Money for Nothing

Time for Moshiri to lead, to act and to affect wholesale change across the entire staff of the Club. The fans may put up with money for nothing in the short term because it’s in our blood; but don’t abuse that love, that trust.

Rodger Armstrong 22/01/2018 40comments  |  Jump to last
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“Now look at them yo-yo’s that’s the way you do it
You play the football on the Sky TV
That ain’t workin’ that’s the way you do it
Money for nothin’ and your kicks for free… “

Above lyrics adapted from Money for Nothing by Dire Straits, 1985, a year when Everton won the 1st Division Title. The song poked fun at bands with limited talent who exploited the recently launched MTV to promote themselves on video rather than using live performances exhibiting their musical virtuosity.

At the Everton General Meeting (EGM), CEO, Robert Elstone, proudly announced that we had the fourth cheapest Season Tickets in the Premier League. Those of us who have sat through the absolute drivel served up at Goodison this season (bar a Rooney wonder-strike) might argue that they are actually overpriced.

30 minutes in on Saturday, 0-1 down to WBA and “captain” Ashley Williams lumped a free kick into the box towards a waving Sigurdsson. Heaven help us! Surely our £45m dead ball specialist should have been taking it and the CB should have been waving at him?!

No matter, I am not paid millions of pounds to play football, coach footballers, buy footballers or select a team of footballers.

I know my place. In absolute disgust I headed to the bar in the Top Balcony where, amazingly, there were at least another hundred Blues choosing not to watch their team. Many of you will say they (and I) should have been “sticking with the team” and encouraging them. Fair play to you, but that first half versus WBA was the absolute worst football I have seen in over 40 years of watching the Blues. Before half time the bar was heaving with fans exhibiting a mixture of anger, shock and disbelief at what they were paying to watch. I wondered if the same mood pervaded in the Directors lounge?

Money for nothing (and no kicks for free).

We have had many worse players than today’s millionaire “superstars” but at least they tried (and failed, more often than not); at least there was a plan (of sorts); at least they cared. That team on Saturday had no plan, other than long balls, no passion and no intelligence. They were a disgrace to themselves, their manager (and his entourage), the Director of Football and the Board. We are a football club, and the product is not fit for purpose; normally you would ask for your money back, you might even cite the Trades Description Act.

It’s Season Ticket renewal time and, of course, I’ll renew. I’m an addict/masochist — you decide. Looking at the marketing collateral, I was struck at how little it refers to football, or at least the current team.

You might have thought it would say “Roll up, roll up to watch Sigurdsson, Rooney, Pickford, Gana, Tosun, Walcott…..”. Not a word. It’s all about the past, lovely fan stories and memories. Maybe that is all we are left with; maybe that is all we have. But we don’t want to be a museum? Square that circle, if you can.

There is not doubt that Farhad Moshiri has invested a large amount of his own money into our Club. Before doing that he bought just under half the equity (49.9% so NOT a majority) for £87.5m, arguably overpaying at an effective price of £5,000 per share. Since then he has contributed another £150m to the club in the form of loans, with no repayment date to cleanse the balance sheet, and equity. Top man and all credit to him; he’s no “fraud” as some would have you believe.

He has also overseen and sanctioned the biggest spending spree the Club has ever seen, invested in key infrastructure and sacked two Managers at not inconsiderable cost. Let’s look at the numbers:

16/17 and 17/18 (to date), source transfermkt.co.uk

  • £260m Gross spend on players (£94m Net Spend)
  • More significantly, in the same period, source Club accounts
  • increase in annual wage bill from £84m to £105m
  • increase in annual player amortisation from £24m to £40m
  • 2017/18 further growth estimated to £120m and £71m respectively. A huge investment.

And, as widely reported in the media

  • Paying off Martinez:- £11m
  • Securing Koeman :- £5m
  • Terminating Koeman:- £8m

The Report and Accounts also showed an increase in Other Operating Costs of 30% to £39m and a doubling of Directors’ remuneration to £1.6m. Both went unquestioned and, therefore, unexplained at the EGM.

