Mo' Money, Mo' Problems?

The Peter Johnson episode in Everton's history offers a cautionary tale. Everything Farhad Moshiri represents, Johnson once did too. In relative terms, he was every bit as ‘messiah-like’. Is cautious optimism the best the club can expect from supporters as inured to hope as we can be?

Jim Keoghan 09/03/2016 43comments  |  Jump to last

Were Fucking Rich! So the fans sang out at Villa. And it looks like that might just be true. Although no Evertonian expects us to rival the likes of Man City, Man Utd or Chelsea in the financial stakes, the arrival of fresh investment courtesy of Farhad Moshiri, a man with deep pockets and an apparent willingness to spend, suggests a brighter future on the horizon for the boys in blue.

But without wanting to come over all Everton, and drench incipient optimism with a down-pouring of pessimism, weve been here before havent we? The sums might have been smaller and the man involved less impressive but back in the 1990s Everton welcomed a financial saviour who was supposed to take us to a brave new world.

On the eve of our 1994 showdown with Wimbledon, a game that had the potential to cast us into the footballing wilderness, Peter Johnson became the chairman at Everton, injecting 10m into the club and promising to lift the torpor of the later-Moores years and let the good times roll.

Prior to his arrival, Evertons principle shareholder, John Moores, was a near-deaf, bed-ridden nonagenarian nearing the end of his life; the club was chaired by a man, Dr David Marsh, without any apparent business experience or knowledge of football; and the financial performance at Goodison could be described as anaemic at best. Set against this and the sense of listless drift that permeated the club, the fans were crying out for a deep-pocketed businessman to come to the rescue.

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And by the standards of the time, Johnson seemed a good bet. This was still, just about, the age of millionaires, not billionaires in the top flight. With an estimated fortune of 175m, he offered the prospect of a generous transfer kitty.

More than that, he was a football man, with a decent track record. Johnson had spent years at Tranmere, transforming their fortunes from near bankruptcy and relegation to the Conference, to financial rude health and the tantalising prospect of promotion to the Premier League.

After a stuttering start at Everton (signing Vinny Samways, persisting with Mike Walker, the botched Muller affair), roll the good times sort of did. Big money signings arrived, like Ferguson, Kanchelskis and Barmby. Silverware came home from Wembley, taken from the best sides in the country. League form, which had moved from mediocrity to disaster in the preceding seasons dramatically improved to the point where Everton were tipped as dark horses for the title.

Johnson looked to have breathed life back into Goodison. Despite his Kopite affiliations, by the summer of 1996, two years into the Johnson-era, by which point the hamper man owned 68% of the club, few Blues could gripe about what the new owner had done.

We had wanted investment from him and it had duly arrived. Everton had spent 43m (27m net) on new players. This compared favourably to other big clubs, such as Newcastle (23m), Arsenal (21m) and Liverpool (20m).

Goodison had been dolled up, the commercial performance improved and matters on the pitch were looking good. Although mistakes had been made here-and-there (the brief abandonment of Z-Cars, a few botched transfer deals, Dixie the mascot) Johnson had largely delivered.

But then, almost in the blink of an eye, he stopped delivering. Over the course of the next two seasons, Everton unravelled. A managerial merry-go-round, a transfer policy that moved from generosity to penury to debt-fuelled insanity and an apparent inability to fulfil any promise delivered, left the fans baying for blood.

By the time he stepped down as chairman, having sold the talismanic Duncan Ferguson to Newcastle behind the managers back, Johnson was loathed. The clubs debts stood at 18m, relegation now appeared a constant threat and all the optimism and hope of four years earlier had completely disappeared.

There were several major factors behind his failure. Johnson was prone to mistakes and made several during his tenure (persisting with Walker, sacking Royle, appointing Kendall). He also took over Everton just as his own business was going through hard times (his disastrous foray into the frozen chip market with DJ Spuddles being a particular low). And he failed to make Everton commercially successful enough to remove the necessity of constant injections of external capital.

