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1 Posted 12/06/2019 at 20:40:26
2 Posted 12/06/2019 at 20:51:05
3 Posted 12/06/2019 at 21:15:37
Sadly I hate the idea that I support a corporation and increasingly feeling daft doing so.
Many comments on fora of Everton fans and other corporation's fans seem to talk more about business acumen than the game. We all seem to get drawn into commenting on business transactions, accounts and shareholders interests.
In my remaining years I will be watching most games and of course celebrate if we win something.
But somewhere in my brain a little voice will laugh and ask if I could have even more reasons to celebrate if I supported Microsoft or some hedge fund.
4 Posted 12/06/2019 at 21:43:09
I somehow see the supporters of lower division clubs as respected amateur connoisseurs. We are professional fans, always looking at the money angle, at the Champions League and the money it will bring us.
I love this club, what it means, what it does and the fantastic supporters. It takes up way to much of my time and thoughts, but..that is how it is. Maybe I will retire to Morecambe. I guess though, they feel the same as us. Being a supporter is insane.
5 Posted 12/06/2019 at 21:57:19
I would offer this alternate view of what constitutes a club vs. a corporation, and I think it can be found in your repeated use of the word "success" -- and the fact that you don't precisely define it.
Is success determined on the pitch only? If so, then I believe we are a club -- a corporate entity, but still a club.
The primary objective of a corporation is to make money for its shareholders. By definition, the more money a corporation makes, the more successful it is.
But a football club, no matter how financially successful, cannot really be viewed as a success unless it wins games, titles, silverware... am I right? ManUtd is by far the most profitable football organization on the planet, but they finished sixth and City won the title. Which is more "successful"???
I think Everton, and any football club, is something of a hybrid -- its decisions driven by finances, but its successes defined between those white lines.
6 Posted 12/06/2019 at 22:30:44
Football is more than just winning trophies. Were I grew up I went to school with lads who supported clubs like Preston and Bolton, now my nearest club is Luton and all of those fans will argue their places in history as much as any.
7 Posted 12/06/2019 at 23:06:30
EFCs history is but the reality is we havent been consistent and are in a wretched barren run.
Hopefully soon our fortunes will turn. To have success and consistency and grow the team year on year is a dream bu5 it can be done.
Lets see what this preseason yields.
8 Posted 12/06/2019 at 23:06:30
EFCs history is but the reality is we havent been consistent and are in a wretched barren run.
Hopefully soon our fortunes will turn. To have success and consistency and grow the team year on year is a dream bu5 it can be done.
Lets see what this preseason yields.
9 Posted 12/06/2019 at 23:49:07
Ignorant as I am as to how mere accountants make rapacious former Soviet "businessmen" wealthy beyond imagination, that very question occurred to me when Farhad bought in. "Where's his "original" football/money-making experience" in short?
Thus far he's only been torn a financial new one given his allegiance to his advisers, Kenwright on football matters being to the fore according to him.
Is it too ridiculous to suggest that he gets rid of the muppet that brought Everton down so far from being a founding father of the Premier League itself that we now, collectively post-Kenwright, crave "Top Six" as a measure of success?
Is it too simplistic, as a starter point admittedly, to get rid of every vestige of the staff that contributed, knowingly or not, to the longest ever barren spell in the club's far diminished history as a winning entity?
10 Posted 12/06/2019 at 23:59:05
11 Posted 13/06/2019 at 01:38:46
Were the footballing equivalent of the 'Girl with the curl' - when we're good we're very, very, good and when we're bad - we're Horrid (with some 8th/9th-ish boring bits in between).
But I'm of the mind that on field success leads to commercial success...the hard part is priming the money pump to get the first.
We're too nice, we have deep vein Institutionalised mediocrity. Until that goes even Moyes's 7th -ish Trophy haul is not likely to be overtaken.
Like some year one cultural revolution dictatorship, the 'Everton That' softies need to be sent out into the fields to dig...but inside me there is a voice saying - is that the sort of thing we need as a Club. And there is the paradox.
Solve that and were on our way.
12 Posted 13/06/2019 at 04:13:00
As an American, I concur 100%!
Club first, franchise / corporation second for me.
