What's happened to David Prentice? He used to be a respected journalist; I always enjoyed reading his match report in the Echo, and didn?t he criticise Bill Kenwright long before the majority of Evertonians?
I ask this because he has just committed to print an absolutely atrocious article. In Prentice's mind, we blues are wrong about Bill and he is right, but he doesn?t even have the decency to tell us why we are wrong and he is right. This one time critic of Kenwright is now a fully fledged Kenwright apologist:
There?s something brewing in the air at Goodison.
Message boards, letters pages and radio phone-ins will always attract the disaffected, the cynical and occasionally the downright lunatic.
But there?s a growing sense now that the rank and file are also becoming disillusioned at Goodison.
This is Prentice setting up the man of straw that he does not demolish, he goes straight for ad-hominem and makes no attempt to engage with the arguments of the disaffected, cynical and downright lunatics that criticise Bill Kenwright. Criticise Bill and you?re a lunatic, and because you?re a lunatic he doesn?t need to engage with your criticisms of Bill Kenwright.
Does anyone find this offensive?
I don?t recall him ever producing journalism of the quality of Colin Fitzpatrick, recently published on ToffeeWeb. It was a coherent, researched and detailed analysis of the Kenwright regime. Did he ever read it? He claims to have done so, is Colin one of the disaffected, cynical and downright lunatic. I?m I and many other blues that criticise him, disaffected, cynical and currently suffering from serious mental health problems?
I?m no doctor, but how can Prentice diagnose thousands of people as having a mental health problems? The answer is he can?t, but it?s a useful device to avoid giving a response to a point of view that you don?t want to take into consideration.
Attendances have settled around an unimpressive 34,000 this season, only the derby has seen a sell-out, the atmosphere against West Ham was flat even before Jonathan Spector scored ? while one fans group has already made public its intention to ?protest? tomorrow ? win, lose or draw.
That protest didn?t materialise, because nobody organised it, does he know the name of this fans group that was allegedly behind it? I don?t and neither does he, the fans group is not identified by him, no name is given, which is interesting.
They have been protesting with their feet and have been doing all season. The only point in his favour is that he acknowledges the level of discontent amongst the supporters as reflected by the reduced attendances
Their major gripe appears to be the lack of any significant transfer outlay since Marouane Fellaini arrived in 2008 (Bilyaletdinov, Heitinga and Distin were all funded by Lescott?s sale) and the lack of any means of transmitting concerns to the board since the AGM was guillotined.
Everton chairman Bill Kenwright is the man who appears to be copping the most flak. And I still find that stance unsettling.
Prentice is now moving onto what he believes with some justification is the supporters main gripe. He is right to highlight the supporters concerns over a lack of transfer funds, but he ignores all of the other major gripes that the lunatic Colin Fitzpatrick highlighted. This is the sin of omission, he neglects to mention Destination Kirkby and the 10,000 no voters and the now angry yes voters, perhaps the biggest factor behind the opposition to Kenwright's regime.
As for the lack of means of transmitting concerns to the board, the responsibility for that is Bill Kenwright's alone, but we must not blame him for the clubs current predicament because...
For me Kenwright is the best type of football club owner.
He?s easily pleased.
So what, is that it can you not list any of the improvements that he has made with the past 12 years? Apparently not.
The best kind of football club owner is one that has overseen two ground move failures and has brought the club to its knees financially. The clubs only plan during these 12 years has been asset utilisation, anything that?s nailed down is mortgaged off to fund the team, but this means that the club has another debt repayment to make from its relatively small turnover. Eventually the club runs into some difficulties and has to utilise other assets, its promising young players to meet its debt burden.
This asset utilization and disposal plan that has been adopted by the board, it can?t be sustained forever can it?? ?No? came the reply. ?It?s inherently unsustainable, won?t the assets run out and the loan repayments overwhelm the clubs ability to provide sufficient funds to obtain better players?? ?We have a highly qualified finance team and a good relationship with the bank. That wouldn't be allowed to happen? replied Robert Elstone.
