The thinking at Everton hasn’t changed in more than two decades, even after 3 years of Moshiri’s involvement which is long enough to evaluate, to move on those associated with the past, and to know that businesses are only as good as the people leading them
In an interview with Ronald Koeman in November 2016 on the BBC, Gary Lineker asked Koeman to describe the “project” as it was fondly referred to in those days.
His answer was very clear. Year 1 (2016/17) “still best of the rest, possibly qualify for Europe” Year 2 (2017/18) “to improve” and finally in Year 3 (this year) “be close to Champions League qualification“.
Such was the expectation and belief at the time that the ambitions seemed neither absurd nor unrealistic.
Although Koeman went on to achieve the first objective of the project, a cataclysmic summer and early part of his 2nd season saw him released by Everton within 12 months of that interview.
Off the rails
The Moshiri project was off the rails, huge damage done to the squad, selling our best players, very poor or no replacements, a huge amount of money wasted and an incredible wage bill aligned with long contracts.
What has happened since is, of course, well-documented Unsworth, Allardyce, the Silva saga etc. However, I’d like to put a different analysis forward.
No change of thinking
The thinking at Everton hasn’t changed in more than two decades, even after 3 years of Moshiri’s involvement (the one exception to that is likely to be Brands – more on that later). Yes, we’ve had more money by our own standards, not huge relative to our competitors. However that’s not the issue.
The fundamental problem at Everton goes well back to the days of Moyes. I should state immediately that the problem is not that of Moyes doing, but the Board and leadership within the club. Let me explain.
Moyes spoilt Kenwright and the Board. He alone had the discipline, the work effort, the belief to make an Everton team, for nearly a decade, unreservedly the best of the rest. Astute purchases, pragmatic football, sometimes stylish but always with a purpose and except against the very best when playing away, a heart and belief. He sold well too, usually making good the gaps in the squad and continuing a self funding existence.
He made it incredibly easy for Kenwright, Woods, Earl (who wasn’t bothered anyway) and Elstone. Whilst he might not have been every fan’s cup of tea, he was the Board’s dream manager. He accepted that this Board would never provide the resources of others and got on with it.
As a result, apart from the occasional demands from a nervous bank manager, the Board (who collectively were the majority shareholders) were under no pressure to increase commercial performance, secure additional funding for new players or fund a move from Goodison. Nor did they have to manage Moyes, he did his job relentlessly, he was remarkably self-sufficient.
They coasted; they coasted through the late 2000’s and the early part of this decade, content to be nearly men, secure from the threat of relegation. Any competitive or commercial edge was dulled by years of absolute complacency and lack of ambition.
When Moyes left, the signs should have been noted and acted upon, but given the aforementioned complacency never were. Martinez had a very good first season although in truth, performances were already tailing off towards the end. Supported by the Board in his second summer with the permanent signing of Lukaku and notably the free signing of Gareth Barry, unbelievably in his time at Everton, the next most expensive signing was Niasse! Typically he was not supported when perhaps on the cusp of a break-through.
When Martinez struggled in his second and then his third and last season, there was no-one on the Board to help him. No-one qualified, and given the behaviour of the previous decade and more, motivated to assist. Kenwright who was then seriously ill in the beginning of his 3rd season was very much focusing on Moshiri’s interest, and the Moores and Noell bid.
Moshiri arrived in February 2016, and in due course, despite reaching two semi-finals, Martinez was shown the door on the afternoon of the club’s Award Evening, hastily cancelled if you recall! At the time it was thought to be a demonstration of the incisive behaviour most felt the club had been seriously lacking for many a long year.
The above is all context, and I believe identifies with hindsight, the major problem that Moshiri has failed to recognise – the Board and executive team have not been up to the task of supporting/monitoring the footballing side of the business let alone growing the business commercially as all our competing peers have done.
The single largest error of Moshiri’s reign to date has been that failure to recognise the shortcomings of the Board and management teams employed by the club.
That was self evident in the behaviour of the club in the summer of 2017. Koeman and Walsh, buoyed by a 7th place finish (in line with the objectives of the “project”) ran amok, spending money and offering contracts which continue to damage and impact the club today, nearly two years on. Where were the checks and balances that said a wage bill of £140 million+ on turnover less than £190 million would present problems, especially as the Bramley-Moore funding was being sought.
It is self evident in the delayed progress and various iterations of the Bramley-Moore stadium. A year’s delay costs more than £30 million in terms of lost turnover and increased costs. Whilst now perhaps under control through the project management of Colin Chong, worries persist that the project is compromised by delay and cost constraints.
It is self evident in the failure to recruit fresh and proven management talent into the Board and executive teams. Brands being the notable exception to date. Brands however is not a miracle worker, and cannot be expected to single-handedly reverse years of stagnation and neglect on the footballing side. To believe that drops right back into the same mindset that pervaded through the Moyes era.
If this seems an atypically harsh or blunt piece of writing, well I’ve just got to the point where I believe someone has to say it. It’s not a personal attack on any individual, it’s an observation of the fundamental difficulties the club faces, and which Moshiri has to date not addressed.
There are some positives to the Moshiri reign. His re-capitalisation of the business with his £250 million injection came at a key point in the club’s history. It has allowed the move to Bramley-Moore to advance to the point of near-certainty (with the qualifications stated above), it allowed unprecedented (by our standards) spending albeit it very poorly executed. It has also through Ryazantsev brought a professionalism to our fund raising and commercial progress not seen before at the club.
Brands is perhaps the biggest positive, but I reference back to my earlier comments. With all of the limitations addressed above, he has his work cut out.
