An American view of Everton's investment potential

Saturday, 18 June, 2022 107comments  |  Jump to last

Modern stadiums are a vital part of the American sports team model

This article in the Echo skirts over the panic and hyperbole expressed by many who fear the coming of the mighty American dollar in search of quick profits from the Premier League, in the shape of Everton's imminent takeover.

Instead, it emphasizes how undervalued Premier League sports teams are viewed by American investors, and also puts into a more realistic context the value and importance of having a modern state-of-the-art stadium is to that investment equation in American eyes.

It also contexts the investment made by NBC Sports to televise the Premier League in its entirety — every game of every season shown live across the USA for the past 10 years. That deal has grown from $250 million to £$2 billion and underpinned the launch of their new streaming service, Peacock.

It talks of "a scarcity value for top clubs in the Premier League with history, a global fan base and an established brand."

Read the full article in The Echo


Reader Comments (107)

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Alan Johnson
1 Posted 18/06/2022 at 16:30:16
They just don't come with a good history over here. Who, knows. The whole thing is baffling to me. Would be good if Paul the Esk could put his point of view to this?
Tony Abrahams
2 Posted 18/06/2022 at 16:39:40
The only bit of the article that scared me Michael, was when they talked about certain clubs being bulletproof, with regards to being relegated.

We have gone over Twenty seven seasons or nearly ten thousand days, without a trophy, so please Moshiri, can you just find us some people with real ambition, wherever they are from.

Michael Kenrick
3 Posted 18/06/2022 at 16:54:14
One bit that I wanted to look into more was what they said about "the legislation of betting in America's key markets". That sounded like they'd changed the rules recently, and I wasn't sure... but what a minefield that topic is!

Classic Federal vs State battle all over... seems to have been led by New Jersey's attempt to leagalise online sports betting, which varies by individual state over there. A lot of this has passed me by and I assume the implication in this article is that betting on Premier League games is set to spiral (if it is not already huge?) in the USA??? And that too is a major part of the investment equation?

Paul Smith
4 Posted 18/06/2022 at 16:58:50
Moving towards a super league. Clubs with no chance of relegation and involved in EPL, CL and a global merchandise reach are worth billions and more if no relegation was locked in. Everton with the new stadium might be valued at just under a £billion. The Geordies went for 300mill and the Chelsea price has increased all values. A few ITK journos have us down as deffo getting sold but not to Kenyon and the negotiations are further along with other parties.
Gerry Morrison
5 Posted 18/06/2022 at 17:02:33
Gambling is a state issue and historically has been very limited. However, the trend is to open it up. California has a ballot measure in November that if passed would essentially allow on line betting on anything. States see billions in tax revenue if they legalise it.
Michael Kenrick
6 Posted 18/06/2022 at 17:11:09
Interesting, Paul. How does that jive with the "Heads of Terms" agreements reportedly being signed and Kenyon's group being granted "exclusivity"?
Michael Kenrick
7 Posted 18/06/2022 at 17:23:35
Thanks, Gerry. It's a pretty huge deal over there. I can remember my work laptop over there being blocked from all online betting sites but I think that may have been a company policy reflecting state law up in Washington?

Yea, just checked: WA is one of the states where sports betting is legal... but online sports betting is not!

Bill Gall
8 Posted 18/06/2022 at 17:26:15
I have read that article and it may have answered a question I asked in that I wondered who else were interested in taking over Everton?

The only comment about relegation I found was: "But even with the risk of relegation in European football, it is seen by American investors as a market that has yet to reach its full potential…"

Another interesting remark from new Chelsea owner Todd Boehly, “speaking at the Super Return private equity conference in Berlin last week, stressed how he felt teams were heavily undervalued and that "clubs don't realize how big their opportunity is" to grow and deliver even greater revenues.”

I have been paying for the Premier League for the last couple of seasons with a company called Dazn for $170 Canadian a year for every Premier League game and they have been outbid by another company, FUBO – not sure what the price will be but it sounds about the same.

I don't care how much money anyone makes by investing in the club, as long as they provide a successful competitive side that is financially sound.

Jerome Shields
9 Posted 18/06/2022 at 17:26:22
Paul, I think the Kenyon group have Kenwright connections and Moshiri may be doing his own thing.

As ever, things are never straight-forward at Everton and it is highly likely that there are two competing factions for Moshiri's 80% shareholding. Anything that comes out of Everton PR-wise has to be looked at in that light.

Kenwright up to now has done everything possible to maintain his influence at Everton – why stop the habit of up to 30 years?

Dave Lynch
11 Posted 18/06/2022 at 17:34:02
Things are never straight-forward at Everton, Jerome, because of Kenwright.
Clive Rogers
12 Posted 18/06/2022 at 17:35:43
Jerome @9,

Moshiri now owns 92.16% of the shares.

Paul Smith
13 Posted 18/06/2022 at 17:36:43
True, Micheal, it means very little these days apparently – a mere nod to carry on talking. Could it be another investor has already been through that process and not given an answer either way?
Ian Bennett
14 Posted 18/06/2022 at 17:40:04
Simon Jordan mooted the Premier League launching their own TV channel when the current deals expire. Worldwide TV channel at £10 a month plus advertising, like a Netflix or Disney type subscription in time.

The Premier League global audience over a season is 3 billion. You charge each of those around £10 a month, and that's £30 billion a season plus advertising.

No wonder US investors can see long-term value if that comes off. You are talking between 3 to 10 times the current TV deals.

Bill Gall
15 Posted 18/06/2022 at 17:47:42
Micheal,

I think Moshiri is trying to get a benchmark with them, to see if their offer comes anywhere near his valuation. After that, he can listen to other offers that may be an improvement.

John Raftery
16 Posted 18/06/2022 at 17:50:35
It seems to me if relegation is ruled out the format will need to be changed to keep a sufficient proportion of games meaningful. That might for example require the introduction of play-off fixtures to determine final league placings. Moreover if there is no jeopardy at the bottom of the league there must be a more frequent turnover of league winners to maintain interest.

