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Club moves to clarify Kitbag deal

by | 29/06/2015  Comments (64)  jump
Everton have responded to mounting scrutiny of the club's 10-year kit retail contract with Kitbag via an update on the official site.

With complaints over the availability of Everton merchandise outside of Liverpool and online, and many of Everton's peers reporting large kit-related deals, the decision to outsource its retail business to Kitbag six years ago is often held up as an example of the club's under-performance relative to its peers.

Following a meeting of the Fans' Forum last week, the club felt it would be useful to clarify the Kitbag deal (a separate contract from the kit manufacturing and supply arrangement with Umbro) and the reasons why Everton decided not to exit the contract last year following an internal review.

Our retail and kit deals have faced that internal scrutiny on a regular basis and the assessment always starts with a look at what others are doing.

However, that first step isn't easy. Testing how good our deal with Kitbag by making comparisons with other clubs is difficult. To our knowledge, only a very small number of other clubs in the Premier League have secured comparable deals and, given who they are, we believe it shows we're in good company.

We maintain that our ability to have secured a retail partner — and there aren't many with an appetite to do it — prepared to take away all the uncertainty of retailing and make sure that every season, good or bad, buoyant retail sector or not, we report a profit, reflects well on our Club.

Read the full update from Everton:

Reader Comments (64)

Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer

Michael Ward
1 Posted 29/06/2015 at 19:26:02
If I found a treasure chest in my garden and started selling it all off for 5p a pop, I would be making a profit. That doesnÂ’t mean itÂ’s a good deal though!
Minik Hansen
2 Posted 29/06/2015 at 19:25:11
Even in Denmark I couldnÂ’t find our shirts, whereas other clubs were there to be found, including Â’smallerÂ’ clubs at a Unisport-store.
Clarence Yurcan
3 Posted 29/06/2015 at 19:34:41
Can someone explain this line to me: "We maintain that our ability to have secured a retail partner — and there aren’t many with an appetite to do it..."

It seems to me there are plenty with an appetite to do it. Virtually every sporting goods store I walk into in America, and not just in big cities, carries soccer club Shirts. I could walk into the MacyÂ’s on 34th St and buy an Ajax shirt right now.

Al Reddish
4 Posted 29/06/2015 at 19:35:56
The Echo have promised to investigate the Kitbag deal and blow the lid on it as part of its promise to give more coverage to the Blue half of the city. Maybe this is the club pre-empting a war of words and striking first.
Keith Crawford
5 Posted 29/06/2015 at 19:31:14
What a joke EvertonÂ’s marketing department are. IÂ’d take the time to get in touch with them to find out why theyÂ’re so bloody clueless but theyÂ’re probably busy looking at ways to sell the rest of our merchandise at Poundland.
Colin Glassar
6 Posted 29/06/2015 at 20:04:41
Can someone call that Attorney General in the States and ask her to investigate us once sheÂ’s finished with FIFA?
Ian Bennett
7 Posted 29/06/2015 at 19:59:48
Inevitable they would hide behind the ’no-one doesn’t like us’ (which the begs the question – no-one else would be as stupid).

I reckon Everton must have the lowest growth in revenue excluding TV deal (everyone gets it) and match receipts in the league (although you could argue botching stadium moves is our speciality).

Mike Byrne
8 Posted 29/06/2015 at 20:06:34
That response really only justifies all the criticism levelled at the Club. Our commercial revenue is on the same level as Crystal Palace, Hull and Stoke, ffs.

Yet this is being declared a commercial success – it would be funny if it wasn’t so serious. Message to Kenwright: if you can’t sort this out then bugger off, tear up the Kitbag contract, and let some real professionals in.

Steve Chesters
9 Posted 29/06/2015 at 20:00:57
They are insulting our intelligence, never mind anywhere else you canÂ’t even buy Everton shirts in this City. Two shops on the entire planet.... ThatÂ’s it, who in their right mind would think that this was a good idea on any level?

We are losing an absolute fortune every week thanks to this clown Elstone and I demand he be sacked. Look how well Tim Howard did in the last World Cup, can you imagine the RS or Man Utd Marketing Machines let loose on that one? Half the USA would be walking around in Red Shirts now, it disgusts me to see the youth of this City walking around in RS shirts, take a walk thru Liverpool Airport, trying buy an Everton shirt.... No chance, but thereÂ’s RS shirts, hats, scarves, pencils, mugs the lot.... We havenÂ’t got the first clue.

Why is Elstone still in a job?

Nick Armitage
10 Posted 29/06/2015 at 20:09:26
Risk versus reward.

The club have removed virtually all risk from the equation and therefore they have removed virtually all reward from that same equation.

It typifies an executive team that is worried about the trap door, rather than one that is aspiring to progress.

