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TW on the Board... Yeh!

By Charles King :  04/12/2009 :  Comments (135) :
I've learnt more about present day Everton on this website than all the papers, tv and radio programs put together.

The threads regarding Kirkby, transfer matters, financial questions, decision-makers (hidden or otherwise) and all things Everton debated from very different standpoints and, admirably, contributed to by Evertonians professional in their fields.

I've raised my eyebrows at the insults and abuse hurled between ourselves reminding myself you always hurt the ones you love most and, in truth, wish the passion here could be transferred to the club.

I have a question or six:

  1. Do supporters have no voice at the club because it's privately owned, is this the case?
  2. If correct, any ideas how to change this? I think the Kirkby Caper which caused a near mortal split among supporters, could have been diminished maybe avoided if genuine access to the Board was available.
  3. Perhaps something like "Keep Everton in our City" (KEIOC still can't pronounce the acronym) who demonstrated the sort of thing we need... not sure what we should be called though? Definitely not the "ToffeeWebbers With Attitude Team", although the board may appreciate the acronym..... ahem!!!!
  4. And I know it's an old chestnut but shouldn't we be pushing for a massive kop-type facility in any stadium development rebuild or otherwise?
  5. Should we create an Everton choir to facilitate new songs, being the birthplace of the Beatles 'n all?
  6. And, before the medication wears off, can we paint the liver birds blue, bracket every Liverpool city sign (illegitimate offspring of Everton FC), and campaign to "Jail Gerry Marsden"?
I started with the best of intentions y'know........

Reader Comments

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Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
1   Posted 05/12/2009 at 02:23:18

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Charles, selectively:

1) Supporters have (or at least used to have) a voice through the Fans Liaison Officer who was I think Graeme Sharp. It has little or nothing to do with the form of ownership, more the mindset of the owners, who have seen fit to re-write the Articles of Association and do away with both AGMs and EGMs — the rare opportunity small shareholders had to make themselves heard — primarily because these were being shanghaied by rather aggressive non-shareholders getting on the floor by proxy.

The club has periodically had "Fans Forums" and other cozy get-togethers with select representatives and spokespersons claiming to speak for "The Fans"... but you can imagine how difficult it would be represent all the colours of opinion you get on here about pretty much any issue raised? And at the end of the day, be honest — all they are going to do is listen attentively, nod politely, perhaps explain why your suggestion cannot be implemented, and then go off and do what they were going to do all along.

2) The logic doesn’t follow. The split was caused by a natural dichotomy between (a) those who believed the lies and (b) those who didn’t. The real problem is the telling of lies, and nothing sadly is going to change that. Look at the spin we’ve had over the accounts! As Greg Murphy said so aptly, they are simply averse to "telling it how it is". No amount of communication will overcome that little problem.
Neil Pearse
2   Posted 05/12/2009 at 06:37:19

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Actually Michael (and others), on perhaps the most important point about our current state and options, the club is now pretty consistent in ’telling it as it is’: we are very financially constrained indeed and we have very few options.

The problem is that most on here still live in denial and refuse to believe it.
Dave Wilson
3   Posted 05/12/2009 at 06:58:33

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Not sure it's the fans who are in denial Neil; it wasn't the fans who triumphantly announced "Record turnover" nor is it the fans who are looking for "investment"

Don't confuse denial with the belief that it doesn't have to be this way.
Dave Wilson
4   Posted 05/12/2009 at 07:14:28

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And on point 5 Charles, couldn't agree more. I like the "Best Little Spaniard we know" song. But the only other decent song we have "The Boys in the Royal Blue Jersey" talks about hating kop heroes of the sixties... shows you how old it is.
Matt Traynor
5   Posted 05/12/2009 at 07:19:20

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Charles, very few clubs have fans representation, and for good reason. Someone posted about a non-league club having fans voting on the team selection, etc. etc. and described it as "the lunatics in charge of the asylum".

Obviously some clubs do have board members who are fans (ahem!) but that always isn’t successful either.

1) Clubs, whether private or not, are not obliged to have a fans "voice". I believe, through Sharpy’s role (if he indeed is still in place), that Everton do more than most.

2) The club chose a route. It would never have placated those opposed to engage them. In fact, I think they even tried at the early stages.

3) Any group, forum, will have those who are reasoned, and those who are more militant in their approach. The opinions on TW show this. From reports I read, KEOIC were similar.

4) We’ve never had a Spion Kop type facility - so why one now? That would probably be controversial in itself!

5) Horses for courses. Remember at various grounds down the years they had brass bands, etc. Er not that. But the atmosphere back in the 80s / 90s was something else, and some of the songs that went around (like when Rush returned from Juventus - set to Maggie May) - pure poetic comedy.

6) Agreed!
Neil Pearse
6   Posted 05/12/2009 at 07:20:31

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Believe me, Dave, when an informed and intelligent individual such as Michael infers that people only voted for Kirkby because ’they believed the lies’ - then some people are still in very deep denial indeed about the most basic facts about our financial condition as a club.

It actually DOES have to be this way unless we get new sources of funding or income from somewhere. And that does not look very likely at the moment.

The great Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci coined the slogan ’pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will’. I very much hope for some miracle from somewhere too (a rich new owner, a major new ground partner emerging, sense at last over a groundshare...). But I don’t expect it. That would be denial.
Dave Wilson
7   Posted 05/12/2009 at 07:32:10

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Neil some people did vote for Kirkby because they believed the lies, that's a fact mate. Some of them even post on this site and have said so.

