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Johnson vs Kenwright

By Adam Bennett :  22/03/2011 :  Comments (84) :
Reading through the various articles, mailbag contributions and comments, there seems to be one defence emerging from blues who support Bill Kenwright, or at least have not joined the ?Kenwright Out? side of things, that is starting to intrigue me. That he saved us from Peter Johnson.

The vast majority of Evertonians (if not all) wanted Peter Johnson thrown off the roof of the Top Balcony from 1997 onwards, and therefore, Kenwright did save us from him at a time when no-one else wanted to know. However, I have started to have a little debate inside my head. Was Peter Johnson worse then, than what Bill Kenwright has been since?

I think it would be interesting to open up this kind of debate, and gauge the opinions of Evertonians in this regard.

I suppose as I?ve opened it up, I?ll have to get the ball rolling and throw my opinion out there first! I won?t go over every pro and con of the two men, I?ll leave that up to all of you to bring up and debate. So I?ll make it very brief, and maybe join in as and when!

For what it?s worth, I think they?re both a disgrace.

The way Peter Johnson got rid of Joe Royle, our last manager to win a trophy, was wrong, as was his treatment of Howard Kendall and the whole shenanigans of the summers of 1997 and 1998. Selling Duncan Ferguson without Walter Smith?s knowledge was a disgrace, but at least it was ultimately the final nail in his coffin.

However, I am starting to get the feeling that what Bill Kenwright has been doing to the club is worse than what Peter Johnson did.

If my figures are wrong, then do tell me otherwise, but when Peter Johnson left we had £25 million worth of debt but had £18.7 million worth of off-field assets.

Now, we have a debt of anything ranging from £45million to £90 million, but all off-field assets have been sold or mortgaged off resulting in a £27 million asset deficit/liability.

Along with the lies and cloak and daggers, I think Bill Kenwright has placed our finances in such a perilous state that it?s now impossible for us to move forward with him, and the rest of the board, remaining at the club. Loans, mortgages, debts, all over the place... and players being sold and loaned out in January with the money disappearing into thin air.

To this end, I always remember Peter Johnson being asked ?where has all the money gone?, to which he replied ?it?s outside running around in royal blue shirts?, and I wonder how Bill Kenwright would respond to such a question (that?s if we are ever allowed to ask him questions again) bearing in mind David Moyes has a net spend of around £3m per season.

So, fellow blues, what are your thoughts? Who was/is better (or worse!)? Johnson or Kenwright?

Let the debate begin.

Reader Comments

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David O'Keefe
1   Posted 22/03/2011 at 13:41:12

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Adam - you're a brave man and I salute you, but it has to be BK he was also a director while Johnson was at the club, so he is also partly culpable for his failings. Collective responsibilty and all that, he never resigned from the board in protest to any of Johnson's failings.
Gareth Humphreys
2   Posted 22/03/2011 at 13:53:54

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The 1 bullet question hey? For me, Blue Bill is getting it simply for ballsing things up for longer.
David Thomas
3   Posted 22/03/2011 at 14:08:55

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Johnson for me. As far as I am aware, Kenwright has never sold a player without even telling the manager.
Kevin Tully
4   Posted 22/03/2011 at 14:08:07

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We have had the most lucrative period in football history, and our ground is the worst of all the big clubs.

We haven't had the excuse of being relegated from the Premier League. (There have only been seven ever present clubs.) This season we have had to let players go out on loan to help with the wage bill, players we needed, and are now short of forwards.

Does anyone out there see that EFC has a viable, workable structure to take the club and the facilities into the 21st Century?

The whole board are responsible for the strategy, and Kenwright is the Chairman of this sorry crew.

They will go down in the club's history as the fools who could not see opportunity in front of their faces, a clueless gang of fuckwits.
Michael Kenrick
5   Posted 22/03/2011 at 14:25:21

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The list of bad things seems far longer for Kenwright than Johnson. Since there do seem to be many who can turn a blind eye to Kenwright's failings, I make no excuses for posting again this excellent contribution from John Shaw that follows...
Andrew Laird
6   Posted 22/03/2011 at 14:25:24

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Bill is "an Evertonian", Johnson was a kopite. Herein lies the problem in getting people to think logically. For me the only difference between these two buffoons is the above statement, which blinds people to Kenwright's ineptitude.
John Shaw
7   Posted 22/03/2011 at 14:29:34

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Yes, Kenwright was to blame for the KD fiasco. His stubbornness cost us the real Deal of the Century. I recall hearing an in-depth interview with Sir Desmond Pitcher on CityTalk a couple of years ago. The interview covered a lot of his life but the part which interested me was obviously his connection to EFC. During this, he talked about the KD in some detail, he acknowledged that the club needed to secure £30 million as its contribution to the whole project, which was cross-subsidised by LCC and ERDF.

After failing for over a year to find the money from investors, banks etc, he then got into the famous spat with Paul Gregg and rejected his idea of a tenancy of 125 years at KD. With only two weeks to go to the absolute deadline given by the public sector partners, after we had fucked around for over twelve months, Kenwright approached Pitcher, due to his historic links with the club, and asked if he could help. Sir Desmond said without hesitating he would do all he could. He very quickly secured considerable sums towards the required £30mill but alas not enough given the short period of time he had and the deadline passed. After a request, no extension was given due to how EFC had messed the partners around for so long. Sir Desmond stated that had he been asked to get involved earlier he would have secured more funds than were required with ease, but he was always fighting against the clock. So yes, for me, Kenwright was right at the centre of the fuck-up that was Kings Dock.

With regards the debacle that was Kirkby, you only have to read the many documents from the inquiry to see that, had it not been stopped by the Secretary of State, we would have ended up with a poor imitation of an already poor stadium. The changes to the plans and planning application limited the capacity to below 45k, limited the noise level to such that it meant no concerts of note would ever be held there, and also allowed KMBC to draw revenue from the facilities, and let's not even start on the transport issues and actual design!!

Yes, we have a new training facility, but what a shame we don't own that either; we had a chance to but passed it up and will end up paying well over the odds for it.

Just because the board has 'business people all over it' means absolutely nothing ? zilch, zero. Being labelled a business person does not a good one make... just look across the park. Hicks and Gillette turned away a number of very wealthy potential investors/buyers because they wanted more money than was on offer, it's what's commonly known as greed, plain and simple. Had it not been for the fact that they were outflanked by Broughton, they'd still be there now, more's the pity. Neither Kenwright nor any of the other Board members have ever put a penny of their own money into the club, with the exception of buying their shares; Bobby Elstone has confirmed this.

