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I Want What's Best for MY Everton

By Damian Kelly :  13/07/2009 :  Comments (32) :
I’m often amused by the arguments on Toffeeweb and the way Evertonians take such radically opposed positions on so many subjects about our club. Yet every Evertonian wants what’s best for Everton which, for most of us, fundamentally means:

1 Everton to win things regularly
2 Everton to play good football regularly

Perhaps we disagree on whether we’d settle for 1 without 2, or which we want to happen first, which trophies we want to win most and what constitutes good football but this is detail rather than big picture. Personally I’ll take a trophy or two first but definitely want good football too (i.e. “joined-up football, hoofing as last resort, and inspiration that gets me out of my seat from time to time) and I also want us to win, in order of priority:

  • The League - please let it happen again in my lifetime!
  • The League Cup – it bugs me that we’ve never won it and losing to Villa in '77 was the first time Everton made me cry. I want the full set...
  • The FA Cup
  • The Europa Cup
  • The Champions League – sorry, I despise everything it stands for... although I can see that the money would come in useful
So, given that we broadly want the same things, why so many disagreements and handbags in Everton forums? This is because there is a third criterion for what we want. Everyone’s Everton is different.

Sure the fabric and infrastructure is the same, but the emotions, memories, history of what Everton means is deeply personal. So I want what’s best for MY Everton, not yours. I want success and good football but critically I want it while staying true to what I feel to be the essence of Everton.

So what is my Everton? In no particular order of priority (and I make no apology for none of the below being based on logic, fact or research – it's football, it's irrational, it's emotional):

1 A club that plays at Goodison Park

I reject out of hand all rational argument on this subject. It’s not about my memories, as I can see that I would get new memories at a new stadium. It’s because my Dad, and more importantly my Grandfather and Great Grandfather (neither of whom I met) went to Goodison. It’s about the feeling of walking in the footsteps of my forefathers that I wouldn’t have at any other ground. If the Old Lady can be redeveloped, do it. Otherwise give her a lick of paint and hold her together with sticking plasters for the next 40 odd years until I’m dead. I don’t care what happens after that – not my problem!

2 A club that earns success rather than buying it

I don’t want us to do a Chelsea or a Man City. I don’t want us to be owned by a foreign billionaire. So Chelsea won the title a few times. So what? So they bloody should have done. I’m (perhaps unreasonably) confident that me and my mates could turn up at any under 11s 5-a-side competition and walk off with the silverware. Would I feel a sense of achievement? Having said all that, I would like to have a chairman who can provide an extra £10-15m for transfers each close season. Unfortunately money does matter and we do need a bit more of it. Just enough to buy that important next part of the jigsaw each season but not enough that we buy the whole damn toy shop. I love the fact that we currently punch above our weight – long may it continue. The enjoyment is in the journey, not just the destination.

3 A club that is owned by someone with an affinity with the club

Simplistically, I’ve seen decent and good times under Moores, Carter and Kenwright. The only chairman with no connection with the club, Johnson, I believe nearly destroyed the club. A high proportion of football chairmen or people who want to be football chairmen are crooks – at least if they’re a blue, they might think twice...

4 A club that has a Manager who behaves with integrity

We all know the clubs that don’t. Enough said.

5 A club that brings players through the youth system and has some true-blue Evertonians in the team (and ideally scousers)

At 41, having stopped playing all football 5 years ago because of knee problems, and having never had any talent or application, I’m finally prepared to admit that I’m not going to play for Everton (although I was a right back so…). However, it means something to see people living the dream as opposed to picking up a pay packet. I loved seeing Degsy and Rats winning trophies, desperately wanted Tony Grant to make it, was gutted when Jeffers and Rooney left, and am prepared to be more forgiving to the likes of Osman and Hibbert than to other members of the squad. A team of 11 Evertonians would be utopia, but I certainly want a few. I’m more excited by Rodwell than any Moutinho or Riquelme or whatever — because he’s ours.

