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Questions, Questions, Questions

Comments (68)

I, for one, would love to know just what happened regarding Kings Dock, as I get reminded every time I pass the Echo Arena. There must be somebody on this website that has the definitive explanation of why this club missed the opportunity of the century (the real one, not DK).

We find ourselves in the position now of investing nothing in the stadium for at least 5 years, selling off the car park area which basically stops any ground expansion, no investors in sight, no Plan B, C, D or any letter of the alphabet.

Where is the money that we were to use for the Tescodome? Why have we not completed the sale of Bellefield? Why are we paying players obscene wages that the club cannot afford, as the club has no business plan to recoup these funds?

Why was the CD Everton game not promoted more? Carragher's testimonial was treated like a World Cup game by local press and TV? Why do we never get the sponsorship deals that other comparable clubs get, why did Trevor Birch resign after a few weeks?

I spent 30 mins on the phone yesterday with my brother going through these questions and a hundred more ? that's not what I pay for when I get my season tickets, as I have done for decades... now the situation is bordering on the ridiculous, we seem to be run by people who have no idea how to promote this most historic of football clubs.
Larry Boner, Liverpool     Posted 07/09/2010 at

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Michael Kenrick
1   Posted 07/09/2010 at 16:31:06

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Good post,. Larry. I was thinking there wasn't much to talk about until the next game ? which is a pretty big one ? but your list of questions is a good reminder of the many mysteries surrounding Everton... most of which we can never hope to get the definitive answer to.

As for Kings Dock, I thought it went something like this: Bill Kenwright had the money (£28M or thereabouts) famously "ring-fenced" ? which we all though meant "set aside... ready to be paid". Off course, as we all know now, that was a lie.

When push came to shove, Everton could not come up with the money for the project. Paul Gregg, whose involvement with Everton was apparently entirely focussed on KD, offered to finance the project with a novel "reverse-mortgage" which would have, so it is claimed, allowed the project to proceed.

But the reverse mortgage was publicly ridiculed in the local press (Why?), Gregg was made to look like a pariah, even some scurrilous rumours about his private life were brought out, and he was generally lampooned by the great unwashed among the Evertonian fanbase.

Long story short, that was the end of KD... and ultimately the end of Gregg.
Brian Waring
2   Posted 07/09/2010 at 16:50:50

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We'll probalby find out what happened when Alan Kirwin joins in. Either that, or he'll say " Not another boring anti - BK post, why don't we all get a life " etc, etc.
Michael Kenrick
3   Posted 07/09/2010 at 16:52:56

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Talking of Paul Gregg, I saw this recently on another website...
Gregg had been frozen out by the other members of the Everton board since he tried to force Bill Kenwright out of the club. Gregg had offered to cover Everton?s £40M debts while re-financing was arranged ? which was presumed by some to mean until Lord Grantchester bought the club ? but with the proviso that Bill Kenwright at John Woods resigned. The pair declined his invitation, and instead the Fortress Sports Fund was invented. Gregg, claiming his only interest was to see Everton?s financial position improved, shrunk away while Kenwright and the Fortress Sports Fund led us all a merry dance.

After that, Gregg was no longer invited to board meetings, and despite owning 23% of the shares in Everton Football Club, wasn?t even consulted when Everton appointed Keith Wyness as CEO.

Of course, Paul Gregg wasn?t a saint. He had bought into Everton ? or True Blue Holdings ? as a favour to his one-time friend Bill Kenwright. But he knew he would get something out of it, or rather, he thought he would. The King?s Dock Stadium was high on the agenda for a long time during Gregg?s involvement in Everton Football Club, and being the entertainments millionaire that he still is today, Gregg wanted to play a major part in what would have been the biggest entertainment complex in the North West of England. He positioned himself at the top of the company who were leading the development ? Everton Football Club. It was only after the King?s Dock ?fiasco? that Gregg started to make noises about wanting to improve Everton?s financial position, presumably reaslising he wouldn?t be able to sell his shares otherwise.

A lot more there certainly than I recall being revealed at the time. That makes it sounmd like a second offer from Gregg, presumably after the Kings Dock 'fiasco"... I'd need to do more research ? and probably revisit our own pages memorializing bits of the story as they unfolded...
Chris Keightley
4   Posted 07/09/2010 at 16:50:50

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Larry, I understand your frustrations entirely. I have supported Everton for 20+ years, and have never understood or had explained, any of the big decisions that have defined our great club ? why we keep buying the wrong players at the wrong time, we needed a striker a good striker this summer, and last season to be fair, but we buy the likes of Bily for £13 mill ?that would have bought us the lad Sunderland bought.

I love the club, my wife will say more than her, but I just feel deflated by many of our big decisions ? stadium player recruitment, attempted investments, even shirt designs... I don't want to lose heart but I find myself watching out for the results of my home town team (I was born in Rochdale), and may jack the Everton season ticket for a Rochdale season ticket next year.
James Cadwaladr
5   Posted 07/09/2010 at 17:25:59

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Chirs @ 4

I do some work with Rochdale. Good club, improving product both on and off the pitch. I may sound like a pariah now, but in no way am I telling you to stop going to Goodison. Far from it. But if you do, Rochdale is a great little club with great facilities for its level with further improvements still to come.
Chris Wright
6   Posted 07/09/2010 at 17:28:24

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Chris and Larry, I thoroughly agree. Last season I didn't bother with a season ticket for the first time in years, everyone thought I was mad and that we were on the verge of 'big things' ? whatever they are. I said I just didn't want it anymore.

It was not one thing, just a lot of small things that had pissed me off and just made me think 'is it worth it?' So I stopped going and haven't really missed it... in fact the 4 or 5 games I have been to since, I've really enjoyed as it felt like an event rather than the chore it had become.

I read with interest the optimism on here at the start of the season, with some even saying we may be on the verge of a title challenge. Sadly I didn't share their optimism and we are exactly where I expected us to be.

On the KD front, someone I know from Gregg's side thoroughly puts the blame on BK. He lied through his teeth then tried to blame everything on Gregg as he feared Gregg would try to take control of EFC. Is this true? I have no idea but it is a story I have heard.

