After reading the "Red Bull Looking for English Club to buy" story this morning, and noticing a high percentage of comments suggesting that the injection of cash would be a good thing, I decided to register with ToffeeWeb (long time lurker) and explain exactly why I think the purchase would be fundamentally bad for our club, and why any such purchase must be resisted strongly until we get certain reassurances from the potential buyer. We’ll talk about those later.

First, let’s examine motives. Why would Red Bull want to purchase a team in its entirety, rather than just sponsor the shirt? To answer that, let’s consider what’s made Red Bull such a success over the years: marketing. Think about it, the drink is like medicine left out in the sun for too long. So how do they sell so many cans? It’s the power of the brand. Red Bull is a well recognized, global brand, associated with high octane pursuits, youth, energy, and being pissed out of your face in a nightclub on a Saturday night. So their motive for buying the team, rather than just sponsoring the shirt, is that their brand is too powerful to subtly blend into the background. They are not like AON, associating themselves vicariously with success they *are* the success. Success is their brand. And Everton FC and its history would only get in the way of that, hence the reason that they need to control the club in its entirety, so that they can morph it into Red Bull FC from the inside out.

"Why is it different to Chang Beer?" many ask. Well, it’s very different. It’s different because Chang Beer are only associating themselves with Everton FC; Everton, as a brand, is something that Chang want to be part of. Our club, our history, our shirt, our struggle. But Red Bull don’t want to be associated with us or anybody: they want a Team Red Bull in the EPL and in the UCL. To put it simply: one is a mutually beneficial business partnership; the other is a hostile takeover

Others have already brought up the sad case of Austria Salzburg. If you are not familiar with this team, please look into it right now and read about how the fans there were crushed with an arrogance usually only seen in dictators and traffic wardens. This was everything that has happened to Cardiff and worse: changed colours, changed name, lifelong fans banned. Do we really want this at Goodison Park? (Or The Red Bull Fun Field as they may wish to rename it.) How about playing in Blue and Red? How about the spirit of St. Domingo’s trampled into the dirt to such an extent we’d make MK Dons look like National Heritage in comparison?

The very threat of this hostile takeover has me looking jealously over the park at those whinging Kopites and their benefactors at Fenway Sports Group. Because, yes, even with the cringe-worthy talk of "the franchise", the unintended comic gold of Brenda Roger’s Brentarian turn in "Being Liverpool", and half their fan base coming from Norway, at least FSG’s chief interest is in building up the "Liverpool FC" brand above all else. They do this so that they may take advantage of corporations wishing to associate themselves with a successful sports club. This is the opposite of Red Bull, who are a corporation seeking to take advantage of a successful sports club in a vulnerable position.

Think about any other club in the top six: Arsenal (well run, lucky to be in the capital), Man City (sold their souls to oil interests but at least they keep their name/identity), Chelsea (rich sugar daddy but again no impact on name/shirt/identity), Spurs (never were that classy to begin with and lucky with the Bale money), Man Utd (owned by blood sucking yanks, were lucky to have had Fergie, and may well soon find how low things can get when empire crumbles). All of these clubs’ owners are interested in the brand power of the club itself. This is compatible with the wishes of the fans, who also want to see the club succeed and be lauded above all else. Any of these options as undesirable as some, or even all, bar Arsenal, are are still a lot better than what Red Bull has to offer: which is nothing short than the destruction of our football club.

Yes, Everton need investment. But not this kind. I support Everton Football Club not some marketing monster from the country who’s two greatest achievements are to have convinced the world that Hitler was German and Beethoven was Viennese. Hell, I’d rather have Agent Johnson back than put up with these Red Bull clowns. But luckily, we don’t need to contemplate such horrors (yet) while Bill Kenwright is still in charge. I know that he gets a lot of stick here at ToffeeWeb, but you can’t argue with the fact that he’s stabilized the club over the last decade. He’s made good choices with managers, and if you don’t think he listens to fans, why don’t you look into how many online questionnaires, votes, and fan consultation processes Red Bull put into place before stripping Austria Salzburg of their identity? (Their one concession to the fans: having the keeper wear violet socks for one of the home games.)

OK, not everyone sees BK in the same light as me. And some may see this Red Bull chance as a one-time opportunity that Everton can’t afford to pass up on. "Evolve or die" is the mantra. Fine, that’s a valid point of view. (I can imagine miserable gets like me writing angry letters to the local paper back when Everton went professional...) But my purpose of writing this article is to ask that we fans get behind a set of conditions that all prospective owners must agree to if they are to our enjoy our backing in buying and running the club. Something like the following:

1: The name Everton FC must never be changed.
2: The club crest must not incorporate any other letter or symbols than the NSNO motto, Prince Rupert’s Tower, club name, founding date, and laurel leaves.
3: Not all elements need to be present on the crest, but the fans should be consulted before the design is changed.
4: Goodison Park may not be renamed (although naming rights to a new stadium could in principle be sold).
5: The club must never be relocated outside of Liverpool.
6: The home kit will always be royal blue and white. This includes the sponsor’s logo.