These, and other smaller disasters, ultimately added up to one of the darkest periods of modern Evertonianism, a bleak time that many of us would rather forget.

I dont offer these memories cruelly, but merely as a cautionary warning. Take away the Liverpool link, and Johnson looked like the real deal. By the standards of the time, when football was still in the early throws of the changes that were being brought about by the Premier League, a man of his wealth and experience becoming involved with the club represented something to welcome.

He had cash, business savvy and football knowhow, three qualities that compared favourably to the many other chairmen investing in the top flight. And yet it all went wrong. His failure, and it was unquestionably a failure, illustrates that new money isnt always the panacea it promises to be.

At the moment, the Moshiri deal looks good. Our new investor has considerable wealth, valuable experience via his stint with Arsenal and an expressed desire to move Everton into the high echelons of the game. Everton have done remarkably well over the past decade with relatively little money, so its undeniably tempting to believe that with a little more we could do so much better.

But, everything Farhad Moshiri represents, Johnson once did too. In relative terms, he was every bit as messiah-like.

The four divisions, at all levels of finance, are littered with examples of clubs that spent big, that reached for the stars, and that ultimately fell short. With the exception of the super-wealthy, who generally enjoy a permanent lock on the higher reaches of the game, investment for most clubs is a risk. Football is inexact and its hard to say what impact money will have.

I hope Moshiri works out. God knows, Evertonians deserve something good to happen. The trophy cabinet has been locked for too long and its about time that we gave our former peers a run for their money.

But I remember feeling optimistic back in 1994 and look where that got me. So, I think I might settle for cautious optimism instead, which is probably the best the club could expect from supporters as inured to hope as we can be.


Jim Keoghan is the author of Highs Lows and Bakayokos, the story of Everton in the 1990s, which is published by Pitch Publishing later this year.

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Reader Comments (43)

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Michael Evans
1 Posted 09/03/2016 at 06:48:34
Excellent article, Jim.

My fear with investment is that it can create lazy, simplistic short-sighted management... if we just pay enough money for him, him, him and him then we’ll have a team

Blend is everything in football.

When HK spent relatively small on a Liverpool reserve (Sheedy) and an injury-ravaged crock (Reid), I don’t remember getting particularly enthused.

Big Nev wasn’t exactly a marquee signing at the time either was he?

Christopher Dover
2 Posted 09/03/2016 at 08:07:47
Why feel happy and looking forward to better times?

Looking at above we may as well accept the new director will rob us and send us to the championship while he walks away with a nice profit.

Most if not all have wanted a new investor to take the club forward, we now have one, we cannot alter it any more than removing RM from our club so lets be positive that things will change for the better, it will not happen in one year but believe it will.

Complaining and forecasting doom and being negative as his foot crosses the door of Goodison is just negative, be positive.

Danny Broderick
3 Posted 09/03/2016 at 08:59:59
The thing that did for Johnson was that he was a Kopite, which some of the fan base couldn’t accept. He did make mistakes – undeniably so – but I would say that he did far more good than bad while he owned us.

He built a new stand in our ground. He bankrolled us – we broke our transfer record several times while he was here (Samways, Amokachi, Speed, Ferguson, Kanchelskis, Barmby etc).
He appointed a trophy winning manager.

I don’t know how long he owned us – maybe 5 years? But personally I was far happier with Johnson in charge for his stint than I have been for Kenwright these last 15 years.

I hope Moshiri can repeat some of Johnson’s successes without making the same mistakes...

Patrick Murphy
4 Posted 09/03/2016 at 09:12:44
It is the hiatus between Johnson and the arrival of the new man that has hurt Everton the most, because the game has completely changed between the early 2000s and the present day.

Johnson wasn't what we needed in hindsight but that doesn't mean that the new guy isn't exactly what we need. I'm certainly not expecting to see money being splurged on transfers in the summer or indeed anytime soon nor do I expect Everton to be paying players £200k per week either.

