Benitez is right in calling for improvement across the board

Last Saturday's humiliation at the hands of Watford has brought into sharper focus comments made in the press by Rafael Benitez and his call for improvement 'in every department' at Everton. The Esk takes a look at where Farhad Moshiri might target those efforts

Paul The Esk 25/10/2021 152comments  |  Jump to last

“The measure of success is not whether you have a tough problem to deal with, but whether it is the same problem you had last year”John Foster Dulles

When a football club Board has started to interfere with on-field matters, be it the Chairman walking into a FA Cup semi-final dressing room with less than an hour before kick-off to quieten arguments, to owners making player recruitment decisions or even misguided directors suggesting team composition or tactics, it’s almost always an indication that all is not well within the football club. For a manager in such circumstances, the door marked 'Exit' is just a few feet away.

What does it say about a football club when the manager starts to interfere with off-field matters?

I find it remarkable that Rafa Benitez, after just 4 months at the Everton helm, becomes the first person in many years, from within the club, to acknowledge that all is not what it should be. He wants “improvement in every department… the club should be in a much better position”. Now, there are two ways of looking at this: (i) the cynic might say this is a clever tactic to spread the responsibility, an act of mitigation if results aren’t what might be expected; or (ii) he’s a realist, he recognises he can’t achieve what he wants to do with the organisation and people around him. Personally, I think it is the latter rather than the former.

Regardless of the motivation, his comments put the focus on Farhad Moshiri, his directors, and the executive team below them to improve performance, and that can only be to the benefit of the club. Moshiri has to act, he and his board have to be seen to make improvements following Benitez’s comments. To not do so suggests that they believe Benitez is incorrect in his assessment.

The biggest question of course, for fans and minority shareholders, is why has the owner, board and executive team not recognised this previously? Why, based on past experience elsewhere, or based on peer experience within football, have they not recognised what some outside the club have recognised for a long time and many others who now are beginning to express concerns?


“The successful investor is usually an individual who is inherently interested in business problems” Philip Arthur Fisher

Farhad Moshiri

Attending his first game at Goodison in March 2016, Farhad Moshiri said “I am here to support [the board] as required to ensure the club recaptures the glory days of the past and builds sustained success in the future.”

“As required” – perhaps the most critical part of what Moshiri said. Is it feasible that, upon buying 49.9% of Everton, he really misunderstood what was required? Was he drawn in by Kenwright to believe that all that was required was money? Money that would allow us to attract a Hollywood manager and star players? Could it be that effectively he had the wool pulled over his eyes? Did he buy into the concept that he possessed a board with a “revered” status?

Even if he did initially, surely the evidence of the last 5 years has caused him to re-evaluate that assessment?

Moshiri has supported the board (and club) financially, investing £450 million through loans and equity conversions, and he has paved the way for our stadium move to Bramley-Moore Dock, committing another £100 million to the building of the stadium.

He has also got involved (to his and our cost) in the bits of football he clearly enjoys, the recruitment of managers, the recruitment of players, and mixing with agents, being part of the gossipy football community.

But has he proved to be a solution provider, solving our greatest problems? As the opening quote of this article stated, if you face the same problems as in previous years, then that is not success. Undoubtedly, our problems have rolled from one year to the next and critically seem to have grown bigger over time. In order of importance, I’d identify the implementation and execution of the Director of Football model, recruitment, revenue generation, cost control, identity and governance as our biggest problems.

Director of Football

Let’s start with the Director of Football. I am a strong advocate of the Director of Football model, a model which removes many of the footballing operational responsibilities from the first-team coach, freeing his (or her) time to focus on coaching the first team. In an ideal scenario, the Director of Football establishes the footballing philosophy throughout the club. In order to do so, though, the DoF has to be given both the responsibility and authority to lead, to ultimately be responsible for all football-related issues at the club – including but not limited to recruitment, supporting resources (scouting, coaching, health, fitness & well-being of players and staff), budgeting and (on the footballing side) organisational structure.

The performance and structure of the academy, its expectations in terms of scouting, recruiting and developing players suitable for the first team or for sale to other clubs, has been wholly inadequate.

Clearly, this hasn’t yet worked effectively at Everton. Whilst Brands’s qualities are widely acknowledged throughout the game, there is little evidence of effectiveness at Everton, despite being in the role for more than 3 years. Is this structural, political or down to the individual encumbent? Possibly all three, but it is known that Moshiri is a strong advocate of Brands. Having said that, Benitez’s intervention must raise some concerns with Brands and (one would hope) Moshiri. Benitez’s comments could easily be interpreted as encroachment into the DoF’s sphere of influence.

Regardless, the effectiveness of the Director of Football model has to be addressed by the owner, either in terms of the individual or, most likely, providing the structure to give Brands the absolute authority he requires to be effective. That would also impact Moshiri’s behaviour and involvement in recruitment.

Recruitment

Since the summer of 2016, Everton have spent £531 million on incoming transfers and the estimated wage bill for the period is considerably in excess of £700 million. Without any hyperbole, it has been an area of gross mismanagement, poor planning, poor execution and, on numerous occasions, completely unstructured. This includes managerial selections – not just player recruitment .

Currently constrained by the impact of Covid-19 and the potential breaking of profitability and sustainability rules, past recruitment decisions and the loss of key players during Moshiri’s time at the club have created a hugely unproductive, imbalanced squad. Such has been the poor recruitment and salary negotiations that many players have been literally unsellable, leading to a number of “deadwood” players just seeing out their contracts. From a resource perspective, it has been hugely wasteful; from a performance perspective, leading to under-achievement which in turn then impacts revenues, lower prize money from the Premier League, and only one disastrous Europa League qualification.

Equally, management recruitment has been inconsistent, seemingly without strategy and poorly executed. Whilst idealistically one would hope for considerable input from the Director of Football, in practice, management selection has been the domain of the owner. With the greatest of goodwill, it is surely not one of his core competencies. The question to the board is: Why has this been permitted? As directors, you have a duty to all shareholders, not just the majority shareholder.

The lack of strategy, the lack of clear ownership of recruitment (is it Moshiri, the Chairman, the manager, or the Director of Football who runs recruitment?), the appalling contract negotiations point to a business without effective management and leadership.

Revenue generation and cost control

It will be no surprise to regular readers of this site but, over Moshiri’s time at the club, we have failed to grow revenues and spectacularly failed to maintain any semblance of cost control. Covid of course, has had an impact, but nevertheless there has been no significant improvement in our commercial partnering and no significant results regarding expansion into overseas markets.

Aside from the close relationship (provided by Moshiri) with USM, there has been no leap forwards in strategy or ambition commercially. Perhaps some will point at performance and argue that this only comes about through regular participation in Europe and winning trophies. I have to disagree. Everton is a highly recognised brand in world football that we are failing to exploit. Ultimately it comes down to strategy, scale of ambition, and the quality of the commercial development team – if the strategy and ambition is bold and aggressive, you can recruit higher-quality personnel to fulfil the task. This is true at board and executive levels.

Cost control is a major concern and I am sure it has been noted in discussions with potential lenders. We have behaved irresponsibly with numerous examples of ridiculous contracts which negated any opportunity to trade non-performing players out of the club.

As a result of poor performance on the pitch, not qualifying regularly for European football, regular exceptional costs from manager changes, not being able (or willing perhaps) to exercise cost restraint (until this most recent period), the financial results of the club have been appalling. It has therefore necessitated further capital injections from Moshiri, has severely impacted our ability to restructure the squad, and potentially compromises how we fund the stadium going forwards.

A shareholder or fan can justifiably claim the board has failed in its responsibilities to manage the finances of the club efficiently and sustainably.

Identity

As I mentioned earlier, Everton are a highly recognised (globally) club, steeped in history and achievement, responsible for many of the game’s greatest developments over time. We have been referred to as the Black Watch, the School of Science, the Mersey Millionaires, even the People’s Club. Our football has had its own style; we, above all other clubs, revere the “Number 9”; we have had the world’s greatest goal scorer and goalkeeper play for us for the bulk of their careers; we’ve had Pele grace our pitch and hosted a World Cup semi-final. We are Football League and Premier League founders. We have been renowned for our administrative capabilities and, for almost our entirety, considered to be a “well-run club”.

What is our identity now?

How can we allow a situation when we are no longer considered part of the footballing elite? How are we in a position where if, for example, a Super League was formed (or any other modification to competition structure), we would be rule takers not rule makers? Who is responsible? Who cares or has made an effort to stop our long-term decline as a former power base within the game?

These are fundamental questions that require answers from the board and major shareholder.

Governance

“Global market forces will sort out those companies that do not have sound corporate governance.” – Mervyn King

Governance is the system by which an organisation is controlled and operates, and the mechanisms by which it, and its directors and employees, are held to account.

Does it matter? Yes, it absolutely matters; good companies, high performing companies, long-term industry or sector leaders have one thing in common – good governance.

They have an effective management structure with clearly defined roles for the Chair, for the directors (executive and non-executive) and at executive level. You can’t run a business successfully without this.

How does Everton stack up in this regard? As we know, there’s little clarity over decision-making. When does the major shareholder impose his decisions? When does the board perform its role (including acting independently from shareholders)? Why is every board member an executive? Why do we not have independent non-executive directors who provide valuable oversight but also bring fresh perspectives and external views into the boardroom?

The simple answer to all the questions above is that Moshiri wants it this way. He has complete control over the club. If he was not satisfied with the performance of his Chairman, his directors or executives, he would surely make changes (as he did with Keith Harris, and all of his management selections).

The question for us, as fans and some who will be minority shareholders, is: What happens next? Has Benitez either unwittingly or deliberately opened Pandora’s Box, bringing the need to improve “in all areas” to the attention of the board but certainly to Moshiri.

I hope his (Benitez’s) comments are a watershed moment that brings proper, effective, experienced management to the board and executive team of the club we love. That brings the footballing rewards Moshiri’s investment should provide and for which fans long for. What is clear is that Moshiri has to make changes to the manner in which our club is run for there to be any realistic hope of footballing success. Doing nothing is no longer an option.

Follow @theesk
Share article:

Reader Comments (152)

Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer


Brian Ronson
1 Posted 25/10/2021 at 21:25:55
Excellent article. The lack of clear lines of decision-making is crucial. If you have a Director of Football model, you employ a younger coach who manages the players in the squad. You don't employ Ancelotti or Benitez as inevitably, because of their status, they are going to dominate player recruitment.

This reduces Brands into an expensive goffer doing the donkey work to bring in the players the manager wants.

If I am right, you have to question the integrity of Brands for sitting there on his huge salary, but not being accountable.

Owner provides the money;
Director of Football manages recruitment;
First-team coach manages the squad;
Kenwright sits in the stands and watches like the rest of us!

Kieran Kinsella
2 Posted 25/10/2021 at 21:43:19
Paul,

I thought the same thing about him stepping on Marcel's toes. Rafa has always been vocal about fighting his corner so, in that respect, it is no surprise. You'd like to think that, if he gets a bit pushy, the club would realize he has a point.

But I suspect Kenwright will respond by leaking a series of "insider" articles to the press saying things like "Rafa is toxic, and it's Moshiri's stupid fault for signing him.... he has lost the dressing room.... marginalized the popular Big Dunc.... "

To paraphrase Kenwright, I would say "watch this space" as those "leaks" from "insiders" ramp up as we head towards Christmas.

Tony Everan
3 Posted 25/10/2021 at 21:49:20
Thanks, Paul, for a great in-depth article.

With Benitez I'm not sure there is any politics involved with what he is saying. I think he doesn't care if he is liked or even what people within the club think of him. I see him as a single-minded professiona who wants to change the club for the better.

Benitez and his team will have opinions on what that entails and these comments are a precursor for forcing the issue. It's saying "This is what's going to happen whether anyone likes it or not." He is stamping his authority on the club because he sees himself here long term. A half-arsed attempt at management of the club won't do for him, he is going for the Rafalution treatment.

26 barren years and counting, someone needs to do something. Best of luck to him for trying to wake our great club from it's zombie-like torpor.

David Pearl
4 Posted 25/10/2021 at 22:20:05
Ooh but we don't have a Director of Football... do we?

I'm pretty sure Moshiri has no idea what he is doing or what he wants, or how to get it. Bar BMD. He should stick to that if he had someone else at the club he could rely upon. Of course he doesn't.

We are in a right state.

Pete Clarke
5 Posted 25/10/2021 at 22:44:26
There is a whole lot wrong with the running of the club and it will not be enough for Rafa to sound it out. The only way to stop this malaise is for Moshiri to get rid of Kenwright and show some kind of rule because his presence at the club, in any form, shows a really soft underbelly of the club's ownership.

There may just be a strong bond between Moshiri and Kenwright; if Moshiri feels that he needs him, then we are truly doomed because Kenwright's presence also means the rest of the old school stay in place.

Fan pressure needs to be put on the owners for internal change. Benitez was never my choice as manager as I see him as too divisive for us supporters to handle. However, if he is going to challenge the board for change, then he has my backing.

His first move though should be to drop Rondon at Lime Street Station or, better still, at the airport.

Ron Marr
6 Posted 25/10/2021 at 22:45:50
He also talked about a review of the medical department.

Everton this week appointed Cristian Fernández as first-team rehabilitation fitness coach after a review of the medical department instigated by Benítez. The manager, who worked with Fernández at Newcastle, is concerned by the number of repeat injuries among the squad. Yerry Mina is the latest player to join an extensive absentee list, with a hamstring problem, and Dominic Calvert-Lewin is expected to remain sidelined for another four to five weeks with a quadriceps injury.

Andy Hunter Story

Don Alexander
7 Posted 25/10/2021 at 23:00:11
I can't get away from the thought that, if our ex-player coaching staff is as fabulous as some say, they would, by now, having allegedly satisfied seven different manages' styles and demands in the past seven years, have been signed up by genuinely aspirational, nay, successful, clubs to impart their "magic" on needy squads.

But they haven't.

Instead, they endure at Finch Farm, producing, from scores of youngsters, no players of the successful Premier League standard, ever. They're never sold for more than pence either.

Allardyce (who I dislike) alluded to something being very wrong at Everton and, whilst I'm not in the know, I assume he meant that someone in the club has a small army of untouchable, but effectively useless employees who will do absolutely anything to the club to maintain their comfortable incomes regardless of whichever Johnny-Come-Lately occupies the so-called manager's office.

Kevin Prytherch
8 Posted 25/10/2021 at 23:12:16
“Little evidence of Marcel Brands effectiveness”

We've signed 25 players during his tenure, some for silly money on ridiculous wages.

Of those 25, only 7 could be considered good enough for our best XI. (8 if you pick Godfrey over Keane).

Of those 7, 4 were signed by the manager at the time and not by Brands (Ricarlison, Allan, Gray and Townsend).

So, in nearly 4 years, Marcel Brands has personally signed 3 players who would get into our first choice XI (4 if you include Godfrey).

Those 3 - Mina (injury-prone), Digne (big weak link defensively) and Doucouré (good player).

