Is it time for Everton and Liverpool to merge into a single Merseyside super club?
There. I wrote it.
The fact is that, if Liverpool and Everton were car manufacturers or newspapers or restaurant chains or almost any business other than football, they would certainly have merged long ago.
It?s not just a matter of both clubs failing to meet the expectations of fans. Both clubs are coping with diminishing fan bases in a city that is losing population. Each has an old stadium that needs to be replaced. Both have histories of success but have been eclipsed in recent years by rival clubs in other cities. Both have to make massive re-investments they cannot really afford.
A merger would increase resources, double the fan base, significantly increase gates, help fund reinvestment, create space for a new stadium and eliminate wasteful competition. In any other business it would be a no-brainer. Clearly, keeping both clubs in separate competition could continue to work as it has in the past ? if, as has happened in Manchester, both clubs have major long-term investment. Right now, that?s not the case.
However, any future owners of both Everton and Liverpool, no matter how rich, will still have to deal one day with the decline of population of the region and therefore in the fan base and in revenue. All fans of my generation recall gates of 69,000. Seeing 60,000-65,000 at Goodison was not unusual. I would be surprised if either club could attract a gate of 69,000 today, no matter what the size of the stadium.
It may come down to whether fans want to see a single successful ?super club? on Merseyside, or two clubs continuing to struggle to compete against richer rivals... with limited success.
There are numerous examples of successful football club mergers, but most of those in England have been at the lower levels of football, such as Dagenham & Redbridge, or long ago, like the merger of two Newcastle clubs to form Newcastle United in 1892. However, Italy?s Sampdoria was formed by a merger in 1946 and a further merger with rival Genoa was proposed in 2003. In France, Stade St Germain merged with Paris FC in 1970 to form Paris St Germain. In Germany, Karlsruhe was formed by a series of mergers in the 1950s. Other proposed mergers, Arsenal and Fulham, Queens Park Rangers and Fulham, Huddersfield and Leeds, Stoke and Port Vale, Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday, obviously have come to nothing even though they may make economic sense.
What would a merged Merseyside club be like? What would such a club be named? First, it would have to be a real merger. Obviously the heritage of both institutions would have to be acknowledged and recognized in the new entity. It would not work if either set of fans felt one club had been taken over by the other.
I?m not going to attempt to suggest a name. ?Merseyside? would be fair to both sets of fans but would sacrifice the advantage of the brand value of both clubs. Any made up portmanteau name sounds silly. Using both names - ?Liverpool & Everton? or ?Everton & Liverpool? risks the loss over time of the second name. Who says, ?Bournemouth & Boscombe Utd?? No-one. But these are details to be hammered out over time.
It would be a wrench at first. It would be sad, difficult, depressing. There would be grief, a sense of loss. It would go against every grain. But the first Premier League title would repair most of those feelings. The second? you know what I mean.
I fully expect this suggestion to be rejected ? even ridiculed ? by the vast majority of fans. If we can?t agree on sharing a stadium, what chance is there to go even further than that? I don?t exactly savor the prospect of a merger either. But I do think it is inevitable ? some day ? if we are to avoid becoming another Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United.
And remember this: a future wealthy investor in either Liverpool or Everton is likely to see the advantages of there being only one club in the city ? and attempt a buy-out rather than a merger. That we don?t want.
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1 Posted 18/03/2011 at 06:47:48
2 Posted 18/03/2011 at 07:10:11
3 Posted 18/03/2011 at 07:08:41
Johnson, Jagielka, Agger, Baines
Kuyt, Fellaini, Gerrard, Arteta?
Unfortunately, neither team has a decent left wing and we have no strikers worth contributing to the team. Not too sure "Merseyside FC" will win the league still.
4 Posted 18/03/2011 at 07:02:32
You wouldn't dare suggest a name, but you would suggest merging two clubs which would end football in this city as we know it!!
For someone who has followed football as long as you have, you have made the fundamental mistake of thinking that football is a business in the eyes of true supporters.
We accept it is now a business in real terms. However in terms of what a supporter feels about their team and the reason they lose sleep after a defeat, feel on top of the world after a win or suicidal as another transfer window shuts, this could never be applied to business.
When was the last time you went on a forum discussing the shortcomings of the Manager of your favourite supermarket and why the shelf-stacker keeps dropping the tins? How many people have Tesco tattooed on their arm?
Sorry, but awful idea and very badly thought out. If anyone thinks it's a good idea then they must be missing the point of what football is all about.
