Two years ago, Everton removed the Latin motto Nil Satis Nisi Optimum from the club badge, prompting wholly justified outrage from those who still cling to the idea that nothing but the best is good enough. The reality, though, is that those words are no longer fit for the purpose. Everton do not aspire to be the best, their existence is now defined by punching above their weight rather than knocking out all comers.
» Read the full article at The Times (£)
Reader Comments (39)
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1 Posted 28/04/2015 at 18:54:00
There is no easy way back to the top and it may take a whole generation for us to catch up. I just hope we get there before the RS.
2 Posted 28/04/2015 at 19:12:27
3 Posted 28/04/2015 at 19:17:31
4 Posted 28/04/2015 at 23:01:37
The Premier League changed the landscape of English football, and Liverpool and Everton have not adapted well. Liverpool have certainly not lacked ambition, but Everton have. Both clubs are guilty of gross mismanagement, but in different ways. In Everton's case, it's at the business side of football along with no investment.
5 Posted 29/04/2015 at 08:28:48
Despite regularly getting into the promised land of the top 4, they have still failed in Europe in recent years. So even if we get an influx of money from qualifying for the CL or a rich benefactor, it is still no guarantee of success. (I wonder when the Americans will get sick of their LFC project?)
We need to keep improving on all fronts and redevelop Goodison, as we could wait another 100 years for the right opportunity to come along. With the TV money rolling in, surely this is the time to do it?
6 Posted 29/04/2015 at 08:44:30
7 Posted 29/04/2015 at 08:45:54
We have had little or no investment a negative net spend for the whole of the PL era and a wage structure which is sensible but stops us getting the type of players needed to break the monopoly at the top. We donÂt require billions of investment but we do need an individual or group who are able to pump some much needed revenue into the club, to keep us in the top ten teams never mind the top four.
8 Posted 29/04/2015 at 08:55:14
9 Posted 29/04/2015 at 09:17:20
10 Posted 29/04/2015 at 09:25:19
Yes, one of these clubs can have a poor season and drop out of the top 4 but that will only occur on rare occasions. That leaves the FA Cup and the League Cup as the only possibility of silverware for the clubs outside the cartel. I would think that only Liverpool could possibly break into that cartel as they still have a worldwide fanbase that generates a lot of money; other than them, I don't see the top 4 changing anytime soon.
11 Posted 29/04/2015 at 09:47:01
Saying that, both Merseyside teams have been grossly mismanaged over the last two decades. The RS more than us as theyÂve literally flushed hundreds of millions down the toilet. Our only argument is that weÂve been skint over the same period of time.
12 Posted 29/04/2015 at 09:55:54
Have to question that.
Before Sky/PL, a team basically had four sources of income.
1) Gate money.
2) Revenue from selling scarves and few other bits of tat (incredible but true - grown men didnÂt go to games dressed in club shirts back then).
3) A bit of telly money.
4) Whatever the chairman felt like contributing.
This would have made Man Utd in the 70s, with their 60,000 crowds, one of those teams dominating... except they didnÂt (and for one season they were getting those crowds in the old 2nd Division).
We were Âthe millionairesÂ of football, but didnÂt win a carrot from 1970 to 1984 (Sure, we could afford a Bob Latchford* or a Martin Dobson, but we couldnÂt afford to pay that kind of money on every position.)
Liverpool were winning titles but werenÂt doing it because they could outspend their rivals (certainly not by 20 times).
I was born in 1959 and from then to 1992 (when Sky began) the league was won by 12 different sides Â– Wolves, Burnley, Spurs, Ipswich, Derby, Liverpool, Manchester Utd, Manchester City, Nottingham Forest, Aston Villa, Arsenal and Everton (that includes Liverpool winning it 13 times in that period).
Now some of those clubs would have been richer than others, but not to the degree they could basically freeze out 90% of the rest of the league and/or almost guarantee themselves silverware.
Since the Premier League, itÂs been won by 5 teams (Blackburn, Man City, Man Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal) and money has been a major factor.
Jack Walker threw his millions at it and Blackburn won it. (Jack Walker, died, Blackburn now in the 2nd Division or whatever itÂs called now.)