Much has been made of Mr Moshiri’s relatively passive role within the business, not taking a seat on the Board, leaving the “old guard” on the bridge and trusting the judgement of others. According to the Chairman he is a benefactor who never says “No” to requests for money. Without real progress on the pitch, it is hard to see how that can continue, if Moshiri is really here for the long term. A ruthless businessman surely cannot tolerate mistake after mistake.

He suggested he hired Sam because he had “an uncluttered football brain”. On the evidence of the past six games there is very little evidence of anything whatsoever relating to successful football cluttering Sam’s brain. Boring? More like soul-destroying, the antithesis of what Everton is about. Forget KPIs, Sam, just try a bit of forward-thinking 4-4-2. Try to win not just avoid defeat. Money for nothing right now.

One continues to wonder what on earth Steve Walsh does. How can a Director of Football fail to secure any kind of replacement for Lukaku? No, Steve, we don’t believe we would have still finished 7th without him. How can he not secure a second string left-back? He needs to look beyond the stats because we need a team (one which is greater than the sum of the individual parts). We need to hire the right kind of players, with the right mentality, hungry to succeed, not just greedy for a bigger pay cheque. Is it any wonder the fans might boo a little?

It pains me to say there are players at our Club who are almost stealing a living, and some of them are making the starting XI game after game. They must love it at Everton, no pressure, no expectations. Money for nothing.

What about the support staff? Lee, Shakespeare, Ferguson. What on earth do they do? What are they paid to deliver? What value do they add? Who are they accountable to? Money for nothing.

What does the Board do? Three of the six members didn’t say a word at the EGM. The CEO wanted credit for “record deals” that pale into insignificance when compared to the Top 6 “peer group” last seen riding off into the sunset. 80% of the Club’s revenue comes from TV money, how hard is that to collect?

Media relations continue to bumble from half-time announcements of signings to “no comment” on Holgate’s very serious accusations. No control over the narrative. Mayor Anderson was almost hung out to dry when the Club should have been stood proudly alongside him shouting about all the merits of the civic partnership in the funding of Bramley Moore?

Only EiTC and the Deputy CEO offer any passion, any vision at all. Just as we don’t want to be a museum, surely we want to be known for more than our magnificent charitable work in the community?

Surely the man who owns 49.9% of Everton cannot allow this to carry on. Our manager still says relegation is a possibility. Relegation: the “R word”, after investing all that money. Unthinkable, surely, isn’t it? Not on current evidence — it’s hard to think of three worse teams.

Time for Moshiri to lead, to act and to affect wholesale change across the entire staff of the Club. The fans may put up with money for nothing in the short term because it’s in our blood; but don’t abuse that love, that trust.

Money can’t buy me love. Everybody tells you so. One day that love might fade, we’ll all be in Dire Straits and the owner will have nothing for all his money. Mr Moshiri won’t want it to come to that.


You can read Rodger's regular musings on his blog at RodgerArmstrong.com

Follow @rodgerarmstrong


Reader Comments (40)

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Jim Bailey
1 Posted 22/01/2018 at 17:28:22
Excellent post Rodger. Like yourself I wonder what Walsh and especially Ferguson actually bring to the table. We have a collection of individuals who through no fault of their own have been hailed as world beaters in the past. Step forward the football media.

What we need is a "team" and I for one would take Moyes back tomorrow.

This club is heading in one direction only and that is down. To the Championship, who knows. We don't need or want eleven individuals, we need a team!

If Moshiri can't see this then maybe we are well and truly screwed. Any side is only as good as it's last game. I'll leave you to draw your own conclusions.
Chris Burns
2 Posted 22/01/2018 at 17:35:19
You can still get 40/1 on us to be relegated...
Jay Woods
[LAT]

3 Posted 22/01/2018 at 17:36:00
Oh, that guitar intro by Knopfler... pure ear candy.

But yes, being a top flight footballer now is akin to winning the lottery. They can fail week after week, go home to their mansions or hook up with their mates playing in the opposition's team, while we go home and fret.

It's all okay, though. We are the People's Club, so the playing side of things can go hang as long as we don't lose sight of the club's "soul".

Al Reddish
4 Posted 22/01/2018 at 17:44:29
Great article. I've been worried now about the lack of interest from Moshiri in actually running the club. He seems to have just left it to them idiots Kenwright and Elstone, occasionally pointing them in the right direction with a little nudge from Usmanov. Maybe he's only in it for the stadium?