5 Posted 18/03/2011 at 07:16:03
6 Posted 18/03/2011 at 07:41:10
7 Posted 18/03/2011 at 07:47:19
8 Posted 18/03/2011 at 07:52:50
Get a grip.
9 Posted 18/03/2011 at 07:34:46
And re your last supposedly ominous warning: I?ve never once heard anyone suggesting that the Glazers looked to buy-out Man City straight after buying ManUre, or that Randy Lerner wanted to buy-out Birmingham City after taking over Villa in order to get some synergies from being the only club in the city. Utter codswallop.
And can you really imagine future "Merseyside-onians" reminiscing about when their club had a comeback in Istanbul, straight after how their club legend Dixie Dean scored 60 goals in a season!
10 Posted 18/03/2011 at 08:02:52
Why don't you ask Michael & Lyndon if they can take this article down & repost it for you on April 1st .
Then we can all shout 'April Fool' at any idiot willing to consider such nonsense!
11 Posted 18/03/2011 at 08:15:08
Competition might not be desirable for businesses intent on collecting money (although it IS desirable for the punters) but it is what sport is about! Or have we forgotten that in the PL's push towards its own obsession with money?
The answer ... (in the world inside my head) Make English football amateur again ? then we wouldn't have to worry!
12 Posted 18/03/2011 at 08:37:52
13 Posted 18/03/2011 at 08:43:30
Michael, I can't actually believe that you gave space to this garbage.
14 Posted 18/03/2011 at 08:57:18
Did you actually write this or is someone playing a cruel prank on you?
15 Posted 18/03/2011 at 08:58:46
16 Posted 18/03/2011 at 09:12:35
17 Posted 18/03/2011 at 09:18:53
18 Posted 18/03/2011 at 09:24:12
Jeez, the shoite that lodges in the back of my mind...
19 Posted 18/03/2011 at 09:56:41
I could give reasons, but it's best not to argue with idiots as passers by wouldn't know the difference.
20 Posted 18/03/2011 at 10:25:02
21 Posted 18/03/2011 at 10:25:32
Given that 'we' would win everything I could live with the name Chesterside ? although I would DEMAND a bit of royal blue piping around the tops of the socks to recognise the contribution of the club formerly known as Everton...
22 Posted 18/03/2011 at 10:47:17
Or we could just carry on as we are in a declining industry in a sixties theme park in the capital of dogcrap.
23 Posted 18/03/2011 at 11:01:28
24 Posted 18/03/2011 at 10:48:00
You don't seem capable of making a constructive response to any article posted. Sniping at others appears to be your area of expertise. Perhaps you'll surprise everybody one day by writing an article of your own!
25 Posted 18/03/2011 at 11:22:48
26 Posted 18/03/2011 at 11:38:11
27 Posted 18/03/2011 at 11:56:49
I hope you weren't serious!
28 Posted 18/03/2011 at 12:12:09
I'd rather eat my own foreskin.
29 Posted 18/03/2011 at 12:17:47
30 Posted 18/03/2011 at 12:20:39
Give my regards to Borat.
31 Posted 18/03/2011 at 12:39:32
32 Posted 18/03/2011 at 12:36:48
33 Posted 18/03/2011 at 12:43:13
34 Posted 18/03/2011 at 12:40:06
Peter - an escaped lunatic has gained access to your Toffeweb sign-on and has started posting.
35 Posted 18/03/2011 at 12:46:30
36 Posted 18/03/2011 at 12:42:15
You have managed the impossible, to get all Toffeewebbers to agree on a single issue.
Very radical suggestion, could never gain traction.
37 Posted 18/03/2011 at 13:00:50
Read the first 4 lines and that was enough for me.
38 Posted 18/03/2011 at 12:55:00
39 Posted 18/03/2011 at 13:00:58
40 Posted 18/03/2011 at 12:58:58
Then born from the ashes would be FC Everton; competing in the lower echelons of the Football League under a new board and Chairman...err hang on.....
41 Posted 18/03/2011 at 13:02:14
42 Posted 18/03/2011 at 13:07:29
43 Posted 18/03/2011 at 14:14:08
44 Posted 18/03/2011 at 14:18:56
As funny as a leper in a wind tunnel.
45 Posted 18/03/2011 at 14:41:59
It's not as if this is denying space to some more worthy post, though; it's been slim pickings this week and
I blame the lack of Prem games last weekend... Why were there no games on the slate? There always used to be regular fixtures on 6th Round weekend, did there not?