6 A club that has some players who have played c 200+ games for the club

I grew up with the stories of my Dad’s legends – Ball, Labone, The Golden Vision. My heroes are Latchford, King, Southall, Ratcliffe, Sharp, Watson. With so little loyalty these days, it's rare that players stay put. I find it harder to “fall in love” with a player if I know he’ll probably do one in the next transfer window. Also, I want players that I can bore the next generation with – will we really sit down and tell them how “that Kanchelskis, now he was fantastic... for one season.”

7 A club that has players who behave with integrity on and off the pitch

When I was younger there was no such thing as too much football. Since Sky invented football, I have fallen out of love with the game to the extent that I have no interest if it doesn’t involve Everton. I loathe most of the current England squad. Ashley Cole, Terry, Ferdinand etc embody everything I hate about the modern game. I’m glad that our players are “lowly paid” (ho ho!) and aren’t bleating about only being on £130k a week. I’m relieved that they don’t park their baby Bentleys in disabled spots and that we don’t employ scum like Barton, Bowyer and Bellamy. I like the fact that we don’t hound referees (relatively speaking) and have very few bookings for dissent. I positively admire the way that players like Cahill, Neville, Howard etc conduct themselves and are reported in the press.

8 A club that doesn’t treat its fans with contempt

I recognise that it’s necessary these days for the club to exploit the fanbase for revenue. However, our ticket and season ticket prices aren’t at the obscene levels of some clubs and we’re not the ruthless money making machine like a Utd or a Chelsea. However, I would like the club to provide better and more open communication. (AGM/EGM? Relocation vote? Surely these could have been handled better...)

9 A club that has predominantly local support

I was born down south, grew up in Manchester and live down south. I like seeing Everton shirts on my travels all around the world. However, I believe that all football clubs should be firmly rooted in local support. That’s not to say that I think that any type of Evertonian is better than another, I just want us to truly be “The People’s Club” in Liverpool

So overall…

I’d rather be patient a while longer for trophies and better football, and have the club stay close to My Everton than have instant success and become a club that I love that bit less. Sure I’d still support Everton if the club changed, I have no choice in that, but it wouldn’t mean as much. In my 35 years of conscious support (as opposed to the 6 prior years of brainwashing), I’d estimate that we’ve been fantastic for about 3 years, good for maybe 10 years and mediocre for the rest... so I don’t feel that success is an entitlement and I think we’re currently doing pretty well against my criteria (with some areas for improvement).

I’m not an apologist or a realist, a negative or a positive, a pro- or anti-Moyes, or whatever label some people choose. I don’t claim to be speaking for anyone other than myself. I’m also not saying that I am any more enlightened or correct than anyone else (although obviously I know that I am!). It’s easy to exchange insults or slag off people’s opinions but what I’m interested to know is — what is YOUR Everton?

Reader Comments

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


Karl Masters
1   Posted 13/07/2009 at 20:52:40

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The best Article I have read on here for months.

Maybe it’s because I’m a similar age to you Damian, but those are my values too.

Everton is more than just winning football matches, although that does help of course!
Mike Allison
2   Posted 13/07/2009 at 20:50:20

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It's a nice piece and I pretty much agree wholeheartedly with your nine points but I actually disagree with your basic premise.

I’d say most of the handbags on here aren’t because we have that varying ideas about what the club is or should be but about current expectations and how far we should go when criticising the club and the people at it.

Some people love to lay into Kenwright especially, Hibbert, Osman and even Moyes, whereas many of us get our handbags out when this happens as we don’t like it and feel the criticism is often unjustifiably harsh and over the top.

I’d be interested to see how many people come on here and say they want an Arab Sheikh who’s brother proudly tortured someone and never answered for it to own our club just because he’s rich and can sign more expensive foreign players who might not have known who we were 'til we waved a cheque book.
Peter Benson
3   Posted 13/07/2009 at 21:47:17

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I just want our custodians to strive to be the best. Whether we get there or not doesn’t matter.

