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Where Exactly Are We Now?

Comments (40)

The transfer window has opened and Everton ? despite an obvious need for a striker or two ? are not exactly involved in any activity. We haven't the money to buy anyone, we're told... and, more importantly, we don't seem to be able to afford the wages of anyone who may be available on loan.

Season after season goes by and we continue to struggle financially. Our manager can set teams up in order to get us draws in 50% of matches, but as for ambition and the desire to win, which requires a striker who can score 15-20 goals a season, well we can't do it.

We need to sort out the stadium situation, so that we can have a much larger income coming in week by week. Clubs that have 50,000+ stadia, are able to buy players and resource their wages. Since the end of the Kirkby fiasco, little has been said by "Dear Old Bill" about what we are going to do: Rebuild Goodison; find a new site; share the Stanley Park stadium with that other team of frustrated dreams; or what?

If we stay as we are, the long-term scenario is bleak; our financial resources will continue to dwindle and we will return to days when we were praying to reach 40 points so that we could stay up for another year.

Unless this issue is faced for both the clubs bordering Stanley Park, our great football city will languish far behind the big London clubs and more painfully, the Manchester clubs.
Rick Tarleton, Rutland     Posted 07/01/2011 at 11:18:11

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Jon Gorman
1   Posted 07/01/2011 at 14:51:28

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The fact that Manchester has two world class stadiums pains me. There's no chance of us getting a handout along the lines of the Eastlands at any time in the foreseeable. Looks like we could end up closer aligned to Birmingham as a football city than Manchester.
Dave Lynch
2   Posted 07/01/2011 at 14:54:15

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Not wanting to turn this into a social debate. But, This city has always lagged behind Manchester as far as amenities are concerned.

I mean to say, it's only recently we have got a decent concert arena and don't get me started on the tram network or lack of it.

Liverpool city council is archaic, corrupt and very slow on the uptake.

Don't hold your breath.

I use the corrupt analogy with reference to the Stanley park debacle and them selling it to the kopites, when they stated they couldn't sell it to us because it is greenbelt.
Kunal Desai
3   Posted 07/01/2011 at 14:58:56

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Do we really need a 50,000 seater stadium? surely that would be a waste of nearly 15,000 seats as our average attendances are in the region of 35,000.
Richard Tarleton
4   Posted 07/01/2011 at 15:41:31

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Mr Desai's comment breaks my heart. It shows the poverty of ambition that plagues myclub from True Bill downwards. It's not just 15,000 seats , it's hospitality boxes, it's the visitors when we play the Manchester clubs, Liverpool, the big three from London, all games when we could have 60,000 fans had we the facilities, all games when the hospitality packages would be worth a fortune to the club. I've watched Everton for almost sixty years and this attitude is part of the reason for our mediocrity on the field and in financial terms. We need a version of the Emirates, and we need to be planning and building it now.
Brian Waring
5   Posted 07/01/2011 at 15:45:37

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Dave, I think it's been mentioned on here a few times, but we have never enquired about buying Stanley park.
Carl Rutherford
6   Posted 07/01/2011 at 15:39:36

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I don't think wages are stalling loan moves. The money was there for Landon Donovan to come in on loan but he turned us down. The problem is most clubs want a fee agreed and some kind of condition agreed that would trigger a move in the summer (for example if he makes 15 appearances before the end of the season you buy him for x million). I think because there is no funds availible for summer transfers we cannot negotiate these kinds of deals.

If we do pick anyone up on loan it will be tied up very late at the end of the transfer window after everyone else has completed their deals.
Phil Martin
7   Posted 07/01/2011 at 15:35:33

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Kunal,

There's nothing like ambition, and unfortunately your attitude isnt an uncommon one. A sentiment that has infected many fans after 2 decades of mediocrity and mis management.

How many thousands are put off by crap views and crap facilities? How many thousands of seats are bordering on totally usellable?

I wonder how many people would visit a cinema when a quarter of its seats had views obstructed by a pillar or even worse the tier above.

