ToffeeWeb MailBag
Letters from our readers — March 2007


RE: Last of the Corinthians

Great website, great articles, but after reading the report about the last Hall of Fame night dedicated to the truly great Brian Labone was I emotionally compelled to add my tuppence worth.

Not only did the article convey the complete emotion of the night and the passion of our support, but the great regard with which the former players hold both the club and the fans. I had tears in my eyes and a lump in throat at the end. Brilliant stuff and long may they continue.
James Reed, Denver, CO, USA  (31/3/07)

Nugent and Rooney

Nugent, wearing his treasured Hafnia shirt, was in the outback Wagga Wagga pub sinking a few ice cold middies. When asked why, with the temperature hitting a hundred, he was also wearing a fox fur hat. Seems he told Rooney about going to Wagga Wagga and Wayne had said 'wear the fox hat.'
Dick Fearon, West Australia  (1/4/07)

April Fool!

re Mr Hooper

First I've never met an Evertonian who has not respected Kenwright for taking over the club when he did. But how long must we be grateful? ? Until we're homeless, destitute and outside of Kirkby, forgotten? If you can't see his lies yet then you are either naive or blindly loyal. If that's the case, I admire your loyalty. I just wish Bill showed us the same long gone. As luvvy Bill, he's now just trying to get out of the mire he's placed us in. I am sure future history will show him as the biggest hero the Kop has had since Shankly...
Roy Coyne, Old Swan  (31/3/07)

Howard 'loan' status

I was just reading a link about Turner being at Sheff Wed where it states that he may have to return for the Man United game as Howard is ineligible? Odd. I thought we had bought him outright now and he was no longer on loan? Can anyone clarify this for me please?
Steve Kaffer, Liverpool  (31/3/07)

Well, it's one of those weird things about football, I guess. The hoopla said we'd bought him, but I suspect it really amounts to a pre-contract agreement ? that he will join Everton permanently in the summer... after the natural expiration of his loan agreement. So, officially, he is still on loan from Manchester United, and he is not yet a permanent Everton player. Consequently, the terms of a loan apply: he cannot play against his own team. Hence the recall for young Mr Turner.

Not that you'd get this impression from the Official Everton website, where it says he has signed for 5 years, and is now a permanent Everton player, the new deal replacing the loan with Mancheters United. Someone's telling porkies....

I guess we'll know on 28 April: if he plays then he is a permanent player; if he doesn't then officially he's still a loan player. [Why does it have to be so frigging complicated?] — Michael

Carlos Tevez

Please, David Moyes, if West Ham get relegated, sign Carlos Tevez. The man is a class act and would bring extra pace and power to our team. I feel he would be brilliant playing just off AJ.
James Brown, Liverpool  (31/3/07)

Kenwright

I had hoped that the adverse comments about Kenwright were wide of the mark but watching him on TV changed my mind ? for heavens sake, Go, Bill ? asap!
Geoirge Carroll, Bramhall  (31/3/07)

Lay off Bill Kenwright

I feel the need to comment on Michael's analysis of Bill Kenwright's legal position, and that of Everton as a limited company. The 'limited' part actually limits the liability of the shareholders, not the officers or the directors of the company. And in the event where the shares are actually 'paid up', (it is possible to set up a company without actually paying up front for the shares, the 'limited' part limits the shareholders' liability to the nominal value of the share in the event of the company's liquidation) there is no further liability on the shareholder's part.

I won't bore you with a discussion on Bill Kenwright's liabilty as a director, it would take too long.

What I would point out is, as you say, 'Bill Kenwright mortgaged everything he had to buy his Everton shares'. Would you do that? Would any of BK's critics do that? I know I wouldn't. What his critics seem to forget is that he has put his money where his mouth is, and done something about his ambitions for Everton. He might not have enough money for us to compete with the Big 4, and he sure isn't perfect, but I hope I'm not alone in finding some of the attacks on his character somewhat demeaning and harsh.

I personally think it is best for the club that those in charge share our passion. What about Man Utd's situation? Plenty of their supporters were up in arms with their distrust of the Glazers, and the amount they had to borrow. Look at Chelsea ? does anyone think their financial situation is tenable without Abramovich? They're enjoying short-term success, but if I was one of their supporters, I would feel uncomfortable about the long term.

And our friends from across the park? How many of you have pointed out to them that one of their new owners has been bankrupt in the past? How many have laughed at the amount these Americans have had to borrow to fund their takeover?

I don't know about you, but better the devil you know, and at least he is one of us. Until a billionaire Evertonian drops by (because there's loads of those just waiting to invest, aren't there??), shouldn't we at least have a bit more faith in someone who has sacrificed a lot for our club? Or maybe we should all (30,000 of us should be enough) borrow, say £3,000 each, and use the £90 million to buy 'our' club back? Oh, and another £3,000 each to buy some players, a new stadium etc etc. Interest rates are quite low these days, and if you stick it on your mortgage, it won't be much each month!
Bob Turner, Runcorn  (31/3/07)

I remember sitting in The Spellow, a few years back, before going into Goodison for a Shareholders Association meeting (a meeting where it was revealed that the Club were putting up the shutters to the SA!) and we were speaking about Bill's position at the time - arguably the one director you could say had delved down behind the sofa in search of the last few shillings, to bail Everton out of our then financial predicament. I genuinely don't believe people have forgotten that Kenwright was alone, at the time, in searching for cash. If they have then that's their ignorance on the matter. However, he cannot be excused for the role he's played (absentee landlord anyone?) over the past decade or so, as Everton lurched between one crisis or another, most of which were financial related.

You applaud Bill, for being Blue and "better the devil you know". Lest we forget, it was Bill who brought that charming fella by the name of Samuelson along for the ride, a shameful excercise designed only to keep his grip on control of the Club. Samuelson and his colourfully named bunch of overseas "investors" had ne'er a bit of Evertonian blood coursing through the veins. Neither had Anton Zingarevic, he with the "encyclopaedic knowledge" of football.

Your point about Bill being one of very few at one time to invest cash into the Club is a valid one but if I may be afforded the opportunity to say that "you speculate to accumulate", in this era where football clubs are being targeted more and more by overseas speculators, is it a valid concern I have to see a move out to Kirkby as little more than an acceleration of Mr Kenwright's departure on very VERY favourable financial terms? - Colm

Don't leave Goodison quietly

Eight games to go and our fate is largely in our own hands. Despite Everton's inability to follow up great results, the club must try its upmost to win as many games as possible between now and the end of the season.

As seems more than likely, Everton will be leaving Goodison in the near future, so I would urge all Blues to get right behind the team to ensure that the Old Lady has a glorious finale. I know it's deemed impossible for those clubs outside the four to win the league but Evertonians and the team have upset the odds in the past.

I am sick and tired of our neighbours believing that they have a divine right to dismiss our great club as dead and buried. They thought that in 1994 when they left Villa Park at half-time to get back to the city to celebrate our demise, but Horne and Stuart put a stop to that.

I have critized the Board, manager and the team in the past, but I really feel that we should as supporters get right behind the whole club and show how big a club we really are. It's not the BKs and the Busters who take the stick and jibes ? it's us the fans. That's why we as fans must show the team how much they mean to us.
John Patrick McFarlane, Lancs  (31/3/07)

Bill Kenwright

Oh please, for some balance on this website! Most of your letters are from people who, without any proof at all, call our Chairman 'A liar and A Fake'. Try asking David Moyes if he has had any support from this Liar?

He may just tell you that over the last five years he has done his best to supply him with the money to change our team from relegation batlers to one challenging for Europe! That has only come about because you have two men who trust each other. Not because one of them is a liar and a fake! If that was the case, David Moyes would not have lasted five months, no matter five years.

For the last time, BILL KENWRIGHT IS AN EVERTON FAN! SO AM I AND THOUSANDS OF OTHERS, WHERE IS THE PROOF HE IS A LIAR!! There isn't any. If we move to Kirkby it will because Bill honestly believes it is the best thing for our club.
David Hooper, Wiltshire  (31/3/07)

I think a number of Evertonians can see past the fact that Bill is a fellow Evertonian and look more closely at his record. No-one is doubting that Kenwright has supported David Moyes and provided him with some means for improving the team. No-one is doubting that relationship, which is as it should be for the good of the club.

The issue is more what he has said to Evertonians and Everton Shareholders. Unfortunately, that part of Bill's record does not reflect so well. But many Evertonians (dare I say, you included) turn a blind eye to Bill's failings in this area, which span the range from enthusiastic exaggeration and luvvie excess through deliberate obfuscation to straightforward lies. They have been documented on here numerous times: Kings Dock, Rooney, Sky Money, Samuelson and the Fortress Sports Fund, the 24/7 investor search... that's just a few to be going on with.

If we do move to Kirkby, it is more likely to be based on a deal that will, either in the short or long term, maximise Bill Kenwright's return on his investment in Everton shares. Whether or not that tuns out to be the best thing for our club is something we will likely not know for quite a few years afterwards. ? Michael

5 pts off Champions League!

We haven't shown top 4 material this season. However, if we win this Monday, and Liverpool lose against Arsenal, we'll be only 5 points off them. Still a long way, but with Fernandes we do have that extra quality to win 6 out of last 8 games, which should be just enough for that 4th spot. COYB!!!!!
Muhammad Amin Azman, Malaysia  (3/31/07)

Oh dear... best laid plans and all that, eh, Muhammad? Those bloody Kopite twats, ya just can't rely on them... Nevermind ? as they say, if my aunt had balls, she'd be my uncle! ? Michael

Kenwright money

Michael, your reply to a fairly innocuous statement about Bill K's right to earn a crust seemed a bit one sided. If there is no 'recorded evidence' that he has put money in, that doesn't mean to say he hasn't either.

You acknowledge that he paid Spud Man off,but seem a bit dismissive because the club didn't see that money; as though that meant Bill had not done enough.

I accept the point about potential share benefits, but these can only be realised if the club is sold on and the buyer accepts the finacial worth you indicate. In the meantime you forgot to mention that Bill has to underwrite the club's debts.
Steve Guy, Harrogate  (31/3/07)

Sorry, Steve, we don't do 'innocuous'. What you wrote reflects a perception that the Directors do (or should) put money into the club. In the case of Everton, my understanding is that this is not the case. They (but not Wyness!) put their money into buying shares in Everton, which is not the same thing at all.

Then you call me 'dissmissive' (What's with all these long words?). Bill did what he could, buying up something like a third of Johnson's shares, which was all he could muster personally. It did the job (with the help of the Greggs and True Blue Holdings), getting control of the club back into true blue hands. But at no time in that process did he put any money into the club.

Not content to persist with this misconception, you then throw in another one with your last statement, which I also believe is totally wrong. Bill Kenwright does not underwrite the Club's debts. Everton became a private limited company back in the 19th Century (as part of the move to what would become Goodison Park); the 'limited' bit refers to limiting the liability of the company officers, including the directors. Bill Kenwright mortgaged everything he had to buy his Everton shares. I don't think he has the collateral (£50M?) to underwrite Everton's debts. — Michael

Bill exposure

Unlike a lot of Mailbaggers, I`m actually looking forward to our Leader`s forthcoming TV appearances. It will give all Evertonians the chance to see him for the smarmy self-serving git he has become! Tell me, after just one show, if you`d even consider buying a used car from him let alone a football club!
Alan Fieldhouse, Thornton  (31/3/07)

Now... behave!

Politician is as politician does

Steve McBride: surely you must have twigged by now he's a politician doing what a politician does, trying to be all things to all voters and, with the May elections coming up, is keen to make a showing. They are all the same these men in suits, public sector (pols) or private sector (bosses/moneymen), if they told me it was Wednesday, I would check to see if it wasn't Tuesday or Thursday.

They all are, as used to be said of a certain class of women...'no better than they should be'...I never quite understood that one deepdown, but knew it wasn't good. While I am running with the anology, Mrs Boswell said it best (but mistakenly) of Lilo Lil: 'she is a tart!!' No doubt that certain councillors and football club chairmen might be thought as such and mentioned in the same breath as 'all fur coat and no knickers'.

The Russians have a proverb: 'A politician, some one who promises to build you a bridge where there isn't a river'. Here endeth the rant against politicians and capitalists. Although it was fine to get it off my chest, why are you surprised at the behavior of either? (rhetorical)
Derek Thomas, Torbay, Auckland  (31/3/07)

April Fool

It's hard to believe that it's been three years since the end-of-season debacle that culminated in a 5-1 thrashing at the hands of Man City. A brief flirtation with European football, some dire performances along the way and some much needed optimism this season as we approach probably the most important week in our effort to cement a position in the scramble for a Uefa Cup place for next season.

Casting my mind back to the spring of 2004, I remember the frustrating fading embers of Wayne Rooney's 50-game Everton career, an angry young man living with the prospect of new found fortunes in the promised land of Wilmslow, Carrington and Old Trafford. Wazza needed the profile to go with his new found fame and scintilating talent, trophy local girlfriend in tow, it was too much to expect any loyalty to his mentors and those who had idolised him and treated him as one of their own.

Fast forward three years and the anger remains, more obvious and more sinister in its persona from the swagger and enthusiasm that inspired Rooney's early days. Now at 21, some would argue that Rooney is continuing to develop and most of his problems are borne out of frustration from the will to succeed.

My assessment would be that he is struggling with the pressure of the monster that has been created, being mercked by Rio, the plush Cheshire pile and baby Bentley, and celebrity 21st birthday parties for Colleen do not disguise the fact that he's not actually Man United's No 1 man and Cristiano is pulling all the strings.

It would have been hard to envisage life without Rooney after witnessing another below-par performance against Wolves yet, three years on, somehow I feel optimistic, there's reasons to be cheerful and life without Wayne Rooney ain't that bad at all.
Peter Laing, Liverpool  (1/4/07)

Er... it's still March!

re: Kenwright

Is it possible to have a vote of confidence in our leader as once again he's proved to be a liar. How can he be searching for investment 24-7 while not even going to the games? Much as I don't want Kirkby, I feel this is not just about that. Every week it seems there is more doubt about his integrity and ability...
Roy Coyne, Old Swan  (30/3/07)

"Vote of confidence" ? hahaha... Friday Night is Joke Night in the ToffeeWeb Mailbag!

Billy holds all the ollies ? well, most of them. There is no will or inclination among the vast throng who believe in him and his Bluer-than-Blue credentials to subject him to such a humiliation. And on what basis woould it be accomplished? In an EGM, perhaps? So what provides the voting power? That's right: share ownership. He is untouchable. ? Michael

Turn it up Bill....

Gareth, How do you make your living? Don't worry, I am not looking for an answer; simply to point out that, as much as you might dislike it, luvvie land is where Bill makes his. So appearing on TV and making his money, which he then typically ploughs back into Everton, seems fair enough to me.
Steve Guy, Harrogate  (30/3./07)

Steve, I was doing Okay with that thought until the somewhat questionable phrase: "... his money, which he then typically ploughs back into Everton" leapt out at me. Excuse my incredulity but... Ugh?!?

There is no recorded evidence that Blue Bill has ploughed back one red cent (oops!) into the Club's coffers, at least since he was a nipper paying a shilling for entry to the Boy's Pen. Yes, Bill paid over a substantial wad of his (and others') money to purchase Everton shares... but no money from that substantial transaction ended up in the club ? it was all troused by one Agent Peter Johnson.

And get this (cos this is really what "investment" is all about): when Bill bought those shares, for £857 each, the Club was thus valued at £30M. We just read today that the club is now worth £84M, supposedly. A share price of £2,400 represents a 280% increase in value over these past 7 years... that's one hell of a rate of return!!! And who stands to benefit when those shares are cashed in? The Club? Or Bill Kenwright? (and Robert Earl...)

ps: Does anyone have any recent knowledge of EFC share sales by private treaty? And was the price anything like £2,400? ? Michael

My location

Actually, on the night in question, I was at home reading my Blue Bible hoping that one day I will be able to add another chapter to this club's long and distinquished history!
David Nugent, Deepdale  (30/3/07)

Thanks, Dave... How's Claire? I hope you were able to... warm her up, so to speak!

RE: Nugent

In responce to Paul Ferriday regarding Nugent's whereabouts on Saturday.... Well, trust me kidda, he was with Claire Sweeney and I was pissed as a fart in a pedalo on Sevvie Park boating lake. Hope that clears things up.

ps: Claire was wearing a touch of Channel No 5 and a pair of shinpads.
Simon Temme, Bristol  (30/3/07)

Is that all (she was wearing)? You lucky dog...

What are we worth LCC?

The story about Walton traders in tonight's Echo may go some way to explain my earlier post about the worth of EFC to a local economy and a reason why we are being courted by KBC. In my opinion, it also explains why the 'perspective' of LCC wanting us out because BK has 'annoyed' them is absolute tosh.
Steve McBride, Liverpool  (30/3/07)

Turn it up, Bill...

Bill Kenwright is apparently fretting that he may miss some Everton games between now and the end of the season courtesy of his appearance on a Saturady night TV show on BBC1 that he is appearing on as a judge.

Bill is hoping that some Everton games will be on Sky between now and the end of the season so he can still attend them. What all this shows is that when faced with the choice of attending ALL Everton's games in the vital Premiership run-in or plugging a musical which he will produce via a reality TV show (and getting his grinning Toby on primetime telly in the process), he chooses the latter.

Some of us have said it before and I'll say it again now; Kenwright is a faker, always has been, always will be.
Gareth Hughes, Liverpool  (30/3/07)

A faker? Or a fakir? I like the Hindu definition: an ascetic mendicant, especially one who performs feats of endurance or apparent magic! — Michael

What a sorry tale!

I trust Peter Jones didn`t give his real name in his recent letter otherwise he`ll be getting a visit from the City Thought Police just as I did a couple of years ago! The fact is our city fathers couldn`t give a stuff for Everton or that other lot ? only for their own hides at election time!

Like a lot of other Blues, I think Kirby is a done deal because it suits Kenwright and his buddy at Tesco ? so it`s fuck Liverpool (the City) ? and Everton get fucked in the process!
Gareth Childs, Liverpool  (30/3/07)

Shandy van der Meyde

Althogh me and most supporters want Andy van der Meyde to succeed at Everton I don't think it will ever happen. He does not fit the bill as a Moyes type of player. He seems lazy, not commited and very individualistic. In my opinion, he still has not adapted to the English game. 14 games is not enough for a foreign player to get used to the pace of the game. He seems to lose the ball quite a lot and misplaces his passes. He is terribly unfit and has not completed a season in 3-4 years.

I think he does want to become a success but has to get act together. You have to earn your place in a team by playing regularly and being fully fit. You cannot just say you are fit and then only last an hour. We have seen flashes of ability but it is not enough. When he starts showing this on a rugular basis I don't know.

If it was up to me I would keep him for another year because of our small squad and hopefully he would get a proper pre-season. But if the money came I would not object to selling him.
Connor Rohrer, Toxteth, Liverpool  (30/3/07)

You`ve been had!

The Everton fan who `had a drink` with David Nugent on Saturday has certainly `been had`. I spoke to Nugent at Manchester Airport on his return from Spain and he assured me he was with the England party all weekend!
Paul Ferriday, Manchester  (30/3/07)

Oh No! Dear god... not again!! Please!!!

And, just because he's pissing me off...

Just to lower the level of 'debate'.. because I'm absolutely fucked off with every one playing with our emotions and generally because I feel like it...

Warren Bradley wants us to believe something that may not actually mean anything, so here's right back at you. Suddenly (since KBC!), we are constantly informed that WB is an EFC season ticket holder, 'people who know me and how passionate I am about the city and Everton FC...' (Look at me with my scarf on...)

He's so passionate about EFC that he doesn't mention them on his profile on the council website where it says 'A keen cyclist, his passions include Music, Theatre and running a junior football team...'.

As passionate Blues, which the debate(s) generally shows we are, how many 'passions' would you mention before 'Evertonian' cropped up, none, one, four? Just being pedantic I know, but fuck it!
Steve McBride, Liverpool  (30/3/07)

Kenwright`s betrayal

Whilst Warren Bradley is the new `Man we all love to hate`, there is little doubt in my mind that Kenwright`s failure to forward the KD project is the biggest single act of betrayal in Everton`s history.

That any chairman could put personal interests totally above the well-being and future of our great club paints him as a control freak and egotist of the worst kind. Only now can we see the significance of his action which will remain a stain on his tenure forever.
Harry Meek, Worcester  (30/3/07)

I know we are supposed to "move on" but I absolutely agree with you, Harry. Of course nothing can be done to change things now but it should be a salutory lesson for those who are advocating that we trust Kenwright and the current Board to do "what's best for the club". — Michael

(Nearly) All satis with Moyes

As Chair of the Everton Group at our college, I thought readers might me interested in our thinking at the present time. At our Spring meeting, attended by 63 members ? the best attendance for 5 years ? no less than 93% registered satisfaction with manager Moyes. This is 20% more than ever previously recorded!

In our other major poll, on a new stadium, 57% supported a move to Kirkby, 26% opposed it whilst the remaining 17% either registered `no view`or wrote `remain at Goodison` on the voting paper.(It should be noted that virtually all our students come from `outside` the City.)

Andy Johnson narrowly won our `Player of the Season` award from Mikel Arteta with the pair claiming 96% of the votes.

On a very positive note,96% also registered their belief that Everton will finish this season with European qualification.

My colleague Gwendolene Simmons has promised to supply details of the more louche polls she conducted after the meeting!
Sean Fellows, Ormskirk  (30/3/07)

The Students have Spoken! — Michael

Nice one Derek

Thank you, Derek Thomas. I'm stuck out here in Libya and it's the first laugh I've had in a month. Spot on.
Michael Coffey, Tripoli  (30/3/07)

Sorry Matt Traynor, missed a bit ? perspective

From what you say, Peter Jones's perspective is basically the same as yours, the LFC contingent didn't want to help us and because BK pissed off the Blue contingent they don't want to help us either?

Well, besides confirming what I was saying, WB/LCC spin, it also underlines how unfit WB and his boys are to run this city.

If 'they' feel that a 'cock up' by BK on a site they were always going to get plenty of takers for (6 options was it?) is justification for 'forcing' EFC, a major source of revenue, out of the city boundaries and potentially signalling the degeneration of the Walton community then, let's vote them out in May.

My perspective? 'What a load of bollocks'. Spitting their dummy out as a 'reason' doesn't cut it with me. This council has a track record of neglect and fuck-ups ? ask the people on the Gillmoss and Boot estates, the people putting Capital of Culture together. This to me just highlights the quality of the people running our city ? no hidden agenda, just incompetence, Red or Blue.
Steve McBride, Liverpool  (30/3/07)

Everton in 21st place

Well, when I read in the Soccernet webpage that Everton is valued at 84million pounds and ranked 21st out of the whole clubs in the WORLD, it just makes me wonder why on earth it is soo damn difficult to get any investors in.

The ranking (the valuation was done by Forbes Business Magazine by the way):

  1. Man Utd £740M
  2. Real Madrid £528M
  3. Arsenal £466M
  4. Bayern Munich £427M
  5. AC Milan £420M
  6. Juventus £289M
  7. Inter Milan £282M
  8. Chelsea £274M
  9. Barcelona £273M
  10. Schalke 04 £240M
  11. Liverpool £231M
  12. Lyon £175M
  13. Newcastle £132M
  14. Tottenham £124M
  15. Roma £114M
  16. Hamburg £112M
  17. Man City £106M
  18. B Dortmund £101M
  19. Ajax £100M
  20. Celtic £94M
  21. Everton £84M
  22. Marseille £80M
  23. West Ham £79M
  24. Rangers £75M
  25. Aston Villa £71M

Azlan Deniel, Malaysia  (30/3/07)

Nugent's Contract...

In response to Chris Robinsons' queries about David Nugent's' Preston North End Contract....

He has another full season to run on his current contract at North End, but Chairman Derek Shaw and Manager Paul Simpson are trying to get him to sign a new 4 year contract worth 15 Grand a week. Personally I don't think Preston can afford this type of wage package if they stay in the Championship and are simply relying on promotion to the Premiership or the knowledge they can sell up in the summer without any backlash from the fans. (No-one here would begrudge him a move to the Prem).

Preston will fight tooth and nail for every penny they can get as they have to pay a 20% sell-on clause to Bury (as well as the 45 grand for his first England cap and goal). But the word 'round here is that he'll wait 'til the summer to decide his future. If Preston get promoted he'll commit to them for the following season at least; if not, he'll try for a move to the Premiership, ideally to Everton.
Ryan Jones, Preston  (30/3/07)

Reply to Matt Traynor

Firstly Matt, the whole point of my post, and particularly the last 'question', was how people (fans) pick up on comments, that are not categorically stated, in the belief that the 'spinner' is actually promising or confirming something which they then take as gospel.

When approached in the past about the park Bradley did not say 'yes'; more importantly he didn't say 'no' either, which led some fans to interpret this, as posts to this site will testify, which you no doubt read, as being a firm option. So the whole point being, unless you see statements like 'can', 'will', then don't get caught up in the spin which, by the way, is not reading between the lines it's actually reading them.

Thank you also for confirming that LCC was against us over KD which counters the argument about how they 'helped' us in the past. BK's failure to capitalise on a 'forced' situation, is as you say, water under the bridge.

Just a thought, have the members of the council 'decision' makers changed dramatically enough since KD for us to assume they would actively have being doing something for us in the meantime? The current situation suggests not, but that would be reading between the lines.
Steve McBride, Liverpool  (30/3/07)

The leaving of Liverpool

As an expat who has not lived in Liverpool since the early Eighties, it saddens me to see what our once-great club has become. We are and always should be the first club in Liverpool, not Knowsley but Liverpool, but the way this current Board are going, all that prestige and heritage seem to count for nothing.

Now I can see the need for a new stadium, as the Old Lady where I have shared so many great times is ageing by the decay. Me dad visited Liverpool last year and got corporate tickets, and he says he was stuck in a marquee tent, and as much as he enjoyed it, the fact is, how can you wish to atract investment when you can only house them in a tent?

Which now leads me to today's Board, which the word inept does not come close when describing these dickheads. Blue Bill is a joke of a chairman who is dragging this great club down a path that I think no Evertonian wants to go down. But who's going to replace him? I have no idea, but I have read about the fans taking an interest in this proud club, and I for one would be proud to say that I'd invested and had a say in what we are doing in the future.

As for this weekend's match against the villian's, cooooooooommmmmmmmeeeeeeee ooooooooonnnnnnnnn yyyyyyyooooooooouuuuuuuuuu bllllllllueeeeeeeesssssss as I for one shall be sitting in front of the telly at some crazy time of the morning!
Gary Lawler, Australia  (30/3/07)

Who's Spinning Who?

Firstly, Steve McBride (Liverpool or London version?) take a look at Peter Jones? contribution of 29/03/07. If you must try to read between the lines then at least do so with some degree of perspective. Walton Hall Park was never ?ours? but was the reactionary suggestion from some quarters in response to Liverpool getting Stanley Park. And I agree with Bradley on this ? it should never have happened.

Cast your minds back to the King?s Dock fiasco, if you can bear to. LCC was run by Liverpool season-ticket holders, and were dead set on anyone but Everton getting their hands on the KD site. If it weren?t for a couple of Councillors and consultants (we were Blues through and through) who saw what an abuse of position that was, pointed out the legal ramifications, and quoted planning legislation which if forced could?ve tied up their Stanley Park scheme in knots for years, they may well have got their wish.

Instead, from being ?7th out of six bids?, we got preferred bidder status. As one of the consultants who worked my nads off trying to secure that site, it became all too apparent too quickly that Kenwright was out of his depth. I have nothing against him as a person, I just don?t think he?s the right man as Chairman. He has blocked investment ? because it wasn?t on his terms and allowed him to retain control. Granted the Gregg ?reverse mortgage? wasn?t probably in the best interests of EFC (but how many of us would have taken it with the benefit of hindsight to get that stadium?). I was incredulous at the last AGM when the Fortress debacle was raised ? and he just laughed it off. It was his fucking ?idea? in the first place as a defence against Gregg!

I know this is all water under the bridge now, but the business case for KD as a multi-use stadium (something Wyness has categorically stated they are not looking at doing anymore) would have opened up revenue streams that only Chelsea (because of the Oligarch) and Man Utd could rival. Wherever we end up, it?ll always be second (or third or worse) best.

Thanks Bill. You?ve secured your legacy in the annals of our club?s great history. Oh and Peter, LCC weren?t the only people he pissed off?
Matt Traynor, Singapore  (30/3/07)

Reply to Ray Mia

I think you miss the point. We were here first. Do you really want to surrender the city of Liverpool to LFC?? Do you not work with reds? Do you not sit in the pub with them? Everton leaving Liverpool is music to their ears. They love the thought of us moving to Kirkby.

Ask yourself why we are even condidering such a move. This is Kenwright's dream. He seems to think there's an investor out there who will plough untold millions into the club while still giving him full control. Think again! Even David Moores realised he had to give up control for the greater good. The Kirkby deal allows Bill to keep hold of the reigns while Tesco build us a ground in the middle of nowhere. To him, it's the answer to all his prayers.

To those in favour, think back a few weeks to the banner the Kopites had at the derby: "One team, one name, one city - Liverpool." I suggest all you Ray Mia's out there, read that banner & then go & fuck yourselves because you are obviously not real Evertonians.
Gary Hughes, Anfield  (30/3/07)

You're new here, are you, Gary? Some interesting thoughts there... but you kinda blew your wad at the end there. One of the things you accept if you are going to read the mailbag is the fact that you are going to see a lot of diverse views from Evertonians with differing perceptions on any issue you care to name. That's the shocker: not all Evertonians think like YOU.

Respect, please. We are all Evertonians, no matter what we think. — Michael

Our Friends in the North

Apropos to very little else, it was nice to see we have at least one fan in The 'Gow. Bruce Mair, a big hello to you, and if you know Wee Stevie Reilly, pass on my regards!

Seriously, it just goes to show that we are more than just "A Small Club" when you look at the diverse collection of addresses the e.mails on here come from.
Tom Edwards, York  (30/3/07)

Ingerlund, Ingerlund

I've never been a fan of Steve McClaren or England for that matter as (apart from the World Cup) I prefer domestic football every time. owever, as I watched the England v Andorra game in Barcelona, I realised I was witnessing the birth of a new type of football fan. As the Sky cameras moved in on the crowd, the vitriol that poured down from the terraces was scary ? and this was before the match began! But I swear, the average age of the supporters seemed to be 15-16 years old, and the kids don't officially break for Easter 'til next week.

I remember quite vividly, the cushions raining down from the Main Stand in Goodison Road during the Billy Bingham reign after yet another inept display, but last night was altogether more ugly and a little sinister. The crowd wanted blood from the outset, no matter what the result. Clearly the 'make-up' of the average Ingerlund supporter has changed dramatically in the last 10 years as travel across Europe and other far flung corners of the Earth is now easily accessible for those with plenty of disposable income to play around with.

Contrast that behaviour with that of our own set of supporters where, by and large, we have been served up absolute drivel in football terms since the mid-nineties and yet, apart from a robust chorus of booing (a la Spurs game), that's as bad as it gets generally speaking. I've often wondered why large tracts of the football population 'get off' on following England, an awfully large proportion are nausiatingly jingoistic (Rule Brittania, anyone?). Although the FA have tried in recent years to try and eradicate this factor, my guess is the moron's who follow the national team still expect to thrash Johnny Foreigner every time we play abroad.

As for myself, I still prefer moaning about the 'ginger one' and trying to evaluate just how far we have progressed under his stewardship or there again wondering how far we 'should' have progressed had he been just a little more adventurous with his team selection and tatics... Pass me that cushion!
Steve Hogan, Chester  (29/3/07)

Well said!

Here was I making notes all over the Echo last night pondering a brilliant respose to Warren Bradley's 'statement'. Then along comes Steve McBride and says it all off the top of his head!

Well said, Steve. As I said in one of my posts a couple of weeks ago after another of Mr Bradley's missives.... Mischief, Mr Bradley, pure mischief!!Muddying the waters isn't going to get us anywhere. Don't confuse your roles as a politician and an Evertonian... Oil and Water don't mix.
Eileen Roberts, Runcorn  (29/3/07)

That's a good call, Eileen: I think he jhas tried to blur the clear line separating the two... and failed miserably. — Michael

Andy van der Gone

Due to the latest blurb on the Official Website, I think it's safe to assume Andy's gone in the summer. I'm a bit gutted that he hasn't been able to give us a dose of flair consistently but now he's had too many chances. I'd be happy for us to compliment the possible signings of Nugent and Fernandes in the summer with an old-timer who can give us a bit of creativity, like Okocha and Djorkaeff did for Bolton. Saying that, I just bloody hope we can get the two I mentioned earlier.
Nick Harrison, Liverpool  (29/3/07)

Van der Meyde... again

Even though the guy can't keep his mouth shut, it seems he was correct with this outburst, as Moyes came out and ackowledged that it wasn't his fitness that stopped him from playing, and that he chose the best team for the job. If VdM isn't even on the bench, that must be a massive sign he is out in the summer. Moyes didn't even confirm the reason he didn't make the squad.

Its a shame IMO, because I have a belief in VdM that he will be a quality winger for us if given the chance. He has made stupid mistakes and had bad luck, but you cannot blame injury as being his fault. I just wish there was some clear reason why he doesn't figure for Moyes.
Martin Roberts, Merseyside  (29/3/07)

He's obviously not committed in the way that Moyes wants his players to be committed ? just compare him with Lee Carsely. There's a reasonm certain players turn out to be "injury-prone" ? and it ain't because they're really as tough as nails! He's your classic football charlatan... Get Rid! — Michael

Van der Meyde

If the comments that Van der Meyde has made turn out to be true (which given the number of times he seems to voice his own opinions looks pretty likely), I would sooner have Brett Angel back in the side than see him in the squad.

As John Holmes said, we have really given this average player enough time and support and he has failed to deliver. It's nearly 2 years now and he hasn't showed half enough promise as we the fans have showed him. The fact we beat Arsenal without him should have been good enough reason to keep him quiet and with that more incentive to get back in the squad. It's time he goes to pastures new. I hope and think, we've seen the last of this troublemaker.
Charlie Gofton, Liverpool  (29/3/07)

Nugent

Seeing all this talk of prices for Nugent, firstly is a bit silly as none of us are members of the Preston board... but I was hoping someone would clear this one up for me: As far as I am aware Nugent, is out of contract come the summer. Now with his age I thought that clubs can sign players (a la Bosman) but compensation is due, due to him being under 24, dependent on a number of factors (including how long the player has been at the club). I was also under the impression that it was an outside panel which set these fees? Am I totally wrong there??
Dave Turner, Edinburgh, Scotland  (29/3/07)

'Big Ears' Absence

Gazza the Great Ears was apparenly having to host the Beeb's coverage of England's game against Andorra. He made his apologies about that on the website a few weeks ago. Perhaps he could otherwise have put in a half for both sides!
Chris Robinson, Surrey  (29/3/07)

Goodison, Kirby or share

I'm not sure where this is going and where the implied logic is. I was lucky enough to be at Goodison Park to watch us roll Arsenal. It's a long journey from Aussie and it was fully worth it. The atmosphere was brilliant.

1st question: Which ground option will create the same kind of atmosphere as Goodison Park? (my view - totally owned by the Blues)

2nd Question: Is Everton a part of the city of Liverpool? (my view is "yes")

3rd question: Are you prepared to allow Liverpool FC to push Everton out from our home? (My view is "NO!")

Now it is time to have some balls. In the long term it will pay off to go it alone. There are ways and means to find the money to do this. Don't go the way of our American neighbours, Liverpool FC.
Bob Parrington, Adelaide, Australia  (29/3/07)

Some answers:

  1. Everton cannot afford to totally own any new stadium. They will have to have some sort of partnering/leasing agreement with somebody.

  2. Of course Everton is part of the City of Liverpool. The district will remain so; but the club doesn't actually play in Everton, and is considering playing somewhere else that is outside the City of Liverpool.

  3. Liverpool FC are not pushing Everton out. We would be chosing to go... or stay.
And are you saying we should/would not accept the kind of American investment Liverpool FC have "received"? I feel confident Billy would lap up the opportunity to cash in his shares if the profit was big enough. — Michael

AJ needs help

Sorry to say that only a one-eyed Blues supporter would see Andy Johnson as the answer to England`s goal-scoring problems. Whilst I agree that AJ has done well at Everton, he is by no means a predatory finisher and Moyes should supplement the lad`s hard graft with an out-and-out goal scorer this summer.

Presuming that Beattie and McFadden will be shown the door, that will leave us with only a couple of raw kids up front and if the club are serious about Europe then a top-notch signing is a must.
Gus Tremelling, Connah`s Quay  (29/3/07)

No Nugent In The Summer.

Preston are wanting £7M for him, because Bury have a 20% sell on clause in his contract. Preston are asking for much more than Everton are willing to pay. (From a close source.)
Bob Mullens, Liverpool  (29/3/07)

The Miller`s tale

Yes, everybody up here is convinced Moyes will organise a swap ? McFadden for Miller. Blues fans shouldn`t get too excited, Kenny is of the breed of strikers who don`t score too often although his work rate is second to none. Should suit Moyes to a tee!
Bruce Mair, Lesmahagow  (29/3/07)

On their knees

My dad used to say "If" was the most useless word in the language yet none the less here goes...

IF Moyes's boys keep up the good work, said Yanks and their bank will worry they backed the wrong horse. Pressure will mount and the begging bowl IF it has not already happened, could be pointed in our direction.

IMO the financial structure of the so called New Anfield is wobbly and very much dependent on long-term playing success. Its only salvation is IF we are involved. Another old saying is, he who laughs last, laughs best.
Dick Fearon, West Australia  (29/3/07)

Dick, by all acoounts, yer blowing smoke out the wrong end of yer digerido. — Michael

Goal inflation

I bet David Nugent`s tapin goal for England just added another £2M to Preston`s price. Moyes should have snapped him up 14 months ago when he argued over the £4M fee. Now he`ll cost double that. Dithering Dave strikes again!

By the way, my mate from Wolverhampton says Kenny Miller was crap for them and makes Beattie look a worldbeater!
Neil Lomax, Malpas  (29/3/07)

Groundshare! What groundshare?

Groundsharing is not going to happen! I received a reply from Ian Ross Everton Communication guru (or something like that) regarding a question I asked him about the Period of Exclusivity.

I asked if he could confirm what the nature of the exclusivity arrangement is with Everton, Knowsley and Tesco, and what milestones have to be reached in order for the club to reach a positive decision on the new stadium.

He basically said that it is what it says it is ? an agreement that means Everton can only talk with Knowsley Bourough Council and Tesco about a new stadium development. The only milestone is if everything stacks up and the process reaches that stage, then the Board of Directors must decide whether it is the preferred option. If the Directors decide this is the way forward for Everton then they will go to the supporters (in the form of the promised ballot) to seek a mandate to move.

He added that nobody should be speaking about a groundshare while a move to Kirkby is on the table, therefore we will have to continue sucking our thumbs and bitting our nails and hoping that we get to somewhere where we can all have our say!
Matt Coulson, Manchester  (29/3/07)

Thanks for that, Matt. So the basic ommunication from the Head of Communications was that everything which has been communicated about the Period of Exclusivity is as we thought?

Interesting that he says there are no milestonses other than the final descision to pursue it or not. I guess all that 'milestone' talk in the original report was just so much padding and bullshit to keep us happy that the secret talks were moving forward. — Michael

Rumours

I am sick and tired of those papers who spread rumours about our players. Everton Football Club has seemed to be the target for the past two months. Arteta, Johnson, Anichebe and now Van der Meyde have all been rumoured to want out. It disrupts the club, players and fans and I think it should be stopped. All reporters and journalists are intersted in is stirring trouble ? they do not care about football.
Connor Rohrer, Toxteth, Liverpool  (29/3/07)

First off, don't take any of it seriously ? it's 90% speculation, heresay or just rubbish. But you confound it by throwing Van der Meyde in the list as I feel sure his case is very different from those others. You can't blame journalists in the case of Van der Meyde. If the tit had the sense to keep his gob shut, they would not be able to include direct quotes attributed to him. — Michael

Where was Big Ears?

I have just really enjoyed reading the report about the Everton ? Barcelona veterans match. I would have loved to have been there. But my big question is, Where was Lineker? Big Ears is the biggest modern link between these two geat historic clubs. A real pity, he could have plaed on both sides. I suppose he is too comfortable sitting in a London studio these days...
Trevor Powell, Wales  (29/3/07)

England

I do not think it is fair on AJ to say he is out of depth at international level. If I was England manager I would not have used him. His main asset is his pace and movement but when a defence sits very deep he cannot exploit. I think if he starts against Croatia or Russia he will show he is a good player. Those teams will come to attack so AJ will be free to run behind. Also, papers are saying he is not international class then what about Wayne Rooney? Andy was better in both games yet Rooney is international class.
Connor Rohrer, Toxteth, Liverpool  (29/3/07)

Does anyone really care? I can just about tolerate the "talk him up, knock him down" nonsense when he plays for Everton... England? Forget it. — Michael

Nugent in Manchester

Re Nugent In Manchester. I was there too and saw him and Jermaine Defoe. Jermaine was chatting to this girl buying her drinks all night, dancing with her, doing all the legwork etc. Then he took her to a restaurant treated her to a meal, called a taxi to go back to her place and just as she got in Nugent nipped in and nicked her ;-)
Eddy Elton, Liverpool  (29/3/07)

Can you get her to fess up, Sun-style, to some lascivious extra-curricula activities? We could be onto a money-spinner here. All proceeds to the Everton Collection, of course ? it is Heritage Week after all! ? Michael

Nugent Price

Great instincts. Looks like a good partner for AJ... But has Nugent blown his chance of getting his hands on a blue shirt next season? That poach last night is sure to of put £2M on to his asking price, so making him about £7M. Can't see Moyes paying that.
Craig Taylor, Leicester  (29/3/07)

Can we come along too?

I didn't stay in Liverpool, and won't be spending too much time at the stadium, wherever that is, and therefore won't venture strong opinions on this one. Just a small question, as an interested observer, regarding the groundshare option.

Has Liverpool offered this as a possible option, and if not, is putting it on the table, not a bit presumptive? Is it a bit like your previous neighbour pitching up at your newly built swanky place, once you moved onto better things, with his wife, kids and car load of possesions, and asking to move into the backroom?
Bram Oliver, Windhoek, Namibia  (29/3/07)

Liverpool have definitely NOT offered it. It was just Bradley shooting his mouth off to the Echo, nothing more. The way it got picked up by the media was astounding really. Groundsharing is a dead duck. — Michael

Van Der Meyde and Johnson

A couple of things: firstly, Johnson for England. I think it's unfair to criticise him for looking out of his depth. Johnson's strength, just like Owen's in fact, is playing on the shoulder of the last defender and getting in behind them or holding the ball up by running it on to the wings.

In neither match was there any space behind the defence for him to do that meaning his remaining strength was to take a chance should it fall his way. In both matches the only chance that fell his way was a half-chance from a header. In the Andorra game he created a couple of chances for himself but he's a player that thrives on service and like Crouch, Defoe, Owen and Rooney for the past few years he struggled because the service was non-existent.

Incidentally, could someone ask whoever was summarising for Sky to take his tongue out of Defoe's arsehole. "Best natural goalscorer" ? my arse, he can't even get in the Spurs team.

Secondly, Van der Meyde. We all want him to succeed, the reception he gets every time he steps onto the pitch speaks of the goodwill towards the guy who has unquestionably been unlucky with injuries and personal problems (with a measure of stupidity thrown in). Yet, despite all this goodwill, he seems determined to dig a grave for himself with silly little statements about Moyes's selection policy.

Someone needs to point out to him that being popular isn't enough, you have to earn your place in the side, take your opportunities when they come. For all the goodwill towards him ,he's never looked anything other than a good player working his way back to fitness (or towards the next injury) when he's been playing.

It may not be VdM's fault he keeps getting injured but it isn't Moyes's fault either and he has a team to pick to win matches. If the manager doesn't think the player is fit enough then he has the right to say that. If he isn't convinced his performances are good enough to get him in the team he has the right to leave him out.

In response, VdM should push harder in training, leave the manager no option but to include him. He shouldn't scamper off to the tabloids with pithy moans and threats to walk out and go back to Italy. Andy, understand, we want you at the club, we want to see you succeed but you have no more right to play than anyone else and certainly not those who have achieved a good measure of success in your absence.
John Holmes, York  (29/3/07)

Paul Traill

Alright, Paul, thanks for that synopsis mate ? you're a proper fan and doesn't it show. It was a good night and we nearly had a comeback to eclipse theirs over the park!!! Mark Halsey, if you reading this, what a twat you are.
Steve Lyth, Ellesmere Port  (29/3/07)

This makes me mad!

Why are Liverpool City Council approaching Liverpool FC about a groundshare request all over again? Don't these people listen?

EVERTON DO NOT WANT TO GROUNDSHARE!!

Hang on I will shout a little louder..........

EVERTON DO NOT WANT TO GROUNDSHARE!!

It makes me sooooo mad.
Brian Baker, Aldershot  (29/3/07)

And while you're at it...
LIVERPOOL DO NOT WANT TO GROUNDSHARE!!

Match Report ? nice one Paul

Well done, Paul, you jammy bastard, great report mate. I enjoyed it too. (Hope you still paid a tenner!)

I'm sure we won the 'weigh in' anyway (ale guts in abundance for the Toffs). Good to see some things never change, Beagrie taking them all on then losing the ball, Snod taking no prisoners, Winker leading by example. Ah,I remember it well!

Was a shame about the attendance, noticibly in the Upper Bullens 'cash' section.

Never mind, every little helps!
Steve McBride, Liverpool  (29/3/07)

King`s Dock left bad taste

As an employee of the City Council, I can tell you quite categorically that my masters will be delighted when Everton piss off to Kirkby ? as they surely will!

All the Leader`s recent soundbites are just that ?meant to appease those Evertonians who will be called to the polls in May. The truth is that Kenwright`s failure to carry through the King`s Dock proposal seriously pissed off some very important people ? many of them of blue persuasion ? and as long as he`s in charge the Club will get nowt from `City Hall`.
Peter Jones, Liverpool  (29/3/07)

Tesco tenancy for me!

Let`s face it, the only way we could ever share the New Anfield Stadium is as tenants of Liverpool FC. With hardly a pot to piss in, Kenwright & Co would be hard-pressed to find the down-payment on sharing the building costs so, given the choice, I suspect all Evertonians would rather be tenants of Tesco (or even Aldi!) than be subservient to the Reds.

If ever a suggestion was aimed at making us glad to be going to Kirkby, it`s groundsharing. I wonder how much Bill had to pay Bradley to come out with that old chestnut?
Mike Sewell, Old Swan  (29/3/07)

Kenny Miller

Dunno if you guys have heard this but up here Moyes is apparently keen on signing Kenny Miller from Celtic at the end of the season. He's not wanted at Celtic anymore (I'm sure he's only scored 4 goals since signing). I really hope this is not true at all. He's quick but the guy couldn't trap a bag of cement.
Ross Trotter, Scotland  (29/3/07)

Ground 'Share'

Michael, I'm not disputing that shared stadia are more economical, but my point is that when you need 'investors', which EFC would be to LFC, to create something you can't afford on your own then fine, nothing to lose, the benefits outweigh the negatives, but when you don't need the investment and your part of the 'business' is likely to attract 2 or 3 three times the revenue of your 'partner' why would you surrender half?

You can pay off a loan over time but you surrender up to 50% of potential revenue for ever.
Steve McBride, Liverpool  (29/3/07)

How can you

Oh plese, not out with the begging bowl again, we've been slapped off by Liverpool more times than I can remember, have we no shame?

At least let them ask this time. I for one am dead against the Kirkby option, but I'd rather play in Patagonia than share with Liverpool. We have our identity sometimes that's all we've had, the badge, the shirt, the ground, the Everton experience if you like which are part of the City of Liverpool ? don't take that away from me.

It may not work if you take it outside the city or share with them, it's just too big a risk. I know we have to move, I don't want to but we have to stay within the City in our own castle (stadium). I'm off to hide while the pro groundshares embarrass me again.
Rich Jones, Deeside  (29/3/07)

choose.

Well done, Warren Bradley, the mention of a possible ground share should take the "Will We Won't we?" debate, to a higher level.
Norman Merrill, Everton  (29/3/07)

Lesser of two evils Vs Hobsons choice

This stadium share thing shows that some people would even contemplate the unthinkable (I could even be persuaded if only for the fact that it would annoy the living shit out of a large number of rednozes).

I hate to say it but it seems to tick a lot of the boxes (financial). But in reality is only another cat flung into the bag that is the blue opinion/bitch fight... See, what ever we try to give them they argue... and ever onwards it rolls!!
Derek Thomas, Torbay, Auckland  (29/3/07)

RE: Seating at Goodison

Not sure if it's too late to share, but I once purchased a ticket online for Upper Bullen, was given choices of "obstructed view" or , I chose the latter. And guess what, fucking big pillar block my view of the D area at the Gwlady Street end.
Daniel Lim, Malaysia  (29/3/07)

Without looking it up (because I can't be arsed) the definition they use for "obstructed view" is that part of one of the goals is obstructed by said fucking big pillar block, or similar. If it's just bloocking a bit of teh pitch, then, sorry ? it doesn't count! — Michael

Nugent

I was in a bar last night in Manchester, I think I may have been talking to David Nugent.....
Steve Claringbold, Carlisle  (29/3/07)

Oh no... not again! Did he score???

Wheels within Wheels, Part 3

It is not because it makes economic sense that Michael and others doubt a groundshare. Their common sense reason is that Liverpool's plans are too far developed.

Since when did common sense override economic sense, particularly where a buck is concerned? As I have previously said, I doubt Tesco would be averse to investing in a shopping precinct on a Goodison site with an adjacent huge parking area plus an influx of 50,000 or so extra potential customers every week rather than every other week. In light of the World Cup bid, the city council and federal government could contribute toward additional infrastructure.

Something along the lines of a shared German stadium that changes colour whichever club is at home would assuage the feeleings of many fans though probably not the real diehards.
Dick Fearon, West Australia  (29/3/07)

Ground share

Ok were desperate so let's share with our rich friends in their new playground... this not only gets Bill out of a jam, it gives us a financial leg up towards catching them up. So, bearing this in mind, if the situation was in reverse would you want to help them? NO, well neither will they. So why embarrass ourselves taking the begging bowl across the park?
Roy Coyne, Old Swan  (28/3/07)

AJ Blows His Chances.

Was it me or did Andy Johnson look out of his depth at International level? Over the two games he barely created a chance and we didn't see any of the constant running into dangerous areas that he does so well for Everton.

Not that I particulary care, he's plenty good enough for Everton and that's the main thing. I just hope AJ isn't disappointed because his International career may never get another chance like these two games should have been.

Let's blame McClaren; David Moyes knows exactly how to get the best out of AJ.
Paul Atress, Liverpool  (28/3/07)

On Topic?

The only argument for sharing is the "apparent" economic sense? Sharing of stadia, sharing of costs, why not the sharing of players too...? all equally ridiculous notions IMO when levelled at this ridiculously impractical past-time/passion of ours. What is the economic sense in diluting your identity...? That imponderable yet truly priceless asset, that at times has been the only thing us Evertonians have had to hold onto. Groundshare nearly destroyed Charlton (Bring back my Valley to me?), and it DID destroy Wimbledon... at the time though it made perfect economic sense though, so that must be alright!
Tom Hughes, North Sea  (28/3/07)

Well, Tom, the difference is this, and I'll try to explain it slowly so you can follow along. Sharing players is not only stupid and ridiculous: it's not allowed under the rules of football. Whereas sharing of stadiums (however much you and I may personally dislike it) is allowed, has been done, is being done. So we have one utterly ridiculous and impossible idea placed in the same bin as a concept that does not contravene the rules of football and is allowable, and has been tried by some. It may be a very bad idea, but it is not in any way comparable to the ridiculous, idiotic, illegal concept of sharing players. Do you get that bit? Coz that was my point. ? Michael

Blues and Reds Unite ? Ha Ha Ha

I thought we had been down the groundshare road once before. Most Liverpool supporters I know would sooner share a jail cell with Jeffrey Dalmner than share a ground with Everton FC. Do you honestly think Parry and the billionaire yanks are going to bail out Bungalow Bill and Wyness because they feel sorry for us?

Those twats across the park are loving all the shit thats going on at Everton at present. So why would they share with us. If by some amazing turnaround of opinions in the Anfield boardroom they decided to say yes to a ground share, does anyone actually belive they wouldn't want us to put in half the cost? Half of £230 million. Chicken feed is that to Bill 'n' Ken ? The Empty Pot Men.

I agree with idea of sharing to stay in the city. I would rather spend the next 25 years watching footy in a ground thats not really ours in Walton than watching footy in a ground that belongs to Tesco in Kirkby. The sad truth is that if we do manage to stay within the city walls we will do so a long way from where we are now.

We Everton Football Club sat back and watched as the Anfield board submitted plans to build on Stanley Park while we sat there and sucked our thumb. Wherever we end up (for fuck's sake not Kirkby) we will all look back and think: How the fuck did we lose the Kings Dock so easily? How did we surrender so tamely to LFC and let them build a ground on our park? If it is Kirby, how the fuck did we end up out here?
Tony Marsh, Liverpool  (28/3/07)

Ground share?!?

I'm just curious as to why the general consensus (if today's mailbag is anything to go by) seems to be that to share a ground with Liverpool is preferable to "sharing" a ground with Tesco? As we don't seem to have many details concerning the ins and outs of either option, I don't see how anyone can say they prefer one to the other. For what it's worth, I'd rather not have to share with LFC, and I don't know enough about how the Tesco option is going to work (aside from the fact it's outside the city) to be able to say I prefer that either. So, along with everyone else, I don't think there's much I can do but wait and see Everton's next move...
Bob Turner, Runcorn  (28/3/07)

I don't think there is any "general concensus" ? there is if anything the usual wide divergence... but that ain't stopping people using their imaginations (in the absence of any real plans) to consider (a) what it would be like to move to an unspecified Tesco Stadium in Kirkby? or (b) what it would be like to share the New Anfield with Liverpool FC. — Michael

Has the masterplan worked then?

Threaten a move out to the sticks... then, when the natives rebel, just plant the seed of the equally unpallatable: groundshare!!!

It works in Milan so it can work for us...? Why are both these clubs actively seeking their own new stadia then? Inter recently said that their identity has been severely affected by sharing. Torino and Juventus have long since rejected their superbowl... and the Rome clubs are similarly looking elsewhere, yet Evertonians on here are clamouring for their purple-seated nirvanna?!

It can never work because: it is impossible to rationalise two identities into one stadium, the stadium is integral to that identity and is value-adding. Both clubs have to be equal partners for it to have a hope, otherwise we will simply be seen as the tenants (ask Charlton/Wimbledon fans how that was for them). The kopites would never accept this ? it is their project and has progressed far too much for us to jump aboard now. It appears to tick the finance box but so does amalgamating... anyone for that? You know it makes sense!
Tom Hughes, North Sea  (28/3/07)

Let's stay on topic, please, Tom. Almagamation is a stupid idea thrown in to confound the discussion, and it needs to be thrown straight out again. I do think you are right, however, that the LFC project has progressed too far and that there is really no serious interest in groundsharing at the levels that matter. It's an idea that makes economic sense but otherwise just gets everbodies backs up. — Michael

David Nugent

If we do buy David Nugent how will he fit in? I agree with everyone that he is a very good player but will we ever be able to get away from the 4-5-1 formation? It seems to suit us more and fits in odd players like Cahill and Carsley who can only play certain positions. Moyes has his favourite players such as Cahill, Osman and Neville who are all likely to get a game on a regular basis. So does Nugent take Cahill's place. I can't see Moyes dropping Carsley because without him we lack bite.
Connor Rohrer, Toxteth, Liverpool  (28/3/07)

I was quite surprised when I found that Carsley was our leading player in appearances this season. He has played in every game, which is really quite astounding, and a testament to the level of faith David Moyes places in him. Of course part of the skill is to injure others in preference to allowing yourself to get injured... but I wasn't going to mention that little, er, accident.

Assuming we are actually after Nugent (of which I am healthily skeptical), I think the idea would be to build a squad of good players that give the manager options for playing different formations as well as having depth of cover in each position. Perhaps if you are really curious you could run a few scenarios in FM 2007? — Michael

Ground move

Surely if Speke is an option, doesn't it make sense for the council to offer Speke to LFC and let us have Stanley Park? No traffic congestion at all. Blues Fans walk or bus it to the ground. The Liverpool fans straight off the plane and into the ground.
Colin Malone, Wirral  (28/3/07)

Hehe... Joking aside, I'm sure LCC want as many LFC fans as possible trouping through the City Centre, spending their euros copiously... — Michael

Backing a groundshare

A ground share ON THE RIGHT TERMS is by far the most practical solution to the re-location problem. I personally have no hatred for Liverpudlians although their superior record over my lifetime does irk a bit. Rather than finishing up as just another suberban Merseyside club, I`d back a half-share of a new stadium in Stanley Park every time. When can we have the poll?
Tony Senter, Childwall  (28/3/07)

Ground swell for ground share

Yes..... Let's go for the groundshare, it does keep us in Liverpool after all ? what about a Toffeeweb poll?
Simon Temme, Bristol  (28/3/07)

I think we've had one already... (okay, it was a while ago) go here and scroll down to December 2004. — Michael

Ground Share

I like the idea of ground sharing. It makes a lot of sense and Evertonians would just have to look past the rivalry and get over the sentiment and sensitivity to see the short- and long-term benefit. We share costs on the build. Ching! We build a bigger, better stadium that can hold internationals, finals, concerts etc. Ching! Impressive stadium ? new investors? Ching!

Okay, we will miss out on the Tesco involvement ? but just what exactly is the Tesco involvement? They give us collateral to build our new stadium in Kirkby for a piece of the land to build a Tesco? Perhaps we do need to move away to secure a better future... but will Kirkby and Tesco be the answer? Apart from the ins and outs of the finances, can you imagine the traffic jams when you try to get past the Fiestas, Yaris, Corsas etc. and the mums with prams doing the weekly shop... nightmare!

Oh - ground share also means that we stay in the city. That must make up for having to sit in the same seat that Rednose has sat in the week before/after...? Ground sharing works:- Inter and AC are living proof. Moving out of the city may bring in some much needed cash but it's often been a disaster for other clubs. (Boro? ? have they ever filled their stadium?)

Ground share is certainly my favourite choice.
Jamie Rowland, Liverpool  (28/3/07)

Nugent whereabouts

Paul Withe beat me to it - but I only went with the BBC match report, which also shows that Nugent wasn't on the bench.
Steve Flanagan, Liverpool  (28/3/07)

Ground 'Share'

First of all, Bradley hasn't asked for the Yanks to consider a groundshare, 'although he could see it being considered...', the original Echo article said. But before we start another 'alternative' stadium debate, ask yourselves this: the Yanks already appear to have the finance to build the increased-capacity stadium (cost = £250M), so... Why would they agree to half ownership, assuming we could cough up £125M?

You may be able to change the colour of the seats etc. but you can only name the stadium and the stands once, so why would they give up such a large revenue potential? (£20m over a few years, more?)

With non-Evertonian functions, conferences likely to be held there rather than GP(?) or, too far from City Centre for after-conference hotels and piss-up, Kirkby, why give up half to us?

The ground share IMO was only an option when they didn't have the cash to build on their own; now they have. End of. Unless of course, we were to be tenants of LFC (I can see ears emitting steam already) ? in which case, where do we sign Mr Leahy?
Steve McBride, Liverpool  (28/3/07)

Surely, without going into any detail at all, the economics of a shared facilty have to be far better for all concerned than building two new stadiums? (I'm not saying I like the idea, just accepting that it is a no-brainer economically) — Michael

Nugent

Hopefully this and this should settle the Nugent argument - he was not named as a sub against Israel and was indeed back in the UK on Sat, not in Tel Aviv.

Believe me, I have better things to do than make up stories!!
Paul Withe, Manchester  (28/3/07)

Go for it!

I`d much prefer to groundshare if the only alternative is leaving the City to our neighbours. Let`s face it, all the activity between matches is at the respective training grounds so it`s not as though players will be asked to pee in the same pot. Stanley Park and its surrounds represent our spiritual home and most of us feel we have a right to play there. Go for it, I say!
Terry Padgett, Kirkdale  (28/3/07)

Groundshare Poll by Colin Tunstall

I just hope you are alone in your desire to groundshare with them.
Tim Lloyd, Stockport  (28/3/07)

Ground Share

Before I start I just want to state I am a season ticket holder in the Lower Gwladys Street and have been for many years (the best place in the ground to sit by the way!).

The reason I state my allegiance first is because I know my opinion is one of a minority and my Evertonian credentials may be questioned (as a lot of blues have been recently on this site for various reasons).

I am all for a ground share with the gobshites!!!!

I think Everton would gain more from it than the gobshites as it would save us a fortune on the building costs etc and we wouldn't be moving far from our original homes (Anfield/Stanley Park). We could have a huge state-of-the-art stadium (75,000 capacity?) at half the cost of building our own ground and having one ground in the city would surely generate more income collectively than 2 grounds. We would not only increase the profits, we would make on our own through better corporate facilities, no restricted views, higher capacity etc. And (I hate to say it) but we could also cream some off the profits Liverpool would generate by having a bigger global profile than us.

Also, the additional profits made from non-match days such as conferences, exhibitions etc would be far greater as we wouldn't be competing against each other for the same business.

We could have a main stand each, on opposite sides, and a home end each behind the goals. If the capacity was 75,000 we could have all our season ticket holders in our own main stands and home ends and when we play at home the away fans sit in the Liverpool end behind the goal and tickets sold to non-season-ticket holders can sit in Liverpool's main stand (and vice versa when they play). All the seats could be in a neutral colour (white?) apart from the home ends behind the goals and all the clubs' administration etc could be housed in each club's own main stand.

I think it makes sense financially for us and I would love the derby games with a 75,000 capacity crowd all sat in our own seats. Surely this option has to be better than moving out of the city altogether!

I know it would be hard to accept at first but IMO we would soon get used to it. I sit here waiting to be hung, drawn and quartered for my opinion but I think it makes sense.

ps I hope there is a good turn out tonight for the Barca game. COYB
Paul Clays, Liverpool  (28/3/07)

It does make a lot of sense, Paul. But the emotional angle will be far harder for many Blues to overcome, I suspect. We've already seen that the "sensible" arguments for moving out to Kirkby have been countered by an emotionally driven backlash that seeks to preserve, possibly at the expenses of making porgress. Sadly, any decision we now make as a club is going to alienate a significant portion of our fanbase. Such is the legacy of that abysmal failure to secure the Kings Dock, which would surely have had completely the opposite effect. But for a paltry £30M and a reverse mortgage offered to us on a plate... ? Michael

Groundshare poll?

Am I alone in very much preferring to ground share with Liverpool than be hoiked up to Kirkby?Surely the seats could be a neutral white with club offices at opposite ends. What about a poll on this issue now that Bradley has resurrected the idea?
Colin Tunstall, Neston  (28/3/07)

Striker links

It seems it's silly season in paper land and inevitibly Everton are linked with every so and so. From Miller to Nugent and Mido to Keane it seems every striker is linked with us. My problem is that, no matter how many strikers we have, we need the midfielders to create chances for them and with the present squad there is not too much creativity. Only Arteta is the player that can open up a defence.

People may say Van der Meyde but why have a player who is rarely fit and can't even last 90 minutes in a reserve game? As a friend of mine says, he's the Dutch Ginola! Osman, although neat on the ball, is too weak and doesn't create much although does get in goal-scoring positions, as does Cahill. Fernandes is a defensive midfielder who is technically gifted with the ball at his feet but would play in a deeper role. That leaves Carsley and Neville (he's no full back) who are both grafters.

So instead of strengthening upfront next year (tho Nugent is far better than Beattie and I'd love to see him in a blue jersey) we need to be looking at the wide areas and taking a chance on a bit of flair instead, so the boys can pop them in up front.
Paul Henshaw, Liverpool  (28/3/07)

I can't but smile ruefully at the similarity between this discussion and that some years ago when Evertonians pleaded with David Moyes to get some decent striking power in the team. After months and months of dithering, he finally bought James Beattie... Then, after months and months of perservering with Beattie, he finally bought Andy Johnson ? supposedly as Beattie's strike-partner. So don't hold your breath. There are probably only one or two decent players allowed on the budget, and it may take our Davey some time to secure their services. — Michael

Why not Saturday?

Why didn't we arrange the game with Barca for Saturday? Would have been a good family day out. But this is Everton isn't it?
Colin Malone, Wirral  (28/3/07)

Are Liverpool playing at home? ? Michael

Moyes great with youth

One of the things I like about Moyes is his ability to bring up young talents into proper Premiership players. Remember it was at Preston under Moyes that Beckham got his career started. Moyes then brought Osman and Hibbert into the squad, saving the club at least £6-8M.

However big the talent of Wayne Rooney, it was Moyes who nurtured him into a £30M player and avoided another Cadamarteri. Yobo was only 21 when he arrived, and has grown immensely into a future captain and one of the finest centre-backs in an Everton shirt. Wouldn't be suprised if Fernandes is the one who would be pushing for an Everton permanent move. And now, Moyes has unearthed another two wonderful gems, Vaughan and Anichebe, who could become Everton future stars, not forgetting saving the club millions more.

The most interesting thing right now, is that we have a young squad with the right qualities which can push for Europe, but most importantly prima-donna-less consisting of honest players who enjoy playing under their manager. In Moyes We Trust.
Muhammad Amin Azman, Malaysia  (28/3/07)

Give Us Something Or Give It Up!

I ve seen on the BBC website that Bradley is trying to get Liverpool to reconsider on the groundshare option. Is this bloke serious? He said last week that he will somehow find us somewhere in the city for a new Everton stadium. It seems to me he is struggling and so clutching at straws by trying something that I personally would want less than a move a few miles outside of the city.

Would any one else like to see a groundshare?
Craig Taylor, Leicester  (28/3/07)

Strikers vs Full backs & Wingers

Is it just me or do Everton seem to be getting linked with every striker available? The most recent being Kenny Miller for Celtic and the obvious Nugent affair that has been dragging on for year (both of whom I would love Everton to sign).

I know it's mostly heresay but I actually think that in that department we are not too badly off with Johnson, Anichebe, Vaughan and Beattie in that order all able to offer EFC something different. Not to forget that we appear to have signed Swindon Town striker Lukas Jutkiewicz for next season.

However, the biggest problem I can see is in the full-back positions and wingers with Lescott and Phil Neville having to deputise for some time. I think we lose something when Lescott isn't in the middle and Phil Neville would actually be my No 1 right back but what if he gets injured or needs to play left back? For wingers we have Arteta, who can play anywhere including the right or left wing, and Andy van der Mystery?

All cash aside, next season two wingers, two full-backs and a holding midfielder would get us in the running for the Champions League.
Scoott Flaherty, Liverpool  (28/3/07)

RE: Seating at Goodison

I think the Upper Main Stand is great for watching the games. However, when buying the tickets ask if the view is restricted.
Gavin Harris, Little Malden  (28/3/07)

Deadwood

I have just read in the Daily Mirror that Walter Smith is to take Gary Naysmith in the summer. Link that with a previous rumour that he is to take Richard Wright in the summer as well and our small first team squad will be getting even smaller. At least Walter may be taking the deadwood off our hands...
Steve Claringbold, Carlisle  (28/3/07)

Re: Barcelona game

Thanks Steve, but I still can't find any link to the game, or tickets on the club site, only a Bracewell interview that happens to mention the game on Wednesday.

Could you forward the link on to me please, as I would quite like to go! Cheers.
Mark Creevy, Liverpool  (28/3/07)

Try the bit on this page where it says "click here for ticket details".

A Proper Job !

Just a quick point whilst I sit here for 7 hours cos they cancelled my flight. Looking through the papers and the Web it occured to me ? is there a job somewhere creating rumours for newspapers? If so, I want it 'cos it must be damm easier that what I flog myself doing! Some of the crap I see written is unbelivable, if we signed all the strikers that we are supposed to be signing what will we do with them all??? ? Zamora, Miller, SWP, Mido, Keano, Helstad, etc etc...

We've got Lukas thingy and Scott thingy (the next big hopes) Vaughany, Viktory, AJ and of course Nugent who I gather can now be in 2 places at once and has signed a contract already ? oh and of course Biffa!!! If we really are interested then Moyes needs to go back to Champ Manager and try again ? what we need is a good left back and a couple of midfield players. Sidwell for the Carsley role would be good; not sure about Reo... especially given the prima donna dressing room at De 'Ammers....

Maybe I'll write to the papers when I get back and suggest I've seen Ronaldinho in Tesco's in a Chang shirt, maybe I'll be offered that elusive job.... Oh well, back to duty free and screaming kids!!
Rog Walker, Sat at the airport in Singapore  (28/3/07)

The Reserves

Just watched the reserves vs Man Utd on Everton TV. They got beat but there were a few decent performences from the young blues. Phelan, Connor and Agard impressed. Andy van der Meyde got about 75 minutes and did alright. He was playing up front with Agard.
Connor Rohrer, Toxteth, Liverpool  (27/3/07)

Is he fit? Fantastic! He can be our saviour!!! He is surely the perfect tool with which to undo them there Villains. ? Michael

Seeing Double

I don't know where David Nugent was on Saturday but he wasn't a sub as he wasn't named in the final 16 and wasn't given a squad number. Seems like you've been drinking the same thing after all!
Steve McBride, Liverpool  (27/3/07)

The Great Nugent Debate rumbles on relentlessly...

Who ''owns'' Goodison Park

Would be intrested know if there is anybody out there with factual information.
Peter Moon, Wimslow  (27/3/07)

Goodison Park is an assest owned by Goodison Park Stadium Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Everton FC Co Ltd ? part of the Group of Companies that also includes Everton Investments Limited. According to Note 11 of the Company Accounts (2006), Tangible Fixed Assests.

The Club's premises at Goodison Park, the equipment and contents (but not including computer equipment and motor vehicles), together with the resdential properties, were revalued at £13,097,550 by John Foord & Company as at 31st May 1999.
Not sure where that gets you exactly, but I hope it helps ;) — Michael

My eyes..!

Have you guys been messing around with the type of text in the mailbag as my eyes are hurting trying to read..? Or just my ears hurting with Tom Cannon talking about the shite again this morning on the wireless.
Paul Henshaw, Liverpool  (27/3/07)

???

Barca shirts

Unfortunately the EFC/Barca shirts were not commissioned by the club but by the Trust and, with EFC being 'unable' (presumably due to contractual agreements) to support the sale through their JJB run 'franchises' (although they did advertise the merchandise on the website), they were only able to order a limited quantity for fear of being left with stock and ultimately losing profit.

The fact that the shirt also has the date of the game embroidered on it may also have been a problem with people possibly not wanting to purchase after the game.

To be fair, in Sunday's Q&A 'spot', Tony Tighe and Lord Grantchester, two of the trustees, admitted they were still learning as far as fundraising was concerned and that mistakes had been made, notably with the shirts (I know, honesty and openess from within GP!!), so any decision to produce more EFC/Barca merchandise would be theirs and not the club's. (Just thought I'd mention that before frustration is translated into, for once unjustified, attacks on Bully Beef & Co).
Steve McBride, Liverpool  (27/3/07)

Appreciated, Steve. It is hard for us plebish fans to sometimes comprehend the ridiculous commercial constraints the Club choses to operate under... ? Michael

Seeing Double

Re Paul Withe drinking with David Nugent on Saturday night - I thought it was me so I checked the FA website and David Nugent was a sub in Tel Aviv.

Either Concorde has been brought back or it was some mighty fine stuff you were drinking, Paul. Let me know what is was you were drinking please Paul - sounds like I could do with a couple of them. Barman - hic!!!
Mike Byrne, Preston  (27/3/07)

Supermarket Meditation

Asda the ongoing discussion re the proposed ground move to Kirkby where there is some n-iceland available on the cheap, there's lidl more to say. Some plots require extensive re-development, somerfields.

Anyone who is sane buries the notion of re-developing Goodison Park as there are far morrisons for re-locating.

Aldi speculation about re-development falls at the first hurdle for those of you who are truly cost co-nscious. The safeway forward is to check out Kirkby where super marketing and fine fare are potentially on offer to our loyal fanbase in a brand new stadium

If we stay at Goodison and wait, rose of obstructed seats will remain unoccupied, so let?s co-op erate with Tesco and spa-rk the regeneration that our great club deserves.

Ok, aisle get my coat!
Ray Robinson, Warrington  (27/3/07)

Ray, you're off your trolley! — Michael

Barcelona shirts

When I went to see the collection on Sunday, I was told they were all sold out. However, I think there will be some more on Wednesday or so the security staff at the Park End told me.

The Megastore don't seem to have a clue about them because I went in on Sunday to see if they had them. I was told Everton don't make those sort of shirts, and told to go to a stall outside the ground on matchdays. They must have thought I was a tourist or something.
Ben Greenwood, Rochdale  (27/3/07)

Barca etc

Having been unable to get to Arsenal game, ditto Barca, may I suggest that EFC find some way of making more EFC/Barca shirts available? My family would buy 3, & I know loads of others who would too ? probably Barca fans in Spain as well? If EFC sanctioned selling them via Megastore online now, ie, before our own new kit(s) come out, then the charity could raise extra money without harming EFC kit sales.

I think the Club (like you have been) should encourage those (eg me) who can't attend the match to donate... but I fear that Evertonians' aversion to buying merchandise etc from the Club will extend to supporting the Collection appeal. I wonder if any of the current squad have coughed up any of their wages too?

Whilst here, I'd just like to add that anybody who thinks that EFC hae gone backward under Moyes is mad & suffers from Alzheimers. Sure. we are not in the Chelsea/ Mancs league- but no one else is either, including Liveprooldespite takeovers and £100Ms wasted. We don't have a deep squad for obvious reasons, but our best 11 is better than most other sides, and how long is it (nearly two decades in fact) since we could say that?

Re Europe, Uefa Cup specifically, I do fear that it'll overstretch the squad, but to not want to be involved shows a clear lack of ambition... though I'm far from sure that moving to Kirkby or having any new stadium is a necessary condition for "moving to the next stage". Being born in Anfield, I am much in favour of trying to stay put.

I don't know why we can't attract a rich investor, but though I suspect 'share-dilution' is at the heart of it, maybe it is also because people support Everton because they do ? ie family, birthplace, conversion by fanatical mates ? not cos of current success (clearly!) nor cos it's the trendy thing to do... and long may it remain so. Maybe our 'brand' will eventually be that we are indeed the ONLY 'People's Club' in the country!

Last thought ? please EFC make some bolder statements re the racist minority that follow us (away from home most notably) as, apart from the obvious moral arguments, we don't want to miss out on having potential players & supporters avoid us due to these gits. That's it, all off my chest ? and without mentioning Beattie, oops
Dave Styles, Herts  (27/3/07)

Tom Abdy - Park End mate

Colm, despite our own preferences, mine being UGS, I found your reply to Tom Abdy not very helpful.

Tom will hopefully, in time, find the 'best' place for him to see the game but in the absence of 'experience' I would point out to Tom that the best place to avoid any sort of visual obstruction, coupled with a good atmosphere would IMO be the Park End stand. The best seats in our more dated stands tend to be already occupied.

Enjoy the game Tom.
Steve McBride, Liverpool  (27/03/07)

Each to their own, Steve! I could've easily have stated the Park End as a preference but then someone would argue against that location! Wherever he chooses, enjoy! — Colm

Diiferent Official Website?

Mark, I don't know what website you've been looking at mate but the Barca game, including date, has been advertised on the home page, as it is today, for some time. Other than the newsletter e.mailed today, the date has been clearly indicated on the previous two I have received regarding the match.

We can rightly blame EFC for many, many things but not because WE haven't looked properly.
Steve McBride, Liverpool  (27/3/07)

Agreed! - Colm

Barca Info for Alex and Tony

There will be a pay-on-the-night facility for the Upper Bullens and, although all the EFC/Barca shirts are now sold out, there will be other 'mixed' merchandise available on the night but not currently at the Megastore (probably something to do with JJB!) although I believe this is to change shortly (after we've organised their cut, no doubt. Allegedly).
Steve McBride, Liverpool  (27/3/07)

As ever, it's follow the money trail. Seems Dave Whelan and JJB are also disciples of the "Every little helps" maxim for life! ? Colm

Seating at Goodison

I'm looking for a bit of advice really... I'm going to be attending my first game at Goodison park when we play Charlton on April 15th and I was wondering if anyone could tell where the best place to get a seat would be.
Tom Abdy, Northampton  (27/3/07)

Best place to get a seat, Tom? Try the ticket office! Sorry, couldn't resist. Far be it for us to tell you where to sit as we all have our own preferences for the hallowed Goodison experience. Enjoy your first game and hopefully we'll take all three points inching us closer to European qualification. ? Colm

Nugent

Nugent wasn't on the England bench on Saturday, it was definitely him I was talking to.
Paul Withe, Manchester  (27/3/07)

"I'm David Nugent!" ? Spartacus

Nugent IS a Blue

Nugent's definitely an Evertonian. My auntie is his auntie, and his whole family are Evertonians. His bedroom was on Granada News, and it's covered in Everton gear.
Steve Simons, Huyton  (27/03/07)

Have you seen his Audi though?! - Colm

Sign AJ

Best signing Everton can make in the next couple of months is AJ again. Give him a bumper long-term contract and stop these stupid rumours once and for all. He said he would sign for life - Bloody do it Moyes, Wynnes, Kenwright...
Craig Taylor, Leicester  (27/3/07)

I reckon all parties will enter into a period of exclusivity and in time to come all will be revealed! ? Colm

Lack of information

Can I just say thanks to the folks at ToffeeWeb for letting us know what day the Everton-Barca game is. I couldn't find a thing on the club website, and even the e.mail the club sent out informing fans of the game lets us know it's this week at 7:30pm, but not the day!

I'm sure they'll be scratching their heads as to why only 22k turned up, come Thursday morning.
Mark Creevy, Liverpool  (27/3/07)

Hehe! Not the first time there's been an oversight in those mailshots! I particularly liked the line "Why not show you value your history by joining us at Goodison?". This from the Club who threw half the stuff out in a skip some years back! ? Colm

Nugent's car

If anyone has seen Nugent's Audi, he has the Everton Badge either side of the reg plate.
Paul Ashcroft, Huyton  (27/3/07)

Big Brother, how are you! ? Colm

Super Cup Winners '85?

Another item that Tony Tighe disclosed at the Heritage Exhibition at GP, (although he said not to hold him to it).

A question was raised about the usual GP pre-season friendly being used as a source for revenue for the fund. Tony told us that they were already looking at that and had come up with the idea of playing the Super Cup that never was, due to obvious reasons, involving EFC and Juventus, (not sure if it would be legends or current).

Tony said Juve were up for it but they were in discussion with Uefa to have the game officially classed as the '85 'final'. I think this would be a great curtain-raiser for the season (providing there is no InterToto for us!), create a lot of interest (including TV), especially from those old enough to have experienced the mid-80s.

Let's hope Uefa recognise the injustice of the ban on EFC and give it their backing. (Maybe we should get LFC to ask them for us!!!)
Steve McBride, Liverpool  (27/03/07)

Every Little Helps.... (Aaargh!)

Ray Robinson, (I'll avoid the obvious link to your name): Not everybody will want or be able to get to GP on Wednesday but to ease your 'guilt' you can still make a donation, however small, via this link. The cost is equivalent to a quid for every Toff in the world.
Steve McBride, Liverpool  (27/3/07)

Curtains for Andy

Am I alone in thinking that Andrew Johnson`s failure to find the target on Saturday has done for him as an England player? With Rooney charged with covering every blade of grass, what England need up front is a dynamic goalscorer not another hard-working wanderer.

Harried by the London Press, McClaren will opt for the more natural finisher, Defoe, against the `non-leaguers` of Andorra ? and he'll probably get a hat-trick to 'prove' England are great after all!

All bad news for AJ but the opposite for Everton, I believe.
Morton Fisher, Wirral  (27/3/07)

Get Colin MBE

Please help in the quest to get Colin Harvey a MBE in recognition of services to Everton Football Club. Sign the petition here.
Steve Callaghan, Liverpool  (27/3/07)

On the gate!!

The reason the Heritage game against Barca game will get a poor turnout is because you can't pay on the gate, it's impossible for the majority of people to get up to Goodison in the week because of work commitments and the hours Everton have the windows open for. Even if they opened a few gates around the ground, you could expect at least a good few thousand more to turn up.
Alex Mather, Liverpool  (27/3/07)

Everton-Barca Shirt

I am unable to be at the game on Wednesday due to family, work and living in London, so have been trying to support the cause by trying to buy a shirt or two but have only met dead ends. Will the shirts be available via a website at any time?
Tony Dunn, London  (27/3/07)

Sorry, Tony, but I think I read somewhere today that all the shirts had sold out. Could be wrong, by have you tried the online megastore? ? Michael

Nugent in a Red Scarf

Connor, the reason you saw him in a red scarf was because he was on their books as a kid.

There was an article (probably linked on here if I read it) a while back which interviewed him where he said that he would turn up to training with an Everton shirt on underneath his red one.

Once a Blue... Oh better not. He'll only sign for Newcastle.
Matt Traynor, Singapore  (27/3/07)

Tickets for the Barca game

After reading on ToffeeWeb that the sales of tickets have been slow for this worthwhile friendly, can I suggest that on your homepage that you appeal to people to buy a ticket even if they can't attend the game? There are a lot of overseas Evertonians that browse this site and for them it would be an easy way of contributing to securing the David France Collection.
Peter Brooks, Dublin  (26/3/07)

Run Down Pubs? Not Me!

Micheal, I had to smile at your parting shot at my latest post. If it means leaving dinosaurs like me behind sitting in run down pubs, Hasta Luego. Surely by now you know that I am in fact a corporate Evertonian myself. I have been sitting in the Joe Mercer Lounge for years now and before that the Alex Young Suite. Therefore I feel that my point of view holds at least a little credibility as I have been on both sides of the fence regarding match going activities. Even though the bar in the Mercer Lounge is complamentary, I never drink before games but always knock the froth of a few afterwards.

You are right, though; it is a very difficult situation the club finds itself in and is very hard to figure out the best move for all concerned. Even though I am fortunate enough to be able to large it up corporate-style these days I don't forget my roots and remember the struggles in the early days to get to games made by many of us. Leaving the common man behind will be the death of the game in this country and that is all I am trying to say.
Tony Marsh, Liverpool  (27/3/07)

The thought of your Lounge-lizarding did occur to me and I nearly mentioned it, you flash bugger. As for your conclusion, I would go the other way and say that if Everton bend over backwards to placate the common man and his basic needs, at the expense of providing broader appeal to all, that will I feel be a far bigger mistake. — Michael

Barca game

I consider myself a loyal Evertonian and totally want the David France collection to be preserved for posterity, but I haven't the faintest desire to go to the Barca match on Wednesday. Am I unusual in this regard? I must admit I feel guilty for not going but I'm not and that's it.

Confused and slightly guilt-ridden of Warrington.
Ray Robinson, Warrington  (26/3/07)

David Nugent - Manchester on Saturday

My thanks to Paul Withe for saying that he was speaking 'to the man himself' in a bar on Manchester night.

If I had doubts about signing Nugent (and I didn't by the way) then Paul's letter has made me even more certain - 'the man himself' must have a fair turn of speed to get from the England bench in Tell Aviv in time for a pint in Manchester. Sign him now I say!!!
Mike Byrne, Preston  (26/3/07)

The Big Easy

Can ToffeeWeb please put a link on the homepage and keep it there so that blues accross the globe can donate to buy the David France Collection?

I like simple ideas. Everytime the collection is mentioned a donate here link would be appreciated also. I cannot go to the Barca game but will donate what it would have cost me. Thanks.
Eamonn Byrne, Shropshire  (26/3/07)

No, it might spoil the smooth flow of the page and get a bit repetitive... ;) ... Of, course! That's a great idea. ? Michael

Coporate types and The People's Club

Been reading a few of the responses to my last post with interest, particulary Steve Mcbride's. Steve, what the Board at our club and many of our fans fail to realise is we are not the type of football team who will attract great numbers of corporate supporters. The type of fans or whatever you call them who like to hob-nob it in boxes and corporate lounges at football grounds, wether it be for pleasure or buisness, want to do so at grounds where the teams who play there are succcessfull and famous. Old Trafford, The Emirates, Anfield, Stamford Bridge all offer what the corperate Charlie Potatoes want. Fame and glory.

Teams like Middlesborom, Bolton and sadly Everton don't have the allure for these people. Build a new ground with all the private boxes you like but if the team isn't a regular in the Champions League and consistently making cup finals then the money men won't want to know. Where is the Kudos in saying you are taking some pals to a corperate day at Everton? There is none unless you are a diehard Blue. Most of these corporate type fans will flit from one club to another if it suits them and as long as the said club is doing well.

This brings me back to my post regarding our real fans. Sky money is all well and good but if you alienate the walk-up-on-the-day fans at this club, it will spell disaster. We as a club will never appeal to the buisness sector as much as Liverpool ? and even more so if we move away. We are basically a local working-class type football club with little to offer the glory hunter types who are popping up at the successfull clubs more and more.

We must realise who we are and what we are and cut our cloth accordingly. Trying to muscle in on a market place where this club doesn't belong at the expense of our true fans just won't work. We can all dream that a new ground with fancy boxes will bring fantastic riches and world class players queing to sign but it won't.

The trouble is who is going to fill those fancy boxes in the first place? Who wants to spend thousands upon thousands on a team that gives you no bragging rights down the golf club or when you are on your holidays in Barbados? Face facts, we have no pulling power and the reality is we need to keep hold of the fans who spend 20 quid at the game. They are all we have got.
Tony Marsh, Liverpool  (26/3/07)

What an incredible post, Tony! As Steve said before, you are so right and yet so wrong. I should let others point this out but what you describe is exactly what the club is trying to do, in terms of positioning the club to take advantage of that market, which (as you rightly suggest) we can only do if we are successful again. It's cart-before-the-horse stuff, though, to argue that you must be successful first, and then you can draw them in. As I've said before, given the planning and project implementation timetables, it simply does not work like that. You have to specualte to accumulate.

The club must move forward, whereas the attitudes you encapsluate so perfectly will have us standing still and in effect going backwards.

I fear starting a class-based derailment here but I feel that viewing the club as a working-class entity is I think hackneyed and incorrect. It must have wide appeal going forward and it must take advantage of the far broader (and growing) appeal that football has across the community. If that means leaving behind old dinsaurs like you, supping your ale in old run-down pubs around Goodison, sorry but Hasta luego! ? Michael

Supersonic Nugent ?