But no need to worry, itÂ’s being done the Everton Way and we are run by a real Evertonian.

Brian Hill
11 Posted 29/06/2015 at 20:11:39
Eeyore, the old grey Donkey, stood by the side of the stream, and looked at himself in the water.

"Pathetic," he said. Â’ThatÂ’s what it is.Â’ "Pathetic."

Mike Byrne
12 Posted 29/06/2015 at 20:19:58
Nick – I think your last sentence is you being ironic – least I hope it is.
Tony Abrahams
13 Posted 29/06/2015 at 20:21:54
Chris Regan
14 Posted 29/06/2015 at 20:25:15
I have never ever read such meaningless rubbish in my entire life. ThereÂ’s no explanation of anything. Then again, what did we expect? TheyÂ’ll find MH370 before Bill finds an investor.
Ste Traverse
15 Posted 29/06/2015 at 20:28:07
It seems like Elstone is getting his excuses in early over the shit kit-blag deal HE was responsible for.

The guy is so out of his depth itÂ’s embarrassing. I thought his predecessor, Wyness, was bad... but this bloke??

The continued presence of him as CEO sums up everything which is wrong with our club. Everything.

No matter how he tries to spin it on the OS. The deal is awful and we canÂ’t even get out of it for another four years.

Thanks Bob.

Chris James
16 Posted 29/06/2015 at 20:27:05
Whilst I think much of the bile on this site is massively over the top, I think the criticism here is well justified.

Deals like Kitbag and Chang sponsorship seem very much in the second division of commercial deals in the modern era and whilst IÂ’m not under the illusion that we have the same fanbase and should be on a level with Man Utd, Arsenal or the RS, we should be setting our sights on at the very least competing with the likes of Spurs, Southampton and Barcodes and being a good distance ahead of Swansea, Palace, Stoke, etc.

The concern for me is less that we have second rate deals currently, but more that the commercial management seems to be content and think this is the best we can get. Naturally they canÂ’t say much else in a public interview, but the apparent lack of other options being explored (usually youÂ’d have rumours at least) is somewhat damning.

Patrick Murphy
17 Posted 29/06/2015 at 20:42:08
EFC states - In summary, in Kitbag and Umbro we have two really good partners who are committed to Everton. They like us, they are proud to work with us and I think, on the whole, they deliver a service to our fans and a deal for the Club that stand up to scrutiny against our rivals.

Kitbag also supply at least on the internet Man Utd, Man City and Real Madrid kits – could that be the reason that we are being squeezed out of the market? They give us a fixed income for another four years but there is little or no incentive for them to exceed sales of Everton stuff if they can flog millions of the above mentioned clubs gear which will compensate for any losses they might make on Everton stuff.

I would read the whole piece as an admission by the club that we cannot compete with the likes of Man Utd and Man City on or off the park, so we have to accept whatever deal we can get and fans complaining about the situation are not going to have any effect on that outlook. Having said that, 30,000 people spending an average of 𧴜 on merchandise would produce ١m receipts. Which is probably how the club look at the figures in their big picture.

Dave Southword
18 Posted 29/06/2015 at 20:51:09
Hit the nail on the head there, Nick. Bob is the archetypal office manager (rather than a business leader) that saw "No Risk" on the report from the committee that he no doubt formed to do the thinking for him, and then took that safe option.
Anthony Hawkins
19 Posted 29/06/2015 at 21:20:16
I often wonder if it the case is that no one wants to deal with us as a club (or Kenwright)?

Could it be because the club are run so hand-to-mouth that companies donÂ’t trust the club's cash flow?

Denis Richardson
20 Posted 29/06/2015 at 20:57:53
Read the thing.....IÂ’ve yet to be enlightened. If someone can let me know how this supposedly explains the advantages of the deal, please let me know.

Kitbag, Chang, Finch Farm... never mind the stadium – if this was a normal business, people would have been fired a long time ago.

The sad thing about the Kitbag deal is that I think it started in 2009 – one year before the likes of Howard, Pienaar and Cahill would be playing in front of millions at the 2010 World Cup..

Rob Dolby
21 Posted 29/06/2015 at 21:32:35
How about this for an idea. Ask Everton in the Community to setup a manufacturing site locally, employ local people and sell the kit online.

Everton in the Community appear to know exactly what they are doing and it makes me feel proud as an Evertonian to have such a well run flagship organisation associated with our club.

The E2 in L1 should be kept open purely for local pride. The existing shop by the ground turned into corporate entertainment.

We have to think outside of the box on stuff like this and not be happy that we are selling a few more kits than Stoke and the likes.