And yes it bugs me that we are yet to win the League Cup and the Uefa Cup, and it doesn’t bug me that we are yet to win the Champions League — it has removed the sport out of football.
Kevin Hudson
4   Posted 13/07/2009 at 21:53:21

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Damian, You couldn’t possibly have defined EFC, or written that wonderful article any better!! Fantastic read, expertly summing up the unique qualities I think we ultimately share, and recognise in our Everton.

You ended with a question: Unfortunately, I’ve nothing interesting to add, as MY Everton is practically word-for-word, the same as yours.

Just wanted to say what a brilliant read it was...

They should pin that on the dressing room wall.
Frank Nolan
5   Posted 13/07/2009 at 22:20:06

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Thanks Damian, a great article.

The Goodison thing worries me, keeps me awake at night. My head says Kirkby and I voted for it, but my heart is with the Old Lady.

It was the replay v the RS that brought it home to me. We were in the Upper Gwladys and the place was rocking. When Gosling fired it home I thought the stand would collapse. Can a Kirkby stadium give us nights like this? Maybe, who knows?
Shaun Sparke
6   Posted 13/07/2009 at 22:32:30

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What an absolute piece of crap. How dare you write such twaddle. What on earth are you thinking about by offering this kind of sensible heartfelt post on here? Surely there are other more suitable places on the web to vent such commonsense.

I am only joking of course. I have to agree with some of the previous replies and say that this was the best article I have read on here for a long time. However, having said that this would become a pretty boring website if we all agreed with each other and never entered into any debate no matter how tasty some of the banter gets.

As for my Everton, finishing above Liverpool would do for a start. I know that might sound like I lack a little ambition but I spent my entire school life surrounded by smirking non-match-going wannabe kopites. It was only when I reached my late teens that we started winning trophies again. I am now surrounded by similar smirking non-match-going badge-wearing wannabe kopites and I have had enough. Come on, Blues, lets finish above them this season, that should put us in the Champions League. Oh, and another Cup Final will do nicely.
Barry Bragg
7   Posted 13/07/2009 at 23:17:03

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Could not agree with you more Damian.

While the Sky phenomena continues to rip the heart out of football and corrupt the game with its filthy comercialism, it is gratifying to know that many supporters (perhaps of a certain age) at many clubs still share your sentiments.

We blues can take some pride in the fact that we are knocking the trend (if only out of necessity) and still doing things the old fashioned way.

If we can ultimately achieve success this way, the sense of achievement would be incredible and well deserved.
Jamie Crowley
8   Posted 13/07/2009 at 23:23:36

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Quickly addressing point #9, as an "outsider", I couldn’t agree more.

For those of us fortunate enough to have "adopted" this team yet have no heritage connected to it and live thousands of miles away, I say this: we are second class citizens. The miracle of TV and the internet enables us to watch every game, read every analysis, et al. Often times we might even "know more" about the club in the current environment. We still hurt with loses, and scream with joy at goals.

But there is no way a level-headed individual can say, having watched games over the tube and the ’net that he / she is even in the same ballpark as anyone who was born and lives in Liverpool. It’s simply preposterous.

As an outsider who is now entirely wrapped up in all things Everton, I want to see them keep their local presence. It means too much and epitomizes the heart and soul of the Club, the fans, and I would assume the area.

It’s your Club, the rest of us are along for the ride.

In an age where Man U fans are everywhere and haven’t a clue about the Club at all (Liverpool as well for that matter), I think it’s encumbent on Evertonians to attempt to keep the Club always in the heart of its epicenter: Liverpool. Not strung out as some mish-mashed, clueless, heartless, johnny-come-lately fanbase.

I for one will always take a back seat to those who rightfully call the Club their own. It is. Simple as that.

For what it’s worth, Damian, this post was absolutely superb!
Dick Fearon
9   Posted 13/07/2009 at 23:57:52

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Damian Kelly’s wish list almost matches my own with only two exceptions.

I could only agree with his No 1 I if the pre-Boer War relic that is Goodison were to be totally demolished and rebuilt as a brand spanking new stadium on the same site. A stadium of the 21st century — not the 19th — would earn the praise of generations to come.

