This was Goodison Park at 85 minutes on Sunday.

Outside Goodison Park

Everton were 1-0 up in a game they had to win to stay in the Premier League and extend their unbroken top flight history to 70 consecutive seasons.

I had to leave then as I had a flight home to catch. The ticketless and hopeful pace around outside.

Unbelievable, stressful, horrible; the fourth time we’ve suffered this as a fan base in my lifetime. We keep saying ‘never again’ but it keeps happening.

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And while it’s awful, to be part of that fan base – never mind chronicle the club’s history in the several books I’ve written about them – is such a tremendous privilege.

It’s an elemental part of who I am, and who my family – six generations of match-going supporters that extend back the entire club history – are.

The club now sits at a crossroads. Relegation would have been a financial and reputational catastrophe. There’s likely to be major external investment this summer as a new stadium rises from the banks of the River Mersey. It is expected there will be major changes in the boardroom.

There’s a view among parts of the fanbase that Everton are ‘the worst run club in Europe’ – but they’re not, and the reality is far more complex than that. As someone who is a fan of the club, but who also works with clubs and executives at clubs and governing bodies all over the world in my role as a sports news journalist, here’s my manifesto to Make Everton Great Again (MEGA):

  1. Sort the board structure out. This is a problem that extends back decades. In its present incarnation, it resembles an executive committee, rather than a supervisory board that is setting strategy and holding executives accountable. Structurally it’s not fit for purpose.

    There is such a wealth of experience and talent among Everton’s fanbase that could be utilised here. Andy Burnham, Mark Carney, Terry Leahy are three that spring immediately to mind. Club officials should not be on the board.

  2. A new leader is needed. Unless you are blessed with the genius and success of an Alex Ferguson, no one – and I mean no one – should be in a position of power for a quarter of a century.

    Bill Kenwright has been chairman or deputy chairman since 1999 – he actually acceded to power the same day as Vladimir Putin, which tells its own story.

    This is a 24-year spell that coincides with the most unsuccessful period in Everton’s history. He can be a nice man, he’s very passionate, I’ve seen lots of acts of his individual kindness over the years, but the time for local businessmen made good being in such a position is long over – not least when they are synonymous with failure and decline.

    He also stopped talking to fans and (most) media many many years ago, and no longer even attends matches.

    How can you be a plausible leader when there’s no accountability, no face time, no track record of success?

  3. Slimline the decision-making processes. Part of Everton’s problem is that the majority shareholder, Farhad Moshiri, has no board representation. The chairman has his own ideas and agenda. The various sporting directors also have their own strategy. All three have tried to run Everton according to their own visions. A recipe for disaster that has repeatedly manifested itself on the pitch.

  4. Utilise the talent within the club. There are so many really capable, excellent people working at Everton – and I include the much-maligned CEO here – who have been undermined and demoralised by the shambolic leadership at the very top. Sometimes they’ve been shy in trumpeting their own achievements, or there has been a corporate communications failure in telling their stories.

    An example of how capable some of these personnel are – when left without interference, grandstanding and meddling – is in the new stadium project, which in terms of a public consultation and logistical operation is probably the best I’ve seen when covering such projects over the past two decades (and this includes Olympic delivery projects, World Cups, the new Wembley, etc).

  5. Improved accountability. One of the worst aspects of this season has been the denigration of Everton’s amazing supporters and – defacto the club brand – by provocative statements at utterly inappropriate moments, leaking of stories to patsy journalists, false claims, and so on. If a player or employee behaved in such a way, they would be sacked, fined and dropped.

    I don’t really understand why it should be different or acceptable for a senior figure at the club to behave in such a way. Anyone who acts in a way that harms the club on and off the pitch should be investigated and held accountable.

  6. Embrace the past. Farhad Moshiri says that he doesn’t want Everton to become a museum, and he’s completely right. But the club has an amazing heritage and some incredible former players, who not only have great affinity with the fanbase, but have knowledge, skills, and lots of goodwill that could be utilised in so many different ways.

    Everton had the first Former Players Association in the world; that has now lost its way and relevance somewhat, and many past players don’t know where they stand with the club as an institution. It needs to be revitalised and that extraordinary alumni treated properly and fully utilised.

  7. Harness the power of an iconic stadium. In 15 months, Everton will have arguably the best stadium in the country; certainly its location on the banks of the River Mersey will give it an unparalleled setting and a foothold in the city centre. Everton need to exploit this from the outset and make it at the core of its identity. Reclaim the city!

  8. Play the corridors of power. Football is a political game and Everton have historically exerted an influence whenever the sport has evolved, from being Football League founder members in 1888, to being one of the main forces that brought the Premier League in the early-90s.

    I don’t see that today. I don’t see club officials at industry conferences. I’ve never seen them at a European Club Association meeting, despite their being associate members. One of their former players (Gareth Farrelly) has just established the Union of European Clubs; I’ve not seen them there. I’m told it is a similar story at citywide events – whereas Liverpool FC are always represented and push their brand. It speaks of an introversion that goes all the way to the top. It has to change.

  9. Protect the brand. Everton was founded from a Methodist church team. It has one of the most impressive community outreach programmes in global sport. At many points in between, it has been synonymous with acts of good – from Dixie Dean standing up to Nazis to the impeccably well-behaved support of our fans at its only European final in 1985.

    Carrying the logo of a ‘crypto casino’ on its home shirt (or previously a Kenyan bookmaker) is anathema to and ultimately damages its very special identity forged over a century and a half. It needs to do better and stop chasing short-term gain ahead of long-term brand values.

  10. Be two steps ahead in identifying future talent. I’ve left out most football-related matters, as that’s the world of the sporting director and manager. But there’s a fundamental point that needs to be addressed which is at the heart of the recent Everton chaos: the terrible managerial appointments of Farhad Moshiri.

    He’s now onto his eighth manager in seven years. In the preceding four decades, Everton only had that many bosses. It includes Carlo Ancelotti (the good); the hopeless (the bad) Frank Lampard (2022-23 record: 19 points from a possible 87 at two clubs, including one that had just spent £600M on new players); and a former Liverpool manager (the ugly) who previously denigrated Everton as a “small club”.

    Despite the writing being on the wall for several months for Lampard, the choices as his replacement were Sean Dyche and Marcelo Bielsa – as diametrically opposed a pair as you can imagine. In other words: he had no idea.

    Identifying who will be the next manager in 2 years or 5 years or 7 years should be a full-time concern, as it is at clubs like Brighton. Forge some long-term thinking with stability and the club will thrive; it has all the ingredients for success – it just needs to utilise them.

Reader Comments (111)

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Neil Carter
1 Posted 29/05/2023 at 23:29:52
James-as someone coming from exactly a similar family heritage l agree with your thoughts.

We currently lack clarity on our identity which was throughout our history proudly displayed and clear to all in football and we were respected for our part in this game from the very start-it needs to be re-established with a modern perspective.

We do need a strong vision, a clear plan communicated to the fans to get us all back on the same track-believing in every aspect that is Everton Football Club. And we need a strong leader to clearly communicate and deliver a new strategy. There are good people, who work hard and dedicated at the club- but they need an inspiring leader to get the best out of them-silence for the reasons only they understand has been so damaging for all of us who love the club -both the fans and those involved directly. It can only be fixed by developing good communication going forward and it can be done!!!! Always enjoyed the books and the passion I can see you put into them. Here’s hoping for the changes desperately needed-starting right now!!!

Mike Doyle
2 Posted 29/05/2023 at 23:42:30
James. Very interesting article - and lots to agree with. However, at item 4 you mention the much-maligned CEO. Two questions on this
1] Given your exposure to other CEOs in the EPL, how does her experience match up against others?
2] Given the commercial performance of the club in recent seasons, if the CEO can’t be held accountable - as they would be in most other multi million pounds businesses - who should be?
Danny O’Neill
3 Posted 29/05/2023 at 00:14:46
Great article James. A lot to pick out from that. For what it's worth, a few thoughts.

The board structure is most definitely wrong and leadership is lacking. A statement of the obvious, however it is the crux of our problem. A lack of organisation and leadership at the top has lead to our decline over decades and very nearly cost us once again. It has to change. Now.

I know this won't sit well with some or many, but if I was Everton King for a day, after getting rid of the obvious, I would retain Barrett-Baxendale. But in a dedicated EitC role and not on the board. She is not a CEO and not fulfilling that role. She can't and has failed. As you call out, EitC does fantastic work. I would like to see it expand it's work beyond L4 and around other areas of the city and region. Let her focus on that and get a CEO, surrounded by a competent board, to focus on the main business of the club; football and success on the pitch. It is, after all, why we fundamentally exist. The rest is a by-product of our brand and success.

Build the brand. We have a brand but don't promote it enough. On a national and international level, our marketing is tame at best. When on my travels and where I live, people are intrigued by Everton. We are known. Respected wherever we go as the song goes. But we don't promote it enough. We don't build on it enough.