I would definitely concur that he has had little effectiveness…

Demarai Gray - £1.8M
Andros Townsend - Free
Asmir Begovic - Free
Andy Lonergan - Free
Salomon Rondon - Free
Ben Godfrey - £24.75M
Allan - £22.5M
Abdoulaye Doucouré - £19.89M
Niels Nkounkou - £243k
James Rodriguez - Free
Robin Olsen - Loan
Joshua King - Unknown
Alex Iwobi - £27.36M
Moise Keane - £24.75M
Andre Gomes - £22.5M
Jean-Phillippe Gbamin - £22.5M
Fabian Delph - £8.55M
Djibril Sidibé - Loan
Jarrad Branthwaite - £990k
Jonas Lossl - Free
Richarlison - £35.28M
Yerry Mina - £27.23M
Lucas Digne - £18.18M
Kurt Zouma - Loan
Andre Gomes - Loan
Bernard - Free

Stu Darlington
9 Posted 25/10/2021 at 23:25:31
I like your analysis, Paul. It goes a long way towards highlighting the problems the club faces.

With regards to your view of the role of Director of Football, there must surely be a strong channel of communication between the manager and the DoF. The man responsible for the day-to-day running of the team has to be able to make a case for recruiting players he sees as being necessary for taking the team on. This cannot be left solely for the DoF to decide?

Dale Self
10 Posted 25/10/2021 at 23:37:09
Good work, Paul.

Benitez is making the right sounds and looking in the right places for improvement but, as has been noted, others may be a little sensitive about the claims. This may be an opportunity for Rafa to make himself useful and likeable to the fans who may still have reservations about his appointment.

He certainly has the ability to evaluate talent and can make things work at low levels of available capital. What he seems to be setting up is a dialogue about the state of the club which could buy him time and allow him to build enough support to put pressure on the club for improvements.

If he can get that discussion without bloodying the noses of Brands or Kenwright, we all have a fairly good idea that Moshiri will not get in front of a mic to stop it.

I'm sticking with Rafa through this most difficult time. He is a professional and is applying his skills to improve this club in ways that are badly needed. We might wish he had a different history but he is doing the job that we need done. Give him a short-term pass on the shit sub decisions.

Jay Harris
11 Posted 25/10/2021 at 23:44:46
Very good article, Paul, highlighting the lack of planning and leadership at the club.

In mentioning Keith Harris, I can tell you I have a friend who is very close to him and he told him that the Everton Board was the most dysfunctional he had ever worked with.

Now that doesn't surprise me and I'm sure there won't be many surprised by that. I remain concerned that Moshiri only made his money by taking care of Usmanov, if you get my drift, and is not therefore a successful business man, but a gatekeeper; without a football man at the helm of the club, we are seeing the consequences of this incompetence and interference – compounded by the different factions within the club.

The owners of Chelsea, Man City and now Newcastle will or have had a clean sweep of the respective clubs and will put their own structure in but whatever deal was struck to leave Kenwright as chairman is seriously holding us back.

Barry Hesketh
12 Posted 25/10/2021 at 23:47:50
It may well prove to be the case that Benitez is the first to call out publicly the need for improvement but we have to also believe that those that have gone before him have recognised the glaring deficiencies within the set-up at Everton FC.

Some will have hoped to be given the money to buy their way to improvement; when the money wasn't there, they left as quickly as possible. Some will have decided that it wasn't their responsibility and much preferred to have a round of golf as often as possible. Others would have tried their best but were then shafted by the players at their disposal and were sacked.

I can envisage a scenario where Benitez is encouraged to join Newcastle United because he has had the audacity to question the hierarchy's authority. Step forward – an Evertonian who gets what it is to be a Blue... and another 3 years passes.

Mike Gaynes
13 Posted 25/10/2021 at 00:49:32
Paul, I rarely comment on your articles because I rarely understand them. The financial permutations sail over my head, and I know little of corporate management issues in football. But this one is clear, concise and understandable even to clueless Yanks like me.

And I agree with almost all of it.

The one question I don't buy into is whether Moshiri somehow misunderstood the requirements of his commitment or had the "wool pulled over his eyes“, presumably by the hypnotically persuasive Kenwright.

No way, Jose.

Not because of the infallibility implied by his business success, but because of his past experience observing top management functionality at not only Usmanov's international conglomerates, but at Arsenal. He has seen how it's done, up close. So yes, he's fluent with the responsibilities of leadership, and no, he's not a sucker or a fool.

The buck stops at the top, so Moshiri is ultimately responsible for the failures the club has suffered, as well as the success of making the new stadium a reality. Hopefully he will improve the former and continue the latter.

And hopefully he has changes in mind and the will to make them... and the recognition that, as you say, inaction is not an option.

Darren Hind
14 Posted 26/10/2021 at 01:26:08
The hypocrisy of of some and the hindsight demonstrated by others whenever Moshiri's name crops up never ceases to amaze me. Until Rafa's appointment, just about every decision he has made has either been greeted with approval or happy-clapping and flag-waving. Only when it turns to dust do the knives come out... Short memories.

I've always maintained that, when you visit these pages, you enter a place where the general consensus among Evertonians is very accurately represented. You could be in any bar on County Road.

When Moshiri pulled the plug on Roberto Martinez, he was merely acting to appease the baying crowds. Many felt Roberto had lost his way. The atmosphere in and around Goodison Park was as hostile as I have known it. The case for the prosecution was becoming irresistible. Some on here (who now choose to deny it) even wanted us to lose a semi-final in order to get rid of him... How absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Koeman arrived to fanfares. He had strung a few results together at Southampton and was absolutely flavour of the month. He was a natural-born winner who "told it like it is"... It was bollocks then and it's bollocks now.

Having called for Unsworth to be given the gig for the rest of the season, I am fully aware of the volume of support for the appointment of the Night King. "Fireman Sam will save us". The fact is, we didnt need saving. We were 13th and heading north. Those who decried the calls for Unsworth to be kept on had gotten what hey wanted and swiftly found they didn't like what they got.

The appointment of Silva, although not meeting with universal approval, was still a very popular one. I remember one poster in particular being quite evangelical about his appointment. Many, many jumped on board.

Big Dunc stepped in. Steadied the ship and had the place bouncing... but he was merely a chest-beater. How could he sustain it?

Enter Carlo Fan-fucking-tastico.

I still cringe at the way our fans lauded Moshiri for delivering the miracle. He brought in one of the all-time greats.... How lucky we felt. How grateful we were... How we got what we deserved.

When Moshiri was bringing in a steady stream of zombie-loving free loaders. I didn't see anybody storming the gates of Goodison Park. I didn't read or hear protests on the boards, radio phone-ins or at the games. His decisions were all, at the time, crowd pleasers.

£700M... we are heading south and stuck with a manager very few people wanted. All Moshiri`s fault?... Yeah of course it was. How dare the bastard give the fans what they wanted. How dare he go with popular opinion. What was he thinking when he was backing the managers he had appointed?

Backing his popular choices wasnt Moshiri's greatest crime, of course. Oh no, the bastard ruined the club by keeping on 3-4 junior coaches who have had little or nothing to do with decisions made by the Zombie lovers... now that is just plain unforgivable.

Why are we where we are? Because we fucking deserve to be.

Barry Hesketh
15 Posted 26/10/2021 at 02:05:38
The bottom line is that, with and without Moshiri, the club has failed to do what we all want it to do, become successful and challenge at the top of the table. Not an easy task, by any means.

But a new ground will not suddenly catapult the club forward on the pitch; it will help but only if those at the very top of the club work 24/7 to make the club a better commercial enterprise and get away from the 'something will turn up' mentality that has been prevalent at Everton for far too long.

Derek Thomas
16 Posted 26/10/2021 at 02:57:03
"Benitez's intervention must raise some concerns with Brands and (one would hope) Moshiri. Benitez's comments could easily be interpreted as encroachment into the DoF's sphere of influence."

Given the reputed interference from Moshiri, especially over Walcott and Iwobi... I can't understand it, Marcel. These lads were shit hot when I was at Arsenal (7 years ago)...

I could go on and on, but the short version is:– Bosses have fancy offices so they can sit the fuck in them and keep out the way while the people who actually know what they're doing, get on with it.

So Moshiri sits in Monaco or wherever and lets the people he inherited, or the people he and those people later hired, make a complete pig's ear... no change really, well just in the scale of the cock-up.

Paul Tran nailed it; Moshiri has 'Gone Native'. Not only has he 'gone Native' – he's an 'Absentee Native'... which may be a bit harsh as he does have a 'day job'... which can't help either.

So the new Organ Grinder sits in Monaco and the previous Organ Grinder sits in London. That only leaves their various on-site Monkeys all hitting their metaphorical typewriters, trying to write deathless Shakespearean prose, but only succeeding in making McGonigall look good.

Benitez is on a hiding to nothing. Yes, he has inherited a load of problems but he is not helping himself with Rondon, Iwobi and Zonal Marking. Get rid of all three... oh and keep Delph the fuck away from everything as well.

Go back to the Wall of Four, that Ancelotti accidentally stumbled on, sit on the ropes, head down, elbows tucked in and wait it out. Get to the 4th round of the cup, do the one thing we can do, hitting on the break, and see what the January window brings... hopefully not another Rondon.

Kieran Kinsella
17 Posted 26/10/2021 at 03:14:51
Darren,

Are you trying to be funny, dismissing "free loaders" while lauding "Big Dunc" who openly refused to train when he wasn't in prison on inebriated?

I remember most on here didn't want Koeman – especially when he played hard ball for £6 million a year. I also remember one person -- Steve Ferns -- wanting and continuing to support Silva.

As for "3 or 4" junior coaches.... the fact is the last crew of good youngsters – best in the world for their age – Dowell etc came through from Sheedy's Under-16 team. Your boy, the drunk driver Unsie took them on and, with the help of the over-age Niasse, won the Under-23 title before seeing them stagnate or worse.

None of them made the grade: Walsh, Dowell, Kenny, Connolly, Williams. Your boy and his many, many mates: Jevons, Phelan, Ebbrell, Southern, Dunc, Jeffers, Baxter, Baines (that's a lot more than three or four) have presided over a youth team that has produced nothing at all since the dying embers of the Sheedy era. Nothing.

But in your deluded universe, the mediocre crew from the latter days of Walter Smith are somehow the heroes here who have been held down by ungrateful fans? How about your boy Kenwright, and his charity shop for anyone and everyone he brown-nosed with when he stole the club from a Chairman and owner who actually won a trophy?

Alan J Thompson
18 Posted 26/10/2021 at 05:37:57
I think we need to know what the agreement was that saw Mr Moshiri purchase the majority of shares while leaving the Chairman in place. If the current manager had the chain of command explained to him, especially with regard to the DoF and Member of the Board's responsibilities and what any transfer budget amounted to, then the recently appointed manager complaining after a couple of poor results is at best poor timing.

I agree, the whole system needs revamping but it seems equally clear that something is in place which appears to stop any such action or needs somebody senior at Board level to publicly work around the whole thing, possibly by stacking the Board and working around any obstacles – starting with the appointment of a more strident Chief Executive.

Steavey Buckley
19 Posted 26/10/2021 at 05:40:29
Defensively, Everton were strong at the back under manager Ancelotti when he chose a back four of Holgate, Mina, Keane, and Godfrey. They conceded few goals, while the back four were good at getting forward into the opposition penalty area for corners and free-kicks and grabbing a few goals.

But the back four of Coleman, Godfrey, Keane and Digne have opened up the 'flood gates' to a deluge of goals. All season, Digne has particularly been responsible for giving away needless free-kicks and corners that have led to goals conceded.

What has made the Everton performance even worse is the form and performance of Rondon, who must be the worst buy in recent Everton footballing history. Who is so anonymous on the pitch, he might as well not play.


Derek Moore
20 Posted 26/10/2021 at 05:54:03
More than a little disingenuous there, Darren. You'll find a lunatic in any crowd, and Steve Ferns was ours. A lot of hostile voices when Marco Silva was employed.

And from my perspective, it seemed as if the media appointed Allardyce for us. I know you vehemently disagree, but the night Southampton beat us 4-0 under Unsie was the worst I've ever seen us play. Moshiri's feet got briefly held to the fire and he melted – fully melted, when one takes into account he then let Big Sam spunk £50 million or so on Tosun and Walcott with no intention of reappointing him.

I think the owner is a naif, and takes more blame for what we're seeing than anyone. After all, Darren, he's the only one in a position to actually change it.

Objectively, it's hard to argue we've benefitted on the pitch at all from his enormous investment. That's on Moshiri, nobody else.



Darren Hind
21 Posted 26/10/2021 at 06:07:39
You are quite possibly the most ill-informed poster on these pages, Kinsella. That's why I tend to blank your foolish attempts to engage me.

Do you really believe "My boy" Kenwright stole the club? The fact is, your boy the Kopite couldn't give... Nah... You don't deserve to be told.

As for your list of junior coaches. Why not start up a petition to get them out? Oh yeah, half of them have already gone. Although you must have been delighted when the fella you thought could do no wrong – Carlo Fantastico – redressed the balance by adding to your list.

Bainsey out. It's all his fault.

I remember the happy-clapping of Koeman and I haven't forgotten you being front and centre... just as you were with the last two fools.

I was going to ask you to name all those "best in the world"... err "for their age" who actually made it. Proved Rhino wrong. Showed that cream really does rise to the top... but I didn't want to make your head hurt.

You're right about one thing though; When you dished the dirt on Rhino's drink-drive indiscretion 16 years ago, you were definitely getting to the root of all our problems over the past 40 years.

I just know you have led a blemish-free life without indiscretion... That's probably the reason you get to hang out with famous actors.

Darren Hind
22 Posted 26/10/2021 at 06:17:24
Derek

Point accepted about Silva. Although In fairness I did point out that his appointment wasn't universally acclaimed. But those who criticised him will know it was hugely supported. Steve Ferns was merely a cheerleader. Far from a solo voice.

And while I go along with your criticsm of Moshiri, every decision before Benitez was made to a very large degree with the approval of the overwhelming majority.

Most of the criticism he receives now reads to me like "How dare you give us what we wanted?"

Steve Shave
23 Posted 26/10/2021 at 07:10:51
Darren.

As always, I appreciate your contributions but I don't get you. Sometimes you inspire me with fist-pumping, blue-blood surging narratives which remind me of why I am an Evertonian.

Other times, you just seem to absolutely revel in our misery, when things aren't going well (which is quite a frequent occurrence). You come out and point fingers at everyone for daring to believe, for throwing their support behind this or that person (enter name of the latest player or manager rising above expectations at the time) and seemingly laugh in their face. I don't get it.

I am not a regular poster but have defended you on numerous occasions and I refuse to jump on the bandwagon of antagonism towards your posts on here because I believe you offer so much more than the tittle-tattle and mud-slinging you always get drawn into.

I am as perplexed, disillusioned, confounded and as furious about the state of our club as anyone on here, bud, but I tell you what: if in the next game Rafa, Tom Davies, Rondon or anyone else for that matter raises the bar for a moment and gets us 3 points, I will take that and, at least for a moment, just marvel in the moment those precious 3 points brings. If I am a happy clapper for doing that, then I will stand proud to support my team and grab that moment of joy with both hands.

