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Barclays interest / borrowing

As far as I remember the club's agreement with Barclays on their rate of borrowing ran out at the end of July.

Does anyone know whether a new agreement was put in place? If so, do we have any detail?

This must be a big consideration when it comes to reinvesting any money we might get from sales.

Lewis Barclay     Posted 29/08/2013 at 13:48:40   Comments (38)

Cutting Edge

So we are just two matches into the Martinez era and what is quite noticeable already is the lack of cutting edge both in midfield and attack. The team is crying out for creative reinforcements who will make an active contribution to the teams attacking intent.

At a time of increased TV revenue and all Premier League teams have or are intending to use this money to make significant investment on the playing front, Everton and our board in particular are sitting on the sidelines with the proverbial thumb up their arse watching any chance of progression disappearing into the ether.

What is equally startling is the supporters’ apparent acquiescence to what is taking place. Where is the debate and anger from the fans? Have we become so conditioned to Kenwright’s normal inertia during transfer windows that the majority of supporters accept it as a fait accompli? This laissez-faire attitude among fans is hard to fathom especially since it has already been demonstrated that debate, passion and anger amongst and from the fan base can actually change matters i.e. the badge debacle.

Surely Evertonians cannot be happy with the present culmination of our transfer dealings. If you want the team to progress and compete in this league then make your voices heard loud and clear to the extent that the board and Martinez will have to act. However a word to the wise Roberto, any further attempts to buy current or ex-Wigan players will not be conducive to the direction in which the team needs to progress.

Only six days left and counting...
Brian McGee     Posted 27/08/2013 at 19:19:21   Comments (41)

Where are the new midfielders?

I have been waiting for Roberto Martinez to find a top quality midfielder with a nose for goal, but it seems like we have another manager who is missing the key holes in the squad.

It was obvious that we need an influx of new central midfielders; we could manage with just one addition, but the fact remains we have still not replaced Arteta with another like-for-like midfielder. We are going to find it hard adapting to the new style if we do not bring in a new midfielder.

The transfers so far has been okay, with the key being a new goalkeeper, a top young winger, and in previous times a very good striker.

My biggest problem with Roberto Martinez is that he has overlooked our central midfield; we should have brought in a midfielder at the time when the other players arrived. Now it is likely to late, but I hope we try to get Moses on loan at least and maybe Sissoko who I seem to remember being a decent midfielder. The most important thing is that we bring in someone better than Hitzlsperger as it will be a waste of wages to do anything else.

I am not feeling as confident as I did at the start of pre-season; as I see it, we lack several players to be able to fit into the pass-and-wait category. Osman is so average these days that we might just as well put Junior in his place – at least with him you have the chance of him coming good. If not him, then Lundstram should be given a chance; the key is Osman does not provide us with anything as he lacks strength and basic skill to be a central midfielder.

GIbson is again going to be key in order for us to win games, and other midfielders such as Barkley and Fellaini need to follow his lead. It is very noticeable when Gibson is not in the team — as last season showed; we did far better with him playing, because we went unbeaten for a long time, and in fact we have only lost one game where he has played the full 90 minutes.

How much clearer can it be for Martinez to see??? Moyes had identified that problem and tried to get Fer, but screwed around with the fee and lost him. One would think Martinez has to see what everyone else can see? Will he fail to bring in a new midfielder?

I hope he can do us proud and address this problem before the window closes.

JImmy Sørheim     Posted 27/08/2013 at 09:53:24   Comments (36)

Ideal Replacements

If the worst happens and both Fellaini and Baines leave and assuming (naive I know) we can replace them both before the window shuts then who are your ideal like-for-like replacements.

Personally, if Baines goes I think Oviedo can come in and play so I would like to see a youngster like Luke Shaw of Southampton come in (£10 million according to the Express)

For Fellaini, every man and his dog thinks McCarthy is coming in but what other options are there around?

Phil Armstrong     Posted 21/08/2013 at 11:09:11   Comments (82)

Anyone else feeling embarrassed?

I was having a peruse through other teams transfers during this transfer window, and was absolutely shocked to see what I found. We all know about Van Wolfswinkel to Norwich for £8.5 million, Fer for £8 million and Hooper for £5 million. That's over £20 million pounds spent so far.

I was amazed to see other clubs of the same calibre spending roughly the same.

Cardiff have spent £26 million plus. Southampton have spent £20 million plus, as have Swansea.

