jags, Coleman,we would already be playing at Scunthorpe regularly.
Steve Smith
13   Posted 17/01/2011 at 20:57:17

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In the past calendar year up to and including the Spurs Manure match yesterday, if the league was played just between the current top 5 and Everton, we would be winning that league.

We are a very good side, our problem is scoring when the lesser teams put 10 men behind the ball, because they know they are up against a good team.

There was a reason blues were so optimistic at the start of this season, and just because we haven't worked out a formula for beating the lesser teams whilst looking much better than them and having 70% of the possession, doesn't mean we are now an average team.

We desperately need a top class striker, which it looks like we can't afford, and for our creative players to find the sort of form they had a year ago. This may never happen i'm not saying it will, but we haven't fallen that far in 6 months and I can't believe some fans who think we have.

P.s I worked out the top 5 plus everton league, our record is won 6 drawn 4 lost 2, i have the whole league in excel if anyone wants to see the proof, but i couldnt successfully paste it into this comment.
Andrew James
14   Posted 17/01/2011 at 20:31:33

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There is no long term strategy from Bill. The theatrical world is a very different one from that of running a football club. A play is as good as it's short development and eventual run. The success comes if you don't close and manage a half decent run.

Football is far more corporate. You need to be getting bums on seats regardless of the product you are selling. You also need to have an eye on 3-5 yrs time. Finch Farm is the only example of this. Otherwise there doesn't seem to be a strategy.

Bill has been in charge for a relatively long time and, what I cannot understand, is why there's been no progression in finances. Why hasn't this dear club of ours been turned into a competitive and professional business? Small tweaks would make so much difference. Buying tickets is a joke. They don't do it Online, their staff are using dreadful software from my experiences and they don't even seem to have a concept of how Draconian their customer services are. EFC make Fulham look state of the art on that front. WTF? We get twice the gates they do!
Jamie Sweet
15   Posted 17/01/2011 at 21:00:21

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I agree there seems to be a black hole which swallows money at the club. Our tightly enforced (until very recently) wage structure should at least have made us stable enough to afford to be able to offer ALL money received in transfers, to be put back into the squad. It's a joke that we cannot even achieve that.

I know this will sound very Championship Manager, and until recently I would never sanction the sale of Rodders, but something has to change. I'd sell the young lad to the highest bidder and bring in Darren Bent who wants out of Sunderland.

Trouble is, we would probably sell Rodwell for 20 million, sign some dodgy striker from Belgium for 5 million, and then never see the other 15 mil again. Lost in Blue Bills Black Hole.
Jamie Sweet
16   Posted 17/01/2011 at 21:00:21

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I agree there seems to be a black hole which swallows money at the club. Our tightly enforced (until very recently) wage structure should at least have made us stable enough to afford to be able to offer ALL money received in transfers, to be put back into the squad. It's a joke that we cannot even achieve that.

I know this will sound very Championship Manager, and until recently I would never sanction the sale of Rodders, but something has to change. I'd sell the young lad to the highest bidder and bring in Darren Bent who wants out of Sunderland.

Trouble is, we would probably sell Rodwell for 20 million, sign some dodgy striker from Belgium for 5 million, and then never see the other 15 mil again. Lost in Blue Bills Black Hole.
Brian Waring
17   Posted 17/01/2011 at 21:13:13

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Steve, the season started august 14.

Steve Smith
18   Posted 17/01/2011 at 21:16:13

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So tell me what our record against the top 5 has been this season then Brian, still good isn't it
Brian Waring
19   Posted 17/01/2011 at 21:21:19

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Yeah Steve, but at the end of the day its not a mini league.
Gavin Ramejkis
20   Posted 17/01/2011 at 21:16:38

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Micky #12, it is quite likely the "Earl money" was really Green money, the rising costs shown in the accounts which have never been explained are probably repayment to the tax dodging shifty bastard already.

My worry which I'm amazed at the general apathy to is the sale/release of players from the smallest squad in the EPL with only a hint of loans without a view to buy as replacements. Sorry for pointing out the obvious but come the end of the season, with next year's Sky money already borrowed against, that leaves bloody gaping big holes.
Brian Waring
21   Posted 17/01/2011 at 21:23:53

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Also Steve, a whopping forty pts dropped from a possible 66, says we're not as good as you may think.
Steve Smith
22   Posted 17/01/2011 at 21:22:38

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Sorry Brian I re-read my reply and it was a bit childish, i'm not out to start an argument and I completely take your point, I guess the general negativity in posts just riles me a bit, we are where we are for a reason, i know that and it frustrates me more than anyone, I just don't think we are as far away once again as some people seem to suggest.
Mark Pierpoint
23   Posted 17/01/2011 at 21:24:50

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true Gavin. We are fucked. We need a long term replacement for all of these players and the only answer seems to be Chris Eagles. Had to laugh when i scrolled up the page and saw an advert 'bankruptcy, do i qualify' that is product placement...
Dick Fearon
24   Posted 17/01/2011 at 21:23:00

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Alan Clarke #2, I am as confused as yourself about where the money has gone. Moyes to his credit has had a net spend over recent years, crowds have held up, there was? 75 million available for Kirkby and as you say, TV cash is flowing in greater numbers. What the hell is going on!
Brian Waring
25   Posted 17/01/2011 at 21:26:38

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Steve no probs mate, we all want the best for our club.
John Ford
26   Posted 17/01/2011 at 21:23:45

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Good article which explains why we cant break through the glass ceiling and make a regular challenge. The latest money boys, City seem to have now got their act together and have taken over from Liverpool as the fourth member of the 'sky four'.

I find it frustrating that we cant even compete in the transfer market with teams of similar income levels, and I dont know why this is the case.

