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Blues fans get the Fabric first

09/07/2014  Comments (27)  jump

A group of loyal Evertonians became the first people to own the 2014-15 home shirt on Thursday when they were taken on a Finch Farm tour by two Blues legends.

The supporters, who have been Season Ticket holders for over a decade and who supported Roberto Martinez's side at every single home and away fixture during 2013-14, were welcomed to the Blues' training ground for an exclusive tour by Ian Snodin — and were left overwhelmed after receiving the special surprise.

As the group were taken behind-the-scenes, Ferguson emerged from the boot room with a brand new home shirt for each fan with their surname printed on the back.

Stewart Nicholson from Wirral said: Following Everton is my life and Duncan is obviously one of my all-time heroes. To meet him just means everything. I really like the shirt too and to get one from Duncan just topped it off.

George Friemann, who has followed the Blues home and away for many years, added: I can't believe I just met Duncan Ferguson. I'm pretty much speechless! It's great that the Club did this and nice to know that as fans, we are appreciated.

The classic royal blue jersey received high praise when it was revealed in June as the first kit since Umbro became Everton's new technical partner.

To mark its release, the Club and Umbro launched a campaign to celebrate those who form the Fabric of Everton — from Roberto Martinez to Graeme Sharp, skipper Phil Jagielka to Everton Ladies' captain Michelle Hinnigan, and kit manager Jimmy Martin to the Club's oldest living player, Tom Gardner.

Now, it's the turn of Evertonians.

Ian Snodin said: It's the fans who make this Club so special and hopefully evenings like this prove to them that they are the fabric of Everton.

It's a massive commitment to support your team, week-in, week-out, but that's what these fans do and they should be recognised for that.

With over 130 Evertonians holding a Season Ticket for ten years and attending every single away game last term, the lucky group were selected at random to make the trip to Finch Farm.

Everton's new home kit is available to pre-order now at evertondirect.com and is available for men, women, juniors, infants and babies. It goes on sale on 17 July at Everton One, Everton Two and online at evertondirect.com.

 

Reader Comments (27)

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Dave Kelly
1 Posted 09/07/2014 at 22:36:41
From the outside Everton seem to organise these events really well. That is until you scratch beneath the rich veneer. ItÂ’s all smoke and mirrors, with very little substance attached to them.

All that this eveningÂ’s event has achieved is to further split an already fractured fan base. It has left a 120 of the 130 eligible fans feeling angry, frustrated and disenfranchised.

When will they ever learn? Â’FabricÂ’ has been an imaginative PR campaign that is now tainted. My comments arenÂ’t aimed as a criticism of any of the 10 who attended, more a concern for the 120 who didnÂ’t get an invitation to attend.

I will be looking for ToffeeWebÂ’s full and comprehensive report on this eveningÂ’s events and congratulate your elevation to "official" status that the club has now afforded you.

Phil Sammon
2 Posted 09/07/2014 at 23:49:40
ThatÂ’s nonsense, Dave. The club canÂ’t even make a nice gesture without pissing people off. These are proper fans who were selected at random. They had a nice day and went home happy.

Abusive content removed by moderators

Lyndon Lloyd
4 Posted 09/07/2014 at 23:59:06
Dave, over the past 12 months weÂ’ve had a number of laudable initiatives carried out by the club that have ramped up supporter engagement to an unprecedented level.

Off the top of my head, there were the Blue Chrimbo surprises for ordinary fans in their homes, 100+ fans invited to the Alan Myers tea party, the Umbro facility visit, the Goodison Granites launch, tonightÂ’s Finch Farm tour rewarding season ticket holders...

I don’t see how this is all "smoke and mirrors" – to what end, apart from the obvious PR? – and I don’t think those whose days were made by their club with these experiences would see it that way.

Unfortunately, it feels like a case of "nothing is ever good enough". Maybe the club felt that funneling 130 fans through Finch Farm would have been unmanageable so they randomly selected 10. What would have been enough? 15, 30? WhereÂ’s the line?

The club comes in for criticism where it is warranted – last year’s badge fiasco being a prime example – but you also have to give credit where it’s due. On this one, it seems like the club can’t win despite the incredible energy that has gone into all of these initiatives by the current communication, fan-liaison and marketing teams.

Patrick Murphy
5 Posted 10/07/2014 at 00:33:53
At the end of the day, Everton FC is a business and it doesnÂ’t have to give anything back to its customers at any time for any reason. But in this case, and with other similar projects, it has managed to be as inclusive as it can without breaking the bank.

