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Selling the family silver

By Brian Baker :  18/08/2009 :  Comments (53) :
The subject of finding an investor for Everton Football Club, has been debated into orbit on most Everton forums on the internet, but yet no-one seemed to to understand why Everton cannot attract an investor. I use the word 'investor' because that is the word that Bill Kenwright keeps on using when asked about this subject and that is exactly where the problem may lay IMO.

What is Kenwright looking for and what is he offering? Is he offering to sell 100% of his shares and the shares he controls in Everton FC? If he isn't, therein lay the problem. This is probably why BK keeps using the term 'investor', rather using the term 'owner', as he probably has no intention of giving up full control. Blaming the presence of Liverpool across the park does not 'wash', as Manchester City have proved that by attracting billionaire owners, with Man Utd on their back doorstep.

Put yourself in the position of a prospective owner billionaire. What would YOU be looking for at a club to invest in??

Firstly you want a club that has good potential revenue streams, through a healthy fan base. Everton ticks this box.

Ideally a club with an established presence in the English Premier League. Everton ticks this box.

A club that is being run well financially with zero un-serviced debts. Everton ticks this box.

A club with a good ground capacity. Everton ticks that box (although corporate facilities may be an issue).

A club with a proud history and is known and respected throughout the footballing world. Everton ticks this box.

A club with a worldwide following. Everton ticks this box.

Finally, you would want complete control over the club, in terms of how it's run and who works for it... NO TICK HERE!

You can't get that control with less than a 51% shareholding, and any prospective investor billionaire would take his money elsewhere if he was offered anything less. This is where Everton are probably falling on rocky ground for a potential investor.

Also the excuse that 'Destination Kirkby' must be on the table for an investor to bite, doesn't wash — just take a look at Stamford Bridge and compare it to Goodison Park.

Bill Kenwright will have to accept that to get investment in Everton FC he must be prepared to sell the family silver and hand total over control to a new 'owner'.

Reader Comments

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Ciarán McGlone
1   Posted 18/08/2009 at 14:15:14

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Most of those boxes you think Everton tick — couldn’t be further from the truth.

We don’t have ’good potential revenue streams’ — as they all go to the creditors.

We are not financially well run... and I have no idea what an ’unserviced debt’ is... unless you think it’s a positive that we are paying our debts — that’s a bizarre phrase.

We do not have a good ground capacity — hence the need to do something about it!

Poor assessment of our current situation — you are the King of Spin.
Anthony Doran
2   Posted 18/08/2009 at 14:31:20

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Ciarán, again, like a pig in shit, you revel in picking and tearing other people's points of view apart to suit your own limited view and to show all of us on here what a well-read and authority you are on everything that's Everton (NOT).
Adam Baig
3   Posted 18/08/2009 at 14:23:11

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Everton is not a well run club, financially. For a team that finished 5th in the richest league in the world two seasons running, and 6th the season before that, we are a joke.

Someone posted that we are 14th in the wages league, if that's true then we are due to spiral downwards because in the modern game even half decent players are on £50k per week, which blows our salary cap out of the water.

Joleon Lescott is now regularly picked for the England squad — I wonder how his salary compares to his team mates. He is a young man who can earn up to 3 times his current salary just by changing team, with no reason to relocate as he already lives in Manchester. In fact his fuel bill for his fleet of gas guzzlers will half. We can't offer him a pay rise to tempt him to stay - that is all it would take, and this is what other Premier Lweague clubs do to keep their better players (Ashley Young, for example)

Without TAKEOVER, this club will drop like a stone, and consequently reduce turnover, apart from player sales that is...
Ciarán McGlone
4   Posted 18/08/2009 at 14:46:34

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"Ciarán, again, like a pig in shit you, revel in picking and tearing other people points of view apart to suit your own limited view and to show all of us on here what a well read and authority you are on everything thats Everton."
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If they’re shit points then there to be critiqued — that’s why I had so much fun with you. And I expect mine to be treated in the same fashion if they are poorly thought-out or presented.

Brian’s points are simply far off the mark.
Ian Geraghty
5   Posted 18/08/2009 at 14:37:42

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I personally think everything hinges on Destintation Kirkby. The difference in the total cost of the stadium versus the amount the club are needing to put up as their part of the finance package. This difference goes onto the value of the shares and obviously increases their value.

If DK gets the go ahead then the I reckon we will have a new owner in a matter of months at most. If it gets the thumbs down then the majority share holders have a decision to make. Do they continue to "Look for investment", as previously stated or do they do the honorable thing and sell up with less (if any) return on their orginal investment.

If the project gets the thumbs down I hope there is no appeal procedure. We would probably get another 6 to 12 months of looking for investment 24/7 whlist an appeal went through the motions and then end up with a new owner anyhow. In that time we could end up with at least a couple more Lescott type soap opera’s damaging the club.
Phil Bellis
6   Posted 18/08/2009 at 15:19:35

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Neil Pearce and Richard Dodd!... Come on down!