For my more immediate wishes, I agree with Shaun Sparke. It would not worry me how many tin cups the RS yankee spawn may win as long as they use sotto voice and avert their eyes when in my company.

Gary Sedgwick
10   Posted 14/07/2009 at 01:02:40

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Amen Damian.

What a fantastic article. TW editors could do worse than pin the nine points you believe wholeheartedly defines Everton to the home page without the chance for anybody to respond. I am sure 99.9% of readers share your beliefs. I do and there is no way I could have articulated as you have.

As for references to insults and handbags, I welcome debate and discussion but it is the way it is carried out that irks me. Why the need for swear words? For stuff like FFS, WTF etc.? I as an adult tolerate it even if I do not like it. I am no angel, I can swear with the best of them but one thing I NEVER do is use such language when in the direct presence of children or to be politically correct minors. I am sure most other adults and parents do the same.

So why is it different on the "Web"? Children view this forum and I can recall a couple of them posting some good articles on this site. Anonymity shoud not equate to lack of responsibility.
Stephen Vinue
11   Posted 14/07/2009 at 01:05:09

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Damien, first and foremost, your article described my feelings about this club brilliantly.

I am slightly older than you but remember the days of the Glen Keeleys and other desperate and unworthy signings but I also remember when being on the dole, rushing from a job interview that ran late, missing the bus and having to run home and jump into my car parked on my drive with no tax, insurance or MOT in order to get to the Bayern Munich game on time (didn’t get the job but we WON!).

I remember the wonderful few years that followed and the heartbreak that followed which had nothing to do with us.

Shaun, I too cherish the opportunity of finishing above the red shite first, as I remember the favouritism of all and sundry including the days of the Echo putting the Everton news in the last inch of the back page. Then, after finishing above them — winning trophies — no matter which one — even all those "Mickey Mouse Cups".

In response to those who "bow down" to the local supporters — WHY? An Evertonian is an Evertonian. I was born and bred in Liverpool and, despite my mum and her families depravity, I am a blue. I used to go to Goodison whenever I could but sadly had to leave Liverpool nearly 20 years ago to move to the East Midlands for work. Apart from the occasional visits to Liverpool when we are playing at home, I don’t get to see my blues very often.

The point is, I am no less of an Evertonian than the bloke who travels a mile to the ground every home game, or the bloke who drives up from London for every home game, or the bloke who flies in from Ireland or Norway or wherever to see the blues, or the bloke who lives on the moon, never gets to the games but loves the club. Circumstances do dictate what we are able to do. It is what is in the heart that counts.

This club is built on the heart and soul of all Blues, no matter where they live. Never belittle yourselves because you cannot get to a game, or live on a different continent; your true support is important to you, me and everything Blue.

Mike Hunter
12   Posted 14/07/2009 at 07:05:33

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Well in there Blue! Really great article and agree wholeheartedly. My Everton is all of the above...COYB!
Robert Treacy
13   Posted 14/07/2009 at 08:29:22

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Thanks... you bring a tear to a glass eye. Excellent article.
Tony Marsh
14   Posted 14/07/2009 at 08:14:12

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Damien, nice article, mate... but I have to take issue with you on Numbers 2 and 3 of your list. Now some Evertonians wiil agree with anyone on any subject as long as words like My Everton or my Beloved Everton etc are written in to the title but that's not the way we should examine things really.

No 2 A club that earns respect rather than buys it.

Whether you like it or not, football has changed beyond all recognition from the game I grew up watching and the game many older than me will fondly remember. The truth is that football as in life there is no respect without money. Money is God in today's game and without it you will have no respect at all.

Yes you might get a pat on the back when an FA Cup final is reached but not really respect is it? As soon as the game is over you are forgotten unless you are involved in a big money transfer or take over.

Which club gets more media coverage — Chelsea or Everton? Which club gets more media coverage now — Man City or Everton. WHY? It's simple: money. If you ain't got it, you don't count. Very hard to read but oh so true. Respect in football these days comes in the shape of the £ sign or the Euro.

No 3 A club that is owned by some one with an affinity towards the club?