Alan Williams
7   Posted 07/09/2010 at 17:51:56

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KD breaks the heart of us all especially when you stay in the hotels opposite as I do on a regular basis. The simple fact is EFC couldn?t raise the £30 million deposit or instalment to gain the stadium. EFC did put up a loose guarantee publically I recall they announced this days after the deadline but if I recall LCC confirmed that the loose guarantee wasn?t sufficient to enter in to a business deal and quickly changed the whole site to a smaller project which meant EFC was frozen out.

EFC certainly made mistakes and, blessed with hindsight and the new Sky deal just around the corner, we would have made been there today. This will eventually come out and sadly it will confirm that basically EFC was and still is skint and we couldn?t afford it.

Questions that need asking: 1) why was the loose guarantee not sufficient? 2) Why did LCC pull out without any short-term extension to the deadline? 3) Did Gregg backed by SFX management want too much control for the alleged reverse mortgage that left EFC & LCC not coming to the party? 4) Why didn?t the Granchester?s underwrite the deal when they have a family wealth of over £500 million? And finally, 5) yes did BK play off both sides and eventually lose them both when he showed his cards???

A lot to answer from all sides and BK didn?t have the money or power to go it alone so he needed some form of partnership. I asked him about 3 years ago and he never went in to detail but he slanted towards additional money after the £30 million and loyalties for the site in years to come that people wanted but I have no information or fact to believe this. COYB

Tony Kelly
8   Posted 07/09/2010 at 17:59:40

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I go past the Echo Arena quite often, every time it brings tears to my eyes of what might have been. The blame lies on one man: liar Kenwright.

Liverpool City Council bent over backwards to help Everton FC to secure this world class site. At the beginning, 6 different firms put in bids for this site, even LCC leader Mike Storey broke with protocol before the preferred bidder was announced, by stating he hoped the Everton bid would win the day. As we all know, our great club were chosen as preferred bidders.

The next stage was we were getting a date to prove our funds were in place to build this iconic stadium. We missed the first deadline to prove funds were in place. The LCC gave them a second... and then a third chance to show them the money.

When the third date expired, LCC took preferred bidder status off Everton. To this day, nobody from our club has ever issued a statement why we walked away from what would have been the most iconic location for a football stadium in the world.

A few months later, I saw Kenwright getting interviewed outside Goodison by a camera crew, I asked him to tell them what happened to the Kings Dock? His childish response to a reasonable question was to tell me(!) to get the money for the Kings Dock!!

Every time I see people on websites defending him, I cringe.

Brendan O'Doherty
9   Posted 07/09/2010 at 18:33:12

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Alan (#7) ? "sadly it will confirm that basically EFC was and still is skint."

Don't think we need any more confirming of THAT particular statement, Alan! It is a plain as night follows day.

KD was a golden opportunity missed. Location, absolutely excellent. Facilities, use of stadium for other income streams, all there.

No matter what happens with the present chairman and board, they will always be tainted with this catastrophic failure to secure the future of the club. And then they rub salt into the wound by attempting to move the club to an unpopular location, against what they later admitted was their better instincts, telling us it was an unmissable, fantastic 'deal of the century.'

You just wonder what might have been...
Steve Mink
10   Posted 07/09/2010 at 19:25:14

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Pathetic I know, but I can't bring myself to go inside the Echo Arena - would feel like a betrayal.
Larry Boner
11   Posted 07/09/2010 at 19:12:28

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I am surprised that this rant that was a reply to another post has appeared as a "post " itself, but thanks, Michael.

I find myself, as a 60-year-old Evertonian, totally disenfranchised from the club. My son (who is 17) is the most committed Evertonian you could wish to meet, he loves the game most of all, his best depiction of this love is Everton Football Club.

He is not interested in the hype, he loves the game and his knowledge of the European and world game would put any of the media pundits to shame.

But he is totally confused by what is going on at the club he wants to succeed more than any other. My dad, who is 91, my brother, my son, all sit together cannot figure out just what the hell is going on at this club.

I watched in amazement as Mr Hodgson went into the manager's position at Liverpool and immediately began to re-construct the club, bringing in several players, securing the continued services of some high-profile players and doing this while actively criticising the owners' stewardship. All on the back of a £300M debt???

We have a top manager at Everton (who has made some elementary mistakes) but requires the same kind of support Mr Hodgson has received to move this club to another level... but will this ever happen?

I want to see, at the most basic level, the board to put together a plan to move this club to the level that Tottenham are at (and have been at for several years). To optimise the history of this club, not a history of the last 10 to 15 years, but from 1878 ? fucking do it!

This city of Liverpool is our heritage, I am sick of feeling like a 2nd class citizen in my own city. I am sick and tired of watching documentaries about the city of Liverpool completely ignoring Everton FC and realising we have a world class entrepreneur in our chairman. with all of his media contacts who has done nothing to further the reputation of EFC - the CD Everton game a prime indictment.

The Sons of Shankly, or whatever their latest title is, have obtained a niche in the local and national media, but are (as far as I can see) a gang of badge-carrying idiots, but have a say and opinion on what is happening at their club. In contrast, our fanbase (apart from KEIOC) just seems to look on as observers while the club lurches from one joke to the next. But maybe I am being too harsh?

Gerry Morrison
12   Posted 07/09/2010 at 20:03:02

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The best analysis I remember was from Mickey Blue Eyes over at Blue Kipper. Check out the archives on their site; it is all still there. Read it and weep.
Thor Sørensen
13   Posted 07/09/2010 at 19:50:30

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Whenever I walk past the Echo Arena, I try not looking at it, as it brings a tear to my eye.

Imagine the WORLD FAMOUS Liverpool waterfront, with Everton's new home as its focal point. It would have been a magic stadium!

But still, is it too late? Can't we still be able to get a stadium down at the docks? It may sound foolish, but I can't really bring myself to surrender the idea completely (not until we're in a new stadium elsewhere).
Alan Kirwin
14   Posted 07/09/2010 at 20:36:14

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Thought-provoking Larry. Kings Dock sticks in the craw of most Evertonians... and yes, every time I see the arena, it leaves a lump in the throat for the majesty that could have been there instead. It's painted by many (who cannot truly know) that Kenwright was fully to blame and Gregg was the shining knight that we really needed. As angry as I was at what happened, I suspect there was more to it than meets the eye.