However, I think Brian has a valid point re ’investing’ rather than ’owning’
No-one is going to gift millions to EFC and allow BK to run the club. Would you? Seriously? Thought not.

Ray Burn
7   Posted 18/08/2009 at 15:16:05

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"Unless you think it’s a positive that we are paying our debts"

If we weren’t paying our debts I think that would count as a huge negative. Of course wallowing in debt, paid or unpaid, is hardly something to go out shouting about to prospective ’investors’.

Also, as a luddite who sees no reason why substantially less than £72M could not be spent employing Sir Norman Foster (or whoever) to weave his architectural genius and remove the obstuction pillars from Goodison Park without the whole house collapsing (and to give the bogs a fresh lick of paint whilst he’s at it), I have to agree with Brian that the Old Lady has a more than sufficient capacity to suit our needs, and is a significantly more attractive proposition than a half-empty stadium built into an out of town Tesco superstore.

Finacially well run though?! I think even Moyesy might tell you you’re ’aving a laugh.
Ciarán McGlone
8   Posted 18/08/2009 at 15:30:04

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’Of course wallowing in debt, paid or unpaid, is hardly something to go out shouting about to prospective ’investors’.’
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That would be the very point I was making.... I apologise if it was a little unclear. Anthony has me all ruffled.
Phil Martin
9   Posted 18/08/2009 at 15:38:35

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Ciaran,

I think Brian’s point is;

Everton has a large fanbase
Everton has a great history
Everton is one of the few PL ever present andfrequently qualifies for Europe.
Goodison currently doesn’t have too smaller capacity.

Therefore access to even larger revenues is a possiblity IF a new board could wipe these overdraft payments, previous loans out.

IF a new board could fund 4 quality players for us we could give top 4 and CL a go. Which again is where the money really is. The potential is there its just our current board are doing their best to muddy it.

Andy Crooks
10   Posted 18/08/2009 at 15:34:40

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Brian, I think we just about tick two of the boxes. We certainly have a proud history and tradition, most clubs, at least to their own supporters, do. I’m not entirely sure why this would particularily attract an investor. We do have a wold wide following but not the extent of some of our rivals. The other boxes seem to me to be well and truly unticked.
John Carter
11   Posted 18/08/2009 at 15:47:53

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I think the issue here is, even if you feel the "investor" rather than buyer is causing us problems, it just doesn’t stand up. If the Owners of City had wanted to buy Everton, one we’d have known and most importantly they would have. No one person owns enough shares in Everton to stop a buy-out if the other shareholders choose to sell.

Goodison is not a 21st Century stadium at all and making it one will be very, very expensive.

Finally, whilst I don’t think it’s insurmountable, to compare the geographical closeness of Everton and Liverpool to any other top flight match up is just ignoring the facts. They are hardly seperated at all and the Manchester clubs are a good distance apart, especially with Man U suffering that nightmare of being beyond the City limits!

I want us to succeed as much as anyone, and I know, having missed out on a chance to get into the Champions League and earn money that way, we need a rich owner.

But please tell me this.

If BK quits tonight, what is going to be so much better tomorrow?
Brian Baker
12   Posted 18/08/2009 at 15:43:04

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The word ’potential’, when I referred to revenue streams, means exactly that, that the potential is there. It doesn’t mean the revenue streams are already raking in tons of cash!
Potential is what an investor will look for.

Also I referred to GP as having adequet capacity (ie. bums on seats), and not being a world beating stadium in all other respects. As pointed by Ray Burn the ’Old Lady’ can be brought up to date, there are other alternatives to DK. After all we finished 5th and got to FA Cup Final without DK.

Everton FC Co Ltd is a well run company. It has audited books, making a small profit, and is nowhere near going into administration. It pays the wages it can afford, it pays the transfer fees it can afford, which is not the higest in the Premier League, but also not the lowest. We can’t spend what we don’t have, but you wouldn’t believe it by what you hear on this forum sometimes, although some clubs have borrowed to spend, like Leeds Utd.
Ciarán McGlone
13   Posted 18/08/2009 at 15:59:50

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Phil,

Brian is trying to suggest that we are financially attractive to a buyer at the moment - and that Kenwright’s terms are the only stumbling block. They may be a stumbling block but they are evidently not the only one.

Including the ability of a buyer to wipe out our debt in this assessment of attractiveness - is going beyond a simple evaluation of our current position.

If Kenwright’s intransigence was our only problem we’d be in a far better position... unfortunately, I simply don’t think that is the case. Certainly not on Brian’s reasoning anyway.
Ciarán McGlone
14   Posted 18/08/2009 at 16:06:47

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So, what are these potential untapped ’revenue streams’ Brian?

And since when does being audited (a statutory necessity) make a company well run?
Alan Kirwin
15   Posted 18/08/2009 at 16:05:27

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Not really sure what to make of this bizarre article.

