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The Day After Tomorrow

By Peter McPartland :  08/02/2011 :  Comments (37) :
So the accounts are in and on the surface the club would have you think all is well.

But dig a little deeper and, as we all know, it's not ? a £600k loss which rises to £3.1 million when debt repayment bills are added sounds like dream figures if your a City or Chelsea fan. But when you think of the £7 million gained from Kitbag and £8 million from the sale of Bellefield and more importantly there are no new players to show for any loss, then this has to be questioned.

In Robert Elstone's blog, he suggests the accounts are good in the current financial climate and maybe he is right. But to suggest they are acceptable because of the recent internet rumours of administration and not being able to pay player wages, betrays everything our club motto boasts.

So, what can be done to move the club on if the current board can not use their own money to push the club forward?

  Well, the first thing I would suggest, is to employ a visible seller as Liverpool did with Martin Broughton. The thought of any new owner turning up and knocking on our door is laughable and we must be seen to be doing everything we can to bring new investment into the club.

But in the mean time, there must be more revenue streams which we haven't investigated.

We have in our squad the hottest property in Australian sport in Tim Cahill, who is on just about everything over there marketable, so why are we not making more of that?

The same goes for America ? we gained plenty of new fans following Landon Donovan's loan spell and along with Tim Howard we have a tradition of having American players at the club over recent years, as well as ex players playing in the MLS.

So again this is a market we must get in to.

The other issue is the ground. Destination Kirkby come and went and as the club said then, it was the only option on the table ? and boy did they mean it!

As we all know, corporate hospitality and executive boxes are what make clubs real money and without that revenue we will continue to fall behind. So what are the club doing about it?

Well apart from the new Park End structure, paid for jointly by Sodexo and Kitbag, very little seems to be getting done. So how does the club expect to be attractive to buyers if it doesn't make itself attractive?

I don't believe it's all doom and gloom and we still have some great talent in our squad, but how long will it be before the longer talent such as Marouane Fellaini and Jack Rodwell have to be sold. Whilst Cahill and Mikel Arteta edge closer to their latter stages of their careers.

So... Everton stand at a massive crossroads ? from European football to mid-table oblivion, down to possibly even worse ? and it's up to the powers that be to make sure we keep challenging.

But I'm afraid the days of David Moyes performing miracles with a shoestring budget are now over and Everton Football Club must act accordingly.

Reader Comments

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Alex Kociuba
1   Posted 08/02/2011 at 17:48:07

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Moyes has done "well" and we pay him accordingly. I don't remember any miracles (he still hasn't won anything). If you regard his transfers as miracles, why are we in the bottom half? If Kenwright dug deeper and gave Moyes more funds our finances would be worse. Moyes isn't being paid £60k a week to look for expensive players to buy. He's there to manage the team he is being paid to manage.
Tony I'Anson
2   Posted 08/02/2011 at 18:10:31

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How many people know about www.evertoncashback.co.uk as an additional revenue stream? No one I've spoken to knew about it.
Mike Atherton
3   Posted 08/02/2011 at 18:38:07

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Regarding the Tim Cahill point in Australia. I lived in Australia for the past 2 years and he is nowhere near as big as people think he is, he may be the biggest football star from the country but footall comes second to both rugbys, AFL and cricket. People there just don't have an interest in football... well, they do... but their football is played with a different shaped ball.
Sam Alcarez
4   Posted 08/02/2011 at 19:30:23

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As for American fans; I live in Chicago, there's a few fellow Evertonian fans here, but that number pales in comparison to the support that the larger clubs have. That said, if someone like Donovan were to return to the club in the wake of the USA relative success in the World Cup, I think there would be a definite uptick in interest on this side of the pond. Soccer (sorry) fans over here are already taking note of Aston Villa since they signed Michael Bradley.
Graeme Hodgkinson
5   Posted 08/02/2011 at 20:08:26

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Your point to "employ a visible seller as Liverpool did with Martin Broughton" has already been done. His name is Keith Harris I think, and he has been at the club, seeking investment opportunities for....off the top of head, 2years?!