"Ringfenced" can mean all manner of things in business. It could have meant that Kenwright was banking on Gregg's underwriting of the funds and that Gregg's ambitions ignited problems that led to the fall out. Who on here actually knows rather than speculates?

The Bellefield situation is well documented. I suggest you read the papers. It's all down to planning permission, density and land use. It will be sold. Everton, oddly enough, are seeking to maximise its value through the most favourable planning permission.

CD Everton game ? agreed, although it did pick up momentum in the few days before the game and almost every national paper that I saw, and the main BBC site, gave good coverage.

Trevor Birch? ? who really knows. It seems to surprise some people that personality clashes occur in business, and more so the higher up the ladder you go as that's where the real power is.

We never had, as far as I know, cash in bank for the Tescodome. Our contribution was based on asset sales, increasing our debt, and some fancy valuation calculations by Tesco.

I suggest this also links to the cheesy "People's Club" moniker. It's a great phrase, if it were true, but it's not really. The club hijacked it and hammed it up to a ridiculous degree. All rather desperate. But, and here's the dilemma, whilst I want the club to treat us fans as adults and the stakeholders that we are, it's bizarre to admit that in some respects we are more open than most.

But a good article and based on issues. Should yield a good debate.

As for Brian Waring ? don't be a prick man.
Sam Hoare
15   Posted 07/09/2010 at 22:24:05

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I also get a lumpy throat at the thought of the KD. Still... spilt milk and all that.

What worries me more is the future? The future of football in general as debts continue to spiral... and, in particular, the future of Everton FC. Do you think anyone has a plan for the fact that every year we lose more and more money, forcing more debt and more debt servicing, while our historic stadium just about stays upright.

Would love to see the 10-year plan. Suspect it says: Chain Davey to the furniture, pay Mikel whatever he wants, wait and see what happens to other clubs, and, most importantly... pray.
Tommy Gibbons
16   Posted 07/09/2010 at 21:57:53

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Why do Liverpool City Council always seem to get away without getting any stick over the Kings Dock? They offered the site to Liverpool FC first, I'll say that again... They offered the site to Liverpool FC first!! And, in case you don't get it, LCC bent over backwards to give Liverpool FC Stanley Park after Everton asked first.

Everton have asked LCC for help with developing Goodison Park, it's taken them years to even discuss the matter. Do you see the link here?! Now our beloved board (going back to the 60s) ain't been the best but we've been constantly thwarted by LCC for decades! (The latest? see Bellefield). So, for all the vitriol you throw at your board, remember to throw some their way too!

Brian Waring
17   Posted 07/09/2010 at 23:29:37

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Never took you long Alan.

I'm sure your really BK, because it seems impossible that two men could be full of soooooo much bullshit.

Also, I hope you don't use language like that in front of the children?
Brian Waring
18   Posted 07/09/2010 at 23:35:51

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Alan (7) I'm sure LCC extended the deadline several times for us to come up with the cash, but got fucked about that much, they jibbed us.
Dick Fearon
19   Posted 07/09/2010 at 23:59:20

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Form a circle, form a circle, Brian and Alan are into it. I'll hold their coats.
Ciarán McGlone
20   Posted 07/09/2010 at 23:52:03

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Ringfenced does not mean 'all manner of things in business'.... It has one consistent and simple meaning - that something exists and is being protected for a particular purpose..

You're just attracting the attention of a certain Mr Ruane with prevarication like that..
Dick Fearon
21   Posted 08/09/2010 at 00:03:11

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After mountains of talk about Kings Dock it is all a matter of who or what version to believe. I do not know Paul Gregg or his track record so it is difficult to weigh up comparisons with Kenwright. Is he a white knight? Is BK as bad as some make out? There only has been scurrilous innuendo that could be no more based on reality than is tea-leaf reading.
Thomas Williams
22   Posted 08/09/2010 at 00:29:35

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Some questions that need to be answered.

1. Why did EFC only get a relatively short time to find funds, when RS, after nearly 15 years planning Stanley Park, still don't have the funds?

2. BK has fallen out with P Johnson, Gregg, Grantchesters, Wyness, Birch, Dunford, and possibly others... why?

3. Why have LCC blocked Kirkby Golfcourse, Tesco plan, sale of Goodison, sale of Bellefield, hampered Kings Dock, extending Goodison Park, refused us 3 times planning on Stanley Park?

4. Why no AGM or EGM?

5. What is the sale price of EFC?

6. Where is Fortress Sports Fund?

7. What is role of Philip Green?

8. Where is EFC money going?

9. Was Kings Dock a deliberate smokescreen to railroad RS plans for Stanley Park?

Andy Crooks
23   Posted 08/09/2010 at 01:01:05

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As someone who doesn't live in Liverpool or read the local press, can anyone tell me what happens next? Is it development of Goodison Park? Is it stagnation? Is there a new plan? What does the Chairman see as the way forward now?
Matt Traynor
24   Posted 08/09/2010 at 00:54:45

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Oh boy, bear with me. Tried to block most of this from my memory, so these snippets are in no particular order.

The original plan for Kings Waterfront as I recall included multi-purpose development, housing, retail etc. and EFC would have an equity stake in all of it.

There was a rush to get the bid in, as a tranche of European Objective 1 funding was due to expire, and GONW and various other NW quangos wanted to ensure Liverpool, rather than Sheffield or Glasgow (I think they were the other two UK Objective 1 cities) got the cash. That's why EFC's initial contribution was the ludicrously low £30m.

At the time, Everton's bid was one of 6 for the site. I can't recall from memory what all of the others were, but one of them was obviously the Arena.

At the time, LCC was run by self-serving, egotistical idiots. I'm not talking about the officers, I'm referring to the aptly-titled "members". A lot of them were reds, and in one councillors' meeting (when usually the biggest item of concern was whether there were enough trays of lager and bitter on the catering trolley), one wag chuckled "We've got 6 World Class Bids for this project. Everton's is ranked 7th!".

So these "experts" so often derided for the fees (like obviously we all work for free), retire to the pub and work up a plan that basically involved how the LFC bid for Stanley Park could be so easily bogged down in planning appeals from "interested parties" that it would never get off the ground before they won their first EPL title. (Thanks to Stadtler and Waldorf, it still looks unlikely).