Equally, I would happily sit in a pub with you and debate the delicate intricacies, outright dumbfuckery and cursed luck that has blighted our great club for decades. The problem is clearly so magnificently complex that us, a collective, can only touch the surfaces of the problem. We will never get to the bottom of why we are in the state we are in; instead, we will go round and round, pointing fingers and getting stuck in cycles of blame.

Here's to the next game when Gbamin comes off the bench and scores the winner from a deflection... and, in that delicious moment, I will kid myself that his time has arrived, he is the solution to our problems and will fulfil all of that pre-injury promise. COYB.

Mike Gaynes
24 Posted 26/10/2021 at 07:10:52
Revisionist history aside, I recall considerable skepticism by many here, myself among them, of the appointments of both Koeman and Silva. Moshiri's responsibility, no question. Also, to Moshiri's credit, he recognized that both were mistakes and he corrected them, albeit not always with better solutions.

Derek, I wouldn't call Steve Ferns a lunatic. He had a strong point of view and stood by it, too long by half and with too much devotion, but still with a noteworthy conviction. I recall no such passionate advocacy from anyone here for Ronald Koeman.

But one thing you're right about is that Moshiri is the only person in a position to change things. I believe he will. The question is how, and what form that change will take. And I've seen no consensus here on what the changes should be. Lots of opinions, but precious little agreement.

Andrew Ellams
25 Posted 26/10/2021 at 07:41:33
Rafa isn't daft. He knows the club is rotting from the top but he also knows he, his predecessors and his successors will be the scapegoats when it hits the fan whilst those at the top will sit back and wait to sell their inflated shareholdings when the shiny new temple to Moshiri is up and running.
David Pearl
26 Posted 26/10/2021 at 08:27:14
You can't deny that Moshiri has swayed with public opinion, and exactly when he had to. Until now of course! He also intimated that Moyes would have been back but he listened and decided against it. This time he has broken the mould so can expect more of a backlash if it doesn't turn around soon.

Unfair on our current manager with the squad he has inherited. To an extent of course. Imagine having to rely on Gray and Townsend. That's us. Benitez was also relying on Rondon. Surely he realises that his former favourite needs taking out the firing line before it gets ugly.

There have been changes already. Maybe not enough but it has started. Wages have been released with more to follow.

People can point left, right and centre but it all comes down to player recruitment and having the right man in charge to shape them. Not helped by Moshiri and his choices. You can't say he didn't try. Who told him it's a good idea to go from one style to another, bring a pot of players to appease each manager?

Anyway, we now have a smaller squad and wage bill. We need our best players back so our manager can get the best out of the team before he shoots himself in the foot, and we return to square one.

What else matters?

Sam Hoare
27 Posted 26/10/2021 at 08:27:40
I thought Silva was going to be great. And there was a brief moment when it looked like he could be. But he was undone by poor recruitment (failure to replace Gueye and Zouma) and especially by terrible set-piece tactics.

He showed an inflexibility to change a system that clearly wasn't working. Let's hope Benitez doesn't make the same mistake.

Jim Bennings
28 Posted 26/10/2021 at 09:14:02
The thing that concerns with Everton so much is there has been no clear plan, resulting in no forward progression.

Five years on, we should have well been on our way to seeing a team bossing games with more authority now... but somehow we still make ourselves second favourite no matter who the opponents are.

When we lose a few key players, we have completely gone as a team. Yet you look at the likes of Leicester, West Ham... just two examples of how to keep moving the plan forwards despite losing some key members of the team. There is a clear strategy at those clubs that is working towards something sustainable.

West Ham lost Lingard in the summer, the player who was paramount to them finishing in Europe last season, but they have maintained their ability to produce an ample replacement. Leicester lose key players but keep bringing in good quality.

Look at us, lose Mina and what have we got? Michael bloody Keane who's awful without Mina, or Mason Holgate and Ben Godfrey who last month were absolutely schooled by Charlie Austin.

Lose Doucouré and we don't have a single physical presence in midfield. Why didn't we try and get Moussa Sissoko to come and sit on our bench instead of Watford's?

Gbamin is a joke: never fit, tear his contract up. Same too with Delph.

Allan and Davies are too diminutive.

Lose Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison we are left with a few duds.

It's easy to say "play the kids" but we had that in 1997-98 and that resulted in near disaster.

The club is just not looking like moving forward at all.

Paul Hewitt
29 Posted 26/10/2021 at 09:22:35
Newcastle board still want Benitez. An approach is expected.
Eddie Dunn
30 Posted 26/10/2021 at 09:25:13
I can recall how many on here lauded Koeman for "talking straight in pressers". After Martinez and his mystifying twaddle, he really did seem to be a breath of fresh air.

Of course we all know what happened but hindsight is a handy thing. Our club has a whole host of problems and I think any coach in the Premier League would have his hands full.

David Pearl
31 Posted 26/10/2021 at 09:25:44
Jim, with you on the Sissoko shout. He could do a job for us. I guess we are still waiting on Delph, Gomes and Gbamim though. He has more of a pressence than Davies will ever have and would have been perfect off the bench.
Derek Thomas
32 Posted 26/10/2021 at 09:27:36
Sam @ 27; I hope so too, but Benitez, according to the one decent kopite I know, has previous for at least 3 things:

He loves Zonal Marking.
Noted for stubbornness.
A built-in belief he always right.

I hope the things he's stubborn and always right about improve us, not hold us back and/or make us even worse... but sod that Zonal Marking for a lark.

Danny O’Neill
33 Posted 26/10/2021 at 09:37:39
Paul the Esk plays another blinder.

I believe he is telling the board, and others, that – having made initial observations – the club needs improving in all areas. Let's face it, it would be obvious to a manager of this experience given the clubs he's managed. From Finch Farm to the playing staff and yes, the governance structure; the board. Bold shout for a manager, but as we've seen on many occasions in the past, this guy doesn't care for popularity or always toeing the party line.

Why has (or still is) the owner taken so long to recognise it? Maybe he has, hence Benitez having the confidence to speak out bluntly? I can't believe for one minute he had the wool pulled. I would go for poor judgement in listening to the wrong people for too long.

I suppose it's not uncommon for an owner to stay in the background and let others run the business. After all, he will no doubt have other business interests. That's why he appoints a CEO and then a board. That's been his poor judgment in my opinion. Not just appointments, but leaving key personnel in situ.

I too support the DoF model and I've supported Brands previously. But you have to implement it properly and go full-on, not half-cocked. Empower the DoF to run the football side of the business. Academy development to transfers to first-team coach (not manager) appointment.

Many point out that Brands has not been good enough, and the evidence may well support that. I would counter that he hasn't been allowed to do his job properly and the structure isn't right. From what I see, he has become a transfer negotiator – and not always negotiating with those he would choose to based on the DoF's football strategy for the club.

But other than in name, what is his job? Back to Paul's valid point about interference and lack of clarity in roles and responsibilities at the executive level.

It's that bit, more than anything, I would fix as a priority. The board. Surround himself with his own people or those he knows will restructure the way the club is run and organised. Define everyone's role and be clear on what their remit is in terms of decision-making.

I hope Moshiri already knows and has learned his lesson. He must do; he's been way more successful in life than me. I hope Benitez has indeed kicked the hornets' nest. I want to be able to hear phrases such as "well-run club" and words such as "competent" about Everton said with authority. Not cringe when I hear it from the current incumbents.

Jim Bennings
34 Posted 26/10/2021 at 09:39:59
Zonal marking only works if you have players with a defensive awareness and a built-in instinct to attack the ball.

Outside of Mina, I can fairly say this is one of the least convincing groups of defenders I've seen in the last 25 years at Everton.

You can get away with a lack of pace as long as you have a nose for defending; think Richard Gough, Davie Weir etc.

But the likes of Keane doesn't have any of that. Holgate and Godfrey are abysmal in the air and physically not strong enough either.

Joe McMahon
35 Posted 26/10/2021 at 09:45:34
Jim @28, like many of your posts, I fully agree. Looking at our options when Mina, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin and Doucouré are not available is embarrassing, shambolic and just pitiful.

After so many years and the money spent, it's an absolutely disgraceful situation. No wonder we are known as Neverton.

Danny O’Neill
36 Posted 26/10/2021 at 09:54:28
I commented elsewhere. Theoretically, zonal marking works better for a defence as the defence can keep its shape and dictates where it wants to be. It doesn't get pulled out of shape by moving forwards. You hold your ground and mark your zone.

But, it doesn't mean the defenders stand there like statues or Subbuteo players. It requires discipline, concentration, remaining agile, and taking personal responsibility. With most of those factors escaping most of our defenders right now, probably not a good thing for Everton.

It's not in our (UK) culture, so many are suspicious of it. But it can work very effectively with the right players who are drilled and disciplined.

Jerome Shields
37 Posted 26/10/2021 at 09:55:02
The problem is that other managers have asked for improvement and did not get it. They came across resistance. "We are the School of Science, we have been doing this for years, with our experience, we had better talk to Bill, we are Everton, we have medals, we are successful in our careers at Everton. Who does the manager think he is? We got rid of Ancelotti; Benitez is a push-over. "

Though Benitez went public with his "change across board" statement on Friday, he had already spoken to those concerned earlier, probably during the International break.

The performance of the team since will give us an idea of the response. Unfit, a yard short, unfocused, poor work rate, and lack of effort. All reflecting what has gone on as far as preparation concerned at Finch Farm.

After the West Ham game, Everton must rebound for the Watford game. The fact that, on the Friday, Benitez had to go public shows the week he had at Finch Farm. After the Watford game, we also know what that response was.

Paul the Esk, this improvement across the board, as you know, has been needed for years. The problem is that, inside Everton, they are not interested. They are all doing quite nicely, with their big titles, big wages and assuranced big pensions. Job security assured, as long as they stay clear of the manager job and get the stupid idea that they would progress their careers by going to another club.

The only support that Benitez would get is if he just submitted the title 'Change across the Board', with details as an article on ToffeeWeb. A bit like preaching to the long converted.

The concern is that they waited till the last quarter of the season to shaft Ancelotti but, with Benitez, they could be at it in the first quarter.

Paul Hewitt
38 Posted 26/10/2021 at 10:01:26
I personally think Moshiri has had enough of the club now. I can see, once the stadium is finished, he will probably sell.
Stu Darlington
39 Posted 26/10/2021 at 10:12:52
Wow, Paul, it took a second reading of your article to assimilate all the really powerful statements contained in every section.

Phrases like “gross mismanagement, poor planning, lack of strategy, failure to grow revenue or control costs, no significant improvement in our commercial partnerships, poor governance” etc etc!

And the man responsible for all this and the only one seemingly with the power to change it is the majority shareholder, Moshiri! – and his possible shadowy backer, Usmanov! Pretty scary if you ask me!

Maybe Benitez's "5 to 10% improvement in all departments" is now the only way out of this! Otherwise, the words of private Fraser spring to mind “Doomed!“

I have to go for a lie down in a darkened room now... Or, on second thoughts, where did I put that bottle of Mount Gay XO?

Tony Everan
40 Posted 26/10/2021 at 10:19:50
Derek and Steavey talking about the “wall of four”.

I like the terminology, and also mentioning the fact that Ancelotti stumbled upon it.

Holgate is not a right-back, Godfrey isn't a left-back, but they offered a nastiness and physicality to those full-back positions. Godfrey performed better at left-back than anywhere else he has played.

It seems like sacrilege to say that a fit Coleman and Digne should be in competition with Holagte and Godfrey. I don't know the stats but we seemed a more compact and organised defensive unit with the “wall of four”.

It's certainly worthy of debate. Also whether Digne and/or Coleman could be used to add more bite to our lightweight, ineffective, Doucouré-depleted midfield.


Pickford
Holgate Keane Mina Godfrey
Coleman Allan Digne
Townsend Richarlison Gray

Worthy of debate, or just ridiculous?

(Mina unfit, play Branthwaite)

Ken Kneale
41 Posted 26/10/2021 at 10:28:44
Paul,

Another excellent article and, as I have said to you before, you must send this to every board member. I know you have previously indicated little or no traction but someone, at some time, must realise that such analysis is sound thinking – not braying fans.

Given the manager – and not a universally popular one but one with great experience – is not saying such things publicly so early in tenure in my view is to be applauded. I hope his comments at the board level strike a nerve.

I must add on a personal note, I have little sympathy for Brands: he is also a director of the club so sits at the top table and could and should have grown a backbone long before Rafa Benitez speaks out.

I am not surprised either that Benitez has looked at the medical side: I mentioned on another post some weeks back that it is clear the medics are as dysfunctional as the rest of the set-up given the plethora of injuries the players suffer. The recovery time of those players and, in many cases, a breakdown and longer lay off soon afterwards.

We as fans simply cannot allow a giant of a club to wither away like is happening. I for one will continue to write to all at the club outlining dissatisfaction on a regular basis.

Brian Harrison
42 Posted 26/10/2021 at 10:36:46
Paul,

Great piece as always, but I think you were right about your first observation about Benitez's statement about improvement needed in all areas, it's a tactic he has used throughout his career to deflect the blame.

Funny how he has come out with this after two defeats. I would suggest the improvement start with him coaching the side how to deal with dead-ball situations seeing as half our goals conceded have been through dead-ball situations.

Regarding the role of DoF, I personally believe the DoF should only be involved in the recruiting players for the U23s and below, and have very little input into the signing of first-team players. Because, if he is allowed to buy the players for the first team, it's a bit like a restaurant employing a Michelin star chef but letting the head waiter source the ingredients and write the menu – utter madness.

The whole point of a manager is to structure the team the way he wants – not have it imposed on him. Look at Chelsea; they have a lady DoF, Marina Granovskia, yes that well known DoF and Man City employee Txiki Begiristan who they got from Barca under the instruction of Pep, who worked with him there. This is more a manager and his assistant although officially he is the DoF.

Dave Lynch
43 Posted 26/10/2021 at 10:38:15
Benitez was never gonna be a forelock-tugging whimp.

He likes to win and win his way, I believe Kenwright knows this and has retreated to his bunker, probably firing off emails to all and sundry who will listen to his bullshit.

He (Kenwright and his cronies) need to leave the club to people who want to win, not revel in comfortable mid-table mediocrity.

I sense an in-house witchhunt headed by Kenwright; let's hope Rafa stays strong and true to his principles.

Steavey Buckley
44 Posted 26/10/2021 at 10:38:31
Tony Everan:

There's one thing for certain: the back 4 at the moment of Coleman, Godfrey, Keane and Digne is not functioning as a stable defensive unit.

Yet, I still have lingering doubts about Pickford and his lack of ability to come out for free-kicks and corners, as goals from free-kicks and corners against Watford saw Pickford stood 'rooted' to the spot.

Derek Thomas
45 Posted 26/10/2021 at 10:47:10
Tony @ 42; the meaning of life, the universe and everything according to the the Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy) so you may be right, we could do worse than that 11...we recently did - Twice.
David Pearl
46 Posted 26/10/2021 at 10:56:20
On the subject of the back 4... surely it fully depends on the balance of the team and as important, the midfield axis and shape in front of them. We need a team to move together forwards and back. Sitting on the edge of our own penalty box looking to counter works only when being pressed.