Everton's debts are larger than its turnover that is why there is no money for transfers or loans and why 3 players have been let go. The club has averaged a loss of 6-7million pounds a year under his regime yet he has not developed a business plan to bring the club the financial stability it desperately needs.
And if he occasionally seems reluctant to relinquish the reins of his club maybe that?s because he witnessed at close quarters the unholy mess created when another lifelong fan of a football club sold up across the park.
Typical apologist tactic, ignore the nightmarish reality in favour of a potentially nightmarish future.
But is Kenwright really so reluctant to sell?
Is he beating off billionaire bidders left, right and centre?
That certainly doesn?t appear to be the case. Yet some fans still talk about the Blues chairman refusing to part with the club as if he was a child refusing to hand over his prized train set.
Kenwright?s willingness to listen to offers for Everton has been widely advertised.
But there have been few, if any, realistic takers.
This is from the revised planning statement document 18 from the inquiry:
6.10 A further point that is of relevance to any debate on the options that might be available to the Club to fund a new stadium, is the willingness and abilities of the Club?s directors to sell some or all of their interests in the Club in order to attract an investor who or which might have the ability in financial terms to fund a new stadium in its entirety or at the very least fund the shortfall that exists in the context of this proposals. As is pointed out in greater detail in the financial statement (document 26), this is not an option as the current directors have no intention of selling any of their interests in the Club.
The club is not for sale, read the closing statement from the clubs counsel at the inquiry, they haven?t appointed anyone to find a buyer.
Everton?s status as the second club in a small city (The Toffees might have been the first chronologically, but five European Cups and 18 league titles tends to distract when outside investors look at Merseyside), with a sizeable debt and an ancient stadium tends to put off football club browsers.
The usual excuse from the apologists for his failure to find a buyer, strangely this is uttered on-line by the cynical, disaffected and downright lunatic, whom he finds himself in agreement. Also Man City found two buyers in a year or was it 18 months.
Yet some supporters still criticise Kenwright for refusing to sell to anonymous bidders, and for not being rich enough to personally fund a bid for a forward.
They also criticise him for stripping the shareholders of their rights, the financial mismanagement that has left the club with unsustainable debt and unable to compete with their premier league peers in the transfer market, and the two failed ground moves. Nobody criticises him for not being extremely wealthy, being poor is not a moral failing, telling lies on an industrial scale on the other hand.....
But if those criticisms are unwarranted, some forward momentum could be generated by appointing an agency to unearth a potential buyer.
That would at least show a firm desire to attract investment.
If you were keen on selling your house, you might plant a ?For Sale? sign in the front garden.
But you?d have a much better chance of selling if you hired a reputable estate agent.
Everton?s arrangement with Keith Harris always appeared to be a loose one.
The penny then appears to drop with him, the club may not be seriously looking for a buyer.
It?s a very strange article from the former Everton correspondent. He starts by attacking and misrepresenting the opinions and views of thousands of blues, rattles off a series of apologist talking points and then he admits the club may not be for sale. I don?t recall anyone at the echo calling Kopites disaffected, cynical and lunatic when they complained about the Texans, so why does Prentice take that line with thousands of blues with justifiable grievances against Kenwright's regime?
Prentice has been battered for this atrocity of an article, but my biggest charge is the following; that he knows what is going on at the club but is refusing to inform his readers. According to my source, he knows that there has been murder at the club this past month, so why doesn?t he write about that instead of attacking the supporters for justifiably criticising Kenwright's lame duck regime?
Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer
1 Posted 01/02/2011 at 19:15:42
2 Posted 01/02/2011 at 19:27:57
3 Posted 01/02/2011 at 19:42:34
All the VIP treatment has obviously muzzled him.
How anyone can now defend Kenwright is beyond me.
Under his regime we are only going one way. What will it take for some to smell what they're shoveling.