Suitably chastened, Everton's bid was suddenly elevated to "Preferred Bidder" status. There was a lot more to it than that (I think the biggest hook was that KD Waterfront was likely to get the biggest EU O1 contribution), but a lot of the members were RS season ticket holders.

Transport was an issue, but there was something that could be done with one of the Merseytram proposals to improve access, and it really wasn't that far a walk from, say, James St or Moorfields for Miseryrail passengers (no more so than Sandhills / Kirkdale / Bank Hall were many walk from today).

Fuck, I even went really crazy and proposed a match-day only spur on Merseytram that would dive into and under the stadium! (Lesson #1, never combine publically funded projects, cos you can bet at least one will get screwed over by the government of the day, unless it's in London). But we didn't propose any cycling measures...

Anyway, this company I worked for also had a team that specialised in stadium redevelopment and access issues (experience at World Cups, Euro Championships, even before England got interested around Euro 96), so picked up the job as one of the advisors to the club, the obvious benefit being ongoing work with the other authorities involved, and avoiding any conflict issues in the standard manner.

Fast forward and the contribution from Everton increased from £30M to, if I recall, £65M. Still the real "deal of the century", but that was after all detailed design, costing and revenue analysis etc had been completed.

Sadly, the rest is well covered. The money that was "ringfenced" was never there. A "loose guarantee" is never acceptable on any project to anyone, ever. Didn't someone say recently "We ask them to show us proof they have the money and we never hear back from them"???

I was only involved on the periphery during this time. I took a year out to do a Masters, and was mainly based in London / SE, but occasionally would get trips up to do some work (er, coinciding with me having the best source for match tickets, maybe...) but a lot of us working on the project, no matter where in the country we were based, were mad Blues.

But this much I am confident of:

■ BK burned his bridges with LCC over KD ? The result of that is far more reaching than possibly we realise, having heard a rumour (stress, rumour) that a company that could offer a large waterfront site will not deal with the current hierarchy. (It's moot anyway as the EU Gravy Train has left for Eastern Europe a long time ago...)
■ The reason DK was so laughable was it was inevitably going to be compared to KD. KD was a stunning design; DK was "mid-range"

■ KD had secondary revenue streams due to the sliding pitch etc. You could have a speedway meet in the morning, Everton in the afternoon and U2 playing that night. DK had nothing.

■ DK was gonna deliver an extra £6m a year, maybe, if we achieved 44k average (?) attendance.

■KD (60k capacity), with all the secondary revenue and the equity stake in other enabling projects... ??

Doesn't bear thinking about. Thanks for making me write that. Ruined my day. Bill must also wonder though what his share value would've been now if he had handled things differently.

Jay Harris
25   Posted 08/09/2010 at 01:19:02

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I spoke to a few senior contacts I had at the council at the time and they were livid about the fact they had spent 2 years getting grants approaching £200 million (the EEC was awash with grant funding then) and Kenwright had consistently told them that he had the £30 million EFC contribution to the fund 'ringfenced'.

Some people in the council said they would never work with Kenwright again.

The real question is why Kenwright did not accede to Gregg's request to reconstruct the "True Blue" holding fund share structure which Gregg alleged was deterring investment in the club (ring any bells!!) and, on the basis of a share restructure, he would have put up the £30 million for KD. This followed his original suggestion that he would accept a mortgage on the development, which Kenwright refused.

When it all became public and Gregg asked Kenwright to step down, Kenwright then orchestrated a public ridiculing of Gregg and assured everybody via the media that he had secured investors (Fortress Sports Fund) and that the cheque for £15 million "would be in the bank in the morning".

As we all now know, this was total bullshit and also puts a question mark over his claim that he vets and rejects all unsuitable investors. What he really means is he rejects potential investors who will not have him as chairman.

Anyway, that's all history now and the reason we haven't moved on is we're still stuck with the same Chairman and we have no business plan for the future of our club.

A simple rights issue would probably raise the £15 to 20 million to enable another 8,500 seats in the Park End but that would mean "True Blue" Bill diluting his shareholding something "None of the existing shareholders of EFC are willing to do" ? even if it would enable the club to progress.
Michael Kenrick
26   Posted 08/09/2010 at 05:30:20

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Some excellent posts... and then, by way of contrast, some really poor ones.

Dick (#21): There is no doubt whatsoever that Bill Kenwright stated the money was "ring-fenced". It wasn't. That was a bare-faced lie.

There is no doubt whatsoever that Bill Kenwright and his cohorts invented the Fortress Sports Fund and the astounding pledge: "the cheque will be in the bank in the morning." It wasn't. That was another bare-faced lie, a manufactured sham.

Surely even you can see that?

Mike Green
27   Posted 08/09/2010 at 08:02:57

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Matt and Jay - really excellent posts.

In general I've been a supporter of BK's but I'm also a believer in the straight forward answer is usually the correct one - Occams Razor if you want.

KD was an unqualified fuck up. The person who has to take responsibility for that is the man at the top.

DK was an unqualified fuck up. The person who has to take responsibility for that is the man at the top.

Maybe you've changed my view.
Tony Kelly
28   Posted 08/09/2010 at 08:39:49

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Tommy, let's dispel a few myths:

Firstly, Everton have never enquired over Stanley Park.

Secondly, Liverpool weren't offered KD first.

These myths have been disproved on this website several times over the last few months.

I would like to remind you of a quote by a well known Evertonian, Billy Thorndyke: "There are Everton fans out there who, if Kenwright had a shite in front of them and told them it was a mars bar, they would believe him."

Gavin Ramejkis
29   Posted 08/09/2010 at 08:58:27

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Tommy, to reiterate what Tony has said and to prove it for yourself, the Planning Department of LCC is a public office and as such all planning requests, be they failed or approved, are listed and searchable. The KD details are also available via a Freedom of Information request to LCC as again this is a public service.

The way BK treated Gregg was shameful, a supposed friend of BK lambasted and character assasinated by Trinity Press at the time. The KD has to be the most significant failure during BK's tenure with DK a very close second. Whenever I see the Arena it does bring back painful memories of a shocking mistake.
Eric Myles
30   Posted 08/09/2010 at 09:52:13

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Gerry #12, his writing style is too verbose and obscure for me. I mean, WTF does Quasimodo and Che Guevara have to do with KD?

