Our chairman lapped up the media attention, Our manager was voted Manager of the Year by his peers, and we, the fans, were praised by all and sundry for the wonderful backing we were giving our lads.
Unfortunately the FA Cup Final proved a game too many; we didn't get to parade the old trophy around the city, but we were close, a lot of us felt pretty much the way we did after the 84 Milk Cup Final, the agony of defeat was soothed by the belief that, at long last, we were ready to take the next step.
So where did it all go? What happened to the optimism that only a few short weeks ago was sweeping through our club?
Ok, we've had a close season of relative inactivity, but who among us really believed it would be any other way? Reading about the obscene amounts of money being waved about by Manchester's nouveau riche has hardly helped. But we are used to that... if it wasn't City, it would be someone else. Can it be that Evertonians are just sick to the back teeth of being skint? ... Or is there more to it than that?
When any group of supporters are gathered in an ale house, they will have a million minor gripes against their club, from the manager's tactics, to the quality of their players. Evertonians are not much different, except our debates always seem to have a little more edge. I believe within our club there are two deeply divided camps; these divisions influence 90% of all other debates/arguments and can be traced back to the two real bones of contention: Kenwright and Kirkby... the two are inextricably linked.
Our Chairman may well be a media darling, but whisper his name amongst a group of Evertonians and you virtually guarantee an argument. He is either Blue Bill, the guy who rescued us from the clutches of Agent Johnson, or Black Bill the Devil incarnate; there appears to be very little middle ground. Then there is Kirkby... have the supporters of a football club ever been so divided?
I don't want to discuss the rights and wrongs of the proposed move — that's been done to death... besides, it's out of our hands now. What concerns me is the division it has created; ok, the FA Cup run provided a welcome distraction... but it's always there, this underlying resentment, and it influences the way we treat each other. A man's opinion is often regarded as invalid if he voted the "wrong way" — even if the subject is totally unrelated.
I try to get to all the games and will meet hundreds, maybe thousands of Evertonians during the course of a season, but I can count on one hand the number of people I have met who openly admit in public to voting Yes. How can that be? Why is it so many of the 15,000 Yes voters are reluctant to discuss the vote? Intimidation? Fear of ridicule? It can't be healthy.
But let's not paint them as victims; who can forget the night the project was called in, the radio stations and websites were inundated with calls and e.mails snarling all sorts of insults at the "luddites", accusing them of holding the club back. Suddenly it was the Yes camp who couldn't "get over it" or "move on". The battle lines were well and truly drawn; insult drew counter insult, things were said that sadly as far as some are concerned, can never be unsaid.
The new season will soon be upon us; it will provide another distraction. We'll cheer up no end if we can see the Gooners off... but DK will still be there, always in the back of all our minds... it's bigger than everything else and the decision looms ever closer.
Lifelong Evertonians have vowed never to step foot in the place; only an idiot would underestimate their numbers. Many will not understand this, even if they voted No; they'll say they are going to Kirkby... they'll declare themselves genuine supporters who will follow the club anywhere but they won't like it, the resentment will always be there.
I have no idea which way the decision will go; if DK gets kicked into touch, it will probably take a long time for the rifts to heal. But if it gets the nod, I fear our club can never be the same again.
Either way, I expect Kenwright to miraculously find a buyer shortly after the decision. I wonder if, with the benefit of hindsight, he will look back on his decision to put the proposed move to a vote, and ask himself if it was really such a good idea...
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1 Posted 17/07/2009 at 04:01:22
Me too but don't kid yourself that the ballot was anything other than a cynical ploy. Effectively free my arse. World Class my arse. Best Transport links in the north my arse... etc etc etc. He knew there would be uproar if he tried to remove us from our birthplace without a mandate, so what did he do? I’ll tell you what he done he fucking well lied as usual. Now he’s got the fucking mandate he wants.
2 Posted 17/07/2009 at 05:26:59
If anyone thinks I’m "out of order" for being so forthright and selfish with my opinion, I have 2 comments — I just made Dave start using another hand and go fuck yourself — it’s my opinion, not yours.
3 Posted 17/07/2009 at 05:50:10
"Go fuck yourself".
And we’re back to the playground.
4 Posted 17/07/2009 at 05:57:05
5 Posted 17/07/2009 at 06:29:57
The whole thing about needing a new stadium to attract investors is a red herring. Yes, a new or rebuilt (somehow) stadium would be part of the project. He’s just decided that DK is what’s best for BK, and his mates.