You make an odd list of positives which Ciaran, quite rightly, has ridiculed. History & tradition by the way count for sweet FA. It’s bums on seats, unsatisfied potential (e.g. waiting lists for season tickets), strong revenue streams (which we do not have). The bit about unserviced debt is very weird. Were it not serviced then we would be heading towards administration.

Also the bit about "look at Stamford Bridge compared to Goodison" implies some parity. You’re not serious are you? Stamford Bridge is almost all new. Even the oldest bit, the main stand, is excellent. It is supplemented by excellent facilities for revenue enhancement and surrounded by expensive appartments and a hotel owned by the club. and last of all it is built in real estate that is so valuable it is possibly worth more than the whole of the rest of the EPL stadia together.

So yes, quite similar really.

Like I said, odd article.
Ciarán McGlone
16   Posted 18/08/2009 at 16:13:38

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You see, Brian... you even got Moriarity agreeing with me..

What have you done!
Stephen Kenny
17   Posted 18/08/2009 at 16:07:20

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Brian,

I happen to agree with most of Ciaran’s original post. However you hit the nail on the head when you say there is a big difference between looking for a buyer opposed to an investor.

In all the poisoned dwarf’s soundbites regarding the sale of the club, he always says we are looking for investment, not new owners. For me this is proof positive that Everton FC is not, and will not be for sale anytime in the forseeable.

It is also fairly obvious to anyone with two good eyes and ears that he is running the club based on his own agenda. Some will say he’s the owner he can do what he likes and this is true, but if thats the case he should stop telling porkies like their going out of fashion and say so.

I think in his own mind he would like to go down in history as the saviour of EFC, but the way things are going he will be the IDIOT who held the club back for years and moved us out of our spiritual home and city of our birth. IMO a far bigger sin than anyting Agent Johnson did!

Also, why is everyone getting a cob on every time someone disagrees with the author. If we all agree on everything, there's no point being on here.

COYB!!!
Brian Baker
18   Posted 18/08/2009 at 16:07:15

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So, Ciarán what else do you think may be deterring a billionaire investor?

Keeping away from problems on the pitch, why do you think that Everton is not a financially well run club?

Once a billionaire has CONTROL of the club most other problems could be solved by the money he brings, including replacing Moyes, BK and whoever else is crap, could it not?
Brian Baker
19   Posted 18/08/2009 at 16:17:41

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By un-serviced debts, I mean ’soft’ loans from club officers with no repayment schedule or agreed interest, that potentially could get called in the event of a takeover.
The sort of loan that Abramovich has made to Chelsea.
Phil Bellis
20   Posted 18/08/2009 at 16:17:40

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John... I don’t think Villa Park, St James and White Hart Lane were 21st Century stadia at one time.

How Goodison went from a WC semi-final venue to just a WC (according to some) in 40 years shows the lack of foresight and dereliction of duty of successive Boards. I’d like to bet a concrete, mid-range MFI stadium won’t last a century.
As to ’if BK quits’, it just may make things better by removing an obstacle; who knows?

Ciarán McGlone
21   Posted 18/08/2009 at 16:17:57

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Brian, I think everything in you list (apart from our heritage) is a potential banana skin for a buyer... They are negatives and they do not tick boxes — they are big giant warning signs.

Added to that list should be the proposed ground move, which may be a white elephant to a buyer who might have their own Ideas (hopefully a lot more sensible than the current ones) about product placement... Also, not to be underestimated is the fact that our fans are about to explode....

Pablo Mc
22   Posted 18/08/2009 at 16:32:43

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Whether the first set of ticks are accurate or not, I have to agree with you about the last (missing) tick. Kenwright is not, nor never has been, looking to sell up and ship out (no matter what he has said at AGMs/EGMs/pow-wows in tents). When he says he wants investment, what he actually means is that he wants somebody to give him a load of money while he stays as chairman and makes all the decisions (or "owner of the trainset" — as it is also known).

I wouldn’t be surprised if there had been solid offers to buy him out which have been met with "No, no, no — that’s not the way! Me and you together, that’s the way! Me, you, Uncle Cyril with his bike, tied to the railings, in the Boys Pen, that’s the way to do it". No-one would even entertain the idea of keeping this buffoon in charge of things —- an Evertonian he might be, but a businessman he is not.

The rest of the ticks are irrelevant until that bottom box is ticked.
Brian Baker
23   Posted 18/08/2009 at 16:52:07

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Ciarán... What are these giant warning signs? What are they warning us about? Why do you think us Evertonians are about to explode?

When Abramovich bought Chelsea, the were about to go into administration over the over-running costs of re-building the west stand.

The important thing is that he got total control of the club. Any other shit that was happening didn’t matter.