Mr Morishi offers stability and more financial wriggle room, which may help the club to compete a little bit better in the transfer market and the biggest part of his remit will be to redevelop Goodison or help fund a new ground. Everton needs to be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century commercial reality, whilst hopefully retaining it's more endearing qualities.

At the end of the day, success on the field is the biggest driver and as long as most of the effort, if not all of the money, is aimed at that on-field success, the rest of it becomes easier and will mostly with the right people in charge, take care of itself. I hope Mr Morisihi is as astute and demanding as was Sir John for most of his tenure, however, football is a fickle sport and we can't guarantee anything, but at least for the moment we have another opportunity to improve our status as a club in the modern era.

Thomas Lennon
5 Posted 09/03/2016 at 09:19:41
Johnson ran out of money but never managed to buy the best. Changed managers frequently, destabilised the fan base and the club. The new stand was half hearted too. His investment was never matched by income and that is still the risk now – the local fanbase can’t find this club but of course with TV deals it doesn’t have to – yet.

Moshiri should be looking at long term, careful, forced evolution built on solid foundations. The signing of a top class manager would truly be a statement to the team and the rest of the football world.

Martin Mason
6 Posted 09/03/2016 at 09:34:22
Excellent article and the comparison between the incompetent chaotic boards of that era and our current board.

We also need to remember that Moshiri is a very hard headed business man who will not throw money into players to try to buy success. He will be investing to make money himself and will do it responsibly and that is exactly what we need, sustainability.

Steve Hogan
7 Posted 09/03/2016 at 10:06:11
Wow, that article’s a little dour Jim, I can understand the caution, but after watching Everton all season, I was enjoying my ’moment in the sun’ after the arrival of Moshiri, now you’ve made me feel all depressed again!!

Seriously though, I think comparisons to Johnson’s arrival in the 90’s is simply not true. The recent ’mega deal’ media money has simply transformed every club in the Premier League’s finance’s to such an extent, that no club now should ever suffer from the threat of going bankrupt, not even Everton!!

The BIG question for me and all Evertonians is this, ’How ruthless will Mr Moshiri really be’?

Given he now effectively owns and runs the club, Roberto’s reign will be under more scrutiny now than at any time of his three-year tenure. It’s a results led business, and last season and this, he’s simply not up to the required standard, for a club wanting to progress.

It’s over to you Mo lad.

Jim Lloyd
8 Posted 09/03/2016 at 10:19:58
Well, if anyone thinks Farhad Moshiri is going to come into the club and do a Father Christmas impression, I think they are being a bit over optimistic to say the least.

We have a lot of problems at Everton and I don't think anyone in their right mind is just going to blow his fortune on instantly gratifying our (the fans) desire for the Elysian Fields of glory and unending success. Not yet, anyway!

"Build a new Stadium?" "Sure, I'll write a cheque, start tomorrow" Get a new manager in? "Definitely, I'll bring the Special One in and drop him a couple of hundred mill."

"Get new players in?" "Sure, I'll splash the cash and we're off and away!""

I don't think that our new future is going to start in anyway like that.

Neither do I think that Mr Moshiri is anything like in the same financial position as Mr Johnson was. He is a business partner of Russia's third richest man and has interests and investments in some world class businesses. So I can't see him going bust either (assuming there's no further financial crashes!)

I'm sure he will want to see what (if any) plans there are for redeveloping Goodison Park. How far (if at all) has any thought or plan been developed for a new stadium, either in Walton Hall Park, or anywhere else (Stanley Park for example?) What sort of sponsorhip deals do EFC have and how much do they bring in? What, if any business partnerships are in place before a new stadium can be started, naming right for stands and all the rest of the business questions.

What is in place to bring EFC retail to a country wide and world wide retail outlets. What is in place and what is projected to bring the "Brand" (as I suppose business men will call it) to the households of America, Asia and specifically, China.

It is going to take time and more than anything, it is going to need a business plan, so that Everton can resolve the problems we have.

I think, first and foremost, he will be looking atmost important first building block, e.g. what he thinks the manager can deliver in bringing success, where we want it, on the pitch, is he the right manager to achieve it and if not, who?. Before he starts splashing the cash, then he's going to look very closely at the position of Manager, and all related issues about training, medical and the rest of the back up staff.