I wouldn’t find him half so irritating if he would just shut the fuck up. The comment at the Shareholders Forum about his mates asking when we’re signing Kaka or Messi. I wasn’t there, but if it wasn’t in jest he seriously think’s we’re all knobheads, to quote another member of the EFC hierarchy.
I hope for his sake he gets the right buyer for him sooner rather than later, as he’s in danger of being vilified by a large section of fans, a la David Swales many years ago. And afterwards, he’ll find it tough to set foot in his beloved Goodison or Cowshed after he rides off into the sunset.
6 Posted 17/07/2009 at 06:38:06
7 Posted 17/07/2009 at 07:48:45
Kirkby and the surrounding area is predominantly Rugby League territory (St Helens, Wigan, Warrington). Kirkby had a Northern Counties side which they failed to support. I also live closer to Kirkby but still don’t want and would never set foot inside; my money, my choice. All without stooping to childish names.
8 Posted 17/07/2009 at 09:17:03
If they genuinely cared about Everton and even in their deluded way still thought that Kirkby was the best option then they they’d be working with the fans to give us a better stadium. I think it says it all that they’re not doing this.
nb: A good stadium does not have to be expensive.
9 Posted 17/07/2009 at 09:49:44
If anyone thinks I’m "out of order" for being so forthright and selfish with my opinion, I have 2 comments — I just made Dave start using another hand and go fuck yourself — it’s my opinion, not yours. "
Stewart, that just about sums up the thing that winds me up the most about this debate (and society today for that matter, but that’s not for this forum). You ’don’t have time to study all the ins and outs’ although all of the relevant information is freely available, easily accessible and is referenced all over the place whenever the subject gets brought up; the fact that you can’t be arsed to see what the facts are doesn’t stop you from broadcasting your ill-informed and ignorant (your admission, not my judgement) opinion all too vociferously.
I have no problem with Yes voters who can back their opinions up with sound reasoning based on the facts — we have differing opinions, but at least their arguments have some merit. What is disappointing is that some people will jump on to one side of the debate or the other and start throwing stones without knowing what it is they’re supporting or deriding.
10 Posted 17/07/2009 at 12:24:02
11 Posted 17/07/2009 at 13:25:06
It’s a sad football world we live in when success is measured by the amount of trophies you can buy. History counts for nothing in this day and age, instant gratification is the way forward. This is what makes it so attractive to the minority who voted Yes.
I say minority because in the great scheme of things, that is all that is Everton. A minority got a vote.
12 Posted 17/07/2009 at 13:31:50
Why is that any different from every other person on this planet? Of course it is me, me, me. Why are people acting surprised when he makes anither stupid comment?
I am with Matt, I just wish he would shut the fuck up and get on with it.
Oh and Dave, add another finger mate, I voted Yes and have never once shied away from anyone who asked me how I voted and never will.
13 Posted 17/07/2009 at 15:05:52
14 Posted 17/07/2009 at 15:26:35
So Gavin, just as I have my right to my opinion, you have yours, and I have absolutely no right to question why you won’t set foot there. But I know of countless fans who don’t go the game cos the only ticket they can get is sat behind a fucking post for a quid less. Now one thing that can’t be argued is that Kirkby will not have any obstructed views, so many of these fans would go. Your point re the surrounding area has some validity, but then Wigan get circa 15k per game, so I think there’s potential for around 10k extra from these areas.
Gordon — I know what I’m supporting. I’m supporting what I SEE as progress for our football club. I get an hour or so every other day on the net and don’t have time to study every single report. Frankly, I really don’t care how you treat my opinion, and what winds me up most is people who think they have some sort of moral high ground to criticise someone else’s opinion cos they haven’t backed it up with enough "sound reasoning based on the facts". Well these are my facts for you, AGAIN:
- New ground
- Bigger capacity
- Nno obstructed views
- Cheap, comparatively speaking
- Easy for me to get to
15 Posted 17/07/2009 at 15:58:44
I voted Yes to the move. I see it as a progressive move that will be seen as hugely beneficial to the club in later years. All the anomosity and outrage about this upheaval will melt away in the fullness of time. Goodison, much as I love every brick of it, is now an antiquated venue with little or no room for financial gain when it comes to corporate hospitality and venue revenue outside of the football income.
Look at our real competitors in the PL and tell me we can financially stand toe to toe with any of them when it comes to venue income? Goodison is a relic of days gone by and when you take away the nostalgic glasses I think we all know it's time to go. I want to see a succesful Everton in the future, I want to take my little boy to a beautiful ground where we can stand proud and watch our team play whilst not being overcharged for substandard catering services and warm beer!