I'm not counting the big 6 for obvious reasons, but the teams around us that we should be beating have spent triple what we have this window.

Am I the only person embarrassed by this fact?

Are we in such poor shape financially that we are below the new arrivals to the Premier League?

There are some serious questions that have to be answered by the board because it is becoming more than a little bit ridiculous.

Matthew Svatos     Posted 21/08/2013 at 08:32:21   Comments (80)

Everton defence myth

There is a lot of talk on here and in the media recently regarding the stingy defence of Everton with Moyes as manager and concerns that Martinez will open the floodgates.

After very little research (but obviously more than most journos) I have found the following:

Everton (2012-13) played 45 with 12 clean sheets.
Wigan (2012-13) played 48 with 11 clean sheets.

I know Wigan were relegated and all that but I am fed up with people coming on here thinking we were completely watertight last season.

My point is we conceded in 33 games last season and we will continue this season. Those not willing to give Martinez a chance and using leaking goals as an excuse have obviously never watched us play in the last 5 years.
Mark Jensen     Posted 20/08/2013 at 19:03:20   Comments (59)

Let's let Woodward and Whelan battle it out

It seems to me that the general consensus amongst the fan base is that Baines cannot be allowed to leave but that Fellaini is replaceable and it is all about getting the right price for Fellaini. It also appears that James McCarthy is the nailed-on replacement to come in if Fellaini leaves. This key problem we have is that this means dealing with two of the most tight-fisted chairmen and boards, with both out to over and undervalue players to their advantage.

With that in mind, I was wondering if there have ever been situations whereby other clubs have negotiated for players on our behalf? Essentially, I think we would be happy with McCarthy and £10M and overall would see this as good business. I think this also reasonably reflects the players' values and respective ages and the current level they are at and would allow us to bring an additional player in a central or wide area to improve the overall quality of the squad.

However, the reality is that, if we were to get say £22M for Fellaini, Whelan – knowing our need for a replacement midfielder and knowing Martinez wants McCarthy – pushes the price up significantly and would ask for at least £15M, as quoted.

We are in a relatively strong negotiating position here and I think we should not let ourselves be backed into a corner by essentially selling before we buy. It would make much more sense to get all three parties in agreement over the two players and possibly a loan to Wigan – I am sure Moyes would have a couple of sweeteners for Wigan in the form of fringe players who would go out on loan.

I have not knowingly heard of deals being done like this before but not wanting to deal with either club directly it would seem one way of not being caught with our trousers down on 2 September buy being shafted by two of the toughest negotiators in the league!

David Parker     Posted 20/08/2013 at 09:15:40   Comments (24)

Concern at lack of investment in team?

I've just been watching Sky Sports News and seen that Everton are below Hull City, Norwich, Cardiff, Southampton and even Crystal Palace in the spending league so far this summer, only a few teams including Arsenal and Man Utd have spent less.

Yes there is a couple of weeks to go in the transfer window but I haven't heard many people mention the lack of investment in the squad yet again. Most of the moaning this summer has been about the new badge and kit but not that we have only (so far) spent around £7 million on four players, while the mighty Southampton have just splashed £15 million on a new striker.

None of the new signings even started against Norwich so have we actually strengthened the starting 11 yet? Here's hoping that Mr Kenwright gives Roberto a few more quid to spend before September 2nd!
Chris  Sillett     Posted 19/08/2013 at 19:01:38   Comments (16)

ToffeeWeb Talk – #1: The Former Referee

I'll try and slip this one in un-noticed amongst all the Fellaini/Baines stuff!

I've been fortunate enough to meet a lot of characters in sport, going back from my matchday job at Goodison Park in a sponsor's lounge on weekends from Uni, up until a more recent career in Private Equity and working with a couple of football agents.

Seeing as Patrick Murphy has raised the bar with his look-back articles prior to each game, I've finally decided to give this a go — it could be the only one, or the first of many.

I've sent out a load of emails to some of these characters to ask if they'd be willing to do a Q&A with us ToffeeWebbers. I've explained that we're a far more intelligent bunch than other websites that claim to represent us, and so far none have turned me down...

So first up is a former Premier League Referee – Mr Ray Bigger. He's a Crystal Palace fan (so probably why he was so keen to do this). I'd be amazed if any of you remember him – he was a ref in the inaugural season of the Premier League.

So if you post your questions below, I'll send them through and then write a more in-depth piece with the answers.