By this do you mean another Bill Kenwright? The reason we lag so far behind our rivals in a financial sense these days is because of the ineptitude of Mr Bill Kenwright and he is supposedly the biggest Evertonian on the planet. How much affinity do you want, Damien?

This joker Kenwright will be happy to sit in the bosses chair for the rest of his life even though he can't provide sufficient funds to run the club properly. As long as BK keeps his comfy chair in the Directors Box he will be happy. If anything, we need fresh blood at the club and to severe all ties with the decrepit and incapable chairman and his poxy board.

Although football in this country has been played for well over a hundred years, it is still in its infancy. The game is going massive on a global stage and skint chairman like Kenwright have no place being part of it. Affinity he may have but as a chairman he ain't worth a carrot, son.
Rory Slingo
15   Posted 14/07/2009 at 08:02:05

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Stephen, the love and the passion that local blues have for the club is part of the reason an ’out-of-towner’ falls in love with the club, for me anyways. If it wasn’t for all the stories and reminders of our great heritage, what would there be to fall in love with? If one’s only interested in a club with the longest honors list and fuck all else about them, there’s a couple of red clubs nearby that fit that bill.

Our history is what sets us apart and the local people of Liverpool are responsible for that and long may it continue. A larger foreign fanbase may contribute to greater success for our club in financial terms, but local support is far more important in terms of our identity. It wouldn’t be the same Everton I know and love otherwise and I would have far less interest in supporting it.

I don’t like to think of myself as a ’second-class’ fan or supporter but I do recognize that, in one aspect, I am less important than a match-going blue born and raised in Liverpool. That’s not to say we’re any less passionate about our club though!

Ray Roche
16   Posted 14/07/2009 at 09:17:49

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Tony Marsh, You say "Money is God in todays game and without it you will have no respect at all."

So,what you’re saying is that you have endless respect for Man City, because, as their fans are fond of saying, they are the wealthiest club in the world?

Don’t confuse wealth with respect. Sir Freddie Goodwin is loaded but reviled.

Shaun Sparke
17   Posted 14/07/2009 at 09:53:41

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Tony
I can fully understand the reasons for you stating your reply regarding needing untold wealth to become successful. The evidence is there for all to see. The top 4 last season and in most previous seasons were and have been the wealthiest clubs. This of course means that they can attract the best players by paying the highest transfers fees and players wages. And now we can add Manchester City to that equation, so life is going to get tougher for the rest of the pack.

However, the more we concede and subscribe to this belief that without mega riches we are destined to never again challenge for the top honours, then the harder it will become to stand up and fight to prove that there is another way. I am not a blind optimist but I think that fate has bought about a situation when we have no other choice but to rely on astute management and the bringing on of youth to put this club back at the top end of English football.

Two consecutive top 5 finishes along with an improvement in our general play has shown me that the green shoots of recovery are well and truly established. This is where the problem now lies, can we convince the bright young things of tomorrow that Everton is a club worth joining and staying at.

My heart tells me that for every Franny Jeffers, there is a Brian Labone and for every Wayne Rooney there is a Tim Cahill. These people want to play for this club and are blue through and through just like you and I, and yes just like Bill Kenwright! So please don’t sit back and tell me that it can’t be done

Yes I agree with you, our board has a lot to answer for and some of the decisions made throughout history have been puzzling to say the least and we need all of our fans to speak out when we feel something is not right. But above all we need our fans to get behind this club whoever is in charge and believe that we can make a difference, whether we have untold riches or not.

Mike Allison
18   Posted 14/07/2009 at 09:49:23

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http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/apr/26/torture-tape

Apparently the video is on the internet as well but I haven’t watched it.

This is the brother of the owner of Manchester City. I’d much rather have the ’selfish lying fantasist’ Kenwright than anyone related to this guy.

I agree with Ray about the Man City thing, I respect them less now that they’ve got money, not more. Winning simply isn’t everything, and the nine points Damian Kelly makes above are an excellent demonstration of that.