I am lucky enough to work in a PL-related job and have seen most of our peers' grounds from a corporate and commercial viewpoint. We are light years behind and, until we make a bold move into the future, it is there we will remain.
To those who say they will never set foot inside a new stadium at Kirbky, I say this... When I saw our new kit for this season I told the missus that it was horrendous and there was no way I was going to buy that, her reply was, "I bet you’re wearing it on our honeymoon in September!" She knows as well as I did deep down, Everton will never leave you and you can never leave it.
16 Posted 17/07/2009 at 16:26:37
But IMHO a blind man can see Kirkby is for the "Bill squad" not for EFC and it’s supporters. In short:
- No transport and infrastructure to support an additional 40,000 let alone 50,000.
- A very poor design and build quality
- To be designed and built by a construction company more used to building grocery stores than football stadia
- Additional interest costs of £6 to 10 million a year
- Maximum Capacity restricted to 50,401 and may be reduced to 40,000.
- 9 miles out of the city centre
- Big increase in ticket prices
17 Posted 17/07/2009 at 17:53:41
Dave Lynch: "This is what makes it so attractive to the minority who voted Yes. I say minority because in the great scheme of things, that is all that is Everton. A minority got a vote." A very valid point, Dave. People forget that the club selected those who could have a vote according to criteria they chose & still failed to persuade the majority of them to vote in support of DK, even though there was no alternative proposal.
18 Posted 17/07/2009 at 19:10:27
Even if Everton started to become successful there and we started to reach the heights of Man U, what happens? The stadium would have to be knocked down because you can’t add tiers to it. So even in success the stadium fails.
By the way, you mention about no restricted views. However, when the fans stand up they will block the view of those in the corporate seats causing them to stand too, not very professional that is it?
19 Posted 17/07/2009 at 21:46:18
20 Posted 17/07/2009 at 23:09:44
Thanks to Dave Lynch for taking a stab at it but sorry Dave your reply went nowhere near to answering the question.
All kinds of responses have illustrated DK's good and bad points as they may or may not affect fans but none from a hard nosed investor's veiwpoint.
21 Posted 18/07/2009 at 08:09:23
Then came the Premier League, the trend has been reversed, football was reborn, it was sexy again. Suddenly there were thousands of fans just bursting to part with their hard-earned to see a live game and the race to increase capacity of stadiums was on; Old Traffords capacity increased by around 30,000; St James was virtually rebuilt, Villa Park was transformed.
Corporate boxes arrived and were generating even more money, the clubs who couldn’t accommodate corporate demand or increase capacity set about doing something about it: Arsenal built the Emirates; Sunderland built the SOL for a staggering £23 million; Spurs got busy buying up all the surrounding properties and will soon be the envy of the world... Everton did nothing.
Kenwright was still thinking about ambling over to the starting blocks.The fact that this magnificent club has even contemplated moving out to Kirkby smacks of desperation. Having sat gormlessly on his hands for so long, Kenwright realised he’d missed the starting gun, so he was more than happy to listen to Terry Leahy's offer of a get-out-of-jail proposal... even to the point of agreeing to an exclusivity agreement.
Sorry, Dick, you’ve struck out here, you wont get your answer. Not an honest, accurate one anyway. The reason nobody will answer your question, is nobody can. It speaks volumes for the location of the proposed new ground when nobody — not even the club — can predict with any degree of certainty that a shiny new stadium there is going to be a favourable alternative (for a potential new investor) to the sadly neglected old lady.
It's going to cost about a £100 million to find that out.
22 Posted 18/07/2009 at 10:59:45
23 Posted 18/07/2009 at 17:09:07
It’s fair enough saying you have your viewpoint but your arguments don’t add up.
24 Posted 18/07/2009 at 12:45:57
Now taking the blue-tinted glasses off do you think that the club will ever get a 'billionaire' style investor and will we get a new ground either at Kirkby or in the city?This is not a question of Will Kenwright sell?, Is he good or the devil?... but simply will either of those happen?
For my money, neither will.
25 Posted 19/07/2009 at 00:42:41
If Kirkby is NOT going to make Everton more attractive to investors (as most anti-Kirkby's believe), then it cannot be the case that Kenwright is going to make more money by moving the club to Kirkby. Indeed, he might lose money by going to Kirkby.
If it IS going to make the club more attractive (and Kenwright richer), then that means some investor will believe that Everton is a better commercial deal with Kirkby than without. Given the due diligence that will be involved (see what’s going on at Newcastle right now), this will not be because they were ’fooled by the brochure’.