So the question is, is this enough? As I tweeted we will have seen around £920 million arising from turnover, capital inflows and player trading profits, flow through the club in the last three years by the end of the season. It has resulted in a more valuable (on paper at least) but less effective group of players, more external debt than we’ve had in our history, huge sums spent on former management compensation, a very poor footballing side. Given our expenses and poor non-broadcasting income we have a loss making business currently. Finally, I believe we are suffering serious damage to our reputation.
For Evertonians brought up on sustained periods of success and a glorious history of firsts, the School of Science, the Holy Trinity and many others, being only “the best of the rest” at the end of the Moyes era was galling enough. Six years on, and three years into the Moshiri era we are no longer even that. Long respected by others, that’s increasingly less evident.
Time to act
If we are ever to recover our position in the game, if we are to take advantage of the huge opportunities globally the name Everton represents whilst football is still expanding, if we are to see the most iconic stadium on the banks of the River Mersey, if we are to provide a decent return on his investment, then Moshiri has to act.
He must put in place people on the Board, in the key leadership positions in the executive team to take his project, but our club, forward. There’s no point in pretending any longer, without these changes we are destined to repeat the failures of the past and not take advantage of the opportunities still available.
Three years is long enough to evaluate, long enough to move on those associated with the past, long enough to know that regardless of the resources thrown at them, businesses are only as good as the people leading them.
Nil Satis Nisi Optimum – that’s our club motto, it needs to be our recruitment and retention policy also.
Reader Comments (80)
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1 Posted 24/02/2019 at 18:57:45
The deadwood needs to be moved on – easier said than done. Or stagnate until the expensive contracts have run themselves down. Interesting but also painful times to be a Toffee
2 Posted 24/02/2019 at 19:22:50
It's going to take two more years at least to get the board in shape. Brands had a good first transfer window and I think it was a good move in January not to buy anybody. Hopefully, this summer there will be a clear out of some of the big contract players.
3 Posted 24/02/2019 at 19:32:34
4 Posted 24/02/2019 at 19:33:16
I hope Farhad Moshiri and Co read your report. Reality is painful at the moment and, for Evertonians, it's a siege mentality, but it has been for the best part of people's lives.
One day soon, but I can't see where the next win on the pitch will come from.
5 Posted 24/02/2019 at 19:48:10
Sorry for being flippant, but I'm getting a bit fed up hearing how good we are at engaging with the local community. The tail seems to be wagging the dog of late...
I want to see real change and progress at Board level, and the club driving forward commercially, not just in the charity sector.
6 Posted 24/02/2019 at 19:53:10
Maybe Moshiri should spend his millions on the best people Everton can get on the board, the best scouting system and coaches. Still not convinced with our youth coaches – we seem to have great talent coming through but they never seem to progress into good players after they reach 20.
I hate to say this but maybe we should be looking at our neighbours have not only turned their team into a team who are competing for the top four on a regular basis but have also turned their brand into one of the best in the world.
This board has put us so far behind the top 6 it is going to take one hell of an effort and some wonder buys to get us out of an average mid-table team we are at the moment.
7 Posted 24/02/2019 at 19:59:29
The next manager is probably going to be a safe bet. I imagine Moshiri will probably look to sell us on and make a profit once he's had enough; no-one is interested in winning or progressing.
8 Posted 24/02/2019 at 20:22:34
Only real sensible thing I've heard said from any of Everton's staff over the last few years came from Brands when he said having money can make a lot of people lazy.
He forgot to mention stupid and very unprofessional though, which is what we have become since we found ourselves with a bit of money... let's hope things change soon.
9 Posted 24/02/2019 at 20:41:01
The retention of Silva will cost him another small fortune as Everton go backwards. This can happen when a club becomes a tax-haven dwelling billionaire's hobby.
10 Posted 24/02/2019 at 20:42:50
11 Posted 24/02/2019 at 20:50:47
I enjoyed reading your piece, however, I must question your statement or say I don't support your view, or should I say intimation of no board support for Martinez in his second and third seasons.
I fully agree there was no support, however, I am glad there wasn't as – you yourself alluded to it – the alarm bells were ringing at the end of his first season. If anything should have come from the board at the end of his second season, if not before, it should have been ordering a taxi for him!
Can you expand on who, in your opinion, should be replaced on the board?
12 Posted 24/02/2019 at 20:54:11
Since then (admittedly as recognised in the article) Marcel Brands has not only been brought on board, but also (not quite so recognised) been significantly promoted to a key position on the Board - he is effectively a specialised Chief Operating Officer. This tells me that Farhad Moshiri has recognised his (and the wider Board's) limitations on the football side of the business.
I would expect to see Brands exert an ever-increasing influence on the direction of all of our football activities including strategy, age and profile of players, style of play and choosing senior coaching staff etc and not just player recruitment.
I hope that the change suggested by the writer has already started.
13 Posted 24/02/2019 at 21:24:47
He should be on the phone to Arteta promising him the world and I do believe he still loves our club enough for him to come. Plan B if Arteta can't be prised from Man City I'd offer the same deal to Jose who must be oh so eager to repair his shredded reputation.
Nil satis is screaming at your players when they're not performing, shipping goals from every set piece is Silvas' MO, always has been from Hull to Watford to Everton, the guy can't set a team up or make a change when it goes wrong, he sulks on the sideline when we're losing as he knows we're losing because of his tactics.
Please Mr Moshiri pull the trigger before we end up like Leeds. Much love and good night.