Oh, and Doddy ? this blows a big hole in your sanctimonious posturing: Peter Fearon is from Liverpool. Surprised you're not one of his drinking mates.
46 Posted 18/03/2011 at 15:05:26
For what it's worth, I think a stadium share may be a good idea. It may be the only possible way we could afford a decent stadium in the next decade without that mystery investor finally turning up.
47 Posted 18/03/2011 at 15:20:10
And it just might, should either or both of the clubs end up in administration. That is not as "un-thinkable" as we think it is. The rumours surrounding our financial woes; the fairy-tale of the first American take-over of Liverpool ? nobody thought it would come to this then did it, for the banks to forcibly take over the club.
If that happens, do we think that the decision makers in the club would prefer to rather go out of business (be extinct) and survive and be re-branded?
How's that for "un-thinkable"?
48 Posted 18/03/2011 at 15:39:39
49 Posted 18/03/2011 at 15:40:01
50 Posted 18/03/2011 at 15:49:01
51 Posted 18/03/2011 at 16:37:59
My response to that would be an instant No, with no room for negotiation sadly. But fair play to you for having a go and trying to explain it.
If the worst came to the worst, with Everton falling out of existence for whatever reason, that would be me finished with football as a proper genuine fan.
Been an Evertonian since May 1986, my dad supports them so it was the obvious thing to do, I can't even imagine trying to support another football club, never mind one that merges with our greatest enemies.
I know supporters who do change their allegiance at the drop of a hat, I just couldn't support anyone else, it would feel like treachery of the highest order.
No other club or thing has got right inside my soul like Everton has, it's like family, you just couldn't imagine being part of another family.
But that's my opinion for all it's worth!!!
52 Posted 18/03/2011 at 16:48:10
"It would be a wrench at first.."
DURRRRR y' think!?
53 Posted 18/03/2011 at 16:48:33
But if this happened in my lifetime I don't know what I would do. Would I support this "Everpool" team?? I dunno, maybe if there was a decent contingent of Everton players made the squad, but after they move on or retire? Probably not. I'd probably go watch Blackpool because at least they put on a show. Football would be dead without Everton ? for me anyways.
What a terrible idea.
54 Posted 18/03/2011 at 16:55:02
55 Posted 18/03/2011 at 17:10:53
Following a football club is not about economic sense — how else do you explain thousands of fans spending thousands of quid a year for no tangible reward?
Seriously, I'd sooner follow Everton in League Two than Merseyside Merger FC in the Premier League.
56 Posted 18/03/2011 at 17:27:10
I hate to tell you this but the drugs have stopped working, mate ? get to the doctors asap.
57 Posted 18/03/2011 at 17:44:23
58 Posted 18/03/2011 at 17:55:13
59 Posted 18/03/2011 at 17:44:39
60 Posted 18/03/2011 at 18:00:45
Section him forthwith!
61 Posted 18/03/2011 at 18:13:47
62 Posted 18/03/2011 at 18:44:36
63 Posted 18/03/2011 at 19:27:24
But that's the trouble, Peter ? isn't like any other business! I change cars, sometimes swap newspapers, and try as many restaurants as possible, but I've only got one team ? no matter how bad it gets. Still, everyone has a right to voice an opinion, no matter how fuckin cretinous.
64 Posted 18/03/2011 at 19:18:38
trying to put some rationale to your thinking and using only economic considerations and not generations of emotional consideration I find myself falling at the first hurdle, which is: Why throw away one club's Sky and sponsorship income for the sake of still only putting 11 men out on the pitch?
The Premier League is the place to be with clubs falling over themselves to "join the club".
Why suggest "closing" one of the businesses because that is effectively what you are suggesting.
The only positive spin I could put on it would be that it will get rid of Kenwright.
The only kudos I can give you is that it's the first ever post to get a sensible response from Doddy.
Well done, Peter.
65 Posted 18/03/2011 at 19:47:42
66 Posted 18/03/2011 at 21:36:37
67 Posted 18/03/2011 at 21:37:24
We'd be the winners of course. We would automatically double our League Championship winners tally, plus loads of Cup wins (English and European).
We'd have the Council tripping over themselves to get us the premier site in Liverpool... the Kings Dock of course. We'd have the Echo actually writing about us again and Phil feckin Redmond as an ambassador. We'd have lots of friendly scandinavians as buddies, mind you, we wouldn't be able to get a seat.
D'you think we'd need to wear purple, like the corpy bins colour? Would the Kopite and The Toffee Lady have to get married? (Or would they live in sin?)