One sentence did jump right off the page though "His main observation, never justified, was merely that the project was ?not deliverable.? This is not a valid argument. It is mere rhetoric unsupported by rationale"

Now where have we heard that before?

Alan Kirwin
31   Posted 08/09/2010 at 09:52:21

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Ciaran - we're slightly dancing on a pinhead. Ring-fenced does not singularly mean cash on hand or in the bank. It can just mean that an amount of money is set aside from current or planned budgets for a purpose. I think the literal way some people read life is naiive.

However one reads it we all agree Kings Dock was a nadir for all of us. We were shown the beautiful new Maserati, told it was affordable, then forced to hang on to the old Cortina. Cruel, very cruel. Everyone was upset. As I said before, I wrote to Kenwright to vent my spleen. Not sure if he got my email, he never replied. But you move on. Far worse things happen in life. A perspective is needed.

You've been a little quiet lately?
Alan Kirwin
32   Posted 08/09/2010 at 10:00:21

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Some good content & memories on here, Jay, Matt, Thomas. Thought provoking, or worse if it's all true.
Alan Kirwin
33   Posted 08/09/2010 at 10:09:07

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Brian Waring - go check "hypocrisy" in the dictionary. You'll probably find "prick" and "content" in there too. One you'll recognise, one you won't.

This is an interesting thread. You're in the wrong place.

Liam Reilly
34   Posted 08/09/2010 at 08:49:01

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Tommy, agree with Tony #28

Incredible as it sounds Everton have never actually enquired about building on Stanley Park:


I don't know about who was offered KD first, but there are too many conspiracy stories on here. The fact is, the board fucked up royally and once again had no foresight.
John Nelson
35   Posted 08/09/2010 at 10:24:09

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Some very good posts on both sides of the argument, I must admit ? but surely everyone can agree that Kenwright has run his course? He's been majority shareholder for 10 years now, and yes, we have seen VERY significant improvement on the pitch (I need not explain myself on that one).

However, unless he finds this "investment" he drones on about (who, if there is anyone out there who is willing to pump millions into a club for clearing debt, buying players AND buying a fucking ground then they have got to be a raving lunatic and a madman), then we have reached our summit under him. This summer outlined it for me ? we have got our best squad in years and we are crying out for an accomplished right winger, and BK was silent.

"But where are we meant to get the money from?" some people may ask, which is fair cop; however... if this summer is a result of us not "selling to buy" in order to keep hold of star players, then how the fuck are we ever going buy players?

I totally agree of course with us not selling, but one thing BK cannot hide from is the fact that the only way we can spend a decent amount on a player is through selling first ? which, to sum up for me, is shit and the mind-set of an average, run-of-the-mill football club.

Add to the above the episodes ? sorry, the EMBARRASSMENTS ? of Kings Dock and Destination Kirkby, then BK would get fans back on his side by actively looking for a "buyer", not fucking "investment". True, the grass isn't always greener when a new owner comes along, but it is blatantly obvious he is stonewall refusing to listen to offers for the club.

This season is defining in so many aspects ? not only BK, but Moyesie too ? so, as our great club likes saying... "WATCH THIS SPACE!!"


Dick Fearon
36   Posted 08/09/2010 at 10:41:46

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Michael @ 26: My query was not about Bill Kenwright, he is there to be shot at.
I was wondering who what and where is Paul Greg. From what I have read on TW I must assume he is an extremely rich investor. Other than TW I have not heard of him.
Danny Burke
37   Posted 08/09/2010 at 11:46:17

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Some really interesting posts on this thread. Which all basically lead me to see what a HUGE cock up the whole Kings Dock fiasco was. It looks like the utter worst case of missing the boat. With that stadium and the income from it and all that went with it, would it be day dreaming to think we would have added to our 9 titles long ago, maybe it is but the thing that galls each and every Evertonian is that we will never know.

God, I'm really mad now, fair warning to my colleagues: watch out, I'm going to have to take this out on someone!
Eugene Ruane
38   Posted 08/09/2010 at 12:31:22

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Billy Thorndyke - "There are Everton fans out there who, if Kenwright had a shite in front of them and told them it was a mars bar, they would believe him"

I just felt it needed repeating.
Gavin Ramejkis
39   Posted 08/09/2010 at 12:28:33

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Dick, Paul Gregg was supposedly a very good friend of BK, he put up, or rather Anita Gregg his wife put up a lot of the money to buy Everton from Peter Johnson, he had a substantial shareholding in the club. The KD project required hard evidence of funding being available to be shown to LCC for it to proceed.

Paul Gregg brokered a reverse mortgage deal in partnership with Lord Granchester and others but it would have led to BK losing controlling interest in the club as detailed above and both he and the "silent man" Jon Woods would have left the club.

In response the fictional FSF appeared as did a determined set of articles in the Trinity Press ? the Liverpool Echo and Daily Post questioning Gregg's true colours as a football fan with quips like "he never even goes to the ground" and other snipes at his personal life whilst portraying "true blue Bill" as the saviour of Everton with the soon to arrive cheque that never cleared.

Gregg was backed into a corner and BK via his "friend" Sir Philip Green turned up with Earl (another Spurs fan) to buy out Paul Gregg's shares and Gregg left. Any semblance of the former friendship long since destroyed.

Matt Traynor
40   Posted 08/09/2010 at 12:57:58

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I knew this would be on YouTube:
Lee Smith
41   Posted 08/09/2010 at 13:16:52

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@ Matt #39. Mate, how the hell is watching THAT going to help improve your ruined day?! Or do you just like making yourself feel like shite?!
Brian Waring
42   Posted 08/09/2010 at 13:39:25

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It's a shame you know Alan, that you come across as a condescending tit (Had to look that word up in the dictionary ) because you do write some good stuff at times.

Your reply on the 'Everton directorship' thread says it all though
"Thanks for the quote. I moved on. Try it." You have this bad habit of telling people what they should do, shame really.
Chris Briddon
43   Posted 08/09/2010 at 14:02:07

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Why is Paul Gregg suddenly being deemed with some sort of sainthood on here.

