I don't know anything about running a football club, or indeed, any business. The words below are derived from that knowledge.

People seem to consider a club's previous success as a measure of their due respect. Why is this so, and is it deserved?

Everton last won a trophy in 1995, the FA Cup. I wonder how many people of relevance to that particular success are still at the club? I would suggest the figure to be zero.

So, I ask myself, how would that success have any connection to the current situation at Everton? What is the value of that success in terms of being useful to the club, or is it just a heart-warming memory?

Managers, players coaches and other people in important and meaningful positions come to the club, and all voice their opinions of Everton belonging to the upper echelons of football. Why? How is this opinion formed when the team and club have been in the doldrums for such a long time?

Surely any team is at the level it occupies at present for a very good reason, and history does not enter the equation at all. As is often quoted, the league table never lies (although not quite true for Everton and Nottingham Forest). 

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Perhaps we should forget our history as a means of receiving respect from the football world, and realise the only thing that matters is where we are now. Of course, there are myriad reasons that affect the fortunes of clubs, but one I think that is overlooked is luck.

Is luck a factor? I think it is.

When Moshiri bought the club, we were all very pleased, and could see ourselves soon dining at the top table. No fan protests were voiced, the welcome mat was displayed, and he and his money became part of the club.

Today, however, we are all gnashing our teeth in fury. So were we taken in? Not really, because nobody could have predicted what would follow next. The results were only known afterwards. Luck was not on our side in the choice of owner, despite it looking very promising.

We based our optimism on very few factors, as in reality, we knew very little about Moshiri, but we were seduced by the size of his wallet. Luck again was not on our side with the effect of the war in Ukraine impacting the club.

The Covid epidemic also put a brake on further improvement, and its effects are still relevant to football clubs today, and many other businesses — but not to the government, of course, who used it to promote themselves and their cronies. These unforeseen events undoubtedly affected the club's prospects of success and Moshiri's ambitions were also a casualty of those circumstances.

If luck is to be dismissed as a factor, then why do we lament the seemingly never ending good fortune of the club that play across the park at the Ikea Stadium? I understand there are other factors involved in Everton's deterioration; many point to our late chairman as one, but that is another matter for debate.

All well and good (or bad…), but how to improve matters from our current situation, and get the team challenging? Not an easy question to answer.The situation for Everton is that they struggle to attract top players for the simple (and only?) reason that they cannot afford them.

The club is struggling to escape from the (spider's) web in which it is trapped. One process it must embrace is to simply improve in any way possible from this present time, and then build on those improvements, until the time arrives when they bear fruit. This needs patience, lots of patience, which is not a characteristic of football fans. Until this happens, we can support the team, which Evertonians do better than anybody.

In addition to this, the club would benefit from a total change of outlook (or mentality, as Sean Dyche preaches), and in my opinion, this comes from the top. We were unfortunate to get such a poor owner as Moshiri, for which we are paying the price. How can we attract an owner who will lead us to a better future? I don't know.

There will be no guarantees of success, whoever buys the club. We just pray for people who will know how to run a successful club, both on the playing and the business side, and they can lead us to the promised land.

I would like the new owners to let it be known, and prove with their actions, that they want success, and are not interested in making up the numbers. Nobody knows what the future brings, but let's be optimistic that the wait will be worthwhile. Let's hope we get lucky!


Reader Comments (12)

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Derek Thomas
1 Posted 17/05/2024 at 23:06:11
I hear you James… and Ray hears you:

..."Tell ya, a slow horse and a fast woman
Hey hey hey lord they sure did let me fall
That's why I say ah
If it wasn't for bad luck sugar now
Hey if it wasn't for bad luck y'all
Oh! I wouldn't have no luck at all..."

(Songwriters: Ray Charles / James Lewis
If It Wasn't for Bad Luck lyrics © Tangerine Music Corp)

Alan J Thompson
2 Posted 18/05/2024 at 05:38:51
I suppose you could say that, "he who forgets the past is doomed to repeat it"; with us, that may depend on how far back you want to go. Or Henry Ford's, "history is bumph".

But then this is Britain and I wonder how many council terraced houses the National Trust look after… so let's occasionally remind them of our heritage before we become the next Royal Engineers FC and the like – some team that once won or played an FA Cup Final.

Mike Kehoe
3 Posted 18/05/2024 at 09:06:30
We had a chairman, well meaning or not, whose business was theatre, and an accountant fronting for a Russian gangster, neither of whom, it seems safe to say, had much experience or acumen regards the running of a top-flight football club, hence the overwhelmingly poor recruitment.

That said, it does seem ridiculous that we had Carlo Ancelotti as manager with James Rodriguez in midfield not so long ago; who knows how things would have gone if Carlo would have stayed?

As good as getting Carlo was, the hiring of Benitez was a criminal act of incompetence and evidence that Moshiri is clueless and soulless. In the history of sport, has there ever been an example of a team going backwards because of significant investment?

History is important to the club's identity, but former glories are only useful to remind us where this club should be, along with the potential that comes from the strength and commitment of the fan base.

It will take many years of solid steady progress, along with a level of competence from a board the likes of which we have not seen for a very long time, to get anywhere near the top again.