Yes, itÂ’s all good publicity but in this modern world where the bottom line is everything, the club does have people who care about the supporters and that ethos has spread over the years to the players. That is an intangible quality and asset for any major business and it inspires loyalty from the people who work for it and more importantly to those who support it.

I’m not being naïve as I know as well as anyone, that no matter how many games you have attended in the past, you won’t get a ticket unless you have the requisite amount of money to pay for it. But that has always been the case and always will be the case; the club should be applauded for taking a little time and effort to make the days of those who put so much time and effort into following their heroes.

Karl Masters
6 Posted 10/07/2014 at 00:40:18
Dave Kelly, you are being silly!

We all know that the ClubÂ’s off-the-field activities are not what they could be in many areas, but anything involving the players and coaching staff is usually very well handled.

For Duncan Ferguson to pop up like that made an already special day, very special for those fans. The Club isnÂ’t obliged to do any of this. Ten is a reasonable number and, as Lyndon says, where do you draw the line?

Are you, by any chance, one of the 120 who didnÂ’t get selected?

Terence Leong
7 Posted 10/07/2014 at 00:52:36
LetÂ’s give credit where credit is due. So far, many of the efforts to engage the fans and the community have been highly commendable, to meet Martinez, the Ric Wee surprise, and this.

Dave, you can argue that it should have catered to more people, but you cannot fault the symbolic engagement. Like Lyndon said, where do you draw the line? Many cynics will point to the fact that all these efforts mask the bigger issues of leadership at the top.

But, letÂ’s see it from another perspective, shall we? Maybe all these efforts are what those down the hierarchy are communicating "no matter what the problem is at the top, we will do what we can, at the level, with the job that we can effect, we will give our best for our fans."

Paul Ferry
8 Posted 10/07/2014 at 01:07:36
Too sour, Dave (#1) – although I know that your heart is in the right place. By the tone of your post, ANYTHING the club might do as a nice gesture is bound to be bad because of smokes and mirrors beneath the ’rich’ veneer.

Like you, I have finely-tuned "how the club is run" radar but this is a good thing; did the club make up the devoteesÂ’ words? And there are many other good things too. There are shits-a-plenty in EvertonÂ’s corridors of power but someone somewhere gets it right now and then, even shitbag BK with "he ainÂ’t heavy" and 9/5.

Yes, I then remember the luvvy in the car park and I hate him again but Everton, with all its faults, has an embedded knack for gesture, quality, and class. And, yep. Dave, just like you, I dearly wish that we saw more of this in the secreted boardroom.

Ant Dwyer
9 Posted 10/07/2014 at 01:44:37
I think the majority all agree: itÂ’s a nice gesture by The PeopleÂ’s Club. Cheap tickets for kids, season ticket prices frozen quite often, early bird discounts... all gestures of good will by our club.

COYB

Dave Kelly
10 Posted 10/07/2014 at 07:26:54
Lyndon Lloyd, unfortunately "our club" has discriminated against some of its fans for far too long. It operates a Blacklist against some of its long-standing and loyal supporters. Yes, our beloved club – if you dissent, if you challenge or show any dissent.

Inclusion on this list can be for a variety of reasons; it may also be guilt by association, itÂ’s no doubt also the case that you may be on it without your knowledge.

After "our" club abandoned ShareholdersÂ’ rights to AGMs, they introduced the ill-conceived Shareholders Forums. One whereby they could control the attendees rather than the Companies Act dictate as a legal entitlement.

We have the unelected and unaccountable Fans Forum, made up of really passionate, knowledgeable and loyal Evertonians. How can fan representatives be "selected" rather than "elected"? How can "our" club carry out a review of the Fans Forum? – it should be for Fans, by Fans.

With the template in place, it was rolled out to numerous events, the criterion a simple one: have a carefully selected invited audience with no-one on the Blacklist or associated with the Blacklisted and always market the event with a criterion, and an insurance that it was randomly selected.

Freedom of Information and Data Protection Requests give you access to valuable information that the club hold on you. I would assume that most fans wouldnÂ’t even be aware that the club holds files on itÂ’s supporters.

So that’s why I refer to smoke and mirrors, and that’s why I will continue to challenge and question. Undoubtedly yesterday’s event was an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for 10 of our most loyal and deserving fans – well done to each and everyone of them. You have my total respect. As do the 120 who didn’t get invited.