This is the guy who failed dismally to try and take over both Sheff Wed and Southampton after he left Everton.

Everybody accuses people of printing lies about him, but hes never amounted to much since has he.

Basically, Gregg was only involved in EFC because of KD and what he could make on it.

The reason his scheme was turned down by the board was because there was some claim of it being some crafty little earner for Gregg and not necessarily in the best interests of EFC at all.

He then tried to buy Sheff Wed, but got turned boen by the Shareholders Association.

This is also the person who is supposed to have said about his involvement in Everton

"has no interest in football, and wishing to make a return on my investment within two years"
Brendan O'Doherty
44   Posted 08/09/2010 at 14:10:21

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Thanks for the link Matt.

Watching that was like being losing contestant on 'Bullseye', having been told "here's what you WOULD have won....".
Matt Traynor
45   Posted 08/09/2010 at 14:12:06

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Lee #40, my day couldn't get worse. At least we got a game to look forward to this weekend. Oh.

Again trying to recollect. The buildings to the south (towards Garston) were all going to be private apartments, which EFC would have a stake in the holding company of. Can't recall if these were for sale or lease. That's where the pitch would slide out into when not in use, to get better sun penetration. It also would've been fenced off so it didn't come back in full of dog turds and condoms.

The buildings to the north were a mix of residential, office/retail, F&B, hotel, and EFC offices/operations.

Anyway, in Asia my day is almost up!
Matt Traynor
46   Posted 08/09/2010 at 14:17:22

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Sorry for other post. #43 Brendan - nailed it. Yes, KD would've been super, marvelous, wonderful, wonderful, marvelous, super.

Slightly off topic, and I'm sure the paper made this up, but when told the show was being canned after however many decades, Jim Bowen was apparently quoted as saying something like he was "Upset, devastated, inconsolable, inconsolable, devastated, upset".

Still, at least we never ended up with a Dusty Bin of a new stadium...

Now I'm gonna have a look through TV Cream. That will improve my day!
Jamie Rowland
47   Posted 08/09/2010 at 14:46:35

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The answer to all of those questions is straight forward - WE ARE NOT LIVERPOOL FC

Phil Bellis
48   Posted 08/09/2010 at 16:22:35

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Deo gratias, Jamie...Deo gratias
Tommy Gibbons
49   Posted 08/09/2010 at 16:09:55

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Post 22, paras 1 & 3, and post 24, paras 5, 6 & 7 along with my own post 16 haven't yet been answered by those in love with LCC.

Everton DID ask about Stanley Park and Kings Dock WAS offered to Liverpool FC first. The source of the information? a councillor (kopite) of the time who stated that when Everton asked 'off the record' about Stanley Park they where left under no illusions that due to a covenant covering the park neither club would be allowed to build on it. But, as the planning committee was run by kopite councillors, this info was a 'red herring' to stop Everton applying officially as the council (planning dept) were waiting for Liverpool FC to put their enquiry in writing. Conspiracy theory, my arse.

As for the Kings Dock, everything to do with building a football ground in this city is offered to Liverpool FC first, why would that change for KD?

As for that quote, Tony & Eugene stick it where the sun don't shine you meely mouthed pair of twats. I make my own mind up and don't take ANYONE'S word as gospel. Do I make errors of judgement, sure I do but not because I follow/ believe/disbelieve any group or individuals point of view. My name is something of a clue... Doubting Thomas..!!

Eugene Ruane
50   Posted 08/09/2010 at 17:39:09

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Tommy Gibbons, you say 'meely mouthed'?

I'm baffled (and not just by your spelling of mealy)

I mean by friend OR foe, I don't think I've ever been called... that!

There's quite a few TWebbers who think I'm a twat, but I'm guessing they don't think I'm a mealy-mouthed twat

'Eugene Ruane - Mealy mouthed twat'.

Actually, in an odd way, I kind of like it.

It's a bit like 'Doc Savage - Man of Bronze'

So - 'Doubting Thomas' you say?

I actually think you're more like the little-known 13th apostle, also Thomas, who showed up at the last supper a day the wrong caff.

He was known as 'Thick as shite Thomas' (see Corinthians 3, Romans 2)

Come to think of it, when I read your posts, it's actually your surname that usually springs to mind.

And Michael - could you remove Tommy's HIGHLY offensive post above. We do not want or need religious bigots on this site. I am not a practicing Catholic, but to be taunted by this Orange nonsense is more than flesh and blood can stand - Loyal Orange Lodge indeed! (not once but THREE times!)

Laugh out loud

Laugh out loud

Laugh out loud.

Kevin Hudson
51   Posted 08/09/2010 at 18:26:22

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Ciaran (20)

"You're just attracting the attention of a certain Mr Ruane with prevarication like that.."

No - YOU are by shit-stirring!!
Tony I'Anson
52   Posted 08/09/2010 at 18:41:55

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Matt (24) thanks for the history lesson. That must have been painful. Is there not always EU grants available though depending on how you word the application? Are the buzz words this decade not "sustainable", "renewable", "carbon neutral", "eco-friendly"..etc?

My current take on the Board of Directors is that they want the very best for Everton. Of course they do. But they also want their legacy to say that they brought all the glory days back to Goodison. They want to have a controlling say in Everton for as long as they can hold on to it. To be honest, if it was me, so would I. And if you are honest with yourself, so would you.

I assume that many Board members are getting into their twilight days and given modern living standards, likely to be around for many years. Not in the slightest bit interested in selling up and living on a boat in the Med.

They are constantly faced with mounting pressure to succeed on the pitch, throw more money DM's way, build a new stadium, dilute their shares, and find investment. The list is endless and I would not thank you for the job.

I understand why they are very cautious of foreign Johnnie-come-latelys wanting to infiltrate our Club and ruin all the values it stands for. I agree with this.

But what I just can't get my head around, is that there have been (and probably still are) a small number of genuine and wealthly Evertonians who could wipe the debt slate clean and provide the investment required to take Everton where we should be. Yet the Board seem unable to entertain them. Or is it a case that these people are biding their time waiting in the wings until the day comes when they can have their turn on the Board at Everton, unwilling to work with the current crop?