From the little I know about the NFL it is interesting to note the last five years have seen five different Super Bowl winners. That suggests more of a level playing field than we have in the Premier League. I’m unconvinced the clubs currently dominant will be comfortable giving up the huge financial advantages they enjoy just to make the league more competitive.

The Super League concept has not gone away and will at some point re-emerge in some other guise. It is unlikely to be positive for the overall league structure in this country.

Bill Gall
17 Posted 18/06/2022 at 18:06:10
I thought it was down to the FA to change the rules of the leagues – not the owners or Sky Sports. If there was no relegation, what will happen to the lower leagues?

How will they manage to improve their income if they are not allowed to be promoted? All games are supposed to be competitive whether you are fighting for first place or trying to avoid relegation.

Would the relegation battle this season have been as exciting if the teams at the bottom knew they could not be relegated?

Michael Kenrick
18 Posted 18/06/2022 at 18:20:06
Moshiri encouraging a bidding war would be a savvy move if Todd Boehly is right about Premier League clubs being heavily undervalued. I agree with him in Everton's case, and Moshiri needs to see a much higher price (with the stadium in there too) if he is to see any return on investment.

While relegation is anathema to the Yanks, Bill, I can't see them wanting to force that out of the Premier League system. I think they accept the element of jeopardy it provides.

I wanted to ask you, Bill – from your mining industry perspective (should perhaps have done this on the other thread) – what you thought of John Thornton being demonized?

Mike Gaynes would have us believe that rape and murder are endemic at each and every one of Barrick's operations.

Jerome Shields
19 Posted 18/06/2022 at 18:28:22
Clive #12

It's 80% of 92. 16% of the total shares. It has been reported that he intends to keep either 10% or 20% of his holding. Sorry I wasn't clearer.

Michael Kenrick
20 Posted 18/06/2022 at 18:38:31
Ian,

The more I think about the TV coverage of Premier League football in the UK, the more bizarre it appears to me.

The FA blackout on live TV at 3 pm on a Saturday is the main culprit but this translates to additional Sunday afternoon and midweek fixtures not being shown in the UK, despite the cameras being there at every single game.

Perhaps the solution is the Premier League setting up its own channel, but it would really need a streaming service like Peacock to provide simultaneous coverage of different games.

It would be so much easier, right now, for clubs to set up their own matchday streams via their websites... in fact, why isn't there a huge push for this in the UK? Is everyone who wants to watch their team live happy to be breaking the law?

Peter Neilson
21 Posted 18/06/2022 at 18:59:43
The Premier League started talking about launching their own broadcasting channel, Premflix(?!) a couple of years ago and valued the potential income at a minimum of £24 billion a season.

I think the current domestic deal is 50% divided evenly, 25% based on league position and 25% based on televised games, but there was a change a couple of years ago to the foreign broadcasting rights moving away from equal shares just as it became more lucrative than the domestic market.

This will surely be the area for argument as the usual suspects will want an even bigger slice of the pie while threatening to stream their own games direct. It'll happen over the next few years once existing contracts expire but potentially it'll be a further massive widening of income between clubs.

The case has to be made, and won, as to the value of the league over the greed of a few. Nothing new there.

Allen Rodgers
22 Posted 18/06/2022 at 19:15:22
I think Everton FC is attractive to buyers because of the buzz which surrounds the City of Liverpool as a tourist destination which obviously brings in big bucks. Through gritted teeth, I have to admit the RS and their savvy owners are partly responsible.
Gavin Johnson
23 Posted 18/06/2022 at 19:44:38
I wonder if there's Chinese investment in this potential takeover given Thornton's close links with China?!
Bill Gall
24 Posted 18/06/2022 at 20:04:04
Different mining industry, Micheal – I worked in the potash industry,

Although I did visit a couple of gold mines looking for mining equipment. One thing I found strange when visiting a gold mine in Northern Ontario – there was a herd of buffalo off-site, and when I asked about them, I was told that buffalo react to any radical changes to the land with underground mining and they were put there to appease the environmentalists.

Craig Harrison
25 Posted 18/06/2022 at 20:04:58
A little off-topic, Bill. But I managed to sign up for Fubo for $99 for the first year. You have to sign up before June 30.
Bill Gall
26 Posted 18/06/2022 at 20:06:31
Craig,

Is that for the Canadian content or the US?

Craig Harrison
27 Posted 18/06/2022 at 20:07:57
Canadian, Bill. I had to send them an email to get a link for the $99. Just did it this morning.
Craig Harrison
28 Posted 18/06/2022 at 20:10:56
This should work:

https://www.fubo.tv/stream/ca/preseason-offer/?ftv_campaign=PL_webtko

And sorry to everyone else for this

Tony Shelby
29 Posted 18/06/2022 at 20:38:09
Name the new stadium:

The [insert name of highest bidder] Sir Paul McCartney Stadium

Who gives a fuck if he's got nothing to do with football? Let's hijack one of the city's biggest assets, create a permanent memorial to him and The Beatles, and soak up the investment and media coverage that goes with all of that.

Let's make ourselves a curio that alerts the world to our history and helps shape a more positive future for the club. We can't win everything tomorrow but we can position ourselves to be the team that is relentlessly coming over the horizon.

Our time will come again but we need to plant the seeds now.

Tony Abrahams
30 Posted 18/06/2022 at 20:46:37
I was the one who mentioned relegation in this thread, Bill, but what I was meaning, was that it said that the Americans see certain clubs as being bulletproof with regards ever facing the drop, and it said Everton was always considered to be one of those clubs, until last season.

"They had their worst season and survived", is the positive spin being put on this, but we don't need another owner who is quite content with living amongst the also-rans. That was what I was insinuating, because I'm sure we have all had enough of this!

Justin Doone
31 Posted 18/06/2022 at 20:57:22
We all know Everton don't know how to get the best out of any deal.