This Red Bull story will likely turn out to be nonsense. With any luck, they’ll buy the Kopites, and we can all enjoy seeing them run out in their new blue and red kit, as "FC Red Bull Liverpool", with their pre-match rendition of YNWA replaced by the Red Bull eXtreme power anthem. But regardless, now is a great time to be gathering our thoughts and opinions as fans. Everton are on the up, as we know, and must be a target for investment by one of the behemoth branding machines out there on the global market. We must communicate this to the current and any potential future regime. We must speak loudly, in one voice. We need investment. We need a buyer. We deserve the right investors. We deserve the right buyers.

Reference reading:

Against Red Bull Football

Modern Football and the Death of History (thanks to Brian Waring for posting this in the comments of the original story).

Naming Rights the next step. Could clubs incorporate sponsorship in their name?

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Reader Comments (63)

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Kevin Rowlands
1 Posted 14/10/2013 at 15:16:20
Good read, Dom. I wouldn't be that concerned, though; Kenwright's been trying to 'sell' us for the past 14 years, it's not going to happen, I've accepted for a long time now that were stuck with luvvie till his toes curl. Why oh why couldn't Uncle Cyril have supported the RS!
Denis Richardson
2 Posted 14/10/2013 at 15:16:49
Well said Dom.

I read the Austria Salzburg piece and these guys are only after a marketing vehicle, i.e. a club in the permiership and CL who can market red bull for them - everything else is not relevant for them. They don't and won't care about any history and will change everything so that the whole clube is simply a walking advert for red bull, at all times.

Every club, not just EFC, in England should tell them to do one if they come knocking. If they do end up buying a club in England, then that will be a truly sad day for English football, as that will be the beginning of the end fear. The sport has already gotten commercial enough with naming rights and strips being changed etc.

Anyway, hopefully this will turn our to be nothing but unfotunately money talks and the red bull owner is worth a few billion!

Patrick Murphy
4 Posted 14/10/2013 at 15:18:36
Not a great deal to argue with there Dom, although I'm not sure that the various polls and surveys carried out by the club carry any weight in their decision making processes and IMHO are more a way of gathering e-mail addresses and customer details to add to their growing data-base.

I don't think that the type of takeover you describe, would be good for Everton FC or indeed for the corporation that decided to purchase the club.

I can see a stadium being built by a corporation and leased out to the club, with all the logo's signage etc being that of the corporations rather than the club's. That may in itself be too much for some traditionalists.

Whoever buys the club - if anybody ever does - they will have to earn the trust of the fan-base over a period of time, however, whatever the initial motives of a potential buyer no-one can be sure that their ideas won't change over time.

There is no way that Bill Kenwright can assure himself or the fan-base that a potential buyer ticks all of his boxes on behalf of the club. It's a gamble that eventually will have to be taken, Bill won't be around for ever.

We obviously don't want the club to jump into bed with the first interested suitor who waves a wad of cash, but we don't want the club to be left high and dry on the shelf for the rest of its natural life either.

Kevin Tully
5 Posted 14/10/2013 at 15:29:03
I think you've hit the nail on the head there Dom - this would be a sponsorship unlike any other in the Premier league.

They would want to re-brand the whole club from top to bottom. Our appeal is our proud history, and I for one would not want this great club to be an advertising vehicle for some European soft drink manufacturer.

Of course we need more sponsorship (and new owners) but there is a limit on how much of our history we would have to sacrifice for corporate millions. This company would definitely be a bridge too far.

I would also add that the club is probably unsaleable anyway, when you look at the asking price, the many mortgages, and the long term finance & sponsorship deals that are already in place.

Scott Hamilton
6 Posted 14/10/2013 at 15:54:55
You make some very valid points Dom and I take my hat off to you for being so motivated by this that you've signed-up to TW and submitted a post.

A great leveller for many is the consideration that, as Red Bull Everton or whatever the name would be, they could be sat watching "us" play Barcelona in the CL a few years from now or maybe even winning the PL. How long can a team live off its history before it needs to win at any cost? Will fans still be singing "if you know your history" in 20 years time if most of them have never experienced first-hand the success that the song refers to?

For those of us old enough to have seen the Club win trophies and titles the idea, once properly considered, seems abhorrent. For younger Toffees however I can see it holding real appeal. A super-rich "new Everton" with contemporary branding and the potential for on-pitch success. What would they care for the past if the future seemed so very, very bright? This is obviously what Red Bull would be banking on.

I think the reality is that (thankfully) Everton wouldn't be right for them. It would make more sense for them to buy Fulham and re-brand as London Red Bull. That would be one hell of an advert for their inexplicably popular drink. If they were to buy us then my biggest fear is that we would be renamed (gulp) Liverpool Red Bull...