To me, it's almost like the longest secret game of chess in living history between a very small number of Evertonians. The result is that we are not progressing at the same pace as everyone else around us. And we moan like mad on here and come up with What Ifs and conspiracy theories.

The names of the Chess Players have been banded about on TW for years and you know who they are. The fan base, the team and the current management are mere pawns in this match.

If Everton keep performing to a reasonable level, throw on the odd extension here and there, win the derby, good cup run, stay in the top 8 ? then the chances of the Board being likely to throw in the towel are minimal to none. I feel only relegation or staying up by a last-minute goal in the last game of the season will force change at Boardroom level. You know, when crowds are down to 8,000 and so on.

None of current Board members are getting any younger, so it may be a case of sitting tight to see who they leave their shares to in their will. Maybe their kids will embrace change and a reduced slice of the Blue cake?

Then again, maybe the children of these wealthy individuals biding their time are Liverpool supporters or have no interest in football at all. Maybe they already have their boats moored in Marbella.

I can't believe that I've started writing things like this. Trying to understand the mind and motivations of an Everton Board member. ..Wondering who their shares will be left to... Asking myself why they can't all just bury the hatchet and do what is right for Everton. Maybe I'm just being the naive pawn in the biggest game in the world, and I mean chess not football.
Ciarán McGlone
53   Posted 08/09/2010 at 19:15:41

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Oh yonder irony.

30 posts later, you bring up a rather innocuous point regarding the recent factual exchanges between messrs Ruane and Kirwin... and I'm 'shit stirring'?
Larry Boner
54   Posted 08/09/2010 at 19:00:31

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I feel that the renaissance or death of Everton is just around the corner. We have a Henry Fonda/Kirk Douglas type of manager, flawed, but someone you would trust to do the right thing.

We have supporters who believe implicitly in the birth and history of this club, who care nothing for trophies won, but are desperate for their offspring to carry the banner onwards, to create further Evertonians, fair and magnanimous in their support for the club and the game of football.

We are, in my opinion, stuck, trapped, snookered, hamstrung, banjaxed by a Board and Chairman that does not share the views of the millions of Evertonians around the world and the tens of thousands who actually go to the game on how we should move this club into the 20th century, never mind the 21st.
To tell the support base after the Kirkby fiasco that we will stay stagnant for the next 5 years is, in my eyes, a total capitulation by Mr Kenwright and the Board.

How do I, as a commited Evertonian, affect the future path of this 130-year-old sporting icon? Alone I can do nothing, but if a gang of glory-hunting dickheads can voice their opinions on Liverpool FC and are given airtime on local and national media outlets, where are the people who can effect change for this club?

The numerous and varied replies to my original post prove that there are people out there who have the intelligence and commitment to maybe change what is going on at Everton, but where do we start? How to we change the status quo?

The Yanks at Liverpool are vilified by everyone at the club, from supporters, to the manager, to Torres, Gerrard and Carragher, but Benitez was backed with millions for every player that he wanted, while Moyes gets basically zilch.
As Delia Smith once so ignominiously squawked across Carrow Road ? "Where are you ,let's be having you, come on?" Let's do something; we have a voice, we love the club for what it is, what it used to stand for, surely?!?

Gavin Ramejkis
55   Posted 08/09/2010 at 20:17:43

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Chris Briddon, care to take a moment to think about the evidence given at the DK hearings which clearly stated that NOT ONE of the major shareholders at Everton, including BK, JW et al, are willing to sell or dilute their shares in Everton in order to advance the club or help towards a stadium development. If that doesn't mean exactly the same as your claims of Paul Gregg being involved in Everton just for a return on his investment, I would love to hear what it is.

Businessmen and women all over the planet partake in this strange ritual of looking to make a profit and have done for as long as money has been around. Tommy Gibbons, where was this evidence from the kopite councillor posted on the record or is it merely hearsay as it sounds like another urban myth about Stanley Park and you seem to have made another unproved assumption about KD from this urban myth ? unless this is documented, it's just another assumption.
Robert Daniels
56   Posted 08/09/2010 at 20:20:14

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That is very emotive and truly upsetting appraisal of were we now find ourselves. I for one would be willing to listen, and indeed participate, in any attempt to force real change at boardroom level.

Yours just might be the voice to wake people out of the trance that Kenwright seems to have cast over Evertonians.

There are many voices on here that, like you said, have the intelligence to start just a thing. Mr Kenrick has the perfect platform for us to organise a meeting of like minded souls.

Come on lads, you know who you are!

Nil satis nisi optimum
Stephen Kenny
57   Posted 08/09/2010 at 21:17:43

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I think the best thing that could have come out of the DK debacle was KEIOC.

Sadly, instead of becoming a group that pressed for change, a la them daft cunts SOS group (who will happily march over the price of a pie), they have attempted to work with the Board and do the right thing for Everton. I don't doubt for a second that each and every member can see through Bill Kenwright like second-hand curtains, but they realise that he is going nowhere and if they want to affect the club's future they have no choice but to deal with him.

IMO, the momentum and kudos gained by the vindication of the DK project being turned down should have been carried forward to oust Billy Liar!

James I'Anson
58   Posted 08/09/2010 at 23:10:50

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Ste, that's exactly what i thought would happen once DK went tits up. I thought surely he simply cannot continue.

I can still remember the disappointment when I read the headlines on teletext. "Early Xmas present for Everton fans. Kenwright takes control of Everton."

I was gutted because I knew he was skint. He tried to take over at the same time as Johnson and he was skint then too. What was his motive then?

I remember he came across as if it was a temporary arrangement until real investment could be found. In the meantime, he had saved us from Johnson so he was a hero. "It's your club" he'd say, "we are just the custodians".

The man makes me fucking sick. How long is it now? If he doesn't fuck off soon, I'm gonna kick fuck out of him.

Phil Bellis
59   Posted 09/09/2010 at 00:23:13

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"I saw the size of the boots James was going to kick me with and I thought `Ow!'"
Thomas Williams
60   Posted 09/09/2010 at 01:29:05

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To those that doubt that Everton enquired about Stanley Park, you are mistaken.