The commercial side was and still is largely ignored. So yes, there is still huge potential (and risks) for greater revenue and costs.

But I'm a football fan. Football, football, football. This season, next season, the seasons after. What I want is for Everton to show fight, improvement, play good, exciting attacking football, and hopefully win some silverware.

It doesn't matter where investors are from. The clue is in the name. They invest and expect greater returns. How long and how much and how quick they invest and expect returns is the concern.

Christine Foster
32 Posted 18/06/2022 at 21:39:14
Tony, what on earth are you talking about? A Paul McCartney stadium? Commercialism and riding on the back of the world's greatest band?

Wish I'd though of that lol...

Brian Wilkinson
33 Posted 18/06/2022 at 21:57:45
It will never happen, Tony. Macca certainly has the money, but would never put money to either football club in the City. The City holds too much affection for him to take sides, even though he says Everton are his team when push comes to shove.

What he does owe us though, is a concert; he has done one across the park, so needs to put the record straight. For maximum worldwide coverage, bring the curtain down on the old lady with a concert, and open the new stadium with a concert as well. Instead of the touts snatching the tickets, hold both concerts to season ticket holders, with a ballot for any remaining.

Mike Gaynes
34 Posted 18/06/2022 at 22:06:04
I know I'm not supposed to say anything nice about the Red Echo, but this is actually a very good article that brings out some of the points making Everton attractive from a business perspective.

Acquisition, whether of a pharma company or a sports team, is a process of assessing value add potential. With a pharma company, you look at the drugs in the pipeline. With Everton, you look at the stadium. It's a tangible asset, and a gamble that may pay off for Moshiri long before a game is ever played there.

Michael #3 and Ian #14 bring out crucial additional value points about the gambling aspect and the TV rights respectively. TV is an asset that will continue to explode for every Premier League team. Betting is a more uncertain revenue stream, but as someone who consulted 15 years ago for a company involved in rights security for online gaming, I can tell you that's a rapidly changing dynamic.

Personally, I'll be ecstatic if Everton winds up with at least some American ownership (non-Trumpy I hope), because it will conclusively end 40 years of ignominious idiocy with regards to marketing the club in the US. I will finally be able to buy a shirt here.

Mike Gaynes
35 Posted 18/06/2022 at 22:10:54
Michael #18, stick that snarky shit where the sun don't shine. I said no such thing.

Barrick Gold has over a dozen major operations worldwide. They have been busted for -- and largely admitted to -- outrageous human rights violations at two sites, Tanzania and Papua New Guinea. I know of no other misconduct and have hinted at none.

I stand on my opposition to having John Thornton in any way involved with our club.

Tony Dunn
36 Posted 18/06/2022 at 22:14:22
Being musicians, I don't think The Beatles were ever as into footy as the rest of the city, Paul did attend the West Brom FA Cup Final in 1968, but maybe that's a reason to keep him away, if he's as superstitious as most on here.

I also doubt most of us would be photographed holding a red and white scarf as he was. Different times, when the city was more accepting of this I know.

Apparently he attended games with his uncle a few times, I used to do a paper round in Huyton and delivered to the Stuart Sutcliffe house, they were Evertonians.

Don Alexander
37 Posted 18/06/2022 at 22:18:05
Given who's our Chairman, he'd boot "The Paul McCartney Stadium" idea right into the river in favour of "The First Ever Stadium To Have Ever Had Under Soil Heating In England Stadium".

You see, whilst he's cancerous in his role, even I know he recognises and still, after 30 barren years, endlessly extols "our 'istory".

To him, it would make perfect commercial sense to extol one of our foremost achievements in football in contrast to attracting fans of a mere world-wide renowned celebrity.

Larry O'Hara
38 Posted 18/06/2022 at 22:19:59
A mate of mine bumped into McCartney before a game on Priory Road once and asked him who he supported and he said “Who's winning?” Make of that what you will…
Tony Shelby
39 Posted 18/06/2022 at 22:33:53
We've got John Lennon Airport. I figure we might as well get in before anyone else and ‘commemorate' Macca.

As you'll surmise, it's not a sincere tribute but a wholly cynical land grab. We've got the Liver Building, for as long as we're connected with Moshiri. We're about to annex the docks. Next move, The Beatles.

Let It Be…

Brian Wilkinson
40 Posted 18/06/2022 at 22:59:40
Right, I see now, Tony – the naming of the stadium.

Here's me thinking you were on about buying Everton out. Yeah, got a nice ring to it that, the Macca stadium.

Mike Gaynes
41 Posted 19/06/2022 at 00:21:22
Larry, Tony and Tony... both Goal.com and the Dixie Dean Hotel website claim Sir Paul is a Blue, but in a recent GQ interview he confessed that, although born and raised an Evertonian, he supports both us and the RS:

https://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/culture/article/paul-mccartney-interview

https://dixiedeanhotel.co.uk/blog/famous-everton-fans/#:~:text=Sir%20Paul%20McCartney%20was%20brought,fan%20due%20to%20his%20stepdad.

https://www.goal.com/en-us/news/the-beatles-the-football-teams-paul-mccartney-john-lennon/1lf5q2t2ba4t11uk82qbesxil1

Mike Keating
42 Posted 19/06/2022 at 00:26:39
Yeah, Yeah, Yeah – let's name the stadium after the only Beatle to have had any time for the place and then go the whole hog and replace Z-Cars with the frigging Frog Song while we're at it!
Alan McGuffog
43 Posted 19/06/2022 at 00:28:35
Having just watched some of a programme about McCartney, post Beatles, might I request it be named after Pete Best?
Mike Keating
44 Posted 19/06/2022 at 00:36:28
Alan,

Were you watching the same embarrassing TOTP compilation on BBC 2 tonight?

Excruciating!

Larry O'Hara
45 Posted 19/06/2022 at 01:06:06
Mike (41) — that dual allegiance would be consistent with the ambiguous comment to my mate.
Pete Clarke
46 Posted 19/06/2022 at 03:09:48
The city of Liverpool, despite all of its troubles over the years, is a great spot for tourists. Football is one of those reasons that people come, The Beatles is another, but the regeneration of the docklands itself is a big part of that, as well the history being on show in the museums.