Re. Paul Withe's letter claiming to have spoken to David Nugent in a Manchester pub on Saturday. I could have sworn I saw Nugent on the bench for England in Israel that same evening. Is Concorde back in service these days or were you referring to a different Saturday?
Colin Gillbanks, Liverpool  (26/3/07)

Wednesday Night

I just want to say that I am really looking forward to the Barcelona match on wednesday. Ok its not going to be the match that could have happend all those years ago (god.. is 1985 really that long ago!) but it will be great to see all my heros again, putting their boots on together for maybe the last time.

Boy, it will take me back to times when I could go to school and pretend to be Bracewell or Reid at dinner time then go home and play on the park with my mates, running around with my kit on. Great days indeed.

Just hope there is a big crowd showing support for a worthy cause. COYBs
Ian Bonnette, Liverpool  (26/3/07)

David Nugent

I've just seen a picture of Davie Nugent as a kid with a Liverpool scarf saying pride of merseyside. I thought he was a blue? It's in the sports section of The Mirror.
Connor Rohrer, Toxteth, Liverpool  (26/3/07)

Maybe we can swop them all for those equally embarrassing pictures of Stevie G? — Michael

Re: Period of Exclusivity

I am planning on sneaking in there tomorrow! :) Even though I am in Manchester it doesn't mean I've lost my sense of sarcasm! Ok fair enough, point taken, I will have to try and use some resourcefullness, to find it.

On a more serious point, if your original ascertation is correct, that the "exclusivity" refers to a series of milestones being met then surely we are being taken down the new stadia route without any serious consultatation?

I think I will be e.mailling the club on a more regular basis asking for details of exactly where we are in this process. I might start with a visit to Buster's mailbag! You never know he might have a stroke and push the button to send the e.mail he wants to send, before he has his business head put back on and rewrites it.

I can live in hope! But I guess that's all it is! No doubt I will get a reply along the lines of "Everton FC appreciate your comments and will get back to you shortly" then a reply will never be forthcoming! Don't worry, my cynicsm is returning! Thanks, Michael!
Matt Coulson, Manchester  (26/3/07)

Yea, I think (all sarcasm apart!) that you will be either very lucky or very unlikey to see any meaningful information but by all means give it a go. The way I read "exclusivity" was that it excludes us ? the fans ? from the process. And looking back over the months since this proposal appeared, I have to hand it to them: they have succeeded admirably in excluding us. — Michael

Democracy?

The USA version of democracy, voting for dog catcher, firechief etc., is as much a sham as is the process, presently underway, of what seems our inevitable move outside of the city. As in the US, one has to be well-heeled and well-connected to run for anything, so it goes that Evertonians will not be given the truth regarding a move, with Tesco, to Knowsley. IMHO.
Patrick Taylor, Clearwater, FL, USA  (26/3/07)

Keystone to the community...

Michael, the comment was 'under pin', (and my brother Steve agrees with me!) which is a bit different. The knowledge that a large influx of people will 'hit' the area, even once a fortnight, would allow confidence in setting up new businesses. The additional footfall created in the businesses around GP on match days is probably equivalent to a week or two's normal turnover, if not more.

For example, I think the number of chippies (I know it's not just about chippies) on Goodison Road and City Road alone, at least five, (take in County Road and there will be at least a dozen chippies within 500 yards of Goodison), prove the worth of a match day at GP.

Do you think there would be any more than two or three max without EFC? If it can create such a demand for just one type of outlet to survive in abundance then the knock-on effects for other businesses must also be there.

How many areas, shopping or otherwise, outside of the City Centre would get an increase in footfall of around 30,000 every two weeks?
Steve McBride, Liverpool  (26/3/07)

Re: Period of Exclusivity

Michael,

Cheers for the reply. Problem is now then, if one of those milestones is not: "We must acheive the backing of the Everton fans before going ahead with the purchase of the new stadium?" then we truly are screwed! Not nice thinking about the terms and conditions is it?

Have you got any ideas where I can see the documents drawn up on this? I would like to have a quick scan through it to see exactly what is binding and what isn't.
Matt Coulson, Manchester  (26/3/07)

Yes, I know exactkly where they are. Head into Liverpool as if you were going the game... At Goodison Park, go round the front, into Goodison Road, and the Main Entrance ? you know the spot, where the doorman resides, the one who is occasionally called upon to make statements of great import regarding the future of EFC. Blag your way past him as best you can and sneak upstairs, past the framed photos of Dixie Dean and other legends, and into Buster Wyness's office. Okay, I don't know exactly where they are but I feel quite sure they are in there somewhere (hopefully not in the black hole that was Michael Dunford's intray!). Happy reading! — Michael

Response to my 'cousin' in London

I can't say I disagree with anything you say in your post 'Cuz' except for one thing. I found the criticism of local businesses, I presume you mean food outlets and pubs etc., misplaced.

I think you've missed the point as to why the football club is so important to LCC(?) and, dare I say it, KBC. Besides offering an affordable alternative to the club kiosks, it's the small businesses, and even the KFC's etc., reliance on EFC's fans to under pin their businesses/outlets.

It's not the 'prestige' of EFC that is attractive to KBC it's because they know fans will spend cash in local businesses, new businesses will appear to serve the influx of fans, which in turn will create jobs and revenue for the local Knowsley economy.

If our fans' money wasn't likely to be 'diverted' into the local economy, I doubt we would have an option to move to Kirkby in the first place.
Steve McBride, Liverpool  (26/3/07)

I just wonder, are you all called 'Steve' in your family? No, sorry, what I meant to ask was, is income based on a few hours, once or twice a month, really sufficient to sustain new businesses? — Michael

Dissapointed

Did anyone else see the ESPN Prem Classics this morning (1:30am, channel 442 on Sky I think)?

Well I flicked over to find it was Everton vs Wimbledon 1994. The following is the exact description given when viewing the programme information...

'A match that has passed into legend. The Toffees were minutes from relegation when Wimbledon goalkeeper Hans Segers 'saved' them from the drop.'

Is this still the general concensus on this match? Was this not disproven in a huge trial not long after? Surely that is not appropriate.

ps: I took a picture of the screen with the description showing but could not find a way to attach it. Sorry
Kevin Kendall, Bootle  (26/3/07)

Hi, Kevin. Regarding your postscript, there is an e.mail address at the top of our Feedback page that you are welcome to use when sending us attachments. I guess we need that on the Maibag Submission page too. Thanks! ? Michael

Period of Exclusivity

A whole bunch of stuff has been written about the protracted nature of the "will we, won't we" be moving to Kirkby question. I thought it important to try and address the issue about period of exclusivity.

As a accountant in waiting and having some knowledge of corporate finance, a "period of exclusivity" can mean one of two things:

  1. That Tesco are entering into a deal to build/part-finance a stadium to which the exclusive rights of use will go to Everton.

  2. That Everton have entered into a deal with Tesco, which means they are the only ones who can go ahead and accept the proposals on the table. This would mean that the proposal would be binding and that Everton would be finding the appropriate finances etc to take up that option (only when two parties have agreed to go forward together in partnership). This would have to be intimated by Everton, to avoid any other potential buyers/partners from stepping in.
If Option 2 is the case then we are buggered, because it would seem that it would be unlikely we would back out at such a late stage from going ahead with a stadium in Kirkby. With or without the backing of fans/or votes to the same effect.

I think the more likely option therefore is the first one, that Tesco have put a proposal together, and have said that it is only available to Everton, I mean they are hardly likely to build a stadium in Kirkby and then ask Marine to go there. Where's the sense in that?

Basically what this means is that the period of exclusivity is just a way to keep a lid on things, and intimates that Tesco rather than Everton are tied into the proposal, as they would be the ones who want to keep a lid on things ultimately as they are accountable only to their shareholders and not anyone else. This exclusivity contract just means they can't have shareholders going "WTF are you up to? We don't want to see Tesco building a stadium for Everton!" as it isn't in the best interests for Tesco shareholders.

I think we all need to wait and see exactly what is on the cards, but I would be really interested to see if someone can shed any light as to what the exclusivity contract has to say.

Makes me ponder lots of interesting things...
Matt Coulson, Manchester  (26/3/07)

I thought the original reports stated that the "period of exclusivity" bound Everton to persuing this proposal, through a series of milestones (any one of which could signal termination if certain conditions were not met), the crucial "exclusivity" being that Everton could not persue any other stadium (re)development options, such as those being put forward by Cllr Bradley. Indeed, Bradley made it fairly clear in the last report that his suggestions would be there if the current propsoals with Knowsley fell through, implying that he was prevented from talking with Everton about them while the Kirkby proposal is still alive. — Michael

Charity

I see "Pravda" is reporting today that Everton are Number 3 in Charitable Donations League ... £82,984 ? Strange it doesn't seem to include the £250k to The Collection? ? an official registered charity?? And raises the rather uncharitable question: Doesn't it (according to the saying) begin at home ? with the full purchase of "our History, our Heritage"?
Paul Hardcastle, Hoylake  (26/3/07)

Seems Dr David France doesn't actually want the club to own the entire thing, Paul, his wish being that the supporters stump up the dosh and thereby "share" in the ownership. I guess then it would finally belong (in some "non-ownership" sense) to the people of The People's Club. ? Michael

New American Billionaire on the way?

Just read this artcle ? anyone got Bill's e.mail address to send this to???
John Fowler, Liverpool  (26/3/07)

Nugent

Interesting to read the rumour that David Nugent has signed a pre-contract agreement with Everton - I was in a bar in Manchester on Saturday night and started chatting to the man himself. I asked when he was joining us and he just laughed and said something about not being able to talk about stuff like that! Read into that what you will. Nice bloke though (he wasn't drinking really either).
Paul Withe, Manchester  (26/3/07)

A weekend of pride

I was very proud to be a Blue this weekend. This, despite the spineless way our club's leaders try to justify selling our proud tradition down the water and betraying everything that makes Everton Everton.

I don't give two hoots about the England team normally. I rarely watch them but I did this Saturday. I was proud two members of our team were playing. I thought Johnson played okay and was involved in all of England's good moves (that would be about two then) and I thought Neville gave good account of himself in what was a thoroughly depressing performance.

But I was even prouder on Sunday. I went to Goodison Park to witness part of the David France collection. To some it is tat, to me it brings Everton's history to life.

One of my favourite pieces was the ledger with information relating to the transfer of Dixie Dean from Tranmere to Everton. Apparently Everton's first bid was rejected. Then there was a quote for the building of a stadium at Anfield for the princely sum of £76 and 2 shillings I think it was. Fascinating. Again, it's not everyone's cup of tea but it made me very proud. I hope and pray we can buy it. I can't go on Wednesday but I have already given a sizable donation and have offered to give any help I can if the Collection is secured.
Ben Greenwood, Rochdale  (26/3/07)

Bunch of Grunts

Tony, you're so right, yet so wrong.

I don't travel the 400-mile round trip from London ten times a season to watch football. Why, I'd have to be insane. I go to have a pint with my brother and mates in the pubs on County Road, and then it's back to my Dad's for a few whiskys and to give him a booze-addled, but hopefully entertaining, first-hand report (he's too ill to go now, but he's still hopefully waiting to hear that McFadden has finally come good).

Unfortunately for the likes of my brother and me, the ground move is not aimed at increasing the spiritual well-being of the McBride family and the like. It's a money-making scheme. I was recently treated to a corporate seat at the Emirates through work. It cost my company £1750, and I can't lie, it was a thoroughly pleasant experience. I spend no more than £30 at Goodison on match days and another £20 or £30 goes in the local boozers' registers. By that reckoning one corporate seat is worth at least 50 cheap seats. Can you see where I'm going with this yet?

You might think that salt-of-the-earth Scousers are the lifeblood of EFC, but the club themselves will see it quite differently. I'm not saying that the move is aimed at discouraging the average fan, it's just that they know that the majority will come anyway; what's the alternative: LFC, TRFC, B&Q?

The County, Yatsies, the Queen's, the Chepstow, the Pacific, the places we hold so dear, are a complete turn-off for the type of wealthy fan Everton's Board aspire to. And the independent businesses in Walton living off the back of the Blues are currently diverting income from the coffers of the club. They're part of the reason the club wish to move.

I don't want us to leave Goodison, but financially we have to ? we will have no say in the matter. It?s inevitable. The minority of Evertonians who protest are expendable anyway, an insignificant footnote on a massive balance sheet dominated by TV revenue, merchandising, sponsorship and corporate hospitality.
Steve McBride, London  (26/3/07)

You hit a rather big nail right on the head with that post, Steve. It will be painful for them but I think you are dead right. — Michael

Best players

I was just wondering who everyone thinks our best players are? Who are the quickest, strongest, most skillfull etc. this is what I think:

  • Speed:
    1. Yobo
    2. Johnson
    3. Lescott
  • Skill:
    1. Arteta
    2. Fernandes
    3. Van Der Meyde
  • Strength:
    1. Anichebe
    2. Stubbs
    3. Lescott
  • Crossing ability:
    1. Arteta
    2. Van Der Meyde
    3. Valente
  • Aerial ability:
    1. Cahill
    2. Yobo
    3. Lescott
  • Tackling:
    1. Hibbert
    2. Carsley
    3. Neville
  • Long shots:
    1. Arteta
    2. Fernandes
    3. Carsley
  • Passing:
    1. Fernandes
    2. Arteta
    3. Osman

Danny Jonas, L17  (26/3/07)

Stadium

I have been reading e.mails concerning the ongoing debate with great interest in the past few weeks. At the moment, I am still sitting on the fence as I am waiting for an official anouncement from the club before I make my mind up. No supporter at this point in time can say they have all the facts available to them.

At the moment it is all propaganda and there have been many good points raised during the debate. However, it does feel that the more valid points are being brought up in favour of moving to Kirkby. All the argument boils down to at the end of the day is money, which is why when a supermarket giant like Tesco comes along offering to 'fund' a stadium, it does seem appropriate to explore all avenues of that proposal before making a decision.

It seems as though a lot of the arguments against moving to Kirkby are based on sentiment as it does seem difficult to realistically contemplate how we could remain in Liverpool even if the LCC comments are true about the redevolpment of Groodison Park etc.

In the end, the Everton Board of Directors will make a decision based on what is the best 'business' option for our club and I will support it. Everton right now are in the best shape that they have been in my lifetime and that is down to the way the club is run at the moment. My only criticism of our Board is the fact that they have kept us all in the dark over the plans when maybe if they were to make a few anouncements regarding what stage they are at then it would help to eliminate a lot of the paranoia surrounding this issue and then we could have a healthy debate based on facts.
John Burquest, Allerton  (26/3/07)

Just to put Tony Marsh's mind at rest

There are numerous pubs in Kirkby, all within easy walking distance of the proposed new stadium: The Carters, Falcon, Johnny Todd, Mariner, the Railway, L32 etc.

They've even got a Wetherspoons which funnily enough looks exactly like the Wetherspoons on County Road where hundreds of blues currently practice their pre- and post-match rituals. He could even just drink in the Punch and Judy etc as usual and take a 20-minute train ride instead of a 20-minute taxi ride.

Or maybe he could buy a crate at the bargain booze on Longmoor Lane (in Liverpool) and take the 5-10 minute walk across the border. Crossing the M57 on his way, where all the people who don't want a pint are practically straight into the club car park.
Joey Cummins, Fazakerley  (26/3/07)

Cheers, Joey... I feel a song coming on...

Johnny Todd he took a notion
For to cross the ocean wide.
There he left his true love a-weeping
Waiting by the Liverpool tide.

For a week she wept full sorely,
Tore her hair and wrung her hands
Till she met with another sailor
Walking on the Liverpool sands.

O fair maid why are you weeping
For your Johnny gone to sea?
If you'll wed with me tomorrow
I will kind and constant be.

I will buy you sheets and blankets,
I'll buy you a wedding ring.
You shall have a gilded cradle
For to rock your baby in.

Johnny Todd came home from sailing,
Far across the ocean wide,
There he found his fair and false one
Was another sailor's bride.

So, all you lads who go a-sailing
For to fight the foreign foe.
Never leave your true love like Johnny,
Marry her before you go!

Prophetic?

Is the Z-Cars theme still played to accompany the team's arrival on the pitch at Goodison? If so, is this not at least ironic or more likely precognitive, since as I remember it the programme Z-Cars was based in 'Newtown' a pseudonym for Kirkby?
Joe Brennan, Exiled in North Wales  (25/3/07)

My goodness... you're a quick one, eh? One of them coppers reminded me, in a precognitive sense, of David Weir... Now that is weird! — Michael

Response Tony Marsh Article

Interesting article by Tony, if not a little steeped in the past as regards the match experience from my point of view. I go back a little further than Tony in that I've supported the Blues for over 40 years and although it would seem that the most enjoyable matchday aspect he describes was spent outside the ground (an experience I have have shared and enjoyed many times as regards the 'whole day' activity approach ? particularly in my teens and twenties) I find in contrast inside the ground the experience of peeing against the same enamel toilet surface in three inches of other peoples piss that I did 40 years ago and queuing for over half an hour with the remote possibility that I might get served before the match starts... or even that just one day there would be a hot pie or sausage roll left by the time I reached the counter, less than inspiring and not an experience that I enjoyed passing on to my kids ? although I did.

I do however share with Tony the concerns that the people who make the decisions in the regard of identifying and selecting a new site will have an eye more to profit rather than the wishes of the ordinary fan that he and I both have been and still are. I sadly fear that the views of 'the average fan' are of little relevance to the decision-makers and that to them the corporate's and 'prawn sandwich sector' will have priority in whatever decision is arrived at. There should have been some middle ground (if only) here.

It is also my opinion that not only Everton but many other significant football clubs will regret their disdain of 'the ordinary fans' in pursuit of a future that will inevitably result in a shallow experience in an albeit glorious stadium with very little else to commend it. Who'd be Bill Kenwright?
Dave Brierley, West Sussex  (25/3/07)

What's the problem?

Tesco snipers are being silly. Who would you put your trust in, Terry Leahy or Tom Hanks? If Kirkby goes pear-shaped we can always go back to Mr Bradley and his mates on the City Council and demand a like-for-like deal such as they gave to LFC. A huge chunk of one of the city's parks, Sefton Park would do nicely, a 999-year lease and an annual rental of £300,000. I am not a BK basher, but on this issue he has been pathetic: total lack of balls and leadership.
Colin Nolan, Preston  (25/3/07)

The Tesco Bogey Man

I truly am troubled by the fact that people are saying that they do not want Tesco to have any part in the ground issue!

Statements to the effect that even if the new ground was within the city boundaries, Tesco would not be welcome in assisting us to build the stadium, make me wonder wherelse these people think the money is likely to come from?

I am not privy to any firm details as to the package that Tesco are offering, only what is in the public domain, but put simply, how silly would we be to decline their offer of assistance? I honestly thought the only thing clouding the issue was the Kirkby/City scenario, but now it appears to be the colour of any benefactor's money.

The only thing is that Tesco are not benefactors, but a business. Quite evidently, they would have an interest in any 'spin-offs' and their shareholders would want a return on expenditure. Tesco at present are an easy target for sniping for whatever reason as the big conglomerate that swallows up townships and villages, but it is apparently OK if a Yank or a Russian rolls into town bearing gifts...

Like many people, deep down I would like to stay within the city boundaries, but time is quite simply against us and we need a new stadium soon as! We have a proud tradition but it is increasingly starting to weigh us down. It is time for a new start before we are well and truly overshadowed in every sense of the word by the Stanley Park development and at present only Tesco appear willing to foot the bill.
Tom Evans, Beverley, East Yorks  (25/3/07)

Debate???

The stadium debate contiues a pace with pro, anti, and plain don't knows. This is democratic debate but to what end? As the principal movers and shakers are still within 'exclusivity', the debate we are seeing is purely between ourselves and ? although I am impressed with with offerings both for and against a move and some outstanding thought on the redevelopment of Goodison ? none of this is being shared with the people that matter in the hallowed halls.

My views were posted some time ago and in the main Tony Marsh has paraphrased them. I think fans' views will be wide and rangeing on this topic and will be a constant cause of debate in pubs, clubs, websites and any other platform that we are afforded ? except the one that really matters ? THE CLUB.

My gut feeling is that, no matter what I may think or hold dear, it will come down to THE CLUB making their mind up and if at sometime in the future they feel a move to wherever is appropriate then we will be regaled with artists impressions in Post and Echo and simulated video on the Goodison big screens as well as Pravda.

The great and the good will feature in interviews heralding such great news and a fans' vote will be overwhelming in support. Whatever we as individuals may think of any such outcome, only history will be the judge. Debate? What debate? It will come down to "Do you want what's on offer or not? 'Cos that's where we are going!"

Still, whatever happens, we all have the freedom of choice and personally, no matter my thoughts, I will give whatever is on offer a go. UP THE BLUES!
Ken Buckley, Buckley  (25/3/07)

Garry

When did Bolton and Wigan become cities? Oh Yes, by the way, Bolton have wandered to Horwich and Wigan have been athletic and ran out to Newtown!
Mark Joseph, West Lancs  (25/3/07)

More than just a game?

Well that post must rank as the biggest load of booze-filled drivel in a long time. Of course people have their traditions ? mine is travelling by car every week 60 miles roundtrip to watch the blues. Drinking? when do I and thousands like me get a chance to drink? ? it certainly isn't before or after the game in Liverpool. I have to wait until I can get back to my own boozer and dump the car.

This little rant of Tony Marsh does absolutely nothing to the debate on the ground move, all it does is demonstrate the myopic self-centred view of people who can't visit their local boozer to get tanked up before and after the game. Well, Tony, I guarantee there are countless THOUSANDS MORE fans who cannot / do not want to get pissed before and after the game. If that is your sole reason for staying at Goodison what a sad argument, putting a pint of beer before the future of the club.
Jim Hourigan, Preston  (25/3/07)

And downhill we go again... In all fairness, it may not be your cup of tea, so to speak (it's not mine either) but I can well believe there is a sizeable portion of the regular match-going fanbase who will identify with Tony's ritual, and I imagine they are some of the most vocal opponents to moving.

They are selfish reasons to an extent, yet the desire to be doing something as an individual (watching the game in whichever way you chose) is equally as "selfish" to the extent that we are all making personal selections ? your modus of getting back home to dump the car is equally "selfish" is it not?

Nothing gives you the right to condemn such views out of hand and claim that they contribute absolutely nothing to the debate. It's attitudes like that which preclude debate and instead take us down the road to personal abuse and emotional invective. Kind of ironic, don't you think, that this was an earlier contribution of yours? ? Michael

Someone's beaten me to it!

www.tescostadium.co.uk
Alan Mahoney, Netherton  (25/3/07)

Hehehe...

Money

I don't mind relocating in Liverpool or redeveloping Goodison if it is at all possible, but the club is skint so we can't.

So, will someone please tell me, because I don't know, where is the money coming from to build out in Kirkby? Are Tesco going to finance the building of the stadium then present it to Everton with their best wishes? Tesco are a multinational capitalist outfit, and they do not do things for nothing. So where is the catch? Can anyone who is for the move enlighten me?

The whole thing stinks to high heaven to me, because I wouldn't trust Billy Liar while he is still breathing.
Colin Potter, Liverpool  (25/3/07)

All very valid questions, Colin. Unfortunately, we have no answers. And loveable old Blue Bill ain't providing any right now... — Michael

Thank you, Art...

... for taking the trouble to reply; I assure you my credentials and wit are up to whatever tasks they may have to face. I don't want to use the forum as our public correspondence column so let's agree to differ. Time will tell, of course, but I do think you're underestimating the importance of our remaining the premier club in Liverpool. I guess it's a classic case of "those who understand..." etc. All the best
Phil Bellis, L9 (not Toxteth)  (25/3/07)

Sorry to interject, but are we really, seriously "the premier club in Liverpool"? We were the first club in Liverpool (or just outside of Liverpool... did the City and it's boundaries exist prior to 1892? And does it really even matter?) but surely we can no longer claim to be the premier club in Liverpool ? we abrogated that position in the seventies and have only rarely looked like reclaiming it, to have them pip us again and again (1986; 2005). Sorry to have to say it, but I don't honestly believe Everton are the premier club in Liverpool any more. They haven't been for a very long time. — Michael

More thoughts on the stadium

I first went to Goodison in 1966 to see a reserves game against Huddersfield. I remember a fairly large crowd singing about Andy Rankin's haircut. After that, my father took me to every home game unless I was playing sport myself or away at school. I particularly remember the 69-70 championship team and winning the league against West Brom with goals from Whittle and Harvey.

However, for me Goodison is full of memories ? not just because of great nights of football but because they were shared with my father. He has been a blue all his life and was in the ground when Dean scored his 60th goal. He is now 90 and very frail. Whenever I go to Goodison now with my children I think of him and the times spent with him. To me, that is one of the reasons that the place is so special. I am sure that it must be the same for many supporters. If we move it just will not be the same.

On the other hand Everton, needs a decent ground if the team is to survive. The cost of attending matches means that a substantial proportion of young support is based on watching teams on TV and irregular attendances at games. It is essential to have a ground which can generate income from other sources and (perhaps) if large enough admit youngsters at very reduced rates without losing revenue.

Increasingly, young supporters want to be associated with success; without a decent income stream Everton will not be able to compete. The club does not have enough money to develop Goodison successfully. Therefore it seems to me that the club has to move. If it does not, the club's decline is likely to accelerate if Liverpool make a success of their massive new stadium.

If you accept that Everton have to move from Goodison, I do not think it matters if the ground is in Kirkby. As far as I can see, anyone who lives in Kirkby thinks of themselves as a Scouser. If they were on holiday and asked where they were from they would say Liverpool. I do not think that the local authority boundaries really matter. Kirkby to me (and most people) is part of Liverpool.

So I suppose my view is that moving will diminish the experience of supporting Everton and going to the game but that if we do not move then the club will decline ? and, on the whole, that would be worse.
Mark Gargan, Harrogate  (25/3/07)

Kirkby

Garry, have you been to Wigan! It is in the middle of nowhere with next to a JJB complex! Bolton is pretty much the same! It is in the middle of nowhere! That was a pretty poor response to what I think is a valid statement.
Dylan Goodison, Aintree  (25/3/07)

You Art Worthy!

Having just read Art Greeth's article 'We're Not Worthy', I feel I have to say that this is a fine example of why Evertonians outside of the city are worthy. Even if Art did not have Liverpool roots, his view of the direction Everton should be moving in is the right one, and that for me makes him a top Evertonian.
Robbie Muldoon, Liverpool  (25/3/07)

Lukas Jutkiewicz

Anyone else see the Lincoln v Swindon game on Sky this afternoon? I only watched it to see our new signing Lukas Jutkiewicz. Unfortunately, he was pretty dissapointing. I wouldn't have even known he was on the pitch in the second half. I was even more concerned when the commentator said he was recently dropped after not scoring for 13 games! Anyone else seen this lad play? Please tell me this was just a one-off...
John Crawley, Liverpool  (25/3/07)

Daily income stream

I live in Preston and despite being in the Championship, PNE's stadium, Deepdale, generates masive amounts of money from the sports museum and gym that's on the stadium. They also have boardroom and other additional money-spining methods. A new stadium would provide a bigger (and better) club with a lot more revenue!!!
Jason Burrows, Preston  (25/3/07)

Just a couple of requests...

...in light of the responses to recent posts by myself and others:

1) People have responded to my assertion that we will still be Everton wherever we play by questioning 'will we still be Everton if we moved to Winsford/Runcorn/Afghanistan?'. Utterly pathetic. Nobobdy is suggesting we move to any places like this so please stop saying it. The only move that has been mooted is to Kirkby. The proposed site is less than a mile outside the 'Liverpool City' boundary.

2) Can people stop referring to the proposed stadium using nonsensical names? The stadium is not going to be called the 'Kirkby Tesco Dome' or the 'Every Little Helps Arena'. People are making themselves look ridiculous by suggesting this. There may well be a reference to Tesco somewhere along the line but be reasonable. It's all well and good ridiculing the proposals but it gets you nowhere.
Thank you!
Sean Rothwell, Liverpool  (25/3/07)

Polls

People writing saying "fans back the ground move" ? How do you come to that conclusion? Is it because some polls say so? I remember the last general election, the tories were 12 points ahead in the polls... we all know what happened next. So I wouldn't read too much into these polls.
Brian Waring, Wokingham  (25/3/07)

Ground Move!

I wish all this chit-chat about the ground move would just end so that we can pick our stadium location, actually start the building work and play at a top-class stadium and hopefully bringing in better players as a result of it.

Everton in or out of Liverpool? I dont care. I'm still watching the same team but with just a better stadium and in a place not too far out of the city. Liverpool City Council don't care about us anyway so what's the deal with being in the city? I can't see this issue ending anytime soon...
Shaun Jowett, Maghull  (25/3/07)

Kirkby or not?

Clearly there are two quite different points of view. To move to Kirkby or, either to remain at Goodison and try to rebuild over time or endeavour to find a new site within the city boundaries.

One can make snide remarks about Tescos ? they are clearly offering us the opportunity of moving to Kirkby and assisting in the development of a new and improved stadium. Patently, this is not just an altruistic offer, it must benefit Tescos but why not? They are a fantastically successful British business with an Evertonian as their General Manager. They are hoping that a successful Premier League club as Everton are going to be will reflect positively on one of their biggest store outlets.

I feel confident that if Terry Leahy was not a committed Evertonian, the idea would have been unlikely to occur to Tescos. It just seems so obvious to me that this is an offer we would be just plain mad to turn down.

The alternatives put forward by those who would turn the offer down appear so unlikely ever to be brought to fruition. They presuppose money would magically appear ? and I do mean money! Loads and loads of the stuff and, to date, there has not been a glimmer of a suggestion of where it is coming from.

David Moyes and the Board, both so often denigrated, seem to me to be building a really good side. I feel we must support the Board and assist as much as we can in bringing to pass this proposed move to Kirkby. Let us have some positive thinking and cease to live in the past most of you know from the history books. Today is another day.
Tim Lloyd, Stockport  (25/3/07)

Final push

If I may just be allowed to digress a little and talk about football instead of the "Shall we or shall we not?" move debate. Wouldn?t it be just lovely if Arsenal managed to take all 3 points at Anfield on Saturday morning? A win at Villa for us would put us just 5 points behind them. Ok, looking at our remaining fixtures makes it seem highly unlikely that we can pip them for that magical 4th spot, but let's put some pressure on those bastards for a change, let them feel the hot breath of Everton breathing down their collective red necks.

I want to forget about the poor quality football we have often played this season. I don?t want to debate the merits of Moyes and Kenwright for a short while. I want to see us fight like crazy during the remaining games of the season, put a string of results together and really challenge Liverpool for that final Champions League spot.

Fantasy football? Maybe, but why not? Wouldn?t it be just lovely watching Everton finish a season with a flourish for a change? Ok, I won't hold my breath... but come on, Blues! Give us something else to shout about other then the ground move debate!!!
Shaun Sparke, Prescot  (25/3/07)

Amen to that, Shaun. If only... — Michael

Kirkby

Seriously, Kirkby is not on the other side of the world; the way some of you are acting is like we are going to be moving to the middle of nowhere! Kirkby makes sense, and if it goes tits up will it be any different from now? I assure you the ground and it's facilities are leaving us further behind other clubs as each season goes by!

Is it because the "old school" are afraid of change or is it because Evertonians are so used to moaning about our state of affairs that we struggle to do anything other than moan and have a chip on our shoulders? Kirkby is excellent for its location and, although it is outside the city limits, it still pretty much is Liverpool isn't it... come on, be honest!

People, we need to move on; Goodison is an old lady, she has had some super moments, but the poor girl is struggling now. If Liverpool City Council treated both clubs on an even keel then maybe this wouldn't have happened, but it has. The move seems inevitable ? deal with it.

Clubs like Wigan and Bolton are literally in the middle of nowhere but Kirkby is a very good location.
Dylan Goodison, Aintree  (25/3/07)

Would that be the same Wigan that's on the M6 and M58, and the same Bolton on the M60 and M61? Hardly the middle of nowhere, and at least their clubs' stadia are within the city limits. ? Garry

Give Kenwright a Break!!

When Bill Kenwright became Chairman he made the honest mistake of talking too much. He would talk positively to the extent that not only he was extremely excited, he got us all excited as well! (Kings Dock, Fortress Sports Fund etc).

I find it amazing that so many people seem to think he made up all this stuff himself. To call him a liar and a bullshitter is taking the piss.

People say things such as ?no smoke with out fire', but I would say that for the simple reason that a lot of stuff appears so secretive around the club, how can we prove he's bullshitting? We don't have access to all the facts.

He deserves the benefit of the doubt because of the things we do know about him:

  1. He and Moyes implemented a wage structure. This has stopped us signing pre-madonnas such as Emre, Parker, and Bellamy.
  2. He's found the money for all these brilliant players we have now (I don't need to name our first 16).
  3. He's an Evertonian, with the help of financial experts, and business men... surely that?s better than having a financial expert or a business man at the top, wouldn't one of them be more likely to take big risks, or make a quick buck out of us?
To conclude, I just believe we should be careful what we wish for. I think we have the best recipe for success. I think we can get back to the top with Kenwright. I wish he could still walk around outside the stadium.

The whole country has a nature of taking things for granted; collectively I think we Evertonians are guilty.
Daz McCoy, Liverpool  (25/3/07)

Ticket pricing policy

As a season-ticket holder, I wasn't ecstatic at the sweetner offered of buying my ticket before the end of April to ensure a reduction in price, mainly because it adds to the financial burden of stumping up the cash early so that the said reduction is met by the likely interest payments gained by the cash being in the club account a couple of months early.

With the well-publicised injection of cash to all Premiership clubs, wouldn't it have been refreshing and uplifting if the quiet Mr Kenwright (as he increasingly is at important issue times) decided we were going to lead by example as the People's Club and reward the loyal fanbase (who, let's face it, haven't had a lot to shout about over the last 20 years) by reducing season tickets to a top line of £350, which may just give fans the opportunity to bring their sons, daughters etc to the club ensuring a maintenance of fanbase in the future, instead of sticking our necks in the sand?

I know the argument is that we must pay competitive salaries and transfer fees with the cash injection but we need to be careful here; does that not simply mean that all clubs will be in the same market? ? hence it doesn't mean Everton will be in a better position than this year regarding buying potential.

Finally, in the run-up to having a good go at Uefa Cup qualification, would it just be a 'nice thought' for Mr Kenwright to say "We are going to get into the Uefa Cup one way or the other and its gonna cost you a tenner or £15 tops to get in with £5 for kids, let's fill the ground and make progress in the tournament" ? also giving the next generation of fans the early insight of watching the blue boys in Europe under lights in a packed Goodison Park! Over to you, Bill and Keith...
Simon Birtles, Liverpool  (25/3/07)

Nugent

Rumours on the BBC website that Nugent is set to sign in the summer... can anyone shed any light on his contract situation? If he's out of contract at the end of the summer (which has been reported, though not from a reliable source) we'd be fools to miss out on him for nowt.
Dean Paton, Wirral  (25/3/07)

We are not worthy...

To reply to Robbie and Phil about my 'High Anxiety' post:

I have no intention of tediously presenting my genealogy to demonstrate my Liverpool roots as a means to justify my ?worthiness? to comment on any matters related to Everton Football Club.

Robbie, your original post was largely a speculative rant against BK which ? whilst it may have been cathartic and healthy to you ? for me, it contributed nothing to the debate. My apologies if that offends you, but if you are going to post in a public forum, you have to accept the brickbats with the bouquets.

Phil, you make the wrong assumption that because I am currently in Portugal that I have never been ?there? at some of the events you listed. My own allegiance to Everton dates back to the early sixties. Family ties to the city and the club date back to Dixie Dean. It has ALWAYS been part of Liverpool city?s culture that Monday mornings were to be relished or dreaded, as supporters across the blue and red divide met in the work place or school yard. Has the wit and humour of Liverpool city-dwelling Evertonians been so blunted that you don?t have a riposte for the red taunts you fear if we move out of the city??

?It's our club, our city. I resent the fact LFC took our city's name and usurped our city's symbol? you say. Then perhaps your resentment is mis-directed. We had first ?bagsy? of the name and the emblem of our club badge ? blame our founding fathers for not associating our club more closely with Liverpool city. But then of course, when we were founded, we WEREN?T a part of the city, were we? To me, your comment is truly bizarre. If the city name and symbol carry such weight for you, it begs an obvious question as to who you should truly be supporting.
Art Greeth, Portugal  (25/3/07)

More form Art here.

Tesco

Would people be so opposed to Tesco's involvment if the move was within the city boundaries? I know the question is only hypothetical but there seems to be a lot of abuse aimed at Tesco regarding the ground move. The fact is we can't fund anything ourselves as a club so we need outside investment.

We all know there's no-one else volunteering to build us a new stadium. So what's the difference between some American fella with no insight into English football investing in us and Tesco? There's no difference between sitting in the Gatorade Bowl or the Tesco Super Arena. A four-mile re-location to just outside the city boundaries will not be selling our souls but may create a less soulful atmosphere just because it's a new ground. That will only be the same for LFC moving from Anfield.

In the past I've spent long spells working in both Walton and Huyton so I know what going to work on a Monday can be like but I'd rather hear the "small club from Kirkby" chants than be totally eclipsed by the Gatorade Bowl, sitting in an old falling down ground hearing chants like "small club in Walton".
Alan Clarke, Manchester  (25/3/07)

To answer your original question, I think that the editorial team of this site would be equally as unhappy with a move, within the city centre, sponsored by Tesco. We're not against the proposals, rather their motives and dragging us out of our spiritual home merely compounds the distrust. ? Garry

Negativity

Whilst the people who come on Toffeeweb can be negative, I believe everyone has the right to express their opinion. And that is what this site does: it gives us other people's views from all over the place. I would rather see us stay in the city but if Kirkby was the best possible solution I would not mind. I will always support Everton through thick and thin and it does not matter what city or country they play in.

What I do not like is bad remarks about the place Kirkby and the people of Kirkby. I have heard people offend the place and call the people of Kirkby fake scousers. My mother is Kirkby born and bred. She is just as much a scouser as me. I grew up in Toxteth which is inner city Liverpool and I see peole from Kirkby exactly the same as myself.

For the fans who are saying they will not be coming to watch us if we move are just a joke and not proper fans. I can see why some people especially from Liverpool see leaving the city as wrong but, if it is the only option, we must take it on the chin and get on with it. We are Evertonians and we should stick together through thick and thin no matter where we move.
Connor Rohrer, Toxteth, Liverpool  (25/3/07)

Stick together? Something tells me you haven't had the benefit of this here internet malarkey for long, Connor. One thing t'internet does is it exposes you to that diversity of opinions... many of which are pretty strongly expressed and cover widely divergent viewspoints. Just about the only thing you can guarantee Evertonians will stick together on is the desire that we will win our next game. — Michael

Answers please

A couple of comments on Brian Reade's piece in The Mirror.

First, he is right, all Evertonians want answers on the ground situation, detailed answers and soon. But second he doesn't exactly help his cause when he writes about "A sense of submission that sums up the fears and frustrations felt by the majority of Evertonians over plans to re-locate miles outside of the city they have played in for 129 years."

Where is his evidence that 'a majority' of fans feel as he suggests? Has he done surveys? Can he produce the stats? Frankly such comments are about as helpful as the ongoing silence from the boardroom. And his suggestion that a ground in Kirby would be "miles outside the city" implies that it is nearer to Paris than Liverpool. It's not that far away is it? And for a significant number of Everton fans it's probably closer to them than Goodison is now.

Debate is to be encouraged but a sense of proportion is vital if the debate is to achieve anything. On the question of surveys, have any been done recently? Has ToffeeWeb considered joining forces with other websites and fanzines to conduct one? I appreciate it wouldn't be easy, but it seems to me some hard facts in this debate on how a the majority of fans are really thinking would be very useful, and much more so than Brian Reade's unsubstantiated and anecodotal claims.
Richard Ewart, Melbourne, Australia  (25/3/07)

We did a poll already. We let it run for quite a while (November, December, January) and we got over 5,000 votes in, which should be pretty representative of at least yer internet fan. (Now, how many fans use the internet? Is the cross-section of internet fans voting representative of all fans?? What about the subset of fans who read ToffeeWeb??? ? just a couple of thoughts to ponder there, Richard.)

Nevertheless, a significant majority of those voting were in favour of the move. Which would suggest Mr Reade was barking up the wrong tree. So anyone opposing the move should just drop it, I guess. Funny thing is, no-one really takes mnuch notice of that vote, while they continue to present their own sides of the debate.

So I'm not entirely convinced of the utility of a poll. But I guess we could run another one to see if the mood has changed? Or we could wait for the real vote... the one we were promised. The only one that will matter anyway. — Michael

Kirkby

I think the perceived negativity of ToffeeWeb is somewhat unfounded. Personally, I do think people who write in are too negative sometimes (as we English are about all things) but who on earth would launch the following campaign -> "Move Everton out of the City"? Whilst some people are more open to the idea of a move outside of the city, I don't think any Everton supporter would actively push it.

I'm all for looking into Kirkby if that's the best option for our future but at the same time, I'm not going to start a black watch to keep us in the city (no doubt someone will).

At the end of the day, we're all Evertonians no matter what we believe is the best for our future. Change is a constant, we may not always like it but it's going to happen. Bill has a tough call to make and I don't envy him at all. He can't please everybody and that's the burden he has to carry.

One thing we can all agree on ? doesn't it just piss you off when you buy a match ticket and your seat is obstructed by one of the concrete pillars? Shit, missed the goal ? the pillar was in the way....
Dan Parker, New York, USA  (24/3/07)

What about the poor bugger with 2.4 kids who is set the unfortunate task of heading for the snack bar with his all-smiling all-dancing Everton swipe card, to further feed the kids, to keep them happy and entertained as they "enjoy" the Kirkby Experience... meanwhile away at the snack bar he misses a goal! With ne'er an obstructed view in sight! ? Colm

21st Parties

In response to Kieran Fitzgerald and his view of a stadium being used for simple things like tours and weddings, I have to make the assumption that he has never actually attended any of the newer stadiums for anything other than a football match. Stadiums like the Reebok offer large conference suites for exhibitions holding hundreds of people. They offer enormous open spaces that you can hold meetings again for hundreds of people at a time. They offer space for training courses with all the necessary hi-tech facilities, and usually have all three operating at the same time.

Within the infrastructure of a place like the Reebok are several very large internal areas and not just a dining room or two for a wedding. Crucially, though, attending these events is also a key aspect. The ability to park, the ability to bring in the equipment and to leave in comfort are important in attracting and retaining business. This is the reality of a modern football stadium ? not some pie-in-the-sky view of a football ground; so, whatever we build and wherever it is, let's make it modern and forward-thinking.
Jim Hourigan, Preston  (24/3/07)

In BK we trust ? totally

I for one will be overjoyed if we get a new stadium and maybe even some financial backing from somewhere, I don't know where from, I'm not Bill Kenwright.

I do know that I trust him totally and have no reason not to! David Moyes is the best manager we've had in years (where were we when he took over 5 years ago!). I and many more Everton fans are totally behind BK and DM. Please stop being so neative ? you never know, this could well turn out to be the best thing to happen since Howard Kendall in the mid-eighties!!
David Hooper, Wiltshire  (24/3/07)

Art of Noise?

Jesus! Art, it's sentiments like yours, shared by a lot of others writing in from outside Merseyside, that prove a point to parochials like me. Logically, a major reason I follow Everton is I come from the city in which they play. If I grew up in Plaistow, I'd presumably be a Hammer. For every Ed "Stewpot" Stewart (ask your dad) there must be a thousand like me.

You say you don't follow the logic that any move away from Goodison will "hurt" more those Evertonians living within Liverpool should "it all go wrong". We're you on Mersyside after the 0-5 Derby? Or after the two losing Cup Finals?? Or during the 70s??? Christ, it took all my dignity and faith to go into work some Mondays!

Don't suppose there's too much post-match banter where you live. I know Michael sensibly advocates we treat the Dark Side as just another Prem club but sometimes it has been really hard. It's our club, our city. I resent the fact LFC took our city's name and usurped our city's symbol. Will you be here to listen to "small club from Kirkby... you're just a small club from Kirkby" and similar, "should it all go wrong"?
Phil Bellis, L8 (Not Toxteth)  (24/3/07)

In Reply to Art Greeth

Your letter clearly aims to dismiss the points I tried to put across. The idea that Kenwright would change the Royal Blue shirt is OTT, as intended, the point being that the Royal Blue shirt is as an important marker of our identity as is being located within the city of Liverpool. To refer to the fact we were the original 'Barcodes' (I didn't know they hand electric tills back then) is as irrelevant as pointing to the fact that Anfield was our first home anyway so what's the fuss!?

Howvever, I do share your adapt or die attitude. I am not one to stand in the way of change unreasonably. But it is essential the change is for the good of the whole club. Michael, you state that there is nothing of any real substance to debate, a fact which is causing these high anxieties. It is Kenwright who is responsible for this situation. It is his track record which gives me little confidence in Everton getting the best deal possible.

Finally, the point about the weight of an opinion attached to certain Evertonians. It is my view that individually our opinions carry little weight, but collectively they carry a lot. It is clear that there is a big division amongst opinions, and I just wondered whether geography played any role in it.
Robbie Muldoon, Liverpool  (24/3/07)

'Poll to poll'

I don't want to be cheeky and give you any more work but as the stadum debate is now reaching boiling point in the mailbag, it would be good to get an accurate statistical picture right now of the TW readership's thoughts. Therefore would it be possible to run a poll(s) along the following lines (and I know there was one about Kirkby etc a while ago):

How many are in favour of staying at Goodison and attempting to redevelop?; Who wants to find a site within the 'City Limits' and attempt to find sponsors / investors?; Who is willing to move to Kirkby in partnership with Tesco?

I know there are a lot of 'ifs' and 'buts', particularly with the first two choices (ie investment!!!) but if people just make a gut response based on present [limited] information. I'm particularly interested in how much opposition there is to a move in general; do those who don't want to leave Goodison completely oppose a move within the 'City Limits' or is it just the Kirkby / Tesco angle? It's just the amount of references on here to the fabled Kings Dock site or the Stanley Park idea seem to indicate that the Goodison angle may be moot.

Are the kopshites up in arms over leaving Anfield or does rebuliding just a stones throw away render Anfield's considerable history (much as it pains me to admit it) irrelevant? Likewise Arsenal fans, how do they feel? (and please don't hit me with 'we dont care what other clubs do / think')

Sorry to go on....
Alex Spelling, Nottingham  (24/3/07)

Well, sorry too, but how do you expect us to get you statistically accurate (ha!) responses to questions of Liverpool and Arsenal fans?!? This is an Everton website. Even the Everton one is a bit of a challenge but I think I know the man to make it happen.... LYNDON!!!

Ray Mia

Not just a rant from Ray, but reasoned and logical points to counter some of the common arguments raised against the potential move to Kirkby (some arguments are well-reasoned, I should add). In fact, Ray articulated many of my thoughts on the subject.

At the end of the day, people like Ray are more concerned with the sporting progress of our club than with what borough of our mighty metropolis it happens to lie in (by the way, did the governments announcement last week that the Liverpool City Region - including L33 - will be up and running next year get any mention hereabouts?).

Certainly, not being within city limits does not appear to have hampered Manchester United's march in recent years, and for all those jibes about City being the biggest club in Manchester, the Evening News carried out a survey 5 years ago and discovered that the majority of football supporters in Manchester were... United fans!

If the Kopites want to proclaim themselves as the 'only club in the city', then the joke is on them. Their captain is a wool born in Whiston and their vice-captain is a Freeman of, no not Liverpool, but Sefton! But to me and just about anybody else, SGL and Carragher are scousers. On this side of the water we often call Birkenhead the 'one-eyed city'. Some Evertonians are in danger of becoming one-eyed, too.
John McGrath, West Derby  (24/3/07)

re: Ray Mia

I don't agree with everything Ray writes and I would much prefer Everton to stay within the city boundaries but I do think the sometimes quite hostile editorial policy directed towards him is a bit unfair. He seems an articulate writer who is merely being honest and at times speaks some hard truths.

Personally, I support Everton the team, not Goodison Park the stadium, and I would go watch them wherever on Merseyside they play. I think on this occasion Ray is saying we support the team not the ground, and that's a reasonable point.
Paul O'Neill, Manchester  (24/3/07)

"quite hostile editorial policy"... WTF? All I said was "Quite the rant from Ray Mia"!?! And I did publish it... I guess I could have just hit the Delete key instead. If you want hostile, I can do hostile ? at the drop of a hat! ? Michael

Re: Ray Mia

I wonder if Ray would be happy going to the Tesco arena in Kirby and had to sit in the Value Stand or the Healthy Living Stand? And, booming from the tannoy during the game, someone going on about how great Tesco's is and that we all should go and do our shopping there after the game. This might sound like a load of bollocks, but, with this lot in charge of our club you never know.
Brian Waring, Wokingham  (24/3/07)

Nothing but the best

It shouldn't happen but it does: every club compares itself to their rivals and we are no different.

If we must leave Goodison then the new ground simply MUST be the best ground in the country. I've seen the plans for the and it pains me to say it but the New Anfield looks impressive. Therefore we need a stadium that will give us the standing Goodison Park gave the club.

Remember, Goodison was regarded as the best club ground in England in the 1966 World Cup and therefore was used for a semi-final. If the person with money and power said to us Evertonians, "This stadium will be the best club ground in the UK and will be the envy of other teams" we would all be supporting a move (well, me anyway), but sadly it ain't going to happen.
Dan Dogan, Bangor, N Wales  (24/3/07)

High Anxiety

The stadium debate will obviously continue to generate much heated and emotional debate. This is perfectly understandable, given that all things Everton are so dear to our hearts.

That said, the debate should not be influenced by high emotions and sentimentality alone. Indeed, an over-reliance on sentiment and emotions possibly undermines the case for staying at Goodison Park. Nor does inflammatory bile make the basis of a winning argument.

To take at face value the words and actions attributed to Bill Kenwright in Private Eye ? a renowned SATIRICAL magazine ? is a case in point. To compound it by spouting further vitriol against BK adds nothing to the debate.

Nor does conflating two disparate points ? the leaving of Liverpool and the completely fictitious concern and charge that BK would be willing to change our Royal Blue shirts if the price was right - advance the debate at all.

Incidentally... if you know your history, Royal Blue is not our original colours. Why are we called 'The Toffees'? Because we were the original 'Barcodes', just like Everton Mints. Here is a simple example of how things have changed ? and will continue to change, if we wish to survive ? at Everton Football Club.

Nor do I meekly accept the parochial attitude that the opinions of Evertonians who have a Liverpool postal code should carry greater weight in this debate. Again, I do not follow the logic that any move away from Goodison will "hurt" more those Evertonians living within Liverpool should "it all go wrong".

Of course we have to allow for emotions and sentimentality in this debate. The lot of a football supporter is all about passion. But let's not mistake that for a knock-down, winning argument as to which is the best path for the club to pursue.
Art Greeth, Portugal  (24/3/07)

Well said, Art. "conflating" ? that earns a high word score from me! And I fully agree with all your points about needing to elevate the debate. Unfortunately, there is nothing of any real substance to debate. Everton are talking to Tesco and Knowlsey "exclusively" about a completely undefined "proposal" for a new stadium and a retail outlet in Kirkby. Full stop. Some months after the first anouncements, do we really know anything more than that? — Michael

Patience, patience...

I must say I was glad to see the sensible letter posted by Ken Mills. No doubt that makes me a `scumbag` Evertonian for daring to support the voice of reason.

Too many of your correspondents allow sentimentality to cloud their judgement as they hark back to the days of `perfect` football under Catterick and Kendall and go all dewey eyed over the glories of Goodison. Of course we are the better for having had five years of Moyes and let`s wait to see what`s on offer at Kirkby before burning our effigies of Blue Bill Kenwright ? even if he is a luvvie prat!
Amos Yeomans, Wirral  (24/3/07)

It's clear we're running out of patience, Amos. People want to know NOW what the Club are looking at, what they will (supposedly) be voting on. Why is it such a secret? Why this nonsense of a "period of exclusivity" that prevents any meanigful converstations with anyboby of any standing or importance? — Michael

Rivers of Cash

Jim Hourigan says that EFC cannot ignore the need for conferences etc. All income streams are important but come on: first and foremost we are a Football Club. Concentrate on the players and play football ? that is the sole reason for the existence of a football club.

I'm not saying we must stay at Goodison for ever, but the fans want a good stadium to watch football ? all the rest of the nonesense is for lining players/agents/directors pockets. If we continue the debate on a financial basis alone, wouldn't it be more profitable to scrap the football side of the business and build a leisure complex in Kirkby?
John Patrick McFarlane, Lancs  (24/3/07)

John, I have a lot of respect for you and you usually write pretty sensible stuff... I just question the use of such a ridculous tactic when trying to make your point. Football is about money. Income streams, turnover, revenue... you can't operate on fresh air. To take that reality to the extreme of scrapping football to focus on the revenue earning is just plain stupid, if you don't mind me saying. — Michael

Moving outside of city limits??

I love the city of Liverpool. I am a lifelong Evertonian and I have never lived in the city of Liverpool. The team must find a new ground within the city of Liverpool. It is as simple as that.

I have to admit that I was one of those people who thought moving to Kirkby would not be a problem. However, now reading the 'proposed' done deal (whether true or not) and my body has just turned to jelly. I feel as though my heart has just been ripped out.

The heart and the soul of Everton is everything about playing in the city of Liverpool and I hope every Evertonian comes to this reasoning, whether they have believed it all along or like me, only when I realize what has happened to my body.
Barry Shearer, Colorado, USA  (24/3/07)

Stadium as a source of revenue

I have just read Jim Hourican's artilce about the stadium itself being a source of revenue outside of matchdays.

It's an interseting point but one that does not summon up a lot of ideas. With the exception of functions and group tours, I don't see as how a football ground can provide for a lot of revenue outside of a matchday. The merchandising store would be fairly low in terms of money-making outside of matchdays I would imagine, with a low turnover on an average Tuesday or Wednesday.

The thing is though, even third-rate hotels have function rooms that can be hired out for seminars, training days, weddings and so on. Most large business premises have meeting rooms that cover seminars, staff training and the like as well. It is weddings, conferences and seminars that provide the potential for large profits. If other types of places are providing them fairly well already, I don't see as how a new Everton stadium will stand to elbow its way into the market on a serious level.

As for guided tours, I would presume that they are mainly profitable as part of a matchday experience. After that it's school tours and possibly individual bus loads, which I would presume are not exactly cash cows.

It is something that of course should be looked at. If not for a source of revenue then I think for another reason which in my view could be more important. Anything that would help to add to the aura of a new ground for Evertonians, should we leave Goodison, should be looked at. Functions such as weddings, 21st birthday parties etc, would help with this. It would help to foster that sense of belonging that supporters have for their team's home ground. It may read like a silly idea but given the strengh of feeling surrounding the whole stadium issue I just think it is worth thinking about.
Kieran Fitzgerald, Dublin  (24/3/07)

We must move on

I've just been reading the Mailbag, as I do every day and it just strikes me that you are so negative to every idea that comes out of Goodison. I moved here 2 yrs ago I was a season ticket holder for over 15 yrs, I have been an EVERTONIAN since birth as are my 2 lads. I just can't understand your problem with progess. We have to move with the times. EVERTON will always be the first football club in Liverpool ? it's a fact. But we have to move on ? it's called progress.
Doug Nestor, Victoria, BC, Canada  (24/3/07)

Seems this always happens when we have an England game... people start having a go at ToffeeWeb and its editorial team! "...so negative to every idea that comes out of Goodison." Are we talking about the stadium debate? Or the decision to let Iain Turner extend his loan at Sheffield Wednesday? I know: it's me scoffing at the idea that players returning from injury are like getting New Sigings in! Yes, you're right: we're against everything that comes out of Goodison!!! ? Michael

Reade all about it

This scumbag journalist has none of the answers either, and certainly has no affinity for the people who make our club ? the fans. Sensationalist bullshit that offers nothing, how did it make it onto the ToffeeWeb homepage?
Boris Berluskofski, Jersey  (24/3/07)

So let me get this right: a scumbag journalist reflects a number of issues that have been raised by Evertonians in this mailabg, and you label it sensationalist bullshit? It appears on this website because it is an Everton-related article in a national newspaper. That's what we do.

The whole point is that the one who has the answers ? Bill Kenwright ? is saying nothing, and I think that was is what is causing most of the frustration among Evertonians. But don't take it out on us ? if you had any sense of balance, you could see that we are publishing and linking to a wide range of material that covers both sides of the issue, and a few in-between. But such details are obviously lost on you, eh, Boris? — Michael

Why not play in Sky Blue?

The Kenwright quote that Colm mentions taken from Private Eye really sickens me. It instantly conjures up the image of Kenwright slobbering all over Sly Stallone. It instantly reminds me of the "we wont sell Rooney even for £50M" lie spouted during Euro 2004, before going and getting an apalling deal from Man Utd for his services. And more recently the embarrassing quotes in the Echo of how 'Moyes is one of the greatest', a manager who has won nothing!

The debate about Kirkby is a massive one, I for one would be more supportive of it if it weren't for the fact that Kenwright has his grubby little hands all over it. Whilst us Evertonians rage emotionally over the prospect of leaving the City, the board remain silent, quietly plotting their propaganda campaign to unleash on us in the near future (with sound bites from Leahy and Cannon it looks to have already begun).

For me the prospect of leaving the city is the same as considering whether to play in Royal Blue anymore. It really is, it's a question of identity. I believe if there was significant money to be made out of playing in light blue, Kenwright would try to do it!

Whilst browsing this mailbag, I have noticed that the vast majority of blues supporting a move to Kirkby are not located in Liverpool. It would be interesting to see alongside the results of a poll for those who are for and against the move data which displays whether they reside in Liverpool or elsewhere. I have a suspicion the results would show the majority of blues from outside Liverpool would support a move to Kirkby.

For me this is an issue for all Evertonians, but it is an issue which will hurt the ones living within Liverpool the most, if it all goes wrong.
Robbie Muldoon, Liverpool  (24/3/07)

The big Blue Boundary

Thank God someone (Dean Johnson) is finally writing some sense about the new stadium. I too live outside the City and drive over 3 hours each way to every home game to see the Blues. It's time Evertonians stopped living in the Dark Ages and woke up to the realities of the football business in 2007.

Those who think that there's some kind of bottomless pit of money somewhere and we just need to persuade someone to dip their hand in are living in dreamland, now for goodness sake let's get on and move, we cannot consult on this issue as the vast majority have no idea of how to reach a decision like this and are basing their judgement purely on emotion. Let's move!
Richard Thomson, Hertford  (24/3/07)

Kenwright

The thing that really gets on my tits over the proposed ground move is the silence from Kenwright & Co. I know we have not got a god given right to be told anything. But, I think fans would have a bit more respect for Kenwright if he came out now and again and fed us some information.

Also, I wouldn't want to throw accusations around, but is Kenwright getting a bit more out of Tesco than just help with a new stadium?
Brian Waring, Wokingham  (24/3/07)

I think you hit the nail on the head, Brian. The silence from those with the real and relevant informaton is becoming deafening, while the predominant sides of the debate move away from open and infromed (how can it be informed when one side is keeping all its cards hidden?) debate to personal mudslinging and character assassination.

Par for the course, unfortunaterly, for any big issue surrounding Everton (Moyes's management; the sale of Rooney; the last days, weeks, months, years of Walter Smith...). These issues cut so deep with Evertonians, many find it hard to have a reasoned debate, but I feel the lack of real information from the Club feeds this directly and could be better managed by providing some progressive dissemination of real information concerning the issues ? one being what, if anything, is in it for the owners and major shareholders of Everton FC? A reasonable question, surely??? — Michael

Poisoned Toffee

As a long-term reader but only an occasional contributor to the Mailbag, I do think that Toffeeweb is in danger of degenerating into a site for Everton malcontents. Only the most cynical could not recognise that Everton have made massive strides under Moyes and although the football has not been inspiring it has certainly been no worse than that on offer throughout our Premiership history nor, indeed, is it inferior to the stuff served up by virtually every team in the league.

As far as the stadium issue is concerned, the editorial team`s routine antipathy to all things Kenwright is, I fear, in danger of poisoning the minds of too many Evertonians against the idea of a move away from Goodison.

As 'a local' it would suit me very well for the club to remain in its present location but if Kenwright can, in fact, negotiate a state-of-the-art ground in Kirkby for a cost to the club of only c£30M, it will be the deal of the century and can auger nothing but good for our future.

One of the great joys of being a football fan is that you can always pick the best team, sign the best players and ? in Everton`s case ? build the best ground in the best location. All these suggestions are a piece of cake when there is no way of testing their efficacy or requirement to commit any cash to back them up.

Yes,I do want my club to be back in 'The Big Four' and I do want to see them in a ground worthy of their standing in the game. I just feel, however, that the continual sniping at those currently steering the ship will do little to accelerate their progress.
Ken Mills, Kirkdale  (24/3/07)

Take note, Bill

Just read Brian Reade's comments in the Mirror and surely Blue Bill can take note from him and this coming from a Red shite too....
Paul Henshaw, Liverpool  (24/3/07)

Mr Kenwright take note? You sure? Taken from the latest edition of Private Eye ?

"West End producer Bill Kenwright, long regarded with suspicion by theatre critics for his self-important habit of telephoning Fleet Street editors to tell them 'your critic's useless', spotted a stout, grey-haired gentleman at the recent opening of The Glass Menagerie. 'Who the hell's that?' he urgently asked a neighbour. The neighbour told Kenwright that the fellow was veteran hack Paul Callan, who has recently become theatre critic of the Daily Express. Seconds later the appalling Kenwright was all over Callan, gushing 'Paul! How wonderful! Haven't seen you for AGES!"
Sound familiar? ? Colm

Idan Tal

Sorry Colm - Idan Tal is suspended!
John de Frece, Israel  (24/3/07)

Ah well! Shame! ? Colm

England without Everton, pah!

Whilst Everton won't be the most represented club in today's England line up, even if Nev starts along with the anticipated front pairing of AJ and Rooney, we certainly aren't far behind the top premiership clubs. Gavin Ramejkis's piece exploring the ins and outs of Kenwright's short-lived determination to ignore even £50M bids for Rooney, included a quote from Henry about young Wayne:

'Before the tournament started I warned people to watch out for this kid. I think a lot of people were a bit dismissive of what I said because he plays for Everton, but I knew he would have an impact.'

Thanks Thiery! But it does show a tangible amount of progress for our club that such a quote today would be widely lambasted a la Benitez's recent indiscretion ? not to mention unlikely. Now I know the little bastard isn't everyone's favourite scouser, but including the red devil as an Everton old boy, in some ways we have the highest number of players in the starting 11! That can't be bad for our international reputation, both from a squad building and investment seeking perspective. I for one will feel not a little proud if AJ scores tonight!
Andrew Humphrey, London  (24/3/07)

But what if Idan Tal knocks in the winner? ;-) ? Colm

Safeguarding our History, our Future

Just a letter from the heart, of a long time Evertonian, actually born in Gwladys Street in the 50s. No criticisms, no cynical remarks, and definitely no negative comments on fellow Evertonians, just a few thoughts on our own Goodison Park.

A wise man once said ?Better the day of one's death than the day of his birth?. Of course he was not saying it is better to die than to live, but rather having a meaningful life that had a positive effect on others, is much more important than just being born. Yes, your history, what you achieved, how you achieved it, is what matters.

Everton Football Club? its history, how it attained it, how it conducted itself, how it treated its players and fans alike ? that?s what matters? and Goodison Park is a major part of that history. What happens to it matters!

It is simply not true to dismiss where we play as being inconsequential. Goodison CAN be redeveloped, it CAN be transformed back into a top-class stadium, incorporating the best of modern facilities, while retaining the feeling of history, and atmosphere, that is Goodison.

Can it be done? ? Absolutely! Should it be done? ? Make no mistake about it, it is in the best interests of Everton FC and its fans to do so, not only for the present but for the future history of the club.

In this world, almost anything is possible with the right attitude and desire to get it done. Does Everton Football Club have that attitude and desire?
Denis Kerr, Johnson City, Tennessee, USA  (23/3/07)

... but they haven't got the money! And as for all that fine talk about history, who's buying the David France Collection? Not the Club, that actually threw out some if the most expensive bits in the first place ? the ledgers!

History is history ? you can't change it, no matter what you do now. While what you say is all very heart-warming, it does nothing for the future of the club. — Michael

''If ya know yer 'istry''

Is there a ground in world football with a history like ours? We done it first. Am I being stuck in the old days? All this tosh about "corporate entertainment". Surely we have a buisiness model to work with in the fact that we were the first club in world football to build a purpose-built stadium. We were/are probably the most revoulutionary club there's ever been. We must re-develop Goodison. If Goodison Park was demolished it would be a travesty for football. "PLEASE SAY NO TO KIRBY!"
Paul Lynch, Gosport, Hampshire  (23/3/07)

"Surely we have a buisiness model to work with in the fact that we were the first club in world football to build a purpose-built stadium." What is it about Friday night that brings out these incredible gems? With all due respect to our wonderful history, what one earth has building a purpose-built stadium in the 19th Century got to do with a buisness model relevant to moving forward the 21st century?? You'll have to come up with something better than that methinks... Michael

What really matters now

And so the great Stadium debate rages on... If nothing else it does prove the passion of a lot of Evertonians, and I have read some wonderful posts on here suggesting we stay (the Dutch fella's views being very interesting and the post about the dramatic urban Liverpool landscape ? something as a non-resident that has always struck me and I am sure a lot of visting teams and fans and surely worked to the Team's advantage through unnerving our opponents) and I have read some very logical arguments to move, not least the fact that the Tesco option appears to be sweetened by a very large subsidy.

However, I can't help feeling that we just don't know enough yet. We don't even have a set of options bar maintaining the status quo and Kirkby. Even with these, there is no flesh on the bones. We are in the dark and will be until June at the earliest and even then it's highly likely we'll only be told some of the facts.

I welcome the new Website that aims to keep the Club firmly in what I would call 'old Liverpool' not necessarily because I believe that's the best option, because I don't know what the options really are, but because they can hopefully shed some light on what the real options are or will be.

I have a feeling we haven't heard the last of the groundshare just yet. Those two Yanks are yanking something more than bog chains I suspect over at Anfield. I also think that one brownfield site in Liverpool will emerge. With the enormous scale of what is apparently planned north of the city centre on the waterfront by Peel Holdings and friends I still wonder whether this is the area we could end up being offered something in. Could it be that BK has been angling for this all along, but needed a counter option to get Liverpool City Council to come out and declare they want us to stay and to support us in heading to this area? More importantly, the Council are now being challenged to put actions with the words, meaning that something could emerge.

Of course, that's all conjecture for now, but I would urge all Evertonians to keep an open mind on this subject.

Quite simply there are just two things we should be intent on getting. One is a transparent, backed by facts and numbers, appraisal of our choices regarding where we play. Anything less and your vote / opinion will just be a guess.

Secondly, progress on the pitch. Let's see that job done and then see what the Club have to say about stadia etc in the summer. In the meantime we must continue to demand a full insight into what options are available from the Club and press the local Council to put this matter high on their agenda.

Although it may not appear we are getting anywhere, keeping the pot boiling is very important in ensuring all players in that Stadium game keep the issue at the forefront of their minds and look for the best solution. By doing so, the commercial partner the Club will need to stay in 'old Liverpool' may see the value of getting involved and come forward. Currently, the apparent lack of one is the biggst obstacle to staying and the biggest reason for going to Kirkby.

Come the Autumn we'll hopefully be dusting down our passports and know whether we're going to Kirkby. If only it were that simple eh? There's more twists and turns to come yet both on and off the pitch. That's what makes it so fascinating... isn't it?!
Karl Masters, Chatham, Kent  (23/3/07)

The big blue boundary

Well said, Dean. I live near Scarborough but am deeply offended by anyone saying that I am not a true scouser because I was born in Litherland! I too love Goodison but Dean is right that we need to move forward into the 21st century and build a stadium which is accessible to fans from all over the country.
Bob Williams, Scarborough  (23/3/07)

Yes, absolutely... just one question: From which part of the country is it not currently possible to get to Goodison? Sorry, but I had to ask. — Michael

Walking wounded

Valente, Van der Meyde, Cahill, Pistone etc are all out Does anyone know how long they are out for. I think this break could do us good. I know it is frustrating but if we get some players back, the squad will be bigger and more people challenging for places.
Connor Rohrer, Toxteth, Liverpool  (23/3/07)

Hmmm... yes... they'd be like New Signings, wouldn't they? How fabulously exciting and wonderful! I can't wait!!! — Michael

Ron Wilmington

Ron, I disagree with what you say about AJ not being clinical. There have been a few misses but compare Radsinski? He is a good player to have and he's actually getting better as a player with every game ? I shit you not son, he is even on the verge of being accepted and even welcomed into the Fat Frank England squad!!!
David O'Brien, Southend on Sea  (23/3/07)

England

It's great to see Everton players playing for England but I really fear the worst... any Everton player that plays for England either gets sold or injured. Let's hope I'm wrong on this occasion.
Gary Norman, Alsager, Stoke on Trent  (23/3/07)

AJ & The Move

AJ may not be a clinical finisher like Greaves, Lineker et al. However, his speed continually puts the defence (even Arsenal) under pressure forcing defensive errors and miscues.

I've lived in the US for 30 years but I'm Liverpool born and from an emotional point of view hope Everton stay in Liverpool. As a kid I lived in the Old Swan/Knotty Ash area and used to walk to the Liverpool City Rugby League ground. One day they up and moved down sarf to some place called Huyton were renamed and I guess diappeared. I'm not suggesting that will happen with Kirkby but I miss Liverpool City even though they were crap they were my team. If they can't renovate Goodison I'm hoping for something in the Dock area.
Ron Wilmington, San Francisco, Californa, USA  (23/3/07)

Sean v Luq; Round II

Although I am not quite sure of the Greggs' true position at the club (part of Luq's original response to Sean Rothwell) I equally fail to find much weight behind Sean's response.

The FSF is widely, although not totally apparently, seen as an elaborate scheme to diffuse Paul Gregg's attempt to inject funding into Everton FC which would have weakened Bill Kenwright's grip and control. Paul Gregg was a long-time friend and associate of Bill Kenwright but this whole fiasco signalled the death knell for that friendship and the eventual ousting of Paul Gregg with added manipulated media reports of the Gregg's lack of passion for the club, a passion Paul Gregg never claimed to have. He was drawn into buying the club with Bill Kenwright as Bill didn't have enough of his own money to do so.

Was it not Bill Kenwright that claimed Wayne Rooney was a £50M player and that no matter who called he would be told he is worth that much and was not for sale? I think we all know what happened next ? and it certainly wasn't £50M. If you don't believe that one, by the way just read away at the BBC's own report at the time.

Other fabled investor(s) were the Zingarevich family, again claimed by Bill Kenwright then strangely disappearing without a trace and extremely strong complete denials of any involvement whatsoever from the Zingarevich family a tenuous link via the FSF fable ? anoother BBC report...

So excuse me but I don't believe everything that I read simply because it's published in black and white, I'll read it and decide for myself, in the same way that Luq has and you have Sean, it's down to your interpretation of certain people and their version of fact and fiction.
Gavin Ramejkis, Upholland  (23/3/07)

Comments on the stadium debate

To those who dismiss the importance of our primordial bonds with the City of Liverpool as fuzzy sentimentalism: I say our identity is just as important as the quality of football we play. It?s what differentiates us from most other football clubs. When we ask ourselves, what does it mean to be an Evertonian, surely the City of Liverpool, its dramatic urban landscape and fine Victorian architecture, the site of our collective Evertonian consciousness, is the frame of reference?

And yet many support a move to a retail park in the hinterlands. They would willingly exchange Goodison and the City of Liverpool for a Reebok Stadium, Pride Park or St Mary?s in a wasteland; and all in the name of supposed economic necessity and nicer toilets.

Furthermore, adding insult to injury, they welcome an association with Tesco, the company that has successfully pursued a cynical campaign to monopolise the British retail sector. Operating according to the strictest economic rationale, they supply mediocrity en masse, sourced at the lowest possible prices, exploiting producers and their own staff.

Tesco are not only anathema to the culture of Everton Football Club, they are an unsuitable commercial partner to our desire for a state-of-the-art football stadium. It is inconceivable they will subsidise the construction of any stadium, let alone a world class facility.

Be in no doubt; Everton will pay the financial price for the Tesco Clubcard Arena; and the far greater price of removing the club from its cultural habitat.
Will Mitchell, London  (23/3/07)

I agree wholeheartedly with what you have to say, Will. Guess that makes us luddites in the eyes of those who see a Tesco Dome out in Kirkby as some guarantee of Everton returning to glory. ? Colm

Comparison...Dublin's new stadia...

Speaking as an architect I was glad to see the recent informed substantial lateral discussion piece by Trevor Skempton of the ?Goodison Redevelopment? dilemma. I would like to introduce a further comparison — Dublin?s Croke Park and Landsdowne Road.

Some 15 years ago, with Dublin?s two famous old stadiums in a dilapidated state, the need for replacement was obvious and a debate raged as to how this would be done. The GAA eventually went with redeveloping Croke Park, mainly over a five-year period, one side at a time, while keeping it in use. It has been redeveloped to a capacity of 82,500 and it is located in a late-Victorian/Edwardian densely terraced area in the central north of the city. It has been a huge success story. Increased revenues from games mean it is on schedule pay for itself 5 years ahead of time. Aspects of its premium / corporate box design have been mimicked at the 'Emirates'. Some of you rugby fans may have noticed it as the scenic background to the recent 43-13 stuffing of England by Ireland!!!

Between 1990 and 2000, new stadia for rugby and football were also strongly mooted for the edge of Dublin and one design even had planning permission. These Stadia, two 40,000-seat stadiums and a monster proposal for an Olympic-type sports campus with an 80,000-seat national stadium dubbed the ?Bertiebowl? (as it was Prime Minister Bertie Ahern?s pet vanity project) would have been sited on the edge of a very small overloaded motorway (M50) in the middle of a bunch of fields.

Fundamentally there was no reasonable infrastructure to support them. Thankfully, none went ahead. Afterwards, the idea of redevelopment, in particularly that of Landsdowne Road in the central south area of the city, gained a level of support that it didn?t originally have.

Originally the arguments against Landsdowne Road?s redevelopment had centred on the constraints of the site, limited capacity and the prospect of it?s very affluent neighbours objecting successfully to any development. The ?complete rebuild? mentality as opposed to a rebuild and reuse is also a prevalent one in the Irish mindset, an idea which I find only to be reversing somewhat in recent years. Landsdowne Road has just last Wednesday been granted planning permission for a spanking new 50,000-seat arena.

Food for thought?
Joe Rourke, Dublin, Ireland.  (23/3/07)

I've often made reference to the amazing redevelopment of Croke Park as an argument against those who belief that we can't redevelop Goodison Park, even on the existing footprint. What has been created at Croke Park is testament to those who believed it could be done. The only snag, of course, is the financing of it all! And therein lies our problem at Goodison.

We've gone from bullshitting our way, parading ourselves (to would-be suitors?) that we were one of the D&T's richest 20 clubs in the world, to being now cap in hand and prepared to do what a supermarket tells us we're going to do.

Like your references to An Taoiseach, Bartholomew Ahern and that slow moving cark park that rings Dublin! Lot to be said for living 90 miles south of Dublin! ;-) - Colm

England

I'll watch the England game tomorrow only because AJ is starting; if he gets sub'd, I'll switch off, if he is having a shite game, I'll switch off. Anyone else at all bothered about England, Fat Frank and the rest of the ego driven cretins playing (except for Phil)? Urm no? Good, me neither!!
David O'Brien, Southend on Sea  (23/3/07)

Re: AJ Goal Tally

Paul, I think you need to look a little bit deeper into that dry spell to be fair to AJ. I think it would be fair to say that the service and style of football being played didn't exploit his strengths.

The correlation between AJ scoring and Everton winning/drawing proves how reliant we have been on him this season. We haven't lost a league game when AJ has scored. Playing that lone role is a difficult job, especially when all that is coming from behind are aimless hoofs. I think Fernandes's eye for a pass has helped AJ along with a more positive approach and football on the deck recently. It is also worth noting that we haven't won a game when the opposition have score first. A common trend of the Moyes era.

If there's anything that he needs to improve I would say its his first touch which can sometimes let him down.
Craig Heywood, Leeds  (23/3/07)

I think it extends to more than his first touch: for me, he does not command the ball. He too often waits for it to bounce and settle rather than getting his foot on it and taking full possession. It's probably just part of his style but I'm sure a number of other more predatory strikers in that situation with Lehman would have had the ball in the back of the net well before he had a chance to paw it away. ? Michael

No, I'm not taking the piss

Mr Yussef, you claim that Bill Kenwright lied about the Fortress Sports Fund. How do you know? Could it not be that the deal just fell through, or when revised, was not in the best interests of the Club? Why does it have to be a lie?

You say Bill Kenwright lied over the positions of Paul and Anita Gregg. When did he ever make a comment on their positions?

You say Bill Kenwright lied over spending the moeny we got from selling Rooney to United. Could it not be that the money was made available and was not spent by David Moyes? You don't call him Dithering Dave for nothing...

You also say that Redevelopment of Goodison Park was lied about. I don't remember Bill Kenwright ever promising to redevelop Goodison, so I assume you're referring to his comment at the AGM. Let's put it simply, Bill Kenwright said he was told by the Council we couldn't extend the footprint of Goodison; Warren Bradley said he never said that. Why is Kenwright the liar?

I understand that Warren Bradley is suddenly the Patron Saint of Goodison to some people but why should he be more trustworthy than Bill Kenwright? My opinion on this matter is that Kenwright has previously asked about expanding Goodison and was given a flat out 'No' by the a member of the Council ? similar to the way we were told we couldn't build on Stanley Park. The approach will not have been a formal one and therefore Mr Bradley can claim that he has never been formally asked about it. To me that this is a more realistic version of what probably happened and suggests that neither man is telling direct lies.

I don't see how you can call Bill Kenwright a liar over these things when there is no proof that this is the case. Anyone can mould events to back up their opinion.
Sean Rothwell, Liverpool  (23/3/07)

Re: Goodison Tour

Just to emphasise, those that haven't been should definitely go. I went a couple years back and a couple before that and loved it everytime. Everything from sitting in the dugout to the dressing room ? it's amazing how tiny and non-soundproof the away room is compared to home.

Listening to the Z-Cars theme as you walk down the corridor and onto the pitch fills the heart and the Trophy Room still looks good. There are massive signs of old age and decay in the old lady, and I wonder how many of those dead-set on wanting us to stay (without looking at any other proposals) have actually seen inside her the troubles she has.

Book yourself a ticket, they normally happen when there isn't a match that week/weekend and is money well spent. Savour the memory.
Martin Roberts, Merseyside  (23/3/07)

Why?

Why is Luq so pumped up over a player who cost us nothing??

I mean, if he cost us millions of pounds, I'll be furious too, but he's a free transfer, probably cost us little in wages, and is only for 6 months...

And all I can remember is that Kenwright saying that he'll be a good signing. Moyes wanted him, and Kenwright signed him. What do you expect a Chairman to say after a signing a player, "The lad's not that good, don't expect much"???

And give the player a chance. Henry, Pires, took 3-4 months to adapt. Also bear in mind, he didn't play much too before, so he's a little behind in terms of fitness.

Why focus your energy on Da Silva when Kenwright did a splendid job in securing the likes of Howard, Johnson and Lescott over the summer. He also deserve some credit for being able to secure Feranades on loan.

Do we even need Nugent or Ashton when we have Johnson, Cahill, Vaughan and Anichebe??? Signing another experinced player will halt the progress of our two very talented youngsters. Reo-Coker??? I'd rather us sign Fernades, thank you very much.
Eric McFadden, Liverpool  (23/3/07)

I like the idea that players cost us nothing. If only it were true... ? Michael

In good shape

I can`t remember a time in our Premiership history when Everton were in better shape than they are now. Sixth in the league, two players in the England team, a raft of promising youngsters and every chance of moving to a sparkling new stadiun ere long.

Whilst the carpers and moaners are still as vociferous as ever and the Chairman and Manager are systematically denigrated in these columns, I think we`re in pretty good fettle and hope a few more optimists can find the energy to tell you so!
Ken Farrimond, Bootle  (23/3/07)

Doesn't alter the fact that Moyes has made plenty of mistakes this season and lost points that would have put us even higher in the League. Nil Satis and all that! — Michael

Tom Cannon, Shareholder

It seemed I ruffled a few feathers regarding Tom Cannon. All I was pointing out was that after the recent years of struggling with finanace, where was Tom giving his opinion then on Sky Sports? With every other club getting taken over every other week, Tom was giving his viewpoint on them. Now that it seems a brand new stadium is built (not with our money tho!) the grass looks a bit greener and here's Tom giving his views now. All I was saying is where was he then?

I mentioned that he, being a shareholder, would benefit. I apologise if you didn't understand my sarcasm...
Paul Henshaw, Liverpool  (23/3/07)

I guess you're right; "It seems, as a shareholder, he'd be getting a nice little wedge if the Kirkby move went ahead"... if I re-read your submission as fishing for a possible new motive that may now be driving the Professor to spout forth, then it loses the edge I originally read.

Sarcasm on t'internet simply does not come across unless you do something obvious to flag it. I know that kinda detracts from the subtlety of it, but otherwise, lo and behlod, you have a misunderstanding! I have a lot of mail to read and take each one at face value first off, so subtlety sometimes passes me by... ? Michael

AJ's Goal Tally

Having read about Geoff Thomas's comments on AJ, I wanted to have my say. It's something that's been bugging me for a few weeks.

Firstly (before I get lynched), I'm big fan of Andy Johnson. He works tirelessly for the team, has scored some vital goals this season (including two which ensured one of the happiest days of my life) and seems genuinely proud to pull on the blue shirt each week.

But...

When you look at his goal record for this season, it isn't great: 12 from 30 games, which is only slightly better than 1 in 3. A genuine goalscorer (which I believe he is) should be looking closer to 1 in 2. That dry spell he had between the City game in Sep and Reading in Dec was obviously a big factor in this.

So, whilst I think he's had a good season so far, I don't quite think we can call it a great one yet... unless he keeps scoring and keeps us in the top 6 that is!
Paul O'Hanlon, Liverpool  (23/3/07)

Beattie for Nugent?

I think we should give PNE Beattie and £2 million for David Nugent. With Victor and Vaughany, four top strikers in the ranks and Manuel Fernandes is a must, whatever the cost. I will even put in a few quid myself for him.

Top draw against the Gooners. 3 points against the boring Villa, who by the way are not as big as us, and we'll be getting our poassports out. We have taken 8 points from both Arsenal and Liverpool and we're 2nd in the Also-Rans League. We've beaten Bolton too so I think we're having a stormer. COYB
Mikey Cummins, Sussex  (23/3/07)

Goodison tour

If, as seems likely, Everton are to move from Goodison then I would urge all blues (that are able) to get themselves on the Goodison Park tour, while they can. I went on it myself the day after the West Ham game, a few weeks before Christmas, and cannot reccomend it highly enough.

The legend that is Dave Hickson took us on the actual tour (he even made us all tea at the end! Imagine that!) and what a guy he is! I was like a kid in a sweet shop all day.

The one sad thing about it all was (after I had calmed down) it did dawn on me just how tired Goodison is. There is somthing magic about the place that can NEVER be re-created but it is, I feel, coming to the end of its time.

There has been plenty said on this site about the possible ground move and the fact it seems likely. All I will say on the matter is to urge everyone to make the most of Goodison NOW ? it won't be around for long it seems.
Tom Emanuel, Oxford  (23/3/07)

Done? ? Deal

Mark Welsh, I think you may have done Colin Bates an injustice here. I believe he may be right but has just some of the facts a bit messed up.

His 'mate' will indeed have been approached about electronics for the new stadium but can't have the contract as my mate Terry's company, Total Electronic Solutions Co-Operative, have been guaranteed the job as their superior software includes the option of being able to order your shopping while you watch the match and collect it at full time. ELH.

I can also confirm that planning permission for a 10-mile access road, to the M6 (good guess mate), has indeed been given as this was commissioned some time ago by EFC when a secret survey revealed that another 8,000 'Evertonians', would "Go t' match if t'were brought 4 miles closer t'us and there were a short cut".

Tarmac, having beaten off a gang of Irish Tinkers for the contract (they wanted cash in hand), have won the right to turn GP into an overspill car park for the new Anfield.

See, it all makes sense now... Done deal it is!
Steve McBride, Liverpool  (23/3/07)

MIA

Where is Anderson da Silva, Kenwright's golden signing? He hasn't featured in the last two reserve games and I fear that the publicity stunt has come to an end with Da Silva leaving through the back door. And fans ask why we don't trust Kenwright; HE IS A PROFESSIONAL LIAR/ACTOR!

And even if we don't get our top target in Nugent, we can simply raid the fallen ships treasures of West Ham and take Dean Ashton and Nigel 'baby bently' Coker for around £10 million combined. Providing we believe Kenwright that there are funds available???
Luq Yussef, London  (23/3/07)

Improvement in my eyes

Some supporters claim we are unattractive to watch under Moyes, but our best performances come through a fluid passing game. Therefore, I cannot understand fans still knocking David Moyes.

I am a glass half full type but there are times when I come out of games like Blackburn (FA Cup) and Spurs when I think ?why do I bother?? Then games like Arsenal come along and I know ?that?s why? and these games are happening more often every season, which shows improvement in my eyes.

On recent performances, Manuel Fernandes is an absolute must. He is one of the best young footballers in Europe and he'll be the man to bridge the gap between us and the top 4. Besides that, all these rumors on Nugent, I'm not sure he's worth £6 million or whether we need him. Johnson, Cahill, Anichebe, Vaughan and McFadden. Not a bad strikeforce, IMO.
Joey Baxton, Liverpool  (23/3/07)

The problem with Moyes is that he has had the lads playing the most god-awful football for most of the season ? saftety-first stuff whose only rationale would be to avoid the threat of relegation. I'm not convinced we've seen the last of it either. We STILL have not won two games back-to-back since September! What sort of an indictment is that!?!

Fans (like me) who will continue to expect more of David Moyes are not satisfied with seeing that from an Everton side. Games like Arsenal show what can be done, even when some his first-choice players are not available. Games like Blackburn and Spurs are unfortuantely all-too-common and painful reminders that still lots more work is needed from Moyes to redress the balance. ? Michael

Lukas Jutkiewicz

I live in Bristol and watched a local football show last night covering the south west teams. They chatted about Everton buying Swindon's teenage striker Lukas Jutkiewicz and said how they thought he was an excellent prospect and that we are lucky to have bought him. The clips of him were very impressive to be honest, some neat touches and a terrific finish.

Brand new training complex next season and a talented young team, all good. :-)
Gavin Harris, Bristol  (23/3/07)

Is there a gag order on Anderson da Silva???

Does anyone out there know the latest on the progress of Anderson da Silva?