My biggest fear is that this is as good as it gets...a good team capable of beating anyone on their day but not enough to make a regular challenge for a top five place. Like the OP says we need to invest decent money from time to time to reinvigorate and keep the team refreshed. Pound for poind we're as good as anyone. Unfortunately thats not enough where success rewards money. You pays your money you wins yer pot.
Tony Wilson
27   Posted 17/01/2011 at 21:17:44

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Perhaps a little too broad for this discussion, but I think the question of financial backing raises some key issues that need to be more widely discussed, such as...

1. Does any club actually deserve to have more financial clout than any other?

MY ANS: Perhaps, based on fan base and popularity, and maybe success. Perhaps not.

2. What is a football club?

MY ANS: In Everton's case it is a thespian that gets more stick than he deserves (he's not evil; he cries watching Oliver!), and his rather more macho sidekick, David Moyes, who is a classic authoritarian dictator. Maybe the latter sounds extreme but Moyes knows he is onto a good thing at Everton. He is on a top wedge and he has control, which suits his slightly narcissistic personality. His ego could not handle Comolli picking players on his behalf, for instance.

A club is not the fans. I am sorry guys. It just isn't. Fans are stable rahter than transient, I will accpet, but we don't get a say on the colour of the bloody away kit, let aone any bigger issues. I would like to see fans have some stake in clubs personally. Mickey Blue Eyes wrote a good article on "the other site" about this relatively recently.

3. Is history relevant to now regards what fans "deserve"?

MY ANS: No. History gives us a nice sense of context and belonging, but modern professional football bares almost no resemblance to the days of Dixie and co. Therefore, to say we deserve this or that because of the 80s or whatever is just balls really. Sadly, as it is rather bleakly pointed out from time to time, money is king now.

I don't think I am necessarily right here, rahter I am genuinely interested in what you all think about these backdrop issues.

On a positive note, we could support a team outside the Prem, which is almost perpetually bleak from a financial point of view compared to our current position.

Phil Martin
28   Posted 17/01/2011 at 21:29:33

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@Steve Smith,

i didnt want my post to come across totally doom and gloom. More stating the obvious. We are/were painfully close to the big time but seem to be now drifting away.
I'm not sure how many more chances will we have.
Eugene Ruane
29   Posted 17/01/2011 at 21:33:42

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Steve Smith (18) If our form against the top 5 is 'good', all logic says the players and Moyes need a good stiff kick up the hole for fucking up so many times against none-top 5.

I despair over what happens to the money at Everton, but that doesn't alter the fact that if you can put in the effort to beat city away, you shouldn't be drawing or losing to the shite we have at home.

Brian Waring
30   Posted 17/01/2011 at 21:52:13

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Don't know whether this is old news, but just heard on the radio that we have accepted a bid off Spurs for Pienaar, hopefuly this saga will now be put to bed.
Steven Connor
31   Posted 17/01/2011 at 21:38:36

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Depressingly, I'm afraid I'm coming to the same conclusions as Phil. We have missed several 'golden opportunities' to kick on in the last few years, from wasting the fourth place finish of 2005, squandering the momentum of the FA Cup final appearance of 2009 to this years failure to build on the most consistent second half of a season since we last won the league.

The blame for this has to lie squarley with the current board, who appear to have no plan or ambition for the club apart from keeping hold of the manager who has presented us with these opportunities. Whilst Moyes is not exactly blameless in all of this to persistent failure for us to 'take the next step' is down to failures to invest in the squad when we had sufficient momentum.

I remember after the cup final in 2009 saying to our kid that I hoped the run to the final wasn't as good as it was going to get for us....Im beginning to dread now that it was.

The signs of 'decline' from the relative success of recent seasons (relative in realtion to the 15 years preceeding it) are now being laid bare. Yes, we all knew Pienaar would go once the contract was not signed but his departure to Spurs is a sign of things to come...We are not talking about him joining Utd or Bayern Munich...Spurs? Who for 3 of the last four seasons have been direct rivals of ours for that covetted fourth spot. That if anything demonstrates how we are almost now accepting our status is diminishing. Furthermore, the removal of players like Yobo and Yakubu from the squad, for no other logical reason than to get them off the wage bill, is a just as worrying development. We were constantly being told in the summer about the need to keep our 'strongest squad' in 20 years together... Instead we have lost 3 (4 if you count Gosling) from that sqaud so far.

We will really struggle this summer to keep Fellaini, especially now that clubs like Chelsea are looking to rebuild. Which one of the current top four would he not command a starting place in?

The signs coming out of the club are not good for me. I hope I'm wrong but I fear that the best days of the Moyes era may well be behind us. Where do we go next?

Gary Willock
32   Posted 17/01/2011 at 22:07:00

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The facts speak for themselves:

i) It would be cheaper and safer to pay Pienaar the premium than it would to expect to sign a quality replacement
ii) We are back to having youngsters fill up large part of bench.
iii) we cant even sign loans, cos we cant afford the fee....!

As much as I hate the red shite; you've got to give their fans due..they'd NEVER put up with this shite..but it seems that we will though eh..?
Jay Harris
33   Posted 17/01/2011 at 22:51:53

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I'm still waiting to hear what happened to the 12 million for Fernandes 3 years ago with Kenwrights usual "He'll be signing in the morning" and Fernandes claiming Everton never actually made him an offer.

What would we have done if we hadnt sold Lescott or Rooney? Gone into administration?

With Earl and Green now in total control of the club and it's possible sale can any Evertonian say Agent Johnson did a worse job than Black Bill!!

At least Johnson gave us the Park end and an FA Cup.

I dread to think what Bill's legacy will be!

