Staring Into the Abyss?

A look at the economic impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on Premier League football. The message is simple: football will have to dramatically cut its costs

Paul The Esk 10/04/2020 159comments  |  Jump to last

The Bull market has ended. It always does. The tragic events of the Covid-19 pandemic have brought a closure to more than a quarter of a century of unbroken growth in Premier League revenues, inflated values and even greater inflation in costs.

At the turn of the year, when we (Evertonians) were thinking of a late assault on European places and with a planning application made in relation to Bramley-Moore Dock, to find ourselves in this position was unthinkable.

As Warren Buffet famously said “A bull market is like sex, it feels best just before the end”.

The human cost of Covid-19 is enormous, each death a personal and family tragedy. The attempts to mitigate infection rates and thus fatalities, by isolating huge swathes of the developed world will have a cataclysmic impact on the global economy. Despite the desperate attempts of many Governments offering unparalleled support, businesses starved of revenue will go bust. As a result, employment and income levels will fall – we, from Merseyside, know the story all too well – those that lived through the 1980s need no explanation of the impact of mass unemployment. With no hyperbole, comparisons with the economic wreckage of the Great Depression of the early 1930s are also entirely feasible.

In the US (the most up-to-date statistics available – they provide weekly stats) more than 10% of the workforce (16.8 million) have made new unemployment claims in the last 3 weeks.

US unemployment claims, March 2020

The immediacy of the rise in unemployment is very significant. From around 4% 2 weeks ago, unemployment in the US is heading for 15% and much higher in the weeks to come. For comparative purposes, the Great Depression saw unemployment peak at 24.9%, albeit it took 3 years to get there (and from a lower base than just pre Covid-19). UK figures are not available until 21 April but will see huge rises (already 1.2 million new claims for Universal Credit, for example).

Germany, the European powerhouse, has forecast unemployment growing for the next 15 months, doubling from 4 to 8% and possibly as high as 12% or more further out.

Forecasted rise in German unemployment

That’s just the developed world. The lesser developed nations often with higher population densities, poorer health and significantly poorer healthcare provision face an even bleaker future given how Covid-19 thrives in such environments. Anyone with experience of India, Sub-Saharan Africa and Indonesia for example, will understand the scale of the problems facing their populations. Additionally, from an economic (let alone health) perspective, those that sell to the developed world in order just to barely exist, what becomes of them when the developed world stops buying? – as it surely will.

What relevance does this have to football, particularly the Premier League?

For 2018-19 – the last year full accounts for all teams have been published, the Premier League collectively generated the following revenues:

  £ millions
Match day 668.0
Broadcast 3,006.0
Commercial 1,392.0
Total  5,066.0

With just over £5 billion of income, the 20 Premier League clubs had an aggregate EBITDA of £944 million and an aggregate net profit of £82 million. Before the impact of Covid-19 hit, most analysts expected to see the aggregate EBITDA and net profit figures fall as clubs continued to spend and charge the P&L account with greater amounts than the growth in income.

Let’s analyse the two largest elements: broadcast and commercial. Firstly, a few general comments. Almost all commercial and broadcasting revenues ultimately are driven by consumer spending around the world. Either through subscription, advertising on TV/internet, shirt, ground and other media sponsors, it’s all dependent on consumers having the ability to pay subscriptions or buy the products, support the brand that is advertised.

Early evidence from China, after their initial shut down, shows that in their greatly controlled economy, whilst freight and coal use (a good proxy for power generation and therefore economic activity) are recovering, consumer spending is still heavily suppressed. Consumer spending globally will shrink enormously.

I looked at the number of broadcasters who pay the Premier League for rights to show games, more than 70 broadcasters in over 80 regions (composing of multiple countries) and individual countries. Broadcasting revenues are split into domestic (Sky, BT and BBC) and overseas. Additionally, Amazon have acquired rights to stream over the internet. Domestic rights were negotiated to the value of £5 billion over the 3 years 2019-2022, and overseas rights an incredible £4.2 billion.

In France, Ligue 1 has already seen Canal+ withdraw their next instalment on their domestic rights (this is a company whose parent company had annual revenues of almost €14 billion). BeIN have acted similarly.

It’s almost impossible to believe that the economic damage of Covid-19 won’t adversely affect subscription numbers and advertising levels for many years to come.

One of the impacts of a recession or depression on TV rights is an increase in piracy. That immediately reduces revenues to the rights holders. But it does something else too. It makes the value of the rights themselves less.

Yousef Al-Obaidly, BeIN Media Group’s chief executive, has consistently argued that the level of piracy directly affects the value of future rights. An increase in piracy driven by consumers not being able to afford the genuine product, impacts the future value of rights and therefore the Premier League revenues.

Thus, for a multitude of reasons, I would argue strongly that, whilst domestic broadcasters have a greater shared interest with their domestic leagues, overseas broadcasters would find the decision to either claw back revenues from an incomplete season (should that happen) or demand much reduced future fees based on the factors mentioned and an inability or unwillingness to pay. The prior reliance on overseas broadcasters to fund the Premier Leagues excesses may be a significant factor in the coming months and years.

Broadcasters rely upon subscriptions or advertising or both. In the economic conditions which are quickly evolving, consumers cancel subscriptions and companies stop advertising. (Channel 4 in the UK has seen an immediate 25% reduction in advertising revenues in less than a month.) Faced with such a challenge, at best broadcasters will seek to renegotiate existing contracts. Many may not survive. The bidding for 2022-25 will be significantly different to previous rounds.

Not only will broadcasting revenues fall, but the prospect of fewer viewers, and a customer base with significantly less disposable revenues, will reduce the attractiveness of many of the ancillary deals. A cash-starved company in Malaysia can no longer afford to be Manchester United’s official pillow partner.

Commercial revenues were worth £1.392 billion in season 2018-19 with more than 300 commercial relationships between the 20 clubs. These include shirt sponsors, sleeve sponsors, naming rights and the multitude of partnerships – regional, national and international. They represent many sectors including financial services, automotive, airlines, beverages and gambling. Not all of these companies are AAA-rated. Whilst the top 6 typically have sponsors with (by necessity) huge revenues and strong balance sheets, the less commercially attractive clubs (including Everton) swim in a far more insecure pool.

For example, gambling firms as main shirt sponsors are worth nearly £70 million per annum in the Premier League – add in the shirt-sleeve sponsors and that figure rises. The absence of any live sport has hit the sports gambling industry extremely hard, especially in developing markets. Turnover in East Africa, for example, has fallen by 99% since live sports ground to a halt. Most of the gambling companies sponsoring Premier League clubs are opaque by nature – often domiciled in the Isle of Man or other offshore centres, they must be vulnerable to the market forces currently applied to them.

As is always the case, it is a reasonable assumption that, outside the top 6, the remaining clubs will be most vulnerable.

So what is the solution?

Ultimately, it is to reduce costs. Spend less on acquiring players and less on retaining them. All of the above is going to have a massive deflationary effect on football. It has huge consequences.

Despite the huge increase in revenues, clubs typically have increased expenditure at a higher rate than the growth in income. To make good the shortfall in this model, clubs have used players as assets, constantly trading them at ever inflated values, thereby covering running losses with asset sales.

This is plate spinning at its best (worst)! Ask the banks post-2008 when their previously inflated (and ridiculously valued) balance sheets turned to dust overnight. Football is in a similar position, except that football is not too big to fail. Other than a relatively small number of exceptionally wealthy owners, sovereign States and oligarchs who will possibly support their trophy assets, it is difficult to see where the support comes from.

FIFA has suggested emergency funding for the game, from its $2.7 billion cash pile. That’s a lot of money, but it’s not enough. FIFA can cover short-term cash flows, make sure the players get paid, but can’t cover the ridiculous structural issues surrounding the game.

Football needs to bite the bullet. It needs to recognise its cost base is totally inconsistent with the new economic world in which we live.

It can survive, but only if it and all the participants start living within their means. Not the inflated means of even a couple of months ago, but the means of a sport surviving in economic conditions not seen since the early 1930s.

What does that mean for Everton?

Well we, even in the very good times of the last few years, have spent beyond our means. We cannot continue to do so, that is clear, regardless of shareholder support.

For Bramley-Moore Dock? As I’ve indicated previously, a debt-funded stadium is less likely than previously thought. There’s no appetite for risk from debt funders and the business case with higher financing costs and less secure, smaller future income is a difficult sell.

Football is not as important as the challenges we all face: real life-and-death challenges, but it’s still of great interest and great hope for when better times return. However, when they do return, financially and economically they will be very different.

Stay safe all.

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Reader Comments (159)

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Mark Andersson
1 Posted 10/04/2020 at 20:46:45
Great article, bit depressing but the truth hurts...

Will our new stadium get built? If so, who is going to pay for it?

Great for the city if it does go ahead: jobs created.

The football world went crazy, the rest of the world has caught up.

Very dark days await... what a mess..

Stay sane stay safe

Brian Williams
2 Posted 10/04/2020 at 21:47:15
Just what we need at this unprecented and stressful time!
Ian Bennett
3 Posted 10/04/2020 at 22:00:53
So, the end of Financial Fair Play and a buyers market? Could work out for some.
Tony Abrahams
4 Posted 10/04/2020 at 22:06:08
A sobering article, Paul, and although we all love football and want the best for our team, your last sentence was the most important, out of everything you have just wrote down for us all, mate.

I heard Kenny Dalglish was in hospital on Wednesday, then because it wasn't in any news outlets, I thought it was fake news, but it's not, and he's not in a good way is what I've just heard.

I will pray for him, and hope he overcomes this horrible virus, which is getting closer to home by the day, with my biggest concern still being about the lack of testing, the only real way in which we are going to overcome something we know very little about.

Football might return a better game, less acceptance of cheating would do for me, but I just pray we are all around to witness it, and as Paul the Esk has just told us, stay safe everyone!

Brian Williams
5 Posted 10/04/2020 at 22:24:42
Tony. I've heard the opposite mate and that Dalglish is fine with no symptoms of the virus. Let's hope he's okay either way.
Robert Tressell
6 Posted 10/04/2020 at 22:25:06
Hopefully the stadium does go ahead because it will create a lot of jobs now and into the future. Quite how it gets funded, I'm not sure... but expect it will. Ever the optimist.

With wages, transfer fees, ticket prices etc, I'm hopeful also that the bubble has burst. The concentration of wealth has removed the element of competition and detached clubs from their communities.

There could be a few really bizarre transfer windows, club insolvencies etc on the cards. No idea what our playing staff will look like in a year from now.

Patrick McFarlane
7 Posted 10/04/2020 at 23:54:54
It could be an abyss for football as it has operated for the last couple of decades, mind you most corporations have followed the same model, fleece the customer wherever and whenever you can get away with it, pay huge dividends to those employees who generate the greatest amount of wealth and borrow huge amounts to maintain high levels of debt to save paying tax, it goes against what many would consider to be prudent housekeeping but for a chosen few it has been a magic money tree.

There will be massive opportunities for those with the wealth to take advantage of it – not an advert for Jacob Rees-Mogg's Investment company, by the way – it's a fact of life, just like there was in 2008 and probably in the wake of the depression of 1929.

Unfortunately the ordinary folk including those who are currently being applauded for their heroic deeds are likely to face a very uncertain future and an even more competitive market place to ply their trade, despite that harsher environment, people will still want to be entertained and distracted therefore football may maintain or even increase its popularity and it'll still be eleven against eleven although not every player on the park will be an aspiring multi-millionaire.

Firstly we and the clubs have to survive this terrible virus which is devastating communities all over the world and what follows is anybody's guess, it won't be exactly the same as it was, but it won't change a great deal either not for those who have the wealth and power to ride out the storm and influence the future.

Don Alexander
8 Posted 10/04/2020 at 00:00:22
Following Mr Tressel, above as I write, I hope, indeed pray, that the virus brings a mass revolt against the gross salaries currently paid by all clubs to their players.

Derek Thomas
9 Posted 11/04/2020 at 02:10:13
West Ham's owners have just announced they will inject £30M into the club. All big money staff and players will take 30% pay cut – costs cut, and cash injected.

DBB, in her poor attempt at a feelgood / saccharine up-date (Who writes that shight for her?), says 'we will do the right thing' on refunds for unplayed matches – costs potentially incured, no cash saved and no cash injected.

It all may be going on behind the scenes; if so, then fairplay. But it's about perception. If the porn & dildo sellers at West Ham can do it – and be seen to do it, where does that leave us?

Danny Broderick
10 Posted 11/04/2020 at 07:08:58
To summarise:

We are going to be skint. No players coming in, and we have to slash our wage bill along with every other club.