Thomas Lennon
7 Posted 14/10/2013 at 16:29:46
This would just be another step in the same direction we have been going since professionalism started in the game. It's a business. If you want grass roots football, there is plenty to be had in League 1.

I think we are all agreed that provisos need to be put in place but what power to resist change once a buyout is complete? Not much. If there is a commercially viable stadium site just outside Liverpool, then your line in the sand will move quickly enough.

But we cannot live on our history, we cannot survive indefinitely on not winning anything. Keep telling yourself we can... but we can't. Ask Burnley, Sheffield, Leeds, Blackpool, Bolton, Notts County. Is it glorious has-beens that you want our grandchildren to know us by or is it RB Everton in the Champions League?

Many worry about keeping our identity. Everton FC is already long changed from its original identity. The Everton FC I grew up with wins competitions, buys the best players or at least challenges seriously for both and did so for the first 100 years of its existence. The Everton FC we have now does not and hasn't for coming up to 20 years. THAT part of our identity is long gone. Do we want that back or is it the labels that connect us with a glorious past? The past is lovely, safe, unchanging. unchallenging hey, we can always cling on to 'the second longest amount of time anyone has played in the top division'.

The sort of team we were now plays in the Championship (perhaps that is where some would like us to be), the game at the top has changed forever. We have yet to challenge for the Premier League. And there is only one way to win the Premier League.

Glory hunter? Perhaps there is a little of that, even after 20 years of nothing with regular doses of humiliation thrown in. Isn't getting our share of glory what all this is about? I have been lucky enough to shout 'Champions' at our team more than once, I want it for my children too.

Thomas Lennon
8 Posted 14/10/2013 at 16:29:46
This would just be another step in the same direction we have been going since professionalism started in the game. Its a business. If you want grass roots football there is plenty to be had in League 1.

I think we are all agreed that provisio's need to be put in place but what power to resist change once a buyout is complete? Not much. If there is a commercially viable stadium site just outside Liverpool then your line in the sand will move quickly enough.

But we cannot live on our history, we cannot survive indefinitely on not winning anything. Keep telling yourself we can but we can't. Ask Burnley, Sheffield, Leeds, Blackpool, Bolton, Notts County. Is it glorious has-beens that you want our grandchildren to know us by or is it RB Everton in the Champions League?

Many worry about keeping our identity. Everton FC is already long changed from its original identity. The Everton FC I grew up with wins competitions, buys the best players or at least challenges seriously for both and did so for the first 100 years of its existence. The Everton FC we have now does not and hasn't for coming up to 20 years. THAT part of our identity is long gone. Do we want that back or is it the labels that connect us with a glorious past? The past is lovely, safe, unchanging. unchallenging - hey we can always cling on to 'the second longest amount of time anyone has played in the top division'.

The sort of team we were now plays in the Championship (perhaps that is where some would like us to be), the game at the top has changed forever. We have yet to challenge for the Premiership. And there is only one way to win the Premiership.

Glory hunter? Perhaps there is a little of that, even after 20 years of nothing with regular doses of humiliation thrown in. Isn't getting our share of glory what all this is about? I have been lucky enough to shout 'Champions' at our team more than once, I want it for my children too.

Linda Morrison
9 Posted 14/10/2013 at 17:02:43
Well done, Dom, and don't worry, Scott it's not going to happen. All of those on TW who pull BK to bits, think of Cardiff and what's going on there, if those monied owners get fed up and look for another toy to play with, where will they be?

We need a new ground and it's a shame that Kirkby never came off as Tesco were going to be the main provider of finance. They're in a mess so that's not going to happen again as an option.

We're stuck with the old ground and look at this what would we have to moan about on TW without the lack of investment?
Looking forward to Hull it's my first game since a bad ankle break.

Colin Fitzpatrick
10 Posted 14/10/2013 at 17:17:21
Oh dear me...
Brent Stephens
11 Posted 14/10/2013 at 17:22:39
Very good read, Dom. Welcome to TW. Like others, I just see this, though, as chip paper talk.

"Others have already brought up the sad case of Austria Salzburg. If you are not familiar with this team, please look into it right now and read about how the fans there were crushed with an arrogance usually only seen in dictators and traffic wardens"...

my career's teacher warned me off becoming a dictator but I did have designs on becoming a traffic warden before I finally retire - now you've ruined that dream for me.

Paul Andrews
12 Posted 14/10/2013 at 17:38:52
Main provider of finance?
Linda Morrison?
Colin Fitzpatrick
13 Posted 14/10/2013 at 17:57:10
Just sayin'......

Tom R Owen
14 Posted 14/10/2013 at 18:14:08
Please "It's a shame Kirkby didn't come off!"