Oh yeah we punched above our weight for a few years.
Andy Crooks
34   Posted 17/01/2011 at 23:10:10

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Eugene, you have made a point which is too often ignored.Lack of funds doesn't excuse poor tactics . Our squad has underperformed, We are mismanaged both on and off the pitch.
Paul Holmes
35   Posted 17/01/2011 at 23:58:01

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What is up with Moyes and the people who run the club? We have lost Pienaar and the Yak, instead of off-loading some very ordinary players like Osman, Beckford, Anichebe, Vaughan and the Russian (£10 million and never plays).

If we got rid of those players off the wage bill, then we could pay Pienaar what Spurs are paying him. Arteta is the highest earner (probably followed by Moyes), and Pienaar is easily on par with him.

if we don't get our best players to stay then Fellaini will be next to leave. It's Moyes's fault, he gets decent money for being an over-rated manager, and Kenwright for letting Moyes have too much power ? get rid of both!

Jimmy Hacking
36   Posted 17/01/2011 at 23:56:55

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I agree with Phil's article 99%... the 1% difference is due to my belief that we havent QUITE blown our chance yet. we are STILL 2 or three signings away form being an awesome team, its just that as our squad is slowly drained away, the opportunity is sliding steadily out of reach...
Roman Sidey
37   Posted 17/01/2011 at 23:54:50

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As BK is our Chairman, who does he have to answer to in terms of hierarchy? I know he has silent backers, but as they are silent, they don't actually have legal legs to stand on.
What I am actually asking here, is if the Chairman is the majority share holder, what can anyone do about his running of the club? Everyone knows that he has been detrimental to the club and the outlook is anything but bright as there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel.
The Australian model of sports clubs is a very good and effective one to follow - the fans become members for an annual fee ranging from $110-a lot more depending on your ambition in the club scene. Obviously membership numbers are mirrored by success, but also, when clubs are in financial crisis, campaigns to get more members usually show pretty good results.

Bill needs to go, and anyone who thinks he is trying to do the right thing by the club first and foremost is kidding themselves. He WILL sell eventually, but only if he is making a great profit as well as paying off his debts in the process.
Matthew Lovekin
38   Posted 18/01/2011 at 07:25:02

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Excellent article, Phil. I think that you have hit the nail on the head in a lot of ways.

I think that for the next 5 years or so, we will have to settle for midtable mediocrity to sort the club out financially. The club is at financial breaking point and we simply can't afford these high wages over about £40k p/w. That is why Yakubu and Pienaar are going.

If we reduce the total wage bill by about £200k p/w, it will give us an extra £10m per season which can be used for the yearly transfer budget. Ok, it's a bit of a catch 22 that better players want higher wages, but that's the state that Everton are in at present. We currently can't afford any more wages, not even loan players, let alone transfer fees, so the club is simply going to stagnate, which in football terms means go backwards. Therefore, something has to change now.

I'd rather have a smaller wage budget to have a bigger transfer budget so we can buy players. If it means we have to sell one of our best players a season as we can't afford his wages, but be able to bring in 2 or 3 players like Jags, Cahill, Lescott, Arteta value every season, then so be it.
Alan Clarke
39   Posted 18/01/2011 at 07:50:49

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Matthew, I don't think that £10 million would go back into investing in the squad though.

Here's a scenario, if we sold Rodwell and Arteta and paid off Earl and Green but it meant the club would then be on an even footing to compete in the future, would we accept it? Obviously Kenwright would have to go too. I'm unsure what my own answer would be but perhaps there would be more chance of investment if some of the debt was cleared.
John Shaw
40   Posted 18/01/2011 at 09:42:45

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Good article Phil which mirrors the concerns I have had for quite some time. The club is completely broke and is being run into the ground by a completely inept Board which displays some of the worst business acumen I have ever witnessed.

I'm looking forward to the 2010 accounts being released, which contrary to popular belief are NOT late, the Board have upto NINE months to file from year end, which in Evertons case gives them until 28th Feb 2011. It will be interesting to see how the balance sheet looks now, 2009 was bad enough !!

The only way anything will change is if the fans mobilise themselves to get rid of Kenwright and his shadow squad of Earl and Green, otherwise I worry that we are stuck with them, after all it's very easy to be thick skinned from your office in London, ask Mike Ashley !!!
Chez Hutton
41   Posted 18/01/2011 at 09:50:34

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I'm not out to defend or attack Moyes or BK, however there are some glaring gaps in this piece........

Moyes earning £3m a year is an issue apparently? Which quality manager would we get to replace him for the same amount? Why shouldn't our manager be paid as much as the players? If you're saying that then by definition he's not as important as the poor performance is solely the players fault??? But Moyes and BK's heads are constantly called for - you cant have it both ways!

'Pienaar wanted parity (or close to) Arteta. We couldn?t afford that. That?s fine but who can we bring in who?s better, for £2M?' - I'm yet to be convinced that Pienaar wants/wanted to stay - he's not once said HE WANTS TO STAY and that it's all about money. I want my Everton players to want to be at the club - it's not as if £60k a week is an insult!!

Phil Martin
42   Posted 18/01/2011 at 10:04:07

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@Chez, I think you've missed the point to my piece.
I'm a fan of Moyes - but he's still lucky to be earning £3M a year and to be in charge of EFC. Agreed?

My point was it's strange that the board would award Moyes a huge contract but then offer him meagre resources to work with. Hence the expensive chauffeur driving a rusty banger analogy. I mentioned above I thought this was just an attempt for the board to show we mean business. In reality it doesn't, but retaining your highly prized star player and manager is something they can boast to us all on the official site. The manager is as important as your best player. But what would be the point of hiring someone world class like Hiddink or Mourinho on £10M a year if you aren't going to give them license to bring in players?

"I want my Everton players to want to be at the club - it's not as if £60k a week is an insult!!"