So I'm not looking to compare him withy Peter Johnson, or with Mr Lerner of Aston Villa. I think he will be much more savvy than either of those men and I think he wil;l lay out his vision to us, aftyer he has spoken to all the Board and Shareholders of EFC.

I'll be quietly enthusiastic again if he can provide a blueprint for success on the pitch. All the rest can follow but we have been sadly starved for decades, and I'd love to see us on the lines of the great teams of the Sixties and the Eighties....

Only this time, for our kids and grandkids will see it as well.

That'll do for me cocker!

Phil Walling
9 Posted 09/03/2016 at 10:41:23
Few smiles are seen around Villa Park these days but I suspect the Evertonians' 'We are rich' chants brought caustic humour to the home fans at what as become known in Birmingham as 'The Hall of Memory.'

Barely 10 years ago, it is believed the not inconsiderable fortune of Randy Lerner of MBNA banking fame was put at the disposal of Villa after it was rumoured he had looked at Everton but received little encouragement from Uncle Bill. Approximately £250 Million later, the historic Midlands club wish they had never heard of him as they head for certain Championship football. Lerner is said to be a broken man – in more senses than one!

Whilst most clubs' fans see money as the answer to everything – and for Chelsea and Man City it has proved so – for so many it has proved to be fools gold. At Anfield the dream became a nightmare and at Blackburn the money quickly turned to chicken shit. But at Villa and so many other venues failure can be attributed to naïvety and, far too often, the very poor choice of manager (s).

As the saying goes, "If you want to make a small fortune from football, you need to start with a large one." So let's just hope 'our saviour' is blessed with deep pockets and sound judgement.

Clive Rogers
10 Posted 09/03/2016 at 10:44:13
I've always thought Johnson has had a bad press from certain quarters. He was a breath of fresh air when he first took over, and for the first few years. It was when his food company ran into major difficulties that it all went wrong. He sacrificed Everton to save his company. With hindsight he may have done better the other way round, but for me he would have been a good chairman but for the financial problems. He certainly had more vision than Kenwright.
Jim Lloyd
11 Posted 09/03/2016 at 10:52:33
Good point, Clive.
John Raftery
12 Posted 09/03/2016 at 11:05:31
The article is timely and very accurately summarises the Johnson era. We were in a bad state when he took over, had a brief period of success in 1995 and 1996 before plummeting to total chaos epitomised by the sale of Duncan Ferguson. We were a complete laughing stock.

The club and the team need to develop incrementally and that will not be achieved by throwing £100m into the squad this summer. I would prefer most if not all the money to be invested in the stadium and helping to put the club on a sustainable commercial footing consistent with our position as one of the Top 20 richest clubs in world football.

Jim Lloyd
13 Posted 09/03/2016 at 11:39:45
I think that if we concentrate on building a stadium without maximising the chances of success on the pitch, it's like putting the cart before the horse.

It seems to me that the new major shareholder will have a number of priorities, but they won't be mutually exclusive. However, I think there is a danger, here and now, that the current manager has lost or is losing rapidly, the faith of the fans to bring relative success on the pitch.

This will likely lead to a further poisonous atmosphere at home and, I wouldn't like to see it, our better players wanting to up sticks and leave for a team that's in the Champions League, or at least regularly in Europe and/or winning a Cup.

So, unless Mr Moshiri is satisfied that the current management set up, can regularly achieve say the same level of consistency as, say Spurs, while the Stadium is being developed/built, we could end up like Aston Villa and seeing a number of short term and desperate appointments, in the hope of rescuing the club from a downward spiral on the pitch.

So, in my view, it isn't a matter of throwing a £100 million or whatever at bringing in new players. It's more a matter of him satisfying himself that he has a Manager who he has faith in to bring a sense of progress, to the club, the team and the supporters.

And I think it isn't only on ToffeeWeb that that the question of do we have the Manager who can achieve this is being pondered on.