We can really get ourselves a foothold into the future by getting the stadium right and of course the team. The naming of the stadium for me should have a strong connection to the city and we should also start looking at how to incorporate the Liver birds back into our strip.

I don't mean swapping our historic badge but by placing the birds on a sleeve somewhere as a symbol that they represent the City of Liverpool and don't belong to the others. Bella and Bertie look out for us all and it's time to claim our share of them.

Christine Foster
47 Posted 19/06/2022 at 05:13:10
Tony, let's go the whole hog... New American investors / owners?

Let's have the team run out to Live And Let Die, fireworks and all. Half-time? Magical Mystery Tour... step right this way... (Actually, the more I think about it, the more I like it... bit more Umphh than Z-Cars).

Sing along to the old Pilot classic "It's Magic" – you know... "never believe it's not so."

Ray Roche
48 Posted 19/06/2022 at 08:13:39
Mike @41

McCartney's hardly likely to alienate the RS hordes by claiming to be a lifelong Blue, especially if, like many of the older generation in Liverpool, he still wants both clubs to do well. There's an old photo from the 1968 Final showing McCartney and at least one other Beatle going into Wembley to watch Everton against WBA.

Alan McGuffog
49 Posted 19/06/2022 at 08:45:36
Ray,

I've always been amazed that four lads growing up in the '50s, in Liverpool, seemingly had no interest in footie. Even allowing for both sides being pretty shite in those days.

Maybe, as you say, there was a management decision (Mr Epstein) not to alienate half the city? In the same way that John Lennon had to keep his being a husband and father a secret.

Ray Roche
50 Posted 19/06/2022 at 08:58:04
Alan,

I think that the whole Merseybeat scene helped the RS. With the world rocking to music from Liverpool it helped some groups/singers etc to hitch their wagon to anything associated with the city of Liverpool and that included the RS.

The city and its music scene suddenly encapsulated the swaying crowd on the Kop, the Gerry and the Pacemakers ‘anthem', all that crap, and it became cool to be a fan of Liverpool, even if you'd never been to the place. Fair play to the Beatles for not joining in.

Tony Shelby
51 Posted 19/06/2022 at 09:01:43
Christine - Love the idea of running out to Live and Let Die. That’ll make the world sit up and take notice.

I can see it now, the whole Gwladys Street in Beatles mop-tops!

Here Comes The Sun as we leave the stadium. Win, lose or draw, a positive song to lead us home.

Alan McGuffog
52 Posted 19/06/2022 at 09:19:47
Ray... I agree, totally. Mind you I've been told that Bootle's finest, The Searchers, were Bluenoses to a man.

I realise a lot of these posts are tongue-in-cheek but I'd hate to have anything Beatles-related considered as the stadium name. I was dismayed that Speke Airport was renamed John Lennon Airport... my opinion only, but I always thought Lennon to be a Grade A tosser.

If there has to be a name, why not recognise some true heroes of the city: James Clarke, Kitty Wilkinson, etc?

Colin Glassar
53 Posted 19/06/2022 at 10:03:37
Whatever happened to the game we loved? Most of us started kicking a ball as soon as we could walk. We played in the streets, fields, parks, any empty spaces we could find.

We'd go to the games in the freezing cold or boiling hot weather. Eat crap food and drink warm beer at matches. I'm not being sentimental here but we'd support our team and not give a toss about the financials or if the toilets were swimming in piss. We did it for the love of the game.

Nowadays, reading ToffeeWeb, and other fan forums, it's like being on the Financial Times or Wall Street Journal. It used to be about millions – now it's billions, what next, trillions? What will we do with all these potential billions from TV deals, merchandising, sell-on values and the like? The talent pool is only so big, so where will get the future mega stars from, as the already super-rich will always have first dibs… Alpha Centauri? Some other galaxy?

The game has lost its soul and the fans, blinded by the bling, are fast losing theirs too. I get that it's a business. I get that we're run by two clueless morons. I get the frustration, anger and despair. I get the desperate yearning for success and silverware. What I don't get is selling our souls to some corporate monsters who will only use us as a PR and investment tool until they find another toy to play with.

I'm not offering alternative solutions as I don't have any. The game, despite getting richer, is becoming an obscene, bloated harlot selling itself to the highest bidder. It's fool's gold… so enjoy it while you can.

Brian Murray
54 Posted 19/06/2022 at 10:12:09
I think the song "Help" will be more appropriate if we don't get any proper signings in.
Ian Bennett
55 Posted 19/06/2022 at 10:32:27
Michael 20,

I don't think the voting members would agree to individual clubs selling their own rights – it would be 14 vs 6 again. The £ gap between top and bottom would be too vast.

But I can see them voting on their own TV channel at multiples of the current rate.

They then need to pay off the Football League for 3pm Saturday kickoffs. Or maybe a further bung of a Premier Football League 2 to fill the content.

Danny O’Neill
56 Posted 19/06/2022 at 11:34:32
I don't fear American owners. I've visited 30 of the 50 States, worked intrinsically with the US Government and Military over many years. Since 2016 I've only worked for US companies; Texan at that! I've owned property in the US since 2008.

So I understand the psyche. And their tax system. Thanks guys!!!

One thing we would have to accept with American owners is that we would be run as a business. But again, I don't fear that. It might give us the shake up we need and sort the board out.

The stadium will be an obvious attraction to any US-based consortium. Especially in such an iconic location in an iconic city that has so many historical links to the US. Talk about marketing potential in a growing market. They would absolutely milk it.

The relegation point is interesting. Only last week in San Antonio, I was talking with colleagues and they marvel about our system because theirs isn't set up for promotion and relegation apparently. It's a closed shop, which is what the breakaway clubs were seeking last summer.