This is as unrealistic as idealistic as it sounds. So we are ok to offer Arteta £75k a week, but not Pienaar (who has been our best player since Arteta's bad injury in Feb 2009)?
Every player has a market value and their agents tell them what that is. If we wont offer him what he wants, then other clubs will. Hence Chelsea and Spurs fighting over him. By not offering Pienaar a salary close to Arteta - we are suggesting either Arteta is on a pedestal OR Pienaar isn't regarded as a key player.
Brian Waring
43   Posted 18/01/2011 at 10:20:18

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Jimmy, there lies one of the problems. We seem to be saying every season that we are only 2 - 3 players away from being a very good side. Also I think ' awesome ' is a bit far.
Oliver Molloy
44   Posted 18/01/2011 at 10:23:46

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Phil @ 12..

I for one would not have complained if we had sold Arteta rather than giving him £75k..and i would not complain if we sold Jags if it's true there is Arsenal interest and it's decent money..
John Shaw
45   Posted 18/01/2011 at 10:15:22

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Chez (40) - good points and I agree that I have also never once heard Pienaar say he wanted to stay, just some load of bollocks about God will decide.

In this case my gripe isn't with Moyes, (although I do think a large portion of blame for our disappointing season so far lies squarely at his door), my gripe is with the Board. I can't see any discernable difference with the business model now, to nine years ago.

Where is the strategy to move the business forward? Where is the strategy to broaden our fan base? Where is the strategy to increase revenue streams?

We have a very small squad with the majority of them on modest salaries by all accounts, by todays ludicrous football standards anyway ! So the question is, where has all the money gone? During the last nine years ALL the assets of the company have either been sold or are borrowed against, as are next years Sky revenues and the season ticket sales for the next 10, 15 or 20 years, the upshot of this is that banks and financial institutions will no longer advance the company any line of credit because there is nothing that can be used as collateral.

I personally wouldn't be surprised if the company auditors have put more pressure on the Board during the audit which has taken place during the last six or seven months and started to turn the screw. As a result of the banking and economic collapse, and the involvement of auditors in the likes of the Lehmann Brothers demise, auditors (certainly the so called big five) are focusing far more on the viability of companies (certainly larger/higher profile companies) and their ability to trade beyond the next twelve months. BEFORE they will sign accounts off auditors are now requesting detailed plans of how companies are going to continue to trade, only once they are satisfied on this will they release the accounts, this is to insulate themselves against any financial investigation should the company fail in that period.

Have the Board been forced down a particular road by the auditors? I don't know and doubt we ever will!!!

Alan Clarke
46   Posted 18/01/2011 at 10:58:48

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I'd like to know what the definition of 'turning the screw' is. Roughly our wage bill adds up to the Sky money, although this will change now Pienaar and Yak have gone. We don't spend any money on transfers or the stadium (hence the pipes burst). Clubs around us have talked about having more debt than us yet have money available for the manager to spend in the transfer market.

So where does all the other revenue such as ticket money, merchandise and sponsorship money go? Even with my lack of knowledge of accountancy it is very obvious there is definitely something else sucking money out of Everton. I cannnot wait to see these accounts when they're published because it will be the end of Bill Kenwright's reign.
Charles King
47   Posted 18/01/2011 at 11:21:34

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I'm strangely upbeat about Everton at the moment.
Even given the financial crap.
There seems to be an "up yours" attitude to anyone having a go at the lads, I liked Moyes effectively telling Pienaar no more Lescot shit thank you very much.
I liked the lads turning it round against the reds and the media love in, even the mutual admiration between Moyes and Kenwright seems defiant rather than cowering.
I like the way we're playing with a bit of gusto and taking it to Spurs and fighting City.
Fair enough it's 2 fingers to the likes of me who always slag them off but so what, if they keep this up they can call me a twat all day long. Get in there lads, good stuff.
John Shaw
48   Posted 18/01/2011 at 11:41:45

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Alan (45) - Future season ticket AND match ticket sales were used to secure a £30mill loan in 2002 which is being repaid over 25 years at a rate of £2.767 mill per year. How much did it cost Kenwright to purchase the club ??????
Don't it make you wonder.......
Roman Sidey
49   Posted 18/01/2011 at 11:51:55

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Charles, is your comment (#46) done in sarcasm? It is just kind of hard to understand how you did such a quick 180.
If it wasn't then your liking of Moyes and Kenwright getting along is really quite sad. The fact that Moyes backs Kenwright is what's wrong on the field. The Chairman is supposed to back the manager, not the other way around, and the fact that Moyes puts up with it means that he really is just in it for the money, making him no better than Pienaar or Lescott or that ugly little fucker who did one to United all those years ago.
In my opinion, both Kenwright and Moyes are to blame for the club's poor state of affairs - Kenwright to blame for the onfield problems as he should have sacked Moyes in October, and Moyes to blame for the lack of funds for not speaking out against Kenwright's obvious shonky business ethics.
Roman Sidey
50   Posted 18/01/2011 at 12:11:24

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Also, on the Pienaar issue;
If he thinks he deserves parity with Arteta, then I think he needs both a history lesson and a maths lesson.
Arteta got his golden deal in the summer of 2010 - 5 and a half years after coming to Everton, and 5 full years after signing a permanent deal after the loan spell. Pienaar started throwing his weight around the contract negotiations table at the same time, only 3 years after coming to the club, and only 2 years after accepting a permanent deal.
Doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out that the longer you serve, the better your deal.
Phil Martin
51   Posted 18/01/2011 at 11:46:43

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Oliver #43,

The fact we offered Arteta £75k is irrelevant. The point is we didnt extend the same (or near) to Pienaar, and that's why he's leaving. But as for the level of money involved -that's another debate...