I'd love to see a new stadium and I'm sure we will, as a club, be having this as a priority.

But to me, the overwhelmiong first priority is to have faith in a managerial team to improve the quality and the relative position in the league, of our team.

Chris Williams
14 Posted 09/03/2016 at 12:19:40
It may well be that the new man will have many useful contacts, built up over the years, who may well improve our commercial performance, with proper, profitable sponsorship deals. Let's face it the ones we have currently are pretty poor. That in itself would improve things.

He may be able to use his contacts to facilitate the Stadium development, with partnership agreements. Again this would be an improvement on selling our soul to Tesco, for a 'free' stadium.

He may be able to do 'a Philip Green' and underwrite transfers, but do it openly, with no strings attached, which would be an improvement.

He may even use his own money too.

As regards PJ, I did some consultancy work for Park in the late 90s, and got talking to him about Everton (after he had left) and he was still pretty raw about the whole thing. He bought into Everton after floating his company on AIM. He then brought in a fair few decent players, built a new store and underwrote a share issue etc.

Unfortunately he left his company in the hands of idiots and they damaged it badly, driving down the share price, which necessitated him firing the Board and needing cash to shore up his ailing business. Consequently selling players and spending a lot more time in his business.

It might have different, but that's Everton!

His take on Fergusons sale was that Smith knew all about it, having the same agent and all.

He seemed to be telling the truth, but who really knows?

John Otway
15 Posted 09/03/2016 at 12:35:44
What would be cool is if Usmanov, the world's 58th richest individual with a personal fortune of £14 billion, gives up on trying to unseat Kroenke at Arsenal and joins his business partner, Moshiri, at Everton.
John Daley
16 Posted 09/03/2016 at 13:01:51
"He was a breath of fresh air when he first took over"

Can you imagine the lifelong trauma inflicted on those shell shocked kids whose first experience of going the game coincided with an Everton team trotting out to the 'techno techno techno' shite of 2Unlimited and 'Mr Toffee' acting the twat and giving them the 'funny eye' from under his foamy cap?

Link

'Everton Lemonade' seems to ring a bell from that era as well but...to be honest...i'm not sure if that's one innovation I just dreamt up myself.

Kevin Tully
17 Posted 09/03/2016 at 13:11:30
Most pieces we've read about our new man at the helm mention his experience at Arsenal and how this will help him during his time here. Does anyone actually know the extent of his role with the Gunners? Or is everyone just guessing he was involved beyond his financial interest?
Paul Andrews
18 Posted 09/03/2016 at 13:21:25
Mr Moshiri will want to get the infrastructure right first.

His first job will be to get rid of the incompetent people who have us in a position where we can’t buy a shirt in High Street sports shops. The people who did the deal for the shirt sponsorship, which is undervalued, and the people who have overseen the Kitbag deal.

John Daley
19 Posted 09/03/2016 at 13:26:50
Kevin, I'm afraid it's wishful thinking. In August 2014, Alisher Usmanov gave an interview in which he stated:

"Those who control the club run the club. Mr Kroenke's group controls the club and they control the day-to-day management.

"I hold a 30% stake in Arsenal and therefore the board's success is shareholders' success. I have no plans to exit. I wish Arsenal success and hope that they win trophies."

If Usmanov himself has (or had) no input in the actual running of the club then there's no way his right-hand man would have.

Kevin Tully
20 Posted 09/03/2016 at 13:41:13
Cheers, John. I hadn't read anywhere that Moshiri was involved in any other capacity at Arsenal beyond owning his shares.

I've no doubt he will improve almost every aspect of the club, from the stadium issue to finding someone else rather than Chang to sponsor us, but this is his first foray into actually running a club. The bar hasn't been set particuarly high, has it? "Eh, Joe, gizza stadium, go on."