I blame Kenwright for being weak... weak because he has undermined both himself and the club by bringing Earl and Green into the fold on their terms; weak because he either can't or won't acknowledge how rapidly we are going backwards as a business; weak because he won't admit his shortcomings and let somebody else take the reigns; and finally, he is weak because he cannot see that keeping his train set all to himself is what will actually ruin it.

The model the Board has implemented is fundamentally flawed and completely unsustainable ? you can only borrow against your assets for so long, and we passed that point in time quite a while ago. The club no longer has any assets to secure loans against, the only assets left are the players, so we are faced with selling the few higher-value players we have to purchase lower-value ones in greater numbers in order to have a meaningful 'squad' ? not the route to success I'd suggest.

One thing's for sure, it's set to be an interesting summer, one way or another!!!

Peter Norrey
8   Posted 22/03/2011 at 14:25:01

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Utter Rubbish. Johnson brought the club to it's knees in his reign. He double crossed the manager by selling his best centre-forward without his knowledge, lied to the fans, sold and bought players between his 'two' interests of Tranmere and Everton. Our team was full of desperate purchases like Ginola & Gascoigne as we had no money then either. The squad was a shadow of the team currently sat in eighth (do the league positions of Johnson's reign lie as well?) How quickly your memories of the 'Agent Johnson' era evade you. You should be ashamed. If yer know yer 'istory indeed.
Gareth Humphreys
9   Posted 22/03/2011 at 14:37:21

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Peter Norrey ? the problem Kenwright has is he also brought the club to its knees, lied to the fans etc. And the league positions arguments doesn't stack up when weighed against the fact that we won a trophy under PJ. In my opinon, they are both absolute asses - BK has just been longer and more consistent in his fuckery.
Jim Harrison
10   Posted 22/03/2011 at 14:30:26

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Yeah, utter bollocks. Would you rather we didn't have the Champions League spot, the Europa nights, the FA Cup Final,the massive improvement in the squad, memorable victories over Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal, Man Utd, Man CIty? Minor issues. Where would Everton FC be without Kenwright? at best, the championship! Yes, we need investment, but the right kind!

Liverpool had investment, Hicks and Gillet, that worked out well. Man city had thakasin, lucky they had a sheik to bail them out, oh, and even one of the biggest revenue drawing clubs in the world, United, have vast debts.

I want the best for Everton, for the long term, no repeat of the past.
John Audsley
11   Posted 22/03/2011 at 15:26:55

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BK bought Gazza and Ginola did he not??

To be honest they are both rotten, at least Johnson spent a bit of cash and we won something

All seems a long time ago now.....
Stephen Kenny
12   Posted 22/03/2011 at 15:33:59

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While Johnson was in charge we almost fell out of the big league on the pitch.

With Bill in charge we have fallen out of the big league off the pitch.

If either had their way we would be playing in stadia outside the city. This IMO would have killed us, slowly but surely.

For this reason they are both as bad as each other. At least Johnson never tried to tell us he's one of us though!
Stephen Kenny
13   Posted 22/03/2011 at 15:33:59

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While Johnson was in charge we almost fell out of the big league on the pitch.

With Bill in charge we have fallen out of the big league off the pitch.

If either had their way we would be playing in stadia outside the city. This IMO would have killed us, slowly but surely.

For this reason they are both as bad as each other. At least Johnson never tried to tell us he's one of us though!
Dennis Stevens
14   Posted 22/03/2011 at 15:34:11

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It seems a somewhat moot point, trying to decide which of the two is the worst. Johnson had to go &, in due course, did. Kenwright & Co also need to go, & the sooner the better! What's the point in trying to determine which catalogue of failure is the worst?

Perhaps the disappointment in Kenwright's ability to make a success of his stewardship of the club is all the greater due to our hopes being higher, based on his lifelong allegiance to the club.

Tony J Williams
15   Posted 22/03/2011 at 15:30:02

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Kenwright has been effing things up for longer; however Johnson would have seen us relegated/bankrupt by now.

Not suggesting Kenwright is not an incompetent by a long way but Johnson was worse.
Brian Waring
16   Posted 22/03/2011 at 16:36:20

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They're both fuck-ups, the difference is that, when Johnson was a fuck-up, BK was a part of his fuck-up, if you get my drift.
Chris Williams
17   Posted 22/03/2011 at 16:27:36

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The issue that mostly seems to come up against Peter Johnson (apart from the fact that he was a Kopite) is that he sold Duncan Ferguson without Walter's knowledge.

I have to say that Peter Johnson told me, several years later, that Walter Smith knew all about it and indeed had the same agent as Duncan Ferguson, as well.

The only person who has gone on record is of course Walter Smith, so of course we all believe him..

The way it was put to me was with great conviction.

I only mention this to perhaps put a different slant on it. I have no vested interest one way or the other.

As regards giving money to buy players and then effectively taking it all back the following season - selling Dacourt, Materazzi et al for decent profit. This was down to the poor performance of Park Foods and its share price, necessitating more involvement and financial input in that business by Johnson than he had anticipated, including sacking two boards of directors and going back as a full time Chairman eventually.

Again I mention this not as an excuse for him, but perhaps to give a bit of balance. If things had gone better for Park Foods, we may not be having this debate today.
Tommy Coleman
18   Posted 22/03/2011 at 16:01:51

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I've devised a point scoring system to measure the uselessness of both Chairmen.

Trophies, nothing: 0pts
Sold Rooney for half value: -20pts
NTL lies: -10pts
Fortress fund lies: -10pts
Kings Dock fuckup: -30pts
DK fu: -10pts( blessing in disguise )
Debt management: - 25pts
24/7 lies: -5pts
Supporters treatment: -10pts
Champs league: +5pts

Kenwright total = -115pts
5* Uselessness.

Trophies, won Fa Cup: +50pts
Sold Fergy: -20pts
Debt managment: -15pts
Supprters treatment: -5pts
Liverpool fan: -124pts

Johnson total: -114
4* Uselessness

It's Kenwright by a nose: Official.
Jeff Bee
19   Posted 22/03/2011 at 16:51:19

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The question is what should / must Kenwright do to develop a future for the club and is he capable?
Neil Humphreys
20   Posted 22/03/2011 at 17:55:21

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Jeff, Sell and No..... Hope this helps!
Ste Traverse
21   Posted 22/03/2011 at 18:01:03

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Peter Norrey.

Gazza and Ginola were acquired under BK long after Johnson left the club.