By the way, on owners, the last football rich list I saw (earlier this year) had the Grantchester family quite a long way up with hundreds of millions of pounds to their name.
Damian Kelly
19   Posted 14/07/2009 at 09:56:24

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Tony - point 2 is "earn success" not "earn respect". I think we can win things without having to follow the Chelsea/City model. The title? Well, we’ll certainly need to spend more than we have got at the moment, but I believe an extra £10-15mil a season over what we currently have for the next 3-4 years (which in today's terms isnt spending big) could get us competitive.

Re point 3, I totally agree that being a blue isn't the only qualification required of a good chairman. I’m ambivalent about Kenwright but when he is replaced (it will happen it’s just whether it be in 1 year or 20 years) I still want it to be by someone who feels something for the club. A chairman who just sees the club as a business would be able to make it more efficient, more profitable and more successful but the purely commercial way to do this ignores all the emotional stuff that in my opinion makes this club.
Tony Marsh
20   Posted 14/07/2009 at 09:51:53

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Ray what do you mean by respect? Do you mean the way we get a fair crack of the whip by referees when we play the Sky 4 because they respect us for being a small club with a chairam who is skint? Or is it respect for Sir Alex that Man Utd can do and say what ever they want because they are one of the world richest clubs?

You see, Ray, without one (money) you can't have the other (respect). We can label respect in any way you wish to but all the people that count — the media, Sky TV, producers, Premier League chiefs, and UEFA — will tell you that it is respect they have for Man Utd, Chelsea, Real Madrid etc and nothing to do with money.

Do you really believe this Ray?Are you so naieve? Just watch now the change in which every one views Manchester City. Once the laughing stock of the country and the media's favorite whipping boys, they will become the new Big Thing.

Have they earned it? NO. Have they bought it? Yes... Will they be respected for it? You bet they will.

Phil Bellis
21   Posted 14/07/2009 at 10:03:59

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There you go again, Dick... taking every opportunity to bang your drum while singing the Four Tops.

That pre-Boer War relic means the world to some people; there are remains of two generations of my family buried there Your denegration of Goodison obviously increases with every 1,000 miles you’re distant from it

Yes, it need updating and renovating but whose fault is that? Not the structure, but the Board who have shamefully left it to rot since the 66 WC semi-final.

I suppose you’re all for pulling down the Anglican Cathedral as well and ready to start demolishing that 60s relic, Paddy’s Wigwam?

Michael Evans
22   Posted 14/07/2009 at 12:18:04

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Damian, beautifully written and very emotive piece that captures IMO what being an Everton fan means.
Alan Clarke
23   Posted 14/07/2009 at 12:50:54

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Tony, I see you’ve grasped what the article is about then? Look again at the title "MY Everton". Damien appreciates people have different opinions yet you can still come on here and start an argument.

Good article Damien. My Everton is far more similar to yours than Tony Marsh’s "sell your soul and win at all costs" vision of Everton.
Alan Kirwin
24   Posted 14/07/2009 at 13:16:53

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Money does not equate to respect, at least not in my world. I once fell out with an old CEO of mine over just such a thing. We were fine dining in Saloos, a fabulous Indian restaurant in Knightsbridge. Both a few lagers to the good. He identified two billionaire Indian brothers a few tables away and was eulogising. I may have done the same if it had been David Bowie, or Howard Kendall, or Pavarotti, but I could hardly contain my indifference to these two. He was offended, mammon was his compass.

I have no respect whatsoever for Man City and very little for Chelsea. But I have lots of time for the Arsenal and of course for Barcelona.

It may grate that news International pollutes print & broadcast media with news of clubs with money to the detriment of plenty of good clubs, ours included. But that’s all it does. Most of the time I don’t give a toss.

I share just about all of Damian’s aspirations, although whilst I will always have a place in my heart for Goodison, we should be out of there by now in all honesty.

And as for trophy aspirations, well I’m afraid the Carling Cup is solely for our squad players & youth team. It’s a distraction and I’m nonplussed that we haven’t won it. I want to see us strutting our stuff on the European stage. Until we’re back in the CL that means Europa Cup. I look forward to the prospect of playing another top team in next season’s final at the Hamburg Arena.