As much as it pains me to say, Benitez needs a little time to find his Plans B and C. Although, if he sticks with Rondon and doesn't improve, the writing is already on the wall and Duncan will be in charge before the end of the year.

Gary Smith
47 Posted 26/10/2021 at 10:58:17
The article is a real Catch-22. You'd have to be utterly blind to not see the need for fundamental reform in the way the club is run. Don't think there are many fans who disagree!

However, the big questions for me are:

1) Whether Rafa is after – and should be given – more power and control? From what I understand, he was ran out of Valencia and Liverpool (and others too) after demanding more and more control too. He has history here.

2) Whether this is the right time for him to rock the boat and cause more division?

On the first point, I think it would be a huge gamble to give him extended control. He's a manager who persists with zonal marking that doesn't work, cedes possession to opponents, prefers older players, and has history of replacing good players with compliant (to him) players.

However, the alternative / supposed existing model (DoF running it all + Coach moulding the players) a) was never going to fit with Rafa (this is why we had protracted contract negotiations, and we already have the leaks); and b) failed badly before when Brands let down Silva

Moshiri has a real conundrum here. He's recruited the worst possible manager to fit the structure he wants to use. He continues to have a 'mutt' of a solution, and it will hurt the club. He needs to decide, once and for all, whether to do away with the DoF and allow a manager to have full control, or whether he wants the manager to shut his mouth and coach.

Personally, as much as I want Brands out (and a shakeup at the highest levels), I wouldn't gamble on giving Rafa full control of everything. Go break the bank for Rangnick to replace Brands, and tell Rafa he has to toe the line or feck off. If he chooses the latter, look again at a young coach like Howe, or someone who will work with Rangnick particularly.

On the latter point (timing), unfortunately, I think he is right to highlight it. The rot is now festering. We are broken at full-back and, without Doucouré, we don't have the central midfielders to play the system we need to fit the other players. We are heading for another season of 'get points on the board' already. We have all the ingredients to drop like a stone in the league.

Some may call for "a plan that keeps us going until we get the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock", I think that is utter madness. If we go down between now and then, or are fighting relegation in the first year there, the shiny stadium will mean little. If it has to move from a 4-year plan to a 7-year plan, so be it.

Brian Murray
48 Posted 26/10/2021 at 11:04:34
David Pearl @31.

Isn't it the Sissoko on Deadline Day who refused to answer our manager's calls because he had a better offer? I know we have already fell but surely keep some pride. It's not rocket science.

Get buyouts for Tosun, Gomes, Delph etc in January and target two full-backs, a striker, a midfielder who knows how to stay fit. Sorted.

David Pearl
49 Posted 26/10/2021 at 11:25:19
Brian, that Sissoko yes. Didn't Nigel Martyn choose Leeds over us earlier in his career?

We do need reinforcements January, although are any of us filled with optimism on who we bring in?

Dave Abrahams
50 Posted 26/10/2021 at 11:39:14
I thought Brands was a good appointment when he came but he doesn't seem to be his own man. Why was he selected to be part of the board?

More importantly, what the fuck was he doing in America when Everton toured there in the summer? Surely he should have been back in Europe looking for players to sign and helping to get rid of some of the players we no longer needed.

I wonder what Rafa thought Brands was doing having a holiday in America when he should've been out and about in Europe and England looking for players. I mean, that is what he was hired for, wasn't it?

Benitez knows what and who he is working against; he needs full backing off Moshiri and Usmanov now. If he is allowed to go, we are back to square one and that is the next stop to nowhere.

Danny O’Neill
51 Posted 26/10/2021 at 11:49:37
I think that ship has sailed, Gary @51, and don't think there'll be any more managerial changes unless something goes badly wrong. Another costly pay-off? I doubt it... so, unless something was to force Benitez to quit, he's here now.

But, for what it's worth, Rangnick was my shout last summer, but probably with a continental coach. I don't see what others seem to with Potter, but that's just me.

I liked the look of Terzic who, as interim head coach, turned Dortmund around last season and ended up winning the German Cup. One for the future; he has a lot of coaching experience. Academy at Dortmund under Klopp, assistant to Bilic at West Ham for a couple of seasons and then assistant to Favre at Dortmund before stepping up to the plate before they appointed Rose.

Gary Smith
52 Posted 26/10/2021 at 12:19:56
Unfortunately Danny, I think it is fantasy on my part to think a change of manager will be something that's instigated by the club at this stage (even if they managed to get some “lower compensation” agreed in summer wrangling).

They're going to have to either give him the full control he really wants, or put him firmly in his place……once again we've got ourselves in a pickle.

Nick Page
53 Posted 26/10/2021 at 12:31:03
It only begins to be solved once you get rid of Kenwright and his myriad of acolytes that have plagued the club for years, and that includes the job-for-boys brigade of Ferguson (how does nobody think this relationship is strange?), Unsworth etc etc.

It's a Premier League football club that looks more like a living museum, and is being run as such. If we get relegated, we'll drop like a stone through the divisions. A new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock won't mean a thing, which is why focussing on that rather than professional on- and off-field activities is churlish, to say the least.

Pull your effing finger out, Moshiri, and start taking a proper interest in what's going on here.

Stan Schofield
54 Posted 26/10/2021 at 12:34:07
Paul, interesting article.

You ask why the Board have not previously realised themselves the points now being made by Benitez. It is possible, and likely, that the Board have previously simply had ‘Yesmen' managers telling them precisely what they want to hear rather than what they need to hear.

This happens all the time in organisations, and of course simply helps exacerbate a bad situation of incompetence and/or poor attitude (ie, unprofessionalism) on the part of those who hold the purse strings and their cronies.

I'm not saying that this is what's happened, only that it is classic and likely to have happened. If it has happened, then of course the Board will either listen to Benitez and act properly, or Benitez will be replaced by another yes-man.

Colin Glassar
55 Posted 26/10/2021 at 12:42:07
Despite considering Brands to be completely useless, I wouldn't leave the transfer business to Benitez. His record at Mordor was spotty to say the least.

If Brands has messed up big time, Rafa could be even worse.

Paul [The Esk]
56 Posted 26/10/2021 at 12:59:07
Stan #54, one of the points I did not make in this article but have previously is that the board is just a board by name - they don't function as a proper board should. Given they are all executives, employees of the club, they are no more than a management committee.

In non-business terms, they are pupils marking their own homework.

Thanks to everyone for the kind comments.

Derek Moore
57 Posted 26/10/2021 at 13:44:20
Mike G (#24), I will concede that point on Koeman.

I'll go further. There are scribes on these pages who still believe in Moyes, in Martinez, and even Silva defenders here and there.

But Allardyce and Koeman, I've yet to find one Evertonian who thought they needed or deserved more time, or that we'd done ourselves a long-term disservice by getting rid.

If you can get one hundred percent of Evertonians to agree on something, you're doing well!

Koeman was absolute pants.

Allan Board
58 Posted 26/10/2021 at 13:53:09
Good article. We all know that, once a manager starts to question the club from top to bottom, the tossers will close ranks on him and make his job untenable. They do it to every manager and will do it to Benitez. The only difference this time is Rafa has a ready-made escape route via Newcastle.

The club needs clearing out, starting at the top and Finch Farm next. Won't happen, of course; Mr Hornby Bill will never give up his train set. So Everton are right royally done.

Buy an old GT car instead and enjoy that, folks, much nicer to look at, will hold its price, more reliable if serviced properly, and gives you smiles per miles!

Everything Everton doesn't.

Kieran Kinsella
59 Posted 26/10/2021 at 14:07:21
Darren,

With the fare you're seeking, you could save yourself your bag of sand and many pillows. Loud-mouth boss presiding over a team comprised of Alan Whittle's extended family? Just go and watch your local pub team. You may even get a game.

As for Koeman I never wanted him or liked him – so don't make up fantasies.

Jay Harris
60 Posted 26/10/2021 at 14:13:45
Derek,

You have found what you are looking for. I actually believe Koeman could have been a good manager. In his first season, he had us organized and effective but then 'someone' (probably Bill Kenwright) agreed to let Lukaku go and, instead of replacing him, brought a "past his sell-by date" Rooney back to the club.

A pissed-off Dutchman then decided that, if someone else wanted to run the playing side, he would go on a golfing holiday until they sacked him.

I believe that letting him go and not replacing Lukaku was a turning point in our fortunes.

Derek Moore
61 Posted 26/10/2021 at 14:35:29
Fair enough Jay; confirmed member now in the "Koeman was dudded" camp.

I will confess, the unsourced narrative and mental gymnastics required to paint "someone (probably Billl Kenwright)" as the architect of the dour Dutchman's demise left me thoroughly bemused. But I accept your views, and would like to slightly alter my earlier pronouncement "If you can get one hundred percent of Evertonians to agree on something, you're doing well!" to "If you can get almost but not quite one hundred percent of Evertonians to agree on something, you're doing well!"

And to Mike G, furthermore, I should like to add this entire interaction into evidence for my "lunatic in every crowd" hypothesis. Illustrative and instructive.

Jerome Shields
62 Posted 26/10/2021 at 14:50:31
For me the most telling part of Benitez is, "I did not come here just to survive". Everton's objective is to survive in the Premier League, and not to progress beyond that. Benitez is highly likely to leave to join Newcastle and will be helped on his way.

I agree with all Paul has said regarding the Board and planning. I have made similar comments often enough.

'Change across the Board' , could be applied to all management and departments at Everton.

Actually, it could have been applied over 20 years ago.

Steve Brown
63 Posted 26/10/2021 at 14:55:49
Given almost all managerial appointments end in the sack, it is easy to portray yourself as a footballing seer by opposing every appointment.

I was opposed to hiring Benitez, but you have to give managers the beneft of the doubt. He has done enough to earn credit in the bank despite the last two results, and I trust him to do a thorough job to do a full review of the footballing departments. But, it is not his job. That responsibility rests with the Director of Football.

Equally, a review of non-footballing departments would normally sit with the COO. As Paul says, that position should be part of an executive team led by the CEO, overseen by an independent board. If Everton had stronger governance they would be a better run and more professional club.

Kevin Prytherch
64 Posted 26/10/2021 at 14:56:34
53,58 & 60.

Look at the list of players bought in post 8 by Brands

Think back to all the players bought under Walsh.

With the exception of Rooney, how many do you think were brought in by Kenwright?

As much as you don’t like the guy, getting rid of Kenwright at any point in the last 5 years wouldn’t have prevented the never ending dross signed on ridiculous money by a piss poor DOF model. We’d still have a hopelessly unbalanced, paper thin squad with a ridiculous wage bill.

Brian Wilkinson
65 Posted 26/10/2021 at 14:57:22
Another great article as always Paul, with some great contributions from posters as well, enjoyed reading that, not in a cynical way, but in a way I feel a lot of Evertonians feel the same way.

If ever the Evertonians needed a voice, to speak up for us, and be the go-between from supporters, to the board members, you would get my shout, Paul, to be our voice.

We have to make sure those that have got us in this mess, are not allowed to hide, and use Rafa as a scapegoat.

At last we have someone who will try and sort the mess out. I just feel though some of these he has dared to call out will stab him in the back and try to remove him from our club.

Ray Robinson
66 Posted 26/10/2021 at 15:27:07
I wasn't exactly over-enamoured with the appointment of Benitez but I reckon that he's a decent enough manager, "gets us", having lived on Merseyside for a long while, understands the Premier League unlike some foreign counterparts, already knew the limitations of the squad before he arrived and is a proud man who will want to get things right. At all events, he deserves a decent chance and no knee-jerk reactions, albeit after a dreadful result and some dubious selections at the weekend.

The thing is, I hope he is offered the Newcastle job – and then turns it down. That surely then earns the respect that Ancelotti lost when deserting the sinking ship? Perhaps then Evertonians would truly respect him?

Charles Brewer
67 Posted 26/10/2021 at 15:34:15
Two quotations:

Tolstoy (in 'Anna Karenina'): "All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way".

Adam Smith (in correspondence): "There is a great deal of ruin in a nation"

We might paraphrase the first with "All successful enterprises are alike, each failing enterprise fails in its own way." Generally, employees of a successful organisation are pleased with life, find sales relatively easy, new products are brought out and find market niches (or are rapidly and inexpensively eliminated).

We may interpret the second as meaning that most large and successful enterprises retain a great deal of resilience even under poor leadership and take a long time to collapse or die (think of BT!).

Everton FC appears to be a profoundly 'unhappy' place which can convert promising or already excellent players - Godfrey, Davies, Sigurdsson, Kean, Lookman, and many more going into the past 20 years or so - into slow, uninterested players whose contribution fades as time passes. It engenders a lack of commitment both on and off the pitch, and the 'off the pitch' lack of commitment results in lack of peak fitness and a tendency to pick up injuries which are made worse and longer lasting by the inferior fitness and therapy regimes.

As someone who has run his own company for many years, and have many friends who have done likewise, I am absolutely certain that the self-employed / company owner etc is far more likely to work when ill or just a bit off colour, or to work over the weekend or late, or to recover from illness quicker, than someone who hates Monday morning and feels no sense of ownership of the enterprise where he or she works.

I actually welcomed Allardyce's appointment on the grounds that I though he would get the players level of commitment up and possibly shake up the obviously inadequate development and fitness regimes at Goodison. I thought he would 'beast' the players into playing better, faster and harder and that even such a change would improve performance. But I think he found out fast that the immature, usually poorly educated lads who run out on a Saturday were not the foundation of the problem.

I think Benitez, who I suspect has much in common temperamentally with Big Sam, has found the same.

Moshiri came with the best of intentions, and lots of money. But there was a reverse takeover. Moshiri was not sufficiently strong or experienced in business to know what to do when taking over a drastically flawed enterprise.

My solution would be to have Usmanov, whose experience in Gazprom and the Russian commodity wars must mean he knows how to fight dirty, take out the opposition and ensure iron loyalty and commitment, buy out his pal and carry out a ruthless root-and-branch reform.

There may be a lot of ruin in one of the oldest football clubs in the world, but we may well be coming to the end of it and will become the next Notts County or Accrington if radical action is not taken.

Jay Harris
68 Posted 26/10/2021 at 16:10:35
There is something that nobody has yet mentioned and that is the "reputed" clause in the sale agreement that Kenwright stays on as chairman.

This seemed to suit Moshiri who I think was led to believe he was buying into a club that just needed investment to take off and become a giant again.

If he had done more due diligence he would have found that Mr Smoke and mirrors had a penchant for using other peoples money to get what he wanted and lined the club up with his acolytes.

Paul Tran
69 Posted 26/10/2021 at 17:42:25
Everywhere he goes, Rafa stakes out his corner and defends it. He likes playing politics, partly for his own self-preservation, partly because not enough people wherever he is do it.

Like Arteta, like Lukaku, I'll support any significant figure at the club who goes public encouraging our management committee to do better. And whoever needs to do better on the footballing side, too.