Have pride in our history and heritage, but don't live in the past. Take that heritage into the future and use it. Be loud and proud about who we are and build on it. Those supporters do so every week in towns and cities all around the country.

I can't think of a club that has the potential of Everton. A second scrape with relegation on the bounce. The 3rd last day escape in my lifetime.

Yet sold old every week. Away tickets like a Willy Wonka Golden Ticket. The potential is immense and once we experience success again, football won't know what has hit it.

We got over the line again. We are taking over the Royal Blue Mersey. I would say we are taking back the city, but the city is ours and always has been.

Mike Gaynes
4 Posted 30/05/2023 at 01:33:40
James, as an admirer of your historical literary work (which sits on the shelf over my desk), I must say I wish you had chosen a different acronym. Anything resembling the perverse political movement here on the west side of the pond calls up some nauseating associations in a majority of Americans.

That said, I find much of what you've written highly refreshing, particularly your informed perspective on the talent inside the club. It's great to know there are top quality people working inside this dysfunctional superstructure. And your call for accountability is most welcome.

I would quibble only with your call to "embrace" the past. As one geographically far from -- and by comparison to most longtime fans unacquainted with -- the magnificent traditions of Everton, I sometimes wonder if the line between respecting the past and being stuck in it hasn't moved considerably too far to the latter extreme with this club. Respect the history, celebrate the history, exalt the history, but don't be wrapped up and strangled by it. To me the biggest single failure in the management of Everton has been its inability to move intelligently into the modern world of sports business, including (but not limited to) the points you've made regarding political awareness, talent identification and fast-paced social and economic marketing.

I hope and assume that the incipient new Board will include MSP's Jeff Moorad (or one of his associates) as a representative of cutting-edge sports business practices, as well as the Everton fan (whose name escapes me) who delivered the most recent loan for stadium construction last week, and I devoutly hope our clueless but devoted owner has retained a reputable executive search firm to bring in top people for the other posts.

But for the new Chairman, I would again nominate someone who represents both the club's rich historical tradition and the best of the modern sports business world. I give you that club legend, international honoree, multimillionaire business mogul and tough flag-boxing motherf----r, Mr. Timothy Filaga Cahill, AO, Esquire. If we're looking for a leader who exemplifies both the commitment to Nil Satis Nisi Optimum and the ability to break noses when necessary to make it happen, we couldn't ask for a better one.

Kieran Kinsella
5 Posted 30/05/2023 at 01:56:57

You’re not related by any chance to Paul Corbett Evertonian latterly of Sawbridgeworth Hertfordshire?

Mike Gaynes
6 Posted 30/05/2023 at 02:16:24
Just once I'd like to live in a place called Sawbridgeworth Hertfordshire. Just to say I did.
Don Alexander
7 Posted 30/05/2023 at 02:37:50
Interesting read but basically pointing out the decades-long bleedin' obvious (and I mean no offence to James).

The suggestion that Moshiri had any other motive in his by now horrible take-over other than to grow his own personal, totally obscure, fortune is to me risible.

He's massively and publicly shown himself to be a pillock in comparison to Kenwright when it comes to that though.

Between them M&K have started building a new stadium neither now wants to pay for, and then going cap-in-hand to Christ knows which allegedly and marginally (by Premier League club owner standards) wealthy consortium, pleading for their pennies.

In addition they've massively damaged our buying power for seasons to come (even if we end up being declared innocent on several ongoing allegations of knowingly financial shysterism) and almost the whole fanbase treat the boardroom with the same welcome as they would a turd in a swimming pool.

Dyche has essentially said this week what Brands said the day before he was sacked eighteen months ago - namely that the people who own and/or govern our club (and they're all still there, drawing huge salaries as "yes-men" to anyone above them) are unarguably totally useless if OUR club has any vestige of hope in improvement.

Christine Foster
8 Posted 30/05/2023 at 08:10:02
James, as manifestos go, its a very good one, except for the Mega bit which has so many negative implications it would sink the idea before it was even read.
Perhaps it is best seen as a declaration of intent called "The City is Blue" It would aggravate the other half nicely and underscore how we will do it.
I guess it will all come down to who buys what, an investment or a buy out, as to what is cherry picked out of it to meet the new owner / investor objectives.

The hole in the manifesto is how the team is run. The management / owner and team all have to work in unison, to ensure that good management and recruitment ensures the best on the pitch. In fact, every decision made by the clubs management should be predicated by one question.

"Will this decision improve the team performance or not?"

If yes then its a no brainer, if no then find another solution.

We have to have a co-ordinated and focused team on and off the pitch who all sing from the same hymn sheet. Private train sets get you nowhere.

Tony Abrahams
9 Posted 30/05/2023 at 08:17:51
James might be pointing out a lot of things that might seem bleedin obvious Don, but we need more and more people with that little bit more clout, speaking about what is wrong with our football club, imo mate.

I’m hoping the deafening silence means that massive change is coming very soon, because if it isn’t then, I think it’s very reasonable to say that what happened on Sunday, has only delayed the inevitable, and it won’t be long before Everton eventually fall through the trap door.

My interest is on the whole club, but I only have knowledge about the footballing side, and if Everton are ever to become MEGA again, then without real money, we are going to need a massive dedicated plan towards the recruitment and development of young players imo, so this is where I would look to get one step ahead of rivals, who will probably offer most talented young kids a lot of money to join them, rather than to join us.

Our academy has saved Everton on more than one occasion imo, and the money we received for Anthony Gordon in January might have helped save us again, but imagine if we could develop and then keep hold of a lot of great young talent?

It’s definitely achievable, and when Dyche looks back to the beginning of his career, he will realise that when he went to Forest, this was a club who where ahead of the game regarding developing and recruiting some very good young footballers, so it’s something I’m certain he will already know a lot about.

Tony Abrahams
10 Posted 30/05/2023 at 08:29:49
In twelve to eighteen months, this city is once again going to turn blue, every other Saturday, Christine, and although it will be sad to leave Goodison, and those moody backstreets around county rd, this is something that Everton have got to begin to really market and embrace.

Our city is absolutely flying, and it is definitely going to be the next place in the United Kingdom, to be completely regenerated, now that Manchester seems to be nearly complete, and this has never been more noticeable to me than it was on Sunday morning, when I witnessed more blue shirts in our city centre, than I’ve ever seen in my life.

Liverpool FC, are completely massive, and the tourists turn our city red, every weekend Liverpool play at home, and although we can’t compete with that, we can on match days, because pretty soon the geography is going to dictate that when Everton play at home, the City centre is going to turn a massive Royal blue.

We truly are a proper football club, and it comes from the people, who have blue hearts - blue souls - and blue blood cursing right throughout our bodies, and this was never more evident than on Sunday, on a day when I’ve never seen so many young children wearing Everton kits, wherever I went.

Joe McMahon
11 Posted 30/05/2023 at 08:43:02
I wish I could afford to live in Sawbridgeworth in Hertfordshire.

A very good detail led article James, and I respect your knowledge. Like Danny stated I would like to keep DBB in the Eitc role,but nothing else. I do however disagree on the past element, as IMO it's all the club has done for the past 25 years, even having Howard back for the 3rd time, which was embarrassing for him and us, and was closer to relegation than Sunday.

I know we want to celebrate recent success but keep going back decades isn't going to win a new generation of Evertonions.

But above all Bill Kenwright needs to be shoved ASAP.

Jim Lloyd
12 Posted 30/05/2023 at 10:16:37
Another excellent article. I've just read Robert's and he's looking to the football side, going forward and this is Everton going forward as a Club. Both are positive and thought provoking and give us Blues hope!

When we go into our Bramley Moore new home, we will look to the future in our City. And, for me, we must bring our heritage with us. I think our Heritage has been portrayed as a dusty old museum by our Chairman. I think that is what Mr Moshiri meant when he referred to the "museum."

I think every Evertonian in The Ground on Sunday said to themself and everyone else, "Never Again!" I don't think we just meant, if we finish fifth from bootom comfortably before the season ends, and I don't think it just referred to where we finished, at all. Important, yes of course,

I think it also meant we want our Identity back! We are a great, historic club, like Glasgow Rangers or Celtic, like Arsenal, like the other clubs who founded the Football League. More than that though, we want our dignity back. As far as I'm concerned, I just want to see Everton Football Club on our shirts EFC, rather than see Danka (not knocking their products) or any that Robert has referred to. I'd love to see our first League winning medal as a badge on all our shirts.

We want our identity back, we are the First Club in the city of Liverpool and we can't even fly the city's emblem! I think the damage this Chairman has done and I know it wasn't just him, as the board before he came just done the minimum, after Sir John Moores left. Our motto is Only the Best is Good enough" for crying out loud, everyone associated with the club, should mean it
Mike, Make Everton Great Again, is a great mantra to have. I know what you mean about the mantra, that many of the people in the US follow and wear, but that is political. This is for every Evertonian to focus on, what's happened to our club and what we want to see it return to.
To many in the Press and other media, we are an afterthought. we should be setting an example that others want to follow. not something they roll out when we face our annual dogfight for survival!