Will Firstbrook
21 Posted 09/03/2016 at 13:52:21
For all the potential hope Moshiri and his wallet brings to Everton, the plain truth is that we still have the same small-minded board/management team plotting how that money would be invested. That is problematic in my view.
Dan Davies
22 Posted 09/03/2016 at 14:07:30
C'mon now... snap out of out it! We have a BILLIONAIRE investor soon to be owner. The future is a lot brighter than it has been for a long time.

Who knows... a possible silent takeover by Usmanov? Is Mr Moshiri just doing the groundwork for Usmanov? For once, can't we dream big!?

Colin Glassar
23 Posted 09/03/2016 at 14:14:26
I haven't read all the above comments but I agree with Steve Hogan. The tv money is a game-changer. Back in the day when Johnson was in charge we basically lived off gate money and some crap shirt deals, now everything is different. The money taken through the turnstiles is almost insignificant it's all about commercial deals, CL status, tv money, executive boxes etc....

Mr Moshiri's main focus has to be on the stadium. If he can sort that out, as well as the above, we will be on a solid financial rock. He's a self-made billionaire accountant so he obviously knows when and where to invest his pennies.

The only thing I'd ask for is, can we change that photo of him? He looks slightly sinister, a bit like the Tim Curry clown in 'IT'.

Michael Kenrick
24 Posted 09/03/2016 at 14:35:48
Dan Davies, there's dreaming, which plenty of Evertonians indulge in by necessity...

Then there's wild baseless made-up nonsense, which is this Usmanov stuff. He just doubled his shareholding in Arsenal. He'd have to sell them all before buying in to Everton. There's zero indication that is the plan.

Just saying.

Dan Davies
25 Posted 09/03/2016 at 14:47:26
Michael,

I've been a frustrated Blue for too long. Maybe I am getting over-excited! Time will tell

Paul Andrews
26 Posted 09/03/2016 at 15:23:36
I have no idea of the figures involved but just for conjecture.. What would the return be if Usmanov was to sell his shares in Arsenal?

We already know roughly how much it would cost him to complete a takeover at Everton. I would imagine a sizeable difference in the two figures.

Colin Glassar
27 Posted 09/03/2016 at 15:38:35
Dan has a point though Michael. Usmanov has tried for years to take a controlling share in Arsenal but has always been thwarted by Kroenke and his pals.

If he really wants a Premier League club as part of his empire why not join up with his former partner at Goodison? Maybe he has a point to prove?

Clive Rogers
28 Posted 09/03/2016 at 15:55:51
Will (#21),

Not really. Morishi is now by far the major shareholder with 49.9% with the nearest to that only 13%. Reportedly the intention is for him to increase his holding to 75%. He will be running the show and making all the major decisions. Unlike Kenwright he is a highly successful businessman and hopefully will rejuvenate the club.

Michael Kenrick
29 Posted 09/03/2016 at 16:13:01
It's pure invention, Colin. There's no indication of it happening... in fact, quite the opposite. He's just DOUBLED his investment in Arsenal. Sorry, but I can only go by the facts.

Paul, if you must speculate, you could take the numbers bandied around for Moshiri's deal:

Sold 15% of Arsenal for £200M. That values Arsenal at £1.3 Billion.

Buys 49.9% of Everton for £87.325M. That values Everton at a paltry £175M. (That's around ONE-EIGHTH of Arsenal's valuation! Oh how the mighty are fallen...)

Some people clearly think Usamov is now going to buy 50.1% of Everton. If the prices are the same, he gets £400M for his Arsenal shares and only pays £87.675M for all the outstanding Everton shares.

That leaves him loads of extra moulah to invest in players, stadiums, and dancing girls... no wonder the dreamers are cock-a-hoop.

The big flaw is this: I don't see why or how Usamov could buy up all the small shareholders. There is no reason to, and a bunch of them (being Evertonians) probably wouldn't sell anyway. The whole notion strikes me as ridiculous.

Perhaps it could happen if he somehow got to 90% by buying out Moshiri and all the other bigger players. But I still think that relies on getting a slew of smaller shareholders to sell to him before they are obligated to (if these rules actually apply to Everton FC Co Ltd).

However, you can never say 'never'.