But I'd defer to the wiser, homegrown Blues as to what's best for the Club / Organization / Corporation / Team.
Is it wrong to not want to be a Sheik bazillion team? I don't want that. I want a team who challenges, runs things professionally and well, and has its roots in Liverpool and with the community. Not a Middle Eastern play-thing of a sports toy.
I see Everton in that light, and it's one of the reasons I want some success in the end for the Club. Because in my book, not that anyone is reading my book mind you, but in my book, that's the best thing.
It's something to be proud of. And that's the road less travelled, but so damn precious.
13 Posted 13/06/2019 at 06:14:45
Do those other off field activities depend on who is seen as the Owner or Major Shareholder and would any of it necessarily change if we became a listed stock?
14 Posted 13/06/2019 at 08:16:05
These are the essential obvious facts to me as a supporter. Everything else is peripheral talking for the sake of talking.
For us supporters, all that matters is success on the pitch in sportsmanlike style. The business side is just a means to this end.
15 Posted 13/06/2019 at 08:22:02
Long live the tribe. And sod that other tribe.
16 Posted 13/06/2019 at 09:50:32
The club is a product that the company sells to the fans, underpinned by football, charity, community. Fans have a form of 'moral ownership' that is different from shareholding, most people who attend matches will be fans, but not all. Increasingly we will see 'customers' who are not fans but are paying guests.
The 'Brand' is that thing that is Everton FC that we can sell to groups & businesses outside of us, the community. It is a value that outside concerns will pay for. Our current Brand is not top 6, consequently, we cannot get top 6 prices (https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/evertons-brand-value-decreases-see-14642935). BMD improves the brand significantly but other aspects of business also need to be in place for us to catch up, not just success on the pitch.
I would applaud our charity work and profile as something that strongly supports our Brand in a very cost-effective way. Faced with much better off neighbours it is an asset to be able to attract attention like this. It also supports our fanbase at a time when our young people have difficult choices to make!
If those who have managed the club over the last 30 years have got something wrong, it is that they have focussed too much on the football in the PL era. To be fair they have often been firefighting relegation, but football is the product, not the business and our business expertise has lagged behind those of our competitors. We have been the first to do so many things on the field, we now need to innovate off the field with the same energy and imagination. Goodison Park is a limitation, not an excuse to stop trying.
17 Posted 13/06/2019 at 10:54:45
how big corporations treat their customers. There is no connection other than a financial one. I'd rather be proud of the Club than admire the Corporation.
18 Posted 13/06/2019 at 12:39:04
In a way, we might say that the passion Kenwright feels for the club is part of the problem. Perhaps he has cared less about building our brand than he has about looking after the club. We need both to go forward. I don't really care so much if Moshiri/Usmanov love our club as long as they build a winning club, and one that looks after its community. If that is just to sell on at a profit then so be it.
19 Posted 13/06/2019 at 13:21:00
20 Posted 13/06/2019 at 13:33:56
21 Posted 13/06/2019 at 13:42:26
Hi Andy (4) Morecambe serve the best pie in the country. I recommend the chicken, ham and leek pie with mushy peas, priced £3 when I was there a couple of years ago. For an extra 10p you can have gravy with it.
22 Posted 13/06/2019 at 13:51:47
23 Posted 13/06/2019 at 14:07:05
Mike Gaynes @ 5 sums it up well in differentiating between what constitutes 'success' in the corporate boardroom, as opposed to 'success' on the sports field for the club.
For the supporter, we are emotionally invested in the club. Our primary focus and interest is in how the team and individuals perform and the success they achieve on the pitch.
Supporters are not so dumb that they are unaware of, or indifferent to, the corporate side of a professional sports club that finances and determines the quality of player (and manager) we can bring to Everton.
As such, this is not an 'either-or' question; either we are a corporation or a club. Everton is a duality and both are dependent on the other: the corporation only exists because of the club, and the club is only sustained by the corporation.
So DB-B's comment the Esk bases his opening post on - “Everton is not a corporation, we are a club” - whilst a nice soundbite is, IMO, not a well-founded one.