15 Posted 24/02/2019 at 22:02:28
16 Posted 24/02/2019 at 22:38:09
Brands has been promoted for this very reason. It's taken a while but Moshiri knows he's out of his depth on football matters and needs a real visionary to bring in a better team at all levels. He's put Brands there to work it out from the inside. Astute placement if a little late for some. Better being inside the tent and pissing out...
17 Posted 24/02/2019 at 23:01:01
18 Posted 24/02/2019 at 23:07:01
I don't believe that Moshiri is capable of ringing in the changes necessary. He may be a very capable accountant but, like my own capable accountant, I would never let him run a business of mine.
In the take over of Everton, Moshiri assumed that the existing Management were up to the job. They rarely are in a takeover situation. The reason for the takeover was that they weren't capable of taking the business forward and it had caught up with them. In the Premier League era it is a fact that Everton have been left behind and the extra Premier League money kept the Management in a comfortable status quo situation, though Everton's progress was stunted as a result.
Whilst Moyes's performance was competent, he was never able to perform beyond the glass ceiling of ‘best of the rest'. In a club of Everton's stature, this was unexceptable. I never accepted the excuse of lack of money. This bred a complancy throughout the club.
What is needed is someone who can actually run a business. As you stated, Brands on the footballing side is a step in the right direction.
The only one capable of sorting out Everton is Usmanov. Though I doubt he will have the time and consider it a jammie enough project. There is no doubt that most of the Management and Board would have to go. Brands knows there is a similar project on the football side, with a huge inherited structural problem to overcome.
Though I would say that the new Stadium will go ahead I agree with your astute assessment of the performance of the current Board and Management being a drag on its financing and progress.
There is a direct connection between performance of the Manager and Players on the pitch and the competence of the Board and Management.
19 Posted 25/02/2019 at 00:46:21
One point not delineated in the article is that while, yes, "Moshiri arrived in February 2016," he has been majority owner -- and therefore in full charge -- only since August 2018. So I think it could be argued that the so-called "Moshiri era" has been six months, not three years.
While he has certainly had time to observe and assess the issues that you have so correctly pointed out, his ability to act independently was limited until last summer. And given the extent of the problems and his absence of previous experience as the primary owner of a football club, I think it's far too soon to evaluate his performance. I would certainly have anticipated that he'd want to complete at least a full season in charge before making Board changes, for example.
I would also point out that I have never once -- and I was a sports and business "journo" for decades -- seen a stadium project that was not, at some point, "compromised by delay and cost constraints." You have far more extensive business qualifications than I, so I'd ask you if any of the obstacles encountered so far by the Bramley-Moore project would qualify as either atypical or unexpected.
20 Posted 25/02/2019 at 05:15:21
21 Posted 25/02/2019 at 07:47:47
Also, you've failed to highlight the failing of Brands. He obviously picked Mina to solve a defensive problem and he looks terrible to me and can't get in the side.
Anti-Kenwright is one thing... but anti-Kenwright when he has no power, is another!
22 Posted 25/02/2019 at 07:49:19
23 Posted 25/02/2019 at 08:04:16
But well never know so lets hope the club gets it right from here in!
24 Posted 25/02/2019 at 08:36:34
25 Posted 25/02/2019 at 08:41:13
The phrase ‘its the hope that kills us is extremely relevant here. Moshiri coming on board was taken as immediate exposure to deep pockets and likely to push the team up the table.
In reality its taken longer for Moshiri to get his feet under the table and establish his own hold on the board. I truly believe Brands recent appointment will move things forward massively. Dont get me wrong - I was massively disappointed we didnt sign a striker in January let alone the summer but then I saw the significant number of players weve loaned out. Some of those have come back early as even other teams dont want them! The books and expenses are going to be really high until these players are gone.
This season is a write off. Brands and Moshiri will have seen this and probably decided to consolidate.
I fully expect a quality striker to be the priority in the summer. If not then I too will join the ‘the board is inept crew.
26 Posted 25/02/2019 at 09:09:40
His decisions have been slipshod and poorly thought out with little substance behind them thus far.
Yes we are crying out for a quality proven Premier League striker that can make a difference but thats not the only problem.
All over the pitch for many years now our players have looked slower than many of the other teams in this league and fitness has been a major issue at Everton for some time.
Our players never appear to be able to do the basics that you would expect schoolchildren to do, take a throw in and maintain possession, pass and move, stop crosses arriving into the penalty box, taking corners and maybe scoring the odd one.
The small time mentality has been prevalent at this club now for years.
I also was far from impressed when Moshiri told us “we didnt expect to beat teams in the top six”.
Straight away what is that telling us?
Its giving the players a ready made excuse for a start and they should relish games against the top six as a marker of how good they can be, but our record is quite simply rotten to the core, with no win against a top six club since January 2017, what a disgrace.
We dont need statements like that from Moshiri.
27 Posted 25/02/2019 at 09:10:04
28 Posted 25/02/2019 at 09:11:14
We seem to have a Board, Management team and some fans that look at the club in a similar way. "People's Club" summed it up very well and for a bit many of us bought into this notion that we are the club of the City and the other lot are just money grabbers supported by Norwegians!
But with the 20-20 vision of hindsight, it is clear we were duped. Old players as backroom staff continued this myth of the good old loyal club but in the end it was just a club that was increasingly "beige". As you rightly say "the Board (who collectively were the majority shareholders) were under no pressure to increase commercial performance, secure additional funding for new players or fund a move from Goodison."