It seems it's you who doesn't know your 'history', Mr Norrey.
Alan Williams
22   Posted 22/03/2011 at 17:49:32

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Can't you all see the problem we have as EFC??? BK was the only option available with money on the table to buy shares at an alleged £20 million all in; today again we still have nobody interested in buying EFC!! BK has made mistakes, as did PJ, but the reason why PJ got exposed was down to the fact he wouldn?t cross-guarantee EFC debt.

EFC as a business is a crap buy, crap stadium, poor revenue returns at all levels. This can?t be changed overnight, if at all, and BK can?t cross guarantee debt because he doesn?t have the wealth to do so ? that?s why KD failed, we have no money and haven?t had money since Moore?s died!!

IF BK hadn?t re-mortgaged us several times over we would be in the Championship, all this extra debt has been spent on the playing side of EFC, 85% of revenue earned goes to that side of the business, that?s why we have no money left!!

Yes, BK has been weak and soft ? that?s because he is a fan which isn?t the best option sometimes when business decisions need to be made. I was shocked to see season tickets stay at the same price and absorb the VAT increase, absolutely madness decision. Plus they increased the child discount across all areas of the stadium ? again a stupid decision. ST should have been increased and the Child reduction should have been restricted to certain areas or increased dramatically.

EFC now sells premium seats in the main stand to children when they could get maximum price on the walk up market, absolute stupid business decision... but as a fan it makes sense ? there in lies the problem with EFC. Getting rid of BK is a waste of time unless you have somebody with very deep pockets to replace him, if you don?t have such a person then the whole debate/protest is a complete waste of time and pointless, please lets have some common sense on this matter, not just stupid posts.

Another thing, BK doesn?t own EFC he is just the major shareholder at 28% so 72% is owned by other people ? why not include them in this debate? COYB

Adam Bennett
23   Posted 22/03/2011 at 18:36:58

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Jeff (19), I don?t believe it is a pointless debate.

I feel we need to know where people stand on this debate to answer the question of why there hasn?t been the protests that keep getting suggested, and why Kenwright hasn?t suffered the same amount of abuse from the fans and media that Johnson suffered?

Is it because those who ran Johnson out of town have saw what has happened since and are thinking, ?we only made matters worse last time, let?s just sit tight?.

Or is the reason because many Evertonains believe that Kenwright has been an improvement and think things could have been a whole lot worse, so are quite happy (maybe happy is the wrong word, content maybe) of how the club is at the minute?
Ian Kearney
24   Posted 22/03/2011 at 19:13:17

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Chris, no-one in the game has ever suggested Walter Smith is anything other than a complete gentleman and a man of integrity.

If it's Walter's word against Johnson's, I'd take Walter's everyday of the week.

Colin Harvey is also on record about the dealings in his autobiography, he of course backs up Walter's version.
Phil Martin
25   Posted 22/03/2011 at 19:19:12

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Post #6 answers the question perfectly.

Post # demonstrates why the situation is allowed to continue.
Phil Martin
26   Posted 22/03/2011 at 19:22:58

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...That should read post #19 demonstrates why the situation is allowed to continue.
Dan Brierley
27   Posted 22/03/2011 at 18:57:18

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I think Toffeeweb itself sums up Johnson perfectly here:

But it doesn't point out the unforgivable fact that Johnson put Tranmere up for sale on e-bay!!

Under Kenwright, the only plus (which is significant) is that we are no longer annual relegation candidates. The perception is now that we are annual european place contenders.

In terms of the off the field financial performance, I get frustrated with the posts about 'record debt', 'no assets' blah blah blah. What is always failed to mention is that our situation is symptomatic of being in the Premier League. All the clubs around us run the same standard model (with exception of the sugar daddies), and many have higher debts or wage/turnover ratios than us.

Kenwright is certainly not a saviour by any means. He has been the stop gap that has kept us in the Premier League, and stablised us to a degree.

Is he really as bad as he is made out on this site? I certainly don't think so. If you measure Kenwright against the following: Hicks, Gillet, Magnusson, Walker, Ashley, Lerner, Ridsdale, Shinawatra, Mandaric, Bates, Gaydamak, Gold, Sullivan.....he is a saint.
David O'Keefe
28   Posted 22/03/2011 at 19:52:01

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Dan: Nice deployment of the "at least he's not.." card. How about judging him on his record?

BTW, have you stated that BK is better than Jack Walker?
Brian Waring
29   Posted 22/03/2011 at 20:01:48

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"At least he's not... " card, beat me to it there, David.
David O'Keefe
30   Posted 22/03/2011 at 20:09:21

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I wonder if Dan has a shrine to St Wiliam of the Boys Pen at his home?
Dan Brierley
31   Posted 22/03/2011 at 20:20:30

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Jack Walker wasn't a particularly good chairman overall in my eyes. To take a club from Champions to relegation in 4 years doesn't exactly strike me as good stewardship. Blackburn failed miserably to capitalise on their success, and slipped from grace without a whimper. It goes to show just chucking money at the squad without building up the club's infrastructure is not a good business model for sustainability. Would I be happy if Kenwright threw it all in the pot for a season of glory, followed by relegation a few seasons later? Certainly not.

My view on Kenwright was as I said above. Under his stewardship he has given us stability by taking us away from being relegation perennial candidates, to being considered as European football challengers. Many chairman would have sacked Moyes a few times over during his tenure. I think this consistency has been a benefit to our club.
Phil Martin
32   Posted 22/03/2011 at 20:32:29

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St. Bill has anounced he is planning to sell the club on ebay. It was stated this groundbreaking method of selling would more easily attract a billionnaire investor.
It is rumoured Bill will launch a 5 day auction with the club at a buy it now price of £250M.
When asked where this idea came from Bill was quoted "I'm a fucking genius, now watch this space".

Sir Bill Kenwright later confirmed he had already had several interested parties (from Nigeria) already offering £400M providing he stopped the auction now.

BK mouthpiece Elstone has also commented on the prospective buyers saying "The funds are as good as ringfenced providing these guys are using paypal."
David Israel
33   Posted 22/03/2011 at 20:46:27

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Andrew # 6 has said it all. The forbearance shown towards BK as opposed to Agent Johnson is essentially due to our perceived allegiances of both men.

Agent Johnson may have sold Duncan Ferguson without telling Walter Smith, but he did make money available for some more than adequate signings (John Collins, Olivier Dacourt, Don Hutchinson).

PJ was crap, but that doesn't exonerate BK. Ever since the Moores took a back seat, this club has been going downhill.
David O'Keefe
34   Posted 22/03/2011 at 20:50:42

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Dan, you're not making sense ? he put money into the stadium and he got a return on his monies with a league win. They punched above their weight, had a moment in the sun but without Walker they would still be in a decaying stadium in the lower leagues.