Shaun Laycock
13 Posted 30/05/2023 at 10:27:07
If you have a spare hour, spend it watching the High Performance podcast on BT sport - specifically the one about Brighton.
Oh for strategy like that…
Shaun Laycock
14 Posted 30/05/2023 at 10:31:05
Paul Barber (CEO)
Finn Taylor
15 Posted 30/05/2023 at 11:20:21
Superb article James.

The only thing I would like to add is this - a few months ago, I went on the stadium tour. I enjoyed it, and I thought the two hosts who guided us were good, knowledgeable blues... but all the tour consisted of was looking at Lounges... seats. Where was the David France Collection? Why isn't there a designated area in the ground to house it, celebrate it and somewhere that we can view it?

Dale Self
16 Posted 30/05/2023 at 11:34:54
I think maybe we could be aiming too high with this slogan. Ok, how’s this?
Work Out Knots Everton!

I know it doesn’t really have that pizazz to it. We’ll call marketing back

Kunal Desai
17 Posted 30/05/2023 at 11:39:44
Have Kenwright and co left the club yet? It's been just over 48 hours now, 48 hours too late for my liking.
Mark Taylor
18 Posted 30/05/2023 at 11:42:40
I would take issue with a number of assertions in this article, especially the implication that members have our current board have talents and achievements to crow about.

Take our CEO. I've worked with CEO's in my own line of business, sometimes as a direct adviser. If any of them had been so dumb as to wish to publish a 120 point action plan, I would have strongly advised them against it because:

1) No-one can realistically implement a 120 point plan, it is far too diffuse and that level of granularity simply is not helpful.

2) The time to publish such a plan is not several years into your tenure. It suggests you have overseen an awful lot of errors.

It seems evident to me that she is not CEO material for the whole club. I have described her talent and CV as more suited for a CEO role with a medium sized charity, a role that would certainly not command the near £1m a year she is apparently receiving.

Dale Self
19 Posted 30/05/2023 at 11:51:32
Ok maybe something more Blue collar if you know what I mean and I think you do

Work Organisation Knowledge EVERTON.

I think we’re getting closer

Kevin Molloy
20 Posted 30/05/2023 at 11:51:38
The only way we get out of this is when he sells.. Until then buckle up for endless cock ups and absurdity
Mike Doyle
21 Posted 30/05/2023 at 12:34:38
Mark #18 ] I have to agree. We appear to have a very highly paid Board. If they are top class and being undermined ( as James suggests ) then they should have the confidence to walk away if not being allowed to do their job - rather like our former CEO Trevor Birch did.

What I suspect we are seeing is a group of individuals clinging on to their positions and large salaries for as long as possible because they know any subsequent role won't pay anything like as much. In Everton parlance I guess you'd call it 'The Marcel Brands' approach.

If they are good as James seems to believe, it is a surprise that they have not all been snapped up the elite clubs - desperate to recruit their wisdom and expertise.

Mike Hayes
22 Posted 30/05/2023 at 13:11:03
An excellent article BUT Kenwright Baxendale and Sharp have to go - apart from anything they were complicit in Headlock Gate - who could hold their head up after THAT allegation? Absolute scum to not only fabricate a story but to deflect their inadequacies on to the loyal fans? They should be pitchforked out of Everton for that 😡😡😡
Mark Taylor
23 Posted 30/05/2023 at 13:18:22
Mike 21
Absolutely. No current member of our board would attract the salaries they currently earn, from elsewhere.

It was rumoured DBB was actually told to look at other options for her future employment. If true, she didn't find any quite so pleasant as the current role...

Brent Stephens
24 Posted 30/05/2023 at 13:47:18
Dale #16 - replace "Knots" with "Kenwright" and it works much better.

Yours, the Marketing Dept.

Les Callan
25 Posted 30/05/2023 at 14:07:01
Finn @ 15. I saw the David France collection in the Picton library several years ago. Not sure if it’s still there.
Stephen Davies
26 Posted 30/05/2023 at 14:25:54
Oh No !!
Everton want 'celebrity boss' as Farhad Moshiri rumours emerge
Dale Rose
27 Posted 30/05/2023 at 14:58:53
Very interesting article. We rode this one out on pure luck. If the fixtures hadn't been so favourable we would have been sitting in the Championship now. There are numerous articles on this site. All well written by people who love the club. I'd just like to say one thing. Get a player in who knows where the fucking goal is.
Tony Abrahams
28 Posted 30/05/2023 at 15:15:02
Trevor Birch didn’t last long and neither did Wayne Rooney, because after assessing Everton, Birch allegedly told Bill Kenwright, that the only way to survive, was by selling his only major asset.

It makes me feel sick analyzing our history since Bill Kenwright came on board, with his lies and his deceit, and his blag intentions, and his self-centered nepotism, which was the only way he was going to really survive.

He created massive divisions in our fan base, and lived his own personal dream, before eventually making a personal fortune. A clever conniving and manipulative man, has overseen the worst period in our entire history, and when he eventually leaves he will now know that history isn’t going to be kind to him.

People say Everton lost a little something when Kenwright’s- Moshiri came into our club, but I believe we lost a hell of a lot more the day our saviour cleverly manipulated himself into Everton Football Club, so before we can think about becoming MEGA - we need to get rid of the ROCK.

Release Our Curse Kenwright - because we don’t deserve you for a minute longer, and this is something the whole footballing world can see now, when they look at Everton, from the outside. WHAT A LEGACY.

Moshiri must also go as well!

Raymond Fox
29 Posted 30/05/2023 at 15:34:33
If Moshiri intends to be still the major owner he needs to head hunt an experienced top business person, they wont come cheap but even if its short term it would be worth it.
Kenwrights position especially is untenable, I'll be amazed if he has anything officialy to do with the club, other board members will also probably be changed.
The club is a large business and needs to be run as such not a quasi charity.

Kenwright aside our main failings have come from DoF's, managers and whoever else has been responsible for player signings.
Then you have the scouting set up and young player development which does not seem to be producing enough quality.
I'm not going to comment on the teams managers but obviously they have important role.

The teams quality and performance first and foremost are vital, they are the product the club is selling and if they poor obviously the business will suffer.
Nobody is pretending that its easy to recruit top class players but we have spent an awful lot of money to reverse down the League table.

Derek Thomas
30 Posted 30/05/2023 at 15:48:18
Finn @ 15; iirc, it was Dr David who rescued a fair proportion of it when the Club just threw it all out en masse into the skip during the pre 1966 WC renovations. So don't expect too much.
Pete Clarke
31 Posted 30/05/2023 at 16:01:28
DBB and Sharp are CEO and Director only because Kenwright appointed them and he will have total control over everything they do and even control their salaries. Kenwright makes all of the decisions or at least they have to be agreed to by him. Headlockgate would have been BK’s idea too but at the same time I’m sure he will throw them under a bus when it comes to the nitty gritty.
Being a CEO and or Director for an EPL club is pretty high up there and I’m sure it would have taken many years of high profile work experience in the sport to qualify for that position plus the situation our club is in only tells us that there’s not many good decisions being made to justify keeping their roles anyway.
We need a full clean sweep of all hangers on from top to bottom and a period of stability before we get back onto an even keel with the top clubs.
My birthdays is coming up in July and it would be the best bday present of my life if that horrible lying phoney is gone by then.
Waiting for news of his departure is like constantly living that 10 minutes of added time on Sunday.
Ray Robinson
32 Posted 30/05/2023 at 16:14:58
If Kenwright loves the Blues as much as he claims, why, given the fact that 99% of fans think the club would be better of without you, why wouldn’t you step down?
Mike Gaynes
33 Posted 30/05/2023 at 16:17:28
Jim #12, no argument that the sentiment is one that everyone here can embrace, but modeling an acronym on one that many of us find repellent probably wasn't the best choice. Perhaps James didn't anticipate the visceral reaction in an American's gut.

Mark #18 and Mike #21, I think you misread what James wrote. He was saying that there is a great deal of talent in the club structure BELOW the executive/board level that has been sabotaged by the dysfunction at the top. They're not being undermined, Mike, but "overmined" if you will.

And while James undoubtedly understood that including DBB among the talented people would be highly controversial, to me it's indisputable that she built EitC into an organization that every Evertonian can point to with great pride, and that requires a considerable skill set.

If her elevation to CEO has turned out to be an example of the Peter Principle, it doesn't obliterate the evidence of her talent. Seems to me that returning her to her former role might not be the worst idea in the world.

Jim Lloyd
34 Posted 30/05/2023 at 16:40:08
Mike (33) I can well understand. But it's not Make America Great Again, which many people find offensive, and many people love.

I think we all have to watch that because something is similar but has a totally different meaning for a totally different reason, that some take offence because it is similar. But it is nowhere near the same.