As I and many have stated, anything that the luvvie says just will not happen:

NTL Fortress Sport the docklands project is that money still ring fenced? We are stuck with him and all his cliches of "My blood runs blue" and "when I was in the Boys Pen". I feel my blue blood boil every time I see him or even hear him.

Remember when RM first arrived and he went on about he says he will get us in the Champions league! Or more distasteful his remark about feeling raped after someone went to the press about a comment he made.

The guy is not to be trusted or admired.

Ross Edwards
15 Posted 14/10/2013 at 18:23:59
We want investment, then when one of the world's most ambitious companies could take an interest to take us over, you're all saying no.

Yes, we may well be rebranded, but if it means being one of England's leading clubs again rather than pretending to be one, lying back on our 1980s glory days, then I'd go for it.

We need money, and if they are interested, then I'm sure Bill will lay out what his criteria is.

Kieran Fitzgerald
16 Posted 14/10/2013 at 18:04:33
Scott, very good point about the younger generation of fans. If you asked a City fan over the age of forty what he felt about the way their club has changed over the last five years and you would get very mixed feelings. Success is good but the cost of looking like a circus would have been very embarrassing for many City fans of a certain age. Ask any City fans under the age of twenty and they will look at you like you have ten heads. Success is all that matters to them.

I don't want us to become the circus that City did for a couple of seasons. I don't want Everton to be seen in the same light as City and Chelsea who have become overnight sensations simply by throwing money about. Yes, Utd or Arsenal can and will spend 40m on one player, but both clubs have worked hard over a number of years and have earned the right to be seen as a top club. The word pedigree jumps out at me.

Winston Williamson
17 Posted 14/10/2013 at 18:37:53
What if Red Bull said the first signing we make is Lukaku?

Only kidding...

If our name, kit colour and crest remains the same and our history honoured I would be glad of the investment...

We only need 4 or 5 quality signings to make the we all know

Kevin Rowlands
18 Posted 14/10/2013 at 18:45:48
Just a thought but I wonder if Tim Cahill could possibly be somehow involved here if this is true, big friends with Kenwright, plays for the NY Red Bulls so obviously knows the heirachy there and loves Everton, maybe there is something in this.
Eugene Ruane
19 Posted 14/10/2013 at 18:47:04
After what came out at the DK inquiry, to be still spouting about Kirkby being a missed opportunity, is like seeing your 'oul feller putting out your Christmas presents and still believing in Santa.

Of course, I understand WHY many didn't/wouldn't read the inquiry on keioc - that could have lead to facts getting in the way of uninformed alehouse-lawyer waffle.

Tony Cheek
20 Posted 14/10/2013 at 18:54:14
To be quite honest I might be a smidgeon interested if they were called BLUE BULL, but I have a problem with Red, wouldnt feel right!
Eric Holland
21 Posted 14/10/2013 at 19:38:21
We must look to the future which at the moment is challenging for best of the rest.

Our history will always be there no one can change that, The problem is our trophy winning history is getting to the point where lots of blues can't even remember winning anything.

Give me investment and a PL title and champions league games against top European teams any day, I can take a name change or ground renaming we will still be Everton, we will still have the history, but me might just start winning something.

Colin Glassar
22 Posted 14/10/2013 at 19:53:36
The more I read about these people the less I like them. The only investors I would accept would be Carlos Slim, Bill Gates or the Sinaloa cartel, the worlds three richest people/groups. Who wants to be owned by some fizzy rs company?
Ross Edwards
23 Posted 14/10/2013 at 19:57:28
I agree with you Eric. We do have the history, but it will continue to be just that, history, if we refuse to move forward.

I want us to be the best team in England, and if that means being taken over by Red Bull and face possible rebranding, then that's fine.

I don't like the fact we have been kidding ourselves for 20 years that we are one of the biggest clubs in the country, and the reality is that we aren't, and probably won't be for some time yet without investment.

I mean, even Southampton have had investment. The last time they won anything was in 1976.

Ross Edwards
24 Posted 14/10/2013 at 20:02:29
It's either a bit of ambition, investment and possible silverware under Red Bull Colin, or accepted mediocrity, a decrepit stadium with a compulsive, cringeworthy, unambitious liar like Kenwright at the helm?

I know what I'd prefer, even if we were rebranded.

This "Oh, we can't get taken over by them because it's got 'red' in the name" is pathetic and childish.

Darren Hind
26 Posted 14/10/2013 at 20:25:03
Sorry Dom. I was with you briefly, but Kenwright "has stabilized the club" ? . . .
Colin Glassar
27 Posted 14/10/2013 at 20:25:30
I know where you are coming from Ross but there's a point when these investors have to be told that something is unacceptable and the name of our club, our crest and the colour of our shirt has to be in that category. I wouldn't be heartbroken if GP was to be called red bull stadium, if our shirt sponsor was red bull rather than the shit deal we have with Chang etc.... But there are some things that are sacred and untouchable IMO.
Joe McMahon
28 Posted 14/10/2013 at 20:40:51
Winston Williamson (#464) Where is the money going to come from to make these quality signings? Remember, Lukaku is on loan. Who are these quality signings that are going to play for a club not in the CL and in a wooden stadium?