Personally IÂ’d much rather die on my feet, fighting, than on my knees grovelling.

Paul Mackie
11 Posted 10/07/2014 at 08:38:26
Some people really will moan about anything. Where do you draw the line, Dave? Why didnÂ’t the club do something nice for all season ticket holders? Why just those rich enough to afford season tickets and away games? Why not everyone who bought a matchday ticket in the last 10 years?

Our club has been, and in many areas continues to be, poorly run. But that doesnÂ’t mean they havenÂ’t improved.

(Also, you might not have heard but AGMs are back.)

Dennis Stevens
12 Posted 10/07/2014 at 08:54:16
I think you make some very interesting & valid points, Dave, but I think this thread is the wrong place for them. ThereÂ’s very little, if anything, worthy of criticism regarding this nice gesture from the club, imo.
Mike Allison
13 Posted 10/07/2014 at 09:07:04
Dave, youÂ’re coming across as someone with an axe to grind, ruining a birthday party here, mate.

The club did a good thing, it was a nice PR initiative and without knowing exactly how the day was organised, I wouldnÂ’t have thought 130 people was particularly manageable. If I was one of the 120, I certainly wouldnÂ’t feel like IÂ’d been let down. I fail to win the lottery every week but it doesnÂ’t make me think the whole system is rigged.

YouÂ’ve turned "nice day out, meet Duncan Ferguson and get a free shirt" into "die on my feet, fighting rather than on my knees grovelling". I suggest you go back over your logic chain to see how you got there.

Perhaps you could start a Talking Points article if there are issues you think should be discussed.

Brian Harrison
14 Posted 10/07/2014 at 09:17:47
I have had a season ticket since the early 70s and apart from 1 season had it continually, although I don’t go to away games anymore. But I say well done, Everton, I am sure the 10 selected had something that money can’t buy – a day to remember. There will always be people who criticize the club and sometimes that criticism is correct but I think Dave Kelly is being very churlish to criticize the club on this occasion.

I did worry when Dave Myers left the club that all the good work he started may have not been carried on, but it seems that this not not be the case. I think in this day and age sometimes fans are overlooked and paid lip service by clubs; thankfully Everton donÂ’t come into that category.

Thomas Lennon
15 Posted 10/07/2014 at 09:32:07
I think Dave can see the days when Â’fighting the boardÂ’ was fashionable for some; they are pretty far away at the moment and his anger is palpable. Well done to ToffeeWeb editorial for allowing him to air his views but wrong thread for this bitterness.

A great way to encourage more nice PR to happen for the remaining 120 is to praise this initiative. Yes, most people over 16 are aware that there are no free lunches in big business but this WAS a great day for the lucky ones – and my goodness they have earned it.

Sam Morrison
16 Posted 10/07/2014 at 09:56:59
You donÂ’t undermine any of your valid criticisms, Dave, by conceding this is a good thing. As Mike says, they just donÂ’t belong on this thread.

I think we all (almost all) have issues with the club on some level, whether itÂ’s the chairman or the transfer dealings. But that doesnÂ’t mean Everything They Do Is Bad.

Chris Leyland
17 Posted 10/07/2014 at 10:02:18
I think even the most cynical among us should admit that this is a good thing.

I have personal experience of this sort of thing with the club. A few years ago, my father-in-law collapsed and died as we were walking back to the car after the match. My kids were with us at the time (it was my youngestÂ’s first game at Goodison).

I wrote to the club and asked that they put a short tribute to my father-in-law in a future programme and to thank the many fans who stopped to help us. The Club phoned me up and invited me and my kids to a match as their guests. Not only that, but they arranged for us to meet every player, get their autographs and have our photos taken with each player one by one. They even supplied the cameraman and sent us the photos afterwards.

Sam Morrison
18 Posted 10/07/2014 at 10:23:09
Obviously nothing can make up for a tragedy like that Chris, but thatÂ’s really good to hear the club responded so well.
Jim Lloyd
19 Posted 10/07/2014 at 10:22:26
I think it was a good gesture by the club and I donÂ’t know but I havenÂ’t seen any posts from the 120 or so who werenÂ’t picked to go making a winge about how it was organised. DonÂ’t know how the lucky ones were selected but I guess it was just names out of a hat.

ThereÂ’s plenty wrong with the club in my view but itÂ’s coalescing now, down to the members of the Board. I think the rest of the members of staff in the Club are fully behind Robbie and itÂ’s his presence that is working itÂ’s magic in the club.