That combined with the knowledge we can never become a real force again without new ownership limits our attendances. Where is the excitement when you know before a ball is kicked our finishing position? However the potential is there nevertheless. But saying 35,000 will do, just depresses the hell out of me.
Phil Bellis
8   Posted 07/01/2011 at 15:47:33

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Bit harsh, Rick
Kunal is only voicing am opinion that is backed up by the current home gates
Yes, we may get more away supporters turning up and corporate boxes bursting at the seams (if we are doing well on the pitch we may even get Everton supporters in them) but then again, can't be sure
I'd rather see the club get some professionals in to try to increase our off-sales, as it were
Steve Cotton
9   Posted 07/01/2011 at 16:03:26

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Kunal is absolutely right, we hardly ever get the full 40,000 in let alone 50,000. I appreciate that we don't have good corporate facilities and many restricted views but the standard of football in the last 10 years has been just above mediocre.

We don't have the following of the RS due to years of underperforming and poor national and international presence and it's unlikely that we will ever hold their level of kudos in the world, so he was being a realist. Yes, we would like a better stadium but, for God's sake, how are we going to start getting young kids around the region to want to support us? That's the challenge... any suggestions??

Dave Lynch
10   Posted 07/01/2011 at 16:18:13

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Brian @5.
Fair point mate.

But they are still useless bastards.
Norman Merrill
11   Posted 07/01/2011 at 16:13:23

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We do seem to be in a sort of timewarp: No sign of investment, No stadium news, and No possibilty of cash for the manager to improve the squad.

But things will certainly change soon cash-wise, when the renewal notices for season tickets fall onto the mat, in early April...

Brian Waring
12   Posted 07/01/2011 at 16:26:00

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I thought after DK, Bill came out and said we would have to look at plan B, redeveloping Goodison, even though all through DK, he said it couldn't be done?
Ray Robinson
13   Posted 07/01/2011 at 16:41:15

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I'd like to challenge a number of points made in this post and the replies to it:

Firstly, revenue from the number of spectators only has a marginal effect on ability to purchase star players. Of course, it has an impact but Spurs manage pretty well on 35,000 home gates.

However, secondly, I do believe that a better stadium would attract more fans - we still do have the potential to get 50,000 crowds, given an attractive team, good facilities and of course a favourable economic climate. Those conditions do not conspire at the moment though.

Thirdly, in view of the dire state of the eceonomy and the general disaffection with the club / football in general that I detect exists at the moment, I would be gearing towards gates of sub 30,000 next season. Not sure if Norman is alluding to that in #11 or whether he is saying that the club will be cash-rich in April.
Trevor Lynes
14   Posted 07/01/2011 at 17:16:48

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When I first watched the Blues we had gates of 70,000 plus on quite a few occasions and I was at the record 78,000 gate in the derby match and 72,000 when we beat Spurs in the 5th round of the FA cup....when the game was played between EFC and Liverpool in the cup BOTH grounds were filled for a night match and thousands were outside shouting up for the score as the game progressed.
If we have a succesful side the fans will fill any 50,000 stadium...so I have no doubts on that score.
BUT...I still cannot get my head around the continuing 'no money' situation when I see much lesser clubs making bids for players.
Embezzlement enters my head because otherwise how can it be...
Dick Anderson
15   Posted 07/01/2011 at 17:23:49

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Why do we need a striker or two?

Here's what annoys me.

We paid big money for Yakubu and he's failing to deliver. Moyes paid that money and should accept responsibility for wasting it.

Plus we have James Vaughan (22), Magaye Gueye (20), Victor Anichebe (22), Joao Pedro Pereira Silva (20), Kieran Agard (21) and Jose Baxter (18) or the books.

If none of them are good enough to challenge for a first team place during this striker crises you have to ask if they will ever be good enough.

Lets be honest Moyes would rather play midfielders Cahill and Fellaini up front then turn to one of the younger strikers.

That says to me that they are miles away from being good enough now and they probably never will be.