I worry that Moshiri's legacy of industrial-strength failure and inadequacies will extend to imperilling the club's future by selling his shares to any crooks or asset-strippers that come along.

Tony Abrahams
4 Posted 18/05/2024 at 09:36:05
Decent article James, but when you say that we were unfortunate to get such a poor owner in Moshiri, I cast my mind back a lot further, to the winter of 1999, when we acquired a very poor owner, who slowly changed the narrative, and presided over the worst era in our entire history.

We are in a very dark place, and the ground on the waterfront, has caused us a whole lot of financial issues, but one thing I can say, is that at least Moshiri, had a great vision, and hopefully soon, this vision will start paying off🤞

His tenure has been a disgrace, with his constant chopping and changing of managers, whilst appointing a director of football to join his very inept board, was incredibly hard to fathom, (i could go on and on) and has destroyed most of the club’s foundations, from the first team to the academy, but the fans have remained very loyal, and defiant, in the face of tremendous adversity, and it’s definitely the fans, that help make a football club, great.

“Our Lord” might have walked on water, but Everton have built a stadium on water, and this is hopefully the miracle (or just great engineering!) that is going to help change our fortunes, because us Evertonians are desperate for success💙

Danny O’Neill
5 Posted 18/05/2024 at 09:45:07
I can be quoted as not being a fan of the "If You Know your History" song, but I respect others' like of it.

History, heritage and tradition is important. But you only get there by building on it. It's the reason we have our history.

We stood still. Hopefully, get this season out of the way tomorrow and sort out whatever is going on with the ownership and we can start building a new future that will add to our history.

John Williams
6 Posted 18/05/2024 at 10:34:39
I disagree, I t hink a lot of sensible people could see many of the pitfalls when it was announced that Moshiri was taking over, but money talks and people love money.

I refer to the Paddy Power advert, team broke, then we are in the money and a guy throwing money all over the place.
English football is littered with failed teams and white elephant stadiums. Doesn't anybody take notice?

Look at Man Utd, the state of the stadium, the Glazers have just drained that club of money instead of keeping the ground in good order.

Stephen Vincent
7 Posted 18/05/2024 at 10:40:51
No other club celebrates its past like Everton, maybe it's because we are not inventive when it comes to new songs, but the fact remains that I can remember walking though Euston in 1968 singing 'Marching down the Goodison Road'.

How many lads in the Gwladys Street actually know who Big Ron is? I would not shed a single tear if the dirge 'If you know your history' was never heard again.

I can't remember who said it or even if I have the quote correct: 'History, despite its gut-wrenching agony, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.'

We need to find courage, guys.

Alan McGuffog
8 Posted 18/05/2024 at 10:49:44
Wonder if "Marching Down Goodison Road" was more of an away song? I never recall hearing it at Goodison, tbh.

First song I recall was:

"Bless em all, bless em all,
the long and the short and the tall,
Bless wee Alex and Royston too..."

Danny O’Neill
9 Posted 18/05/2024 at 10:57:27
Alan, I don't recall it either. I think it dates back to the '60s but some of the more "mature" Evertonians will have to comment.

It's caught on and a lot of the younger supporters join in.

Don't ask Mark Murphy his opinion. He doesn't like it!

I think it's great.

Alan McGuffog
10 Posted 18/05/2024 at 11:06:55
I think Mark may have been a Cuthies lad, Danny. I'd never argue with him.
Barry Rathbone
11 Posted 19/05/2024 at 11:30:51
We revere glories past because we have nothing else, we are little more than a non-event in modern football, causing not a ripple of interest beyond this parish.

Worse still nothing on the horizon seems to exist bar a cabal of American investors totally incapable of providing the billions needed to get us to where we want to be – trophy winners at the top table

It used to be a special manager could come in and by dint of ability fashion success lasting years – Brian Clough, Bobby Robson, Bill Shankly, Matt Busby, Bill Nicholson going all the way back to Herbert Chapman. Can't happen today: you need oodles of loot as per Abramovich and Mansour just to reach the platform of Man Utd and Liverpool – let alone overcome them.

There will be the odd first-season mommies like Martinez here and Ranieri at Leicester but, without mega-cash, they are doomed to fail, the smart fellas move on before the inevitable decline… like the lad at Brighton.

Until oil money comes in, the double-edged sword of history is all we have and it will never go away. Trying to live up to it kills managers and players alike; on the other hand, it rescues us in the darkest hours.

Tom Hughes
12 Posted 20/05/2024 at 08:12:06
Without our history, we wouldn't still have our fanbase. Without that, there wouldn't be a club or at least not much of a club.

This city's clubs are not divided by geography, politics or religion. So, we are not assured a future fanbase based on anyone of those factors. The other lot's success of the past 50 years or so has seen their fanbase grow massively, and ours has been eroded.

Yet somehow, we defy logic by filling our stadium and selling out our away allocations every week. That can only be because of our history and the inherent culture and tradition it helps define.

History is not the cause of our current malaise, it is much of the reason why we're still hanging on by our fingertips. Hopefully to fight another day!

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