As well as your name, please give a location, and maybe 1-2 lines about yourself. Apologies to Becky Tallentire in advance, but I'm totally ripping off your approach to Talking Blue!

If this goes well, #2 will be a Football Agent. Not sure if he's willing to remain nameless.

So have at it. Get him to tell you the Clive Thomas story... Ask him about goal-line technology... Qatar World Cup? He was a pundit on ESPN STAR Sports in Asia for a while – and he won't dodge any question!

(I did an event with him in Singapore back in the day, and printed tickets for it – it was called "Who's The Bastard In The Black"! He forgave me!

Matt Traynor     Posted 19/08/2013 at 17:36:26   Comments (38)

Slipping between the cracks

Looking at the team and bench on Sat got me thinking about our squad players and options. IMHO, a couple of players seem to be slipping through the cracks.

One player is Heitinga. He may not have had his best season last time but was previously the Player of the Season. He is also a regular for World Cup finalists Holland.

I rate the guy. Given the 4-2-3-1 formation that we played on Saturday, I thought that he would be a better option as defensive midfielder than Osman. He is a defender by nature but is comfortable on the ball and can pass it around. I reckon he should be the preferred backup to Gibson. Osman s a more forward-playing midfielder and is really competing with Barkley for a spot.

The other guy, I was thinking about was Oviedo. I really feel for this guy. Every game that I have seen him play, he has done really well. He is good defensively, comfortable on the ball and can get forward too. I guess it is tough when you have Baines and Pienaar to compete against. However, not to be even named in the squad beggars belief. Personally, if I were him I'd be handing in a transfer request and looking to go to a club where he can get regular football.

Ciaran Duff     Posted 19/08/2013 at 07:00:57   Comments (19)

What is the matter with Baines?

I am sure that I am in the minority but what is happening with our England full back, Leighton Baines?

Since the beginning of last year his performances are nowhere near the levels that he has shown in the past. I know that you could say the same of the majority of our players; however, I used to consider Baines a different class.

His partnership with Pienaar yesterday was non-existent. He appeared to not want to pass to him even when he was perfectly positioned. Has all this talk about a possible move to Manchester United left him disinterested?

Every free kick and corner he took was close to hopeless. His overlapping runs and the quick one-two that he used to play are non-existent. If his performances over the past 6 months are any indication of what he will be like in the future for us, then I would certainly take the £12 million or so that was being touted.

I hope I am wrong and that he is in need of a rest, and/or the transfer window closes so he can get back to his best, but I am not sure...

Ajay Timothy     Posted 18/08/2013 at 15:15:08   Comments (53)

Pre-season lessons

I'm looking forward to the start of the season proper, with equal measures of excitement and trepidation, and I wondered what exactly the pre-season games had told us. The merits of systems, players, subs and qualities have all been pored over, but are there any givens we can assume?

Well, I thought I’d try my hand at some certs, but this being TW, I don’t expect unanimous approval. Nevertheless, in no particular order, here are my cast-iron assumptions and observations:

1. Tim Howard is our first choice keeper and will be for some time yet.
2. Tony Hibbert is possibly third choice right back, behind Coleman and Stones.
3. Jagielka and Sylvain are first choice centre-back combination and will start at Norwich.
4. Lyndon Lloyd looks like Tim Howard's younger brother (or possibly love child).
5. We already have a creditable alternative to Leighton Baines, should he go.
6. The aforementioned Ovideo surprised us all.
7. When Gibson doesn’t play, or plays badly, we struggle.
. 8. Fellaini, even half-interested, is a shoe-in.
9. Spend any money we have on a central midfielder.
10. Michael Kenrick seems really fired up for the new season.
11. Steven Naismith is nowhere near as bad as we all thought he was.
12. Gerard Deulofeu is definitely a work in progress.
13. Osman looks as if he is waiting for a bus that has been cancelled.
14. Mirallas will be the star of this team this season.
15. Barkley has a touch of the Gravesen about him.
16. The Everton PR team has finally clicked into gear after years of slumber.
17. Steven Pienaar is finding space less easy to exploit.
18. We have an abundance of striking options and more than one will feature each game.
19. Jelavic has earned a start on Saturday.
20. Blues in USA are just as fanatical as their UK cousins. 21. All this talk about 3 at the back confuses me; we’ve played 4 at the back mostly.
22. Don’t write John Heitinga off just yet.

I’m sure you can think of more. I know I can.