Peter Laing
30 Posted 09/03/2016 at 16:38:32
Michael, I have been hearing these rumours about Usmanov since roughly the same time that the news broke that Moshiri was acquiring his stake in Everton.

As you quite rightly state all of this is merely conjecture and without substance. However, I would much rather have the current scenario of Moshiri with a rich friend in Usmanov than the previous Kenwright with a good friend in Philip Green!

Michael Kenrick
31 Posted 09/03/2016 at 16:55:03
I just wonder if they qualify as 'rumours', Peter (ie, with a source that would get them listed on our Rumour Mill). I think they are pure conjecture from our dreamier fans – perhaps bolstered by the lad who claimed (incorrectly) in December that a big Russian Billionaire (obviously Usamov) was buying Everton. Didn't happen.

Since dreaming is the favoured form on TW, I wonder if the truth about Sir Philip Green might one day show that he really did play a key role in keeping Everton solvent through our darkest times in the 00s??? He was a really good friend of the club, you know...

That particular revision of our perceived history would be met by a solid wall of confirmation bias, methinks!!!

Paul Andrews
32 Posted 09/03/2016 at 17:12:56
Thanks Michael, I wasn't speculating just interested in the figures. I think it is more of a buyer with the standing of Usmanov, who I would be well pleased if he did buy us out, being in control of a club, rather than being kept on the fringes and refused a seat on the board.

I wouldn't be so sure about the smaller shareholders selling, if the price was right, and to enhance the clubs future, I am sure they would.

Jim Lloyd
33 Posted 09/03/2016 at 17:26:04
Regarding Mr Moshiri’s time at Arsenal. I’m not so sure it is just wishful thinking to conjecture what he will bring to EFC. I read somewhere, not sure where, that he had a fair bit to do with the procedure of selling the old ground and working towards the purchase of the new Arsenal stadium.

I’d guess that being a partner of Mr Usamov, he would have considerable experience of a number of major international firms and it would seem a reasonable guess that he has considerable knowledge of the workings in Arsenal,seeing that it was likely he would have supported a bid from Mr Usamov to buy a major stake in Arsenal.

So it would seem reasonable to me that he is also quite well in with a number of large businesses and will be looking to use his connections to bring in more income through advertising and sponsorships; partnerships and, when/if we get round to it, naming rights for the new ground and for the stands within it.

I’m sure he will also be looking at the retail outlets and contracts that we have.

So, although I’m not expecting him to provide the football equivalent of Harrods, I have some faith that we will go past the Open all Hours superstore we have now.

Dan Davies
34 Posted 09/03/2016 at 17:29:36
Forgot about the dancing girls... throw them in too! Gets better by the minute ha ha. Seriously though it seems good times must be ahead either way, so let’s enjoy, ay?
Will Firstbrook
35 Posted 09/03/2016 at 17:42:21
Clive (#28)

For the foreseeable future, it will be the same folks defining the Club’s business strategy. As such, while I see the emergence of Mr. Moshiri as a positive on the whole, significant reorganization at the executive level is needed to get us truly moving in the right direction.

I will remain cautiously optimistic for now and will feel better once the likes of Elstone and his ilk are removed from the picture. I truly hope that Mr Moshiri intends to bring with him real leaders with true vision and a business plan/strategy to properly grow this Club.

Paul Washington
36 Posted 09/03/2016 at 18:26:13
I will go along the cautious optimism route. I personally think the ground issue has to be addressed immediately, maybe settling for mid table while all available resources go to this issue. Not popular I know but how long can this ground go on?

Re Peter Johnson, me dad was a steward at Everton for years and Johnson told him he would not have had the Park End in its present form. He would have had the original plan but it was too late to change when he took over.
John Daley
37 Posted 09/03/2016 at 19:55:22
"Regarding Mr Moshiri’s time at Arsenal..... I read somewhere, not sure where, that he had a fair bit to do with the procedure of selling the old ground and working towards the purchase of the new Arsenal stadium."