Alan #45,

I totally agree. We've never had a day in the sun ala Leeds 10 years ago or Pompey 3-4 years ago. We haven't spent huge amounts and gone for broke. But it seems we're suffering from the same financial hangover as other clubs who spent well beyond their means. Which is odd. The money is clearly going on paying off debts. And I really hope no-one (for their own sake) has leveraged the debts required to buy club shares, back onto the club (ala Glazers). That would be the final straw.
Jay Harris
52   Posted 18/01/2011 at 13:13:16

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Phil #50

It was suggested in financial circles at the time that it was strange that Everton's debt rose to over 20 million the first year after Kenwright took over and that his home that he said he remortgaged was only worth 1 million and yet he found 20 million to pay Johnson off.(I know Gregg put up 8 million but with fees etc it is very coincidental).

That has never been explained but a financial review done at the time proved that Kenwright inherited an overdraft of 5 million with more than that still to come in from player sales pre the takeover effectively a debt free club.

Therfore it was Billybullshitism to suggest that he had inherited a load of debt.
Charles King
53   Posted 18/01/2011 at 13:28:49

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No sarcasm. genuine views.
Whilst I bang on about Moyes and Kenwright with the best of 'em and don't dispute what you say I'm just pleasantly surprised about some recent indicators.
If it's another flash in the pan then they're both back in the twat list, course I might be chipper because the yanks have begun to find a cure for baldness!
Brian Waring
54   Posted 18/01/2011 at 14:45:12

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Charles, I don't see anything BK has done lately , that would merit a change in your support for him. The same goes for Moyes, apart from being forced to change the set up while Cahill has been away, I don't see much difference.
James Hollister
55   Posted 18/01/2011 at 14:54:00

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I think in all honesty we are still not that far away from being champions league material, yes still the old chestnut of being 2 or 3 players away from making it.

But the most important thing is the board never bothered to up the ante and just go for it and brought in the players we needed at that time.

Some times you just need to go for it and hope you succeed. I suppose in hindsight it would have been easy to do a Leeds, and go out and buy those 3 players we really needed...who knows what what would have happened.

The other thing that I find more galling though, is that the rest of the premier league teams have caught us up, which is understandable when we have no money to keep improving perennially ..the only problem is that money we had to replace the first team as now allegedly gone out the window and we can't even afford to bring in loan players til the end of the season.

Year on year while we where struggling to improve the squad the other teams caught us up..and in some cases surpassed Man City and Spurs.

The problem we face now, is how to stay competitive with the teams around who have caught us up. How long until they over take us?

What my real concern is that the first team is growing old and it's growing stale..we have dead wood at the club and we can't even afford to let them go when it comes down to the crunch..again we are in the deep shit.

In a year or two I wouldn't be surprised if every prem team around us improved again and left us as the weaker bunch.

Sad but true we should have gone with the gamble...we may well have been seen as a big prospect and who knows what may have happened..investors or buyouts? It's all irrelevant now, because we missed the boat, and it's not coming back unless someone buys us. Financially we are a real train wreck...and from a business point of view..who in their right mind would want to buy us? We need either a new stadium or Goodison redone, we need a shit load of money to improve the first team..and we need a bigger squad to properly compete on all fronts especially if we made it to the champs league.

I worry for our premier league status in the coming years unless a miracle happens...but with the current custodians the only thing guaranteed to happen is nothing and increasing debts..sad days
Chez Hutton
56   Posted 18/01/2011 at 17:04:26

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Phil - Point 42 - fair point, agree with your chauffuer analogy - agreed you need to back your manager with funds, but suppose if we dont pay him (or someone else) then we get a manager of less ability and you would assume that will be detrimental to results.

In respect of Pienaar - I'm sticking by my guns here.......unless he's come out and said (to Moyes/BK or the fans) 'I want to stay, make it happen', then why should we offer him parity?

Dont get me wrong, he's quality and he'll leave a gap if he was neve - butr gonna stay why even mention £75k - others will soon jump on that bandwagon if we did!
Paul Whittaker
57   Posted 18/01/2011 at 18:03:30

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I think it puts it all into perspective that we have sold one of our top four players to a rival club for 2 million quid, that club will use him as a squad player as they already have better players in his position. We now have only 4 fit strikers in the squad, only 1 with proven premiership experience and he's the one of the 4 that cannot string 3 games together. No cover for left back. No wingers in the club except for a converted right back. Only 3 established centrebacks so when two are injured we need to use a rightback. We could all go on and on. Quite clearly the club is on the slide. The Chairman and CEO are silent which says it all. I have a horrible feeling that there will be a mass enforced clearout in the summer and we will be left with a young inexperienced squad. This transfer window has shown that the club cant get high earners off the wage bill fast enough. What odds on Neville going next week?
Charles King
58   Posted 18/01/2011 at 18:46:03

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Brian @ 54

I think what I'm getting at is when I watch Moyes interviews he's evasive and cautious, and the team the same.
At the derby he seemed positive to me particularly on the Pienaar caper and I think the team were the same.
He'll know he's alienating some by talking up BK but he did'nt tap dance around it, he said he's great.
Now I and others have Kenwright and chums as crooks over Kirkby and inept over a list of stuff but if Moyes thinks different and feels confident enough to say as much fair enough.
It's Moyes being positive I'm interested in, Kenwright needs to ship out.
Tony J Williams
59   Posted 18/01/2011 at 19:31:19

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Paul I thought it is quite ironic that old glass legs Saha probably had his longest run in the team when he was playing woefully. Starts to score then back on the treatment table. Go figure that one out!
Thomas Williams
60   Posted 19/01/2011 at 03:30:35

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This debate will rumble on and on unless some sort of action is taken. I wrote on here after the Lescott 1-6 game, with the same issues mentioned here

Now I know some of it mentioned PJ that wasn't recieved too well, but perhaps now 18 months later, some of it just might seem not as far fetched, as some of you suggested.