Some worrying quotes have recently drifted out of Merseyside and into the public domain.

Joe Anderson: "I speak to the Everton hierarchy every day and words fail me."

Kenwright: "It's great to have a benefactor that always says yes".

Fat Sam: "Worried about relegation, yes, at this moment, I'm very worried."

Moshiri: "I decided to hire Sam after reading his Biography."

Fat Sam: "I don't have that much to do with the transfers. That's done by the chairman (Kenwright) and the Director of Football (Walsh)."

It seems to me Kenwright is enjoying someone else's money and taking more control of his trainset, even getting too involved in player recruitment. The sooner him, Elstone and Woods piss off and Moshiri grows some bollox and says "That's enough", the better – otherwise, it won't just be that master tactician Allardyce that's worried about relegation!

Stephen Brown
5 Posted 22/01/2018 at 18:20:34
It's like Monopoly money but every penny we waste feels like a kick in the nads!

I'd make any of our players available in the Summer and start again but what would we realistically get for them?

Sigurdsson – 㿅M?
Schneiderlin – 㾸M?
Keane – 㾻M?
Klaassen – 㾶M?
Bolasie – 㾶M?
Williams – ٠M?
Vlasic – ٥M?

The list goes on!! Added to the pathetic fees we got for Barkley and Lukaku, it's just like throwing all our money away!

Jay Harris
6 Posted 22/01/2018 at 18:48:15
Good post Rodger. I have always maintained that the cloak and dagger culture of Kenwright needs clearing out of our club. I think even Moyes threw the towel in eventually having dealt with Black Bill and cronies for so long.

Koeman likewise after a reasonable season of reconstruction seemed to lose interest and go off to play golf when he realised he wasn't getting the centre-forward and left-back we needed.

With the arrival of Rooney and the called off sale of Barkley I can only see one person's hand in that which would be enough to piss any manager off especially if his team selection is being approved by Kenwright every game. Remember Unsy spoke to Kenwright 3 or 4 times a day – Why?

Maybe after the initial "Hail fellow, well met", Sam has also now become frustrated at the "Everton way".

Ken Kneale
7 Posted 22/01/2018 at 18:52:52
The slow motion train wreck is increasing speed exponentially and no person at official level within the club makes any reassuring sounds to indicate that full control is maintained. Rodger – as you say the football is a bad as most in living memory have ever seen from an Everton side with little sign of on field or off field improvement.

Mayor Anderson's remarks are uniquely unprecedented for a man in such public office but as ever, the EFC board obstinately refuses to come out of their shell to offer any reassurance. Unfettered (over) spending on players worth less than the fees we are paying has completely cost team spirit and the cohesion between various levels of manager, coaches, director of football, and directors seems non-existent.

How can it be so wrong? Add to that the outgoings Lukaku and Barclay at a fraction of their monetary worth and worse still, disregard for the message it sends about the Club to allow such activity and you have a hierarchy that are unfit for purpose in just about any other industry.

Ian Hollingworth
8 Posted 22/01/2018 at 19:07:25
Things will not change whilst Kenwright has so much influence.

He may well be a lovely man and he clearly does love Everton. However, he is not fit to run Everton FC and has presided over our worst ever period at a time when the football business has been booming.

Kenwright simply has to go for our great club to progress.

Rob Dolby
9 Posted 22/01/2018 at 19:18:56
Not sure about Dire Straits, Money for Nothing, reminds me of the KLF stunt of burning money on Jura.

There will be an impact of spending so much on shite players. Many teams have done it and all of a sudden sink like a stone once the new owner realises that they are wasting their time and money.

Forest, Blackburn, Villa and Leeds are all prime examples. How much longer will Moshiri keep throwing money on the fire before he realises that he is wasting his time and money?

We are in trouble.

Lenny Kingman
10 Posted 22/01/2018 at 20:11:33
Moshiri also revealed during his Finch Farm ramble that another reason he employed fireman Sam was because he thought he was 'a real man' – whatever one of them is.

To continue the musical connotations here, it's "Unbelievable" as EMF once droned. And Chris Kamara would second without doubt.