No doubt people will dispute the work he's doing or done as yieldless, but well, it's what you asked for, none the less.
Phil Bellis
6   Posted 08/02/2011 at 20:48:41

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Sam... Sam... Sam... there is no LARGER football club than Everton FC ? not in our universe. And don't even think about "realisticising" me!
Sam Alcarez
7   Posted 08/02/2011 at 21:49:20

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Phil, clearly something was possessing my keyboard when that was typed. I don't know what came over me.
Victor Chang
8   Posted 08/02/2011 at 21:51:13

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Peter; doesn't the "£8 million from the sale of Bellefield" come into this years accounts?
Alan Stafford
9   Posted 08/02/2011 at 21:36:37

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Sam #6.
As the song goes "and if you know your history".

A couple of years ago we played River Plate in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, which is were I live, and I couldn't believe the number of blue fans that turned up to watch the game.

Being over here in the great white North, I find that people usually wear the shirt of the so called "Larger Teams" mainly because the have watched the highlites on Fox Sports, and decide that the team they are going to support this year.

Getting back to the tread of this post though, I do agree that EFC could do better globaly to market the brand.

Alan Stafford
10   Posted 08/02/2011 at 21:55:04

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Sorry should have beem Sam #4, I think something is possesing my keyboard....
John McLoughlin
11   Posted 08/02/2011 at 22:05:59

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I am probably wrong but Liverpool brought in Broughton to push through the sale via his employers the bankers(Barclays) they paid them £2 million to sell the club. We have not taken this route and certainly not paid Harris to sell our club. This was highlighted in the Echo recently and they even suggested its what we should do if we are to sell the club.
David Israel
12   Posted 08/02/2011 at 23:31:59

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No, you are absolutely right, John (11). Now, Broughton was brought in as Managing Director, or some such title, with the stated purpose of finding a buyer. It is not necessary to go down that path (no other club has done it, as far as I can remember) in order to sell the club.

As for Keith Harris I've heard him sounding pessimistic in the past, but his latest utterances on the matter did seem rather more jovial. Let's see what happens, but I remain doubtful on the commitment to sell by the powers that be.
James Flynn
13   Posted 09/02/2011 at 02:19:29

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Don't know about the rest, but:

"We have in our squad the hottest property in Australian sport in Tim Cahill, who is on just about everything over there marketable, so why are we not making more of that?

The same goes for America ? we gained plenty of new fans following Landon Donovan's loan spell and along with Tim Howard we have a tradition of having American players at the club over recent years, as well as ex players playing in the MLS".

It's definately there to be had. EFC (from Joe Max Moore on) is the only club in the world whose brought in Yanks and given em a shot at the Big Time. Whether they've made it or not isn't the point. EFC has given em a chance.

Making America Everton's team would be easier than many might think. Please Steinbrenners. Buy this team.

Ste Ratcliffe
14   Posted 09/02/2011 at 05:50:55

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People keep mentioning how the sale of Bellefield and the Kitbag deal will be included in the accounts but won't these deals be paid so much per year rather than in a lump sum, especially the Kitbag deal?
Kevin Jones
15   Posted 09/02/2011 at 11:53:50

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David # 12, the only thing I've heard Keith Harris sound like is a frustrated duck or a monkey with a cold.
David Price
16   Posted 09/02/2011 at 14:46:26

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Not sure if Bellefield revenue falls into the accounts just published or that the cash has been released to the club. Hopefully for the summer.

Crap set of figures though which makes the performance of some players more dissapointing, knowing they had to deliver without the aid of fresh blood.

David Israel
17   Posted 09/02/2011 at 19:40:00

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James , # 3, I suppose you mean "making Everton America's team", right?
Mark Pierpoint
18   Posted 09/02/2011 at 22:00:30

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This point on executive boxes and corporate hospitality. Yeah I agree it would make us few quid, but I am pretty sure that, when put into the context of our current turnover, it isn't the be-all and end-all. It annoys me when people go on about it.