Stu Darlington
57 Posted 19/06/2022 at 12:13:23
Alpha Centauri, Colin? Won't he need a work permit?
Tony Abrahams
58 Posted 19/06/2022 at 12:44:20
Great post, Colin @53.

Looking back at old pictures and footage, I've always thought that the game of football must reflect on the way life was at that time. Now is no different imo, because I often say to people there is only one religion left.

$-¥-€-£ and the only other thing that seems to matter to many of us is football, so please Mr Moshiri, do what's right for Everton, and close the door on the “pantomime villain” who has slowly destroyed what Everton used to truly exist for, over many, many, many, boring soulless years.

I'm with you, Danny, I can't wait to see Everton run as a proper professional business, surely this isn't too much to ask?

Jamie Crowley
59 Posted 19/06/2022 at 12:48:49
Colin @ 53 -

The game has lost its soul and the fans...

No it hasn't.

Did you happen to see the Everton - Palace game a few weeks back?

The game and its soul are fine. The game is growing in popularity, ergo the valuations go up. But the game, at its core, is just fine in my opinion.

Tony Abrahams
60 Posted 19/06/2022 at 12:58:40
Jamie, that happened because Evertonians have always been brought up to believe that we are winners, even the 30-year-olds who have never seen our club win a fuckin sausage.

The act of defiance is a great human trait and scousers carry it by the bucketload, but we need to act with a lot more professionalism, and we need to start by getting rid of the people at the top, because they only show signs of being ruthless whenever their incompetence is about to be exposed.

Will Mabon
61 Posted 19/06/2022 at 16:18:08
Jamie @59:

You're 100% right regarding that Palace game. Probably all the games, on the pitch. That is though, whilst the purest definition of "The Game", also the narrowest of how fans have perceived Football as a whole for generations. It's been about so much more.

I don't need to list all the aspects that comprised it, but many are now gone and all are affected by the polluting of the soul of football in recent decades. Personally, I can mostly only tolerate the whistled playing time. The surrounding bullshit, the politics immediately prior and anything else – no.

Much of what Colin @53 says resonates with me. Yes, one can try to ignore it but it takes effort. Back in the day, the many hours TV build-up to the FA Cup final was fantastic; now, I don't watch a second of it. I don't need to – I know exactly what it will be like.

Maybe I'm getting old. Earlier I looked on the BBC Sport website. Haaland, just transferred to Man City, yet to kick a ball for them. Headline? "Real Madrid want Haaland in 2024". Laughable, fake, meaningless, dismissible, click bait? Most likely – but just the fact it's there is a perfect little cameo of where we are. The soul of the game is a bit-part player today.

Of course I still get drawn in, but hey...

Stan Schofield
62 Posted 19/06/2022 at 16:44:02
Colin @53: One thing I disagree with you about in that post is that the game is not becoming an obscene, bloated harlot – it already is one.

There are really only two options: either keep watching and tolerate it for what it is, or walk away from it. The latter is a practical way forward, because elite football is a luxury item, and watching it is a choice.

This choice can of course be made taking account of the fact that the soul of the game really is still there, as evidenced by the passion of the supporters. But ultimately, it is a choice.

Will Mabon
63 Posted 19/06/2022 at 17:50:39
Stan:

"...an obscene, bloated harlot..."

That's my ex, that is.

Ray Roche
64 Posted 19/06/2022 at 18:24:28
Will.

Leave the Brave Pills alone, there's a good lad.

Will Mabon
65 Posted 19/06/2022 at 19:15:21
Anything's possible, Ray.
Peter Mills
66 Posted 19/06/2022 at 19:48:48
Alan#52, I sat next to one of The Searchers at the 1969 FA Cup semi-final. He bought me a cup of Bovril at half-time!

Brother Charlie is making good progress, and sends his best wishes to you.

John McFarlane Snr
67 Posted 19/06/2022 at 20:01:32
Hi Colin [53] there are, in my opinion, two aspects of 'The Game', [A] what is presented on the pitch and [B] what takes place off it.

There have been many improvements in the main, the medical welfare of the players, playing conditions, and equipment, but on the reverse side of the coin [B], there have been too many changes in the laws of football and some of its competitions, the only improvements I have noticed are the 'Goal Line Technology', and the 'Shaving Cream' laid down at free kicks.

As long as football has been played the richer clubs have held an advantage, but in todays 'game ?' under what I call, the "Unfair Football Play Rules" which were introduced I believe, by UEFA [but if I'm wrong apologies are extended]. The likes of Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and quite likely Tottenham Hotspur, had filled their coffers by this time and their income from various sources has enabled them to pay exorbitant transfer fees and salary's.

I must admit that I would have the same opinion if Everton were part of the 'Sky Brigade' I believe that when the restrictions were applied, the right thing to do would have been to place a ceiling on transfer fees, in that respect I would have no problem with the 'Football Fair Play' rules. It would have presented a more level playing field.

I know that there are some who may consider me to have a 'stuck in the mud' outlook, but I liked it when there were 92 clubs in the 'Football League'

Don Alexander
68 Posted 19/06/2022 at 20:12:50
Will (#63), a mate wants to know if you still have her number?
Alan McGuffog
69 Posted 19/06/2022 at 20:28:23
Peter...I would doubt that even a cup of Bovril would have taken away the pain of Tommy Booths last minute winner.
Culmination of the greatest season I've ever seen from our lads.
Delighted that Charlie is on the mend..Best wishes reciprocated !
Brian Murray
70 Posted 19/06/2022 at 20:52:18
Alan. That semi final never gets mentioned much. Bally so close three times with us and once with arsenal. Dare say man city a far better team than the joke that was west brom beating us after we pummelled then twice that year.
Will Mabon
71 Posted 19/06/2022 at 20:58:56
Don, she's currently going through a gender/pronoun uncertainty, I heard. When I find out what comes out the other end, I'll let you know what it is, and if your er, mate is still interested, we'll take it from there.
Paul Conatzer
72 Posted 19/06/2022 at 21:25:25
Danny (56),

As someone with an English mum and a USAF dad, I spent more than a few years in The States and a lot of it in Texas, as a sports journo.