Paul Johnson
22 Posted 29/06/2015 at 22:08:26
The inability to get our shirts in the marketplace also has an adverse effect on our ability to attract a big shirt sponsor. When ١ million is mentioned in merchandise sales it does feel like "is it worth risk" when you consider the huge amounts gained from TV revenue. But why would you sponsor a shirt that is not readily available or does not have the store visibility out in the marketplace?

Hence why the club seeÂ’s the Chang deal as lucrative. Small thinking brings low reward. Not only did we take the risk away but we have stifled real entrepreneurs from getting involved.

Kevin Tully
23 Posted 29/06/2015 at 22:19:50
Fucking hysterical. Imagine walking into any other business arena and your defence consists of: "We were losing money before this deal."

The only reason our CEO finds himself with the title he has, is that Wyness left with large pay-off and a non-disclosure agreement lodged up his arse.

Elstone wasnÂ’t even recruited for CEO, heÂ’s a number cruncher who has accidentally found himself in the best paid position he could ever hope for. He will front for the pensioners, because heÂ’s hit the jackpot.

The rhetoric here is clear: soft-arse blues wonÂ’t be able to see through the numbers or business jargon. Sorry, Robert, ItÂ’s as plain as day this excuse for a poor, short-term solution to a cash-flow issiue wouldnÂ’t wash with anyone who has any semblance of business nouse.

Steve Guy
24 Posted 29/06/2015 at 22:33:19
We have one official retailer on the Board and one that many suspect has pulled the strings since The Dear Leader took office. I canÂ’t believe they werenÂ’t asked about this dealÂ’s credibility before it was signed. Somebody is making money out of this deal......... DonÂ’t think itÂ’s Everton though.
Jamie Sweet
25 Posted 29/06/2015 at 22:21:17
ThatÂ’s fine to take a look at how others are doing things. That is step one.

Then it is imperative to sit down and openly analyse "How can WE do things BETTER?"

But no, it seems that it is ok to have a look over the fence and say, "look, thatÂ’s what so and so are doing so we must be doing it right."

Absolute bullshit.

This statement does nothing but demonstrate even further that the club is being run by people who are sadly lacking in basic business acumen.

Christy Ring
26 Posted 29/06/2015 at 22:28:01
IÂ’m absolutely disgusted that the club are trying to justify the shambles of a pittance deal that Elstone did with Kitbag. If we were a private company heÂ’d be sacked long ago. I canÂ’t believe we could have pulled out of the deal last year but decided to stay for Â’4 more yearsÂ’!!!

Can someone tell me that ١m a year for 10 years from Kitbag no matter how much gear is sold is a Â’GOOD DEALÂ’. We are losing an absolute fortune. Imagine if you could sell our merchandise in sports shops all over the world, instead of 2 shops, or online,what our profit margin would be?? Our club is in the hands of CLOWNS.

Derek Thomas
27 Posted 29/06/2015 at 23:24:19
Introductory waffle... problem?... Meaningless claptrap... what problem?... usual platitudes... we think itÂ’s OK....

Translation: - If you donÂ’t like it, fuck off!

Karl Masters
28 Posted 30/06/2015 at 00:44:24
Universal condemnation, and rightly so.

This deal stinks and sums up the corner shop mentality at work by these pussies. No idea, no idea at all.

Andy Crooks
30 Posted 30/06/2015 at 00:51:55
This is, in many years of reading this site, that I have seen such a united opinion that something is utterly wrong. However, in the shadow world of Everton FC, no-one will be asked to account for it. It is really total and utter ineptitude on a scale that makes one almost admire those involved.

Real people, earning really good real salaries, thought this was really good. They are really wrong and really should not be earning really good salaries.

Derek Thomas
31 Posted 30/06/2015 at 01:10:51
Christy #26; yeah but then we would have to find (and pay) a competent team to do that, not that they could, being the very definition of INcompetence, they wouldnÂ’t know competent if it jumped out infront of them.

Somebody worked out that ١M (in the hand) = 30k shirts per year, every year, vs paying out (two in the bush) for a team to sell the stuff.

Karl; bit of an insult to corner shops... can you see Arkwright settling for that... "Granville, fer, fer, fetch a taxi."

Short version; piss up / brewery.

Mark Andersson
32 Posted 30/06/2015 at 01:54:20
Wow not one counter-acting rebuttal. ThatÂ’s a first.

Strange that there are many Bill Kenwright fans and yet he is the man in charge. So itÂ’s a safety in numbers game of bullshit.

No matter what happens on or off the pitch, the fans still go to games, buy the merchandise it will always remain that way, because you cannot unite and take over.

Richard Jones
33 Posted 30/06/2015 at 05:18:33
I would like to know if Green or Earl have any relationships with Kitbag. But, then again, on paper at least, Green has no relationship with us. The whole deal stinks just like the Vibrac loans and other operating costs. It just goes to show you donÂ’t have to take dividends or salaries to take money out of a limited company.