Everton was a great club, from its birth in an Everton church, I'd say to all the days of Sir John Moores, a temporary resurrection during the days of Howard Kendall, then a long a decline that doesn't just mean the football we play. It's the whole ethos in the club.

My own view is that what James has put forward will go down well with many Evertonians throughout the world. MAGA is an American political acronym, and nowt to do with us Everton supporters throughout the world. We want to see our club return to greatness.

From what I can see the United States is a great country already.

Bill Gall
35 Posted 30/05/2023 at 16:57:08
If people looked back in the comments from the Live Forum on Sunday, I believe I wrote that I already have a baseball cap with MEGA on it.

I am trying to find a small cloth Everton Badge so that I can replace the E on the cap.

Bill Gall
36 Posted 30/05/2023 at 17:05:41
On the topic of Denise Barrett-Baxendale, is she really the acting CEO?

I recollect a notice from the club on 26 July 2019, that stated she will oversee the work of Stadium Development Director, Colin Chong and take responsibility for the New Stadium Project, including the delivery of a community legacy at Goodison Park.

Mark Taylor
37 Posted 30/05/2023 at 17:07:38
Mike @33,

As I said, her CV is indeed suited to running a medium sized charity which might pay a couple of hundred grand or so. Hence I think you agree with me.

She may be 'really capable, excellent' at doing that but certainly not at being CEO of the whole club on 5 times more than she's worth.

Rob Rothwell
38 Posted 30/05/2023 at 17:32:11
Unfortunately I doubt any of us here on TW will get any say in what happens next.

Wishful thinking, but I just hope it happens soon, so Mr Dyche has some sort of transfer kitty to work with. Otherwise more dire football & another relegation battle awaits.


Mike Gaynes
39 Posted 30/05/2023 at 17:34:15
Jim #34, thank you for that clarity. Hey, if the esteemed Bill Gall's already wearing it on a baseball cap, maybe it's a worthy acronym.

Mark #37, I'm not aware of her salary, and I've no idea of her responsibilities as CEO, how much is about the stadium project and how much is about the club itself. When the Board turns over, I hope more will come out about who exactly was responsible for what bad decisions -- not that it will matter at that point, but I think we're all entitled to an accounting.

Dale Self
40 Posted 30/05/2023 at 17:58:27
Brent @24,

They told me you were holding out your best material in honor of the writers' strike. Veronica in accounting said she has pictures. We need to win this account.

And Jim we aren't upset about anything. We're just joining the fun.

Barry Rathbone
41 Posted 30/05/2023 at 18:38:39
The only manifesto that will make us great again has a one bullet point – "Attract a big oil owner".

There is a monstrous delusion that somewhere a perennial relegation noddy club like us has established long-term "greatness" on the back of a board reshuffle – absolute bullshit.

The reality is monied clubs just keeping throwing money at it making the same mistakes as everyone else but immune to the fallout because eventually they buy their way out. Chelsea are at it now and I have no doubt they will be back challenging long term as a result.

It should read "MEET" manifesto – Make Everton Exist Timidly.

Jim Lloyd
42 Posted 30/05/2023 at 19:00:12
Mike and Dale, Good on yer, lads! :)

No Barry, you've got it wrong. They might become big clubs but it doesn't make them great clubs!

Joe McMahon
43 Posted 30/05/2023 at 19:09:01
Barry, unfortunately you are correct, look at Newcastle 2 seasons ago. It's not investmnet that's needed, it's a Saudi takeover, if the Mosh investment/takeover had been done professionally this would not be the case, and we are now in dire straits.

Even with just meagre investment and Bill and the rest being put to rest, I can't see us winning a throphy again. That might sound dramatic, but a lot of money, players and managers have been and gone since May 1995 and in all that time (as we all know), diddly squat has been won/achieved.

Jim Lloyd
44 Posted 30/05/2023 at 19:21:59
That's the whole idea of make us great again. and it'll have to be the done the long way round to make us successful again.

There's a difference in my view. A great club would never be run by a man like Kenwright, who rejected Sheikh Masoud because, as far as I can see, he wanted to be captain of the ship.

To be great again, our motto has to be followed, Only the Best is Good Enough – and that includes the Board and every member on it, living up to the ideals of our founders.

Mike, Dale, I follow American politics as best I can, so I can well understand your nervousness. So thanks for your understanding. Well in, lads.

Raymond Fox
45 Posted 30/05/2023 at 19:30:28
You can have the richest owner in the world buy us, but we can only spend an fixed amount due to P&S rules and that won't now buy us a top team.

Nice for the usual suspects who are now sitting pretty with their larger incomes and more valuable players.

The horse has bolted.

Mike Doyle
46 Posted 30/05/2023 at 19:38:48
Mike #33,

I don't doubt that BArrett-Baxendale may have done a good job with EitC, but that's not really the point here.

For reasons which many cannot fathom, she is being paid handsomely to be CEO of a multi-million pound limited company; if she is being undermined, then surely she should go herself. Surely this is what a high-calibre individual would do?

The current Board – who I think I've read on TW are one of the top 4 in terms of remuneration – have now presided over 2 successive seasons of near disaster, thus it is difficult to have any sympathy for any of them.

I wonder how long any of them would have lasted when Sir John Moores was our owner?

Jim Lloyd
47 Posted 30/05/2023 at 19:44:15
They wouldn't have lasted the week, Mike.
Dale Self
48 Posted 30/05/2023 at 20:06:03
Right on Jim but again no one is nervous or put off in any way. Over here all that is baked in so to speak. No one is going anywhere and no one is changing their mind so we all should just have some fun with it and play through.
James Corbett
49 Posted 30/05/2023 at 20:22:02
Quite a lot here to take in, so apologies if I don't respond to all comments.

The MEGA acronym was tongue-in-cheek – I'm not advocating anyone storms the stadium, but there does need to be a sensible conversation about how Everton is revitalised.

There doesn't seem to be a lot of love for Denise Barrett-Baxendale, which is unfortunate and misguided, and I don't particularly know where it comes from. Over a long period of time I've found her to be highly capable, passionate, and a really good operator who commands the respect of a lot of people in the industry and at the club.

For whatever reason, I don't think her true personality has always been well communicated to fans, many of whom if they were given the chance to come into contact would – I believe – be won over. I think we'd all agree that's something that the club need to work on – getting executives out there and meeting supporters and telling them their vision, although I also feel that horse may have bolted with the present incumbents – at least for now.

Also, I'm not sure who you think runs most clubs – most CEOs are accountants or lawyers who have worked their way through the industry. They're not titans of industry.

Mark Taylor @18 - Everton never published their action plan, so you're incorrect to describe executives as 'dumb' for doing so.

Also, Everton do have executive staff routinely poached by other clubs: David Harrison, the longstanding secretary, is now Man Utd's head of operations. Grant Ingles was poached by our Red friends before coming back.

Mike Doyle @46 - Everton are not a PLC. Also the high board salaries are a reflection of the dysfunctional structure. Those on the board are paid salaries for their executive roles and that is reflected in the accounts.

Barry Rathbone
50 Posted 30/05/2023 at 20:22:26
Jim, 42

Pft, semantics.

To be a great club, you first have to be a big club and this version of Everton is no longer a big club beyond this parish.

We need more than sharp suits proficient in powerpoint presentations to be "great" again. We need loads and loads of lovely loot.

Jim Lloyd
51 Posted 30/05/2023 at 20:23:01
Well said, Dale, I'm glad to hear it and I hope all turns out well for us all. The world is a very iffy place at present.
George Freeman
52 Posted 30/05/2023 at 20:27:14
Mike, sorry to correct you when you were in full flow and I do agree with what you are saying but Everton are not a PLC – they are a private limited company as they only have a single owner, shares are not traded on the stock market and therefore not available the general public.
Brendan McLaughlin
53 Posted 30/05/2023 at 20:31:15
No to "MEET", Barry #41

The "MEGA" acronym is fine... it just needs as you suggest "BUCKS" added to it.

Dale Self
54 Posted 30/05/2023 at 20:47:52
Jim 51, if I may be a bit soft, Everton's survival gave me some space. I then realized how uptight I was about our situation and how that was translating into less patience with all else in the world.

I've decided to use that space better than some of the reflexive score settling I slip toward in not-so-good times.

In this sense, Everton is Magic!

But I reserve the right to reflexive Neanderthal behavior in my revenge against the Lardluvvahs. That was despicable.

John Daley
55 Posted 30/05/2023 at 21:27:45
“How can you be a plausible leader when there’s no accountability, no face time, no track record of success?”

Of course, in reality there is no way you possibly can be, but the problem lies in the fact ‘Mr fantasy land’ himself would simply refuse to accept any such charges.

His assertion that there has been an abundance of ‘good times’ under his governorship, along with his claim that decision makers at other clubs dare not make a move without first mulling over how the hive-mind that came up with ‘buy one hot dog, get a second hot dog to hold in your other hand for the same price’ might conduct themselves in the midst of an on or off field challenge, is evidence enough of that.