I'm with Thomas Lennon: we need to move with the times as history is history and we can't keep living in the past. Do Man City fans yearn for days of Peter Swailes to be back?

I don't care who own us as long as they put us back where we should be. Kenwright has been with us for years, it's time for a change, sadly I don't think it's coming.

Ross Edwards
29 Posted 14/10/2013 at 20:45:53
Indeed Colin, and I respect that view. It's very important to maintain our tradition and history, but I'd prefer to look forward and win things and create more history for our club rather than look back and say "We were the best team in England... over 25 years ago"

Do you see what I mean?

We were successful, we were one of the best teams in this country, we still think we are, but we won't be until we bite the bullet and get rid of Kenwright and move forward.

John Keating
30 Posted 14/10/2013 at 20:44:24
I reckon, if the "World's Greatest Evertonian" was offered the "right" amount of dosh he and his mates want, he wouldn't hesitate flogging us off!! He was quite happy to do it over Kirkby so why not to someone else?

Possibly I'm in the minority and possibly that since I've seen the great team of the early sixties I look at things differently. It pisses me off to hear about the only way forward is to sell our soul. Why should we?? Too many people have been brainwashed into believing we are some sort of small team.... What the fuck!!

Why is it every time we speak of takeover the first thing brought up is a new stadium that somehow appears to cost between 100 million and 5 trillion!!

We don't need a trillionaire or some arseholes like Red Bull! What we need is proper management working to a proper long term plan

Kieran Fitzgerald
31 Posted 14/10/2013 at 20:40:45
If we could get the money without the bullshit and brand overhaul I would be delighted.

If we could get the money with a stadium name change and a partially changed club name, I would swallow it.

If what happened to Salzberg happens to us, I would find it very hard to take this. How could I still call myself an Everton fan if the club was called Red Bull Merseyside, how could I not be embarrassed by the 'razzamatazz' and the pyrotecnics and the extreme sports merchandising.

The thing is though, football fans are some of the most fickle people on the planet. If Red Bull Merseyside suddenly won two league titles in a row and a couple of domestic cups, would my interest in the club suddenly come back to me?

Another thing is that if we don't do something soon, we are going to become an over-achieving mid table club in all senses of the word. We really can live off reputation, history and past glories for so long before it just becomes pathetic. The level of debt, operating at a loss year upon year and the cost of a stadium are genuine concerns for fans, even if we can't agree on figures. Investment will become more and more of a pipe dream the bigger the debt, the longer we operate at a loss and the older the stadium gets. Sooner or later, it will take something drastic to drag us back up to where we belong. Red Bull Merseyside may not be that far away.

Andy Crooks
32 Posted 14/10/2013 at 20:44:55
Ross, for someone I have long considered astute I believe you are way off the mark here. A re- branded Everton as Dom has argued would be fundamentally different from a sponsored Everton.

I don't think for a moment that this deal will happened but if it did then every supporter(supporter, not Evertonian) who entered the Red Bull arena would with every chant be a willing participant in a cynical, commercial destruction of what, for many, is more than a trophy acquiring machine for providing boasting rights.

The long predicted death of this club hasn't happened yet. There's a way to go and much to happen before our decline is terminal. Red Bull could kill us much more quickly.

In my view there is much, much more to being a football supporter than gloating over expensively purchased silverware.

Ross Edwards
33 Posted 14/10/2013 at 21:07:11
Well Andy, I'm sorry you disagree with my view, but there is no way that Bill would sell up if he thought that it wouldn't be right for the club.

I'm sure the rebranding isn't high on the list. The chief exec or whoever it was said they wanted to take over an English club to get them in the Champions League.

Why would they waste money on rebranding when they could spend it on an new stadium and players.

Bill would make that quite clear if a deal materialised.

Clarence Yurcan
34 Posted 14/10/2013 at 21:16:03
Red Bull came in in 2006 (I believe) and bought my local MLS side, MetroStars, complety rebranding it. New name, new badge, kit colors, etc. The difference is no MetroStars fan cared because the team had only been in existence for 12 years, never won anything, and no one had any attachment to the colors/kit/etc.

Obviously it's very different with Everton. Even if they agreed not to mess with the name/crest, they would still splash the red bull logo across the shirt, which just wouldn't mesh well with royal blue. But that's a small price to pay, I guess.

Pat Finegan
35 Posted 14/10/2013 at 21:04:09
This whole discussion comes down to the reality that the club we support is part of us, not a product. It isn't a business that should be promoted. It is more like a religion or a nation. It is meant to be treasured and respected so to change the identity of the club is to change the identity of each individual who treasures and respects it. The fusion of such an entity with a marketing machine like Red Bull can not work to the benefit of both parties.