I wrote to the club when the Stanley Park first become public, asking what the club were going to do about it? I recieved a handwritten reply from the then Chief Executive Michael Dunford, who said "We will be taking a great interest in our neighbours proposal, as you are right in assuming that we have applied for Stanley Park before, in fact we have enquired on 3 occassions and have been refused 3 times"

Peter Johnson was involved in the final request that was turned down ? could it be that he was deliberately discredited to get him out of the way, and so smooth through the RS proposal? ? whilst throwing EFC off the Stanley Park trail on a blatant wild goose chase for Kings Dock?

In my opinion, there was no way LCC was allowing EFC an iconic stadium on the iconic banks of the Mersey, as it would have taken the limelight off their preferred team.

Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
61   Posted 09/09/2010 at 05:22:22

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James (#58): "The man makes me fucking sick. How long is it now? If he doesn't fuck off soon, I'm gonna kick fuck out of him."

That is just pathetic juvenile nonsense. I know some Evertonians feel strongly about Bill Kenwright but I'm gonna clamp down on this puerile twatishness... starting with you.
Tom Hughes
62   Posted 09/09/2010 at 05:26:11

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(#60) Thomas Williams.

It is in fact well documented that EFC have never applied to build a stadium on Stanley Park. There are no applications for such. The current planning officer for both stadia was in place at the time, and all planning applications are in the public domain and he assures me that there were no such applications.

I believe there have been enquiries about redirecting Walton Lane and thus cutting into the Park, but this would impinge on the historic features and lake at this end of the park, whereas LFC's proposals are for the site of the playing fields and sports centre which are not so sensitive.

Furthermore, the club would've been well within their rights to protest against it.... They never have!

I'm afraid the parts about there being no-way that LCC would grant EFC the dockland site and wild goose chases are nonsense, and instantly refuted by the fact that LCC granted EFC's proposals preferred bidder status, and secured multiple supporting enabling developments and grants to facilitate its success, to the point that it really would've been the deal of the century. They really couldn't have done much more!

It may upset those who believe that the club can do no wrong, but they are the facts.

Tommy Gibbons
63   Posted 09/09/2010 at 06:07:38

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So thats ok then Tom H, for the LCC to give the park away because its just some fields then? Funny that, I thought fields/greenery are what parks are all about!...

And as for preferred bidder status, surely a publicity stunt when they knew Everton couldn't raise the cash... People tend to accuse the EFC board of using 'smoke n mirrors'... do you not think LCC did/do the same?

Tom Hughes
64   Posted 09/09/2010 at 07:23:46

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Tommy, I'm not arguing about the rights or wrongs of giving park space to football clubs..... just that EFC never applied to build a stadium on Stanley Park as was previously asserted, and that therefore it is a non-argument.

I think you'll find that if LFC had applied to build their stadium on top of the Lake and palm house they too would've been refused flatly. Instead, they applied to build on top of a predominently already-built-upon and relatively featureless area of the park. Personally, I generally don't believe in building on parks, but I suppose that would depend on the Park. Everton Park for instance could be a prime site for a stadium, and isn't a park of any quality in real or historic terms, so may be that would be more agreeable. Sefton/Princes/Calderstones/Camphill...... No chance!

I'm sorry, I simply don't get this palming off the blame on LCC, there is simply no evidence to support that stance.... even the club haven't stated such, and I'm sure they would if it was well founded, but they know they'd end up in court if they did. The preferred bidder status could hardly be a publicity stunt.... it was a result of EFC's own competition-winning bid, and it gave the club the go ahead to develop on one of the primest sites in Europe, and it came with a whole set of complimentary developments and financial packages that LCC helped put together at great expense.

The result of EFC's failure to meet their part of the deal meant that the council ended up with no major flagship waterfront development and venue to show off to the world in 2008. Something that could've been a major boost and catalyst for many other developments along the river.

Some publicity stunt? I'm really not sure what else you think they could've done. This was the club's big chance and they blew it bigtime, and have NEVER yet been able to explain it, even partially. Hence this thread.

Neil Adderley
65   Posted 09/09/2010 at 08:08:22

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As Tom Hughes (and others) correctly state; EFC have NEVER applied to build a stadium on Stanley Park. Again, Tom is correct in saying that an informal enquiry concerning the re-routing of Walton Lane was dismissed by LCC due to the heritage status of the N/NW side of the park.

In contrast the opposite side, consisting of a sports centre and car park built in the 1960's (where was that Victorian covenant then??) certainly could lend itself to 'sympathetic' development.

With regards to loss of green space, LCC were obviously happy that the creation of 'Anfield Plaza,' alongside the Open Space Strategy which includes amongst other things, the improvements of the current pitches and changing rooms in Stanley Park and Breckside Park, would more than compensate for the loss of a run down down sports centre and car park.

As always the devil is in the detail. If you are so inclined, there are enough details of the plans for the Eastern side of Stanley Park freely available across the interweb to keep yourself informed.

They are worth reading if only to put a stop to people perpetuating the myth that LCC are involved in a clandestine pro RS/anti Everton conspiracy that would allow the 'giving of Stanley Park' to LFC.

Absolute nonsense!
James I'Anson
66   Posted 09/09/2010 at 16:44:16

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Sorry for puerile twatishness but he just makes me mad.

I wasn't really gonna beat up an arl fella.

Matt Traynor
67   Posted 10/09/2010 at 06:14:27

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Tony (#52). There are always EU grants, but Objective 1 was the honey pot. Basically it was granted to cities that were 'orrible. Unemployment, urban decline, social problems etc etc.

In the UK it was Glasgow, Sheffield and Liverpool that had O1 status.

With the Accession countries joining, then a lot of cities in central / Eastern Europe became higher priority, and that's why the UK O1 cities had an expiration date.

The UK, France and Germany were then the only net-payers into the EUrocracy. Our Irish contingent can probably vouch for how Ireland milked the EU pot successfully before the expansion, but now don't meet the threshold levels anymore.

Whilst there's still funds that can be tapped, there is nothing on the scale of the c. £300m that was bandied around at the time.
Tony I'Anson
68   Posted 10/09/2010 at 08:07:43

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Thanks Matt. We could always suggest re-locating Goodison to Krakow and get the deal of the century.

Damn it, if only our City was still a shit hole, full of crime, deprivation and unemployment. It's just not fair is it.

Maybe not £300m floating about, but would we be able to get our hands on say £30m grants to get the ball rolling?

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