Lets get rid of them and find some young strikers who can put some pressure on the likes of Saha and Beckford.
David Holroyd
16   Posted 07/01/2011 at 17:40:59

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Ray, Spurs may manage on gates of 35.000 but their ground only seats 36,000 ? it's the money that they generate from their 35,000 plus corporate facilities, look at their turnover.
Jimmy Hacking
17   Posted 07/01/2011 at 17:42:37

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I agree with Dave #2.

Having lived in Manchester all my life i have witnessed the entire city morph before my eyes from a proper shithole into the most dynamic, prosperous and trendy urban area outside London, due to a brave and forward-thinking council. The heart of the city was gutted in the mid to late 90s, with virtually every old building torn down in the face of huge public protest, but nobody is complaining now.

Im sorry if this sounds like an insult, but whenever I step off the train in Liverpool it's like i've travelled back in time 30 years. it's no coincidence that both Merseyside clubs are in the shit. a forward-thinking council would have realised long ago that success breeds success, and giving it's giant footie teams (which are undoubtedly a massive part of any city's image, ego and identity) any kind of a leg-up would have been nice. instead we are left to decay.
Kunal Desai
18   Posted 07/01/2011 at 17:57:21

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Guys, my question was one which is genuine and for all intentions and purposes wanted to the gauge an opinion, i'm not trying to be negative or suggesting accepting mediocrity.
Its just a question I wanted to put to yourselves.
Perhaps the only game I would see us from benefitting of having an increased capacity would be the liverpool/Man.Utd games.

My other observation is the catchment areas of fans living within say 10 miles of Goodison. Would that make up nearly 90% of the supporters??

Unlike the Emirates, when Arsenal were at Highbury they had an extensive waiting list for those who wanted to become season ticket holders. You don't have to wait for one at Everton unless ofcourse it's at a particular end of the ground? I'm not sure.

I'd love us to fill a 50,000/60,000 seater stadium for every home game but personally I cannot see that happening bar two games a season.
Ray Robinson
19   Posted 07/01/2011 at 19:11:15

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Kunal, if Bolton or Blackburn had success, for instance, they would never get gates of 50,000. If Everton had success and a modern stadium AND the economic climate were right, we could achieve 50,000. We're only talking hypothetically as it's all down to potential and favourable circumstances conspiring - but that's what speculative investment is all about isn't it?
Richard Dodd
20   Posted 07/01/2011 at 19:09:58

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Only in the championship season of 1962/63 have Everton EVER averaged over 50,000 atendances and present day crowds are very much in excess of those in all but a minority of seasons.It`s no good moaning that there is nowhere to put the mythical extra 10,000 when so many of the people doing the moaning did all they could to frustrate the only viable chance we`ve had this century!
Richard Tarleton
21   Posted 07/01/2011 at 19:21:52

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There's a thread of pessimism/realism running through so many of the comments and the message coming through is that we now accept that we are one of the second tier of clubs and do not really expect to join the clubs that will challenge for a place in the Champions League. My real point is that a new stadium would indicate an attitude that suggests ambition. The generation of more money and better facilities that suggest a positive vision for the future.
To me there is a logic in the current circumstances of our two clubs joining together in this project.It would reduce the costs of construction and then the running costs. Our own stadium would be ideal, but if we do nothing, then I fear for the future.
Ray Robinson
22   Posted 07/01/2011 at 19:43:02

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Richard, I can guarantee that if we'd moved to a new stadium in Kirkby, we would NOT have achieved 50,000 gates because, to do so, you have to attract new supporters on top of existing ones. Kirkby would have alientaed a large percentage of the fan base, many of whom would not have set foot in it. So please do not use failure of DK to have a go a pop at those who voted against.
Joe McMahon
23   Posted 07/01/2011 at 19:48:31

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As already stated. nearly £40 for possibly a wooden seat, possibly looking round a pillar, plus travel costs and parking to see (Spurs game aside) some of the worst negative football seen by a premiership side doesn't help.
Richard Tarleton
24   Posted 07/01/2011 at 19:57:00

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I was totally against Kirkby and am not having a pop at anyone.