Those who understand need no explanation. Those who don't understand don't matter... Red Bull doesn't matter and neither does their money.

Clarence Yurcan
36 Posted 14/10/2013 at 21:25:09
I'm sure they'll just buy West Ham though, so it's a moot point.
John Keating
37 Posted 14/10/2013 at 21:18:34
Ross, you say Bill wouldn't sell up unless it was right for the Club??

Does Destination Kirkby ring a bell?? Bill came in as a mercenary and please don't be surprised if he leave as one!

Why would any short-term investor and I mean Red Bull want to spend any sort of cash improving the infrastructure of the Club when they can weigh in with mega millions in the short-term to gain great exposure then move on?

The only way forward is long-term structure and planning. Any business worth it's salt (a) believes in itself and (b) goes into it in the long term with honesty and credibility. Sadly lacking in our circumstances, I'm afraid.

Ian Hollingworth
38 Posted 14/10/2013 at 22:34:09
Like or not the game is not the same as it was and never will be again.
A European super league will happen and sooner rather than later.
Where will Everton be when it happens?
Looking in from the outside I guess......... Unless???
Mike Hughes
39 Posted 14/10/2013 at 23:22:48
At the risk of sounding like an English teacher, that was a really good piece of writing. I think the motives - and not simply the investment - are very important to a unique football club like Mighty EFC.

Regarding other comments, Kirkby would have been a wrong turn in our history (I voted NO). King's Dock was the missed opportunity and still brings me out in a cold sweat to this day.

We are a great club that seemingly lacks a vision. Perhaps BK has even rejected a few "offers" from potential suitors based on them being unsuitable (i'm quickly donning a tin hat after that comment but who knows?)

(On another tangent, I was on the phone to a Sheffield United mate of mine last night and I came off feeling like a big time Charlie - so it's all relative. I told him we were having a crap season too as we're only 7th in the Prem and might only be 4th on Saturday night. Can't wait tip this international shite is out if the way and back to the proper stuff).

Andy Crooks
40 Posted 15/10/2013 at 00:45:20
Ian (#499), I suppose we would be looking in like the vast majority of supporters. A friend has supported Motherwell for 50 years. Looking in for most of that time. I doubt that he has enjoyed his football any less than I have. To me, football is about watching your team try to win in the best way they can. Watching it live with friends is as good as it gets.
David Hallwood
41 Posted 15/10/2013 at 01:07:42
At least we'd have wings.
Slightly off piste, I disagree with Ian Hollingworth (#499) about the inevitability of a European super league in that it would all depend on what form it took. if it was just a league with no relegation or promotion, IMHO would signal the death of football.

Like all leagues there would only be 4-5 contenders for the title and therefore a game between for example, Anderlect and Lazio would be turned into a meaningless pre season game with nothing at stake.

Compare that to our domestic league in which practically every team has got something to play for until the final game.

A European super league is a (non-football loving)bean counters dream, and hopefully will never see the light of day.

Jamie Sweet
42 Posted 15/10/2013 at 01:06:13
A very good read Dom (you should lurk less and contribute more) and I personally agree that the conditions you list are fundamental parts of our club and history that should never be compromised or sold at any price.

However, I have just had a vision of football in 25 years time, when the top 4 of the EPL reads "1. Red Bull Rotherham, 2. McDonalds Mansfield, 3. Coca-Cola Colchester, 4. Nike Northampton", all playing in packed-out 80,000 all-seater intergalactic stadiums, while we look on (years after Bill has taken us into administration), and think "that could have been us".

Roman Sidey
43 Posted 15/10/2013 at 00:47:29
I think this is a tougher hypothetical than people realise. On one hand, the history of the club is one of the main reasons the fans are so loyal. I can't imagine many people want to support Red Bull Merseyside FC if Everton FC is the alternative. However, if Red Bull did take over the club, but left the name the same, the crest the same, and our shirts predominantly royal blue, would supporters really mind if the stadium was called Red Bull Arena or the like? Would a multi-coloured sponsor in the middle of the shirt really cause that much of an issue if it meant 20 million quid a year as opposed to the four that Chang give us?

People like to cite Cardiff as a precedent. Fine, but they're now playing in the Premier League. In red. Is that not better than playing in the Champo (or worse) in blue? Wouldn't it still be sweet to see Ross Barkley lift the Champs League trophy wearing a royal blue shirt even if he was wearing red shorts?

I am not saying it would be ideal, but it is a question you need to ask yourself if you're going to dismiss a possible chance at Everton FC finally getting the financial muscle they've lacked for over 20 years.