How he's invested all that money without bringing someone in to audit or assess the whole business is completely beyond me.

Raymond Fox
70 Posted 26/10/2021 at 17:47:45
A good article, Paul, although I don't agree with all of it.

If I was a manager, I wouldn't want anyone but me giving the okay to sign a player. How it happens at Everton now or in the recent past, I do not know.

We complain about the quality of the players we continue to sign but I fear the main reason we don't seem able to sign the really star players is they would sooner go to the usual top clubs.

It's the old glass ceiling chesnut; I have no doubt we have made inquires for better players only to receive a polite No Thanks. I would love to think we can get out of this headlock we are in but I can't say I'm confident.

We have the crowd potential to be a huge club again but I think it's going to take a mountain of money to do it. I can't realistically see another way.

Don Alexander
71 Posted 26/10/2021 at 18:10:48
Our Dazza is on record as despising me as well as "Kinsella" (see his post @ #21) but even though he insists at the start of that post that he ignores Keiron (aka "Kinsella") he then spent the rest of it addressing in his own peculiarly in-your-face way the very issues Keiron had cited.

(I used to think the word for split-personality was schizophrenia, but perhaps it's hindophrenia?)

I put this forward because Dazza by implication later criticises all fans for being inert whilst the club appointed so many duff personnel except, of course, for the ex-player unqualified coaches Dazza eulogises for some reason.

I'd like Dazza to tell us all what action/s he took as so many duff appointments were being made, and to whom, Dazza being a top, top Toffee of course, with instant insight into the inadequacies of all of the duffers?

And lastly, Dazza down the years has lambasted the performance of Kenwright (he has that in common with Keiran and I) so who exactly does he think appointed all these ex-player coaches, because surely he/they deserve a huge amount of credit for the success Dazza sees them producing?

Darren Hind
72 Posted 26/10/2021 at 18:30:20
Derek,

I happen to know that the two people in most denial were card-carrying flag-wavers of good old tell-it-like-it-is Koeman. I distinctly remember one in particular being scathing of a piece I wrote where I stated Koeman and Walsh were signing the wrong players. He told me I was the boy who killed Tinkerbell because I refused to clap along.

This is not the first time I have reminded him of it... But he still claims he was always a skeptic... it simply isn't true.

That's the problem here. I know for a fact that many of the people applauding Moshiri at the time are now his biggest critics. You only need to revisit what was being said on these very pages less than 2 years ago.

Moshiri can be criticised for his poor choice in managers, but before Rafa, he was definitely swayed by public opinion. He didn't squander the money. The people he trusted did that. He did what we all wanted. He backed his man.

No criticism from me. He is not the guilty party as far as I'm concerned.

Chris Leyland
73 Posted 26/10/2021 at 18:38:30
I'm with Darren on not blaming Moshiri – to an extent. Yes, he's backed every manager he's appointed, apart from Benitez due to the current constraints of the financial rules. But… how has he allowed such a disorganised boardroom and footballing structure to waste so much of his money for so little return?

The man is an accountant but he's allowed profligate and unsustainable spending on over-priced and over-paid shite who aren't even middle drawer, let alone top drawer. Surely he's not gullible enough to have been hoodwinked by the likes of the self-proclaimed world's greatest Evertonian?

Kieran Kinsella
74 Posted 26/10/2021 at 18:40:27
Don,

He won't answer questions or offer suggestions despite the vast knowledge he has as the all-seeing eye of Horus up in his panoramic bag-of-sand seat. He's the worst soothsayer ever. Just any time something goes wrong, he says "I knew that would happen."

Any thoughts on what to do to fix it? None of your business... but whatever you do will be wrong eventually.

Barry Rathbone
75 Posted 26/10/2021 at 18:46:42
Benitez knows how clubs steeped in success operate having worked at several and clearly isn't seeing such method here.

But he's pissing against the wind.

Existing in the division has long been "success" for associates of the club from supporters to board members. Transformation (if it ever happens) has to start on the pitch without meaningful support from the terraces or the board.

He's stuffed really.

Dale Self
76 Posted 26/10/2021 at 18:51:05
That megalo-shite is over the top Darren. Make your damn point, use expletives to emphasize, hell I'll even give the unending denigration a pass... but give up the fucking All Come To Me shit. Geez.
Eddie Dunn
77 Posted 26/10/2021 at 19:14:45
Barry,

Surely Rafa already was well aware of the peculiar set-up at EFC. Residing on the Wirral for so many years and being part of the football world, the man would have more insight than most on ToffeeWeb.

He went through a protracted interview process and clearly it is in his interest to be successful. I imagine he has plenty of money after holding down some well-paid positions.

Therefore, he will want to be successful and I presume he has been given some assurances that, once the current hiatus (FFP) is over, he will be backed in the market.

He really should have our backing as, if he can't sort out this club (on the playing side), then we are a lost cause. So far, he has produced reasonable results (on the whole) with little outlay.

I don't want another managerial casualty, sacrificed on the altar of our dysfunctional hierarchy. If people want to complain, they should aim upstairs – not at the dugout.

Bobby Mallon
78 Posted 26/10/2021 at 22:13:35
There is only one way to get change and Kenwright out and that’s fan protest. But that won’t work as half the fans think he’s Everton gold.
David Pearl
79 Posted 26/10/2021 at 22:33:34
Bobby, half the fans don't think he's gold. They just know for a fact he had nothing to do with us signing Rafa Benitez or Rondon. BMD aside the thing that is wrong with us has been the recruitment of both on-field and off-field staff under Moshiri. Nothing new, its been going on since he arrived, so you can blame Bk all you like.
Kieran Kinsella
80 Posted 26/10/2021 at 22:46:29
Bobby

I think a lot of BK advocates are manipulated by his teary eyed routine plus his fear mongering. They are scared of their own shadow when he mentions the Venkys. It’s always “it could be worse,” not better somehow. But on a practical level it’s worse having two incompetent leaders than one as they out do each other’s stupidity. Get rid of Bill and we can focus on Mosh

Bobby Mallon
81 Posted 26/10/2021 at 22:48:52
Koeman finished 7th then helped the team finish 8th the following season with Sam’s help. Then 8th under Silva. I think we have been knee jerk is an understatement. I blame the fans
John Raftery
82 Posted 26/10/2021 at 22:59:43
While we are a club steeped in history we are a long way from being a ‘highly recognised (globally) club’. That was brought home to me on the pre-season tour in 2013 when a Los Angeles taxi driver told me he had heard of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea and Manchester United but had never heard of Everton.

I very much doubt we can significantly increase our commercial revenues in the absence of any form of participation in European football while languishing in mid-table mediocrity. Our past achievements may be of interest to museum curators but not to hard nosed leaders from global business entities.

John Boon
83 Posted 26/10/2021 at 23:49:54
I am as disappointed as any logical thinking Evertonian would be. I have read all the posts and the discussions brought about by the excellent article by Paul. I have followed the different points of view and seen agreement and disagreement.

Then along comes DARREN. He is not in the discussion to do anything other than to knit pick and pick on other posters who may have said something in the past. All of us have made mistakes in supporting various managers or players at some time. What we may have said is not even important and has minimal affect on Everton FC. He has a complete repetoire of insulting badly written drivel aimed at those he has been able to intimidate.

I am very capable of spewing forth foul, insulting invective which he fully deserves but why bother.His thick brain is supported by his equally thick skin. I actually think he demeans himself because, at times, he makes common sense, but he just cannot resist the need to be crass and insulting if anyone has the nerve to question him. I have rarely seen any post from Mr Hind that is positive and a joy to read. He appears to live in an abyss of self loathing, mainly brought about by passing on his hatred and despair to fellow Evertonians.

Bobby Mallon
84 Posted 27/10/2021 at 00:41:06
Only kidding with my @81 post I don’t blame fans
Phil Parker
86 Posted 26/10/2021 at 00:49:00
6 months ago we had one of the greatest coaches in world football at the helm, ending the season a few points away from European football having more than challenged for a spot all season, and getting to two domestic quarter finals with some fine scalps along the way in the league. Not great and a poor end to the season but progress. This with some truly shocking footballers playing for us who have got numerous managers the sack and had us fearing relegation more than once. Carlo's mistake was thinking that some of the most mentally weak players it has been my misfortune to watch in a blue shirt could be trusted to play well and find a way to win against "poorer" opposition. Boy did he find out what we have known for years, as one "this will be easy" game loss shocker followed another. Now Rafa discovers the same. Two horrendous collapses already this season, Villa and Watford, albeit with injuries, and his selections, affecting the team. So Carlo was allowed to leave, or maybe helped on his way with alleged criticism from the owner because of some poor results and performances against "lesser" teams, with some fans criticizing the style of play. In
the summer window Carlo said he was looking to add to our attacking options with new signings. He knew what he was doing, he has always known what he is doing, and the club was in very safe hands. He is doing well again now in his new job I see. It's all about the standard of players, which he would have improved given time. Looks like he was told there is no money, that he had underachieved with
this group of wonderful players assembled over the last few years by the D.O.F/ managers/ chairman/ owner/ window cleaner/ take your pick, and of course he had his personal problems and covid lockdown to deal with, and he was always going back to Madrid if the chance came along. Also just our luck to get the timing of him coming in wrong with ffp kicking in curtailing any transfer business he may have planned. So Carlo left, and now Rafa has to somehow get better players in. Same problem for him, the same poor players, purchased by previous whoevers. Moshiri has backed all the managers he has employed, but he certainly should have questioned some of the signings and fees paid, given the age of certain players and their sell-on potential or lack of it. So now we have our backs against the ffp wall. Maybe if we still had money and had made a signing or two last January, Carlo would still be coach. But then, plenty of our fans would not be happy with him still here. good luck Rafa, it feels like a right mess at the moment.
Bob Parrington
87 Posted 27/10/2021 at 01:39:25
Some on here are trying to make a point that the new Newcastle owners will come after Benitez to be their manager! I ask "Why would they?" A large proportion of their fans might push for this but why should the new owners do so? Why would they go "back" and not forward?

Similarly, why would Benitez go back? He's certainly 'his own person', who has made a commitment to Everton Football Club. He's a different kind of person to Ancelotti. I'd expect him to be the kind of person who believes in the 'never take a backward step' rule.

He is probably aware that Everton needs a person like him to move the club out of the 'also ran' wilderness it has been in for decades.

I think Rafa will be strong in his discussions with Moshiri and others and will be respected for it by Moshiri and any of the others who have self-respect of their own abilities. Who wants "yes" men/women working for them? Argue the point and then get on with implementing the decision!

Kieran Kinsella
88 Posted 27/10/2021 at 01:45:05
Phil Parker,

Great post. I think part of the issue is that Moshiri has never accepted that the players are crap. The magnificent Under-23s, the Arsenal rejects, the guy he saw play for Besiktas in Monte Carlo, the Barca rejects, the Walsh signings, Kenwright’s boys etc.

Remember when Silva left his “your my sons, you're great players,” speech? He thought these “top” players just needed a top manager worthy of their talents. Poor naive man.

Phillip Warrington
89 Posted 27/10/2021 at 03:39:30
I just watched QPR take three of the worst penalties in a penalty shoot out I’ve seen for a while, and yet against us they couldn't miss.

We just had an ex-striker who, to be fair, even with the limited time with us, never looked like scoring, but first game against us scores a hat-trick. We have two ex-managers who are now in charge of Belgium and Barcelona, we finally had money behind us, instead, Liverpool got stronger and we got weaker.

What we really need is a shaman to get rid of the curse that we seem to have, every time we take a stride forward we seem to take two back.

Mike Gaynes
90 Posted 27/10/2021 at 05:27:37
Derek #61, you made me smile with that one.
Jerome Shields
91 Posted 27/10/2021 at 06:05:16
Paul.

Moshiri, when he bought Everton, did so according to Kenwright's ‘Conditions of Sale'. In doing so, he got his shares at a discount and did not look a gift horse in the mouth. There appears to have been no timeframe set. Kenwright simply got the billionaire he wanted.

Steve Shave
93 Posted 27/10/2021 at 08:36:09
Sigh... I feel exhausted reading all this. (Yes, I know I don't have to!) Oh for a turn in fortunes. However badly run our club is, and however inept we've been in the transfer market under Moshiri's reign, nobody can deny we have also had some shitty luck along the way.

Serious injuries have robbed us of ever seeing what Gbamin could have done (pre-injury, I suspected he was going to be a star); what that shithouse Son did to Gomes robbed us of a real baller in midfield. (Yes, I know this view divides opinion; I am not looking to argue that point, it's my view that he could have found the consistency again that he showed in his first season).

Delph (who?), Tosun, now Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin out at the same time as Mina and Doucouré (just when he was becoming a very reliable beast for us); it just goes on and on.

Now it is rumoured that the Barcodes will come in for Rafa, paper talk possibly but just playing Devil's Advocate here for a moment, if they did, would you really blame Rafa for going?

The club is in a mess: no money, injuries and possibly a divided board. At Newcastle, he would have serious backing, a fanbase who adore him, and a club who could become great again. All they need to do is look at how we've tried to do it, then do the opposite!

Yes there is so much more we need to do better (5 to 10% better across the board, as the gaffer says) but boy do we need a bit of luck right now.

Kim Vivian
94 Posted 27/10/2021 at 08:44:55
Don't know if there's any truth in it but just been reading that Mohammed Ali Cho moved on less than 2 years ago for free to Angers (Ligue 1), is now being touted at £35m possibly to Leicester. Would it happen across the Park, Arsenal, Chelsea?
Bobby Mallon
95 Posted 27/10/2021 at 08:44:58
Phil Parker @86, great post. The non-happy clappers and some others will come on here saying it was the most boring football ever (and Big Dunk was our wasted saviour). But along the way we beat Liverpool, Spurs, Chelsea, Arsenal, Leicester. Yes, we where beaten by Newcastle, Saints, Fulham, and Leeds but when can we boast a record of wins against the Top 6?
Michael Kenrick
96 Posted 27/10/2021 at 09:20:43
Jerome @91,

I’m curious now… what do you reckon the discounted price was that Moshiri paid for his shares? And what should have been the ‘real’ price?

Thanks.

Chris Williams
97 Posted 27/10/2021 at 10:34:44
Hi Michael,

Further to your email, I'd like also for Jerome to clarify his comment that Moshiri, had to buy the shares ‘according to Kenwright's Condition of Sale'.

Usually on selling a company, in my experience, there is a Sales and Purchase Agreement (SPA) put in place. Or something very like it. This covers the requirements and conditions of both parties, and is typically a huge, detailed document with many attachments, declarations, and provisions that is legally binding, and remains in place for a number of years. It is managed and negotiated by the lawyers, and is an iterative process of give and take. It can take months to reach agreement.

The point being that, for every condition of Kenwright's, there will be one of Moshiri's; for every concession, there will be a counter requirement. It is a horrible and lengthy process, and requires goodwill and patience from both sides. Typically it is where a negotiation succeeds or fails.

Of course, we don't know what occurred in these negotiations, and maybe Moshiri and his lawyers were incredibly naive, and gave Bill everything he wanted, including an open-ended agreement to remain as Chairman, but more likely there would be a time limit on such an agreement, which hopefully will be triggered soon.