The Moshiri era? To me still too early to judge properly. I do think the acid test will be the next few seasons leading up to the first season in new stadium. Will there be intention to match this great stadium with those commercially savvy enough to exploit it, a manager who can manage on the big stage and a squad of good players. I would hope Moshiri realises without that he faces a loss and damage to his reputation.
I of course read TW and watch highlights but struck me recently I don't watch the games live as often anymore and it isn't something I look forward to if I do.
That may be a reflection of a boredom I feel when watching overpaid, cheating madonnas whoever they are playing for but I think the dullness of Everton as a club over the period Paul writes about is also something to do with it. It is becoming a journey from such excitement in family season ticket seats when a toddler to increasingly a view of "why give a shit?".
In the end I am increasingly tired of feeling an idiot. At the age of 58, strikes me there are often much better things to do with my time.
Hope it changes.
29 Posted 25/02/2019 at 09:15:34
#9 Pat, unfortunately it was a condition of the sale. Interestingly it was a condition that Moore and Noell were not prepared to accept, which is why Kenwright went back to Moshiri early in the January after the exclusivity period offered to M&N had expired.
#10 Thanks Andy, plenty others better I reckon!
#11 John, Martinez was already struggling at the end of his first season IMO. My point is that no-one on the Board recognised that, nor were qualified to assist him, a characteristic born out of reliance on Moyes ability to look after himself, ignorance and neglect. That continued to a large extent until Brands arrived.
Board replacements – Chair, Deputy Chair, John Woods. Id move Denise to a operational role COO, appoint a new CEO and work through replacements for most of the executive team.
#12 Stephen, I agree entirely that written 12 months ago would have highlighted the issues earlier, especially given we had no Brands at the time.
#18 Jerome I agreed with all your comments up to Usmanov!
#19 Mike, whilst true Moshiri has only held above 50% for a relatively short term, it has been accepted since day 1, he had an effective majority given not all the 35,000 shares are properly allocated with the beneficial ownership of several % no longer known.
Regards the stadium, I accept many projects go late, but my experience is that the problems arise in the latter part of the process more frequently (spending and construction time over runs) rather than at the pre-planning stage. Given Elstone promised a planning application in the year of 2017, its remarkable we wont see one until late in 2019…..
#22 Ken, thanks – thats the challenge, getting what is obvious from the outside recognised inside.
Thanks for all the other comments too
Keep the comments coming! ToffeeWeb in my opinion always throws up the most interesting debate.
30 Posted 25/02/2019 at 09:17:58
31 Posted 25/02/2019 at 09:38:26
Bolasie, Schneiderlin, Keane, Sigurdsson, Tosun, Walcott, Klaassen, Williams. That is £200m worth of transfer spending right there. By contrast the excellent Dortmund team tearing up the Bundesliga cost about £90m in total. It's ludicrous.
If we had spent that money better, well even, then there's a real chance we would be top 6. Who's to blame for that transfer fiasco is unclear; some combination of Koeman, Walsh and the board presumably. It was surely one the worst allocation of transfer funds over a 2 year period that any football club has ever seen. And it will indeed take us time to recover from. A huge amount will rest on Brands but i'm encouraged by the business he did this Summer and even if they have not set the world alight I think the likes of Richarlison, Digne, Bernard and Mina will all prove to be good signings for us.
32 Posted 25/02/2019 at 09:53:02
The game changed and we reacted to slow. When Moshiri got his feet under the table, he has snatched at the appointments available. On paper, Koeman, looked the part and was not a gamble but was also short term: 2-3 years. So when he leaves whatever he builds possibly goes with him; this is dangerous. Obviously it did not work out.
Walsh came a year after Koeman was appointed but was a chief scout, not an experienced Director of Football – this was a bigger issue than people thought. Hopefully Marcel brands and Baxter can now direct behind the scenes better moving forward.
33 Posted 25/02/2019 at 10:02:14
The model and target should've been similar to Seville and top 4 maybe in 3 or 4 years time. Monshi was Director of Football there for 10 years with 4 head coaches who had decent finishes in the league, 3 Uefa cups, and domestic cup finals. And with the books balanced.
34 Posted 25/02/2019 at 10:29:25
Until the management structure is sorted out we will always struggle, Brands maybe the start of that process but he alone can't sort out all the problems we have, we need more good appointments, then maybe we'll finally get the manager and coaches to win some silverware.
35 Posted 25/02/2019 at 10:38:34
I agree with Sam, and its why Im still backing Silva, because I also think the players we brought to the club were definitely better than what we already had here, and other than a few kids, the only players he inherited who he could really work with, were only Pickford, Sigurdson and Gueye?
36 Posted 25/02/2019 at 11:02:49
I reckon thats one of the reasons were in the mess now.
We overpaid on Koeman, overpaid on Silva, probably overpaid on wages to Sandro, Schneiderlin, Richarlison, Digne, Mina, Sigurdsson etc.
We need to stop overpaying to get managers or players to the club. Theres nothing saying that Arteta will be any good, theres nothing saying that 90% of managers will be any good.
Moyes was one of the best paid managers in the league, Koeman was, Allardyce was, not sure about Silva. Weve not exactly got a good track record in promising a lot to a manager then actually getting a return (Moyes excluded)
Throwing money at a problem wont fix it.
We need dillagence and a complete rebuild with players who want to play for the club and players who fans want to support. Overpaid mercenaries will not fix the problem.
If Arteta came on reasonable wages and still had an affiliation for the club then Id give him a go. However if we have to make exaggerated promises or pay inflated wages then Id leave him alone. That goes for most managers, not just Arteta.
37 Posted 25/02/2019 at 11:27:08
Having seen them clean up in recent years and with a Champions League certainly beckoning. Do anyone still feel that we're "better off"?