Massive question marks now about Bramley-Moore Dock, at least the funding of it.

We are on the lookout for a shirt sponsor, we are probably not going to get the deal we were hoping for.

We are also under investigation for Usmanov's naming rights deal for Bramley-Moore Dock.

It never rains...

Eddie Dunn
11 Posted 11/04/2020 at 09:46:57
Better concentrate on developing local talent then.
Brent Stephens
12 Posted 11/04/2020 at 09:58:13
Did Bill just get lucky, having sold most of his shares?
Steve Carse
13 Posted 11/04/2020 at 10:10:14
I am somewhat cynical about the belief that the world going forward will be very different from the one we had before the virus outbreak. I seemed to have heard the same refrain during the worst years of the 2008 financial crash.

But what we quickly got then was a resumption of old banking and investing practices, complete with the granting of risky loans, the high leveraging of business takeovers, inter-company dealings that few fully understood (even the participants), absurd rewards to chief executives (even in the face of company failure) and high ratios of household debt.

If most of the monies tied up in existing big TV and sponsorship deals can somehow be secured to cover the next couple of years, then the calming of the waters thereafter and a subsequent economic recovery could yet see football – at least at the top levels – come through it all. And that is when the longstanding issues should be addressed – the reform of the game in this country.

Laurie Hartley
14 Posted 11/04/2020 at 10:24:29
Very good and informative article, Paul.

Paul makes a very valid point about broadcasters and subscriptions. Taking my own case as an example, I have a subscription with Optus Sport that gives me access to all Premier League matches. Optus are huge in this part of the world – they outbid Foxtel for the Premier League broadcasting rights a couple of years ago.

It costs me about $15 or £7.50 a month. I only subscribe to watch the football so I decided I might as well cancel my subscription for a few months. I pay monthly through my iTunes account. When I logged in to my account to cancel the April payment and subscription I found that my next payment had been deferred until 8th June.

Upon further investigation, it seems they are also providing free extra data to their internet and mobile customers. They have seen the threat.

Danny #10 – it could be worse, we could be Sunderland fans by now. I have just finished watching “Sunderland t'il I die” on Netflix. Well worth watching – it made me realise how lucky we have been having Moshiri as our owner.

He has got nerve, our Mr Moshiri – he has certainly proved that to me. My view is that he will be one of the ones Patrick Mc talks about in the aftermath of this crisis in post #7.

In the meantime, I feel it is important for us older geezers and gals to stay positive because, with no foreseeable end to the restrictions in sight, it could cause despondency to set in – a very dangerous condition.

Setting ourselves some target to aim for is a good thing – one of mine is to buy Dave Abrahams that couple of pints I promised him on the day of the opening match at the MegaFon Stadium.

Stay safe people.

Jay Wood

15 Posted 11/04/2020 at 14:20:54
Ever the optimist, I am going to offer a more upbeat view to Paul's (as ever, excellent) post and some respondents.

On the cash flow and reserves (hah!) the club's hold, I agree with Paul. It smacks of the dodgy practices of the sub-prime mortgage industry that led to the 2008 global financial crash. It's unsustainable, as this single crisis has exposed.

It should lead to an adjustment in practices and cost reduction, primarily in player transfer fees and salaries which consumes the greater part of all clubs' income.

That potentially means, focusing solely on Everton, that we could benefit from a buyers' market. There will still be no value in premium players on longer contracts as they have no incentive to move and accept a lower salary.

Take the example of a player we have long been linked to, Everton Soares at Gremio. This week, the club president made an open pitch to sell the player, whilst also acknowledging the market value has shifted.

To paraphrase, he said the player has an $80 million release clause, but the president knows he can't get that and is open to negotiation.

But it's not even that 'proven potential' of player Everton should be looking at IMO. They really need to look at two types of players.

1) proven quality, no older than mid-20s, in the final year of their existing contract. There could be bargains here.

2) the diamonds-in-the-rough which could be picked up for (relatively speaking) 'pennies'.

Players will still be traded. As Paul himself says, for the majority of clubs, besides the monies received from media contracts, player sales are a vital source of income.

I'm even more upbeat about the new stadium build.

Again, from an Everton perspective, harsh as this may read, but a consequence of Covid-19 is a screeching handbrake on most industries leading to potentially high unemployment.

The UK government, post-Brexit, post-Covid-19, will be desperate to kick-start the economy and employment levels.

A project such as BMD – just the build itself – will provide 100s of jobs as well as support local suppliers and small to medium-sized companies. That is without taking into account the long-term goal and consequences of seeing the entire length of the docklands back to the city centre also being more rapidly developed than it has been to date under Peel Holdings.

There will be less resistance in granting planning permission as both local and central government need 'big build' projects such as BMD.

Throw in to the equation that, as a result of this crisis, the cost of essential construction materials like steel are at a 3 year low, oil is at a 5 year low. It's a 'cheap' time to build.

Interest rates on loans are virtually zero. The banks also need money. And I am confident that, in this climate, the savvy corporate accountant that Moshiri is will take full advantage of this.

If anything is at risk, I would guess the Everton legacy project in L4 is the one more likely to be 'put on hold' until a more favourable and stable time. That is where Everton's 'cost-cutting' is likely to impact hardest.

Overall then, I take a rosier view of how this might all impact on Everton.

Jay Wood

16 Posted 11/04/2020 at 14:44:45
I forgot another important aspect of Paul's opening post: TV subscription rates.

All savvy businesses know it costs you more to gain a first time customer than it does to retain – and continue selling to – an existing customer.

Therefore, as Laurie points out when considering cancelling his own Ozzie subscription, he found they had already suspended payments for existing customers for 3 months. They are desperate to retain such customers now rather than expend more in the future to tempt them back or replace them with new customers.

Add to that, what have many turned to for entertainment in lock-down? Subscription TV, be it for replays of classic sport events, films, TV series, documentaries, whatever. It has been an essential antidote to social isolation. Indeed, people may have discovered channels and interests they weren't previously aware of as most stick to 3-4 tried and trusted channels.

I can appreciate, for some experiencing financial difficulties, subscription TV may be considered a 'luxury' that could be cut from a tight budget. But for many more it has now become a 'must have' feature, packaged as it often is with your internet and telephone services.

Yes, such media may take a short-term hit in reduced subscriptions and advertising revenue, but I fancy both will recover quickly once things get back to normal. I don't see this as big a hit as Paul suggests it might prove.

I see this as a good opportunity for the consumer. I counsel all to have a chat with your own service to see if you can secure an improved deal on your existing subscription. For sure, they will try to retain you, rather than lose you.

Going forward, however, all media outlets may in future be a bit more circumspect in their bids for broadcasting rights paid to such as the Premier League for live match broadcasts, with greater safeguards should sport – life! – be suspended again as it now has.

Dale Rose
17 Posted 11/04/2020 at 15:41:38
Very interesting indeed. Paul, whenever I read your forensically clever articles, it reminds me of when banks were open and you had a bank manager, you'd put your cap and sunglasses on when you walked past, at certain times of the month, so no-one could see you.

Jesting apart, I've always said football would eat itself. I don't know how it's got away with it for so long. As much as I love it, the money now involved has become an utter obscenity. There will be vast change throughout the world after this, whether it be for the good or bad of everyone.

Peter Neilson
18 Posted 11/04/2020 at 16:28:43
Laurie (14), I've also just finished the second series of 'Sunderland Til I Die'. Very sad disintegration of a club. I thought the second series concentrated a bit more on the supporters and was better for it.

Ellis Short owned Sunderland for nearly 10 years so maybe too early to judge Moshiri, although financially he's doing the right thing at the moment. Regardless, the economics of football are barking mad and maybe this massive scare will adjust the sport. Maybe.

Kieran Kinsella
19 Posted 11/04/2020 at 19:00:52
The good news is that football can afford to cut the cloth. Every club is in the same boat. Young players going forward may not sign deals making them instant millionaires at 18. But they'll still be highly compensated.

As recently as the 2000s, I read some of Shearer's first-team compadres were on £500 a week. Now once you appear in the first team, £25k per week seems to be the norm. So, if that becomes £15k, £10k or even £2k, it sure beats the hell out of most entry-level jobs.

So I don't really see this as sobering it's more of an overdue realignment. Sobering are the prospects for everyone outside of football but less money in the game is actually good on a societal level.

Tony Shelby
20 Posted 11/04/2020 at 19:58:44
God, I wish there was some sport in TV!

This spoof article sums it up for me:


Denny Kerr
21 Posted 12/04/2020 at 02:59:34
Jay, #15, 16,

Nice comments, and I agree with you, especially with regard to the stadium build.

There's no doubt the world will be a different place when we come out of this, football included, but people and the corporate world are resilient, and I'm of the mindset that there will be an economic boom once this plays out.

Projects like BMD are the catalyst to economic recovery, and I too think Everton will be encouraged by all parties to go ahead quickly with the build.

There are going to be winners and losers over this pandemic, with highly paid professionals of all sports being the probable losers, and maybe the stadium project coming in at just the right moment, for Everton to be a winner.

Wouldn't that be a nice change?

Mike Kehoe
22 Posted 13/04/2020 at 10:00:43
I would like think the government would adopt a Keynesian approach and look to invest in schemes such as Bramley-Moore Dock to invigorate the economy but history strongly suggests otherwise: socialism is mostly the preserve of the elites nowadays. In the wake of the global financial catastrophe of 2008, it was austerity that the Tories inflicted and lots of tremendously wealthy people enhanced their portfolios no end, with poverty levels and associated suffering the only area of growth.

Coronavirus could be an opportunity for a radical shift in the philosophy of society away from greed and individuality towards developing genuine communal wellbeing: but it won't. The NHS will be further privatised and any new stadium will be funded only by the club.

Tony Abrahams
23 Posted 13/04/2020 at 10:40:28
I was a bit morbid the other night, I’m glad Brian was right, and Dalglish was improving, but back to the football, and I was wondering how something like this might affect Man Utd, and the Glaziers, once everything settles down?

I’m hoping for better things for Everton, especially because our owners, are invested in a regeneration scheme, that is probably going to become the biggest in the country.

Let’s hope so, because Liverpool’s yanks ran straight to the Tories for help, (I know they listened to the best fans in the world in the end!) whilst Everton’s owners went straight to Russia, and donated £26 million, to help in this fight against Coronavirus.

Alan J Thompson
24 Posted 13/04/2020 at 10:49:46
Denny(#21); Professional sportspeople will only lose if the TV companies pullout which may mean they look at showing "lesser" (read cheaper TV rights) sports. Smaller football clubs won't have the pulling power to make great profits from their own broadcasts and it could mean individual pay packets at the highest level of only 10-20K per week. Makes your heart bleed, doesn't it.
Thomas Lennon
25 Posted 13/04/2020 at 17:02:46
Football business and money are irrelevant at the moment, but before too long, no doubt, they will raise their ugly heads once again.

I can only see short-term cashflow problems and problems caused by the capitalist system which the system will sort out for itself. Demand for goods and services isn't going to disappear so business will recover.

Every country is badly hit so the global economy will no doubt take steps to restore normality. Why will the world be different?

We know how to control the spread and number of cases of this virus, the majority of people who are at severe risk are not those who the economy depends on, the rate of increase of medical understanding is phenomenal. Give it a year or two and this virus will be normalised into our behaviour. The economies of the world will be getting back up to speed by the end of the year at the latest.

Insofar as the Premier League is concerned, there might be a relatively small hit if no further games are played this season – about 10% of that last deal or so? Worst case is that players will have to take smaller salaries – so what? Clubs will pay a bit less for transfers? So what? It will self-regulate.

Are people going to lose interest in high-quality sport? No. How many will stretch budgets to the extreme to afford it? Most of them already do.

This is the perfect excuse to cut costs.

Interestingly, the pariah following the global recession in 2009 we were led to believe were public services; consequently, the UK government – backed by many millions of their voters on three occasions, were able to push down hard on their costs.

NHS workers – the ones many now owe their lives to – were portrayed as stealing a living from the public purse and a 20% reduction in the pay of most was implemented over the next 10 years.

The private sector was our saviour apparently, the new key workers worked for banks. This global recession is looking like the polar opposite with big business, banks and their investment arms proclaiming the end of the world is nigh. It isn't.

Of course, the Brexit deal is going to look different too. More cooperation, less posturing perhaps?

Ironically many of all political colours have just spent 3 years attacking immigration. Take a look at the list of NHS front line workers who have lost their lives, including retired GPs who volunteered to go back. The majority have names that suggest immigrant origins, many of whom are the best of us. The REAL key workers.