Tony McDonald     Posted 13/08/2013 at 23:00:41   Comments (70)

A Season of Transition?

There is nothing better than sitting with the computer reading the posts and threads on TW. I have been reading this site for many years but only recently started to post one or two comments.

The diverse comments on such as Moyes but the common opinion on such as BK is fascinating. I started out as a BK supporter but in recent years, ownership of the club at all costs and subsequent inexplicable reasons for not selling along with last-minute transfer dealings to keep the bank happy rather than making the funds available for new signings, has caused me to see the direction the club is heading in an entirely different light.

It is this direction that concerns me and causes me to type up this Talking Point...

I have just been catching up on the excellent talking point by Varun Rajwade "Expectations for the Season" and the thread which followed. So many posts expecting us to finish 7th or better with a piece of silverware to add to the hope. These should be days of excitement and expectation but 7th or better?It won't happen.

A season of transition is the opposing view whilst the players get used to RM's new system. A season of transition it will be — not only because the players need to get used to playing in this way but also because the likes of Norwich (we will see on Saturday), Southampton, Swansea and the other teams of similar quality will see how Real Betis went about their pressing work in our half on Sunday and how they didn't score 5 or 6, only Tim Howard can answer that question.

Baines and Fellaini remain vulnerable to a Man Utd bid and we remain on standby to replace them with at least one more Wigan player and if news stories are to be believed (I know they are not) a left back from the Portuguese league, whom I bet nobody has ever heard of unless you watched the Confederations Cup and even then you would have to rack your brains to remember him.

If this IS to be a season of transition and not a season of total disappointment, then let's use it to bring on Barkley, Stones, Deulofeu, (where's Duffy in all of this?), Oviedo (in place of Pienaar or if it turns out, then Baines). A season of transition staying with Osman and Pienaar, relying on Gibson to be injury-free (no chance) and Diston (as good as he is and has been, lack of pace will catch up with him).

I know you can't play all of the youngsters all of the time but game time such as Barkley has been getting is invaluable and not just 3 to 5 minutes at the end of a match, which I suspect Barkley will get against Norwich, when the vital bit comes this weekend.

If it is to be a season of transition, then let's bite the bullet and grow the youngsters.

Ian Burns     Posted 12/08/2013 at 16:44:35   Comments (149)

Memories of Real Betis, The Working Man's Club

Today marks the date of a fixture I've been waitng for for twenty years. I'm a lifelong Blue and linguist with a healthy interest in European football. Twenty years ago almost to the day I found myself on a school exchange with a family from Motril, on the Costa Tropical in Spain. The lad I was doing the exchange with wasn't much interested in footy so I would speak with his old man, a weather beaten bricky from Seville about English and Spanish footy. The old fella was made up to have someone to talk football with and offered to take me to his club's next home game. So, that weekend, off we drove in 37 degree heat in the family's clapped out Seat to the Benito Villamarin stadium (as it was then called) where Real Betis were due to host Atletico Madrid.

The stadium was full to the brim, bog rolls were being thrown onto the pitch in coordinated ticker tape fashion. The locals were friendly, no hooliganism to be seen, but they were very much up for the game against the softies from Madrid. In the event, they went down fighting 2-1 but not without putting on a good display, having spent far too long in La Segunda in recent seasons. And, that was me, hooked for life. A true Blue but also a Bético, forever more condemned to watching them yo yo for years to come.

Real Betis are one of the grand old teams of Spanish football. Formed in 1907, they enjoyed a long history mainly in La Liga or its precursors. They won only one league title unfortunately, Spanish football being polarised mainly between Real Madrid and Barcelona. They are the working man's club from Seville as opposed to Sevilla FC who belong to the middle classes. In recent years Betis have yo-yo'd around the top two divisions but they've come strong last season and now find themselves in a transitionary phase where they hope to better last season's finish where they ended just outside the European places. Sound familiar?

They have a new keeper, Andersen, two new defenders, Steinhöfer and Vilà, and two new strikers, Chuli and Agras. I've lost touch a little in recent seasons but from what I understand, their main threat however comes from Molina up front, Igiebor in midfield and their young wing sensation Vadillo. They are more than capable of causing us some problems. Yesterday a mixed a team plus new signings went down 3 - 0 to Hull City. I wouldn't use that as a barometer unless the coach uses the same team for this match. Either way, I'll almost have mixed emotions when I take my seat for the match today. COYB and Mucho Bétis! Sr. Chamorro, thank you for introducing me to your great club, but forgive me for wanting the boys in Blue to give your lot a thorough pasting today. NSNO.