I find it strange that you think a man that invested his entire fortune into the club he loved is a lousy chairman, but Bill not a penny invested in his club (beyond buying his shares) is better? It beggars belief.
John Crawley
35   Posted 22/03/2011 at 20:58:11

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For me its BK for the following reasons:-

1) Johnson actually put some of his own money into the club by underwriting a share issue

2) When Johnson sold the club he sold it for a low price and didn't hang on to it.
Keith Young
36   Posted 22/03/2011 at 20:12:03

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One good thing Johnson did was to have a "Rights Issue" bringing new money into the Club.Kr wright has never done that,thereby damaging the very fabric of the Club.

Imagine if he had had Rights or even Share issues over these last 10 years how much better the Stadium could be as well as retaining assets now gone.

It's still not too late for him to allow others to invest in the Club and to have the proper fiduciary duty to all shareholders. If you recollect when he acquired shares he requested about 30% of the shareholders NOT to sell to him. With his increased wealth provided he and other directors put in their pro rata payment they will not be diluted.

David Booth
37   Posted 22/03/2011 at 20:50:36

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Dan Brierley: a lot of common sense and realism there.

A lack of perspective evident elsewhere.

Debating the relative merits of Johnson v Kenwright is the sort of trash that idiots like Adrian Durham and ex-moron-in-chief Mike Parry, used to indulge in to raise cash on TalkSport phone-ins.

Bill Kenwright would very likely be the first to hold up his hands and admit his failings ? but apart from Abramovic, where are the better alternatives?

PS: Johnson certainly isn't one.
David O'Keefe
38   Posted 22/03/2011 at 21:04:24

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"Bill Kenwright would very likely be the first to hold up his hands and admit his failings."

And this based on what exactly Mr Booth?
Eugene Ruane
39   Posted 22/03/2011 at 21:36:03

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Obviously both hopeless, self-serving, egotistical shitbags, but for me, Kenwright's great big dinner-plate sized, massive, fucking annoying, smirking, punchable moon-face makes him the bigger cunt.

Close though!
Andrew James
40   Posted 22/03/2011 at 21:39:38

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This is like which player's return to Everton was more disappointing: Francis Jeffers or Tommy Gravesen?

For the record, I think Johnson wins because he was a businessman who didn't care about the club. Kenwright is an incompetent businessman who cares about the club but has let his ego rule his head.
Ken Buckley
41   Posted 22/03/2011 at 21:46:50

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I call this one a draw. My perception is that both men coveted the chance to be Chairman and owner of a massive and prestigous football club that would bring them fame and fortune but both underestimated the wealth required to achieve their goals. Both with good intentions but paupers compared with the men they wished to rub shoulders with then and now.
Kevin Sparke
42   Posted 22/03/2011 at 21:31:17

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It's all about money. Kenwright has proved to be slippery, evasive, economical with the truth. His plans for DK probably would have set us up as a good Championship side as we were downsizing to oblivion in an out of town stadium the size of Leicester City's ground or Southampton's.

But if Blue Bill sold Blood Brothers for 500 Billion it's my guess we'd be in for the same players as Man City are now... and you'd all have pictures of him on your walls.

He's skint, he's the only one who's shown an interest in us - we're as attractive in the football world as Vindaloo is to a septic piles sufferer.

Fact One: We have a stadium falling to bits

Fact Two: We have showbiz neighbours - Liverpool are more than a football club - they're a fucking national institution

Fact Three: We have a finite supporter base unlikely to grow.

Nobody wants us - do you honestly think that Kenwright wouldn't have snapped the hands off the first Russian Oil Billionaire or Texas Sports consortium if he'd had an offer - if you think that he wouldn't have, you're suffering delusions on a par with the bloke who used to drink in The Swan who told me he was Elvis' roadie and you're guilty of outstanding levels of doublethink.

Doublethink - George Orwell - the ability to hold two contrary opinions at the same time whilst believing both to be true.

Opinion One - Kenwright wont sell Everton because it's his cash cow

Opinion Two - Kenwright won't sell Everton because he'd rather lose money than lose control

They can't both be true...

As for Johnson - Anyone remember the remarkable Steve Simoneson transfer?


Goalkeeper - extraordinary deal 3 million. Tranmere Rovers to Everton. Did fuck all in the game...

Who owned Tranmere?

Who owned Everton?

Mike Green
43   Posted 22/03/2011 at 21:51:56

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Gareth Humphreys (9) - "fuckery".

Classic! :D

Thank you for adding a new word to my limited vocabulary. Brilliant!
Gavin Ramejkis
44   Posted 22/03/2011 at 21:49:03

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Dan #31, BK did fuck all to stabilise the club, DM did and he did it all with the same Sky money that would have been available if a clockwork toy would have been in charge, this BK stabilised things is utter horse shit. He's been Chairman in name only and even that's questionable given the off field cloak and dagger work of his puppetmaster Green. BK has put fuck all into the club, he even borrowed the money to buy the shares he bought from PJ. Am fed up to the back teeth of the St Bill lines, they don't wash, he's a chancer who has been out of his depth for 11 years as chairman and a yes man on PJ's board before that.
Andrew Yates
45   Posted 22/03/2011 at 21:53:09

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I remember the Johnson era as a teenager and I always had the feeling of depression, resentment, bewilderment... whatever you want to call it. We had some good moments (FA Cup), but overall the stink of shit around the club was undeniable, Big Dunc sold off was one of the worst moments in my footballing life.

Johnson was like a dark cloud booming over the ground, the constant threat of relegation was awful although looking back it made things interesting. (We survived didn't we?)

Nowadays, the money in the game has destroyed everything for me, we as a club appear to be set adrift from most, how are these other clubs surviving? Stoke seem to be doing ok, but it's fucking Stoke... who the hell are they? But they can outbid us!

Kenwright appeared to be the saviour in my eyes, but that was because he removed/took the place of the big dark booming cloud. We do not seem able to function financially as a club anymore and I think change has to made, but how?

As many people on here have said, we are not an attractive proposition, history aside. Kenwright doesn't appear to have done anything positive in terms of taking the club forward for ages and he won't because he can't and he can't because he hasn't got the money and because the Premier League has been blown apart and had it's soul removed by the very thing we

And I'm only 28 years old. Graham Stuart was my fave player as a kid.
Steve Smith
46   Posted 22/03/2011 at 22:33:12

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What Kevin Sparke 42 said.
David O'Keefe
47   Posted 22/03/2011 at 22:47:55

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Well, Kevin, the only response to all that is this:

Is the club for sale?