I keep saying this... the Emirates stadium opened in 2006. Moshiri and Usmanov did not acquire their first shares in the club until 2007. He had absolutely nothing to do with the acquisition of a new ground. Nor did he have anything to do with the ’selling’ of the old one. The ’Highbury Square’ apartment complex may not have officially opened until late 2009, but the proposed flats first went on sale in 2005 and were all snapped up by May 2006.

As Michael said earlier though, people seem to be buying into and projecting whatever they want to believe about the new guy, even if there’s fuck all evidence to back it up.

David Pearl
38 Posted 10/03/2016 at 04:11:08
Good read, Jim. I remember the season I had just moved back after a number of years in Canada and we bought Materazzi and Dacourt, filled with optimism for the season to start going down hill as soon as John Collins missed that penalty against Villa.

Yeah I remember many people bemoaning the fact that Lerner didn’t buy us. I think perhaps BK has either done well or stumbled into what could be the best deal we could of hoped for.

Other than that – I actually hate just reading Barmby's name. I remember when, actually it was mum rushing up to me in a panic. "Have you heard – Barmby wants to go to the Redshite". I thought she’s been on the snowballs again. Little shitbag.

David Pearl
39 Posted 10/03/2016 at 04:12:57
I mean Barmby, not me mum.
Jack Mason
40 Posted 10/03/2016 at 06:13:14
The Johnson era, it had it’s moments for sure. The Park End stand, player investment and then lack of it, the FA Cup win. I never bought into the Agent Johnson crap. I always saw him as a businessman who couldn’t buy into the other lot but once he was here was determined to make a go of it. He lost me over the Duncan Ferguson transfer, I thought Smith was hard done by overall. And I know that view isn’t popular. Looking back though Kenwright was right to sack him, his position had become untenable.

I see the parallels in this article and it’s well written and pertinent but there’s a hell of a lot of hindsight going on. I’d say let’s give it till summer at least before we start sending the crows south.

Michael says ToffeeWeb has become a world of dreamers. I’d put this point to you Michael. Don’t you think after the successive failures of the board and the turgid football we had to endure during the Moyes years, forgetting Martinez for a minute, Evertonians can at least take a few weeks to, go off the rails a wee bit and dream? A billionaire owner has just taken over the club. You’re right – no-one knows yet what his plans are. Some people add 2 & 2 and get four, others get 5. At this stage, it’s all up in air. No-one knows who’s got the right answer. Let people enjoy the very brief moment in between the long periods of despair that comes with being an Evertonian.

Anyway, good to see you commenting again Michael, your match reports are excellent but I’ve missed your editorials and posts.

Clive Rogers
41 Posted 10/03/2016 at 09:42:06
Will #35,

Agree with that. I’m sure that Kenwright and Woods will no longer have a major input from now on though. BK will be merely a figurehead.

Will Firstbrook
42 Posted 10/03/2016 at 17:41:25
I would like to think so Clive but I have a strong feeling Moshiri is not going to come in here and shake things up out of the gate. Indeed, it appears there has been a great deal of thought and effort to gradually transition authority and control from the current regime to him as part of his share acquisition. And on the surface at least, Moshiri seems to OK with this approach. With the massive TV money coming and failsafe options the club possesses in terms of player asset value, perhaps he can afford to be patient here?

Time will tell, of course, and it's only speculation at this stage as we know very little of what Moshiri's plan is here. However, I do believe BK and his minions will continue to exert a strong influence in business and footballing matters possibly well into next season. And to that point, I do not see the emergence of Moshiri as triggering or accelerating a change in manager in the near future as several hope or believe. For the same reasons noted above. As long as BK and those who hired him have direct involvement/input in club matters, I suspect he will be given more time. I am thoroughly convinced Roberto will not see the sack whilst BK is still in the picture. Everton do not do the sack

James Flynn
43 Posted 10/03/2016 at 18:33:12
I'll guess that the first thing Moshiri does is convince the young ones to stay and give it one more go with a better manager. THAT he could do immediately to show his intent on improving the Club.


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