I think as the saying goes, "There’s more than one way to skin a cat" – or Everton, in this case.

Matt Traynor
34 Posted 30/06/2015 at 08:20:28
Al Reddish (#4): "The Echo have promised to investigate the Kitbag deal"

No, they havenÂ’t. And no, they wonÂ’t.

But to refresh peopleÂ’s memories, the club claimed their merchandising operation and matchday food & beverage operation was losing a combined 𧾦k a year, so outsourcing it was therefore a good idea.

In one sense it was, but outsourcing for 10 years with no possibility of a review to adjust for market movement was just abso-fucking-lutely typical of this shambles under BK et al.

Eugene Ruane
35 Posted 30/06/2015 at 07:17:40
Robert Colin Elstone – buttering no parsnips since 2005.

A few years ago, I became fascinated by the power (the incredible power) of matching kecks and jacket – better known as ’the suit.’

The power of the suit is staggering, particularly when you add shiny shoes, neat hair, a collar and tie and a smile. ("HeÂ’s gotta lovely smile..... that Pol Pot.")

Wearing this combination, it appears even the most hapless, hopeless, useless, shifty, corrupt (etc etc) individual can not only make a living, but make a great living. In a suit, some can Â’fail upwardsÂ’, all the way to the top.

Over the years IÂ’ve encountered thousands of them and as a younger feller, I admit I would often fall under their magical power.

Bank manager: "Well Mr Ruane, it might seem as if youÂ’re right and we have completely fucked up but... look how my jacket is made from the same material as my kecks. And look at my lovely Loakes compared to your cacky trainees."

Me: "Oh... right... yes when you put it like that."

Basically, the suit in business or politics, is a tool to help the hopeless and untrustworthy appear useful and trustworthy – and it works. Is there a ’cure’?

Well I have this picture of this chap my computer.


And whenever I hear a quote from Elstone (or Cameron or Kenwright or Jeb Bush or Andrew Neil or Piers Morgan or..) I just imagine itÂ’s being made by him, then ask myself Â’do you believe him?Â’

And my answer is always Â’as fucking if!Â’

Brin Williams
36 Posted 30/06/2015 at 08:53:36
I have often wondered why most yobbos wear suits at things like their mateÂ’s wedding. Usually suits made of some shiny material with bright red satin lining, tight pants with a stripe down the legs, the obligatory pair of trainers and open neck shirt that sports frills down the front and stained with traces of red wine or blood.
You often see them with shaved heads and tattoos up the back of their necks. Not that I have anything personal against these chaps of course... each to their own.

"Suit yourself" is what I say, Mr Magee – or should that be Magoo?

Old Chinese plovub say – ’Neva jyg a sosage by skin’

Denis Richardson
37 Posted 30/06/2015 at 08:34:53
Matt – the supposed loss of 𧾦k a year was presumably before the deal was put in place, over 6 years ago. Since then, the league as grown even more in popularity. I just cannot get my head around the fact that our merchandising income is capped at ١M a year for another 4 years – regardless of what happens.

How can an established Premier League side with an average gate of 35k+ not manage to make more than ١M off merchandise a year? At the very least, I would expect to see Everton merchandise in some of the larger US retail chains given we have their national GK/hero!

WhatÂ’s the point of going on overseas tours like the US last year and the Asia thing this year if we canÂ’t sell any merchandise anyway? WTF is the point in trying to grow the Everton brand if it doesnÂ’t bring us anything extra?

The real question 6 years ago should not have been should we take the ١M a year instead of lose 𧾦k a year. It should have been why the fook are be making a loss of 𧾦k a year when we have the likes of Howard, Cahill and Pienaar in the side and tens of thousands of fans in the UK, nevermind the rest of the world!

The fact that Everton merchandise can only be found in two stores on the entire planet is simply ridiculous.

Tony Abrahams
38 Posted 30/06/2015 at 11:51:12
Rob 21, good idea. But itÂ’s not really thinking out the box is it? ThatÂ’s how these idiots in charge make us feel!
Liam Reilly
39 Posted 30/06/2015 at 12:24:33
The lack of vision epitomises the senior management of the club. Happy to take in ١M a year which won't even pay one of the higher players' annual wage and then attempt to justify as a good deal it to the fan base is actually quite offensive.
Keith Harrison
40 Posted 30/06/2015 at 12:46:02
If we had got Tony Pulis as manager, our sales from the club shop would double!!

I get my wife and self an Evertonian membership every year without fail. My way of subscribing to the club coffers, and ensuring I can get a pair of tickets for matches where I choose.