Tony Abrahams
26 Posted 13/04/2020 at 17:47:02
Squashed a lot into that very eloquent post, Thomas, but how long will it be before the real key workers are forgotten about?
Steve Carse
27 Posted 13/04/2020 at 19:08:00
Thomas (25), I can't remember doctors and nurses being portrayed as 'stealing a living'; nor do I recall 20% wage cuts in the NHS over a decade. Otherwise I'm on board with much of what you say.
Tony Abrahams
28 Posted 13/04/2020 at 19:16:56
Maybe the wages never went up in line with inflation?
Martin Nicholls
29 Posted 13/04/2020 at 19:17:35
Steve #27 – does not consistently holding pay increases below the rate of inflation constitute a wage cut in real terms? I'm sure that's what Thomas means and no doubt he could explain his 20% figure.

As to "stealing a living", was that not what the whole of the public sector was portrayed as doing?

Christine Foster
30 Posted 13/04/2020 at 21:11:29
For the forseeable future, the whole world will contract. All trade, employment, revenue and expectations will drop like a brick. Globalisation as we knew it will disappear as fast as the companies who relied on it. That includes football. Some great and we'll known clubs in every league are going to disappear for good as the money dries up. I suspect we may only have 3 smaller divisions in the next 3 years.

So what? I love my club, but I love my family more. Right now, my club is a luxury that has slipped down my personal rankings of 'need to have'. No-one is insulated from the situation we find ourselves in. Wherever the club, or football ends up, so be it.. it will rebuild, but not on my back, that will be for future generations as we focus our time, money and hope on keeping those near and dear to us alive. We can speculate how it will all come out in the wash but, with no money coming in, there will be fewer clubs, less well-paid players, and more less-skilled local ones playing in the leagues.

This pandemic will roll on globally for years or until a vaccine is found. It's not a one-off hit where it's gone once it stops. This is a killer without a cure (as yet).

So we are not going to return to normal anytime soon, a new normal will replace it. No more international holidays for a few years at best, no tours, no foreign players and no Brexit. Not even this half baked self-indulgent excuse for a government can justify the continuation of a policy that was going to significantly impact our economy could contemplate continuing in the midst of a post-pandemic crisis that won't be "post" for a few years yet.

This is not a time for politics, but leadership, those who make money from the misery should be seen as what they are. This is not doom and gloom, we are way past that.. .The ineptitude of the government has caused more than and end to Sky football, it's life, but not as we know it Jim. Beam me up, Scottie.

Christine Foster
31 Posted 13/04/2020 at 21:12:24
Sigh... that's my 5 bob rant for the day..
Dave Abrahams
32 Posted 13/04/2020 at 22:22:45
Christine (30), between your view on the future and Thomas's at #25, I haven't got a clue who is going to be proved right but I'm hoping Thomas will prove his view of the future will turn out to be the correct one.

Hope you have settled a bit into your new life in New Zealand, good luck and good health for the future.

Christine Foster
33 Posted 13/04/2020 at 22:35:37
Dave, Thanks for the good wishes and yes, in isolation in New Zealand, having spent two weeks in isolation in Brisbane on the way over, leaving behind my family of sisters, a son and his family and lots of extended ones, some in the front line NHS, god bless them. I am sad to leave but, with 3 on my children already over here, it makes sense even to this befuddled geriatric.

As for the future, I hope Thomas is right, because we all have to hope but I listen to the news and look at the day-to-day reality and they always seem to be not uniform. Some people's idea of social distancing is not to chat to the person next to you. PPE is a bin bag, while the government is a one-trick pony called Brexit. They just fell off that horse, ah well...

Dave, take real good care of yourself, same for everyone on ToffeeWeb no matter where you are, be safe, be careful, God bless each and every one of you.

Tony Hill
34 Posted 14/04/2020 at 00:34:18
Businesses are failing already and will fail in much greater numbers, I am afraid. The problem is not with the demand for goods and services, it is with their supply. You cannot simply freeze an economy and expect it to bounce back.

I'm all in favour of a thriving public sector but the cash has to come from somewhere and that's what's worrying me. Some ingenuity and big imagination are going to be required but god knows what form that's going to take.

If it's not very careful, Europe generally is going to fall behind, and badly so.

Steve Oshaugh
35 Posted 14/04/2020 at 01:00:04
Christine (33)... welcome to New Zealand. You'll find a few more Toffees here than you might have thought... and a better Prime Minster! :)
Derek Thomas
36 Posted 14/04/2020 at 01:53:56
Tony @ 26; how long, you ask, for today's 'frontline heroes'? - not very long is usually the answer. It's nothing new; somebody spotted that same discrepancy in 1890 about the treatment of those 'On the frontline':

I went into a public 'ouse to get a pint o'beer,
The publican 'e up an' sez, ''We serve no red-coats here.''
The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:

O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' ''Tommy, go away'';
But it's ''Thank you, Mister Atkins,'' when the band begins to play,
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it's ''Thank you, Mr. Atkins,'' when the band begins to play.

I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music 'alls,
But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls!

For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' ''Tommy, wait outside'';
But it's ''Special train for Atkins'' when the trooper's on the tide,
The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide,
O it's ''Special train for Atkins'' when the trooper's on the tide.

Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap;
An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.

Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' ''Tommy how's yer soul?''
But it's ''Thin red line of 'eroes'' when the drums begin to roll,
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it's ''Thin red line of 'eroes'' when the drums begin to roll.

We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints:
Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;

While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an ''Tommy, fall be'ind,''
But it's ''Please to walk in front, sir,'' when there's trouble in the wind,
There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
O it's ''Please to walk in front, sir,'' when there's trouble in the wind.

You talk o' better food for us, an'schools, an' fires an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.

For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' ''Chuck him out, the brute!''
But it's ''Saviour of 'is country,'' when the guns begin to shoot;
Yes it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
But Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool--you bet that Tommy sees!

Nothing changes.

Darren Hind
37 Posted 14/04/2020 at 09:07:50
That's brilliant, Derek.
Tony Abrahams
38 Posted 14/04/2020 at 09:11:48
How can it, Derek, when people can't even see that austerity has reduced the wages of nearly everyone? You don't have to take money out of someone's pay-packet, to take money off them, just use austerity measures instead!

This website is the perfect example, because Thomas's and Christine's posts couldn't be more different, and if I had to guess, I'd say these two people would have quite a bit in common, and just different views on the subject?

But you know what it's like when people have different views and nothing in common, that's always been the biggest problem and definitely creates even bigger problems, when “we're in it together” is nothing more than an absolutely condescending phrase.

Tony Abrahams
39 Posted 14/04/2020 at 09:27:42
Where are you going to live in New Zealand, Christine? Isolation must be hard, but I'm sure it will be worth it in the end because it's a beautiful country and the Kiwis aren't bad either, people without “airs and graces” – just like your good self!

So good luck with your future, Christine, in a very peaceful part of the world!

Tony Hill
40 Posted 14/04/2020 at 09:35:32
I'd like to add to my comment @34 that a big part of the solution lies with the banks, of course. They were bailed out by their ordinary customers in 2008 and it's time they returned the favour with proper lending which is directed to the public good rather than their own greed.

That's where a large part of the burden should lie, as Thomas notes @25, not on the poor and on the honest owners of small and medium-sized businesses.

All of that is going to need political will on a global scale. I'm not holding my breath.

Tony Abrahams
41 Posted 14/04/2020 at 09:47:34
Exactly, Tony, none of us are holding our breath mate, (although I'm taking deep breaths and holding it every hour, just to keep filling my lungs with air!). But without help from these banks, then staying at home to defeat Covid-19 will actually just be the calm before the storm!
Dave Abrahams
42 Posted 14/04/2020 at 09:52:47
Christine (33), thanks for your reply. I hope your full isolation is over and you can start your new life with your family and settle into many happy years ahead.

By the way, Christine, if you are a befuddled geriatric, I don't know what that makes me! When I see your name on ToffeeWeb, I always think of the Wedding House just off Titbarne Street. I had some great nights in there, a great pub with great people creating a great atmosphere, which you of course know because your parents ran the pub.

See you in the new ground when you come over on a pilgrimage to see the Blues!!

Mike Benjamin
43 Posted 14/04/2020 at 10:41:33
There is little doubt that football in the short- (perhaps even medium-) term is in deep trouble. The irony is that, with the Premier League, it may be the top clubs who are most at risk. If games cannot be played at all or done so behind closed doors, then the matchday income will disappear or at best be minimal. The Red Shite, Arsenal, Man Utd, Spurs who have already spent millions on their grounds to maximise matchday income, are left with empty stadiums.

Even if next season goes ahead, it is hard to see European competitions going ahead with Covid-19 going backwards and forwards through European countries. Given that all those clubs I mentioned previously budget for Champions League, or at worst Europa League, then that will again be a significant portion of their income lost. In addition, Spurs were also going to benefit from American Football with the income built into their stadium funding model, which combined with the other potential loss of income, could provide a doomsday scenario for them in covering debt repayments.

In summary, it could be that that the current ‘big clubs' in the Premier League will be proportionately affected more financially than the rest. However, unless a compromise can be worked out covering the TV deals, then the whole pack of cards may come tumbling down, for EVERY CLUB.

Chris Williams
44 Posted 14/04/2020 at 10:42:43
I've left commenting on the pandemic alone for a good while now, because this is still a football forum and partly because of some of the reactions.

However, I'd like to add a bit to some of the comments above.

In terms of NHS workers and all public workers, all pay rises from the moment Osborne got his hands on the economy were limited to between 0 and 1%, from memory. This persisted for a fair few years and was only relaxed relatively recently. So 20% over getting on for 10 years, compounded is probably not too far out.

35 NHS workers have now died, according to the Mirror today in a powerful front page, and that is probably understated.

ONS has just released figures up to 3rd April which show that the headline mortality figures were understated by a fair bit, maybe 15%, once you take deaths outside hospital into account, and that is also probably understated.

PPE shortages were put into perspective by a surgeon yesterday. He said that for an operation, he wears 6 pieces of PPE, as do the other 5 people in his team. So 36 pieces of PPE for one operation!

The true horror of what is happening in Care Homes is only just now becoming apparent.

In terms of the economy, one ‘expert' on Sky News, has just said that it is not a choice between the economy or effectively death. His view was that evidence from the 1918-19 pandemic in the USA indicates that those major cities which were far more cautious in opening up again afterwards, recovered economically more quickly afterwards. I've not seen the evidence so can't comment, but it's not something I've heard said before.

I'm not sure this will be of interest to the columnists currently writing their articles in ‘the usual suspects'. That drumbeat is getting louder. So if you're looking for signs of behavioural change, don't look there!

The lockdown is starting to relax in Spain, from a far more severe lockdown than here, and construction and manufacturing are amongst those to begin with, as long as distancing rules are observed. Remember when we looked at Spanish deaths with horror. Not now perhaps.

When we eventually go down that route, we will see what happens, but we already know from Imperial College that, with every relaxation, there is the risk of another spike in infections. The key will be whether that is deemed manageable by the NHS, I suppose. It's hard not to feel like being part of an experiment.

I agree with Christine's view that there is no exit plan from this, other than a vaccine in industrial quantities and proper testing and contact tracing. If you relax the lockdown, it's likely to comeback. Then another lockdown, then a relaxation and so on.

And so it goes.

Not sure where that leaves football.

Kunal Desai
45 Posted 14/04/2020 at 10:46:35
I expect to see, when this is all over, and long overdue, a reform in the salary structure for players. Long gone will be the days when the likes of Schneiderlin and Sigurdsson pick up £100k a week. The sooner the Premier League bring in a salary cap, the better.
Tony Abrahams
46 Posted 14/04/2020 at 11:07:28
In simplistic terms, it sounds like a game of “snakes n ladders” Chris, but listen to Bill Gates, who says that these pandemics might happen more regularly, simply because air-travel has become such a major part of our everyday lives, and is surely also the reason why this virus has spread so rapidly.

It's hard, our family lost a dear girl, without much family of her own yesterday, and it was probably brought on by the restitutions, which have badly affected her mental health, so this virus is claiming a lot more lives than those just affected by Covid-19.

You could also argue that we haven't even been properly locked down, but life can't just stop it seems, life has to keep on moving, it's how the western world is designed.

I was just starting to feel better and Kunal reminded me that Schneiderlin is on over £100,000 per week. Un-fucking-believable!!!

Chris Williams
47 Posted 14/04/2020 at 11:09:58

Very sorry to hear about your family loss. Condolences to all of you.