38 Posted 25/02/2019 at 11:30:00
In football, it has always been easier to stop the opponent from scoring than scoring yourself. Allardyce had the dial turned all the way back to ultra defence, so much so that game after game we weren't even getting a shot on goal never mind scoring.
The club listened to the fans, and went out and hired someone who would play football, first and foremost. Some on here were pragmatic in the summer. Some realised that there might be a drop off (admittedly not after the start we made) and said if we finish lower, but mid-table, then that's ok for a season. They wanted to see a manager come in and try to get us playing football again, and then next season see the fruits of that.
Silva clearly has a vision in mind, and so he has not changed to his underdog counter-attacking tactics (as he used so well at Estoril, in the Champions League and with Hull). Central to Silva's vision is the number 6 he described so clearly in pre-season and that he believed Schneiderlin to be. No doubt about it, he's cocked up there. He will have seen the tapes and saw how badly Schniederlin was playing, but he thought he could "fix" him, when he should realise from the tapes that Schneiderlin was not the player he thought he could be. That said, Schniederlin could have started the season great, Silva could have "fixed" him, only to then break his leg. We should have a backup, and we do not. There's no one with Schniederlin's skillset, or of his "type", in the squad.
The other major problem is Sigurdsson. Sure, Mike Gayne is right about Sigurdsson's qualities, but he's not a Silva type of player. Silva's number 10 at Olympiacos was Kostas Fortounis. He played 39 games for Silva, scoring 21 goals and assisting 18 times, in what was the season of his life. Fortounis is an exceptionally quick player and was able to be an outlet from the moment the ball was won and received it centrally or drifted wide to find space. Sigurdsson lacks that electric pace. Silva's number 10 at Estoril was Evando, who was a mobile player with a few tricks, he also was brought to Hull, but was clearly not good enough, or fit enough, and did not make much of an impact. At Sporting, Silva did not use a number 10, but instead went with Adrien Silva (the man Leicester signed seconds after the window shut and then had to wait 6 months before he could play and then never got going and was moved on). He was a Tom Davies type player for me. The other central midfielder was Joao Mario of Inter who spent part of last season on loan at West Ham. He was a very skilful player who had a great season and got his move to Inter.
The balance of the side, particularly the midfield, and the lack of a top striker, is not right. Silva does not have the player he needs to make his system work properly. This is why we saw it spluttering rather than purring, earlier in the season. Silva either needs a William Carvalho type player (ie an at his best Morgan Schneiderlin) sat behind Gueye and Gomes (and Sigurdsson dropped) or to drop Sigurdsson and play someone quicker like Bernard there.
As long as we stay well out of that relegation fight (starting with a win tomorrow), does it really matter where we finish if it's outside the Europa League placings. We're best out of the Europa League anyway, it has badly affected our season the last three times we were in it. Next season is the last of the current Europa League setup, the season after we would go straight into group matches and not have to play 8 games to qualify (with the introduction of Europa League 2).
Moyes finished a good 7th in his first full season before crashing to 17th and then he yo-yoed all the way to 4th. Clutching at straws? Maybe, but football never goes in nice incremental steps, sometimes you go down before shooting up. Maybe no one can see the up coming, but that does not mean it won't. Football is littered with successful spells preceded by apparent failure. Two players will transform this side, without it the Silva machine missing two of it's most vital cogs and no wonder it is not working properly.
39 Posted 25/02/2019 at 11:32:18
40 Posted 25/02/2019 at 13:08:20
Having said that I have some sympathy with Moshiri. I don't think any of the manager appointments were obviously (at the time) misguided. Koeman was highly rated and was being heavily linked with Arsenal among others. Silva was highly thought of within the game and looked one of the best bets to emulate the Pochetinno style success. Allardyce was my least favourite appointment but was a practical solution to the (misplaced in my opinion) fear of relegation.
None of them worked out but I could see the logic behind them. I could not see the logic behind buying Rooney, Sigursdsson and Klaassen in the same window! Maybe Steve Walsh was the worst appointment of the lot?
Its good to remember that the margins are small. Things can turn quickly. A good few RS fans wanted Klopp out during his underwhelming first season with them. Some might want him out again if they (hopefully) fail to win anything this year. Personally I hope that this time next year we might be sitting close to the top 4 with an FA quarters to look forward to and singing the praises of Moshiri and Brands for persevering with Silva when it looked like he didn't have a clue. But who knows? Devilish sport to try and predict.
41 Posted 25/02/2019 at 13:10:34
I find it very intriguing you disagree with my comments regarding Usmanov. Of course it could be that I am clutching at straws, because the individual needed to turn things around would need to be of exceptional ability as the problems are complex.
42 Posted 25/02/2019 at 13:43:24
As to the future, I could live with the odd season of mid-table mediocrity as long as the club became more professional in its outlook, lost some of its sentimentality and "Plucky Everton" badge.
43 Posted 25/02/2019 at 13:45:49
The way Man City's owners have treated the club, it doesn't act like a club that sold its soul.
44 Posted 25/02/2019 at 13:55:30
We keep expecting things to improve when a new manager is hired but there are no guarantees. Many times new bosses are hired in industry but companies still can go under.
Silva has become so far another failure and naturally we will get at Moshiri's throat because of all the hoopla surrounding his appointment.
I see yet another firing at the end of the season irrespective of the buy out expense because improvement in results hereon in will be very limited.
They have no defensive solidarity and look vulnerable to all opponents attacks no matter who they play.
