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The Way Back

By Christine Foster :  04/02/2011 :  Comments (19) :

Dave Roberts's piece on the decline and fall of Everton highlighted a number of historical occasions when, in hindsight, those in charge of the club appear to have taken a safety-first attitude (you could substitute, careless, clueless or stupid at this point)  But today?s football club is a million miles away from the animal of the 60s, 70s or 80s.

The Chairman & the Board

Banner by Patrick Hart

As a board member of an ailing club, there is guilt by association; but the Chairman is seen as being directly responsible. It?s a clean and clinical difference. Of course it?s not been all been Kenwright?s fault, only an idiot would claim that, but the responsibility for getting us out of trouble is.

And that?s the problem. It?s the guilt by association to a poor board that undermined his tenure from the start... but, on top of that, he lost credibility with fans for so many reasons, all well documented.

He lost and abused the trust that we gave; he and he alone split the fan base, alienated shareholders, oversold and under delivered. His credibility with most Everton fans is severely and irrepealably damaged and rightly so. The face that the world sees is not the face we live with.

Faith in his leadership has disappeared and turned to anger. This is tainting all things in the club now, everything is seen with a critical eye and souring any good that may be done by some very dedicated staff and players.  It is this reason that the club needs to be sold immediately. Not for all the broken promises or the contracts but for the good of the club. We are walking a very fine line that could see us have a good future or a demise that would be hard to stop and recover from.

The Fans

Faith in the club, its leadership and the fans needs to be restored.  The club needs to have faith in its fans, needs to have a consolidated fan based that supports the club wholeheartedly in its vision and direction. That needs to be won back. It won?t make everything ok, but it will make us stronger.

As fans, we need something and someone to believe in. We support the team, but not the club. That needs to change and perhaps so do we. But right now it?s imperative we survive.

The Manager

David Moyes has taken us to a level and, with what he has available, done very well overall. But he is not dynamic in his tactics and often a cause for frustration; he is conservative when sometimes we needed to go for it. His continual support for Bill Kenwright is damaging his own achievements even though his veiled warnings regarding investment must have ruffled Kenwright's feathers.

He is becoming tainted by association and, although he is the better half of the partnership in most eyes, it does open him up to criticism. At the moment, he is the only one we see, the only one who sticks his head above the trench, so he will cop all our frustrations. It's wrong but it?s more a reflection on how the club is run and its leadership than the personal integrity or ability of the manager.

The Future

A fresh start: Something and someone to believe in; Change, because the spiral will continue. Some good people will fall as well as the deadwood when change happens, but it still needs to happen.

Forget the investment. We need selling at a price that will enable our debts to be paid and a future vision to be set in place. Although good management without a change of owner could mean survival, it will not mean progress on the field. Good management with a clean slate is required, people with vision, skill and desire once again.

We need a voice too, a unified voice. A vehicle for interaction with the club, a little transparency goes a long way to ensure understanding and a rekindling of faith.

I wrote a while back on the need for Faith and Hope... I now add Change.

We need a future we can believe in.

Reader Comments

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Dick Fearon
1   Posted 05/02/2011 at 04:03:32

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Christine, that was a very good balanced summing up of our predicament.
Derek Thomas
2   Posted 05/02/2011 at 05:08:21

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We do have a vehicle of interaction with the Club, the l'Anson-Owen trust. Still in it's infancy so only able to speak softly, but, if all goes well, in 5 years or so, we will have the 'big stick' part... A shitload of cash, with the almost guaranteed option of more as the years roll on.

Our money will talk and maybe the Bullshiitters will walk. If it's not too late by then.
Tom Fearon
3   Posted 05/02/2011 at 05:25:01

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I was for a long time something of a supporter of Kenwright. After all, surely it was better to have a Blue in charge than some other, possibly foreign, businessman? But I recently had the (dis)pleasure to meet Kenwright briefly, and he couldn't have seemed less bothered about the fans, and he couldn't have seemed any more smug about his position at Everton.

People talk about Abramovich using Chelsea as a play-thing, and of the Arabs doing a similar thing at Manchester City, but to be honest, Everton is Kenwright's play-thing now. He may not be able to jazz it up to be as good a toy as the others, but he's holding onto it for dear life.
Timothy Laynge
4   Posted 05/02/2011 at 06:05:04

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Christine, I also think the "voice" should be more than that. I am pretty sure supporters could assign their trust to initiate a buy-out even overseas.

At least Evertonians would not have to sufer this 24/7 bullshit in silence anymore. Not as if Hollywood shite would be much interested in Everton FC... would they!!!!
Dave Wilson
5   Posted 05/02/2011 at 07:44:55

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Usually like your articles, Christine, but I was left feeling a little frustrated by this one. When I logged on and saw the title of your post, I went straight to it, but you kinda "oversold and underdelivered".

At work, in alehouses, on Websites and radio phone-ins, Evertonians are expressing what is now seemingly universal opinion: KENWRIGHT MUST GO! The trouble is, he ain't going anywhere if he doesn't want to and it looks very much like he doesn't want to.

I`d love to hear some decent ideas on how his removal can be brought about. Please, enough of these Kenwright must go posts, I think we are all agreed on that one. Let's discuss ways to make it happen.
Tony I'Anson
6   Posted 05/02/2011 at 08:36:01

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Derek (2) ? I felt quite embarassed on that one. It will be called Trust Everton, set up as a mutual society and regulated by the FSA. This means 1 member 1 vote and equally owned by every single Evertonian who joins.
Christine Foster
7   Posted 05/02/2011 at 09:02:39

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Dave Wilson, first of all, I did not pen nor include the graphics to the side of this article, it was not intended as a Kenwright must go article in itself. It was intended as a statement that we must move on and change as a board, the manager and the fans. We must look to the future and not the past or even present although it will of course colour any future we see.