Chelsea and Man City Â– two sides who were in lower divisions until relatively recently, will have won the PL 6 times in the last 10 seasons (assuming Chelsea win it this season).
Man Utd and Arsenal may not be as rich as their rivals but guess what, recently, they donÂt look like winning as much.
Unlimited money of course doesnÂt give you a 100% guarantee of trophies, but probably about 90% (and an almost 100% guarantee of CL).
As far as ÂcompetitionÂ is concerned, what we have now is a total nonsense and patently unfair. The PL is the equivalent of watching a sprint race that sees two runners wearing jet-propelled rocket-packs and the rest with their legs tied together.
We all (specially me at my age and having renewed my season ticket) need our fucking heads testing.
I donÂt believe thereÂs evidence to suggest money was the reason for the success of teams before Sky and itÂs obviously the major contributor to success now.
13 Posted 29/04/2015 at 11:14:55
14 Posted 29/04/2015 at 11:25:19
15 Posted 29/04/2015 at 11:26:35
Yes, I should have said since 1992 the monied clubs have dominated the Premier League. Yes, when I started watching Everton in 1956-57, every team at the start of the season believed they could win the title.
I, like you, have renewed my season ticket for next season and as you also say we need our head testing. Especially me as I have been very critical of RM and, despite a change of tactics recently, I worry he will revert to type for next season.
But by-and-large, us Blues have always been well supported. I well remember being inside Goodison with well over 70,000 for a night game. The other amazing thing is that it was pay at the gate and if you didnÂt have the right money, they gave you the change.
16 Posted 29/04/2015 at 11:38:26
I think you would both agree it was better watching football before the Premier League took over. I know it is for me, a much more level playing field.
Eugene, you are right about the Bob Latchford deal, money plus Howard Kendall and Archie Styles.
17 Posted 29/04/2015 at 11:56:09
I think it's true for many of our age group, we have been lucky to see some great Everton players and some great Everton teams.
Funny, I bumped into Peter Reid last week and we spent about 40 minutes reminiscing about the old Everton teams. He was telling me he played against Alan Ball when he was in his 30s and he said he was still a great player. He said that the best player he ever played against was George Best and he must be one of the very best that ever played in our league.
I feel very sorry for the under 30 fans who have not seen any of the great teams. No wonder we sing "If you know your history" as thatÂs all we have to cling onto.
18 Posted 29/04/2015 at 12:16:02
George Best must rank as one of the greatest British players, although for me it was Tom Finney of PNE Â–simply because he did it a lot longer than Best.
But the greatest ever player for me, though I never saw him in the flesh, was Alfredo Di Stefano of Real Madrid, a player who would have been great in any era, a marvellous player and great leader on the pitch.
19 Posted 29/04/2015 at 12:31:12
20 Posted 29/04/2015 at 12:07:34
ItÂs funny, these days I genuinely and consciously try to think before I express some Âit was better when I was a kidÂ view.
In fact, so I donÂt look like a mad oul twat, IÂm keen (even happy) to express opinions about the many things I think were shite about the/my past. (When people of my generation smilingly say Âit was a simpler time back thenÂ, I usually add Âit was certainly more boringÂ.)
And I think many things are better now than they were in the 70s and 80s (entertainment options, restaurants, food, communications, trains, personal hygiene...) and I definitely donÂt think football back then was some magical wonderland.
Shit pitches, racism, Âhard-man defendersÂ (see 'fucking filthy bastards'), putting your life in danger traveling to away games, lunatic police treating you like cattle etc.
But what it was, was much, much, much fairer and trophies were won, not bought.
21 Posted 29/04/2015 at 12:40:55
22 Posted 29/04/2015 at 12:45:34
23 Posted 29/04/2015 at 12:49:11
I watched the great Di Stefano play for Real Madrid against Man Utd at Old Trafford, that Real team had Ghento, Suarez and Santamaria Â– a great centre half. I think I am right in saying that DI Stefano was the only player to represent three countries in World Cups.
Not only was Di Stefano a great goalscorer Â– I think, apart from the great Alex Young, he was the best footballing centre-forward I have ever seen.