He’s basically the Kenny Powers of Premier League chairmen at this point. Stubbornly refusing to recognise his time has long since past and every defiant attempt at railing against that self-evident fact serves only to mark him out further as a deluded buffoon, rather than the legendary blue behemoth he believes.

Kenwright has always been an improbable leader though, ever since he first took over and proudly announced he has a plan, only to then proceed to act like a member of the A-Team asphyxiating in a locked broom cupboard because Hannibal is on hiatus.

The only way he bought himself some breathing space in the first place was by listening to Walter Smith and hiring David Moyes, rather than going with his own gut instinct and giving the job to Gary Megson. That one decision, along with the ensuing sale of Rooney, is all that kept imminent disaster from the door back then.

That is his one and only ‘success’ as chairman: the hiring of a dour but diligent Scotsman who stuck around for over a decade and ensured he didn’t actually have to lead shit. Rather, he could concentrate on glad-handing, regaling people with tales of how he, Rod Stewart and Robocop once had a beat-box battle in the Boys Pen, and bluff away about things like the Fortress Sports Fund and Goodison failing it’s safety certificate before the hour glass he’d just placed next to his signed photo of Seal ran out of sand.

As for the CEO? She may very well be competent at her job but…rightly or wrongly…she is widely viewed as a Kenwright disciple, a nepotistic Annabelle to his nefarious doll maker. Her complicity in throwing the fans to the wolves with spurious claims of assault (she was, after all, up to her neck in it) means her continuing in the role surely cannot be countenanced if the club ever hopes to get supporters back on side.

Incidentally, while on the subject of the Dynamite dame, Everton in the community has existed for over 30 years with a lot of dedicated people contributing their time and expertise to the cause with no reward expected in return. There is a much bigger back story to it other than the more recent narrative that the entire project is Barret-Baxendale’s baby, as though she built it from the ground up. The free school was her initiative and she helped secure significant government funding, but great work certainly went on long before she was appointed. It was, however, much less heralded (though no less appreciated by those who benefited) and those responsible were handed a portakabin rather than a first year promotion.

Will Mabon
56 Posted 30/05/2023 at 21:46:26
They still have a useful function in their place but today they're becoming hackneyed and played out. ISOFA.
Tony Abrahams
57 Posted 30/05/2023 at 21:47:33
I heard it was a signed photo of Charles & Eddie, John, although mentioning Seal, is a killer!!
Christy Ring
58 Posted 30/05/2023 at 22:17:37
A superb and thorough article James, disagree on a couple of points, but a lot of excellent suggestions. I have a hardback copy of your fabulous history of EFC, ‘Faith of our Fathers’ on my desk.
John Daley
59 Posted 30/05/2023 at 23:17:40
A few ex-players having their say today:

Peter Reid: “Something has to change. We can’t have people running the football club who aren’t coming to games. It needs wholesale changes from the top.”

Alan Stubbs: “Bill Kenwright, Denise Barrett-Baxendale, thanks very much but it’s time to go because you’ve failed this football club, on and off the pitch, and the owner has to make those decisions, because if he doesn’t, the animosity among the fanbase… they’ve had enough.”

Neville Southall: “We need a new board, new investment and we have no world class players. Recruiting is key. We need to act and think and be what our motto says, not settling for anything less. Let’s please just be the Everton we all want. Aim for the top always.”

Mark Murphy
60 Posted 30/05/2023 at 23:22:20
Wouldn’t it be great if ex player Graeme Sharp stood up and said something similar?
Brent Stephens
61 Posted 30/05/2023 at 23:26:21
John #59, maybe Reid, Stubbs and Southall could fill the 3 vacant seats in the Directors' Box?!

Seriously, imagine, as our 3 distinguished "leaders", having those 3 in seats behind yours and coming out with public statements like that.

Moshiri, take your seat again, please, but accompanied by new leaders.

Mike Gaynes
62 Posted 30/05/2023 at 23:30:20
Nev is wrong about one thing. Our keeper is world-class.
Paul Kossoff
63 Posted 30/05/2023 at 23:51:23
"Utilise the talent within the club. There are so many really capable, excellent people working at Everton – and I include the much-maligned CEO here."Seriously. Sorry but as soon as I read that I stopped reading.

Mr Corbet's a Kenwright puppet maybe, just like the CEO and Sooty. Sorry to say this but a clean Sweep is needed.😀

Neil Tyrrell
64 Posted 30/05/2023 at 00:21:10
Great article neatly summarizing a lot of problems we are familiar with, thanks for posting. The one that struck me because it was unfamiliar was #8, I mean how much effort would it take to have a presence at such events? It's like the powers that be just concede the city to the RS and meekly accept being in their shadow. That makes me sick.

As a Canadian from England I feel a bit uncomfortable weighing in on US politics, it's not really my place, but I'll register my even bigger discomfort being associated with anything that reminds of MAGA. From where I sit it means make America white again and although MEGA is a catchy acronym, it's too close to a disgusting "movement" than I'd ever like to be. I'm not even sure about pressing submit on this but that's how I feel. As a godless Deadhead I'd also echo what someone else said above, America is already great. Most of the best times of my life were there thanks to Jerry Garcia and Bob Dylan, 2 great Americans.

Good posts from John Daley too, well said. And Mike is 100% correct to point out that Jordan is world class, although I hate to disagree with Nev.

Mike Gaynes
65 Posted 31/05/2023 at 00:46:29
Paul Kossoff #63, you might want to learn a little something about Mr. Corbett before labeling him as anybody's puppet.
Pete Clarke
66 Posted 31/05/2023 at 02:17:06
I'm happy we have Jordan Pickford and he's been pivotal in keeping us up. However, until he starts commanding his area and taking crosses, he will not reach top level. He's been with us a few years now and this part of his game has never improved. Why isn't he been coached into doing this?

Pickford is lucky he's been to the World Cup whereas big Nev unfortunately never got there despite being the very best in the world.

I'm not knocking Jordan Pickford here because, given this thread is about making Everton great again, he is definitely the first name on the team sheet.
Kieran Kinsella
67 Posted 31/05/2023 at 03:39:50

I guess the question I'm wondering is how do you define top level? Banks would be by most estimates yet a club career at Leicester might suggest otherwise to some. Likewise Shilton of Derby and Southampton.

I was too young to see the best of Southall. I remember Mimms deputizing for him then his goalmouth protest when he already looked overweight.

So the top goalie of my early years was reputedly Dasayev of the USSR but games for the Soviets and Sevilla convinced me otherwise. I thought Neuer for a time was top dog until he started trying to be a sweeper. Cadillas is another who went from hero to zero. Even Alison of Liverpool seemed unstoppable then a liability.

So I really don't know of a “top class” goalie who has no flaws and maintains it over a long time. So IMO Pickford is as good as any.

Mike Gaynes
68 Posted 31/05/2023 at 03:55:51
Pete, he's never going to come for crosses. Some keepers do, some don't. Not everybody plays the position like Courtois or Emi Martinez or Allison or Ederson, flying out to claim high balls.

Ter Stegen and Oblak have been two of the top keepers in the world for over a decade. Both are Pickford-sized. Neither comes for crosses. Sommer at Bayern barely moves off his line. De Gea sucks on crosses. Onana and Maignan in Serie A are two of the best young sweeper-keepers around, but managers in Italy have their keepers stay on the line for corners and come out for balls on the ground.

Jordan on the line is one of the top five shot-stoppers on the planet IMO. I'd rather have him stay there than challenge guys 6 inches taller when it's not his thing. He is top level... when he stays home on his toes, not flying through the air.

Pete Clarke
69 Posted 31/05/2023 at 07:56:33
As I said he’s first name on the sheet and not just because he’s number 1 because if we want to be great again we have to keep our best and he is.
It’s a great debate to have as to what makes a great keeper but dominating your 6 yard box and bravery are a must if you want to be top drawer. Big Nev, Shilton, Jennings etc and later with Schmeichel, Seaman, Jens Lehmann etc all had the full package and there’s many more of course.
Jordan Pickford is only 29 so has quite a few years left in him but for me he definitely needs to give those jittery centre halves of ours a bit more confidence by dominating that 6 yard box and I don’t mean just shouting at them.
James Corbett
70 Posted 31/05/2023 at 08:10:39
I’ve had a few issues posting replies, so I’ll try again..

1/ The MEGA acronym was clearly tongue in cheek - I’m not advocating anyone tries to storm the Liver Buildings dressed in an animal skin. Although reading some of the comments such an idea may not be inconcievable.

2/ The lack of what should happen on the footballing side was intentional as that’s a whole new rabbit hole.

3/ @18 - Mark Taylor. You accuse the CEO of being ‘dumb’ for publishing a 120 point action plan. She did no such thing. The strategic plan has never seen the light of day.