Glen Anderson     Posted 11/08/2013 at 11:30:05   Comments (4)

Link, anyone?

Really bad news for us Everton supporters abroad this coming season. Due to new European laws on the showing of live football, there will be no live broadcasting of games that start 3pm on Saturdays. The early and late Saturday game will be shown. For us in Norway, it will be the first time since 1969 that we won't be able to see a live game at 3pm.

It was brilliant last year as we could pick from up to 6 games that went out live every Saturday. In fact, I did not miss one Blues game all season: every single game was shown live. Heaven! This season, the first game shown live will be the Chelsea game (our 4th fixture).

I was wondering if anyone knows the reason for this? Is it because it is now possible to pick up these channels back home and people are watching games in pubs and at home instead of going to the games? Either way, I am really pissed off, and will now have to join the ranks on the live forum asking for streaming links.

I wonder also if this affects income for the clubs?

Tony Cheek     Posted 10/08/2013 at 10:05:24   Comments (18)

Fees and Wages

One thing that annoys me when I am reading this otherwise wonderful site is comments like: “Kone, Robles, Alcaraz and Deulofeu, all for only £7 million.” Obviously they should have written: “all for only £7 million plus fees and wages.”

How much do you think their contracts are worth incidentally? I would imagine that none of them are under £25k a week, or above £50k a week, so somewhere between the figures of £M and £3M a year. I’d be surprised if their combined contracts were worth less than £14 million. Whether that ends up being a good investment of the club’s money or not remains to be seen, but I struggle to see it as cheap (even if it is cheap by ‘Premier League standards’, whatever they are).

As well as the assumption that any player who comes on a free is some sort of magic giveaway, what also annoys me is the assumption that we can sell Fellaini for £23 million and bring in 4 players at £5 million. Well that works out only if they are all willing to play for a quarter of his wages, which would be less than all the players we currently have in the first team squad. A situation that would produce some interesting scenes when they all started comparing wage slips at the end of the month. Do they still get wage slips? I’d like to think so.

This reminds me of the Yobo situation. Didn’t he come here without getting a signing-on fee, and then when he found out from his new teammates that the club had taken advantage of his naivety, refused to complete a permanent contract until he got one? A sort of, modern, “I’m Spartacus”, moment.

Why don’t clubs publish these figures and get it all out in the open? Now I know the reason most businesses keep salaries confidential. It’s so you don’t work out that the guy next to you is earning twice as much as you for half the work (presuming of course that you sit next to your boss). So how is salary confidentiality working out for Premier League clubs? Not exactly keeping costs under control so far – I think it’s fair to say. Everton would be well advised to take the lead on this one. It would be the first step on what would be a very long road to sanity.

Any discussion of Everton and the morality of transfers and wages is an interesting one. For example, there have been a lot of outraged comments on Man Utd’s “derisory” double bid. This is a bit rich coming from a club who are no stranger to “derisory” bids for other people’s players. I can’t remember the details of our Negredo and Fer bids in the last transfer window, but, from what I recall, our beloved leader seemed to cause no small amount of annoyance to the owners of their respective clubs. Apparently they had the gall to not enjoy being messed about, nor did they want to be paid in chocolate buttons over the course of the next 250 years.

So presuming, as seems depressingly inevitable, Bill holds his hands up in surrender before calling Dave Whelan, and presuming that any new signings want wages, what should we do with the £40M in transfer fees, and the £110k a week freed up in wages?

Gavin McGarvey     Posted 09/08/2013 at 10:34:57   Comments (52)

Expectations for the season

Unlike many ToffeeWebbers, I started to follow Everton in the mid-2000s, so this is the first time I will see a different manager than David Moyes. And I really liked the guy though he drove me nuts at times, but overall I really liked him.

Now here is Roberto Martinez with his positivity, his smile, his talking up our players and his back three pass-along the ground style. Quite a change from the dour Scot – with his I-prefer-winning-over-good-football mindset, KITAN1, knives-to-gunfights, etc..

He got us into Europe and then kept us as the almost team of the PL. Many disliked him but grudgingly admitted he had done a good job on small budgets..

So, it got me thinking: what are the expectations for this year for the TWers. I would be happy with a top 6 given all the changes over the summer, new style etc. But just curious to know what others think.