Mind, I'd better stop all this All Our Yesterdays... otherwise, I could go on all day.
24 Posted 29/04/2015 at 13:07:51
EvertonÂs best finish was 4th but only a dozen other clubs have finished sixth or higher during that period Â— can you name them? IÂll post the answer in about an hour.
25 Posted 29/04/2015 at 13:01:15
Instead, if you include this season and say that, over the 23 years of the Premier League, it has been won by 5 teams and then look at the last 23 years of the Football League before the Premier League era (1969-70 to 1991-92), the title was won by 7 teams in those 23 seasons. So, not a massive difference.
Also, in the Premier League era, one team has by far and away the most titles: Man Utd with 13. In the corresponding pre-Premier League 23-year period, one team had by far and away the most titles: Liverpool with 11. Again, not a massive difference.
In the pre-Premier League period, 5 teams won 21 of the 23 titles between them, in the Premier League period 4 teams have won 22 of the 23 league titles. Again, not a massive difference.
What has changed more for me is this top 4 and the competition immediately below the winners. In the Premier League era, it is by-and-large the same top 4 or 5 year-in and year-out. In the pre-Premier era, it was much more open with teams like Watford, QPR, Ipswich, Sheff Wed, Palace and West Brom finishing in the top 3. That simply doesnÂt happen any more.
The reason for this is because of ChampionÂs League money and the cartel this effectively creates. The introduction of ÂFinancial Fair PlayÂ dressed up by Uefa as trying to introduce fairness has effectively perpetuated the cartel by making it harder for teams to break into it and pulling the ladder up behind the monied teams.
26 Posted 29/04/2015 at 14:06:11
The period 1948-1970 had 24 different clubs finish 4th or higher; 1971-1992 saw 20 clubs; and only 13 clubs have ended 4th or higher in the Premier League era.
Everton have ended 4th or better on just 14 occasions since 1948 and only once in the Premier League, whilst Arsenal (21), Man Utd (22), Chelsea (14), Liverpool (13) have all but equalled or bettered Everton during the Premier League alone.
The answer to my earlier question was as follows:-
6th Â– Bolton; Wimbledon;
5th Â– QPR; West Ham; Ipswich;
4th Â– Spurs; Everton;
3rd Â– Norwich; Nottm Forest; Leeds Utd
2nd Â– Newcastle; Aston Villa; Liverpool
1st Â– Man City; Blackburn; Chelsea; Man Utd; Arsenal.
27 Posted 29/04/2015 at 14:09:43
Their wins were mainly down to the fact that (in the years they won) their coaches/managers and players came up with better plans and performances than the rest Â– they couldnÂt/didnÂt just go out with unlimited funds, find the best players on the planet and say Âhim... him... him...Â Teams were up and down, consistent and inconsistent, winners and losers.
Not anymore. If nothing changes in the next hundred years, thereÂll still be the same 2/3/4/5 teams winning the majority of the trophies (and the rest of us... whoÂll have virtually no chance).
It is undeniable that game now is fixed in favour of the very wealthy.
The rest (including my own long-winded bumfluffery) doesnÂt really matter.
29 Posted 29/04/2015 at 16:33:33
With the right manager and good signings, momentum can be built up and a title challenge could still happen. The youth system is the answer. How many players are there out there that were overlooked by EFC and LFC, that still went on to make the grade? We need to spot them, and develop them, and then bring them into our first team.
30 Posted 29/04/2015 at 17:34:23
31 Posted 29/04/2015 at 18:38:08
32 Posted 29/04/2015 at 18:51:14
Indeed they did, but itÂs a very different situation to what we have now.
For ForestÂs spending back then, to compare with the spending of the Man City and/or Chelsea of today, they would have had to have bought 22 ٠m players (or... er... something like that).
33 Posted 29/04/2015 at 19:14:12
It is further perpetuated by Sky, the BBC with their predictable running order on MotD, newspaper coverage and commercial sponsors.
IÂve reached the stage where I prefer to watch my 10-year-old sonÂs team play to watching Everton. Indeed it has come down to a straight choice between the two on a few occasions this season and the kids footy won out every time.