24 Posted 13/06/2019 at 14:53:45
Objectively, Everton Football Club does not have an unsuccessful history, even though we have not won a trophy since 1995, as our neighbours love to remind us. For example, we have played in the top division for 65 years, something only Arsenal can match. Now, subjectively, no supporter is happy with that in itself, least of all me, but most other clubs in the country would envy such a record.
Our history is important. Indeed, at times, the fact that my grandfather, father, brother, uncle, son, daughters, nephews, grandsons, friends, are part of that history is the only thing that has kept me going. There are few corporations able to claim such customer loyalty. It needs to be cherished, but we cannot live in that past.
Its not a question of whether we are a club or a corporation, we can be successful however we are labelled. There is no reason why all the good things the Club does for the community cannot be allied to success on the pitch. But what type of success?
You say you want us to be fully geared up towards winning trophies and European honours. I would say those are two distinct things. We are capable of winning domestic trophies now, the League and FA Cups are attainable, but every year we scandalously throw away the opportunity. That would be my primary focus for the next few years - win one or two of them.
After that, to compete for European honours would require significant growth. There may be moves going on behind the scenes for that, with the stadium being part of it. Perhaps then we will become more corporate, but not, I hope, at the loss of all those good things for which we are widely admired.
25 Posted 13/06/2019 at 15:35:08
I love my club, I'm 68 and have supported them since I can remember from the age of 5 or 5.
I've seen trophies won and hope to see more won before I leave this mortal coil. However winning trophies is not the be and end all and if I was given another 100 years of life and told we would go another 100 years without a trophy, I would still support the mighty blues unequivocally.
I just love the whole experience of supporting out great club including the painful bits and other than winning a few trophies I don't wish them to change in any way.
26 Posted 13/06/2019 at 15:42:26
A very thought provoking article which highlights the need to review "The Everton way".
First of all I would concur with some other posters that a corporation, Club and community can be one and the same thing in fact I think it is essential that all 3 are on the same page.
A corporation that goes forward without the club and community on board may gain short term financial success but is doomed to long term failure.
The only way to be successful in all areas is to be excellent in all areas and better than the competition.
We are still very weak on our branding and commercial operations,we are certainly weak on the football front. Best of the rest is not good enough for a club with our history and a motto of NSNO. We need to get the media to change their view of "plucky ittle Everton" and remind them that we have won more league championships than Spurs, Man City and Chelsea.
To this end we still have major shortcomings in our structure. As others have said we need dynamic, ambitious leadership and pedigree. To this end Kenwright is a burden to carry and still has too much influence on the club, Moshiri for all his cash and willingness to invest is a lightweight in driving ambition forward. DBB for all her community work and intelligence is not one to lead a crusade, she is more a comforting figure to make sure things are done nicely.
We need a Levi type who has drive and ambition. We need to surround him or her with people of pedigree in football knowledge, forward thinking and major drive and passion.
The world is becoming a much smaller place and we need to be a player in the world market not just L4. The world should be our community and our ambition. "I am Spartacus" needs to become "I am an Evertonian".
Nil Satis Nisi Optimum (something BK seems to have forgotten).
27 Posted 13/06/2019 at 20:40:52
The team with the Holy Trinity of Ball, Harvey and Kendall won only one trophy, the 69-70 title. But the quality of that side shone in a way that the quality of other sides who've won more trophies (including our neighbour's across the park) has not. That's why Ball, Harvey and Kendall are called the Holy Trinity, and why Goodison is the School of Science. Similarly, Alex Young is the Golden Vision, a player who's quality transcended normality.
We need to be at the top, but we need to do it with style, with quality. It is quality that makes people appreciate Man City over Liverpool, and it is quality that makes glorious memories.
Of course, winning a trophy in any style is a start, but glory really stems from doing it with quality. That's what the Everton Way was about when we were great, and it's what we should aim to repeat.
Business acumen (the Corporate way) is necessary to achieve this quality, but it is only a means to an end, which is the quality itself. Without it, football isn't worth watching.
28 Posted 14/06/2019 at 10:28:40
You make some good points but I have always believed that our decline stemmed from the failure to build on our success in 1984-87. We didn't improve the ground, we wasted the Lineker money, very few worthwhile youngsters came through until Rooney almost 20 years later, we made awful managerial appointments and bought badly at excessive prices. We paid no attention to developing the commercial side of things and all this was before Kenwright.