Every year without fail I have to get in touch with Everton to renew it, no email to ask if I would like to etc etc, even though on a daily basis they will send emails like "Delofeou farted in training, celebrate with 5% off all beach towels".

It is time for Bill to walk into the sunset with our thanks, after appointing a proper commercial team to take us forward. Eugene and Kev Tully at the very least should be on the interview panel!!

Andrew Ellams
41 Posted 30/06/2015 at 13:06:15
Keith, IÂ’m a bit confused by the Tony Pulis comment. Why would that happen?
Alan Williams
42 Posted 30/06/2015 at 13:16:45
Seriously, some people just need to get a life, demanding the CEO to resign followed by personal abuse of the guy because he was promoted internally, grow up. This was a good deal at the time and should have been reviewed after 5 years, that's the mistake.

People come on here and say they can't buy EFC merchandise... well, let me tell you by the time you have posted you could have purchased whatever you want with home delivery including International. Companies like ASOS have seen massive growth over the last 6 years that the headline retailers (Next apart) are trying to copy, they don't have one single shop and the second and third largest markets are Australia and Russia – all done online.

Having your stock in sports stores across the globe doesn't actually make you more money, especially if (like us) your brand isn't that well known... then you're likely to agree a sale-or-return basis which would leave us holding large stock levels, which isn't productive for a business with no or little cash flow.

If you're a big brand/franchise and your retail partner like Nike takes over, then they do it to promote the tick, not the club; therein lies the problem. Reading between the lines, it's obvious why this deal is still in "our best interests" because the exit clause will cost us money.

One last thought for all you "glass half-empty" people: we had extra shops at Central Station and in Birkenhead before this and both closed down due to lack of sales. Demand? What demand??? – prove it, because I don't see people queueing up at our current shops so where are all these customers wanting the EFC merchandise?

Yes, we want to promote our club but it's not as easy and some of you want to make it sound. Mistakes have been made that but that doesn't mean what we have is as bad as some of you are making out.

Sean Patton
44 Posted 30/06/2015 at 13:41:04
It just all reeks of laziness from the club, the fact that Elstone turned down the chance to back out of the deal last year just comfirms this.

Everybody on the board is just happy to plod aong doing the same every year; if Ferguson hadnÂ’t retired, Kenwright would still be giving out 3-year contracts to Moyes.

In fact, what is the point of Elstone because, as long as he is here, we will always be with Chang and Kitbag and nothing will change as he is only looking to extend the current deals.

Jay Harris
45 Posted 30/06/2015 at 14:34:59
Elstone is a Yes-man number-cruncher – not an experienced Chief Executive. It suited Bill down to the ground after Wyness and Trevor Birch, who obviously weren’t happy with what they were seeing or being asked to do. If Bill applied the same smoke-and-mirrors approach to our marketing effort instead of self-protection, we would be making a lot more money.

Nobody at the club is bothered to give any process time – even Bill’s recruitment of management was lazy: Moyes recommended by outgoing manager, Walter Smith; Martinez recommended by his buddy, Dave Whelan.

There is no evidence to show EFC went out and searched for a top manager befitting a top-six club with ambition – the same way there is obviously no effort whatsoever in improving our commercial income, which has been identified for years by fans as being totally incompetent.

BillÂ’s famous comment "Only Newcastle supporters buy shirts" shows his contempt for supporters wanting to wear the club's colours.

Elstone once stated we had something like 35 million Evertonians worldwide. So do something about the branding and marketing to them – no matter how many there are.

Kevin Tully
46 Posted 30/06/2015 at 15:01:54
WeÂ’ve heard how Blues donÂ’t buy shirts and Â’an uncertainty with retailingÂ’ makes us reluctant to sell our own merchandise. Add in numerous other excuses and some may start to think "Actually, this may have been the right move for the club."

One question: If itÂ’s such a shitty market where everyone is struggling to turn a profit, why have Kitbag decided to give the club ١m per season? Not for one year, or even three – a 10-year deal!!

Kitbag are obviously making money (the break clause would have been in the contract for both parties) and thatÂ’s on top of a massive own goal with a horrible badge, along with thousands of blues who canÂ’t even manage to purchase the goods in the first place.

There have been hundreds on here saying they canÂ’t get hold of Everton merchandise. DonÂ’t fall for it.

Paul Washington
47 Posted 30/06/2015 at 16:00:55
More propagandist cack from the club. This smacks of incompetence and laziness – why aren't there regular intervals that both sides can review and ask for changes to be made? No increase in 10 years... is Cameron in charge of Kitbag?

Regarding the marketing, EFC stuff should be available in sports stores, JD etc. Not everybody likes buying clothing online.