The midfield are severely lacking in ideas on how to open up opponents defensive lines and now with Gana's head turned toward PSG it becomes more of a problem.
We have guys up front who know where the net is but the opportunities have dried up big time since the turn of the year.
Expect another struggle tomorrow against another poor, but desperate team.
45 Posted 25/02/2019 at 14:23:37
46 Posted 25/02/2019 at 14:29:21
47 Posted 25/02/2019 at 14:35:16
Liverpool dominated for a decade built on a clear-minded ruthless determination to build and re-build squads to win championships and European medals while Everton seemed to be content as long as they sold enough tickets by buying the occasional new 'star' striker or winger.
Man Utd's plan finally came to fruition and they had everything in place to maximise the impact that would make. Everton had 3 good years then 30 in an old stadium.
Planning & ambition make a big difference; determination beats arrogance every time.
Even in the '80s I don't recall young footballers being bought in early and groomed to take over from the likes of Gray, Reid, Nev, Ratcliffe, Hinchcliffe, Sharp as they aged - there were those designed to 'fill-in' but how many improved that squad? I often thought that whoever was buying players wanted their money out on the pitch and not in the reserves.
There seemed to be no intention for Howard Kendall to build a dynasty in the way that Shankly & Paisley did. Perhaps having a millionaire owner living on past success was a bad thing in the long run – we didn't need to make money as we already had it?
There seemed to be little in the way of intent to build the business side – perhaps that sort of thing was far too vulgar for the gentlemen of the board. To succeed we needed long term ambition – I don't think we ever looked much beyond the next season.
Perhaps despite all we were getting somewhere by 1985, but the lack of underpinning, the lack of investment in business, facilities and players, the lack of active planning for the big change that was coming left us in dire straights when our money supply became 'their' money supply, we were banned from European competition, and circumstances rapidly overtook us, a situation we are still struggling to change 34 years later.
Moshiri & Usmanov have a plan (albeit a business plan) and the means to implement it. Mistakes have been made but lessons have been learned, changes have been made. 2018 was the watershed. Despite all we are a few steps further ahead than we were but there are many more to take.
A bunch of underperforming players can quickly become a good team, there are more than a few that we know have more football in them than they are currently showing. Up the Blues!
49 Posted 25/02/2019 at 16:43:17
Kenwright and Co and the hangers-on, including Barrett-Baxendale, are beyond bad; but we have a quiescent fan base who wouldn't protest if games were switched to Anfield.
Kenwright has destroyed Everton Football Club.
50 Posted 25/02/2019 at 17:59:01
One of the huge misconceptions about the squad from 1985 was its age. The average age of the team sent out that year was 24 years and 4 months. And that was a team which played 42 games and never sent anybody onto the field who was over 30. Yes, even Andy Gray was only 29½ at the end of the season.
So there was no reason for Howard to plan for the future. His team WAS the future.
The question which we will always take to our grave. If Heysel had not happened and English clubs not been banned from Europe, would Howard have stayed after 1987 and would he have built a dynasty?
51 Posted 25/02/2019 at 18:32:14
52 Posted 25/02/2019 at 19:54:20
They have a lot to answer for. But where we are now is a long way from where the club wants to be.
I hope that formula for success is being worked on by Marcel Brands, and there's step changes soon, and real positive changes to the fortunes of the first team, because this run in to this season is massive.
There's no easy games and I hope the enforced 17-day break has helped the squad gel.
Let's hope so, starting tomorrow night at Cardiff..
53 Posted 25/02/2019 at 21:11:04
That 'selling your soul' mind-set may not apply to Man City and other succesful clubs but, to many on here, it has a strong following. This is shown when Rafa's name crops up.
Nothing is mentioned about his managerial ability or trophy winning that in our wildest dreams we can only drool over. He once was one of 'them' and that is enough to delete his name from any of our potential managers lists.
I would sup with the devil himself if that's what it takes for us to wipe the the smile of our noisy neighbour's face.
54 Posted 25/02/2019 at 21:49:02
Looks good on the label, all the big hitters... until you get to play them and find out all is not what it seems.
A bit like our team at the moment.
55 Posted 25/02/2019 at 22:04:17
56 Posted 25/02/2019 at 22:51:39
Whichever first-team coach is in charge, it will take several years to sort out the mess we have been in since 2017. Steering clear of relegation is the immediate, overriding priority. After that, the requirement will be for steady, incremental progress with fewer signings and more emphasis on team building. There are no quick fixes.
57 Posted 25/02/2019 at 23:57:46
(And I'll take an editorial PC-correct yellow card for that, if necessary.)
58 Posted 26/02/2019 at 04:43:33
I agree that Moshiri is caught up in fog. I keep having flashbacks to Big Sam saying that Moshiri is a hard man to get hold off, often out of the country on business. Probably more so now trying to get funds to pay for Everton.
Paul the Esk (#18) in answer to John (#11) gives the correct plan of action required, though the operations role is known by some double-barrelled name now.
I am of the opinion that the appointment of ‘Little Miss Dynamite' with the double-barrelled name was an attempt to cement in a Bill-led team of Luvies to keep the status quo. It amazes me that a core of the Board and Management can be allowed to be so remote, with no consequences from the reality of sorting out basket case Everton.
Remember Bill Kenwright washing his hands of anything to do with the Big Sam appointment, when tackled by a fan.
Paul the Esk doesn't agree with my sledge-hammer approach. He may be right about Usmanov but, in my opinion, an ignoramus gangster is going to be needed to implement Paul the Esk's necessary action plan.
Do you think Esk is short for Eskimo?