Roman Sidey
44 Posted 15/10/2013 at 01:40:34
Have to add that in no way do I support Red Bull or their intentions of completely changing the make-up of a club like they did with Salzburg. Just playing devil's advocate in addressing what will need to be considered if or when we do fall upon some sort of financial opportunity.
John Keating
45 Posted 15/10/2013 at 06:42:02
in the long term it goes without saying that we need some sort of investment in order to progress.
However, in saying that, what we have scandalously lacked in the past and continue in the present, is some sort of management and strategy which may well have seen us in the last couple of seasons actually obtaining Champions League football.
I cannot believe that in all the years The Worlds Greatest Evertonian has been at the helm we have never had a legitimate offer of either buyout or investment in the Club.
Derek Thomas
46 Posted 15/10/2013 at 07:59:02
*still looking in the bottom of the toilet bowl for whatever (if any) cred Ross Edwards may have once had*
Ross Edwards
47 Posted 15/10/2013 at 09:53:05
Good luck with finding my credibility Derek because I've never had any at all since I've joined this site, according to many on here.
Richard Tarleton
48 Posted 15/10/2013 at 11:54:03
An excellent piece that outlines the dangers of being taken over merely as a marketing exercise by a giant multi-national company. Cardiff's story is salutary, because the owner believes that fans are second rate commodities who have one role only and that is to support and admire his initiatives.Fans are in fact the only constant in modern football, players, managers, even owners swop their allegiance, only fans remain constant, but local fans are in the modern game, not as important as Sky and the global audience. We must be vary wary of the Red Bull scenario.
Ian Burns
49 Posted 15/10/2013 at 12:17:25
First of all welcome to the TW Website Dom.

Second, an excellent and well written article - some might say a brilliant debut!

You make an excellent impassioned plea. However . . .

I must say that Scott 447 and Thomas 454 put up excellent thought provoking posts.

However, like John 480, I go back a long way and the history is hugely important to me as it will be to many others and the sort of takeover Dom speaks of is not for my liking one bit.

However, it is a long time since we've seen a piece of silverware and maybe times they are a changin'

Aidan Wade
50 Posted 15/10/2013 at 12:53:16
Thanks Dom, an informed and grounded piece that eloquently reiterates what we all feel about the club, invest in Everton FC, don't buy us like an advertisement over the urinals in a niteclub.

Ross, how much of the club could you amputate and still follow the "Everton" Red Bulls? Is there a line the rebranding shouldn't cross?

Bill Gall
51 Posted 15/10/2013 at 14:32:40
Good explanation of Red Bull but, as I have stated before, in the game today money talks; the people with the money only care about their own agenda and to them its their way or the highway. So, if it came to a takeover, we could demand what we want but you will only be allowed what they want.
Eugene Ruane
52 Posted 15/10/2013 at 14:59:13
Bill (558) - " the game today money talks; the people with the money only care about their own agenda and to them its their way or the highway. So, if it came to a takeover, we could demand what we want but you will only be allowed what they want"

This is 99% true but there is one factor that it doesn't take into consideration.


Or more accurately our response to what KIND of takeover it might be.

Because as powerful as the money men are, we would, at least theoretically, actually have it in OUR hands to dictate terms.


Well let's imagine the very worst.

Bill flogs us to Red Bull and our new owners immediately announce the following.

"Goodison will now be the Red Bull Arena, Everton FC will become Red Bull Everton and though the shirts will stay blue, they'll be Red Bull blue worn with red shorts and red socks'

Question, what happens if 36,000 say 'I'm staying away until they've fucked off or given us our identity back'?

The Red Bull totally empty arena?

I said theoretically, because in practice Everton supporters (generally) have shown they are prepared to put up with and swallow all sorts of shite, but the fact remains if they/we were organised and prepared to threaten and BACK our threats, we might find we actually have a bit more power than we think.

Remember, when 22500 said 'stick that beehive badge up your arse!' an apology was issued and redesigns began.

Everton supporters taking REAL action in the face of a 'hostile' takeover is improbable, but NOT impossible.

A clich I know, but without the supporters, there really is..nothing.

Bill Gall
53 Posted 15/10/2013 at 15:21:27
Eugene I completely agree with your take of the supporters ability to react but lets be honest with money offered for players, chance for honors and prospects in Eurrope how many will stop going.
Andy Crooks
54 Posted 15/10/2013 at 17:43:41
Bill, I suspect many more than you imagine will stop going. I doubt that honours, Europe etc will bribe us.

Here's a thought. what will stop the supporters of, say, Burton Albion, stop going|? Are they better supporters than us? Have we some sort of right to have higher aspirations?

In my view, to aspire is an end in itself.