After a couple of years of a long drawn-out transfer saga, the player finally moved to Everton albeit only for a loan spell. He did play a small part in a Carling Cup match and then after then has just disappeared. No sound, no picture and absolutely no news about him.

Lots of fans must be dying to get some official word ? whether he is good or short of fitness or is he learning the English game. He can't be shite, he's Brazillian!!!
Wally Melwani, Singapore  (23/3/07)

Carling Cup?!? That would explain it: we loaned him to Arsenal! He's their new secret weapon. And David Dein (Bill's bezzie mate) is forking out shedloads for the priviledge ? mullah that Bill needs to finance the new Tesco Superdome... It's dead easy this conspiracy malarkey once you get in da gruve!!! ;)— Michael

Reply to Eric Dols

Poor(ish) examples they may be, to show that new stadium does not AUTOMATICALLY equal more money, just how many clubs with new stadiums that brought in megabucks did I miss out (none??). The whole point vis a vis Prof Levy was that, poor though my examples were, they half(ish) proved the point a lot better than his, or yours, 'because I say so'.

No doubt we and many others shall continue to agree to differ. I hope I am way out wrong, coz if I and others of the same ilk are even half right this club will be in Shit Street and no mistake, nor will there be any miraculous return ?like Charlton to The Valley.

I could even live with a couple more of Moyeses baby steps 5-yr plans to get the team right, IF the progress meant that in 10 or 15 years we would be, past results, cash and ground?wise, where they are now ? that's how serious it is!!!
Derek Thomas, Torbay, Auckland  (23/3/07)

Just what IS on offer, Charlie Gofton???

How do you know that Kirkby is the only financially feasible option available? Have you seen the financial plan? Well neither has anyone else and until it?s published, if it ever is, then how can anyone be expected to make a balanced judgement?

The fact is it?s the ONLY option we are being told about and we're being kept in the dark over the details.
Eric Myles, Pattaya, Thailand  (23/3/07)

Dear Max

Please explain and expand upon your recent missive for me and fellow thickies. I wish I was as certain of anything as you appear to be about everything. Are you talking about woe, woe and relegation if we stay at Goodison? Or will we be OK if we quit our spiritual home yet remain in the City? Will we win the Prem if we relocate to, say, Lytham St Annes?

"Massively increased revenue"... why would moving produce this largesse? How will our revenue be massively increased? Is it just your opinion or have you got crystal balls? Get it right on the pitch, the rest will follow.

Here's a sample recipe for success, regardless of where we play: take 1 decent manager, an ex-binman, 1 LFC reserve, a teenager from Burnley, 1 crocked Scottish No 9 etc... ah, but that could never happen.
Phil Bellis, L8 (Not Toxteth)  (23/3/07)

Iain Turner

I have been keeping tabs on Iain Turner's recent loan spell at Sheff Wednesday and he has been earning rave reviews! Could we actually have two quality keepers competing for the Number 1 jersey next year??? How long has it been since we have had a situation like that!

Interesting to note as well that ther fans seem to be hoping the deal can be made permanent in the summer. Surely that would never happen... A few comments (there are lots and lots of others like this too) below from a Sheff Wed fans forum:

'No surprise that we haven't lost since he came, he's been brilliant.'

'He'd be a welcome permanent signing. Top man'

'I wouldnt be too concerned if we spent the lion's share of the Bougherra transfer on Turner, he would be a great purchase and he is still very young,'

'Some inspiring performances, GET HIM SIGNED!!'
John Davison, Doncaster  (22/3/07)

Re: Eileen Roberts

Eileen, yes I can see the wood etc. It's not me that has gone gung ho to move without the knowledge of the cost as believe me nobody gives a free lunch. Frankly while I concede you the right of your own opinion, I can't for the life of me understand your blind faith in Billy "Oops, there goes the Kings Dock" Kenwright, or Terry Tesco (who is, of course, going to put our needs ahead of tesco), or Tom "Let me on the Board" Cannon

There is nothing I've seen yet that I can believe and, as an Evertonian home and away since 1958, I find that heartbreaking. Ok, Warren Bradley might have his own agenda as well but let's let the smoke clear and see what's what. I promise as an Evertonian & gentleman, if you're proved right, I will post a humble apology for you. All I ask is you let other people have their say. And Please note that while I have always lived in our city I have the greatest respect for fellow blues not fortunate enough to live here.
Roy Coyne, Old Swan  (22/3/07)

Chance

James Beattie was and still potentially is a good player, he just needs a goal. I have been told by my dad I'm the only one that supports him but I just see simething there. I just feel, if we give him more support and encouragement, they will come for him ? the goals. I just ask any Evertonian that sees this may just give him a cheer next match whether hes on the pitch or not because I'm sure he don't feel happy about this. Make him feel a blue.
Ben Roberts, Wales  (22/3/07)

To go or not to go? ? What's the bigger question?

The talk of moving versus staying has stirred up every Evertonian around the world. The whole subject is like a bad smell that won't go away and will probably linger on after the whole issue is resolved one way or the other. The Gos and Stays have put forward equally passionate arguments and counter-arguments, some if it total bollocks, some of it scaremongering, and some of it balanced and incisive.

What I really want to know is what do the plans (if they exist) for our new stadium look like? Have we, the punters, taken our eye off the ball here and are we about to be shafted with a cosy little stadium holding 30,000 that would grace a small town club? Wherever we end up, I want a stadium to grace the world of football, something awe-inspiring, something that befits a great club with a long history and a great future.

If we try to get a stadium on the cheap because some of the so-called unnamed investors do not materialise or, god forbid, something built in incremental stages, we stand to be a laughing stock. In view of what is going on over the road, that would be just too much to bear.

I have a very uneasy feeling about the new stadium, what it will look like, how long will it take to build and the brand name; telling the missus 'I am just popping out to Tesco' just does not sound right to me. If anyone has seen the plans or can point me in the right direction, please let me know because I will be the first in line to voice my concerns to BK (and I don't mean Burger King) if I think that they are crap and unworthy.

Let's get some balance to the arguments from both sides and see what we might end up with and please no scare tactics about staying at GP and let us start putting pressure on the Board to give us the vision for the future even if it is only computer generated at this stage.

Do I want to stay or go? At the moment, I honestly don't know. What I do know is that I will cry my eyes out if we close the doors on GP. But I also remember that I cried tears of relief when we beat Wimbledon on the last day of the season to stay up and I remember the relief when we drew with Coventry to stay up and Bolton to go down. I don't want to go through that again and if it means Everton playing European football in a fantastic stadium just over the city boundary, I will take that gladly.
Joe Elder, Sudan  (22/3/07)

Plans? Listen to the deafening silence...

Everton ? Villa

I'm not implying that I feel Villa are a bigger club than us, in my heart no club is bigger than Everton, but in my head I know that's not the case. I'm just saying that you have to understand something from an unbiased viewpoint.
Dave Leacock, Liverpool  (22/3/07)

Zamora... You can keep him!

I've just read in the Rumour Mill about possible interest in Bobby Zamora! For fucks sake I hope that's all it is, a bloody rumour ? surely we've moved on from signing players of this ilk?!!

If I remember right, he was at Spurs and wasn't good enough for them, so surely he isn't good enough for us? Victor and Vaughany are superior to him,so what message would signing Zamora send to them? If we are going to pick the carcass of any relegated teams then we should be looking at Tevez (quality) or maybe Darren Bent, providing Charlton don't want ridiculous money. Come on blues, onward and upward, not same old shite!!

Superb website by the way ? total credit to you all!
Craig Stanley, Helsby  (22/3/07)

Cannon Balls ? Part Deux

Dave Leacock, are you crazy?? We too have won league titles and don't forget the European Cup Winners Cup. I do not accept the comments made which imply that Aston Villa are a better club than us. They are not, and IMHO are unlikely to ever be. Though I admit extreme bias in that area since nobody competes with us in my mind!
Carolyn Hayre, Preston  (22/3/07)

English football

Why is English football so exciting and popular all over the world?

For me the reasons, despite the players and bla bla bla, are the history, the tradition, the famous old grounds in the middle of houses and pubs, the passionate fans ... and I think EVERTON is the greatest club in England to have that all.

Last weekend I came over from Holland to the Arsenal match and it was fucking brilliant. So please fuck off with all the new boring grounds and just rebuild Goodison.
Albert Velthuijsen, Dedemsvaart, Holland  (22/3/07)

RE: Cannon Balls

With regards to the post about Aston Villa, in Cannon's defence, Aston Villa are the biggest club in the second-biggest city in the country, whereas we are second in a normal city. Furthermore, Aston Villa have won a European Cup and have got several First Division titles.
Dave Leacock, Liverpool  (22/3/07)

Warren Bradley

I have just logged onto the website and have read Warren Bradley's comments.

Being from Dublin I obviously know nothing about Liverpool City Council and it's members. By extension, I know nothing about Bradley and what reputation he has as a local councillor. I do think though that his comments about wanting to keep Everton within the city seem genuine. The man has both his Everton hat and his councillor hat on and I don't see as how it would suit him to lie.

I don't know the City of Liverpool either so by all means tell me how appropriate or not the sites mentioned in other posts are. But surely a large part of the cost of building a new stadium is buying the site to build it on, especially in a city the size of Liverpool. If the council has offered the club sites, then surely, on this line of thinking, it's something that should have been taken more seriously than it would appear.

Now I know we don't have a lot of ready cash, it's been one of my main arguements supporting the move from Goodison to Kirkby. And I know we have debts that have to be serviced. But there is a increased glut of money promised to Premiership clubs over the coming seasons. And with the expected return on a new stadium, the extra money, if handled properly could surely ease the cost of us building a stadium ourselves. Both these points, especially in the light of Warren Bradley's comments, do provide an alternative to Kirkby in my view.

Now like I said, I don't know the council or the city. Bradley's comments could be just as much spin as what we have had from our own board. All of this could already have been thrashed out and proved not to be a suitable option for a new ground. (I know I have read related stuff on this website last August or September) But given the doom and gloom surrounding the Kirkby deal, the timing of Bradley's comments does give food for thought.
Kieran Fitzgerald, Dublin  (22/3/07)

Are you taking the piss?

Are you blind Sean Rothwell? Take a look around Goodison and that was Billy Stardust's first lie: Redevelopment of Goodison Park. Then you have the promise of the Fortress Sports Fund, spending funds from the Rooney transfer then we only brought Bent and Cahill for £2.5M, Paul and Anita Gregg's position at the club as well as his own, etc etc.

If this was the wild west, Kenwright would be an outlaw wanted in the Mersey area for robbery and conspiry to defraud its population! Wanted DEAD or locked up alive (note that this is an JOKE Dodd, Cottee and Co)!

As for Geoff Thomas, well he is entitled to his option as well as anyone. Personally I feel England's last clinical strikers were Robbie 'cokeline' Fowler and Gary Lineker. Still give AJ a chance before he gets lambasted!!! Hopefully he can talk Nugent into a move too!!!
Luq Yussef, London  (22/3/07)

Wayne Rooney

I happened upon an old video tape onto which I had recorded the highlights of Everton V Leeds from 2002. The game looked to be heading to a draw when Moyes made an attacking masterstroke and brought on 17-year-old Wayne Rooney, who took to the field and won the game with a lovely goal.

After the match Moyes was interviewed:-

Comentator: "Does Wayne Rooney ever surprise you?"

Moyes: "No."

Comentator: "He's just that good?"

Moyes: "Yes."

I still miss Wayne Rooney and cannot believe that the young lad who had an Everton bedroom and claimed "Once a Blue, always a Blue" now gloats right in the faces of Evertonians when he scores against them. I miss him but will never forgive him.
Paul Atress, Liverpool  (22/3/07)

Cannon on Target?

Just a point on the recent criticism concerning the Everton v Villa comparison. Tom Cannon did not argue that Villa were a bigger or better supported club than Everton. His point was that Villa had a much bigger natural franchise population which to my mind means more potential paying punters to attract through the turnstiles every week.

Now I don't know if this is a valid point or not but it does make the argument that Everton have a much greater fanbase across the globe (compared to Villa) somewhat irrevelant.
Brendan McLaughlin, Derry, Ireland  (22/3/07)

One thing I've noticed with Aston Villa over recent seasons ? aside their relative lack of debt and impressive stadium facilities: they rarely sell out, fans staying away. ? Colm

Andy Johnson not good enough for England!

Former England international Geoff Thomas believes Everton striker Andy Johnson will struggle at international level.

As a fierce patriot and Palace devotee, he would love to be proved wrong. But, he does not share Neville's views.

Reflecting on the way Ian Wright's goalscoring flair flourished at Palace and Arsenal but floundered in England colours, Thomas said: "Ian used to create so many chances for himself with his ability that he would inevitably miss a few and that would end up getting publicised.

"I think Andy is the same. He is not 100 per cent clinical. In international football, that counts for a lot. Guys like Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer would score from virtually every chance they got. Unfortunately, Ian didn't fit into that category and neither does Andy."

HA HA. This coming from Geoff Thomas a 'great finisher' himself in his day.
Trevor Thompson, Croydon  (22/3/07)

City in A Spin or Spin City

Richard Dodd, I don't know whether to envy you or show you sympathy. I realise that you always see the good in the Blues and those that run the club. You also believe that the players always perform at their best at all times.

I admire this quality in you as a person, however, in the real world, it just doesn't work that way. Every report you read, watch or listen to has at its core a message to persuade the audience to lean in a particular direction. The phrase 'they would say that wouldn't they' can be attributed to Mr Bradley, Professor Canon and Terry Tesco but for differing reasons.

The fact that there is any public utterances on the subject is both a good sign and possibly an ominous one. If the deal hasn't already been rubber-stamped then all the public debate is a good sign, as it means the concerns of the fans hasn't gone unnoticed. If Kirkby has already got the go-ahead then the public outpourings are nothing short of froth.

Unless and until the club itself makes a statement on the subject everybody is left feeling their way in the dark. If all the people at the club had Richard's world views, we would probably be the nicest club in the world, but playing our football in the lowest possible league available.
John Patrick McFarlane, Lancs  (22/3/07)

More bullshit and showbiz glam from our chairman..

Just read about the new series of the Andrew Lloyd Webber/Graham Norton Saturday night Snoozefest to find a new star of the stage. This time they are looking for a male lead for Lloyd Webber's production of Joseph... nd Bill is going to be a judge.... great for his public image, how about for our club's?!
Steve Bell, Bristol  (22/3/07)

Max Levy's article

I have lived in the south for quite a while. I remember my first match when taken to Anfield by my father and uncles. Typical scouse family - totally split on loyalties. We stood on the Kop. Aubrey Powell scored for Everton within 5 minutes ? oh joy! Liverpool eventually won 3-1 but I was hooked ? another Evertonian to follow my father. In my younger day I followed Dave Hickson all over the shop, and he still is my type of centre forward!! I tell you all this because people will say "Living in Hampshire, what does he know about tradition?"

Well more than a lot of city-based supporters who are literally acting like luddites over the move to Kirkby. Max Levy got it absolutely right: we have to move, and the fact that Tesco and Kirkby countil are falling over backwards to make the offer attractive for a great club with no money... what the hell are we waiting for? I suppose mid-table mediocrity with the possibility of relegation is what these "stay Goodison at all costs" idiots think is acceptable. I do not, and any true Evertonian who has the club at heart will not either.

Let us all go forward together to bigger and better things and show that lot across the park just how and why Everton is the greatest team in the land.
Spencer Lunt, Fleet, Hampshire  (22/3/07)

Tom, you missed one...

Can Tom Cannon please explain what made Portsmouth an attractive proposition for investors?

Was it their one (small) city, one club situation, a cachment area 50% of which includes oil rigs and porpoises, or is it the global brand?
Steve McBride, Liverpool  (22/3/07)

Kenwright's Lies

Can I just ask people to list the instances in which they feel Bill Kenwright has directly lied to the fans? This is a genuine question and I'm not trying to be sarcastic here. I'm not a particularly big fan of Kenwright but I do feel the constant abuse he receives is often times unmerited.
Sean Rothwell, Liverpool  (22/3/07)

Cannon Balls

Excellent comments by Tom Cannon with the exception of Villa being bigger than us. Everton fans stretch all over the place whereas Villains tend to be Brummies only.

A large number of people in Merseyside, Cheshire, Wales, London (migrated professionals) and the world support Everton. There are a ton of Everton fans in their 20s from the success we had in the 80s.

I have met people called Everton in the Caribbean. Never known anybody called Aston Villa!!
Dan Parker, New York, USA  (22/3/07)

Err... Oh nevermind... — Michael

Villa are NOT bigger than us!

Interesting interview with Tom Cannon which contained statements from him that I broadly agree with. However, his claim that Aston Villa are a justifiably more attractive proposition than us, with a fanbase potentialy 10 times bigger, is utterly ridiculous and cannot go unchallenged. I am absolutely certain that there are at least twice as many Evertonians worldwide than Villa fans.

Hopefully the Everton Board have a slightly higher opinion of our club than the good Professor does.
Gareth Hughes, Liverpool  (22/3/07)

We have to take what's on offer

I feel I would like to add my two penny's worth to the stadium debate. I don't want us to leave Goodison but I have to agree with Eileen (despite her ramblings) that this is the only financially feasible option available. Whether or not it's a done deal or you think Kenwright is lying is irrelevant. At this moment in time we simply have to take Tesco and Knowsley up on this offer as we don't know when such a good one will come again (if ever).

I don't however buy into the fact that this will meen instant success and trophies but what I do know is we will certainly give us a better chance and will obviously attract investment. (Who knows maybe after 10 years we can knock down the stadium in Kirby and build another back up Goodison Road).

What I will say, however, is that for a large percentage of blues (under 25s), Goodison hasn't actually been hugely successful. Sure the history and atmosphere are second to only a few, but this notion of never leaving the ground is nonsense. As Dylan wrote "the times they are a changing" so it's time for the old brigade to move with it.

If it means you won't go to the games anymore than don't. You will be replaced. Everton will go on without Goodison Park and those who choose to stay away.
Charlie Gofton, Liverpool  (22/3/07)

Whose land is it anyway?

These sites the council have 'identified' ? are they actually their's to offer or does 'identified' mean 'there's some ground, maybe we can ask the owners to build you a stadium on it' or have I missed the statment from season-ticket holder Warren that says 'We HAVE some land'?

Switch Island is definitely not their's, it belongs to Peel Holdings, as, probably (assumption) does the non-specific site in Speke, seeing as they own the majority of land in the vicinity of the airport. Edge Hill?

As for LCC 'giving' us the land for KD, they didn't own that either. I believe it was 'owned' by English Heritage (a government body, I think) and LCC were just one of the parties involved in the selection of the best development for the area/City. They did not have the final say as far as I'm aware.

Just as well; if it was owned by the council it would have been flogged for a private housing development a long, long time ago.
Steve McBride, Liverpool  (22/3/07)

Not for Sir Terry`s eyes!

In the wildly unlikely event that Sir Terry Leahy reads this Mailbag, he could be forgiven for thinking that he is wasting his time and money by having anything to do with Everton! I am sure both Sir Terry and Tesco would survive `the trauma` of being rejected by the Luddites who so clog these pages although whether our club would is a different matter.

Forever accused of being a sycophant because I have faith in the people running the show, I do, at times, wonder why so many avowed Evertonians need to see the worst in everybody and everything to do with the club. In contrast to your goodselves, Prof Cannon seems to think that although there is no prospect of a takeover, the club is in reasonable shape and safe hands.

No doubt the financial geniuses who people this column will find reason to disagree with him! I can only conclude that far too many `good` Evertonians would, in truth, love to see the club fall on its arse!
Richard Dodd, Formby  (21/3/07)

And your conclusion shows you what a dick you are, deosn't it Rechard. We've been lied to in the past by Mr Kenwright. Does that not in any way concern you? Prof Cannon is known to want a place on the Everton Board, so he is hardly likely to do anything but reinforce the current chosen path. It's about askling the question: "is this best for the Club?" rather than rolling over as you do and accepting everything you read or hear from them as being gospel. We know, sadly, that it ain't. ? Michael

Re: Re Colm's comments

Colm, I doubt very much the Council have offered us land at Switch Island ? it isn't in Liverpool (it's in Sefton).
Sean Rothwell, Liverpool  (22/3/07)

Well aware of that, Sean! I think Bradley made a comment that the site identified in the north of the City was, as of yet, revealed. Switch Island was one of those sites mentioned in the media over recent times. ? Colm

David France Collection

It's the trendy thing to do ? leave your history behind... didn't you know? EFC quote: 'We don't want to get into the museum business'

No, what possible sense would it make to have this 'unique' (Christie's) collection attracting visitors to your stadium? Beats me.
Steve McBride, Liverpool  (22/3/07)

Re; Colm's comments

Colm, you state that Mr Bradley has earmarked two sites for Everton to build on. Care to name them? Of course you can't... nobody knows where they are other than Mr Bradley. So how do we know they even exist? It's not inconceivable that a politician could be lying, is it?

If it's OK for everyone to state that Mr Kenwright is a liar about this issue, then I don't think I should be criticised for claiming Mr Bradley is a liar. I feel the Club are less deceptive and corrupt than the Council.

With regards to my other assertion that the Council was as much to blame as the Club regarding the Kings Dock, again, this is just an opinion. I saw it that way at the time and still do now. If the Council had a genuine interest in Everton securing that land they would have made it happen. As someone else posted, it was stated that out of all the proposals, the Council fancied ours least.

They accepted the proposal because there would have been a backlash if they wouldn't have. After that they felt they had done more than enough for us and fucked us off as they have always done.
Sean Rothwell, Liverpool  (22/3/07)

It's believed that the sites offered to Everton previously included locations such as Speke, Edge Lane and Switch Island. Furthermore, Bradley has stated that the Council would be interested in helping Everton extend the Goodison footprint. I'd like to see Everton explore that possibility.

As for who can shout "liar" the loudest, did Warren Bradley, of his own free will, not go on local radio some weeks back to take issue with quotes atributed to Bill Kenwright at the last AGM, about the Council's perceived stance on redevelopment of Goodison Park. Tell me, what was Mr Kenwright's response to Mr Bradley's accusations? If Bradley was telling lies I'm sure Mr Kenwright would be only too glad to clear his own name and reputation.

As for the Council (think it was Mike Storey) and the appallingly crass ignorant comment about Everton's bid being the sixth best out of five submissions... well, have a guess who it was who helped prove Storey and his ilk wrong on that score? ? Colm

'Could have been a contender...'

If I had a pound for everytime I've read about the Kings Dock failure in this mailbag, we could build a new stadium with the bloody proceeds!!!

I realise it was a great disappointment but why oh why do we continually bring it up as a self-flagellating, masochistic justification, particularly in debate over Goodison / Kirkby / LCC proposed sites etc??!! Its been and gone, can we get over it. There is no purpose served in continually going over what could have been ? lets try to move forward.
Alex Spelling, Nottingham  (22/3/07)

Agreed, let's try to move forward - but it's hard when you keep on reading Evertonians saying that LCC have NEVER done anything for Everton FC without referencing the sorry King's Dock episode. ? Colm

I disagree... isn't there some pithy quote about ignoring the lessons of history at one's peril? We should never forget the lines of bullshit we were fed over KD... and by whom. That surely was lesson Number One. — Michael

David France Collection

If we did move to Kirkby (we now know it's not in Liverpool) I wonder what would happen to the David France Collection if we got hold of it? Would it be stored in Liverpool even though we were not a part of it?
Brian Waring, Wokingham  (22/3/07)

That's the plan! ? Colm

Goal difference

Just a quick one to say how great it is that our goal difference is so comfortably POSITIVE. Or is that just down to the booing?
Ronnie Mukherjee, Merseyside  (22/3/07)

I think it's down to scoring more goals than conceded, Ronnie! ;-) ? Colm

Ground Move

Apparently LCC have identified two possible sites within the city boundaries which are suitable for a new stadium development. Great news. Can someone please ask Tesco to build another super store at one of these sites and a new super stadium for the Blues? Or is that too simple?

Got to the match last Sunday; fabulous to be in GP once more to witness a great display and a well deserved win. Now we MUST find the cash to buy Fernandes.
Tony Waring, Frogmore, Devon  (22/3/07)

Local yokel Richard

Few more idiotic posts can have appeared than that by Richard who in essence states that overseas Evertonians are irrelevant. He finds it unbelievable that we write "opinionated" letters about "our" club.

I think clubs in the Premiership moved on a while back from being the local neighbourhood club, and in fact the most succesful of these have built themselves into global franchises, or are trying to.

Local support is the backbone of any club, I would agree, but the Premiership is watched every week by millions all over the globe. The teams are staffed by players from all over the world. Clubs derive enormous revenues from the sale of their merchandise internationally. The TV rights from all those who watch the Premiership helps them to prosper financially.

So, Richard, no doubt the average Evertonian has extremely relevant opinions relating to the club, and everyone respects those who make the weekly trip to Goodison, rain or shine.

You on the other hand have exposed yourself as an insular, parochially minded fool.
Bram Oliver, Windhoek, Namibia  (22/3/07)

Why not talk

Why are EFC refusing to talk to Warren Bradley? What if we end up in Kirkby and it was known that we could have had Walton Hall Park?

It seems that the ground move to Stanley park was a pack of lies. So I say to EFC "Start talking to LCC NOW!"
Colin Malone, Wirral  (22/3/07)

RE: Derek Thomas

First of all: I really would love to stay at Goodison. Period. No hidden agenda, no "but let's get real...". I'm on your side.

But I think your argument is largely flawed. You are using Arsenal, Bolton and Boro as examples of clubs who did not benefit their new stadium. Obviously, Arsenal are playing slightly below-par this season. But they're still top 4, they're not falling apart or anything. Still, I might agree with you that they kept a tight transfer budget to make the financial room for their new stadium. I will agree with you on Arsenal for the sake of the argument, although I just want to add that I expect Arsenal to be top of the league in a few seasons.

But Bolton did move to a new ground in the mid nineties, when they were not good enough to play in the PL, but too good for D1. Over the years, they became to a challenger for the European spots. I honestly think that in their case, their new stadium helped them a lot. Even if you don't agree on this one, it is a bit ridiculous to claim their new stadium didn't help them in results. Of course, it is an expensive, ugly concrete monster and not a ground with any real atmosphere... Boro has noticably the same story to tell.

Both teams improved in results in the 10 years or so after they moved compared with results in the 10 years before the move. You don't help your own point with these examples.

More important: I don't care about other clubs; it is irrelevant to compare us to the stadiums built by relegation-bound clubs (at that time at least) over ten years ago. I want the best deal for us, and nothing else.
Erik Dols, Maastricht, the Netherlands  (22/3/07)

Trust me ? I'm an Evertonian

I keep reading posts relating to EFC asking about building a stadium on Stanley Park which was rejected by LCC. The 'story' as I remember it at the time, unofficially of course, was that EFC actually only asked for a part of SP to build a new car park so they could expand into the Park End, this coupled with the information related to us, by the then manager of the Winslow, that EFC were trying to buy all of the property on Goodison Road, including the pub.

If all this was true, and I have heard many people say of LCC 'wouldn't even give us a small part of SP when we asked but they let them bastards have half the fucking park' or words to that effect, so it's not just me who believes it, then maybe EFC did actually look to redevelop at that time and LCC shafted us. Will we ever know?

Another thing, while many are all so keen to believe what LCC say, let me take you back to the time when this council was newly elected to run the city and the front page on the Liverpool FC Echo proudly proclaimed one of their policies, 'the parkland in the city is being put into trust to prevent them, and future councils, selling it off'. Renting it off is apparently OK.

We can all point to KD and say we fucked up on that one, LCC gave us a great opportunity, and, from the little information we had, they did, but don't believe for one minute the offer was out of any real concern for EFC. The stadium wasn't going to be ours alone, only about half I believe, it was to benefit the council coffers too and we will never really know how much additional non-match revenue would have actually been ours.

This council knows the cost of letting EFC leave, but bear in mind they've known for a very long time of our desire/need to redevelop, yet only now, when it looks like we actually have another option, do they come out of the woodwork with offers of 'free', unidentified, land that was presumably there initially, when building costs were minimal in comparison to today. I for one would be surprised if the council actually still owned any land as they sell anything they can and always have done.

Let's make sure we take the politician's talk as just that ? talk, and not build our hopes up through sheer desperation to believe. These people are experts at exploiting sensitive situations and we need to keep a realistic head on this until Bradley (why does he keep reminding us he's a Blue, I wonder?), as we constantly demand of EFC, gives us some facts and figures. Bradley does not want his party to be remembered as the ones who lost a major business and keystone to a community through neglect and they will bullshit as much as anyone to deflect any blame.

Keep an open mind, a glimmer of hope, but don't get lost in the spin. If EFC reject LCC's 'options' then, as EFC won't, it is LCC's duty to us, and the people of Walton, to release the FULL details of what was on offer and not hammer in an already growing wedge between us and our club with arse-covering snippets of what might have been. If they don't, then we will know another high-profile Blue, in this city at least, who we need to oust at the first opportunity.
Steve McBride, Liverpool  (22/3/07)

Load of Bollocks

Is anyone else getting sick and tired of all this ground move nonesense or is it just me? I can't believe all the posts on here slagging off LCC and Warren Bradley. How easily you all forget the original site for our new ground ? The KINGS DOCK. Who do you think was providing the land to build that then?

The reason you are all having this debate about Kirkby and Tescos has nothing to do with Mr Bradley or LCC, it's all down to Billy Bullshitter. Kenwright is a bluffer, a blagger, a conman and an out-and-out LIAR. That's where your anger should be vented ? at him. He is to blame; no one else.

Remember the £30M that BK promised was already secured for the Kings Dock. A poxy £30 million was all that we needed and that twat couldn't deliver. We would be in there now, playing football in the finest arena in Europe on the banks of the Royal Blue Mersey, not farting about over moves to Knowsley.

Get a fucking grip of yourselves and stop talking a load of shite. We had our chance to be in the primest of prime locations in this city and that Scheming Gobshite Kenwright fucked it up. It knocks me sick every time I drive past Kings Dock and see that new arena taking shape. It's fantastic and should have been ours.

Too many of you have got your heads stuck in the clouds and don't focus on the real issues. Kenwright didnt have the £30 million 5 years ago to build Kings Dock and he ain't got a pot to piss in now, so how can we buy land that is far more expensive these days to build a new ground in the City? For Fuck's sake....

Goodison is a fucking shambles and will cost more to rebuild than central Baghdad so that won't happen you can bet on that. For the first time in years, I am starting to feel a little more positive about the team and even Moyes is starting to learn from his mistakes [I think] ? or was it the booing? ? and all I read is moaning about train timetables from fucking Runcorn and bus routes from Toxteth. What the fuck's happened to us?

The truth is BK doesnt know what the word truth means... so, until you see the developer handing over the keys to a new ground, take all this shit with a pinch of salt. Kenwright's kidded you all before and he will kid you all again. The problem is you are all falling for it yet again. My advice to you all is this: TAKE NO FUCKING NOTICE.
Tony Marsh, Liverpool  (22/3/07)

Why move now?

Why is it that all those supporters who want to move out of Goodison insist that, when we have done so, then we are going to start winning trophies and step into the limelight? Surely money into the team bulding is more important.

Matches played at Goodison still attract reasonable crowds ? we are only there for around 2 hours we don't live there!! Winning trophies will put more bums on seats regardless of location. Once we have trophies then income will increase then we can think of the next plan ? walk before we run.
Paul Williams, London  (22/3/07)

I think if you look back over the history of our average attendances, what I notice is a very short-lived spike in numbers when we have success (or a gem like a certain young Croxteth lad). The club is loking to significantly increase attendances long-term by increasing ground capacity and eliminating the "obstructued view" problem. Considering the total project time for stadium development, you must do it when you can, and not just when the team is successful. — Michael

Kirkby

All the discussions on this board will count for nothing when BK announces that the new Tesco Bowl is a done deal. But, for a minute, think what it will be like: the pubs around Goodison have a special atmosphere every home game, the area is Everton FC. What will it be like in Kirkby? Go there on a Saturday afternoon: there is no space now, there is no infrastructure to take another 40,000 people.

If I lived in Kirkby I would want the Tesco Super store but not the Football Stadium that goes with it. Maybe we should canvass the Kirkby residents to object to the planning?

If Tesco are so interested in supporting EFC then why not just sponsor ground development at Goodison? No way ? there is nothing in it for them ? but ultimately, what will be in it for Everton by moving to Kirkby? In my opinion, over the long-term, it will be a wrong move.
Steve Sweeney, Prescot  (22/3/07)

Trust Me ? I'm a Professor

Hmmm, sorry but I'm still not convinced. Can someone tell me how a move, to wherever, will make us rich, as people seem to judge big as rich?

Wyness going on about corporate boxes is another example of his CEO-by-numbers approach. Seriously, you could put him in charge of any club anywhere and he'd approach the task in exactly the same way.

Am I being sentimental by demanding that the Board appreciate the unique nature of EFC?, Possibly, but I'd counter that by asking about how much real research into the average Evertonian demographic.

Who are the fans that are suddenly going to appear? (And where are they now?) How much do they think they are going to spend? And will this make up for those who may no longer go? Will people actually go to the match to see the ground rather than the team?

If a move is the only way we can survive, then ok... but I just want someone to show me how it works first!
Ravo Stanley, Liverpool  (22/3/07)

When tackled on the issue you raise above (about the geography of the "new" fans coming to Kirkby), out in Germany, at the last World Cup, Jon Woods stated, clearly, that they expected a drop in what's accepted as our hardcore support but a gradual increase (figure of 26% given!) in areas surrounding the new ground. Shows they care, eh? ? Colm

No truer Blue

So, unless you still live in Liverpool, you cannot be classed as true a Blue than if you do? Well, listen up lads!!

I was born in Litherland. My father was the most ardent Everton supporter you could ever meet. He would not have red in the house ? we were not allowed to wear red ? and what he thought of LFC was unprintable.

I went to my first game at 6 ? no boys in our family, so I got taken instead, and the memories of sitting on Dad's shoulders, swaying back and forth, watching the game, will live with me for ever... Once I went I was hooked. I am now 67 and I love my Club and will until the day I die. I despise anything to do with LFC and even cross myself [very superstitious] when I pass their ground.

My son is as ardent an Evertonian as I am and he was born outside of Liverpool but he still has scouse blood in him.

Well, my resident Evertonians, you try doing the trip to Goodison Park from Carmarthen. Four hours in the car up to Liverpool and four hours back ? if we are lucky, we get back just in time to see First Plus on Sky and relive the game again. Believe me, there is no longer journey back over the mountains to Carmarthen if Everton have lost the game ? and there is no greater feeling inside than to sit in the stadium waiting for the game to begin.
Pat Beesley, Carmarthen  (22/3/07)

Lucky you, don't have the worry of planes to get you home! ? Colm (International jet set Evertonian!)

Trusting the politician

I find it incredible how many people are finding it so easy to dismiss anything the Club says as 'spin' and 'lies' but are willing to hang on the words of some no-mark politician.

In my opinion, Warren Bradley's input over the stadium issue thus far has been worse than him doing nothing at all. I would rather him do nothing than pretend to be doing something. I would say he is merely trying to save face by puporting to be trying to help, in order that he isn't blamed for a massive organisation leaving 'the City'.

It is only since we announced the 'exclusivity' deal with Knowsley that the man even commented on the issue. Did he think that we would just give up searching for a new home after the King's Dock scheme died?! (I actually blame the council as much as the Club for the King's Dock collapse).

This council has never done anything to help Everton and now, when we need help more than ever, all this clown can suggest is that he hopes that Everton MIGHT look at sites in Liverpool IF Kirkby falls through. How about getting off your arse, Mr Bradley, and earmarking a site for development instead of petulant whinging and half-hearted pleas! At least the Club are doing something.
Sean Rothwell, Liverpool  (22/3/07)

Please expand on your theory that the LCC was to blame for the collapse of the King's Dock project.

As for Bradley having to get off his arse to find sites, within Liverpool, for EFC to consider: they have! Two sites were identified (thus far), one north, one south. Both deemed not suitable. Stick to reading the Echo, Sean. ? Colm

New Ground Traffic

Personally, I see all the people who say that they would be against Kirkby for the traffic reasons as pure selfishness. I can only assume that these are the people who live within 1 or 2 miles of Goodison at the moment.

For everyone else who uses their cars, like myself, every game would no that getting clear of Vernon Sngster's not exactly a very quick route either. On average I would say that it takes 45 minutes to clear the worst of the crawling traffic and reach the Rocket Junction for the M62. Even getting to the M57 via the East Lncs Road takes an age due to the stand still crawling traffic. What do these people expect?

You increase the capacity by 20,000 of course you are going to get thousands more cars, thousands more bus/train users and even if this was done at Goodison, guess what, it is going to take longer to get away. On Sunday, although I admit it was worse than usual leaving the car park, it took an hour.

Now I am not for one minute suggesting that this is a ploy by the powers that be to force everyone to be stuck for ages so Kirkby could not seem so bad. Also Bolton and Reading are mentioned as the problems of out-of-town stadiums; well, as I said, unless you are at the front of the car park, Everton is not that great either.

Blackburn, another town-centre stadium, is the worst I have ever encountered. Short of building a special four-lane road out of a car park, or likewise with bus routes or trains (you never know maybe a company may pick up on this and offer a dozen buses back to the centre with buses starting or waiting outside the ground at half-four every Saturday) it does not matter where you play ? traffic away from ANY big ground is going to be hell.
Jack Calvert, Liverpool  (22/3/07)

You turn your back for a day and...

All hell breaks out; no change there then, same shit different day, all the usual suspects.

Eileen: some people can't see the wood for the trees eh? What trees? According to you they were all cut down to build Goodison...

United: 1) didn't they start as Small Heath, outside the city... 2) then changed their name when the city began to expand out to them... 3) and haven't moved in living memory... so don't use them as an example.

Overseas supporters: 1) Either Buster or his predecessor stated that there were 800,000 Blues abroard, including families and all potential customers. It seems we outnumber you... 2) A quote from around the time of the Alamo: " I wasn't born a Texan, but I got here as quick as I could!!"

Councillor Bradley: In the "put up or shut up" stakes, he has at least put up ? something; all we hear is the spin of the sound of silence (aka "exclusivity") from Kenwright towers. Whether it is the political equivelent of BK's bid for Owen remains to be seen, but it is ON the table ? just... maybe?

When the dust settles and by some fluke we do have a choice, remember HOBSON'S CHOICE equals NO CHOICE AT ALL. Stadium does not automatically equal money. Winning the Champions league... now that does. TEAM FIRST!
Derek Thomas, Torbay, Auckland  (22/3/07)

Professor Cobblers

In response to Max Levy's mail, I would say that you (nor indeed anyone else who argues that staying at Goodison will lead to inevitable decline) have not explained the mechanics by which a move to Kirkby will not only stave off that fate but lead to a return to past glories. I can't see it.

The reason I don't want to go there has got nothing to do with the city boundary issue. I wouldn't want to go to Speke either. I'm just not prepared to face the choice of having to leave the game 20 minutes early or sit in a car park for an hour after the game, or queue for an age for a shuttle bus to a train to take me where I might or might not want to go. Out-of-town grounds are a logistical nightmare and an out-of-date concept. Ask Bolton fans. Try at trip to Reading.

No, Max; if you ask me, it's moving to Kirkby that will lead to the long-term decline of the club. (Not that you did ask me, of course!)
Steve Lee, London  (22/3/07)

McFadden

Rumour has it McFadden has started running again ? quick someone get him involved in a tackle with Carsley please!!
Declan Critchley, Dublin, Ireland  (22/3/7)

Don't trust anyone?

Am I the only one (and sometimes I feel as though I am) who doesn't entirely trust this Sir Terence Leahy chap?

I suppose it is typical of myself to have a cynical attitude towards the land's most successful businessman in charge of Britain's leading retailer who is also a self-confessed Evertonian. But surely I can't be the only one who feels he is either himself using (or being pushed by his Tesco chums to use) his Everton connection to get a great big Tesco superstore attached to a great big Tesco Super Stadium, in which Everton would be allowed to use every other Saturday. Except in the run-up to Christmas, because it can get quite busy, what with people stocking up with last minute supplies. Therefore Everton would have to use that run-down building they used to have in Walton. Heaven forbid, we can't be having all those football-types clogging up our car parks!

Anyway, I digress. (I expect that last bit to be cut!) I just hope our beloved council leaders find enough time in their busy schedules to actually discuss with Everton the possibility of extending the foot-print of Goodison Park, if at all it is possible, like they admitted yesterday could happen. Or at the very least, find a spot in the city borders where we can build an Everton Super-Stadium, not a Tesco rent-a-stadium like the one where we could end up.

On a final note, I fail to understand why Everton had to sign this exclusivity deal with Knowsley Council and Tesco, which rendered any possible talks with our beloved council a non-starter. Although the obvious answer to that is that they have already made up their minds and have their hearts set on the Tesco Dome.

So, come on Mr Bradley, get your arse in gear and show the same amount of effort you and your cronies are devoting to the second club in Liverpool to the first club of this city before we end up in a shopping centre in Kirkby!
Barry McHale, Liverpool  (22/3/07)

Just coz you've got an 'ology'...

Mr Levy: don't try and use patronising kid-ology. You Sir, and a lot of other always seem to use the phrase 'new stadium and increased revenue' as if the two were forever joined at the wallet. Where does it say (quote examples) that the two are linked?

The Highest team in the Premiership with a 'new' ground is Arsenal, who are stuttering at the moment, due in no small part to their financial belt-tightening to fund this panacea / white elephant. They have had years of success / CL to build up this war-chest and still required the massive sponsorship deal, the amazing London weighted prices and the aforementioned lack of investment in the team.

Then there is Bolton, not exactly bestridding the European stage like a collossus on or off the field; Boro, likewise. The further down the food chain you go, the less your point is proven. I have given you some of my examples, where, pray tell are yours?

You will, I would hope, no doubt concede the point that the great God revenue (incoming) smiles brightest on those who have something to exchange for said revenue and this 'stuff' is ALL football-related. I wouldn't swap all the revenue generated from the new grounds at Sunderland, Derby, Southampton et al for our current revenue. Football may now be a business, but the core of that business is still the football.

Example: we had to give away tens of thousands of Rooney items, why did we have to? Because they sold.... based on the football nature of itself. I bet we didn't take a big hit stock-wise when Kilbane went, honest trier that he was. Put them both on your shopkeepers revenue scales...average footballer vs great footballer... the common denominator is the football ? yet again! Get the football and the team right and punters, corporate or otherwise, will be crawling on their hands and knees to find a spec in that piss-poor tent at the corner of the Bullens and paying good money to do so.

I havn't seen many abraded trouser legs outside the Reebok lately. You Sir are mistaken... or, as we who lack the -ology tend to say, without prejudice, utter bollocks.

Disclaimer: I have only read the article and have yet to view the mailbag so forgive any duplication of comment.
Derek Thomas, Torbay, Auckland  (22/3/07)

Cards firmly on table?

"Meanwhile, on the other side of the ditch, we've Warren Bradley, leader of the LCC, laying his cards very firmly down on the table." ? your comment, Colm.

Am I missing something? Where is the detail. Anyone can glibly say we want Eveton to stay. He has to as, when we leave, he needs to be able to say he tried. But are they trying?
Ged Simpson, Northwich  (22/3/07)

Guess we'll find out when this "period of exclusivity" ends and Everton FC are then able to view other possibilities. ? Colm

Stanley Park

There have been comments about us applying for planning permission to build on Stanley Park in the days of Peter Johnson, with counter arguments saying we hadn't.

If memory serves, I believe we "asked" LCC if we would get permission to build on Stanley Park, but the side with the lake (the side nearest Goodison), and were told that planning permission would not be given for that, after which no further interest was shown.

As an aside, one thing I do find funny is that they (Liverpool) have used our old ground (Anfield) since their formation in 1892 and now they are moving to where our original ground was (yep it was in the same area as the current car park!). Maybe we can let them buy Goodison Park off us in about 50 years time (if we still own it of course)!!
Steve Flanagan, Liverpool  (22/3/07)

Memory serves you well there Steve (no surprises, eh?!) regarding our looking into developing on Stanley Park. ? Colm

Am I whistling in the dark?

Recent statements by people who would or should be in the know have set my conspiracy antenna quivering. I expect the club to make an important announcement any day soon.

Vague face-saving words from Warren Bradley are his way of covering his arse when the news breaks. Big business rarely, if ever, puts all its cards on the table in the manner Tesco did with Kirkby. I construe recent comments from Sir Terence and Tom Cannon as merely disguising what will actually be the case. The deal may well be done but it won?t be quite what everyone thinks it will be.

By frightening the life out of us with talk about Kirkby and the other mob's fans with talk about building delays, we all will breathe a sigh of relief when a ground share is revealed. Liverpool Regeneration Board, of which sir Terry is a member, will be happy; Liverpool City Council will be happy; the Yanks will be happy. Residents and shops of Walton/Everton will be happy and Blue Bill will be over the moon.

Probably the only ones not happy will be a handful of ToffeeWeb letter writers. But in any case that can be taken as a given.
Dick Fearon, West Australia  (22/3/07)

Leaving The Spiritual Home

I am a fanatical Evertonian who left "MY" spiritual home 44 years ago to live in Canada. I did this for reasons far removed from football. I have two real Evertonian sons John EVERTON and Andrew GOODISON and we watch Everton regularly over here. I also visit Goodison for home games quite often. I probably spend far more than anybody who lives on County Road or thereabouts.

People move to better themselves. EVERTON must move to better themselves as a club and to be as far removed from LFC as possible. Be positive. A move to Kirby will prove to be the right move. Have faith. A move will not stop us being EVERTON or EVERTONIANS. I watched my first game at Goodison in 1947. Wherever I watch them they will still be EVERTON. So stop arguing before it becomes too late to move anywhere. I want to be around to see EVERTON in the new ground.
John Boon, Canada  (21/3/07)

Kirkby or bust

I love Goodison, so many memories, but it may be time to move on. We have been outflanked by the LFC and their desecration of Stanley Park for their new stadium; just don't see how the City Council could have approved it (Capital of Culture ploughing up acres of precious green space, annual rental costs of less than the wages paid to just one of their players).

We are going to get nothing from the City Council (Mr Bradley, unless you have a concrete proposal, please shut up) so it is down to us. I am coming round to the view that Tesco and Knowsley Council would make good partners. I'd rather have them than a couple of neo-cons whose fortunes could be wiped out in a single day by a crash on the stock exchanges.
Col Nolan, Preston  (21/3/07)

Not the same Everton

"Most professional footballers embrace some sort of superstitions. But I am the sort of person who can walk into a room and immediately sense some vibes about a place ? and when I first walked into Goodison Park in November 1960 I could feel something spiritual.

"People may say that that's just so much mumbo jumbo, but I still get that feeling whenever I go back. Everton possesses a kind of magic ? and it is a magic generated by the quality of players who have graced the stadium over the past 125 years."

That is the forward written by Alex Young for James Corbett's book 'The School of Science'.

Do people really believe that our new Tesco Super Saver Stadium in Kirkby would generate that same spiritual "something"? Move to Kirkby and it would not be the same Everton Football Club that we all know and love.
Chris Lee, Bristol  (21/3/07)

The funniest thing about this stadium debate

The cynics have started believing politicians again. Oh the irony....
Danny Smith, Liverpool  (21/3/07)

Thanks

To Simon Templeman: whether you agree with me or not ,thanks for your support for a reasoned argumment.

To Roy Coyne: have you heard the one about the Evertonian who couldn't see the woods for the trees....? Oh it doesn't matter ? some people just can't be serious!
Eileen Roberts, Runcorn  (21/3/07)

Inflation?

Midfielders are more expensive than defenders usually Colm! We are flying at the moment but Villa are at least due a draw. Inflation smation - only a putz would turn down the chance of signing Fernandes ? look at Portsmouth since he left. End of, my son - sign the cu......
David O'Brien, Southend on Sea  (21/3/07)

..ban? He's Portugese, not Cuban, David! ;-) - Colm

When....

Could someone tell me how to get ToffeeWeb mail as for some reason I keep getting a female comic, The Eileen Roberts Show. Personally, if I can't get ToffeeWeb I'd sooner be entertained by Roseanne Barr than Bill's Runcorn messenger.
Roy Coyne, Old Swan  (21/3/07)

Stop picking on eileen!!

It seems to my untrained eye that your editorial responses to Eileen from Runcorn are needlessly aggressive, her take on Warren Bradley's latest remarks being a case in point. Why can`t we wait and see what is on offer first?
Simon Templeman, Gloucestershire  (21/3/07)

Isn't that precisely what I've said? Wait and see what's on offer? Untrained eye, you say???? - Colm

History repeating itself

The thing is I really can believe that Everton could actually raise the wedge needed!! Perhaps we are making more progress than we realise? The signing of Fernandes and the retention of Arteta.

Four years ago an article appeared in the Independent. It said 'Moyes had better get his hands on the £4.5M needed to secure the services of Yobo', this was as we drew towards the last part of Moyes's first full season (finishing 7th, Southampton ? remember Radsinski). How right then that as a reflection of our progress in the following years that another article (in my opinion) should now appear 'Moyes had better get his hands on the £12M needed to secure the services of Fernandes etc ? this will mark real progress...'
David O'Brien, Southend on Sea  (21/3/07)

Inflation! ? Colm

Jeez!

So many belated responses!

What are the choices, Michael?

1. A definite proposal from Tesco that will result in a plan we can at least all have a look at.

2. A mythological promise to look at giving Everton a larger footprint on the Goodison site with no proposal for financing the option.

3. An equally mythological proposal that LCC will assist in identifying a site for a new stadium but with no proposals for financing the option.

Hardly a basis for fair and reasoned debate! For God's sake can we have some realism around here.
Eileen Roberts, Runcorn  (21/3/07)

1. Let's actually see this plan from Tesco / Knowsley.

2. and 3. Mythological promises and proposals you say, Eileen? Can we not be reasonable enough to apply the wait-and-see card? Let's see what's on offer with the Kirkby deal and take it from there. Who knows, a phoenix-like from the flames Goodison Park may yet emerge from one of those mythological proposals. ? Colm

Eileen, have actually seen No 1? That in itself would be a big step forward. But we are told it's not even a proposal at this stage (apparently). So there is nothing to look at.

At least for No 2, some ideas have been put before the fans... but they don't mean much if not embraced by the club.

And No 3 is going nowhere fast until the club dumps this "exclusivity" nonsense and explores the possibilites with Warren Bradley.

Or they adopt a rare persona of honesty and say with the utmost clarity: "Although we could redevelop Goodison, this option has been categorically and absolutely rejected by the Board for financial reasons."

Similarly, "Although we could work with Warren Bradley to find workable sites within Liverpool, this option has been categorically and absolutely rejected by the Board for financial reasons."

And finally, for good measure: "We are moving to Kirkby. It is a Done Deal. We were going to let you vote but really it's a waste of time and effort. Just get onboard with us, please. This is the best outcome for the Club and it is going to happen." ie, Get with the program! ? which is just what you have been saying all along, Eileen! — Michael

Cynical?!

Firstly Colm, I do not recall calling anybody cynical. I take the views of Evertonians on the matter of the new stadium very seriously and that is why my keyboard is red hot at the moment because I am desperately concerned about the future of the Club I love.

All I am trying to do is to ensure that as far as I can, whatever decision is to eventually be made it is made with a full understanding of the facts and not based on mythology or a misguided attachment to history.

We decided to stay at Goodison once before remember... how far have we really moved on since then? Not very far.

There were discussions, although admittedly informal, about Everton rebuilding on Stanley Park. They probably don't appear on Council minutes because it never got to the formal application stage because Everton were given immediate short shrift. While I am happy to concede Everton's part in the debacle of the Kings Dock it did not help when a representative of LCC was quoted as saying (and it was never denied) 'there are seven options that the Council favours for the future of the Kings Dock and Everton's proposal for a new stadium comes eighth'

As for a Plan B. I agree there isn't one! That is what I have been trying to get from all those opposing the move to Kirkby!! Everton haven't got one because they can't afford anything else but staying where we are with Goodison AS IT IS if we don't take up the Tesco offer.

So, if anybody else has a plan B all they have to do is answer the following;-

WHERE IS THE PLAN B MONEY GOING TO COME FROM WHETHER IT IS FOR THE REDEVELOPMENT OF GOODISON OR A NEW STADIUM? IT IS A SIMPLE QUESTION AND I HAVE BEEN TRYING TO GET AN ANSWER FOR WEEKS. BUT ALL I READ ABOUT ARE PIPE DREAMS AND PEOPLE SLAGGING OFF TERRY LEAHY AS IF HE WAS SOME KIND OF FUCKING DEMON WHEN ALL HE IS TRYING TO DO IS TO PUT THE FINANCIAL WEIGHT OF THE COMPANY HE WORKS FOR BEHIND THE CLUB HE SUPPORTS!

My own view is that there are many Evertonians out there who see a move to Kirkby as being some kind of a 'victory for the shite'. Well, that is not how I see it because Everton and Evertonians should be bigger than that and we should look to our own future without any reference to another football club who we don't give a shit about.
Eileen Roberts, Runcorn  (21/3/07)

I'd like to know how much this move to Kirkby ? to a stadium Keith Wyness claims will be in Everton ownership ? how much will it actually cost Everton? We've heard how Tesco have undertaken most of the work to date but, when push comes to shove, how much are we committing to moving to Kirkby, for purely commercial reasons (as viewed by the Board)?

Will Bill, Jon, Robert (even though not a Board member) and Keith all have an exit payday looming, the Everton trojan horse then pimped to any prospective buyer in for a quick buck? Is a move to Kirkby a guarantee of better days ahead due to an increase in corporate facilities and revenue? I'd wager it might be anything but.

Everton's actual silence on detail, hiding behind this "period of exclusivity" nonsense helps no one at all. Whether in public or in private dialogue with LCC, all potential options should be laid out in layman's terms for the fans to mull over ? and from there make their own informed decision and choice for what we then think is the best move FORWARD for Everton FC.

Kirkby appears to be a move being bulldozed through with haste and I make absolutely no apology in saying that scares the shit out of me. And I no longer live in Liverpool for that matter!

The point about choosing before not to leave Goodison and look what's happened since is, I believe, an unfair comment ? as you can point a finger at the Board, and the Board alone, for that arising situation. Negligence bordering on disgraceful. Go and ask Keith Wyness for a copy of all prospective drawings made over the past 20 years or so on the (re)development of Goodison Park ? the plans A,B,C etc. ? and like Keith, you'll be amazed to find that there has only ever been one properly submitted Feasability Study to redevelop Goodison Park in all those years. And that, Eileen, came courtesy of a group of Evertonians called the GfE. The Club began a smear campaign against them before asking, on the quiet, for a look at their drawings! You couldn't make it up!

Bill Kenwright is not renowned thus far in his tenure as Everton's chairman for having a Plan B ? and that scares me. It would be more helpful if the Club's PR department were issuing genuine detail instead of being behind stories depicting Everton becoming the next Tranmere or Marine. And I'm sure it would be more plausible if Terry Leahy didn't claim Goodison Park was about to fall down.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the ditch, we've Warren Bradley, leader of the LCC, laying his cards very firmly down on the table. It leaves us with one question, and one alone: Are Everton interested in staying in the City? ? Colm

LCC Planning permission

Jonny Roberts says we were rejected... I asked the LCC Planning Officer in 1999 if Everton had ever asked for planning permission to build a stadium on Stanley Park, as this had been rumoured before. I am quite certain that he said "NO". Regardless, this is readily confirmed as anyone can can ask to look at all the club's planning permission requests. It normally takes a week or so, then you can view the lot.

The reference to Man Utd living outside the city is not too watertight in that it is only a few miles to the city centre (had to walk it a few times), and they carry that city's name as a further anchor. That said, I think it's quite fair to say that they were the smaller club in the city for their first 50 yrs, with smaller attendances. The post-war sharing of Maine Road and success in the 50s gave them big in-roads into traditional "city" areas and the big club was born.

We meanwhile would be leaving the lot to them..... 7-8 miles out of town.
Tom Hughes, North Sea  (21/3/07)

Gratitude to Phil Bellis!

Well thank you for the offer of a lift (or was it a bus timetable?) I might just take you up on that.

All I have to do now is find a way of easily travelling the 5 miles from Preston Brook to the Old Town. YAWN!!
Eileen Roberts, Runcorn  (21/3/07)

LCC and EFC

Great to read that Warren Bradley is of a mind that land assembly work could be carried out to increase the Goodison footprint. Why aren't the club beating down his door to look into this?

Liverpool City Council has taken a lot of stick over the years but it's clear that the top people in the council are saying strongly that they want the Blues to stay, the problem is the Board of EFC.

On the subject of ground share, it's not as good as a rebuilt Goodison ? but it's a better option than Kirkby.
Ray Said, Liverpool  (21/3/07)

Jaysus!!! You tryin' to give Eileen a cardiac arrest?! It's nothing but mischief, I tell yer.... - Colm

Mischief

Warren Bradley's comments as reported can be construed as nothing else but mischevious. What is he saying? To paraphrase:-

"If Everton can find some other investor that can stump up the money for a redevelopment of Goodison or a new stadium within Liverpool then Liverpool City Council will do all it can to provide an extra few square yards of space to carry out the job. Liverpool City Council do not want Everton to leave the City as it will have an adverse effect, especially on the local economy of Walton." ? That's just about it in a nutshell.

Well, thank you very much, Mr Bradley but LCC have had ample opportunity over the years to do a fair deal with Everton and, while it was not you who was personally responsible, the organisation you now represent (as far as I am concerned) has never done that. Everton supporters are shortly to have some kind of a say in where the Club goes into the future and your intervention in the form of some kind of 'imaginary' stadium (provided the club do the hard work of finding an investor themselves) can never do any more than muddy the waters and make the ultimate decision more difficult. Perhaps so difficult that in the final analysis the wrong decision is made.

Mr Bradley's comments are not helpful because, while I realize he is somewhat restricted by the exclusivity arrangements in place, he should say nothing until he has definite proposals to make. By giving the illusion that there is some other workable and deliverable option somewhere out there, he is doing no more than encouraging a further mistake on the part of the Club and it's supporters ? and God knows we have already made too many of those.

Come back when you have a definite proposal to make, Mr Bradley, and one that is in the interests of Everton FC rather than Liverpool City Council.
Eileen Roberts, Runcorn  (21/3/07)

And you call us cynical, Eileen? Tell me, give me facts ? seeing as LCC have had "ample time" over many years, when, if ever, did Everton approach the LCC, to seek assistance on ground (re)development or otherwise? When did we go and seek permission to (re)develop Goodison Park (extended footprint or otherwise)? When did we go and seek permission to build on Stanley Park? Contrary to popular opinion across many Everton websites, it would appear to be the case that Everton FC have done very little, if that, at all over the years. King's Dock was the lone venture and we all know who made a pig's ear of that ? and it sure as hell wasn't a Red-led Council.

Whatever your opinion of Warren Bradley and his agenda may be, is it not fair to say that he's put it into the public domain that LCC are indeed committed to ensuring that one of the City's key businesses remains within the City boundary? Furthermore, do you know if Everton have a Plan B once this, erm, "period of exclusivity" expires with our friends, Tesco and Knowsley Council? ? Colm

That is a pretty incredible response when you think about it, Eileen. It's like saying "Warren, don't confuse us with more choices! We're having enough trouble as it is getting concensus on this non-choice that has already been made for us!" Nothing quite like open and informed debate... — Michael

Duke of Earl (Barrett)

As with Neil Macdonald and Gary Ablett, Earl Barrett was not as bad as many thought. Certainly during the the 94-95 season he kept Matt Jackson out of the league team and unfortuately for him was cup-tied.

Jackson was strong going forward but got found out by quick wingers. Barrett could defend well but looked at the ball as a hot potato at times. Since Gary Stevens we've had one or the other but never both qualities at the same time.
Mike Jones, Leeds  (21/3/07)

Looking after Number 1...

Tom Cannon made some interesting points regarding the proposed stadium move (although being the new Tranmere was a tad far-fetched!), but it seems strange that this fella has only come out of the woodwork because there is something in it for himself.

We didn't hear a peep out of him when there were no parties mooching over investment but when any other club had funds thrown into them, here was Tom giving his opinion on Sky Sports News. It seems, as a shareholder, he'd be getting a nice little wedge if the Kirkby move went ahead; he is all for the move. No shit, Sherlock....
Paul Henshaw, Liverpool  (21/3/07)

Woa! Hold on a mo!!! So your logic is that shareholders like Tom Cannon stand to gain "a nice little wedge if the Kirkby move went ahead"??? That's news to me ? and I'm a shareholder!!!

How do you actually see that happening? Are we all due a massive dividend as part of Sir Terry's munificence toward the club? Fantastic, I say! Suddenly, I don't give a damn where Kirkby is... let's move there!!!

Of course, the other possibility (sadly more likely) is that you are talking absolute rubbish. The value of the club may appreciate over time, with or without a move to Kirkby, and that may or may not be translated into the value of the shares, which actually have no set price and are traded by private treaty at mutually agreed prices that may or may not have much connection with the value of the Club, whatever that may be.

So, after a moment of wild euphoria, I've settled back down to earth, and am curious to know just what you meant by that strange statement.

ps: By the way, Tom Cannon's avowed ambition is a place on the Everton Board of Directors. It cpuld be that Bill may see fit to reward him in honour of "services rendered".... — Michael

Negative

I think it is great to see the lack of negative things being written on ToffeeWeb. I have been negative in the past and have said some things I regret saying but being positive is much nicer and easier to read.

The people who called Moyes negative have long gone. In my opinion, we are playing much better football and are close to a Uefa Cup place. Let's all get behind the Blues.
Connor Rohrer, Toxteth. Liverpool  (21/3/07)

Prepare thy tin hat there Connor! ;-) - Colm

You bet! I called Moyes negative and I'm proud of the fact. The daft bugger needed a serious kick up the arse after eveythng leading up to and culminating with the Spurs fiasco, and that is exactly what the seriously aggreived fans both inside Goodison and everywhere else in the world gave him. Interesting that you call those fans "negative" when they are clearly wanting to see positive football and were slamming Moyes because of his negative football. I think you've got yer 'ed on the wrong way around, Connor. — Michael

Ramblings...

Just a few disjointed thoughts re the ground move etc.

I welcome all Evertonians whether they were born in Gwladys St or live in Gettysburg. As I'm sure we all have, I've struck up conversations and friendships with fellow Blues all over on my travels.

I think the issue for me re external supporters is along these lines: if I lived in, say, Poole or Anchorage but was a Scouser by birth or inclination, I would not presume that I could vote in a Liverpool by-election, nor would I expect to have a say in the rate of Council Tax that residents of Princes Park should pay. It wouldn't stop me being a Scouser and I'd retain the right to have opinions re my city. So (apologies if my point is as clear as mud), Evertonians worldwide are certainly no less Evertonians for being exiled but they will not, at least until/unless they move here, have to live with the parochial consequences of a move out of Liverpool. I've often envied Newcastle fans for the sole reason that they live in a one-club city, as when they get beat, everybody's bloody miserable.

The most vivid image I retain is of the Sunday in May 66 when apparently the whole of Merseyside gathered outside St George's Hall. The most vivid contrast conjured up by all the postings on Everton websites/fora is the one about parading around Kirkby with a trophy. Where would the parade start? Would Liverpool Council allow us to travel through "their" streets? using "their" Police Force?

In addition, the attitude of LFC hangers-on tells you everything. They are gleeful at the prospect of us bailing out. Just consider for a moment how you'd feel if there were a God and it were them proposing to quit instead of us. Doesn't that tell you something? If you couldn't be arsed, you're definitely in the "what's 3 miles?" camp. If you know, even deep-down, that you'd be thrilled to see the back of them, then you're with me in the Bitter and Twisted bar of the ?Our City? saloon.
Phil Bellis, L8 (Not Toxteth)  (21/3/07)

Tesco Express

I have read with interest the comments made during the past week from the leading players in respect of the proposed Kirkby option. Others have commented on the head-tennis situation that is developing between LCC and those who support the move to Kirkby with the bandwagon beginning to gather pace. However Sir Terry Leahy's comments resonate most, commercial interest on the part of Tesco and his position as a hugely succesful CEO of the company being the driver to any subsequent support for Everton.

I have seen statements such as 'cultural wasteland' and other negative comments relating to Kirkby and I am not personally qualified in any capacity to make judgement on any of its possible attributes. In speaking to friends who hail from Kirkby what is apparent is the amount of new build houses and housing estates that are springing up around the Town, wholesale construction on the back of cheap and affordable land, exploited to the max by housing developers.

The Town itself by and large does not boast a major supermarket retailer with residents needing to commute to either Aintree or Prescot to utilise would be considered a major superstore or 'hyper-market'. Stories are abound in the press in respect to Tesco's growth and aggressive policy of development, couple this with a shrinking market in terms of land for any prospective development and planning obstacles that always exist within urban settings, Kirkby suddenly becomes a mouth-watering commodity.

Regeneration for Kirkby will undoubtedly happen and in my opinion quite rightly so, unemployment, deprivation and 'cultural wastelands' offer rich and untapped pickings for any company that is focused on broadening its market, with duly elected quango's falling over themselves to ensure that the processed is smoothed over.

It goes without saying that we are only too aware as to what's in it for Tesco, Sir Terry Leahy, Prof Tom Cannon, Knowsley Council et al, but what's in it for Everton? The lack of information, timescales, and consultation with fans during this period of exclusivity is that quiet it is becoming deafening, how long is this process likely to continue and what are the options should Kirkby fail, all of these questions as a fan bother me, and I for one am not satisfied with the continuing silence.
Peter Laing, Liverpool  (21/3/07)

Done Deal?

As everyone knows, Liverpool's proposed stadium is just that - in that it currently has neither firm financial backing or planning approval. Indeed it's possible Mr Gillet and co are presently tearing it apart. Neither does Landsdowne Road here in Dublin, it's looking increasingly likely it may get bogged down in a protracted planning battle.

My point being there is no validity in drawing conclusions from a particular contractor "apparently" being appointed to both these PROPOSED stadia as well as that mooted for Kirkby. To infer this means Kirkby is a fait accompli is certainly a leap of faith.
Alan Doyle, Dublin  (21/3/07)

Overseas Supporter

Richard, I think your comments about overseas supporters are a little conceited. Do you feel that special to travel from Birmingham to Goodison to watch the games? Do you think that allows you the privilege of being condescending towards other supporters?

Does the fact that you don't live in Liverpool make your veiwpoint less than someone who lives in Liverpool? ? you seem to think not, which is a bit of a contradiction to your point.

Some of us who live overseas have blue blood. My dad is from Moreton and he brought me and my brother up as a blue and we would have gone to our first games when Mick Lyons was captain (incidentaly he lived in Australia and coached for a few years, perhaps you would be suggesting he wasn't allowed an opinion on Everton?). We watch games on Sky and regularly visit the websites for news etc.

Whenever we get the chance we go to the games. For example I travelled from Australia last weekend and went to watch Everton v Arsenal, and I'm sure that there are overseas Everton supporters who do similar things when they can afford to do so. This is about the 10th time that I've done something similar in the last 7 years.

So I consider my opinion and the opinion of other overseas supporters to count just as much as yours. You tool!
Michael Parrington, Melbourne, Australia  (20/3/07)

Why is being in Liverpool so important?

I'm certainly not saying 'I think this so that's what should happen'. I'm simply saying that if the best chance of getting a new stadium is to move to Kirkby then we shouldn't hold back just because it isn't in Liverpool.

The reason I dismiss being in the city as being so important is because I haven't heard anything to suggest that that should be more important than getting a new stadium 3 miles up the bloody road. (Prehaps you could give me something rather than saying just because that's what some people want, because WHY???????)

A new stadium which will be built in conjunction with a well oiled and well organised machine called Tesco who will go a long way to making sure everything is done well (they are a big name it has to be said).

Cllr Warren Bradley has hardly balanced arguments either ? he wants Liverpool to lay down and say oh we will share with you and make half of our stadium blue (yeah like thats going to happen; if the tables were turned, would we want to do it - I think not!) and said they are looking for other sites in the city as well. Well, it doesn't seem as though he is giving Bill and Keith many other options. Plus he has said all of this a number of times over the last 12 months and still nothing.
Craig Taylor, Leicester  (21/3/07)

I think all the reasons why have been presented a number of times and different ways in this mailbag. Perhaps your request will trigger a reprise... unless those opposed to the move are starting to stumble under the weight of cold hard logic and the EFC spin-machne... ? Michael

Liverpool City Council leader Warren Bradley

I am writing as it pains me to keep seeing Liverpool Council offering us places to build in the city. Was it not Liverpool Council who REJECTED our plans to build on Stanley Park?!?!? Yet they happily accepted the bid from those boys down the road!!!!

I wonder why we feel as though we owe them anything in the way of favours or courtesy. We were the first team in Liverpool, I mean we gave them Anfield for god's sake!!!

Call it jealousy or whatever you like, but I hate living in 'their' shadow, and for the Council to choose them over us really hurts and irritates me. So if we do decide to go to Kirby, where it seems we're being offered a lot of help and funding, then it serves Liverpool City Council right, and may the team they choose to support over Everton get relegated and have them cursing their decision to deny us Stanley Park as our new home!!!

I myself am in favour of the move to Kirby, cos if Man Utd can live outside Manchester then why can't we live outside Liverpool? In all fairness, how many Evertonians even like saying the word Liverpool?!?!

Whatever is decided and eventually happens I shall live with, as all that's certain in this world is that I'll be a bluenose forever and will follow the boys wherever they go.
Jonny Roberts, Chatham  (21/3/07)

If ya know yer 'istry... I think saying we "gave" them Anfield is a bit of a stretch. We were only renting it... and "they" didn't even exist when they upped the rent and we took our ball home... Anyway, all water down the river now...

I quite like the curse you invoke. Has a medival touch to it. Maybe we should do more of that. A plague of frogs on them, I say. They might like it in the park... ? Michael

Overseas Evertonians

Instead of criticising us who are overseas, please consider the goodwill and education we can bring to people all over the world. As an example, 3 weeks ago when I was renewing my Canadian passport, I started to chat with the person next to me who was from El Salvador. He said he watched Liverpool and Man Utd. He was unaware about Everton but I soon explained that we were the original team in the Liverpool area etc. Now he will tell his mates about us and spread the word.
Jason Davenport, Pattaya, Thailand & Toronto, Canada  (21/3/07)

RE: Bad bad players

"Who can forget Marc Hottiger?" ? Who can't? It's not THAT hard to forget about him!
Jack Calvert, Liverpool  (21/3/07)

Hehe.. just for those who may have forgotten, we present: Marc Hottiger...



Oh!... how embarrassing! Our file has absolutely nothing to say about him. Not even how bad he was! Shameful!!! ? Michael

Nil Satis Nisi Optimum

What I'm trying to say Michael is that a new ground is for the BEST, our BEST chance of a new ground is Kirkby, and our BEST chance of investment is a new ground.

So lets go with it as Nothing but the BEST is good enough. Rather than moan about minor things such as not quite being in Liverpool. Any way I see you didnt have any response to, why not Kirkby?!!
Craig Taylor, Leicester  (21/3/07)

So BEST = what you think is best, what the club custodians say is best? I think those who question this thing are still somewhat unconvinced. After all, they have seen nothing by way of real information from the club, other than similar platitudes, to convince them otherwise. Prof Tom Cannon has done his bit, but that is now balanced to some extent by what Cllr Warren Bradley is saying...

A main issue with those who object to Kirkby is that it is not in Liverpool. You dismiss their main objection by calling it a minor thing. You can disagree, and you can say it doesn't matter.. to you. But you cannot simply ignore or dismiss the fact that it matters to them. That's "Why not Kirkby?" ? because it's not in Liverpool! ? Michael

E Tv - Mr Linden

The Arsenal highlights are under Last Match. No 9. The link from the ETV home page takes you to match section No 2? Why, I do not know....
Eamonn Byrne, Shropshire  (21/3/07)

Reply to Overseas Evertonians

In reply to Martin Roberts. I am South African born and bred. However, there was a mix up in my Birth Rights as I was born Blue. My affection leaned toward obsession about Everton growing up in Durban, SA. I too would receive the odd bit of memorabilia, scarf, golf hat, pens that didn't work properly, etc.

Fear not your location; move to California and keep brainwashing people into the beauty that is Everton. I have succesfully converted half a dozen people to the blues. My cousin was baptised in the Gladwys Street upper tier on a hot day in April when we thrashed Palace 4-0. He has never looked back.

About that brainwashing in California, start in Beverley Hills with a person possesing millions of laundered dollars and convince him to invest.

Brainwashing process: Start by getting him to sink a few Changs, then follow it up by the lines of "If you know your History.... we dont care what the red side say?... so what the hell do we care!" If that doesn't work, just get Big Dunc to throttle him into an Everton submission Hold.
Lindsay Nothling, London  (21/3/07)

Underwhelmed

Am I the only one left underwhelmed by the news that McFadden is three weeks away from being fit? Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't wish any player injured, but can anyone honestly say he has been missed? This is surely a sad indictment of a player who has failed to deliver in his time at Goodison.
Steve Guy, Harrogate  (21/3/07)

More on this stadium debate

It seems, from Cllr Warren Bradley's asertions, that we have a 'friend' on the council who not only suggests that there are places availible (council supported) in the city but also says that it is possible to INCREASE the footprint of Goodison Park and that he has people working on it????

If this really is the case, it begs the question 'WHAT IS THE TRUTH?' This article goes against all the articles currently doing the rounds that suggest that moving is the only option and have been dismissed as 'spin' released by the club!!

I have to say that I have been very much sitting on the fence regarding a move. I would love to stay at GP but if this is not possible then move we must but with more and more conflicting reports coming into the public domain day by day I've lost track of what's real (if any of it is!) and what's not.

The club really should put forward all the options (including costings) to prove to the fans what's viable and what's not ? otherwise the divisions which seem to be appearing will get bigger without anyone knowing the truth.

Great win on Sunday though ? COYB, NSNO.
Paul Smith, West Sussex  (21/3/07)

Bad bad players

Sorry to correct you, Luq, but Neil McDonald was a right-back and was bought in by Colin Harvey when Kendall went to Bilbao and Gary Stevens went to Rangers. As far as I remember, he was okayish but certainly no Gary Stevens.

The list of bad defenders at the club is long and distinguished. Paul Holmes, Earl Barrett, and who can forget Marc Hottiger ? all right-backs as well. On the Gary Ablett issue, I actually think he was alright, who can forget him charging down the wing in the semi-final against Spurs or screaming to his mate after the '95 FA Cup Final? Marvelous.
Ste Boileau, Walton  (21/3/07)

This ground move arguement!

At the risk of pissing most of you off, I'd like to ask the question of why it's such a bad thing if we move out of Livepool? I don't see Kirkby as a problem. If Manchester United can be outside Manchester, I don't see why Everton can't be outside Liverpool.

The way I see it, Everton need a new ground. Goodison Park is old, tired and badly structured, with 3,000 obscured-view seats and only 11 executive boxes.

"We need investment" is a big cry from all of us but we need to be an attractive proposition to any bidding investor and a new ground would go a long way to achieving this. As well as bring in other finances that Goodison cant offer.

Also the prospect of running this along with Tesco is only a Positive thing. I mean arguably one of the most successful businesses in Britain, and one of the best-run companies too, working with and helping our club. I think it's a splendid idea and brilliant for Everton Football Club (as long as we don't start wearing Royal Blue and White striped shirts!!!!).

So forget principals, forget 3 miles of road, and all this bollocks about letting Liverpool have the city ? let's think about what's important and for the best: moving forward, being sensible, doing things properly and in a well-managed way and doing what it takes to get Everton to that next level.

And for God's sake let's give more positive views about things rather than dwelling on the negatives. We are meant to support Everton FC. Nil Satis Nisi Optimum, remember.
Craig Taylor, Leicester  (21/3/07)

From memory, it means "Nothing but The Best is Good Enough". So, if what you were getting was not The Best, then that would be a negative, right? And if you were to dwell on it, that would be a bad thing? What should we do then? ? Just mention it casually in passing? — Michael

Runcorn sur Mersey to Goodison

Service X1 every 30 mins Mon-Sat to 1730, then on the hour until 2200. Journey time: Runcorn High Street to New Pier Head(ish) bus station = 35 mins Any Kirkby, Rice Lane etc bus (21 mins on a busy Saturday afternoon)

Buses back to Runcorn: 1730 and every 30 mins until 1900, then hourly until 2300 (Journey time to Runcorn High Street = 32 mins)

I make this journey often when staying with family émigrés over t'bridge. It's an absolute doddle; often don't bother with the bus to the ground, just share a cab with whomever else is going.

Sunday games: hourly service there and back If Eileen world like to call in to the Barley, Long Pull, Station or Clarendon a couple of hours before any match, we will gladly escort her and show her how easy the journey is.
Phil Bellis, L8 (not Toxteth)  (21/3/07)

Richard Osborne ? Late reaction

You ask if you are better than the lads overseas, because you attend matches and "we" don't.

First of all, I do attend matches, albeit not on a regular base (two this season, and it doesn't look like I will have another shot). I don't know if the question is really suited for me or if you're interested in those supporters really living outside north-west Europe or whatever. But I don't think you are above me. I have a decent job here, I actually found a nice Dutch girl, although I don't think I'll spend the rest of my life in Holland, I do not see myself moving the coming two years or so. Do you really question if personal circumstances make you a better person?

If I won the lottery, the first thing I would do is get a season-ticket and arrange flight tickets for the coming year, although I would probably get enormous backfire on changing fixtures and delays in transport. As it is now, it would cost me either too much money and quite some time, or a little less money but huge amounts of time (using the ferry to cross the channel) to regularly attend matches, so I always plan some days off work around a match trip. Does that make me better than you, who probably hardly ever has to miss a day's work for Everton?
Erik Dols, Maastricht, the Netherlands  (21/3/07)

'True Blue' Evertonians

There seems to be a thread going through the letters questioning who has the right to call themselves a 'True Blue' Evertonian. My own credentials are being born a True Blue from a long line of Bluenoses, growing up in Everton and going to watch a team that I dearly love, oh and naming my house Goodison.

The point is it is all bollocks where you come from and what your credentials are. We need look no further than across the park or down the East Lancs road to see what worldwide support does for the status and income for a club. I am currently working in Sudan and every other person here supports the Arse the rest supporting the Mancs. The only reason people know about Everton is because we play those two teams and they get to watch the games on satellite.

Can we afford or are we too proud to ignore people and their opinions? I think not. We should welcome and encourage new supporters from any where in the world. Everton Football Club should be known for it's warmth and unique support ? not for questiong where people live so they can be given some level in a pecking order when it comes to an opinion.

I would be more than happy to be alongside someone from anywhere in the world cheering on the Blues. So come on, all you 'True Blues' ? let's remember that we all have the best interest of Everton at heart and, even though we have differences of opinion on how to get, there we are all Evertonians.
Joe Elder, Salisbury  (21/3/07)

Ground Move

Has the article on the BBC site been deliberately placed and timed to prime the media for an announcement by EFC that the move to Kirkby is a done deal? My main concern for the future of Everton is that the next generation of Liverpudlians will be seduced by the Anfield Experience, as it will be known, and not even consider going out to Kirkby. Why would people get on a tram to Kirkby when they can walk to Disneyland?

Our existing support will not waver but their children might. Unless the move to Kirkby was accompanied by substantial investment and success on the field, decline and relegation would be more likely than if we stay at Goodison, despite what Tom Cannon says.

The only good news today is that Benitez is unsettled and, according to the broadsheets, is somewhat miffed that the new owners of the dark side did not meet him when they went to Anfield. Oh dear!
Alan Rodgers, Blackpool  (21/3/07)

The Real Reason

I think that the reason so many fans are against the ground move isn't because they don't want to leave GP, or even the city boundaries, it's because it'll feel like we're being pushed out by LFC and we'll leave them to reap the rewards of being the only club in the city. I tell you, if Liverpool and Everton were both planning to relocate to the surrounding areas, there wouldn't be this debate and we'd be grabbing onto the Tesco deal with both hands!
Ben Howard, London  (21/3/07)

IBKWT?

Hi Eric, due to the lack of information from our club, there are many assumptions made during all of our debates, and there is absolutely no reason why we should believe EFC, or LCC for that matter, are being truthful about the whole thing. I just see two sides trying to shift 'blame' and, whatever the outcome, both parties will always be guilty of not doing enough when the opportunity arose. In my response I merely, reluctantly, gave benefit of the doubt, no more.

As for the finance of a new stadium, I may answer that, using assumptions again, in Devil's Advocate ? Part 3. May I also add that I actually feel a strange sense of pride when I discover people who hail from far off places (or Birmingham), whose 'faith' didn't emigrate with them, actually support EFC when it would be so much easier to follow the glory hunters and pledge allegiance to the so-called glamour clubs of the PL, like many do. (It would be easier to buy the shirts if nothing else.)

This demonstrates to me that, just like the rest of us, the easy option was not an option, I applaud you.
Steve McBride, Liverpool  (21/3/07)

Overseas blue

This is just to pour a little more scorn on Richard's comments. I was a season ticket holder until 3 years ago when I went to work in Jordan. Obviously I thought I'd see less of the Blues. However, that wasn't the case as pretty much every game home and away was screened, so in fact I saw more games than usual.

The real reason I'm writing though is that I'd like to know the website that the fella from New Zealand uses to watch the games as now I'm in Portugal I'm having a trouble finding it. Cheers!
Matty Dunn, Portugal  (21/3/07)

Cultural Wasteland

Can you explain your "the cultural wasteland of Kirkby" comment on your front page.

I can only assume Toffeeweb feels Walton is some sort of mecca for artists, poets, mucisians etc and that Everton should be part of this bohemian environment.

I look forward to your explanation on the mailbag page.
Andrew Fearns, Kirkby  (21/3/07)

Ooops!... did I say that? Shocking example of insensitivity and bias!

The Drip has started!!

If you have been reading the paper lately or looking at certian websites, you may have noticed the big PR push has started regarding the Everton ground move. Quotes such as "Goodison will eventually fall down", and "if Everton don't move they will be considered along the lines of Tranmere and will be playing in the Championship" ? these are from Tesco boss Leahy and Prof Tom Cannon.

The next hit will be from the Liverpool Echo showing glossy pics of the new staduim and old pics of Goodison not looking so hot. I don't mind all of this along as there is a balanced argument in the media and it's not all "Everton have to move" etc etc.

But beware! ? the drip has started and before you know it, it will be a a running tap! Kirkby, here we come!!!
Alex Mather, Liverpool  (21/3/07)

Everton TV

Has anyone else had problems finding the highlights from Sunday? Under "Match" the last thing I see is the Man City reserve game. States on the website that they'll be available from midnight Sunday (although it might not state which Sunday!). Have Sky stopped us accessing it because one of their favourites lost? I like conspiracy theories!
Stephen Linden, Liverpool  (21/3/07)

Re: Paul Power

I recall reading us signing Paul Power in 1986 and had to admit thinking "What the fuck are we doing signing this has been? After all, if Man City don't want this fella, he surely must be past his best."

Paul turned out to be a revelation, an absolute pro, who played nearly every game that season 86-87, either at left back or left mid, and some of his crossing was on a par with Sheedy. Probably signed by Kendall for cover I imagine but an inspired signing as it turned out. I can't believe any fan in his right mind who watched Everton that season can't say Power made a massive contribution to the team that year.
Mark O'Brien, Wirral  (21/3/07)

Overseas

Just want to say that I am in full support of all the overseas Evertonians such as Daniel Lim.

I lived abroad myself for a while and it was a pleasant surprise whenever I met a local Everton fan. Many of them knew as much "history" as the majority of Blues in Liverpool and certainly most dreamed of setting foot in Goodison Park but distance and economics prevented them from doing so on a regular basis.

We should be proud that our great club attracts interest and followers from other nations. There is no room for discrimination on the ToffeWeb mailbag. After all, we are all Blues with one common goal.
Glen Anderson, Huyton  (21/3/07)

Overseas Blue

Richard Osbourne's comments about Overseas Blues and if they consider themselves supporters has certainly ruffled a few feathers, including my own. I am Maltese but have been a blue as long as I can remember, most of the time without a support network (until meeting a couple of others and trying to set up an official fan club... yeah right!).

I have been to Goodison park on numerous occasions (whenever I can afford it) and, as part of my job is sports editor on a local radio station, I push the Blues as much as I can. Damn I even left an O-level exam I was sitting half way through back in '95 to catch a game on TV. I am even trying to convince my wife-to-be to take a late honeymoon in Liverpool in August so we can catch the begining of the season (we are get married in June, and our wedding music will include Z-cars).

But the thing is, Richard's attitude is sympomatic of a number of Blues that I have met. Whilst without a shadow of a doubt the vast majority of Evertonians that I have come into contact with on my visits to Godison have been wonderfully friendly, and accomodating to an extent that seems unreal, there have been a few who do not seem to happy about these fans from abroad. A friend I was with said it was like we are encroaching on someone else's territory. This atitude, whilst understandable especially with the seige mentality that sometimes grips the club, does not help in the global branding image that Everton is supposed to be working at.

To conclude, I was not born on the mersey, but I love this club wiht a passion I cannot describe. I am an Evertonian, and I glow with pride at being part of something that is bigger than football, bigger than sport bigger than Britain. I have seen the light, it is not my fault I popped out of my mum in the wrong place
Steve Hili, Malta  (21/3/07)

I would guess the attitude is a natural corollary to the Norwegian/Scandinavian jibes levelled at the Redsox fasn who are portrayed as arriving in their hordes from foriegn parts for every Anfield game. You can hardly look kindly upon your own foriegn contingent if that is one of your main needle-points with your red mates! Then again, logic is not usually a strong point in local rivalry! ? Michael

Overseas supporter

It really hurts that the passion of overseas supporters was questioned by likes of Richard. I hope I can visit GP every match but the fact is that I am not a Brit and I live thousand miles from it. Sadly it appears that this attitude perhaps is also found inside the Club. Up to date my mates in Hong Kong still have difficulties to use a non-UK credit card to purchase item on the online megastore and rounds of emails show that the Club just doesn't give a damn.

The Malaysian supporters in the mailbag also say it is so difficult to get their supporters club "endorsed" by the club. Though it won't affect our passion, it really doesn't make sense for the club to turn a blind eye to these streams of overseas revenue.
Sunny Li, Hong Kong  (21/3/07)

Re: The view from down under

I recall that in several of your posts, Eileen, the concern that stood out was over car parking, so much so that one correspondent sarcastically referred to your preference for the new ground to be in Cronton, and later that Kirkby is a nice little run in the car.

Now assuming your straw poll is approximately correct in that 7,000 supporters arrive at the ground by car, no let?s say approximately 10,000 to cover for those others that park in adjacent streets. So around ¼ of the attendances is made up of people travelling by car, leaving ¾ of the attendees reliant on public transport or other forms of conveyance (Shank?s Pony myself when I was a regular attendee).