4 Posted 01/02/2011 at 21:05:39
5 Posted 01/02/2011 at 21:38:24
6 Posted 01/02/2011 at 21:41:43
7 Posted 01/02/2011 at 21:36:20
The man is a coward (Kenwright) and so are you Dave, you hace never said shite since you got a bollocking off them all after that end of season Man City rant.
8 Posted 01/02/2011 at 22:05:22
If anyone sees this twat Prentice outside Goodison on matchdays, make it clear to him that he's not welcome.
9 Posted 01/02/2011 at 22:06:52
10 Posted 01/02/2011 at 22:14:36
11 Posted 01/02/2011 at 22:18:46
What did he say, I missed it, because I hate the Echo nowadays.
12 Posted 01/02/2011 at 22:26:06
13 Posted 01/02/2011 at 22:29:27
They have papers to sell to an ageing population, that still keeps many people in work so I can commend that. My dad wanders up to the shops religiously every day to buy the Echo to read about Everton. If it's in the paper, it must be true. When I tell him things, he says "I never heard anything about it in the Echo". I just smile and say nothing. He's never used that Internet!
I wonder how many football fans (or anyone really) will be reading the Echo in 20 years as a generation who've grown up in a digital age and believe nothing, questioning everything, and cannot be sold propoganda.
Or can't we? Who reads or believes the official Everton site? Or any "official" website for that matter? Without realising it, we're all becoming investigative "blogger" journos of the modern age. But we are a different animal than our predecesors because there isn't a pay cheque at the end of the month. We just do it to get the truth out. No bull. Just facts. Or just our opinion! Really, based on what?
But does that mean some wacko can start blogging/reporting/tweeting/facebooking some rubbish about any topic and slowly but surely, bring us all around to their way of thinking? Like any footy player is worth £35m!!
Is this digital propoganda? or are we all too clever and able to see through it? Hmmm. I wonder... At least the Echo only came out once a day. Compare that to the Tweet, blog, podcast, web, video, iPhone barrage of information soundbytes that we have to all digest every minute of our waking hours.
For the kids this is just "normal" and the way things are. I get it. But don't tell me the propagandists and opinion-formers and career politicians of today are not swooning and cajoling the digital communicators to get their message out. We just haven't realised it yet. How many politicians have a YouTube channel, a Twitter account, a Facebook page, a blog??? I bet it's not to keep innocently keep in touch with the good ole f&f from an by-gone age to catch up on old times.
The way I see it, we just think that things are changing in terms of how much we know. In essence, it isn't really. We just know a lot more about what's going on that they want us to know... Or do we?
14 Posted 01/02/2011 at 22:29:49
[Not Lyndon:] Is that better? ? Ed.
15 Posted 01/02/2011 at 22:41:38
16 Posted 01/02/2011 at 22:50:48
17 Posted 01/02/2011 at 22:58:13
18 Posted 01/02/2011 at 23:05:17
You've also pointed out how, a paid hack from a newspaper spouts out the line given to him by the club. For his attack on fellow Evertonians, he should hang his head in shame. People who are now seriously questioning Kenwright's tenure as "Guardian" of our club are concerned fans. What you have shown us is how little he is concerned about what we, the ordinary fans, think. It is a piece of writing which says anyone who criticises the current regime is, either insane or just plain mischief makers.
I heard Graeme Sharp swat a caller down for daring to question the so-called leadership of our club.
If there is any justice, if Evertonians are to get our club back from this bunch of charlatans, we need a local press who are free of the grovelling, Uriah Heep type allegiance to a bunch of crooks.
We do need to get this crew out. How do we do it? God knows but we must start... Now!!
19 Posted 01/02/2011 at 23:25:33
I would be happy for the season ticket and share holder to nominate Tom Hughes and Colin Fitzpatrick to sit down with Mugabe... sorry, Kenwright, and get the truth and ban the word investor/ investment. We don't want investment, we want a buyer.
20 Posted 02/02/2011 at 00:12:40
21 Posted 02/02/2011 at 01:22:20
Remember back when PJ was in charge, the Echo fell over themselves with poor poor Everton £20-25M in debt, paupers was the word used, yet gobshites over there were £300M+ in debt and nothing.