Questions need immediate answers, where is BK and Elstone? Why is there zero comments coming out of the club?

Elstone did monthly blogs, why have they stopped? Where the hell is the money going? Who is running the club? Are we up for sale? What is going on with the ground? Are the rumours we were late with players wages in December true? If so why? Why are we being ran like a Championship club? Where has the increased revenue of the last 4 seasons gone? (please dont say wages, we are 14th in the wage league) Why could we break the transfer record in 1988 for £2.2M without Sky money, but 23 years later cannot afford to buy a player or loan player for the same amount?

If BK won't allow EGMs or AGMs, then there has to be direct action of some sort. Whilst I am not advocating some of the methods the RS pulled, at least they had a go and got what they wanted. As my previous article stated we, the fans are to blame.
Phil Martin
61   Posted 19/01/2011 at 10:17:04

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I agree Thomas. Credit where it's due the Shite's fans know how to grab publicity and force an issue. Would they have new owners if they were like us in this situation?

Until neutral media/national press begin to ask the same questions we do. Then the board are under no pressure to answer any of our questions. Protests during games (especially televised) is the obvious first step. Actually doing that is another matter.

Kevin Gillen
62   Posted 19/01/2011 at 10:52:17

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Good article and a sensible debate; well done to you all.

Evertonians are right to be disgruntled. We have hit a wall. I expected us to progress to the top four this year and I don't want to hear any excuses. The players, in particular the goalkeeper and the strikers, have much to answer for. Last year was also a big disappointment.

I think Moyes overall has done a great job but, if he continues to support the Kenwright regime in the way that he has done, he will become associated with all the mediocrity they have become representative of and he will become part of the problem.

The lack of ambition and progress at board level is quite appalling. I find it hard to believe that, from the generation of Evertonians I grew up with, when we were possibly the best supported club in the land, there is not one willing investor able to attempt to change the fortunes of the club. I also think that the Qatari oil sheiks must be gagging to get involved in investing in a suitable Premier League club prior to the World Cup landing on their doorstep.

It is distressing to be unable to hold on to your better players and to approach every transfer window with the knowledge that you haven't got a proverbial pot. I really wonder how Moyes can continue to motivate this current crop of players under such circumstances.

Daniel Johnson
63   Posted 19/01/2011 at 12:14:47

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2-3 players from being a decent side.

Well, with Yobo, Gosling, Yak and Pienaar going, it's now 6-7 players from being a great side.

Saha is the wrong side of 30 and is in and out with injury.

Arteta still not 100% fit.

Heitinga and Bily are only here short term in my opinion.

Plus I fear our best player Fellaini will go in the summer when the vultures circle.

Our squad is falling apart and the quality is draining out of the team.

We're slowly in decline, how long before other players want to leave the sinking ship? Footballers only have one career and loyalty is the colour green with the queens face on it.

Not on a downer but this season has caused some damage which will take more than 2-3 seasons to repair.

A season sarting with so much hope cruely crushed with bad management (Moyes), no decent strikers (Moyes and Kenwright), and a team playing with no confidence and with no real idea of what they are supposed to be doing (Moyes).

As a fan, I'm fed up and sick to death... fuck knows how the players feel.
Anthony Hawkins
64   Posted 19/01/2011 at 12:47:18

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Here's my shopping list of "things which we ave been in desperate need of for at least the last three seasons" (this one included):?

1. More money/investment. BK has taken the club as far as he can. Right from the start, he stated cash was a limited resource and he wanted to take on the club to remove the troubled leadership in Johnson. That era has passed and BK is now firmly in charge of all things Everton related. Johnson can no longer be blamed.

BK has now reached a point in time where friends and relatives do/will not share further investment. This means BK has no money to invest into the club for additional players, certainly not to the level required in today's markets.

Say what you want about BK, however, the plain fact is Everton DO need investment and if it's not lucrative to invite additional investment, BK MUST sell up. We all know he does not want to, particularly for less than he considers equitable. On the one hand, this seems reasonable, on the other it means BK has out-priced his own interest.

Is it fair should BK potentially lose money on his investment? No. Is it reasonable that his unwillingness to step aside jeopardises Everton's Premier League standing? Again, I think no.

2. Quality striker who can score regularly. We have all seen what happens without a qualilty striker. No goals. Everton need a striker with Tevez and Torres like abilities. I'm not suggesting to the same level neccessarily, only someone with more ability and guile than we currently have. Anichebe does a great mini Heskey impression. Saha is a sick note and Beckford clearly needs more time. None of which are willing scorers. Cahill does a great job of covering over the cracks but we need more. Provide the quality striker and goals will come.

3. Quality right midfielder to balance the team. Donovan showed us the way. Coleman has done superbly well and might prove to be the answer but someone needs to balance out the team, providing a potent attack and balls into the strikers.

4. Central Midfield control. We thought we had it in Arteta, Rodwell and/or Fellaini. May be one time it could even have been Neville. We do not. None of the current crop appear to have the influence, presence or ability to boss and dictate the midfield. The team should be able to survive on a 4-man midfield with additional help from time to time. This is far from the case over the last few seasons. Arteta or Fellaini are the only two who have the potential but will they ever realise that potential?

4. The Cahill role. The truth is, we've been surviving on a 5-man midfield has also hindered the scoring of goals. Cahill has been utilised as an additional midfielder/forward to bolster the midfield and lead the attacking line, particularly with his headers.