Have you actually met any club CEOs? You seem to expect a titan of industry to be running a club: most are accountants or lawyers who have worked their way up within an organisation. I don’t think its unreasonable for someone who has been deputy CEO for five years and who has a range of prior experience (and an excellent reputation) ascending to the CEO position.

4/ There’s a couple of mentions of other CEOs - Paul Barber and Trevor Birch; both absolutely excellent professionals. I think in relation to Brighton that it’s important to emphasise how an infrastructure has been built up and developed over a number of years in unison with the owner’s other business (sports business). Shout out as well to Brighton’s other key executive - its technical director, Mr David Weir - former Everton captain.

5/ There’s a couple of references along the lines of ‘no one ever poaches our useless staff’: again, not true. David Harrison, the longstanding secretary, was poached for an elevated role at Man Utd this year. Grant Ingles was previously poached by our Red friends and came back.

6/ Mike Doyle @46. Everton aren’t a PLC. High salaries are a reflection of the dysfunction and that club executives sit on the board when they should do no such thing.

James Corbett
71 Posted 31/05/2023 at 08:13:54
@63 - Paul Kossoff. It takes a special kind of mad conspiracy theorist to call someone a 'puppet' when they've just eviscerated that same person and their handywork. I'll excuse you on account of the traumas of the last few weeks this time, but try and engage the brain in the future.
James Corbett
72 Posted 31/05/2023 at 08:16:15
@5 Kieran - I'm no relation, no.

@58 Christy Ring - Are you one of the Abbeyleix Rings and a relation of the late, great Tommy?

Denis Richardson
73 Posted 31/05/2023 at 08:50:46
Great article, hits a lot of nails on the head (although not sure about the CEO comment - surely part of the issues and problems must also lie with the CEO? If she can't get her ideas put into practice, then she should resign, otherwise she's just as culpable — but I guess the £400k/pa is difficult to walk away from).

Fish rots from the head down and as long as we have (literally) absent leaders, there's zero chance of any strategy (never mind a coherent one) being put in place. Changes at the top simply have to happen this summer and, if Moshiri stays, then at least appoint a proper board to run the club. Fresh faces, new ideas and above all professional experience of running a massive sporting franchise.

The club has resembled a rudderless ship for many seasons, coming ever dangerously close to crashing onshore but being rescued by a last-minute current or tide.

Something significant needs to happen and soon. If outside investment is coming in, I'd hope the new investors will insist on a place at the top table and a say in the running of the club – at the very least.

This seasons feels like a last-chance saloon type moment. We came very very close to relegation and, if nothing major happens, we'll likely be in the same situation in 12 months. We've been given another chance – time for a proper root-and-branch overhaul, starting at the top with Bill Kenwright being put out to pasture.

Eric Myles
74 Posted 31/05/2023 at 09:40:47
Finn #15, it was my fervent desire that Goodison Park be maintained as a historic site, being the first purpose built stadium, among many other firsts, so that it could properly house the David France collection.

The replies I got from both English Heritage and UNESCO World Heritage were that it's up to the owners to apply for that status.

So obviously they'd rather have the money than preserving the Heritage.

Christy Ring
75 Posted 31/05/2023 at 13:44:06
James@72 I am indeed, live in Portlaoise, not too far from you! Absolutely respect your knowledge of EFC.
Brendan McLaughlin
76 Posted 31/05/2023 at 15:13:50
Excellent stuff, James

A very knowledgeable, informative and balanced article.

Keep them coming.

Dale Self
77 Posted 31/05/2023 at 15:17:22
Yeah just balance out the toungue in cheek stuff and all is well.
Bill Hawker
78 Posted 31/05/2023 at 16:24:10
#4 Mike Gaynes. Go have a word with yourself. It's clear that you don't realize that Evertonians come from ALL walks of life and not just the ones you believe in.

Rather than address the very good merits of the article, you chose to have a pop first. Childish.

Michael Kenrick
79 Posted 31/05/2023 at 16:56:01

A very well-composed piece, as we would expect from such an accomplished author. Indeed, it is most gracious of you to contribute your thoughts to we minions on ToffeeWeb.

It might be helpful if you could explain further the conundrum you expect us to swallow – namely the saintly and wonderful personality that is Denise Barrett-Baxendale can do no wrong in her role as CEO and is greatly admired within the industry.

Perhaps with more thought and making a connection that seems to have thus far eluded you, it would help if you could explain how this could possibly be so when her day job has been to preside over one almighty horrendous clusterfuck?

Admittedly I don't know her personally and don't have the advantage of seeing her at work — I can only judge by the results of her and her cohorts' efforts in successfully almost destroying the entity which Kenwright entrusted her to run.

On that point, I find it strange that you seek to minimize the CEO function as mere accountants or lawyers who (you therefore imply) don't actually know or need to know how to run a multi-million pound business in the high-profile arena that is the Premer League.

The responsibilities of a Chief Executive Officer are too numerous and boring to recite here but just considering the basic functions of company performance and delivering fundamental objectives, she has to be an abject failure if Everton Football Club Co Ltd is her primary charge.

James Corbett
80 Posted 31/05/2023 at 19:26:34
I'm not here to defend the CEO, she has enough people to do that herself.

But if you have no say in transfer policy, little say in managerial appointments, can't say anything meaningful about where the finances originate from because of the current geopolitical situation, what can you do?

Levels of commercial revenue and prize money is to a large extent dictated by the playing side. So, again: what can you do?

Operationally – I'm talking matchday, media, marketing – Everton are a well-run club. If you look at the stadium project, which has been led without external inteference – it's fantastic and everybody within the industry says so.

Yes, the football side is a mess. Yes, siding with the chairman is not a great look – but then he is her boss. So, again – other than fall on your own sword – what can you do?

I would call it an impossible job.

Also, you totally misrepresented what I said about the role of the CEO in a football club. I didn't minimise it as ‘mere accountants or lawyers' – I said that most of them started out as accountants and lawyers and worked their way up through the club.

You don't see many titans of industry running football clubs. Although – a more humble and forward-thinking chairman than the one we are blessed with may have looked at willing and available titans of industry and stepped aside years ago. Someone like the former CEO of Tesco, perhaps?

Lyndon Lloyd
81 Posted 31/05/2023 at 20:21:43
I think James is largely correct here in his dignified response given Michael's typically snide and sarcastic tone. The Chief Executive role at Everton probably doesn't carry the power and responsibilities we would associate with the same position in a "normal" company or industry.

It appears as though Denise has input on significant decisions on the football side (the choice of manager in January last year, for example, where it seems as though she sided with Bill Kenwright as a counter-weight to Moshiri and Kia Joorabchian's advocacy for Vitor Pereira) but she certainly doesn't have a decisive say. That has always rested with the whims of the owner.

We can have a number of issues with Denise over communication, we can be suspicious of her reputation as a Kenwright acolyte and we can criticise the club for the fact that she isn't a heavy-hitter capable of attracting the kind of blue-chip commercial arrangements we would love to have at Everton.

But as James argues, she is well-respected among her peers, and in terms of day-to-day operations and the ongoing success of the stadium construction, she is doing a perfectly adequate job.

I can understand the impulse from fans to want a clean sweep of a hierarchy that, as a collective, has got us into the position we're in but throwing the likes of Denise and Grant Ingles out with the bathwater won't achieve much in the short term.

Rather (assuming Grant is an issue at all), they should be the pieces replaced when the time comes once new investors or (we can but pray) new owners are in place because our biggest problems have not really been of the making of the CEO or Finance Director.

Kieran Kinsella
82 Posted 31/05/2023 at 20:39:43

The problem is that there is a vacuum of accountability. Moshiri in his interview with FAB dismissed board criticism and said:

"All aspects of a football operation are not run by the board. We have a director of football. A substantial part of expenditure in a football club is incurred on the football side. Kevin Thelwell, the director of football, is primarily responsible for recruitment, academy development and medical science. All these facets of the football business is run by Kevin Thelwell."

How exactly can Thelwell be responsible for recruiting if that is contingent on money?

So on the money front ordinarily you'd look at the CFO given finance is his remit and he's been here for two years. The club is under investigation for financial irregularities and has recorded massive losses during his tenure. Is that not something that should reflect on him? Now obviously, we know that he inherited a mess and cannot control the finances but the fact is that he is in that job.

Then we have DBB. Kenwright in his open letter specifically said:

"The Chairman does not run the football club. We have a Chief Executive Officer who does that, as is true with most clubs."

Now again, as James pointed out and similar to the position with Thelwell, we all know from abundant evidence that both Bill and Mosh interfere in transfers and just about everything else. But on paper she is the CEO and the Chairman clearly identified her as the person running the club.

So we have an owner who says "I only spend 5 percent of my time at the club." A chairman who says "I am not the owner or the CEO who runs it daily." A Director of football who has no money at his disposal. a CFO who can deny culpability for financial problems that he inherited, and a CEO who we kind of assume has her hands tied.