Patrick McFarlane
48 Posted 14/04/2020 at 11:11:15
I'm unsure if the players will take a hit on their salaries as, according to a report I read earlier today, the other lot in their bid to try and sign Mbappe will sell one player for £150M which will allow them to make a £250M bid for the much-sought-after French forward.

However, the wages required to get him to sign would normally prove prohibitive in terms of the club's wage structure, but apparently, according to the report, Nike would step in and help with his wages... I wonder if this will be investigated by the various footballing authorities?

I can't see this particular signing happening but I can see sponsors playing a greater part in supporting clubs indirectly, so that the gravy train cartel can continue as per normal.

Andy Crooks
49 Posted 14/04/2020 at 11:17:30
So sorry to hear that, Tony.
Tony Abrahams
50 Posted 14/04/2020 at 11:21:25
Sad Chris, she was vulnerable, and in-care, but the lockdown seems to have affected her badly, and she had a seizure from which she never recovered.

It will affect my mum, because she never got to take her her Easter presents, something she'd done since she met her as a little girl. And every death is so sad, mate, even if we believe that it's taking them to a better place. Thanks mate!

Brent Stephens
51 Posted 14/04/2020 at 11:28:50
Tony, my condolences as well. Keep safe.
Tony Abrahams
52 Posted 14/04/2020 at 11:33:49
Some of the lunatics who write for the press should be sectioned at the minute, some of the absolute bollocks they are coming out with, Patrick.

It shows they are wrapped in one big bubble, one which they've actually helped to create, and even now in these bad times, some of them prefer to keep their heads in the clouds, and should therefore never be taken seriously again!

Thanks, Andy, she loved Dave, and since her mum died, I think he's the only person who ever got anything off Vicky. Everyone else used to do the work, but he never even had to get out of his chair, such is love!

Chris Williams
53 Posted 14/04/2020 at 11:37:50

That story makes it all the sadder, mate. It's very hard, Tony.

Keep safe please.

Brian Harrison
54 Posted 14/04/2020 at 11:42:20
I read today that a professor of vaccinology, Sarah Gilbert from Oxford University, has said she is 80% confident that a vaccine being worked on by her team will be ready by this Autumn. Obviously they will carry out many trials before releasing it to the general public.

I also read that doctors in Wuhan were the outbreak occurred have said they found using a variant of an HIV drug had helped a lot. I am sure that, with the world's greatest brains working together to find a vaccine, it will happen at a quicker rate than would normally happen. The scientists will be the ones who unlock the key to finding the answer to this horrible virus.

To think Bill Gates 5 years ago gave a talk saying the biggest threat to the world was not nuclear but a pandemic. He said, if countries don't prepare for this properly, it could be devastating — how right he was.

Obviously countries in the Far East have had to deal with Sars and Mers in the last few years, so not surprisingly, those countries were better prepared than the Western countries who weren't exposed to Sars and Mers. Hence why the death rates were much lower in the Far East than in Europe and the USA.

Our government refused to take heed and our Prime Minister went on television and said on This Morning programme some months ago that there may be a case for allowing the country to catch the virus and therefore develop a collective immunity to the virus. Yes, that seems to have worked out well, Boris.

I think many will have forgotten one of the first daily press conferences the chief scientific officer Patrick Vallance said if we can keep the deaths to under 20,000 we will have done well. I guess his modelling was pretty precise as that looks to be around the number who may die in the coming weeks and months.

A pity our politicians couldn't be so truthful when answering questions over death rates for care workers and people who didn't make it to hospital but died from Coronavirus. I read yesterday that there had been 86 new cases in China and most arrived on a flight from Russia. So how come at the daily press conference nobody has asked why we are not testing people coming into the country? Yesterday, there were 8 flights into Heathrow from Los Angeles — all unchecked and allowed out into the community.

Christine Foster
55 Posted 14/04/2020 at 12:03:29
Tony & Dave, thanks for the warm words, my apologies for the delay in replying – being at the other end of the world time-wise is a challenge!

Currently sitting in lockdown in Nelson at the top of the south island, lovely place and the people are great. Having said that, I haven't seen many as yet!

The Wedding House was a great pub, much frequented by the staff of BR from Exchange Station and students from the Poly... by night it was fun and laughter in the snug with Bob Ramsey and Peter McGovern (In My Liverpool Home) who used to work for BR, and whose granddaughter Allison is labour MP for New Ferry.

I remember Peter coming in for lunch in the Wedding House when we had a new contraption my father (Chris Foster) had bought, an infra-red sandwich toaster. You had to put the sandwich in a plastic bag while it toasted the sandwich, or cremated it... that and a half of Guinness or Mild depending on the money he had. Lovely man, great days... Barney Riley, Mick Keating... so many others... makes me smile.

I had a ticket for the derby... it was to be my last present to myself to sit in Goodison one last time. I guess it will have to wait!

Christine Foster
56 Posted 14/04/2020 at 12:08:57
Tony, sorry to hear of your loss, it brings it all home. I lost an Aunt this week, Mary (Foster) Freeman sadly, although advanced in years and in poor health, it's probably the virus was the last straw.

Stay safe and well, Tony.

Christine Foster
57 Posted 14/04/2020 at 12:14:09
Just as an aside, to give you some idea as to what impact the virus has had, against what we are being told, the weekly mortality for the week ending 3rd April (just a week) was 16,387... that's 6,082 more than the five-year average for that very week each year. Emphasis – THAT WEEK. A true representation of the impact.
Christine Foster
58 Posted 14/04/2020 at 12:17:18
47% of all deaths registered in London last week were from Covid-19. — Office of National Statistics.
Christine Foster
59 Posted 14/04/2020 at 12:24:10
Steve Carse
60 Posted 14/04/2020 at 14:11:55
Not of much concern for anyone who has lost a loved one (and my condolences go out to Tony, Christine, and no doubt others amongst the TW readership) and I raise it only as to how it relates to the timetable of football's resumption here, but technically the 47% figure quoted by Christine is of deaths where the virus was recorded as one of the ailments affecting the deceased; in the language now deployed, the victims were 'with the virus', often as Christine says the virus being a final straw in a struggle for life.

In countries including Germany, classification of the cause of death is more related to what was deemed to be the principal factor, a reason why Germany's virus death figures are so much lower than our own. The second reason is of course the extent of their testing, which has given the authorities there far more critical data on which to judge the numbers likely infected and the stage the infection is at. As a result, we now hear that the game in Germany is to resume in just 3 weeks time. I'd be amazed if resumption in England turns out to be anything less than 10 weeks away.

Michael Lynch
61 Posted 14/04/2020 at 14:48:24
Steve @60, is it official that German football will resume? I thought it was still being discussed.

Reports are also saying that Italian football may be played behind closed doors until 2021. I know it's not the most important thing right now, but that's a depressing thought.

Goodison may be a bit of a shit-hole, to be fair, but it's our shit-hole and I miss it.

Jay Wood

62 Posted 14/04/2020 at 15:23:57
Tony and Dave, really sorry to hear of your loss. It is a sad example of how Covid-19 is claiming victims indirectly, even though they may not have caught the virus itself.

In no country will we ever know the true numbers, of cases, fatalies, 'secondary deaths' such as this provoked by Covid-19. For sure, they are much larger than 'official' numbers.

On the question of NHS staff salaries, as others point out an effective wage freeze has seen the value of their salaries shink versus inflation.

There is a post doing the rounds on social media at the moment listing all the MPs who voted AGAINST a wage rise for nurses in 2017. The list includes exclusively two parties: the Tories and their bedmates for the last few years, DUP.

And on winning the vote, they all laughed and cheered.

Included on the list are, of course, the current Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Health Secretary Matt Hancock, both of whom contracted Covid-19, with Bobo Boris in ICU for a week.

With Boris recovering his girlfriend Carrie Symonds said 'Boris is deeply grateful to all the NHS staff and will never be able to fully repay them.'

Erhm...he's the PM, love. He more than anyone in the country CAN repay them - and continue paying them - what they are worth to society.

Dave Abrahams
63 Posted 14/04/2020 at 15:31:45
Christine (55), don’t worry about the late reply, we’re not going anywhere for a while yet, loved the Wedding House, always lively and that end of town was very much part of life then, it’s a lot quieter now in relation to the dozens of real characters that frequented the area then, just seemed happy and livelier than now, but maybe life always looks rosier when you look back.

Thanks for your sympathy regarding Vicky ( Victoria Plum) she wasn’t a blood relation but loved by all of us as though she was. I always thought of her as one of God’s special people, because there must be a Heaven and a lovely happy after life for people like Vicky, she will be well missed.

Patrick McFarlane
64 Posted 14/04/2020 at 17:02:46
Jay #62,

Indeed you are correct many of today's sitting MPs did whoop and holler at the 'victory' they achieved on the public sector pay cap vote in June 2017.

Polly Toynbee's article makes interesting reading but her predictions fell down and obviously the Tory strategists must have gotten it right.

I see that many of the same group are already beginning to signal that 'things will be tight' in the coming years and that 'we can't save every job or business' alongside various other 'talking heads' calling for the pensioners – at least those that survive the pandemic – to prepare themselves for a reduction in their pensions and for those near pensionable age to prepare to work a few extra years before receiving their state pension. Times may change but attitudes and agendas seldom do.

Applauding Public Sector Pay Cap

Steve Carse
65 Posted 14/04/2020 at 17:03:11
Michael (61), on reflection I suspect the article I'd seen last week quoting a top Bundesliga office holder was probably somewhat optimistic.

Officially the current ban ends at the end of the month and the players are back in training, but yeah, an early May resumption looks most unlikely.

Tony Abrahams
66 Posted 14/04/2020 at 17:19:09
Makes a complete mockery of the working classes voting for a landslide Tory victory, Patrick, especially because it didn't take long for the conservatives to stitch up their “DUP Saviours” because it's what they do best.
Thomas Lennon
67 Posted 14/04/2020 at 18:03:46
I, of course, have no way to see into the future but there are strong reasons to be optimistic about the economy if you look carefully.

Spanish Flu Pandemic 1918-1920 (incidentally it was nothing to do with Spain). 50 million deaths over 2 -3 years, I think I am right in saying that was 1 in 30 of the population of the world at that time which is equivalent to 250 million of us now, and these were young, economically vital souls that the economy depends on

What was the economic impact of that nightmare? If you look it up you can't find very much. I saw a review that stated that there was some impact on the individual level (no kidding!) but there was a fast recovery over 2-3 years, the impact was short-lived. Working men's wages rose as they had become less easy to find & replace.

COVID-19? It is projected that maybe a million might die (though mathematically it is possible in a worst, worst-case scenario in countries that cannot socially separate to come up with 40 million) and there are 5 times as many people in the world now, tragically the dead will be predominantly the older and sicker. We know social isolation is an effective means to control the transmission so we have the tools to hand. I can't see a huge economic impact now if there wasn't a long term problem 100 years ago.

Vaccine? Don't hold your breath. A really effective vaccine can take many years to develop and better known viral cousins of COVID are those that cause the common cold - we all know how easy it has proven to develop a vaccine for that. That said I could see a reasonable vaccine available to the most highly vulnerable in 18months - 2 years. For the rest of us, it doesn't matter so much
The last SARS outbreak was not controlled by a vaccine and there still isn't one 18 years later. More likely better treatments will emerge as most people are being killed by their own immune response and we are getting very good at adjusting that using the new biologics.

I also think there is still much to learn yet about the true number of people who have had this infection so who knows? The mortality figures may be more favourable yet.

Viruses naturally tend to run out of steam, especially as they reach larger numbers and start running out of new people to infect, so the frightening speed of spread combined with high killing potential we see now will moderate over time.

One final possibility - take a look at Australia's figures for deaths & cases. Theirs have peaked and fallen more rapidly than anywhere else. A humid warm summer may yet be our friend though of course, there may be more waves to come.

To sum up - short term pain does not look like it adds up to long term damage. But it is VITAL that we control transmission using social separation & hand washing until it is beaten. No ifs or buts.

Christine Foster
68 Posted 15/04/2020 at 07:01:26
Thomas Lennon, #67,

"To sum up – short-term pain does not look like it adds up to long-term damage."

I wish I held your views, Thomas, but frankly I think you are way off the mark on just about every point you raise.

Your reference to the Spanish flu epidemic having little long-term impact is without regard to the fact that globalisation and associated infrastructure did not exist in 1918, the interdependency economically on other countries did not exist either.