What this does is reduce the automatic attacking threat of having two strikers always up the pitch as his role is so deep. We've all seen how having two strikers has already opened up the goals that have been lacking.

I'm not against Cahill and he has done wonders for keeping the club where he is; the question is more about pushing the midfielders.
Tony Wilson
65   Posted 19/01/2011 at 19:38:50

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I see nobody took my earlier bait regards talking about what football clubs are/ what fans deserve.

I found the following brief comment on football finance and thought maybe some of you might be interested in it.

I do have an agenda, as you might guess. I think that we are potentially near a tipping point in elite football regards funding, and that things will tighten up a lot over the next 10 years. Comparing us to Liverpool, who have a much larger global brand than us, is not reasonable. They can take on bigger loans because there is less risk regards their long-term brand strength. Regards the so-called lesser clubs like Birmingham, well, let's see where they are in 20 years time. At least with Kenwright, Earl at al on board we have fans at the helm, who would be careful who they stepped aside for. Think longer term. 1878.

Brian Waring
66   Posted 19/01/2011 at 20:45:33

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"At least with Kenwright, Earl at al on board we have fans at the helm."

Tony, I though Earl was a Spurs fan?

John Shaw
67   Posted 19/01/2011 at 20:54:46

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Brian (66) ? you are correct, Earl is a Spurs fan, as is Green!!

Tony (65) ? It doesn't matter if Kenwright is a fan or not, (incidentally, banks don't lend to fans they lend to good sound businesses), what matters is that either he is a good businessman or he employs people who are. Unfortunately for Everton, it appears that neither of these is the case, as the next set of accounts will no doubt show!

Tony Wilson
68   Posted 19/01/2011 at 22:37:57

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Making a profit from owning a football club is a very difficult thing to do. Richard Branson would struggle without the right circumsatances.

Brian/John: I don't care if Earl is a Spurs fan, at least he is a football fan, and he will no doubt have more than a soft spot for Everton by now. Jon Woods is an Everton fan, and Philip Carter I believe is also?

The crux of my argument is that it is unreasonable to continually load debts onto a business when profits are not guaranteed. My support of Kenwright and co. is built upon a belief that fans of football that at least know the game are more likely to want to leave a reasonable legacy. I do not connect this to lending capacity so please don't suggest I do.

Anyway, I would like to see alternative proposals by the "Kenwright Out" mob. Who do you want to own the club? Do you agree with the current club structure? What needs to be done differently? It's easy to criticise but Sugar Daddies don't grow on trees. Vagueness such as "what matters is that either he is a good businessman or he employs people who are" don't actually mean anything.

John Shaw
69   Posted 19/01/2011 at 23:15:55

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Tony (68) ? a trawl through the archives of this site will bring to your attention the many shortcomings in how the club is/has been run for many years, such as a lack of effective marketing, a failure to invest at the right time and a knack of distancing the club from both the fanbase and minority shareholders for starters, add to that the millions blown on projects which haven't, (and in some cases didn't stand a chance) come to fruition, KD, DK.

With regard to my comment "what matters is that either he is a good businessman or he employs people who are", it actually means a hell of a lot. A lot of very successful businesses have Chairmen, or CEO's who aren't great in every area (marketing, strategy, finance etc) however what they do very well is relinquish control to individuals who ARE very good in those fields that they themselves are not, I know from first hand experience, this doesn't appear to be happening at out club, if results are anything to go by, (and I don't mean footballing).

I also doubt that Green has any soft spot for Everton at all, he was only involved as a favour to Kenwright on the back of what he saw as a great opportunity to make millions out of the 'Deal of the Century', unfortunately that's gone pear-shaped, as we know.

Those of us calling for change may well be wrong, and in the next two weeks Moyes may bring in a couple of corking players followed four weeks later by a set of accounts showing a decent profit and a reduction in debt levels, we shall see.

Roman Sidey
70   Posted 20/01/2011 at 03:21:41

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John, since the people who stand up for Moyes and BK only ever reference the past to defend their stance, I will do the same in predicting the last half of the transfer window.

Based on past experiences, Moyes will bring in a player or two on loan at the last minute. The player/s that come in will be squad players or injured (Does anyone remember seeing Gardner play for us a couple of seasons ago?).

In the even that Moyes does bring in the players that we need ? right back, striker and left wing (apparently Bilyaletdinov and Gueye aren't good enough but Osman is) ? Moyes will claim how good it is to have players in the squad who can back up if Osman and Hibbo get injured.

As regards the books that are due in Feb/March, we all know that the club is in dire straights money wise. What we also know is that BK will put some sort of propagandish spin on it, trying to get the supporters to believe that the club is in a good position and a buyer is signing a cheque "in the morning".

Prove me wrong EFC.

Brian Waring
71   Posted 20/01/2011 at 13:29:47

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" Who do you want to own the club "
Tony, preferably someone with actual money would be a good starting point.
Also, someone who doesn't bullshit.
Robert Daniels
72   Posted 20/01/2011 at 19:16:16

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Tony @,How can you defend this board, ffs, Earle dosnt give a fuck for Everton,

I read recently, an article that said , when Green advised Earl to buy shares in us for 9 million, Green said, thats just a night out in a casino for him.

It also said Green had a hand in Rooney going to Utd.

As if he was some kind of deal maker, on transfers.

These are well known spurs fans, they haven't got a soft spot for us and never will.

Kenshite sold his soul to the devil,

and us down the river, get in the real world, Tony, stop being so naive.
Tony Wilson
73   Posted 20/01/2011 at 19:18:38

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#69: John, I think you have me wrong. I don't need patronising about the importance of delegation in leadership, or the central role of finance in modern football.

The reason I highlighted your statement regards Kenwright and co's business acumen was because I don't see any discussion in these "archives" that you wish me to trawl through about how you are all measuring their performance. Simply stating that things are in a bad way won't convince me.