Whilst I get the occasional moment of joy such as SundayÂs 3-0 win, most of the time I end up feeling disappointed and let down by watching millionaires going through the motions and more interested in chasing money than the ball.
34 Posted 29/04/2015 at 19:59:33
IÂm quite split as to what was the more enjoyable era football-wise really. I first started watching Everton in the mid 70s (Latchford was my hero) and for most of the first few years we actually werenÂt far away from being a great team.
We should really have won the title 1974-75 when Derby won it... two losses against Carlisle (yup, they were in the top flight for a season) cost us dearly... 3-2 at home and 3-0 away. Also, when Forest won the league in 1978, I do recall playing Coventry and beating them 6-0 to send us top of the league for while... if we only had Shilts to finish the job.
On the back of that as has also been pointed out, the racism, violence definitely made it a scary time to watch football, especially for a kid, as I was then, and the shit pitches also detracted from the skilful players of which there were plenty. It did seem that most clubs had an entertainer... we had Mckenzie; Stoke had Alan Hudson; Tony Currie at Sheff Utd; Stan Bowles at QPR; Frank Worthington at Bolton, etc. All entertained when they could.
Today, actually watching football is far better, if devoid of atmosphere compared to yesteryear. Fortunately I never had the "program slipped into my pocket and a warm sensation trickling down my leg" but plenty of others did. Unfortunately the lack of competition is a massive drawback. I did ponder for a long time as to whether renewing my season ticket mainly down to the reasons Brain #15 highlighted in that despite recent results (when thereÂs nothing to play for) we are going to be subjected to the same style of football we have witnessed for most of this season.
For me, I have always been excited when match day comes along and canÂt wait to get to the game but this season, especially since Xmas, I feel like I have had the life and joy sucked out of me and found by half-time I couldnÂt care less about the result as I just want the game over and done with. However, as with most others I have renewed (yeah, call me stupid, gullible, mug etc) on the off chance (very off chance) that Martinez has learnt some harsh lessons which wonÂt be repeated next season.
Even allowing for the top 4 monopoly, I can accept (from the team) giving their all, being properly prepared and actually having a good go to win every game they play. If the team does that and falls short to a better team then fair enough. But what I donÂt accept is the lacklustre displays we have seen for most of the season and bad tactics which all they seemed to achieve is send most blues batty!!
As a club we do need to start showing ambition to win any, all trophies from the competitions we enter. It may not be achievable and not realistic however we deserve, as fans, to treat every game the same and try to win them. As for the ambition (or lack thereof) of the board, well over to you gents to show us how much of "wonderful Evertonians" you are by doing whatÂs best for the club and not yourselves. Hmmm.... better not hold my breath just yet!
35 Posted 29/04/2015 at 22:55:42
"What Scudamore wonÂt say is the PLÂs future success, depends on an unchanging power structure, as the few teams with a global fan-base drive the ever escalating commercial deals. The league can afford to be competitive only up to the extent that the cartel at the top shuffle around. According to a recent social media survey, widely reported in the football press, 5 English clubs were among the top 10 most followed sports teams in the world, with no others in the top 30. That mid-table sides in England have a bigger turnover than CL finalists (last year) Atletico Madrid counts for nothing when the financial chasm between the top few and the rest continues to widen"
The editor (presumably) adds - "Top level English football is now as close to being rigged as is possible without actually fixing matches"
36 Posted 29/04/2015 at 22:36:50
Like a lot of other supporters, I am very lucky to have witnessed what is fast becoming our history and that is League wins, FA Cup wins and a cup win in Europe. I've seen a lot of great games at Goodison from the 60s onwards and still have my programs from the 1966 World Cup that gave us a glimpse of the world's greatest players of their times and some, still legends.
What saddens me now is this Premier League is simply a spectacle for moneyed teams with the rest of the sides as supporting cast. The sadder thing is after these teams have established their top 4 positions in the Premier League with the use of money injected by billionaire ownership, Fifa. bring out their Financial Fair Play policy that means, even if Everton were to be taken over by a billionaire, they will be handcuffed by rules that are "supposed" to bring in fairness for all competing clubs for years.