And using Orwell to prop up a straw man argument would have the great man spinning in his grave.
Thomas Williams
48   Posted 22/03/2011 at 22:46:42

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I noticed the worst thing thrown at PJ is selling Duncan, the reasson was EFC owed the taxman 7m which had to be paid the following Thursday or we were being wound up as a company.

PJ didn't want to sell Big Dunc, but that was our main asset, Joe Royle was fired for attempting to sell Duncan and Kanchelskis to buy Tore Andre Flo plus another player, the ensuing argument led to fisticuffs, to which Royle got sacked.

Like I said in earlier post PJ got cut a short leash due to being a red, fair enough, funny that Alan Ball said the same thing about Kenwright in his book.

David Israel
49   Posted 23/03/2011 at 00:19:34

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Essentially, BK has been there longer, and so he has been able to inflict greater damage.

People may argue that we are not any longer in annual relegation struggles (although not long ago, in these here pages, not a few of us were actually saying we were fighting relegation) but that is due to the single good decision BK ever took: the hiring of David Moyes (before some people get upset, I don't consider him a genius;-)).
James Hollister
50   Posted 23/03/2011 at 04:41:21

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Jim Harrison - we might have been sold to someone with ambition, someone with actual money...

Instead we are dying of rot...we will end up being forced to sell our higher priced players...and as suggested bringing in mediocre shit make a bigger squad.

You praise a man who has put nothing into the club, a man who confessed he has no idea what he is doing....and a compulsive liar. So yes, in my opinion this fat twerp is a 100 times worse than Johnson..

The debt at the club as gotten worse because of Kenwright not inspite of him..he practically mortgaged off all of our sale able assets, with the only thing remaining being the players.

What do you think will happen next?
I will tell you.

The biggest players we have will be sold off to pay the continuing spiraling debts, with very little left to buy anyone beyond championship standard...before long we end up in a situation where even Smith's teams would have looked a lot better.

It's a matter of time before end up either in the championship or out of business..thanks to kenwright and his lacky's.

When over 3 transfer windows you can't bring in 1 single loan player for the first know your in deep shit..wait for the summer when players leave, then the manager follows them..I wonder if you will be singing fat billy's praise then!
James Hollister
51   Posted 23/03/2011 at 04:53:22

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"Joe Royle was fired for attempting to sell Duncan and Kanchelskis to buy Tore Andre Flo plus another player, the ensuing argument led to fisticuffs, to which Royle got sacked."

There is this misconception that Royle was fired... when in fact they parted in mutual consent.

What Royle wanted to do was to buy Nigel Martyn and Flo; Johnson would not give him the funds to buy the players, despite having the money to do so. This lead to a bunch of arguments that during 1997 almost saw us relegated until the team managed to turn do a u-turn and save itself.

Do you wanna know the irony of it though?

What Joe Royle just after arriving 6 months later walked away with a trophy, with a bunch of very average/poor journeymen... something Moyes has not been able to achieve in 9 years of being here.
Alan Williams
52   Posted 23/03/2011 at 08:10:23

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James (50) name one interested party that has made an official statement of intent about buying EFC since PJ left... yes you're correct NONE!!!

BK has been a stable figurehead over the years and has made mistakes of which he agrees (I have asked him). His major fault is he has no cash, if he did he is stupid enough to blow the lot on EFC.

If I had the money I wouldn't bother as it's a lose-lose situation as most people just don't get that we don't have the infrastructure or fan base any longer and that hurts but it is the truth. COYB

Jay Harris
53   Posted 23/03/2011 at 12:17:32

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Johnson gave us the Park end stand, an FA cup but an erratic management style. I believe he had vision which included stadium and player development.

He engineered big Joe's departure because the fans were complaining about his dour "dogs of war" style of football (ring any bells!!) by refusing to sanction 1 million spend on Tore Andre Flo.

And Johnson did the honorable thing and sold up cheaply and quickly something Kenwright would never do.

Kenwright inherited a net asset position which he very quicklt turned into a net liability position culminating in asset and player sales (Rooney etc) and has consistently and systematically lied and treated the fans with contempt.

As you can gather it's Kenwright by unanymous decision 11 rounds to1
Ste Traverse
54   Posted 23/03/2011 at 17:37:54

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It's not even close for me, this Kenwright is miles worse than Johnson ever was.

Johnson started to really lose the plot in the months after Royle left when he was making promises he didn't keep (sound familiar) and nearly everyone wanted him out.

Unlike Kenwright, least PJ invested some of his own money into the club and never gave us embarassing over-emotional speeches going about loving the club in a pathetic attempt to get fans onside.

Had Kenwright been a red before buying EFC like Johnson was,he,like Johnson was,would have been chased out of Goodison long ago by angry fans.
Brian Donnelly
55   Posted 23/03/2011 at 18:59:59

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Kenwright v Johnson ? by a landslide there?s only one winner there.

When Johnson left I was ecstatic, but how was I to know that BK would turn out to be a lying, incompetent and disastrous chairman. Looking back is it any surprise that Trevor Birch left after a couple of months of reporting to this clown?

Look at KD ? do you think that it would have fallen through if Johnson were still in charge? That was a move that would have ensured that EFC would have had a new ground in a prime location for a measly £30m.

What did we nearly get instead - DK the opposite in every sense (even literally). To make matters worse we must have wasted £3-£4 million in trying achieve this nightmare. The driving force behind all this was no other than our ?glorious? present day chairman.

But he?s an Evertonian I hear, so it?s alright then!
Joe McMahon
56   Posted 23/03/2011 at 19:11:37

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I suppose at least Johnson built a new stand, Kenwright has given the many wooden seats a new lick of paint. It's fair to say under Bill (Boys Pen) Kenwright we have stood still at best, if not gone backwards. The Stoke City, Sunderland and Bolton model magnifies this.
Matt Compton
57   Posted 23/03/2011 at 20:40:39

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Hasn't Keith Harris stated the club is on sale for over £100m? I'm sure I've read that somewhere. Or maybe that was it should 'realise' over £100m.

That alone tells you everything about Kenwright. The only assets are on the pitch and the worrying thing is I can see the main couple going in the summer.

I don't understand why the board haven't approved a rights issue, but then again, that'd dilute shares. It's stubborn, controlling and I can't help but think it's the puppetmaster Earl at large.
David Booth
58   Posted 23/03/2011 at 21:58:12

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Wahey: let's re-instate Johnson as chairman, bring back Walter as manager.

But don't stop there: kick Jagielka out and put Abel Xavier in his place and while you're at it, let's ditch Fellaini and Saha and replace them smartish with Mark Pembridge and Bakayoko.

