It Was Time to Go Long, Long Ago

by   |   02/09/2020  20 Comments  [Jump to last]

I clearly remember the banners in the crowd at any away game and the one behind a plane flying over Goodison Park: “It’s time to go Kenwright and Co” was the message. Well the Co have gone, but the Kenwright lingers on. What year was that, it seems an age ago?

What does the man want or hope to achieve? He is now apparently stripped of all operational responsibilities, as far as I am aware, and appears to be merely a figurehead Chairman. Does he think that, if the new owner manages to eventually turn things around and silverware resides in the trophy room, if it can be located, that he will become the fans’ hero?

I very much doubt it. Several years ago when his face appeared on the screens prior to kick-off, there was a resounding chorus of booing. Since then, he has never featured on the Goodison Park screens. Any success achieved will be rightly credited to Farhad Moshiri and Carlo Ancelloti. It is difficult to fathom what compels him to remain with no real effect on the club’s future and an object of scorn as far as most of the fans are concerned.

The fact is that, in the fans’ eyes, he is associated with 20+ years of stagnation, decline, apathy and lack of funds. Remarkably — or perhaps not so — during our current underperformance, the fans’ attitude towards him appears to have hardened with fans laying the blame at his door. This has been noticeable on the pages of ToffeeWeb, with posts stating “rotten from top to bottom, badly run behind the scenes, full of yes-men, bleary-eyed Bill’s luvvies” and many more.

He is now viewed as a dinosaur from an almost forgotten age of the Boys Pen, travel on the handlebars of uncle’s bike, and tears for stars of the late 50s and 60s. The game has moved on and so have the fans, the grounds and the way the game is viewed and financed. Television and the internet are the kings. Even live radio commentary is fading away.

His clinging on seemingly has no limits. There have been reports that he turned down both Paul Gregg’s offer to save the Kings Dock move and also the Sheiks who went on to buy Manchester City, both of which would have required him to stand down. These two rejections and the fact that he is still Chairman leads me to believe that his retention of the chair must have been part of the deal with Moshiri and probably in writing.

So not only are we fans stuck with him, so is Moshiri. Indeed there have been signs of Moshiri’s lack of faith in him. He no longer seems to have any responsibilities and Moshiri’s comments that when he took over “the place was more like a museum”, “the business side was a shambles”.

The show, however, goes on and Kenwright seems determined to remain where he is. It was widely reported that he would be gone in the summer of 2019, but that has passed without event. He now seems set to remain for some time possibly longer than Doug Ellis of Aston Villa who was still chairman until the age of 82.

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Reader Comments (20)

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Tom Dodds
1 Posted 04/09/2020 at 23:55:51
Good piece, Clive. I as well have personally noted the fanbase starting to question his tenure... finally, I might add.

The scenario here with Kenwright is a kind of an inverse analogy from the line in a song that goes ‘Only drowning men can see him' (God, that is).

With Kenwright, the fans have only started adding things up when they sensed the club drowning in recent and past times, with the spotlight especially on this last dreadfull season that could well have been our last in the Premier League and, God forbid, won't be.

I and a good few others have written many posts on Kenwright's barnacle-type cling-on to his Chairmanship and the shenanigans with money funding, and controlling others via favours, and snide and weary directors like Robert Earl, and on and fuckin on...

In fact, I hope one day (and I do not wish to belittle your piece, Clive) but this tiring subject needs a bloody book to expand on his tenure with the club. The forward being The Guardian article on the goings on with money-laundering creeps like Phillip Green, Robert Earl, Tesco stores (Destination Kirkby) and others.

As mentioned previously, this Guardian article to this day is posted continuously at the top of the @watchedtoffee fan site.

As a litmus test of the divided fan base, there is a posting thread to do with Kenwright's birthday (today) on the Grand Old Teams site and of course those who know can guess the outcome of the split in the, 'well wishers' department!

Such a shame that our fan base is so divided really over Kenwright's control over the last 21 years, and as the Reds always say, we wouldn't've put up with Kenwright for 1 season – let alone 20 odd.

I will end on this note to all those who said he ‘saved the club'... Do you really think that – for a poxy 㿀 million he bought the club for at the dawn of the Premier League, and the Sky Money and the wealth that followed with it – that the club would have devalued from 㿀 million???

Terry White
2 Posted 05/09/2020 at 03:59:14
Interesting article, Clive.

In one article, you have made Don Alexander totally obsolete... hopefully.

Kieran Kinsella
3 Posted 05/09/2020 at 04:35:16
Terry White,

Blasphemy!!! I love Don Alexander. Unlike most of us, he at least is consistent.

Dave Williams
4 Posted 05/09/2020 at 11:24:54
If he has been stripped of all operational responsibilities then how is he dragging the club down?

Moshiri does not attend that many home games so where is the problem of Kenwright being the figurehead on match days? He doesn't appear to be involved in the current round of transfers from what I have seen.

There is a lot of positive stuff to be discussing at the moment rather than stir up old arguments surely?

Barry Rathbone
5 Posted 05/09/2020 at 12:03:38
Never know what to think of Bill, the club was on it's way to oblivion when he stepped in but his decision to move to Kirkby seemed more in his interests than that of the club. Incredulous the idea of the senior club in the city surrendering it's birthright.

I just dunno - he clearly loves the club and we remain in the top tier but Moyes morphing the club into a latter-day Coventry, Stoke, Birmingham, Southampton under his auspices left me detached from his Everton version.

Clive Rogers
6 Posted 05/09/2020 at 12:31:09
Dave, #4, old arguments? He is the chairman of EFC. Read the “Who is steering the ship” article.

There is clearly something missing at EFC that would give us direction. Moshiri has said that he only expected to spend 10% of his time at Everton but is having to spend 90%.