So what do we say to those majority of supporters that don?t have a car and cannot get to Kirkby ?cos the available public transport is only 10% of the capacity available to get them to Goodison? In your own words get a taxi or fuck off altogether???

As to the Redskins car park, I don?t imagine that the new Yankee owners will pass up an opportunity to recoup a bit of money and have the car park open every day. And as to your not wanting to use available car parking facilities well that?s really your problem, you can?t blame the redevelopment of Goodison on that one.

Your other concern that I remember was where is the money to come from for the redevelopment and that has been partially answered by Trevor?s latest article, although I?d likely be in agreement with you that it?s not a completely satisfactory answer.

Now as a Blue living overseas, although not as far away as you?d like me to be, I?ll not have any say in the new ground and wouldn?t want my preferences to affect the matchgoing public when I won?t be there myself. All I?m saying is that we?ve been lied to about the redevelopment issue and we?re being told nothing about the Kirkby proposal. So how can anyone make a balanced judgment about what?s the best option without having the facts to compare?

The fact seems to me to be that the Board (i.e. Kenwright) isn?t considering any other option but Kirkby and the fans are not going to get any choice about the matter at all.
Eric Myles, Pattaya, Thailand  (21/3/07)

Overseas Supporters

In reference to foreign support, I am a British, young married male, have been going to watch Everton since as young as I can remember. Grew up on Merseyside. My Father, his wife and my uncle are season ticket holders, my Grandad watched us as St Domingos.

My wife is American, and has 3 children, all of which have been converted to Evertonians. They beg me to bring them over to watch a match, which isn't financially possible at the moment. But I send them over mugs, shirts, clothes, teddy bears, an array of merchandise.

I am pending immigration to California to spend the rest of my life with them ? that ultimately means a lot less chance of getting to see the Toffees... does that make my voice, my opinion, my passion less?
Martin Roberts, Soon to be USA  (21/3/07)

If you know your history....

Regarding Luq Yussef's comments on players past. I stand to be corrected but wasn't Gary Ablett once voted Everton's Player of the Season? As I recall, he did the club proud, not least scoring the goal that beat West Ham after a depressing run of defeats at the start of the season which led in the end to victory in the FA Cup Final.

As for John Ebbrell, I recall Howard Kendall once described him as the 'finest passer of a ball he had ever worked with'. I think the fact he never really lived up to his promise was in large part down to his injury record but I don't think he could ever be accused of not giving his all for the club.

Luq also mentions Neil McDonald ? he wasn't a great player but he wasn't that bad either. He actually went on to be one of the few ex-players to take the referee's exam. Make of that what you will...

Finally, regarding Tom Cannon's comments on the ground issue and future investment in the club, as featured on BBC Sport website, I think he makes a lot of sense but that doesn't mean we all have to agree with him. As it happens in large part, I do, although I think his dark prediction of lower division football if we don't move is wide of the mark.

He admits himself we are more financially sound than most, and whatever else David Moyes may be, he is certainly pragmatic and unlikely therefore to lead us down the Leeds Utd path for example ? not that we have the cash to splash anyway!

However I also agree with you, Mike, that debate on this issue is entirely healthy and indeed essential. It's easy for the likes of me who get to visit Goodison infrequently now (for obvious reasons, being in Australia) to tell those who go week-in, week-out that they should back a move. One thing I think we can all agree on though is that we want what's best for the club ? defining what's best is another matter, so thank God for ToffeeWeb where we can all get our thoughts of our chest!
Richard Ewart, Melbourne Australia  (21/3/07)

A fast plane please???

I was bit miffed when I read Richard Osborne of Brums letter. To say anyone's opinion is more valid because they attend matches is pure bollocks, if you'll excuse me mate. I've supported Everton for many years and moving to the other side of the world did not change that one little bit. In fact it highlights how much the team means to me and what it is to be a blue in a football wasteland.

I watch their games live on the internet (usually at 3 or 4 in the morning), my first port of call on the internet is ToffeeWeb, I read every match report and I spend hours talking about the Blues on the phone to my son in London, who, in true tradition is a blue also. I would fiercly defend my right to make comments about the club I love and support and have been a part of my life since I was a nipper.

I would also defend the right of any other Everton supporter to comment, wherever they lived, be it Liverpool, Australia, the USA or the bloody moon. I think you need to have another think about that one mate. You are a lucky sod to be able to watch them every week, but they haven't come up with a jet that can get to Liverpool airport from Auckland in 2-3 hours. When they do, I'll be up for it. In the mean time. Enjoy the games, fellow Evertonian, I would give anything to join you.
Tony Swain, New Zealand  (21/3/07)

Re: Overseas

Hi Richard, I call myself a die-hard Everton supporter. What have I done to "qualify" myself as a supporter? I am not too sure what you want to know, but I just list down some facts here:

  1. I have been to GP 3 times, I was in UK for about 15 months from 2005 to 2006. Now I think of it, a bit trivial but I think quite a coincidence, I arrived in London in 2005 on the eve of the last match of that 4th-place season. And I left UK the day after our first match this season 2006/07. On both occassions I was thinking of attending the matches but couldn't make it. My first match at Goodison was Villarreal. 2nd was 0-4 against Bolton, and 3rd time lucky, I was there when we thrashed Villa 4-1. I wanted to go to more matches, but a few times my mate in Liverpool was not in town.

  2. I started my love with EFC on the eve of the 1986 FA Cup final. People said Evertonians are "born". I believe that, because I didn't know who Everton were, I didn't know who Liverpool were, before that day. I chose to support Everton because I like the colour blue. But ever since that day...

  3. When I received an e.mail from EFC regarding that membership Evertonia (which, now I think of it, is some kind of rip-off), without a second thought, I had my credit card in my hand.

  4. I have a rather big Everton flag hanging in the office, just beside me while I type this letter.

  5. I cried when we were overtaken by Blackburn on the last day of the season we finished 7th.
I can't speak for all the Everton supporters in Malaysia, but I am confident to say that location wise we are far from the action, but passion wise we are not ''lesser'' Evertonian compare to those who go to the matches every other week.

Recently there was a serious flood in the southern part of this country, EFC (no kidding) donated some money to the flood victims. Some of the fellow toffees here took a day off work to help the club to accomplish this good deed.

The Everton Supporters Club in Malaysia has less than 100 members with even less active members. We have tried to be officially endorsed by the club since at least 3 years ago, but you would probably be able to guess what happened... However, we are really close to getting that now with the help of Robert Elstone. Hope all these help.
Daniel Lim, Malaysia  (21/3/07)

Very nice, Daniel, but I wouldn't have dignified his question by trying to show your "qualifications". It's divisive and unnecessary, I assure you. — Michael

Re Steve McBride's number-crunching

I actually partly agree with you, Steve, and your number-crunching article expresses my concerns that, while financing redevelopment is theoretically possible, there?s a lot of ?if?s and ?but?s that make me wonder if it?s actually practical.

But I disagree that the Club has told us it?s not possible because we have no money; they?ve merely said ?not possible? (bar Keith Wyness?s recent stray from the party line) and have even said that LCC won?t consider redevelopment ? another lie if we are to believe Warren Bradley, who has publicly stated that no proposals have been put forward by the club.

My point is that, if we are clearly being lied to about (at least) one thing, how can we trust that the Board are not lying to us about Kirkby?

And if we?re so broke then where is the money coming from for the new stadium? We at least need to know the financial packages that are going to fund it and the long-term implications of them before we accept that a new stadium in Kirkby is the only choice (it?s the only choice we?re being offered).

The financial package for the new stadium may be even worse than your numbers for redevelopment and if they even remotely resemble a ?reverse mortgage? then Kenwright deserves to be publicly hung drawn and quartered in front of St George?s Hall.
Eric Myles, Pattaya, Thailand  (21/3/07)

Power to Power

Ok, ok, I admit I was being a little harsh on Paul Power, but to this day I was never totally convinced he was a class player. But he would burst his lungs trying and that was good enough back then; now we need craft as well as maximum effort.

Ebrell was shite so please don't remember him in a 'John Lennon' red tint image. Speaking of players, who remembers Neil McDonald our center-back from the Kendall era? Have we seen a worse defender than him, and Gary Albett doesn't count!
Luq Yussef, London  (21/3/07)

Turning a lady into a tart

Tom Cannon throws a bit more light (or is it gloom?) on the stadium debate. Those who dream of a venue within the city or a revamped Goodison will find some of his points hard to swallow.

Tom hits a few nails so squarely on the head. Only the unlikely emergence of a cashed-up takeover could possibly bring those dreams to reality. A move to Kirkby may not take us from under a long shadow cast by the New Anfield yet Tom sees no other practical option on the immediate horizon.

The only hope for Everton to survive ? let alone succeed into the future ? is to show the world that we are better than or at least the equal of Liverpool. The best way to do it is on the field. That requires a dynamic manager with long-term plans backed by a like-minded board. Of necessity, we also need to develop our own quality players.

Step forward, David Moyes, Blue Bill and the new Academy. Last but not least in all this is a unified support base that keeps one eye on the future. The very last thing we need is pie in the sky suggestions about tarting up a time worn old lady with money we simply have not got.
Dick Fearon, West Australia  (21/3/07)

I love the way people try to unify the diversity of our fanbase with these less-than-subtle threats that Chairman Mao would have been proud of. — Michael

Blueprint for success!

Great article regarding investment and the need to move from Goodison. It makes sense but I'd still prefer Goodison to remain at Goodison!
Jamie Rowland, Liverpool  (20/3/07)

A humble apology!

Apologies in advance to Eric Myles and Andy McNabb. I was interested in both their posts but responded to Eric's while calling him Andy! Sorry cobber. Doesn't change the gist of what I was trying to say though!
Eileen Roberts, Runcorn  (20/3/07)

I'm not sure I can sort that one out.. so I won't try! — Michael

Youngsters

Am I right in saying Moyes uses the kids for big games. He gave Vaughany a chance on Sunday and it payed off. The boy showed us what he is about with his pace, power, aggression, aerial ability and never-say-die attitude. The same was done against Chelsea with Anichebe who was a handfull in that game. If it is a tactic Moyes uses, it works because the youngsters give the team and fans a lift.
Connor Rohrer, Toxteth, Liverpool  (20/3/07)

FA = FUCK ALL!

So this tepid gang that run our game, namely the FA, spearheaded by the "self-proclaimed" rednose Brian Barwick, once again fail to punish a player, namely Emre, for racist abuse

What more evidence do these people want? It's as if they let these cases drag on until they're out of the public eye, and then make their watered-down decisions... or lack thereof.

Still, at least they manage to bend the rules for the loveable reds whenever they ask them to, and fully support the army of incompetent referees that they employ. What a joke!
Karl Jones, Woolton  (20/3/07)

Spin, Spin, Spin ? I feel sick, dad!

If Everton is not enough of a rollercoaster, the latest fun ride has got to be the proposed ground move, one in a string of recent reports has left me reaching (or wrenching) for the nearest bucket.

Isn?t it great to see that Alistair Campbell has now set an example on media spin that it spews into the running of a football club. Our football club?.. Err the shareholders football club.

Tom Cannon, not satisfied with Rafa?s depiction of Everton as a small club, went at length to explain to the BBC why we are such a small club and why all us silly fools should be grateful for moving to Kirkby out of the shadow of our illustrious neighbours. How fucking silly are we to question what is happening about moving home after over 100 years? I want to shove his depiction of us where the sun does not shine.

So it?s not enough that Sir Terry says Goodison is falling down, now Tom threatens us with League One football? He obviously fails to admit that if Everton carry on in the same prudent manner, Everton can resolve their long-term debt within the next three seasons? And being honest, lads and lasses, it is probably the correct thing to do if we want to attract an investor.

So Knowsley Council want Everton and the employment? What do the residents want?

So Tesco want to compete with Asda and are stumping up the money? So what?

Sir Terry thinks Goodison is falling down? and is not mindful of Tesco Profits?

Tom thinks we will end up in League One if we don?t move to Kirkby. He can finally sell his shareholding and make a nice tidy profit?

So the only fly in the ointment is those nuisance customers (they used to be called fans) who are questioning WTF is going on here!?!

I have no border issue with Kirkby at all, but a ground move is serious business. Man City's fortunes were not cemented by moving to a new ground. We?ll only stick bums on seats if we start winning. We?ll only win if there is player investment. I think they call this the chicken and the egg.

Unless people start presenting truths not spin then this is one bloody awful mess for Everton. Whose next is the Kirkby hustings? Must be Aberdeen Angus...
Eamonn Byrne, Shropshire  (20/03/07)

The view from down under

I could have taken Andy McNabb's post more seriously if he had chosen to comment on any of the OTHER difficulties that I have raised connected to a possible redevelopment of Goodison rather than just the car parking issue. But, nevertheless, I will deal with that as he chose to raise it.

While I have not stood at the car park gate and conducted a census, I have quite reasonably assessed by observation of the number of vehicles in a row and the number of rows in the car park, coupled with the fact that 3, 4 or even 5 people usually tumble out of each car and by adding a couple of hundred more for the minibuses,that about 7000 supporters go to the game in their cars and use that car park.

Now, whether or not I obsess about using my car (which I don't use all the time anyway) this raises a serious issue. Whether it is because families come with their kids or groups of mates going to the game together or, like me, people who live in areas where public transport is long-winded or non-existent or people who have other places to get to like work after a game, there are at least 7000 people who want, or can only, get to the match in their car. There are also many others who wish to do the same and park where they can around the streets. What do we say to those 7000 or so people who use the Stanley Park car park? Get a taxi! Piss of altogether, you're complicating the issue!

As for the RED CAR PARK, well, it is my understanding that that is going to be constructed UNDER the fucking stadium and is liable to be locked when there is no match there. But there are two other problems with that scenario anyway. I can't imagine LFC being happy with having 7000 Evertonians UNDER their bleeding stadium every other week for rather obvious resons (Guy Fawkes spring to mind?)! Even if they were happy to oblige, if Andy or anybody else thinks I'm going to hand over £7 or so to Liverpool Football Club every other week so that I can park my car to go and watch EVERTON, they can fuck off!!!

This problem of the new stadium can't be solved piecemeal, Andy. It has to come as a total, once-and-for-all package and it has to be deliverable because there are no second chances. Whatever decision is eventually made concerning the stadium, it has got to be right for the Club's future and no amount of 'obsessing' about the presevation of the Old Lady will matter a jot if we get it wrong.
Eileen Roberts, Runcorn  (20/3/07)

Update

Could the runners of the website update the players profiles. I think some of the strengths and weaknesses of the players are either dated or wrong. When was Joleon Lescott vulnerable to Pace. Update Fernandes and James Vaughan also if you don't mind. If it takes up to much time, don't... but my son's been nagging for months. He is just starting to get into football and wants to know more about the players. Thanks.
Connor Rohrer, Toxteth, Liverpool  (20/3/07)

I'm too busy wurkin' the Mailbag...

A Quick Question....

Reading this letters page, I notice a large number of 'supporters' from overseas. It makes me laugh that so many people live outside Liverpool and even the UK, and make very opinionated and often disparaging comments about 'our' club.

How many of you go to the match every week? How many of those consider themselves 'supporters'?

I'm interested in this point because I live in Birmingham and travel to every game, consider myself a supporter and my outlook on the state of the club and its running is much rosier than those from overseas.

I wonder whether actually attending the game on a regular basis qualifies me better than those of you who never go? Feel free to give your answers. I'm interested, I really am.
Richard Osborne, Birmingham  (20/3/07)

Two things, Richard: (1) There is only one kind of Evertonian. It doesn't matter where you come from, where you live now, or how many times you go the game: there are no credentials other than that you are an Evertonian.

And (2), as I've pointed out before, if you believe the stats, there are something like 500k Evertonians worldwide. Compare that with the number who attend Goodison in a season: I'm guessing 100k. That would put the non-attenders in a BIG majority. But you'll find that majority, some of whom live overseas, have a wide diversity of views, as would any sizeable group of Evertonians.

Why do some of us have this need to categorize? I guess there are Evertonians who accept all other Evertonians as equal... and those who don't. — Michael

Cynical in my old age?

I would say the BBC 'Everton blueprint' article is the first of many that are gonna be placed in the media to soften the stance of many fans. I am still undecided myself until I see what exactly we have on offer at kirkby.

I'm personally not really sure what the article actually tells us that we don't already know but it is written in such a way I would not be surprised if it was checked/edited by the club before being published ? does that make me a cynic?
Daniel Ford, Newcastle Upon Tyne  (20/3/07)

No: it makes you a realist: Join the crowd!

Fernandes

Just a quick point that I don't think anyone has picked up on.

Fernandes didn't technically go missing in the second half, he was in fact ghosting next to every player he had to mark. The only problem was, in the first half, Clattenburg had booked him for a challenge on a player, and therefore he knew whenever he put his foot in, with the mood the ref was in, he would have been off that pitch in no time!

Right at the end of the match he might have lost his way a touch, but so did many of our other players ? but who wouldn't against Arsenal? A bit of an overreaction to Fernandes I think..I just wanted people to see it logically :) Well done, Blue boys!

And keep up the good work for this great site ;)
Chris Platt, Crewe  (20/3/07)

Suspicious minds...

There is certainly not something right with the BBC's 'Everton blueprint for success' article. Just what is going on? For what purpose did they push this propaganda, whether you believe in its angle or not?
Nick Entwistle, London  (20/3/07)

Ginger 1 - Whinger 0

So Emre is pleased to have been found ?not guilty?. Just one problem there ? what was actually found was that the FA ?were not satisfied the charge was proved," in other words there was not enough evidence to nail him for it.

There?s no smoke without fire and the fact that three different teams have all had players levelling accusations of racism at him says it all. I only hope this will make him think twice before he opens his mouth, but I fear the reality is he will know he can get away with whatever he likes so long as it cannot be proven beyond reasonable doubt.

On another topic altogether I see the BBC are at it again. MOTD2 infuriated me. The first thing they mentioned was AJ and his penalty incident, which most of us have freely admitted was not a penalty. Although my (kopite) sister said Lehman had ?rugby tackled him to the ground!? As an after thought, as if to excuse what they had said, they added that it was a good goal. I have e-mailed them to let them know my thoughts. It?s high time they put this one to rest and thought of some more creative commentary!

Back to the celebrations ? my husband is a Gooner and on Thursday just gone said "only eight points between us and Chelsea". Naturally, I pointed out that this would only be the case if they beat us. He was pretty cocky to say the least. Oh what pleasure asking him on Sunday "How mnay points between you and Chelsea again?"
Carolyn Hayre, Preston  (20/3/07)

Positve Football = Positive Result

Dont know if anybody else felt like this but even before I saw the team I had a feeling we'd beat Arsenal. We've always played well against them at home (not saying that the game at the Emirates was bad) even when we played in the Carling Cup against the all-conquering kids we had our chances to beat them.

Then, when I saw the team sheet I couldnt believe it; it looked positive and we weren't playing 5 in midfield. And with young Vaughan it looked like we were going to take the game too them, which we duely did. Now I'm not saying this frees Moyes from the criticism, and I for one have thrown a lot at him, but it shows that having a positive attitude and approach gives positive results. All we have asked for is positive football not 6 defenders on the pitch a la Spurs etc etc. Has Moyes learnt? Only time will tell, but its a step in the right direction, onwards and upwards.

My god, I've posted a positive comment.
Ste Boileau, Walton  (20/3/07)

Nah... you're sort of critiquing Moyes and showering him with backhanded compliments, rather than sycophantic geneflection, which means your still doing okay... ;) Michael

Mr Power, continued further

Having seen every home game of the 1985-86 season, from my vantage point in the UGS, sat next to my brother, the only thing which makes me doubt he may have been player of the year was the presence in the side of a certain Gary Winston Lineker. So, however, if effort and commitment were anything to go on, I'm certain my brother Steve would concur with me that Paul MUST have been a leading contender.

For completeness, Paul WAS Manchester City player of the season for 1980-81 and 1984-85 (ie, immediately prior to our incredible purchase of his services). I suspect the very low price reflected his former club's debt of gratitude to him - 447 games, and 36 goals (not bad for a left back). Nevertheless, people still scoffed loudly when we bought him, much as they did when Kendall bought Messrs Reid and Gray!
Chris Jones, Wakefield  (20/3/07)

Piece of the pie!

Can Steve McBride provide us with a link to this tool so all Evertonians can prosper and share the wealth? Thanking you in advance!
Ian Bonnette, Liverpool  (20/3/07)

Can you guess what it is yet...?

To Eric Myles, I know, as with everything else on this site, these are just opinions and every one is entitled to one, but IMO if the whole point of sending in proposals for redevelopment of GP is just to show that it can be done then I think we're all wasting our time. Wyness has already 'admitted' that it's possible, not that you need to be a financial expert to know that you can do loads of things if you've got the money, but, and God forgive me for giving so much benefit of the doubt to Bullshit Billy's boys, what they're saying is it is not financially possible in the club's current position, as we ain't got a pot to piss in.

As previously posted, my belief is that to stop BK in his (train) tracks, he must be shown a proposal that can be afforded by the club without putting us in danger of bankruptcy. So, if we don't do that, then what's the point of drawing pretty pictures?
Steve McBride, Liverpool  (20/3/07)

I think the history of this is that it was said or implied that it cannot be done. Then that it was "not feasible"... which may mean "not financially viable". I think unfortunately that you are dead right: it is fundamentally a waste of time beacuse the money side is clearly never going to fly. Trouble is, it's always been weaselwords from the club instead of the straight skinny. — Michael

Ste McBride- Colleagues Tool

Where can we get a handle on your mate's tool please, Ste?
Steve Lyth, Ellesmere Port  (20/3/07)

Eeeek!

Mug's Game

According to my ex-colleague who developed a risk analysis tool for a leading spread betting firm, the four most important Everton players are Johnson, Arteta, Cahill and Carsley. Arsenal's key players are Henry, van Persie, Silva and Gallas. Given that two of their four were missing, and Silva was played at centre-back on Sunday, whilst three of our four key players were available, the risk analysis tool actually predicted an Everton win. However, the betting market, based on where the punters were putting their money, predicted an Arsenal win. The betting market is actually very efficient and it's not often that it disagrees with the risk analysis tool, so this represented an excellent opportunity to beat the bookies. Of course I went long Toffees and made a tidy profit.

This type of analysis is not infallible, but it works well enough to improve the company's profits by millions of pounds, so it should not be ignored. Statistically we are far less likely to win if our key players are missing or the opposition is in good form and has their key players available. Hence you can?t directly compare the performance of the Everton manager between the Arsenal and Tottenham home games. The fact AJ and Cahill were missing against Spurs was a massive handicap, whereas it was Arsenal who were massively handicapped on Sunday. It's a fact that can't be ignored and I have the bank balance to prove it.

I just wish the morons sitting behind me in the Park End that boo Lee Carsley's every touch realized how important he is to us and stopped pouring spittle down my ear-hole at every match.

ps: This does not represent insider trading as the stats on which the risk analysis tool bases its predictions are available to everyone.
Steve McBride, London  (20/3/07)

Racism Row

Having read The Times article, I wonder where the Everton contingent was at this hearing? Letters from players were read but this makes both Everton and particularly the FA look silly. Why bring charges only to dismiss them as there's no apparent evidence??
Peete Stewart, London  (20/3/07)

Perhaps this second Times article sheds more light (or gloom) on this silly business. It implies that the written testimony from the key Everton witnesses (Howard and Lescott) disagreed on whether they had heard "fucking negro" or "fucking nigger", while Yobo (the apparent target of the clearly racist abuse) heard nothing.

It also makes clear the FA and the Commission are quite separate, which is as it should be. But I agree: the lack of action makes the FA look very silly... nothing unusual there though! Why doesn't someone charge them with "bringing the game into disrepute"? — Michael

Paul Power ? continued

With reference to Luq Yussef and Chris Jones on Paul Power. I totaly agree with Chris that Paul Power was a great addition to the squad, and if memory serves me didn't Paul Power score the first goal of the 85-86 season againt Norwich in the 1-0 win and was voted the player of the season ? a steal at £60k!
Tony Doyle, South Africa  (20/3/07)

Paul Power played in most games of the 86-87 season, but my stats/gray cells don't run to Player of the Year votes (although he wasn't an Everton player in 85-86). He did score the only goal against Norwich in the first game of the 87-88 season but did not make many appearnances that season and eventually joined the coaching staff before becoming manager of the Football in the Community scheme. — Michael

Re: AJ's penalty

I agree with Eric Myles. I actually thought it was a penalty when I saw the incident, and still thought it was after numerous replays. An explanation (which I think is silly) is that, the keeper punched the ball away. So he got the ball, so no penalty.

But think of it this way, the keeper did that by pulling and holding AJ from the back, and definitely banging into him from the back as well, if he didn't do all those, there's no way he could get to the ball, let alone punching it away.
Daniel Lim, Malaysia  (20/3/07)

Sanity Reigns!

Yesterday, I said goodbye to my oldest son for 10 months when he boarded a plane for the UK, to spend his 'gap year' earning some Sterling. First stop will be Goodison Park, with the words ringing in his ears, "Make the most of it, son ? you won't have too many more opportunities to visit the Old Lady."

In light of this, what a refreshing change to read Trevor Skempton's well thought out contributions on ToffeeWeb. I thoroughly agree with his opposition to the "slash and burn" attitiude, as he puts it. It's just a thought but did anyone else notice the attendance against Arsenal of 37,162 when compared with lowly Aston Villa's 42,551 against Liverpool?

I'm sure there are all sorts of mitigating circumstances which could be suggested; however, the fact still remains. If we attract a crowd of less than 40,000 when we are flying high and aiming for Europe, whilst playing against arguably the best footballing team in the league, then how many seats would be empty in a shiny new stadium which holds 60,000?

Nil Satis... is all very well but how about adding a bit of pragmatism into the mix?
Andy McNabb, Melbourne, Australia  (20/3/07)

AJ's Penalty

In the euphoria of a deserved victory over the Arse the Lehmann penalty against AJ seems to have been overlooked.

Now when I saw it on the telly and the replays of the incident I didn't think it was a penalty as Lehmann clears the ball. But it's what he did before getting to the ball that seems to have been overlooked.


This picture on the BBC website that clearly shows Lehmann pulling AJ's shirt from the front with his left arm wrapped around AJ's chest, an angle that wasn't viewed on the replays.

Fortunately this time it's made no difference and a righteous victory was acheived.
Eric Myles, Pattaya, Thailand  (20/3/07)

Back to the Stadium Debate

After the euphoria of the win over the Arse there's another article from Trevor Skempton on the redevelopment of Goodison to keep us occupied until the next game.

Eileen Roberts seems to be obsessing over getting to the match in her car and wants on location car parking facilities, but what does she do now I wonder? A redeveloped Goodison would put her in no worse a position than now AND THERE WOULD STILL BE A BRAND SPANKING NEW RED CAR PARK OVER THE ROAD. Sorry for shouting but I don?t think this point has gotten home before somehow.

The next main bug-bear is financing and while Trevor?s latest article clarifies the possible financing options it still doesn?t guarantee that we would find someone to buy the debentures, but hey I?m sure Mr 24/7 would have no problem sorting that one.

To me, the whole point of the exercise in these redevelopment proposals is not the fact that they may be pipe-dreams because the club cannot raise the finances ? it?s to do with the credibility of the Board.

Billy Liar and his mate Terry are telling us it?s not possible to redevelop Goodison and that Kirkby is our only option. Well, the articles by Trevor and Tom expose the redevelopment statement as a lie, and if they are lying to us about the possibility of redevelopment then can we trust them when they tell us that Kirkby is our best option?

I for one wouldn?t.
Eric Myles, Pattaya, Thailand  (20/3/07)

in defence of Paul Power

I'm afraid I must take Luq Yussef to task over his disparaging of Paul Power.

I saw a good percentage of his games in the Royal Blue and my memories of him were of a smashing player who gave 100% EVERY time he played. He was a great acquisition ? and like Peter Reid, in financial terms ? one of Kendall's very best buys.

I lived and worked in Manchester throughout the 1980s and well remember my Man Utd and City-supporting colleagues laughing when we paid £60k for his services. They weren't laughing long when they saw the contribution he made to our side! And correct me if I'm wrong, didn't he win a Championship medal in the 86-87 season?
Chris Jones, Wakefield  (20/3/07)

Re: Not welcome

I?d go for Fernandes over Barton every time on what I?ve seen. But Luq, You are a bit harsh on Ebrell and Powers, in particular, I feel. Neither were exactly gifted, but Powers helped us win a league title and would have played a lot more matches if he hadn?t shagged his knees up on QPR?s plastic garden, and Ebrell added backbone to some pretty mediocre line-ups. Spot on about Linderoth ? he made Carsley look like Pat Nevin.
Colin Smith, Hopewell, New Jersey, USA  (19/3/07)

Can you Help

Any one out there managed to record our victory over the Arsenal can you send me a copy as I have just tried to play back the match on Sky+ but recording has failed due to Sky HD boxes/Sky being shit. Should have checked when I got in from the match.

If you can help please contact ToffeeWeb who will pass on my details.
Dwayne Perkins, Wirral  (19/3/07)

Response to Michael

Sorry, Michael, I think you misunderstood me. I wasnt asking those who question his tactics or those who get annoyed with his style of play from time to time to eat a bit of humble pie, I wrote "those who were calling for his resignation". We're all on the same side here!!

Let's just hope AJ comes back without so much as a scrath.
Charlie Gofton, Liverpool  (19/3/07)

Sorry about that, Charlie. I was so excited with our great win over the Arse, I must have read what you were saying a little too quickly. — Michael

Not welcome

Joey Barton is not welcome at this football club! His hatred towards us is clear, and I couldn't give a toss what a bargain he could be as I feel we are better off investing in Fernandes.

It makes me laugh when fans have a pop at Fernandes for not lasting 90 minutes. Would you like the likes of John Ebrell, Paul Power and Tobias Linderoth back? All had good engines but were completely poor players. We at Everton have to be realistic and if we have the opportunity to sign such a talent, then we should clasp it with both hands. After all, he was our best player yesterday.

Barton isn't half as good as Fernandes, plus his attitude stinks. Can you imagine the dressing room if he comes to town? Simply not worth the hassle. Stay at the City, a club that matches your character ? BLUE!
Luq Yussef, London  (19/3/07)

Transfer fees

With us doing so well at the moment it does look like we might get that European place after all. The down side to this is, of course, that players like Nugent and Barton, who we have been supposedly tracking all season, will suddenly shoot up in value.

It's an unfortunate side to the game as it means that clubs like ourselves, that are looking to push on to the next level, get in a sense penalised for having some initial success to begin with. Some reports of an interest in certain players will of course be groundless and any rise in their value won't bother you. But players that you, the manager and everyone else knows will add to your squad suddenly rising in value by several million does tend to cause some annoyance.

But, football is of course big business nowadays. And like any other business, you sometimes have to have to speculate to generate as the saying goes.

The one thing about this situation though is that I do believe Moyes when he has said that the Board has backed him to the hilt in the transfer market with what money it has had to spare. So, even with inflated prices over the summer if we qualify for Europe, I do think that the money will be there to buy the players who Moyes thinks we need.
Kieran Fitzgerald, Dublin  (19/3/07)

re: Manuel Fernandes

I have to disagree with Jack Jones's remarks concerning Joey Barton & Manuel Fernandes. I didn't see Fernandes as jogging back when Arsenal had the ball, to me he showed plenty of willingness to dig in and fight. His all round game is excellent he can pass and his touch and positioning are good.

Barton's a decent player (not as good as Arteta or Fernandes) but the last couple of times I've watched him playing for an admittedly very poor Man City team he certainly hasn't stood out from the rest. Barton?s temperament is also a concern, he's always prone to kick out for good reason.

£12M is certainly a hell of a lot of cash for a comparatively untried midfielder and there's always a risk of him using Everton as a stepping stone to so called "bigger clubs" . However, if that's what we have to pay for a class midfield player, then let's go for it.

Overall, I thought Everton?s performance against Arsenal was the best they?ve produced since last October. Everton actually played a lot of good football on the deck; this was done with Arteta having one of his less influential games and Osman losing possession on several occasions, especially in the first half. Vaughan can only get better and I?d like to see him given a run of games to see if he can establish a decent partnership with AJ.
Colin Smith, Hopewell, New Jersey, USA  (19/3/07)

Moyes IS learning

I willing to admit that I was one of those fans who booed loudly at the Spurs match when Moyes's infamous substitutions were made. I will also admit that I called for his head afterwards, something that I had never before done.

Do I regret booing? ? well... not really, because I believe it was the wake-up call that Moyes finally needed and, to his credit, he responded well yesterday when, level with a few minutes to go, against a better team than Spurs, he made an attacking substitution. Fortune favours the brave, they say ? and it certainly paid off yesterday.

Another point: yesterday was one of those days that supporters yearn for and which stay in the memory for a long time. The old lady was positively bouncing at the end. If anyone needed reminding what it means to be an Evertonian, then yesterday was a perfect example.

Well done the players, manager and fans alike. Another treasured moment locked away in the memory bank!
Ray Robinson, Warrington  (19/3/07)

Just Great

Isn't it great to sample the feeling after the match? Everyone is buzzing. Johnson goes into the England qualifiers on a high and firing on all cylinders, Moyes goes wild on the touchline because, in a rare moment, his tactics were superb. The team gave a brilliant effort, and some guile to the guts ? notably Fernandes and Osman who lit up the game for us. Vaughan, Carsley, Stubbs provided some outstanding heart.

I personally enjoyed Johnson's goal like no other this season, and my celebrations even outranked the derby's; standing in the pouring rain and hail, engulfing darkness, biting winds... but when it rifled into the net, I didn't care, and neither did the other 35,000. A great night to be a blue, and the change in atmopshere is just fantastic. I believe the confidence will be contagious at Bellefield too, and puts us in good stead for following games.

Let's just hope we don't throw it all away against Villa. We have to get a run going, and keep it going, and finish on a high. COME ON YOU BLUE BOYS!
Sean Wafer, Liverpool  (19/3/07)

I've been biting my lip regarding the regular end-of-season whimper... Zip-it!.. Zip!!... ZZZ!!! — Michael

Atmosphere

Great day and everything's been said about putting the Gooners to the sword but two things:

I think people are talking up the atmosphere at the match: yes, the last few minutes were fantastic ? but don't kid youselves that it was like this for the 93 minutes.

And on a related point, who knows what the atmosphere will be like at a new stadium ? surely in part it will depend on us Blues?
John Green, Lichfield  (19/3/07)

England International

Nugent has just been called up by England. This will no doubt raise his valuation and price Everton out of any deal.
Paul Atress, Liverpool  (19/3/07)

No doubt... unless... Billy Boy comes up with the goods. In which case... doubt: How can you be so certain of such things? — Michael

Manuel Fernandes

I personally feel that Manuel Fernandes is being over-rated by the media and indeed many Evertonians. He is a skillful player, but I don't see any fire in his belly, if the ball by-passes him he'll just jog back and hope someone else will clear up the mess. I'd rather we signed Joey Barton for £6 million. He has a good range of passing, he scores a few goals, he's enthusiastic and most importantly he's an Evertonian and will show the desire to win that isn't present in Fernandes.

I get the impression Fernandes is using the club as a stepping stone to get the attention of the top teams, and wouldn't be surprised (or indeed dissapointed) if he rejected a move to us if an offer from another club was forthcoming.
Jack Jones, Liverpool  (19/3/07)

Humble pie

I was slagging Carsley off last week and I thought he was fantastic yesterday, so well done to all the smug people.

If he played like that all season I would have no problem with Everton giving him a contract extension. The fact is he hasn't been that good for most of the season and often looks like a weak link in the side, so let's get some perspective.
Alan Clarke, Manchester  (19/3/07)

Was it really any different? Moyes says he was given a different role, which seemed to involve perhaps playing the same role as he usually does, but somewhat further forward (ie, anchored nearer the centre-circle than his own D). I noticed one thing he did that irked me, and that was always he passed backwards instead of sideways or forwards. But since he can't pass at all (apparently!), that has to be better than giving the ball away, I suppose! ? Michael

MOTD

Getting home on a high, I watched the game again on my Sky Plus. As we won again, I thought I'd catch MOTD on BBC2... What a come-down! No credit at all. The most biased bit of after-match chit-chat I've heard from a fat Brummie and two second-class (at best) ex-players. What is it that makes us so unpopular? Mind you, to be fair, the Redsox got the same...

Anyhow, apparently it was Arsenal's fault. The goal was given as little airtime as possible. There was time to mention AJ and penalties and as an after-thought, Manny's partypiece was grudgingly commented on. No more MOTD2 for me!
Roy Coyne, Old Swan  (19/3/07)

Credit Where Credit's Due!

I'm happy to criticise Moyes when he has his negative head on, so praise is due for yesterday. A trademark battling performance against one of the big four, augmented by some pace and passing to feet ? see, it is possible!

For me, the next acid test is the Villa game. Can 'battling' Everton become 'top six quality' Everton by running the show and beating an inferior team? Let's credit the people for their constructive criticism and credit Moyes for listening.
Paul Tran, Kendal  (19/3/07)

Spot on, Paul.

Not pretty... but effective

It wasn't the best of games, conditions went against that, but Everton should be applauded for the hard work and determination thay put in for 90mins. Stubbs was at his best, and with Carsley & Fernandes battling for every ball in midfield, we were unlucky not to go in at halftime 1 up after Carsley had smacked a post. I thought Mark Clattenberg must have come with orders only to book players in blue, and the falling to ground of some Arsenal without much contact did not help. I was more than happy with the performance by James Vaughan in helping AJ up front, hopefully he can keep his place in the side.

The timing of AJ's winner was spot on, they had no time to respond, so well done Everton ? a great 3pts.
Norman Merrill, Everton  (19/3/07)

Stubbs

I was put off contributing anything about the Arsenal game seeing so many had already said pretty much what I was thinking. However, although there's been a few mentions of Alan Stubbs, I think there hasn't been quite enough praise for this fella.

I think he's been phenomenal this season. Not only do we get his Carragher-like no nonsense approach at times but we get utter quality moments like when he dummied a clearance and let the ball roll back to Howard, thus making the Arsenal attacker look like a bit of a tit. He's surely worth another year, maybe even two if you think about how long Gough went on. With experience like his, Lescott will learn invaluable lessons in the coming seasons.

And what happened to Yobo's one mistake? Where was it? I've noticed he's stopped his one mistake per game record. I'm a little concerned....

Oh, and finally, sorry for going on and on, but has anyone noticed how most of the stat websites are putting Arteta in the top four Premiership midfielders this season? That list includes Ronaldo, Lampard and Gerrard. So, if he does move on, why should we not look for a fee in the region that they'd command? Along with his young age, why shouldn't we demand £15-20M? I mean... if Shaun Wright-Phillips is £21M???
Nick Harrison, Liverpool  (19/3/07)

The Match

Great performance from the lads. Every player deserved a pat on the back for their display. Vaughan an AJ always looked dangerous. I was suprised how good Vaughan was in the air considering his size. Fernandes and Diaby were having a brilliant battle in the middle of the park. Lee Carsley and Stubbsy were solid like always. Arteta did well. Leon Osman is someone who can be brilliant and poor at the same time but he stuck to his task. Yobo and Lescott give us that needed pace and Neville led by example.
Connor Rohrer, Toxteth, Liverpool  (19/3/07)

Well Done!

Congrats yesterday to all involved. Great performance and a well deserved 3 points. Full marks to Davey. Would be nice of those who have been calling for his resignation to show a bit of humility.

As has also been mentioned, the team spirit is fantastic at the club. The sight of Tim Cahill's and James Beattie's celebration was a testament to all the staff at Bellefield and the players at the club. Now's the time for the fans to really get behind the team as we push for Europe. COYB
Charlie Gofton, Liverpool  (19/3/07)

Would be nice if those who have been calling for everyone to trust in Moyes, and who have slaughtered those having the temerity to criticise the manager's awful tactics and substiutions, would show a little humility and now give credit to the fans who let him know in no uncertain terms that a significant number of Evertonians had had enough and would no longer tolerate negative defensive tactics at home against London teams. They are the ones who deserve the credit for finally delivering to Moyes the kick up the arse he obviously needed to start acting like an Everton manager again. — Michael

Converting the Nephew

What a result yesterday!! I was at my elder sister's this weekend, whose husband, 2 sons, and 1 daughter support Liverpool. I was there to spend a little time with them, watch the reds play and then the Toffees.

He summed it all up at the end, my 12-year-old nephew, when he said to his step-dad, "Liverpool were awful, Everton played real well, they should be in Europe" then turned to me "Martin, can you take me to Goodison".

Score all round!
Martin Roberts, Merseyside  (19/3/07)

Nice one!

Superb Performance

Well done, everbody, superb performance yesterday! It certainly reinforced my thoughts that, if we had played attacking football from the first day of the season, I am confident we would have been sitting in third place this morning, three or four points behind Chelsea, which would have got us into Europe, more Sky money, and maybe three cracking players for next season, then maybe it would be even better next season. I know its ifs and buts, but after yesterday, I just feel we could have done it with the right guidance. It would have made us attractive for investment, then maybe, just maybe Bluffalo Bill would have had to let go of the train set.

One last thing,what an atmosphere!! I doubt very much you could take that to Kirkby ? to another site in the city, yes, but never Kirkby.
Colin Potter, Liverpool  (19/3/07)

Tempting fate...

Shouldn't really do this Predictor thing, but it's harmless fun (isn't it?). I got us 5th, 59pts and +15 GD..... with Reading on same points, and quite a few clubs within a point or 3. So reckon it's going to be tight, which of course you all knew already.

BTW, bet it never hailstones like that in Kirkby!!!
Tom Hughes, Liverpool  (19/03/07)

Re-think?

I wonder if all the people who slagged off Lee Carsley last week, saying he didn't deserve another year on his contract, clapped and cheered when he nearly put one in the net? I also wonder if the same people had a conversation with their mates after the game saying that Carsley played a blinder?? I also wonder if these same people have had a bit of a re-think with regards to their stance on Lee Carsley gaining another season??? And for that matter Alan Stubbs who put in another impressive and experienced defensive perfomance. Well done, lads ? a hard graft of a game and a well deserved result.
Steve Claringbold, Carlisle  (19/3/07)

Overseas Media Bias

Hey Matt, was it you or me that had one too many Tigers? I also stayed up last night to watch the game, and I distincly heard McMahon pick the Gooners for a 2-1 win (although Shebby Singh was spot on, 1-0 to the Blues, good man!).

As an aside, you're right: McMahon is good value as a pundit ? especially compared to the rest of his colleagues. But I just can't warm to him, he comes across as a kopite gobshite through and through.

Anyway, I knew it was going to be a good night, on Saturday. Dragging the kids out for new footy trainers we bumped into a local guy wearing an Everton top (you will know how rare that is). We had a good chat about the Blues and he was a top bloke, it made my day. So maybe it was a sign of things to come, more Blues supporters in SE Asia. If we can get that Uefa Cup spot and continue to progress, why not?

Here's hoping... COYB!
Steve Parry, Singapore  (19/3/07)

Fernandes

Great skill, great vision. No Engine. The Special One reckons he's a Makélélé-type player. What's his rightful position? Well done, Blue boys.
Colin Malone, Wirral  (19/3/07)

Youth Opportunity Scheme

In reply to John Cottee, would you not agree that acquiring young players with potential for a nominal fee is a prudent approach, or would you advocate the policy of signing a flop for £6.5M plus wages every season or two as a better method of sustainable progress?

Having a punt on promising youngsters can hardly be seen as a risky business; what I am more hopeful of is that Uncle Bill or his side-kick Philip Green is able to stump up the cash to acquire Nugent, Fernandes and Barton come the summer.
Peter Laing, Liverpool  (19/3/07)

Observations...

Just a quick few things...

Wasn't a good idea for me to miss the game live in the pub, and instead chose to watch the replay of the Formula 1, which of course I again fooled my self into thinking it would be exciting. Twas not.

I didn't know the score before MOTD and when the ball was bulging the net I cheered like a loon, only then to feel a little down I wasn't at least in the pub... c'est la vie. But what an atmosphere! Would it be there at Stadium Tesco? No chance.

And of course people are hoping we can acheive 6th and will fight our best to stay there and enter Europe, but am I the only one who has always looked out for the points gap between us and 4th? It's not impossible to get there, it's just 8 points.
Nick Entwistle, London  (19/3/07)

Lucas Jutkiewicz!

Is Lucas Jutkiewicz this season's Scott Spencer? A 'promising' youngster tipped for big things who disappears into Everton's youth and reserve teams?

Don't get me wrong: I love that Moyes is building for the future but with Anichebe and Vaughan ahead of them you have to wonder how Spencer and Jutkiewicz expect to get their chance?
John Cottee, Romford  (19/3/07)

It's rumoured that JJB have a load of "Z"s they need to offload! ? Colm

Well done Moyes

Excellent performance and a great result. Moments like that are priceless and the reason we all bother.
Ronnie Mukherjee, Merseyside  (19/3/07)

Stick that Whinger

I'm not normally a vindictive sort of person but beating Arsenal yesterday was oh so sweet. Between Lehman's antics and Wenger's constant whinging about AJ's diving (let's face it it was Wenger who started that one off), it was poetic for AJ himself to stuff it into the net in injury time.

Not that I saw much of the game, I was sat behind the two tallest and most fidgety blokes in the Gwladys Street End yesterday and me being a shortarse didn't help. While everyone was looking towards the goal, I had my back to them looking up at the big screen. Did it matter? Not one bit!

It was a moment to savour and I didn't really want to leave the ground. The place simply erupted when the ball hit the net and I haven't stopped grinning like a fool since!

In terms of the match itself, we deserved to win and we played like we had set out to win. I've questioned DM's tactics especially regarding substitutions and I wondered what the game plan was with two small fellas up front for us. After just a few minutes it was clear that we were going to try to match their pacey defenders with our own pacey forwards and feed the ball over the heads of their back four, not from the usual position near the goalline but actually from midfield!

Osman and Fernandes set AJ and Vaughan off on some good runs with neat passes through or over their defenders. It was good stuff even if they didn't always pay off, it's something that may work better against less competent and pacey defenders.

I make a point of never criticising a Blue, no matter how bad a day he's had and it would be churlish to pick on anyone for a below par performance but it's fair to mention Carsley, Fernandes and Vaughan for either flashes of brilliance or just sheer determination to win.

Now let's kick on and really make a positive fight for a top-six place. Well done lads, well done DM for getting it right and well done all of us for being Blues!

Oh happy days... Come on you Blues, onwards and upwards.
Lue Glover, Buckley  (19/3/07)

The Run-In

Lets look at the remaining fixtures for the last 8 games:


Bolton: Sheff Utd (h), Wigan (a), Everton (h), Arsenal (a), Reading (h), Chelsea (a), West Ham (a), Aston Villa (h).


Everton: Aston Villa (a), Fulham (h), Bolton (a), Charlton (h), West Ham (a), Man Utd (h), Porstmouth (h), Chelsea (a)


Tottenham: Reading (h), Chelsea (a), Blackburn (h), Wigan (a), Arsenal (h), Middlesbrough (a), Charlton (a), Man City (h)

I think Portsmouth, Fulham, West Ham and Charlton should be 4 wins, but Charlton and West Ham may be hard as they are fighting for their lives now. That leaves Villa and Bolton which is likely to be a point a piece. So wishful thinking gives us 14 points.

If we get 14 points, Bolton cannot get more than 13, however, they should be pretty confident of winning 3 of their home games and maybe two of their away games. They?ve only really got Arsenal and Chelsea ? games they will be expected to lose. Tottenham have 3 winnable home games and 3 winnable away games. They need 16 points, five wins and a draw, to overhaul us if we got to 14. Let's hope their cup run takes a bit out of them.

I think we can get 5th, but it's going to be very tough, let's hope Bolton continue to stutter and that old age catches up with them. Anyway, 6th will definitely be in the Uefa Cup and 7th might be enough.
Steve Ferns, Liverpool  (19/3/07)

Coming next week: Your Easter Lotto numbers preview! ;-) ? Colm

Well done, Tony Gale!!!

The minute I heard Tony Gale on Sky Sports emphatically state that Arsenal would beat Everton, I knew the boys in blue were on a winner... after all Tony tipped us to win the FA Cup and look what happened there!!

The other Tony is strangely missing on the posters this weekend ? ah, but then he only critises doesn't he, but it would have been really surprising if he had said "Well done" for a change.
Pat Jones, Carmarthen  (19/3/07)

Well done Davey and the Boys

Credit where it's due, looks like some of the stick Moyes has been getting has finally forced his hand in playing teams that are set up to win a game. Carsley has been immense in the last few games, here's hoping Davey see the season out with his positive cap on.
Steve Lyth, Ellesmere Port  (19/3/07)

I hadn't realised...

...that AJ was so short!


David Mills, Coventry  (19/3/07)

Evokes memories of Cottee, Nevin, Ward etc.! - Colm

Reflections

I just wanted to say to all those who were moaning about Moyes's attempts to resign Carsley last week. Is there an Evertonian anywhere today that doesn't believe that Carsley can still do a job for the team?

In no way would I argue that he's a talented ball-player or indeed anything other than a destructive force but every team needs a destructive force especially when playing a counter-attacking game. Carsley has been playing that role for Everton ever since Moyes arrived and has rarely let us down and yesterday showed him as a force of nature in thwarting Arsenal seemingly everywhere they wanted to run. Our central midfield completely dominated the Gunners' and Carsley played a massive role in that.

Contrary to some accounts I also thought that Osman was an effective player. Although he'll never surmount his physical deficiencies completely (being a shortarse), he buzzed around behind Johnson and Vaughan brilliantly yesterday constantly popping up unmarked and dragging the Arsenal defence out of shape. In a match where Arteta was stifled, Ossie played a vital role in disrupting their organisation.

Finally Fernandes. Watching the match I was getting rather frustrated that all his best work seemed to be in our half; beating players to simply find a get-out ball and never really getting involved further up the field. However watching the highlights on MOTD2 it became apparent how often he changed the direction of the attack and split the opposition defence from within our half. Perhaps playing alongside Carsley he needs to get forward a little more but alongside Cahill he could be a real gem hanging back to cover for Cahill's attacking proclivities whilst being able to launch attacks from deep.
John Holmes, York  (19/3/07)

Some great observations there, John. It would be nice to see Ossie pick up something from Manny by way of ball retention skills. Some of what he did in the first half was just magic. — Michael

Over the moon

Thrilled to pieces watching the match in a Tel Aviv pub (usual situation - 3 Evertonians; 25 Arsenal fans). In my humble view, Kenwright should beg borrow and steal to buy Manny. He adds a dimension which we haven't had for years. I really get the feeling that we have at long last the potential of an excellent team.
John de Frece, Israel  (19/3/07)

Feeling Dodd-like!

Woke this morning feeling decidedly `Dodd-like`! Fabulous result against the best footballing team in England inspired by the team selection and tactics of a manager who seems to have taken note of our recent displeasure.

Now it only remains for our Chairman to deliver us to the promised new stadium and everything in my Evertonian world will be perfect. Somehow I think this year will be very significant in the history of our great club!
Anton Pearce, Old Roan  (19/3/07)

Pleasant Change

Wasn't it nice to see Everton go into a game against a top 4 team, and not have 10 men behind the ball? Bold move by Moyes to play two strikers, and quick ones (when did that last happen). I thought Everton went for it, played the ball around nicely and tried to get behind them. David, carry on like this and your make us bluenoses very happy.
Trevor Tannenbaum, Haverhill, Suffolk  (19/3/07)

Spot on! ? Colm

Nothing important really...

...but I just went to work here in Holland, and when I walked up the steps of the company-entrance, I saw someone cycling by, wearing an Everton-training suit! We're already on a European tour I guess.
Erik Dols, Maastricht, the Netherlands  (19/3/07)

I reckon that's someone who went over to De Kuip back in 1985, "borrowed" a free bike by Centraal Station in downtown Rotterdam, and somehow ended up heading for central Europe(ish) instead of Europort! Blame those Dutch ciggies, Erik... - Colm

Good Season?

Has this been a great season? Beating Spurs away, taking 4 points off of Liverpool, sure there have been disappointments, especially in the cups.

To be honest, the only real judgement of how good a season this has been will be right at the end, if Everton are in the Top 10 then its been an acceptable season, if Everton finish in the Top 6 then I would suggest it would have been another great season.

Either way it sure as shit beats those dark years under Wally Smith when Everton were the pundits tip for the drop.

It's hard to believe that only a few years ago the first thing I would do when the fixtures were announced is check to see who we had in the final few matches, fearing a difficult run would relegate us.

Under Moyes I have never feared relegation.
Paul Atress, Liverpool  (19/3/07)

Just as Moyes said: he needed to change the mentality of some of the fans. You fall into that category. Other fans had higher expectations of Everton, made noises about Smith at least two years before he was finally shifted, and celebrated the arrival of David Moyes because he was just what was needed, as he proved in that first full season, finishing seventh.

Since when, it's been a yo-yo ride up and down the Prem. Some call that stability, basing it on the Walter Smith years. I call it inconsistency based on what Moyes showed us he could do in that first season. Last season we finished back-to-back inside the top ten... almost. Which everyone said was also a good season, and proved that we were now a top-ten side.

For me, it will be a great season if we finish 4th. Call that raised expectations if you like: it's the standard Moyes has set us. Or were you happy to see us finish 17th under his leadership and guidance? Coz I don't see any difference between that and the Walter Smith years. ? Michael

Fernandes

Manuel Fernandes remids me of Colin Harvey but gets knocked off the ball to easily. I think a partnership with Cahill would be a cracker. I also think Barton should be bought to eventually replace Carsley.

My preferred midfield. Barton, Arteta, Cahill, Fernandes and wishfull thinking ? Robben or Bentley.
Martin O'Hare, Sydney, Australia  (19/3/07)

It's them dreadlocks... they're a dead giveaway.

MOTD2

So the BBC has done it again: Charlton v Newcastle is the top fixture. Is this because their faves didn't succeed? Everton won today but only just! I always thought we could beat the Gunners but I would have settled for a point after 75 minutes. Moyes is too respectful of the top 4 and this is why his team struggles against Reading, Sheff Utd and Man City et al. He has to realise that if he can take 4 points of Liverpool and Arsenal and come close to beating Chelsea then those aforementioned sides should be dismissed without fear.

This club may well have struggled since the start of the Premiership but it is a club that expects to be up there with the best. We are not PNE, Mr Moyes, and you have to insprire the players to perform in every single match we play. Kendall, Catterick and Royle realised this. If you, Mr Moyes, can realise that fact, you may turn out to be a very good manager. Villa Fulham and Bolton are all there for the taking ? can you make the team concentrate for those games?
John Patrick McFarlane, Lancs  (19/3/07)

Media Bias

I know this is a sore point with a lot of Blues, for understandable reasons as well. I stayed up last night to watch the game over here, and I had a funny feeling we were going to sneak it by a late goal.

The media pundits out here include a certain Steve McMahon ? he's here on a one-year contract with ESPN / Star Sports. Fair play to him ? he's good value and funny with it. Even he tipped us to win last night. The post-match analysis was full of eulogies for Carsley and the way we played. In a country which is dominated by Liverpool, Man Utd and latterly Chelsea fans, it's refreshing to hear.

And was it just me or was the atmosphere a throwback to the good old days? It certainly sounded like it...
Matt Traynor, Singapore  (19/3/07)

No to Barton, for now

If we were to spend £6M+ pounds for a midfield player, let it at least be Fernandes. As someone mention here before, Fernandes can bridge the gap between the top 4 and the rest, he's that good.

Okay, we still need a better holding midfielder, but Carsley deserves a contract extension on this season's performances: he is proving that is not inadequate in this league.

With Vaughan and Anichebe showing good progress, it begs the question whether we actually need Nugent. Cahill, Johnson, Vaughan and Anichebe PLUS McFadden are a good strikeforce. If we have extra money to spend, I'd like us to sign a left-winger please (after Fernandes)!!

ps: Does anyone feel that one of our strengths is good spirit and camaraderie within the squad??? All credit to Moyes for signing the right type of players; I'm glad we don't have Pennant and Bellamy in our team.
Muhammad Amin Azman, Malaysia  (19/3/07)

Post-match analysis

Wonderful result today under difficult conditions. Some truly outstanding performances notably Carsley, Fernandes and Johnson.

Lescott performed well under the circumstances ? with Osman constantly gravitating to the central areas of the park, he continually left the left flank exposed. Consequently Lescott had a job on his hands from the kick off, having to cope single-handedly and yet he showed a great willingness to push forward at every opportunity.

Arteta had a quiet game by his own standards but it was clear from the off that Arsenal were aware of the threat he posed as he was often marshaled by two or three players when in possession, which is a testament to the lad's ability. Credit to Moyes for his attacking line up and a positive late substitution. Qualification for Europe looks a distinct possibility.
Gerry Western, London  (19/3/07)

A very significant result

This result is very important and could be the turning point of the season! I now believe a third or fourth place finish is a serious possibilty.

I have followed this club over a very long period and historically I am not a supporter of the present manager, but I sense a significant revival and this result is extremely important. If Everton finish third this season, Everton Football Club will eventually win the Premiership, gain silverware and ultimately win the Champion's League.

Do not underestimate the importance of this result.
Andrew Fairfoull, Warrington  (18/3/07)

I thought what Moyes said was significant: that we have taken 4 pts off Arsenal to their 1. Same v Liverpool. If we can take points off Chelsea and Man Utd as well this season, then I could start to believe we really were going somewhere under Moyes. ? Michael

Yellow cards

Six yellow cards!! Are the club going to appeal? I wathched the game including replays and at least two were undeserved. Arsenal should have been awarded three... Was the ref wearing a red vest under that black shirt?
Clare Murphy, Wigan  (18/3/07)

Analysis

Okay, Michael, you want analysis.

Everton went out today with the right attitude to get the most out of a hopeless, as many would say, situation and came up with the goods: 3 points that's what we, most Evertonians, all wanted. Incidentally the quotes of the weekend. Alan Curbishley on being told that the ball didn't go in. "I don't Care". Bobby Zamora on his analysis of his goal "Carlos did his best to keep it out, it's three points, live with it". That's football. Swings and roundabouts. Live with it. But don't critisize a win.
Chris Rawsthorne, Walton on the Hill  (18/3/07)

You call that "analysis"? How was it a hopeless situation? Did you think Moyes and the boys believed it was a hopeless situation? Where is there any discussion of what happened in the match or how the players performed? And what on earth have those quotes from the weekend got to do with Everton?

Go back and read the mailbag, fella. Only an idiot would think any Evertonian criticized the win. ? Michael

From my seat

Another three points toward Europe and a larger slice of position money. A game of decent football that I really enjoyed. Arsenal all pass, pass and move, move, versus an Everton side of resiliance and not short on playing a fair with a bit of good football themselves, which gave me great pleasure considering some of our previous offerings. We can do it so why not carry it through to the end of season?

I thought today the manager got it right against this current Arsenal side and hope this midas touch will be in evidence for the remainder of games we face as we all know that two games are never the same. I thought we shaded the first half and were unlucky not to be ahead after Carsley struck a post.

The second half at times reminded me of a basketball game as it was so end to end. For all of Arsenal's class and pass and move, I thought they never really posed a great threat throughout which speaks highly of the back four and indeed of my MotM: Lee Carsley, who not only broke up most of the Gunners better work but still found time to find the simple pass or the hoof as nessessary. We though again found the woodwork courtesy of Osman which suggests our pass and move may be more productive.

Fernandes I thought was both a revelation and a nightmare, one minute looking a world-class midfielder with exquisite ball control and a vision to match, the next giving away sloppy possession and putting us on the back foot. Hopefully our manager will educate him on such matters and, if we are able to secure his services for next season, he will be that midfielder we have craved.

A very good team performance with no shirkers on the field saw us battle right to the end. With hailstones as big as golfballs raining down we took one last corner and the manager's introduction of Big Vic was well and truly vindicated as he caused enough havoc in the box to allow the predatory AJ to smash home the winner through the smallest of spaces afforded by goalkeeper and fullback. The ground erupted and the final minutes were played out without resorting to panic stations.

On the final whistle, we all sang danced and hugged each other, silly I know, but that's how footy gets you.

As the team came off, I thought the sight of Beattie coming on to hug AJ was not only magnanomous but a demonstration of team unity and, whatever we may think of him and his current form, I thought it was the action of a top lad. Another break till we head for Villa, another different challenge... just hope the Manager gets it right again. which will make Good Friday very interesting. UP THE BLUES
Ken Buckley, Buckley  (18/3/07)

Some excellent narrative, thoughts and observations as ever, Ken. I really enjoy your post-match insights. — Michael

Lescott

A few people on here have criticised Joleon Lescott after his performance today. While I agree he has made more mistakes than in some of his previous games, we should bear in mind that he was playing out of position against a very quick, slick Arsenal attack. I can't think of too many other central defenders who could play at left back and keep the Arsenal attackers relatively quiet, while at the same time making a number of very good forward runs himself.

I thought Fernandes was excellent. Having someone other than Arteta with skill and composure on the ball will have a very beneficial effect on the team. If we decided to go 4-5-1 I reckon he would make a far more effective attacking midfielder than Tim Cahill. His passing is accurate and he is intelligent; just the sort of player who can see and feed AJ's runs.

In some respects I hope he doesn't continue to impress so much in case the competition for his signature heats up too much! Let's hope we can hold onto him in the Summer.
Wayne Smyth, Birmingham  (18/3/07)

Tip Top Topsy Turvy

I wrote in after the Spurs game lamenting David Moyes's managerial performance in that game and the hope that he would in future demonstrate the ability to learn and adapt. It seems only fair to give credit now when he appears to have, at least today, done just that.

The team selection was positive. Vaughan up front was a surprise selection and it paid off handsomely. Crucially and splendidly, Everton tried to be positive THROUGHOUT the game and what joy when it paid off. Stubbs and Carsley were great. Fernandes very good in parts but blimey does he "cheat" on his oppo.

It was great to see Carsley switch over to take on Diaby and Arteta and Osman finally swap to their more effective sides. I'm an Osman fan in his best position but slow weak left wingers depress me. It is possible to build up an athlete's strength, David!!! Anyway scoring very late on to win 3 points ? remember the feeling, Mr Moyes, and how you achieved it. And thank you for today.
Andrew Bulmer, Liverpool  (18/3/07)

Re: Paul Hardcastle

Yep, we had 6 players booked and this does indeed invoke a fine.
Ben Brown, Nottingham  (18/3/07)

Getting goals

Just got in from the game we won 1-0 the whole point of the game is getting more goals than the opposition. Job done. How can some posters take a downer on that? Obviously an armchair critic Luq. Early to bed tonight school in the morning.
Chris Rawsthorne, Liverpool  (18/3/07)

Instead of criticising someone else's analysis, why not provide one of your own? — Michael

Ground move

Has anyone else noticed Terry Leahy's tactic? He says Everton must move to Kirkby as Goodison is past it, craftily implying that fans are simply against moving anywhere and avoiding the argument against leaving the city.
Andy Hegan, Liverpool  (18/3/07)

Put the fire out!

Colm, Bradford had a fire certificate. But fire certificates don't put fires out and they don't stop them starting.Fire certificates don't bring in extra revenue either or get rid of obstructed views and fire certificates don't give the club or the supportes a Stadium that they deserve.

A REDEVELOPED stadium could (as long as we could park our cars somewhere) and nobody would be happier than me if that was the outcome with all the little difficulties solved.

But, further to my original post, where is the MONEY going to come from? Answer that one and I will be there with you mate, crying out for redevolpment. But nobody is answering that question and it is getting tiresome.
Eileen Roberts, Runcorn  (18/3/07)

Bradford had a fire cert alright, Eileen. The Titanic was unsinkable. We could go on and on and on, splitting hairs. You claimed as fact that Goodison would one day definitely catch light and I disagree with that. However, onto the more important question raised - financing the redevelopment, if any, of Goodison Park.

For starters, the Club have done absolutely nothing on this issue for many years, showing nothing but gross negligence towards any potential upgrading of facilities. I'm in the camp that would ideally see a gradual redevelopment of the ground - which we own. The bulk of the first tranche of Sky money appears to be gone already but surely a guaranteed £56m over the next two seasons (subject to us remaining in the Premiership!) can provide the Club with some financial leverage, no?

Rather than asking where the money would come from for any potential redevelopment of Goodison - perhaps all Evertonians should be asking the Club where's the money coming from for the proposed Kirkby stadium. Or do many Blues genuinely believe we're getting a stadium, which we'll own, for absolutely nothing out in Kirkby? I'm sure non-football loving shareholders in Tesco would not be overly enamoured with that prospect! I'll stick with my initial hunch, believing that a move to Kirkby paves the way for a lucrative exit strategy for some. - Colm

Manny's the Man

Wouldn't go over the top (Arsenal were off their game, and Howard had to make some smart saves), but we played pretty well throughout and just about deserved it. Agree with most posters - Vaughan still raw, Osman too weak, Lescott a little wobbly today (but top marks for Yobo and Stubbs).

But THE difference is Fernandes. He is close to Carsley, Arteta and Cahill rolled into one. Puts himself about, comfortable on the ball, passes well, and has an eye for goal. Best midfielder we've had under Moyes by far. Seems up for it with us too.

Sign that man!!
Neil Pearse, London  (18/3/07)

This is the beauty of the Mailbag - and something critics of this very website seem to conveniently overlook. Evertonians will always ALWAYS express a difference of opinion - that's the beauty of the game we all watch. If I earned a quid for every time I read that Osman was too weak I'd be pretty well off. Superb effort from Osman today in an overall splendid team performance. Where are those out there who cry out that Carsley's simply not good enough to don the shirt? Again, a committed effort from one of our key defensive midfielders. Fernandes? Aye, looks the part, and comfortable on the ball. With a lot of wages due to be freed up in the summer with the exit of both Beattie and Wright, who knows? - Colm

Goal Celebration

Fantastic result today from a solid but not actually great performance (Doddy, wind yer neck in!). One thing I missed: according to the BBC Live Scores site, Everton ended up with no less than six players in Mark Clattenberg's book, with Johnson and Anichebe presumably singled out at the end for their part in a brilliant goal celebration. Can anyone shed any more light? Is there still some punishment for having 5/6 players booked in one game?
Paul Hardcastle, Hoylake  (18/3/07)

Welcome back, Moyesiah!

Positive from the off, possession football against Arsenal in difficult conditions, tight defence, dangerous attack, giving the Goodison faithful plenty to cheer about, quality finish from an England striker... that's what I'm talking about!

Moyes seemed to have rediscovered the attacking verve of five years ago. Now with better, younger, faster players he has the defence to be able to afford a bit more pacy adventure up front (as we saw today). In his first months in the hot-seat we got thumped 6-2 by the barcodes and that seemed to shake his confidence in attacking football somewhat. Hopefully the Spurs game feedback and the fruits of some more positive teams in subsequent games, capped off splendidly today, will give Moyes the confidence to continue to be bold in selections and set up going forward.

Well done, Moyes, thank you for implementing today's team, tactics and performance... here's to more of the same in future.
Pete Moore, Singapore  (18/3/07)

Daylight robbery!

Although I have just landed back down to planet Earth, in all honesty we were fortunate to win today.

Before I look at the negatives I must say that today, Moyes seems to have had the shot in the arm and learned from the Tottenham game. From the start, we pressed Arsenal and were very positive... yes positive! I even found myself cursing Fernandes for showing too much flair, imagine that!? The setup was prefect to exploit the Arse back line, and each player did exactly what was required in the first half.

But the second half was played mainly in our half and we didn't look as positive as we did in the first. The midfield was over-ran at times, Lescott was being exposed more and more, the strikers were more isolated by aimless long balls, and I feared for the worst. But we were dogged and stuck to the task, and ultimately a touch of class from AJ saw us home.

Stubbs defied his age and was magnificent, Carsley also, while AJ and James Vaughan were a constant threat to their back line. But my Man of the Match was Manuel Fernandes. His craft, tackling, vision and sheer will to win was so pleasing to see. I am glad Moyes is allowing him to express himself, as well as get stuck in.

But there were also some dodgy performances. Yobo almost put us in it twice by typically holding on to the ball too long; Osman was good going forward but pathetic in all over areas and yet again was no physical match, and Arteta was abysmal! I seriously hope he wasn't saving himself for a move away because this was the worst match I've seen him play since his debut again Southampton. And although the front two were good and Ancincbe did well when he came on, it's clear that we desperately need a second class striker! Hopefully Nugent will solve that problem, a swap for Beattie would be ideal.

But kudos to the lads and Moyes and maybe with a bit of cash, we could be the sleeping 5th giant Premiership club.... Maybe!
Luq Yussef, London  (18/3/07)

Give him credit

No offense Michael but your arguments against Moyes are becoming desperate and petty, you are beginning to sound like Tony Marsh in a futile quest to use any detail to deride our manager.

Everton are still 6th so how about credit where it's due? Dont let your feelings towards Moyes blind you to what has so far been an excellent season. Try to enjoy it and let your grudge rest.
Paul Atress, Liverpool  (18/3/07)

No offense, Paul, but I gave him credit for doing his job properly for once, rather than fucking things up. Is that what you want? I don't use any detail to deride the manager, I simply tell it how it is. It was a solid and accomplished performace that produced a great result at the end ? something we have all known this team and these players under Moyes have been capable of since the start of the season.

Where you and I differ, and where the manager and I are on the same page, is that we both believe Everton should actually be higher than 6th place this season. Perhaps that's a little "detail" you may have forgotten.

As for it being an excellent season, I have been seriously disappointed on far too many occasions since that bright early start when we won three out of four games. We have still to manage back-to-back victories since September ? another one of those little "details" no doubt. — Michael

1 out of 10, Colm!

Such a late riposte, Colm... been away? Yes I do have some wooden flooring in my home but it is not structural and 20,000 people every fortnight don't depend on it for their lives.

I remember Bradford ? do you?

Anyway, back to today's game. I thought Arsenal gave us an awful lot of room to get at them, which surprised me. But the performance was excellent because it was positive. If only we could be assured of that every game we couldn't ask for much more. There are going to be a lot of disappointed Evertonians though if we don't sign up Fernandes. I hope the money is in the bank!
Eileen Roberts, Runcorn  (18/3/07)

I do indeed remember the Bradford tragedy, Eileen. However, I'll place my, erm, faith, in the Fire Safety Officer who seems more than happy to grant the required cert, for the Bullens Stand. I don't think your claim that the Bullens Stand will alight one of these days is true. We could always redevelop the Bullens Stand! ;-) -Colm

Top Class

I thought Everton played well today. As someone suggested before, Ossie had another game where he is easily pushed off the ball and for long periods just goes missing. I also thought Lescott had the worst game of his Everton career today. Can't grumble though: 3 points in the bag and Moyes's positive selection seems to spell the end for Beattie. All in all a fantastic day and my Monday won't feel half as bad. COYB.
Jamie Barlow, Manchester  (18/3/07)

Great

Great display today, and as a Moyes critic I have to admit he got it right today.
Roy Coyne, Old Swan  (18/3/07)

Come On!

Let's be honest ? it's one of those days that makes you proud to be blue! That was a good tactical performance today, we defended well, played higher up the pitch than Arsenal and used the flanks well. Anichebe's introduction was a great move, but I genuinely believe the weather played a massive role in changing the atmosphere and the subsequant result. Honestly,those Arsenal boys are as soft as they look!

However, Mr Dodd's assertion that our performance was 'out of this world' is a bit bold but that's not to take anything away from the lads and Moyesey. Well done lads, I hope this performance is further proof to those Moyes pessimists that you really are completely wrong. Come on you boy boys in Blue!
Jack Johnson, Knotty Ash  (18/3/07)

Remainder of the season!

I'm so excited and pleased by the display today I'm posting twice! Having looked at the remaining fixtures... IF (big IF I know!) IF the lads can play like that for the remainder they could easily finish 5th (I won't even mention 4th!). The fixtures are definitely in our favour. The two tough one's being Man Utd and Chelsea.

With Chelsea being the last game of the season, it may not matter by then one way or the other anyway. The key match is Bolton as they are one point ahead of us right now, then that game could decide it. Wow! So proud to be BLUE right now!!!
Martin Cutler, USA  (18/3/07)

Bask in it

An amazing, solid all-round performance. Seems like Moyes must be reading the ToffeeWeb Mailbag! It's getting better... today it's great, bloody brilliant actually.
Michael de Klerk, Cape Town, South Africa  (18/3/07)

Please, Sir, Can I have some more

What is it with Everton and their supporters, as a club we are on the right path but the supporters always want that bit more, the managers no good, the chairman is poor etc etc.

We need to move on from the past and look forward to the future. Moyes is sometime wrong but I say let anyone who as critised him try to do better. Anyway, Europe beckons and hopefully some better times are ahead. Let's not look at the glorious eighties but to the future we have. We are a great club with a fabulous history, but let's all move on, today I saw that the future's not Orange its Blue.
Paul Lovatt, Leigh  (18/3/07)

Gee... I wonder if a certain Latin motto might just have something to do with it?

By the way, it's got nothing to do with the eighties: this is about Moyes making the best use of the players he has at his disposal, organizing them right, and encouraging them to achieve the win. That's his job: he did it well today. One previous occasions, he's come up short. That's not my doing: it's just a fact. ? Michael

All Hail The Blues!!!

Great result! Fully deserved as well. Though I am critical of Moyes, I was glad to see him doing his sideline celebrations again!

It was a dour affair at times but we kept going and going and when Anichebe came on I could sense a climax of a finish. Vaughan didn't impress me today, I dont think he's got what it takes. I was glad to see him replaced.

Stubbs was immense, Fernandes showed skill which suggests Arteta is no longer the most skillful at the club, and AJ took another step towards his hero status!

Now let's take over Bolton and see what happens!
Robbie Muldoon, Liverpool  (18/3/07)

4th????

What'd I tell you? One down, eight more to go (for 4th place!!). We MUST buy Fernandes!!! He made a couple of the Goons look like Toons.
Ramon Gurung, Exeter  (18/3/07)

Truly Great

Mothers` Day duties necessitated that I watch today`s game in the Freshy but how wonderful the experience! Inspired by Davey`s team selection, Everton played `out of this world` football and showed that they can play any team off the park. So, as we proceed relentlessly towards a European place, please, please, will you all admit to the fact that we are in the hands of the truly great.
Richard Dodd, Formby  (18/3/07)

So, "out of this world", "play any team off the park"... trust you to ruin the pleasure in a good performance and a great result with your over-the-top twaddle.

Moyes merely did his job today. That does not make him great. In fact it only brightens the intensity of the spotlight on the many occasions especially this season when he has told the players to defend rather than attack, when he has made stupid substitutions in an effort to preserve points rather than secure victory.

He is a long long way from being truly great. ? Michael

Spot on

Well done, the Blues, how well we have done. Some top-class perfomances from some very good players. Solid at the back; competitive in the middle with some class from Arteta and Fernandes, steel from Carsley; and up front we have some real class and some good prospects in Vaughan and Anichebe.
Paul Lovatt, Leigh  (18/3/07)

Superb team effort

Fantastic result and great team performance. We kept pushing and pushing till the end. Was a bit worried when I saw Stubbs playing but it proved the right decision as he was immense and Lescott had Ljungberg in his pocket all game. Full credit also for starting with Vaughan in a 4-4-2.

Only fly in the ointment for me is Osman: he's too easy to push off the ball so it feels like we are playing with ten men for large parts of the game. However, who to put out there is a rather good question. Let's not just push for sixth but for fifth given that Bolton are falling to pieces!

Lescott for England!
Nick Dommett, London  (18/3/07)

Now I though Lescott looked flustered and made far more mistakes than he usually does, but I guess the fact that Ljunberg was unabkle to do his usual tricks against us proves he was well shackled. — Michael

AJ's Goal Today

I let out such a ROAR at the moment that my wife was still shaking 20 mins after the game had finished! Well done, Lads.
John Cribb, Liverpool  (18/3/07)

Wow!

Superb! Full credit to Moyes, he proved today that he learnt from the Spurs mistake and you cannot ask for more than that as a fan ? a master stroke to go 4-4-2 with the kid up top. The performance of young James today surely signals the end of old James. I thought Vaughan was great, I was surprised how good he is in the air! Great win!!!
Richard Williams, Grenada, West Indies  (18/3/07)

Youth?

He did today mate, and it looks like it worked!

Whether it was intentional,or down to injury, who cares? Let's just bask in the glow of the begrudging media spooning praise onto a thuggish team bereft of any attacking threat.
Mark Creevy, Liverpool  (18/3/07)

We had David Pleat providing 'colour' commentary, and he usually get's a lot of stick, but I've always liked him since he, in the same role for BBC Radio 12 years ago, so obviously relished Everton's famous 1-0 win over Man Utd in the FA Cup Final, 1995. And so it was today, he was full of praise for Everton and David Moyes, and an excellent Everton win. — Michael

Gunned down

Fantastic pride, passion and determination today. Moyes got it spot on ? quality!
Dan Parker, New York, US  (18/3/07)

B-R-I-L-L-I-A-N-T

Just watched the game live... brilliant game by the lads in blue ? very, very nice to see Moyes go for it. Vaughn starting was awesome, Fernandes (we have to buy him!) was awesome, Howard - not busy but an awesome first-half save and Johnson... Oh, my! awesome stuff! EUROPE HERE WE COME!!!
Martin Cutler, USA  (18/3/07)

Youngsters

With 8 or 9 games left, why isn't Moyes bringing in Anichebe or Vaughan? He can't possibly think Beattie is any better.
Trevor Thompson, London  (18/3/07)

Coz he's the manager... and he does.

Another Striker

So we have bought another striker from Swindon. This adds to Johnson, McFadden, Beattie, Vaughan, Anichebe and that other lower league youngster Scott Spencer and all these with talk of Nugent definitely coming. With all these strikers the club is going to need a Union official before to long! How I long for the news that a skillful wide player is set to join.
Richard Hare, Datford  (18/3/07)

We are sailing ....

To quote yer man Dexy; come on Eileen. So you don't like wood then and you want to sail on a shiney new ship? You stick to your 'Titanic' brand new ship and I with my wooden one built by a certain Mr Noah (aka Archibald Leitch). One of them sank... now I wonder which one it was???
Derek Thomas, Torbay Auckland  (18/3/07)

Until it goes up in flames...

Sensible Debate

Eileen / Tom / Steve McBride, Thank you for the reasoned and crafted debate!

It's always going to be an emotive area, and in some ways there is no right answer. Having been born in the shadow of Goodison, and having worked there before, it'll always retain a special place in my heart. You've all pointed out the Cronton proposal with 'Agent Johnoson', and I think we all agree that Goodison no longer fits the purpose in the modern day.

I want to see Everton in a world-class stadium. I've worked on stadium projects before, and I know what can be achieved with a little creativity and foresight. Kirkby just doesn't do it for me. As I said at the outset, it's an emotional issue...
Matt Traynor, Singapore  (18/3/07)

Point taken, Michael

Ok fair enough, Michael, maybe I have misunderstood your comments. However, it just seems like the voice of the minority is(sometimes) louder than the majority. I accept that everyone is entitled to their opinion. I just hope that the club and BK are true to their word and allow the fans to have a vote on what they want, and then actually listen to it! But then again I also would like to see fans be patient and then make their minds up when presented with the full facts rather than half truths and speculation from the media. Am I asking for too much??? Actually don't answer that. LoL
John Davison, Doncaster  (17/3/07)

It's a fair question about the vote. There is a committment to having a vote, I believe. Yet we have had votes on stadium issues before and one got mired in controversy. A part of me just wonders whether it's really possible to be in receipt of "the full facts" with something like this. Seems to me the facts will be presented with plenty of spin, and the opposite view also, such that reaching a balanced decision would be a mammoth task. The part that really matters beyond anything else is the money trail. And that, you can be sure, is the very last part they are going to tell us about... Noticed how there has been absolutely no word (from any official source) about the money side of this. — Michael

Top 5... maybe 4...???

Anyone realise that if we beat the Goons tomorrow we'd be a point behind Bolton and seven behind Liverpool; if they lose to Villa?? Top 5 seems a real possibility (if we don't screw up), OR maybe even the final Champ's League place. That'd make our day or rather, our season (I'd love to the reaction of those REDS to that, should it happen). Now, if only we could go on a 9-game winning streak...
Ramon Gurung, Exeter  (17/3/07)

Ah bless, Ramon; but we can't even manage a two-game winning streak ? we're that good. And now we're top 8 again... Keep it real! ? Michael

Lue's wishlist....

"We buy Nugent, Sidwell and Ronaldinhio." ? Lue Glover, Buckley

Hey Lue, I can understand the the first two on your wishlist, but the third? Come on ? he's crap! ;-)
Wayne Francis, North Wales  (17/3/07)

Chance

Tomorrow presents Everton with a magnificent chance to prove the seriousness of our assault on Europe, having slipped out of the top six today. Beating Arsenal in a packed Goodison is not beyond our capabilities. I believe we have the players to win this game. I just hope Moyes has the desire...
Philip Rodgers, Rotherham  (17/3/07)

Testing the waters

Is it me or is David Moyes looking to use Everton as a stepping stone to a bigger club? Read the following quote from Sky Sports;

"Jose Mourinho did well at Porto without any money, Rafael Benitez did well at Valencia - they have all been successful. My job is to try to do as well as those managers and be successful here.

"Maybe those top jobs here are out of reach to people like me, but those jobs are not being done by people who have not been successful."
Oh dear! And I stand by my earlier comments concerning Billy BS - That he is the second worst CHAIRMAN we have ever had! Especially when he touted Da Silva as a great addition, yet he has only been on the first-team bench once.

COME ON YOU BLUES!
Luq Yussef, London  (17/3/07)

That Walter Smith interview...

On YouTube... Apologies if this is well known already. I saw it today for the first time.
Brian Hill, Cape Town, RSA  (17/3/07)

Wish I could understand WTF they were saying... is there a translation available?

New investment???

Just seen this quote from Moysie on the ITV website. He is going on about money sayin we have had not had the money to compete with the top 4 over the past few years: "We do not have that sort of money, we may do shortly, but we are looking to develop this club and give it good foundations." ... Is there a new investor about to emerge or has he just been misquoted?
Mark O'Brien, Wirral  (17/3/07)

Kirkby, Glazers????

Just a thought with regard to this Kirkby debate. To me it seems that this sad hanging onto "The City Walls" is very similar to the bitter United fans who stood so stanchly against the Glazers. They have been proved wrong and United moved on without them ? as will the Modern Everton fans when anti-Kirkby Everton fans decide that a few minutes on a bus is too much for them!

Maybe those fans can club together and buy Goodison for Ryman Premier League football as so many of you(12,000!!) are opposed I am sure in the long term it will be good for you and AFC Everton.

This is a mischevious posting but this is a non-debate to anyone who wants to move forward. It's not as if Goodison backs onto Lime Street Station?!! It is an embarassing shack with wooden seats, pillars, embarassing facilities etc etc. Are the future fans going to support Everton or Liverpool when their brand spanking new stadium stands next to the delapidated cramped very old fashioned tinpot?

Just another thought on standing ? what an exciting idea and forward-looking. If this stops the atmosphere problems of new stadiums, I cannot see one negative of a Kirby Stadium long-term.
Chris Cornwell, Liverpool  (17/3/07)

Wake me up before you go go

Yawn, yeawn... I wish I could get wound up about the "Move or Not to Move" debate. I love going to GP; I don't particularly want to go to Kirkby but if we have to then I'll survive the trip over Runcorn Bridge to get to the game.

Whatever happens, I'll still support the Blues but I suppose it's easier for me not to get agitated about any move because I don't come from the City. I don't have that local attatchment to GP in a geographical sense. My love for GP comes from the ground itself, the atmosphere, the sound and all the things that make it a special place. Once I'm in the ground I could be anywhere but I can see both sides of the argument.

Anyway, we're playing the Arse tomorrow with Arsene Whinger no doubt ready with some barbed comment about AJ or negative play or playing for a draw and I can't wait to get down to GP seeing as the last time I was there, well, quite frankly it was crap.

So Hibbo's back, Nuno still not fit and 3 points a must, bearing in mind Spurs home game v Watford and Reading v Pompey. A win it's gotta be!

So we've signed a 17-year-old from Swindon? Is that bye bye Victor and Vaughan or maybe bye bye Beattie and McFadden? Hmmm, that's a tough one! Where does David "I wanna play for Everton" Nugent fit in then? Up front with AJ I hope!

Mothers' Day tomorrow and my wishes for then and the rest of the season are:

  1. We win tomorrow and make Whinger eat his words
  2. Arteta signs a new contract
  3. Fernandes signs any sort of contract
  4. We buy Nugent, Sidwell and Ronaldinhio.
Well, it's only a wish list... Come on You Blues, upwards and onwards.
Lue Glover, Buckley  (17/3/07)

Wither James Beattie

James Beattie ... whaddya gonna do about him? At the moment, a summer trip to Preston North End in part exchange for David Nugget could well be seen in the tea leaves of Gypsy Rose Moyes. I mean that spelling of Nugent by the way, it shows where I think we should go. We should go for this lad, but transfer Beattie.

I feel sorry for James, the poor bloke. He?s all huff and puff, honest intensity. But the more he tries, the less he seems to get there. The place he seeks is a goal from open play. One or more around in the Upper Bullens think it was the Bronze Age when it happened last.

To transfer him would be a good example of horizontal thinking. Pursuing a lateral approach. How about converting him into a centre-back or even a right-sided midfield player?

One of his positives is his ability to read play well. We?ve all seen his sprints back to cut an attacking move off. He?s a big lad who can head the ball. Occasionally he has been used as a substitute right-winger, with some effect ? remember the disallowed goal in the 1-3 derby defeat. It came from his never-say-die cross.

All it requires is a bit of lateral thinking. Over to you David Moyes! And by the way Moysie how about using Arteta in Cahill?s position?
Mike Berry, Otley, West Yorkshire  (17/3/07)

City Boundries

I may be being way too simplistic here but if the city boundries were extended (as they have been in the past) would people still be against the move?
Seamus Murphy, Dundalk, Ireland  (17/3/07)

Another dimension

In most of the discussions so far a lot seems to have been placed on the addition of corporate facilities in terms of boxes. Can I add another dimension to the discussion and hear the views of those suggesting a redevelopment of GP to hear if the following is part of their thinking?

During the last two years I have attended five National Conferences / Exhibitions at the Reebok Centre. Additionally, a year previously I hired some of the facilities to take 60 staff for a training day. On each occasion for the conferences there were in excess of 300 people in attendance, I suspect all arriving by car from all over the North of England.

These conferences were all related to my field of work so I'm unaware of the general frequency of other types of events. However, having spoken to the organisers of two of the Conferences, they explained how difficult it had been to secure the venue on the dates they wanted. Each event required all the catering, parking, hi-tech facilities and general support that goes along with these types of events.