I am convinced Kenwright is a stooge, have been from day one; everything he has done smacks of ruination.
Now I know most on here didn't like PJ, but for 1 minute consider this: what if he had our best interest (and his own wallet ? he is a businessman) at heart? He was visionary with the academy, buying up all land around GP, enquired twice about Stanley Park, enquired about revamping GP, bought good players and won a trophy, but he was a threat to the above staus quo.
In steps the shining knight with a blue hat on with a load of Echo journalists backing him. They knew he had no money, no vision, and no idea how to run a football club; consequently the status quo is achieved and the fans fell for it.
Conspiracy theory? ? possibly... but consider this: the exact same thing happened with Gregg. Like PJ, he had the money and the vision, consequently again the Echo stamped all over him and out he went.
Kenwright is a lucky man, because if he answered the "I'm bored not answering your question" in a shareholder meeting with SOS (Sons of Shite), I shudder to think what would have happened to him.
The simple thing is to turn back the tide: organise a complete ban by Everton fans of the Echo. When I lived in UK, I stopped buying it the day after we last won the league, when the main headline was not the local side winning the league but Ian Rush leaving for Juventus!! The bias was going on then and continues. STOP BUYING IT.
22 Posted 02/02/2011 at 03:23:22
I really hope that dickhead Prentice gets dogs abuse off blues next time he shows his face at Goodison for that utter, utter disgrace of an article.
23 Posted 02/02/2011 at 04:48:54
24 Posted 02/02/2011 at 06:48:59
We are instead more than likely get a sly dig at this excellent site come Friday off the self-styled "man on the inside of Merseyside football" come his crappy column.
25 Posted 02/02/2011 at 06:48:59
We are instead more than likely get a sly dig at this excellent site come Friday off the self-styled "man on the inside of Merseyside football" come his crappy column.
26 Posted 02/02/2011 at 09:31:00
Anyone remember seeing a book Prentice done a few years later that contained text that looked as though it was copied and pasted from there?
Anyone see a reference to that site in the book?
I didn't neither...
27 Posted 02/02/2011 at 09:49:57
28 Posted 02/02/2011 at 10:17:44
He basically said what the fans thought; however ? led by Alan Stubbs ? they had a right go at him over this... and, ever since then, he has been a Yes-man and won't say boo to a goose.
29 Posted 02/02/2011 at 11:31:55
I got fed up with the Echo years ago for what I saw was bias.
I was told they basically demanded for Hodgson to be sacked from Liverpool, they printed a comment from John Aldridge about an Everton fan abusing him while on Sky Sports yet failed to mention anything about Liverpool fans chanting Munich songs aginst Man Utd in January ? and they were clearly visible on television doing it, and mentioned that people were arresteds at said game for public order offences, but didn't say who even though it was widely reported that all the happenings were vandalism in the away supporters section.
Back to the Prentice article, was it necessary to say "second club in a small city", because it hasn't hurt other sides from getting investment/being sold. I tell you what teams like Blackburn, Sunderland, Wigan, Man City etc must have AWESOME executive boxes that make millions because they certainly don't fill the stands.
30 Posted 02/02/2011 at 13:56:54
I am actually really worried at the moment. We are stagnant and are actually going backwards, and I worry to death because we will get fucking RELEGATED but the media and general non-Evertonians will think we are still in safe hands because of the incorrect perception they have of him.
Seriously, banners and protests need to be organised to make our views crystal clear to these dickheads.
31 Posted 02/02/2011 at 14:13:17
32 Posted 02/02/2011 at 16:33:05
33 Posted 02/02/2011 at 18:16:57
Don't give a shite wether he's an honourable bloke or not.
34 Posted 02/02/2011 at 18:49:59
35 Posted 02/02/2011 at 22:47:47
I doubt there were to many "happy bunnies" amongst our fanbase when they read that load of shite he served him in the Echo last Friday.
Add Your Comments
In order to post a comment to Fan Articles, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.
Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and MailBag submissions across the site.