How much does the typical corporate function actually bring in? How many would you have to have to make a real impact on a business with a turnover of £80m? I am pretty sure that at best you couldn't add more than £1m a year, even with executive boxes on full capacity. How many 'executive' boxes could Everton FC actually shift?

I am dubious about the whole financial advantage of a new ground to be honest. The whole issue has become a smokescreen for the current board to hide behind. Let's be honest, unlike Liverpool, Arsenal or United, there is a finite limit to how many more fans we can attract. Whilst our ground holds us back in terms of our attendance, even with a new ground, where are the flocks of people going to come from to make this massive surge in turnover?

Mark Pierpoint
19   Posted 09/02/2011 at 22:26:52

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ps: I don't think we would see this surge unless it is built for us. Otherwise,when we weigh up the actual revenue streams against the mortgage we would have to pay (a la Arsenal), we would be waiting a bloody generation for any real benefit.
Anthony Hughes
20   Posted 10/02/2011 at 10:18:29

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Good article in the Daily Post from Sean McGuire, underlines what a lot of us already been saying about the short/medium term future of our club.
Tom Hughes
21   Posted 10/02/2011 at 10:06:58

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Mark,
I agree to a point, there is indeed only a finite fanbase to fill any new capacity (which doesn't come cheaply). I think there are several issues that affect Goodison's propensity to generate more revenue.

The whole executive box / corporate lounge issue is always flagged-up because it appears so limited at Goodison. The current boxes are poorly located and too few IMO. (That said, it perhaps should be remembered that there were only, if I recall, 22 boxes in the Kirkby design, with some scope to add a few more). The current lounges gain good reviews, but space is quite tight so there may be scope for more, including mid-range offerings.

At the other end of the scale, there may also be many thousands currently priced out of footy... is there a way of broadening the pricing strategy to include them? Of course the over-riding issue is the obstructed views that de-value so many seats in the ground at present.

The up-side however, is that much of these issues can be resolved within and around the current structures, without having to incur the massive outlay of say Arsenal. For instance, removing the roof on the Bullens and perching an executive tier (lined with boxes) at the rear of the upper Bullens would remove ALL obstructed views from the the upper-tier, and could more than triple the concourse areas on that side. The centre-block of seats of the upper Bullens could now be served by a spacious lounge area behind, greatly adding quality and value to this highly sort-after vantage point.

The Lower Bullens/Paddock would be re-profiled into a single terrace-stand (a la Lower Gwladys Street) with the worst rear rows removed. The increase in capacity would be between 1-4,000 dependent on the depth of the extension.

The great benefit of this type of incremental development of course is that it comes in relatively bite-size chunks. It also gives the club a chance to measure demand for different seat-types as they go along, solving part of the obstructed view issue simultaneously. A similar process could be applied to any of the existing stands. Only a redevelopment scheme can provide this opportunity, and the transformation can be dramatic whilst preserving so much of value.

If the club had tens of thousands on a waiting list and massive corporate applications then it could speculate on that potential and build from scratch.... We haven't!! Hence the possible importance of the type of scheme which Mike Owen and Tony I'Anson are proposing in Trust Everton. Perhaps that could kick-start this type of development.

Sean Smythe
22   Posted 10/02/2011 at 16:00:54

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Another clear summary of the accounts can be found here:

http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/everton-fc/everton-fc-news/2011/02/10/sean-mcguire-lack-of-strategy-has-left-everton-fc-facing-bleak-future-92534-28145325/2/
John Keating
23   Posted 10/02/2011 at 16:55:54

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We've discussed the larger ground issue before and I agree with Tom; in order to fill say a 50,000-seater we would have to entice stay-away supporters to come back e.g. lower admission. If a 50,000 seat Goodison was totally unobstructed, would we fill it at present?

If we had 50 boxes, would we sell them out? In my opinion, it would be an idea for Kenwright to ask the other "true blue" Leahy to bring some of his hard nosed businessmen mates and pay them to use their vast knowledge and explore all business avenues. I don't think Bill and his lap dogs on the board are up to it.