Nowdays, it's a significantly different story. Every shop, supermarket, place of work or manufacturing base depending worldwide for its product and sale. Many of those businesses will go to the wall... no income, no cash flow, in fact no business. This is not going to be a short-term problem and then back to normal... 'normal' just went south.

The Spanish Flu died out because the infection mutated to a relatively harmless form... that was after it had mutated to an even deadlier form in its second wave. The current Coronavirus has an inbuilt resilience to mutation (hardier and slower to mutate).

You seem to be accepting that the solution is herd immunity; I hope not because, at a 5% mortality rate, that means a few million here in the UK... a vaccine may be found but is probably a year away; until then, restrictions will apply.

Oh, and the virus does not appear to be impacted by seasonality either, the biggest impact on the virus is the closure of borders, prevention of air travel, lockdown. It's only a Band-Aid until a solution is found, but it's sure as heck no short-term pain.

I appreciate your positive slant but the facts are the facts... not what you hear at the government briefings...

Derek Thomas
69 Posted 15/04/2020 at 09:05:20
Thomas @67; don't pin your hopes on the weather to sort the virus. In world terms the virus got here late and... letting people walk off cruise ships unhindered notwithstanding... we saw what worked and, even though it seemed to take them an age to do what seemed obvious, in the end, they did it. Except for the older parts of Sydney and Melbourne most Australian cities are spread out.

With a population of 25M (approx), we have 6,400 cases, sadly 61 deaths. With 20% of those maybe returning-cruiseship related. The earlier and longer you restrict people's movement – plus space and social distancing – seem to be the key.

How it will all end is anybody's guess.

Paul Birmingham
70 Posted 15/04/2020 at 09:14:24
Tony, deepest condolences at this very sad time for the Family.

All stay safe and well, if the world works together, we can prevail, but the battle with Covid-19 is in its early days and, until a proper vaccine is found, I don't see how this will disappear soon.

The football media companies, if the press rumours are true, wanting to play out this season behind closed doors to ensure financial compliance with their contracts, are morally and ethically wrong.

Without people, there won't be any economy. Health and Safety is the most important aspect of any job, and we are all personally responsible for our own.

How could the government permit this? Life and sport as part of life won't be the same again and there needs to be a lot more genuine humility from sport than has been shown so far.

Football clubs being shamed into changing their stance on furloughing, says it all. Everton at least was genuine and acted right straight away.

Makes me sick, and makes me think about the morals and ethics of football authorities.

All stay safe and well.

Brian Wilkinson
71 Posted 16/04/2020 at 01:00:54
Patrick @64, I was reading about how close Labour were to winning the 2017 Election, a lot of Labour back benchers had a WhatsApp group, wanting Labour to lose, so that they can try to change leadership.

They stayed indoors instead of going out canvassing and when the polls on the Day showed Labour closing, a lot of the Labour in the group were saying it could be a long and unpleasant night.

They are pushing to have them released to the Labour Party and the general public.

The Labour Party should hunt every single one of them down and have them removed from the Party.

On a final note, two Parties, One campaigning Day after Day about the National health, the other with a four-word response: Let's get Brexit done.

Shame on any a Labour voter who danced with the enemy.

Brian Wilkinson
72 Posted 16/04/2020 at 01:12:04
Tony @46, my deepest condolences to you and the family at this sad time.
Mike Gaynes
73 Posted 16/04/2020 at 03:54:23
Dave and Tony, my good friends... deepest condolences to you and the rest of the family on your loss. Peace to all.
Eric Myles
74 Posted 16/04/2020 at 05:00:22
Brian #54, a mate of mine with Covid-19 was given anti-HIV drugs to help his immune system.

Thomas #67 "A humid warm summer may yet be our friend." I wouldn't bet on it, mate. I live in Thailand where it is humid and warm all year long and we have Covid-19 here.

Paul Tran
75 Posted 16/04/2020 at 08:07:07
Tony & Dave, sorry to hear of your loss. All you can do is cherish your memories. To live in the hearts of those you loved is not to die.
Darren Hind
76 Posted 16/04/2020 at 08:58:45
Dave & Tony,

Very sorry to read of your loss.

Really sad.

Steve Carse
77 Posted 16/04/2020 at 09:02:14
Logged in this morning and picked up where I'd left off with this thread last night and read the contribution at 71. Wow, I thought I logged onto a Momentum site.

I don't know whether ToffeeWeb has real-time editors, but Brian's post has absolutely nothing to do with football.

John Cook
79 Posted 16/04/2020 at 09:10:02
Dave & Tony, my deepest sympathy. From experience, I know that everyone on this site – which is much more than a football site – will be thinking of you at this sad and difficult time. God bless.
Martin Nicholls
80 Posted 16/04/2020 at 09:30:18
Steve #78 & #79 - you're right, Brian's post #71 has nothing to do with football but neither do most of the posts in these harrowing times. His is a response to Patrick's earlier post that referenced the "whooping and hollering" that greeted the "victory" achieved in limiting public sector pay – that post in itself was a continuation of an earlier thread.

I believe that Brian's underlying message is that, had we had a more "public sector friendly government" then we might well have been better prepared for the crisis in which we find ourselves.

Robert Tressell
81 Posted 16/04/2020 at 10:03:12
Martin - Michael K and team are doing a good job of keeping the football going even while the games are off. ToffeeWeb is a much-valued distraction. So a bit like when the Gabriel Maghaeles rumour thread get hijacked by David Icke supporters, it's a shame when we get non-football / political soap-boxing on here. Partly because we come on here for the football content and partly because its quite inflammatory stuff if you don't agree.

There's loads of other websites for Ike, hard-left, hard-right etc. Sure we stray off onto tangents now and again but it's good if we can keep ToffeeWeb about what connects us – ie, Everton / football.

Chris Williams
82 Posted 16/04/2020 at 10:17:28
The latest Premier League thinking seems to be getting the season finished by 30 June, because that is when various contracts finish, players, staff etc. And changing kit suppliers. Even if this means that it's played behind closed doors, and that the whole programme of games is not completed. FIFA have apparently said such contracts can be extended beyond that date if necessary, in any case, although lawyers may take a different view.

On the ‘other' subject, the latest Imperial College modelling forecasts that, over the next week, the number of new infections will continue to drop, the number of new deaths will plateau, and that the rate of new infections caused by an infected individual is well below one person. It has been at a low level since full lockdown, falling progressively with each measure taken. How long the flawed daily figures take to reflect the situation with new deaths is anybody's guess.

Brian Harrison
83 Posted 16/04/2020 at 10:30:58
This Friday, the Premier League clubs meet again to try and come to a decision on the way forward. I suppose not unsurprisingly those clubs near a Champions League spot want the season finished no matter when. Those in the relegation fight want the season to finish now with no relegation. But how do you fit in all the FA Cup games and Champions League games and Europa League games?

Although the number of people dying in Italy and Spain are reducing and the numbers in France and the UK seems to be stabalising, there are still tens of thousands dying everyday from this virus across Europe and sadly will continue to do so for many months to come. I have been going to Goodison for over 65 years and until there is a vaccine to reduce the impact or a vaccine to stop you getting the virus, I won't step into Goodison till that happens.

So let's say they manage to finish the season and play all the games needed behind closed doors. What happens then? Do you expect fans to renew season tickets for the following season without any idea when it would be safe for fans to enter the ground?

Chris Williams
84 Posted 16/04/2020 at 10:42:32

I agree with everything you say there. Everton extended the season ticket renewal date to end May and the CEO wrote out to say that we can trust EFC to do the right thing as regards reimbursement of cancelled games etc.

But like you, and a similar age by the sound of it, it would be hard for me to go back to Goodison anytime soon in the current circumstances. That probably includes next season too, especially since any relaxations in the lockdown going forward may very well not include people of our vintage.

Brian Harrison
85 Posted 16/04/2020 at 11:00:17

Not only will people our age not want to enter a football ground until a vaccine is found, I think that will apply to most fans. So, if they finish this season behind closed doors, then I guess they are quite prepared to play all next season's games behind closed doors as seems the likely scenario.

So what happens to our season tickets? Will we still be allowed to renew our tickets for the following season when it's safe to do so?

Seeing as it's the fans that turn up in great numbers that helps particularly the Premier League be a cash cow for Sky to sell their product worldwide, I wonder whether it would be the same cash cow without us supporters there to make the atmosphere?

Mind, I remember Sir Philip Carter being interviewed when he was our chairman many years ago, and he said that clubs were not as reliant on the money from matchday going fans as they once were. Now, with massive sponsorship deals, that is even more relevant today.

So maybe they don't need our matchday money but watching behind closed door games will soon lose its appeal. Then where do these clubs go?

Chris Williams
86 Posted 16/04/2020 at 11:15:55

There was an interview on SSN in the last few months when this particular talking head said that most PL clubs could probably afford to give the match tickets away. So there is probably that school of thought floating around somewhere, particularly at Sky, BT etc. You only have to look at VAR and how the match going fan is dealt with there.

I watched an England game that was played behind closed doors because of some sort of racist incident, and it was dire, flat, such was the lack of atmosphere. A bit like reserve games used to be, when you could hear the players shouting to each other, and the coach's instructions. It just takes a bit of electronic wizardry to replace us spectators both visually and sonically to ensure the TV experience is unimpaired!

Jay Wood

87 Posted 16/04/2020 at 11:36:43
Steve @ 77 and Robert @ 81.

With respect, I don't quite understand why either of you are being a bit 'sniffy' about the content of posts currently aired on TW in these unprecedented times.

You yourself Steve in this very thread have posted 5 times. Two of those posts have made no reference to football. In the other 3 football was an afterthought to the main thrust of your post.

Robert, you lament what you consider the 'inflammatory non-football stuff' currently posted on TW. Two things here.

1) TW is inflammatory. Period. Or have you never read the tit-for-tat exchanges on football matters that feature daily on TW in normal times?

2) As already stated, these are extraordinary times we live in. I think Michael and Lyndon deserve full praise for recognizing that and allowing their online community greater freedom to chat in depth on 'non-football related matters' than perhaps would normally be the case.

I deliberately put that phrase in inverted commas because NOTHING is exempt from the impact of this pandemic. Therefore the diverse views being expressed on Covid-19 - be they political, financial, social, moral, spiritual or even fanciful - ARE relevant to football and all of us.

Personally, I have been grateful to TW in these trying times which, as well as continuing to offer some football content, has also been a source of rich information with many a quality post on a broad range of subjects, whilst also offering plenty of laughs and no little compassion.

I repeat, I think the editors are well-tuned to the times and their readership and have hit the perfect note in what they are currently permitting.

Eric Paul
88 Posted 16/04/2020 at 11:39:27
Dave and Tony, sorry to hear of your sad loss.

At the moment, I'm struggling to understand the concept of playing games behind closed doors, if it's to comply with social distancing, how can the players and coaching staff comply.

Although the players managed it against Chelsea...

Brian Harrison
89 Posted 16/04/2020 at 12:10:16

Living in Brazil, what has been the impact of the virus there? I really worry for the many thousands of people who live in the favelas. Same as large parts of India were their living conditions are very similar. The news here mainly concentrates on other European countries and of course America.

Brazil is a massive football country like here; what is the talk there about the possibility of playing games behind closed doors, or have they other plans?

Dave Brierley
90 Posted 16/04/2020 at 12:31:00
Christine @ 55,

You brought back a lot of memories to me at the mention of Pete McGovern. Pete was a good friend of mine and we regularly played at a folk club every Thursday night for years at the Catholic Met Club in Bold Street.

Special times... and you're right, he was brilliant company. Preferred not to play 'In My Liverpool Home' unless coerced by a lot of Guinness. Sad to say, he was a rabid red but in every other way a great man.

Hope all goes well for you in New Zealand.

Sorry to hear of your loss, Dave & Tony.

Bob Parrington
91 Posted 16/04/2020 at 12:32:18
Jay @15 & 16,

I know it's a long way back to these two of your posts but I agree with a lot that you have written.

One thing I think is missing (and this aspect has not helped Everton for many recent years) is the lack of real performance measures in the players' contracts. We've seen at first hand, players not performing to suitable standards but still being paid their mega salaries. In any 'normal'(???) business, there would have been clauses to get rid of non-performing employees.

How this would or could be handled is beyond my pay grade but I think it is necessary. No more room for prima donnas.

Paul Tran
92 Posted 16/04/2020 at 13:18:00
Here's an idea. Why not have audio so we can hear the referee and VAR judges? Then at least we can hear what's behind their nonsense.

It won't catch on. Accountability is badly out of fashion in UK sport & politics right now.