All I am saying is that Everton with all of her faults are an attractive investment by comparison to Chelsea in 2003. Stamford Bridge was half-built and the club was bankrupt, but that didn’t deter Abramovich.
Ciarán McGlone
24   Posted 18/08/2009 at 17:03:32

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Brian,

In 2003, Chelsea were regular Champions League participants.... and they weren’t bankrupt — otherwise they’d have been in administration.
Ciarán McGlone
25   Posted 18/08/2009 at 17:06:47

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’The rest of the ticks are irrelevant until that bottom box is ticked’
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That’s a fair enough point.
Brian Baker
26   Posted 18/08/2009 at 17:06:54

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Regardless of Chelsea’s Champions League standings, in 1998 the West Stand at Stamford Bridge was demolished, and took 5 years to complete. From 1998 to 2002 Chelsea were averaging about a 34,000 attendence with only 3 stands available. It jumped to over 40,000 once the West Sstand was completed.

The interest payments on the loans Ken Bates took out to finance the West Stand were becoming untenable and the club was slipping towards administration.

Just in the nick of time, along pops Abramovich in 2003 and the rest is history.
Ciarán McGlone
27   Posted 18/08/2009 at 17:23:00

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So they weren’t actually bankrupt!

There’s no point embellishing the facts Brian.
Neil Pearse
28   Posted 18/08/2009 at 18:43:52

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Perhaps strange times breed strange bedfellows (as it were) - but I completely agree with you Ciaran on this one. Actually, we are not in great shape as a club, on virtually all the dimensions Brian lays out for us (’nul points’ almost). We may all differ about what to do to get us out of this situation, but let’s all at least start with reality and not some pleasant fantasy.

On agreeing with Brian: the idea of getting a ’big investor’ into the club who doesn’t get effective control is indeed pretty unlikely, indeed ludicrous. I thought Kenwright said earlier this summer that he was prepared to sell (now, if not before). Anyway, as I have said over and over again, that is obviously what is required. Of course he will do us a final service if he doesn’t sell out to new owners like most of the rest of recent ones in the Prem.

We disagree Brian of course about the ground and its impact on getting a new owner. The problem there is any new owner knows that GP (certainly in any thing like its current condition) cannot be the foundation for the club into the future. Before buying, they need to know what they might be having to stump up (probably £100M and upwards) to remedy the situation. No-one is going to buy not knowing whether it will be £100M or £200M+, or whether in fact there is any solution on the horizon at all.
Neil Pearse
29   Posted 18/08/2009 at 19:00:57

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And Ciaran - I apologise if having Alan and I enthusiatically agree with you on the same thread is freaking you out too much. Brian, you are indeed a miracle worker! Strange times indeed....
David O'Keefe
30   Posted 18/08/2009 at 21:03:47

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Nice to have you back, Neil, but Brian is right about the need to for new owners, regardless of anything else he may be wrong about.

However, Neil, your belief that DK = new owner is conjecture. To get that new owner we neeed a willing seller.
Neil Pearse
31   Posted 18/08/2009 at 22:03:22

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Thanks David, and I agree completely that we need new owners. On Kirkby, I also agree that we don’t know that that (or indeed any new ground option or ground share) will get us this new owner. I do think fairly obviously it’s got to give us a better chance.

Anyway, Kenwright’s bluff will be called. If Kirkby goes through and he’s still in charge with no new money coming in - well, I think he will hard put then to say that he is in fact a willing seller. But we will see. My hunch has always been that a secured new ground at reasonable cost will bring new ownership. You will all tell me my hunch was wrong if it’s wrong!
Phil Bellis
32   Posted 19/08/2009 at 00:36:01

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Neil Pearce... hope you had a good holiday and apologies, as it’s been long time, not here for mis-spelling your name... What do you make of Brian’s assessment in his initial post? As the forum’s business management expert, what’s your take on the owner v investor debate?
Dan Brierley
33   Posted 19/08/2009 at 04:45:53

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Comparison between Stamford Bridge and Goodison Park? Now that's a classic. Even if both teams sold out for every home game, Chelsea would easily still double Everton’s gate income due their London location. The gulf between North and South for season ticket prices is staggering:

Blackburn Rovers £199 £349
Wigan Athletic £250 £299
Bolton Wanderers £285 £475
Fulham £285 £799
Birmingham City £338.50 £632
Sunderland £350 £795
Aston Villa £360 £520
Burnley £378 £462
Hull City £385 £450
Stoke City £399 £599
Manchester City £419 £576
Everton £443 £586
Portsmouth £500 £650
Manchester United £513 £931
Chelsea £520 £1125
Wolves £522 £630
West Ham £570 £810
Tottenham £622 £1640
Arsenal £855 £1825

Man City are a much more attractive investment, as they have top notch corporate facilities and a 48,000 capacity without obstructed views. Their average gate was nearly 9,000 higher than ours last season. Sunderland & Villa were 4,000 higher. I am not trying to big up Man City of Sunderland, I just don’t understand why people do not realise that our stadium is holding us back.

When you take the emotion of moving beyond the city boundary out of the equation, Kirkby is a way to get back into the game. There is no fucking conspiracy, Goodison Park is our thorn in the side due to its poor facilties and hospitality. If DK was about making money for the Board when they sell out, a re-developed GP would make them A LOT more for their shares than DK would. So this theory of the board only wanting DK to make money is nonsense, they would make a hell of a lot more by keeping in the city or redeveoping Goodison.