The money generated during the week when the stadium is not in use for football must contribute significantly to Bolton's income. The stadium's facilities are excellent and in the real world of economics cannot be underestimated in terms of their relevance to a football club. The thought of attending an Everton Stadium for similar Conferences that 'sells' the clubs image to non-Evertonians should also not be underestimated.

As a season-ticket holder and Evertonian for over 40 years, I will be honest and admit that, following one of my visits, I was persuaded to attend a match with a Bolton supporter friend. We bought into some corporate facilities and enjoyed the day (despite the football!!). Ever since, I am clearly on their database and receive constant information. Whilst I have never been tempted to attend again, this is the world of football in the 21st Century.

So my question is, with all the developments suggested for GP, is it all about seats and supporters facilities and has any consideration been given beyond Corporate Boxes?
Jim Hourigan, Preston  (17/3/07)

Mark Joseph

First of all Mark, I have watched Everton since 1947. I saw them go down, and I saw them come up. The only time I didn't watch them I was abroad in the Army. I was daft enough to name my eldest lad Derek Temple Trebilcock in 1966, and like the majority of Evertonians, put money into Everton every day of the week, every week of the year, but after the Kings Dock fiasco et al and "it's the best possible option" twaddle I refuse to believe anything else that Billy Liar comes out with.

To me, he his just a tinpot actor come plagiarist who couldn't even hold down a job in the corner shop in Coronation St. If you don't think I am much of a blue, Mark, you really can't think much of Billy Liar, if you are honest with yourself. Best of luck to you anyway.
Colin Potter, Liverpool  (17/3/07)

... and so we proceed down the slippery path... or not. Our choice as Blues to say stupid things to each other or to focus instead on the real issues and concerns. — Michael

9 out of 10, Sir Terry

The one big mistake that Mr Tesco made was the way he phrased his first paragraph. It lacked a sense of 'politics' and 'diplomacy' and coming out with 'there is no alternative to Kirkby' so early in his comments was bound to upset those Evertonians who refuse either to leave Goodison, don't want to leave Liverpool (or both) and prejudice everything else he said. The comment was also a factual error because there are ALWAYS other alternatives, it is a matter of whether they are achievable or not that counts, which is something that a lot of Evertonians are either ignoring or failing to understand at the moment.

But everything else Leahy said was slap-bang, between the eyes, bulls-eye accurate and what he was saying is this:

'This is your chance, Evertonians. If you want an opportunity to compete with the big boys assisted by the provision and advantages of a state-of-the-art Stadium, albeit a couple of miles outside of the city boundary, then tough shit, this is all that is on offer. Come with me, an Evertonian like yourselves, to Kirkby, as emotionally painfulas that is to us all, or you are on your own and you can wave bye-bye to any prospect of a new stadium because there isn't anybody else who will give the Club what I am offering. And when the wooden floors of Goodison do catch light some day, or they just rot away to fungus taking the Club with them, don't come crying to me.'

Or words to that effect.

As Evertonians, we will soon have an opportunity to make our voice heard. We have a simple choice to make, despite all the attempts to make it complicated, and it is this: We can set sail in the old ship knowing it's unlikely to reach the destination. We can even lock ourselves in the engine room and go down with her if we wish. Or we can take our chances in a shiny new one and see how far she can take us. Either way, there is a risk, so make your choices but think very carefully in the longer term before you do.

Anyway, the football is back tomorrow (at last) and I have a sneaky feeling we can see off Arsenal. Maybe if we do it will cheer us all up and put the stadium business on hold at least until we have seen the plans. A well earned moratorium?
Eileen Roberts, Runcorn  (17/3/07)

Out of sheer curiosity, Eileen, and nothing else, do you per chance have any wooden flooring throughout your own abode? - Colm

How can you say that?

Sorry, Michael, but there are many of us who are sick and tired of people banging on about not attending games anymore if we move to Kirkby. I will never understand anyone who does this. The club have promised a vote on any move. If there are so many people against the move then there is no chance of a majority yes vote! I would however urge everyone to try and remain open-minded until we have seen the full details of the feasability study.

For the record as well my personal choice would be a landmark site in the city center and not Kirkby.
John Davison, Doncaster  (17/3/07)

You miss my point, which is that there can be a lot of people who feel like that but may be in a minority. Does that mean the club can safely ignore them? (Because they are in a minority) Or should they do something to address their concerns andperhaps bring them around?

But your second point is a good one and reflects back ot this: keep an open mind, or become polarized and intransigent? Juding by most issues that get discussed on here, I think we know which way this is going already... Michael

AJ Overpriced?

So Arsene Wenger says he would have signed Andrew Johnson last summer but considered the price too high. Certainly, AJ has rather disappointed in the goalscoreing department as his 10 league goals places him only about 10th in the list of Premiership goalscorers. But at a club where a `striker` is still picked every week in spite of not scoring for a full 12 months, Johnson is pure gold!

I guess the next week, which will see our record buy pitched against Arsenal and play for England alongside Rooney, will give everyone the opportunity to determine if the little fella is real class or just a jack-in-the-box.
Morton Fisher, Heswall  (17/3/07)

Send in the clowns / Show me the money

... and a lot of other trite titles to get the attention.

"Just what is in it for Tesco?" is the question; who will pay for it all, there's no such thing as a free lunch, etc. etc.

Who will pay for this? Well, if it's structured anything like the takeovers of WHU and the Red Sox then the answer will be the club, the takeoverees, aka you and me via the Sky/Prem £30M pa.

West ham are paying £50M over 10 yrs and the Redsox £21.5M per year for who knows how long. All this covers is the interest on the loan. How many years of safety-first, play not to lose crap football will this entail, thus ensuring the Premiership cashcow never runs dry. Is this the sort of future we will bequeath our kids??
Derek Thomas, Torbay, Auckland, New Zealand  (17/3/07)

Kirkby debate?

The "will we or won't we" debate regarding the proposed move to Kirkby has been very interesting over the last month or so. I don't think Bluffer Bill reads this website, mainly because he is looking for investment 24/7, but the banter between blues from all corners of the universe is somewhat interesting.

My feelings are that it's a done deal, and we will move to Kirkby. I think fans are split on the move, but the Board will go ahead and make the decision known. Whether right ot wrong... only time will tell.
Norman Merrill, Everton, Liverpool  (17/3/07)

David Nugent

Now that David Nugent has been mentioned by Steve McClaren for full international honours, I can't help thinking that Dithering Dave has left it way too late signing this lad. He's been desperate to come to us for a while now and we could have got him on the relativley cheap. PNE will no doubt raise his price even further this summer with a potential if not current international player (by that time) on their hands. DOH..! Do think we can swap him for Beattie and a truck load of pies?

Great site by the way. I never contribute but this issue has pissed me off! I can't be silent no more!
Kieran Doyle, Hong Kong  (17/3/07)

Big amongst the second tier

David Moyes and many of our fans tell us that we are and always have been a BIG club, and we should start thinking big again. I wholeheartedly agree.

The question then is this: The mob over the park believe that the only way to catch Man Utd is by matching their revenue by getting as many people into the ground as possible, as they are falling behind every year and the gap is widening. It appears that they have had a rethink and now want to move the capacity of the New Anfield up to 75,000 not the original 60,000.

So why can't we match them? Why, if they know it is important to match Man Utd, is not of equal or more importance that we think big and match Liverpool? We need a much bigger capacity than than the 50,000 mooted as it appeares that we will only get one chance at this new stadium.

I urge the Everton Board of Directors to think outsde the square and think of a future where we are mighty once again with packed houses full of SCOUSERS not feeling inferiour in any way to our council-backed neighbours.
Jimmy Digney, Perth, Australia  (17/3/07)

Never is a very long time. Who can tell?

I don't for a second regard anyone who says that they would never go and watch Everton in Kirkby (for example) to be any less of a Blue than someone who reckons they'll be first in the queue for a season ticket, if it does happen. On the contrary, if they're so upset that they speak in such terms then they are clearly very committed to the cause.

However, one does wonder how resolute they would remain, should their nightmare come to pass? They might stay away awhile but, to be frank, if they love the Blues (as I'm sure they do) I suspect before long most would bow to the inevitable and drift along, albeit initially under protest.

My point? I think there's limited value to fans making such emotive statements.

History is littered with instances of people saying "Never!", or "Non!", who eventually swallow hard and end up doing precisely that which they said they would never do. Some, not all, even admit afterwards they were wrong to be ?anti? in the first place.

I'm not saying the likely acquiescence of all but a hard-core of dissenters should be taken advantage of by people whose agenda may not accord with everyone else's, merely that you aren't going to influence people by making overblown, emotive statements.
Chris Jones, Wakefield  (17/3/07)

Some perspective

I am stuck in California (I know, what a horrible life) and I cannot go to every Everton match, as I have to pay $1,000 to fly over to watch a game. Kirkby is right down the road, it's a short trip that any Evertonian who loves their club should have no problem making the trip to. And yes I do know the area, it's not that far.

When I want to go to a sporting event over here, I have to drive 1 to 1½ hours to get to the local team I support. Christ, I drive an hour to work every morning. I would love to see Everton be able to stay at Goodison, the history is amazing. But this new stadium could help us, it could open the door for more investment which would mean more money to buy top players and to hold on to the talented players coming through our system.

Either way, its years away, so let's just hope we can beat Arsenal and get back into Europe and stay there this time. Enough division among our fans, let's support the Blues no matter where they are.
David Barks, United States  (16/3/07)

Mr C Potter

Colin Potter said "If for instance there were about 12,000 like myself who wouldn't go to Kirkby, under any circumstances...." Why?

Is it because Everton doesn't matter to him? Because surely, anyone who had an interest in Everton Football Club would go to watch them in Kirkby, wouldn't they? Perhaps the Reebok or the JJB or Old Trafford or the City of Manchester Stadium are a journey too far to see the Blues? What chance a midweek cup-tie at errr Tranmere? A bit too far Mr P?

Get a grip! Everton are moving to Kirkby like it or lump it. If it's the latter then what sort of Blue are you, or your 12,000 mates?
Mark Joseph, West Lancs  (16/3/07)

Here we go again... for the umpteenth time, can we please knock this "You're only a Class III Evertonian" bullshit on the head? There are Evertonians who are sufficiently opposed to Kirkby that they are threatening not to go. What is to be gained from denying that or devaluing them in this way? They have a concern. It may never be addressed to the extent they desire, but that does not make them into a lesser form of Evertonian, FFS! — Michael

Those loveable Geordies

After watching Newcastle Utd go whimpering out of the Uefa Cup on Thursday, the talk in the pub turned to who will replace Glen 'Faulty Radar' as their manager for next season.

Seven of the eight lads I was with cited Moyes as first choice for next Newcastle boss; one of the blokes insisted that Moyes was approached when Souness was sacked and stated he "wanted two more seasons at Everton before he moved to a 'big club'".

I informed my lovable friends that he'd sort their defensive woes out but you can forget the 4-3, 5-4 wins of the Keegan era and that big clubs tend to be measured not by spending power alone but the tendency to win a trophy every few years ? not once every half-century.

... and we think we're deluded!
Kevin Sparke, Northumberland  (16/3/07)

Good business

Doddy makes a good point below about making use of Tesco's business expertise.

We have all, myself included, focused a lot on the negative side of any possible relationship with Tesco's. Tesco's will own the ground, we don't know what rent they will charge, we won't know what type of landlord they'll be. What I myself have definitely failed to look at is what Tesco's can positively bring to the deal.

Yes, I know running a huge retail chain is different to running a football club. But in the world of private business, Tesco do appear to be very good at what they do. And I'm sure that there could well be a lot of business, as well as football, discussed on a match day between both boards of directors.

Also, if the number of extra corporate boxes comes on stream as expected, you never know what kind of potential revenue a link with Tesco's could attract.

I could be making something out of nothing with this as Tesco's could be as mercenary as we think about this whole deal. It is though I think something to think about.
Kieran Fitzgerald, Dublin  (16/3/07)

Well, thanks, Kieran for injecting at least a little bit of balance... — Michael

Conflict of interest

Liverpool Vision ? Surely a conflict of interest from Sir Terry when it comes to Everton?
Louis Platt, Newton  (16/3/07)

Uh? I don't see how...

What is this? Friday night is pot-shot night for this bloke? I guess this is what he deserves for daring to stick his head up above the parapet??? Come on, people! I thought we were better than that. — Michael

The Silent Majority

I have been watching your mailbag ever since the announcement by Everton about the proposed stadium in Kirkby. Your site is fast giving the impresion that most Everton fans are not interested in a new stadium in Kirky. No one can blame ToffeeWeb for this. When a war comes along you will get plenty of people demonstrating against it, but no one marching for it! Even if the war is unavoidably necessary.

I believe the majority of Everton fans are in this position. They are using their heads and waiting to see what plans come out and if it will make Everton a massive club again. If the plans do look as though that is the case, I guarantee you an educated Everton fanbase will vote in favour of the stadium and we will be back where we belong, one of the top clubs again! Surely that's what we all want.
David Hooper, Wiltshire  (16/3/07)

I was following okay there until a few non-sequitors bowled me over in the last paragraph. How exactly are the plans going to demonstrate that this (or any) proposal will make Everton a massive club again? Yes, the fans may vote on the basis of such a promise... but that's all it will be: a promise. With no guarantee of success.

And if the fanbase voted against (which I think is unlikely, becasue, as you suggest I suspect most of the clamour against is coming from a vocal minority), would that really mean that they are uneducated? I guess we're doing what we can to educate those (again a minority) who follow Everton via this website... but I'm not convinced that will determine which way they vote... ? Michael

Leahy, Skempton and Everton

I find it difficult to understand how Leahy can conclude that Kirkby is the best move for Everton. Has he himself seen all the ground move proposals with their timescales and costs? Why would he be privy to such information? My guess is that he his throwing his weight into BK's argument for the move. I will not be taking his biased opinion on board.

As for Skempton's piece of work, this I found extremely interesting. A few costs and timescales to these proposals should be the next step. The issue I have is that it's not Skempton's job to be doing this, it should be Everton FC's. If Everton provided the pros and cons for each project, including the Kirkby move, we could all use our own judgement on what is best for the club.

While they continue to refuse to do this, they will never gain the full trust of the fans.
Tommy Coleman, London  (16/3/07)

Tommy... they've decided it's the best move, therefore it is the best move. Simple as.

As for "all the ground move proposals" ... I thought I was following this pretty closely but I guess I missed a whole slew of them... or you are, er, over-elaborating?

Fact is there is only one proposal. Leahy is heavily involved with it. I would guess he therefore knows quite a bit about it. It does rather bias him towards that proposal ? but the "period of exclusivity" agreed between Tesco and the Club kind of did that anyway.

Unfortunately, Everton FC has no interest or inclination to provide pros and cons for this or alternative proposals (if there were any). They have decided to pursue this one proposal "exclusively" and are highly unlikely to look at it in a balanced way. And if they seek to persuade the majority of fans to support it (which, on past eveidence, will not be hard to do) for the purpose of a vote, the only thing likely to happen is for the spin-machine to be engaged in overdrive. — Michael

Take an example from Ireland

All this talk about why Goodison Park cannot be redeveloped is strange. All the 'experts' seem to suggest that a successful business model cannot be be achieved from a redeveloped Goodison.

Everton should look to Croke Park in Dublin which was redeveloped during the 1990s in a piecemeal fashion. The ground was kept open while the work went on. The ground is located in an inner city area and because the work was done gradually, the debt incurred for the work was being paid off as each phase was being built.

The history and tradition of the stadium and local area were kept (and enhanced) and the fans get to see games in much more comfort yet retaining their sense of ownership of the stadium. The stadium debt is due to be paid off 10 years in advance of the original plan

Now, Croke Park makes more money from non-matchday activities than from match-related revenue.
Neil MacDiarmada, Ireland  (16/3/07)

Careful with that pen Eugene

Exactly mate you got it in one.
Stephen Ashton, Dunstable, Beds  (16/3/07)

Mike Newell

I'd just like to pick Mark Murphy up on a couple of points reference his Mike Newell post.

If we were to progress faster under another manager, why on earth would we dip back into the lower leagues and take another gamble on a manager whose track record may be admirable, but is no better than Moyes's in that league ?

I also dispute the proposition that we are a selling club. The last major sale was the granny lover and since then we seem to have been buying (Johnson, Arteta, Lescott, Howard, etc.)
Steve Guy, Harrogate  (16/3/07)

Err... Tommy Gravesen?

Jobsworth Sir Terry

How many season tickets have you had Terry? If you call yourself a Blue, you would know how most of us feel who go week in week out. You're speaking with your Tesco head on. Why haven't you had dicussions with Warren Bradley about a site in the city?

I ask ToffeeWeb to start the campiagn of keeping Everton in Our City with car stickers, tee-shirts etc and show the people who are making decisions, who are only in the city, on a matchday our true feelings. KEEP EVERTON IN OUR CITY.

By the way this has got to be the best Everton site. Well done to all.
Colin Malone, Wirral  (16/3/07)

While I appreciate the compliment, Colin, and I can understand the emotional committment to staying in the City, slaughtering Sir Terry Leahy for doing his job is a bit lame in my view. Of course he's speaking with his Tesco head on... he's the leader of the company that has made a committment to Everton FC in respect of exploring the possibilites for a new Stadium in Kirkby. Honestly, what else do you expect him to say?

And despite the desire to characterize our position, we acknowledege that there are readerss of this website (perhaps you've noticed them in this mailbag) whose response is not to oppose a new stadium provided for us by Tesco in Kirkby. We will continue to present all sides of the debate we receive, so that Evetonians have the informatuon they need (if it exists!) to make up their own minds. ? Michael

Ahem!

Stephen Ashton (below) says..

"I don't know about you but the last time I was at Goodison it did not seem to have the most asthetically pleasing surroundings that I had ever come across; to suggest that we might develop a hotel or a 'commercial landmark tower' made me laugh out loud".

Well, Stephen, I have thought long and hard about how to break the following to you, but as there is no way of sugaring the pill, I'll just have to come right out with it.

Ahem... IT'S FOOTBALL, NOT BASTARD BALLET!!!
Eugene Ruane, Dublin  (16/3/07)

Kirkby

I see according to the Echo, that Terry Leahy thinks we would all be fools, us Evertonians, if we didn't take up the option of moving to Kirkby. If for instance there were about 12,000 like myself who wouldn't go to Kirkby, under any circumstances, would Tesco's make up the shortfallof revenue with Terry at the front of the queue waving his cheque book? I think not!
Colin Potter, Liverpool  (16/3/07)

Idle Thoughts

Tom and Trev are building stadiums, Bill and Davy are having a love-in and Sir Terry is drawing us a map of things to come. The CEO is standing in parliament and Eileen and Dick are thinking of sharing, Marshy's gone AWOL and Luq's on the pills. Some Guy has gone media parenoid and Michael has gone to font. Is there anyone out there who might join me at a match I have just heard is breaking out on Sunday afternoon? Sounds a gud-un. The place is Goodison Park and they start at 4:00 pm. A Sky box will be on show in the corner of the main stand. See you there ? UP THE BLUES
Ken Buckley, Buckley  (16/3/07)

Match?... Uh???

Dream on

Trevor Skempton says that his ideas for the redevelopment of Goodison are dreams but not unrealistic ? half-right, Mr Skempton: your ideas are dreams but they are very unrealistic.

I don't know about you but the last time I was at Goodison it did not seem to have the most asthetically pleasing surroundings that I had ever come across; to suggest that we might develop a hotel or a 'commercial landmark tower' made me laugh out loud ? I can visualise the rush of potential developers coming up Walton Lane even as I write!

Let's be honest LFC have stolen the march on us yet again by securing the only viable green space in the city for themselves. But what is this obsession about staying within the city boundaries about? We do not bear the city's name, nothing on our crest indicates an affinity with the city; we are called Everton but don't play in that area.

Our motto says we should aspire to the best, so why are we intent on cobbling together something which can never be that, in a city that has given us no encouragement to remain within its catchment? I am Liverpool born and bred, but I left the city 25 years ago to give my family a better standard of living and a better chance in life. I have also been inside Goodison in a 70,000 plus attendance in 1962, and would love to do that again, but be realistic: it's not going to happen at Goodison.

Let's move on, guys ? not dream on.
Stephen Ashton, Dunstable  (16/3/07)

Three Cheers for Sir Terry!

Although he says his love for Everton had nothing to do with it, I suspect Sir Terry is pushing the boat out for our club and particularly his great pal, Bill Kenwright.

However people wish to slag off Tesco ? and nobody hates seeing a scoucer being successful more than a scouser ? Tesco are, under Leahy`s guidance, amongst the most well-run retailers in the world and there is no reason why that expertise cannnot be extended to their partnership with Everton.

So it`s three cheers for Sir Terry and three more for Chairman Bill ? together with St David and Uncle Keith they make up a great team!
Richard Dodd, Formby  (16/3/07)

11-year-old sketches of ideas...

NOT A DETAILED PLAN.... by any stretch of the imagination.

In response to Eileen: a),b),c) Those pics are only old sketches, they even predate the original vote and talk of a move. The actual designs (fron 1999, not shown) could be taken to just under 60,000 and almost within the footprint. The Exec boxes in the new design do not appear as shown but are an open 4-row seating tier.

d) My brother and two mates travel to the match from Runcorn station for daytime games, park and ride at South Parkway for nightgames. Trains are pretty regular and much faster than cars. But you want to try getting the train to Kirkby.

f) I will attempt to put a ballpark price on it, my plans show only three new stands with the mainstand side remodelled. Because it is done in bitesize lumps, it is potentially more affordable than finding the cost of a complete development in one go. It can be done without substantial or prolonged loss in capacity, and I will try to support this with examples of similar projects elsewhere.

Potential natural-light infringement is compensated for by pitch movement in longitudinal direction and possibly light scoops as used in Stadium Australia. There will be more space at the Street End... but let's not forget that all these terraced streets have lived with the ground for over a century... Kirkby hasn't.

e) As for Knocking a few houses down... The houses on Goodison Ave and Walton Lane were knocked down by the club and no-one batted an eyelid, did you? If not, why not? Presumably they were people's homes? I believe there are over 5,000 empty properties in Liverpool. What comes first, a tiny number of end terraces (6-12 max) on Muriel and Diana Street, or one of the city's oldest institutions on the site of the world's first true footy stadium? How many of these houses do the club already own?

I too believe the groundshare issue will bounce to the forefront iminently!!
Tom Hughes, Liverpool  (16/3/07)

More Echo Bollocks

The latest twaddle courtesy of the Echo, appearing from the lips of Sir Terry Bluenose himself with shite along the lines of "One day Goodison will fall down and we have to plan for that day," and we have no alternative but to move to Kirkby as if he is doing the club a favour. I've said it many times before, Sir Terry Leahy is first and foremost accountable to Tesco and no one else, they pay his substantial salary. This latest bullshit has nothing to do with a love of Everton ? it's to make the proposed retail park complex deal with Knowsley a sweeter deal, oiling the wheels for Tesco and not Everton FC.

Sadly the same article has the line "The Tesco boss was speaking at Mipim, the world's biggest property event in Cannes, where he is supporting his home city's drive to attract new investment." Well guess what Sir Terry, Kirkby is not in the effing City of Liverpool.

Fans no doubt will be excited by some glossy plans and graphics just as they were when Billy Liar showed the Kings Dock daydream.
Gavin Ramejkis, Upholland  (16/3/07)

Listen Sir Terry!!

Does Sir Terry, realise that it is not so much the moving away from Goodison that is worrying "some" fans (even though the prspect is an emotional wrench), but the relocation out of the city of Liverpool itself. Do the powers that be ever really listen intentively to fans' worries or just presume they know??
Neil Todd, Lydiate  (16/3/07)

Why would they care? It's just an irritating minority who question things like planned stadium moves, or statements that Goodison can't be redeveloped, or the wonderful football we are playing. They are just a moaning minority who are unrepresentative of the true Everton supporter, and they can be safely ignored. — Michael

Kirkby, Goodison and the rest of us

In the last paragraph, Sean Rothwell writes "wherever we end up, we'll still be Everton"... Really!? What... even if we move to Winsford? Or Crewe? How far away from Everton (by the way that's EVERTON) do you think we can move and still be Everton? Stafford!?

When the Brooklyn Dodgers moved to the West coast, guess what they WEREN'T anymore? That's right - The Brooklyn Dodgers! When Wimbledon moved to Milton Keynes, guess what they weren't anymore? Wimbledon! Get it?

If I was an ambitious, Liverpool-supporting Knowsley Councillor, I'd wait a few years before saying "Everton FC have been given a lot by this council and I feel that it's time for the club to show it's appreciation and to look to the future and blah blah blah (reveals new name and logo on a piece of board) I give you the 'Knowsley Blues'"

Personally, I can't believe there is ONE Evertonian who is prepared to accept a move to Kirkby, but it seems there are quite a few prepared to buy Luvvie Bill's bollocks (or ANYTHING spoken by the man with the medicine-ball head who can actually talk without saying anything).

To me, those who accept a move, show just how Sky have twisted perceptions about what football clubs are all about (remember ? people who are being brainwashed very, VERY rarely know they're being brainwashed).

So... cut to 70 years from now and the Knowsley Blues are being turfed out of the old Wal-Mart Arena in Kirkby and moving to new 15,000-seater stadium (in Southport). In a letter to ToffeeWeb, Sean's grandson writes "Anyway, it doesn't matter where we move, we'll still be Knowsley Blues FC".

If Everton DO move to Kirkby, I definitely won't be going, because in time, they WON'T be Everton, simple as that. People like you seem happy to question the 'loyalty' of people like me because we say we won't go. Fine, I have no problem with that. But remember, people like me are, at the same, time questioning YOUR loyalty to the Everton we believe in.

I suppose it's all down to how you define Everton Football Club.
Eugene Ruane, Dublin  (16/3/07)

Pretty pictures

Well, thank you, Tom ? that was all I wanted... something to get my teeth into. At least it is a plan and as such it stands up for itself and is worthy of further scrutiny. When you send your next set of pictures could you take account of and refer to the following issues:-

a) I assume the club have done their homework and there is presumably a good reason why they stipulate a capacity of 55,000. If our average gate now is 36/37,000 when we are in the doldrums should we ever actually win trophies and play in the Champions League consistently, I don't think even that will be enough. Your plan is only for 50,000 and I don't think that is ambitious enough especially as your plan is a 'once and for all' option with no further scope for expansion.

b) Even in order to attain that figure and given that there is no room to expand outwards, you have taken the stadium up. That is fine in principle and while I appreciate that these are only freehand drawings and not blueprints, your plan for the Park End looks positively frightening! One tumble near the back on the Eiger-like staircases and we could have another Ibrox on our hands. I believe that needs a rethink.

c)While your plan certainly improves the look of the Executive boxes and provides considerably more of them, I don't think the club would be happy with even the increased number you propose. I don't know that for certain but I draw the conclusion from what other ambitious clubs (!) are doing with their stadia. Have you seen the number of boxes at the Emirates and Old Trafford? I think Everton may want a bit of that!

d)It's a hoary old tune and I know I keep bringing it up but whether or not we like it many people want to go to the match in their cars. In fact, from the distant scouse colony I live in there is no reasonable way of getting to Goodison other than by car. It can be done, I've done it, but only if you are happy to make a day of it! If LFC actually do build their stadium then the car park in Stanley Park which soaks up most of the match traffic is not going to be there. So, in that case where are the cars going to be parked? The local sreets are already choked on match days and kerbside parking could not absorb the outcasts from Stanley Park.

e) Your plan needs the redeveloped Stadium to move out into Bullens Road a little and you infer that a number of houses will have to go. However you suggest the disturbance factor would be minimal. It wouldn't be minimal if it was your house, Tom! Remember the hassle and distress a few years ago when they were redeveloping Anfield? A very sorry business indeed. And isn't it funny how most of the Evertonians I knew then thought that what LFC were doing to their neighbours was disgusting... and here some of us are, considering doing the same to our own! Well, I never....

f) Sorry to raise it again but, even if all these 'little' problems could be solved or prove not to be problems at all and it is decided to redevelop Goodison, where is the money going to come from? Especially as the club will suffer financially from reduced attendances while the work is in progress??? Nobody has ever suggested that the Tesco deal is a total freebie for Everton (to take note of the comments made by an earlier poster) but the club must feel they can pay their share or the deal would already be dead in the water. What the Club cannot pay up front is something like the full cost of a redevelopment or the cost of a new stadium and that is it, that is the real world in which we have to live.

Personally I have much sympathy with Dick Fearon's post. The first thing that came into my head when I heard the news of the 'hold' on the new Anfield was that a shared stadium was what the two Yanks wanted in the first place and that the easiest way to increase the 'capacity' of a Stadium is to have games in it every week! I, like Dick, don't think we've heard the last of the shared stadium mullarky.
Eileen Roberts, Runcorn  (16/3/07)

Plan B

In order to build an 80,000 all seat stadium, LFC are forced to build their new stadium in Kirkby on the site originally chosen by Everton.

Everton build the new Goodison Park at Stanley Park on the site originally chosen by Liverpool. Tesco build a new supermarket on the site of the old Goodison Park.

The New Goodison Park will be part-funded by Tesco, EEC money and EFC, the face lift to Stanley Park and surrounding area going ahead as planned.

Sorted.

Everton the original and only club in the city of Liverpool.
Brian Baker, Aldershot  (16/3/07)

Cashcow

Response to Matt Traynor:

But that's the whole point, Matt. Any design ? whether expertise is used or just time and effort ? must stack up; it's not an art competition, this is serious. The club tells us we can't afford it so 'we' must produce options which can be demonstrated to the club as viable ones. Pie in the Sky, or subterranean if you recall a previous post, will just be dismissed based on the current financial situation.

Next time your missus asks for a diamond necklace and a Carribean holiday will you turn around and ask her how you're supposed to pay for it? Exactly! We've got to put the club in a position where it must consider a proposal because it defeats their main argument, funding!
Steve McBride, Liverpool  (16/3/07)

Leadership ? The Way Forward for Everton

Well IMHO I don't think that the present leadership have the capability based on past projects. I am not going to bore you with the past we all know the failures so let's move along.

I think we need to have a leadership team and that includes new owners who have a proven track record of flawless execution at these revenue levels and have had a successful track record of growth ? not sustainability, which is what we have had under Bill's tenure. The first step would be to have Bill step down as chairman and have his shares put up for sale. Let's attract owners and their plans for investment. have no doubt in my mind that buyers have approached the club only to be tied into NDA aggremeents.

The other lot across the road found exactly the leadership team they need and they have brought investment above the levels that could be offered by Terry Tesco. Selling to Terry would just probably see better business execution but the same one-man band under Bill. Start with the leadership and the world will turn... once the you have the right team and Buisness Plan and levels of investment, you can move past sustainability and into the land of growth and silverware.

Flogging yourself to a supermarket outside of the city with zero money in the pot is all the ingredients of a disaster and a sure sign that we have a leader and team out of their depth.
John Cribb, Liverpool  (16/3/07)

Mike Newell

As one of those who suggested Mike Newell as a possible replacement for David Moyes, I would like to respond to the post below.

When Newell had his first-choice team on the pitch, Luton were flying. Then the board stepped in and Luton became a selling club. Imagine Everton sold Arteta, Lescott, Cahill & Johnson, IMO our best four players, as happened with Luton, without the manager's consent. Would you blame Moyes for the teams' consequent and inevitable slump?

Personally I have grudgingly accepted that Moyes and Everton work together within the financial restrictions at the club. I don't like our style but we are just outside the top four on a fraction of their budget. I can see Moyes'S reasoning behind his tactics and I have to admit it is working.

I still think that Newell will be a good manager at the right club. Sadly, as a selling club, we are not that club.
mark murphy, Horsham, arse end of no where  (16/3/07)

In better shape than.....

I firmly believe that at this moment in time we are in far better shape than that lot over the road! The more I hear of their takeover ? and the financing thereof ? the more I become convinced that Moores was sold a pup. I foresee great problems with them financing the deal and as for the new ground, well that`s already on hold as the paymasters negotiate the means of paying for it!

Kenwright, for all his sins, is on the verge of pulling off the deal of the century with his mate at Tesco and who is to say he won't find some other partners at the Phil Green bash? A brand new stadium for nowt? It`s beyond our wildest dreams and in common with most Evertonians, I couldn`t give a sod whether it`s in Kirkby, Cronton or Crosby!

Well done, Uncle Bill ? at least you`ve kept Everton British!
Mal Tranter, Fazakerley  (16/3/07)

Moores sold a pup?! Christ, wouldn't we all love to "walk away" with eighty million big ones burning a hole in the wallet! ? Colm

Keeping Everton in the City

I travel to every home game via Scotland Road, up County Road and park somewhere near City Road (I visit the Top House pub). On my journey, I pass several blocks of high-rise and two-storey flats that are mostly derelict. Houses are no exception and some of them are disgracefully graffitied with 'no elec, no gas' by our very own council. It's an embarrassing area and it needs regeneration ... fast! (and it's not included in the LFC plans).

The area I am talking about stretches almost the entire way down Scotland Road (you know - by the buoy). It wouldn't take much to relocate the people that are still living around there and it wouldn't take much to demolish the appalling buildings that still 'stand'. This is my ideal place for the new Goodison ? it's probably no more than 1.5 miles from the current stadium and has the benefit of a dual carriage way and the tunnel.

The bad bit...we probably wont be able to fit in a Tesco's.

By the way ? I am also experiencing the 'jolted' home page, on both my home and work PC.
Jamie Rowland, Liverpool  (16/03/2007)

Infamy?

I think Steve Guy's paranoia is excessive (assuming you can be "moderately" paranoid? Anyway ...) I don't think that the media has it in for us I just think they're crap at their job and pieces about how wonderful Thierry/Drogba/Lampard etc (delete as appropriate ) are are easier than proper football reporting.
Steve Callan, Birkenhead  (16/3/07)

Ms Roberts

I'm in the process of drawing you a pretty picture (or 10) so keep your hair on. I'm back off to sea for a couple of weeks, so you may have to wait.

In the meantime you could have a little look here for some little thumbnail sketches. Please note... they predate the first vote, so it's just my thoughts about GP etc. These formed the very initial ideas for my previous design which followed a few years later.

By the way in answer to one of your points..... you can build all the roads you want (very expensive though), but it might not be much use in the city with the lowest car ownership of any provincial city. Also, I don't do vitriol, I work in quite an aggressive environment, it was knocked out of me years ago.
Tom Hughes, Liverpool  (16/3/07)

Five More Years

Moyes record is:

Played 219 W84 D52 L83 F269 A291
84 wins from 219 games and a wonderful goal difference... Don't we and the club deserve better than this record, what a magnificent five years! Not forgetting the scintilating football

Where's the taxi?
Mark Worthy, Christchurch, New Zealand  (16/3/07)

In fairness, you could ask which of the teams who make up the rest of the Premiership actually play attractive football on a regular basis. Everton are not alone! ? Colm

Re: Webpage gone funny

Fonts all look fine Michael, and the layout except that the third column has slipped down the page and starts after the end of the Headline News column but still within its own column width.

Are you guys in Toffeeweb Towers like Arkwright and Granville, open all hours?? You're adding letters to the Mailbag in the wee hours of the morning UK time. Or maybe you're just coming back in from a night out which would explain some of the comments at times???
Eric Myles, Pattaya, Thailand  (16/3/07)

I'm definitely Arkwright, being the shopkeeper by trade! And yes, very much Open All Hours! ;-) ? Colm

Thanks to Trevor Skempton

I would like to thank Trevor Skempton for his extensive analysis on Rebuiding Goodison. There are a lot of diehard Blues out there, like me, who would like to help with the cause but are simply powerless to help. I sincerely hope that this can be the beginning of something fruitful down the road.
Dupont Koo, Hong Kong  (16/3/07)

Webpage gone funny

The Features and Articles column now appears below the headline news column leaving a gaping blank between it and the column headed by 'From the Rumour Mill.'

Is this a problem with your webpage setup or is it my computer settings that have gone haywire??? Note, it's been like this for a week but I've only just scrolled down to find there was a problem.
Eric Myles, Pattaya, Thailand  (16/3/07)

That's what happens when you don't pay your TW Access Fee, Eric. Send me your credit card number and I'll make sure everthing looks just fine...

Seriously, I managed to mess up IE's display of pages by respecifying font sizes for certain parts of the default Windows display. Anything liek that going on? — Michael

Re: Keeping Everton in the City

Jamie Rowland asks how to manage people and traffic if we could double the attendance at Goodison from the present 37,000. Seems it?s either not a concern of Liverpool that they are going to be within a few hundred metres of us in their new stadium, or just maybe it?s been considered and really isn?t a problem?

As to the problems in leaving St James Park, you can probably blame Trevor Skempyon for that one as the City Council decided they didn?t want the city centre clogged up with cars after they?d spent millions of quid on a wonderful Metro system with free park-and-ride facilities so they actively discourage cars in the city centre.
Eric Myles, Pattaya, Thailand  (16/3/07)

Re: Redevelopment: No Go

We?ve heard the opinions of a City Architect and a structural design engineer experienced in the design and construction of stadia who consider the redevelopment of Goodison is feasible but in Sean Rothwell?s view it?s just not feasible to build ?Sky Boxes?.

I?m no engineer, but I can think of one way sky boxes can work. I?m sure Trevor and Tom can come up with more and better ideas than me so I?d like to know Sean?s reasoning for his opinion. Trevor and Tom have invested their time and have provided sound reasoning to support their views so rather than just dismiss them out of hand I think they deserve a reasoned argument as to why it?s not feasible.
Eric Myles, Pattaya, Thailand  (16/3/07)

Cashcow

Steve McBride asks some very pertinent questions, backed up by the commentary of the evil editor.

But I don't think it's for Tom or Trevor to suggest the funding options... Credit where it's due: like Tom / Trevor, I've also been involved in stadium planning, and they've given a very professional point of view. But that's all they can do. If you want to, ask them to sort out Iraq and half-fare for kids on Liverpool buses ? do you see my point? (I know you do, rhetorical question!)
Matt Traynor, Singapore  (16/3/07)

Ground move

I'm tired of reading posts which question where the money will come from to re-develop GP. Nobody has asked how much the Tesco plan will cost us. Does anybody seriously believe that a PLC will simply build us a new stadium for free? Do you really believe that City investors will sanction the 'gift' of a new stadium? If so, BK has a greater gift for hoodwinking than I ever thought possible.
Ann Adlington, Liverpool  (15/3/07)

''Brothers in arm''

Hello there Mr (D)odd...

Regarding your reference to Messrs Kenwright and Moyes being "Brothers in arms".

Wasn't that a hit for "Dire Straits"...

All a bit Freudian for you no doubt...

Keep on the pills my friend..
James McPherson, Liverpool  (15/3/07)

Wheels within Wheels part 2

Could it be, though perhaps unwittingly, all this debate about a new stadium on TW and the Kop sites is merely dancing to the tune of behind-the-scenes movers and shakers? At the rate it is going, we all will be so heartily sick and brain-numbed that whenever and whatever firm decision is made it would come as a blessed relief.

I reiterate my much earlier statement that a ground share is still on the cards. Financial viability of a super stadium relies on it being used to the max.

£425M was given as the Yanks' input, £220M of that was to buy shares and pay existing debt. £214M was to build a new Anfield and £150M to buy players. Those figures do not stack up, already it comes to £159M more than the supposed input of £425M. Amd before the ink has dried we hear construction is delayed and most of the input is actually an RBS loan incurring £20M annual interest, the regeneration people are perturbed and Benitez is getting anxious.

Tesco and Everton could be using Kirkby as a ploy to strengthen their joint hand in negotiations about a ground share with Tesco turning Goodison into a shopping precinct. OK, so it seems a bit far-fetched yet is it any more so than lots of other stuff being debated? Would the fans of both clubs accept a ground share? Refer to my first two paragraphs for an answer to that question...
Dick Fearon, West Australia  (16/3/07)

Trevor & Tom

Many thanks to Trevor Skempton for all of the time and effort he obviously put into his Redeveloping Goodison proposals. I seem to recall Tom Hughes putting forward proposals many years ago to redevolop Goodison. Maybe now is the time to put those proposals back in the public eye via ToffeeWeb. Finally, what about both of you working together to see if you can improve upon what you have both put forward so far?
John Crawley, Liverpool  (15/3/07)

The Latest Poll

At the start of the season many Anti-Moyes posters were calling for the sack for Davie and suggesting a number of replacements.

  • Alan Curbishley: reputation is in tatters, close to the sack at West Ham.
  • Harry Redknapp: Portsmouth have slipped to 9th and have no chance of qualifiying for Europe.
  • Mike Newell: sacked by Luton, reputation in tatters.
  • Martin O'Neill: spent £17M but Aston Villa remain in the bottom half of the league.
And David Moyes continues to be in charge of Everton who now sit in 6th place fighting for a European place. There are better managers then David Moyes but let's be honest, he's the best Everton can expect.
Paul Atress, Liverpool  (15/3/07)

Dear Tom Hughes

Tch, Tch, such vitriol! The reason I am so interested in your feasability study, Tom, is that you said you had done one and you were using it as evidence for your argument that we should redevelop Goodison. Fine, if you want to espouse it, let us all see it. Ah... but now you are undertaking a new one eh? Does that mean there was something wrong with the first?

As for my apparent lack of interest in the status of EFC in the City, sorry, but I am more concerned about the Club's status in the Premiership and the football world as a whole and if moving 2 or 3 miles beyond the boundaries of that City holds the prospect of improving that status then it requires careful thought and not a kneejerk rejection.

If you care to examine the archives, Tom, including my article of a few days ago, you will find that I do not unquestioningly espouse the Tesco option. I find the prospect of leaving Goodison very sad as my personal history of the place goes back 54 years so I do not need lessons from you about my right to be an Evertonian and hold a view, even if it differs from yours, just because I happen to live (nowadays) in a distant Scouse colony. All I have been trying to do in this debate is to point out what the REAL options are and Stadia in the Sky. Pipe=dreams, plans that cannot be funded are not real options at all.

I take your point about the transport difficulties into Kirkby but I am afraid that if we do end up in Kirkby I cannot imagine supporters driving into and through Kirkby town centre to the stadium car park! I imagine there are people as adept as yourself at carrying out feasability studies thinking now as to how links to the stadium could be taken directly from the M57 and the East Lancs. I thought that would have been obvious, especially to an engineer as highly qualified as yourself.

As for Keith Wyness's statement that Goodison can be redeveloped, of course it can! Any Stadium can be redeveloped. South Liverpool Stadium was 'redeveloped' in my living memory but it could never be redeveloped to the standard of a Premiership Club that aspires to be top of the pile and it is my view that there is no clear and irrefutable evidence that I have seen so far that Goodison can be redeveloped to that standard either. That is why I was so interested in seeing your feasability study because nothing would make me happier than somebody showing how an appropriate redevelopment of Goodison can be done AND HOW IT CAN BE FUNDED. I am open-minded you see, and I do not rule out any options as long as I can be convinced they are realistic.

As for Cronton, well, I didn't even know that was on the agenda. But I will tell you this: wherever we end up, I will be there to support the Club I love and the Club my dad loved before me and the distance to the stadium has never been a consideration for me and accordingly I wil ignore your suggestion that I am only interested in Kirkby because it will be easier for me to get there as an aberration and a fit of pique on your part. As for taking people seriously, of course I take you seriously that is why I am bothering my arse with this reply. But please do not split your infinitives (last pParagraph of your post) as it makes taking people seriously so much more difficult!

To Colm, 'back of the net?' Glad you're not a referee. You would be a definite homer! But the game is not over yet.
Eileen Roberts, Runcorn  (15/3/07)

Happy slappy self back patting

I think the recent quotes coming out of Everton are nothing short of blasphemy, and all the signs are there for a major departure from our first time squad.

Bill Kenwright I believe to be our second worst manager in the clubs history. He may have 'borrowed' money for AJ and Tim Howard to sign but he hasn't advanced this club enough to warrant his existence here. David Moyes has undoubtedly brought Everton to some sort of stability, kudos there. But again he is another man who in five years has failed to advance Everton to the stage we should be.

So what to we get from both men? Firstly the anus spouting of Kenwright, saying Moyes is one of the great football managers. Totally out of context with the public option and of reality I say. Then Moyes saying he has another five-year plan, which he has the sheer cheek to suggest that another manager, barring Moyes isn't here, should follow his dismal methods and ideals? Why didn't Moyes address the fans inquiry of his first five years huh? That would have been more beneficial rather than shameless back patting.

And is there any reason for such such gratification? How many cups we won? How many times he have finished in the top half? How many times have we developed world class players and kept them? All of these questions escape the Everton towers as they continue to delude themselves into gaining more control of our beloved club. They are like the US government - Everyone hates them, but their people are too stupid to see it or care!

The mouse is dead and the wheel barely turns.

A couple of things Moyes could do right is bring back Michael Ball. The lad must return home and he is looking fitter this season. Bring in David Nugent! Keep our best players while shipping out the dead wood... Pistone, Stubbs etc. And be more adventurous like he used to be! Maybe then he can have cause for such undeserved praise!
Luq Yussef, London  (15/3/07)

Oh dear, Luq... did someone leave the cooking sherry out again? Kenwright... manager!?! And it just goes downhill from there... Get a grip lad, FFS! — Michael

Whats with disrupting Everton?

Can anybody give me a reason as to why people keep suggesting our players want to leave? First we had the Arteta wants to move to Ath. Madrid. Then it was Cahill has played his last game for Everton now he is out for the season. Now, in today's Daily Express, it's Andy Johnson is homesick and wants to go back home to London.

What is the point? I'd like to add that all these players have denied these rumours and AJ has said he'd sign for life tomorrow (DO IT DAVID!!).

Also I'd like to take this oppourtunity to thank David Moyes for what he has done. A number of people are saying they are bored hearing about it but five years at one club is quite an achievement for a manager nowadays. And no matter what people say we are in a better situation now with brighter prospects than when he took over.
Craig Taylor, Leicester  (15/3/07)

AJ

"If I could sign here for the rest of my career I would do it tomorrow," said the 26-year-old striker. So speaks the BBC website.

So come on Davy and Bill: get the paperwork done! Why should we miss this one?
Alan Wilson, Switzerland  (15/03/07)

True Blues

Kenwright is a true blue ? but unklike other true blues, he will sell our soul (ie, Goodison Park) to Tesco. Tesco could not give a fuck if EFC are successful or not. They don't care if the new stadium is filled ? they just want a new superstore in Kirkby.

Now to the real issue: I am sure that there are at least 20,000-30,000 Evertonians who can and could and would contribute a minimum £5k for a share of our club, so come on Kenwright lets have some Leadership. We don't have to go cap in hand to Tesco ? your fellow Evertonians would love to get involved in the club, BUT are YOU prepared to let them?? We would really be the People's Club then.

By the way, I am sure you could still drive the engine...
Steve Sweeney, Prescot  (15/3/07)

Advocating Spurs

I think it was Declan Critchley who pointed out below the scoring prowess of Tottenham recently and joked about what Moyes would do if he got his hands on them. I'll tell you what, that team needs a bloody Moyes to sort out their woeful defence. How many goals have they shipped recently?
Nick Harrison, Liverpool  (15/3/07)

RE: Colm & Michael

In reply to Colm, I'd have to say I agreed with the first two paragraphs you typed. The description of your own feelings towards Moyes mirrors my own. I am just so caught up in gratitude because I never thought we'd see the end of relegation battles.

A lot of the older people who contribute to this mailbag can highlight glory times under previous regimes in which Everton have shined brightly over the rest of England, and in some cases Europe. Myself, being 21, cannot do this. I don't even know how I ended up supporting Everton when there was no glory to speak of when I was making the decision. My brothers both supported Liverpool but my family were traditionally Evertonians. I was never taken to matches because my dad had become a bit disillusioned, and he was never a season ticket supporter anyway.

So, for me, I feel as if we've come from being a third world club to gradually getting more respect. It lifts me when I hear pundits describing Goodison Park as a 'hard place to get points from' when talking about Manchester Utd's run-in of games. It's the little things that help, it feels like we're getting self-respect back. And like Trevor Skempton highlights in his rebuilding report on Goodison, it's small incremental steps that are needed. Some people disagree, and maybe they're right, but for me, I can see progress under Moyes and I like it.

And in reply to Michael, of course you're right to question 'bullshit' from evertonfc.com and icliverpool.com, they're nothing but stooges. I'm not talking about that though, it's not like I read "AJ's thoughts on what can get us into Europe" and take it as gospel. Most of those stories are just filler to appease our information hunger anyway. I have, however, noticed you call people's opinions 'bullshit'. I think that's slightly arrogant but, hey, it's your site and you can do what you want, eh? But if you agreed with that sentiment, you may have to agree with the theory that "it's Bill's club and he can do what he wants" to avoid a hypocritical mindframe.
Nick Harrison, Liverpool  (15/3/07)

As I recall, you had a comment about us being overly critical of the club and "cynical" whatever that means in this context. I interpreted it to mean not accepting everything we are told at face value, since that seemed to be the topic. We all know it's Bill's club and he's doing what he wants. The bullshit comes when he claims it's in the best interests of the club, which is at best debatable, or he claims him and his staff are doing anything "24/7". ? Michael

GP Listed Building?

There have been a couple of posts calling for GP to be 'listed' due to being the first purpose built stadium in the UK, if not further.

Just one thing ? doesn't having the building 'listed' mean that any money you are likely to receive because of such status is to keep it as it is? We've managed that for years on our own thanks!
Steve McBride, Liverpool  (15/3/07)

Redevelop or Move...

I'm no expert on financial or redeveloping matters, but I don't believe moving to a new stadium will be a promise to a better future, and I also don't believe Sean Rothwell's view that we'll be 'emphasising our inferiority? to Liverpool if we redevelop.

I had a research session on Wikipedia to view the teams who have moved stadium or had a major redevelopment of their ground, listed below. With this I?ve also stated if it has (IMO) benefited the club. Firstly, with the teams who have moved stadium. Obviously this is down to interpretation on what is viewed as ?beneficial?, though my opinion is based on moving up through the leagues, higher average position or silverware achieved. If for Everton moving and none of these are achieved (swap promotion to a regular CL4 finish) then I?d keep Goodison instead of a soulless bowl only good for better toilet and burger facilities.

The ?beneficial to club? opinion of teams who have redeveloped in recent times is based on a more general criteria including nicer stadium, more cash, prestige etc. This is because moving stadium and cashing in on your heritage should, nay must, come with a promised return of success, otherwise a new stadium in place of Goodison can go fuck it self. And there?s no reason IMO why that success can?t come by staying at Goodison.

Here?s my rudimentary findings?

Moved Stadium	Beneficial to Club

Arsenal		Not as of yet
Sunderland	No
Man City          No
Middlesbrough	Hmmm?
Derby		No
Southampton	No
Coventry          No
Leicester         No	
Stoke		No
Bolton		Yes
Hull		Possibly
Darlington	No
Wigan		Yes
Huddersfield	No
Reading		Yes
Swansea		Not as of yet
Milwall		No
Doncaster         No
Bournemouth	No
Wimbledon	Hahaha (moving again in the summer to purpose built stadium)

Redeveloped	Beneficial to Club

Man Utd		Yes
Newcastle	  Yes
Chelsea		Not at the time of redevelopment
Tottenham 	Yes
Birmingham	Yes
Wolves		Ish
Charlton          Yes
Plymouth          Yes
West Brom         Yes

Nick Entwistle, London  (15/3/07)

Away the Blues

I wish that Bill and David would wake up to the fact that the local press are being positive towards them because they pose no threat to the club that has everything. They are creating a situation that agent Johnson could only dream of.

Maybe Buster and Bill could ask the FA if we could play all our games away from home saving millions of pounds ? after all Blues fans will watch Everton anywhere... only joking, Buster!
John Patrick McFarlane, Lancs  (15/3/07)

Response to: Sean Rothwell

Sean says: "I can't stress enough what, for me (and I suspect many, many others), is one of the most important issues: Goodison CANNOT be redeveloped to be close to matching the standard of the New Anfield."

I disagree sean.... it may be a subjective opinion only, but the New Anfield is merely an enlarged Reebock (as it stands). It will be perfectly functional only, hence the Americans not being too impressed with it and hoping to change things. It is a basic circular planned bowl with quite a neat catenary-cable-supported roof. Lots of symmetry; little character. This can be matched and IMO bettered at any site large enough ? including GP.
Tom Hughes, Liverpool  (15/3/07)

Kenwright

I have only just read the piece by Kenwright and could I fuck believe what I was reading. How can he say "He's one of the greatest around" about Moyes? The man has won us fuck all, made us the laughing stock of Europe and given us numerous un-wanted records. Not to mention the dire football we have to endure.

Okay, he has brought some stability to the club, but that doesn't make him one of the greatest. Time me thinks, for the men in white coats to pay Bill a visit ? the man has lost it!!
Brian Waring, Wokingham  (15/3/07)

FAO: Martin Roberts

Where have you read my plans? I haven't posted any. You are right though, I am a nuts and bolts man, and I only intend to show one alternative by way of example of what can be achieved together with quite literally "ball park figures" interpolated from similar project costs. Soz if this disappoints but I do have a life to lead and can assure you that producing this design will take up substantially more time and effort than one letter to ToffeeWeb.
Tom Hughes, Liverpool  (15/3/07)

Jimmy V for sale?

Lukas Jutgiwicz, or something like that, is supposed to be signing for the Toffs at the end of the season, Swindon Town website, he's 17. The end for Jimmy or Vic?
Steve McBride, Liverpool  (15/3/07)

Goodison debate

I have no issue whatsoever with a debate over the new stadium and indeed would welcome it. Let's have a bit of balance, though. Carrying a story that promises a 'tantalizing glimpse of what could be done to redevelop Goodison Park' through thumbnail sketches is actually a tad embarassing. I've read the article and looked at the sketches, and I saw lovely dreams and a lot of nostalgia. I don't doubt for one second that Trevor is a great Evertonian and I fully respect the effort he put in but seriously, do you think you maybe oversold it?

If you want a proper debate then get people involved that can work out the figures. In this age of modern football, financial viability is the name of the game. If you want to be taken seriously, do the full job not dreams and nostalgia.
Andrew Norton, Belfast  (15/3/07)

As an Evertonian, I certainly didn't feel any embarrassment reading Trevor's work. We published it because it has resonance to a current issue that is a concern to a number of fans, and more importantly beacuse of the huge gaping vacuum on this topic when it comes to the officially sanctioned organs of Club publicity.

It's something that you might expect a reputable local journal would have pursued to reflect the interest of at least some of their readers but that description of our local rags unfortunately explains where their concerns (and those of their paymasters) lie.

We are not marshalling this debate; we are merely publishing material people send us. Of course money is the key issue and everyone recognises this. But Trevor's work did not in any way pretend to be a financial analysis. I accept it for what it is, without needing to decry it as dreams and nostalgia. — Michael

Bravo Trevor and Tom

The fabulous postings of Trevor and Tom show that, with a modicum of common sense and practical not daydream solutions, the redevlopment of Goodison is achievable.

It also raised one issue I have discussed over many many beers before and after games: the World Heritage status/listed status never being raised for Goodison Park as the world's first purpose built football stadium.

It also begs the question, in this day and age of grants and funding exercises whether or not the amounts being used in Project Jennifer could also include a large wad of cash for regenerating the old lady with a business argument of retaining wealth and jobs in the area?
Gavin Ramejkis, Upholland  (15/3/07)

Moyes out for new contract

Sky Sports are running a loop this morning which sees the credit for discovering Wayne Rooney being attributed to David Moyes and `his fabulous five year reign`! What total bollocks ? a five-year-old could have recognised Rooney`s talent and the only thing I would say about Moyes is that he has bored more Evertonians than any manager in our history. The piece seems designed to ensure he gets an extended contract from Kenwright who, no doubt, will be fool enough to give it him!
Phil Tarrence, Toxteth  (15/3/07)

Dayey pure gold!

After all the praise heaped on David Moyes by Bill Kenwright this week it has come as a shock to hear on Sky Sports that the manager has only another two years to run on his contract. After all Moyes has achieved on peanuts at Goodison it`s about time he was signed up for another five years ? at least. Pure gold!
Karen Stills, Neston  (15/3/07)

Money!

I couldn't agree more with Trevor's ideas and aspirations for other options than Kirkby (especially the drawings). I imagine on the whole they are reallistic and acheivable designs and options but i think he is missing the point: MONEY!

The club cannot afford to spend anything more than £20M-£30M (estimates) on a new development or stadium. The reason we are looking at Kirkby is for this sole reason only. That is why the only question on this whole debate should be "Do we sacrifice Goodison and the history it owns, or do we bite the hands of those offering a deal which is hugely beneficial to the club which may never be offered again". I still don't know the answer.
Charlie Gofton, Liverpool  (15/3/07)

Er... either or? I think the Club is saying "Yes" to both, while the Keep Everton in Our City group are saying "No" to both! — Michael

Enough!!!!

Is anybody else sick of this 5 years of Moyes crap?

Ok, we are more stable and have much better players, but the football is rubbish, he is tactically very defensive, has the smallest squad known to mankind and hasn't got us close to winning anything. He is a good Premiership manager but that is it. Not god-like, not a genius nor like Fergie as Pip Neville tells us

If he was like the Manc twat we'd have a few exceptional youngsters, attacking football and the odd trophy. Please let this "5 wonderful years" shite end.
John Audsley, Leeds  (15/3/07)

I feared that I was the only one who was sickened by this shite. But it seems a balanced view is simply impossible. Moyes is in many ways no better than mediocre, and in some he is downright shocking. To call him a great manager or "one of the greatest" is simply arrant nonsense. — Michael

I wanna join Tom and Trev's gang - I do

To Trevor and Tom, I?m pretty sure that the majority of fans, and I?ve banged this drum God knows how many times, fully believe that GP can be redeveloped but, being the cynical bastard that I am, I blame years of boardroom bullshit for this state of mind. I still need convincing, please, please convince me, as to how it will be funded.

Trevor?s plans, and I?m talking minimum option for obvious financial and other reasons, still answer none of my original questions and the extended article creates yet another with the statement ?the club isn?t broke?. Our financial reports since I can remember, barring the ?Rooney year,? have shown a loss, not to mention the ?mortgage?. The examples of Man Utd and Newcastle are not, in my opinion, great comparisons as I believe, especially in Man Utd?s case, that at the time the major ground redevelopments took place there was a massive demand for season tickets to tempt the bank manager with.

Tom obviously has a very professional and well thought out approach due to his expertise but I struggle with the self-funding part of any development option proposed by anyone to date. If Tom doesn?t mind, I will ask for his expertise to clarify questions raised by Trevor?s proposal relating to where the necessary funding is to come from.

On the assumption we use the current footprint, we need to increase the capacity to create the necessary revenue, so putting the initial funding, to one side, we can increase the capacity (Park End easiest option?) by 5000-7000 say, and on the assumption we fill it, revenue for phase 2 starts to come in, the initial outlay (£5M-£10M, more?), presumably being added to the aforementioned mortgage. The whole project, even over time, would surely cost in excess of £60M, (Tom?), which will take a long time to self-fund, so we would have to borrow huge amounts or wait a long, long time between phases. Would this additional debt be the straw that breaks our financial back?

Tom advises us that other clubs have managed to build over and under fans without having to close the stands, and I do not doubt this one iota. However, bearing in mind the very close proximity of houses, the inability to work behind the existing stands, besides the dated construction of the Bullens and Gwladys, would this actually be possible?

If not, then the additional capacity is very short-lived meaning no extra revenue, end of. If so, can it be done within a very limited budget, bearing in mind the proposed source of funding, whilst still allowing us to strengthen the team, and would the end result still be a Jade Goody?

Even in stages, with the limitations our location throws up, we need a stadium that not only serves the purpose but one that looks the part and ticks all the boxes of better views, catering, etc, for all of us ? not the few? We won?t get a second crack at it; bigger doesn?t equal better.

I hope Tom comes back with a very positive reply to my ?concerns?, I really want, no ? I really need, to believe we can do this without unrealistic financial burden.
Steve McBride, Liverpool  (15/3/07)

I think those are great questions and concerns, Steve. However much we may want the Club to look at redevelopment or other sites inside the City, this issue of funding MUST be addressed. If it can't be, then Kirkby here we come!!! — Michael

Just a thought...

I was watching Spurs last night against Braga and what a game. But afterwards I thought what if Moyes was managing them? Would players like Berbatov, Defoe, Malbranque, Lennon et al become defence-minded clones like Moyes ? the answer sadly is, yeah probably... Let's hope he saw the game and thought "that was class ? I fancy a crack at that!"

ps: I heard a joke on the radio during the week which explains our investment problem:

"Why didn't Riise get hurt when Bellamy hit him with a golf club?"

"Because it was an Everton Club ? a small club"

Not the way I wanted to start my Monday you can imagine... People see us as a small club and unless Moyes's five year plan can change that nobody's going to be looking to throw money at us....
Declan Critchley, Dublin, Ireland  (15/3/07)

Regarding that gag, Declan ? I've now binned listening to Michael McMullen on Today FM! ;-) ? Colm

Keeping Everton in the City

I have read the articles (via the homepage links) regarding keeping Everton in the city.

I want to keep the stadium where it is but.. and its a big but... it takes a long time now to clear the streets and restore normality to the roads and we only have an average attendance of 37,000. If we could double that, its going to be very difficult to manage the people and the traffic.

Using the example in the second article ? Newcastle. Their stadium is fantastic (or at the least the new parts) from both the inside and outside (apart from the 30 flights of stairs that away fans have to deal with!). However, the parking and logisitics can be a complete nightmare. This season's game at St James, it took us an hour to leave the city.

For me, the stadium has to move. That's sad when you consider our history but it's time for change.
Jamie Rowland, Liverpool  (15/3/07)

RE: Bullshit

Colm,

Nick Harrison was right in being critical of the criticism on this website. Criticism is valid if its purpose is to provoke debate and inspire others to think. It is unjustified if it is merely a biased rant or a means of smart-arse point scoring via pedantry.

By the way, 'forum' is neuter, second declension, so the plural nominative of 'forum' takes an -a ending, i.e. 'fora'. There's no such word as 'forae', in whatever case of the second declension neuter; -ae as an ending only figures in feminine nouns ending in -a.
Phil Bellis, L8  (15/3/07)

Irony duly noted, Phil! - Colm

How great thou art!

David Moyes must be the first manager in the history of the game to be labelled `great` after spending five years winning absolutely nothing! My Thesaurus gives me `brilliant, fabulous, fantastic, first-rate and wonderful` as alternatives to the superlative so loved by our Chairman but try as I may, I cannot attribute these to the Ginger One.

True, he has brought a measure of stability and threatened to trouble the `big` teams on occasions but that`s about it. No cup runs, disgrace in Europe, and a never ending sequence of totally crap football.

So OK,he`s better than most... but GREAT? Never! Our revered Chairman does Everton and the English dictionary a great disservice by using the word!
Ken Irish, Huyton  (15/3/07)

Rebuliding Goodison ? Part 2

OK go for it! However, I'm not getting enough of a sense of insisting that the new/redeveloped ground is kept in North Liverpool. In the end the actual recommendations fall slightly short of that.

With all due respect to South End Blues, Speke is less identifiable with EFC than a definitive North Liverpool area such as Kirkby (which, although outside of the city, is only 4 miles away from Goodison).

If we're to play a heritage/history card then I think we have to abide by it too.
Ravo Stanley, Liverpool  (15/3/07)

Redevelopment: No go

I think everyone here knows that Goodison could be redeveloped, I don't think there's any doubt about that. However, for me, it beggars belief that any fan sees this option as the way forward. I really don't see the point in making a shit ground bigger.

How would we get rid of the obstructed views, the rotten brickwork and the wooden floors without ripping the whole thing down and starting again? In which case, the ground would no longer be the same Goodison and the very thing you're striving to acheieve is lost anyway.

The proposal with the 'sky boxes' was very inventive but I had to chuckle as I read it ? the feasibility of the idea is non-existent. I can't stress enough what, for me (and I suspect many, many others), is one of the most important issues: Goodison CANNOT be redeveloped to be close to matching the standard of the new Anfield. It really can't. Why should we emphasise our inferiority yet again?

I do get the impression that some people would choose Goodison ahead of silverware.
Sean Rothwell, Liverpool  (15/3/07)

Worthy of the Oscars

In over 50 years of reading the I have never, never, never read such sychophantic pap as they turned out yesterday in celebration of their own nominated `St David`s Day`!

Now I know they produce that kind of stomach-churning crap in the Evertonian and Matchday Programme but those are supposed to be organs of the Club whereas the Daily Post and Liverpool Echo are independent publications.

If Kenwright feels it necessary to give `The Greatest Living Manager` a vote of confidence, so be it, but for gawd`s sake spare us all that luvvie theatre-speak which would not be out of place at the Oscars.

He does the name of Everton a great disservice by reducing the Club to a music hall joke with his incestuous outpourings and the Echo defame themselves by publishing it!
Albert Naylor, Roby  (15/3/07)

Albert... meet Richard!

Brothers in Arms

Because of pressure to ensure that everyone has their Council Tax bill on time, I have little opportunity at present to keep abreast of `affairs Everton`. Time, however to say how knocked out I was by Chairman Bill`s tribute to David Moyes on the fifth anniversary of his appointment.

At a time when we read so much of the fragility of relations between Boards and managers ? Chelsea, Man City and even Spurs spring to mind ? we can all take great strength from the fabulous bond that binds Kenwright and Moyes together.

Obviously having chanced upon a genius you hang onto him (try telling that to the Russian!) but there can be no doubt that `our people` are something very special.

My older aquaintances never tire of telling me that Moores and Catterick were a great pair but from all I read they were still very much `master and servant`. Bill and David are very definitely `Brothers in Arms`!
Richard Dodd, Formby  (15/3/07)

Surely "Blood Brothers" would be more appropriate there, Richard? ;-) ? Colm

Goodison Redevelopment

Seems to me that Trevor Skempton knows more about the possibilities of stadia redevelopment than the present Board members. I say co-opt him on to the Board as soon as possible and get him to hammer some sense into the dozy blighters.
Tony Waring, Frogmore, Devon  (15/3/07)

Rebuilding Goodison by Trevor Skempton

This is a great article and one that breathes hope into a topic that has by default become very emotive. To all the Eveton Fans, including myself, the Board, Liverpool City Council and anyone with an interest in this club... sit up and pay attention. It is by far the most compelling argument to date, backed up by some excellent ideas on how we should keep this historic club near the city centre. Let's take these proposals further and get Liverpool City Council and other investors such as Peel Holdings to the table. Good work Trevor... you know your history!
Patrick Duffy, Bournemouth  (15/3/07)

FAO: Tom Hughes

Tom; I very much enjoyed reading your plans and thoughts on rebuilding goodison. Thankyou for taking the time out to create such a document.

Schematics, reconstruction, property purchasing, ground demotolitions aside, one question that keeps popping up that even seems to be overlooked is...

Where is the Cash coming from and by Whom?

You have no costs analysis, which I was under the illusion was part of any proposal or any initial project scope.

Surely with all your experiences and expertise you could at least rough guess on figures as I am sure you have had countless meetings with architects, construction companies, etc.

I just feel if there was some financial clout in your document it may have opened up a few more eyes to your idea.

I think so many people are focussed on Kirkby because, even if clear motives are not public, what is clear is that Tesco would be building it, and we would have the keys to a new stadium at minimul cost for us.

I think the question of redeveloping Goodison Park in a safe and timely manner is not the underlying concern with Evertonians,

I think it's the Cash!
Martin Roberts, Merseyside  (15/03/07)

Trevor Skempton and Tom Hughes

I noted in the second of Trevor Skempton?s articles the reference to him being the City Architect in Newcastle. I was a resident of Newcastle in the late 70s early 80s during the redevelopment of the city centre and riverside areas there which kept much of the historic city centre intact while producing modern shopping facilities. At the same time, the Liverpool City Council was tearing the heart out of Liverpool City Centre by demolishing its historic buildings to build ugly modern shopping malls and demolishing the local communities to build the much opposed and finally scrapped ring road.

If you were involved in that redevelopment of Newcastle, Trevor, then job well done, mate.

Sounds like Trevor and Tom should get together on this stadium issue, one being an experienced City Architect and the other an experienced Structural Design Engineer, at least they should share their passionate views over a pint, all?s that?s missing is an investment banker to fund their proposals.

Trevor?s view is the Goodison redevelopment can be self-funding with increased revenues through increased capacities, which is good in theory but we have to go further into debt to achieve this. So the increased revenue will be used to service and repay that debt. My question is then where does the extra money for improving the playing squad come from as the point of having the increased revenues from a new, or redeveloped, stadium is to put the money back into the team isn?t it?

And over what time period would this redevelopment be?
Eric Myles, Pattaya, Thailand  (15/3/07)

A different viewpoint on the stadium discussion

I had the good fortune to attend a four-day coaching course on "The Everton Way" in February. As an Evertonian, this was a fantastic glimpse into the inner workings of the club, particularly the academy, while also allowing me the opportunity to meet players and staff and visit Netherton, Bellefield and Goodison. As an aside I was extremely impressed by the professionalism displayed by the club in all areas and it made me feel, as an Evertonian, that as much as possible is being done to make us the best we can be under current ownership (however, I was left in no doubt that major investment would not go amiss).

During the weekend, something occured to me which shed some light on the ground move issue. It quickly became clear to me how a club's stadium is not as big a factor to the club itself as it is to the fans. While to us, Goodison is Everton and Everton are Goodison, to the club and those involved it is little more than a place people can come to watch and support the team once every 2/3 weeks. Yes of course they know the history and appreciate the old lady as much as we do but their hard work occurs at the training ground and at the academy and only rarely do they visit Goodison that is ? for the first team to play, eg, once this month versus Arsenal. To them a shiny new stadium means more money because it means more fans but I don't think they associate the club that closely with the stadium and for this reason are not as wrapped up in the sentimentality being displayed by many fans.

While I am not sure which way to jump on the stadium issue myself, I hope I have managed to provide some insight into how a stadium has little association with the everyday runnings of a professional club and may be viewed differently from those on the inside as it is to the fans.
Richard Williams, Danbury, USA  (14/03/07)

Re: Tom Hughes

Tom 1 ? Eileen 0. I don't know either of these fellow blues but is Eileen Kenwright's love-child as they both have the ability to refuse to see the disaster this move will is. It it will make Davy's swoop for Beattie seem like good business.
Roy Coyne, Old Swan  (15/3/07)

Back To The Future

Seeing that we were the first club in Liverpool and we played at Anfield, why dont we pay a nominal fee for our old stamping ground? Turn our surrogate mother Goodison into our own multistorey carpark. Rename Anfield, sit back and smell the coffee. Job Done!

Remember this ? you can pull a blue shirt on anywhere in the world and you are a Blue. That honour can never be taken away and never lost ? as our identity can never be diminished.
Tony Kellaher, Wales  (14/3/07)

Ah, that helps a lot with the Rooney conundrum. It had me stumped for the longest time but, thanks to your lucid explanation, I have finally figured it out: "Once a Blue, Always a Blue... while you are wearing a blue shirt." Brilliant! Now I geddit.

Oh, and the plan for the glorious regeneration of North Liverpool calls for Anfield to be torn down and converted into something or other... a coummunity vegetable garden was it? — Michael

Feasibility studies?

Ok, I'll bite.

How come Eileen Roberts is so desperate to see my feasibility study and yet accepts without question and even espouses Tesco's without ever seeing it? Why isn't she demanding to find out why this club must move out of the city, what's in it for Tesco's and what effect it might have on our club and it's status in the city?

Why doesn't she desperately want to know how just 3-5000/hr maximum public transport capacity is going to perform in getting her fellow Evertonians to Kirkby, when she complains that the current 30,000+/hr capacity and more central Walton is too congested for her. It's quite a shortfall don't you think (10:1)?

I'll tell you why... because she has already made her mind up, she has probably already done the practice run from her distant scouse colony, over the bridge, down the expressway and M57 and avoided entering the dreaded city she regularly fills with exhaust fumes, and quite frankly her heart is set on it. I bet secretly you would have preferred Cronton though!!!

Firstly, I should correct you. I have produced a concept design based on the current site, it was produced by a sightline modeller. It was initially one of a series of designs that were produced over 8 years ago with the final design exhibited and appearing in various university engineering publications and also the Liverpool Echo. It was supported by a 50,000+ word validation report covering the design process etc. However, the exhibited design and model is not the one I am currently revamping. This one is currently being drafted up, and having an outline design assessment. I decided to do this because so many people were dismissing out of hand the possibility of fitting 50k+ seats on the current site.

Ironically, only last week Keith Wyness agreed that it was indeed possible, further disproving lazy ill-informed assertions, so I could have saved myself a job. I also have a preliminary outline design commissioned by John Moores himself in the late 70s, this involves creating four structures of similar proportions to the Goodison Road side and was produced by Littlewoods design department.

My Background is design engineering working for a large construction company on structural/mechanical design projects mainly for the rail industry. I also specialised in stadium design at University. One of the major jobs I worked on was the initial structural and system design for Merseytram, during which I was privy to much of the transport and traffic feasibility studies. (Incidentally, I have never been responsible for a single traffic cone as you previously stated).

Being based in Kirkby for over 6 years, I managed to negotiate that commute from south Liverpool via car, bus, train or bike and am completely familiar with the proposed site and all the transport links into Liverpool.

To explain another issue that troubled you about me... before all that I was an Engineer officer in the Merchant Navy; I have recently returned to this engineering discipline hence your previous confusion about my habitation of the North Sea... so at this point you'll understand I'll not wish to confuse you further with sightlines and c-values, plan views and Cross sections when, at the end of the day in your entrenched view we can't EVER afford it, and/or Kirkby's a lovely run in the car.

In the meantime, feel free to not take me seriously.
Tom Hughes, Liverpool  (14/3/07)

Back of the net, Tom! ? Colm

Bullshit

"I'm sure we're not alone in accusing Our Venerable Leader of bullshitting... are we?" ? Michael

Perhaps not but this seems to be the most anti-Moyes/over-cynical website that Evertonians grace. At least in my experience. When first reading this mailbag and the replies from the editors, it was a bit of a shock for me that people could actually criticise Moyes so much. The majority of my circle of friends are pro-Moyes, and I suspect Bill is indeed right in his assertion.
Nick Harrison, Liverpool  (14/3/07)

Speaking as one of those editors, I place myself, still, in the category still eager and keen to see Moyes proving his disssenters wrong. Don't get me wrong, I've been as aghast as many's a Blue who sees nothing but hell and eternal damnation for the way we've played at times this season ? but I reconcile that by asking who out there could do a better job than Moyes with this squad and I'm stuck. End of.

I want Moyes to return to the manager he was when first arriving at Goodison. I still believe it possible. His choice of substitution the other week when we played Tottenham at home was one of those decisions that, in time to come, could've proven to be pivotal - a defining moment. I recall Barry Horne, doing commentary, saying as much at the time. For Moyes's sake, I hope that does not occur - as I genuinely would love to see him being the man to return us to glory. I admit, freely, that I do not say that with the greatest of belief, having witnessed more than ehough turgid football this season. Moyes knows he can do better and I for one am prepared to give him the benefit of doubt for now ? with a reminder that there's only so much shit football you can watch in the name of our beloved Everton.

For what little it's worth, as a reader of other forae and websites, it amazes me how many posts this website gets when deemed overly critical of Kenwright's regime. Do you not read other forae at all, or are you selective when it comes to criticism? - Colm

Speaking as another one of them there editors, I ignore the characterizations you may wish to use to label us. But what I do know is this: we have a pretty low tolerance level for bullshit when we see it, and that increasingly sets us apart from sites like evertonfc.com and icliverpool.com, which will quite happily and unquestioningly publish any old tripe they think the gulible Everton fans will swallow. If questioning such pap and platitudes makes us cynical, so be it. That's part of the reason why this is called an independent Everton website, and not an "unofficial" Everton website. Think about it. — Michael

Reply to Claringbold

Steve, where in my post do I advocate that Moyes should be sacked? I stated that if Moyes was not here it would be because his plan was not working, I am no lover of his style of play but I am not stupid enough to think sacking him at this stage would be a good move.

You quote some of the players he has bought and the incorrect statement that we qualified for the Champions League under his five-year tenure as progress. You fail to mention though, the signing of Beattie and others who have failed to make the grade. I am of the opinion that Moyes should concentrate on the team and not be putting together management plans, that job is for Wyness and Co surely.

So after 5 years we are still no closer to winning anything and annually go out of every cup competition at the early stages ? if that is progress then you can keep it. I pay the best part of £800 per season for me and my lad's season tickets and quite frankly feel agrieved when I watch some of the football we churn out. Read my post again before misquoting me.

And Michael, you where correct to point out that name calling is futile and pointless, I apologise for that. I am prone to kneejerks now and again but it is because I love this club and they frustrate the life out of me. Keep up the good work and here's to a good performance against the Arse.
Dave Lynch, Merseyside  (14/3/07)

Apology accepted and sentiment agreed: seems like a bloody age since we played... who did we play last? It was that memorable... ? Michael

A veiled reference to 'ToffeeWeb', Bill?

"Of course, there will always be the small minority who say you are bullshitting and those who disagree with you. They have a right to have a voice. But, I also believe that the majority of Evertonians feel deep down that he is the right man." ? Bill Kenwright in his interview with Dominic King.
Richard Williams, Danbury, USA  (14/3/07)

I'm sure we're not alone in accusing Our Venerable Leader of bullshitting... are we? ? Michael

Considering that Bill's on record as being highly economical - and forgetful - with the truth, before shareholders, at AGM's, I wouldn't overly worry whether or not it was a back handed acknowledgement from He Who Seeks Investment 24/7. - Colm

Dear Tom Hughes

As you seem to know so much about how to redevelop Stadia while people are still watching footy in 'em , why don't you respond to my request from a few weeks ago to let us all have a look at the 'Feasability Study' you professed to have done on redeveloping Goodison?

I'm sure we would all be fascinated to see it and, who knows, I for one might take you more seriously!
Eileen Roberts, Runcorn  (14/3/07)

Bet you still wouldn't believe him, Eileen - even if he proved, beyond all reasonable doubt, that Goodison, amongst other sites, could indeed be redeveloped to suit the modern day needs of Bill Kernwright and Keith Wyness' vision of their Everton FC. - Colm

Response to Trevor Skempton

Irrespective of the physical practicalities of the redevelopment:-

  • How much will be cost?
  • How will it be funded?
Until those two questions are answered, we cannot feasibly compare the options.
Mike Benjamin, Leigh  (14/3/07)

Rebuilding Goodison

Great idea mate. But, err... where is the money coming from? Castles (or Stadia) built in the air are just figments of the imagination. I am getting tired of this debate because there are just too many people who will just not accept what the REAL options are and keep trying to insert pipe dreams into the equation. I'm just going to sit back and see what develops. Sod it.

ps If we redevelop Goodison, where is Tesco going to go? They're paying for the bloody thing!
Eileen Roberts, Runcorn  (14/3/07)

The Devil's In The Detail

So there's a few crack's starting to appear across the park once the euphoria of the Yankee takeover has started to die down. It seems the majority of the 'self-funding' package is in fact not that at all, with £300M being borrowed from the RBS bank, with annual interest payments of £21M.

So much for Parry and Moores (have you ever seen two more miserable sods) saying they ditched the fake Sheik because their American Cousins had the 'best interests' of the club at heart. This coupled with the fact that they are now reviewing the new ground plans and a 'temporary' halt has been placed on the start date makes me even more convinced you have to be absolutely sure of the people you get into bed with these days.

I would laugh my socks off if they have to re-apply for planning permission to enlarge their plans from the original footprint of 60,000 capacity. Now Rafa has demanded 'showdown' talks with the 'folks' to make sure there going to put their money where their mouth really is.

Don't think I'll sleep tonight...
Steve Hogan, Chester  (14/3/07)

JJB

Now all this JJB lark, rightly or wrongly, doesn't concern me but been I've in town today and.......

The JJB next to the Liverpool megastore has got the standard underwhelming Everton display in half the window (the window next to the megastore as it happens). All about 2 foot back from the glass, an AJ cut-out, few shirts etc. Actually stuck on the inside of the window infront of the Everton gear is a poster with Steven Gerrard on it, advertising their new strip!

Surely that's wrong?! Are the club just counting the money thats come in and not even arsed what JJB do? Quite simply, it just looks pathetic.
Mick Barnes, Liverpool  (14/3/07)

Subtle market positioning... Everton, behind Liverpool?

The Interview

I have just read King's interview of Kenwright. At the end of it he asks if there is any comments, so I e.mailed him and told him it was the biggest load of crap that I had ever read about Everton Football Club, and that Kenwright was a crap dishonest Chairman and, in my eyes, bloody idiotic. I couldn't be fairer than that now, could I?
Colin Potter, Liverpool  (14/3/07)

And we complain when they call us "drunken Evertonian knobheads"???

Trevor Skempton's article

No doubt your article is well researched and the proposed designs are technically feasible, even though you lost me in some of the detail, but back on Planet Earth, there is a distinct shortage of cash when it comes to rebuilding the stadium. I don't see that extra revenue through the gates (including 8,000 new season ticketholders!) would ever pay for the costs of such developments.

I'm afraid, short of some benefactor pumping an inordinate amount of money upfront into the club, the only way we'll get a new, updated stadium is by jumping into bed with Tescos. I don't like it but anything else is just a pipe-dream in the current climate.
Ray Robinson, Warrington  (14/3/07)

Man City Res vs Everton Res

Just thought i'd give my honest opinion on the reserve game the other night seeing as there were so few Everton fans there.

I felt it was a very poor performance where the midfeild looked non-exsitent, especially in the second half, which led to the crumbling of the Everton defence as no one seemed to know what they were doing. Sadly, I did not see any real positives from the game except maybe that Vaughan was lively and Anichebe came close with a few efforts

ps: if you ever decide to go to a Man City reserve game, take your own food, unless of course you don't mind being ripped off more than at a Premeriship game...
Chip Campion, Manchester  (14/3/07)

New Location

The Liverpool Franchise's new owners have held up work on the new Onion Patch to look at increasing the crowd capacity. In view of the need to submit a new planning application, which will again be highly contested, why not give them the opertunity to move out to Kirkby or even Stravanger to build a super Onion Patch?

There's planning permission to build a 60000 seater stadium in Stanley Park. Anyone Intersted?
Chris Rawsthorne, Liverpool  (14/3/07)

Lee Carsley

Paul Murphy, are you comparing Carsley to Makelele? Have you ever seen either play? Makelele is an example of a defensive midfielder; Carsley is not.

It is true that a defensive midfielder is an important part of playing 4-5-1 boring football but as a footballer he should be able to pass the ball, read the game and not cause injury to one of his own players during a game. If he is so good, why were we trying to offload him at the start of the season and why were Wolves the only club linked with him?
Alan Clarke, Manchester  (14/3/07)

Trying to offload him? Where d'ja get that from?

Response to Jim Hourigan

Jim says: "Similarly, the idea that people could continue using a building whilst someone builds above their heads would evoke a fascinating discussion with the Health & Safety Executive."

Many examples of this, Jim. Ipswich built both end stands and had lower tiers in operation while upper tiers were completed. Glasgow Rangers built a whole new stand above their existing Leitch mainstand (which similarly has wooden floors)...... and to be honest the list is endless. If the Park End was the first stand to be redeveloped, the capacity need never fall significantly below the current capacity, as was achieved with the Ipswich example.
Tom Hughes, Liverpool  (14/3/07)

How many teams have redeveloped their grounds?

Grant Holdernes asks..... Only, the vast majority! The apparently impossible option for EFC is still by far the most common solution adopted by football clubs, but don't let that get in the way of an entrenched opinion. Conversely there are some high-profile examples of clubs moving and regretting it bigtime. Kirkby really isn't the simple no-brainer option some are painting, even if it's a freeby, which you can be certain it will not be.
Tom Hughes, Liverpool  (14/3/07)

A steward not the King

Kenwright has achieved what exactly over the last 10 years or so?

He has floated under the radar, borrowed money from banks and institutions that we cannot afford to pay back and had a few nice words from the manger? this is hardly the leadership qualities and achievements we had come to expect from a Chairman.

True leadership would have been to understand that he is and has been a steward of the club without money or influence and that his goal was and is to give up the chair to a worthy successor. Instead, he believed in his own dream and ego so much that the house fell down around him and now he has to sell all of his family silverware. Only ego and selfishness keeps him in power while the rest of us look sadly on.

It may be better for Bill to leave via the front door a few quid lighter than stuff your pockets full of the club's money and leg it out of the backdoor.
John Cribb, Liverpool  (14/3/07)

Some interesting thoughts there, John. Manipulation of club money being perhaps of concern to some.

Fact is, other than the purchase of Peter Johnson's shares 7 years ago (money which was not invested in the club but went to Agent Johnson as a 'reward' for his 'stewardship'), there is no indication that Bill Kenwright CBE has either injected money into or taken money out of the club.

With the club continuing it's painfully slow rise from the ashes of the mid-nineties, when we really were shit in many ways (but managed to win a tin pot nevertheless), it's hard to equate what we currently see before us with what you describe as Bill's house falling down around him and him having to sell all of his family silverware. The financial position of the club is not great but surely a case can be made for it having improved over the last five years ? surely you would agree with that?

As for Bill having options regarding the financial structuring of his departure (hardly imminent, IMHO), it would again come down to an issue of selling his shares to a new owner, and for what price. I really don't think stuffing his pockets full of the club's money is even an option. I do hope someone who knows how he could do that and get away with it would be so kind as to share that knowledge with us... ? Michael

Kenwright

Bill Kenwright in his praise for Moyes and his ideology surrounding Everton FC is as delusional as Tony Blair. I've had enough of this 'unreal' world in which they live and am no longer going to support the team I have followed for so long ? this is it as far as I'm concerned.
Ian Ross, Stoke  (14/3/07)

Hmmm... I don't think that's your real name, is it? It would be a pity if your choice of psuedonym were to detract somewhat from the message you seek to convey... we wouldn't want that, now, would we? Which is one of the reasons why we like respondents to use their real names... But thanks anyway. — Michael

Rebuilding Goodison ? Almost, but not quite

It was interesting to read an ?option? that didn?t just involve the ?Eearr, there?s a bit of land, just build a 55,000 seater stadium there? philosophy but even this leaves a lot of questions for me.

If I were to sit down with you, Trevor and play Devil?s Advocate, as I would dearly love to stay put, I would ask the following questions based on the thought that prompts it (which is shown, T below). This is what I would want clarifying for me to ?buy? into it.

Q Over what timescale would this ?minimum option? be carried out?

T I would think we are looking at a minimum 6 years.

Q Why do you feel this would trigger a sufficient surge in season tickets to fund this directly?

T Season ticket sales are pretty much at maximum demand now and the revenue is already collateral for our ?mortgage?.

Q Presuming the additional attendance is required to fund each phase, either in whole or part, how do you envisage maintaining a 48,000 capacity throughout the project?