My vision of Everton is one of honour, friendship and internationalism. I’ll be moving to France soon and the idea that it makes me less of an Evertonian is amusing.

A good piece Damian, penned in the right spirit and worthy of the many contrasting comments.

Dick Fearon
25   Posted 14/07/2009 at 12:35:29

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Dear Phil, I have no wish to denigrate yours or any other persons family burial ground. I have my own very fond memories of the old lady that probably predate those of most TW posters:
The abject misery of our last home game before relegation and 3 years later our glorious return to the top division.
The never forgotten atmosphere at Goodison when football’s most important trophies were proudly carried onto the field by both local teams. The League Championship Shield, the FA Cup and the Charity Shield. Around their necks all players plus subs wore medals they won for those trophies. Some had two with the second being for their part in the World Cup winning squad. Most important on display was the World Cup itself.

I could write a chapter of my personal very precious memories but that would not hide the fact that, regardless of where the fault lies, the extremely old lady is well and truly past it.

Perhaps it is that distance you mention, plus experience of world class venues have opened my eyes to what today's spectators expect. For example, here in W Oz, a state that in size would encompass most if not all of Europe and with a mere 2 million inhabitants, there is a much more modern 45,000 all-seated stadium that has no restricted views. To maintain it to a top class standard it has undergone vastly more expensive upgrades than ever has been considered for Goodison. Despite all that, it will be replaced by a new state-of-the-art bigger one.

The question is, for how much longer will Goodison survive to serve the demands and expectations of future match goers. Our memories are linked inextricably with the Old lady but do we really expect future generations to accept the same standards.

I have just watched Time Team on TV and the crew were salivating over a find of broken pottery not as old as Goodison. Makes you think eh?

Ray Roche
26   Posted 14/07/2009 at 13:35:01

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Tony, the fact that some incompetent referees are frightened of offending the likes of SAF should not be deemed to be because of a lack of repect for Everton. Cowardice on their part, maybe. I respect SAF’s knowledge and what he has achieved in football but I don’t like the man, or respect him as a person.

Are you saying that just because a person is very wealthy in monetary terms, that they automatically command respect? Do you respect your own parents? Why? Are they minted? What about people who have achieved excellence in different fields, such as medicine? Do they not command respect? Or great leaders or even Mother Theresa?

Don’t confuse money and respect. The two don’t have to go together. The media, Sky etc are only interested in making money and respect doesn’t come into it.

I read your articles and comments on a regular basis and respect your right to have your own opinion,whether I agree or not. In fact I often do agree with you. Tell me where your bulging bank account comes into play in that context, ie, my respect for your opinion? And please don’t call me naive. I’m to long in the tooth for a young lad like you to call me that. (And I can spell it!)

Respect: "esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person, a personal quality or ability, or something considered as a manifestation of a personal quality or ability."

Nick Flack
27   Posted 14/07/2009 at 13:45:06

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I’ve been having a bit of a craic with the Citeh fans on 606 this morning. Suggesting it’s a bit like when you were a kid and you get back to school from summer hols in Filey and everyone else has now got long hair and wearing Wallabies too.

"But I was doing it last year" you scream...

While I think there are similarities between our clubs, I don’t think that Evertonians have ever believed we are the little poor relative to that lot in the shit house on the hill.

Citeh fans were proud of being miserable gits with their daft hair and suede shoes, and now suddenly they’re facing an invasion of the type of supporter they’ve derided for the last 30 years or so. I’ll bet not all of them are happy... Yet.

Do we want the same? Sell your soul but compete??? OOOH it’s a toughy... I’d love to say no, but I know if I said yes and found myself in a pub surrounded by Southerners in Everton shirts joining me in a sing-a-long of If you know your history while news comes in that the shite have failed to secure a Europa spot and we only need a draw to qualify for the big cup, I’d soon get over the moral issues.