I had a stint at the long-closed San Antonio Light. I also spent a few years in corporate communications at Citibank as well as time in deep South Texas, where football is played at a pretty good level. A couple of schools in Brownsville, which is right on the border, have won state titles.

I'm surprised you didn't run into anyone in San Antonio who did get the relegation concept. Until recently, the Mexican League had regulation and promotion. With baseball being the first professional league in the US (no relegation), I think the way it progressed was copied by other sports as they developed.

I think US pro sports in the US have substituted franchises moving to new cities, new states and holding tax (rate) payers to ransom for long-term tax breaks, which force higher rates on local businesses and individual property owners. Franchise owners will threaten cities with moving their team somewhere else, if said city's taxpayers don't raise the funds to pay for a massive stadium, which then belongs to the owner.

I spent two seasons covering the Houston Oilers, until they moved to Nashville and became the Tennessee Titans. Bud Owens, the Oilers' owner, made a mint.

Think how up in arms people got when Kenwright wanted to build a new stadium in Kirkby. Adams moved his team 778 miles and basically told Houston to sod off.

Tony Abrahams
73 Posted 19/06/2022 at 21:50:57
To be fair to Bill Kenwright he gave the fans a vote, and more people voted to go to Kirkby, which is why the club went ahead with the plan. I’ve still got my doubts about how transparent the vote was, even if Everton employed a reputable company, allegedly!
Will Mabon
74 Posted 19/06/2022 at 22:03:27
Paul, when it goes that way, a club/team really is just a complete business product, transferable, to be pitched elsewhere like a tent.

It wouldn't be so bad if it had been that way from the start (although I wonder at the real depth of sporting interest of the "New" fans). When it represents the theft of thirty-odd years of established and paid-for history from a whole other state, it's just awful. The original winners too.

No real comparisons here in the UK. Moves to other stadia or sharing with other teams happens due to financial troubles as opposed to financial opportunism.

Will Mabon
75 Posted 19/06/2022 at 22:07:07
Tony, as I remember it all at the time, anecdotal as it may be, in my own little world I met no-one in person that supported or admitted to wanting that move.
Michael Kenrick
76 Posted 19/06/2022 at 22:27:36
One thing that is different in America is that, when fans move to a new city, it's almost an obligation that they support the new home-town sports team(s). Although with the popularity of the Premier League, soccer fans have been freer to make a choice. That's when they tend to go for proven winners rather than underdogs. (With some exceptions.)

This aspect is radically different from the way it was in the UK (at least before the new Sky breed of glory hunters). Maybe that's the soul of the game gone the way Colin says.

But I just see new generations adapting in their own ways to how they want to consume and enjoy their footy. Old farts are always gonna say how much better everything was in The Good Old Days... but that gets a tad boring, don't you think?

Will Mabon
77 Posted 19/06/2022 at 23:19:25
I don't know, Michael. Boring is a word almost exclusively applied to others, not the self :) Things are different though for sure - changing and being changed.

There'll always be something special with local connection over a period of time for me; real history. Some new things are great in their own way of course, and some older things can be enjoyed in more ways than one. I guess it's the hyper-commodification force-applied onto the tradition that rankles.

I'm English but lived in the 'States. That transferring of support when moving is strange! Maybe it was borne of the size of the country.

Tony Abrahams
78 Posted 20/06/2022 at 11:47:32
I’m getting old Michael, because I sometimes think football has reached a saturating point, and has almost grown into two separate parts. The actual game is something I will always love, but the other side of the game, the media spin, plus VAR, sometimes makes me feel that they’ve created an extra industry, just for ex-players, and ex-refs, with journalists creating a lot of their spoken narrative’s.

After the Merseyside Derby on sky, their discussion lead someone to say, let’s talk about the ref now. “Kevin Campbell- said I think he’s bottled it” - very next words from Carragher were “don’t you think Everton’s players have bottled it all season?”

Que - end of discussion about the appalling referee, which left me thinking- nice one Carragher, that fuckn ref and his assistant definitely owe you one for that mate, whilst contributing nothing towards the actual discussion, which was as biased television as you could possibly get imo.

I also never met anyone who wanted to go to Kirkby, Will, and I’m just glad it never happened, mate.

John McFarlane Snr
79 Posted 20/06/2022 at 12:58:23
Michael Kenrick [76] I have, [down the years] learned how to read and write between the lines, and as a result of our periodic differences I have come to the conclusion that when you write of 'Snowflakes' and 'Old Farts', that both you and I know, that you are having a dig at me. I also believe that when I write, "There are some who would disagree" you would know straightaway that you were the 'someone' I was referring to.

I have long held the belief that it's impossible to dislike someone you don't know, but now I'm beginning to have my doubts.

Hi Tony [78] it's not an age thing, it's the fact that football has been stolen from the match going fan, and has become the 'Golden Cow' of television, but then again "There are some who would disagree"

Robert Williams
80 Posted 20/06/2022 at 13:04:51
JMc 79 - I have recently picked up on the animosity between Mc & MK and I find it all a bit amusing to be honest.
I am not 80, can anyone please explain how old one has to be to be 'an old fart' as the older I get the more I fart!!
Brian Murray
81 Posted 20/06/2022 at 13:07:54
John mac, You on the ropes but really stole it on mk there ha ha in boxing analogy.No one wins on points we are all blues and I really have to bite my tongue at some. Not so much on here but in boozers by the ground. Brothers in arms eh
Mike Gaynes
82 Posted 20/06/2022 at 13:30:34
Paul #72, I did that for a living as well. Who did you work for? I spent a fair amount of time in the Bay Area, where the Raiders have moved more often than an Air Force family!

Will #77, the idea that US fans transfer support when moving to a new city is false in my opinion. I have found the opposite is true, that team allegiances established early in life remain held forever. Only relatively casual fans without deep connections tend to change by geography.