But we don't know for certain, and can't really speak with any confidence on the conduct of these matters.

Paul [The Esk]
98 Posted 27/10/2021 at 12:40:18
It's interesting that it has long been assumed that there was a formal agreement between Kenwright and Moshiri assuring Kenwright of his continued tenure. It seems remarkable if the agreement was not finite though.

Given the time Kenwright has remained as Chairman, I can only assume his leaving office is event-driven, quite possibly the opening of the stadium. If so, that's a remarkable act of generosity and trust granted by Moshiri, quite incredible and may prove to be extremely expensive.

Regarding the "discount", it's fairly widely known that Moores and Noell had agreed a valuation of £200 million on the club's equity. That deal collapsed when it became clear that Moores and Noell did not wish to retain the services of Kenwright.

Moshiri, who had walked away from negotiations in the late autumn of 2015, was then re-engaged and offered the equity to the value of £175 million (£5,000 a share).

Chris Williams
99 Posted 27/10/2021 at 12:52:42
Paul,

It's possible if there is an agreement, and the fact that Kenwright retains residual shareholding, then it may be linked to an event which leads to share revaluation, giving him a decent final payoff. Maybe the new stadium opening, or the announcement of a full financing package, which should be earlier.

It's certainly gone on a long time... arguably too long. But maybe Moshiri thinks (or thought) Bill is a genius!

I've never worked on a deal where such an agreement, with a time limit, wasn't in place.

But who knows?

Barry Hesketh
100 Posted 27/10/2021 at 13:07:32
It's important to realise that Bill and Farhad are not only business partners, they are apparently very good friends too, so there doesn't have to be any contractual obligation with a time limit imposed. There just has to be the continued friendship and trust between the pair, obviously,

Moshiri has the ability and power to remove anybody from the club if he so chooses but, so long as he is satisfied with his mate being the chairman, there's little point in us waiting to see a new chairman put in place, unless the pair fall out or something else happens.

Paul Tran
101 Posted 27/10/2021 at 13:22:58
There are two separate issues getting conflated here.

No-one can doubt Moshiri's financial commitment to the club, in terms of the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock, hard cash, and backing his managers and management committee.

The main issue for me, is that he has seemingly invested heavily into the club without examining, modifying, or overhauling the club and how it conducts its business. It has been 'as you were' with a huge pile of cash. We've been transformed from a relatively low-budget club to a recklessly high-spending one, with negative effects to on-pitch and off-pitch performance.

If you give a badly-run business more money, it'll just waste more of it more quickly. That's what Moshiri has done. He should spend some time at The Etihad, talking to people about how things changed there.

I know from my short experience there, we don't have their limitless budget, we don't have the mindset they fostered across their club either. Something or some people within the club are stopping meaningful change. Until those things are rooted out and replaced, nothing significant will change at Everton.

Kieran Kinsella
102 Posted 27/10/2021 at 13:40:22
Kenwright sold himself as the regent to get us through difficult times. Then he locked the Arteta and Kings Dock money in the tower never to be seen again. Now we await the exile Southall to return from Wales and meet him at Bosworth field.
Paul [The Esk]
103 Posted 27/10/2021 at 13:42:42
Absolutely 100% agree, Paul #101. Your post echoes my calls for changes at board and executive levels. There can be no prospect of improved performance commercially and operationally without those changes.
John Keating
104 Posted 27/10/2021 at 14:16:29
Paul 101 spot on.

We really have to look at the Board and get far more business savvy in.

Bill and Miss Dynamite should be out first.

Having all "our mates" in at the Club and Finch Farm has shown no noticeable improvements over the years so maybe time for radical change at all levels.

Joe McMahon
105 Posted 27/10/2021 at 15:16:12
Paul, superb post, I agree with everyword. It's mind-boggling the amount of money that has practically been wasted, without a watertight business plan and strategy. Only at Everton eh!
Michael Kenrick
106 Posted 27/10/2021 at 15:16:58
Thanks, Paul @98.

At the time of Moshiri's buy-in (2016), I felt that £5k per share was pretty generous, considering the last benchmark we had was when Robert Earl sold his shares for £9M in 2006, suggesting a value of £1,146 per share, and a total equity value of £40M for the club.

Would you agree that the increase in equity value since then has been nothing short of outstanding –purely in terms of an investment – to double and then more than double again inside 10 years, when Moshiri came in? That's why the claimed "discount" had me puzzled.

If we take the latest share issue of 66,667 to Blue Heaven Holdings (Moshiri) this year at a value of £300M for loans and cash injected, that gives a 'current' share price of £4,500 but another vast hike on the total club equity value up to £457M. An interesting comparison with £300M for Newcastle Utd, surely?

Set against the doom and gloom of Covid, poor commercial performance, and the perennial losses posted, along with our painful lack of on-field progress, how on earth is such a huge return on investment justified or even realised?

Jay Harris
107 Posted 27/10/2021 at 16:28:19
Paul,

My understanding of the agreement is that the original offer for sale included retention of Kenwright, which was in the Heads of Terms, and that was ultimately served by a side letter as an addendum to the final sale agreement.

As we are talking about a share sale agreement, it is my understanding that the terms are more binding than just an asset sale.

I would have assumed a time limit of say 5 years but it may also have been based on the new stadium move which I believe was also included in the terms.

All I can say is that Kenwright played a blinder getting what he did and, in his own inimitable style, never put a penny back into the club.

Jerome Shields
108 Posted 27/10/2021 at 17:46:46
I accept rather than Conditions of Sale, that the proper term is a Sales and Purchase Agreement. I take it that this would result when finalised in a shareholder agreement.

My point regarding discount is that Moshiri got his shares for less, with Kenwright retained, than those others who would have paid more had he been gone.

I do think that Moshiri thought that the purchase was good entry-level on a long-term investment: possible increase in value of the Club and part of a dockland development. Moshiri's largesse does muddy the waters on the increase in club value. Moshiri and his friend do have the money to shore up for brighter days, they hope.

I must state that I would have not purchased the shares under such an agreement. Bill as a lucky penny is not a good idea. I have experience of reverse takeovers, which is what happened at Everton, seeing in the case I observed, a £20 million in turnover going down the swanee.

A good Management Consultant would tell you that the culture of an organisation that has to be taken over must be changed as a priority, to achieve the benefits of a takeover. This has not happened at Everton.

I am amazed that there appears to be no time frame. I also must state that I think Moshiri and friend have money to burn and I am baffled to how it will all work out. I just hope they know something that I don't. Being a billionaire must be like being in a mad world.

Bill Gall
109 Posted 27/10/2021 at 17:53:16
The shareholders list today shows Moshiri's Blue Heaven Holdings Limited having 93,698 shares or 92.16% of the shares. that makes him the owner of Everton FC as majority shareholder.

Bill Kenwright holds 1,170 shares or 1.72% of shares that make him a minority shareholder. There are 6,219 shares held by other people representing 6.12% of shares in Everton FC.

If Everton FC is run by a board consisting of a Chairman and executive directors, then Bill Kenwright has very little control over major decisions as he can only vote at a meeting if there is a tied vote. Unlike before Moshiri took over, with Kenwright being a major shareholder with the backing of his cronies like Jon Woods on the board, he had full control over Everton FC.

Talking about Jon Woods it was alleged that he sold his company for over £200M – did anyone hear anything about him offering any financial help to the club?

Is there any proof that Moshiri gave full control over Everton FC to Bill Kenwright, or just have him as Chairman, as most companies who are run by a board of directors have the major influence in the CEO, who all other directors report to.

They then set up the board meetings and the minutes for that meeting.

If as people are saying that Kenwright still has control over Everton FC, then Benitez is quite right in asking for improvements across the board, as most companies fail with personnel interfering with other people's responsibilities, from the top to the bottom.

Paul [The Esk]
110 Posted 27/10/2021 at 17:56:16
Michael #106,

The new shares were issued at £3,000 per share putting a post-issue value of just over £300 million – a reflection of the losses, future losses and future capex requirements of the new stadium.

https://theesk.org/2021/02/18/details-of-proposed-share-placement-at-everton/

This is where we see evidence that Moshiri is not a benefactor but an investor. Post the build of the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock, analysts anticipate a value in excess of £700 million, something which is very much in Moshiri's thinking. He can convert loans to equity at a substantial discount to future anticipated value.

Jerome Shields
111 Posted 27/10/2021 at 18:06:08
Also I would like to thank all those subsequent posters after my Post#91 for clarification and informed information.
Stephen Vincent
112 Posted 27/10/2021 at 18:20:37
Paul #101 excellent post. I was at Man City when Shinawatra took charge. The current Everton regime is far more reminiscent of that time than the subsequent Abu Dhabi executive.

Wasn't it Warren Buffet who said about taking risk 'Never test the depth of a river with both feet'.

Michael Kenrick
113 Posted 27/10/2021 at 18:30:30
Jerome,

Reverse takeovers occur when a private firm ‘takes over’ a public firm that no longer has any active operations.

Hmmm... you'll have to help me here. How does that play out with Everton FC Co Ltd?

First of all, it's not a public company, and it had not stopped operating. Moshiri (as Blue Heaven Holdings) has 'taken over' ownership of shares in Everton FC – by giving lots of money to Bill Kenwright and others. But the company continues to exist, pretty much as it was, with changes to the board and to its financing. It continues to operate as Everton FC.

The parallels you are drawing relate more to Mergers and Acquisitions, where a company with a separate and distinct culture is absorbed into another. This is also not what has happened at Everton FC.

It's been 5½ years now and Moshiri has fully embraced the Kenwright culture in that time, rather than seeking to change it or replace it. I expect he bought into some bullshit about 'continuity of the chief custodian'.

Paul [The Esk]
114 Posted 27/10/2021 at 18:35:57
Michael #113,

"It's been 5½ years now and Moshiri has fully embraced the Kenwright culture in that time, rather than seeking to change it or replace it."

The Moshiri years in a single sentence

Darren Hind
115 Posted 27/10/2021 at 18:38:17
Paul T

Disagree. Moshiri did not invest into the business without modifying or overhauling the club. He has ripped it up and started again several times. When you install a new manager and his team, you are making massive changes. You are introducing in a totally different mindset. There can be no greater overhaul IMO than going straight to the manager's office. Once he had done that. He invested in his new people. Not the old business.

For all his sins (and there are many), Kenwright did not squander the £700M. That happened as a result of Moshiri's big changes. It was the people he employed who blew the dosh.

Chris Williams
116 Posted 27/10/2021 at 18:43:19
Jerome,

Paul T mentioned above that 2 issues were being conflated here. I’m not sure which issues, but If we were to say that the two issues we’ve been discussing, here, and accepting the conjectural aspects of them, namely the process of buying and selling a business, and the subsequent process of managing the business successfully, including the behaviours. Then we can see how a failure of due diligence, or mistaken decisions in the first can have an adverse effect on the second.

If you leave the Chairman in place, then you are empowering him in the most powerful role within a company on a day to day basis. And all that entails, including making the necessary changes, many would like to see.

Getting the SPA right from the Purchaser’s viewpoint, for the future is why Corporate lawyers get paid handsomely for their role in these processes.

I have to say that I still cannot believe that Moshiri would allow this to happen, on the nod, without a time limit, or triggering event. In the meantime, we have to suck it up.

But we don’t know, do we?

Danny O’Neill
117 Posted 27/10/2021 at 19:09:40
Well, I'm not sure where this one belongs, but I guess it's about investment and Mr Moshiri, as, through Everton and the future stadium, he is investing in the city of Liverpool.

So well said the Liverpool Bar owner just interviewed on the BBC News about the budget. After giving her opinion on alcohol taxes, she was asked what she thought about the £2M allocated for a new Beatles something or other in the city. Sorry, I didn't catch what it was.

"Well I don't think we need another Beatles monument and I'm sure we could spend £2M on something better" she responded. Not sure the reporter knew what to say!

The parallels. Get some money and spend it on stuff you don't need!

Kieran Kinsella
118 Posted 27/10/2021 at 19:15:02
Paul The Esk,

I have a question here from a point of view of someone ignorant of accounting. When we talk about the value of shares, and thus the value of the club, is it as simple as what the market is willing to play or is it based on financials? Meaning, are we saying the club is worth x amount because the players we have are each worth x amount? In which case, should the value plummet if we sell off good players, release excess who have some theoretical value as contracts end? Obviously, the wages off the books is a factor in the equation too. But lets say we sold Rich and Dom, and reinvested some of that cash in 4 not as good players. Would that have an effect on the clubs value? Or is the value just going to be whatever Mosh says it is if and when he ever sells it?

Michael Kenrick
119 Posted 27/10/2021 at 19:18:29
Bill Gall, some good stuff there.

I think what you might be missing, though, is that Farhad Moshiri, major shareholder, does not sit on the Everton Board.

So all the stuff about voting shares is, I believe, irrelevant. Kenwright is the Chairman. Little Miss Dynamite is the CEO he no doubt cherry-picked for a nice subservient role under him, and the rest of the board have various corporate responsibilities assigned to them – very much as Paul the Esk says, in the form of a management committee, rather than an old-fashioned board of directors – that was there to protect the interests of all shareholders.

And the idea that directors should just give their wealth to the club. Commonly held among football fans, but no: they are (or were) primarily investors in the club by way of owning shares. Their return on investment comes when they sell those shares. No money going into or out of the club itself (except in the form of loans, as Moshiri is doing).

Gregg did it; Earl did it, Woods did it, Abercromby did it... but far and away the most impressive is one Bill Kenwright. The amount of money he has made on his Everton shares is simply phenomenal.

Stephen Williams
120 Posted 27/10/2021 at 19:19:21
So much conjecture here. So much so that most of what is being presented as fact is actually worthless.
As far as I can see:
1. No-one has seen the Share Purchase Agreement (not Sales and Purchase Agreement).
2. No-one has seen any conditions that apply.
3. No-one has seen the Disclosure Letter - containing the facts that the seller warrants that ensures the Buyer can't claim against those matters contained therein.
4. No-one has seen any Shareholder's Agreement.
5. In fact no-one has seen any legal agreements.

If anyone has then please step up now and share for all to see. In the absence of such then much of what's been written is a fairy story influenced by the entrenched, prejudiced stance taken by the writer of each comment.

What we do know is that the position of Chairman is a non-Executive position and therefore the holder (BK) has no authority whatsoever over the direction of the club. That's not to say he can't and doesn't offer advice to the Executives and Shareholders. But the executives can take or ignore that advice as they think fit. It is non-binding.

All of this nonsense that since Moshiri acquired shares BK has control of direction and is the root of all evil is just that - nonsense. If the Board and Moshiri have taken wrong turns (and I think even they might admit that) then that is down to them and not BK. As I say, BK has no control.

Allied to the non-executive role and responsibility of a Chairman, I have it on reliable authority that throughout the Moshiri years BK has had to try to suss out by stealth what decisions are being taken at the Club as, not being an Executive, he is not party to those first hand. An example of this was the appointment of our latest manager. BK wanted Roberto to return but was not part of the decision-making process with the new manager (forgive me, I still can't say his name) appointed by the Executives and Moshiri. This was publicly stated by Don Hutchison on 5 Live.