The facts are there, some of you are just choosing to ignore it. Here is the full list of 2008-09 average attendances:

75,304 - Manchester United
60,040 - Arsenal
48,750 - Newcastle United
43,611 - Liverpool
42,900 - Manchester City
41,588 - Chelsea
40,168 - Sunderland
39,812 - Aston Villa
35,929 - Tottenham Hotspur
35,667 - Everton
33,700 - West Ham United
28,429 - Middlesbrough
26,821 - Stoke City
25,828 - West Bromwich Albion
24,816 - Hull City
24,344 - Fulham
23,479 - Blackburn Rovers
22,486 - Bolton Wanderers
19,830 - Portsmouth
18,350 - Wigan Athletic

You can do the maths yourselves regarding average attendance X ticket prices. Now you have worked that out, you can answer the question "Why haven't we received any investment?" add to that "Why can Spurs out bid us?" and now you can answer that too. Read the financial reports, and enlighten yourselves for fuck’s sake.

The truth is there, but some of you choose to ignore it by coming up with conspiracy theories. And that's all it is, YOU ARE MAKING IT UP. Spinning fictitious stories about Bill not wanting to give up the reigns being the reason behind nobody coming in to buy our club.

This is the reality for a buyer right now. Come in, now and pay for a new stadium, or wait until one is built with somebody else's money, and save yourself a fortune. Rocket science it is not.

Neil Pearse
34   Posted 19/08/2009 at 07:41:54

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Phil, hope you had a good break and the re-entry via the 1-6 isn’t too killing. I’m with Dan, and agree that everyone should get their heads round what he has laid out here. You don’t need to be any kind of business expert — this is basic common sense.

We are not in good financial shape for lots of reasons and Brian is way optimistic. Reasons? The ground is the major one,although the piss poor though maybe getting better commercial performance is another.

On the owner/investor. No-one is going to pay £100M+ and then invest in our club if they don’t get effective control. Unless Bill really does have some super friend who will do this! (He’s not appeared yet, so I very much doubt it.) So as I say, conjecture or hunch, the new ground hopefully will bring us the new owner. I don’t see any better plan for, as Dan puts it, ’getting back into the game’. And not being in the game is what Saturday looks like, so the situation is reasonably urgent.
Ciarán McGlone
35   Posted 19/08/2009 at 09:51:46

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The rational being Neil that we will achieve the attendances we need. Given the circumstances that’s more than debatable..even if we accept the figures.
Neil Pearse
36   Posted 19/08/2009 at 10:11:50

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Totally fair Ciaran. If you believe that attendances will be lower at Kirkby than GP you should obviously be against it. Although if you believe we will get a new owner anyway through Kirkby, that could sway you back the other way I suppose.

There are two scenarios on Kirkby. One is that we get it, get a new owner, get new investment on the pitch, get better players and keep competitive in footballing terms, and therefore keep our attendances up....

The other is that we get it, Bill struggles on financially hamstrung, our best players leave, the team becomes uncompetitive, and attendances inevitably fall....

I am hopeful of the first but believe the second is possible.
Graham Atherton
37   Posted 19/08/2009 at 10:00:21

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Other fundamentals to add to Dan’s efforts include the relatively financially poor fanbase, which feeds from a relatively sparse local population. Compare that of Greater Manchester with that of Merseyside and you will find that the spending capacity of Greater Manchester is two to three times that of Merseyside due to higher population and higher gross disposable income (http://www.statistics.gov.uk/articles/economic_trends/ET633RegionalHouseholdIncome.pdf).

Everton fans living on Merseyside cannot generally afford higher prices in enough numbers therefore the only options to increase income (billionaire or no billionaire) are to:

a) attract fans who live in other parts of the country; and/or
b) seat more fans

No-one is going to pay more for poor facilities, ESPECIALLY people wanting to entertain their clients (vitally important for new investors/owners) so high quality entertainment areas behind the scenes are very important —these need to be large, modern and comfortable.

Many/most of these new paying customers will be travelling from some distance away so easy access is important — proximity to the motorways and to some extent airport is important.

Nothing is guaranteed and nothing will happen overnight but these have to be the way forward. We will not be able to close the gap on the top 4 without them as we simply do not have the earning power to keep such a squad together.

Dave Wilson
38   Posted 19/08/2009 at 12:57:32

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Dan, In all the posts about DK, yours is possibly the most cockeyed I’ve have read. Yes, GP is holding us back, but whose fucken fault is that?

It may have escaped your notice but since Kenwright's arrival, the boards of ALL the teams you have mentioned have either completely renovated the stadiums or moved into one their fans are proud of, or are in the process of building super stadiums. Kenwright has done nothing, his gormless inertia is the real thorn in our side, not GP it is his fault that we are in this situation, the fan base is spilt and that life-long Evertonians are insisting they will never set foot inside the place, so please don't try to tell us he’s doing it for the good of the club.