By the time True Blue Holdings bought out Johnson, there was a sizeable debt, no support from the banks and a team which had almost been relegated twice. Moyes came in and the club stabilised to some degree miraculously getting into the Champions League in 2005. There was still insufficient money to develop the club until Moshiri arrived.
Okay, he has made poor decisions in hindsight, though many of us rejoiced at the appointment of Koeman and Walsh. Nevertheless, if you analyse their transfer dealings plus Silva and Martinez, and value the current squad, I don't think we would be too far away from break-even – albeit that some crazy salaries have been paid to underperforming players.
I am wandering away from the point so back to it: to make true progress, we have to become more corporate. I retired two months ago from a professional firm where I was one of 63 partners. When I became a partner, there were only 22 partners and the business has changed beyond recognition. Our ethos was always to be collegiate (as in club for the purposes of this thread) and resist the path of becoming corporate like the big boys in our profession. We prided ourselves on being human in our treatment of staff and indeed clients and this was the secret of our success in what was the mid-tier of the profession.
Things started to change as we entered into a couple of sizeable mergers and, with 700 staff on board, we found that our approach to running the business was becoming much more corporate. Stricter guidelines were observed as to how to run the practice, how to deal with staff and how to market the firm and we hit on a mix of collegiate and corporate which worked for everyone.
Moshiri is slowly turning the tanker that is EFC. Sasha has come in to oversee financials, a new marketing guy is in place who is no doubt salivating at the opportunities which will be available if BMD happens. We have a specialist on board in Colin Chong to work on BMD and Keith Harris is on the board of directors as he has great experience in financing a new stadium.
Let's also not forget that Moshiri clearly has exceptional skills of his own, having become a billionaire from relatively humble beginnings as an accountant – Usmanov would never have used him as an advisor if he was not exceptional in his field.
Any marketing specialist will tell you that to have a successful campaign you need a good product to market. First and foremost we need a successful team playing attractive football. That will get the media talking about us which will then get the kids interested in us. We need a couple of star players to generate shirt sales. A new stadium together with an attractive team will be a magnet for the corporate hospitality business and all of this will then attract the hefty sponsorship deals which we currently miss out on because neither our ground nor our playing performance are sufficiently attractive.
This is why Silva, Brands et al use the term “project” because it can't be turned around overnight. Moshiri is effecting change and we must become a corporation to progress albeit hopefully retaining our human approach to fans and the local community.
29 Posted 14/06/2019 at 11:15:00
Changing any corporate culture takes years, but for me its the most important battle. When we're ruthless and successful, we'll be able to do far, far more for the community than we do now.
30 Posted 14/06/2019 at 15:10:36
You make some great points but I have to take issue with your assertion that Kenwright inherited "a sizeable debt".
This is a total fallacy spread by Kenwright.
As the accounts show he inherited a "Net asset" position which within two years he turned into a "net liability" with a figure of 30m going out of the club which some suspect was used to pay off Johnson but nevertheless Kenwright proceeeded to oversee the club making a loss in the majority of his first ten years reign despite selling Rooney for 30m.
One further point is that he never remortgaged his ghouse as he claimed and which one or two fans still believe.
I have no doubt that Kenwright loves the club but he loves himself and his position even more and his reluctance to let that go is what is and has been holding us back IMO.
31 Posted 14/06/2019 at 15:51:42
Without wishing the thread to become yet another BK-bashing opportunity, Jay Harris is correct in his numbers. To that it should also be remembered that BK has sat on the board since 1989, so he has very much been part of the inner circle, decision-making process and the direction the club has followed in the past 30 years of stagnation.
32 Posted 14/06/2019 at 16:23:08
I think I am also right that we had not long spent £4.5 million on one player who spent an awful lot of time injured on big wages and we eventually released for nothing in 1999. That net asset position concealed a fair bit of underlying debt, we were living hand-to-mouth.
You have to admit it kept us up.
33 Posted 14/06/2019 at 16:39:02
As far as the balance sheet is concerned there is no such thing as underlying debt so that is an incorrect assumption in fact the reverse is true we were due some money from underlying sales of players that cannot be put in the balance sheet and Kenwright had the benefit of that.