Ross Edwards
55 Posted 15/10/2013 at 18:40:20
Aidan, if they force us to wear red, then for me, no way Jose. If all they do is put their logo on the kit, then fine, I'd accept that, but if they charge in and claim "this is a club with no history, we're starting again", then they can shove off to West Ham.
Aidan Wade
56 Posted 15/10/2013 at 22:00:43
That sounds fair Ross, but you're talking about a sponsor then, not the kind of make overs that Red Bull has performed in the past, e.g. Salzburg
Mike Gaynes
57 Posted 16/10/2013 at 01:10:41
Dom, I would add my approbation for your writing skills had you not included the phrase "blood sucking yanks"... which I would consider deeply unfair. The Glazers are among the most respected franchise ownership families in the US, renowned for their charitable activities and their commitment to the quality fans experience. I recognize the vehement and ongoing opposition to their ownership of ManU, but every indication is that the Glazer ownership has been good for United and its supporters.

That said, I would not only agree with your concern but add a point previously unmentioned here... Red Bull's overpowering takeover at Salzburg roughly mirrors what they did in New York. The team name, color, crest and branding were completely changed. The old MetroStars didn't have what any European team would consider tradition, but Red Bull did come in like a Bull in a china shop and break everything up.

Red Bull isn't stupid... and I can't believe they'd be foolish enough to try this sledgehammer approach with Everton... but I'm with the consensus here that lots of conditions would have to be attached to any investment by this company.

Jimmy Srheim
58 Posted 16/10/2013 at 13:34:09
I think it would be wise to avoid Red Bull, luckily we have a chairman who at least knows Everton well and hopefully will do the right thing by avoiding Red Bull.

I would want a similar type of takeover as Man City had but I think, no matter who comes along, it will take a long time to find the right buyer.

James Flynn
59 Posted 16/10/2013 at 19:18:49
Mike (693) - Perhaps we can push Red Bull aside and swap owners with Man Utd. The Glazers appear still persona non grata up the road.

Let's have Man Utd supporters delight in Kenwright, Green, and them and we suffer the Glazers... I'm ready to take my chances.

Dick Fearon
60 Posted 16/10/2013 at 22:05:49
Kenwright might hold the fort against invaders but does anyone really believe that his shady mates would knock back the chance of making a profit?
Roman Sidey
61 Posted 17/10/2013 at 02:05:21
James, as long as Bill takes Osman and Elstone with him, I'd support that, mate.
Jim Potter
62 Posted 17/10/2013 at 13:38:09
Very good article Dom - and depressingly enlightening. Thanks.
Andy Callen
63 Posted 17/10/2013 at 23:13:49
People talk about lack of investment - we have had investment, we've had a steady stream for the last 20+ years - it's called playing in the Premier League, and the riches it offers.

What we lack, and have done for a fair few years before the start of the PL, is leadership and vision, from those in charge.

The one opportunity we truly had, was missed, as a certain someone did not want to give up his toy...

A viable business plan could allow us to have the funds to pump into the team. The success this could/ would bring, would allow us to redevelop the stadium.

As some have mentioned, all that is needed is a long term plan. Currently the only plan Everton have is to sell anything not nailed down, to stop the banks from "killing us" NSNO.

Jim Lloyd
64 Posted 18/10/2013 at 13:20:49
IF we were to have any say in it, then one or all of Dom's suggestions/statement of Conditions is a must.

Seeing as there's nobody else that we are aware of queueing up to take us over (and this might well be a "creative post by a hack,) it's Red Bull who are supposedly in the frame.

Personally, I think we need a takeover to bring us anywhere near a level playing field with the teams we aspire to challenge, for European and Domestic honours.

Red Bull though? Well, its scary, having read some of the posts on here about their previous foray into club ownership.

From what I read, it was mentioned that they might be looking for a club who would be challenging for the Champions League and our name was mentioned along with Liverpool's, as likely candidates. Liverpool of course, would be eminently suited to a name change. "Red Bull" is what they're full of.

I'd love us to be taken over. Especially as Man City were, or even a big Company who had pots of money and were prepared to invest plenty of it.

And I'd love the shower we have in charge now, to be booted out and give this club a chance to grow.

I wouldn't fancy Red Bull though, as I can't see them dropping the name and the logo, which is after all, their company symbol.

I agree with Andy above, that we need a business plan but, we'll never get one with this crew. We'd also need a lot of money to put those plans into fruition.

So come on Arab sheiks, get down to Goodison and get shut of
"Blue Bull."


Linda. Where did you get the idea Tesco were going to be the major investors in the new stadium?

James Flynn
65 Posted 18/10/2013 at 15:07:13
Roman (881) - Apologies, brother, haven't looked in here for a day or two.

I understand we can't just have anybody taking over the Club; "Be careful what you wish for", etc. I wasn't in when Kenwright and them took over, but I'd bet many, many supporters were happy when they did. And here we are. It's not so much about Red Bull.

We need an ambitious group to run the Club. One that understands a club makes the most money when it wins. In Red Bull's case, the club in the most-watched league on earth winning. And what that means for Red Bull being known around the planet. All because some football club, they own, wins.

If it's Red Bull or any other, I don't care. We need an alternative to what we have now. I'm ready to take my chances.

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