59 Posted 26/02/2019 at 13:35:07
I was a critic of Moyes towards the end of his tenure but he did make some very astute signings for us and he was good at getting the most out of what he had. Look at when we lost Rooney and he signed Marcus Bent, for example. Kenwright's appointment of Moyes is the best thing he has done for our club.
Moyes didn't always get it right (Krøldrup, Davies, Beattie, spring to mind) but his dealings were largely impressive and his successes in the transfer market far outweigh his failures. However, I would not want Moyes back at the club. At that time he was a good fit for us and vice-versa. Times have moved on though and Moyes has done nothing since leaving us.
Martinez was a breath of fresh air in that first season and we played some of the best football I've seen at Goodison Park since the glorious 80s. I remember the demolition of Arsenal and Man United at Goodison in particular and the first Goodison derby where we should have won. In some ways, I think that initial success went to Roberto's head. The following signings were less convincing: McGeady, Traore, Eto'o on load etc. His stubbornness in not addressing our defensive frailties was his downfall and is ominously a trait that is being shown more and more by the current incumbent.
I only really remember one good performance under Koeman which was the thrashing of Man City at home. We had no identity. We weren't attacking, we didn't press, we weren't good defensively, we had no style, no width, no speed... I was hoping for some form of total football but we just seemed to get alehouse hoofball.
I think one of Koeman's assets initially, his discipline, meant that when results started going against us, the modern-day footballer mentality meant that the players could turn on him and stopped playing for him. That's what it seemed like to me, anyway. We'll never know but I do think we had an horrendous run of fixtures in that opening few months and the thrashing that Spurs gave us was that season's Pickford/Anfield moment. The confidence just disappeared, Keane looked out of his depth, the attack looked toothless...
Koeman was hard to warm to as a person and I wasn't sorry he went other than realising that another false dawn had occurred. When you look at what the RS, for example, paid for Salah then hit hurts thinking of the money we have wasted.
How do we get back to where we belong without massive investment? I agree that Brands is crucial. We need to start spotting talent at lower league level or unearthing gems from abroad and integrating those players into Everton. We need to be signing players who will not be phased by playing for us because, too often, we sign players who cannot hack the expectation of a fanbase who want to see winning, entertaining football.
There's a massive difference between being a big fish at a Swansea or a Watford, say, and playing for our club. Not many recent signings can handle it. We've heard twice now, from Walsh and from Brands that a player's character is just as important as their ability. I don't see evidence of it in the players we sign though. Who have we got who you can say 100% will be up for the derby at the weekend? Who have we signed who will rally the troops when we go a goal down?
The other thing we need is a manager who isn't a punt but is a proven winner. One who will not be fired after a year or two and mean we have to fork out more money in compensation. We don't have one at the moment. I like Silva as a guy but, unfortunately, I don't think he is the man for Everton.
I can't see us getting anything tonight and I fear for the derby at the weekend. Two defeats in those two games and the atmosphere would be toxic. I hope I'm wrong.
60 Posted 26/02/2019 at 13:51:37
I remember Paul on another website trumpeting the arrival of Moshiri from the rooftops – 'At last we have professionals running the place, we are with the jetset now' etc. He's had three years, and has been running or not running things for these last three years. As soon as he took over, he took over responsibility. And let's face it, he's been an unmitigated disaster.
Unlike Paul, I was not happy at all that Bill had sold to this guy. I didn't see the genius businessman that so many seemed to see, I saw a chap who held onto the coattails of extremely dubious company, and whose rocket-like enrichment certainly did not look like the usual rags-to-riches story.
Anyway, he took over, and whilst he has not put any money in, he's certainly made the banks happier to loan to us. And that is where we now are, all on his watch — not Kenwright's, his.
And where are we? I think you can compare Everton to one of those excited chickens sprinting around the farmyard, in great excitement, with its head lying several feet away. I think this club is dead, but it just doesn't know it yet.
A club from Liverpool 4 has in the last three years amassed a team of eleven players for roughly thirty million pounds each, average age about 28/29 on treble the wages we normally handed out during the previous 15 years. And at this point, I don't think we could now give any barring maybe one or two of them away. Let that sink in, we can't even have a fire sale.
We don't know it yet, cos last summer was the final splurge. But January passed without incident, and I am sure as I can be that Moshiri aint gonna put any of his own money in to fund our transfers, and the club sure as hell can't afford them. So we've got no money.
Not only that, I think it's just dawning on Moshiri, that this football lark isn't turning out to be as simple as he thought. I reckon we'll be selling this summer, selling whatever we can.
Our only hope is to get in a competent manager who can spot bargains, mobilise the kids, and try and pay back the three hundred million deficit (not including wages of course) Moshiri has run up, over the course of a generation.
If he doesn't get the next appointment fantastically right though, we will sink — and keep sinking, as teams like Pompey, Villa and Sunderland have.
61 Posted 26/02/2019 at 17:00:04
63 Posted 27/02/2019 at 13:25:30
We've not seen any updated images of our stadium design and until that's finalised then how can we start to plan to any kind of build.
In some respects, I've answered my own question but the longer this drags on the more suspicious I get with the whole stadium project. It's almost like were gonna go to Dan Meis and say "What's the best stadium we can get for 50p?"
When you look at the Spurs stadium, you can only drool and then get sad/mad as you realise how far we have fallen.
64 Posted 28/02/2019 at 13:17:37
Hard to argue that a clear out and a new forward-thinking dynamic board is essential if this club is to catch up. As stated above; it's not all about money – Dortmund are testament to that.
I would play devil's advocate however on Koeman ruining the club.