The only issue regarding debt at the time was the clubs overdraft facility which PJ had underwritten and Kenwright did not have the financial clout to do hence some very dodgy and expensive loans from his buddies.
The thing that should ring with every Evertonian is that Paul Gregg and his wife who had been lifelong friends were so concerned at Kenwright's running of the club that they asked him to resign and they would put the money up for KD.
Kenwright refused, put a few rumours around the media about the Gregg's and claimed he had a 15m investor (Fortress Sports fund anyone) and that he would have the cheque in the bank in the morning.
The rest is history but does sum up the lengths which BK would go to for personal gain and ego.
Until that cancer is removed from the boardroom I fear we will not progress as a club.
34 Posted 16/06/2019 at 11:59:03
There was an urgent need for capital we didn't have to be invested in the pitch, hence the sell off of assets and a good decision as far as I am concerned. Thanks be to SuperKev we survived. Just.
35 Posted 17/06/2019 at 16:59:31
Paul, I very much enjoy your articles dealing with football (and EFC in particular) finances. I'm not sure, however, that you make a clear argument in this article. Yes, EFC is a club. Yes, EFC is a business. Barcelona prides itself upon being "mes que un club" – more than a club – and it is this that is missing at Everton; an invisible but unbreakable bond between every person who wants Everton FC to be the great team on and off the field of play that it should be.
For your information and that of other TW posters, there is (or was) a written draft version of The Everton Way, which was developed over a period of time from about 2009-2014 in consultation with various groups. It was a statement of what should be the values shared by every person with Everton at their heart and, rather than being wishy-washy, it was intended to remind especially those people employed by the club of their responsibilities to Evertonians who pay to see their team. I used it as the basis of the successful bid to establish the Everton School.
Much of the reason why I felt I could no longer contribute at EFC was the gap between the rhetoric and the reality. There are those who can come up with fine soundbites but have no interest in the effort required to put them into action. In that sense, you are right; there is no Everton Way if people don't actually walk the walk.
36 Posted 18/06/2019 at 12:34:33
So what if we used to win a few things 30 years ago and beyond? I'm sick to death of supporting a club that used to be good. We're a mid-table, average team in the modern game, and nothing more. We haven't won shit for 30 years and we've been nearly run into the ground on a few occasions.
I'm 46 this year, and I can't see us winning the league again in my lifetime. We desperately need to modernise, drop all the songs from yesteryear, stop dwelling on our 'istory and actually become a modern club, and yes, a business. When we play at home, they play that God awful song at the end of games which just shows us up for the relic we are. Moshiri was right when he said Everton is a museum.
38 Posted 23/06/2019 at 11:54:35
For me, the money has changed the entire character of everything connected to the game, none of it for the better, with social media consistently confirming that many involved are obscenely wealthy morally bankrupt fuckwits. There are also armies of ruthlessly corrupt parasitical agents that screw everything they can while sucking Satan's cock for whom words like loyalty are anathema: this is all the commercial influence.
I'm a socialist and not an economist and I struggle to understand how the likes of Abramovich and Co profit from throwing millions into the game: maybe football will fall out of favour in a similar fashion to boxing, a disgrace too far that will turn public opinion: Robbie Fowler molesting horses or Klopp advocating casual genocide, perhaps.
I was appalled listening to John Barnes endorsing the Tories in the eighties and disgusted by the fortunes paid to reward apathy and indifference: same as everyone else, I suppose.
I do feel proud to be a blue though, even when we are shite, and that is because – for as long as I can remember – our neighbours have encapsulated everything that is wrong with humanity. That maybe is a bit strong, but I think we all know what I mean: their overwhelming sense of entitlement, their vehement outrage at everything, and the commitment to ignorance that nurtures their hypocritical attitudes. So Suarez was a paragon of virtue when in red but a despicable horrible cheating little twat when he left.
I would be happy for Everton to be successful but not at the expense of its soul: most of the time, I would settle for mere competence. I will never see it, but I can't imagine Evertonians ever being as insufferable and ignorant following a period of success. Ultimately we have to hope that our sociopaths are more efficient than all the others, and that the finances remain strong to sustain the future.