So which is it?
26 Posted 19/07/2009 at 02:26:22
Gavin, my point was exactly that... that in a Rugby League town, the football club still get 15k every home game (maybe a dip to 12k against Fulham). I live in Wigan, and see an awful lot of Everton kits compared to other places in this area.
The area I live in (near Orrell) is 2 stops from Kirkby. In the opposite direction to the trains going to Liverpool. And 20 mins drive away. So where do I get 10k from?
A guess. Not a very educated one, but I guess that, with no major football team represented by the people of Warrington, St Helens and the surrounding areas, and a population therein of maybe a million, we are good for around 1% of that which is... 10k! Time will tell I suppose, once the SoS gives the green light.
27 Posted 19/07/2009 at 08:31:11
Choose to drive and you’ll have to drive to Aintree and pay to park your car then wait over an hour at the very minimum to board a bus, again crammed with supporters, but if you read the DK hearing notes you’d also know that there simply aren't enough buses to carry the amount of fans involved.
Think park and walk? Then you’ll have a minimum 30-45 minute walk from some retail car park miles away from DK. Try any of those on a Category A game (v Man U, the RS, Arsenal or Chelski) and you add minimum 1.5hrs before and after the match to get to a stadium closer to home. Try that on a week night for a European, Cup or midweek game and you are looking at not getting home until close or even past midnight.
Kirkby is less than 20 mins away but, unless you have relatives in Kirkby willing to give you a parking space on their drive, you won’t be parking in Kirkby. Choose to risk parking at the retail park and expect at least a £100 parking fine which will be very eagerly policed and enforced.
St Helen’s and Warrington are died-in-the-wool Rugby League towns, Stewart, just as Wigan itself is, Wigan Athletic simply haven’t attracted switchover fans from rugby so don’t expect 10k to switch allegiance from St Helens and Warrington.
28 Posted 19/07/2009 at 08:26:18
The exclusivity agreement isn't something Tesco duped BK into entering, it works both ways and he jumped at it. Who knows what offers he's had, if he can get £100 million more for the club with a new ground, albeit in Kirkby, then £80 million is well spent from his point of view. But it will still cost the new owner — and therefore the club — £100 million.
People accuse BK of lining his pockets because he could sell today if the price was right. For all you know, Everton, without Kirkby, may not even be for sale.
Here's a question for you: Kenwright paid £20 million for his 68%, he could have investors queing around the block by putting his shares up for sale for say, £30 million — at the same time making a whopping great £10 million for himself. Think he will? Why doesnt he publicly state how much money it will take to get control at Everton ?
If you want to buy Newcastle, you know:
- How much it will cost.
- The size of the debt.
- Where they will be playing in 5 years time.
- What sort of crowds they can expect.
- How much money the club is capable of generating.
Stewart... Are you really suggesting a potential 10k fans will materialise just because we can house them? The two Manchester clubs and RS have the wedge to attract the best players on the planet... but you think going to Kirkby will prove a bigger attraction?
29 Posted 19/07/2009 at 15:33:38
And you really then can’t have it both ways. If Kirkby comes in, most of this uncertainty will vanish. That’s one reason why we will be more attractive to investors. So Kenwright is currently taking major steps to reduce the uncertainty, not increase it.
And, please Dave, on Newcastle! Everything is ’known’ about what Newcastle costs because it is a desperate fire sale at a heavily discounted price. And in fact the sale is going so slowly apparently because the prospective buyers are finding various unpleasant surprises as they do their due diligence. Not hopefully a model in any way we are looking to replicate.
30 Posted 19/07/2009 at 20:38:59
We’re not a million miles away from agrement here , but we’re still no closer to answering your original question. The ground issue creates two sets of figures, How much are we worth with Kirkby and how much without.
But I cant have your view that Kenwright is taking steps to reduce the uncertainty.
Was it not he that introduced it in the first place ?
PS EFC have spent the past 20 years being only one bad season away from a fire sale themselves
31 Posted 19/07/2009 at 21:46:04
Simple questions for you, one stadium has a roof the other doesn’t. What one will be the best for atmosphere? Also, one stadium has terracing, one doesn’t, what one is the best for atmosphere. One stadium has fans divided up into many different stands and tiers, the other the fans are kept together to a minimum of stands. What one's the best for atmosphere?
A couple of very big features for you in stadium design. There is far more to atmosphere than just the fans make the atmosphere! Why do you think the kop had all the plaudits, and the St End didn’t? Because of the fans! No chance... it's because their design was far better for atmosphere.