Those were the days eh?

Anyone who needs any further reminders about how far we have come since Johnson was in charge clearly doesn't know their 'istory!

It's enough to make your heart go oh-no-no-no...

Bill Kenwright may not be some people's choice at the people's club right now and it is abundantly clear that we have to stop any further stagnation - but some of the misty-eyed recollections above must be about another Peter Johnson.

It's certainly not the one I remember, who presided over THE worst team I can remember in 45 years as an Evertonian.
Thomas Williams
59   Posted 24/03/2011 at 00:53:21

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David Booth "It's certainly not the one I remember, who presided over THE worst team I can remember in 45 years as an Evertonian."

From that statement, I would suggest politely, that the 45 years watching us, has to put it mildly addled your brain, I can think of many from having a season ticket from 1969-2002 when I emigrated, far worse than them, the first few years of the current chairmen, springs to mind, although everyone blamed Walter, except 9 years later we have people blaming Moyes, neither were/are bad managers, both work/worked under ridiculous restrictions.

Funny how that worse team ended up with a trophy, funny game someone said.......

Ste Traverse
60   Posted 24/03/2011 at 06:09:56

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Also, that 'worst team' under Johnson finished 6th the year after winning the FA Cup, narrowly missing out on a European place, and played some great football with the likes of the world class Kanchelskis running amok.
David Price
61   Posted 24/03/2011 at 08:50:49

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I remember getting battered 4-0 by an Arsenal team. Their bench oozed quality, Bergkamp rested etc as they were only playing Everton. I can recall depressingly listening to our team being read out, full of over-aged journey players well past their best. We had no money, we needed 8 players for a decent team, I thought, yet they were all on long contracts and going nowhere.

The transformation since that day, going back 13 years I think, is unbelievable. That was under Johnson's tenure now it's under Kenwright.

For sticking with his Manager and not behaving like a Peter Swales at Man City, who also supported his club but swapped his managers relentlessly and led the side to relegation, then Kenwright is streets ahead of Johnson.

Gavin Ramejkis
62   Posted 24/03/2011 at 10:50:01

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David, you've got Swales nailed on but fail to accept that Kenshite is the Evertonian equivalent; hanging on for dear life way beyond his sell-by date.
David Booth
63   Posted 24/03/2011 at 13:14:10

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Like I said: bring him back then and let a new Johnson era begin...

Did you who are defending him now do so at the time, though, I wonder?

Or is it all just another stick to beat Kenwright with and have a good old moan (again and again and again)?

Indeed, do some of you ever do anything else?
Gavin Ramejkis
64   Posted 24/03/2011 at 13:49:11

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David #63 ? a simple Yes or No: do you genuinely believe BK doesn't deserve the flak he is getting?
David Booth
65   Posted 24/03/2011 at 14:03:56

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Gavin: I think a lot of it is unfair and gratuitous on here, but as I said earlier, we are stagnating - and the buck stops with him.

I really like him as a committed, passionate Evertonian, which like you, me and many others, he obviously is.

Of course he gets things wrong, as we all do, but some of the 'flak' he gets on here is from people who - in my genuinely humble opinion - fail to see the bigger picture.

Football stinks right now and unless a club is bankrolled by the likes of Abramovic or Sheik Mancity, everyone's in trouble.

I'm a bit of a fence-sitter therefore I'm afraid: we're a big club, in some danger of being marginalised and left behind - but I don't want us owned by some faceless charlatan with suspicious (aka: non-existent) foreign funding and full of empty promises.

Premiership life as we know it cannot prevail. The league's awash with money - but no-one has any.

Come the revolutuion, I want our club to be one of the few survivors capable of boasting they've stuck to their principles and not sold out.

So if that means biting my tongue and living more in hope than expectation under Bill Kenwright, then I'll take it.

Thankfully, we have a dedicated, hard-working, honest, talented young manager in charge of the team and if he continues to learn and eventually gets some decent financial backing, I still view the future with confidence.
James Hollister
66   Posted 24/03/2011 at 14:18:01

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Alan Williams ? You're asking a very strange question. You asked me who was interested in buying the club officially?

Well unless you haven't read the press, where I presume you want it official, I believe it was one of the big papers last year was it not?

Then it appeared in the Echo... then the BK announced he had turned down 3 more interested parties, particularly one with deep pockets.

When you understand he actually doesn't want to sell, and only wants investment, then I presume you'll understand it doesn't matter whether the club is officially for sale or not, and hence whether there were any interested parties.

It's a question you need to ask BK and his lackies as it's they who should know.

Anyway, regardless of how it is, wasn't Earl an interested party during the DK debacle?
James Hollister
67   Posted 24/03/2011 at 14:27:17

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David Booth ? You got it lad. The point needs to be driven home though.

Under that shite squad we won something, under that dreadful chairman we had slow progress, but nonetheless, there was some movement.

Under this regime we turned our assets into debts, we now own nothing.

We sold Rooney for way less than he should have gone for.

You make it crystal clear about those old days with Pembo etc... but at least they and the manager actually had the balls to win something, even if they did almost get relegated the following year.

In 1995 it was a far more technical game, in fact it was a whole lot harder than it has ever been in the last 10 years.

Look back and ask yourself this question: With this present squad, back in the mid-90s can you honestly hand on heart say this squad would ever have ended up anywhere near where can get these days in the league? I know we couldn't.

For the past 5 or 6 years, the Premier League has become more and more competitive. At the top of the table and lower down. This year it's been heavily magnified, by the fact a win or two would put us into a European spot... when 6 years ago we'd be lucky to be out of the bottom 3... let alone where we are now.

I can't remember the exact year but I am sure it was around 95-96 that West Ham got relegated with 42 points and I am sure they finished bottom too.

So yes, while what we had wasn't the best, the shower we have now wouldn't have survived back then, not a chance.

Misty eyed? Not at all, but I want my team to actually achieve something... regardless of the cash flow... and the highlight is that 9 years on with an (alleged) better team, in a much easier league (than it was in the 90s when it was far more difficult and far more technical) that we are beyond incapable of winning any kind of trophy.

We are more skint now than we've ever been, and the only thing left that we can sell is the players... what do you suppose will happen then?

Regardless, it's going to be brutal in the summer if we don't bring in anyone in and we end up selling... I don't think the fans can take much more of this entire BS and something will give but it won't be the fans ? you can be sure of that.

James Hollister
68   Posted 24/03/2011 at 14:44:47

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* Just want to add not the following year coz we finished 6th under him; it was the year after.
Alan Williams
69   Posted 24/03/2011 at 17:58:52

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James, they never came up with the dosh! One party went through due diligence but failed to deliver a payment plan. If EFC open books for any party under due diligences (DD) then we are up for sale, simple.