T Each stand under construction would have to be closed during construction (18-24 months?).

Q How would the sky boxes be supported in a roof structure, needing to be extremely strong to accommodate the catering and other facilities also required, within the footprint of the current structure without losing space?

T I would think that the current make-up of, particularly the Bullens Road, would require a significant structure, a la The Kop (?scuse my French), to provide enough strength to accommodate the weight, the foundation of which would need to go either backwards into the street or at the ends affecting Gwladys Street.

Q $64,000 question: Would we be proud of it?

T My mind?s eye says this will be the Jade Goody of football stadia, you can spend a load of money trying to improve different parts but the whole package still looks like a bag of shit.

If we were to get the opportunity to remain at Goodison, I would sooner leave it as it is, full of olde worlde charm and character, than desecrate it with a monstrosity of mish-mash ?progress?. If we are to redevelop GP, it must be of a standard worthy of it and a source of pride for the future generations.

If fans (sorry for talking on behalf of everyone there), are to lose their usual place of many years, while work is in progress, they don?t want to come back after 18 months, or probably much more, and see they?ve been inconvenienced for the same crappy facilities in the Upper Gwladys while the ?have?s? tower above them and reap the benefits, even if it does mean staying at GP.

Yes, we need the money they may pay but you need to take the everyday Blue along on the ride too ?cos we already feel neglected as far as this club is concerned and that may be the final confirmation needed to say "Stick it up your arse, Bill". Sorry mate
Steve McBride, Liverpool  (14/3/07)

Terraces

Just read this on the BBC website.

It says that, in a poll, 90% of fans favour a return to some standing areas in grounds and point to some German clubs as an example. Not that we want to learn from the Germans!! But after a couple of posts previously regarding redevelopment of GP, could this be an interesting alternative to increase GP capacity? EFC at the cutting edge, as I think was mentioned in a previous post.
Paul Smith, West Sussex  (14/3/07)

Working 24/7

To all those who doubt our Chairman`s claim to work 24/7 to locate investers in Everton FC comes the news that he is currently moving amongst `the richest people in the nation` as one of the guests at pal Sir Philip Green`s 55th birthday bash.

Bill is reported to have been on one of the two private jets which flew guests to Mali yesterday and then onwards to the exclusive resort of Soneva Fusi. The travel bill alone is expected to reach £4M with security costing over £100,000! Sir Phil is said to be going all out to beat the £5M he blew on his 50th birthday celebration and is relying on Bill to organise the cabaret. So far he has lined up George Michael (at £750,000 an hour including commission!) as well as Beyonce and Ricky Martin.

The party will return well in time for Bill to attend the game against Arsenal when I am sure he will regale Boardroom guests with news of all the potential investers he has lined up. Who said the Fortress Fund was a myth?
Brian Noble, Ince Blundell  (14/3/07)

Rebuilding Goodison

I'm sure the ideas given in the rebuilding Goodison article are well intentioned but I fail to see how it would all work.

The "sky boxes" are to be part of a new roof and these will remove some obstructed views. Can I ask how? Surely the only way to remove the various stancions is to build a cantilever stand which can't be done without demolishing the current one.

Additionally, you're building something over a stand that still has a large amount of the original wooden structure. I'm no engineer but it doesn't seem logical.

The later suggestions still involve demolishing houses and the cost of buying them in the first place. House prices, even in the Walton area, have increased dramatically in recent years so you'd be looking at around £100k each (today - what will the cost be in the future?) so you can see the cost of just buying up the houses. Add to this the likely delays in buying them, possibly inquiries etc. and it doesn't look too practical.

My final point is the suggested sites in Liverpool. If Warren Bradley has suggestions, can he not tell us (or give indications) or are the details so commercially sensitive that they cannot be revealed?

I don't care where we are (apart from Johnson's suggestions of the outskirts of Widnes) as long as there's still an Everton in the top flight. It doesn't matter where we play ? it will have no impact on true supporters attending games and passing this on to future generations.
Stephen Linden, Liverpool  (14/3/07)

Five year plan leaked

Managed to get my hands on Moyes? five year plan. See extract below:

  • Buy more defenders
  • Finally turn all attack-minded players into defence-minded players
  • Pay-lip service to, but get knocked out of, FA and Carling Cups (preferably early)
  • Ensure players ease off if we are close to qualifying for Europe so we don?t have to pay their bonuses (Every little helps!)
  • Never let Vaughan get a game (ever)
  • Sign Pistone and Naysmith to contracts for the rest of their lives
  • Encourage strikers to be more like Beattie and not score from open play for over a year
  • Run competition where the person who goes the longest without gets to be captain
  • Be more dour
  • Get some of Bill?s DNA cryogenically frozen in case he dies so he can be Chairman forever
  • Propose to Bill (it has been five years after all?)
So it looks like more of the same for a while anyway?
Declan Critchley, Dublin, Ireland  (14/3/07)

Love in

I could have cried last night seeing Liverpool's new ground being hailed as the centrepiece of the regenaration of North Liverpool. Meanwhile Moyes and Kenwright have embarked on a vomit inducing 'love in' (see the Echo).

Rome's burning ? put that bastard fiddle away!
Andy Lynch, London  (14/3/07)

Questions for Questions

I can't believe all this bollocks that I'm reading:

  1. Redevelop Goodison? ? Who pays?
  2. Outside the City? ? Were we formed in the 'City'?
  3. Moyes out? ? Who's in?

Lee Spargo, Wallasey  (14/3/07)

New Arrivals

There's enough being said about the stadium debate at the moment, and our style of play ? but what about the key positions on the pitch which need improving? For me, I think Arteta, Cahill, Lescott, Neville, Johnson and Howard have transformed us into a top 8 side without a doubt. Another 2 or 3 quality signings and I can see us competing with the top 6 sides and that should be our target for next season (a cup run would be welcome as well but I'm not holding my breath!!).

How about Nugent, Sidwell or Frenandes (if we can afford him) and Pederson? Unfortunately, I think Beattie's time is up and Wright, and Pistone also need to go. We might also need a bit of extra defensive cover.

I think Moyes has improved our squad year on year, and whilst I would like to see a more attacking and passing style of football, I have little doubt he is the right man to continue the steady progress being made on and off the pitch.

I'll leave the stadium debate for another day...
Daniel Barton, Wimbledon  (14/3/07)

I live in Hope!

I'm encouraged by the report of the meeting at The Casa and especially the comments by Warren Bradley. Many other Blues will have received the same e.mail reply, as I did, from Warren Bradley stating his wish to keep EFC within the city. He has offered to meet the Everton Board of Directors but, so far as I am aware, no such meeting has taken place.

WB has not ruled out the possibility of redeveloping Goodison and, since we cannot fund a new stadium, why can't this be an option? I don't care if it takes 10 years ? it's better than leaving the city to the other lot.
Alan Rodgers, Blackpool  (14/3/07)

Response to 'Redeveloping Goodison'

I've yet to read a valid proposal regarding the re-develpment of Gooidon Park, so it was with great anticipation that I read Trevor Skempton's article... I'm still waiting for one!

While I agree with several of Trevor's ideas and the underlying principle that we should build the new/redeveloped ground on our own terms, I fail to see how this is possible. How do you redevelop a ground that is still in use? Close and re-develop a stand at a time for four years and lose millions in revenue? Close GP down for a year and play our home games at Prenton Park?

How many teams have redeveloped their grounds in recent years? Fulham spent a season playing at Loftus Road and only managed to give Craven Cottage a lick of paint! I would love nothing more than to see a state-of-the-art 55,000 stadium in GP's place, but I simply don't see how it is possible ? nor does anyone else by the sound of it. I'm sick of all the blues moaning about Kirby and insisting we stay at GP when they have absolutley no idea how this will ever be possible.
Grant Holderness, Berkshire  (14/3/07)

Rebuilding Goodison

What a fascinating article! It's appealing and offers ideas in abundance which all have the ring of logic and (some might argue) truth.

I can only talk from the perspective of a new build where I work costing only a few million pounds. My discussions with architects and planners made it abundantly clear that extension rather than new build is fraught with problems. Not least additional costs as well as safety requirements. To sort out all the access issues for users, builders etc. working to some very draconian Health & Safety legislation meant that it was a complete non-starter. I am able to get a new build of a significantly larger size, with better materials for the same price. Regulations relating to extensions and energy conservation alone took well over £200k out of the budget. I don't know if the same regulations apply to a stadium but I strongly think they do.

Similarly, the idea that people could continue using a building whilst someone builds above their heads would evoke a fascinating discussion with the Health & Safety Executive. Similarly to start building below whilst still using the building would be an interesting debate. Many of the other suggestions have questions that my, albeit limited, but recent experience would throw up.

The idea of rebuilding Goodison is appealing to many, but what concerns me is the apparently unrealistic solutions being put forward ? or perhaps they are not unrealistic, it's just my lack of understanding. Whichever, I would like some bona fide planner and H&S Executive that is neither Blue (nor Red) nor biased to put their realistic knowledge on the table. As I said previously, we are in danger of becoming polarised unless we have the correct information on which to form opinions and views.
Jim Hourigan, Preston  (14/3/07)

Colin Harvey, Colin Harvey.......

.....So good I had to sign the petition twice.
Ryan Jones, Preston  (14/3/07)

Hehehe...

Tesco ? better option?

Whilst I am aware that you do not tolerate too much mention of `other` clubs, I do think it pertinent to mention that the Everton Board no longer have a monopoly on dissembling to supporters.

At the Press conference to announce their takeover of Liverpool, Messrs Gillett and Hicks clearly stated that the funds for the purchase would come from their own resources. Today, The Guardian reveals that they are,in fact, borrowing the money from RSB and although they will guarantee the debt, interest payments in the order of £21.3M PER ANNUM will have to be found by the club.

All those Evertonians clamouring for a `White Knight` to take over our Club should realise that there would be a heavy price to pay. Perhaps, after all, the Tesco deal is a better option!
Seb St Clare, Harrogate  (14/3/07)

So long, and thanks for all the fish

As it looks like we will be on our way from Goodison in the near future, whether we like it or not, I?ve decided that we should leave our mark. Firstly, we should wait for Anfield to be demolished then either (a) build the biggest set of public toilet cubicles (french style as well) in western Europe in its place; or (b) if that is not acceptable build a nice big car park over it because when Goodison is finally vacated I suspect it will be very likely that Liverpool FC will inflict the ultimate humiliation on the place and do something similar.

One last thing? how many seasons of mid-table finishes is going to be acceptable to all those fans who think Moyes is doing a good job? I?m not having a go at anyone here, I?m just genuinely interested to know. After how many seasons will they start to expect a bit more, or will they be eternally happy with it because after all, we aren?t one of the Big Four and apparently we should know our place.
Iain McWilliam, Reading  (14/3/07)

Meeting

Does anyone know at ToffeeWeb if someone came on behalf of the club to the meeting?
Brian Waring, Wokingham  (14/3/07)

No.

Dinosaur's Graveyard

A move to the Tesco Trolley Dash Arena will, if it goes ahead, be the final nail in the coffin of Everton Football Club. We already have the coffin lid being firmly shut with both Wyness and Kenwright holding a nail gun in each hand.

At first, I wasn't sure how to feel but now I am dead against the move and so is every one else I know. It is a disaster waiting to happen a big 10 on the Richter scale. To make things even more hard to take, last night's Liverpool Echo had front page headlines and an artists impression all about the new Anfield and how wonderfull it's going to be for the city. Who needs Everton FC when the Reds are building a futuristic new stadium the envy of the world?

The back pages contained details of another Moyes 5 year plan (What happened to the first?) and his blueprint for our future and the things we need to do to move the club forward. Thanks a bunch, Davey, I am still waiting for the results from your first effort.

It's always been hard supporting Everton; ever since the start of the 70s its been tough. Even when we were brilliant in the 80s it all went tits up for one reason or another but now it so painfull I can hardly take anymore. What will be the point of moving to a concrete bowl in the middle of nowhere with a clueless chairman a cluless manager and a team playing football that no one wants to watch? It's bad enough now and we are slap bang in the middle of the city. Imagine it when we are the outcasts of the city because that's what we will be.

Left to die on some trolley depot wasteland in a northern Milton Keynes-type horror-story while another 20,000 fans turn up at Speke Airport for the next Liverpool home game. Meanwhile some of the most guillible fans on the planet will tell you things are great because we haven't been relegated and Moyes is a better manager than Smith.

If we do move to Milton Kirkby, I will still have to go the game but rather than enjoying the experience it will be like visiting a terminally ill favourite Auntie in the hospital. Every time you turn up, things are getting worse and the grapes and Malteesers arent doing the trick any more but you pretend things are fine anyway. The doctor wants to talk about a 5-year plan and how he sees the future panning out. I am already making arrangements for the funeral.
Tony Marsh, Liverpool  (14/3/07)

Re: Clearout

I'm bored of the Kirkby debate now until something new happens, so back to the re-signing of Carsley. Incidentally, let's not get knocked out of the cup in the 3rd round next year: pride aside, it makes February and March fucking boring!

I still reject the idea that we should stage a clearout at the end of the season. I actually think the likes of Pistone, Naysmith, Van Der Meyde, Carsley and Stubbs are solid Premiership players (injuries aside) and at this point in time ? that's AT THIS POINT IN TIME ? our focus should be on investing in the first team which still lacks quality in several positions (full-backs, wingers) rather than spending limited money on speculative investments in squad players of dubious quality to replace those we already have and can mostly rely on (assessments of ability to ever be fit of course being a reservation). Not to say we should keep EVERYONE. For me Beattie should be auctioned and Wright is a costly (should be) third-choice 'keeper. But the core of solid pros should be retained to plug the gaps.

As for the debate regarding Carsley and Moyes's loyalty to him, personally I agree that his ball retention is shocking but come Sunday you can guarentee he'll be the man getting in Arsenal's way as they try to pass their way through the middle of our defence, as he has done all season. Of course we need to find a younger more cultured version but until we do so I reckon Carsley is worth one more year, even if he he ceases to be first-choice. Shipping him out will bring in no money and leave us needing a younger version immediately and someone to cover for the younger version.
John Holmes, York  (14/3/07)

Colin Harvey Petition

Did you know there is a petition on the PM's website for Colin Harvey to receive an MBE? It's been set up by a Louis Platt and needs to be signed by 9th September 2007. It's for recognition of his services to Everton Football Club.
Mark Joseph, West Lancs  (14/3/07)

You've been Noah'd (see below!) No harm done in mentioning it twice, I suppose! ? Colm

EVERTON SUPPORTERS LAUNCH KEEP EVERTON IN OUR CITY

What constitutes a "significant" number of supporters? I personally know very few who oppose this move. The vast majority of Evertonians, of my aquaintance, are strongly for the proposed move.

The City council shafted us over the King's Dock. Now we want to go, they suddenly start to panic. Well Boo Hoo! Their deplorable record of bending over for the Pinkies for years is dispicable and only lots of cold hard cash should be considered by us now.

We are long past the time for this emotional claptrap. Get real.
Max Biaggi, Northern Ireland  (14/3/07)

Small circle of friends you've got there Max, if you believe most are in favour of this proposed move. You claim that the City Council shafted us over the King's Dock fiasco? What about Bill's "ringfenced" money, our end of the deal? Even when Gregg offered the reverse mortgage Kenwright chose otherwise. Where are we now with this deal with Tesco? Blame the Council all you like, I'll point a finger closer to home.

Warren Bradley has now twice countered claims from within Everton, placing his head on the block should he be proven to be telling lies. Everton's response? Silence. Bradley claims there's a number of sites with potential within the City, one with potential commercial backers. Why have Everton not pursued all avenues? Emotional claptrap? We'll see... ? Colm

I'm a believer...

...of Trevor Skempton's redevelopment plans that is.

I'd rather stay at a gradually rejuvenated Goodison, even if that means at the short run a little less money to buy all these great players who are waiting just outside the gates to join this great club.

I do understand that Tesco offers us an option that in the short run is risk-free, a cheap ticket to a better stadium. But I just can't see their ideas matching the plans Mr Skempton presented to us. In the long run, the Trevor way will give us more glory.

Oh, and I for one am also one to think that the slight decrease in attendances is only temporary. I do believe that in time, attendances all over the country will rise again. In a modern Goodison, Everton would and should be able to attract 50,000 or so in an average mid-table season. If we get back where we belong, I don't think 72,000 is ridiculous.

Reading his plans made my stomach tickle in the good way. Now I only have to wait 'til Kirkby gets the green light. Oh well. I for one will be going anyway. COYB!
Erik Dols, Maastricht, The Netherlands  (14/3/07)

Out of City

I read the article about fans being disgruntled about moving out of the city limits. I am a born scouser, exiled to south Manchester and a true Blue.

Frankly anyone who still sees Kirkby as "out of the city", whilst technically correct, is being a bit obtuse. If our club is to survive and prosper we all agree we need to improve our facilities and most of us would agree that it is unlikely to be possible at Goodison ? and would we want to, with the reds being ever closer at Stanley Park?

Liverpool ? the city ? to all intents and purposes covers a huge area, encompassing what used to be consoidered to be outlying towns. Only diehard "city" dwellers can distinguish the difference.

I know Man Utd are ribbed for not being in Manchester, but does anyone seriously care if they are in Salford/Stretford or anywhere else? They are considered to be "from Manchester". If we are to improve as a club, we really must embrace change ? even if it is painful.

Regards, The Rev Angry
Simon Walker, New Mills  (14/3/07)

Change is most definitely needed. I'd start with those in charge! ? Colm

Rubbish out!!

We have a rubbish collection service here called "BIFFA WASTE" ... how very true. Think its time we turfed him out, even at a loss!!
Pat Jones, South Wales  (14/3/07)

MBE for Colin Harvey

Sign the petition - honour one of the True Everton All Time Greats !
Mark O'Brien, Wirral  (14/3/07)

What is ''A significant number of Evertonians''?

A recent report mentions a successful meeting at the Casa Hotel and states that "A significant number of Evertonians" are starting up a campaign. I am a little curious to know that number; it seems a little remiss of you to not give us all the facts. A cynic might think that only three people turned up.
Paul Hardy, Essex  (14/3/07)

Paul ? any umbrage felt with the wording, may I suggest you take it up with those listed as the contacts, for it is their wording, not ours at TW. I do hope you'll acknowledge that on the TW front page we made reference to a group of Evertonians and nothing more. ? Colm

Goodison redevelopment

Excuse a Liverpool fan butting in but I do think these suggestions for incremental development make a huge amount of sense. They certainly minimise risk and debt.
Peter McCarthy, France  (14/3/07)

Krikby racists?

I have read with interest over the past 2/3 months the anti-Kirby move lobbyists... I would love Everton to relocate within a stone?s throw of our current ground but it will never happen. Tesco, for all their faults (their homemade bread is awful) will be funding the move. Why do the blinkered ones think we can either fund the upgrade of Goodison Park or move to a new stadium within the boundaries of Liverpool? It is quite unbelievable really.

We have not got the dough; we would need £150 million to have a stadium fit for Everton FC. If next week the boundaries were pushed back 800 meters to accommodate a particular area called Kirby, would this be accepted? I sense it would. Is 800 meters really going to deter the vital future of our club? No one will ever take away the fact that Everton we were the city's first club. It is there in stone. Is it stick from Liverpool fans that you are worried about? If so, shame on you.

I will follow Everton, no matter where they end up, we will always?s hold our identity above whatever they say. Everton are in my blood and always will be, and no kopite will ever take that away, the fact that we were the first club in the city will always rankle.

We did not take the easy option of calling ourselves after the city; they even put the Liver bird on their crest. The cheating chaps who formed that shower took the easy option. They had years of catching up, but they took the coward?s way out. They had no right. That is why we will always be better than them.

Wether it is Kirkby or not, always ram what I have just said down there arrogant throats the next time an argument happens. It's guarenteed to silence the bastards up, simply because it's factual. It was these mercenaries who stole the city's name as their identity, please let?s never forget this.

We have to move or we will stagnate forever in the dark ages, with liitle hope of moving and competing. Remove the anti-Kirkby specs and back the move. Have you ever met a posh Kirkbyite? And they don?t all have huge noses.
Peter Johnson, Walton  (14/3/07)

Bizarre... utterly bizarre!

If you knew your history, I probably wouldn't need to mention this, but "they" wanted to call themselves not "Liverpool" but "Everton"! How does that unfortunate piece of information affect your bizarre discussion? If it matters that that we were the first club in the city, then surely it matters that we would become the first to move outside. What the hell have posh Kirkbyites got to do with anything? Peter Johnson??? Is this some bizarre kind of wind-up? — Michael

Re: Adam Clarke

How can you not see that Carsley is worthy of 1 more season? Everyone needs a holding midfielder ? even Chelsea (Makelele). Who else would fill that role with the same consistency? Carsley is (for now) an important member of the first team and I personally can't see anyone else fit to take his place.
Paul Murphy, Liverpool  (13/3/07)

Help me!

Just uploaded Gary Lineker's Football on my Amstrad CPC 464 (with green screen may I add!) and after winning the season with the super blues, it's now come to the end of season.

Squad players like Wilson, Atteveld, Ebbrell, Milligan and Rehn are out of contract but with these mediocre players I'll need them next year for my assault on Europe. Do I keep them or shall I put a bid in for a few lower league players that I've heard decent reports about,eg Keane, Irwin, Ian Wright etc..! Decisions, decisions...
Paul Henshaw, Liverpool  (13/3/07)

End of the season? I'd get a copy of some R&R game that takes you off on a Tony Marsh-type all expenses paid vacation, featuring exotic Mediterranean or Caribbean locales, translucent blue seas, sandy beaches bathed in warn sunshine, with luscious mixed drinks on tap, and equally luscious eye-candy strutting their stuff... fuck this football malarkey! — Michael

Lee Carsley

Being Irish, I'm biased on this one but I do feel the need to come to the defense of Lee Carsley. The fella isn't Ronaldinho, fair enough, but he isn't there to do a Ronaldinho type job either. He provided a screen in front of the back four when, up until recently, it had an ageing Weir and Stubbs at it's centre. This was a role that was required because of a lack of pace at the back and he filled fairly well.

With Lescott and Yobo now in the centre, Carsley has been moved to central midfield with a brief to break up the opposition's play. This again he has done more than adequately. Most teams have this type of a player, who is there to act as a support to the more creative. In our case this is Arteta and now Fernandes as well.

While you can say that both Arteta and Fernandes can put themselves about, I am sure that as attacking midfielders they have benefited from what Carsley and his style of play can and has done for them. Both players appear very adept at picking up loose ball in midfield and creating something, loose ball that Carsley has provided.

Creative players like Arteta will always get the credit. And don't get me wrong, it is fully deserved in his case. But players like Carsley do sometimes deserve the same amount of credit too. And better still in my view, the man has earned the credit without a footballer's ego getting in the way.
Kieran Fitzgerald, Dublin  (13/3/07)

Ho hum......

Well, lots of postings about the stadium move and another positive posting from Doddy but more of that at the end.

Lots of postings saying get shut of several players, a good few of which I would happily agree with in Naysmith, Pistone, Beattie and Wright to name but a few but ladies and gents lets just take a breath and look at the last few transfer windows and the Ginger One saying we have a small squad... oh yes, he let it get even smaller ? so much so that it's gone beyond a joke when even a single player serving a suspension or getting injured hits the results instantly.

Well, what if we were to get shut of at least four or five of the current first team squad ? a club without a pot to piss in and the manager showing little interest or belief beyond releasing the youth players ? where do you think the replacements will come from? The current squad will be what we are stuck with with; I envisage far too many journeymen re-signed through our economic plight, and don't forget: older players just get slower ? they don't get better.

As far as the ground move is concerned, I am against it for a number of reasons: my present ones being complete lack of trust in Kenwright's and Wyness's business acumen. I'd also like to know how many of the currently empty seats and corporate facilities would be filled beyond an initial short-term new fad period in Kirkby, which has no other attractions whatsoever. Where are the marketing figures to prove we have businesses lining up to come to the game if the facilites improved? Where are the figures to show we have fans queuing up to fill even the current 4,000 or so seats empty at most home games?

It's easy to pay lipservice with the old addage "build it and they will come" but you could also say "once it's gone, it's gone". Would the current brand of tediously boring, predictable, making-up-the-numbers football attract any businesses when just down the road you have an immense new stadia and facilities in a shiny newly redevloped and developing area and although it sticks in my throat to say it more victorious football to watch.

And finally to Richard, praise again for your eternal optomism: we would be on the cusp of European football if the season ended today but it doesn't so let's just say we have nine games left to play against significant opposition ? many of which are beyond prediction; even those that should be seen as money for old rope ? remember Man City!

As far as the shiny new stadium goes, there are far too many unanswered questions than answers and to many times we have had false hopes and fairy tales to believe anything until it's delivered. With Wyness's track record for his abysmal treatment of the fans, I don't see a vote having any purpose whatsoever beyond a publicity exercise.
Gavin Ramejkis, Upholland  (13/3/07)

I've had it!

That's it, I've had it. Carsley's been offered a new deal. I can't bear to watch another season of this oaf tackling and injuring his own players, playing hoofball and hearing commentators say "a lot of Carsley's hard work goes unnoticed." This demonstrates Moyes's Five-Year Plan ? more of the same clueless shite.
Alan Clarke, Manchester  (13/3/07)

It must make you concerned as a fan how far removed you can be from the position and viewpoint of our esteemed five-year leader in your assessment of a player. Take, for example, Lee Carsley. He is the only player to have started every single league and cup game under David Moyes this season. There can be no doubt that the manager sees him as an essential foundation stone for the team. And yet few fans seem to have a good word to say about him, while others are downright dismissive. — Michael

Re: Clearout... John Holmes

Thanks for the lesson in economics, very enlightening. I wish I had you around when I did my recent tax return. Now ? if you can just explain to me how its economical to retain your "squad" players such as Wright, Naysmith, Pistone, and Van der Meyde, who are on a combined wage of around £90k per week, yet have only played about a dozen games between them all season ? I'd be grateful.

Squad players are only worthwhile if they play and are useful, John. Otherwise they become uneconomical drains on our already stretched resources. Granted, they might all be good squad players and cost-effective in the championship... but Nil Satis and all that, eh?
Jeremy Benson, Cotswolds  (13/3/07)

I think the point was that clearing out all the deadwood leaves the already threadbare squad decimated. We do need a squad of at least 16 players, ya know!

It does make me wonder just what the value is of indulging in this FM 2007 type stuff. Where does it actually get anyone? Into stupid "what if" arguments that have no end. Can't we go back to talking about Kirkby?... ARRGH!!! — Michael

Bjarni's language

Reading Bjarni Vidarsson's comments on the official site, I can't help but think someone should help him out a bit with his language. I don't know about Icelandic, but in English there are other positive adjectives than 'good' (used by the youngster on six occasions in three quotes). Ah well, it's good that he had a good time at Bournemouth ? hopefully it'll help him make good progress towards being a good player.
Ben Patchesa, York  (13/3/07)

Good!

David Moyes ? Five-Year Plan

Dave Lynch calls David Moyes a narcissitic fool and reckons he should be sacked for the failure of his original five-year plan. This would be the five-year plan that brought us a champions league place and helped us sign Andy Johnson and Joleon Lescott, as well as attract players of the calibre of Tim Cahill and Mikel Arteta. I say to Dave Lynch, the next time we are winning and you are cheering Davey Moyes's name, you think long and hard about your utterly stupid comment.
Steve Claringbold, Carlisle  (13/3/07)

Fortress Cheque

Does anyone know if the Fortress Trust Fund cheque has cashed yet?
Dean Paton, Wirral  (13/3/07)

Now who's being silly. FSF was an elaborate construct to confuse Paul Gregg, who was looking to bring in his own investors in a move which would have undermined Bill's position and his level of control over the club... That was until Bill pulled this masterstroke... — Michael

Football anybody?

For those of us who can remember Goodison Park in its heyday in the mid-60s when it was not uncommon for regular crowds of 60,000+ for 'run of the mill' league games, the present day stadium is looking very tired and we really have to make some hard decisions. I pine for the days when GP was a throbbing cauldron of blue & white, but is now a pale imitation ? architecturally cobbled together and an uneasy mix of old & new.

It was once the premier club ground in England and my elder brother, 9 years older than me (God bless him) used to regale me with stories of 74,000 on Boxing day v Burnley in the early 60's. To be fair, he did say that people were also pissing down his leg and the amount of swaying on the old Goodison Road terrace made him feel seasick!

Our John is no longer with us, but as a lifelong blue, he would now say:

  1. A stadium is only steel, glass, bricks & mortar. It's the people inside that count.

  2. You can't remain stuck in the past and expect people to applaud you for having a 'history' ? you have to adapt to present day needs.

  3. Evertonians have pride in their club and won't lower themselves to the point where we want to abuse our City rivals, rather than enjoy our own team. Let's just beat them on the pitch where it really counts...

  4. Accept that there are spells in history when it doesn't go right and keep the faith. He remembered as a young boy watching Everton in the old Second Division and recalled being at Oldham with our Grandad, both crying with joy the night we got promoted back to Division One in 1954. Now that really is suffering for the cause! It put's todays 'problems' in perspective eh?

  5. Lastly, he would have said to me, Moving to Kirkby? It's not exactly Outer Mongolia is it? Just go and support the team wherever they play.
I often think of him when I take my lad to the match, as he took me to my first game in 1965. He was a true blue and it would break his heart to see so many people today apparently content with mediocrity.

Do I really care whether we stay at a redeveloped GP or move to the fuckin 'Tesco Club Card' arena in Kirkby? No, not really, because what really counts is a succesful team on the pitch and if we get that, it wouldn't matter where we play, because we'd fill our stadium and also be attractive to investors.

Some of us can get a bit carried away at times about stadiums. It is we 'The People' that count and sadly there aren't enough of us going these days. We rarely sell out our home games and that bothers me a great deal. Nobody would give a toss about the state of GP if we had a team which was really competitive, we'd have to turn people away!

So I will now turn my attention to the next match: Arsenal at home ? it might be a good time to play them... a bit of Gallic shrugging and lack of desire perhaps to take advantage of.

No more talk of stadiums ? I want to talk about and think about football for a while (and I want to win!)
Peter Kennedy, Liverpool  (13/3/07)

So you lambast people for not talking about football, you spend a page and a half yerself not talking about football, and then you want everyone to talk about football... Away wid yiz!

Oh, and this is a myth: "it was not uncommon for regular crowds of 60,000+ for 'run of the mill' league games". I don't have my references with me right now, and I hate to burst your bubble but the number of games that had attendances above 60,000 were few and far between.

And this stuff about not selling out Goodison Park... there are 4,000 obstructed views. Do you know how bad it is in this day and age to be stuck in one of them seats? Never mind the "quality" of football on show (if you could actually see it...).

With the attraction of Rooney being played as a sub, we did boost the average gate by about around 4,000 or so for a couple of seasons. But I'm not sure I would agree that: "Nobody would give a toss about the state of GP if we had a team which was really competitive." — Michael

Conflict of interests

I've just spoken with one of the top men inside Light Rail (UK) Limited. He said that it has already been agreed that if we do move to Kirkby, then the Merseytram scheme will be resurrected with the shortfall in funding being made up from central government (due to the regeneration that will take place and the number of jobs it will create). Is it any wonder that LCC have behaved so apathetically towards the prospect of of us leaving the city? The collapse of the Merseytram project caused huge embarrassment to LCC and the chance to rid themselves of that embarrassment is one that they would delight in... whatever the reprocussions!!
David Atherton, Dingle  (13/3/07)

Response to Eileen's article on ground move

Well done, Eileen. You summarised the situation perfectly. Has anyone got any suggestions on how we can get funding for a new ground or redeveloping Goodison Park? If you can't, then support the only viable option before it disappears!
Mike Benjamin, Leigh  (13/3/07)

Clearout

Great idea! Let's ship out all the makeweights like Naysmith, Pistone, Hibbert, Osman, Wright, Beattie, McFadden, Van der Meyde, Stubbs, Carsley etc etc. That way, by selling all these players that are admittedly not brilliant and would command low transfer fees, we can replace them with expensive young quality talent. To hell with the laws of economics.

How to build the squad your way: Sell most of your small squad and then replace it with 2 or 3 good players, leaving you with nowhere near enough players to play out the season.

As for whoever was complaining that the likes of Naysmith and Osman wouldn't get a lookin at the "top four", yes that's why they're on the bench at a team outside the big four. However, making your squad look pretty by only keeping the good players doesn't equate us with them.

A better idea perhaps would be to retain those players not commanding high wages, particularly those who are solid pros who can be relied on to come in and do a job as and when required. Sell off only those who are hitting the finances in a disproportionate way (Beattie and Wright) and those who want to leave (McFadden, I would anticipate).
John Holmes, York  (13/3/07)

5 Year Plan???

Just been on the Official Website and seen that Moyes has presented the Board of Directors with a 5 year plan. He states that his plan should be carried out even if he is no longer at the club? Doesn't the tactless moron think that the reason he might not be here is because his so called plan is not working in the first place? His origional 5-yr plan is now a 10-yr plan and the narcisstic fool is deluded enough to think that if he leaves, the manager who takes over should stick to HIS plan. Fuck me I've heard it all now.
Dave Lynch, Merseyside  (13/3/07)

I think you're being a bit silly, Dave. On the basis that the Club is bigger than any of the current employees, it is perfectly reasonable (under current business thinking) for one of them to develop a 5-year plan for the club, on and off the field, irresepective of the personnel who may then be around to implement it. It is, apparently, a lot better to have a plan, than to sit around twiddling yer thuimbs saying "Well, no, we can't actually develop a plan because we don't actually know if any of us will be here next year... never mind in 5 years time."

This kind of knee-jerk nonsense and stupid name-calling really does give us fans a bad rep when we are not prepared to take a couple of steps out of our tiny little world as supporters and into their world as businessmen and custodians of the club, whatever your other issues may be. — Michael

Bored

Inspired by the Millwall song on a previous post, I have penned this ditty also to the tune of Hokey Cokey 'ish', cos I'm getting bored.

We get Kenwright in, Johnson out.
He promises the world but then delivers nowt.
He borrows Paul Gregg's money 'cos funding he did lack
Then once the cheque was cashed he stabbed him in the back.

Oh oh the club is brokey, 
oh oh the club is brokey, 
oh oh the club is brokey
Half truths, bullshit, Kenwright Out

We had Fortress in, Fortress out
BK said 'it's there' so who are we to doubt?
We've waited bloody years now and haven't seen a penny
Even our new 'investor' isn't giving any.

Chorus

We were the first club in, now we're the first club out
'Cos BK's mucker Terry has given him a shout
He wants to build a Tesco but who's gonna travel there?
He needs 40,000 dickheads to boost his profit share

Chorus

Kenwright says 'I'm in', of that there is no doubt
Who cares what the fans think
'Cos I hold all the clout
Bollocks to tradition and all the  history too
It's my bleedin' train set and there's fuck all you can do!
All together now...

ps: Jeremy, I disagree:

McFadden: He's crap, sell to Rangers now before the Jocks realise it too.

Pistone: Have you been living in his house or something while he's been on a two-year, all expenses paid, jolly in Italy?

Find a new place to dwell mate, his commitment has always been in question.
Steve McBride, Liverpool  (13/3/07)

Rebrith or Death Knell

I read with interest the article stating that Liverpool will be expanded and therefore Kirkby will become part of Greater Liverpool.

But having just read the Echo's piece on the regeneration of North Liverpool it would seem that the New Anfield is the centrepiece of everything connected with this supposed regeneration. As some believe that all roads lead to Mecca (looking at the graphic used in the paper), I can't help but think that, since football has become the new religion, then the only Citadel for worshippers in the city will be for those who worship the Reds.

As with all things which have GREATER in the title (eg, Greater Manchester), the outlying districts become submissive partners to the central area. LCC will have no responsibility to promote our club and therefore it will not waste tax-payers cash in doing so. Neither will any of the other major players willingly promote the Blues.

As the city struggled for money and recognition throughout the economically hard times during the 1970s and 1980s, Everton and Liverpool offered hope to many of the citizens. So it's a little ironic that now the city is on the brink of a golden age, Everton decide to up sticks and relocate to another deprived area.

Politically, economically and in every other way Everton FC will pay the ultimate price for failing to recognise that we have been well and truly left behind and that romantic notions are no use when you're competing with sharks.

Power is money and money is power. As the club has no money it obviously has no power.
John Partick McFarlane, Lancs  (13/3/07)

Ageing no-hopers

How far Everton are behind `The Big Four` is illustrated by Jeremy`s list of who should go and who should stay. Not one of the eight players mentioned would get a look in at Man Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal or Liverpool and you can add to that lot Carsley, Osman and Hibbert.

If, by some miracle, Moyes gets us to sixth we can look forward to more humiliation in Europe if he stands by his current squad of ageing no-hopers.
Trevorr Senior, West Derby  (13/3/07)

No progress with this lot

Jeremy Benson lists eight players who he would either send packing or `give a yellow card` to. Add the geriatric Carsley whose only contribution is to prop up the defence and you have roughly half a squad not really up to Premiership quality. How on earth we can ever hope to make real progess if that lot are retained ? as they will be ? is beyond me!
Arthur Yeomans, Crosby  (13/3/07)

Left Backs

Of course we could let Naysmith go and have one of the kids in Boyle or Molyneux fill in when required... Will it happen? Will it fuck! Watch them get shipped off to Blackpool, or gulp, Oxford United on loan...
James Newcombe, Oxford  (13/3/07)

Carsley and Stubbs

Regarding the disapproval of an earlier mailbag entrant, I think the signings of Carsley and Stubbs for another year is a good bit of business. Although some may say, 'Why keep a pair of old has beens on?' and 'It shows a lack of the club going forward', if we want to push on we'll need a few squad players next year if we do make it into Europe. I can't see either of them being regulars, but they're a pair of solid professionals who can do a job if required.
Paul Henshaw, Liverpool  (13/3/07)

Re: End of Season Clearout

In responce to Jeremy and his thoughts on that Naysmith character leaving, I don't think it would be too good an idea. Replacing Valente when banned or injured would have to come down to Lescott and that will disrupt the central pairing of him and Yobo. Best keep those two playing together as much as possible. Stubbs can't fill the gap forever. This is of course negated depending on the Moyes perchases during the summer. We may get both a centre-back and a left-back... which is nice.

Also, I'd want McFadden playing up front next season starting off as No 1 partner to Johnson. It's his best position and would complement the team style far better than just another runner of the Vaughan and Anichebe type (feel free to harrass), but again this point is negated depending on Moyes summer spending... what with Nugent coming this way, ahem.
Nick Entwistle, London  (13/3/07)

Time to brighten up!

With Everton on the cusp of securing a European entry, the prospect of a sparkling new stadium now more than just a dream, and the financial situation well under control, we should all be glorying in our good fortune to be Evertonians. You have only to look at the plight of other `big clubs` such as Man City and West Ham to realise what good hands we are in ? on and off the field ?and I do so hope that more of our number will come to recognise our good fortune and just enjoy!!
Richard Dodd, Formby  (13/3/07)

Been a bit quiet, eh, "Richard"? What about preparing your instant post-match messages for Sunday? Stunning win; bold and brave draw; narrow and undeserved defeat. Get cracking, lad. — Michael

Going Underground

Goodison can be redeveloped and we don?t need to buy any houses, schools or anything. As innovators in the world of football we could dig down each side of the pitch around 200 or 300 feet, build new stands, corporate facilities, museum, restaurants etc. into the rock faces around the ?pitch?. We could have the car park on top where the current pitch is, we could access it perfectly with a link to Merseyrail so you don?t even have to come up to see the light of day and, the added bonus is every game would be under floodlights which we all know is when GP creates it?s most daunting atmosphere.

Well you might as well consider this because, and sorry for basically repeating a previous post and echoed again by Eileen Roberts:

  • Yes, we could rebuild GP.
  • Yes, we could build a super duper stadium in the city boundary.
  • Yes, we could buy Ronaldhino.
  • Yes, we could buy the David France collection.
  • Yes, we could do almost anything we wanted...
  • But, ?We?ve got no bleedin? dosh!!!?
It?s not about lots of other alternatives to building in Kirkby ? it really isn?t. It?s about two options and that?s it:
  1. Move to Kirkby as it?s the only option that provides new facilities for comparable peanuts.

  2. Stay at Goodison and cross every digit in the hope that, as an old chant once declared, Jesus Christ IS an Evertonian and he gets his arse into gear sharpish and provides a Mr Warburton or Mr John West to ?feed? the faithful before we are damned.
So for God?s sake stop posting about turning the Main Stand upside down and swivelling it 228 degrees south and how we could easily look to Bootle for a site within the city (?!) unless you also tell us where the money is coming from. All the other ?options? are unfortunately, and it sickens me to say it, irrelevant in the current circumstances.

To summarise, BK = Kirkby. New investor = Subterranean Goodison???
Steve McBride, Liverpool  (13/3/07)

Sly

Human Growth Hormone, that natural product made by the pituitary gland, has been found in the luggage in Australia of our beloved star ambassador Sly Stallone. Does this mean we won't be seeing the new 7ft Leon Osman on the pitch for Everton now?
Jane Brown, Altrincham  (13/3/07)

Could have been us

If we had panicked last season and got rid of David Moyes after our appalling start, what might have happened? Of course, we may have brought in a new leader and won every game playing dazzling football that left Arsene Wenger drooling, but we could have gone the way of our claret and blue chums from the East End. Knowing a great many West Ham fans, I know that they have adopted a ' laugh or else you'd cry' approach so won't mind if I share this little song with you, penned I believe by some Millwall fans:

 
West Ham Okey-Cokey
(sung to the tune of the same name) 

Ya put ya Argies in, 
ya Argies out,
the Iceman comes in,
and kicks the Gaffer out!

You're selling Reo-Coker
and you're going down,
that's why we love to shout...

Ohh wanky, wanky West Ham,
ohh wanky, wanky West Ham,
ohh wanky, wanky West Ham!

Misfits, has-beens, hahaha!
Priceless! ;)
Karl Masters, Chatham, Kent  (13/3/07)

Staying in the City?!

Has anyone seen the front page of the Daily Post today? Apparently Liverpool City Council are in talks with Sefton, Knowsley and St Helens Councils about creating a ?Liverpool City Region?, and could be in place within a year. Does this mean if (when?) we move to Kirkby we will still be in the City of Liverpool?!
Adam Bennett, Liverpool  (13/3/07)

Monuments to mediocrity

This morning`s news that David Moyes is about to make his first two signings for next season ? in the form of Stubbs and Carsley ? finally convinces me that Everton are going nowhere under this ultra-conservative manager.

Both these players have been good servants of the Club, applying their aged bodies precisely in the manner laid down by their master. But they are now monuments to mediocrity and with a combined age of 70 they are hardly symbols of a bright new Everton!

If this is the master plan for Europe, God help us. Moyes is supposed to be a genius at recognising talent in the lower leagues so if he needs squad players why on earth not take a punt on one or two of the myriad of young `containers` plying their trade in the Football League?

To me, Moyes`s caution both in signings and playing style are indicative of a very limited manager ? who has now reached his limit!
David Loxton, Bickerstaffe  (13/3/07)

Uh-oh... back to the old favourite topic now (above and below)! Well, I was getting pretty drained by the Kirkby thang... but must we really recycle all this again? — Michael

Give Moyes a break

A lot of the criticism one hears about David Moyes is justified. We do play somewhat boring, unattractive football, leavened by ocassional bouts of creativity. Yes, Moyes has a defensive minded mentality, and Everton 2007 are not Brazil 1970.

But let's be realistic. If you were the manager, faced with the paucity of resources at your disposal, one decent creative midfielder, another goodish goal poaching midfielder in Cahill, a lively striker with an eye for goal in Johnson, and the rest, a pretty workman-like bunch, what is one to do? Build up a solid defence, which he has, and concentrate on being difficult to beat. It aint pretty, but it somehow works. Everyone would like to see flowing, on the carpet type football, and in time, this may happen. Moyes was signed up to stop the bleeding, and this he has done.
Bram Oliver, Windhoek, Namibia  (13/3/07)

Period of Exclusivity

Having read all the main articles on this website regarding the contentious issue of the ground move, when does the period of exclusivity actually end? Barring the usual 'commercial sensitivity' matters trotted out by the Club, I still haven't been able to decipher from the coded statements so far issued by Wyness and Co as to the timescale for the future of this project.

If my memory serves me right, the King's Dock fiasco was also tarnished by grand scale misinformation, false promises, token gestures and nothing more than a couple of first draft architects sketches that funnily enough still seem to do the rounds. I am obviously aware that such a project has many facets with planning approval, financial matters and construction costs that will take time; however, I remain wholly unsatisfied by the lack of clarity that continues to pervade, with supporters continually fed on an anorexic diet of snippets of information.
Peter Laing, Liverpool  (13/3/07)

You make a good point, Peter. And perhaps it is the desire to avoid comparisons with Kings Dock that is promoting the current reticence. KD had a detailed timetable and, as you say, came with boatloads of glowing promises.

On the other hand, the Kirkby thing is merely a suggestion, a possibility at this stage ? or so we are told. With various milestones or checkpoints where the proposal and its "Period of Exclusivity" could end abruptly. No excuse in my book for not providing a lot more detail than they have, but it is typical of they way they like to run the show. — Michael

Bold thinking needed

I keep reading that Everton's new stadium is going to be similar to the Rhein Energie Stadion in Germany ? did this information come from the club?

Now whilst it does look like a good stadium, we shouldn't be looking at other stadiums for inspiration ? we should be building something that is totally different to any stadium in the world, something fresh and bold. Let's challenge the future builders of our stadium with a design so different to anything else that they are sweating over whether it can be done, not just handing them a picture of a current stadium and saying,"here you go, just copy that!"

Also the capacity surely has to be at least 52,000+ or it's not really worth moving? Maybe the new ground should also have scope for future increase in capacity? Just in case...
Craig Stanley, Helsby  (13/3/07)

Says it all... Like what?

Sorry but I couldn't let this lie. Someone posted this earlier:

"My nieces's husband finally replied to the e.mail I gloatingly sent him after we crushed his team Watford. All he said was "I didn't notice your team in the semi-final draw today"...

"Says it all, doesn't it?"
What? What does it say? That you'd rather we were Watford? Or Blackburn? Personally I would even contemplate swapping allegiances to Brazil but are some people seriously envious of teams like Watford??? Hey, Plymouth did better than us in the cup as well!

Look, I'm not over the moon with Everton at the moment. I truly believe we are better than Moyes is letting us be with his safety first tactics, BUT... I will only very grudgingly admit that Man Utd, Arsenal & Chelsea are better than us. Liverpool don't get a word in with me ? they couldn't score against us let alone beat us ? and we are a match for the rest: Spurs, Newcastle, Bolton, Villa, etc.

No, we are not great. But we are better than Watford, FFS!
Mark Murphy, Horsham, West Sussex  (13/3/07)

Enhancement

I heard on the news this morning that Sylvester Stallone had been found to be in possession of a "performance-enhancing substance" whilst in Australia to promote his latest film. As he is so keen on the Boys in Blue, perhaps he will pass a supply on ? we might need it!!
Pat Jones, South Wales  (13/3/07)

Dare I ask... "Which performance was he trying to enhance?"

Thomas Moore ? Missing the point

All your "positives" are merely papering over the cracks:

  1. The standard of football is no better than it was 5 years ago, despite the fact we have conceivably better quality players.

  2. Yes, we got 4th place in the table 2 years ago but other results gifted us that place, and we quickly fell back into reality after two opportunities to play European competition ? with rapid exits from both at the first hurdle.

  3. We play with a negative defensive strategy IN OUR HOME GAMES!!!

  4. We still buy so-called quality players and don't give them a decent chance of playing: Krøldrup, Van der Meyde, Da Silva. And let's not talk about the fiasco over Ferrari. Probably the best defender we've had in the last 10 years.

  5. Sorry, but most of the players still have difficulty in passing to another blue shirt. A hoof upfield is the order of the day rather than pass the ball from the back.
These are reasons that we can never match the Big Four, and will prevail while we have a manager that deploys the strategies and tactics above.
Dave Mills, Formby  (13/3/07)

FC Köln

I dont agree with the Kirby move, as I think that EFC belong in the city of Liverpool. If we did find a site in the city, I believe that something along the lines of the FC Köln stadia is the right way to go. Just look at the lack of atmosphere at Middlesborough, Southampton ? even the Emirates. We need to build something that will bring the atmosphere of the good ship Goodison to a new home and keep the intimidating atmosphere for which we are known. NIL SATIS NISI OPTIMUM!!!
Simon Wilkinson, Worksop  (13/3/07)

Tesco!!!

Reply to Steve's letter. Again long time reader, first time writter. I've worked for Tesco for over 4 years now and have progressed up the 'ranks', and I would be very concerned if the company had anything to do with our club.

If they were to have any input on how the club opperates on the business front, which I'm sure they'd expect for a return in any cash input, given the way the company runs the individual stores (can't speak for the majority ? only stores I've worked in), we're in for a lot of penny-pinching, arse-licking and having to work to very unrealistic targets.

In football terms (as an example), in the past twelve months I've gone down from a squad of 21 to 12 with no sign of possible replacements, standards droping to a point of no return and unhappy staff; but as long as it looks good from the outside it's ok. Papering over the cracks is as far from Nil Satis Nisi Opptimum as you can get, so unless we want Tesco value pies at half-time and a Boardroom full of paper-pushers whose mentality is to dictate how to do the job without ever trying it themselves, we need to make sure that the only link we have to Tesco is that some bloke who's got a shitload of cash tucked away and happens to own the biggest company in the country, is a blue.

Apologies for the rant... bad night in work!
I Can't Say!!!, North Wales  (13/3/07)

Ah... you'd be one of them 'disgruntled employees' I reckon...

Enf of season clearout

Naysmith, Wright, Da Silva, Beattie ? out of the door. McFadden, Stubbs, Van der Meyde and Pistone ? all one final year... Anyone disagree?
Jeremy Benson, Cotswolds  (13/3/07)

Goodison's New Car Park

For the information of Eileen Roberts and Sean Hooley, who are concerned about car parking at a revamped Goodison, we will have a brand spanking new car park there before we even get our new ground in Kirby. AND it's being built for us for free, courtesy of Liverpool and their new stadium.

Just think of all the new corporate sponsorhip we could then attract with a bigger and better car park to put a bigger and better tent in! Unless the petulant little gobshites over the road lock it up every other week...
Eric Myles, Pattaya, Thailand  (13/3/07)

Just a Thought

Long time reader, first time writer. Just wanted to speculate a little... a lot of people are asking "Why would Tesco build us a stadium...?" Well, I was thinking, what would the cost be for our club, approximately? £20M - £30M has been mooted on this site by a few contributors... If so, what if the proposed contribution from EFC were covered by Tesco in exchange for future shirt sponsorship, along with the other sponsorship opportunites, a part-stake in a large Premiership (and hopefully European) stadium could offer.

How much longer does the Chang sponsorship deal have left to run? How much is it worth a season? Could it be possible that Tesco would stump up 'our share' for the new stadium in exchange for say, a five-year club sponsorship deal? So long as they don't plaster any red on the shirt...

Just a thought, guys and girls; dont shoot me down. It's just something I don't recall seeing mentioned here before... apologies if I have missed anything glaringly obvious! Keep up the good work folks, sometimes reading this and a few other sites on the net is the only thing that keeps me sane in work.
Steve Kaffer, Liverpool  (13/3/07)

Footprint

Everyone has been talking about the ground move and that at Goodison we are 'landlocked'. Bearing in mind what the Council have just done to residents along Edge Lane with the compulsory purchase orders, surely Everton must be able to do the same with the houses alongside the Bullens Road? Okay we would have to move the school eleswhere also but if we were able to purchase those homes surely we would be able to turn the pitch 90 degrees and redevelop where we are? As for car parking, Liverpool have used Stanley park ? why can't we have our own piece of it?
Sean Hooley, Melbourne, Australia  (13/3/07)

Probably for the same reason WE can't build OUR stadium there...

New Stadium

I am a life-long Evertonian, love the club, always have. Moving from Goodison Park would be a wrench but the stadium is past its best and needs to be updated to keep the club where it should be. Goodison will always be a huge part of Everton's history, you can't change that, but we have to move onwards.

I now live in Manchester and don't get the time I want to see our home games ? I'm left to sweat it out listening to the radio... When we move to Kirby it will be far easier to get too. I can't wait. The King is dead, long live the King.
Alan Willoughby, Manchester  (12/3/07)

When Skies are Blue

I am a Scouse African and I am also an avid reader of ToffeeWeb. I am and one of Everton's most faithful South African Supporter amongst a sea of Kopite glory-hunting fans of the Eighties.

I remember my first Everton experience, early eighties, sat on my dad's knee and listening to the wireless on the beautifull north coast of RSA. It was the FA Cup Final; we won and I dreamed of going to Goodison one day and sharing that moment with my Toffee-mad father.

That dream was fulfilled in 1998 in the most boring football match I have ever seen against Leicester, 0-0. The funny thing was it was still one of the greatest experiences a father and son can share... and now I'm dreaming of a new stadium. The fans will take that magic there. As Evertonians, we are born this way (I've been told). Moyes is the man to bring us success. We just need faith.
Lindsay Nothling, London  (12/3/07)

You're Gunner need a bigger boat

I heard a joke that made me laugh, there might be some truth in it: "How many Evertonians does it take to change a Light Bulb? ? None, they sit in the dark and blame Liverpool". Now take a long close look in the mirror; those proportions are correct. We need to think out of the box, blue-sky-thinking, no brainer, ditto ? duh!
David O'Brien, Southend on Sea  (12/3/07)

Whip yourself

We all would like an Evertonian following that has enough reason and enough intelligence to be able to look at what facts are presented and make an informed and considered opinion for themselves.

Of late, the spectre of certain individuals' stance towards the club, its Board and the style of play has overflowed into 'almost'-rallying-cries, presenting opinions as fact and leading a certain element down a certain path.

Please stop with the "not allowed to speak for everyone" stuff ? it does you a great diservice. Yes, have an opinion, but please dont ram it down mailbag contributors' throats. This website is one of the most detailed, well researched, best thought-out football websites there is. Playing the martyr will simply fuel the dislike for some of you individuals further.

As for Kirkby, we are damned either way; as for finishing in Europe, we are damned either way. The way I see it is that we have to consolidate and steadily improve and wait for one of the financial bullies to lose its footing, then be in a position to capitalise on that open Champions League top-four spot.
Boris Berluskofski, Jersey  (12/3/07)

"Leading a certain element down a certain path"... WTF, Boris? Quit talking in riddles, fella. Anyone who claims to speak for everyone is obviously not... so what's your point? The only thing we ram down people's throat is the need to say something original amd interesting, and not repeat stuff we've already read. We have a very limited attention span, and cannot tolerate over-elaboration. Sorry if that gets up your nose. It's just the way we are... If you don't like it, Boris, you know what to do! — Michael

What the FC Köln Stadion looks like

Found these on Wikpedia whilst getting distracted helping my lad with his homework:

Looks nice and keeps the atmosphere close to the pitch.
Pat Ahern, Cheshire  (12/3/07)

Have you heard this story about Noah and the Ark? This bloke gets this message straight from God that there is going to be one almighty downpour, and he starts buidling this massive great boat...

We aren't what we think we are!

All this talk about moving stadiums and keeping holding of players/buy/selling them and our transfer budget all ignore one thing ? we are no longer a force in England!

Now I will be stating the obvious to many fans, but some other fans need to realise that all the good will and wishful thinking will do nothing at this club. The local meetings were a waste of time as the fans were further treated like idiots by not getting any straight answers. The message from us was clear ? we hate Kenwright and the Kirby move. In turn Everton message was crystal clear ? they don't care about us and what we think, only our money concerns them.

Year after year, the belief has burned a bright blue flame, but today I must admit if we finish in the top half that will be as good as it gets. Europe? Nah... no holidays booked. So it is the same old at Everton, survival first, denial second!
Luq Yussef, London  (12/3/07)

Luq: you know by now you are not allowed to speak for everyone. There are them as luv our Billy and hang on his every loving word...

Watford in semis

My nieces's husband finally replied to the e.mail I gloatingly sent him after we crushed his team Watford. All he said was "I didn't notice your team in the semi-final draw today"...

Says it all, doesn't it?
John de Frece, Israel  (12/3/07)

Fretting...

If we do qualify for the Uefa Cup, how much money will we get? I am really worried about our budget for next season. Every penny we spend on players goes straight onto our debt. How much of the money we spend is actully Bill Kenright's money? We need to start thinking about the future.

Manuel Fernandes should be bought but I have read it could be from £8M - £12M to take him from Benfica. Then there are contracts such as Mikel Arteta, Alan Stubbs, Tim Cahill, Sandro Pistone, Richard Wright and Anderson da Silva which all or most need sorting out. I have also heard we have spent most of our Sky money on Johnson, Lescott and Howard which is a big problem.

Most people believe we will be playing in Europe next season and there is a good chance but if this is done we will have to play about 50 games next season with a small squad. I hope Moyes gets backed or it could be another season like last year...
Connor Rohrer, Toxteth, Liverpool  (12/3/07)

God, you sound like an old woman, Connor. You're starting to fret about the club debt NOW!?! It's been growing steadiliy ever since someone (not Buster for once) had the brainwave of mortgaging future season-ticket sales for the next 25 years at an incredible interest rate of something like 8.75%, with massive penalties for early payoff. What's a few more million on the debt pile? Keeps those pesky investor-types at bay... ;)

Seriously, no fan really has the skinny on the financial side, which is carefully manicured and manipulated for the Annual Accounts. Just be grateful we see any incoming and that we are actually paying more than a couple of million for any new players.

David Moyes has said again he wants to prove to the world what a great manager he is by taking Everton back up to the top on a samll budget without pots of money. Yet Evertonians continue to bleat about the need for massive investment and the perennial lack of money. It doesn't matter! Davey knows what he's doing!! Sit back and enjoy the ride!!! — Michael

Congratulations, Mr Moyes

The Ginger One has stabilised the club in many ways. I agree we are a long way off the big four but fingers crossed we can look forward to competing in Europe again next year. There are lots of things wrong with the club but in my opinion "Davey Boy" is not one of them. I also predict four wins, two draws will be enough, "Come on you Blue Boys".
Franky Burrage, Northwich  (12/3/07)

FA Cup draw

The FA cup draw has been fairly kind to us I would say. Chances are its going to be a Chelsea v Man Utd final which means that 7th place gets a Uefa Cup spot and 8th gets in the Intertoto.

Otherwise, Blackburn or Spurs in the final wouldn't be a total disaster either as they are a couple of the teams who could possibly overtake us.

Would be great to see us back in Europe and I'm sure we'll make a better go of it this time! COYB!!
Michael Johnson, London  (12/3/07)

Retail therapy

With the lull of not having a game the weekend just gone, it was interesting to observe other Clubs around us who where fortunate enough to be in action. What struck me was Martin Jol's decision to replace Tottenham's two most influential players in Berbatov and Lennon at that stage of the game. It reminded me that Moyes is not alone in being over-cautious and backfiring with spectacular result.

The other Club that struck me was Man City, brand new stadium, young and up-and-coming coach, little in the way of financial muscle and a diehard hardcore support that is being severely tested.

Jim Hourigan's comments ring true ? realism and pragmatism must be the order of the day, it was refreshing to see that he is able to balance the argument about the Kirkby proposal with perspective for once, as retail therapy and a new stadium will paper over the cracks for only the short term and the same old problems will be waiting like a shadow in the wings.
Peter Laing, Liverpool  (12/3/07)

Cup Final substitutes

I'm sure we had Roger Kenyon or Sandy Brown as an unused sub for the 1968 Cup Final. In those days substitutes were only supposed to be used to replace an injured player and not for tactical changes.
Chris Thornton, London  (12/3/07)

This new page in our History section provides all the definitive answers on Everton Substitues, with many thanks to Steve Flanagan. ? Michael

Stadium Meeting

Can anyone give us a resume of what went on at Saturday`s meeting on the move to Kirkby, please?
Den Taylor, Kikby  (12/3/07)

Ask the Reds

Read with interest and even greater agreement John Patrick McFarlane's letter about ground move: well, said John!

If anyone is in doubt that moving to Kirkby will be the wrong thing to do for Everton, then simply ask any Red what they think about the move. I daresay you would see as I have many times that glint of final victory in their eyes as they'll tell you "Great idea! One city, One club!!!'
Neil Todd, Lydiate  (12/3/07)

Stick or Twist

We are all getting rather heated and anxious about the proposed Stadium move to Kirkby, and as I understand it, getting into bed with Tesco and their shopping centre scheme is the only realistic option for change. Of course we don't want to miss a golden opporunity (a la King's Dock as it seems to have turned out), but I do wonder if Kirkby is a golden opportunity.

The fact is that we can stay at Goodison for an indefinite amount of time and rushing out of the city seems a potentially catastrophic move with repurcussions lasting decades. GP may not be an ideal stadium but it does have an ideal location, and whilst Kirkby is the only option available now, who knows what may come along in 5 years time? Maybe a couple of seasons domianting the Uefa Cup (as are sure to come) will make us the attractive proposition to investors/LCC to allow us to move to the golden stadium the club deserve. Nothing but the best, remember.
Andrew Humphrey, London  (12/3/07)

Serial Dissemblers

Everton FC ? and particularly Keith Wyness ? do themselves no favours with their constant spinning and dissembling on virtually every aspect of the Club`s activity. The `10% reduction` on season tickets, which sees me paying £4 more than last season, is but the latest in a serial of outright misinformation emanating from the Club.

Chairman Bill who has obviously set the tone for Wyness with his brilliantly scripted but hardly believable pronouncements and promises on everything from King`s Dock to Cristopher Samuelson, should be ashamed of most of the utterances that come out of Goodison these days. At a time when he needs all the goodwill he can get from the Everton following, he and his henchmen seem dedicated to alienating themselves from supporters ? or is it that they just don't care anymore?

Bill might have rescued the Club from Johnson but any goodwill attached to that action has long been spent. Just like his hero, Tony Blair, he is in danger of destroying the soul of an institution sacred to thousands of us who were here before him.
Maggie Pugh, Dingle  (12/3/07)

Love or Money

Is it love for the game or money laundering on a grand scale that brought about this flurry of takeovers? I leave it to our more financially experienced subscribers to give their view.

From Everton?s point of view, is it a case of "If you can?t beat them, join them"? Or should we conserve our assets, wait until the world economy has its next downturn, then pick over their bones.
Dick Fearon, West Australia  (12/3/07)

Answer to Paula

First Cup Final substitutes were in 1969. So that means Everton's first was in 1984.

I remember Leicester brought on the sub, 1-0 down to City, and the reporter on the touchline asked the manager if he was changing his tactics and how the sub would change the game. My Dad's comment is not repeatable, but it was along the line of one man will not make a difference, especially if he was not good enough to be in the team that started.

But back to Paula's question ? did Alan Harper come on in 84 or 85? or was our first sub in 86, 89 or was it Dan in 95?
Phil Roberts, Kelsall, UK  (11/3/07)

The first Everton sub in an FA Cup Final was not Alan Harper but Adrian Heath in 1986, coming on for Gary Stevens. But he was not the first Everton sub to play in a senior Final... — Michael

King's Dock

I can't help feeling that a lot of recent posts are a delayed reaction to the failure of the Kings Dock development. This was the biggest missed opportunity in the club's history. With the Kirkby proposal, people are only now realising how poor the other options are.

In Rocky terms, that was Everton's shot at the title but Kenwright failed to deliver. Yet who are we now asking to deliver us a new home?
Ed MacDonald, Lothian  (11/3/07)

Sandy on stand by

The 1966 Cup Final was the first in which a substitute became permissable but (for that season only) the replacement could be made only if the referee was satisfied that the player being replaced was unable to continue because of injury. My records bear out your assertion that Sandy Brown was the named sub although he was not called on.

Harry Catterick was initially sceptical of the new rule, believing that some managers would abuse it (as they did!) and during the 1965-66 League season introduced a sub on only seven occasions whereas Leeds made twice that number of withdrawals. The players called from the bench that season were Brown (2), Glover (1), Hurst(2), Morrissey (1), snf Wright (1).

Immediately following the Final, he lobbied the FA to relax the rule, gaining the support of a number of referees who admitted they found it impossible to decide when a player was genuinely injured beyond continuing. From the following season, the substitution could be made for any reason.

Unfortunately my records fail to identify the first ever Everton sub to be used or, indeed, the club`s first sub to score.
David Hall, Taunton  (11/3/07)

Great stuff as ever, David.

The first Everton sub was John Hurst for Fred Pickering, Stoke (a) 28 Aug 1965 ? the third match of that season. (Ref: Q's 294 & 295 in Alex Hosie's The Everton Quiz Book, 1987.) I don't know about the first one to score... ? Michael

Colm

With out wishing to sound like a crawler can I point out that Colm is certainly speaking for me as is Ian Mac ? the only crime these guys have committed is being honest about their feelings and honesty is in short supply at Everton right now. The present set-up sounds like the start of a joke: the exiled Scouser, the Scotsman, and an Spurs fan... But what do I know? I've only been going since 1957.
Roy Coyne, Old Swan  (11/3/07)

Substitutes

Substitutes were allowed in First division matches in the 1965-66 season but not in the FA Cup until the following year.
John Gorham, Scottsdale, Arizona  (11/3/07)

To Move or Not To Move

There have been some excellent articles on the subject of the move to Kirkby or within the city and questions that Kenwright or Wyness can only answer have been posed.Whether either of the two ever read Toffeeweb is conjecture at best and we are left with interesting questions but no answers. Can I suggest that you put the articles by Steve Williams and Jim Hourigan direct to Kenwright as being representitive of many Evertonians and request he gives you a reply to be published on Toffeeweb.Lets see whether he is the true blue he is keen to potray in every interview.I remember another true blue who said once a blue always a blue.
George Carroll, Bramhall  (11/3/07)

This website is definitely "monitored" by the Club, but not with the intention of improving any understanding among the fans of anything that might be going on, and definitely not responding directly to anything that is published, so the likelihood of such a response is, to say the least, remote.

The reality is that, if the various questions could be answered, they either would have been, or already have been. Beyond that, other questions remain unanswerable at this time. That's what I take from things like Buster's Shareholder Forum. Other than meaningless platitudes, they really can't answer the crucial questions that would decide things one way or the other for us fans. We really do just have to take it on trust.

So... who do YOU trust? — Michael

Waiting for our Billionaire...

We can't stay at Goodison, we're landlocked, we can't facilitate car parking and no one wants to travel on trains... If we redevelop, we will lose a quarter of our revenue every season until the redevelopment is completed.

Whether we like it or not, corporate ownership in one form or another is the way the Premiership is going. What the decision must be is whether it will be a Russian gangster or a bored American billionaire ? because they are the only ones throwing their hats into the arena at the moment. Blue Bill has done a fantastic job in creating stability under his directorship. I am not taking anything away from Davey Moyes by saying that but, when we look at some of the previous chairmen's selections for manger, we can put our hands over our foreheads and groan and groan and.... well, you get the picture.

Being a top four club in 2008 will take a lot of cash ? a really large ammount. If you think of your best ever pay packet and times it by a million squillion you will be somewhere in the region of what I'm talking about. So we will be lucky to buy Fernandes and retain Arteta. We will do well to sell Beattie for a fraction of what we paid, and even IF we do really well we might secure the services of Richardson from the Man Utd.

Bill will remain the man and he will continue to be so... hopefully until some brainless billionaire with cash falling out of his pockets buys our glorious club for as much as the two Yanks paid for LFC.
Joe Lexington, Mossley Hill  (11/3/07)

Substitutes

Who were Everton's subsitutes in the 1966 FA Cup Final?
Paula Evans, Rhyl  (11/3/07)

Oh...err... now let me think... What a stumper. I guess this is the kind of question only a true Evertonian could answer. Oh where is that Christopher Samuelson chappie when you need him? I'm sure he'd have no trouble remembering...

I guess subs had been invented back then. At least in the Football League. But I'm not sure if there was a sub (it would have been only one) in the 1996 FA Cup Final ? although they may have been able to name a Twelfth Man, and I believe that was Sandy Brown... or am I thinking of 1968, whe he was the unused sub?

Back to '66: Everton did not use a single sub on their way to Wembley, so they may not have been allowed... but I'm sure one of our readers will have a more definitive answer. — Michael

What if?

I think the guys pointing to the fact that the marginal majority in the ToffeeWeb poll would support a move are missing a point. What if a large portion of the 41% that are against decide they've had enough and dont go to the game anymore? Surely this would destroy us and I know many who feel this way.

And, long-term, if things don't change on the pitch, who will the kids from our hotbed of support follow? The more successful team in Liverpool or the shit team on the outskirts? It's a no brainer.

Sometimes the only thing we have going for us is our history, the magic of going up to Liverpool for the game (speaking as an outsider there), and the fact that we are the original club in Liverpool.
Rich Jones, Deeside  (11/3/07)

Big Club in a Small Town

What other major club in the world ? never mind England ? would contemplate leaving a world-renowned city for a small town which is famous for...? Well ...Alan Stubbs, apart a long list of celebrity Liverpool Fans.

If the Everton Board cannot see that leaving the city is the most catastrophic, ludicrous and idiotic decision in the history of the club then they must live in cloud-cuckoo land or are in a permanent drug-induced stupor.

If we do move and manage to win a trophy, what route does the open-top bus take? We can hardly expect Liverpool City Council to fund policing for such an event can we? therefore it would seem that Kirkby Station to the new ground location is the extent of our victorious tour. Mind you I?m sure contemplating winning honours is the last thing on our current Boardmembers' minds...

It?s not about geography ? it?s about how an association is built between location and club. If you carry the name of the city, fine, or if you?re part of a metropolis like London then fair enough. But if you only carry the memories of a once-great club, how can you ever hope to attract casual fans to a small town? Even Accrington Stanley wouldn?t consider leaving their home to move to a village regardless of the financial inducements.

The city of Liverpool is one of the most popular cities to visit for tourists from near and far and obviously this allows both clubs to attract supporters. Add to this the popularity of the University and you have the opportunity to increase the fanbase. Knowsley Safari Park could be deemed a better site than Kirkby ? at least that is a place where people actually want to visit.

The club should at the very least make clear the reasons for such a move: if the club is being pushed out then tell us; if our economic situation is threatening our future then tell us. Whatever the reasons for moving, please don?t hide behind a veil of silence. Tell the supporters and then we can decide if we agree or disagree.

I also urge all season ticket holders who don?t want the club to move out of the city to delay renewal of their tickets until the club have made substantial announcements regarding the ground move. It may cost a few bob more at the start of next season but at least it would show the club that we are not a bunch of ale-swilling buffoons who will follow the club blindly come what may.

Mr Kenwright, I ask you this question: If the Empire Theatre became unfit for its purpose would you seriously consider building a new one out in Kirkby? I thought not... Doubtless for exactly the same reasons that Everton Football Club should not be moved out of the confines of the city. Strictly speaking, Everton FC should move as close to the centre of the city as is possible.
John Patrick McFarlane, Lancs  (11/3/07)

Kings Dock would have been nice. Remember all the glowing promises that carried with it? Who made us all those promises? Do we still remember? Was he ever taken to task on it? The way in which that opportunity was squandered was really criminal when you think about it. — Michael

Land of promise ? Part II

It was a big read, Steve Williams, but worth it. I somehow doubt that most people can digest a dissertation, but I appreciate every word that you wrote. I am a business-type, not an accountant, the finance side of things I leave to others. I tell them what I want to do. They wander off and do it. Those who are actually skilled in it. As a business-type, though, I see huge flaws in the thinking of the current Everton Board of Directors. They may be about to deliver a financial coup. I strongly doubt it though.

Unless the Kirkby proposal delivers real money for team-building, I fear that what has gone before with other new grounds will happen again. I suspect that Bill is being misguided by his advisors. There had better be a bloody good reason for Everton to move out of Liverpool ? otherwise, the destruction it will cause is not worth contemplating. It leaves me shuddering with fear and anger.

I cannot even work out all of the commercial reasons why we should choose Kirkby... ? what corporate sponsor will follow us to Kirkby? Especially when Liverpool FC remain in the inner city? People are not so plastic to follow a well-named restaurant if that?s it. It will take much more than this. The Coventry scenario is what we seem set for. Are we expected to swallow this? On top of a free ground are Tesco likely to give us a 5-year £30M/yr shirt deal to sweeten the move? Unlikely.

As for LCC, they won?t even break sweat, despite what Warren says; the railroad to Kirkby will move on.

Colm and Ian Mcdonald are ripping into Bill, but the choices he is making seem now seem desperate to me. Cool heads, Blues, is what we need. My head says that we need an inner-city site, with partners, who can all make money and steer us to long-awaited trophies.

What happened to proper football? We are fucking about with Stadia when the team need additional quality players.

Finally on a personal note, I have nothing against Kirkby or it?s people. I would like to see the numbers work but, above all, I am an Evertonian and if half us don?t want this, then that is sufficient for me to change my view. I hope Bill does the same.
Eamonn Byrne, Shropshire  (11/3/07)

Polls Apart

Re:- "We" the Fans.

So Colm, you point us in the direction of another poll regarding a move out to Kirkby. This other poll has a grand total of 511 votes so far, and is on a website that I personally have never seen before or heard of. Contrast this with the poll on your own site ? 5793 votes on one of the more famous EFC websites. Which would you rather believe?

You say you're not the greatest believer in polls, but then happily lead us to one which happens to support your view. Why can't you just admit that you may be in the minortiy on this one Colm, instead of demeaning yourself by spouting such non-scientific claptrap?
John Armstrong, Crosby  (11/3/07)

Ah... even more mature and balanced debate!

I think what Colm is reflecting is a concern shared by a number of fans (does it really mater if they represent a majority or a minority?) who fear for our future if we accept the move to Kirkby and it fails to fulfil all the glowing promises being bestowed upon it by its promoters. That's the trouble with promises (and threats based on promises): no-one can provide any guarantees, while there are tremendous risks that will be glossed over by those who stand to make the biggest personal gains. Hence the need for mature and balanced debate... — Michael

Fans the barrier to progress

I know it`s been asked here before but PLEASE can somebody tell me what is the alternative to the Kirkby stadium? There seems to be an assumption that if Kenwright can be persuaded to abort the Tesco deal, cash will somehow become available to re-develop Goodison or some other site within the Holy City. The fact is that, if we turn the move down, we sentence ourselves and at least the next generation, to exist in the squalour of Goodison Park. How pathetic is that?

If the only offer to hand is Kirkby then so be it. The sooner the "don't go" lobby either puts up or shuts up the better ? they, not Kenwright, are the barriers to progress. So please get real!
Ollie Masters, Rhyl  (11/3/07)

Ah, polarized views, eh? So much for mature and reasoned debate! A perfect illustration of the concerns Jim Hourigan raises... ? Michael

''We'' the fans...

I can't help but notice that in Colm's article he keeps saying things like "we" the fans don't support a move and the board wont listen to "us".

Then I found this interesting little poll from a website ? ToffeeWeb ? in which the readers voted on a move to Kirby and guess what ? "we" do support a move!

So now Im a little confused; do the fans want a move (like I believe) or do "we" want to stay (like Colm keeps telling me)? I think it's quite clear "we" want a move so could Colm please stop speaking for me as if he knows what's best for me.

Previous poll result: Would you support the proposed move to Kirkby?

Yes - 59% No - 41%

Anthony O'Sullivan, Limerick  (11/03/07)

Excellent! Nothing quite like having to deal with a condescending mailbag submission on a Sunday afternoon! Sorry to hear you're a little bit confused, Anthony. If you can find a spare five minutes could you please go back and find out where I'm supposedly saying I'm speaking on your behalf? I'd appreciate some clarification on that matter if you wouldn't mind.

As for the Board not listening to "us" (the fans), I'd argue you could extend that to the shareholders! However, I'd like you to show me where I've said the Board won't listen to "us". I've re-read my article and cannot find it. Perhaps you'll enjoy better luck than I.

As for polls... I'm not the greatest of believers in most polls to be honest ? but for the sake of argument, to counter what you're hanging onto for dear life, may I point you in the general direction of this poll? You'll have to click on the View button for a current standing on the issue. Pretty damning verdict so far, no? However, far be it from me to say I'm speaking on their behalf either!

And finally, just for clarification, I have absolutely no intention, ever, of speaking on your behalf. ? Colm

Sorry Fell Asleep

The point that I was trying to make is that Warren Buffet, the world's Number Two richest man, is massively increasing his stake in Tesco. Has Mr Buffet ever had an interest in one of Robert Earl's companies I wonder? Wouldn't that be interesting?
Mike Dolan, USA  (11/3/07)

I think I'm still asleep...

Fearon, fearnot, I'll tell you why

Greetings Dick, My week on the piss in Brisbane for the cricket was great, straight off the plane into the pub for the derby, I was glad to get home for a rest. Home being 4kms away from the New Zealand Knights ground, nowhere near 12000Kms. But I've only been once and that was after the 3-0 derby when I needed an extra footie fix to maintain the post derby high.

It was SHITE!! 0-3 AND WE WE LUCKY TO GET NIL.

Shite footie = poor attendance! And making it harder and/or different for some to get there won't help matters a toss if the 'product' on sale isn't worth the effort.

Playing for a draw / not to get beat might be OK to keep you on the sky / prem gravy train. But what about the punters, you know the 'people' as mentioned in 'The Peoples Club'.

Hand on heart, just how many points have 'we' ourselves, through nobody elses fault but our own lost?? 6, 7, 8, 9, 10?? Think where we would be with a little adventure. What have you got to lose??

38 games playing for a draw, could, give you 38pts and prem safety. 38 games played to win at a 50% rate will give you (19x3) 57pts about what we might get now, if we are lucky.

Nobody, even the sternest critic could say that Moyes hasn't moved us on, we are now near the top of the also rans, instead of near the bottom...wow!

In the absence of a sugar daddy's 'giant step'...and I to wonder why anybody would invest in a football club. Well one reason, at least at West Ham, is that they, the 'takeoverees' are paying the 'takeoverers' 1.5mill per 1/4 for the next 10 years..total 50 mill

Will our Moyes/kenwright 'baby steps' cut the mustard...I for one tend to the Colm / Stevie Williams view...g'day.
Derek Thomas, Torbay Auckland  (11/03/07)

The name game

Hey, just think with a bit of "luck?!" our new stadium may be called the "Kenwright Tesco Stadium", tongue planted firmly in cheek! But don't laugh, it happened to Reading!
Craig Stanley, Helsby  (10/3/07)

Here and Now

I completely agree with Michael. We and Aston Villa where big clubs in the past and maybe in the future we will be again but for now we are not. We can look back at the past but for me it is all gone and we have to start concentrating on the present and future.

Sure, teams in the past have broken into the top four but football now is very different. It is now based on money and buying better players whereas in the past many players were homegrown or bought on the cheap. In my poinion, we are better of than Aston Villa because we have better players but you have more money to invest in players. Football has evolved and we have to evolve with the times and hopefully success will come.
Connor Rohrer, Toxteth, Liverpool  (10/3/07)

Kirkby = Done deal

I suspect that, before too long, we shall be asked to vote on the move to Kirkby.

Unfortunately, I think it will be along the lines of `Do you want to go or stay?` ? with the added overrider that, if we choose to stay, there is no way we shall ever be able to afford to develop Goodison or any other site within the City. Faced with this scenario, I suspect few of us will be daft enough to vote against the move.

Kirkby = Done deal!
Ken Lomas, Wavertree  (10/3/07)

Reply to 'Great Big Club'

I have just read the article about your club being regarded as one of the top clubs by certain fans. It recounts history and the fact that in the past the club has won titles and cups. It also states that nowadays Everton are of the same standard as clubs like Aston Villa. Well I am an Aston Villa supporter, and I agree that Everton ARE of a similar standard to Aston Villa. However, both Everton and Aston Villa are big clubs.

I agree that, over the last 30 years, we have both fallen behind the 'Big Four' clubs but that is taking things out of perspective. If we only take recent history into account then only Chelsea exist in this country. If clubs like Everton and Aston Villa adopt the attitude expressed by your writings then the whole football structure may as well give up and just give the wealthiest club all the honours.

We are behind them but we can catch up! Liverpool caught up with Everton. Manchester United were nothing before the aircrash. Leeds United were untouchable at one time. Wolverhampton Wanderers were all powerful at one time. Over the history of football, both our clubs ARE giants. This should not be forgoten because, as history shows Everton, Aston Villa, Manchester United, Liverpool, Wolves, Arsenal and even Chelsea will not remain at the top. We can topple them if we adapt a positive attitude; it may take ten, twenty years but we are big enough to be top dogs again.
Malc Cashmore, Birmingham  (10/3/07)

Sorry, Villan, we've heard that arguement before, and while it is gratifying to point to our respective histories and go "Wooaar...", the inevitable conclusion is that it has no relevance to football as we know it today. Perhaps you haven't noticed, but the wealthiest clubs do already nab all the honours, with the also-rans not getting a look-in. Ten, twenty years hence... yea, whatever. There is, however, only one timeframe that matters: the Here and Now. — Michael

Kirkby or Bust??

Why are we still going on about developing GP or other sites in the city? We seem to keep answering our own questions about 'why Kirkby?'. We should all by now realise that we have no money to fund a 'new' GP or a new stadium in the city ? if not,then where the bleedin' 'ell have you been?

The question to me is all about timing. How quickly do we need to 'move forward' with better facilities etc? If it is fairly urgent, playing in a new stadium within 3 years, then we have one option...Kirkby.

Can we can afford to wait another year or so until a new investor realises our preferred options and the new stadium is 4 or 5 years away and probably an additional £30M?

If we wait and we don't get new rich owners then the Kirkby option will be gone and we will be resigned to playing in a stadium which we all love but which has been disracefully allowed to slip from it's rightful place as the best league ground in the country to currently one of the worst in the top flight, and it's slipping. How far behind will we be then and will we be capable of re-joining the race?

Either way, it's a massive, massive risk and I don't know the answer. But one thing I do know, is that, whatever route is taken, the succesive 'custodians' of our great club, Bill Kenwright included, should be absolutely ashamed of themselves for allowing it to get this far and I for one will never forgive them for that.
Steve McBride, Liverpool  (10/3/07)

Youth

I have heard some people saying that Victor Anichebe and James Vaughan are not going to be anything special. Maybe they will not but to say Francis Jeffers was a better player at that age is a joke. Sure people have said Franny had a better first touch but did he have Victor's strength or Vaughany's pace? No chance. I am not saying they will be world beaters but I think they will be better than Francis Jeffers.

Each player that comes through the youth system has to have something going for them whether it's pace, skill or strength. The good thing about our two young lads is they are already developed physically so the rough and tumble of the Premiership will not be a problem for them. I agree they are raw and do lack technical ability and a good first touch but playing with gifted players like Arteta, Fernandes and Van der Meyde will hopefully improve this.
Connor Rohrer, Toxteth, Liverpool  (10/3/07)

A Miserable Weekend

This thing called Everton seems to drive us all crazy, yet what would we do without it? A weekend without a game is like being in suspended animation. I don't know what to do with myself, although my wife is not short of suggestions. Roll on next week!!
Brian Hill, Cape Town, South Africa  (10/3/07)

Moving

What a great piece by Colm.

The message that we don't want to move to Kirkby does not matter one iota to the wankers who run our club. Moyes might come good and give us creative flowing football BUT Kenwright will destroy this club.

We MUST get shut of him.
Steve Sweeney, Prescot  (10/3/07)

Goodison's History

I think it is (almost to the day) 40 years since Everton beat Liverpool 1-0 in the FA Cup 5th Rd in 1967. I was nine at the time and can't remember a lot about the game, except that Alan Ball scored, and the atmosphere was phenomenal. There were about 65,000 at Goodison that day, on the same ground that had hosted the World Cup semi-final less than a year before; and another 40,000 watching it live on a screen at that shitty ground across the park.

Great memories, of course ? I'm recalling this match to highlight how much our great club has declined, and what a sickening irony it would be to see our vile neighbours in the huge, prestigious stadium, and us, the first club in the city, not actually in the city anymore!

It mustn't be allowed to happen ? it's more than likely that the Kirkby stadium will be bigger, but how can you transfer a stadium's soul? We must progress but I just can't accept that there isn't an alternative to Kirkby...
Rob Lloyd, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia  (10/3/07)

And there, in two messages (above and below) we have pretty much what this is all about. It's a tough one, methinks. — Michael

Face the facts... please!

It totally bewilders me that so many Evertonians continue to rail against the move to Kirkby but fail totally to suggest the means of affording ANY alternative.

Kenwright and Co have signed an exclusivity agreement with Knowsley and Tesco simply because they are the ONLY source of finance available. It`s not as though there are half a dozen tycoons lining up to stick £200M into the club ? only an idiot would see Everton as anything but a sentimental `trainset` investment ? and I can positively assure you that it was not lack of enthusiasm on Kenwright`s part that sent Randy Lerner down the M6 to Villa!

However much we may want our Club to stay within the City boundaries, the fact remains that the only offer on the table reads KIRKBY and the sooner that simple fact is understood and accepted the sooner we can all get on with trying to influence the design and facilities of our future home!
Jonathan Ward, Chester  (10/3/07)

Youth system

I don't quite understand why people are placing such expectations and demands on our youth system.

Man Utd had that famous youth team come through in the early ninties that included the Nevilles, Becham, Scholes etc. How many top players have they had come through since? Over twelve or thirteen seasons and I can only think of Brown, Fletcher and Richardson that have been kept on over a sustained period of time. And none of those are getting a regular game. Just because it's happens once, like ourselves with Ball, Jeffers and Dunne, it doesn't mean that it will happen all the time. Or in anywhere near the same numbers.

Most clubs that I have seen in the Premiership bring through one or two kids every eighteen months to two years. Nothing more. And then they might only get a season and then disappear. Arsenal, obviously, are the only exception.

Then again, it's also as much to do with how adventurous or interested the manager is as anything else. Sam Allerdyce seems to have no interest. Benitez always has money to spend and does so on established players. We seem to have spent big on a youth system but Moyes has little interest.

Wenger as an interested manager, and Arsenal as a club in general, are the only ones that seem to take a youth system seriously, and make it work. As a side-swipe, I would presume it has taken a lot of the pressure off with their new stadium debt as well. Take note, Bill and Dave.
Kieran Fitzgerald, Dublin  (10/3/07)

Good point... but which Dave is that then?

Travel broadens the mind

When living in Maghull, my regular schedule included Halewood for work and Goodison for home games plus lots of away games. From where I now live, to see Perth Glory it's a 450-km round trip. Glory?s nearest away game is a round trip of 3000 km and it's furthest is around 12000 km. Admittedly I have not done the 12000-km round trip to New Zealand but a there always is a bunch of fans who do.

How far is it from Goodison to Kirkby?
Dick Fearon, West Australia  (10/3/07)

Sorry, Dick, we don't do kilometres. What was your point exactly?