Karl Masters
24   Posted 10/02/2011 at 21:13:44

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One thing that jumps out is the question of how a Club with the 27th highest turnover in world football can be so short of money.

When you see the likes of Wolves today committing £16m towards redeveloping Molineux, with possibly another phase after that, you really do wonder.

I think that the thinking behind the new structure being built behind the Park End is to re-house all the offices etc from the Main Stand so that all the space under there bar the dressing rooms and Players' Lounge can be devoted to Corporate Hospitality. Additionally, one floor of the new structure will also be a Fans' Lounge where you can get a beer, a pizza, a pie etc and watch Everton TV before the match with your friends.

It's not perfect, but at least they are finally trying something.
Steve Brown
25   Posted 10/02/2011 at 21:17:33

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Until we have a viable funding model to build a new stadium (NOT redevelop Goodison), then ? as is so rightly said in the great analysis of the company accounts ? "our accounts and this strategy make us as as attractive as a bulldog in a brothel."

If you look above us in the table at the top 10, every team has either built a new stadium or heavily redeveloped their ground to increase capacity. The exception is Liverpool who became a selling club over the last 2-3 years as a result.

Of course, the accounts show that there is no basis on which we could now fund our share of any stadium development and we will not be a realistic proposition for a buyer without that funding already in place.

I still fondly remember those exciting visuals of the new stadium on Scotland Road or the redeveloped Goodison and who can forget Liverpool City Council's passionate commitment to working with us to look at alternative city sites and funding models. These plans might well have been drawn in crayons for all the resemblance to reality they had.

I disliked the plans for Kirkby but it was the only funded option with a major corporate investor. I do wonder if we really had our share of the funding for Kirkby but by campaigning so heavily against it we have led inevitably to this point... a club with a business plan that has maximum 5 years of stretch left in it. So congratulations to all of us, we got what we deserve.

Christine Foster
26   Posted 10/02/2011 at 22:11:27

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Steve Brown, it may have escaped your notice but the government threw the plans for Kirkby out because it infringed so many planning regulations it wasn't funny.

The basis on which it was being presented was false financially, commercially and ethiically. It is no wonder that it generated so much anger. It would have resigned the club and its supporters to a third rate existence at best.

Furthermore, Kirkby was the result of years of mismanagement, a last gamble that was poor at best.

No fan on here is to blame for where we are today. That responsibility lies, and has always lain, with the chairman and board of Everton FC.

Kirkby was never funded, another myth... smoke and mirrors; if it was, where is the millions that was set aside for it?

There was never money in the coffers to pay for it, just more debt. Given the economic meltdown since, the term white elephant springs to mind.

Kirkby was a sham. It's buried, thank god. What we deserved was Kings Dock. So who is to blame for that failure, Steve?

Tom Hughes
27   Posted 10/02/2011 at 22:39:27

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Steve Brown,
Congratulations on the most wildly inaccurate post of the thread.

You're initial insistance on "NOT redeveloping" despite immediately acknowledging the redeveloped stadia above us betrays your actual stance.

By the way, who were the corporate backers for DK? What financial backing were they actually giving do you think?

You should fondly remember the schemes that were proposed, it would seem that the club has too, by fascilitating the redevelopment option and starting with the new building at the Park End. Funny how they insisted it wasn't viable not long ago.

As Christine asked.... how do you explain the loss of the Kings Dock? Honestly,.... where have you been for the past 18 months or more? Even Ross wouldn't dare spout this crap anymore. Kirkby fell apart at the seams as soon as the ballot was over, and the lies were all exposed one by one..... an absolute non-option in every respect.
Dave Roberts
28   Posted 11/02/2011 at 08:32:31

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I thought the King's Dock was lost when NTL went tits up? They were providing the 'ringfenced' £30m were they not? Gregg's option was a mortgage and there are plenty of Twebbers on here who are complaining about the mortgages and debt repayments we already have!