I read a few years ago that we had sold a million "units" (jerseys) of one style, I can't remember which, but I am sure this adds up to more than ١ million a year.

Done up yet again... like a kipper.

Graham Mockford
48 Posted 30/06/2015 at 15:46:15
Essentially there are three ways to make money from football shirts: (1) Shirt sponsor deals, eg, Chang; (2) Shirt supply, eg, the deal just signed with Umbro; and (3) Retail operations, eg, what Kitbag do for us.

The Chang deal looks fairly mid- to low-range, could be more but it benchmarks with other clubs of a similar marketing profile.

The deal with Umbro just signed is worth 㿊m over 5 years. Again, mid-range but significantly better than previous deals.

The Kitbag deal I have no problem with and here is why: Retailing is a risky business (and I speak as a retail director of 15 years standing – although I don’t wear a suit, Eugene, I prefer the more casual look).

It would be nonsense to suggest if you got everything right from a retailing perspective you could not make more money; however, you need to ensure you have the right competencies in such areas as sourcing, supply chain, marketing, inventory management etc etc etc. And that is not a cheap or easy thing to do.

It is very easy to get it spectacularly wrong and suddenly lose money, which in effect was what was happening. So I donÂ’t think itÂ’s unreasonable to outsource that area of operation and take the significant risk away. A bird in the hand and all.

DonÂ’t forget, it was reported that Everton had the chance to end the Kitbag deal last year at KitbagÂ’s offer, and turned it down. Kitbag as a company have been losing money for a while now, replica shirt sales are in decline believe it or not. This suggests to me that Kitbag are losing money on the deal.

If it was such a bad deal, would they have made the offer and would we have turned the chance down? Well, yes you will say, if you buy the incompetence argument. As ever, not knowing the finer details, itÂ’s easy to imagine generating commercial revenues is as simple as banging your fist on the table and demanding more. In reality, these things are market driven and there are only margins to negotiate around.

I appreciate that Kitbag equals incompetence in these parts and my viewpoint will be the proverbial fart in a spacesuit... but hey ho.

Patrick Murphy
49 Posted 30/06/2015 at 16:11:55

I donÂ’t believe anybody is saying that anything relating to the commercial side of the club is easy or straightforward but it does seem that the people who make the decisions at the club do take the easy option and snatch the first deal that is presented to them that guarantees a sum of money.

Kids donÂ’t tend to go online to buy stuff, they tend to walk around shopping centres and use pester power to persuade their parents to buy stuff for them. If the parent can get out of the shopping centre without buying anything, they are unlikely to go online to buy it at a later time.

Even if they do go online, how many people on this site alone have complained about lack of stock or shortage of certain sizes etc? The demand is there: to what degree, I wouldnÂ’t know... but if one sale is lost due to poor stock control by the suppliers, that is hardly good for the club is it?

Not many potential customers are going to think, "Well, those Kitbag people are rubbish," – they are going to say "Everton FC are rubbish and they don’t care about the supporters." It’s almost as if Kitbag have done Everton FC a huge favour that no other company would consider; however, the fact that a new kit is on offer almost every year proves there must be some demand for the goods for sale.

We may not be the size of Man Utd or Barcelona but it wouldnÂ’t hurt to promote the club wherever possible and as others have said if the club's commercial department behaved in a similar way to the Everton in the Community programme, we may bring a little more money into the club. New ground? not in this millennium with this current 'safe option' crew in charge.

Everton FC have shrunk considerably in the last decade and a half both on and off the pitch and it would seem we are going to continue to shrink off the pitch at least for the next five years, IÂ’m not happy with that and I blame the major shareholders and commercial department for that, their hearts may be in the right place but their sense of all things Everton FC is not the same as many Evertonians. I wonder what state the club would be in if the fans had not stuck by the club in the last decade?

Kevin Tully
50 Posted 30/06/2015 at 16:47:50
Graham #48 - I didnÂ’t realise we were receiving ٤M per season from Umbro. Are you sure? Great deal if true, we didnÂ’t get a penny off Nike.

As far as Chang goes, we are 11 years into our partnership with them, with another 3 to run. I look at other clubs and wonder why they havenÂ’t stuck with shirt sponsors for this length of time?

Kevin Tully
51 Posted 30/06/2015 at 16:53:50
Sorry ,Graham, meant to ask - You say Kitbag are actually losing money on this deal, but decided to carry on for another 4 years? Sounds a bit strange.
Graham Mockford
52 Posted 30/06/2015 at 17:03:04

On your two posts, I am like all of us garnering information that I have read, dangerous sometimes because –believe it or not – everything on the Internet is not always true.However, my understanding is that we have signed a 5-year 㿊m deal with Umbro.