Ironically, I'm one example. I have maintained my fervor for my hometown Chicago teams throughout a life lived across many US states from coast to coast. In fact, I actively rooted against the local teams imposed upon me as I moved. However, I had never established a particular connection with any US soccer team since my beloved Chicago Sting folded in the 1980s. (Chicago's MLS team was founded long after I left.) Finally, last year, when I settled near Seattle, I decided to support the local Sounders. But I didn't have to change any existing allegiances to do so.

Ed Prytherch
83 Posted 20/06/2022 at 14:50:42
Mike,

Our family are examples of your theory. Our son Ben has lived in Fort Collins, Colorado, for 20 years – half of his life. He graduated from Colorado State University and he has been on the faculty there for some time but he supports the South Carolina Gamecocks and the Carolina Panthers. He sometimes flies home for a visit to coincide with one of the games. I don't understand it myself as they are both crappy teams. I would sooner support the Broncos.

Mike Gaynes
84 Posted 20/06/2022 at 15:19:55
Ed, I hope Colorado State never plays South Carolina. Your son could lose tenure for showing up in the wrong shirt!

Nobody knows more about insane loyalty to crappy teams than I do. I'm a Cubs fan. People used to point at my bumper sticker and laugh out loud.

James Flynn
85 Posted 20/06/2022 at 15:23:49
Michael (76) - "One thing that is different in America is that, when fans move to a new city, it's almost an obligation that they support the new home-town sports team(s)"


Wow! In what city did you see this?

I've never seen it.

James Flynn
86 Posted 20/06/2022 at 16:29:40
Lifting from one of Mike Gaynes' references, McCartney on Everton:

“Here’s the deal: my father was born in Everton, my family are officially Evertonians, so if it comes down to a derby match or an FA Cup final between the two, I would have to support Everton,” he said. “But after a concert at Wembley Arena I got a bit of a friendship with Kenny Dalglish, who had been to the gig and I thought, ‘You know what? I am just going to support them both because it’s all Liverpool and I don’t have that Catholic-Protestant thing.’ So I did have to get special dispensation from the Pope to do this but that’s it, too bad… but if it comes to the crunch, I’m an Evertonian.”

Michael Kenrick
87 Posted 20/06/2022 at 19:13:59
Will, Mike, Ed, James,

Maybe it's just a Seattle thing???

I was going to add that it seemed to be a trait with many who had come to the Pacific Northwest from elsewhere, but became ardent supporters of the local teams (until the franchises moved on!)

But that was back in the day when you'd struggle to find anyone who was actually born and bred in Seattle.

Ian Linn
88 Posted 20/06/2022 at 22:07:24
@ Ed Prytherch 83 Your son lives about 15 miles from me, I'm in Loveland.
Mike Gaynes
89 Posted 21/06/2022 at 00:55:19
Michael #87,

You lived here a long time and you'd know. Definitely lots of non-natives living here. But the arrival of an NHL franchise brought local sports fervor to a new level, and I'd say many of them are new hockey fans, not converts from the Original 6 fan bases of Boston, Detroit and Chicago who moved here to work for Amazon or Microsoft.

Ian Linn
90 Posted 21/06/2022 at 04:02:12
Go Avalanche
Danny O’Neill
91 Posted 21/06/2022 at 07:29:17
I appreciate it's different cultures and a different era. In my experience, the US is a more transient population in nature. And obviously their sport is set up differently. I have to admit, I do like the College and Draft system. It seems to make it more of a level playing field and give more teams a fair crack at the whip. But that's just an uneducated observation and opinion. Obviously I stand to be corrected by the US cohort if I'm off the mark there.

I welcome supporters who adopt both the beautiful game and especially our football club. Absolutely welcome to the Everton family; every single one of you. You provide support and perspective to idiots like me who have never known any different and had no choice to what we were born into!

The franchise thing would never work in the UK or, I would also say in Europe. I remember the drama when original Wimbledon became the now MK Dons. Not the same, but the furore when Cardiff's owner changed their colours from blue to red. Our traditions are ingrained.

Despite the criticism of us being too focused on Everton in the community, our clubs are deep rooted in the communities of where they come from. Even though some have gone global in terms of brand and where I'd like to see Everton go, they remain embedded in the areas from which they originated.

I'm outward thinking and I want Everton to be promoted nationally as well as globally. I want and admire supporters who choose us. We need you. But if I can be allowed to put my traditional head on for a minute, I have to admit, when I first moved to London, I struggled to understand how people with no connection declared undying love for Manchester United and Lucifer's Child.

I got it that some had family connections but life long Londoners with more than enough local teams to choose from. How can they not go with that? There must be local affiliation?

I understand that foreign supporters choose a team as they want to follow the game. I understand that those in parts of the UK with no locally available top flight team choose one to follow. But in places like London, I see no reason for jumping on the bandwagon. How can it mean anything to them like what Everton means to me?

That's how I used to think. But I also understand that London is a cosmopolitan city with people from all over the world, let alone from all regions of the UK.

Except if it's Everton. If you choose Everton, you are no bandwagon jumper. You are choosing unrivalled passion. You are choosing history and heritage. Most importantly, you are choosing the future!

It's only Tuesday. When is it August?

Terence Connell
92 Posted 21/06/2022 at 15:08:31
I haven’t read all of the comments and I’m not a musician myself but yes it is curious that no Beatle was really a big football fan. If I know musicians though they are obsessed with music first, girls second ( in those days) and everything else was a poor third. John Lennon’s working class credentials were never burnished by actually liking football as fas as I can see tho I’ve always thought “I am the Walrus” is influenced by a football crowd experience.
Bill Watson
93 Posted 22/06/2022 at 01:41:14
I spent some time volunteering in the Calais 'Jungle' and when we had football shirts to distribute the most popular ones weren't Man Utd or Liverpol but London clubs like Arsenal and Chelsea. They preferred to identify with a club from the capital.

