How a city ‘crippled’ by austerity has come to lean on Liverpool and Everton for support

Monday, 20 August, 2018 12comments  |  Jump to last
Paul Joyce highlights the vital community work undertaken by Everton and Liverpool Football Clubs that is filling big gaps in Council funding caused by the Government's austerity policies.

» Read the full article at The Times

Reader Comments (12)

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Karl Masters
1 Posted 20/08/2018 at 10:26:58
A shocking indictment of how the country is being run.

£444m a year taken away by central Govt leaving only a third of 2010's Council budget.

In the World's sixth biggest economy nobody should be homeless or hungry. And education is the only way out for most and yet this and mental healthcare is inadequately funded despite the explosion of Dementia cases the country is experiencing.

It's great what Everton FC (and Liverpool FC to a much lesser extent) do, but it should be the icing on the cake, not the cake itself!

Kenwright has drawn my criticism on a lot of issues over the years, but ultimately he should be remembered for EitC, something every Evertonian should be proud of. Staying in the Premier League has obviously had more benefits to more people than we might have realised.

Steve Ferns
2 Posted 20/08/2018 at 11:51:17
I think this is nothing new. Football is like a religion in this city. Religion itself is not as strong as it once was. The various churches still do great work in the communities but as they weaken with dwindling memberships it is heartening to see these two big institutions filling some voids.

For me, it’s always been the way. The people of this great city help one another. I know lots of examples of people going above and beyond to help people and this is an extension of that on a more industrial scale. I do think Everton have led the way here, but it’s great to see Liverpool are doing their fair share too.

However, this should be the work of the government, and clearly there are failings at local level, the article blames austerity. On a national level, I think we’ve always been ignored in my lifetime except for a 10 year spell where the EU funded regeneration schemes that kicked the city back into life culminating in the 2008 celebrations where the city announced itself back on the global scale as a major city and a tourist attraction once more.

Clearly, the city has made real progress over the last 20 years. The city centre has been the real focus and this is understandable as we need the city at its iconic best to attract the private investment and jobs. But there is a very long way to go, and there has been a disconnect between the middle class who’ve been attracted to the city, either the ones who’ve taken the employment opportunities, or the students who’ve graduated and enjoyed the city so much they’ve then built their lives here. It’s the working class who need the focus now to improve the appalling standard of living for so many.

It’s heartening to see the work these two football clubs are doing, but we should remember that they are colossal companies with massive turnovers and funding to do something here. Not only that, other big businesses are happy to attach themselves to work that the likes of EitC do, so the clubs can also facilitate such projects with outside investment.

Michael Lynch
3 Posted 20/08/2018 at 19:27:13
Personally, I'm delighted the two clubs are contributing so much to the city. They certainly have enough money, and to use their resources for philanthropic purposes is wonderful. As an atheist and a secularist, I feel the only real meaning for the churches these days is to look after those in need, so every penny they have should be ploughed into the community too, for whoever needs it regardless of race or religion.

As for the city itself, as someone who lived through the utter desolation of the 80s, it's never looked better to me. It is vibrant, outward looking, and full of life. We are attracting tourists, students and young professionals like never before.

It's been a long road back, but Liverpool is in a better state than at any other point in my lifetime. Those who have more than they need should be happy to give some to the community, and Everton are taking the lead. Hopefully other commercial entreprises will follow and those who are successful can lend a hand to those in need. Fuck the government, put your hand in your pocket if you're doing well, look after your own.

Will Mabon
4 Posted 20/08/2018 at 19:42:13
"£444m a year taken away by central Govt leaving only a third of 2010's Council budget."

Been going on a long time. I'm surprised it's had a mention in any form of mainstream media, it rarely gets such. It's overt outright theft and deliberate managed decline of the country and financial standing of the population. Look at your Council Tax, relate it to what it was 80s/early 90s, and then compare with like-for-like earnings of your job(s) back then. A huge increase, all on the back of reduced services and asset base of local authorites.

I've been flamed many times in the past for daring to criticize the horribly and incessantly pushed charity scene as a whole. "How could you demean the good of people?"

Truth is, it is being used to replace what were and should be, essential services already paid for by taxation (or so they used to say).

Michael, I fully agree with your last paragraph - providing this is done in hand with the money actually taken from people and not in lieu of it.

Dermot Byrne
5 Posted 20/08/2018 at 19:46:16
As someone who has worked in charity sector for over 20 years it has often been a rollercoaster.

There have been times charities have worked with (and often taught) the public sector. At other times, like now, they have been a replacement welfare state.

The sector increasingly has to turn to corporate bodies like Everton and the commitment and leadership of EitC has been magnificent.

But now big business with a stake in the city needs to start contributing in the same way.

The Peel Holdings and Grosvenor Estates (L1) who have a huge stake in the city centre future also need to invest anx support of areas in the city that are still struggling. In the end they are their customers.

You can watch such charitable donations happening all the time in London and now need our business to step forward too.

EitC can teach them a few things.

Will Mabon
6 Posted 20/08/2018 at 19:54:54
Dermot, I agree, but with the same proviso as above. Charity work, donations from business etc. to improve upon an existing baseline provided by the mandatory taxation taken from people, that is being stolen away from its purported use.
Dermot Byrne
7 Posted 20/08/2018 at 19:58:44
Will...I totally agree but fear the tax-and-provide of the past may be hard to bring back.

In all my career, the aim of the charity should be to become no longer needed.

Joe McMahon
8 Posted 20/08/2018 at 20:02:39
I never thought I'd say this, but for off the field matters, Bill has been fantastic for the City of Liverpool over the past 20 odd years. The community projects at Everton stand with the best.

As Knighthoods are handed out all over the shop for just being famous (it seems), I really do believe it should be Sir William Kenwright.

Machiel Barnard
9 Posted 21/08/2018 at 05:47:22
I agree with all what was said, I really do. However sometimes you have to look around and see how other people in other countries are living... If the problems in my country could only be this "bad"...
Karl Masters
10 Posted 21/08/2018 at 07:17:10
Fair point Machiel. When you look at the World in general and the terrible conditions many endure, you have to be thankful for what you do have.

You also have to gnash your teeth at the incompetence of politicians and leaders everywhere to do more to use this planet’s resources more efficiently and more evenly for all.

Christine Foster
11 Posted 22/08/2018 at 03:47:07
Born and raised in the city, I left in 82, for other greener pastures and away from the excess of the Thatcher years that did such damage for so long. I am not sure we have ever recovered. But, whilst it's heartening to see the club attempting to give something back, one cannot help to think that it's a poor day in hell when homeless or mentally ill have to rely on a football club and not the government.

One can be immensely proud of the club for its work and I am not blind to the obvious question of why it had to be done in the first place. But it has been done and I wholeheartedly applaud all concerned for its success. I have on these pages lambasted our chairman over the years but, on this issue, I can only take my hat off to him and say well done and thank you.

Tom Dodds
12 Posted 22/08/2018 at 04:46:37
I have to whole-heartedly agree with the above re Kenwright's sterling work from the club to the local community.

I am a mega critic of his tenure at EFC, but I (head-scratchingly) tip my hat to him there.
One hopes it's not all some sort of tax dodge mind!

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