Secondly, expansion, you say cross that bridge when we come to it! Wow, that is the whole reason why we are in the mess we are in now over the stadium, because we’ve never had a proper expansion program. Man U planned for expansion and they are reaping the benefits.
What happens when we reach that bridge? We would be having a fair bit of success, things are finally going our way, and what happens? Rather than buying the star player of the day to help us push on against the greats in Europe, rather than effortlessly expanding and buying a player we’re stuck we can get the player but to get the extra income we need to spend loads on knocking down a stand and rebuilding it.
So the very thing that we’re aiming to do by this move, is being failed by this stadium. It’s a joke. Even if Kirkby is successful, it still fails.
32 Posted 20/07/2009 at 05:33:58
33 Posted 20/07/2009 at 14:55:51
34 Posted 21/07/2009 at 11:19:51
I think the reason BK won’t “shut the fuck up” and keeps coming out with verbal diarrhoea over the DK issue is because he knows he’s made a mistake in promoting something that basically rips the heart out of everything "Everton".
The so called "People's Club" stands out from all those heartless, soulless "businesses" like Man Shitty, the RS, Tottenham, Chelski, Newcastle, Portsmouth etc because we do things the “Everton” way — promoting club/community interaction, not promoting the “Greed is good” Thatcherite philosophies. We promote from within (ref our academy and youth team policies); we buy players who want to play for us rather than just want the money (well, most of the time); we promote the team bonding and “everyone is equal” within the team (that’s why Jo likes us so much); we have all this and we are still fortunate enough to have it all within the same historic footprint as when all our heroes once graced the sacred turf of Goodison.
Kenwright knows that if DK goes ahead on his watch then he will be the chairman who goes down in Everton history as the one who destroyed that Everton feeling, which we’ll never be able to get back once it’s gone. (A bit like Henry VIII destroying all the monasteries because it seemed a good idea at the time!)
35 Posted 21/07/2009 at 12:52:07
To me, the club and players will remain as Everton and I will support them till the day I die. We have already moved once; the fact that this move is not within the city bounds does not bother me in the slightest.
36 Posted 21/07/2009 at 14:18:07
Fans have crticised the transport, perhaps look for solutions to this, suggest ways on implementing these changes?
We could fight for better terms on Kirkby, why not put pressure on Everton KMBC to allow us to use the stadium for non sporting events for an example? We can get ourselves a better deal out of this.
Maybe we won’t be able to change everything that’s wrong with it but we can change some things.
37 Posted 22/07/2009 at 08:22:47
I wasn’t merely suggesting that 10k fans will suddenly appear from nowhere — moreso that when you take the above into account, plus my earlier point re obstructed views, plus the lack of football teams in those surrounding areas, and put it all together, I think there is potential for 10k extra.
Dave — yes, IMO. As explained above, these will be (mainly) existing fans who don’t/rarely go at the moment for a variety of reasons, some of which I’ve mentioned above.
Peter — your points are valid, but for me, the fans are Number 1 in any list of ’atmosphere enablers’, eg. Stoke. And I’m currently trying to outline why I think we can attract just 10k extra fans, so I’m not gonna start on all the what ifs re expansion. As I said earlier, you’re looking way into the future.
38 Posted 22/07/2009 at 09:27:04
Atmosphere, again this is something that Everton can change. Fans standing up in front of their seat is a huge key to atmosphere, but what happens in Kirkby when this happens? In the Lower Tier, corporates have their view obstructed; in the upper tier it is a safety risk, the design will inhibit the atmosphere. There’s no reason why it can’t be changed though.
So if you want to find these extra 10,000 perhaps rather make excuses, start by addressing these problems, as well as ones outlined by others, then try and get these changes made.
39 Posted 22/07/2009 at 14:01:25
It’s definitely more than that for me...being skint I could deal with... Being treated like a mug and having to suffer ’emotional dishonesty’ from the man who’s ’bored’ with difficult questions..... is the main problem.
The Lescott deal or no deal, is the next pinnacle of this circus. We may loose a very good player but for money that would be ridiculous to turn down... but the major detriment on taking a sum of £25mill or so would be the time it would buy Kenwright. It’ll be his next ’get out of jail free’ card and will prolong his voluntary stay at this club... much like the Rooney money did.
40 Posted 23/07/2009 at 16:00:12
“It was always a great thrill; yes you see it on television but it’s not the same. Nothing beats going to Goodison.”
"....nothing beats going to Goodison"
Bill Kenwright, this is what one of our greats is saying; you should take note.
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