My problem with Everton is: What do I want them to do? Keep selling our young players to bring in more experienced players, try for the Europa League spot and hope we donÂt slide down the league the following season by competing in it (excuse for this season by some supporters) or hope for a cup win finishing about 8th. But even that puts us into the Europa League.
I want Everton to win every game but being a realist I understand that the odds are stacked against that happening and, as the way the league is set up, our history will be eclipsed by teams who not long ago were in a lower league and are winning purely by the injection of billionaireÂs money.
People will most probably think some of these comments are a defeatist attitude, but I do not think I am a defeatist, but a realist that has been let down by an inept Chairman and Board that did not have the business sense to run the club with the future as a priority.
Time to stop moaning and look forward to next season with a hope and a prayer that we break the glass ceiling.
37 Posted 30/04/2015 at 00:08:58
When it was three teams, it would be Man Utd and Arsenal (who had accelerated under the two-team qualification previously) followed by the revolving door of Leeds, Liverpool, Chelsea and Newcastle. At the time Leeds imploded and Newcastle suffered under RobsonÂs weak transfers, it was increased to four places and those teams in 6th and 7th like Boro and Bolton couldnÂt bridge the gap to Liverpool and Chelsea and Boom! Top 4 was rock solid.
And as Eugene posts above, it is important for the PL brand to remain strong, and that is for the same teams to keep qualifying each year.
Unfortunately that means that English representation in Europe (or rather the same 4 clubs who are no more English football than Barca and Real are all of Spanish football) is given precedence over the domestic competition. Only it’s not a competition, is it? And thatÂs the tragedy.
People praised Ferguson to the hilt for all he won, but without the massive income of CL and its kudos in attracting players, he wouldnÂt be anywhere... well somewhere else anyway, without it. Good for him for winning a two-, three- of four-team mini-league all those times.
It used to be squads of 16 or 17, but now it’s 30, and those outside the top 6 would probably have their first XI overturned by the 2nd XI of the teams above.
It was said Milan bought JP Papin just so other teams couldnÂt play him. Now scores of players do not even play at the weekend because it’s better to sit in the stands watching Man City play without them than it is to be at Sunderland or... us, so again the divide is made even bigger.
Most fans think having massive funding is the answer but what has it got Spurs? Fact is, the billionaires have gone off to Russia and France because the PLÂs CL spots are solid so make taking over a club here not as viable as guaranteeing CL elsewhere.
ThereÂs no point in expecting the CL to change format or the rules of qualification to change in this country. And if you look at it now, not only do the same teams qualify each year, but the same teams are hitting the QFs as well. Madrid, Barca, PSG, Monaco, Munich. Throw in Chelsea it will remain like that.
And the reasons? The Spanish clubs can negotiate their own TV deals meaning it’s like the Scottish Prem when Rangers were there; PSG and Monaco have their billionaires, and Chelski will come good. Munich... theyÂve done something right. But it’s all money.
It wonÂt go back to the three tournament format unfortunately, but they should do away with Europa League for one massive unseeded knock-out tournament. It would be worth watching and create a fairer playing field in domestic competition. They all play in the same competition the following season and with qualifiers coming from the cups and a play-off basis below the Champions it would shake things up.
And before I close off this post-midnight ramble, the idea that clubs should gain prize money on league placings is crazy, especially when the top 4 then get an added £Xm for the CL. Keep it all equal.
... ahhhh whatever, it’s not going to change.
38 Posted 30/04/2015 at 00:39:09
Our model of reducing the debt and producing homegrown talent has to be the way forward. I do not want to witness Everton Football Club spending 𧴜s millions and not coming close.
When we got fourth we were offered a seat to join the G14, the European elites; we declined their offer. Does anybody know why?
39 Posted 30/04/2015 at 13:09:54
Would the players at the top clubs be even more protected if they were still in with a chance of winning a European trophy? After all, it would be better for the Premier League brand if one of their clubs was successful in Europe.
40 Posted 30/04/2015 at 15:38:04
That they can buy players just to keep them off other teams is against what a real FFP should be about.
The only way to break the glass ceiling to me otherwise is a fantastic manager with great mix of vets and youth.
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