There have been countless articles on Kenwright, I have written some of them, but I am concerned for the club and a way back from where we are.

Step back and look at the club, its people and ourselves. The scars will heal but trust takes much, much longer (ask any wife).

If we are to restore the pride, the club and our fortunes then We may have to change as well. To do that means we have to have something and someone to follow and support.

Maybe what we should be asking for is this, an open invitation to someone, somewhere who has the means and the will to make a great club great again, with a fan base that is more passionate than any other I know, to turn this great club around. It would make then a legend in their own lifetime... we just have to find you because our chairman doesn't seem to be looking in the right places.
Derek Thomas
8   Posted 05/02/2011 at 09:12:31

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No needm Tony, credit where credit is due. If this goes as I hope it should, not to put too fine a point on it, both your Immortality in an Everton Historic sense is assured.

In 1878 we had men of vision.

In 1892 we had men of vision.


In 2011 we have men of vision.

Plenty have talked about doing 'something'... you and Mike DID something.

You saw the whole of the moon.

And just to bring you down to earth, the downside is in 30, 40 years time you will be a trivia question in a pub quiz.
Colin Malone
9   Posted 05/02/2011 at 13:29:38

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It's all about performance / results on the pitch but, due to bad coaching, we are where we are. Allegedly Kenwright broke the bank for Moyes when he bought the missing piece of the jigsaw, Felliani, £15 mill, which is a large amount to Everton FC.

We all thought we were going to hit the ground running this season but due to bad coaching, it never happened. I don't know what's going to happen when they are going to ask us to buy our season tickets at the end of May. I forget what they put on the pamphlet last season... does anyone remember?

Tom Fearon
10   Posted 05/02/2011 at 14:26:57

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"Ask any wife"? Or husband? Or simply anyone who has been the victim of a cheating spouse? I know its off the point, the tone of that just grated slightly, as I read it anyway. Apologies if i misread your intentions anyway.

Anyway, great article, although would be nice to see some ideas of what to do about the current situation, although I guess thats what the comments section is for! Wish I had a decent idea but unfortunately not.
Dennis Stevens
11   Posted 05/02/2011 at 15:15:06

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Interesting post, Derek. I wonder if our "Men of Vision" in 1892 envisioned the monster spawned by our exit from Anfield, instead of remaining the only top club in a major city with the obvious benefits that includes.
Andy Crooks
12   Posted 05/02/2011 at 15:34:22

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How to remove Bill Kenwright? Well staying away only hurts the club. Banners at the ground might help. He's a luvvy, so lets hurt his feelings. Letting him know that he is utterly despised would cut him to the bone.
Christine Foster
13   Posted 05/02/2011 at 15:58:40

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Sorry Tom it wasn't, politically correct, just a female perspective.
Jim Lloyd
14   Posted 06/02/2011 at 00:02:53

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Christine, God bless you love. (Politically incorrect, I know) but you have hit the nail right on ther head.

In my view, Kenwright should be thanked for what he has done (and I'm being very generous in saying that) but he should go.

Without wanting to pis some of our fellow blues off, we need a Shankley. Whether as a manager or as a Chairman, we need someone who will get a grip of this wonderful club of ours and give us all something to believe in.

Your article has identified what is needed. Let us hope our club gets a break and that a certin someone will give us the lead you so accurately describe we need.

Liu Weixian
15   Posted 06/02/2011 at 03:34:47

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It's easy. If EVERY EVERTON FAN votes with his or her feet, the spectacle of a totally empty stadium should let Kenwright and his cronies and lackeys what we think. It may even inspire him to look for investment!
Martin Hughes
16   Posted 06/02/2011 at 13:42:05

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who are the supposed bidders of everton anyone know? hopefully an announcment in line with accounts release!
Chris Regan
17   Posted 07/02/2011 at 12:25:46

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I am annoyed by Everton's cynical attempt to divert attention from the current state of play by circulating rumours of a takeover. We all hate the predicament (financial strugle) the club is in and this is a cynical and cruel thing to do to loyal fans.

Everytime EFC come under the scrutiny from the fans, they (the board) issue this kind of statement to placate us. We all need to focus on the real issue which is our lack of finance. This is not the "People's Club" in a democratic sense. It is more like a communist state.
Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
18   Posted 07/02/2011 at 15:18:15

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Chris, do you really think it has that effect? I can still see the overall state of play, even after a great win. We highlight stories about the financial side as best we can, so it should be no surprise to our readers, at least.

And we are no longer called the "People's Club" (Thank God) ? they dropped that some years back... when a fan picked up the copyright!
Chris Regan
19   Posted 08/02/2011 at 12:18:41

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Michael, I credit Evertonians with more intelligence than to believe these stories. I never said they believed the recent speculation created by Keith Harris. The cynisism expressed across various sites suggests so.

As I said, these rumours are not fair on loyal fans.

Secondly, I know the 'Peoples Club' tag line is no longer used. I was refering to the perception created by Kenwright, et al, in the media.

Today's news release and statement by the board that Moyes will have no war chest in the summer. Reinforces my belief that the board cynically tried to divert attention from the real situation the club faces.

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