Are you really saying that if he sold now, Tesco would not do business with the new owner? Of course they would... and that's all I need to know — Kenwright is trying to boost his mark-up.

If you think that by moving to a deeply unpopular stadium, miles from the city center, to a place that's going to be extremely difficult to get to and by charging considerably higher admission prices to an ever growing number of fans that don't want to be there, is the way to "get back in the game" — then it's you who needs to take a long hard look at the facts.

You’re right about one thing though, rocket science it ain't.

Ciarán McGlone
39   Posted 19/08/2009 at 13:42:35

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You’ll never get common ground between the two groups on the Kirkby issue... even though the basis of the objection is so obvious.

The whole point of a move is based on the supposition that we will gain an extra £6mill a season in revenue from increased attendances... now whatever you believe on the rights and wrongs of Kirkby — you must concede to the fact that the fans are acrimoniously divided on it — therefore the assumption of gaining that extra £6 mill must automatically be in doubt — and if that’s in any doubt then it’s clearly an unfeasible gamble.

Secondly, and most importantly is the way in which the whole issue was handled — no-one can deny the fact that the ballot process was deeply flawed by the misrepresentations that were made. This fact not only adds to the possibility of lower attendances — but for me it is the deal-breaker...

Football is a very specific customer base, and you cannot get away with treating that customer base like mugs... for me, this is where Kirkby falls down everytime without meriting further examination — You must have clairty, transparency and due diligence, otherwise you simply breed contempt and resentment. Those two symptoms are gradually brewing up in this whole sorry affair.

Kenwright will be judged on this — and the sickening thing is that he could still come out a hero — even after the presiding over the whole affair.

I’d rather Bill came out of this affair as a hero — rather than having this club disintegrate...
Simon Maughan
40   Posted 19/08/2009 at 14:28:27

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Clearly people feel very strongly about Kirkby (and rightly so) but I find it very hard to believe fanatics such as appear here on ToffeeWeb will refuse to watch Everton in Kirkby. There are people here who travel to FA Cup games in Plymouth and pre-season friendlies in Aberdeen. 6 miles is not really going to be too much of an inconvenience is it?

If, on the other hand, it is just a matter of principle, then what’s the point? Are you going to feel any better about it? What are you going to do with all that spare time? No, Kirkby may not be the optimum solution, but it is currently the most likely one. And if it happens, we’ll be stronger if everyone pulls together and supports it.

As for whether more people will turn up in a new stadium without obstructed views, check out the Sunderland average attendance above. It would be interesting to find out what their average attendance was in the last 10 years at Roker Park. I’d be surprised if it was half the current number.

Neil Pearse
41   Posted 19/08/2009 at 16:33:48

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Dave, I am just not that interested at the moment in assigning blame. Or the eventual judgement on Kenwright for that matter.

Quite obviously our club has been in various ways mismanaged for decades. So what? We are where we are, unable to keep one of our best players and to buy a right hand side for our team. What should we do about it NOW?

In that regard the ground IS holding us back and the problem needs to be solved. Kirkby is as much a sign of our financial weakness and past mismanagement as anything else. Maybe Richard D thinks it’s a dream ideal, but I doubt even that.

The stadium is relatively low cost by any standards, so question comes down to whether people will go. Because like Simon I can’t personally imagine NOT going, I think they will. Especially if the team is successful on the pitch. But if Dave and Ciaran are right and maybe 5,000+ supporters give up on the club and aren’t replaced... Well, you guys will be proved right.
Dan Brierley
42   Posted 19/08/2009 at 18:53:16

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I understand your sentiment Dave, I really do. But again, I will call it SENTIMENT. In big letters, hoping you will get the hint.

Give me a good reason why our current board are advocating DK if there is something else viable that has missed our attention. State a fact if you are going to dismiss it.

And your revelation about Tesco’s working with a new partner, fuck me, you have had my pants down on that one. How didn’t I see that Tesco’s are only in it because of BK. WHAT A LOAD OF SHIT. Of course, Tesco will agree with the bidder that matches their valuation of the initial enablement. Who puts up the money means jack shit to them. From their point of view, a superstore is going to do a hell of a lot better with a 50,000K football stadium next to it, than if there was not one. Comprendez? Rocket science it really ain’t.

If you want to live in the past, and whinge about why we didnt get the Kings Dock, then do it by all means. But for your info, that is not going to change the future. Regardless of your repetitive view point regarding past failures. We are here now. Thats the fucking reality. If you think stadium access is going to be a killer, then tell that to the 49,000 that average of City’s ground in a piss poor state of a first team last season.Their Stadium access is appauling. 10,000 parking spaces for 49K attendance. But does an extra 30 minutes journey time stop them supporting the team they love? Their new tram line to support their fans is not due to go online until 2012. Again, look at the FACTS.