I’ve been a blue since i can remember, I waited years to see them lift a trophy, and then years to see them play some good football. I can wait a bit longer for success. I’d also love it if we won a cup under BK. He may be public enemy number 1 among a lot of blues, but he deserves some success as much as the players or fans.

Excellent piece Damien. Written with humour and honesty.
Tony Marsh
28   Posted 14/07/2009 at 14:09:33

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Ray, you are missing my point here. Respect iin football is totally different from the respect one of us has for our parents, elders etc. Like it or not, Man City, we will be told week after week, will command respect this season in the PL because of the new found wealth which has brought all the new players to the club... Bought — not earned... whatever that is?

Once City have reached one of the top 4 slots in the League and the Arab billions start to be noticed even more, then City will be afforded even more respect. No doubt UEFA will award 5th spot a CL berth if City don't make it to 4th place out of respect for MONEY.

Until we get proper funding at our club, we will never get or earn RESPECT from those who make it matter. We can waffle on all day about what we think respect is or what it means but at the end of the day money makes people sit up and take notice.

Even arse-licking by some can be interpretated as respect by others. Money has a way of doing this. Thanks for the reply, Ray.
Ray Roche
29   Posted 14/07/2009 at 14:28:28

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OK, Tony, I think we’ll have to agree to disagree on this one. Or maybe respect each others viewpoint. I’ll always think that respect, for an individual or company etc., needs to be earned, and not by having loads of money thrown at it.
Cheers.
Phil Bellis
30   Posted 14/07/2009 at 17:03:25

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Thanks for all that, Dick. Hope you get over to to see the ground again! My first match (I think) was Everton 8 - 3 Cardiff; like you I have so many memories of Goodison: Tony Kay walking on the old main stand balcony, smoking a huge cigar
Bally scoring in a mini-hurricane in the '67 cup game
Florian Albert, Eusebio and so on...

My point is, how have we come to this when old-hand fans like you can see no option but to move? In an ideal world, with the right people in charge, we’d have had continous development. I see nowt wrong in a stadium that looks as if it’s been added to — part of its charm. Is it really too late to get the Old Girl to a standard befitting our heritage and stature?

For me, it’s an important structure if only in terms of the history of football. You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone...

Dave Williams
31   Posted 15/07/2009 at 13:06:59

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I agree totally, Damien. I want Everton to be the People's Club of Liverpool and I live in North Wales. I live near Loggerheads and we get flooded with hundreds of blue shirted scousers each week. I say you share my backyard, I will share your team. Match made in heaven.
Jamie Rowland
32   Posted 15/07/2009 at 15:25:46

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Damien,

Fabulous article and it has generated some well-deserved praise.

However, there are still those that have to gripe... I fondly know them as the doom and gloomers — they are all over Goodison, sadly, and I cannot even think what ’THEIR’ everton is. Perhaps for some of those that are doom and gloomers, the club's motto should be ’nothing is good enough’.

It always amazes me how people quantify respect with money and financial worth. Perhaps respect is related to lack of money as in those with it look down their noses at those without... Ronaldo being a key example. I don't respect him at all — but I can guarantee that he is one of the MOST disrespectful beings on the planet.

Someone on here once said that ’having owned several companies and having sat on a few PLC boards’ — he was talking about Everton’s finances and trying to show that he had a few quid and therefore knew what he was talking about. I didn’t respect him for it though. Quite the opposite... I read ’I’ve failed and been sacked a few times’... thus my respect didn’t increase at all.

Having a chairman who is a fan... I couldn’t agree more. Yes I would love more money to grow our team and squad but it has to be right type of money and it has to be spent correctly.
Kenwright, for all of his deficits, has to make sure our money is spent wisely: 1) because he hasn’t got it to throw about; 2) he wants the best for HIS Everton.

Respect has to be earned and it's a direct judgement of the people we are. In footballing terms, respect grows when teams realise that you aren’t a pushover. Money has nothing to do with it.

A couple of seasons ago, every team that came to Goodison fancied their chances. Now, just by the amount of away fans that DON'T travel, you can see what their expectations are. Other teams respect us... and we’ve rightly earned it. Have we got money...? I don’t think so.

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