Ian Pilkington
93 Posted 16/04/2020 at 14:36:44
Lyndon and Michael have done an excellent job for many years running ToffeeWeb as a forum of diverse views about EFC in particular and of course the wider aspects of football.

Paul's article was, as usual, extremely well researched and thought-provoking, but unfortunately some posters on this thread, including post 71, have moved on to matters not only unrelated to football but also completely detached from reality.

Jay Wood

94 Posted 16/04/2020 at 15:11:41
Brian @ 89.

A good question and insight of Brazil, Brian.

Steve and Robert, you may want to look away now 'cos I'm going to go off on one.

I've been on triple Bozo watch since the pandemic took hold, enthralled by what jaw-dropping words or actions Bozo UK, Bozo US and Bozo BR would share with their respective nations.

Bozo UK is bottom of the pile, mainly because he has been removed from the game for a couple of weeks, but his buffonery had been evident up to then.

Bozo US continues to be all about the self and deflecting any blame on to others. Only a complete narcissist could continue to boast that he is doing a great job when his nation, on his watch, has the largest number of cases and deaths BY FAR than any other nation.

And yet neither of them come close to the obnoxious negligence of Bozo BR, Jair Bolsonaro.

To paint a quick picture of the man, his background is military, serving as a career officer rising to the rank of Captain in his 15 years. He served through the times of the Military Dictatorship and Government which, in many public statements since leaving the military, he still speaks fondly of.

Indeed, he described the Military Rule as a 'glorious' period in Brazil's history. That the 'error' of their rule was that the dictatorship 'tortured, but did not kill.'

On the latter he was 50% right. They most certainly did torture, but they also most certainly killed many whose bodies were never recovered.

He moved immediately into politics, rising all the way to the Presidency in 2018.

Before then, at the impeachment vote of sitting President Dilma in 2016, in casting his vote to impeach Bolsonaro paid homage to Colonel Brilhante Ustra and dedicated his vote to Ustra's memory. Ustra was head of the Military Government's torture unit where the impeached President Dilma herself was tortured under the dictatorship.

Pro-guns, pro-life, homophobic (look up Stephen Fry's impression of meeting him), misogynist, sexist, racist, fundamentalist, creationist Christian, portrays anything left of right of centre politically as 'communist'.

He was greatly aided in his Presidential campaign by the assaination attempt (by a proven psychopath) which meant he only campaigned by social media, rather than face the press or participate in TV debates which would have exposed his fundamentalism in everything all the more.

With regard to Covid-19, he is a denialist. His Minister of Health, Mandetta, is 3 times more popular than Bolsonaro right now, encouraging social distancing, trying to provide PPE to the frontline medical staff, rapidly building temporary hospitals to expand the number of hospital beds.

Bolsonaro describes the pandemic as a 'gripizinho', a mild flu, that 'sorry! people are going to die. But we need to man up to this. People need to work!'

Like Trump, he resents that every State governor is ordering lock-down and almost daily flaunts social distancing. He goes out to bakeries, hospitals, etc where there is a huge press of people.

He doesn't wear a mask or gloves. He takes no precautions. He lets people take selfies with arms drapped around each others shoulders. He even takes cell phones from the owner to get a better selfie for them before handing it back. Just a few days ago he actually wiped his nose on the back of his hand and then immediately - but IMMEDIATELY - without any sanitising - shook the hands of 3 people, including an old dear.

Meanwhile, in the whole of the southern hemisphere - never mind just Latin America - no other country has anywhere near the near 2000+ deaths of Brazil. That number is also waaay off as the vastness and slow bureacracy in the country means there is a two week lag in the true number.

And yet at Easter weekend, in a tele-conference with the country's religious leaders, Bozo BR shamelessly used a Biblical reference claiming that after 40 days the flu was going now.

In each successive day since then, the contrary has been the case. Each day surpasses the previous with a record number of daily deaths.

Like you Brian, I really worry for the many thousands of people who live in the favelas. Huge sprawling slums of mostly rabbit hutches perched on top of each other. Some 100,000 in number. Three generations living under one roof, sleeping 3-4 to a bed (or rather, a cheap sponge mattress thrown on the floor).

Poor sanitation and no clean running water. Ruled by drug gangs. If the virus takes hold in them, start counting the body bags in 100s if not 1000s.

And how untrustworthy is Bozo BR's government? So bad that it is the ruling drug barons in the favelas who are taking the lead and ensuring residents respect curfews and don't go out on the street unnecessarily.

It is the impoverished favelas who are arranging and paying for the hire of their own ambulance and medical team because they cannot rely on help from Federal or State government.

The likelihood is that the current Health Minister is going to get the sack, even today, as Bozo BR is livid with him going against every single dictate the Prez delivers.

The fear is he will appoint a brown-noser who, to appease Bozo BR, will comply with every demand the Prez makes of him.

This has potentially DISASTEROUS consequences for Brazil's 210 million population.

And on a personally level I'm as worried as fuck for my wife who is a surgical nurse, working in a public hospital. She is meticulous. Buying her own PPE in the absence of her workplace not having any. Doing everything possible to ensure she doesn't possibly contaminate our home on her return each day. Avoiding as much as possible contact with her 95-year-old father and 90-year-old mother.

Forgive the rant and for not answering your question on the state of Brazilian football (it's closed).

But given the above, who fucking cares about the footy?

Eric Myles
95 Posted 16/04/2020 at 15:39:14
Chris #82, of course the numbers of new infections have dropped, and the deaths have plateaued (although from what I've read, that's not the case) the country is in lockdown mode.

And what happens when lockdown is over and people interact again?

New infection numbers increase. Deaths increase.

Chris Williams
96 Posted 16/04/2020 at 16:10:16

You've just described the future, mate. The number of deaths haven't plateaued, yet, that is the forecast for the next week. Nobody knows the total deaths, only that the headline figures are massively understated.

The really scary stat is that the data from Europe strongly indicates that nearly half of the deaths there happened in care homes, not in hospitals. We may of course be different here, but time will tell.

No exit plan for this shutdown is being released by the Government and there seems to be a growing belief that this is because there may not be an exit plan as yet. Read Neal Ferguson's comments today.

So this is our future very possibly, with extended lockdowns for an unspecified but extended period, punctuated by partial relaxation and subsequent spikes in infections and deaths, hopefully manageable by the NHS, and maybe care homes, hopefully better equipped. This has been part of the advice to the government since mid March.

The lockdown may not be relaxed for the over 70s, who were among the first to be locked down, at least in the short term, but younger and economically active people will go back to work, bit by bit, more able to withstand the infection, and hopefully become immune. But no guarantees.

Then maybe a vaccine, but needed in industrial numbers, and maybe by then proper testing, and contact tracing. So quite a long way off.

And then it may yet become a regular annual occurrence.

But of course nobody really knows for sure and all the above may turn out to be total bollocks and we can all laugh and shake our heads in the future. Me included.

Tony Abrahams
97 Posted 16/04/2020 at 16:17:26
What a story, Jay, how the hell in gods name did these three crazy egomaniacs ever get to gain such great power?

I often used to think if I had an incurable illness I would do the world a favour and take people like this out, and after reading your “last post”, (something this bastard is obviously creating for so many poor Brazilian people) I genuinely fear for the humble Brazilians, right now.

Take care, everyone. tell your wife she's in my thoughts, Jay, and tell her arl fella, if we get through this, he's coming to Goodison to watch Richarlison, and hopefully someone high up in the favelas can help keep the people from your adopted country safe!

Chris Williams
98 Posted 16/04/2020 at 16:23:16

You can add the guys in Italy, Hungary and Turkey to that list mate. Gobshites all.

Tony Abrahams
99 Posted 16/04/2020 at 16:33:08
Mad Chris, I'm sure Erdogan would have been overthrown, only for Putin, is how I understand things?

I'm sure he would have been assassinated! The only way possible to overthrow someone who exudes such power, and yet his saviour was the Russian, even though he had ordered his military to shoot down a Russian jet that had strayed into their airspace just a few months earlier!

I'm not one for conspiracy, but Trump, being in power, must have been good news for Putin, although I'm not sure I understand why...

Chris Williams
100 Posted 16/04/2020 at 16:46:06

Trump being in charge would be good news for anyone who opposes USA. He's weakened NATO, EU, good news for Putin, further destabilised unstable areas like Syria, Afghanistan. Fallen out with China, You name it, he's like King Midas in reverse, turning everything he's touched into purest shite.

Of course, the photos Putin's got of Russian prossies pissing all over him may help!


Brian Harrison
101 Posted 16/04/2020 at 16:50:25

Thanks for the update, I fully endorse your last words in your post who gives a fuck about footy. I am in awe of people like your wife, putting their life on the line to look after others. Can you ever remember a time when we had so many arseholes running countries?

I hope you didn't think I was being insensitive asking about the football, only here as you know its get the season finished at all costs and I just wondered did other countries have a lot more grown-up response.

I see Captain Moore has now raised over £14 million for NHS charities, we may have arseholes as leaders but the general public bye and large are the real heroes.

Please everyone get out at 8:00pm tonight and clap and cheer for our doctors and nurses and care workers. Also, the people who are keeping the country going: supermarket workers, postmen, binmen, police and all the other brilliant people trying to keep a semblance of normality going at this time. God bless you all.

Tony Abrahams
102 Posted 16/04/2020 at 17:03:14
We don't need these idiots in charge anywhere, though, Chris, because they are just not good for humanity imo.

Just been reading about Hokkaido, a small island off Japan, who dealt with Covid successfully, but are now facing a new wave of infections, and don't think that it's been brought in off the mainland.

If history repeats itself in a similar way that the Spanish Flu did, then we are not even out of second gear yet, and it comes at a time when the economists, badly need their economies to get going again. Very scary times indeed.

Dave Abrahams
103 Posted 16/04/2020 at 17:33:26
Jay (94), may God watch over and protect your wife and thousands of medical staff, just like her, all over the world, who are putting their lives on the line every time they leave home to care for their patients, and I mean, really care, not just pay lip service with their sorrow like politicians wherever they talk and dictate how vulnerable people are treated by this terrible virus.

Me and my wife will be going out to clap everyone on the frontline outlined by Brian (101), I'll reserve a special clap, and a prayer later on, for your wife, Jay.

Chris Williams
104 Posted 16/04/2020 at 17:40:04

Believe it or not I'm a born optimist! I've noticed that becoming pessimistic can be a trait of ageing, and my Dad was pretty much in despair when he died, although he'd never got over the death of my mother, 3 years before. He was 4 years younger than I am now, and also in poor health.

He was born in 1910, in Everton, and his dad died in 1917, in WW1. Not before he took my Dad to Goodison. He left school at 8 or 9 to help support his family, and was helped by the SVP and SFX. He was a lifelong Catholic and very devout.

He learned his trade as a builder, and pretty much taught himself to read and write and maths. He slogged and worked on sites, until he and his generation walked slap bang into the Crash and Depression, and they did their best to make ends meet.

Then WW2. He had a perforated eardrum so couldn't join up. His mother and 2 younger sisters were killed in 1942 in the Liverpool bombings. Canterbury Street I think. He met my Mum who was a lot younger than him, when he went to live with her family. They got married and I came along in 1948.

Probably not an unusual story then.

He believed in the power of education and supported me and my sister through school and further education, and was my inspiration. And took me to Goodison.

That's a long winded way of saying that, despite all the trials of life and all the idiots in all governments, he prevailed, and made a success of his life and marriage. His, and his generation's sacrifices let my generation do better. That was the point as far as they were concerned. Their trials were far greater than anything I've had to contend with, and I've had a bed of roses compared to all that stuff they all had to contend with. Including this virus, although we don't know the extent of that yet.

So I'll keep my parents in mind through this, and it helps put this lockdown into a perspective for me.

So I'll remain optimistic, at least as long as I can. And I'll still go to Goodison, but not quite sure when.

Tony, all things must pass as George Harrison might say.

Jay Wood

105 Posted 16/04/2020 at 17:51:57
Tony @ 97, Brian @ 101 and Dave @ 103.

Thanks for the kind words for the missus.

Like everywhere around the world, there is a huge appreciation here in Brazil for the medical staff on the frontline.

Did you see over Easter weekend the light show they projected onto the famous Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio? First making him appear as a doctor, followed by images of real doctors and nurses doing their jobs, then many different national flags with the single word 'Hope' in every language. Very moving.

All this doesn't stop me getting twitchy every time the missus coughs or sneezes.

As for this Brian 'I hope you didnt think I was being insensitive asking about the football'.

Nah, matey! Not in the least.