There were ’apparently’ 10,000 LIFE LONG Mancs that refused to set foot in Old Trafford if the Glaziers took power. All convinced it would spell the end of their club. They won the title the following season, The difference is, those fans actually DID something about it. Go and start the REAL Everton movement if it doesn’t suit your taste. Whinging about your clubs demise on a website is truly pathetic, if you truly believe it.

Your views hold no substance as always. I try to support my views with FACTS. Your view of deeply unpopular is bollocks. That stadium will be SOLD OUT if it ever opens. I will quite happily bet you money on it.
Dave Wilson
43   Posted 19/08/2009 at 18:56:55

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Ok Neil, You're not interested in apportioning blame, that wasn't my intention, I’ve done enough of that. Dan had obviously done his homework with his stats, but that’s all they were — flat stats... and they cannot be presented as the whole story.

Telling Evertonians the situation we are in now — most of us know — then telling us to trust the board is a bit like blaming the general public for the credit crunch and telling them they must trust the banks to get us out of it.

I don't know how many fans won't go to Kirkby, I personally know lots of people who follow the team around the country who believe a team based in Kirkby can never be Everton, and will openly tell you they will not go to Kirkby, but for all I know that could be the lot, likewise there may be a lot more than the 5,000 you speak about.

Unlike you, I am not prepared to risk this club's future on little more than a hunch.

You insist we have no choice but to either stay at GP in its present state or go to Kirkby. Take a look at whats happening at Sheffield Wednesday. Limited options are merely the product of closed minds.

Dave Wilson
44   Posted 19/08/2009 at 19:50:41

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Dan, You're obviously a very shrewd businessman, so if you wouldn’t mind helping me out by explaining something to me here? I’ll round the figure up because we dont have the exact ones:

If BK thinks he will sell Everton when we go to Kirkby, he must have a figure in mind, right? Say that figure was £180 million, why does he not knock off the £80 million he says the stadium will cost and sell it now, or as soon as it gets the nod? For say £100 million?

As you say, the new owner just slips straight in with Tesco, we get a new investment sooner rather than later and we get to see new signings.

Dave Wilson
45   Posted 19/08/2009 at 21:23:15

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So let's look at your "FACTS" then, Dan:

Man City : did you know it's about 15-20-minute walk from the city center? I did because I’ve done it; and did you know it's about the same distance from Manchester’s main-line station, Piccadilly? Kirkby would take you fucken hours, to walk from Lime Street.

And if you don't fancy walking to Eastlands you can get one of the frequent buses there as opposed to the every blue moon jobs to Kirkby. FACTS? You're talking out of you rear end, pal

And 10,000 Mancs stopped going "because they thought it would be the end of the club" — did they??? Wrong again, they stopped going because for them, the club will never be the same again, a subtle difference there, too subtle for you obviously.

As for the Real Everton, Well if Kenwright starts another club in another town then I will be watching a "real Everton". You can have any Kirkby impostor, but what happens if DK gets kicked into touch? Will you and the rest of the traitors do one? After all, you’ve already spouted non-stop that there is no alternative, so, if you're right, you wont have a club will you?

Try going to the City of Manchester stadium lad, it's so much more informative, besides anything that can show you the difference between the half-baked stats you get from the Internet and "FACTS" would do wonders for your future arguments.

Dan Brierley
46   Posted 20/08/2009 at 05:26:12

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Dave, you are very right. it would indeed take hours to walk to Kirkby if you were daft enough to get off at Lime Street. But once you arrived dripping in sweat, you might feel slightly embarrassed when you realise that 99.9% of other fans took the train, bus, taxi or drove.

I have once walked from Liverpool Central to Goodison (admittedly with 5 other friends and a bag of Stella). And we vowed we would never do it again!! So in effect, Kirkby changes nothing for me as I have to use transportation other than walking anyway. I don’t believe that most fans live in the City Centre. So I am not sure what your point is.

And your point about why Bill doesn’t knock off the extra valuation and sell now, there is something you have overlooked. When you want to sell something, you always need a buyer. If you do not have a buyer, believe it or not, you cannot sell. So Bill cannot sell the club, unless someone wants to buy it. I hope this helps you understand. Thus concludes today’s economics lesson.

If DK gets rejected, then EFC will start back to square one of searching for a site. In the mean time, we can only hope that our team remains competitive without being able to spend any money for a few more years. If we are not, then we wont need a 50,000 seat stadium. My guess is that we will probably go through a new cycle if DK gets rejected. Meaning Moyes and most top players will leave within a few years. Then we have to hope a new manager can push us to the CL on a shoestring budget.

But this is the just the viewpoint of a ’traitor’ as you so eloquently put it. But it's nice to see the true supporters of the club like you really doing their best to stop the club rotting by.... writing posts on Everton websites about how unhappy they are. The football world salutes you.
Dave Wilson
47   Posted 20/08/2009 at 06:32:05

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Dan, Just to further expose your "FACTS" as unsubstantiated pap: There will be no trains to Kirkby, well nowhere near enough, same goes for buses and I’m guessing it’ll knock you back £15 to sit in traffic and hope your taxi gets you there in time for kick-off — that’ll entice the 15,000 new fans you speak of... still, they can always cycle!