Howard Don
25   Posted 07/01/2011 at 19:57:53

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Re attendances, it's worth remembering that until Arsenal built The Emirates only Everton and United had achieved an average of 50,000 plus gates for an entire league season. That was the '62 '63 Championship season. I remember many a 60,000 plus crowd and plenty of lockouts.

However I'm not sure how that would translate into today's climate even with a successful side. A lot of that support in the '60s was very local from densely populated Kirkdale, Scotland Road etc all mostly gone now, plus it was very cheap to get in.

It's also worth remembering that in the '80s when we were winning Championships crowds average home crowds were at best mid 30,000s. That said football in general was somewhat in the doldrums at that time, then the PL came along and interest soared.

Who knows, but on balance I'd say it would be folly to build a stadium with less that 50,000 capacity if you've any ambition to go places.
John Shaw
26   Posted 07/01/2011 at 20:06:18

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Dodd - 19, Get your facts right, DK would never have achieved 50,000 because it would have lost a lot of supporters, mainly due to the additional time to get to and from the game because of where it was and the horrific transport links that nobody was planning to address anytime soon. If my memory serves me right from the multiple amendments to the original 'once in a lifetime opportunity', Knowsley MBC also had the capacity amended down to, I think, 45,000.
Back to the original question of Where Are We Now, we are all of the following, broke, skint, bankrupt, you chose, they all apply. According to the 2009 accounts, 2010 aren't yet available, the 'company' had Liabilities of almost £27 million, that's right, our liabilities exceeded our assets by nearly £27 million, not including player value due to that being hypothetic until realised !
The level of loans and debt on the company since Black Bill took charge is frightening, (remember we were debt free when he purchased from Agent Johnson), now I may be wrong, but I don't think that will have improved significantly in the last twelve months, we'll see.
John Shaw
27   Posted 07/01/2011 at 20:20:40

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* I meant no values for 'home grown' players.
John Shaw
28   Posted 07/01/2011 at 20:22:21

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Howard @ 24 - some good points.

I think it's also worth noting that since the late 70's, with the loss of huge employers, (particularly in mass production), Liverpool as a city has been in the top three areas of the country, and at times Europe for levels of unemployment and deprivation. I doubt it's ever easy to justify going the game when struggling to pay bills or feed the kids. I honestly believe we'll see a significant drop in attendances (certainly season ticket sales) next season as the Government cuts really start to bite in this part of the world.
Danny Broderick
29   Posted 07/01/2011 at 22:20:45

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John Shaw (25),

Sorry mate but I saw the same point you made about us having no debt when Kenwright took over on another post as well and this is factually incorrect. If you remember Walter Smith spent £20 million on Unsworth,John Collins,Bakayoko,Materazzi,Dacourt etc and then Peter Johnson ended up having to sell Big Dunc to keep the banks at bay. We'd spent beyond our means and couldn't afford the repayments...
I think the time has come for us to stay at Goodison. We've looked at all the other options but either the cost is too much,the location isn't right or both. Let's add an extra tier to the Park end. Let's demolish the other 3 stands one at a time,even if it takes 10 years. Tottenham's stadium has narrow confines but it still has corporate boxes all around it. Admittedly a stadium like this wouldn't bring in income 7 days a week,but if it had decent facilities so the fans spent all their money in the stadium instead of little boozers on County Road,it would dramatically transform our matchday income. It could be done gradually at a fraction of the cost of the £400 million or so needed for a top class new stadium - money we obviously don't have.
Personally I think the missed opportunity in the King's Dock is the darkest day in the club's history. Kirkby would have been a 2 bob cow shed like Ewood Park...
Trevor Lynes
30   Posted 07/01/2011 at 22:48:26

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John Shaw...it is nothing new about Liverpool being high on unemployment but that did not stop 78,000 attending a league derby game or 72,000 at the Spurs cuptie...the money paid at the gate was HIGH for those days but the players were not paid so well....The whole of the north west (including Manchester), the north east and northern Ireland suffered too with unemployment.....fans will ALWAYS find the money for good entertainment.
You have only got to go back to the Thatcher govt to see the redundancies that were rife and far worse than today.
Most fans did not drive to the games they went by bus and train and not just from Scottie Road and Kirkdale...I travelled from Huyton with loads of others and we FILLED goodison regularly.
Frank McGregor
31   Posted 07/01/2011 at 23:11:04