I know this doesn't suit the agenda of the BK haters but hey, don't let the reality get in the way of a good fairy story.

Having said all this and attempted to inject some realism into proceedings, I do recognise that things have to change. We can't carry on stumbling from one crisis to another and whilst I'm grateful for the investment injected by Moshiri, I'm also sure he recognises that he can't carry on down that particular road ad infinitum.

Kieran Kinsella
121 Posted 27/10/2021 at 19:21:30
Jay Harris

Just prior to Moshiri taking over, there had been anti Kenwright flights over Goodison and some muted protests which were countered by stories that "Bill is in ill health," "Bill may step down due to ill health," "leave the poor man alone, he is sick." So it's possible that Moshiri got the impression Kenwright wouldn't be around for long? and that impacted his agreement be it contractual or otherwise to let him hang on? But like the Steward of Gondor he may be in an impotent mental fog still mourning the loss of his beloved son (Rooney) but he remains upon the throne even after all these years.

Chris Williams
122 Posted 27/10/2021 at 19:25:13
Stephen,

What makes you think that Bill is a non-executive Chairman?

Michael Kenrick
123 Posted 27/10/2021 at 19:37:56
Wow, quite a spanner to throw in the works there, Stephen.

So we have two extremes outlined here: Chairman Bill – all-powerful, or just a powerless puppet? Pick and choose your own fairy story based purely on your own entrenched, prejudiced stance.

He's quite obviously ruled the roost for the last 20 years. Everton is an extension of his luvvy persona. Yes, he might not have gotten his way on the last manager appointment but the dynamics of that were pretty unique and I would venture that it had its own unique narrative.

Brian Harrison
124 Posted 27/10/2021 at 19:39:37
Look, I know Moshiri has invested over £450 million into the club since his takeover and has committed a further £100 million towards the new stadium, which is to be applauded. But you have to ask: Is this just a financial opportunity that he and Usmanov thought was too good of a financial proposition to let go?

And, provided Everton stayed in the Premier League and with the building of a new stadium plus the surrounding infrastructure, this will be a very lucrative asset to sell on. Maybe this has nothing to do with football and all about a financial opportunity to make a lot of money.

I mean, 12 months after taking over, Moshiri said that, when he took the controlling share of Everton, he thought it would take up only 5% of his time. Doesn't sound like a man who was putting his heart and soul into making Everton into a force again.

Usmanov, having given up any hope of owning his beloved Arsenal, has through his companies ploughed millions into this football club and has even paid £30 million to be at the front of the queue for the naming rights. Let's remember that Usmanov gifted Moshiri the shares he owned in Arsenal and Moshiri used the sale of these shares to buy Everton.

But maybe the question we should be asking is are Moshiri and Usmanov really committed to getting us competing at the top end? Or are just another part of their financial investment portfolio?

Stephen Williams
125 Posted 27/10/2021 at 20:17:46
Chris Williams (123),

I thought I'd made it clear in paragraph 5 why I know (not think) Kenwright has a non-executive role. For those that can't or won't read it:

Allied to the non-executive role and responsibility of a Chairman, I have it on reliable authority that throughout the Moshiri years, Kenwright has had to try to suss out by stealth what decisions are being taken at the Club as, not being an Executive, he is not party to those first hand.

Michael Kenrick (125):
He's quite obviously ruled the roost for the last 20 years.

I don't believe anyone doubts that Kenwright was in control before the Moshiri deal, but since? Seriously?? How is that obvious?

For this to be the case, the following would have to be the scenario:

Moshiri: "Hi Bill, here's X hundred million of my hard-earned. This equates to half of my wealth that I've strived to build up over 40 years. Now you go and do what you want with it. You control it and spend it however you want. Take the company in whatever direction you want. And by the way, when that's blown, just come back and ask for more. No problem."

Incredible. What a pile of tosh.

I notice that no-one has answered my initial questions. For clarity:

As far as I can see:
1. No-one has seen the Share Purchase Agreement (not Sales and Purchase Agreement).
2. No-one has seen any conditions that apply.
3. No-one has seen the Disclosure Letter - containing the facts that the seller warrants that ensures the Buyer can't claim against those matters contained therein.
4. No-one has seen any Shareholder's Agreement.
5. In fact no-one has seen any legal agreements. If anyone has then please step up now and share for all to see. In the absence of such then much of what's been written is a fairy story influenced by the entrenched, prejudiced stance taken by the writer of each comment.

Chris Williams
126 Posted 27/10/2021 at 20:41:50
Stephen,

I'll leave the non-executive Chairman issue, and take your word for it.

As to the conjecture, I doubt anybody would deny that at all, certainly not me, as my posts made clear... However, my conjecture is based on working on a number of Corporate M&A transactions over about 25 years, so there is some experience underpinning it. However, every transaction is different so EFC will have its own differences, but also plenty of things in common.

SPA can be used for both Share Purchase Agreements and Sales And Purchase Agreements. Often, the latter SPA can include the Share Purchase Agreement, as part of a wider agreement. It can depend on the size and complexity of the company or deal, I guess. Either way, the Agreement would need to include things like duration, tenure and responsibilities of senior people, and the release and price of any residual shareholdings over time.

Jerome Shields
127 Posted 27/10/2021 at 20:43:52
Michael,

I used 'reverse takeover' to describe Everton where Moshiri bought the majority of the club shares but allowed the past management of the club to stay in place and run the club, with an arm's length input by Moshiri.

On reflection, it probably is not the correct term, either explanation-wise or technically, as you point out, to describe the previous management structure and personnel remaining in place with close to similar control they had previously.

The problem I see is that the club had to be sold because they were not able to manage it to its potential and may have even been going backwards. The introduction of Moshiri's money would not make them better at managing, which proved correct.

In Paul the Esk's article, the catalogue in real time of poor management and governance as a result is listed, as is Moshiri's failing in allowing it to happen.

I must say I am very glad of the discussion on this thread which has brought out more information and clarification of points. I genuinely wish things were different and Everton turn the corner on this whole sorry mess.

Brian, ,

As for the amazing lack of timeframe, I can only speculate that Moshiri and Friend have alternative motives, which may be genuine enough or ones we don't want to know about.

Darren, ,

Moshiri like you thinks that changing the manager only will solve all Everton's problems. It does not change a damn thing in relation to internal management and governance, as Rafa has just found out, like all the other managers.

Paul Tran
129 Posted 27/10/2021 at 22:11:30
Moshiri has hired and fired managers, that's the too-easy bit. He hasn't touched the management committee, there's no apparent accountability in the management structure, apart from Moshiri trying to rectify his mistakes like a gambler chasing his losses.

No plan, no structure, no rationale, except hoping the next manager has the magic beans.

I love the guy's financial commitment, I just wish he'd bring someone in with enough clout and authority to sort the club out.

Barry Hesketh
130 Posted 27/10/2021 at 22:16:41
Stephen,

I've no reason to question the validity of your source and their take on Bill's role, but I found this sentence in your post the most alarming of all.

I have it on reliable authority that throughout the Moshiri years, Kenwright has had to try to suss out by stealth what decisions are being taken at the Club as, not being an Executive, he is not party to those first hand.

No wonder the club is going to the dogs quicker than a gambling addict chasing his losses, if the Chairman has to find out by stealth what is happening at the club.

Who is steering the good ship Everton FC? Denise, Unsy, Rafa, or is Moshiri doing it all by himself?

Paul Tran
131 Posted 27/10/2021 at 22:29:02
Chris, for charity, I think the two issues that are being conflated are:

1. Moshiri's financial commitment to the club

2. The pre-Moshiri business still in charge with a hugely increased budget, running the new business poorly and wasting money on a higher scale..

Of course, the several new managers have spent most of the money, but if I was as heavy an investor as Moshiri, I'd set up the checks and balances to catch the mistakes quickly, as most well-run businesses do.

Hiring and firing managers is easy and expensive. Installing better structure and governance is a hard grind, often painstaking and thankless. If Moshiri isn't willing to do it, he should bring in someone who is.

Unless, of course, Brian Harrison has hit the nail on the head with his thoughts on Moshiri keeping the club in the Premier League till the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock is finished, then selling?

Jerome Shields
132 Posted 27/10/2021 at 22:39:36
Barry #143

I agree it is alarming if true. On the last Manager appointment, there appeared to be a power struggle between Kenwright and Moshiri, which Moshiri won, but Stephen's statement is even worst.

I do not believe that Kenwright is a non-executive director. It could be that Kenwright's executive role as Chairman is so off-the-wall, that it comes across as Stephen describes. It certainly appears that way from where I am standing.

Bill Gall
133 Posted 27/10/2021 at 23:14:46
Micheal,
I apologize if I confused you but I never said the Mr Moshiri was on the board,of Everton F.C. My comments said with his majority shareholdings through his company he is the owner.of Everton F.C..
I gave out who holds the rest of the shares to show B.K. is a minor shareholder who was appointed Chairman and as such does not have the power that people think he has anymore.
It is not unusual for a board to fire a Chairman, and usually they have a clause in their contracts for remuneration if this happens, or the owner may intervene.
Benitez asking for improvement is what we as supporters have been asking for a long while, and that is stability. M.Brands has been getting a lot of stick on here, but the major problem has been the firing of the managers while he is trying to do his job.
Danny O'Neili @33 gives the best description of what Brands responsibilities are.
And basically Benitez is asking for people who are not involved in the football side to stop interfering and let the people responsible do theirs and the staff under him to improve.
Derek Moore
134 Posted 28/10/2021 at 02:07:51
Not even taking into account the emotion inherent in football, and indeed sports more generally - even choosing to ignore the fundamental tribalism that underpins it all - one simply must agree with the obvious conclusion.

An enterprise of Evertons size and stature quite obviously should not be run in such a haphazard way. And we have been badly run, in relation to our competitors, for a long long time.

What the two great Pauls (Esk&Tran At Law) posts really boil down to is that it's fundamentally the clubs structure, it's operations, how it conducts it's day to day business that precludes the possibility of any genuine success on the pitch.
I couldn't agree more, even if I'm nowhere near as good at articulating it. Thirty years of decline is what we've seen, yet the club still lacks the simple processes to learn from mistakes as well as to learn from what works.

Instead, the manager goes over the side every twelve to eighteen months, everyone else keeps their jobs and they promise Evertonians the next guy has the answers. Rinse and repeat, ad infinitum.
Lessons are not learned; knowledge is not retained. The baby goes out with the bathwater, and our befuddled owner stumps up for a brand new maternity ward. It's madness.
Nothing will change until it changes, to go all zen buddhist. But it's true.

Allied to that are questions surrounding Moshiris potential motives. I've always believed Moshirisi intent was to enjoy an potential enormous capital gain.
For all sorts of boring reasons, asset prices are rising faster than at any time in recorded history. And the same forces that have tripled my house price in ten years are working for Moshiri and his counterparts on a much vaster scale. They are building a lot of new places out my way, which trims the amount I could realistically expect for my own property. But there's only twenty premier league clubs. There's no limit on how much they could go up in value. It's supply scarcity in an age of the anonymous billionaire.

Which brings me to my final point, and one of my own reasons for my waning interest in this football club. I would really like Paul The Esks input here, but all are welcome.
The super league (that wasn't) must have obviously and painfully exposed just how vulnerable many football clubs business model is, even at the very top level.
Have no doubt, if the ESL had gone ahead, Moshiri for one would have been ruined. His loans to the club and Evertons share value would have been absolutely annihilated in their relative value. He'd have lost, probably three quarters of a billion quid. Billion!
Since the ESL was (cough) "thwarted" we've had a narrative from Everton herself of "it's financial fair play - we're skint coz of the rules!". Enforced austerity, if you like.
I'm not entirely convinced Moshiris new appetite for thrift is entirely linked to financial regulations. I'm rather more convinced that the potentially much more tenuous nature of his investment has been plainly shown to him, and he's prudently covering his arse on his ultimate way to the exit door.
Any risk assessment involving football now must take into account the attempted ESL coup, and by extension, the failed business models in football that led to it. And where risk has increased, so does the capital cost associated. Would you stake your career on Norwich overdraft?

It will be interesting to view the clubs actions in the market over the next eighteen months or so. (Not the words, the actions). If I'm right, we're probably already back in the "sell to buy" era, and a lot of us never even realized it had happened.


Jay Harris
135 Posted 28/10/2021 at 05:24:09
I believe the problem isn't some lowly coaches' inadequacy – it's the diversity within the club and various factions all having their own opinion and often at odds with each other.

I am sure there are a number of cliques within the club who want to disagree with the manager or the owner's opinion of the way forward, and there is no-one with the balls or the ability to stand up and show some leadership and come out and say "This is the plan for the next 5 years and those who are not committed to it should seek alternative pastures."

I thought Brands would show some leadership but he has been a disappointment to me.

I believe Benitez has already encountered a degree of this after the initial honeymoon period and is a strong enough character to ignore the snipers and cynics that do not help us moving forward... but only Moshiri has the power to change the board structure..

I have no doubt that Kenwright has already got his acolytes in position and has previous for getting investors in and then getting them out and his Machiavellian nature has held this club back for far too long.

We need to get Bill Kenwright and Little Miss Dynamite pensioned off to EitC and get some proper football people in the boardroom.

Chris Williams
136 Posted 28/10/2021 at 07:40:29
Paul T,

I agree with much of what you say, that's certainly the impression we get. I think the most ironic aspect of this is that there is somebody senior in the club hierarchy actually responsible for Governance as part of his job description, and he's been there for a while now.

My point really was speculating that the structure we have might possibly be determined by the terms agreed on the sale of the club.

Certainly nobody could criticise the level of Moshiri's financial input.

Michael Kenrick
138 Posted 28/10/2021 at 18:32:53
Stephen,

I think we may have gotten our wires crossed a little last night.

My understanding is that Bill Kenwright has always been a non-executive director of the club. This simply means that he does not have a full-time job within the company and is not an employee.

Most of the other directors have full-time jobs, including the CEO, and so they are executive directors.

Through all this, Bill Kenwright is Chairman of the Board of Directors. He has been for a long time. He continues in that role. As such he presents and projects the character and personality of the club.

How much he is directly involved in the day-to-day running of the club is anyone's guess. But since he has his own business down in London that takes up a lot of his time, I imagine it's limited to phone calls, emails etc with senior people in the Liver Building offices and elsewhere as need must.

What we were seemingly arguing about his his influence over the board, the company, the club, the management.

I believe he had a significant controlling influence up until Moshiri's buy-in. I believe he persuaded Moshiri to keep him on in that role after the buy-in... possibly diminishing over time... possibly not.

Like you said, none of us has seen the documents; none of us has knowledge of the agreements.

Farhad Moshiri is the majority owner and shareholder. I'm sure that gives him the power to wield whatever influence he wants, both with the Board, with individual executive directors, and with the Chairman, who is and always has been a non-executive director.

But part of that power may have been a desire to keep Kenwright in post and doing what he's always done. At least that's how it appears. Perhaps you know different?