Joe McMahon
11 Posted 22/01/2018 at 20:34:10
I honestly feel that the damage done by Koeman, Walsh and over the past 15 to 20 years by Kenwright, is irreparable. Two of them are still here.

There is no new stadium gonna happen, that should have happend 10 years ago. Liverpool will dance off to the European elite league and Everton will have to attract younger generations (in a media/Sky-driven era) to a crumbling Goodison playing It's a Grand Old Team.

Sounds dramatic I know but, after 41 years of supporting, I'm losing interest in it all.

Cheers Bill

Dermot Byrne
13 Posted 22/01/2018 at 20:42:00
You may be right, Joe (#11),
James Flynn
14 Posted 22/01/2018 at 20:48:01
A silver lining: Dire Straits are going into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April.
Keith Harrison
15 Posted 22/01/2018 at 20:48:38
Just had a lovely email from Everton offering a cut price Leicester ticket if I renew my season ticket by the 30th Jan. Reply as follows:

Dear Sirs,
If you seriously think I will be rushing to renew my season ticket while that self-aggrandising dinosaur is manager, and we continue to play without a recognised left back, with a headless chicken in front of the back four, a lone striker in a new country left on his own with no service, and to play well is to guarantee not being in the squad the following week, you are very sadly mistaken.

Please pass this on to the hierarchy if you see fit, because fit they definitely are not. There is a groundswell of apathy turning to downright unrest, aimed squarely at messrs Walsh, Allardyce and accompanying crew.

Ignore at your peril.

Great gesture, but a sticking plaster over an axe wound at the moment.

COYB.

Keith Harrison

Keith Harrison
16 Posted 22/01/2018 at 20:51:38
Rodger, it's maybe time for a 'Private Investigation.'
Bill Watson
17 Posted 22/01/2018 at 21:47:39
Rodger, although Moshiri only has 49.9% of the shares, he can never be outvoted as 4% of the shares are 'lost' – i.e, no-one knows who owns these individual shares which are probably in lofts/under beds etc or have been thrown out on someone's death.

Therefore, Moshiri has outright control without trying to get my share off me... lol!

Mike Connolly
18 Posted 22/01/2018 at 22:21:27
Or maybe a "Sultan of Brunei Swing"
Guy Hastings
19 Posted 22/01/2018 at 22:26:35
'I want my... I want my... I want my SkyTV...'
Mike Connolly
20 Posted 22/01/2018 at 23:35:22
In this Walk of Life we could do with a Local Hero to perform their Latest Trick and get us out of this shit....
Paul Columb
21 Posted 23/01/2018 at 01:32:04
Roger,

This time last year I was feeling quite optimistic w.r.t. Moshiri and perhaps a staged ushering-out of the Kenwright era (which might possibly leave him with something of a legacy of putting the club in the right hands following the protracted '24-7' search, should the club progress).

I found his sacking of Martinez and the appointment of Koeman and Walsh as displaying some ambition, even if only by virtue of his determination to get his preferred men in the door and pay handsomely for it. Although his blurbs through the mouthpiece of Jim White were disconcerting, I felt we had relatively sane majority shareholder with a desire to build a foundation for success.

His comments during last years AGM reinforced my building confidence that perhaps bright times were indeed ahead. To hear the man with a plan utter that our club is not a museum was moving against the grain of what the club perennially rolled out to market everything from season tickets to kits – the past.

To see the Old Lady get an overdue facelift I felt was a nice way to honor her as plans progressed to move us to the water. And then there was the summer. Deals done early. Some unknowns but ambition. Surely there was a blueprint for how it would come together on the turf. And then the end of the window with no striker, no creative midfielder with legs, no left back or seasoned center half to ease Baines and Jagielka.

The Walsh - Koeman axis was showing signs of due diligence lacking in their appointments. Seeds of doubt set, but benefit of the doubt given.

The sacking of Koeman had to come but to do so without a plan in place reeked of amateurism as did the Sam appointment on second fly-by. Hindsight might suggest a Silva appointment might have exposed his lack of football nous and apparent lack of counsel on such important appointments.