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I really wish the new ground issue was not being raised again for it is not an option at this point, far from it the energies should be spent on the team performance on the pitch. The only option you are going to get is a shared ground with Liverpool which I am not in favour of but have to face the facts.
I find it rather ironic the silence from KEIOC group whose only interest in Everton appears to be strictly business with their hidden agenda. The rebuilding of Goodison is a nice thought to have which will not happen.
John Shaw
32   Posted 07/01/2011 at 23:15:45

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Danny Broderick (28) - Thanks for the pick up, I've checked and the debt 'inherited' was actually approx £20mill when taken over, which was on the limit of what the bank would allow the club under Johnson, according to Michael Dunford.
Trevor Lynes (29) - Bit of background, I'm fully aware of the employment history of Liverpool having lived here all my life, as have all my family. I also have a family member who actively opposed the Government of the time to the extreme and was involved with far more 'celebrity' members of Liverpools 80's council, shall we say, in doing so!! I've also spent the last ten years of my life and my partner 27 years working for/with and running organisations assisting the unemployed and underprivileged in Liverpool and Merseyside. You make some good points but life and what people spend their money on has changed significantly since the 70's and 80's, far more people have to cover the costs of cars and associated costs (fuel), mortgages, credit cards, loans and insurances now than in that period. When faced with losing a home or bailiffs kicking the door in due to nonpayment of a loan etc, I doubt many will choose the match especially given the lack of success on the field. There are many, many factors which form the point I am making, too many to list here, such as more families nowdays have to support their children into their 20's and even 30's, the costs of education etc etc.
John Shaw
33   Posted 07/01/2011 at 23:47:05

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Frank McGregor (30) - I also can't see a new stadium of any sort any time soon, not even a shared stadium, due mainly to the cuts in funding and also the fact that available European money is beginning to peter out for this region, meaning no money for the Council to 'put in', as it were, or for us to access. Why would the RS build a stadium for us to share when we wouldn't be able to pay our way? Can't see it happening myself.
Ste Traverse
34   Posted 08/01/2011 at 01:01:36

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Frank McGregor. I find the silence from Bungling Bill and his yes men on the board,you know the ones that are supposed to give direction,far more disturbing than any silence from the KEIOC lads.
Gavin Ramejkis
35   Posted 08/01/2011 at 08:00:23

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Doddy STOP talking mince about history, your arguments don't hold water. Try looking up our biggest attendance, it was in excess of 50,000. Look up Man Utd's historical attendance figures, if you tie a seating increase in with investment into the squad and success on the pitch you would have increasing attendances.

The abhorrent lack of acumen behind Desperation Kirkby put the cart before the horse. It proposed building a larger stadium than required in some oblique hope it would be filled by magic, filling stadiums needs a product suitable to fill it and extra off field activities to garner finance required to pay the build costs.

When the alternative Loop site was proposed BK using KW as his mouthpiece and project manager defied that the cowshed could be expandable beyond 60,000 seats thus a better site. Just as every other lie BK vented via KW on the project this was blown out of the water together with any chance of it holding off field activities beyond KMBC getting a free venue at their control. The final figure was less than 50,000 seats but unless you cycled or walked miles you couldn't get to this "free", "world class", "best accessible" stadium.

The death of DK raised a call for a gradual development of GP in line with development of the team, vis a vis you gain success on the field to create a larger fan base hungry to be involved and come and watch. The business plan of a 50k shed at the arsehole of nowhere which would be empty for the majority of the time and hard to get to with no money available for the squad through the new debt didn't make sense. A new build in the City centre with the potential to host non-footballing activities and be expandable as and when the extra income was spent on the team and hopefully bring on field success and a marketable product i.e. bums on seats.

BK has remained silent after what appears to be another bullshitism of him reviewing the previously denied plan b in his own words of looking at the redevelopment of Goodison Park. Beyond a few begging bowl enquiries to the RS for Stanley Park BK has said nothing more about stadium moves or redevelopment, so we are all still watching yet another BK black hole space.