I recall a very jovial ToffeeWeb during that summer of recruitment and a very optimistic outlook on the forthcoming season. Lukaku wasn't replaced but Koeman made it clear that he thought a seasoned striker was essential to his plans and this failed to materialise with no Plan B after Giroud's wife refused to move north.
He's not doing too badly rejuvenating the Netherlands, who've been under-performing for years and Martinez for all his faults, isn't doing too badly with Belgium.
We'll probably never know who was at fault for that summer of madness, but I doubt Koeman held all the cards.
65 Posted 28/02/2019 at 14:15:40
We've had 2 transfer windows under him... 2 transfer windows. We STILL lack a proven goalscorer when we actually need 2 (1 back up and / or can play together as and when the opposition would warrant it).
I honestly can't believe or not understand how 2 transfer windows have gone by and we haven't secured even 1 proven striker and people are lauding the head of recruitment?!?!
66 Posted 28/02/2019 at 17:32:33
In fact, which player who moved would you have signed?
67 Posted 28/02/2019 at 17:36:34
The club accounts say Moshiri has put £250 million pounds into the club.
So where do you work out Moshiri hasn't put any money into the club?
68 Posted 28/02/2019 at 19:15:10
Oh, and Moshiri was bought to the club in the first place by the tainted, poisonous hand of Kenwright, the worst disease Everton have ever had.
Let's hope a cure will eventually be found before the things get truly terminal.
69 Posted 01/03/2019 at 10:59:59
I'm not counting loans or money he has used to purchase shares from other directors.
70 Posted 01/03/2019 at 14:38:21
I'd agree with your point about the money used to buy shares from other directors as that money hasn't gone into the club.
71 Posted 01/03/2019 at 15:08:35
Now, anyone purchasing from Farhad will see he's got to pay off Farhad's £250m loan just to get in the room, and just take a look at that squad.
72 Posted 01/03/2019 at 15:22:04
One thing, Kevin, is didn't Moshiri turn a substantial loan into equity? And didn't Paul the Esk, John Blaine, and Roger Armstrong go on at length on their excellent Everton Business Matters Podcast about how he is set to up his shareholding to over 77%, and thus be the only real shareholder at the club as the rest of the shareholdings are then extremely minor (can't remember exactly but isn't 15% of the shares all fans who own no more than a few shares each) and Moshiri has promised not to force compulsory purchase and take shares off fans.
By buying up the other shareholding, he can get more equity into the club, without inadvertently lining the pockets of the other shareholders such as Kenwright and Woods. Remember as he invests, their shares are worth more and more and so his investments are inadvertently benefiting them, which is Moshiri loans the club money, rather than gives it to the club.
73 Posted 01/03/2019 at 15:27:23
Most of that £250M was to pay off the leaches that Kenwright had borrowed from with almost £10M a year going to the BVI (i.e Earl and Green).
Don't forget, Moshiri has also dramatically improved the commercial income with the help of USM.
I would hazard a guess that the club is worth far more now than when Moshiri took over.
This season's accounts will tell us a lot.
74 Posted 03/03/2019 at 07:26:48
Just on the finances #73 (Jay). Moshiri paid off the external debt totalling £54m comprising the secured long term Prudential loan (£18m) and the short term Rights & Media Funding loan of approximately £36m.
The accounts to the end of May 2019 which will be published later in the year will not be pretty. In the absence of any significant commercial deal between now and May the club will show a loss in the region of £80-90 million.
With regards to the value of the club, asset value in terms of playing squad has increased but trading performance is worse given costs have increased faster than income.
Value will have increased but not significantly. Once stadium is approved value will increase.
75 Posted 03/03/2019 at 09:42:20
Everton fans should do the same to any vestiges of the Kenwright regime.
By the way, there's no new ground. Don't be deceived into thinking there is one. There really isn't. It is set to fail on Planning or funding or both. Very convenient for the owners.
76 Posted 08/03/2019 at 17:18:28
77 Posted 08/03/2019 at 20:19:52
No new ground would be the exact opposite for the owners lol.
Moshiri isn't investing in Everton because he loves the club but as an investment opportunity. He will seek to increase the value of his investment and a new ground is an essential ingredient of that. That is why it will happen.
The funding doesn't appear to be an issue, hence the club being cool on the council proposal.
Considering no final designs have yet been published and no detailed plans have been submitted for approval, your assertion that planning will be refused is, quite frankly, ludicrous.
78 Posted 08/03/2019 at 20:52:46
79 Posted 08/03/2019 at 21:05:22
80 Posted 08/03/2019 at 22:36:48
Most people know there's a risk that the project may fail. But you make it sound like a deliberate ploy by the owners to push the sham along until it can no longer be sustained. What are the possible upsides of that for the owner?
The truth is, investing in the ownership of a Premier League football club is a very profitable venture (even if you don't actually have any money). Ask W Kenwright CBE, Robert Earl... Jon Woods?
If you can persuade people to fund a multi-million pound stadium development, and you can actually see it through, the upside for those owners, when they do come to sell on their stake in the club, could show a massive return on investment that dwarfs the bonanzas we've seen disbursed to our beloved custodians in recent years, thanks to Mr Moshiri.
Let's wait and see, shall we, before jumping the gun?
81 Posted 10/03/2019 at 16:04:32
82 Posted 10/03/2019 at 16:14:07
"No, there's no new ground, they have just thrown £millions down the grid to hoodwink the supporters."
If you think there is no new ground then it has worked on you at least. £millions well spent.
83 Posted 19/03/2019 at 08:11:07
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