Oh for a dynamic chairman who would invigorate and drive the club on.

Terry White
7 Posted 05/09/2020 at 14:38:09
Perhaps you mean "persistent", Kieran? Mr Alexander has only one drum to beat and he never stops banging it.
Alan J Thompson
8 Posted 07/09/2020 at 06:26:48
It might be interesting to know how long previous Chairmen were in office and what Everton won during their tenure as there seems there must be some sort of record he's after and one he sees as casting him in a favourable light.
Michael Kenrick
9 Posted 07/09/2020 at 18:48:35
As the saying goes, Alan, there's a TW webpage / App for that:

A list of the men who have occupied the top seat on the Board at Everton.

Looks like he's way out in front, in terms of length of service — and well bottom in terms of trophies.

Patrick McFarlane
10 Posted 07/09/2020 at 18:58:54
Well MK, Bill is closing in on Will Cuff and he probably hopes to outstay Dr James Baxter Jun 1895 – 1920, so just another five years to go, about the time we should be playing at Bramley Moore Dock.
Don Alexander
11 Posted 07/09/2020 at 19:30:59
Terry, and others, I keep on banging the one drum because as we now close in on 30 years of the Premier League, having had several managers, directors and loan-sharks involved in the running of the club whilst, alone of the few big clubs we joined in creating the Premier League, the quality of our football declines, permanently.

Question – is there anyone in the boardroom who's been present and, on his own admission, active throughout our decline? Jeez, is it possible that from his constant activity he actually bears heavy responsibility?

And, contrary to what some of us post, I recall Moshiri publicly stating relatively recently that Kenwright's role as Chairman was being enhanced by him, Moshiri. Hmm.

The truth about Kenwright is always elusive, see his pre-Moshiri AGM performances for proof.

When he's gone we may see no improvement, granted, but with a dynamic chairman I'm very confident that there'd be a much-needed transformation at Finch Farmand on the pitch, with our club at last regularly featuring in the topside minimum.

So there! :)

Don Alexander
12 Posted 07/09/2020 at 19:32:43
Top six! Damned spell-checker.
Tony Abrahams
13 Posted 07/09/2020 at 19:40:05
Don is not obsolete Terry, but neither is Bill Kenwright unfortunately.
Andy Crooks
14 Posted 08/09/2020 at 14:53:19
I like Don's posts. He is admirably single- minded. A trait I demonstrated myself with regard to Shane Duffy. A drum that I might well start to beat again, when he excels at Celtic and returns to partner Holgate in Everton's Champions League winning team. It was all written. I was right all along!!
Jay Harris
15 Posted 08/09/2020 at 15:14:40
I just have 2 comparisons the great sir John Moore a principled, disciplined man whose love for the fans and determination for Everton to be a top club playing great football was his trademark compared to a relatively penniless non entity Coronation street actor who has played on the "We are skint as a club" routine for over 20 years while making himself a multimillionaire out of an investment that cost him nothing.
And all this while he feeds his ego of being Everton Chairman while ripping off friends and some dubious acquaintances to satisfy his quest.

And please can we finally dispel the mistruth that he remortgaged his house and "saved" Everton neither of which is true.

Mike Gaynes
16 Posted 08/09/2020 at 15:17:29
Andy, mate, I never see Duffy play without thinking of you. Your crusade will never grow old with me.

Interesting article in the Irish Times yesterday:

Dave Abrahams
17 Posted 08/09/2020 at 15:33:22
Andy (14), when you think of the horrific injury that Shane overcome, nearly cost him his life, I think he has made a terrific career for himself and should start getting some medals to add on to his courage, bravery and determination in getting his career back on track, I hope he does well at Celtic, one of my favourite clubs.
Kevin Molloy
18 Posted 09/09/2020 at 14:30:29
the big unanswered question with Kenwright is who he passed the club on to. the new guy has us currently at warp factor nine, any more pressure and either we implode and disappear, or he puts his hand in his pocket and says 'don't worry, I've got this'. We will find out in the next couple of years, if things go wrong, and Farhad bails, we will know that Kenwright passing the club to him was the single most disastrous decision in the club's history.
Derek Thomas
19 Posted 13/09/2020 at 02:35:20
Before we look forward to the new season.

The final word on Bill's legacy will be written by two sorts; Us on here, GOT and on various other sites - and the mainstream media.

What is printed by them will be a measure of how much Bill's flannel worked. For all I know it won't be excessively effusive, because Bill's flannel suited the pigeon hole of the moment they wanted us placed.

TW and the Media might be quite similar, because deep down they have a good handle on the truth...maybe not the whole truth, but I think they know enough not to write a ' Glorious Leader' eulogy.

But as yet - Rumours of his passing are vastly exaggerated.

Whenever the sad day occurs it will be slanted on where we are at that given time and thus, which pigeon hole they think we are in at the moment...hopefully on the up and going places - and Bill will likely get some of the credit, while any failures will quickly glossed over (nobody wants to speak too ill of the dead now do they) or totally omitted.

if Uncle Cyrils Crossbar or Boys Pen gets even half a serious mention, then Bill has had the last laugh...all the way to the bank.

Anyway, time to look forward in the short term to Spurs and let Moshiri, Ancelotti and Brands get on with longer term job of fettling Bill's legacy into some sort of shape and into a new ground

Brian Murray
20 Posted 13/09/2020 at 03:03:35
As Arsenal found out for many years with David Dein – a visionary and a forceful chairman – as soon as he went, so did the Arsenal dominance.

We can't indulge a figurehead because he's a supposed Evertonian. If he's no longer holding us back, he certainly is not driving us forward in any way.

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