Of course my fragile seedling of faith in Moshiri's acumen has always been nurtured by hope, soundbites, desperation for change pure subjectivity and bias. It doesn't take a wrecking ball to dismantle delicate delusion and I have to say the comments at this year's AGM relating to Barkley's agent going AWOL and Lukaku's voodoo adviser were enough to further fracture the foundation. I'm no longer convinced of his sanity.

I'm back to ambivalence and my mental museum of 'Champions, Champions, Champions' bellowing from the Street end in '87 while we drubbed West Ham 4-0 the day I popped my Goodison cherry.

It's business as usual for Everton in the Premier League era, it seems.

John Daley
22 Posted 23/01/2018 at 03:05:45
"Moshiri also revealed during his Finch Farm ramble that another reason he employed fireman Sam was because he thought he was 'a real man' – whatever one of them is."

Someone who will sit on a three-seater, sandwiched between Farhad and Bill, and feel no shame at shedding a tear during A Field of Dreams?

Michael Penley
23 Posted 23/01/2018 at 03:27:35
It all just kind of makes you want to Skateaway, doesn't it?
Derek Thomas
24 Posted 23/01/2018 at 05:39:10
Gradually slide from one farce to the next, becoming Leeds in slow motion... we fade out with Sting's echoing falsetto... 'I love my ee eff ceeee...'
Tony Everan
26 Posted 23/01/2018 at 10:14:32
Everton 40/1 for relegation? From what I am seeing those odds are generous. It is a dangerous situation when a club is playing as badly as ours.

Is our defence strong enough for a relegation battle, will we get the urgent reinforcements. Jonjoe and Mason are young and inexperienced and are struggling for consistency. We haven't got a left back.

On top of this, any more of the absolute dross served up against Spurs and West Brom and fans will turn against Sam. We will the stutter and stumble to 40 points.

Any more of that and he won't stand a chance of lasting beyond the end of May. Would the board and the fans accept another season of it?

I hope Farhad is clinical and decisive about it. Failure to act will see a repeat of this season.

At the moment, for me, Allardyce is failing his audition. I want to see a dramatic upturn against Leicester and a coherent battling display against Arsenal for starters.

Clive Rogers
27 Posted 23/01/2018 at 11:35:00
The big mistake Moshiri has made is keeping Kenwright as chairman. He is a proven failure as a chairman. That has been compounded by the appointment of Walsh who has wasted £200M.
Eric Myles
28 Posted 23/01/2018 at 11:48:37
Rather than Dire Straits I'm reminded of Lynton Kwesi Johnson.

"All we doin' is defendin'"

We don't "fite dem back"

"It's noh funny"

Dave McDowell
29 Posted 23/01/2018 at 12:54:04
While we (I hope desperately) search for a left back to purchase it is very plain no other team in this transfer window is interested in any player in our squad (other than Pickford & Niasse) and that speaks volumes.

I cannot think of any of our players who 'played' in the last two games (excluding new buys) who would go to another team and add value – how depressing is that.

The two cherries in Lukaku and Barkley have gone but the cake below is very stale. It was even worse last night seeing how a bottom-of-the-table Swansea had enough belief, nous and grit to feel they could beat the RS – shameful.

I would rather we go down fighting with Davies, Baningime and Walcott than the Bermuda Triangle of Schneiderlin, Gaye & Rooney.

What money that Silva had been now given the nod to sit tight to the summer and Allardyce will be ditched and Marco will be in the chair either in or out of the Premier League. The payoff will match what we offered Watford anyway.

Stan Schofield
30 Posted 23/01/2018 at 17:32:09
Dave, what players are for sale that nobody is interested in?
Brian Williams
31 Posted 23/01/2018 at 17:38:53
All of 'em hopefully.
Tony Mace
32 Posted 23/01/2018 at 18:09:21
Move Closer

Also a hit in 1985

Ray Roche
33 Posted 23/01/2018 at 18:16:22
Well, no bugger listens to us so... Why Worry?
Clive Rogers
34 Posted 23/01/2018 at 18:54:56
It seems the walk from changing rooms to pitch is no longer the Tunnel of Love.
Dave McDowell
35 Posted 23/01/2018 at 19:16:42
Stan at this time of year struggling clubs usually look to bolster their teams, don't they? How many bids do you think we have had? One, we know of, Lennon and he's moved on due to Bolasie's return and Walcott's arrival – for no fee.