As for the economic lesson: thanks for that; now I’m convinced you know what your talking about now — Neil can you help me out on that one?

Here is s a novel idea if DK gets Knocked back: what say we do what Chelsea, Villa, Newcastle, Man United etc have done and make our ground something to be proud of? Unfortunately it takes years and we’re already about decade behind — something to do with having no Plan B — but hey, it's a helluva lot cheaper and won't eat into our transfer budget for the next (insert your own figure) seasons.

Like I’ve said before, if BK kills this club and creates a new one in Kirkby then I and thousands of others have a decision to make. In the meantime, when we log onto Everton websites and get people like you, berating us for holding the club back by not understanding the "FACTS" don't be surprised if those "FACTS" are examined, and thrown back at you when proved to be palpable nonsense.

One more thing, Dan, I’m not unhappy; I get to see MY team every week, you don't have a clue what activities I may or may not be involved in. Your nonsensical assumption is merely another one of your imaginary "FACTS".

Phil Bellis
48   Posted 20/08/2009 at 09:37:44

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Dan, I’ve been waiting for an expert like you to guide me. I’ve recently acquired the rights to the old Runcorn Bridge and am looking for such as yourself to act as Project Manager to oversee its demolition and sale. Would you care to come on board, as it were, salary commensurate with your business acumen and other numerous obvious skills?
Ciarán McGlone
49   Posted 20/08/2009 at 11:07:12

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Dan,

You and your mates must be seriously unfit if you think the walk from the city centre to Goodison is so demanding that it’s not repeatable.

I do it everytime I go..and it takes me no longer than 20-25 minutes — and it’s a very enjoyable walk... even through the battle of Everton Valley (oh, how we all laughed!).
Ray Burn
50   Posted 20/08/2009 at 11:12:51

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"But its nice to see the true supporters of the club like you really doing their best to stop the club rotting by..................writing posts on Everton websites about how unhappy they are. The football world salutes you."

Dan, are we supposed to salute you and the likes of you who support the moves that will see Everton FC fall into the abyss?

I promise that I will never set foot in the Kirby FC stadium, and I keep my promises.

I would love to be involved with and support a genuine out-on-the streets, or inside the stadium mass protest. I suspect at this stage of the game it is only KEIOC who could effectively organise this. If they do then I will be there to support them.
Graham Atherton
51   Posted 20/08/2009 at 12:06:09

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I can recall as far back as the 70s the discussions going on about redeveloping the ground. Nothing was done because there is no room to redevelop on the present footprint and spending money on a stand that would have to be moved would ultimately be throwing good money away. Has anything changed?

The footprint needs to be increased and that is where plan B has to start.

Now look at access. If we attract 55,000 to GP where will they all park? It's a 20-30 min walk now and nowhere to provide new carparks so are we looking at waiting for buses at out of town carparks? That was what was being proposed when Stanley park car park closure was imminent!

Rail improvements are needed in Liverpool to cope with increased stadium sizes (http://www.liverpoolwiki.org/Merseyrail). Train prices still far exceed the cost of coming by car from destinations outside of Liverpool, which is where most ’new’ fans will be coming from.

These are all reasons why redeveloping GP is not the simple solution it might appear to be. Neither of the options in front of use are easy and only one is funded or even looks like being funded.

Neil Pearse
52   Posted 20/08/2009 at 16:56:19

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I really shouldn’t, but once more.

DK is no-one’s idea of the ideal stadium for our club in the ideal location. For myself, I would really like an Emirates style stadium on Stanley Park just for us.

But we have to move to increase our revenues and make us more attractive to a new owner. We are nowhere near the Big 5 in resources now, and rapidly in serious danger of falling out of ’Tier 2’ (Spurs and Villa and potentially Sunderland if they can get their act together).

No-one is going to buy us if we are still at GP, and no-one wants to try to redevelop GP (it’s too expensive for the return). If somebody did, they would have done.

We can barely afford £100M for Kirkby, so by definition we cannot afford to spend £250M+ on a more ideal stadium in the city.

Given this situation (and assuming that the sensible option of a groundshare is politically impossible) we are faced realistically with two options.

The first is Kirkby. We can afford it. It will get us a new ground. It has the potential to get us higher revenues and a new owner. If these things happen, we have a greater chance of at least staying in Tier 2.

The second is to sit in GP and wait and hope that (before we’ve lost all our best players and drop below Tier 2 or even Tier 3) a major new football investor shows up anyway, buys us, and ponies up the £250M+ for the stadium we would all like in the city.

The second option is not crazy, but it sure as hell as at least as risky as the first. It appears more probable, especially in the current financial environment, that no rich buyer will appear than that they will.

There is no known third option that anyone on this site has been able to convincingly articulate as financially viable.
Phil Bellis
53   Posted 21/08/2009 at 00:56:40

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Neil,
Quit while you’re behind
You are talking absolute bollocks

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