BK is not holding us back, it's impossible as he only owns 28% of the company, so it?s a collective bargaining that the board has already agreed, that is the selling policy agreed at board level ? otherwise DD wouldn?t work if they didn?t have the green light to proceed.

This goes against all the anti-BK people as it doesn?t fit their slant so they fail to understand how it works at that level. EFC is for sale but to a bidder that meets the criteria; not one person has ever even got close with money on the table, simple fact I?m afraid.

People can accuse the board of asking for too much money, of course, but that?s why we have hired consultants to aid the sale (Mr Harris) who has valued and sold Premier League clubs before. Unless you have a love of EFC, I can?t see why any businessman would touch us, and that hurts but it?s a reality. COYB

Michael Kenrick
70   Posted 24/03/2011 at 19:29:36

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So, Alan, it's the lack of a payment plan? What does that mean exactly... and how do you know this is the reason? Surely the payment plan comes secondary to both sides agreeing the price? Don't you at least agree a provisional price before DD? Surely they don't get to DD unless they meet the criteria?

I would imagine that, for anyone getting as far down the road as DD, there are a couple of things which could shaft the deal:

They find stuff in DD that causes them to adjust their bid in a way that is no longer acceptable to the EFC Board... and they walk away.

They find enough skeletons to just walk away without even exchanging parting words.

Either scenario fits the letter of what has been described by Kenwright, Harris, and now Dick.

While I don't disagree that owning a football club appears to be a questionable business decision, if Billl Kenwright nets £40M for his 28% share, bought for £8M 11 years ago, that's a pretty damn solid rate of return that few businessmen would sneeze at.

Gavin Ramejkis
71   Posted 24/03/2011 at 19:56:14

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Alan, DD is performed by the buyer not the seller and any problems in what the buyer finds is why sales collapse, usually hidden or undisclosed problems.
Thomas Williams
72   Posted 24/03/2011 at 23:08:15

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"Did you who are defending him now do so at the time, though, I wonder?" ? Yes, I did, as I believed at the time that the Echo ran a false propaganda campaign and turned the fans against him.

It didn't take much with him starting out as a red, I'll admit, but he did an awful lot for us off the field, which was to bear fruit later: academy, ground moves, land acquisitions... BK has sold the land, sold our decent academy players, and never challenged the Stanley Park swindle pulled off by them across the park.

PJ did inquire twice about Stanley Park and was given short shrift, why? because the council wanted it for their darlings, that is why the Echo ran the Johnson hate campaign (as, with PJ in charge, he would not have allowed RS free rein over Stanley Park; Kings Dock was a ruse for us to focus our attention away from Stanley Park) and foolishy our fans fell for it. We all make mistakes, the first thing to do is to hold your hands and accept as fans we were wrong/hasty, then we have a chance of moving on, and consequently sorting out the debacle our current chairman has imposed on us.

James Stewart
73   Posted 24/03/2011 at 23:28:35

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Both have been complete embarrassments and liabilities to our great club.
Elaine Riding
74   Posted 25/03/2011 at 00:13:51

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As an alternative answer to the question, what would you prefer?

Some people keep saying about winning a trophy...
Some people want a cash injection...

Well folks, I give you Birmingham City as an example of what could happen in this day in age. Won a trophy this season at Wembley in a cracking match for the fans. Got a nice rich owner. But I would bet every single one of them would rather be in our position. They could be relegated in a few weeks... and then what?

Bullshit Billy promised no more relegation dog-fights and he has by hook or by crook delivered. I'm no fan of his stewardship by a long way, but we were shite under Smith. Don't forget that. We have got world class players to watch at a creaky Goodison, so enjoy it, because we will all be moaning when new investment does come in and when Goodison goes and we will all be harping on about the good old days of Moyes and the couple of wins over Liverpool at Goodison.

Rodwell will go and it will all kick off again about ambition... well, an England international signed on for us again this week, thanks Jags... and from what Rodwell has shown in the last few games, if I was BK, I would bite United's hands off for £25m ? as long as they took Bily as well!

Guy Wilkinson
75   Posted 25/03/2011 at 00:53:38

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Elaine, surely the whole point, the raison d'etre for a football club is winning trophies. That transcends the dour desire to just survive.

I despise mediocre aspirations.
James Hollister
76   Posted 25/03/2011 at 04:27:30

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Elaine, the problem is, with these world class players, they are playing some world class dross matches this season.

They have no competition, so in their minds it doesn't matter how bad they play..they are like all other players playing for the pay packet each week.

I know there are some fans out there, bizarrely enough, who would be quite happy if we finished every season around 8th, with no worries about relegation, just mid table mediocrity.

That isn't me. You have to go out there and play for the shirt, play with passion and commitment to the cause, to show your world class win at your sport.

I couldn't sit through season after season languishing in mid table mediocrity, I just couldn't.

It's called ambition, it's right to want to win something every season, and by god you have to go out there and play for the cause, not sit back and get slaughtered simply because you can't be bothered.

The point you make about Birmingham, at least they went out and won something,

As for Birmingham going down? There is exactly 3 points separating them from 13th place (Blackburn). I think it's way to early to suggest they will go down, a couple wins and it could be WH that go.

Birminghan despite imploding in the league, should they survive, it would have been a tremendous season for them. They win a trophy AND get a new owner..dont make the mistake of writing of Brum yet.
James Hollister
77   Posted 25/03/2011 at 04:54:35

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Thomas Williams ? You raise a splendid point. Fans were lied to and your absolutely right about it.

I sat on the fence, I saw what went on with the Stanley Park crap, and I knew something was going to happen but like everyone else I didn't know exactly what it would be.

The only thing I was angry with him for at the time, was the parting of ways with Royle, and the way they both conducted club business... it was shocking to say the least. One has to wonder perhaps, whether the real reason for not giving Royle the funds was to prevent us from trying to challenge? After all, we had one of the best players in the world at the time (Kanchelskis, who at most times was just mesmerizing).

While everyone was mulled into the BS as you so rightly state from the Echo and forced him out, I honestly believed at the time, it was a strange decision, after what he had done for us... despite the Royle fiasco.

Would I want him back? Probably not, but not because he was a red or anything pedantic like that, but because he wouldn't have the multi millions and millions to dig us out of the mess Kenwright and Co have dug us into.