I donÂ’t agree with your criticism of this Dave, but that doesnÂ’t mean your other points arenÂ’t valid.

Sue Brown
20 Posted 10/07/2014 at 10:40:58
ThereÂ’s always someone who is never happy, and youÂ’re coming across as being bitter, negative and a bit childish there, Dave.

As Lyndon pointed out, the club have made many successful initiatives to engage the supporters and give them great memories. ItÂ’s the luck of the draw as in many things, and I for one am chuffed for the ones who got this treat.

The club does many good things that we donÂ’t always hear about, and they know that even the smallest gesture on their part can mean the world for a supporter.

I too am waiting for posts from the other "120 angry and frustrated" ones who didnÂ’t get their treat!

Tony Draper
21 Posted 10/07/2014 at 11:39:43
A great gesture of thanks by our great club to representatives of a band of truest Blues.

Not surely coincidental that such things happen regularly these days, surely part of "The New Positive Philosophy"?

Sadly wasted upon the bloody moaners who are first to pick fault after the event, but surprisingly never ever contribute with positive suggestions beforehand.

I like that the club now regularly makes these efforts; it makes me even prouder to be a Blue.

Jared Anderson
23 Posted 10/07/2014 at 13:20:24
I get it.

By speaking up for the unlucky 120 without any mandate whatsoever himself Dave Kelly is shining a light on unelected fan representation in general. ThatÂ’s dead clever.

Alternatively, it may just be tenuous criticism of a minor, heart-warming bit of fan engagement that comes across mean-spirited, hypocritical and not a little unhinged.

Nice gesture by the club at any rate.

Lyndon Lloyd
24 Posted 10/07/2014 at 17:10:07
Dave (10), you absolutely have the right – and, on the basis of the scrapping of AGMs alone, the justification – to "challenge and question". Given your focus on this you probably have more insight here than most.

IÂ’m just not willing to view the clubÂ’s supporter engagement efforts through an all-or-nothing prism whereby, because theyÂ’ve done things one way in the past or in one area, they must be doing it that way now or in another given area.

There are some very hard-working and passionate people at the club who are coming up with imaginative and inclusive ways of engaging supporters and boosting EvertonÂ’s PR and image. After years of fans moaning at bungled marketing and communications initiatives, this is what we would want them to do and theyÂ’re doing it.

Where no opportunity existed at all for a group of season ticket holders to visit Finch Farm, meet a figure like Duncan Ferguson and get their hands on a gifted home jersey in the past, 10 got to do just that this week. ThatÂ’s progress. IÂ’m not sure whoÂ’s grovelling, though.

Denis Richardson
25 Posted 10/07/2014 at 17:10:00
Great gesture by the club but I do feel a bit sorry for the 120 that missed out. 10 years of going to every match (all those 'Moyes' games that left you with a shiver....) is a massive commitment nevermind achievement.

Can't give everyone a tour but would have thought the 120 could have gotten something, even if small. (Say a signed Everton shirt through the post?).

Anyway, the happy 10 will have happy memories after their day out.

Derek Thomas
26 Posted 11/07/2014 at 10:06:07

Dave does have a point of sorts, not quite sure if this is the best thread for it though.

The Club seem to get these 'little' things spot on; It's the Bigger things they have stumbled on, KD, DK, Kitbag, The Park End Wall, the Lagging in the bogs, Fernandes, Birch, Wyness, the list seems endless, 㿄M 'Operating costs', The AGM's, Ring fenced, 24/7. That's what we should be up in arms about

Taxi for Boys Pen Bill and the rest.

IMO the Kings Dock Fiasco is a hanging offense all on it's own, but that's not the point on this thread.

John Raftery
27 Posted 11/07/2014 at 10:21:45
As one of the 120, I am not in the least bit upset. This was merely the latest of many great fan engagement initiatives by our club over the past couple of years. As others have said any criticism of it is completely misplaced.
Tony J Williams
28 Posted 11/07/2014 at 12:15:05
Way to go Captain Ahab!

First thing that went through my mind was, "Lucky Bastards!" Not , "What a shower of shite our board is!"

Tony I'Anson
29 Posted 11/07/2014 at 20:19:04
One time when Sheedy walked past in the corridor there was a temptation to shout "Sheedy, Sheedy, Sheedy", but I remained quite restrained and said nothing. Fellaini wondered past in flip flops and is one tall chappie.

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