If Everton Football Club had the slightest ambition for the future, then the John Stones situation would never have arisen. Think back to the sale of Rooney – yes, that long ago and the writing was long on the wall. As a club, we are a drop-in box for all the clubs with money. Players such as Rooney, Stones, Barkley etc should have been our future.
Okay, when the money hits the heights that it has done, if a player wants to leave, then let them go... BUT you only do that if you have other players lined up to replace them of an acceptable talent/quality. When fit, we potentially have (had?) three of the back four of the England team in Stones, Jagielka and Baines. We were able to stop the move of Baines so why not Stones? It goes back to the lack of investment and hence ambition.
Why is the heat on for English players at these other clubs? It's quite simple. Not too far in the future they will have to have a minimum number of English players in their squad to meet the change in the rules. Hence, City go for Sterling, and Chelsea are in for Stones etc. If Barkley could hit any decent form then he will be next.
What particularly rubs the wrong way for me is the arrogance of Chelsea, Man City, and Man Utd. Their view is that, if we want a player, then we just go in and make an offer because the likes of Everton need the money. Of course they are correct to think we need the money but that is only because of the way the club is being run. Even if you know you need the money, you can still negotiate and make demands; after all, isn't that what you need to do if you have half a brain for business?
Why is it that someone has not invested in EFC? It is hard to believe that there is nobody out there. I come back to the same answer: Mr Bill Kenwright. I would not question his own loyalty to the club, however, as a club we were at a cross roads some years ago and unfortunately Mr Kenwright has taken us down a cul-de-sac!
Without investment, we cannot survive in the Premier League. Before a ball was kicked this season, realistically we were looking at a top-half finish, with an outside chance of top six. This is not good enough.
Not only do we now need to bolster our defence but we need to have someone who actually deserves to wear that Number 9 shirt. We know the history... eg: Alex Young, Joe Royle, Duncan Ferguson etc (no disrespect meant to Kone... but fans will know what I mean). I don't want to support a club that ONLY can live on its history. The history is important, BUT the future is equally important.
It would appear that it is inevitable now that Stones will leave the club. We are only deluding ourselves if we blame the lad. If Everton were the club they should be, then I wouldn't be writing this. In terms of the negotiations, then yes, why not wait until the next transfer window? Equally as many have pointed out with Terry now suspended and his legs gone Everton should use this in their negotiations ie: you want Stones now? Then, you have to pay over the odds... otherwise go and knock on someone else's door, BUT who has an England defender for sale? Stick it to them, PLEASE, if you have to... what have we to lose?
If we get any of the rumoured foreign players then they will need time to adjust, so again, delay any other player(s) leaving.
Mr Kenwright, it is past the time when you need to let someone invest in EFC which might mean you have to play a lesser role. You know the song well enough: "If ya know yer 'istory" – your history should be that you let go of the reins in order that EFC became a great club again. That would be a far better memory than the one you will have if you don't let go.
You certainly don't want your final curtain call to potentially be relegation... Act 1 and DO ONE! ... before it is too late!