I'm not one to point fingers because I do not know, but our leading boardroom sociopath has been Kenwright and that I feel explains a lot of our recent history.
And why do Man City have Hey Jude and we put up with It's a Grand Old Team?
39 Posted 23/06/2019 at 13:41:28
In answer to your "Is Moshiri doing enough?" – I'd argue he is. It just takes time and patience. The club is moving towards a move to a new stadium and, with any luck, in 4-5 years time, we'll be playing in a larger brand new world-class stadium. This will go a long way with respect to boosting club revenues.
On the player front, he's backed the managers who've been here so far, albeit made mistakes in manager appointments. Hopefully Silva can prove it was worth chasing him so we can get some stability at squad level over the coming 2-3 seasons. This season is a big season for Silva as at least half the first team will be his players, who've also had a season to bed in. Barring anything disastrous (eg, 14th-17th place finish), he'll be allowed to continue his project but needs to show improvement year on year.
The main gripe I have with the club is the seeming indifference to the cup competitions. This goes back quite few years now. I get that prize money in the Premier League dwarfs that of the cups, but kids (ie, potential new fans) don't give a shit about prize money. If the club wants to increase its fan base, only success on the pitch will do this — and winning a domestic cup would give this a boost. It's no good moving into a much larger stadium if you can't fill it regularly. (I'm not from Liverpool and support the club due to the 80s success when I was little and my favourite colour was blue. But once bitten... I know a few people in their 30s and 40s like me.)
It's now approaching 25 years (!) since we last won a trophy, which is just ridiculous - I still can't believe it myself. We've only managed 1 single cup final appearance in that time, so it's not like we've tried and gotten close a few times. Our performance in the League Cup is nothing short of atrocious. We basically don't give a shit about this cup. The FA Cup has also been very poor, this being a cup in which we used to regularly reach semis and finals (I think we used to hold the most semi-final appearances with over 20 up to a few years ago).
The club needs to take its time to build up to potential top 4 status (or at least being a challenger) but there is no excuse in my mind for not giving the domestic cups more focus. Money seems to be the only aim and hence finishing as high in the Premier League as possible is the aim as each place is worth about £2m-£3m. But why can we not also focus on the cups? We're not in Europe so game overload can't be an excuse. You only need to win 4-5 games in each competition to get to Wembley.
40 Posted 23/06/2019 at 14:15:50
You've touched on a particular bugbear of mine with regards to our football club. Trophies, Cups and the winning of them should be what every club aspires to.
I happen to believe that, by and large, we haven't really tried in the two domestic cups. Certainly the League Cup anyway. Fielding weakened teams, or the players not seeming to be fully prepared for these games, is something I believe we've been guilty of for a couple of decades.
I can remember going to Leeds away in the League Cup during the Moyes era. I think they where in whatever the 3rd division was called back then. Every Blue knew Leeds would be up for a bit of scalp-hunting that night. My heart sank when I heard our team news, and everyone on the couch knew how the game was going to play out. We got beat 3-0 I think.
41 Posted 24/06/2019 at 20:22:01
If it is true that Bill Kenwright turned down the opportunity to step down and allow the Greggs to fund the King's Dock, he cost us the best ground option of the lot, untold millions in lost revenue and fannying about with fees for alternative schemes.
I'm not simply jumping on the Kill Bill bandwagon – I'd like to know what the evidence is because, if it is true, you wonder how he can take his place in the director's box knowing that all around are dreaming about what might have been.
42 Posted 24/06/2019 at 20:41:42
Fortress Sports Fund, anyone? I remember watching the news and it showed Kenwright introducing this fella to the AGM.
My only thought was that the fella looked like an extra off Emerdale Farm, but what did I know?
43 Posted 24/06/2019 at 20:55:21
44 Posted 27/06/2019 at 22:33:19
Tell me which team over 100 years had the highest average and who was it??? How close is it to 8th?
45 Posted 03/07/2019 at 18:40:30
As a result we have fallen behind our rivals. It should have been us in the Champions League Final, not Spurs. It is only our large and loyal fanbase who have allowed us to be as high in the league as we are. Hopefully our new management team, especially when Kenwright eventually departs, will do better.
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