But consequently, nothing improves, nothing changes and each of these individuals have their defenders and their detractors as no one seems to have any accountability. That is why I think many exasperated fans have reached the point of saying "Get rid of them all." As that seems to be the only way to redress the issue.

Brendan McLaughlin
83 Posted 31/05/2023 at 20:40:25
Spot on, Lyndon #81

James obviously has an insight into the limitations of a CEO's impact on the footballing side of things that many on ToffeeWeb don't.

Ian Bennett
84 Posted 31/05/2023 at 20:45:52
It's hardly a competition. All involved have overseen a gross mismanagement of EFC for X to Y years. Whilst they thought they were the best, the rest have looked at them as a laughing stock of English football.

Moshiri has landed a stadium, and without that, he'd have been run out of town long ago.

Same with Kenwright. He got rid of Johnson, but the veil slipped long ago.

Lyndon Lloyd
85 Posted 31/05/2023 at 20:58:37
Again, Kieran, I think you're highlighting the dysfunction at the club and the general lack of accountability. It's like the Spiderman meme where they're all pointing at each other but I think they've all been at the mercy of Moshiri as the ultimate decision-maker because he's the owner and it's his money on the line.

I will say, though, that given everything that's happened since January and the very negative light cast on some key individuals on the Board, it would behoove Denise and Bill to step down at the earliest opportunity. The legal requirement for the club to retain a minimum of three Directors means that they can't both either leave or be disposed of immediately, though.

Tony Abrahams
86 Posted 31/05/2023 at 21:01:34
I think anyone who sits in the job, keeping their mouth shut, whilst just taking the money, might also be termed a snide, Lyndon? (With due respect for the way you have just called your partner out!)

Especially when they are getting paid a fortune, and especially when they were also used (or maybe they were actually being protected?) when a statement came out from the club after Marcel Brands was dismissed that Barrett-Baxendale had already been seeking alternative employment.

She is still here over 18 months later and she has remained totally silent since she let herself become embroiled in the controversy that came about when the board tried to throw us Evertonians under the bus.

Denise Barrett-Baxendale might be very good at “a certain kind of job”, but I think it's imperative that Everton Football Club gets a total reset, starting with a major clear out at the very top, for many obvious nepotistic reasons.

Lyndon Lloyd
87 Posted 31/05/2023 at 21:11:14
I can't say that Denis Barrett-Baxendale is "a snide" according to the definition of the informal use of the word ("an unpleasant or underhanded person") but I don't disagree that the club does need a total reset as you suggest.

I'm just saying it won't and can't happen overnight and that there are bigger issues than the CEO.

Brendan McLaughlin
88 Posted 31/05/2023 at 21:12:58
It amazes me how many people misinterpret the Moshiri 5% comment. He made it in the context that he had hoped Everton would only take up 5% of his time with the clear implication that the club was taking up much more of his time.

As for the CEO "running the club" statement from Blue Bill... are we suddenly believing him now?

Michael Kenrick
89 Posted 31/05/2023 at 21:15:27
Very good post, Kieran.

It really is a complete and rather sad joke in our case that no-one is accepting any responsibility for theabsolute shit show that is EFC both on and off the field.

To see that we have other influential voices stepping up to accept or spin this utter bullshit when challenged really is disappointing.

Alrite, yes, the stadium seems to have been remarkably well handled as far as we know. Colin Chong was made responsible for that but apparently with Denise casting a watchful eye over him and lapping up lots of the credit.

But can we just get back to the real world of the day-to-day operations of Everton Football Club as a member of the Premier League? Because that is where it has all gone so horribly wrong. But Denise as CEO has an impossible job because all the important stuff is out of her control? I really do find that very hard to believe.

On her elevation to this role, she said: "I fully understand the privileged position that I will be taking up and the responsibilities that come with it." — Yet her biopage on the club website is of course full of boosting fluff but noticeably silent on what those responsibilities really are, never mind how they may or may not relate to the total utter mess Everton find themselves in now – both on and off the field.

So yes, perhaps you guys are right and she actually has no responsibilities… making her what exactly? A virtue-signalling figurehead?

What are we dumb fans to make of all this smokescreen that the Chief Executive Officer has no real responsibility for anything that matters on a day-to-day operational basis???

No, apparently much more important things for her to focus on. Like getting EitC yet another award – this time named the Premier League's Best Community Scheme at this year's prestigious Football Business Awards in London. Yeah, isn't that just fucking great!

Danny O’Neill
90 Posted 31/05/2023 at 21:23:05
I won't repeat myself from earlier. She potentially has a position. Doing what she did previously and does now anyway and is good at (EitC).

In my humble opinion, admittedly from the outside looking in, maybe it is that the positions on the board and the roles and responsibilities don't appear to be defined or aligned to achieve the outcomes we want.

If they were, you would have different people in those positions.

I appreciate that football isn't a normal business, but how a board in any vertical can survive after overseeing the past two consecutive seasons they have put us through is beyond me.

Vision, mission, objectives. We haven't seen any of that.

The current Chairman has been on the board since 1989. DBB since 2016. Sharp as a seemingly silent partner since last year.

Aside from the failure of running the club, they detached themselves from and went as far as to accuse the supporters. I'm a forgiving person, but that was unforgivable. No going back.

My opinion obviously.

Tony Abrahams
91 Posted 31/05/2023 at 21:33:38
That's fair enough Lyndon, especially because you never said she was a snide. Actions always speak louder than words in my book though and unless something drastic happened to make Denise suddenly want to stay in her job, then the fact that she is still here 18 months later, after everything that has gone on, doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

Maybe she let her name be used to deflect any criticism going towards the board, after Marcel Brands uttered those famous words about it not just being the players?

I agree that it's not going to happen overnight Lyndon, so maybe I should take a rest because the one-eyed nature of most of my posts, has started taking me away from discussing the only thing, that I've probably got a little bit of knowledge about.

Stan Grace
92 Posted 31/05/2023 at 22:05:56
Is DBB an anacronym for Devoted to Blue Bill?

And just how far would she put her neck on the line for him?

Brendan McLaughlin
93 Posted 31/05/2023 at 22:26:17
I mean... I get that the manager(s) weren't good enough, the Director(s) of Football weren't good enough, the players weren't good enough, the chairman and owner weren't good enough… but the CEO who only marginally affects what happens on the pitch?
Kevin Molloy
94 Posted 31/05/2023 at 22:27:57
We are in the hands of absolute shameless gobshites. if they any of them were serious about providing a professional service, they would all have fallen on their swords long ago. Moshiri is an acolyte of a Russian gangster. Kenwright a dissembling bullshitter, and Denise the cloak he thought would shield him from criticism. Nothing is as it seems, we've never been levelled with, we've all been treated with contempt. Headlock Gate being the cherry on top.

The elephant in the room is these shits have stewardship of a very precious cargo, we just have to hope we can somehow winkle them out. I think the tactic at the moment is the correct one, no pressure on Moshiri directly whilst he's building the stadium but a very clear message that all the other charlatans need to clear out immediately.

I think the reason this hasn't happened so far, is that just as DBB is a shield for the Emoter in Chief, Kenwright also is a useful lightning rod for Moshiri. It probably suits him very well that Bill can have most of the pressure deflected onto him; if Bill were removed, he would then be front and centre. And Bill and the others are well paid for their service in deflecting the fans' anger.

Lyndon Lloyd
95 Posted 31/05/2023 at 22:47:59
Michael, are the day-to-day operations – by which I mean ticketing, stewarding, scheduling, hospitality, customer service, merchandising, the running of Finch Farm etc – really where it has all gone so horribly wrong?

We've been covering all of this long enough to know who is making the real, seismic decisions affecting Everton FC. It isn't the CEO, it's not the bean counter on the Board, and it's not the Chairman anymore (although he has a role in both signing off on and negotiating some of the transfers).

Granted, it's a problem that the perception of outsiders is that there is too much push-and-pull between different entities in the Boardroom, but it's Moshiri who a) has made pretty much every major financial and managerial call (with the exception of acquiescing to the hiring of Lampard) since he arrived and b) kept faith with a small and limited Board that should have been augmented with real commercial and management expertise a long time ago.

Also, I don't get this obsession with griping about the achievements of Everton in the Community, which remains a laudable expression of what this club is about – as if the success of the club's official charity somehow detracts from Everton's ability to perform on the pitch. They're separate entities; their respective successes aren't mutually exclusive!

Kieran Kinsella
96 Posted 31/05/2023 at 22:49:28

My point on what Kenwright and Moshiri said isn't that I believe them. Obviously I don't. But if they peddle the narrative it's on her, Thelwell etc, then inevitably fans will question those people.

Then, in the next breath, Kenwright and Moshiri act like they're surprised these people get flack. So really, Bill and Mosh if you're not to blame then fire who is? If you're to blame leave. If you can't decide who's responsible, then all of you need to go,

Michael Kenrick
97 Posted 31/05/2023 at 22:50:23
And sorry but (other than the stadium project) you can't selectively compartmentalize some of the operational bits and somehow separate them from the footballing side.