South American football is 'fortunate' in that in the main their footy season runs within the calendar year, rather than across two different years, so this national league season hadn't started before the lock-down.

To explain, taking Brazil as an example, last season finished mid December. This season started in February, but 'not as we know it' as Star Trek's Spock was given to say.

For the first 3 months - February, March and April - each state runs their own championship. This takes the form of mini-leagues, progressing to KO rounds before a champion is crowned.

This is a hangover from when - because of the size of the country, the time and cost of travel - each state ran its own full season league. With the onset of plane travel, Brazil first established a national league 50-60 years ago, but even that was primarily for the close proximity southern states and more densely populated states like Rio and Sao Paulo. It's only in the last 20-30 years that Brazil now has a truly national league.

Vanity and pride means the state football authorities still want to be seen as 'relevant', thus the continuation of state competitions, albeit in a more condensed version before the national season 'proper' begins.

In this time the national KO cup competition - Copa do Brasil - also commences in February. Even the Continental Cups - the Libertadores (CL equivalent) and Sudamericano (EL) - start their preliminary rounds. Indeed, they were completed more than a month ago and two games of the group stages (like the CL, 4 teams in each) had already been played before the shutdown. All before the Serie A season had started (meant to open on 5 May - ain't happening!).

To help you imagine how this all looks, before the PL season KO, it would be the equivalent of Everton, Liverpool and Tranmere playing 12-16 league/KO games for the Merseyside Championship against the likes of Southport, Marine, Bootle etc.

Thrown into that fixture list they would play rounds 3 and 4 of the FA Cup AND preliminary games in the Continental Cups AND half the games in the league phase of the CL and EL.

Once the PL season started for those involved they would continue playing the cup competitions to their conclusion. All packed into 10 months of footy.

That's worth bearing in mind should we ever buy talent from Latin America. Depending on the time of year they joined, they may have already played a LOT of footy and be burnt out.

Steve Carse
106 Posted 16/04/2020 at 18:38:16

I have just reread my posts and sorry I just don't understand how you arrive at a conclusion that they only relate to football as an afterthought. All bar the last were very much to do with football, and particularly its immediate future.

This last one was of course the one which seems to have got your back up. But if you can't see the massive difference between any of my contributions and the purely political diatribe in the post which I was referencing, then I am very disappointed, since you are clearly a learned chap, and one with very pertinent knowledge and direct experience on aspects of the subject under discussion.

You say that Michael and Lyndon have widened the scope of what is editorially acceptable. If that is so then clearly I have no grounds anyway for my complaint. But I am not aware that this has been made so.

Jay Wood

107 Posted 16/04/2020 at 19:08:06
Steve @ 106. No ole son. You haven't got my 'back up' at all.

In addressing you (and Robert) I opened with the words 'With respect'. I then politely explained how I didn't understand why both of you were being 'sniffy' about some posts, acknowledging how, IMO, the editors are evidently being lenient in the leeway they are allowing on threads in these testing times.

Your 5 posts I referenced were these:

@ 13 when the bulk referred to historical global finances, with a reference to football appended on the end.

@ 27 zero reference to football.

@60 a mix of comparative Covid-19 death rates and how it will determine football resumption dates.

@65 a brief two paragraph response to a poster about possible Bundesliga resumption. The only exclusively football related post you made in this thread.

@77 (and DUP @78) a post that has nothing to do with football complaining about posts that have...nothing to do with football.

As I originally said, I personally am grateful to Michael and Lyndon that they are allowing a wider scope of (non-football) subjects than would possibly be the case in 'normal times'.

I believe it is then down to the discernment of each individual reader to read, ignore or engage with such posts as they deem fit, rather than prescribe a 'one-size-fits-all' policy.

Robert Tressell
108 Posted 16/04/2020 at 19:49:54
Not trying to be sniffy and obviously understandable to have all sorts of digression at the minute. It just started to get a bit weird and anti-semitic on another thread...
Ian Smitham
109 Posted 16/04/2020 at 19:54:09
Paul, I recon the political will to rebuild the economy will override objections to the new ground, which will, as stated, generate a massive boost for the local economy.

Equally, “normal” economic sense probably gets pushed aside as the billionaire majority shareholder is set on his course, and has support from “friends”. Perhaps you could give us an update on how the new ground is to be financed, either on here or one of your excellent podcasts.

Just wondered if anyone else has thought of this: the vast majority of clubs will make huge losses in this financial year for them, resulting in teams who may already have been close to breaking the FFP rules. This could lead to loads of teams being outside the rules and disruption to local and European leagues.

So, if there can be a silver lining to the current situation (I know football is relatively irrelevant just now) maybe the FFP rules will be relaxed and the issue that Everton face be not as serious as people have worried. Sort of silver lining. What do you reckon, Paul?

Darren Hind
110 Posted 16/04/2020 at 20:08:12
I think it's a little harsh to brand all the worlds leaders as idiots and mad men

Take Alexander Lukashenko, The president of Belarus.

In an interview he gave (just after playing ice hockey) He told a reporter he would not put his country into lockdown, labelling calls for it as blind panic, driven by "frenzied psychosis".

Asked why all sport in the country was still going ahead, He replied "Sport is the best anti-virus remedy"... The next day, he closed down the women's leagues.

He also told his people that Vodka poisons the virus... "You should be drinking vodka every day, (I love this bit:) but not at work."

The former Farmer had earlier in the week told his country that "Driving tractors would cure everyone"

We're in safe hands, guys. Keep the faith.

Oliver Molloy
111 Posted 16/04/2020 at 21:18:46
A very good read, Paul.

I have not read all posts on this so maybe this has been said already.

I think governments all over the world will let our most vulnerable people die left, right and centre in order to get people back working again.

The world economy cannot take this kind of hit and the pressure is mounting from the finance houses and business sectors to get stuff going.

No matter what, it will be the little guys like many of us on here who pay for what is ahead, the rich will get richer. Despicable vulture capitalist are circling everywhere.

Right now, I don't give one flying fuck about football. I have seen some very sad stuff these last weeks on the telly and don't forget these NHS staff had to BEG for a pay rise; sad as it is, they will be forgotten about again once this pandemic has eased.

Tony Abrahams
112 Posted 16/04/2020 at 21:21:49
Thanks for all the kind words off everyone, and that was a really sad story Chris, when you wrote about what your father had to endure.

Stay optimistic, and drink vodka, it turns mice into lions, but just don't go near Brooklyn Zoo!

Stay safe, Amigos, stay safe!

Chris Williams
113 Posted 16/04/2020 at 21:31:15
Cheers Tony,

Him and lots like him. A special generation, my lot owe plenty to them

I drink vodka for sure but my weakness is red wine, one of your five a day, or some of my sons stout, about three of your five a day.

Darren, Alexander fits right in by the sound of him. An interesting bunch of people!

Steve Carse
114 Posted 16/04/2020 at 23:51:39
Jay (107), so you've now refined your case by referring to whether my posts were ''exclusively" football related. Strange too how you refer to the initial post only dealing with football in something appended at the end. Nothing wrong with placing a key point at the end; but you seem to have not realised that this paragraph was the longest of the three.

Re post 27, the key sentence in it was to agree with pretty much all of the content of post 25 – do I have to repeat all post 25 then?

Nice how you try to introduce a Catch-22 in regard to my original post. Perhaps you could explain how I could write something that raises an issue over a previous post without mentioning the issue.

I don't wish to prolong our discussion but I would ask anyone interested in the issue to just compare posts 13 and 71 and perhaps submit a view.

Jay Wood

115 Posted 17/04/2020 at 00:05:36
Deary me, Steve.

You do seem to be worrying your pretty little head over nothing.

No discussion has taken place to 'prolong'.


Tony Abrahams
116 Posted 17/04/2020 at 09:32:48
Chris @104, last sentence with a George Harrison phrase. I've just been watching a clip of New York, whose people reminded me just a little bit like scousers, in my short time in that wonderful city.

Every time someone comes out of critical care, they play the Beatles song — “Here Comes The Sun” so I'm going to get back to my music, which helps cheer me up, and make the day go by just that little bit quicker, especially because I've become an early riser now the spring is here once again.

Chris Williams
117 Posted 17/04/2020 at 11:06:16

Brand new Dylan track to listen to on YouTube.

I contain Multitudes.

Plus John Prine concert, Austin City Limits.

Also Everton 7 Sunderland 1 from November 2007.


Serenity Now!

Ray Roche
118 Posted 17/04/2020 at 11:18:50
Apparently Norman Hunter has died from Coronavirus.
Chris Williams
119 Posted 17/04/2020 at 11:21:35

Your comment about New York and Liverpool reminds me about a quote I read years ago about Liverpool as a city looking towards America with its back to the rest of the country.

Dave Abrahams
120 Posted 17/04/2020 at 12:11:19
Chris (104), I read your short account of your dad's life last night and it brought back quite a few memories, especially about the area where your dad lost his mum and two sisters, Canterbury Street.

I grew up two minutes from there in Everton Brow and my local for many years was The Goblin which was in Canterbury Street. I say 'my local', which wasn't strictly true because I lived in Norris Green for at least 25 of those years but always drank in town and always finished in The Goblin for the stay behind.

Anyway, I got a phone call this morning off a friend, just to see if I was okay, and he was telling me about the same area, where your dad lived his early life around SFX, and he said last night the people around there, his neighbours, were playing Bingo in the street with the caller shouting the numbers out on a mic.

It was always a lively area and your dad would've known and grown up with some real live-wire characters who provided many stories and hundreds of laughs over the years. I know I loved growing up there and cherish those years and the mates I made.

Tony Abrahams
121 Posted 17/04/2020 at 12:33:50
Didn't no one tell them that they're supposed to stay in the “house”, Dave!

Dave Abrahams
122 Posted 17/04/2020 at 12:50:00
Tony (121),

No, that's what the winner shouts when they've got a full line up “House!!”

Oh, and Tony, ‘Didn't know one tell them' — that should be ‘Didn't no-one tell them‘... £10,000 a year, me and your mam slaved ourselves to send you to a private school, and that's how you write... Jesus wept!

Tony Abrahams
123 Posted 17/04/2020 at 13:11:19
I don't know why anyone is bothering with education, Dave, when you look around the world and see some of the absolute megalomaniacs in charge of so many countries right now.

I'd love to watch you playing Bingo though, Dave... I can picture you now shouting “What number, was that again?” after every number was called, and everyone telling you to shut-up, or get back in the fucking house!!

Sorry, Dave, I'm bored.

Chris Williams
124 Posted 17/04/2020 at 13:18:21
Thanks, Dave,

It's nice to fill in the gaps like that. He never really talked about it, but my mum told us most of the details, and my sister has done a lot of work on the family tree and background.

He used to tell us how him and his mates used to cycle out to Bala on a Friday after work, and camp under a tarpaulin by the lake. Probably the mid- to late-1920s, and come back Sunday evening.

And of course there were the Everton stories. Hitching down to London with his mates in 1933 and bunking in to watch the match. Dixie Dean was his idol along with TG Jones, Cliff Britton and Warney Creswell. I think he must have had good fun.

He loved Everton in the early 60s and went to most home games with my older cousins. Roy Vernon was his favourite, and mine; he said he reminded him of Alex James, which I reckon was high praise.

We were brought up in Walton, but he always took us back to Everton to see his Aunt and Uncle, who took them in after his dad died, and he had lots of cousins who we always went to visit. And loads of my school mates lived there too. We used to go there to play football after school, and then have your tea with the family. Egg, sausage and chips! All the mums did this and tried to outdo each other with the amount of food they could get on a plate..

When he'd started and grown his own small building business, he made enough to buy a house in Orrell Park, off Rice Lane there. We moved there in September 1960. Pretty much the first thing he did was invite his Aunt, who was widowed and his cousin to come and live with us, because she was widowed now and they were still living in one of those big old houses in Everton, with a range and lit with gas mantles. She was 90 then and lived until she was 96. She had a great sense of humour, and supported Everton.

He was an active member of the SVP at SFX all his adult life, and was given a Papal Medal in 1959 for his service. His idea of a good Saturday night was visiting prisoners in Walton Gaol. At least we were handy for that in Orrell Park.

Anyway, Dave, it helps to put current things into perspective

Thanks again.

David Cash
125 Posted 17/04/2020 at 13:54:08
Tony, #116.

I too found a striking similarity between Scousers and New Yorkers.

When I went to work out there years ago, my boss really took me under his wing. He was an abrasive fucker but he has a heart of pure gold. Really helped me and my Mrs settle in.