A Special Soul

I think most of us are in agreement that it would be better for us if we stayed at Goodison. However, since we have been stiffed by LCC re our own (supposed) plans to build on Stanley Park and to (supposedly, according to the powers that be) redevelop Goodison by either building up or digging down, what choice are we really left with? Staying means we wil be in the shadow of a fully visible, gleaming new stadium owned by the dark side, an eternal conrete reminder of how far we have been left behind.

I live in Dublin and only get to Goodison about twice a year, so it means less to me to have to venture outside the city than most "locals", but I don't think it is about the travel. There is still always a magic in the ground, a special soul, that nervous anticipation that you get as kick-off approaches. This is what most people fear will be lost, with valid reason. My little boy will be 3 in June and I want to take him to Goodison with me when he is old enough, not to some sterile shopping mall.

No doubt when Liverpool get their new toy, we'll hear about how spectacular it is, how great an achievement it is, what a fantastic atmosphere they generate etc etc, ad nauseum. Faced with the choices in front of us, we are damned if we do and damned if we don't.
Alan McMillan, Dublin  (10/3/07)

Investors

I think it should be noted by all Evertonions that the world's second richest man, a Mr Warren Buffet, has just upped (if you will allow that as a word) his holdings in Tesco PLC. I think that anyone with a brain in their head would welcome that Blue Bill is only going to sell at a profit.

We should also be grateful that, while we will never be sold on time, ... [message ends]
Mike Dolan, USA  (10/3/07)

... Yes?

If ya know yer 'istory

Re Peter Seward and Catterick's greatest error, if memory serves (and increasingly it seems not to), David Johnson was biffed out along with Alan Whittle and A.N.Other (any ideas) as a result of the imfamous (at the time) 'Holly Lodge school girl scandal' (Oh to be a fly on the wall for that one). Hope that clears the blot on Harry's record...

Go Colm ? you da man!!
Derek Thomas, Auckland, New Zealand  (10/3/07)

Stadium

Lots of Evertonians want to move to Kirkby and lots want to stay at Goodison. In my opinion, we should try and redevelop Goodison and if not then move to somewhere in the city boundaries. We were offered two spots by the council, one in south and one in north Liverpool. I was told last week that many Evertonians live in north Liverpool so would they have a problem with somewhere like Speke where we were offered?

I don't believe Bill wants to sell us to some foreign investor. In his head, I think he wants to get us high up the league on a tight budget. If we ever did this, he would take the praise. I am also worried that if we go to a new stadium in Kirkby we will not fill the capacity. I believe this is because many fans will be turned off by the distance to Kirkby.
Connor Rohrer, Toxteth, Liverpool  (10/3/07)

re Colms corner

Thank you for putting into words what most Everton fans think. If Kenwright had half as much integrity, we would not be in this mess.
Roy Coyne, Old Swan  (9/3/07)

Thanks, Roy. Thing is... from reading on here and other forae, a lot of Blues have the opinion that I'm hell bent on hounding Bill Kenwright out of Goodison in some sort of demented out and out campaign against the man. Anything but, is how I'd reply to those accusations!

However, I would make it clear that I'm no fan of his leadership even though I recognise his warmth and genuine affection for the Club he's loved all his life. In times when the knives are sharp and aimed his way, it's sometimes worth mentioning that there was a time he was the only one inside that Everton Boardroom willing to put his hand into his pocket to help bail Everton out of whatever mess we were in.

Though highly criticial of his chairmanship and impending move out of the City of Liverpool (which has me up the wall in absolute fear for our future), I'll not forget that lonely time when he was the boy with the finger in the dyke, metaphorically speaking, trying to save further damage to the Club.

Long time ago though and you simply cannot excuse the quite lengthy list of cock-ups that have contributed greatly to Everton stagnating. I see only a profitable end-game for the likes of Bill if and when we move to Kirkby. ? Colm

Fans need to be steady

Colm's passionate article had much to commend it (but why the bad language?). However, ranting about Bill is not helpful. Keith Wyness runs the club and he is the one we need to keep asking questions of.

Bill, the majority shareholder, cares and he is the one with the real problem. For the first time in our history, the next generation of Blues cannot expect Everton to compete with the best. 'Nil Satis...' is a motto we have grown up with. Bill's problem is how to achieve that.

The answer in these strange days is money. How do we raise it or attract it? The new ground can be an answer ? it seems to be for Arsenal. Tesco is offering a way to achieve the new ground; so Bill is listening. Of course he could sell his stake and attract money ? but new owners would still want a new ground. A new ground is the key.

But where? This Evertonian remains unconvinced about leaving Goodison. Has Bully really investigated all options for staying and re-developling? I doubt it. I too worry about Bully's agenda. However, let's not be paranoid. Bill cares ? let's pose questions, without ranting. But, that's no reason not to be dogged about Bully's work.
Will Hanrahan, Stratford on Avon  (9/3/07)

Why the bad language?! Excuse the Irishness coming out loud and clear, Will. Over here the F-word is everything from a verb to a pronoun to a highly descriptive adjective. I take on board your point about the usage of profanity and I'll endeavour not to use those fucking words ever again!

You are more than right to focus on the man who runs the show at Goodison whilst the absentee landlord down in London looks after his personal business (and successfully so, may I add). However, as with all businesses, the buck stops with the top man ? and that is Bill Kenwright, not Keith Wyness. I also think it would be unfair to say that Keith Wyness alone is the reason we're unlikely to consider redevelopment of Goodison ? the fault there lies with this Board and those previous. They did absolutely nothing.

I may be doing Keith Wyness a great disservice here but I heard he was stunned to find that the only plan for redevelopment of Goodison Park over the last number of years belonged solely to the GfE group ? the Club, itself, had done nothing. I repeat ? NOTHING! I could go further on that point but at this time I'll spare those running our Club further embarrassment. - Colm

RE: Reserves

I included Hibbert and Osman in the late 90s team seeing as though they were both in that Youth team and in Osman's case especially, were a lot later in breaking into the first team than the likes of Ball, Jeffers, Dunne.
Jack Calvert, Liverpool  (9/3/07)

The moving finger writes and having writ...

I have to say I agree with every word of Colm's analysis. What is strange to me is that opponents of the move to Kirkby are often accused of mere sentimentality, as if all the hard-edged facts favored the move.

In reality, not one single solitary isolated hard fact has been put on the table that favors a move to Kirkby. It is all supposition. I expected at least one fact to pass the lips of Keith Wyness in his Shareholders' Forum meeting, but alas, not one. This is because there are none. When Keith Wyness and Bill Kenwright are prepared to buy homes in Kirkby and move their families there, I'll be persuaded to support moving Everton there.

Until then, I suggest every Evertonian who doesn't want Everton to commit commercial suicide by moving out of Liverpool ? STOP BUYING AT TESCO! That will soon make a Kirkby superstore with a football team attached to it look less attractive.
Peter Fearon, Liverpool  (9/3/07)

Such a diatribe there, Peter! ;-) If there's one thing we should ALL learn ? but probably won't ? it is to follow the Money Trail. And that's something Everton do not, apparently, have much of these days, Sky money or no Sky money. Everton FC ? the busted flush. ? Colm

Reserves

Personally I think the most worrying aspect of the reserves is that, since Colin Harvey left the club in 2002, no-one has come through the reserves and become a first-team rgular. Rooney was the last he bought through and most notably he bought through the FA Youth Cup-winning side in the 1998 (Ball, Jeffers etc) too.

Yes Vaughan and Anichebe have been in and around the squad but they are yet to be seen as first choice. On top of that, several of the other "top" prospects include Agard, Spencer, Stubhaug and possibly Vidarsson have all been bought from other sides' academies.

I do not think this is a problem that is going to be solved by the new Academy on its own ? we need a better scouting system and arguably a better coaching set up. Fail to do this and again we are looking at yet more moving on like Mark Hughes, Steven Schumacher, etc.
Jack Calvert, Liverpool  (9/3/07)

Errr.... I know what happened to Colin Harvey was bad (did we ever get the full skinny? Not even in his book, methinks) but you cannot blithley ignore Hibbert (2002-03) and Osman (2004-05) ? that's when those players established themselves as first-team regulars.

And everyone likes to have a pop at our scouting setup ? does anyone who reads this mailbag know even the first thing about it? How many scouts do we have? Where are they based?? What exactly is wrong with them??? I've always wondered where this gem of widely held common knowledge comes from... ? Michael

Kenwright's new stadium

I am in total agreement with Colm that Kenwright should go. It is Kenwright's weaknesses though that will keep us at Goodison. Kenwright is so inept in everything he does regarding Everton FC that he won't be able to engineer a ground move.

I have total trust in us not moving to Kirkby because Kenwright cannot secure any funding for our club in any shape or form. He will have to fund some part of the deal won't he? Why will Tescos build Everton a stadium? Why not just build a new Tescos without the added expense of a football stadium?

The talk of a ground move is another empty promise from Kenwright to keep the fans sweet, to show his ambition to move the club forward. When Kenwright has promised things in the past how often has he actually delivered? Rest assured, we're not going anywhere with him in control, we will only carry on stagnating.
Alan Clarke, Manchester  (9/3/07)

Now you realise you are just going to upset Bill's fans with that kind of talk. You, sir, are just a nay-sayer. He promised Wayne Rooney would not be sold for £50M... and he wasn't. ;) ? Michael

Number crunching

There have been some interesting figures appearing in the mailbag about the ground and the purchase of the club. Without the real books or published reliable figures many of these are way off the mark. The one that sticks in my throat is the figure Jim Ranch puts buying out Everton itself as between £50M and £80M. Bearing in mind the only assets the club now actually owns are Goodison Park itself ? which we are constantly reminded is a shithole in a shithole ? I can't see that raising much cash. And the majority of players on the books have decreasing values, not increasing.
Gavin Ramejkis, Upholland  (9/3/07)

I think you are making the mistake of looking at hard assests as the basis for a valuation. The real cost would be for purchase of shares at an agreed price. Johnson sold at $857 per share, which valued the club at £30M back in 2000.

Our (hopefully) improved prospects currently should see the real share value approaching £1400 which is £49M for the entire club. Throw in some "good will" and the potential for future earnings from Sky/whatever, and a range of £50M to £80M sounds about right... unless you actually deduct from that figure the outstanding debt. That might be where Jim went awry, as he is adding it to the "book" value of the club, whereas I would be subtracting it. The value of Goodison Park (£2M or £3M was the undisputed estimate I floated recently) is mere peanuts compared to these numbers. — Michael

Why invest?

In response to Jim Ranch's article, surely the same would apply to any investment into English football where Man Utd have been the exception to the rule where profit is concerned?

Apply the same logic to LFC, they generate twice the income but have twice the debt and are looking to build a stadium costing around £200M. So, even with the fact that they are more of an attractive proposition in terms of marketing, how long would it take for the Yanks to show a return on a £450M investment ? twice that required for EFC?

With a requirement for a number of quality players and the wages that go with them, probably another £50M, they would have to work very hard just to stand still. The question will always be, "Why would anyone want to buy a football club?" and the answer would still be "Fuck knows"... but if they can invest in Portsmouth, Villa, West Ham etc ? then why not us?

The other point to make is that we don't necessarily need someone to buy the whole club; we could attract a few smaller 'Evertonian' investors offering maybe £10M - £20M each, and the rumours are that offers have been made but rejected due to BK not wanting to dilute his power base ? Gregg intimated as much in the public row between them. This would give the club a boost and put us in a position to at least cough up a significant chunk towards any future advancement and not have to follow where it suits others best.
Steve McBride, Liverpool  (9/3/07)

Just a quickie to Charlie Gofton....

For clarity, I would be interested to know who has spent £150-£200M on redeveloping their existing stadiums?

There are several ways in which GP can be expanded to 50k+, and at a very much lower cost than that. Meanwhile, can you also confirm your source for the Tesco cost, as I have not seen this anywhere, and even when asked directly Keith Wyness was unable to answer on this.
Tom Hughes, Liverpool  (9/3/07)

Reserves

It's disappointing to hear from Gareth Hughes that the future prospects are not up to much although I do question on what qualifications he is basing his assessment of the potential future developments of young talent. None of those players (Da Silva aside) are training with the first team so it's to be expected that they are nowhere near Premiership quality yet; presumably, if they were, they'd be with the premiership team.

Even within his assessment, I saw some postives though. Kissock and Molyneux may not be ready but all the reports suggest they have the potential for the future if not the present and if Densmore is also a likely graduate to the Premiership then personally I think three from one "class" is not a bad return. United "class of '92" style teams don't come around that often! It would be rather optimistic to think that in each Academy team there would be 11 future Premiership players.

People seem willing to denigrate the Academy simply because most of the players never play in the Premiership, the reality is that's because most footballers never play in the Premiership. The Academy just means that we attract as many of the ones that might as we can. There are plenty of former Everton youths plying their trade currently in the Premiership so I don't think we do too bad compared to some clubs such as Newcastle.

Oh and in response to Graham Nolan; it would be nice to think all players will stay with a club just because they "gave them a chance" but sadly "gave them a whopping great big cheque" tends to hold much bigger sway. That said, I agree that Arteta has been a model professional and believe he will stay at Goodison for the time-being as one of the few players in the game who does seem to exude a sense of loyalty and contentment to just play (and pick up a meagre £20k/wk). There seem to be a few such players at clubs in similar positions to us at the moment who are actingly similarly. Perhaps a reaction to the experiences of Shaun Wright-Phillips, Michael Owen, Francis Jeffers whose careers have derailed as big-money bench-warmers.
John Holmes, York  (9/3/07)

After being pessimistic in my last response, perhaps you hint here at a feint hope for the future of football below the Big Four. If good players like Arteta can be retained because they know they will be the king-pin and always be first on the teamsheet at clubs like Everton, rather than becoming part of a massive squad rotation system at United or Real Madrid, then perhoas there is a glimmer of hope. But as copunterpoint, you have the case of Tommy G... Ah well. Maybe things will change for the better one day... — Michael

Perm any 3 from 16

The problem with the Premier League is not the top 4 per se. It is the fact that any of the remaining 16 clubs are as likely to be relegated as finish 5th.

Like Everton, teams who have done well one season have found themselves struggling the followeing season. West Ham being a prime example. Bolton are probably the only team in recent years who have managed to consistenlty finish in the higher reaches, although they too have had long winless runs during the season.

So the contributor who mentioned we won't have any relegation problems in the coming seasons be warned, we are one of sixteen yo-yo's with no obvious advantage over our 15 rivals. The aim I'm sure for all these clubs and managers is to take 1 pt of the top 4 ,2 off the remaining top 10, 3 off the teams 11-15 and at least 4 off the bottom 5.

Which would give a total points value of around 50 points and ? as Moyes's and his colleagues would say ? "Mission Accomplished".
John Patrick McFarlane, Lancs  (9/3/07)

You know, that really does sum up the cold hard reality of what is that which we once loved so much has now become: the cut and thrust of the "best league in the world". And to those who keep bleating about the wonderful job Moyes has done... it really is basically a lottery.

The price paid in terms self-inflicted impoverishment of squad numbers and football quality are a truely shameful justificatlon for the pragmatism of achieving 40 points each season. It really and truely stinks to high heaven. — Michael

Future reserves

From what I have seen of Kissock, he has talent but is far too lightweight for the Premiership. When I last saw him it was at a Youth Cup game and he was completely bullied out the game.

Lee Molyneux also looks a decent defender with a good left foot but nothing special.

Kieran Agard (who we got from Arsenal) has pace and a good workrate but his goalscoring form has not been brilliant.

And on Anderson da Silva, he did not play well in the last reserve game but against Bournmeth and the reserve game before that he looked a decent player.

This does not mean a thing because it is not the Premiership. Oh and could someone tell me what Kissock's natural position is because, when ive seen him play, he has played in the middle or out wide.
Connor Rohrer, Toxteth, Liverpool  (9/3/07)

Home or Away

Having read Colm's article, I feel his passion for his position. However, talking to Blues fans both home and away, there seems to me to be no massive majority either way, but certainly a leaning toward supporting the move to Kirby if ever a fans' vote is taken.

Reasons for this have been many and varied but to paraphrase it seems the move is needed to progress, modernise and create the revenue streams to see us able to make a challenge on the top four. Those against the Kirkby move seem to fall into mainly two catagories: those who passionately believe Goodison Park can be revamped and those who just dont want to leave the city.

I have to say that I don't know what the answer is but I realise that those who run the club have a duty to do the best possible for club and its fans, and just have to get it right.

My own feelings on this are at odds with each other as I welcomed the move to Kings Dock and was happy to leave Goodison. The proposed move to Kirkby leaves me wanting to stay at Goodison! I suppose this is because one felt right the other doesn't. Both moves were mooted for the same reasons so this may well leave me open to being called Neanderthal...

Until I am persuaded that this is the right move for the right reasons and to the right place to make progress toward world class status for our great club, I will go about my daily life quietly singing to myself... "Don't want to go to Kirby,S kemersdale or Speke. I just want to stay here at home with my beautiful Gwladys Street."

Still there's always the upcoming games to take my mind off such matters. UP THE BLUES
Ken Buckley, Buckley  (9/3/07)

I think it's a really tough one, Ken. And I think you cover the dilemma well. "This is the right move for the right reasons and to the right place to make progress toward world class status for our great club." ? we are effectively being told exactly that... the problem is one of credibility. Words like that are as cheap and meaningless as "I am working 24/7 to find new investment for this club." At some point, we have to choose who and what to believe... — Michael

Colm...

I would just like to say Colm what an excellent article youv'e written. I don't believe for one minute that Kenwright has ever looked for investment for Everton. I am sure he has some ulterior motive for selling us down the Swanee, but I can't imagine what it is. I do know that when the move happens, I won't be going.

After 50 years of supporting Everton, that will be my lot, also the 30-odd years of being an agent for the club will go down the pan as well. Would a "hand on heart" fanatic Evertonian ever let this club get into the bloody mess it is in now, and more to the point, oversee maybe, the demise of it!?!
Colin Potter, Liverpool  (9/3/07)

Reserves of hope?

Just thought I would share my observations about the Everton reserve game I saw at the Halton Stadium on Tuesday night. Firstly, the attendance cannot have exceeded 100, most of whom appeared to be relatives and friends of players.

As for the game, I was keen to see if there were any prospective first teamers amongst the mainly academy players. The answer sadly was no. John Paul Kissock, seen by many as Everton's great young hope, has ability to burn but is nowhere near ready for the Premier League. Of the remainder, the left back Molyneuex looks promising and in the longer term cannot be a worse bet than the truly awful Naysmith.

There is very little else though to get excited about, just a collection of lads who have absolutely no chance of making a career at Premier League level.

The most shocking aspect of the game though was the performance of a man who I, in my wildest fantasies, hoped might ride to Everton's rescue in the run-in and compensate for the loss of Cahill. Of course, I refer to one Anderson da Silva. Let me leave my fellow Evertonians, who perhaps have not seen 'Andy' in action, under no illusions; he is an utter waste of space. Slow, clumsy and disinterested, he is like a latter day latin Claus Thomsen (yes, that bad).

It is truly terrifying to think how this guy caught the bug eye of David Moyes. What sort of scouting system do we operate in South America for Christ sake, if this is the best we can come up with?

However, to finish on a more positive note. There was one other young lad who appeared as a sub on Tuesday who we may end up hearing more about a few years down the line. His name, is Shaun Densmore, his shorts almost went down to his ankles such was his size, but he showed in barely half-an-hour a sparkle and awareness that poor old Da Silva could only dream of possessing.

Remember the name....
Gareth Hughes, Liverpool  (9/3/07)

Many thanks for that, Gareth. It's great to have some insight on the lower tiers, and I value your analysis.

To my mind, having diligently kept track of the Reserves and Academy teams for this website, I see the importance and relevance of the system as having been eroded significantly over the last 10 years. I know the numbers coming through at Everton and getting into the first team go against this, but in general, the idea of the Reserves has been denigrated over this period. It is now an extension of the Academy, with the option for one or two recovering players to get a run out. As you point out, and as Moyes's team selection woes demonstrate, none of the regulars are true "Reserves" in any sense, and will play no part in the Premiership. — Michael

Transfer funds

We're all worried that we may have little or no money to spend this summer after spending this year's money last summer. But surely this is again going to be offset by spending next summer's money? It is hardly risky as we are never going to be involved in a relegation battle for the foreable future. This is NOT saying go as far as what Leeds did a few years ago; however, in football, you do need to speculate in order to accumalate.
Jack Calvert, Liverpool  (9/3/07)

Colm!!!

I have just finished reading Colm's ramblings and I can quite honestly say that I feel depressed and let down. I would just like to make three simple points:

  1. The current "present day problems", as you so coyly put it, are hardly vast. Whatever you think of the way we play and the standard you expect, the fact is the last 15 years have not allowed us to do any better. Because of Johnson, we lost touch with the leading pack. No manager in the world could have done anything better than Smith did at the end of Johnson's demolition at the helm. We are thankfully now improving.

  2. The reason no investors are looking at us is because of our current stadium and the lack of land we own. Coventry, Newcastle, City, Utd, West Ham, all have newish stadiums with the capabilities to expand. Villa, Chelsea, Sheff Wed all own large areas of land outside of their stadiums. This for investors is inviting. Not a club that has an old dying ground in not the most glamourous locations and a fantastic history. Our fanbase is certainly investable, but until we show signs of improving ourselves that wont change.

  3. The new ground is not being built by Wyness and Kenwright to fuck us all off! It is being PROPOSED because it makes financial sense. That in our case means the only feasible option. Re-developing Goodison or a new site "in the city" would cost us (on the basis of similar ventures) around £150-£200M all said and told. The new stadium with Knowsley's and Tesco's help £20-£30M.
I put it to you, would you rather 15 more years fighting debt (£120M+) and scrapping at the wrong end of the league, or a new ground and a new start? I don't want to leave Liverpool but in the same light I want to see some sucess. It's that simple!
Charlie Gofton, Liverpool  (9/3/07)

Re: 946 Billionaires Out there...

Number 891. Li Wei, China, 38, $1, dumplings... didn't we sign him with Li Tie? As you can see, he's made a success out of dumplings already.
Nick Entwistle, London  (9/3/07)

Stand Up, Joe McBride?

Firstly, Hillsborough did not happen because people were stood on the terraces ? it happened because large numbers of people were 'allowed' to rush the rear of the terracing which could easily be prevented in a modern stadium.

However, being 6'2" I would not have a major issue with the return of standing but as my lad, the superbly talented young footballer, Joe McBride, is only 9 and under 5' I think I'll stick to seating. After all, as we continuously worry about the future fanbase, not being able to actually see anything for £20 may switch the kids off from going, especially with a lot more distractions available.

In my day, the only alternative to going to the match was the Saturday Matinee or Dickie Davies and Big Daddy ? but at least we had the Boy's Pen!!
Steve McBride, Liverpool  (9/3/07)

Arteta's artistry

Regarding the issue of Arteta ? Why would he move? Let us not forget that we are the club that gave him a chance. He was not getting his game at Real Sociedad when we took him on loan. The only reason he is even being connected with the Spanish national team is that Everton have given him a platform on which he can display his undoubted talents.

Everything can change in football and of course it is possible that he could move. However, everything indicates that he wants to play in Europe and he wants to do that with Everton.
Graham Nolan, Dublin  (9/3/07)

I'm an inivator, twisted inivator

An issue that has come up on these pages is terracing. Re-introduction is a good thing from my point of view, but maybe there?s another option to enhance viewing pleasure. As stated down the pages, Everton used to be an innovator and could maybe incorporate this to create more room in Goodison, or indeed the potential new stadium.

Listed below are the annoyances of seating in any stadium for a footy match?

  1. If one person stands up to get a pie, the whole stand rises to get their view back.

  2. That person also causes a one row mini Mexican Wave of people allowing him/her room to get by. Very annoying to the spectator, especially on the return journey!

  3. Lack of leg pitch (airline-industry-speak) means cramp inducing positions for anyone who?s approaching 6 ft.

  4. Attendances max out well below that of previous terraced areas.
So, how do those problems get solved??? Wait for it, take a breath, here we go? Stools!!! Here?s how they would tackle the corresponding points above?


  1. The higher the seat from the floor, less is the need to stand to gain your view back. The person who is walking through the row will have their head roughly the same height as people seated.

  2. There would be no need to move off your stool as if when someone comes past, you just maybe dangle your feet down, if keeping them on the foot rests causes an obstacle.

  3. The issue of leg pitch would of course disappear.

  4. The closer the rows could be to get at least a few more rows in per stand, especially as with the seating position on stools, a shallower seat is needed compared to chairs.

  5. More rows, more revenue.
This option would also allow people to stand if they wish, and when people stand the atmosphere is greater.

The stools would of course be fixed in place with some funky new design, and could also incorporate a ?personal bin? to keep the rubbish off the terraces, or use the space below to keep your bags out the way.

Right now I feel like a kid entering a Blue Peter competition. As Everton were a club of innovation, maybe others have ideas that could be introduced?

Right, I'm off down the Dragons' Den.
Nick Entwistle, London  (9/3/07)

It's original, it's smart, it's innovative... but I just can't see it really. Just sounds more dangerous... would everyone end up standing on their stools? — Michael

Reply to Lyndon about our position

We are not where we are because of the inability of teams to keep up. That is too facile. Are Man Utd top because of the inability of Liverpool and Arsenal to keep up? I think they deserve praise, not assumption that others can't keep up. The Prem may well be poor below the top four, but that is because no-one else has anywhere near their money. No-one can either get many players of the calibre of their players nor such large squads.

And we did not get 4th through investment and a big squad. We got it despite either of those factors, which is why the Club deserved more praise than it got. The truth is that the Champions League has, and always would have, destroyed the domestic game. The same teams year after year with increasing budgets. That is not Bill's nor Moyes's fault.

You can bemoan the style of football, and many may agree, but I give them credit for getting 43 points so far. And I would support the Moyes style although, ironically, since the year we finished fourth, it has become much duller. But it seems he sees that success as defining. I hope not for much longer.

Only Bolton have done better than us, not including the Champions League 4, which we cannot dream to compete with financially. Check the Delloitte & Touche report on the Premiership clubs' revenues. Tottenham had a bigger revenue last year than ANY of the other clubs below the CL 4. But they had only around HALF the revenue of the poorest of the CL 4.

We're in separate leagues. No-one wants to stop dreaming of success, but step back and smell the coffee.
Roberto Birquet, London  (9/3/07)

Colm's Corner

Thank you, Colm, for an excellent contribution. I agree 100% with all points raised. If only Mr Kenwright would do the decent thing and sell out to new investors who must be out there somewhere, I'm sure we could regain our natural place within the elite clubs.

We must remain within the city at either a revamped Goodison or perhaps part of the Central Docks redevelopment proposed by Peel Holdings.
Ian Pilkington, Adlington, Lancs  (9/3/07)

Re Colm's article

I'm not going to go down the route of "We're sixth, let's get behind the team" etc etc... even though I'm quite happy with the progress we have made in just 5 years. But I was wondering about moving outside the city bounds... am I right in saying that, when Everton first moved to Goodison it was outside the city bounds? That did us no harm at all.

I would love to stay at Goodison but I think the people who want to stay need to answer the following:

  1. As each stand is redeveloped, where do the thousands of season ticket holders sit?

  2. Do we really want to play our games in a building site for 2 years?

  3. Do we really want to put the club in a debt of £200M and still be left with a stadium that won't be as good as Liverpool's brand new purpose-built stadium literaly feet away?
While I would love to stay in Goodison, it's time for my head to rule my heart.
Anthony O'Sullivan, Ireland  (9/3/07)

Spot on Colm

Colm, 'Change your exit plan, Bill' was spot-on. Moving to Kirkby will be Blue Bill's final nail in the coffin to Everton FC. Rich Williams didn't read the article to the end, maybe you should read the whole article before you call Colm? If you do that and along with all the other blinkered Evertonians looking at the League table would wake up to the fact that Kenwright's tenure and leadership of our great club has been nothing short of shocking, short-sighted and clueless. As a 'true-blue' has he actually forgotten our great heritage and tradition? (Maybe not securing the France Collection shows he has...)

The most frustrating thing for me is that, as an Everton fan, other than not attending games, what can we do to top this man killing our tradition, heritage and ambition? Any billionaire Evertonians out there who can line Bill's pockets, make him some money so he'll return to the boy's pen?

If Tesco are so interested in Everton, why doesn't Bill tell them to find us a site in Liverpool? Why do we have to follow them to Kirkby? If Bill and Keith have seriously run out of ideas and this is a final resort then they truely don't deserve to run our club

The sixth best team in the country, Rich? Are you having a laugh? There is no way we'll finish 6th and if we do, this will just be another false dawn. Unless we massively invest in the squad in the Summer (how can we do that when the new Sky money has already been spent this season?) In footballing terms we are miles behind other clubs ? other clubs who have had new investment and will also get the new Sky money next season.

'Nil Satis Nisi Optimum', can somebody remind Bill that's our motto and that's what all Evertonians want ? well, those who remember what ambition, tradition and heritage is!
Lee Wilson, Wirral  (9/3/07)

946 Billionaires out there

...according to Forbes. And yet Bullshit Billy can't find a one of them after working 24/7 for how long??? 24 seconds in 7 years methinks. Can someone email him the lists:


Eric Myles, Pattaya, Thailand  (9/3/07)

The stadium debate

I was doing something tedious the other day and my mind wondered off onto a more interesting subject, namely Everton's new stadium. I was one of the supporters of taking Tesco's money and have them virtually pay for a new ground, until something actually dawned on me.

Goodison has been our home for over 100 years, and I have been blessed with visiting our place of worship many times down the years, including some of our glorious times in the eighties. Obviously it will always hold a special place in our hearts for all of us. But then I started thinking our next home could be for the next 100 years also... Do we really want a Tesco glued on to the side of New Goodison? Think of every aerial picture for example and every time Sky{only the top 4 matter} Sports dusts down its blimp for a live match. I'm picturing it and it doesn't look easy on the eye!

I actually remember Bolton's old stadium Burnden Park had a supermarket attached to it and it looked a right abortion. So I have re-evaluated and think we need to keep looking for a better solution ? not just for us, but for all future blues.
Craig Stanley, Helsby  (9/3/07)

Same old...

I started to read Colm's diatribe regarding Bill Kenwright and I couldn't make it to the end. Jesus, same old shit being spouted by the same old people! We are sixth in the table, i.e the sixth best team in the country, lets throw all our weight behind this regime and see what we can do as a united force, bollocks to this bullshit moaning and groaning.

I used to subscribe to the Toffeeweb viewpoint (and it is widely regarded as a Toffeeweb viewpoint) but I am sick of it now. I have resolved to become an optimistic Evertonian (no I hope it is not an oxymoron)! Sixth in the leage pushing for Europe, let's enjoy it. Come on, Blues, unite; Everton for Europe, the good times beckon! (Ok I may have partaken in a few too many of Uncle Sam's best-known brew, namely Budweiser but after a passionate chap with a yank about Dixie Dean, Goodison/Anfield and the creation of the redshite, as well as Heysel this is just the way I feel... and I am not about to apologise). Come on, you blues, onward and upward!
Rich Williams, Danbury, USA  (9/3/07)

Rich, I think Colm's point revolves around decisions that will affect the club in far more lasting ways than focusing on our current Premiership position. Yes, we're sixth, but if we're being brutally honest with ourselves, we do owe quite a bit to the likes of Portsmouth, Tottenham and Newcastle for their inability to either get their act together or keep it together. We're in sixth in spite of ourselves and because of the jaw-droppingly awful quality of the top flight outside the top 4.

With a bit more urgency in the transfer market and a bit of consistency, we could be knocking on the top 4 as we were two seasons ago, rather than stumbling our way past Reading with a 1-1 draw at Sheffield United. I suppose it's all about expectations, but let's not let our immediate prospects distract us from the crucial long-terms decisions that are ahead of us. ? Lyndon

Rich, stick to reading the Official website. Ne'er a 'diatribe' to be found over there. - Colm

Chinese Restaurant

As a relatively young blue, I have read certain snippets regarding Everton players brawling in a Chinese restaurant. Could someone please furnish me with the details of this conflict, even if it's just to clear up that it was nothing more than malicious rumour.
David Cox, Western Australia  (9/3/07)

I believe you're referring to the time Colin Harvey brought his squad out for a meal in Southport, where Martin Keown and Kevin Sheedy came to blows! I recall reading some wag at the time suggesting it was the only time he'd seen Sheeds fighting for his plaice! - Colm

Arteta

After reading Joe Rourke's interesting (and comforting) letter, I decided to have a listen to Arteta's interview on Spanish radio. Joe's absolutely right - when prompted to come home to Spain, Mikel simply chuckled and said he was enjoying life abroad.

The only thing that puzzles me is that they didn't ask him straight out about Atlético Madrid as they must be aware of the rumours. Atlético have improved under their new Mexican manager this season but they are not that glamourous a proposition for any player who is eager to get his hands on some silverware.

Worrying about them running off with our prize midfield asset is like looking out for jelly fish when you're surrounded by Great Whites. The threat could lie elsewhere. What I do think is that our chances of holding on to quality will be a lot greater if we clinch that Uefa Cup spot. It might not be a great money-spinner but it must mean a lot to players and, as a supporter, it certainly still turns me on.

I hope we Blues never end up like the couple of Real Madrid fans I overheard talking about the wisdom of signing Beckham not in terms of his possible contribution to the team, but on how replica shirt sales would go through the roof in China and beyond. If I can't dream of us getting back into Europe and building a team around the likes of Arteta that'll do us all proud, then what's the point of it all? 'Tell me ma, me ma, I don't want no tea, no tea, we're soaring on Wall Street, tell me ma, me ma'. Not for me, thank you very much...
Phil Grayston, Barcelona, Spain  (9/3/07)

Promises and Lies

Time out people. Some have recently talked about the issue of standing at stadiums, and a lot of emotive opinions have been, well, opined. It's a sensitive area for obvious reasons, but please stick to the facts.

Michael has rightly pointed out that millions hadn't suffered previously through terracing. However, on that awful day, I was at the other semi final at Villa Park, and ended up with a bruise on my side after the surge when Nevin scored the winner. I then got home to find out four people I knew had perished.

The whole thing was a whitewash in the way that South Yorkshire Constabulary got away with it. The sad fact that some of the Bobbies on the Beat that day got compensation for "traumatic stress", when a lot of the victims families were being bounced out of court, just sums up the compo culture in the UK.

There can be safe terracing at stadia. The administration and policing is the killer. Literally in the Hillsborough case.
Matt Traynor, Singapore  (9/3/07)

I'm sure this debate will rage on and on until there's nobody left who remembers the era of terracing. Looking at it from a different perspective, however, I can understand why the authorities are against it making a return in any form. For a start, it makes identifying offenders more difficult. Who threw that coin? Oh, it was somebody standing in the terraces, rather than seat 34F. Secondly, seating allows everybody to see the game while terracing certainly favours the larger statured person. As a shorty myself, it was so frustrating to pay £25 to see a game and then spend most of it staring at the back of a tall fella's head. Stick to seating. ? Garry

Bill Kenwright

It has come to my attention that many fans are coming to close to crossing the line between "loving" Bill Kenwright, and "calling for his head". There is no dispute that these days, that line, has become very thin indeed. Yes, I agree that he should be finding investment for our club; yes we should be winning trophies ? it's what the club deserves. But I think that I personally am going to stay on the good side of the line.

Bill Kenwright is an Evertonian, he wants the best for the fans and he wants the best for the club but if this possible move outside the city limits goes ahead, it will be because there is a continuous onslaught of fans who are pressurising our chairman and turning against him. I am one of the fans who would like more glory, but which would you prefer? ? The ability to turn up on matchdays and buy a ticket at the gate, knowing the fans around you will be genuine fans, yet still pulling the numbers. Or having to pay for Prem Plus every now and then because our big American tycoon of an owner decided to put seat prices up and attract plastic fans from the world over who carry a camera around his neck, and a carrier bag from the megastore to take residence for the afternoon in what should be your seat.

I'm happy with the way Bill Kenwright is tackling the challenges he faces, and though I am bitter we live in Liverpool's shadow at least we remain the People's Club. I would just like to say that I hope Bill does find us some investment but also does the right thing.
Tom Davies, Liverpool  (8/3/07)

So, to paraphrase, the alternative to Bill is an American tycoon who will jack up ticket prices beyond the range of the common man/genuine fan? Allowing plastic grokels to steal your seats?? Have I missed anything? — Michael

Arteta

I can't see Arteta moving yet. His top priority at the moment seems to be breaking into the Spainish national side. The best way for him to do this is to continue playing so well in a team he is already bedded into. Consider that it's also a team that revolves around him, which will add to what he can achieve with it.

The summer of 2008 and the European Championship is where he will want to be. If he has as good a season with us next season as he's had this one, you would presume he's a must. A good tournament and at 25 or 26 he will have his pick of suitors.

Thing is, he does seem to be a model pro, you never hear a word about him off the pitch. I would hope this would extend to having a sense of loyalty as I really would like to see him stay at the club.

I'm still hoping that a good league finish will produce the cash needed to buy quality players like Fernandes without first having to sell other players like Arteta.
Kieran Fitzgerald, Dublin  (8/3/07)

No more standing, ever !!!

Folks, let's get sensible and never go back to standing at Premiership grounds. It's far too easy for people to die when you have tens of thousands standing together and the risk of a crush due to a goal or bad crowd management. It's just not worth it !
Shaun O'Sullivan, Liverpool  (8/3/07)

Without wishing to rake over the Hillsborough coals, football fans stood on the terraces in their millions for years and years and years without the deaths you cite. To claim it is "easy for people to die when you have tens of thousands standing together" is a total falsehood. One key ingredient you need for that is stupidity and mismanagement by the police. Hopefully they learnt that lesson... although you have to wonder I suppose. — Michael

Summer spending

If we do sign Fernandes in the summer I think we will be on a tight budget. After the Sheffield Utd game many supporters complained about the lack of width in the team. My grandad is from Glasgow and a Celtic fan so when I visit him I got to some of there games and when I am watching one player sticks out. Shunuke Nakamura. He has impressed me every time I've seen him play in the Scottish League and the European Cup. Although he is not the quickest winger he makes up for this with his technique and excellent left foot. In my opinion, he has everything we need: left foot, skill, crossing ability, freekick specialist and versitility. It is only an idea and I think he would not be to expensive.
Connor Rohrer, Toxteth, Liverpool  (8/3/07)

FM warning No 2!!

Anyone else think.....

Anyone else think that if Moyes does keep playing hoofball we should get a half decent target man? Liverpool have Plug from the Bash Street Kids... what do people think about someone like Zigic? He has strength holding off players a good header of the ball and a decent shot on him too.

I know it's all FM stuff but worth a punt to hear what everyone else thinks.
Gavin Ramejkis, Upholland  (8/3/07)

Is it really? Yes, it would be wonderful to have the best target man currently playing in football, anywhere. Money and contracts notwithstanding. No??? I guess you didn't mean me then... — Michael

Terraces

Paul Clay and Nick Entwistle have hit on interesting issue... There is a campaign for the reintroduction of standing, lots of fans surveys appear to support it. If it was to achieve its objective, we wouldn't need to move at all? Convert the Street End back to standing, and say the paddock and lower Bullens combined (no such thing as an obstructed view on a terrace ? if you can't see, you move!), and this would result in a capacity increase of approx. 11,000 (min).

Doubt the law change will happen (at present anyway), but it seems more than a bit strange that brand new Rugby stadia or lower league grounds CAN have terraces, or that people are standing in seated areas throughout matches in anycase, which is surely potentially unsafe without crush barriers. The terrace at Dortmund is quite a sight though, would imagine something similar could win us a lot of new young fans if we were to build one at the Park End (just as the kop did for the other lot), where there's easily enough space for it.
Tom Hughes, Liverpool  (8/3/07)

There is a certain sad irony in the fact that we used to be an innovator within football. I can't help thinking if we tried such a brave new venture, we would be very quickly slapped down. We rolled over on the Heysel ban... we meekly accepted the Stanley Park slap-down... Methinks we simply don't have the backbone for such a bold venture. ? Michael

Super Joe McBride

There are two things I remember about super Joe. One was a sticker album round about 1980 when all the Everton players weere wearing orange tops. I guess all the photos were taken at some pre-season game somewhere. Does anyone know where?

The other thing was a peach of a free kick in an Edinburgh derby for Hibs. He also scored twice in a 2-2 draw in another derby. Another potential great old-fashioned Scottish winger who never quite made it.

Bring back the wingers who cross it on to the big mans head. Footballs an easy game that people think is complicated. It's not, it's easy.
John Scott, Edinburgh  (8/3/07)

Fans Standing...

With regards to Paul Clay's letter giving mention to fans standing, I do not believe it would need to be a challenge in the European Courts to have this reintroduced. Borussia Dortmund have the largest free-standing kop in Europe of 25,000.

Is it just a Taylor Report recommendation that has come into law in this country? Either way, terraces should be brought back if clubs and fans want them and the possible new stadium should have them.
Nick Entwistle, Londoner  (8/3/07)

Arteta

After hearing the news about Arteta wanting a move I thought to myself about his future at Everton. I believe we will keep hold of him and that the news is just pure fabrication. But not for as long as some people think. He is now 24 and if we get into Europe he will stay 'til he is about 26 and then I think he will be on his way. The reason for this is the fact that I don't think we will always be challenging for Europe. I am not being negative ? it's just my opinion. He is probalbly the first or second best player I have seen at Goodison. Him and Andrei Kanchelskis.

I would also like to say sorry for my previous comments, obviously some people found them wrong and offensive. I won't talk about them any more.
Connor Rohrer, Toxteth, Liverpool  (8/3/07)

Good job too, Connor.

Europe? Don't count on it

We're fucked! Don?t be planning any trips abroad next season. 'Lawro', has picked us for Europe and every time he picks us to win, we inevitably screw it up.
Liam Reilly, London  (8/3/07)

More bloddy kopites... I thought we had a ban in place???

Stadium

I think the club might have the right idea about basing designs for the new staduim on the Rhein Energie Stadion (don't I sound continental?!). Having been there, I can assure you the steep sided stands really make you feel close to the action and the atmosphere it can generate is fantastic. It does look butt ugly from the outside though!
Tom Emanuel, Oxford  (8/3/07)

Rumours Refuted !!!?.and you heard it here first!!

There is no quote attributed to Mikel Arteta or sources close to him, in this AS article (in Spanish) on which the Sky Sports article of yesterday appears to be based.

Arteta has featured in speculation on this quite gossipy site (AS.com) about future midfield signings for Atlético Madrid with Ricardo Quaresma and a Brazilian player called Santos also being mentioned. Atlético Madrid originally made an attempt to sign Arteta from Rangers so I would imagine this is where the speculation is coming from. The Atlético chairman recently stayed with Luís García in Liverpool and went to Anfield to see the derby there. There was a rumoured dinner with Mikel Arteta. When I looked into this one too it I found little basis for these rumours.

There is also an audio interview with Mikel Arteta (in Spanish) with Cadena Ser from Monday last where Mikel discusses life in the same city as Xabi Alonso, Barcelona vs Liverpool and Real Socieadad (whom he left to join Everton and are currently 12 points adrift of safety at the foot of La Liga). The quality is a bit scratchy but I think he was asked if he would come home to which he replied (in summation) someday. Mikel is quite diplomatic and amiable through out the interview despite being drawn somewhat on Real?s very poor situation.

Could it be possible that all these rumours are more to do with Mikel?s rising profile internally in Spain and the exploitation of the obvious language differences more so than anything concrete? Personally I think the only clubs that could really attract a performing star player from any decent English club would be Barcelona or Real Madrid and maybe at a push, Valencia.

What does bother me about this particular poor Spanish gossip is that it ends up being presented more as fact when it arrives into the English press!
Joe Rourke, Dublin, Ireland  (8/3/07)

Good sleuthing there, Joe!

Nearly again Doddy

Richard, that has to be a gem of a posting of your beloved keeping Everton in the family and not seeking buyers ? so what does or has Kenwright been doing for 24/7? What was the Fortress Fund about if nothing but another lie from BS Bill? What was the non-existent Russian Billionaire about? What about a shares rights issue to raise funding? You are unlikely to see any because they would dilute and weaken Bill's grip of his toy.

Cast your mind back if you will to when your sweetheart was a faceless yes-man on Agent Johnson's Board of Directors. One of BS Bill's lifelong friends was used and abused by him to fund the buyout ? a track record of shafting associates and colleagues during BS Billy's business dealings goes back a long way.

Eventually, Paul Gregg realised what BS Bill was up to and I still to this day think he had more chances of locating buyers and investors than Bill ever would. Trouble is Paul Gregg is not a blue or a football fan so Bill pantomimed your good self or alter ego/friends at the Echo to run fantasy tales of Fortress Funds, Russians and generally belittle Gregg. Eventually a buyer for Gregg's shares was found and he cut his losses. The money went straight past the club from Earl direct to Gregg so for "new investor" read "stool pigeon for BS Bill" and a whole lot less chance of stick against his abysmal running of the club.

Investment and progress won't happen until BS Bill lets go and sells up; if he didn't have the money to buy the club at first what makes you think he has enough now to run it properly? Must try harder.
Gavin Ramejkis, Upholland  (8/3/07)

Bolton Tickets

In response to Matt Traynor's comment regarding ticket prices for the upcoming Bolton game. The away fans sit in the South Stand at Bolton's shitty little stadium built in the middle of a retail park in the middle of nowhere... sound familiar/horrific??!!!) And for their upcoming game against the Blades the home fans, the ticket price is £24!!! How can they justify charging away fans £39 to sit in the same stand with the same views of the same shit football on display?

Also, with regards to the stadium move, without wanting to offend anybody invloved with the Hillsborough tragedy, would it be inconceivable for Everton to fight in the European Courts or wherever needed to get the right to put an all standing enclosure behind one of the goals? If we have to move to Kirkby, which is looking more and more likely, at least we would have something to shout about and soewhere to do it in the true traditions of being a fan.

Surely there can be enough safety measures put into place to stop a tragedy happening. Not only would it ensure we are able to generate an amazing atmosphere in a more than likely soulless stadium but it would give fans buying tickets the knowledge of where to be in the ground if you want to sing your heart out.

Let's all get behind the team and push for that UEFA place!!! Come on you Blues!
Paul Clays, Liverpool  (8/3/07)

Arteta Rumours

I have to say my gut feeling with these rumours is they're largely paper gossip. As the contributor below says, Spanish papers are notorious for inventing transfers and Alex Ferguson was making the point recently that the Spanish clubs often manufacture stories that players are in talks as a direct tactic to unsettle the player.

Couple this with the fact that Mikky has come out several times to say he loves playing at Everton and his no intention of leaving in the forseeable future and I'm not overly concerned. Why would he say such things if he had every intention of leaving? Either he's a pathological liar or the papers are... it's a tough evaluation I know.

As for suggestions that it's all part of a ghastly masterplan by the Moyes/Kenwright-led "ship out our good players" alliance. Seriously.... grow up and get some anti-depressants. Maybe then you won't see apocaplypses on the horizon every morning and have a slightly more rational outlook.
John Holmes, York  (8/3/07)

Life outside Goodison

I agree with Michael's sentiments about not lauding our neighbours yet we must not make the mistake of barring other kinds of evaluation with others. Before we can properly judge progress, or lack of, it is important and necessary to speak about what is happening around us. Contemplation soley upon our collective navel results in an ever shrinking incestuous insignificant and useless debate.

Ignoring the fact that we barely have a penny to our name and our club operates on a shoestring, the signs of that happening are already evident. We indulge ourselves in a distant glory that is no help at all in our present situation, pro- and anti-Moyes argument rages when the the bloke is doing a reasonable job in the circumstances he operates under. Interminable debate about seating capacity, siting and design of a stadium that we simply cannot afford. Incessant vilification of the board and talking down the resale value of some players. All these are clear signs that naval gazing has blinded us to harsh realities beyond Goodison.

If this kind of inward looking negativity permeated through to the players is it any wonder that the better ones would upstakes at their first opportunity? It all makes for a unhappy scenario that would make a potential sugar daddy run a mile in the opposite direction.
Dick Fearon, West Australia  (8/3/07)

I am getting seriously pissed off at contributors who decide their view is the definitive one and procede to use various little tools to demean the views of others. Stop it now, Dick, please.

This is a Mailbag. We encourage diverse views about Everton that are expressed sensibly. We discourage self-righteous posturing that tries to claim the high ground to denigrate the valid concerns of others. I think you know which category this falls into.

And to link the lack of investment to the presence of some critcial fans who expect more than you do is simply crass. Pack it in. — Michael

Let`s hear it for Joe McBride!

There was one significant omission from Bert Abrams`s list of young Everton 'world beaters' he posted yesterday. I am sure Bert ? who I often talk to at Reserve games ? would agree that he should have included Joe McBride.

Joe came down from Glasgow about 1978 as a 16- year-old and was soon banging them in for the junior and reserve teams. He went on to make about 70 first team appearances scoring about a dozen goals but lost the knack after a couple of years in the top flight and moved on to Rotherham.

Personally, I would rate both Victor and Vaughney above all the names mentioned except Jeffers and David Johnson whose transfer to Ipswich was Catterick`s biggest error.
Peter Sewter, Maghull  (8/3/07)

Coventry City investment

How has Coventry City managed to attract investment? Simple really. They have a shiny new stadium with a shiny new conference centre attached in a shiny new (and still expanding) redevelopment. This gives the club good potential for increasing revenues from non-football areas (conferencing, hotels, casinos, restaurants, etc). Did I mention the largest Yescos in the world is next door?

I'll get my coat...
David Mills, Coventry  (8/3/07)

The season is over?

This really annoys me: Arsenal get knocked out of the Champions League. A newsman asks a fan in the street "As this was the last trophy you could win is your season now over?" (steam!!!)

So, for teams that are out of the cup competitions and cannot finish any higher than 2nd in the league, should they just give up now and forget the remaining 10 games? It really makes you wonder if most of the media really understand what football is really all about.
Brian Baker, Aldershot  (8/3/07)

I agree with you: Anyone who uses that expression (except when referring to a player's injury, like Cahill) needs shooting. ? Michael

Bolton Ticket Prices

On the ticket prices for the Bolton fixture: I just visited their site and it seems they have four pricing categories. Would Everton fit in the A+ category, then prices for home fans are between £31 and £39. And that's for full-paying adults, while it's really doubtful if Everton will fit in this category.

Most probably, we are paying more than the most-expensive ticket for this fixture. My best guess is that this is, indeed, against FA regulations, like Matt Traynor pointed out. Of course, like has been said before, it is up to yourself to choose if you buy such a ticket or not. However, I do wonder what the use of these kind of regulations is, when there is apparently no control?
Erik Dols, Maastricht, The Netherlands  (8/3/07)

Our Spud

It's time for Bill to get Mikel around the table soon on a new contract. To me, if Big Dunc and Kevin Campbell were getting 40 grand two or three years ago then what's Mikel worth? So let's not dither, get real Bill. He is the most skillful player I have seen at Everton and I was there in the Eighties.
Colin Malone, Wirral  (8/3/07)

Evertonians need have no fears

Evertonians concerned that our club will end up in the ownership of faceless foreigners need have no fears. Both Coventry City and Sheffield Wednesday had appointed brokers to sell the clubs to ANYBODY who could relieve the directors of crippling debt.

Whilst it is no secret that Everton have substantial borrowings, they are more than adequately covered and well within the Club`s ability to manage. Indeed, the increased revenue accruing from the new TV deal will see those debts considerably reduced as will the expected top 6/7 finish place-money.

Supporters clamouring for new owners at this time must have very short memories. The last time the ownership of our club "went outside the family" was probably the most traumatic in our history. But we are in safe hands now ? Blue Bill won't let that happen again. Thank God.
Richard Dodd, Formby  (8/3/07)

Congratulations, "Richard" ? you've outdone yourself there! Perish the thought, indeed, that our own Club could fall into the ownership of "faceless foreigners", like Sheffield Wednesday and Coventry just might experience some time soon. Aye, indeed. Hands up who can recall seeing any of Genevan based Christopher Samuelson's chums in the Fortress Sports Fund ? Robert Steelhammer, Emily Willi, Guy de la Tour du Pin, Patricia German-Ribon ? walking down Goodison Road on matchday?!

As for the last time ownership of our Club went "outside the family", it was probably the most traumatic time in our history? I agree with you there, "Richard". What does our second biggest shareholder, US based "Robert Earl" bring to Everton, eh? Safe hands indeed. ? Colm

Stadium for Kings?

Lets hope Wyness got this wrong, hardly a stadium for Kings!! Check this link out.
James Gardener, Chester  (8/3/07)

Ground

I too have been looking at pictures of the RHEIN ENERGIE STADION ? to me it looks good. It's different to the usual 'bowl' of St Mary's or The Reebok. I live on the south coast and have been to St Mary's; I have to say that it is a very nice ground but has no soul.

The Rhein Stadium design is different and would allow EFC to incorporate design quirks taken from GP (floodlights; screens, maybe even the church in the corner could be replicated in some way). You may think this is stupid but why not built a new stadium with character?

As to whether we should move or not ? I would dearly love to see GP redeveloped but if that is not possible (and only BK & KW knows if this REALLY is possible, with money obviously an obstacle). Kirkby or not ? well, I don't want to lose the status of being from Liverpool and being one of two big clubs in the city... but if it works ? I really don't know!!
Paul Smith, West Sussex  (8/3/07)

Arteta & the Spanish press

I used to live in Spain, and I have many friends who are Spanish and keep in touch about the futbol. The Spanish press are notorious for circulating transfer rumours, most of which either have no foundation or never materialise. Thierry Henry, for example, agreed a deal with Barcelona two summers ago, but he is still at Arsenal. Our own Lescott was rumoured to be off to Real Madrid at the end of this season. Now I think Lescott is great but he hardly fits the Galactico mould does he?

Footballers often say what the interviewer wants to hear. Many many years ago, Charlie Nicholas promised me in an Ibizan bar that he was joining Everton that summer.

Mikel Arteta may very well wish to move back to Spain to enhance his chances of playing for Espana but why would a Basque, with no connections with Madrid, who played for Barca & Atletic Bilbao, view a move to Athletico Madrid as his "dream move"? Why, it's almost like Wayne Rooney saying he always wanted to captain Man Utd! Err, hang on a mo....

My gut feeeling is we'll have another great season from Mikel and he'll then go "home", probably to Atletic (Bilbao).
Mark Murphy, Horsham, West Sussex  (8/3/07)

The Art Of Deception

So Micky Arteta wants a 'dream move' to Atletico eh? And it's going to cost £10M+ to prise him away from Everton... How much did they say Fernandes would cost? Oh yeah £12M ? wonder if Moyes and Co had agreed to let Arteta go this season and like all good chancers got us all to look the other way at the Fernandes deal ? I think I know how we're gonna finance it boys and girls...
Declan Critchley, Dublin, Ireland  (8/3/07)

You can always learn part 2

Michael, again I disagree with you.

Don't for one minute think I have any other view other than being a proud and passionate Evertonian. I think we all should be and should never resile from that.

My first letter referred more to the club than our fans but I think some of us can, and should, learn from other fans ? particularly when it comes to the behaviour of a small minority of Blues.

The coin throwing at Fulham and the racist chanting of the not too distant past, which I'm sure hasn't fully vanished, scar out club and proves there is something that can be learnt.

Sure, choose who or where you want to learn from. But there's no doubt there's lessons some of us should take on board and put into practise.
Paul Kish, Adelaide, Australia  (8/3/07)

Paul, you've drifted this thread off topic from enthusiasm (or lack thereof) to discipline: two totally different issues in my view. The matters you raise above are simply common sense. Of course we have a minority of our own Neanderthals and of course hey should behave better. No-brainer. However, it has nothing to do with Connor's higly dubious topic of learning from kopites... which we are no longer discussing. Thanks! — Michael

More Takeover Blues

... and now Sheffield Wednesday are being taken over by a Chinese millionaire!!! Is further proof needed that the Fat Controller has no intention of handing over the controls of his train set?
Eric Myles, Pattaya, Thailand  (8/3/07)

Michael Fish Rules!

Yeah! Regards from the Cold North. Thanks for putting my comment on line guys. Statistics are not completely anathema to me. And I appreciate that we are, all of us, urging the Toffees home to Europe. I am so pleased that our last 6 games have resulted in 11 glorious points. And for the remaining 9, if we keep that kind of trend going ? yes, we should make it beyond a reasonable doubt!

As for Steve Flanagan, anyone who cares so much as to provide the statistics to honour our club, well that?s well worth a beer. How does an Upper Canada Dark Ale sound! I was born in Walton and my colour choice has always been solid ? Deh Blues!
John Cummings, Toronto, Ontario  (7/3/07)

Ticket Pricing at Away Games

Regarding the recent submissions in relation to ticket prices for Bolton away, I'm pretty sure there's an FA regulation that stipulates clubs cannot charge different prices for home and away fans. This is to prevent away fans buying tickets for the home end, and all that goes with it (even though I've watched Everton away in the home end more times than I care to mention!)

So, as one contributor pointed out, if true, it probably does explain why Horwich FC's attendances are so poor.
Matt Traynor, Singapore  (7/3/07)

Arteta is going nowhere? I hope!

If those comments from Mikel are true, then it would take more than £6.8M to buy him (as quoted on SkySports.com), if Carrick cost £16M then Arteta is at least worth £8-10M ? I hope we don?t put a ?selling club? sign outside of Goodison this transfer window again. Sign a new contract Mikel, please?
Mark Parsons, Liverpool  (7/3/07)

Dave Watson ? Sportsman's Dinner

To raise funds to take a 6-a-side team (made up of students from Warrington Collegiate) to play in a tournament in Prague in May, we are having a Sportsman's Dinner with Everton Legend Dave Watson, details are as follows:

WHEN - Friday 9th March 2007, Start 7:30pm 'til 11pm.

WHERE - VIDA Function Room, Warrington

DIRECTIONS ? VIDA is a 5-a-side complex behind Warrington Collegiate and next to Beamont School. From M62 Junction 9 coming from Liverpool direction, go right at roundabout - towards Warrington town centre. At top of slip road, at next roundabout go straight across - 2nd exit. At next roundabout, College is in front of you, but take 1st exit, ie, turn left then in 150 yds - approx - entrance to VIDA is on your right ? set back, so take care you don't miss it).

COST - £15 on the door

INCLUDES - Food, Raffle, chance for Q & A with Dave Watson, etc.

OPEN TO ALL ? HOPE AS MANY OF YOU AS POSSIBLE CAN MAKE IT.
Dave Whiteside, Manchester  (7/3/07)

If you can, give your support. Not as though we've a match to worry about this coming weekend! ? Colm

Takeover Blues

I can't believe I've actually read it but on the BBC site - so it should be reasonably accurate - it is stated that Coventry City, currently £28M in debt and hardly setting the world on fire with their scintillating brand of footy, are in talks with an American outfit with a view to being taken over!!! It'll be Accrington Stanley next, taken over by the NFU or something equally ridiculous.

Has Goodison and everyone connected with it including us fans got an incurable case of highly contagious nuclear leprosy or summat? Words fail me.
Tony Waring, Frogmore, Devon  (7/3/07)

Quite simple, really. Both Bill Kenwright and Keith Wyness are working 24/7 to secure investment. Who are we to doubt them? ? Colm

Passion - Gobshites are better fans than us!!!!!!!

I nearly exploded when I read that "I still stand by my word that they have better fans than us" and then "I'm Everton through and through" Your reply was spot on Michael; don't print any more letters from Gobshite sympathisers. Rant over.
Michael Iddon, Marlow  (7/3/07)

Deffo the last line on the matter! ? Colm

Re Conner the Toxteth red

Always enjoy reading the thoughts of fellow Blues, even if my views differ ? as this is what makes football so great.

But if I wanted to read about the shite across the park I would subscribe to IT. I have the greatest respect for all who give up their time to run this site but please censor imbeciles like this guy.
Roy Coyne, Old Swan  (7/3/07)

Agreed! Line now drawn on anything relating to our neighbours and their "atmosphere" (when they're not pushing framed pictures through the streets of Liverpool). ? Colm

Fans

For the muppet praising Kopshite fans last night, did he not see the derby at Anfield? Whilst watching it on TV at home it was for the majority of the game only Everton fans could be heard.

Most notably after an hour or so of chants of "the baby's not yours" to Gerrard, it was succeeded by mass applause of irony by the Blues when the Kop finally showed their support to their icon(?)

Evening games always get more atmosphere and to anyone doubting if Everton can get the place rocking when needed have never been to a derby, or in other recent seasons THAT game vs United which sealed us 4th effectively.

I will agree that sometimes Goodison can be too quiet too often, that is because of a new culture of watching games, where many people go to be entertained.
Gareth Price, Lancaster  (7/3/07)

Ticket prices

In reply to Andy Bennett and the Bolton ticket prices: the price Bolton are charging is the reason that Man City fans boycotted that particular away game. Virtually no fans from City attended that game in protest against the price hike, it would be interesting to find out whether Bolton charge their own fans the same price, or like most greedy Premiership clubs are they looking to exploit the hardcore fan.
Dave Lynch, Merseyside  (7/3/07)

This is a simple one. If you feel you are being ripped off then don't go. If you pay £39 this once, you'll pay it again. And again. And again... ? Colm

Cologne Stadium

Just been looking at some shots of the (Cologne) RHEIN ENERGIE STADION as it is known. It looks like it has open corners (but no sign of a church!) and it does look like a Tesco. Shit!
Eileen Roberts, Runcorn  (7/3/07)

The Green-Eyed Monster

It always bothers me a bit, when Evertonians start getting into an exchange of views about Liverpool FC and its supporters. There is no point getting enraged or abusive about them ? they are a fact of life and we have to live with it. Whether they win trophies or not should be of no concern to us. Much as it seriously pains me to admit it, their fans have higher expectations than we currently do.

When you have been a supporter since 1966 (I was at Wembley at 9 years old to see Brian Labone lift the Cup), it is so hard to see that the club you love, has so fallen so far off the pace in terms of competitiveness. We used to be part of that so-called 'Big 5' in the late 80s/early 90s and whilst I am not so naive to think that we will ever again begin to seriously challenge the moneybags teams in terms of top-of-the-table battles, I do wish we could be more competitive in areas where it is possible to make a challenge ? the FA & League Cups ? but our cup fighting record under Moyes is lamentable.

Do we really want to make a serious tilt for honours or have we unwittingly started to accept mid-table mediocrity as the benchmark? It is easy to look back and think about the 'good old days' but they have gone and those of us who know our history (both recent and into the sepia tinted 60s & 70s) find it very hard to accept that we cannot really compete.

My 12-year-old son asks me why we don't regularly play in Europe, when the likes of Middlesbrough can get to a Uefa Cup final. Being keen he then says "But we got into the Champions League, didn't we Dad?" I have to gently explain that we got to the qualifying round but got beaten and went into the Uefa Cup. (I then start to get upset (after all I went to Bucharest!) He then tells me "It's not fair"... No, son it's not, but you are an Evertonian and that's what we have to live with.

Hard for him, but harder for me (after all, I have my wonderful memories). What I will not become is a bitter blue forever taking solace in any failures from across the park. I want MY team to be a success and make me proud again. At the moment, it is a challenge to keep the faith, watching the turgid fare regularly served up by the current regime (both on & off the field) makes life more about endurance than enjoyment, but what is the alternative?

I enjoy the range of views on ToffeeWeb as it lurches between the extremes of Tony Marsh and Dicky Dodd, but I do start to think carefully when I start to enjoy them more than some of the matches I watch. Still as my lad said to me as we were walking away from Bramall Lane last Saturday after another 'feast' of entertainment - "It could be worse Dad, at least we don't have to watch Sheffield United every week..."

Ahh the innocence of youth! He has also asked me about the 'Intertoto Cup' and can we win it? But I am still working on the answer... What do I say?
Peter Kennedy, Liverpool  (7/3/07)

Great letter, Peter. — Michael

Internet footy

To Mark Joseph,

Tried this site and it works a treat!! Cheers mate. So Sky can stick their PPV up their [insert expletive of choice]...
Alan McMillan, Dublin  (7/3/07)

Saturday's Meeting

Can I ask the organisers what the capacity of the venue is and do they have a contingency plan if numbers exceed this?
Salvadore Allende, Vina del Mar  (7/3/07)

I'll get an answer to your question before the weekend. Plenty of room over there in the Estadio Sausalito! ? Colm

Re: Mark O'Brien

In response to Mark's letter concerning turnout at the Shareholder Forum on Monday night. Not all can attend such meetings as many do live outside of the Liverpool area.
Salvadore Allende, Vina del Mar  (7/3/07)

Personally I think half of those who've come into possession of Everton shares only attend the AGM for a gawk at the proceedings and a free plateful at the buffet upstairs afterwards. The apathy is shocking. ? Colm

The end is NIGH!

The end of Everton football is nigh as I just read on Sky 'Liverpool' Sports that Arteta wants to leave the Toffees for Spain. If this happens then it would be the end as we know it! Our ONLY creative player leaving is unthinkable... yet, with recent Everton history, it is almost inevitable.

And that fat Spanish bastard Beneathus can shut his big gob. Universally today supporters up and down the land described Liverpool as a negative, unwatchable side. Yet the media brand them 'better' than Barcelona due to another defensive win? If he criticises our club again he should be sued for liable!
Luq Yussef, London  (7/3/07)

Check your facts!

Mark O Brien, check your facts: Everton rarely sell out for a Man Utd game and it's never our biggest attendance. When we had Rooney, our ground was packed to the rafters almost every game. A good team with great players playing attractive football will always fill our ground.

It's the soul-destroying, backwards crap that Moyes teams serve up that is keeping people away, that and failing to hardly compete in a piss-poor league and the excuses made up by the Moyes apologists.
John Williams, Liverpool  (7/3/07)

Rhapsody in Blue

We are not a corner shop, we are a football club. Whilst I appreciate the analogy, it seems incredible that so many people go on and on about cash. Cash does not necessarily a good team make. Of course it helps but Clough albeit in a different time did not spend huge amounts on players either at Derby or Forest. Aston Villa did not spend millions to win the title. Good managers helping good players to become better players helps clubs to compete for honours.

The only worry a supporter should have about money is what percentage of their hard-earned is being taken by the club.

In order to compete against richer opponents, it is important to develop young players and have a unique selling point for your own club. I am sure most Blues do not want the Goodison terraces to be awash with manufactured logos and slogans paid for by a variety of sponsors in order to feel that they belong to the club. We may not demonstrate our support in the same manner as some other clubs, but I dare anyone to say that we are not as passionate as any other club.

How long will it be before those other clubs are asked to don Mickey Mouse outfits in order to show their undying loyalty to their club? God forbid Everton ever go down that route no matter how much success we may have in the future.
John Patrick McFarlane, Lancs  (7/3/07)

Talking about the Goodison terraces being awash with tacky logos and the like... In an ideal world, wouldn't it be nice to be able to cherish, properly, those wonderful Archie Leitch criss crosses? ? Colm

The Chairman Can Learn from the Dark Side

"But I made the decision for the good of the club, not myself," he insisted. "You have to think about the next 50 years." Words spoken by a club Chairman (not too far away from Goodison) relinquishing his power after 20 or so years. Mr Kenwright, please take note.
Keith Webley, Bromsgrove  (7/3/07)

But he has, Keith! Mr Moores, putting very little of his own money into LFC, waited... and waited... and waited... his own beloved club fell further away from being realistic title challengers. Then he sold up, netting an absolute fortune for himself. ? Colm

Passion

"Regular match goers will tell you the support of our club has gradually, and sadly eroded over the past few years. It's easy to sit in the ground and shake your head, asking where and how it all went wrong. From what was once the domain of the working class Scouse male, the 'clientele' has transformed dramatically. The ground now houses a vast range of people. Ages, sex, locality no longer seem relevant. The atmosphere can be non-existent for many games."

Sums us up doesn't it Connor? Well no, not really, as this is a quote from the BlueKipper website taken from the 'Reclaim the Kop' website, I sneakily removed reference to the Reds just to fool you! I know we don't want to get into a big debate about this but some people just do yer 'ead in.
Steve McBride, Liverpool  (7/3/07)

Wyness & Stadium

Did anyone else get on to the crap that Wyness was reported to have said regarding the stadium, in that it will largely be based on Cologne Stadium? Has anyone seen Cologne's Stadium?? It's crap! Especially compared to the vision we were all fed that was the King's Dock, which would have been something to be proud of. Looks like we're gonna be stuck with a stadium that looks like a Tesco, next to a Tesco! Can't wait! Here's a pic.
John Fowler, Liverpool  (7/3/07)

Long wait for strikers

As someone who watches more youth and reserve team football than most, I share Roger Murray`s view that we should not get too excited about Anichebe and Vaughan. Ever since Catterick`s time, Everton have found it difficult to unearth ? and develop ? young strikers. Most local schoolboy stars have preferred to "go over the road", even if their predeliction was towards the Blues.

Apart from Rooney and Jeffers, we have to go way back to David Johnson nearly 40 years ago for a real star although Mike Lyons was useful up front in his early days and was our leading goalscorer in 1972-73. Since then the supply line has been pretty average. George Telfer, Stuart Barlow, Michael Branch, Danny Cadamarteri, Phil Jevons and Nick Chadwick all shone briefly before being found wanting.

Like most Evertonians, I thought Jeffers was the best natural finisher of the lot and it is a great tragedy that his career has foundered. In comparison, the "Young Turks" of the moment, are decidedly average but, unlike most of the names I have mentioned, they still have time... and there are one or two others in the pipeline!
Bert Abrams, Childwall  (7/3/07)

Back to the Old House.......

Why don't we move back to Anfield?
Paul Waring, Lisbon, Portugal  (7/3/07)

Arteta: Should we be worried?

More stories linking him with Athletico Madrid. Apparently the Spanish are saying he has actually said it would be a dream for him to move there. ow I have been telling everyone since David Nugent did a similar thing, that there is only one place he will be playing next season if Everton want him. So I'm worried that the same could be said of Mikel. ow much would be acceptable if we did sell him? £6M touted ? I'd be wanting nearer £10M myself.
Craig Taylor, Leicester  (7/3/07)

Away Games Ticket Prices

Just had a look on the official site to check the ticket details for the upcoming away games and was amazed by the Bolton price ? £39! Took a look at West Ham, which is a fair £32. Then I had a look at Chelsea which is £45 or £48, so unless I win the lottery I won?t be able to afford to go to that one!

To be honest I knew that Chelsea would be pricey, but 39 quid to go and watch Bolton fucking Wanderers is an absolute disgrace. They don?t play great football and are not based in a rich area so how do they defend these charges? At least now I know why the Reebok is always so fucking empty.
Adam Bennett, Liverpool  (7/3/07)

A New Ground

I've been away for a while and thus someone may have responded to a query I raised not so long ago, regarding our "takeover" of Anfield which will presumably be redundant once the other lot get their new stadium. Any thoughts on this ???
Tony Waring, Frogmore, Devon  (7/3/07)

The Dark Side

I am dismayed that you printed a posting from some closet kopite. Is it not bad enough we have to put up with them being darlings of the media without them getting praised on a Blue website? The only time I've been to our former ground was to watch a Rugby League play-off. We sat in the Kemlyn Road on seats designed for infants schools and were refused access to a lounge bar because it was for kopites only! I ask you ? it was a rugby match for God's sake !
Alan Rodgers, Blackpool  (7/3/07)

Everton Support

I do care about the Everton Supporter, after unfortunately (and sickeningly I might say) seeing the European champions knocked out of the cup last night I couldn't help but reflect on how Goodison is these days. For example, the Aston Villa game was dreadful, but what was more poignant was the feeling in the ground. I travelled with an Aston Villa fan who couldn't get over how quiet goodison was even before they scored!

My remark during the game was that it felt pensive around the ground. Whether the support could have been more vocal in order for these players to play or whether the players have to play better in order for the support to get behind them remains to be seen, but thrashing Liverpool earlier this season seems along way away and I find it hard to cheer at the moment. I want a cup run Davey!
Paul Mousley, Folkestone  (7/3/07)

That's how we are as fans. I think it refletcs our desire to see a higher standard, and to respond to it when we see it. Hence your last point nails it. — Michael

You can always learn

Micheal, while I whole heartedly agree with your reply to Connor's letter about how wonderful Liverpool fans are, I have to disagree with you on one point. I think we can learn something from Liverpool fans. In any form of business, competition, sports you can always learn something from your rivals. It's how you get better, improve and advance.

As the great Chinese general Sun Tzu said: "If you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperilled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperilled in every single battle"

If Everton is to move back to the summit of English and European football as a football club, and as fans, we should always try and learn from others. Otherwise we stagnate ? as we have for the last 15 years!
Paul Kish, Adelaide, Australia  (7/3/07)

I think that's also wrong, Paul. Pithy quotes from dead Chinese warriors are all well and good, and my have some relevance to the street fights of the 80s, but I feel most Evertonians are quite content with their own identity and persona, and are feircely protective of that. The last thing we are going to do as fans is learn anything from any other fans ? especially kopites. — Michael

Where's the width?

Once again at Sheffield we played with nobody on the wings; when a defender or midfielder wins the ball there are no options wide so we lump it 'down the channels'. This also happens at Goodison, continually giving away possesion. Then there is lack of movement off the ball, no options for the player in possesion. Perhaps Davie doesn't want players taking off their straight jackets.
Steve Flynn, Southport  (7/3/07)

We're not allowed to complain about the bad football anymore. It's more than we deserve. Apparently. — Michael

Reply To Connor Rohrer

You are as bad as the ITV commentators who seem to think LFC are the only club in Merseyside. The fact is they probably have just as large a core scouse following as we do. The majority of their fans probably paid over a ton for a ticket last night ? of course they are going to make the most of it! But Connor, may I ask, where was you when we played Villarreal at home? That is an example of what us Evertonians can be like. If only the people pulling the strings could give us more nights like that.
Robbie Muldoon, Liverpool  (7/3/07)

The act that dare not speak its name

I'm intrigued by the post from Humphrey Baer that employs the analogy of the corner shop versus the supermarket. I presume that Humphrey's supermarket is Liverpool FC, the wealthy, competitive, European challenger with an impending new super-stadium in the city?

In the world of food shopping, we all stopped going to the corner shop in favour of the supermarket long ago. If Everton are to be considered to be a corner shop, the analogy does beg the question as to whether supporters will stop going to the Everton corner shop in favour of the Liverpool supermarket?

It also makes me wonder where those opposed to a stadium in Kirkby would go to watch their football, since the view seems to be that it is imperative for their team to be in the city boundaries? A similar question could be posed to all those bemoaning the lack of investment in the club and the general view that the club is being irreparably left behind. Perhaps the natural conclusion of these views leads directly to the supermarket door?

Heretical stuff, I'm sure.
Myles Sunley, London  (7/3/07)

Humphrey, if only it were that easy.

The little corner shop you talk about. The owner/s may well want to sell but there is no prospective buyer. No one will come along and see the ageing shop in need of some modernisation and plough loads of money into it unless there is something to get back.

Even the shop down the road had trouble selling. Their representative went all over the world trying to sell the shop. In the end, it was sold to some yanks and even some of the users of the shop are nervey about their new owners.

Shops like Chelsea when bought, already have modern equipment so the new buyers don't have to spend out on decorating. Even the Aston Villa shop has good fixtures and fittings, so again it's more economical to buy that shop instead of the one on Goodison Rd.

Turn up at Hope Street on Saturday. You never know, a local buisnessman may hold the key... to a new shop.
Dave Charles, Liverpool  (7/3/07)

Rose-Tinted Future

I could be buying into the Everton propoganda machine, but it sounds like there are one or two useful midfielders coming through the youth ranks. Aside from the matches shown on Everton TV, has anyone seen the likes of Kissock or that lad who captains under 16s?

For that matter, Bjarni seems to have been playing pretty well for Bournemouth given the reviews on their fan sites. Anyone feel able to give a progressive report on this lot?
John Williams, London  (7/3/07)

Are we ready for Europe?

Will our beloved Blues qualify for Europe? Am I the only one looking at thiswith a slightly apprehensive eye? The last time we qualified for European football, with the help of Collina and a dramatic collapse against Bucharest, we all have to agree it was a bit of an embarrassment.

The squad now is marginally better than it was then, but I still don't feel that we are good enough to put up a decent show. I sincerely hope if we qualify that the squad will be strenghtened a lot. Out of all our players there is not much European experience to be had.

Now while I hope I'm so very wrong and we go on and qualify and win the Uefa Cup, I just can't see it. Also, I just hope Liverpool don't win the Champions League again. I don't think I could take that.
Craig Stanley, Helsby  (7/3/07)

So you want to sing....

In response to the letter from Connor Rohrer, if the faux atmosphere, holding scarves over your head, sitting with celebrity fans, wearing scarves 1/2 RS / 1/2 Barca, and being fawned over by TV pundits is what you think is missing from being a Blue then I despair.

Sure it would be great to see us in Europe, playing big games and making shedloads of cash BUT I would suspect that most blues would shudder at the thought of becoming a Blue version of them. If this appeals to you then WTF did you become a Blue in the first place?
John Waugh, Lancs  (7/3/07)

Shareholders' Meeting

Re: Tom Hughes's Notes from Monday's Shareholders' Meeting, I must stress, I'm not a shareholder and wasn't invited to be present so only have Tom's notes to go on, and wanted to make the following observations.

What struck me was why such a meagre turnout if there is an opportunity to discuss the hot potato of Kirkby with Bill Wyness? When at the same time another meeting to discuss this topic presumably in the absence of any Board members is being planned for this Saturday. Something doesn't stack up. It seems either a) we dont have many shareholders to object to the proposed move OR b) we don't have many shareholders who can be bothered to object OR c) the majority of the shareholders are in favour of a move as it's the best financially for the club (and ultimately themselves).

I would be interested to read any other comments from shareholders who either attended or chose not to attend Mondays meeting.

My second point... From Tom's notes, Keith Wyness seems to be of the opinion that Everton will attract more fans if a move to Kirkby materialises. I personally can't see this being the case, at best we can only really hope to maintain attendances as we rarely sell out except for Liverpool / Man Utd Games. Moving towards a boundary of our main catchment area as opposed to staying near the centre doesn't strike me as a reason for increased attendances. I believe it will be more inconvenient for the majority of fans, whilst not impossible, therefore again best case scenario is maintain current attendances.

I suspect any financial calculations based on assumptions of increased attendances and therefore increased revenue are flawed and will prove to be potentially detrimental to the club long term if they fail to materialise. If our financial model is wrong in the first place it can only mean we have to cost cut and save on transfers and players wages from the outset, affecting our ability to compete on the pitch and further driving down attendances. A vicious circle.

Great site lads, its fantastic to see so many opinions and views on Everton FC.
Mark O'Brien, Wirral  (7/3/07)

The Corner Shop

I liken Everton to the corner shop that has been around for decades run by the owner and his wife, just scraping an existence. The shop is in shadow of the mighty supermarket and they just cant compete on price, service, or quality any longer.

They have a loyal customer base but these customers are no longer getting value for money and are less inclined to spend their hard earned cash even though they have a degree of loyalty and devotion. I think its time for a change the shop owner needs to expand and grow and get bigger and put the other supermarkets in its shadow.
Humphrey Baer, Little Sutton  (7/3/07)

Open Letters

Andy Lynch, I don?t think you?re a gobshite. Like many others who subscribe to this site, I?m an exiled Blue, born in the shadows of Goodison, brought up in the traditions which I hope to pass down.

You summed up Kenwright?s tenure quite accurately in my opinion. White Knight at the time, now seen as something of a Pariah in some quarters. This latter description I don?t think is entirely underserved. There have been rumours about his blocking investment, the public spat with the Greggs, and, for me, the biggest fuck up of all, the Kings Dock fiasco. We wouldn?t even be arguing about the machinations of moving to Kirkby if that?d gone ahead.

Without going into details, I knew a lot of people working on the KD project, for a variety of clients, and a lot of them were Blues season ticket holders, despite being southern-based. They said early on that it was doomed to failure. The problem? EFC. We can blame Liverpool City Council until the cows decompose, but ultimately they backed down at a time when Everton?s proposal was deemed ?Seventh, in six world class proposals for the site?.

But what can the fans realistically hope to achieve? Open Letters will remain the opposite ? unread and effectively therefore unopened. Bill has consolidated his position with the removal of the Greggs and the arrival of Robert Earl. Fans? Trusts? Nice idea, but ultimately ineffectual.

The way EFC is run now is tantamount to a puppet state, or Sim City (and bearing in mind where I live!!). That said, I?d hate for it to become vitriolic a la Swales at Man City. But time to go, Bill.
Matt Traynor, Singapore  (7/3/07)

Passion

After seeing Liverpool reach the quarter finals against Barcalona, I still stand by my word that they have better fans than us. Colm said last week that most clubs' home games are dull and away matches are where you get the passionate fans. I disegree. Anfield was booming today and I did not hear any of their fans booing.

I believe if we get into the Uefa Cup we will not get a high attendence. 21,000 against Dinamo Bucarest was a joke. I'm Everton through and through but I believe we do not stick by our team. When they where getting beat 6-3 they where still singing. I heard some fans booing when we got beat by the Champions Chelsea 3-2. For gods sake, they are the best team in England! I think everyone should stop being so negative and make Goodison the loud and passionate atmosphere it once was.
Connor Rohrer, Toxteth, Liverpool  (6/3/07)

This is a prime example of why I normally ban all such talk of Liverpool FC. If you are so infatuated, you know what to do. We are Evertonians, we comport ourselves as Evertonians, if you don't like that, and you prefere what kopites do... well, you know where I'm going with this...

This is not the first time you have posted this kind of shite, I'm losing patience. The last thing in the world any self-respecting Evertonian would do is suggest that we could learn anything, ANYTHING from those stinking piss-soaked twats. A final reminder ? this is an Everton website: we do not give a shit about Liverpool FC. — Michael

Statistic Steve

I'd like to thank Steve Flanagan for the stats he provides. I find his contributions to this website very interesting and always look out for his statistics in the run-in too see how well we are doing compared to seasons past.

I quite often find his stats fascinating and can't believe that he takes the time too do what is a thankless job. Keep up the good work, Steve!
Ste Bano, St Helens  (6/3/07)

Well said, Ste! Some imressive and dilligent work performed there by Mr Flanagan. We are forever indebted. — Michael

Cold in NYC

Just wanted to let all of you know that the squad is freezing its collective ass off over here in NYC. It is unseasonably cold with the temperature below 10°F (-11C) this morning and the wind at about 35-45 mph. Snow tomorrow... Why didn't he pick... Florida???
Roger Domal, NYC, NY, USA  (6/3/07)

Mushrooms (Kept in the dark and fed shite)

Many thanks to Tom Hughes for the informative synopsis provided following last night's meeting of the Shareholders Association. Some of the points raised around new investment and the stadium issue may not be new but the mantra remains the same from Wyness and Co.

The strap-line from Tesco fits perfectly with the current incumbents: 'Every little helps' ? which can also be translated to get as much as you can with as little investment as possible. With Everton there seems to be a constant PR spin, smoke and mirrors, and suffocation of the truth by meaningless soundbites. Whilst Liverpool steam on and progress, we are left with Kenwright sitting in his ivory tower like King Canute.

Hopefully the outcome of Saturday's meeting and any subsequent referrendum on relocation will hammer home to the powers that be that the 'average' Evertonian or the 'people' from the People's Club arent prepared to be shafted any longer in respect of our identity and future. I was disappointed that the protest a couple of weeks ago didn't materialise but have every sympathy with Ian MacDonald and the way in which he was misled by the media. Kenwright should surely know now that the clock is ticking; without a clear strategy that isn't supported by outside parties such as Tesco then his remaining tenure is dead in the water.
Peter Laing, Liverpool  (6/3/07)

Meeting

Firstly, if certain people are going to berate our manager for not signing players, the least those people can do is spell the player's name right. But that is being childish and/or pedantic.

My real point: I just want to record my support for the meeting on Saturday. I can't attend but I think it is vital as many Evertonians go as possible to come up with a working solution that keeps Everton where it belongs: within the city of Liverpool.

I look forward to the outcomes of the meeting so I can further pledge my support in whatever means is necessary.
Ben Greenwood, Rochdale  (6/3/07)

Wholeheartedly in agreement on the importance of this meeting, Ben. ? Colm

Victor and Vaughan

It beats me how anyone can really make a judgement about the two lads when neither have really had a decent chance to show their worth. It's impossible to judge whether they'll turn out to be future Goodison legends, or future Cadamarteri's, due to the manager's policy of not really playing them, or if he does, giving them a few minutes at the end of a match. (What the hell was Vaughan supposed to achieve with a minute to go against Spurs, apart from running around like a frenetic headless chicken?)

It's also pretty difficult to look good when you're at the business end of Neville's or Hibbert's up and unders.

They may be useless, and maybe Moyes has spotted this in training, though it beggars belief they can both be worse than Beattie, at least in his present incarnation. And despite his so-called 'work rate'.
Bram Oliver, Windhoek, Namibia  (6/3/07)

Training abroad

Has anyone else noticed that, when the lads go off on one of these training abroad sessions, they usually play like shite the first game back? The game against Spurs following their return from Spain for instance... as we are playing Arsenal next let's hope history doesn't repeat itself!!!
Bluebell Jones, South Wales  (6/3/07)

9 to go, but how many points?

Neil Humphrey did a great job looking at the run-ins of ourselves and our Uefa Cup rivals to try and ascertain how many points we'll finish with.

It's not an easy job, but hopefully, with some software we might get some kind of idea. I use a great program called LTrack to keep my stats for the site up to date, and there is a great feature within this program to get it to do a crude forecast the results of the forthcoming fixtures for every team based on the results both home and away from the last 10 down to the just last home and away fixture.

I did several predictions using this feature and came up with the following results:

Best finish - 5th
Worst finish - 7th
Average finish - 5th

Best points - 62
Fewest points - 56
Average points - 60
The average forecasted results were:
Arsenal (h) - Lose (1:2)
Villa (a) - Win (1:0)
Fulham (h) - Win (2:1)
Bolton (a) - Win (2:1)
Charlton (h) - Draw (1:1)
West Ham (a) - Win (2:1)
Man Utd (h) - Lose (1:2)
Portsmouth (h) - Win (1:0)
Chelsea (a) - Draw (1:1)
This would give us 17 points to go with the 43 we have so far ?to give us the 60.

Whilst some results may seem a bit off, we can see the reasons why the program is calculating them as they are.

Firsty, Charlton at home being a draw. Well, Charlton haven't been doing too bad at present, but the result may be skewed by their 4:0 drubbing of West Ham recently.

Also, Chelsea being called a draw. This might actually not be too far off the mark. According to the program, the title race will be well over by the time of the match and if "The Special One" manages to get Chelsea to the Champions League final, then their eyes may be slightly off the ball as it were.
Steve Flanagan, Liverpool  (6/3/07)

Spared the crap!