Everton Football Club Co Ltd as a complete entity is in an absolute mess. That's what the accounts say, that's what the Premier League table says, that's what the Premier League's P&S monitors say, that's what many believe about Finch Farm and the Academy, that's what The Guardian keeps picking away at.

The process should be that such concerns are aired at an Annual General Meeting of the shareholders but that avenue has been effectively closed, with the minority shareholding now reduced to a powerless runt. Not that they ever achieved much beyond venting hot air.

All things considered, there should be very real concerns about all aspects of the way this football club is run, and that has to start at the C-level. But there is only Moshiri who can do this and he has done the exact opposite, backing them completely.

And operationally, there is the consideration that they need to present a united front to the independent commission when it comes to defending their P&S breach charge. Having them step down or be dismissed for gross incompetence would be tantamount to an admission of guilt, so expect them to at least stay through the autumn to defend their dubious record.

Brendan McLaughlin
98 Posted 31/05/2023 at 23:04:45
Kieran #96

Are you suggesting you see through the spin but other fans don't?

Don Alexander
99 Posted 31/05/2023 at 23:07:41
Everton - the gift that keeps on kicking you in the bollocks.
Dale Self
100 Posted 31/05/2023 at 23:09:59
Kieran, you were totally getting it until you started asking questions. That’s their game and time is up and everyone paying attention knows it.

This is our Youssarian moment.

Kieran Kinsella
101 Posted 31/05/2023 at 23:38:38

what I’m saying is flip the spin back on them instead of letting them have it both ways as in control yet all victims but since you mention clearly there are people especially with Kenwright who can’t see through the spin

Peter Mills
102 Posted 01/06/2023 at 09:59:02
James’s grandfather had a conversational and writing style that was thoughtful, measured and precise, occasionally spiced by his throwing a metaphorical hand-grenade into proceedings and gauging the reaction.

It seems some of it has rubbed off.

Dave Abrahams
103 Posted 01/06/2023 at 12:00:23
Peter (102), well James is getting plenty of reaction to his column with some sensible replies.

I know when James writes a book, he puts plenty of background work into them, I really liked the work he must have put into his biography on Harry Catterick, I think I still owe you for the copy you gave me!!

Maybe James has got in mind to write a book about Kenwright's part in Everton FC since he took over? Knowing the background work James puts in on writing a book, we might get very close to the truth and nothing but the truth about Chairman Bill.

I wonder what his grandad and your own dad would have thought about him.

James Corbett
104 Posted 01/06/2023 at 12:55:38
Dave, thanks for the kind words. You give me credit for something I didn't do though: the Harry Catterick book was written by Rob Sawyer (although I edited it).

Let's hope the next Everton book I do (if I ever do another one) is a celebration of a positive turn in our history.

Peter Mills
105 Posted 01/06/2023 at 13:09:36
Dave#103, James is my nephew, his grandad WAS my dad!

My dad, and his father before him, both served in the armed forces, in World War 2 and World War 1 respectively, and their working careers were in the fruit, veg and flower market in Queen Square. As you might imagine, those experiences made them pretty shrewd judges of character, they could spot a phoney a mile away, and they had no time for anyone who was not absolutely straight in their dealings. It would have been interesting to get their take on things! James is obviously reading this thread, maybe he will take note of your suggestion.

I think the Harry Catterick book was by Rob Sawyer, another excellent Everton historian but, whoever the author, it was a gift, Dave, I wouldn’t want you fretting about a debt!

Dave Abrahams
106 Posted 01/06/2023 at 13:55:14
James (104) Oops, mind you editing a book is not an easy job and you helped me to enjoy a great story.

Peter(105), Jesus mistakes all round!! Just had my latest gas bill when I wrote that post!! I knew James was related to you honestly thought his dad and your dad were brothers.

Talking of Queens Square and all the people who worked there with a very early start each morning on the fruit and flower stalls I knew plenty who worked on them loads from the neighbourhoods not far from there, most of them were genuine hardworking lads but there is always a bad apple in every barrel and there were more than one in those barrels so your dad had to keep his wits about him although there were plenty whose company he would have enjoyed and possibly even learned from them.

Thanks for your gift it was a real pleasure to read and I learned a lot about Harry Catterick the best manager, for me, that Everton ever had, shrewd and astute, he’d have sussed Kenwright out no problem but he worked for another shrewd and astute man whose chairmanship gave Everton some real “ good times” John Moore’s would have seen Kenwright coming a year before he met him and would have shut the door before he even got here !!

Christy Ring
107 Posted 01/06/2023 at 14:51:47
Dave#106 Don’t disagree with you regarding Harry Catterick, took no prisoners, as with Alan Ball, ruthless, never involved in training unlike Howard Kendall. In my opinion, Howard was on a par, but we’ll never know how successful he could have been because of the Heysel, it broke up a superb team and management.
Bill Hawker
108 Posted 01/06/2023 at 19:19:50
In any business or corporation, when things are going poorly, the buck stops with the board and CEO. Shareholders can agitate for changes to see their equity values increase rather than slide.

Unfortunately, we don't have a real say here. Moshiri pulls the strings as do the board. To shirk their mismanagement here would be the height of irresponsibility.

Rather than "Let's get someone in here who can fix this mess and knows what they're doing", we have a board who are holding out as long as they can. Moshiri bears a huge part of the responsibility here by keeping the executives on board rather than recognizing that changes need to be made.

Either he's inept or willfully ignorant. Either is a bad look and makes me wonder how he made millions to begin with.

Barry Hesketh
110 Posted 02/06/2023 at 15:14:20
Because Everton scored so few league goals at Goodison last season, I posed myself a question. Which Everton player has scored the most goals on home soil in their career, and how many players have scored the same or more goals in a season than the Everton side did during the most recent campaign.

As many would guess, Dixie Dean, is literally head and shoulders above all the other familiar names, when it comes to scoring top division goals at Goodison. My own records only go back to the beginning of Dixie's Everton career and only include top-flight matches.

I don't want anybody wagering any money, on the outcomes that I found, because I may have made the occasional error, however, I'm fairly confident of the numbers.

Dixie Dean 199; Joe Royle 70; Graeme Sharp 67; Roy Vernon 62; Bob Latchford 60; Alex Stevenson 53 and Alex Young 50, all netted 50 or more goals at Goodison Park for the Toffees'. There has been 49 own goals scored in favour of the Blues with Tony Cottee also close to the half-century with 48.

Dixie Dean, managed to reach double figures in every season he played for the club apart from his debut and final season where he only scored a single home league goal in each of them.

As to my original question, regarding how many Everton players have scored as many or more goals than the whole Blues side managed last season (16) at Goodison, Romelu Lukaku in his last season managed to equal that tally, the second time that he had reached double figures in his Everton career. Yakubu was the first Everton player in the Premier League era to get into double figures with his eleven strikes in 2007/08. Tony Cottee was the last player to break into double figures in pre-premier league days with his eleven goals on home soil in 1988/89. Gary Lineker scored 19 in his only season at the club, whilst his strike partner Graeme Sharp got 15 to match his tally from the previous season. Bob Latchford surpassed, Joe Royle's tally of 18 for the 1970 Champions, when he netted 20 times in his thirty goal season.

Joe Royle enjoyed Goodison Park as he scored 10 or more goals in four consecutive seasons between 1967 and 1971. The first post-war Everton player to get into double figures was Eddie Thomas with ten strikes on home soil, in 1957/58, Dave Hickson went one better with eleven the following season.

Dixie equalled Everton's home tally of last season, seven times in his Everton career with his best scoring campaign at Goodison arriving in the 1931/32 title winning season when he netted 33 times, more than double the paltry 16 our whole squad scored last time out whilst his team-mate, Tommy Johnson also managed to surpass our last home tally with his 19 goals in the same season. Jimmy Cunliffe had the audacity to outscore Dixie on home territory with his 16 strikes in the 1935/36, four goals better than the legend.

Dixie's replacement, as Goodison goalscorer supreme, was Tommy Lawton and he scored 19 and 20 goals in his first two seasons at the club, the next Everton player to beat 16 goals was Roy Vernon who scored 21 times at Goodison, seven more than he managed in the following title winning season. Fred Pickering scored 17 goals on home turf a few seasons later. There we have it, a pantheon of famous names, many of whom would have outscored the whole of the current squad a few times on their own.

For a club which prides itself on having a list of great goalscorers, we can only hope that some new goalscoring hero will arrive in the near future and give the Goodison crowd something to cheer and that's what will help make Everton great again!

Bill Gall
111 Posted 06/06/2023 at 19:52:11

I don't have any records but how many goals did Tommy Lawton get?
Barry Hesketh
112 Posted 07/06/2023 at 16:12:29
Bill @111
Tommy Lawton's league goals total for Everton was 65 in 87 games. of which 41 came at Goodison, I hope that helps.

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