Varun Rajwade     Posted 09/08/2013 at 05:28:16   Comments (105)

Saha retires

Louis Saha called it a career today (insert own "how will we notice?" joke here).

Frivolities aside, I often had occasion to wonder just what he might have done in the game had he been made of rubber and not glass. Capable of scoring any type of goal: close range, distance, either foot, good in the air.

That he achieved as much as he did and yet can still be considered potential unfulfilled gives one pause for thought.
Richard Pike     Posted 08/08/2013 at 22:33:40   Comments (12)

Concerns over the Martinez system

I fully understand it's only pre-season and early days for the new system Martinez is trying to implement, however watching the pre-season games has definitely highlighted a few concerns about the new style.

Firstly, the three centre back defence seems to have left us disorganised and very sloppy at the back, with these errors being costly in the Premier League.

in addition, our build-up and attacking play seems to be laboured, patient and a lack of cutting edge. This gives time for teams to organise behind the ball making it difficult to create opportunities. Surely our play would be more effective attacking at speed, with the likes of Mirallas, Baines and Coleman being able to break at speed.

Many people and myself included moaned about the lack of attacking style and lone striker up top under the last regime however this also seems to be the preferred way of the new system also.

Believe it or not I am actually optimistic about the up and coming season. I hope this post becomes irrelevant once the system has settled and players more familiar with the way we play.
Scott Phelps     Posted 07/08/2013 at 16:01:52   Comments (67)


I recall seeing somewhere that Everton would be sending their younger players into this competition after spurning the opportunity to play in the inaugural games last season.

Has anybody been tracking this? More importantly, would someone like to be our NextGen correspondent here at ToffeeWeb?

Duties are benign: a summary of the set-up, keep us appraised of the schedule, follow team line-ups and match scores (probably on Twitter) and write-up brief match reports for the site.

Michael Kenrick     Posted 06/08/2013 at    Comments (7)

The Dithering is Disturbing...

Is anybody else starting to get really worried now that Moyes still hasn\'t made a signing at United? It's either bonafide evidence that the man is a dithering, hesitant unsure leader... but the fact is he has had probably since Christmas to line up his transfer targets in his head. And I fear they are inevitably wearing Everton shirts at this moment.

As if Fabregras is a realistic target. To me it reads, sorry Everton I tried to get somebody else in but it didn't happen, thanks for Fellaini and how are you Bainesy? It\'s going to happen isn't it. That would knock the wind right out of my sails right now.
Robbie Muldoon     Posted 06/08/2013 at    Comments (64)

What happens to Pienaar this season?

I've been wondering where Steven Pienaar will fit in? The talk is that our formation will probably be 4-3-3 or even 3-4-3 and I don't think he fits in well with either of those formations.

The emergence of Mirallas and the signings of Kone and Deulofeu mean if we play one up front with two wingers supporting him, he wouldn't be first choice.

He's over 30 now, probably one of our top 5 earners, and potentially sits on the bench for a lot of the season, I'm surprised he hasn't been listed as one of the expendable players by the fans yet.

Before I get flamed, do a realistic team sheet either in your head or on the reply and see where he fits in (if we don't play 4-4-1-1 anymore).

Dave Trudgeon     Posted 06/08/2013 at 13:57:48   Comments (37)

The Prem (and Everton) Are About To Hit it Big in the States

As you may (or may not) know, NBC this year won a bidding war with Fox for the right to broadcast the Premier League in the US starting this season. This is a significant development for the Premier League to gain a real foothold here. Whilst Fox Soccer would show maybe 4 matches live per weekend, NBC has promised to show every Premier League match live in the US using all their media platforms. This is really an amazing development and unthinkable even 10 years ago.

Well, NBC is marketing this heavily, and as I stepped into a Manhattan subway car this weekend, what should greet me but a giant advertisement instructing all who entered to "Keep Calm and Pick Everton." Needless to say, I did a double-take. As it turned out, each of the subway cars was dedicated to one of 7 teams, sort of as a way to get the casual American unfamiliar with the league to see them and "pick" a team.

The only 7 teams represented on these subway ads were Man Utd, Man City, Arsenal, Liverpool, Spurs, Chelsea and our beloved Everton.

Obviously, NBC is only interested in using these ads to promote the teams it knows have a big following here, and the fact that Everton was one of them truly shows the global reach of this club. TV marketing suits don't care about history; they only care about dollars. I'm sure they did market research and found that Everton was indeed one of the most supported clubs in America.