I've just had a nightmare 'ere! Kenwright in charge of the super club!
68 Posted 18/03/2011 at 21:37:12
69 Posted 18/03/2011 at 21:53:28
70 Posted 18/03/2011 at 21:53:22
I needed a laugh badly - TY Peter.
The responses had me in stitches. I think I pissed myself when I read Dick's name-distancing comment. Priceless.
71 Posted 18/03/2011 at 21:52:20
"You'll Never Walk Alone" in one end whilst we are busy reminding them that "We Don't Care What The Redshite Say" in the other.
Plus people here have already put our teams together for the best 11. I could never get excited about any of that lot running around in purple or blue and red stripes.
Lastly, if we united under a new name, surely that would be chaos? The Prem would drop to containing 19 teams thus effecting relegation or promotion candidates.
We are more likely to see Celtic and Rangers in the Premier League than Merseyside FC
72 Posted 18/03/2011 at 22:06:19
73 Posted 18/03/2011 at 22:45:13
74 Posted 19/03/2011 at 01:48:28
75 Posted 19/03/2011 at 02:43:22
1. Not long ago, the idea of leaving Goodison would have been just as controversial. Some of you who wrote with such offensive invective actually supported not just leaving Goodison but leaving the city itself. I think the Kirkby move would have been worse than a merger, frankly.
2. Not long ago, the likelihood of relegation seemed beyond impossible. Now it's an almost perennial possibility. That doesn't seem to make people half as angry as my highly speculative argument.
3. It's not like I'm suggesting this should happen tomorrow. I just think this will come up within the next several years if the economic situation doesn't improve. We have all seen things we never thought would happen with Everton.
4. Dick Fearon, come on bro, you know we are too right related. How's are the kids?
76 Posted 19/03/2011 at 08:16:22
North and South (draw a left-to-right line across Birmingham to get your N & S).
North play at Old Trafford, South at Wembley.
They'd only need to play one game home and one away to decide the league.
77 Posted 19/03/2011 at 12:07:17
Barry, Daniel, Paul ? it fucking hurt!!! I?m waiting for the ambulance and typing through the pain and I?ll see you three in court.
Dave Harrison (1) ? Agree.
David Jenkins (4) ? Agree.
Stephen Kenney (6) ? Agree.
Chris Williamson (11) ? Couldn?t agree more with your last paragraph.
Terence Leong (47) ? Stood up. Well done. And Declan (51) too.
In fact, I agree with what most of you have said.
Thanks Peter for a great article and thanks Michael for putting it up. Really.
Oh, but Liam (36), Sam (46) ? can you really say that the reaction is unanimous when Ray Robinson (17) and Ted Smeethes (35) don?t agree with everyone else? Knowsley Libraries do a free log-in for the Oxford English Dictionary. You can even get on in Kirkby! Sorry?
When I was 20, the funniest thing I ever heard was in the Enclosure and came from a bunch of cabbies who always took their lads to the match on a Saturday putting down the linesman. Reading the reactions to Peter?s article really took me back. You?re a funny lot when you get going.
For my part, if it happened, it wouldn?t make a lot of difference to my watching habits as I?m one of those second-class supporters who spent his youth ducking under police horses to get to Gwladys Street turnstiles but now lives a thousand miles away and, so, doesn?t count apparently. But I would never support the team that you?re proposing Peter.
If I wanted to support a team because they win trophies, I would have changed my allegiance years ago and wouldn?t have wasted all that time checking the results, listening to commentaries, reading ToffeeWeb, worrying about the club, talking to my old man about how thin the squad?s been and for how long, etc.
On the other hand, since stats seem to show that the only way the EPL can keep the gravy train rolling is to expand into overseas markets, and since stats seem to show that ? in developing markets ? fans associate more with the player than with the team, maybe Peter?s right?!
Peter ? print this thread out. You may be ?the forerunner?.
Thanks everyone. Biggest laugh I?ve ever had on this site.
78 Posted 19/03/2011 at 12:14:36
79 Posted 19/03/2011 at 12:27:43
One of my bosses is 'from Liverpool' and supports LFC. Goes over a few times a season for a game. Can't pin down where he comes from really. Doesn't know anything about football (and even I can say that and I know next to nothing). He'd probably support anyone if they're on Sky often enough.
He's the future.
80 Posted 19/03/2011 at 15:41:39
We haven't got many of these fans thankfully, I couldn't sit next to one!!
81 Posted 19/03/2011 at 16:26:09
82 Posted 19/03/2011 at 18:05:08
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