How many players are for sale, I don't know, but we know Allardyce has said the squad is too big. I expect Allardyce would accept decent bids for most of our squad, wouldn't you?

Players who could be upgraded would be Williams, Schneiderlin, Gueye, Bolasie, Martina, Rooney, Besic, Baines & Jags (sadly) – apologies if I have missed any.

Allardyce may not be everyone's cup of tea but the man is no fool and I'm sure most of my list would be shipped out if we had a bid (and a replacement).

Are they publically for sale? If they were the price would slide further, as you know that's foolish business. Doesn't mean they are not for sale though.

Jeff Spiers
36 Posted 23/01/2018 at 19:19:21
Agree with you all. I do believe though there is something of a regime screwing us... for years. Look at the managers who have failed.

We are not some country bumpkin club. Everton supporters are not fucking stupid and, I do foresee a very, very heavy backlash.

Stan Schofield
37 Posted 23/01/2018 at 19:31:50
Dave, I take your point, but all of those players you listed get regular game time, apart from Besic. Other clubs don't normally come in with bids for such players even if they like them. Bids would normally come in when there are indications the player is available, so far as I'm aware.
Colin Glassar
38 Posted 24/01/2018 at 07:57:30
I see that Stan Kroenke has bought a few more Arsenal shares to show Usmanov who's the boss at Highbury. I just hope and pray that now the Russian will throw in the towel and come to Goodison.

Declan Brown
39 Posted 24/01/2018 at 21:08:53
1985 for me = "The Boys of Summer", "Everybody Wants to Rule The World" and Everton clearing everything in front of them to nearly win a treble. What a year eh?

With me being only 7 in 1985, the above passed me by without realising just how good it would have been to be 15 years older back then.

On Judgement Day with the Man Upstairs, my one request would be to go back to early 1984 and relive the next 18 months and savour it all in. Winning the FA Cup, beating them in the Charity Shield, then storming the league with a record points tally, getting to the FA Cup final and winning the European Cup Winners Cup, seeing all that in its glory whilst from February 1985 onwards turning on a radio and hearing my two favourite songs of all time constantly being played, 2 belting anthems from that time, Don Henley's "The Boys of Summer" and Tears for Fears' all time classic "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" – but should that have been "Everton Wants to Rule The World"? I've seen some of the games, that 1985 team was a truly great team.

As for Dire Straits, liked their work, "Brothers In Arms" was awe inspiring and their best in my opinion. Love 80s music and a pity football was ruined by money unlike back in the 80s, the days of a Watford, Luton Town and QPR being in the top 5 are long gone.

To put it in a nutshell, I think we need another Joe Royle from someone to come in this coming summer and re-invigorate the club again. I think it will be Silva but Moshiri must feel like a lottery winner that everyone is trying to take advantage of. Not enjoying football any more myself – it feels like a real chore but I just can't turn off from Everton – it's in the blood and that's where it will stay. Money has ruined my enjoyment of football. But I live in hope, maybe again one day...

Craig Walker
40 Posted 25/01/2018 at 13:13:10
We're 'So Far Away' from winning anything.
David Midgley
41 Posted 26/01/2018 at 07:58:27
I thoroughly enjoyed the article. It could well be that managers and staff on the football side have given up against the office side and are apathetic. Rowing into a headwind is very tiring and soul destroying.

Like many posters I too am curious as to what the trio mentioned bring to the table and who appointed them. The board of directors aren't directing us very well!!

Did anyone on the floor ask any questions regarding the terrible state of the football being played?

Ask the football director about us not having a left back available to play?

Or about the recruitment policy?

Were any questions directed to the silent ones?

What were Holgate's allegations?

Rob Dolby's references to those clubs are pertinent. As fans we can see we are sinking lower into the water but it would appear that nobody at Goodison Park is aware or capable of doing anything about it.

I hope that when we are safe we give some of the fringe and under 23 players a chance, you'll never know how you'll perform till you go over the top.

David Midgley
42 Posted 26/01/2018 at 09:19:54
Sorry just realised what the Holgate thing was...

Age.

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