If your understanding of accounts and, moreover, the business of football (not to be confused with other forms of business that differ substantially) is at the level you seem to portray, then please don't undersell yourself and tell us why the last few years' accounts are so terrible.

I am not particularly well up on these matters so I am happy to be convinced either way if any one has a genuine insight.

#71: Brian, I am not sure the person you are after exists (money and bullshit seem to coprecipitate)! Seriously though, where is this EFC loving philanthropist that Evil Bill won't sell up tp ? If they did exist do you think the media wouldn't know by now? I guess what you are saying is sell to a rich foreigner and see what happens. We all know where that can lead...
Gavin Ramejkis
74   Posted 20/01/2011 at 21:24:59

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Tony one major flaw in your argument pro BK is that he is a fan, well so am I, so are you so are the posters on this website. that in itself as the crux of the reason he should be the majority shareholder of a failing business with climbing debts isn't good enough. The argument has been raised before and no doubt will be levelled again and again that business acumen far outweighs anything in the world of business. If you can't run a business it will fail, BK's world is theatrical a completely different model, short term, no strategy. Football is a massive business with massive potential for marketing initiatives and innovation. Ten years plus into his time at the club BK has brought no innovation, no acumen and the business is in decline. Many pro BK posters use the argument of foreign ownership but that can be very easily counterbalanced by the blinkered view that at least Bill is a fan despite the failures on his watch and the decline of the business, how much longer does the line of at least he's a blue lend themselves to an excuse for the football club's steady decline?
Phil Martin
75   Posted 21/01/2011 at 10:07:57

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Precisely right Gavin. I said many times before if BK wasn't a "lifelong fan" he'd have been chased out a long time ago. It's crazy to believe that just because someone is a supporter of a club that this means they can't be incompetent.
Good intentions or not (and with Bill I do doubt his true intentions) people can still be bad performers.
Tony Wilson
76   Posted 21/01/2011 at 10:57:07

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Mmm, brick wall and head springs to mind.

In project management hindsight is a wonderful thing. I can say this from personal experience.

It just sounds to me like the jury have decided on the boards' guilt without discussing the evidence available.

Personally, I am inclined to think innocent until proven guilty. None of comments connected to my earlier post have enlightened me, so innocent is the only logical verdict for now.

Maybe once I grow up and become a big boy l might be less naive like you Robert!

Robert Daniels
77   Posted 21/01/2011 at 15:47:59

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Earl a fan?

Gavin Ramejkis
78   Posted 21/01/2011 at 21:28:25

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Tony, good analogy, strange though, I'm a project manager and have banks, Ministry of Defence and HM Government to my consultancy list. I'm currently working for the largest bank in the country, but of course head brick wall eh?
James Hollister
79   Posted 22/01/2011 at 18:04:09

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Steve Smith - Easy counter argument.
Tell me how shit our performances and not beating the shit teams in and around us as been?

I'll even answer your own question on how well we did against the 5 top teams.

They have had a very poor season, compared to their normal standards. I'd hardly try to draw parity against the top, when we are struggling against the teams around and below us..thats where you should be concerned.
James Hollister
80   Posted 22/01/2011 at 18:11:18

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Id be genuinely surprised if we manage to survive this season. We are in complete free fall and things just get worse week in and out.

The end of the day...its a matter of time before bullshit billy and the ginger minge as thrown out by the fans..

After today's unbelievable shit performance...and 4 points off the bottom of the league...heads will roll if improvement immediately is not made.

Sick of all the fucking excuses of who is to blame...the fact is we are going down unless by some miracle we improve...i dont remotely care who takes accountability...its time to give the money to Moyse to buy players...or be removed from the one is bigger than the fans..and its time the board smelled the coffee and started acting appropriately ..heads will roll.
Oliver Molloy
81   Posted 24/01/2011 at 10:49:07

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Phil @ 51..
Hey Phil,sorry do not agree,Moyes obviously made a judgement that Pienaar was not worth the same money as Arteta.
I've said it before and i will say it again,Arteta was/is simply not worthy of this kind of wage packet.
This kind of money should be paid to players who contribute at the very least 15 goals a season-guys that win football matches.
I mean Arteta was coming back from a very serious injury and it was obvious he was not going to be the same player,losing a yard of pace etc being the most common with this kind of injury.
So, no matter to keep fans happy or not it was a mistake to offer him a 4 year £75 grand a week deal.
It was absolute madness as far as I am concerned,he is earning more than a little Spaniard called Fabrigas for goodness sake,and Arsenal have buckets more money than we have?
Future contract negotiations will prove to be a nightmare for the club.
Do not be surprised if Arteta is sold,what we get for him now is another subject.
Tony Wilson
82   Posted 24/01/2011 at 17:43:41

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Gavin, it was not my intention to condescend anyone or project myself as better than other readers.

I am simply frustrated by what appears to be a lack of discussion regarding what it is the board has actually done wrong.

I can see that you, along with others have found an apparent weakness in my musings. You then focus solely on this point and ignore the key issue I was driving at.

I repeat...

"It just sounds to me like the jury have decided on the boards' guilt without discussing the evidence available.

Personally, I am inclined to think innocent until proven guilty. None of comments connected to my earlier post have enlightened me, so innocent is the only logical verdict for now."

Perhaps you have a strong basis to be dissatisfied with the board, and you simply can't be arsed sharing these reasons with me. Equally, perhaps you are wrong to judge the board so harshly. I don't yet know, and I don't think this site will help me decide either way.
P.S. Whether you are an astronaut or a billionaire entrepeneur, I don't give a shit. You are still capable of bias and ignorrance. Just read back this series of posts...

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