Leaving aside whether Kirkby was adequate or a good idea or not (because it is dead now) I posted on the day the scheme was knocked back that we would now see the slow and inexorable death of Everton Football Club. Not that the club would necessarily disappear (though it might) but that we would never again be a force in the top flight of football.

And now we are seeing it. We are seeing it not because Kirkby was the best idea since the offside rule but because it was all we had and it was all we were ever likely to have. And now we don't have it. Because we don't have it there is little chance of investment.

Just as in the Kirkby debate itself, we now have all these grand ideas of redevelopment re-emerging and what must re-emerge too is the same old question of where is the money coming from? This whole thread is about the precarious financial predicament of our club... and yet the same old harpie voices continue to talk about redevelopment for which there is no hard cash and no ideas about where to get it.
Eric Myles
29   Posted 11/02/2011 at 09:10:08

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But Dave (#28) ? if the current accounts show us anything, they show that we did not have the 'ringfened' money to put into Desperation Kirkby. Unless it was there and has magically disappeared somewhere?
Christine Foster
30   Posted 11/02/2011 at 10:47:55

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Dave Roberts, we never had Kirkby. The club didn't make a choice NOT to go there. It was thrown out because it did not comply with planning regulations.

If you want to have a moan look at the fact the club spent £1.3M on the pitch and that went down the toilet. They gambled that it would get through on a handshake and a nod.

Now we are getting the whole, "Kirkby might not have been the best but it was all we had and now we will die because of those harpie's..."

It was smoke and mirrors, lies, half truths and spin. They got found out bigtime.

Kirkby was conceived and promoted before the economic crash devasted the consumer market. So you fancied watching the team if kids playing in a half-empty second-rate stadium in a half-full shopping development and debts far outweighing what we have now?

There is none so blind as those who will not see.

The writing was on the wall if you cared to look at it.
Paul Carr
31   Posted 11/02/2011 at 10:36:49

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Eric, we can only assume that the Board were going to (at last) raid their piggy banks and actually loan the club some significant funds!

The latest accounts show that there are no loans outstanding from the current Directors. How rich are Kenwright, Earl and Woods? According to the Sunday Times, Earl is worth £150 milliion.

Kenwright now only owns 25% of the club. With his successful Theatre group, he must be worth many millions. With Green and Leahy as close friends.

Tom Hughes
32   Posted 11/02/2011 at 11:46:32

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Dave Roberts,

I want to know how you type with a blindfold and blinkers on..... You seem to have a skill for skipping ALL the pertinent points..... You're not in politics..... or PR by any chance?

"I thought the King's Dock was lost when NTL went tits up? They were providing the 'ringfenced' £30m were they not? Gregg's option was a mortgage and there are plenty of Twebbers on here who are complaining about the mortgages and debt repayments we already have!"

Firstly, how can unsecured money ever be described as ring-fenced? Whatever happened to the subsequent Fortress Sports Fund? You also believe a £2-300m super-stadium in a dream location for just £30m down-payment represents a poor loan, even when it's coming from an existing board-member? If he wasn't trustworthy, what was he doing on the board? Who got him on the board? Who's Samuelson, did he turn out to be more trustworthy? Was Kings Dock in anyway comparable to a second rate stadium for £80m+ at a low-quality, inaccessible site? Sugar it up and twist it as much as you want, but KD was a disaster of a missed opportunity, and DK was a simply a disaster start to finish..... All this (and much more), yet you seem oblivious!

"Leaving aside whether Kirkby was adequate or a good idea or not (because it is dead now), I posted on the day the scheme was knocked back that we would now see the slow and inexorable death of Everton Football Club. Not that the club would necessarily disappear."

How can you "leave it aside", surely that was the starting point? A bad idea is a bad idea.... end of story!

"And now we are seeing it. We are seeing it not because Kirkby was the best idea since the offside rule but because it was all we had and it was all we were ever likely to have. And now we don't have it."

No, YOU chose to believe it was the ONLY option, because you took in the hardsell, and still do now, long after the club dropped it. Put it this way, the club would've lost just £12m (and probably even less than that) if they had decided to go ahead with it, why haven't they? They watched it systematically unravel at the Inquiry.