The question about Nike is a very good one as I canÂ’t find anything to suggest we got a dime on that deal when we moved from Le Coq Sportif. The suspicion could be of course it was some way tied up at the time with our Kitbag deal, but as ever we donÂ’t know.

As for Kitbag, they are losing money at a company level, that much is a matter of public record. Of course they deal with other clubs and have interests outside of football.

The reason I suspect the Everton deal is costing them money it is reported last year Everton had the option to exit the deal. I can only surmise it was at their request as we turned it down.

I only joined the debate as I am a retailer by trade and although some may believe itÂ’s just a cash cow that requires little effort it is darned more difficult and complicated than that.

Graham Mockford
53 Posted 30/06/2015 at 17:16:59

HereÂ’s the Umbro link

Colin Fitzpatrick
54 Posted 30/06/2015 at 17:20:44
Graham #48, Good to see that an expert in retail has given an overview. I completely agree with your assessment that the Chang deal "looks fairly mid- to low-range" and indeed retailing is a risky business so the ١M a year payment from Kitbag, hailed as the biggest deal in the history of the club when signed in 2009, is a vast improvement on the losses incurred prior to the first abortive outsourced deal with JJB.

Where I have a little confusion is over your figure of ٤M a season from our latest Kit Supplier. Unlike Chang, ٢M, and Kitbag, ١M, deals that were announced by Everton singing from the roof tops, the kit supply deals where and still are shrouded in mystery. Le Coq Sportif was stated as 𧼐k a season, Nike was undisclosed, accompanied by an explanation that it was hoped that whilst there was no upfront money it was hoped that marketing opportunities would be enhanced through the association... and then Umbro which again remains undisclosed save that itÂ’s a technical partnership.

Since 2009, the line in the accounts, "Sponsorship, Merchandising & Advertising" has proven that the two former suppliers have paid little or nothing to Everton, indeed, the 2014 contribution from this line was ٦.4M, broken down ٢M from Chang, ١M from Kitbag leaving ٟ.4M for advertising and any payment from a kit supplier. Robert Elstone in his latest blog continues to be unwilling to be any more specific than stating Umbro pay a "significant sum".

The 2015 accounts havenÂ’t been published yet but this line in the accounts will increase as I understand Chang have enhanced their deal to ٣.3M a season. Just wondering where you got this figure of ٤M, is it insider information from your industry?

Just about to post this and I have spotted your link. As you can see from the accounts figures IÂ’ve provided above, the writer of this information has misinterpreted the Nike deal, this is of course the deal we have with Kitbag, I wonder how much credence we can now give the ٤M a season revelation?

Kevin Tully
55 Posted 30/06/2015 at 17:39:27
Graham, I think itÂ’s a safe assumption to make that the link stating we are paid ٤M a season by Umbro is a load of tosh. If that figure was anywhere near true, you can be sure there would have been a major announcement. Surprised you posted that to be honest.
David Chait
56 Posted 30/06/2015 at 17:58:27
Thanks for the balanced post Graham... I fully understand your thinking it would be like farting into the wind. But for me it has saved his thread from being a typical good excuse to say how rubbish our club is.
Graham Mockford
57 Posted 30/06/2015 at 17:51:50

Well you may say itÂ’s a safe assumption itÂ’s tosh. I donÂ’t know quite frankly as the club have not confirmed it one way or the other. I shared with you the only article I could find. As I said, quoting the Internet is a risky business.

It sort of feels about the size of deals that are currently being done, the accounts wonÂ’t tell us, as all revenues are agglomerated into one figure.

I think a valid criticism of this Board is that they are not transparent enough about their dealings. You can look at this two ways, they are charlatans who are bleeding the club dry; or they got their fingers so badly burned with the Kirkby fiasco they are just hugely cautious about how they put stuff in the public domain.

You pay your money you make your choice.

Kevin Tully
58 Posted 30/06/2015 at 18:09:44
Graham – the guy quoted the Kitbag figures as the Nike shirt manufacturing deal. The guy clearly doesn’t have the first idea what he’s talking about. There’s about as much truth on that website as there is at one of Bill’s dinner parties, complete with Elvis stories. I’m sorry, but those figures are totally made up.

From that website: About the AuthorSameer Arshad
Formula One fan, blogger, designer and entrepreneur. Knows thing or two about a thing a two of sports, tweak codes, make cool infographs.

Graham Mockford
59 Posted 30/06/2015 at 18:19:39

Fair doÂ’s as I have repeatedly said we donÂ’t really know.

I still don’t think the Kitbag deal is as bad as most people portray – which was my main point.

Graham Mockford
60 Posted 30/06/2015 at 18:27:27

There is also a Daily Mail article that insinuates that we have signed an improved deal. However if I ever encouraged anyone to visit that site, my dad would turn in his grave – and he’s still alive!