Imo it's a matter of time before we can no longer fight the good fight... and that does not sit right with me, and or surely other Evertonians ? only so much can be sold, and once they've gone, the Walter Smith teams will look world beaters. It's a shocking thought, but there you go.
James Hollister
78   Posted 25/03/2011 at 05:04:39

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I forgot to add, let's not forget something quite crucial. Doesn't anyone remember the Granada or NTL buyout deal about the same time BK moved in after securing a club loan to buy the shares to get PJ out?

I distinctly remember Granda at the time were willing to pay $40 million, which was rejected and they raised it to $60 million but by that time the fat controller had taken over and told them to piss off if I remember correctly?

Alan Williams
79   Posted 25/03/2011 at 08:10:21

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Gavin/Michael, of course the buyer can pull out for many reasons that?s between both parties and privy to them alone. My point is that the EFC board has allowed DD to take place so they have collectively agreed in principle to sell the club not just BK but at least 51%.

Whatever profit he makes is down to him and his colleagues agreeing a sale price, I have stated they may be asking too much, that could be a genuine reason but my point is that people say we are not for sale when we are. The for sale sign is up and we have contracted an estate agent to do the deed, in the form of Mr Harris.

My opinion is EFC isn?t worth a punt as the capital needed to re-generate the company is far higher than any benefit or possible return. In normal business terms you would buy EFC for 1 pence and take on the liabilities, but again at this price you still need massive pockets, it's not as easy as everybody thinks. COYB.

Gavin Ramejkis
80   Posted 25/03/2011 at 14:32:48

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Alan, anything is worth a punt but only for what the buyer wants to pay, simple economics. If BK and his cronies have told porkies about the true state of the debt then DD would show that. The asking price didn't make the buyer baulk but the hidden aspects behind it did ? what appeared when they performed DD. It's this indictment which is symbiotic to the asking price; if DD has put a buyer off then the price is clearly wrong.

The club now has 11 players out on loan, the smallest squad in the EPL and nothing whatsoever to offer in terms of assets beyond player contracts so, if the price isn't lowered, they have even less likelihood to achieve interest never mind a sale. The collective bargaining behind the major shareholders is weakening on a daily basis; if I was a canny buyer, I'd wait for the arse to fall out of it and pick up the pieces from the receivers but that's common practice for hardball when you know the seller is in the shit and won't lower their price.

John Shaw
81   Posted 25/03/2011 at 22:47:00

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Alan Williams - If a business is being run properly then before a potential buyer gets the chance to carry out any form of due diligence they must first provide evidence that they have the necessary funds in place to meet the asking price. Only once this is achieved do the selling organisation open it's books to scrutiny.

Prior to this they are essentially agreeing to purchase at the required price subject to DD.

Gavin is spot on when he says that this is where problems are normally found which cause deals to collapse.

In business there are normally a number of possible outcomes to DD:

1) Nothing unearthed and the sale goes through as agreed.

2) DD unearths problems such as higher than expected debts, unrealistic valuations of assets, understated liabilities, understated deferred income amongst others. In these situations there would tend to be further negotiation between the two parties on the initial price with the buyer obviously trying to reduce the price to allow for the findings.

3) Minor issues are uncovered which are relatively immaterial and an amended price is easily agreed to allow the deal to commence.

I suspect that any potential buyer who has actually progressed to DD has then had the shock of their life when carrying out a thorough examination of the 'books', an outcome 2, if you like. A company with no material assets, 14 loans/mortgages, huge levels of debt, an ageing stadium, few commercial income streams due to lack of planning etc etc etc.

It wouldn't surprise me if the current owners have then been unwilling to budge on the asking price and the 'buyers' have walked away while telling them were to stick it.

I'm afraid if that is the case that is down to the pure greed of BK, Earl and the rest, nothing else.

But who knows hey....
Thomas Williams
82   Posted 25/03/2011 at 23:09:36

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Alan Williams (#79), I agree in principle with your argument, but then I look at Man.City. Why were they bought out twice? They don't even own a ground, would Everton have needed to spend anywhere near the £477M that Man City have spent on players to challenge for the league?

Everton would need an investment of £15M net over the next 3 years to put us into the top 4 and challenge the top, surely someone on the board is capable of putting that amount of money in?

That should have been done in 2004 when 4th was achieved, but no, anytime we have had a chance to challenge, this board has closed the checkbook.

Elaine Riding
83   Posted 26/03/2011 at 20:56:11

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I feel that other teams misfortunes may come into play more in the next few seasons and make us look like smart operators...

Just imagine that, if Man Utd had the season that Liverpool have had this season next year, and missed out on the Champions League? They would be right up shit street with a horrendous debt, Rooney demanding Champions League football etc.

I backed us to finish above Liverpool by the way this year and they still will do us. Bitter... I am!!! Give the kids a run... nothing to lose this season.

James Hollister
84   Posted 27/03/2011 at 07:00:58

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Elaine, I am not sure that would happen. We've been saying the same thing for years and years, almost since Sky reinvented football, that the Premier League can't last and clubs would fall flat on their arses.

The thing is though, these teams are capable of adapting and changing the way they do business.

When there is Champions League football and huge pay checks from the FA and TV revenue, it just keeps on fueling itself.

This in effect makes it nigh on impossible for us to compete at the right end of the table. I am not saying impossible, but it's certainly heading in the direction of impossible, as two more teams join the Sky 4.

The Premier League is composed of what I would call two leagues in one: you have the top end and then you have 7th downwards.

While it's far more competitive in the second tier of the league, it's almost unheard of for a team from this tier to end up in the top tier. It's a sad reality that those at the top, are going to remain there for years to come unless they suddenly nose-dive through lack of cash, and with an all unlimited pot of cash to play with at the top end, I just can't see it happening.

There are 3 scenarios that could make us competitive:

1) Somehow get into the Champions League, and make it into the 3rd Round where the real money is. I don't think it would matter that much if we failed to progress onwards in the competition, as long as each season we kept making it into this competition and the 3rd round, we'd be able to gradually buy quality players, and as we do, would be able to compete with the best eventually.

2) There is a breakaway European 'super league' for the top tier. This would allow the league to become truly competitive from top to bottom, and we'd be on equal footing... allowing us to win the league and play Champions League football, or whatever its called by then.

3) We are bought out, which I really can't see happening any time soon, certainly not say within the next 5/10 years ? not with this current board. Even if we where bought out, it doesn't necessarily mean we could compete with those above us, coz we don't know if the buyer would have enough money to buy a new squad for starters or to keep funding squad improvements.

One thing it is though, is a nightmare situation we are in and it's not going to change any time soon.

For now, we need silverware, we need Champions League football. Europa really won't do for a club this strapped for funds.

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