Another interesting trend is for some fans, particularly from North Africa and the Middle East, to support a player rather than a particular club. For example; lots of Egyptians support Liverpool because Salah plays for them but, if he was transferred, they would probably switch their allegiance to the new club.

Eric Myles
94 Posted 22/06/2022 at 05:57:47
I've always supported Everton, always will, but when I was a student in Newcastle I would go watch their home games, along with mates that had no barcode affiliations.

I can't say we actually supported them, but it was to watch a game of footy. I'm guessing that US fans that move state do just the same? Mind they were rubbish so we took to getting the train down to Hartlepool to see a decent match.

Now it's those Hartlepool fans and others like them from the Fourth Division that I have respect for in going to watch their teams rather than picking the easy Premier League option.

Andy Meighan
95 Posted 22/06/2022 at 07:31:30
Peter @66.

Did he have needles and pins for sitting down for so long?

Er, I'll get me coat.

Allen Rodgers
96 Posted 22/06/2022 at 07:53:45
Andy @ 95,

Yes, he got needles and pins every time he walked in the room…

[Grabs coat and runs!]

Anthony Hawkins
97 Posted 22/06/2022 at 17:42:04
There was a comment made about how there were so many different Super Bowl winners in NFL across the seasons. It’s worth remembering the recruitment process is very different in American Football compared to Soccer. Different teams get first pick of the newer talent whereas in football the richest teams usually get first dibs.
Colin Glassar
98 Posted 24/06/2022 at 10:22:57
Peter 66, did you have a Smokie with him as well?
Peter Mills
99 Posted 24/06/2022 at 10:41:37
That day was just a sea of heartbreak.
Allen Rodgers
100 Posted 24/06/2022 at 13:41:08
Telegraph just now.

Peter Kenyon-led group commit more than £1bn spend to Everton takeover
Leading candidates willing to fund new stadium and significant transfer business after exclusivity terms were signed

By
Matt Law,
FOOTBALL NEWS CORRESPONDENT
The Peter Kenyon-led group in talks to buy Everton have made a commitment to put up the money to build the club’s new stadium and provide significant transfer funds if their takeover bid is successful.

As revealed by Telegraph Sport, former Manchester United and Chelsea chief executive Kenyon is fronting a group, including chief executive of Minneapolis-based Talon Real Estate Maciek Kaminski and American businessman John Thornton, who are in talks to buy Everton.

It is understood that other groups have also made informal approaches for Everton, with at least one indicating they would be willing to make a firm bid, but Kenyon’s consortium secured exclusivity for talks and are still believed to be the best-positioned group after heads of terms were signed.

Kenyon’s group and Everton have not commented on the talks or any of the details of the bid, but Telegraph Sport understands a price in excess of £500 million has been touted between the two parties.

Furthermore, it is believed that Kenyon has made it clear that his group would fund the building of Everton’s new stadium at Bramley Moore Dock, thought to cost in the region of £500m, and put forward immediate funds for new signings.


24 June 2022 • 12:25pm

Colin Glassar
101 Posted 24/06/2022 at 13:53:33
It’s happening, apparently. Kenyon, and his backers, have agreed to a 1 billion quid takeover. The world has gone mad!

If this means the end of kenshite and Moshiri then I will have to swallow it. No puns please.

Will Mabon
102 Posted 24/06/2022 at 14:00:35
"and provide significant transfer funds..."

Oh, no - not again.

Klaassen's been playing better, I believe.

Mike Gaynes
103 Posted 24/06/2022 at 14:03:54
If this story is correct, then Moshiri is getting his price, and it's a stunner. The Yanks are really splashing the cash on English football.

Didn't Kroenke pay £600 million for Usmanov's shares of Arsenal just a couple of years ago? This total deal would be even bigger, on a level with the Glazer takeover at ManUtd.

Coincidentally, storms of protest today from Manure fans at the Glazers skimming another £11 million in dividends despite the club's train-wreck season.

I hope our Yanks are better than theirs, but I am less than optimistic.

Bill Gall
104 Posted 24/06/2022 at 14:41:05
This story came out yesterday on an Everton daily news channel, they said that the consortium have visited F.F. Bramley Moore Dock site and Evertons headquarters in the Liver Buildings. They also mentioned that this may end the exclusivity to the agreement that could allow other bidders to come in. There was some mention that Kenyons sons were involved and he will have an executive position at the club.

This bid and hopefully we may get to know if there are any more, shows the amount of money that is available owning a premier league club, with the exposure it gets in the U.S.A. plus Canada and South America.

Kevin Molloy
105 Posted 24/06/2022 at 14:47:15
Kaminski who is the main driver behind the consortium can't show you where the money is, this is all moonshine. We should never underestimate how thick Moshiri thinks the typical Evertonian is. Remember his 'we didn't want to sell James McCarthy cos he's family' line.
if this goes through, we'd better get ready for some serious debt. First thing he will do is conduct a 'deep dive' into the stadium build. Towards the end of the year, they will level with us. the extra seats doesn't make back the half billion spend. A new stadium might still go ahead, but I reckon it will be scaled down, 'with partners' and we may not end up owning it.
Brian Murray
106 Posted 24/06/2022 at 15:10:02
Didn’t realise that next to bmd is a big piece of land that any consortium with any business savvy will buy and include it making it a sort of blue baltic square which obviously includes bars hotels etc as part of the plaza. No wonder the kopites are nashing their teeth as every girder goes up
Brian Williams
107 Posted 24/06/2022 at 15:17:44
Brian#107.
Brian, shhhhhhhhh will yer. I've got me eye on that for a matchday carpark.
Brian Murray
108 Posted 24/06/2022 at 15:23:21
brian. ha ha well my brother tony has had the big burger stall on the corner of stanley park for over 3 decades and billy bs told him don’t worry you will get a spec at bmd. Maybe he meant it’s ringing fenced with the arteta money. Told my bro to take that with a pinch and put his application in now plus hopefully the teary one will be long gone and no where near any unveiling of bmd.

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