Kim Vivian
139 Posted 28/10/2021 at 18:55:40
Late to this thread...

But in the context of familiar business structure – does Everton FC have what we would call a Managing Director who reports to the "figurehead" ie Bill as chairman and through whom the other Directors liaise with their own remits and responsibilities? It does sound very much like a committee run organisation however one tries to package it up.

"A rose (or turd) by any other name..."

Paul [The Esk]
140 Posted 29/10/2021 at 09:34:27
Michael #138 - given Kenwright has a contract of employment with Everton and that contract will include his management responsibilities he is most certainly an executive director.

Derek #134 - An interesting point. Looking at the likely valuation of West Ham United in the event of Kretinsky taking a stake, around £600-700 million there does not seem to be any reduction in the value of the chasing clubs. The soon to be announced US Premier League broadcast rights deal will show that there is still revenue growth to be tapped by the Premier League. It is often forgotten that the potential Super League participants did not intend giving up their Premier League places. Whilst the SL would massively further increase the competitive imbalance it wouldn't immediately reduce revenues for the remaining Premier League clubs.

Profitability & Sustainability has definitely reigned in Moshiri's ability to fund continued losses. I think the other factor is that potential lenders will almost certainly have told Everton that the stadium funding could only be provided on the basis that Everton reduced their current unsustainable losses. I think this had a big part to play with our inability to spend over the summer.

Brian Harrison
141 Posted 29/10/2021 at 10:03:21
Paul @140,

Whenever a club embarks on building a new stadium, this seems to automatically have an impact on money made available for player transfers. We only have to look at what happened when Arsenal built their new ground and the same happened with Spurs in the building of their new ground.

So, although Everton have had the added restrictions of FFP to deal with, I don't expect us to spend the sort of money we did in Moshiri's first few years.

I think Usmanov realized that his ability to plough millions into the club if he had become a part owner would have come under more scrutiny and he wouldn't have been able to pour in the money he has already. As for new investors wanting to see the losses reduced, I also think that will be driven by both Moshiri and Usmanov.

Unlike Abramovich, I don't think Moshiri and Usmanov are here for the long haul, I think seeing your valuation of West Ham being £700 - £800 million even without the new deal regarding the USA, then even given their outlay, this will mean a hefty profit for Moshiri and Usmanov just on today's values which no doubt will go even higher in the next 2 years.

The problem with higher prices being paid for clubs is it means more state-owned clubs evolving. I read a while back that a Chinese consortium had approached Liverpool with a view to buying the club. And as we know, any offer from a Chinese consortium will have the backing of the Chinese government.

Obviously the Arab countries have already bought in to the Premier League and, with more state-owned clubs, I just wonder where this will end? I would be interested to hear your thoughts, Paul, on whether you think state-owned clubs will become the new norm?

Stu Darlington
142 Posted 29/10/2021 at 10:30:55
Some very interesting and detailed posts about roles, responsibilities, financial contributions of Directors etc. But the bottom line is that they are absolutely useless in providing a plan, a strategy, a series of objectives that most Evertonians would subscribe to.

By this, I mean a competitive team in or around the top six each year, European football every year, winning trophies at home, recruiting players who have the potential to take us to the next level.

This should be the minimum level at which the bar is set. Evertonians and Everton FC deserve no less and this useless bunch don't even seem to acknowledge that that is what we should be aspiring to.

Success with this strategy would achieve a number of outcomes: good players would want to come to Everton; our financial position would improve; we would be in a strong position to deal with European Super League initiatives, should they arise.

Instead, what do we constantly hear? “Bramley-Moore Dock, Bramley-Moore Dock”.

I don't care if Kenwright is an executive, non-executive, co-opted, temporary, supernumerary director, I just care about Everton Football Club and its future. These clowns couldn't care less about the supporters or the club and should be shown the door NOW!!

Sorry for the rant, I I'll get my coat!

Michael Kenrick
143 Posted 29/10/2021 at 13:38:02
Well, I'll have to bow down to your superior knowledge on this, Paul @140.

I'm surprised that he has any defined management duties beyond the free-ranging role of Chairman. I'm surprised that he has a contract of employment with the club – he always boasted about giving his time voluntarily to the club making a big deal about the fact that his role was unpaid.

Maybe this all changed at some point and my information is out of date. Stephen @120 certainly believes he has little or no influence anymore because, as he maintains, Kenwright is a 'non-executive Chairman'.

I think he is a non-executive director who became Chairman of the Board in 2004 and has maintained a strong influence over the destiny of the club throughout his reign, perhaps with some changes since Moshiri's buy-out.

You say Kenwright is an executive director with a contract of employment that defines his managerial duties. I'd be curious to know what you think those duties are and how you would describe his influence (if any) over the destiny of the club?

Not that it's something we can do anything about or that it changes anything. As Stu @142 says, 'these clowns' remain in control of the club (I assume at least that part we can agree on... or is Uncle Alisher really the shadow director?) and what we fans interpret to be bumbling mismanagement is destined to continue.

Paul [The Esk]
144 Posted 29/10/2021 at 17:08:29
Up to the time Moshiri acquired his 49.9% Kenwright did not take a fee or receive remuneration for his services. However since Moshiri arrived all directors were offered service contracts. I believe Jon Woods was the only director not to take a fee.

Incidentally shareholders can if they wish, request (demand) to inspect any of the director's service contracts which would include remuneration and details of duties (Sections 228/229 Companies Act 2006)

Kevin Molloy
145 Posted 31/10/2021 at 15:14:46
I don't know whether it's good or bad that RAfa has pitched in like this. In some ways it needed saying of course, but everyone knows how Rafa's regimes end, with pops at the owners. If we are heading down the plughole then this is the first canary, and its not looking too chipper and we haven't got to November yet.
the fish rots from the top, and Evertonare suffering from the place not being a meritocracy. Appointments havent been made on necessarily who is best for the job, but perhaps who now owes everything to the Chairman. I mean, Duncan, plucked from bankruptcy, to everpresent first team coach?? what the hell? the manager decides who the frigging first team coach is, not the chairman.
Jose Baxter, talking this week about how he cant wait to take the young strikers under his wing. Eh?? 'and his references to 'Unsy' and 'Bainesey' it was dreadful stuff. So we've got the two most unlikely personalities of the last fifty years, Duncan and Jose, and have placed them at the heart of our coaching system. What do they have in common? an Omerta to Bill. They owe him everything. As does Seamus, broken leg, and Bill 'here's your five year deal anyway'. I thought it was crazy then, not so crazxy now.
Moshiri needs to sort it out but he wont'. He doesn't want to. He just wants to make his money and get out, and was sold on the idea that Bill would run everything, and things would tick along. He didn't understand that the whole Bill model was based around a mutual arragement with MOyes that would be impossible to recreate.
Mike Dolan
146 Posted 31/10/2021 at 19:42:26
I hate to be contrarian but I disagree with the central thrust of the article which is that Footy clubs should be run by soulless accountants and big business technocrats.
There is a deeply flawed bias running through the writing that suggests as a fact that Everton have not improved much as a business during the tenure of Marcel Brands and at once blaming him for being a mere water carrier for our almost full deck of ex.managers while at the same time suggesting that he is responsible for the recruiting decisions that he allegedly did not make. It’s speculative barony making about as much sense as the knee jerk reaction of those supporters who want to fire whichever manager we have in any particular month who looses any particular game because he just refuses to play that 18 year old who sits warming the bench.

An entirely different article could be written employing exactly the same characters if the whimsical gods of chance somehow present our beloved blues with a top six finish or perhaps an FA cup this season.
A whole slew of mistakes were committed during the Walsh /Konman era since then most of our signings have been averagely decent.
We do seem to have a disproportionate amount of injuries and perhaps that is just dumb luck but it most certainly isn’t Brands fault.
It is something though that he is blamed for which is a shame and not the type of thing that an Exec from a Fortune 500 company would find himself hobbled with.
For me its COYB and god save us from accountants and business consultants.

Paul [The Esk]
147 Posted 31/10/2021 at 22:44:36
#146 Mike, interesting interpretation of my article. I make the point that Brands is widely respected throughout the game and indeed everyone I know who has personal dealings with him speak very highly.

I make the point that his effectiveness is determined by matters "structural, political or down to the individual incumbent". Therefore I do not recognise the "deeply flawed bias" as you have suggested.

The problem is structural (governance, structure and the absence of leadership) and possibly down to the individual. It is entirely reasonable to ask why Brands has not shown greater influence and authority when into his 4th year of his tenure.

The truth is no one individual is responsible for the mess we find ourselves in. There is culpability across all the actors in the play.

I'm not asking to be run by consultants and accountants, just competent and ambitious individuals.

Mike Dolan
148 Posted 01/11/2021 at 00:59:54
With the greatest respect, Paul, it's very hard to put a finger on exactly where management is in the Moshiri project.

Koeman and Walsh were given 5 years to execute the plan. Of course it all went splat, and they and whoever it was who persuaded the owner to part with his good money on a sentimental spending spree, picking up Wayne Rooney's outrageous salary and the definition of a show pony in Yannick Bolasie.

Brands then started his 5-year plan at a crippling disadvantage of having half of the first team roster filled with mistakes who were hard to get rid of. My point being that are we really that far behind and is it really such a mess when we have only been able to play our first team in one game this season?

If we are learning our lessons, it will have been noted that the fiasco against Watford is not a one-off and has exposed the nervousness in the centre of our defence, which is a ticking time bomb that will show itself again and again and is something that I doubt is coachable.

Having said that, four more reliable players will tip the scales finally. We've come a long way and I really think this is the season we could finally turn the corner.

Paul [The Esk]
149 Posted 01/11/2021 at 08:36:07
Thanks Mike, I hope you are right!
Danny O’Neill
150 Posted 01/11/2021 at 08:50:43
Thin squad beyond a decent all fit 11 - 14 and deadwood that has been / continues to be difficult to shift Mike.

Too much interference from too many people and a Director of Football not being allowed to do his job as a consequence.

But as ever, tonight, I go with hope and optimism.

Danny O’Neill
151 Posted 01/11/2021 at 09:08:44
Many people told me I was barking up the wrong tree when I called out our centre defence last season, Mike @148. Apparently it wasn't a priority.
David Midgley
152 Posted 04/11/2021 at 11:06:05
Yes, it would seem from the many comments about him that Marcel is highly regarded in the game...

From that, you would assume that, if he was to leave Everton, he would not be short of offers for his services.

It is often stated that he suffers lots of interference from within the club. Why would anyone in his position put up with it? Why stay? Where's your self-esteem?

It stops you doing your job properly and affects your reputation... I don't get it.

I first started watching Everton in 1954. That doesn't make me an expert, far from it; many on here are. However, I have seen lots of Everton teams and players.

It has been as plain as the nose on your face that two full-backs have been needed for a couple of seasons, especially a right-back. Why has that not been addressed?

We have been short of effective forwards. We brought in Rondon, as a forward... useless. Did Rafa consult with Brands? Was he asked who was out there that we could bring in for free or for little money? Was he all that we could buy? If he wasn't and it was all on Rafa, what's Marcel's point?

I wish EFC was run by proper businessmen. They don't have to 'get' the club; they just have to like us but, more importantly, be very good at the job of running us.

During the Wolves game, the camera kept showing Rafa. Not for the first time, he was always in close consultation with his management group, never with Dunc, the assistant manager. The structure down below needs changing. Recruitment, fitness, youth policy, playing style, jobs for the boys. Remember, turkeys won't vote for Christmas.

Sorry, if this was Just a Minute, I would have been buzzed ages ago for deviation.

Dave Abrahams
153 Posted 04/11/2021 at 12:09:14
David (152),

I had a lot of faith in Brands when he joined the club, and he had a hard job trying to get rid of the many misfits bought by a selection of other misfits who put the club back years, little by little.

Then Mr Brands joined the board but, instead of improving the club, it seems he just joined the clique who are keeping the club back, and he no longer seems to be his own man.

The seventh line of your post hits the nail on the head for me: Why would anyone in his position put up with it? Why stay? Where's your self-esteem? Three good questions.

I don't think we'll get any answers – just silence coming from that direction while the manager a lot of fans don't like or want is fighting our case, mine anyway, seemingly on his own. Mr Benitez needs our support to go with some of the criticism he deserves for some selections.

Danny O’Neill
154 Posted 04/11/2021 at 12:31:25
You're right David @152. We don't need or want an Evertonian to run the club. Abromovic and Citys' owners were never supporters of the clubs they now own.
.

If you want a supporter, get Kenwright or a blind fool like Danny O'Neill to run the club. But that's not the way forward. Get a business person in to run the club. That's football now.

I know some will accuse me of bleating about the cost, but it's not about that. I've already spent literally thousands of pounds watching Everton this season. Once Mrs Danny has taken her cut to the personal account, I'm probably hovering 5K. I dare not look and I don't care.

But I'll keep going. Abused by Wolves fans on Monday night sat in the home end, Tottenham Sunday and then Brentford away, which is actually the closest Premier League to me, I'll keep going.

Keep the faith. I did when I was 10 years old, and 40 years on, I will do so now.

Bill Gall
155 Posted 04/11/2021 at 13:48:04
The problem is not Brands – the problem is chopping and changing managers.

How is a Director of Football supposed to stabilize the football side of an organization as large as Everton FC when every other season he has to work with a different manager with different styles?

In talking about the Board, supporters seem to forget that the game in the Premier League is not the only task the managers and directors have in running a large organization the size of Everton FC.

The main product is the Premier League game but there is a lot of work that has to be done just to get the game on, and some small examples are: stewards, security, gateman, programme sellers, canteen facilities... you can go on and list many more you can think of.

The problem is between the manager and the Director of Football, in that in some cases, managers have been using him correctly and, in other cases, it appears bypassing him and signing players on their own.

I am not a Kenwright supporter but it appears all this upheaval in the club seems to have started since the new owner took over.

Supporters say that Moshiri is just letting Kenwright run the club, but anyone that believes that a billionaire will just sit back and let someone else lose his money and not fire him is in fantasy land; you don't become a billionaire without being ruthless.

We have been blessed with previous managers being given money for buying expensive players that the next manager doesn't want, and this has continued down the line to the present manager who is having to pick up the pieces with a weak squad and no money to improve it, and has injuries to critical players that have no reasonable replacements.

I have mentioned this before: I was taught that any task you do the easy way is to copy the design of a pyramid, and that is to build a solid base and work your way up the sides to reach the top.

Since the new ownership has come in, we have tried to reach the top with no solid base line. And that is caused by changing managers, not using the Director of Football correctly, and the owner wanting quick success.

Barry Hesketh
156 Posted 06/11/2021 at 15:07:09
The reality is, when I met the owner and the sponsor, and the director later on, everybody was telling me that we have great ambition and everybody wants to do well to create a competitive team that could go to the stadium winning something or playing in Europe and things like that," Benitez said.

I don't suppose that Benitez meant Cazoo did he?

Spend Better


Add Your Comments

In order to post a comment, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.

» Log in now

Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and Talking Points submissions across the site.


About these ads



© ToffeeWeb