Whatever the merits ? or otherwise ? of the players going to New York, perhaps it will, at least, spare us from the daily supply of asinine crap which this morning sees Arteta telling us "if I can score a few more goals it will be good for the team."

Bloody hell, Mickey, we couldn't have worked that one out on our own!
Tony George, Barnston  (6/3/07)

No world beaters

In answer to Connor Rohrer, I would not be confident that either Anichebe or Vaughan will graduate to regular Premier status. Certainly neither of them show the deftness of touch or clinical finishing of a Royle or Jeffers at their age.

It may be early days but I would put them both in the category of Cadermateri, Branch and Chadwick and someway behind Jevons who in the lower leagues has netted over 70 goals from less than 200 games but was hardly a world beater at Goodison...
Roger Murray, Weaverham  (6/3/07)

Statistical Snooze

Although I suppose we all appreciate Steve Flanagan?s hobby of plugging numbers into his favourite EPL statistics Excel spreadsheet with the Analysis Tool Pack fully loaded, it might be more apt to look at Everton more simply.

Perhaps I can avoid the boring analysis and kick-start a new thought. Before now Moyes had the luxury of saying, "We are challenging for a Uefa Cup spit." Well, even without an Excel analysis, we are now in Europe. So now Moyes should perhaps consider a new tag line: "This is how we are going to stay in Europe." And perhaps then Moyes can give Flanagan a call and ask him how many points per game we need to stay where we actually are!

I say to the People?s Club ? just keep on playing and doing what you?ve been doing for some time! And just basically ignore the weather forecast!
John Cummings, Toronto, Ontario  (5/3/07)

Michael Fish once ignored a weather forecast warning and Britain was hit by Hurricane Charlie! Well you may diss Mr Flanagan's work as 'boring analysis' but wait and see come the end of the season. See how wrong Steve is with his data, based on previous fact. Oh, purely for the record, we are NOT yet in Europe as you intimate. Nine games to go and hopefully as near to 27 points as is possible! ? Colm

New York Training?

Being an ex-pat in New York, I can safely say it's hardly the place to come for a relaxing break! It's party capital of the world ? are we lowering ourselves to the Duncan-Ferguson-let's-all-go-to- enidorm-season's-over mentality? Maybe I'll see Beattie Five Bellies downing Jagers in the West Village this weekend!

On the flip side, New York is also a State with a large variety of outdoor opportunities ?maybe they'll be kayaking Deliverance style down a river or something?
Dan Parker, New York, US  (5/3/07)

Knowing Davey's penchant for fitness and work, they'll be put to work shovelling snow! Or has all that Lake Effect white stuff melted now?

The run-in - a look at our rivals for 5th/6th plac

Quite a few recent posts have attempted to extrapolate our final league position based on how many games we have left and who we are playing. What they have missed is who our rivals are playing. As we saw in 04-05, this can be just as important in determining where we end up (in that we played awful for most of the run-in, only to finish fourth anyway by virtue of the fact that everyone around us played shit also!).

I consider our main rivals for 5th/6th place to be Bolton, Reading and Spurs. Outside these 3 we might see a late spurt from someone in mid-table, but I think the chances are that it will be 2 from 4 (including us) for these two spots.

So, starting with Bolton - Man Utd (a), Sheff Utd (h), Wigan (a), Everton (h), Arsenal (a), Reading (h), Chelsea (a), West Ham (a) and finally Aston Villa (h). Bolton are currently playing poorly, having gained only 8 points from the last 8 games. They play 3 of the top four, all away, in the run in, 2 at what I would consider to be critical times. First, their next game is away at Man Utd, possibly the worst time to be going to Old Trafford. Second, they play Chelsea away with 3 games to go - at a time when the title is likely to be decided based on the last few seasons. All in all, their current form plus 3 games away at top four sides suggest to me that Bolton may continue to slide.

Next, Reading - Portsmouth (h), Spurs (a), Liverpool (h), Charlton (a), Fulham (h), Bolton (a), Newcastle (h), Watford (h) and finally Blackburn (a). Possibly the easiest run-in in that they only play one top four side and this is at home. Combine this with Reading taking 16 points from the last 8 games and they look like serious contenders. However, Reading have lost 2 on the trot (3 if you count the FA cup game against Man Utd) and like us have a fairly threadbare squad.

Finally, Spurs - Watford (h), Reading (h), Chelsea (a), Blackburn (h), Wigan (a), Arsenal (h), Boro (a), Charlton (a), and finally Man City (h). Spurs have taken 11 points from their last 8 games, and in addition to playing 2 of the top four in the run-in also have the additional fixtures from the FA Cup and UEFA Cup - although they do have a squad large enough to allow some rotation.

Comparing these to our run-in - Arsenal (h), Villa (a), Fulham (h), Bolton (a), Charlton (h), West Ham (a), Man Utd (h), Portsmouth (h) and finally Chelsea (a). We have taken 12 points from our last 8 games, and play 3 top four sides in the run-in - the Man Utd game in particular stands out for me as a key fixture (in that its likely that they will be crowned champs around this time). With Cahill gone for the season we literally cannot afford for anyone else to get injured, but Fernandes is looking classy so we might be able to cope.

Taking in all of the above I think there is room for cautious optimism - a point or more for us at Bolton is not beyond the realms of imagination, which would close the current gap between 5th and 6th place. Furthermore, both Spurs and Bolton play Reading - and will hopefully cancel one another out. Add to this our vastly superior goal difference - plus 11 against Bolton's 0, Reading's plus 5 and Spur's minus 3, and we are best placed if it goes to the wire (assuming of course that we don't get our arses handed to us, Arsenal 04/05 style, on the last day at Chelsea!)

For what its worth, I think we'll get a point off Arsenal, Villa, and Bolton, 3 points off Fulham, Charlton, West Ham and Portsmouth, and lose to Man Utd and Chelsea - a total of 15 from a possible 27. This final total of 58 got Bolton to 7th last season, Liverpool to 5th in 04/05, Newcastle to 5th in 03/04, and ourselves to 7th in 02/03. Taking the arithmetic mean of 6th - we are right on target. But then of course I am making these predictions based on a number of factors, such as Vaughan being given a chance instead of Gomer Pyle, sorry - Beattie, and Defensive Davie knowing when to not bring a defender on towards the end of a winnable home game.
Neil Humphrey, Oldham  (5/3/07)

Dithering Dave

I hope all you Moyes Boys out there watched the performance of David Nuggent against Southampton. This is the man who has virtually begged Moyes to sign him and what a player the lad is. Another top-draw finish to add to the many others the young Evertonian has under his belt.

Moyes, the dithering fool, let the chance of signing the lad come and go twice and his price has almost trebled in 18 months. Add Nuggent to the list containing Darren Bent, Dean Ashton, Joey Barton who Moyes let slip through his grasp when they could have been signed for buttons. Anyway who needs a player like Nuggent when we have the likes of Beattie and McFadden on our books?

If I had my way, I would fill the whole team with Scousers. Take a look at the teams in the North West. Who are the best players around. Gerrard, Rooney, Nolan, Barton, Nugent. That's right they are all Scouse kids. Liverpool has a great pool of local talent we could be using but, no, we have to put up with useless Jocks and drunken cloggies.

I would love it and so would the Goodison crowd if we had more locals in the side. Take a look around, Davey Boy, every one else rates us so why don't you?
Tony Marsh, Liverpool  (5/3/07)

This Scouseroo...

...is sadly unable at the moment to accept Alan Clarke or Mick Wrendle?s kind offer of a free ticket. Since 1953 I have soared the heights but much more often plumbed the depths endured by most Evertonians.

Before setting foot in Oz, I spent half a lifetime travelling the length and breadth in support of our team. To a large degree I share the anger and frustration of those blokes and understand where their opinion of this ex-pats opinions are coming from. If I were in their shoes I would probably hold similar feelings. Maybe it is distance from the action or is it experience that makes me optimistic about our future under Moyes. He sees the mountain and is assembling what is needed to climb it. He works with what he?s got and does not make excuses about lack of money.

I urge the Alans and Micks over there to hold firmly to the cause and when long-term success is ours it will be all the sweeter. Hopefully, when that day dawns, sitting beside you in our grand new stadium you will find this sun bleached grizzled old timer with a nostalgic tear in his eye...
Dick Fearon, West Australia  (5/3/07)

Vaughan or Vic ? In response

I believe that Vaughan and Victor should be played together up front from the start of a match. I believe the two would complement each other well. I do think that our esteemed manager made a mistake in the Tottenham match by playing Beattie and Victor as they are two alike, he should have gone for either Beattie and Vaughan or Victor and Vaughan, personally I would have gone for Victor and Vaughan. I think given time that both can go on to become Goodison legends ? given time. Hopefully they will get the chance and the manager will not get bored with them and shift them out as soon as a decent sort of offer comes in.
Steve Claringbold, Carlisle  (5/3/07)

Progression

I'm nearly sure that you have to get to the latter stages of the Uefa Cup to do more than just break even financially.

The benefit from a cup run in itself then is obviously not a financial one. If true that we budget for a tenth place finish, then the extra money from the higher finish, plus the prestige of European football, can be used to add to the squad. Trim some of the dead weight to help finance this and we could have our best squad in years as a result of the qualification. This is obviously encouraging for next season's league campaign.

The downside though is that we still may not have the numbers in depth to cope with the extra games from a Uefa Cup run. The league campaign might then suffer as a result. Don't get me wrong, I would look forward to these games if they come around. I would just rather see the club build on the benefits mentioned above first and have a similar league campaign to this season next season.

One of our biggest complaints on this website is that we have always had a good season followed by a disastorous one under Moyes. Progress has not come in the desired way. Providing Moyes can continue with his recent transfer record over the next two or three windows, the squad might be strong enough by next season's end to cope with League and Uefa Cup.

To me, this would be the progress we so badly want as Everton supporters. Right now, I'll happily just take the qualification and what it can help with in terms of this progression.
Kieran Fitzgerald, Dublin  (5/3/07)

Kirkby

Just had a look over Mr Kenwright's shoulder at the plans for a new stadium with a Kirkby address. Blow me if the architect isn't the same Scottish chap who designs for Tesco!! If the fans go against the master plan Mr Kenwright will... throw his toys out of the pram and resign? I for one trust he makes the right decision for the good of Everton FC.
Mike McCarthy, Shrewsbury  (5/3/07)

Did they look like that bloody awful 18th-Century-factory-esque RheinStadion or whatever it's called?

Vaughan or Vic

After seeing us draw at Sheffield utd I seen one positive from this match: James Vaughan. Coming on for the poor Beattie, Vaughan's introduction changed the game. He showed good pace and energy.

The one thing I want to know: Is he better than big Vic? Victor's game is based aroung his brute strength where as Vaughany looks quicker and more aggressive. If anyone has seen them both play, who do they think is a better talent and has a future at the club?
Connor Rohrer, Toxteth, Liverpool  (5/3/07)

Worried

My biggest worry for the summer is not who we can buy, but if we can keep hold of the few quality players we have at the club. I think we would be kidding ourselves if we thought we could hold onto Arteta. I doubt if Fernandes would want to stay. And I would be suprised if nobody came in with bids for Lescott, Cahill and Yobo.

If we don't make Europe, what have we got to offer these players? Apart from more shite football under Moyes?? If we did lose these players, what happens then to Moyes's Ten-Year Plan? Does he start all over again and get another 10 years (shrieks of "Hooray!" from Doddy and Co). I know it's only conjecture, but it is going to be an intresting summer.
Brian Waring, Wokingham  (5/3/07)

It's an almost exact repeat of the worry-wort stuff we went through last season with all those highly confident rumours and predictions that both Arteta and Yobo were on their way. Nothing happened. No guarantee that it will be the same this year, alhough all the other teams apparently play shit football too, so there'd be no escaping that if they moved! — Michael

New York???

See the players are going to New York... are they taking the piss!?! They've just come back from Spain or somewhere an then played shit against Tottenham. No wonder the players go out the cups early...
James Smith, Liverpool  (5/3/07)

Hush, now... they're "bonding"... — Michael

Internet footy

Alan Mcmillan try this one Football 4 Less.
Mark Joseph, West Lancs  (5/3/07)

Tommy G

Paul I think this picture sums up the passion a player like Tommy displays (when he could be arsed!). I agree that Arteta would be in my team first, but don't you think we could do with someone who could take a game by the sruff of the neck like he did against Man City on Boxing Day 2004?
Andy Lynch, London  (5/3/07)

Re: Fame Academy

What this shows is that the players we have either sold or released have not gone on to bigger or better things (except perhaps Rooney!) because they were probably not good enough in the first place.

Maybe if the likes of Ball or Dunne had stayed then they could have learnt their education at the club and would now be key players in the side perhaps...?!
Paul Henshaw, Liverpool  (5/3/07)

Tommy G

Andy Lynch I don't get your point concerning the Tommy Gravesen picture. What EFC fans are missing? A bald bloke playing football in the rain? We have AJ and Carsley so we are pretty well covered in that area.

Gravesen as a player could completely run a game and then the following week he'd disappear from the game. It was only towards the end of his Everton career that Moyes managed to get a prolonged run of good form out of Tommy G.

Micky Arteta was Gravesen's replacement and to be honest I would pick Arteta over Tommy every day and twice on Sundays.
Paul Atress, Liverpool  (5/3/07)

It was a good picture, though... — Michael

Fame Academy

Doing research in my head, and the use of the transfer page on this site, the youth development of the club isn't too great considering the quantity of players coming through the ranks and achieving a first team game. From the 90s onwards, this is what I?ve found?

        Jeffers    Rooney
Cadamarteri  Kenny  Ebrell    Osman
Dunne  Unsworth  O?Connor  Hibbert
              GK?

Subs:  Vaughan, Anichebe, Jevons, Chadwick, Branch, McCann
Not sure what point I?m trying to make, but nicely interesting anyway. With Jeffers signing at Ipswich today, it may have been better for Franny to stay at the club in the first place. Also, some more MAJOR talent wasting from others. More waste from Moyes from his release numerous players before they had really been given a chance, such as Hughes etc?
Nick Entwistle, London  (5/3/07)

Tommy G

I thought your regular readers might like to see this fantastic picture of Tommy Gravesen:



For me it sums up what I love about the game, but is also a salient reminder of what EFC are missing at the moment.
Andy Lynch, London  (5/3/07)

Live Internet Football?

Does anyone out there know of any decent sites that stream live Premiership games on the net on Saturdays? Living in Ireland, we get one match at 3pm every saturday, but our beloved blues have not been shown all season. I have tried a few dodgy Chinese sites, but they are shitty and difficult to understand :-)
Alan McMillan, Dublin  (5/3/07)

Remaining Fixtures

Arsenal Sun 18/03 H - 1-1    
Aston Villa 02/04 A - 1-1
Fulham Fri 06/04 H - 2-0
Bolton Mon 09/04 A - 1-0
Charlton Sun 15/04 H - 2-0
West Ham Sat 21/04 A - 1-2
Man Utd Sat 28/04 H - 0-2
Portsmouth 05/05 H - 1-0
Chelsea 13/05 A 0-1
Above are our remaining fixtures with what I believe the scores will be. I've put the home team's score first. In short I can see us winning 4, drawing 2 and losing 3 of these matches. Does anyone reckon this wil be enough to see us into Europe? I don't have Reading, Spurs or Blackburn's fixtures to hand, the teams I would expect to be in there with us for 6th spot. Bear in mind we always make it difficult for ourselves...
Alan McMillan, Dublin  (5/3/07)

Ah... Fantasy Football time... but 14 pts is not far off from our recent efforts in similar season, as Steve Flanagan's Season Comparison shows... Haven't Bolton lost four in a row now? They're just 4 pts ahead of us... Michael

Cahill's absence

I believe Cahill will be a huge loss ? whether this hinders our challenge for a European place remains to be seen as this will very much depend on how Moyes changes things around in order to cope with his absence.

Personally, I don't see Osman as an automatic replacement for Cahill as Cahill is a much more physical player than Osman and often puts himself about, added to this is a capacity to really get under the skin of opponents, not to mention his aerial threat. Osman does not tick any of those boxes for me.

It may be that Moyes may even have to consider Beattie for the role: he is very much an out of form striker, however, he can offer a physical presence and his ball distribution is pretty good with the odd exception and in the Watford game he proved to be a useful target man.

Candidates to partner Johnson? Well you could choose from Vaughan, Anichebe or Osman. My preferred option would be Vaughan.
Gerry Western, London  (5/3/07)

Getting it loud and clear

I don't think people read the full context of some postings, my stab at Moyes not buying was a few January's ago when Everton were pushing hard for a Champions League qualification place ? nothing to do with the purchase of Johnson, Lescott and Howard ? they came long afterwards. The point related to a dearth of scoring abilities at the club at that time which left Everton with Duncan Ferguson in his twilight and Marcus Bent who was never going to set Europe alight and our abject capitulation in the European games is a sad and undeniable history lesson.

Read carefully and realise the points being made.
Gavin Ramejkis, Upholland  (5/3/07)

Gavin ? I'll wait for someone to point out that the would-be Everton legend, James Beattie, was purchased in a January transfer window! ;-) ? Colm

David Moyes

I keep reading that Mr Moyes has had a number of chances to leave Everton, wouldn't it be nice if he actually came out and said what these chances were as opposed to staying with us and 'doing us a favour'?

Undoubtedly he has 'steadied the ship' and relegation battles are no longer the norm but the standard of football the side is playing is an absolute disgrace.

I watched the game the Sheffied United game live on TV on Saturday and the opinion of the entire pub was that the tactics, passing and all round play of 11 overpaid millionaires was pathetic. I admit the result in the end was not that bad but surely if you are a professional and train all week you can make a pass to a man in the same colour shirt!!!

Mr Moyes, who is doing who the favour?
Si Maher, Liverpool  (5/3/07)

Gavin Ramejkis doesn't get it

Look at this way. Last season, Moyes had 12 million to spend. Instead of spending it on players with inflated fees in January, Moyes wisely chose to spend it in the summer. With Lescott, Howard and Johnson, we bought top class players at value-for-money prices.

Gavin, if you had limited funds like Moyes, would choose to spend in January when the prices are unstable or buy in the summer??
Muhammad Amin Azman, Malaysia  (5/3/07)

Moyes says it for me!

My posting that Everton would come to rue not re-inforcing the squad in January brought forth an econonics lecture from the Club`s unofficial spokesman, Richard Dodd. But now David Moyes has said it for me!

Speaking to the Independent's Jon Culley, the manager says "(Cahill's absence) offers a chance for Leon Osman but he has played most of the games anyway because we are really short of players. We had only one other senior player who was not involved today."

Leaving aside the sideways snipe at Osman, Moyes is admitting that he`s fucked up big time. Given the love-in that exists between he and the Chairman, I cannot believe he was denied funds to boost the squad. More likely that given only four weeks to make up his mind he couldn`t commit.

We can but hope that Dithering Dave will not come to regret playing Russian Roulette in the run-in!
Mick Hawkins, Neston  (5/3/07)

Formations until end of season

I think the loss of Cahill will see Moyes revert to his preferred 4-5-1, as Beattie is hopeless in any formation we play, while Vaughan and Anichebe are simply not yet ready through lack of games and experience. It has worked for several other sides; bear in mind we don't have their squads but I think Moyes will try his damn hardest to consolidate the current position with his tried and tested "defend, defend, defend".

Don't get me wrong: I believe there are still games we should take 4-4-2 (Fulham, Charlton and West Ham to name three) but I just don't think Moyes will have it in him. His other quandary will be who to put in the Cahill-shaped jigsaw piece hole behind Johnson? I don't think Osman has enough about him to do well in that role and wouldn't mind giving Fernandes a shot at it as he seems to love going for goal and is one of few current Everton players willing or capable of going around an opposition player.

Fingers crossed now that we don't also lose Johnson, Arteta or Fernandes as this would hump us even more.
Gavin Ramejkis, Upholland  (5/3/07)

Widening gulf

I was reading the results section in a certain tabloid newspaper recently and I noticed they print the top 10 of the league from 5 and 10 years ago and so on, and what surprised me was how many more points the top couple of teams have this season compared to the same stage 5 years ago and so on. This just proves to me how uncompetitive, predictable and usually boring the Premier league has become.

Everyone goes on about foreign investment to close the gulf, Villa and Pompey a case in point, but all that will do is probably make them regular challengers for the Uefa Cup spots. And don't think the FA will do anything to make it any more competitive, such as salary capping, it won't happen.

The sad thing is we will probably never get back amongst the elite, where we belong.
Craig Stanley, Helsby  (5/3/07)

The Premiership has become a relatively non-competitive 'competition'. Nevermind this season, we already know who'll fill the top four places NEXT SEASON! The rest of us are left to scrap over £500k a placing (or whatever) and the warm embrace of Rupert Murdoch's millions keeps us all content and silent, happy to meander along making up the numbers. ? Colm

4-5-1 for the run-in

We have to revert back to the 4-5-1 formation. We are not strong enough to play 4-4-2. Carsley is excellent in a five-man midfield, when we play four he still stays in front of the back four, which means we have only three in midfielders going forward.

How many top teams play 4-4-2? Chelsea have Drogba up front with who? Arsenal with Henry up front with who? Fabregas helps out in midfield. Spurs play a 4-4-2 formation and considering the money they have spent, is it working? I say no.

Yesterday, Man Utd had to revert to a 4-5-1 formation because they were getting overrun in midfield. As soon as they changed it to a five-man midfield... HAPPY DAYS!
Colin Malone, wWrral  (5/3/07)

Delayed Doddy Ricochet

Sorry, Doddy, I have been busy being a Dad this weekend but had to chortle at one paragraph of your latest effort ? your beloved chairman found out European qualification wasn't a money spinner.

Fantastic try... even a moron could tell you the European adventure was humped before it started (as I posted many many months ago) because Moyes ignored the fact Everton needed a striker in January that year. Months later and still no sign (was that Moyes or your stalking dreams Billy Liar that failed to cough up the cash) and the European adventure made Everton to be the laughing stock of Europe.

As an extra the financial wizard (my arse) that calls himself the CEO and stuffs his pockets on a daily basis left lots of money-paying Everton fans stranded at the airport and to this day I still believe didn't even offer a token apology.

The European qualification was one of the current management team's biggest fuck ups falling in with the King's Dock lie, the Samuelson lie, the Russian Billionaire lie... None out of ten Doddy, try again.
Gavin Ramejkis, Upholland  (4/3/07)

You really do harbour a lot of bad memories, Gavin. I thought I was bad but it can't be good for you having all that floating around inside... Ah, I get it: the cathartic cleansing of a mailbag rant. Carry On! ? Michael

Missed Opportunity

Given other results, the game against Sheffield Utd has to go down as a missed opportunity to put clear daylight between ourselves and our rivals for the Uefa Cup places.

It didn't surprise me one bit that we were poor yesterday. 4-4-2 will never work for Everton on a regular basis until we have a better striker than Beattie playing next to AJ. I think Moyes has been truly stung by the criticism which (rightly) followed the Spurs debacle, because I can't think of another reason to play Beattie and abandon 4-5-1 which has been so successful for us this season.

Worse still though; I was absolutely gutted to hear that Tiny Tim will miss the rest of the season. Although he loses some of his influence in games where we play 4-4-2, I don't believe it is any coincidence that our recent run of form has coincided with Tim's return to the team from his knee injury. He has a massive influence on the team's general performance and will be sorely missed during the 'run in'.
Steve Guy, Harrogate  (4/3/07)

There'll be no "run in" for Cahill, that's for sure! Coat.... ? Colm

Why play Beattie?

It seems to me that whenever we play Beattie we lose. We only get back into games after we take him off. It's glaringly obvious so why keep picking him? Both Anichebe and Vaughan have to be better opitions and even a five-man midfield is more productive system.

The only reason I can see why Moyes continues to play him is that he wants to keep his price tag up for when he sells him at the end of the season. Not a good enough reason for me. It is a perfect opportunity to give the youngsters an extended run in the team allowing them to develop for next season. Please, David, no more Beattie. The statistics don't lie. he is no threat whatsoever to opposing teams the way Everton play. Agree?
Neil McDermott, london  (4/3/07)

Time for 4-5-1

With the injury to Cahill, I think we need to get Neville back into midfield (assuming Hibbert is fit) and go back to 4-5-1, with Osman in the Cahill role behind Johnson.

Beattie and Anichebe have both been found wanting lately, and Vaughan needs to be brought back steadily with sub-appearances.

If we can keep a back four of Hibbert, Yobo, Lescott and Naysmith fit, we may even get sufficient results to claim a Euro place.

Arteta is obviously key to anything creative we can muster, but the rest of our midfield need the extra man in there to cover their weaknesses.
Adam Baig, Merseyside  (4/3/07)

Shall I Compare Thee To a Summers Day?

It is almost impossible to gauge this season?s performance compared to 2005-06. You would think that ? given the contrasting starts to both ? that this season must be significantly better.

Taking into account the differing opinions in the mailbag hardly helps to judge. Also given the fact that the three players we bought last summer ? Johnson, Howard and Lescott ? have all given better than expected performances, our goal scoring record is improved, our defence is less porous and we have lost fewer games - surely that makes this season better than last?

   PL W  D  L  GF GA 	PTS GD
07 29 11 10 8  37 26	43  11
06 29 12 4 13  24 37	40 -13

But comparing the league tables at the same stage shows us with a miserable improvement of 3 points. If we lose to Arsenal (which is not unlikely) we will have 43 points from 30 games - exactly the same number of points as last season.

As with all things connected with David Moyes, it is so difficult to assess his progress. Squad improvement? Yes. Better Defence? Yes. Improved goal-scoring threat? Yes. Satisfied fans? Yes... and erm No.
John Patrick McFarlane, Lancs  (4/3/07)

Life's a rollercoaster! ? Colm

Ah! Time for Steve's Comparisons file... methinks. — Michael

Fan Mail

I just suddenly wanted to say 'thanks' to ToffeeWeb. I have been visiting ToffeeWeb more or less every day for over 8 years. A top quality site. I hope you are all really proud that you have created this site, amazing you have acheived it in just your spare time. Anyway. I'll stop gushing.

Thank you for ToffeWeb ? an invaluable lifeline for the travelling Evertonian.
Tom Brown, London  (4/3/07)

Hehe... thanks, Tom. Much appreciated. It is quite a burden though... anyone wanna help out? You need to have some half-decent writing ability, an understanding of how to edit webpages without messing up Lyndon's excellent layout, and be interested in maintaining the standards we have set ? shouldn't be hard to find a boatload of Evertonians fitting that description, eh? — Michael

Another Marsh Gem...

Remember early in the season when Tony Marsh declared "Harry Redknapp, now that's what I call a manager".

Well Tony, Everton are now 3 places higher in the league then Harry "that's what I call a manager" Redknapp's Portsmouth.
John Cottee, Romford  (4/3/07)

And that's one reason why I think any kind of discussion about other managers is pointless. The other reason is Moyes is not going anywhere. The merits or otherwise of other managers have no relevance to Everton, so please, once again, I ask, let's talk about something a bit more interesting and a bit more meaningful. — Michael

Cheap and cheerful

Just a few names to add to the shopping list in summmer that may be available at the right price for Moyes.

Huddlestone, Bouazza for centre and left midfield and for strikers I can't believe people are saying £6m for Nugent? Surely it's better to put a few more quid in and buy Ashton?
Terry Downes, stoke  (4/3/07)

Nugent, I believe, is a deal *almost* done. Ashton has been admired from afar by many Evertonians going back to his Crewe days. Looking for goalscorers who prove to be value for money? Look no further than Blackburn's return on their £2m investment in Benni McCarthy ? everything James Beattie isn't. ? Colm

Spin ? I'm sick of it

I am heartily sick of the spin that comes out of Everton. Firstly was the con of the season ticket reduction so it could be announced on 5live. Secondly, a ridiculous article in the Daily Post yesterday saying how brilliantly Beattie is playing and how vital to the side he is and how much AJ loves playing alongside him. And finally Moyes yesterday saying he was disappointed not to get 3 points as we have been playing so well recently. What about the garbage at the Tottenham game then or does that not count?

No, I am sick of it at present and all this crap fools no-one who goes to the games ? it is only those who live on distant shores who are taken in. I agree with Alan Clarke ? get that guy over from Australia, he can have my ticket too.
Mick Wrende, Macclesfield  (4/3/07)

Not to detract in any way from the concerns you raise over persistent spin, I cannot agree with your conclusion and I suspect, based on contributions in here, that there are plenty of home-based match-going Everton fans who are perfectly happy with the questionable standard of football that has rasied us up to sixth in the equally questionbable Premiership. Sweeping statements that try to embrace the extremely diverse opinions of all match-going fans are really unhelpful, Mick. Equally, I feel sure there are plenty of Everton fans on distant shores who are not taken in. Please stop generalising! — Michael

Correction!

Sorry, Colm ? but wasn't Naysmith signed by Walter Smith?
Brendan George, London  (4/3/07)

Indeed he was, Brendan. Perhaps I should've clarified myself a bit better below and pointed out that Moyes chose to re-sign Naysmith, offering him a three year contract! ? Colm

Lucky Escape

Looking for positives from yesterday's game at Sheffield is not that easy. The only thing I can think of is we got a penalty and that's about it. It was very painful to watch and once again Moyes in his infinite wisdom decided to play James Beattie... WHY?

Moyes must be the only guy on the planet who cant see how useless JB is. Now, maybe it's the system that doesn't suit him or he is just plain old crap. Whatever it is, it's about time Ginger swallowed his pride and shipped him out. As soon as Sheffield Utd scored it was a nap Beattie was coming off and Vaughan was coming on. Why do we have to be getting beat before Moyes pulls his finger out? Beattie was stinking the place out but Davie Boy can't see it when we all can.

I suppose the Moyes brigade will point to the League table and claim it doesn't matter how we play. Well this shit is not for me and I can't see our better players wanting much more of it. It's gruesome to watch and it's hardly going to attract decent players to the squad in the summer is it? I lost count of the times we had both strikers on the right wing chasing shadows. They should be in the middle waiting for the ball.

I noticed Moyes calling the players back to defend when it was 1-1 as if he had once again settled for the point. How dare they cross the halfway line when we have a point to protect! Utter garbage is what it is and if somehow we do qualify for the Uefa Cup I fear the worst again with Deadly Dave in charge. Cannon fodder, I think you call it.

Still the you-know-whos will be overjoyed with the draw and they won't give a toss about the way we go about business. Sooner or later I won't give a toss about watching this crap.
Tony Marsh, Liverpool  (4/3/07)

Find it hard to disagree with much of your match analysis, Tony, but ? like it or not ? the point won yesterday had slipped us above Reading and with Bolton losing earlier today we've edged one point nearer them. I agree with you wholeheartedly that it's poor fare to watch and there were times yesterday when I watched Arteta and thought he must be wondering himself what the hell's he doing in a team playing this alehouse footy. Still, we do have something to play for with nine games remaining ? so that's a positive! ? Colm

Progress

In Walter Smith's last game in charge (cup vs Middlesbrough) this was the line up:

Simonsen; 
Pistone, Stubbs, Weir, Unsworth, Clarke; Gascoigne, Gemmill, Linderoth; 
Radzinski, Moore.

Yesterday at Sheffield United we had this line up:

Howard; 
Neville, Yobo, Lescott, Naysmith; 
Carsley, Cahill, Fernandes, Arteta; 
Johnson, Beattie

Now I know Moyes has his tactical faults. I know that some of his acquisitions have left many scratching their heads (Krøldrup springs to mind more than any other). But I don't think anyone can question how far we've come under Moyes in the last 5 years in terms of improving the quality of the squad, and personally I'm fully behind Moyes... we're a world apart from the Smith era.

I'm 23 and wasn't old enough to appreciate the 80s, but this is one of the best teams I've seen at Goodison and I disagree with those who think Moyes has taken us as far as he can; he's building a youthful team and it's only the Board who will prevent us from continuing to move forward. IMWT...
Phil Riley, Union Mills, Isle of Man  (4/3/07)

It's a viewpoint often overlooked by the majority of Blues who have a few years on you, Paul (myself included!) ? that you're looking at the health of the first team in an entirely different light than those with longer memories; who can recall not just winning Everton sides but great footballing sides. Patience is most definitely a virtue but the catch with that is this: how many seasons must we continue to tell ourselves that patience is a virtue?! ;-) ? Colm

Moyes the Messiah

I just thought I would once again reiterate my thoughts on how good a job Moyes is doing at Everton. He has brought us from relegation battlers to a team fighting for a European place.

We have quality players throughout all areas of the park in Howard, Yobo, Lescott, Cahill, Neville, Arteta, Fernandes and Johnson. With a few more years progress on this evidence we could cement ourselves as a top 5 team again.

I have seen all the anti-Moyes comments on the site and as a conspiracy theorist think it is rival shite supporters who under Everton pretences are trying to bring about the loss of our greatest manager in 20 years. I also think most of their comments are coming in the most part from a bunch of gobshites who are not in touch with reality.

In order to move forward with a challenging top 5 team however I propose getting rid of all the deadwood in the everton rank. Including the fat useless lump that is Beattie, the idiot McFadden and show that other mincer Naysmith the door. Surely with selling those three we could cough up the money for Nugent and with a bit of investment hopefully add a few more quality players.
Paul McMullan, Belfast  (4/3/07)

Funny how you dismiss critical observations by your fellow Evertonian as "anti-Moyes" and suggest they're actually Reds, posing as Blues. Yet, in the very same mail, you insult not one but three current first team squad members - all brought into Goodison by David Moyes. Oh the irony... - Colm

Allardyce out

Bolton have just lost a home game against Blackburn. Bolton play a physical game ? some might call it unpretty. After years fighting relagation Allardyce has firmly established Bolton in the top eight of the league ? but he will have a hard time winning the PL due to financial constraints compared to Man Utd, Chelsea and Liverpool.

Yet he has the nerve to let his team lose at home against a team currently a few places below Bolton in the table ? but still a team with quite a few decent players. But, regardless ? chop his head of. Allardyce must go! Bring out the boo-boys!

But nooo, there is no comparing to our beloved team. We are an old club with big merits. We should of course compete for the title based on former merits ? nevermind the last 15 years of Sky money and CL money inserted into a lot of other clubs but ours. Because of some latin slogan we are so naive to believe that we should be in the top 2-3 every season. In Moyes I trust!
Jens Hansen, Norway  (4/3/07)

Have you been out on the lash with Ben Greenwood? ;-) ? Colm

`He really wont be missed`

Evertonians are making far too much of the loss of Tim Cahill. In my book he has been in far from sparkling form recently and is increasingly prone to injury.

There is no real shortage of midfield players as Hibbert`s return to fitness will release Neville to return to his favoured spot and we still have sight of Da Silva to look forward to. In a dire emergency, the promising Vidarsson could be brought back from Bournemouth and it seems most unlikely that Arteta, Osman, Carsley and Fernandes will all become unavailable at the same time!

Up front, Moyes can continue to rotate Beattie, Anichebe and Vaughan and will almost certainly have the improving talents of McFadden to call on for the last half a dozen matches. Although unjustifiably criticised, 'this lot' have got Everton to sixth position ? often without Cahill making a significant contribution ? and with Moyes finding it easer to work with a small squad, I have little doubt that he will continue to get results.
Sebastian St Clare, Harrogate  (4/3/07)

If only it were as easy as you make it sound! Cahill will be missed. ? Colm

Misplaced Moaning

A few points. Firstly will people give up with the moaning because Moyes had the audacity to suggest that Fernandes needed to work a bit harder for the team which have been coming from various corners this week including Michael who in his Spurs match report complained because... Fernandes wasn't working hard enough for the team.

Most young players need to adapt some part of their game to become more complete. Would Giggs have been the player he is if he hadn't learned to track back and do the hard stuff? Ronaldo was a show-pony a few years ago yet now Ferguson has him covering Neville when necessary and he's hardly lost his flair as a result has he?

Moyes may not be the best at coaching attacking players (although it should always be pointed out that he is extremely adept at getting the best out of defenders, something which would be much missed if he left) but to suggest he simply sets out to stifle them is nonsense. Arteta is obviously stifled, McFadden is clearly unwilling to run at players after years of Moyes.

Secondly, yesterday's match. Undoubtedly a disappointing result but one that 10 of the 14 teams to visit Bramall Lane this season haven't bettered. To make that clear, only 4 of 14 have come away with a win, so a draw, whilst disappointing, is a decent result at a club that is living purely off its home form. It was always going to be an ugly game and Moyes did indeed go out nonetheless with the most attacking line up available to him.

I said the other week that the Spurs match may represent a sea change and Moyes would be under scrutiny for the remaining games. For me he's responded well. Genuine attempts to be attacking against physical teams away from home are to be applauded. I fully expect him to be more defensive against Arsenal and he certainly should be: narrow, deep defense of the 18-yard line is the best way to stop them ? as Blackburn, Bolton and ourselves have shown pretty well over recent years.

Finally, Beattie... Waster. When everyone builds you up all week about how much fitter you are, how sharp you're looking and how this is your chance to prove yourself, the correct way to respond is not to play so badly you get subbed after 50 minutes and prompt even the normally placid BBC to brand you dismal. This was his last chance and he's blown it. Injuries permitting I don't expect to see him start another game for Everton.
John Holmes, York  (4/3/07)

My complaint about Fernandes in the Spurs game was that he started off painfully slow and unable to get involved with the game as it just passed him by for 15-10 mins. Then, in a crucial move that led to their first goal, he was guilty of ball-watching. Perhaps that's what Moyes was thinking about... — Michael

Sheffield Utd

Firstly, just a quick note to Luq. How do you know Da Silva is a flair player? We have never seen him.

And I don't think we were negative yesterday. Did we not play 4-4-2? I think we were playing a bunch of spoilers on a bad pitch and did not have a clue how to break them down.

I enjoyed my trip to Sheffield on the whole despite the football and despite drinking a bit too much. I know my girlfriend was not impressed with my behaviour. I took her because my mate let me down. Never take a girl to football, hey? Only joking.

Finally, I thought the police were heavy handed with our fans but as my girlfriend rightly points out I was drunk so I am probably being a bit self-righteous.
Ben Greenwood, Rochdale  (4/3/07)

Four Hail Mary's, two Our Father's, and two Anadin... ? Colm

More counter punching!

Yesterday result and performance was a joke! Sheffield United are a decent side, but Everton are far more superior and should have beaten them comfortably. But alas Moyes's style of play negates any attacking prowess we have.

It doesn't matter if we sign Nugent, Pele or Paul Daniels ? if we play in such a negative and restrictive manor then Everton will never be a top club under Moyes. And I really feel for players like Arteta, Fernandes and Da Silva. All gifted attack-minded players, stiffled in a shoddy 'blanket' like system ? which has only worked for Moyes once (in the 2004-05 season, and look what happened the season after that).

And Moyes's criticism of Fernandes being 'too offensive', is typical of how scared and tactically inept he is. I read this morning that Moyes claims to have had other offers to leave the club, yet has turned them down so we should all be grateful. Rubbish! If that is you 'fishing' for another job Moyes, then by all means leave with the majority of fans blessing!

Either Moyes must change or he must go, it's that simple!
Luq Yussef, London  (4/3/07)

"If we play in such a negative and restrictive manor", Luq? Come on mate, it may indeed have obstructed views but Goodison is Goodison!!!

I noticed also the non-story placed, alone, on the Sky Sports website. Dismiss it as conveniently placed spin designed to deflect from whatever! ? Colm

Just a gentle dig back

Dick Fearon, why don't you come over from warm sunny Australia and sit in the freezing cold and watch the less than mediocre crap served up by Moyes this season? Your international support is valuable but don't have a go at people who complain because they have to endure the crap football Moyes has us playing.

In fact Dick, choose your game and take my ticket. I'm sure you're opinion will change. An Evertonian friend of mine was over from Melbourne this Christmas and had to endure the Boro game, even he felt the manager had no clue!
Alan Clarke, Manchester  (4/3/07)

I'm fairly well placed to see both sides of the coin with this debate, living as I do in Ireland. That early season 'verve', booking flights and match tickets in advance has waned most definitely ? due to the lack of quality football on offer. I can see how Dick has an overview, an opinion ? based on fact ? that we are lying in sixth place with plenty to play for. What he cannot appreciate is how, at times, mind-numbing it is viewing Everton 'live'. Time to book another flight! ;-) ? Colm

Nothing ventured, nothing gained...

Richard Dodd's: "If, this season, each place is again worth £500k, then Everton would HAVE TO have finished in sixth spot to have justified an additional £2M gamble on new signings" .....

Sort of sums up nicely the current philosophy at EFC, doesn't it? Take no risks and hold onto what you've got (ie, the budgeted 10th place). Reminds me of someone else's approach, doesn't it?

Whilst accepting that we have to be prudent in the transfer market ? Leeds United being the prime example for all to see, when did anyone or any club get anywhere without a sense of adventure and an element of risk-taking?

I'm actually dreading qualifying for Europe next year if we don't SUBSTANTIALLY strengthen the squad. Whether its financial constraints or Moyes's desire to operate with few numbers, or both these things, a small squad will not work if we get into the Uefa Cup. Expect another relegation struggle next season if we try to juggle Europe and the demands of the Premier League without increasing our numbers.

Still, on the evidence of yesterday's performance, a European place is a long way from being achieved, so my concerns may remain unfounded.
Ray Robinson, Warrington  (4/3/07)

Keep posting, Dickie!

The latest offering from Richard Dodd has persuaded me once and for all that he is, indeed, a club plant. Only someone with a direct line to the Wyness School of Soccer Economics could come out with that twisted 'logic'. But keep posting Dickie Boy, it's nice to know how the club are thinking!
Brian Noble, Ince Blundell  (4/3/07)

Such cynicism.... ;-) ? Colm

Shareholders please

At tomorrow's meeting, please guys take them to task, if not for the club, for your investment. They are making wrong decision after wrong decision and the spin is despicable.

Remember the failed NTL deal and spending the money before we got it? Remember the King's Dock fiasco, and the Samuelson affair? This Kirkby move must be stopped now.
Rich Jones, Deeside  (4/3/07)

Every Little Helps!

I am writing as I am unable to attend the meeting on Saturday, March 10th and I am honestly going through a major period of anxiety thanks to EFC but that is nothing new!

A couple of weeks ago I received my Tesco Clubcard statement and enclosed was a booklet with ?Clubcard Deals?. This booklet allows you to swap your Clubcard vouchers for other vouchers for restaurants etc?

Well, coincidentally (or not) the restaurants belong to the Café Uno chain (our new financial director) and Planet Hollywood (our new shareholder). I hate to say it but the deal seems as good as done.

Please, please, I implore anyone attending to commit 100% to the meeting to come up with another location and preferably also fundraising! I am all out of ideas and no longer have the contact with Liverpool that I used to.
Carolyn Hayre, Preston  (4/3/07)

Everton in 8th place

It looks like it will be really tight for the Uefa Cup spots this year. I've had a look at the fixtures for the teams in with a shout and can confidently predict the following end of year table.

5th Bolton 60pts
6th Reading 56 pts
7th Tottenham 55pts
8th Everton 54pts
9th Blackburn 54pts
10th Portsmouth 50pts
This could mean the Intertoto for the Blues, dependent on which teams contest the FA Cup Final.
Mick Rhymer, Liverpool  (4/3/07)

Nostradamus, eat yer heart out, eh?! ? Colm

Just do your sums!

People such as Brian Noble and Mick Hawkins have no conception of football economics. Signing additional players in the 'window' might have given Davey an easier run-in but their cost in fees and wages (even loans often involve payments to agents) had to be weighed against the POSSIBILITY of additional place money.

If, this season, each place is again worth £500k, then Everton would HAVE TO have finished in sixth spot to have justified an additional £2M gamble on new signings.

As it is, any advance on the budgeted 10th place finish is bunce. As the Chairman found out last time, European qualification itself is no guarantee of riches to come and with the manager`s acquiescence obviously decided the gamble wasn`t worth taking.

With the Club now being run along sound business lines this was surely a logical and sound business decision. In any case Davey is more than capable of achieving sixth spot with what we`ve got!
Richard Dodd, Formby  (4/3/07)

By no means trying to denigrate Moyes's 'achievement' in taking Everton into a (current) top six position, even you, Richard, must admit that the quality of this season's Premiership is shocking.

Regarding the continuing outsourcing and flogging of remaining assets that you label as "logical and sound business" ? I'm sure you appreciate now the position David Moyes finds himself in with the untimely end to Tim Cahill's season. His absence *could* prove to be the difference between Everton playing in Europe next season, or not. Over the past number of seasons, throughout the entire period where Bill Kenwright has been seeking investment 24/7, we've seen our first-team squad whittled away to the barest bones. We've, literally, lost a reserve squad, as that team is now littered with Academy players. A glorious opportunity to strengthen was missed after our "Magnificent Seventh" a few season's back ? the failure to invest then in the first-team squad led to the Club taking one step forward and two backwards.

As for pointing out the finer details, on monies won for each final placing in the League, and suggesting Everton would have to finish sixth to justify a £2M 'gamble' ? where's the Kilbane PROFIT gone then, eh, Richard? I think we both know that, under the current leadership of the Club, we are being set up for this dreaded move out of Liverpool, to a new begging bowl out in Kirkby, where it will then appear that they, the custodians, will have a more attractive 'product' to sell ? and off they'll go into the sunset, quids in. When that day arrives, Richard, your unswerving position of support will look pretty impotent! ? Colm

I'm bored

One ugly game, one miserly point for each club, a candidate for the worst half in the Premiership this season.

Maybe the high stakes got to the players because the first half made watching paint dry sound almost appealing. 'Worst 45 minutes I've seen this season,' said the former Manchester United defender Gordon McQueen. Ditto just about everyone else in Bramall Lane.

How many times has this been said about Everton matches in recent times? How many more times is it going to be said. Not endearing. I'm bored.
Jane Brown, Altrincham  (4/3/07)

There's always yet another repeat later this afternoon, on ESPN Classics, of both the 1984 FA Cup Final, against Watford, and that game against Bayern Munich in the ECWC Semi Final, 1985. Something to cheer you up. ? Colm

Manuel Fernandes

I do not agree with people saying Fernandes is a deep-lying midfielder. I would say he was more of a box-to-box midfielder. Someone like Xabi Alonso is a deep-lying midfielder because he sits in front of the back four and spreads the ball with his passing range.

And while Fernandes is not like Roy Keane and Patrick Viera in terms of being aggressive and tough tackling, he still plays in the same position as them. He looks more of a reader of the game who depends on interceptions like Makelele or Gilberto Silva ? but while they would stay in that defensive role, once Manny gets the ball he gets forward. A typical box-to-box midfielder and a must buy.
Connor Rohrer, Toxteth, Liverpool  (3/3/07)

Anyone with a spare twelve million out there? ;-) - Colm

Small squad

After reaching sixth place, I believe we should be looking to keep hold of sixth place. If we do get into Europe Bill Kenwright has got to back David Moyes.

If Moyes is not given the transfer funds we will struggle badly. What Moyes has to do is buy carefully and not let anyone go including the likes of Pistone, Van Der Meyde, Naysmith and Beattie because they will all offer us more options. We have 22 first-team squad members and this is not enough.

Wherever they get the money from we will also need some loan and free transfers as well as Fernandes and maybe someone else. If we had the money I would also buy Nugent and Joey Barton.
Connor Rohrer, Toxteth, Liverpool  (3/3/07)

You may get your wish regarding Nugent in the next few months. ? Colm

Blood and thunder football

Our best hope of getting a result from Arsenal, Chelsea and United is to get 10 men behind the ball with a lone striker and everyone working their socks off. If we tried to match their fast flowing precision passing and powerful finishing it would be lambs to the slaughter.

A low-scoring sleeves up defensive game with hopefully a few chances to catch them on the break is a likely scenario. Negative, yes; crude, certainly; realistic, definitely.

There?s a lot more to football than the pretty stuff and what we lack in that aspect can be counterbalanced with grit, determination, defensive teamwork and a rub of the green. Wenger, Ferguson and Mourinho would rate any game against a David Moyes side as one of their most difficult. They also are aware that AJs speed and determination could turn a game on its head.

We can expect the brotherhood to re-ignite their campaign of pre-conditioning referees against AJ. They were successful with it in the past, no doubt they will try the mindgames again.
Dick Fearon, West Australia  (4/3/07)

Kickarse time

Delighted as I am that we are now up to sixth, I can`t help but think Moyes needs his arse kicked for not boosting our strike force in the January window. I think I`m right in saying that Beattie`s contribution is two penalties, Anichebe has scored twice (both against Newcatle) and Vaughan, for all his promise, but once.

Now I know Moyes puts great store in his midfielders finding the net but the lack of anyone up front apart from Johnson to really trouble opposition defenders is, to me, totally bizarre and will in the end, I fear, cost us our place in Europe.
Mick Hawkins, Neston  (3/3/07)

Cahill injury a blessing in disguise?

Although I am a admirer of Tim Cahill, I just wonder, and only wonder, if him being injured for the run-in may prove to be a blessing in disguise? It's fair to say in the second half without Cahill Everton looked a lot more balanced with Carsley and Fernandes in the middle and Arteta and Ossie out wide. Tim Cahill looks a lot better for me in a 5 man midfield.

In a 4-4-2, because Carsley plays so deep and Cahill likes to get forward so often, it means the midfield tends to get over-run. But maybe with Fernandes in there, who looks like a deep-lying playmaker type of player, we might be able to get a 4-4-2 to work at Everton ? with Arteta and either Shandy Andy or Ossie out wide, and hopefully anyone partnering AJ apart from Beattie.

I am not knocking Cahill, who I would convert to a striker and play up front with AJ, but have very rarely seen Everton dominate a game playing 4-4-2 with Cahill and Carsley in the middle. Anyway, let's get behind Moyes and the team and push for Europe. COYB!!!
Ian McDowell, Liverpool  (3/3/07)

The bottom line is that with our squad already threadbare we can ill afford to lose another body. Added to that, he's a regular goalscorer... ? Colm

Rocky tune

When Stallone came to Goodison, just as he was coming on to the field, we played the Rocky theme tune and I got shivers down my spine ? as I do with the Z Cars tune.

Can the Rocky tune now be deemed as an Everton tune? If so, let's all get the ringtone. It's got to be better than the Kopites' Ring of Fire.
Colin Malone, wirral  (3/3/07)

Oh. My. God. Why not bring back 2Unlimited's Are U Ready For This? ? Mike Walker

Away James...

I think as soon as any kind of offer comes in for James Beattie (if we are lucky enough to receive an offer) it should be grasped with both hands. After watching yet another inept performance by him today, I'm begining to wonder, how in the hell did he ever become a professional? I want to know why Moyes continually persists with the overweight waste of space!

On a brighter note, I thought Fernandes showed great control and technique in what was quite a bad tempered and tight second half. Everton need to make his loan move permanent.
Chris Neubauer, Oxford  (3/3/07)

From my seat

Another point toward Europe and another player down from an already under strength squad, what a rollercoaster we are on ? that is unless you witnessed today's game.

I thought the first half may hold some sort of record as I witnessed two teams playing total non-football, not a move of note was perpetrated by either side.

Cahill's departure will be a big loss for reasons mentioned above, as well as his ability to get a goal, yet with his departure Fernandes moved to the middle of midfield and with Osman on the right we seemed immediately more balanced and Fernandes's contribution became lively as opposed to comatose.

The second half perked up courtesy of Naysmith being done for pace and Yobo ball watching thus allowing the wide awake club member Hulse to steer past Howard. We had to respond.

Fair play to the manager he noticed Beattie's contribution and swapped him for the raw but lively Vaughan. Our football became a touch better but I was still struggling for a MotM to emerge and deliver. Out of the blue, he did and I award this accolade to Paddy Kenny for a magnificent juggling act to gift us a penalty which Arteta put away via the underside of the bar and a vigilant assistant referee.

Basically, the game was crap but the point was valuable and indeed may see us dust down the passports once more. If this is the case then those that matter in the hallowed halls must surely exercise their minds on producing a squad where the odd metatarsal may not be of such significence.

Still onwards and upwards in the never ending 'Birth of the Blues'. Bit of respite 'til the Gunners PASS our way, we should be fired up for that one. See you there -- UP THE BLUES
Ken Buckley, Buckley  (3/3/07)

How dare you, Sir!

How dare you, Colm, blame Alan Ball for anything! He didn't paint his boots... it was the wings on them that made them look white!
Eileen Roberts, Runcorn  (3/3/07)

Sorry to shatter the illusion, Eileen, but he did indeed paint his boots. From Becky Tallentire's excellent Talking Blue book, the great Mr Ball himself says, in answering the obvious question ? "I did (paint the boots) after a while because the boots weren't up to standard. I got away with it, too, until it rained, and then I was really caught out." ? Colm

Doddy doddy doddy.....

I told you, for every posting of drivel I will respond... Moyes engineered the squad today, the same squad that for the majority of the first half had over 65% possession but with his "magnificent" reliance on the useless tub of lard that is James Beattie we carved out nothing.

After the team went a goal down to what should be considered one of the minnows of this season's Premier League he realises Beattie is shite and replaces him with a hungrier, faster striker ? and who, for what little chances he has had under Moyes, showed more going forward.

A deserved penalty only gained Everton a point which has edged us one place up the table after the expected result at Arsenal v Reading; again not exactly rocket science or the wisdom of your beloved ones. A point was about all that was deserved today, nothing to boast about so back to your desk at the Echo and Daily Post on Monday ? oh, sorry: Sefton Borough Council... ha ha.
Gavin Ramejkis, Upholland  (3/3/07)

Ouch! ;-) ? Colm

Costly lack of ambition

If Everton manage to cling to sixth position until the end of the season it will have more to do with the shortcomings of the teams around us than any brilliance on the part of David Moyes.

How could he have expected to put in a serious challenge for Europe with such a threadbare squad is beyond me and the injury to Cahill only illustrates his lack of foresight. There was always a clear need to boost the midfield beyond the lone signing of Fernandes and the appalling form of Beattie (covered only by two raw youngsters) made another striker an absolute must.

I fear that once again penny-pinching at the top ? a policy vehemently supported by Moyes ? will do for us. What would we give for some real ambition right through the ranks!
Brian Noble, Ince Blundell  (3/3/07)

It's all typical Everton. Yes, you are right, in my opinion, to voice concerns about the threadbare nature of our squad (after five years) - and that points an accusing finger at not only Moyes but the also the Board. Yes, you are right, in suggesting that the Premiership is littered with poor teams playing poor football. Thing is, the League table never EVER lies and David Moyes ? though probably privately regretting a number of points dropped this season ? can justifiably point towards our League position and dwell on the positives alone! ? Colm

Metatarsehole!

I think it is about time that somebody began to examine the effectiveness of the modern 'designer football boot', which seem to me to be designed to look good rather than to be useful football apparel. If the boots I've just bought for my grandson are anything to go by (£85!) you could dance in 'em and the metallic blue glaze is gorgeous!

Never mind though, I suppose Tim can be counted among the football superstars now eh? It's only superstars who have metatarseholes isn't it?
Eileen Roberts, Runcorn  (3/3/07)

When footballers opt for fashionable ballet slippers instead of proper sturdy football boots, you're always one tackle away from being sidelined. I blame Alan Ball for all of this. If only he'd never ever painted those boots white all those years ago... - Colm

Steady, Doddy

Dodd, you don't do yourself any favours with the bizarre messages in here! Today's performance did not merit that response, but the point is admittedly useful. It was a scrappy affair today, but we showed admirable commitment and a few moments of quality.

It has been a decent season, it has to be said, but we now have to finish strongly to qualify for Europe. Today aside, we are playing some good football and I just hope we have what it takes to finish in style.

I'm baffled as to what Dodd is trying to achieve though ? it was only a point against Sheff Utd!
Brian Richardson, Sheffield  (3/3/07)

Ah, leave him be ? he has to go and write Dominic King's piece for Monday's Echo now. Or is it the other way around, with King having to write Mr Dodd's next glowing tribute to the modern-day School of Science?! ? Colm

Time to move on

I am sick and tired about people being opposed to the move to Kirkby. Okay, I understand that we shall be moving out of the city but if we are going to compete with the top sides we need a new stadium. Get real people.
David Foster, Liverpool  (3/3/07)

And what if those people you are sick and tired of somehow manage to prove that Everton can indeed prosper within the confines of the City boundary, whether at Goodison Park or another site yet to be identified? ? Colm

Dissapointed, but upbeat

Really disappointed we didn't get three points, BUT having said that, we moved one place up and only 4 points from Bolton. Oh, we're also 10 more in term of goal difference on Bolton.

Europe here were come ? and Moyesie, have a happy 5th anniversary
Muhammad Amin Azman, Malaysia  (3/3/07)

Turning games round

As a long-standing Blue I have, like many in the postbag, concerns at the future vision and heights the club want to go. We constantly hear the club strive to want to play in Europe ? how many times over the last few seasons have we folded once the 40 point mark has been reached.

Against mediocre opposition we snatched a draw today. Not surprising as United scored first. Can anybody remember when we last conceded a goal to go behind and went on to win? This to me is where DM seems afraid to try and win games.
Brian Phythian, Liverpool  (3/3/07)

Open to correction but I think it was the home victory over Bolton Wanderers back in 2004 when we last came from behind to win. A decent point won today even if question marks remain over the performance ? and in particular the continuing speculation about James Beattie and his future at Goodison Park. ? Colm

Magnificent Sixth

So the Moyesiah engineers yet another fabulous away point as Everton move into sixth position and ever nearer a Uefa Cup place. Can there be any doubt now that we are being guided by one of the great Everton managers? Even Tony Marsh must be thinking of changing his mind as the magnificent progress continues unabated.
Richard Dodd, Formby  (3/2/07)

C'mon Richard... we expected this missive seconds after today's final whistle, not half and hour afterwards! Standards, Sir! ? Colm

Piss on Tesco's floor

I'm well aware Mr Tesco is an Evertonian although I don't see how that's relevant. It's a fortunate co-incidence that he is an Evertonian don't you think? Wasn't Chris 'made up' Samuelson also an Evertonian? We keep finding these closet Evertonians that want to invest in us, what a stroke of luck because we know the last time an non-Evertonian got into the club, he sells his hampers elsewhere now! If you want to swallow the 'he's an Evertonian so he must be OK' shite belched out by BK then fine, but I don't think you do. Who was it that scored the winning goal in the 66 cup final Chris?
David O'Brien, Southend on Sea  (3/3/07)

I don't know either of them but I suspect your lumping of Sir Terence Leahy and Christopher Samuelson in the same barrel of bad-apple Evertonians may be a little disingenuous. Stop being silly. — Michael

Racism in football

I was having an discussion withe a kopite the other day about racism in football. With me being a mixed-race fan myself I have heard certain aspects of of racism at Goodison Park. But my friend accused Everton of being racist and almost Nazi-like. Well I disagree.

I am proud to say I am a black Evertonian and feel accepted and priviledged to be an Evertonian. I have been to Liverpool matches in the past and have also heard racism so I think they should go and take a look at their own club. I have heard one racist comment in the past five or six years and am proud to say our fans are developing into great fans.
Connor Rohrer, Toxteth, Liverpool  (3/3/07)

"We don't care what the red side say"... ? Michael

Leave well enough alone

It's at that stage of the season where it would be completely pointless in changing your manager. As a result it's also pointless at this stage discussing David Moyes's pros and cons. The man is going nowhere between now and the end of the season, full stop.

I think there alot of other things we can be obsessing about right now. We have ten games left to go and that is what we should be focusing on. By all means, give credit for, or complain about, his performances on a game by game basis for the rest of the season. And by all means, if he throws away a great opportunity to gain European football between now and the end of the season, lay into him then.

But for god's sake, enough. This whole thing of hyping him up versus calling him the worst in the world is getting ridiculous.
Kieran Fitzgerald, Dublin  (3/3/07)

Quite. I like your suggestion, Kieran. That's what we'll do from now on. — Michael

Guy world!

What planet is Steve Guy on? Well it isn't Planet Hollywood like he would like to think.

Although I agree that foreign money doesn't mean automatic success, ie, Aston Villa and West going down! But it is patently obvious that BK isn't interested in finding a buyer for the club, as that would 'remove' his train set and the fruitless image he has. The Fortress Sports Fund and the ousting of the Greggs, coupled with the hyped ? yet ultimately futile ? venture of bringing Robert Earl in, were all not in the best interests of the club. If so then please explain, Mr Guy?

Secondly your line of:

'Moyes and the Board have a clear plan (like it or not) and a decent success rate in bringing real talent to the Club and with it solid foundations.'

is laughable at best. This isn't a criticism of you Steve, rather of your blind optimism of this club. Moyes hasn't really got a clue about the future, as his comments about Everton needing to survive each season is a damning writ on his stupid five-year plan. Which incidentally has turned into a ten-year plan. Moyes is a bit like Black Adder; His cunning plans never work but they sound good!

And as for the Board, well, like in The Telegraph this week ? they must do more to push the club forward and provide adequate funding to Moyes. So by all means support this club with all you can give, but don't believe we are in any stable condition to do better. Next season could be another Moyes bottom-half nightmare, as you never you with Everton!
Luq Yussef, London  (3/3/07)

I wouldn't piss on a Tesco's floor

Tesco are a flithy company that tries to monopolise every town they get their hands on. I hate them, and never spend a single penny at any of there stores, they should be closed down.

Everton taking the so-called free investment they claim to be making is a marketing ploy by Tesco to try and get a hold of more customers. I think we should stay where we are until a more suitable investor rears his/her head. We have a yank shareholder who must have some ideas? Or has Bill got a yes-man to sit quietly while he makes a deal with the Tesco Leahy bloke?
David O'Brien, Southend on Sea  (3/3/07)

... the Tesco Leahy bloke who happens to be an Evertonian? I was going to add "just like you", but I thought better of it. — Michael

Girl power??

Lue, less of the sterotyping there, queen, I would be perfectly willing to share my Kleenex with you on the off-chance that we would have something to shed tears of joy and delight with... eg, decent football, proper management, investment etc.

And as I'm off on my wish list, an end to this Kirkby/Tesco nonsense... And, while you are at it, you might as well throw in beer at a pound a pint.
Derek Thomas, Auckland, New Zealand  (3/3/07)

Moyes is a fighter

"If Everton under Moyes had conceded 3 goals in 6 minutes to Man Utd what do you think the outcome would have been 6-0, 7-0 or maybe more?..."

If my memory serves me right, there was a time when were 3-0 down against Man Utd. Sadly for us, we eventually lost 4-3. But at least Moyes managed to fire up the lads and get to a point where were on level terms and score 3 goals against them

What's that? Reading couldn't even equalize???
David Jones, Liverpool  (3/3/07)

Here's a theory

What if, horror of horrors, Bill Kenwright knows all along that this Kirkby thing will surley never be allowed to happen? Would he then be able to have an excuse for his own inadequacies in the future? "Well, if we'd have gone to the stadium with the deal I had negotiated... " etc.

Let's face it, all the anger that's being vented at present should have been thrown at him long ago when we were fighting relegation but for the Kings Dock lie (dream). Theres no money for any other location, don't under estimate this guy. That said, as an out-of-towner, I say, "Please lets stop this move; it will kill us."
Rich Jones, Deeside  (3/3/07)

Marshmellow

"What would happen if we went 3-0 down to United at home?" Er... well, I remember going to Goodison and seeing this happen. Everton came back to 3-3 and lost. Reading couldn't get back on level terms and still lost. What point is Marsh making exactly?
Steve Connor, liverpool  (2/3/07)

This Central Docks re-development

Why aren't Everton making noises about this site? Surely it's ideal for us. The council have given a green space site to Liverpool and funding to build it. Are we not going to ask if the council and Peel Holdings if they can help us in the same way?

I don't know what 'packages' Liverpool offered this council to sell a public park, but why are we not trying to secure one ourselves?

As a resident of Anfield, I (along with many) feel let down by this council in giving in to Liverpool. As an Evertonian, I ask why are Everton not doing the same. The Kirkby option is a cheap one in my view and we should try harder to stay in the Liverpool City boundaries.

I have nothing against Kirkby or its people. I just feel that the club is being sold a too easy option that could prove far too costly in the future. Speak out now, Mr Kenwright, or forever take the blame.
Dave Charles, Liverpool  (2/3/07)

You've answered your own question there, Dave. Kirkby is the cheap option ? the only gig in town, so to speak. Perhaps you should make an effort to attend the forthcoming meeting in the Casa Hotel on Hope Street, to hear what Councillor Bradley and others may have to say. I'd wager your current opinion on LCC might alter. ? Colm

Say No to Kirkby Meeting

I see from Toffeeweb that a meeting is being held on Sat March 10th to discuss options. I fully support this but I hope it is more informative than the article which gives the date and venue but not the time. Still from small acorns and all that, eh? Anyone any idea what time the meeting is?
Mike Byrne, Preston  (2/3/07)

Good spot, Mike! The meeting will commence at midday. As we're no longer chasing FA Cup glory (again!) this season, most Merseyside based Evertonians should be available to attend without the worry of having to dash off to view fast flowing football! - Colm

Moyes's comments on funding

I have to express my frustration at the view that Moyes was wrong to come out and say that he is happy to work without significant funding. To criticise Moyes for this is naïve in my opinion.

Firstly, what sort of battle cry is it to turn round and say ?I am trying to brake into the top four, but frankly we?re never going to do this ?we haven?t got the money?. It hardly inspires the supporters, the current players or the future players. I can see the headlines now, ?Moyes admits Everton will never be great again?.

Also, do you honestly expect Moyes to come out and essentially say he should get rid of his boss? This doesn?t make sense, and is never going to happen. You wouldn?t do it, I wouldn?t do it. That may not be a good state of affairs, but it is the world we live in.

We the fans are the ones who must hold Kenwright accountable, not his employees, the buck stops with him. Thankfully there are Evertonians like yourselves who are beginning to see through him and are questioning how he has run the club the last 6/7 years. I think we should continue to do that, and questions must be asked, but we can?t expect Moyes to come out and tell us ?we?ll never be great again without any money for me?, even if it?s what he thinks privately.
Andrew Barlow, Ashford  (2/3/07)

Nuff said

Regarding the assumption surrounding Billy K's supposed lack of interest in finding fresh money. First of all, I can equally well assume that he is trying but has had no luck so far. However, I would also challenge the assumption that such investment would somehow automatically bring success. The fact is that a number of Premier clubs are now in foreign hands and their fortunes are decidedly mixed so far. West Ham's investors having spent significant sums are now looking down the barrel of a gun at one end of the spectrum, whilst Chelsea need to win two or three trophies every season to not be accused of under-achieving!

I've spoken to Red Socks fans' recently and haven't found too many who are over the moon about being owned by Americans. Liverpool will be in hock for the total cost of a new stadium and the expensive array of players who will no doubt be paraded across the Park over the next few years. At best their fans are cautiously optimistic. Some are downright anti.

Of course it will all change if we get our own sugar daddy and, if they want us badly enough, I don't honestly think Billy K could stand in their way, or would want to (despite the views expressed on this site about the Club being his 'train set').

In the absence of said sugar daddy, I am with Moyes: we take iterative, affordable steps. Instant success demands unlimited funds which we don't have. In the absence of that amount of money, Moyes and the Board have a a clear plan (like it or not) and a decent success rate in bringing real talent to the Club and with it solid foundations.
Steve Guy, Harrogate  (2/3/07)

Fernandes

I agree with Moyes's quotes about Fernandes having to defend more, he's touted as a defensive midfielder:

"The new Makelele" ? Jose Mourinho

He may have some attacking prowess but that's just because he's a more complete footballer than our current defensive midfielders, Neville and Carsley. We've seen the strength Fernandes possesses, the way he can get out of tight spots, and his excellent passing but so far, I've not really seen that aggressive nature that some defensive midfielders have.

Maybe he's more of a deep playmaker, but whatever he is, he's not being touted as an Andy van der Meyde yet at the moment, he's getting back as much as the Dutchman does - not a lot.
Nick Harrison, Liverpool  (2/3/07)

Team selection

Why don't we all stop talk about David Moyes and start talking about the team, players, formations and tactics. In my opinion, it is better to talk about what we have.

My concerns are about the game. I do not think we play well in the 4-4-2 formation because we are too weak and lack presence. Although people think the 4-5-1 formation is negative I believe it is our best and most effective formation. It also suits are players who struggle in the 4-4-2.

The likes of Cahill and Carsley and the way they play in their positions struggle to fit in. Carsley sits far too deep and leaves the other central midfielder competing on his own. Cahill on the other hand plays just behind the front two strikers.

This would be my team if all the players were fit:

Howard
Hibbert Yobo Lescott Valente
Van der Meyde Neville Fernandes Arteta 
Cahill 
Johnson  

I believe this would be our best team. What do you think?
Connor Rohrer, Toxteth, Liverpool  (2/3/07)

I think any team selection that fails to include Carsley is fundementally failing to comprehend the reasoning and team selection mentality of Mr David Moyes. Also, where are your bloody subs? If you are going to play manager, you need to do the whole job, Connor!— Michael

Intertoto thoughts?

What about it then? Would this be acceptable to the core Evertonian? I think any means of getting into Europe that is possible we should jump at. Obviously it goes without saying that we want to finish as high up the League as possible and so get into Europe from that.

But is the Intertoto cup appealing? I mean, am I right in thinking that there isn't actually a cup to play for? Would it be more benefitial to BK and the Board, in that if it is more important than a normal pre-season match will the stadium be filled? Most importantly prehaps, will it be enough to attract that extra special player to the team, ie another AJ type, as DM is hoping for?

With these questions in mind, I think it is proof that the club is going forward and in fact IS a club that has great ambitions and I think it is the right thing to do if needs be.
Craig Taylor, Leicester  (02/03/07)

The Intertoto Cup (formerly known as the Intertwobob Cup) is the great unloved back door, unappreciated at first by most but, come dark February nights if you're welcoming a team like Werder Bremen to Goodison for Uefa Cup competition, as a result of entry into the Intertoto... well, it's a valid call. Most pre-season games are more focused on swelling the bank account rather than performance and fitness although it's acknowledged by all how beneficial in particular the trips to the States have proven in the past. In an era where co-efficient is king, any kind of European action can only be viewed in a positive light. ? Colm

Oi Coleman from Kettering

Can you supply us with the winning numbers for this weekends lotto mate? No, why not? You seem to know what will happen to us if Moyes leaves. Who's really being a twat here Mr Coleman?
Steve Lyth, Ellesmere Port  (2/3/07)

Right that's it. Enough of the name-calling and playground nonsense. You'd better have something original and interesting to say for or against Moyes ? or it won't get published. And please, that means avoiding repetition of anything we've had posted a thousand times before already. Simple as. ? Michael

Sorry

Sorry about the spelling and capital letters Colm. And thanks for writing back.
Connor Rohrer, Toxteth, liverpool  (2/3/07)

More than welcome, Connor! - Colm

Moany Marsh

I was just reading the mailbag for the first time in a few months and am not surprised to see the moaning twat Marsh still in fine form. I also pondered that what if question? What if Moyes resigned tommorrow? What on earth would our dear Tony write about then?

My opinion is this, stop moaning and get behind your team and your manager because really, boys, you don't know how good we have got it. We have a good manager who I agree could improve in certain ways. But look at the clubs beneath us! Spurs, Newcastle, Boro etc. Teams with more money and in some cases in my opinion a better squad. We are 7th and in with a shout of finishing in the top six.

For those of you who think we should be top four... dream on! That ain't going to happen unless we get investment or continue as we are for several more years. Oh and about Reading, well let's see where they finish this year and then next year eh? Probably be relegated.

We can all vent our frustrations at the manager and let him know where he is going wrong but please don't call for his head, because he may in the end just go and if that happens its back to the dark days for us.
Paul Coleman, Kettering  (2/3/07)

Marsh

Spot on, Kevin Morris. You also had me wondering, what would Marshy have said if Moyes had decided to drop several key players in a winnable FA Cup tie against Manchester United, before going 3-0 down in the first five minutes? One rule for Moyes's decisions, another for the rest, it seems.
Brian Richardson, London  (2/3/07)

Re: Typical?

I am surprised that people are annoyed with Moyes's insistance that all players (Frenandes comments) are expected to carry out defensive duties. Surely that is the basics of football ' Defend as a team, Attack as... OK I'll quit while I'm ahead!!
Steve McBride, Liverpool  (2/3/07)

To my mind, it's more the message it conveys, the impression it confirms. A new attacking midfielder arrives, and people believe he is just what we need to push on. Moyes says he has some flaws, one being he needs to defend more... which only means one thing: he has to attack less. That in a nutshell sums up everything that frustrates me about David Moyes. — Michael

Food for thought?

An excellent piece by Tim Rich in the Telegraph gives credit to Moyes while taking account of the fans who have fallen out of love with him. It set me thinking that maybe I had been too hard on wee Davey until I remembered the Spurs game and his unforgivable decision to bring on a full back when victory was in sight.

Moyes has said both he and the players were upset and perplexed by the crowd's reaction that night ? well, good. I hope that was a defining moment in our manager's career.
Alan Rodgers, Blackpool  (2/3/07)

For Once, I agree ... sort of

Colm, I agree with the sportblog article that you posted but feel that it applys to the entire league ? not just City (or Everton for that matter).

In my opinion, Liverpool and Newcastle are currently in the most precarious of positions. They have huge wage bills and huge transfer bills and as a result are making a loss year on year financially. You simply can't maintain a wage bill like Liverpool's without a stadium capacity of the Nou Camp and without a massive sponsorship deal. United are the only club in the league that actually show a decent profit each year from their revenue and exploits. It's all very nice that we made the Deloitte top 20 last year but it's meaningless. It shows revenue only and doesn't account for the actual profit/loss.

My arguement is always based around finances. I obviously have gripes about the performances on the pitch and I don't think that we are good enough for Europe ? but is that Moyes's fault?! I am not sure that it is (entirely). For years, Chelsea struggled - mid-table, bouncing around doing nothing (the occassional Uefa qualification, FA Cup run/win ? but nothing serious ...sounds familiar). Yet with the correct financial backing and internal structure they have become world beaters.

Bill Kenwright is an Evertonian ? but so what, so am I and its not enough. His business acumen is lacking (to be kind) everything other than ambition. I have ambition for EFC, just like you probably do. But that's not enough without inspiration or action.

There is simply not enough business at Everton - the 'brand' doesn't exist outside of L, WA or CH postcodes (apart from briefly when all of Asia seemed to wear fake EFC Keijan tops with Rooney on the back).

My opinion is that Moyes is not to blame for our mid-table existence. He has done the best with what he has had (or been given) and until he gets some serious cash (like £12M for Fernandes + more money for others) then it's not going to improve. You cannot buy £3,4,5M players and expect to play in Europe year in year out (unless your Scottish).

We have purchased two (Maybe 3 if you include Kanchelskis) players in our history over £6M and that's not good enough but it's the best we can hope for whilst BK holds the reins. Moyes may have had £20M to spend in previous summers but £20M will buy you one good player or four mediocre players ? and with a squad like ours and wage constraints, we have to opt for the four 'not so good' rather than the one superstar.

We all know we need a holding midfielder, a right/left back, a centre back (stubbs will go soon) and a winger. How do you get those players with little or no cash? I remember back to when we finished 4th - KW told the world that we had ~£20M for players and wages...hmm. Arteta - £2.5M + £4-5M wages thas nearly half of the revenue gone already ? and he was a good buy.

So please, lets stop the anti-Moyes spin and focus on the root cause to the club's problems ? the finances!
Jamie Rowland, Liverpool  (2/3/07)

That's all very well, Jamie, but it totally ignores what Moyes said in that "Going it alone" article. Yes, it's the "conventional" wisdom that you have to buy success anymore. But that is patently NOT what Moyes believes, and it is NOT what Moyes is working towards at the club. ? Michael

A Reply To Kevin Morris Post

Kevin, me old sport, has the sun over there in Oz done you in, mate? I can't help but laugh when I read posts like your latest gem. Your little stab at me regarding my as you call them favourite managers Coppell, Jewell, and Martin Oneill is a pathetic and lazy defence of Moyes.

Firstly no one can argue or deny that Coppell is doing a fantastic job at Reading on a pittance of what Moyes has spent. They are much better to watch than Moyes's Everton as well. Wigan Athletic were one of the smallest clubs in England a few years ago and for Paul Jewell to get them promoted and to a cup final is nothing short of a miracle. When did Moyes ever get a team promoted or reach a cup final? Answers on a postcard please.

Then theres your silly attack on O'Niell. How can you judge Martin O'Niell at Aston Villa after only 6 months in the job and with a team thats not his. Get real Kevin the man has achieved more in the game in the past 10 years than Moyes will ever do and you are a fool for doubting him. Judge him in in two more years that would be fair.

Here's one for all you Moyes appologists to think about over the next few weeks: If David Moyes is the best manager we have had for centuries, like you all say he is, and this is the best squad of players we have had for the past 20 years, then European qualification should be a doddle this season shouldn't it? After all, it's only taken 5 years and a shit load of money to get where we are now. I think a Uefa Cup spot is the least we can ask for, don't you?

The trouble with that theory is though I don't think we will make it. We will need to take at least 18 points from a possible 30 to do it and I cant see where we will get them. If we don't win on Saturday it gets even harder with games against Arsenal and Man Utd looming. So where does rhat leave Darling Davie if we don't make it and the likes of Reading and Portsmouth do?

Out the door should be the answer, because there are a lot of us who are sick of the shit we have to put up with. If we resign ourselves to not winning anything or even qualifiying for the poor man's Europe then all that's left is being entertained. Who can honestly say we are even getting that under Moyes?

I really do hope all you Davie Defenders can at the end of the season turn around and say: "That Tony Marsh is a nobhead, he hasn't got a clue. Moyes did it: Europe here we come."
Tony Marsh, Liverpool  (2/3/07)

Rubbish

I always seem to think that Tony Marsh is a sensible poster, but it recently occurred to me that he talks rubbish.

  1. Coppell only got promoted after 3 years in charge. Moyes in three years, won the Division Two in his first year, and for two years after that Preston unluckily lost in the play-offs. If he stayed in his 3rd year, he would surely have got Preston promoted.

  2. You say Reading are having a go in top flight. Moyes finished 7th in his first full season, and 4th in his 3rd season, something no manager has done except Mourinho, Ferguson, Wenger and Benitez. It's hard to see whether Coppell can emulate that.

  3. Money spent comparisions?? For £25M net spending (or only £5M a year) Moyes has twice in 4 years finished in the top 7, replacing deadwood with top quality players like Lescott, Yobo, Howard, Neville, Arteta, Cahill, Johnson, Fernandes.

  4. Fact: If weren't for Moyes, Rooney, Anichebe, Vaughan, Osman would all be Cadamateris. Moyes turned Rooeny into a £30M player!
Marshy, please talk with proper facts, not with shite. You could be mistaken for being a troll.
Joey Baxton, Liverpool  (2/3/07)

Playground fight is right. Don't you lot get bored of writing the same thing again and again? From both sides? The trouble is the next week will only see a flood of this stuff from the media to mark his five-year anniversary. Please, if you must, try to say something original, or I may feel a moratorium coming on... — Michael

As good as it gets?

I've been reading the posts re David Moyes ? for and against ? and it's like a playground scrap, nah nah nee ahh nah - DM is ace, DM's a plonker, give him a chance, sod off etc etc. Personally, I'm still in the love him, hate him, can't make my mind up camp because I can't understand his methods or his tactics most of the time.

I understand that rebuilding a team is a long process, it's not just about money it's also about building the spirit and the hunger for success within the team and the club. We were told that it would take years, five years at least and even the most hardened DM critic must see that there has been some progress with the squad and our performances (though we could argue about that).

It's a bit like climbing a mountain (The Premiership). You get so far (mid-table safety), have a breather then kick on, go a bit further( top half), have another breather and kick on again to well, wherever you've decided you need to reach, the top of the mountain maybe (Champs league) or just that cracking viewing point (Uefa) where you can sit down and say, 'yeah, this is high enough, really nice here, don't need to go any further up'.

My frustration with DM is that I believe that he's reached some sort of point in his own head where he believes that we can't really move on. That decision may be based on financial constraints or the fear of failure if he sets his sights on higher things and doesnt achieve what he said he wants to.

I believe that DM is at the limit of his abilities in terms of tactical decisions. His ability to react to events mid-game has, most of the time, been dreadful and simply cost us valuable points. Man City, Arsenal in the Carling Cup, Spurs, Reading...

In terms of his motivational skills? Well, remember his comments re Victor and now those comments on Manny? Hardly the sort of thing that I would be saying to get my players out there with guns blazing.

Of course, I have no idea what goes on in training, though judging by the number of injuries sustained they must all go bungee jumping or parachuting on a Friday afternoon! Maybe DM is brilliant at getting the lads fired up, he cartainly does plenty of shouting and gesticulating from the touchline and often enough we get away with nicking the points. That's the crux of the problem for me, I very rarely come away from GP these days thinking, 'wow, we battered them', it's more likely to be a feeling of relief that we managed to get the points!

I honestly want DM to be the best manager of the best team in England. I want it very, very much. I love the Blues, I want success, I want to be able to cry with joy and delight (sorry chaps, it's a girl thing) because MY team is ace.

DM is a good manager, we're in the top 8, we have had some good performances and he has put together a half-decent team. I respect him for that but... I shouted and booed last week against Spurs because I know in my heart that what we've got is as good as it gets and I simply want more or at the very least I want a manager and team that will aim for the top. Even if it doesnt come off, at least we will have tried.

Come on You Blues ? let's shut that Warnock plonker up once and for all!!! Onwards and Upwards.
Lue Glover, Flint  (2/3/07)

International Fans

Just a quick note concerning the recent letters about problems encountered by out International Fans.

Maybe this is somewhere we can look to the example of our beloved neighbours, because how the fuck their Scandinavian hordes manage to get over to Liverpool every other week is a minor miracle ;)
Bob Turner, Runcorn  (2/3/07)

Everton Must Back Moyes

This article in the Daily Telegraph (2/3/07) basically sums up in a nutshell the current climate that pervades Everton. The Moyes out campaign may be in its infancy, the frustration however is clearly evident and palpable on the terraces.

It would be hard to argue against the fact that David Moyes is often over-cautious, too defensive and perceived as negative. Also, it would be true to comment that the style of football and the manner in which we set out is by and large both dull and uninspiring. Yet in his defence Moyes is realistic and pragmatic in his approach, a principle of work ethic and sustainable progress seen as the key to improving our fortunes.

One recent contributor pointed to the fact that Tony Marsh has stopped singing the virtues of Paul Jewell and Martin O'Neill, Steve Coppell now seen by many as the flavour of the month on the back of a decent season. This mentality was employed with the acquisition of Mike Walker in the early 90s on the back of a decent season and European campaign with evidently disasterous results for Everton.

It may be argued that Moyes has had money to spend during his tenure, spent wisely in areas and wasted on others. Would it be any different for any other manager in the Premiership? The root of the frustration I believe is the rate of progress or lack of it throughout the whole entity that is Everton, new money and investment is coming into the game but it always seems to be another Club that ultimately benefits.

For Everton to move forward, my opinion is that Moyes is the man who should be at the helm, really who else is there and would they be attracted to Everton in the current climate? Kenwright needs to forget the empty soundbites and state his vision for Everton, the Kirkby proposal needs to be given a referrendum for Evertonians and the For Sale sign nailed to the hoardings on Goodison road.
Peter Laing, Liverpool  (2/3/07)

International Fans

I refer to Paul Bassett's recent article. I am too an international supporter. While I understand fully that it may not be the club's fault for the change of fixture, I agree with Paul that the club perhaps may improve in the information provided in the website. At least Paul can wait 'til the last minute (ie, after Arsenal's game against Blackburn) before he changed his flight. The club cannot just ASSUME everyone on earth knows the system of English football and can calculate himself how and when the fixture will move.

As the imminent move away from Goodison, a lot of international fans (including a few of my mates in Hong Kong actually) may be planning a visit to Goodison. I would suggest them to choose the most boring fixture of a season so that it is less likely to be moved for TV or otherwise.
Sunny Li, Hong Kong  (2/3/07)

New Kit

I agree with Louis Huglin regarding selection of next season's kits. For a number of years some other clubs (including Boro) have given their fans the vote to choose their next kit froma short-list. Why not Everton?

Fans would end up with the kit they want - bingo - happy fans and better sales for Everton and JJB. I'm surprised we have not had a return to the 84-85 home kit style yet. Colm ? I take your point about the away kit ? classic amber and blue for me too.
Rob Sawyer, Manchester  (1/3/07)

Selective Memory

Where would the day be without another Tony Marsh anti-Moyes rant? In regards to your last contribution, Tony, you called Moyes at best average. Average managers don't win Manager of the Year twice and average managers don't turn a team of relegation battlers for the majority of the previous ten years, to the qualifying rounds of the most elite club competition on the planet.

Does he have faults? Of course. Has he made mistakes along the way? Sure. But he is hardly an average manager. It's also nice to see your new favourite manager to compare Moyes to (well for this week at least) is Steve Coppell. I remember your references for better managers were the likes Martin O'Neil and Paul Jewell than Moyes. Why have you suddenly stopped mentioning their names? Ohh wait a minute, I know why, I just looked at the Premiership table...
Kevin Morris, Sydney, Australia  (2/3/07)

Martin Roberts Article

Martin, just read your article. Two words: Behave Yourself.

I for one recognise what Moyes has done for us in terms of moving us away from relegation. I also don't think it would be beneficial for the club for him to go.

However, the fact of the matter is that watching David Moyes's Everton for the past two years has been like watching a dog having a shit. I think the main reason that fans have been booing and berating him recently is because the football is so negative and poor to watch.

Also, people do not think that we should be harrassing the top four becuase of what Moyes has achieved over the last 5 years, it's becuase we are Everton, the fourth most successful club in England. A club who should be harrassing the top four every season, not fucking about with Intertoto Cup qualification.
Joe Woods, Aintree  (1/3/07)

Everton TV

I subscribed to Everton TV in the summer and I was wondering if there was anybody out there who had experienced the same problem as me. I can't attend away games as a rule and I use Everton TV to keep tabs on those as well as reserve and youth games.I logged on last weekend to watch the Watford highlights and I couldn't get past the message 'delivering your License'. It just froze on that and wouldn't go any further.

I e.mailed them concerning the problem and they replied that it was a problem with MY Drm (whatever that is) and gave me a few links to solve the problem which I tried to no effect. They have not replied to my subsquent e.ails so I got ratty tonight and e.ailed again demanding a refund which I'll put towards my season ticket on April 1st!

But I feel as if I am getting ratty with my best mate! If there is anybody out there who has experienced the same problem I would be grateful to hear how it was resolved.
Eileen Roberts, Runcorn  (1/3/07)

Paul McMullan

After that idiotic rant, Paul, I think it is you that is the Gobshite. You appear to know as much about