So there you have it: television marketing has confirmed what we already knew: that Everton are one of the biggest clubs in the world. A deep-pocketed buyer now must be just around the corner...

Clarence Yurcan     Posted 03/08/2013 at 21:57:47   Comments (38)

Transfer spin again?

So, our new manager is injecting a bit of a feel good factor and from watching the last 2 games, showing an encouraging move to a more flowing style of football that we'll ultimately enjoy every week (I hope however, we can defend with all those attack minded midfielders)....

Anyway, you all know this through general conversation, but I haven't seen it promoted for debate yet: We were desperately short of numbers last year and it showed in the couple of months after Christmas.

Now we find ourselves going into the new season with EXACTLY the same amount of senior players (Neville, Mucha, Hitzlsperger & McAleny loan – out) (Kone, Alcaraz, Robles and Deulofeu loan – in). We probably even have a net SAVING on wages on these deals.

Ok, a couple of the kids are looking more at the races now and will no doubt help out, but where's the money?

Surely the £5mil for Kone wasn't it? New Sky money, last 2/3 years outbound transfers not spent?

Just how much has he got to try and pull something off with, without selling the good assets we have (yes, even Heitinga!)?

I only hope to God, that the monies are clearing the debt completely and putting us in a position for proper investment!

Debate :0) ?
John  Cotton     Posted 02/08/2013 at 18:25:01   Comments (300)

We Are No Longer Beef, We Are Now Veal

You know when you just get the urge to trawl through history to compare the then with now? No? Well I do anyway and the mention of Michael Dunford's recent post at Crawley Town got me wanting to do a 'then and now' comparison whereby I came upon this.

Sorry there is quite a bit to trawl through but I believe it is worth the read to see the utter reverse of the board's relationship with the fans. What a difference thirteen years makes. Much of what we were told may have been BS but I believe it was genuinely the plans and ambitions at the time. I was also surprised at how sensitive information about players of the day was so freely offered back then and subsequently published for public consumption. Were there any repercussions I wonder.

To demonstrate the contrast take a look on the official site at the transfer history and see how many purchases are marked as 'undisclosed' whereby the general media are left to speculate yet the figures will ultimately be announced in the accounts anyway. The last transfer in to have a fee against it was John Heitinga on 1st September 2009! That may not be unusual in modern-day football but is it right? Especially to have such extremes.

Would transparency shine a bright spotlight on deficiencies rather than having us speculating about them or is it just that collectively or individually 'we can't handle the truth'?

From the days when it could be said we were shown a little too much light to the present day where we are locked in a room with no windows 24/7.
Lee Mandaracas     Posted 02/08/2013 at 11:05:20   Comments (12)

Short Term... Long Term

Like many others, I am excited about our short term future and looking forward to the coming season. Roberto Martinez is making all the right noises and moves, we have added to the squad and the preseason is going well. However, I still have a nagging worry at the back of my mind about where the club is going in the longer term.

As shown by the Blue Union and others, the club is in debt and that debt is growing. That is not sustainable in the long term. It is also generally accepted that we need to move/upgrade our stadium. No obvious solution to that is in sight. At this point, many fans seem to go for the easy options (bring in a billionaire) or the old blame game (Bill Kenwright, Robert Elstone, The Marketing Dept etc). To my mind those are cop-outs and there is no easy option.

As pointed out in a couple of other recent articles, there are very good reasons why Everton is not an attractive option to possible investors. In a nutshell, the amount of money they would have to fork out to cover debt, stadium and squad make it commercially unviable. Having Liverpool FC on your doorstep doesn't help either. So, what is a realistic option?

The only option that I can think of is that we try to live within our means and start planning for the long term. Specifically, I mean that:

  • We need to put aside some TV money for a stadium fund (that was someone else's idea);
  • We need a salary cap (most of our money goes out in player wages);
  • We should be signing only young (cheap) players with possible resale value;
  • We need to continue to develop our youth/academy program.
All the above would have implications for the club – especially in the transfer market. We wouldn't be able to make big transfers and would possibly have to sell on players if we cannot meet their wage demands.This could obviously affect our league position.

In the long term, though, it would safeguard the club financially, hopefully give us a better stadium, and ironically make us a more attractive investment option. The question is, could the club/fans handle the above constraints?

Ciaran Duff     Posted 01/08/2013 at 11:49:43   Comments (29)

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