I've been back in England for nearly 2years now, but have been worried sick because I got news that he had contracted the virus and has been very ill. This morning, I got an email from his daughter telling me he was out of the woods and recovering. Such relief.

I didn't know they played "Here Comes The Sun" to those who recover. I love it!

Eric Myles
126 Posted 17/04/2020 at 14:24:27
Chris #96, any vaccine is only going to be widely available to those that can afford it. The pharmaceutical companies will have patents to protect and money to make, as usual.
Dave Abrahams
127 Posted 17/04/2020 at 14:24:47
Chris, #124, yes a great area where your dad grew up.

I went to The Friary, which was ‘next door‘ to SFX so I mixed with loads of lads who went to both schools. And a few girls, but can't talk about them because ‘nosy arse' is earwigging @123. See the disrespect he gives to his poor old deaf dad. Fuckin' kids, who'd have 'em!!!

Paul Tran
128 Posted 17/04/2020 at 14:27:27
Tony, #123, education is as important as it ever was. When the UK comes out of this phase of demonising anyone who thinks, questions, checks or dissents, we'll need some educated thinkers to clear up their mess.

And we will all laugh at those strange times when people said "I don't know anything about this, but someone on Facebook said..."

People will hopefully just question, read and verify.

Patrick McFarlane
129 Posted 17/04/2020 at 14:43:54
Paul #128,

I agree completely, it doesn't have to be formal education either, just people taking the time and effort to research and find out for themselves via literature etc.

I am always at a loss as to why so many people believed that being educated was a sign of class betrayal, although that does seem to be on the wane nowadays.

Whether the chasing of certificates for the sake of getting them is the sign of getting a good education is open to question.

Paul Tran
130 Posted 17/04/2020 at 14:55:08
Patrick, you're spot on. My arl fella was a hot metal printer at The Echo, but read, thought and understood the importance of learning for learning's sake.

You don't need an 'academic' education to think and be curious, you just need to be interested enough.

Alan J Thompson
131 Posted 17/04/2020 at 16:21:13
There is a rumour that the numbers given out of those in the UK who have died from this virus are only those who have died in hospital.

Can anyone confirm or deny this as, if it is true, then somebody has an awful lot of explaining to do.

Chris Williams
132 Posted 17/04/2020 at 16:40:27
Alan J,

The figures announced daily in the briefings are only those who have been confirmed as dying in hospital, since the previous day. Some of the deaths happened well before today, so there is both a big delay in announcing deaths and a massive understatement in the actual deaths. No inclusion of Care Home deaths, which may be very big, for example, or people dying at home.

The ONS figures are much bigger, but again there is a huge lag in declaring, because they are verified using death certificates which take time to come through.

We are supposed to be at peak just now, but you wouldn't know it from the figures. There is no rumour in this, it has always been the case from the outset.

So nobody knows the true figures mate. When we're over the peak, the figures will continue as now, until they catch up.

All we know is that new infections have been dropping for a bit now, and deaths are bound to reflect that at some stage.

Mike Gaynes
133 Posted 17/04/2020 at 16:47:41
Chris and Alan, some idea of the scale of those uncounted deaths might be found in this morning's news from China.

The official death count from the virus in Wuhan has just been increased 50%, from 2600 to 3900. Mistakes... oversights... etc.

And there isn't a Wuhan resident who doesn't believe the true numbers are a whole lot higher than that. More grim multiplication is likely.

Chris Williams
134 Posted 17/04/2020 at 16:56:14

Yes, I read that, Mike, and as you say it might be even higher again. You would hope in this country that the true figure might emerge in time, and it is being said in some quarters that we could have the worst figures in Europe.

It all seems a bit shambolic here with the government reacting to events, not having a coherent plan, other than to extend the lockdown, veering from problems with testing to problems with PPE, to switching care homes to a higher priority.

Mike have you had any further news from China, about your wife's return?

Keep safe.

Tony Abrahams
135 Posted 17/04/2020 at 17:04:02
It was tongue-in-cheek, what I wrote about education, but with an obvious hint of sarcasm because, after this virus, my second biggest thought is definitely, how we have seriously come to have so many ego-megalomaniacs in charge of so many countries across the world right now.

I wasted my own education but it's easy to realise that something is very wrong with the world right now, and unless people educate, and then re-educate themselves, then it's not just this virus that has got me worrying for mankind right now.

These people never got put in charge by magic, but I'm sure we would all be better off, if we could make them just disappear. We shouldn't have to take a pay-cut, said the health secretary, we should just work harder instead!

Alan J Thompson
136 Posted 17/04/2020 at 17:10:33
Chris and Mike; At some time somebody, probably in most countries, has to answer why they seem to be so poorly prepared both to deal with it and properly record its effect, even if it is only an estimate alongside a confirmed figure. The latter may shake up some of these organizations who seem to think they can get back to accruing money in just a few weeks. By all means make plans but at least try to take in to consideration the true state of affairs.

Mike, I hope yours in Wuhan are all safe and well.

Chris Williams
137 Posted 17/04/2020 at 17:24:11

The people running this country just now have the best education money can buy. Unfortunately you can’t buy ability or competence.

Which is not to underplay education, as one who has benefitted from it. But if you believe that your birthright is to rule, and you only then put in your ideological fellow travellers to cabinet posts, regardless of ability, you won’t get good results possibly?

Failing Grayling anyone?

He might be able to define pi in the original Greek, but sadly he’s as dumb as a sack of chisels. And not as sharp.

Dave Brierley
138 Posted 17/04/2020 at 18:09:09
One for the 'lefties' on here. You know who you are.

Boris Johnson has just pledged to recruit 24 'Captain Toms' a week to make up the NHS funding shortfall.

Paul Tran
139 Posted 17/04/2020 at 18:14:26
I'd bet Johnson would love that, Dave. Cameron's Big Society Mark 2!
Paul Tran
140 Posted 17/04/2020 at 18:22:15
Tony, the reason why we have a collection of megalomaniacs running some countries is that simple, vague slogans are being lapped up by their unquestioning electorates. Those of us who ask questions of our elected politicians are regarded as 'traitors', 'leftists', etc.

It will pass.

Dave Brierley
141 Posted 17/04/2020 at 18:26:15
Shit, things are getting worse.

"Fundraising hero Captain Tom Moore has been assessed as fit to work by the Department of Work and Pensions."

Jay Wood

142 Posted 17/04/2020 at 18:31:12
Just stumbled on this on the official club site. Not seen it mentioned or linked by anyone else.

A 25 minute documentary on the 1969-70 Championship winning season.


Really good. Patchy action as of course there wasn't wall to wall coverage of every game back in those days, but John Hurst and Joe Royle offer some great insights.

John Hurst offered a gud 'un. To finish training there would be a 6-a-side game when two skips were nominated to pick their team.

Without fail, whoever was captain and whoever had first pick they ALL went for one player...

Johnny Morrissey.

"He was everybody's first pick, 'cos you knew if he was on the other team you were going to get a kicking from him!"


Patrick McFarlane
143 Posted 17/04/2020 at 19:01:06
Thanks for the link, Jay. For those who can get BBC 1, over the weekend you can see the 1977 semi-final on Sunday alongside Boro v Chesterfield; tomorrow has Palace v the other lot and United v Oldham
Dave Brierley
144 Posted 17/04/2020 at 19:03:36
Just watched it, Jay. Thanks for the link.

Fabulous. What a team and what a bunch of incredible players. I feel privileged to have gone to so many games that season. Best I ever saw.

Darren Hind
145 Posted 17/04/2020 at 19:39:16
Floyd on Sky Arts: Delicate Sound of Thunder.

Sax solo on Dogs of War is absolutely brilliant.

Forgot how fit Rachel Fury was.

Tony Abrahams
146 Posted 17/04/2020 at 22:09:38
Captain Tom won't be passed fit until they've got all the fundraising money in.
Christine Foster
147 Posted 18/04/2020 at 12:02:55
HM Tax office have just sent Captain Tom an assessment of earnings with a Please Pay Now number in 7 figures... lol
Martin Nicholls
148 Posted 18/04/2020 at 12:35:35
Darren, #145,

I saw Floyd at Earls Court in October 1994 at the end of their Division Bell tour – Sam Brown was one of the backing singers then. Stayed over in my brother-in-law's company flat in the Barbican.

What a brilliant gig and stark contrast to the game I'd been to at Goodison Park (0-2 v Coventry) the previous day. I remember thinking that you (usually) got guaranteed entertainment at that sort of gig whereas footy was so "hit and miss"!

Chris Williams
149 Posted 18/04/2020 at 13:39:08

Saw them live at the College of Building annual ball in Liverpool in 1968. Arnold Lane, psychedelic light show and all.

Ray Said
150 Posted 18/04/2020 at 13:56:53
Captain Tom's pace and mobility mean he is likely to be first choice ahead of Walcott.
Darren Hind
151 Posted 18/04/2020 at 14:32:18
You can say that again Martin.

I was telling my lad I had seen them at Maine road around 88/89. He asked how come I never went to another of their gigs if I thought they were so good. I didnt have an answer. Not one that made sense anyway...Funny thing is, they are not the only great band I have seen only once

I guess like most other "addicts" I spent most of my spare time and dosh following this club around. For 99.9% of the time the entertainment on the pitch may not have been as good, but the laughs and the adventures always kept us all coming back for more

I really enjoyed that gig last night. This no footy lark is making me realise there are so many more things I love doing.

Paul Tran
152 Posted 18/04/2020 at 14:36:39
You're right, Darren, I think between the ages of 13 & 38 virtually all of my money went on watching Everton and bands. I seem to remember one week in 1979 when it was Goodison, Rush & Thin Lizzy on consecutive nights.
Martin Nicholls
153 Posted 18/04/2020 at 18:33:09
Chris #149 – Bowie performing Arnold Layne with Floyd is brilliant!

Darren #151 – couldn't agree more with your final paragraph. I've lived near West Kirby for 44 years and have seen more on my daily walks than I realised was around here. I'd never even been to the war memorial, from which the views are stunning.

I've seen Floyd only that once but, as tribute bands go, Aussie Floyd put on a great show.

Stay safe lads.

Chris Williams
154 Posted 18/04/2020 at 19:41:30

I've not seen that. I'll seek it out. I reckon it was towards the end of 1967, not 68 I saw them as I'd had a lengthy stint down in Southend-on-Sea (interesting time) and I saw Peter Green's Fleetwod Mac on the Kursaal there. I think it might have been their concert debut.

Andy Crooks
155 Posted 19/04/2020 at 00:15:18
Just watched the MotD sub programme. Everton v Wimbledon. Still puts a knot in my stomach. Ian Wright went right up in my estimation. He was remarkably complementary to our club.
Paul Birmingham
156 Posted 19/04/2020 at 00:38:07
Andy, you beat me to the applaud, by Wrighty.

Yes, good to hear.

Brian Williams
157 Posted 19/04/2020 at 00:38:16
Andy, you know why he was so complimentary? Because over the years, Evertonians have recognised him, and lauded him to his face, as a great striker, rather hurling abuse at him. Despite the fact he always scored against us, Evertonians showed him respect for the great player he was.

I think he found that somewhat unusual and he in return developed a fondness for our club and its knowledgeable and fair-minded supporters.

Tony Abrahams
158 Posted 19/04/2020 at 14:25:45
Funny Brian, I remember him having a wayward shot during one night game at Goodison. The fans cheered as they sometimes do, and Wright ran away, putting his top over his head, as if to say that wasn't me who had that shot, before turning with a big beaming smile towards the Gwladys Street, so you could tell he always felt comfortable with Evertonians.
Derek Thomas
159 Posted 23/04/2020 at 02:09:56
Chris @ 137; 'The people running this country just now have the best education money can buy. Unfortunately you can't buy ability or competence... and that can be illustrated thus...

An exchange with the civil servant Sir Humphrey Appleby about the culture of the City goes like this:

Sir Desmond: "If you're incompetent you have to be honest, and if you're crooked you have to be clever. See, if you're honest, then when you make a pig's breakfast of things, the chaps rally round and help you out."

Sir Humphrey: "If you're crooked?"

Sir Desmond: "Well, if you're making good profits for them, chaps don't start asking questions; they're not stupid. Well, not that stupid."

Sir Humphrey: "So the ideal is a firm which is honest and clever."

Sir Desmond: "Yes. Let me know if you know if you find one, won't you."

Sir Desmond is appointed Governor of the Bank of England soon after.

Chris Williams
160 Posted 23/04/2020 at 06:52:26

Yes, Thatcher's favourite show apparently. I gather she thought it was a documentary!

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