Frank, KEIOC are not the owners of Everton FC, they are not the mortgage holders of Goodison Park, they are not responsible for finding a stadium or enabling partner for what is in effect a private company. All things regarding redevelopment of Goodison Park or a new stadium are the responsibility of the current incumbents, something they have been deathly silent about since Desperation Kirkby was put out of it's misery.
Mike Allison
36   Posted 08/01/2011 at 12:24:54

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I've skipped a few comments so apologies if this has been said, but two important reasons mean we don't get the full 40,000 on a regular basis. One is that many teams don't fill the away end, the other is that a very significant proportion (around 10%? Can someone be more accurate?) of our seats are absolutely shit. By which I mean apart from being cramped for room you can't see one of the goals because there is something in your way.

We should have a 50,000 seat stadium. We would fill it a number of times a season and get 40-45,000 on a regular basis. The biggest problem of all is that half of Goodison (Bullens Road and Gwladys Street) is 'landlocked', and we'd struggle for the room to rebuild decent stands at the current capacity, let alone increase it.

Redeveloping Goodison has become my preferred option, but its extremely difficult and would require innovative solutions. Personally I'd put another tier on the Park End and fill in that corner to the Bullens, that's a few thousand more seats, meaning when the difficult half of the stadium is redeveloped gradually less revenue is lost.

Incidentally, the one end we have, the Park End, should be fully utilised. The entire car park should be built on up to the height of the stadium. four or five storeys, and hospitality, admin (as is currently planned) and anything else needed could be in this huge building. This could easily happen without losing car parking space, as one or two floors could be built as parking levels to compensate for the car park going.

I'd keep the main stand side as it is, pillars and all, if the rest could be got right.
Jay Harris
37   Posted 08/01/2011 at 13:09:21

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Danny#29.
You are not correct.

The 20 million was in the accounts the year AFTER Kenwright took over and as pointed out at the the time was coincidental that it cost 30 milion to buy out Johnson and Kenwright had no money except for the money that Gregg put up.

The truth is Kenwright inherited a 5 million overdraft with money still to come from players sales and therefore a debt free situation.

It was proven at the time that Kenwright's claims that the 20 million was down to the previous regime was not true (ring any bells?).
Danny Broderick
38   Posted 08/01/2011 at 16:23:52

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Jay,

We'll have to agree to disagree mate. I just did a quick google search and found a guardian article claiming Kenwright had paid £20 million for 68% shares and we were reportedly at least £15 million in debt. That tallies roughly with what I remember from the time.
You can't be suggesting that Peter Johnson left us with a clean slate surely? If we had no debt then that would have made him some kind of super chairman who had invested mega bucks, not the one that was eventually forced out.
Remember, we broke our transfer record under Johnson pretty much every season on the likes of Amokache, Big Dunc, Bilic, Barmby, Speed etc. There is no way we were debt free (with or without a small overdraft) when Kenwright took over. It was all on the never never, much like the current regime...
Guy Hastings
39   Posted 08/01/2011 at 21:37:27

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Danny#29,killing off the local boozers - however good, bad or ugly they may be - is not the way to go about things.
Stephen Graham
40   Posted 09/01/2011 at 01:16:57

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Attendance will never achieve the heights of yesteryears, and we'll never get regular 50,000 again, regardless of how well we play. Quite simply the population of Liverpool was higher in the past, and it has declined dramatically: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Liverpool_population_history.jpg

The away fans are only likely to travel to home games if it is achievable, as well as desirable. Many of us (I live in Toronto) have to view the match, and the ubiquity of televised games makes travelling less desirable even for those fans who live within a couple of hours of Merseyside.

Manchester has a much larger potential catchment area than does Merseyside and will continue to get larger crowds than us. Remember when (oh, the sweetness of it) when ManUre were relegated to division 2 and they still got 60,000 turning up to watch them? And remember, the shite only get their attendances thanks to Air Norway, not due to the number of scousers going!

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