Kevin Tully
61 Posted 30/06/2015 at 18:33:25
I would hope we would improve on the ٞ.00 we received from Nike, Graham! All will become clear when the accounts are published anyway.
Keith Harrison
62 Posted 30/06/2015 at 18:47:04
Andrew Ellams 41 - Tony Pulis wears every single item that is on sale at the club shop wherever he has managed. Fans even sing to him "He wears the club shop", heÂ’s a one man advert, my tongue was firmly in cheek, and was not a "Roberto out" comment mate.
Graham Mockford
63 Posted 30/06/2015 at 18:48:53

My final post only because IÂ’m in Singapore and it's fucking late.

We donÂ’t know what we got from Nike, in the same way we donÂ’t know what Umbro are paying, you are right my quoted source is in I no way reliable.

The Board should be more transparent about commercial matters, but that doesnÂ’t stop me thinking, from what I know about the Kitbag deal,itÂ’s not the omnishambles most think it is.

And I know you donÂ’t agree!

Adam Baig
65 Posted 30/06/2015 at 19:21:58
I was at the Warrington Business of The Year Awards a few weeks ago, and the guest speaker/prize giver was none other than Mr Elstone.

Now - I donÂ’t think he envisaged any Everonians being in the audience, because the shite he was coming out with was beyond compare.

He spent a few minutes talking about how he didnÂ’t really like football and was Â’a rugby man from YorkshireÂ’, and really fell into football by accident - but was Â’a good accountantÂ’, so was qualified to run a club like Everton.

He also bigged up the fact that Everton Â’no longer need the bank managerÂ’ as there is so much money in the PL now, and that the last day of the transfer window is Â’a blastÂ’

If I wouldÂ’ve been drinking I probably wouldÂ’ve been arrested.....

Michael Ward
66 Posted 30/06/2015 at 19:31:05
I have just read the article in the Echo and a few things jump out at me.

Firstly, there is no real comparison with other clubs or talk of whether other clubs have the same arrangement with a supplier. We get ١M a year for letting them sell and produce our kit, as opposed to that we also give up any strategic control about how to go about this. This may or may not be a good deal financially (ignoring the lost commercial and/or brand growth opportunities) but we canÂ’t take a reasoned look at this without any comparison.

Secondly, it seems the amount we get from Umbro is very poor in comparison – I took away from the article that we get at most ٟ.4M for this. Liverpool get 㿇M and Aston Villa get ٢M. Could this poor return be partially influenced by the Kitbag deal? Do they have any control/influence over which commercial partner we choose and is that costing us money. This area definitely needs to be explored in more detail.

Lastly, the Chang deal looks a very poor bit of business. ٢M a year for shirt sponsorship – Villa are getting ٧.4M, again miles ahead of us.

On paper, of the 3 deals I mention, the Kitbag deal seems the best from a monetary perspective; however, I have a sneaky suspicion that it is because of Kitbag in some way that we are so far behind in the other areas.

Alan Williams
67 Posted 01/07/2015 at 09:44:19
ItÂ’s good to see this thread has ended better than it started and some sensible arguments for and against.

Graham, I have to agree with your comments as I too am very close to the retail sector and spend most of my day living it but more connected to running the supply chain side of things. I was at a recent closed supplier meeting with the CEO of DebenhamÂ’s and he confirmed that 19% of their on line sales were done via the mobile by customers in the shop itself, in his words complete madness buts thatÂ’s the way retail is heading.

EvertonÂ’s brand internationally is very weak, and IÂ’m not on here to support the deal with Kitbag but running such operations yourself would mean employing a lot of agents and B&M teams on your wage bill and Everton just doesnÂ’t have those skill sets in-house.

What nobody seems to air is actually how may items we sell as this would make better reading to what can and canÂ’t be done. IÂ’m not a fan of three new kits every year, especially with this yearÂ’s being very similar to the previous year so not much incentive for the customers to change... Plus changing every year will mean less SKUÂ’s available to the markets place which means no re-runs on fast selling items so the chance of getting the stock out globally and spreading it is even more less likely.

They probably buy in two major hits, starting July/August and a replenishment in November, and no further production thereafter until the new kits come out the next July/August. The whole process is based around bulk ordering and if it sells out then so be it. This is fine for Zara as they refresh every six weeks their styles but not for brand Everton if it wants to go global.

Good luck in Singapore, Graham, itÂ’s a great place. Orchard Road has some interesting bars and Clark Quay is always nice. Everton fans will have a ball there but be careful – the beer is very, very expensive: I paid 㾻 for a pint of Guinness in March and lager was around ٦/10 per pint, so be prepared, if you go over for the pre-season friendly.

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