The transport issues alone would've killed it, with the transport scheme slaughtered to the point that Knowsley were threatening to reduce the capacity to just 40k because the plans were completely unworkable. Yet again, you seem oblivious to the facts. This was a site that couldn't meet it's fundamental criteria.... a complete non-starter!!

"Just as in the Kirkby debate itself, we now have all these grand ideas of redevelopment re-emerging and what must re-emerge too is the same old question of where is the money coming from? This whole thread is about the precarious financial predicament of our club... and yet the same old harpie voices continue to talk about redevelopment for which there is no hard cash and no ideas about where to get it."

I think you are confusing "harpies" with discerning blues, who were more concerned with what was good EFC74 and not for Green/Tesco/Knowsley. Where were we getting £78M from for Kirkby? Why shouldn't a proportion of that be now available for redevelopment, or another site?

I see even mighty Wolves are now redeveloping Molyneux further too, and they've spent most of the last 30 years in the lower leagues and have a fraction of our fanbase. Molyneux's redevelopment may only cost £40M in total, and it's far superior to the Kirkby effort. Why can't we have similar?

There are numerous other examples of clubs redeveloping to show that there was ALWAYS an option, in fact the vast majority have adopted this policy, many again with substantially lower turnover and smaller fanbases than us.... I wonder how/why?

So, in summary, I'm sorry, but you need to stop stating so authoritatively that Kirkby was the only option. No-one is seriously still saying this ? not even the club, and if anything, I think the evidence shows that Kirkby was never even "an option" in the first place!

Eric Myles
33   Posted 11/02/2011 at 15:32:30

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Paul #31, then they can raid the piggy banks and provide some funds for an upgrade to one of the Goodison stands and increase capacity and revenue, and at less than half the cost of a cow shed!
Brian Denton
34   Posted 11/02/2011 at 19:47:48

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I wonder how many of the Destination Kirkby enthusiasts believe that it would have happened "if you moaning bastards hadn't moaned so much about it"? From the tone of some of the postings, it seems they do believe that it only didn't happen because a few people on ToffeeWeb raised objections. Ah, if only we had such power!
Denver Daniels
35   Posted 11/02/2011 at 19:04:11

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I know it sounds short-sighted, but should we not be investing in the squad first and foremost, rather than looking at a bigger stadium?

I mean, the Old Lady is not exactly packed to capacity every home game. So why would a new stadium sell-out every 2nd week to increase revenue?

Crowd numbers will only go up if we are challenging for honours at the top of the league. So, even if we moved into a brand new stadium, if the team is languishing down the table, after the novelty of a new ground has worn off, I think attendances would be similar to what they are now.

Regarding Keith Harris and finding a buyer, I googled "Everton buyer" and came across some comments he has made on the subject in the past:

Oct 2008 ? "I will find Everton a buyer"
Nov 2008 ? "I will struggle to sell Everton"
Feb 2011 ? "Almost dead certain Everton will be sold"

So what's it gonna be Keith?... I ain't holding my breath.

I agree with the comments regarding increasing our exposure in the US, and globally. I think we are poor in this regard.

Under the current regime, I can't see anything changing really. Until Billy Blueballs and his mates go, we will be stuck where we are with more and more teams overtaking us. Next season, you can include QPR in that list.
Derek Thomas
36   Posted 13/02/2011 at 03:17:31

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John Keating (#23) ? What makes you think that Tesco would even so much as piss on BK if he was on fire.

He was one of what Lenin called 'Useful Idiots'.
Nick Armitage
37   Posted 13/02/2011 at 11:03:11

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Tom Hughes ? you have hit the nail on the head.

Kenwright should have gone after HIS STUBBORNESS lost the Kings Dock. We will never get another opportunity like that again and his belligerence and feud with Gregg has cost this club big time.

Imagine where Everton would be now if he hadn't pulled the plug, and the only reason he pulled the plug was to protect his shareholding in the club. He did not act in the best interests of the club and I don't believe he has since.

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