And without knowing how much BK wants for his stake in the club, how can you possibly be so certain that it does have to be this way?
Richard Jones
8   Posted 05/12/2009 at 07:52:05

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I think our biggest problem is fans like Neil Pearce and Doddy who belive all the shite coming from the club.... "Telling it as it is" — bloody hell, Neil WAKE UP!! Has Kirkby taught you nothing? People loke you who accept this shit are holding our club back.
Neil Pearse
9   Posted 05/12/2009 at 07:55:41

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Dave, not everyone supported Kirkby because they were so naive, and endlessly repeating that particular lie is an easy way of hiding from the fact that in reality Kirkby was pushed because we could afford little if anything else. Which is almost exactly what Elstone said after it was knocked back - ’telling it as it is’ if you like. And which is exactly what we are now in the process of painfully discovering.

On the new owner and BK’s price: the biggest cost and deterrent for a new owner is not what he has to pay Bill, it is what he has to find for a new ground. Bill could give the club away for free and the new owner might still be looking at £200M for a new place to play and generate the income we need. And no bank is going to lend us that kind of money, certainly not in the current environment. And in any case we would be crazy to take on that kind of debt.

That’s the problem Dave! There really is a painful financial reality which bears down upon us, and no amount of wishful thinking or blaming the current owner changes it.
Neil Pearse
10   Posted 05/12/2009 at 08:10:22

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Fine Richard, you just go on believing that really we are still a rich club and KEIOC’s fantasy finances will get us a new ground. We will see who turns out be right about our actual financial condition.

This has nothing to do with believing the club or not. It is about finally stopping living in dreamland.
Robert Daniels
11   Posted 05/12/2009 at 08:25:33

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Neil, are we not in the same position as we were with DK, in as much as we have or so we were led to believe £78 million in the bank. If this is true and the people that run our club said so, don't we just need a piece of land off LCC?

So why all the doom and gloom over not going to Kirkby? I can't wait for the next project to emerge, and if you think that one won't emerge and this is the end, why come on here bleating on about it.

Do us all a favour, Niel — forget DK, it's dead, and ask the right questions about where we go from here. No-one is saying we're a rich club but the board have the money — £78 mill for a new stadium... or could they be lieing? Never!

Chris Halliday
12   Posted 05/12/2009 at 08:33:26

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Charles, like any big company, EFC will talk about fans/customers being consulted and stuff, but in reality that is about what flavour crisps to sell at the ground. I suppose they will point to the vote on Kirkby, but we all know now that was a pack of lies, which in my opinion was the lowest chapter in the sorry Kirkby story. And they wondered why there was a backlash when the truth come out!
Neil Pearse
13   Posted 05/12/2009 at 08:46:23

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Guys, isn’t it pretty clear what happened now about Kirkby and its lies?

Wyness, no question, absolutely lied. On the cost, the quality of the stadium, and the transport. Like Blair’s dodgy dossier over Iraq, it was pretty obvious, even at the time, that a very great deal of puffery and exaggeration was going on.

The truth that the club for some reason felt that it could not tell us was: Kirkby is not unfortunately the fantastic option we would all like, but it is a remarkably good deal which can take us on a step and is all we can afford in our financial condition. The risks of sitting in GP unable to do anything else are too great, so we are recommending Kirkby to our fans. Perfectly justifiable, if certainly arguable.

I regret hugely that the club did not have the guts to tell us the truth about this. I suppose you can see why. Many still posting on Toffeeweb resist bitterly the patent fact that we are no longer in the top tier of English football clubs. But it was a colossal mistake which has caused the immense rancour which we have witnessed since.

On the positive side, I think with Elstone we are now getting much more of this truth. His post knock back comments were painful in their obvious expression of our poverty. Kenwright is still too much of a starry-eyed romantic to tell it so straight. Although even here he has finally got to acknowledging the obvious - we do not have enough money to compete effectively anymore.

Would that all concerned had been willing to swallow their pride earlier and acknowledge the painful reality which was pretty obvious anyway.
Gavin Ramejkis
14   Posted 05/12/2009 at 08:49:29

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Neil, please stop being so disingenuous, by claiming KEIOC had "fantasy finances" is so oblique it does even your rational arguing a disservice.

The exclusivity clause was used as a shield to stop discussions between the club and LCC, the club and Bestway and the club and HOK. If, and I reiterate IF, the club had not tied to the exclusivity clause of a project doomed to failure due to it’s flagrant disregard to RSS then chose to publish the findings. The adamant stance on other projects not being deliverable bordered on negligence.

Imagine if you will, the club engage and discuss the various schemes, if they then chose to write them off they would have the information from a business and PR perspective to do so.

Interesting that you quote Gramsci and your ongoing acceptance of all things BK and Co in relation to Gramsci’s concept of cultural hegemony. Don’t forget he was also a very strong proponent of historicism; if being a supporter of this club has taught us, it’s that we all love our positive history but clamour for an end to the failure to learn from our failures — and we have had plenty at board level for the last ten years.

Dave Randles
15   Posted 05/12/2009 at 09:09:20

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Neil Pearse,

Let me get this straight in amongst my fits of giggles.

It seems to me that you are saying DK being ’The Deal of The Century’ was a little white lie told by the club because it’s fans wouldn’t accept the truth about us no longer being one of the ’big boys’?

I despair, I really do.
Neil Pearse
16   Posted 05/12/2009 at 09:16:40

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Gavin, glad we can connect as Gramscians (a new long-suffering Evertonian sect - perseverance in the face of despair?)!

We just disagree about the exclusivity clause. It mattered not a jot, because we couldn’t and still can’t afford any of the alternatives.

The exclusivity clause is like you imposing a legal contract on me that I can’t go out and buy a new 7 Series BMW. I can’t afford to anyway, so it is irrelevant.

I agree totally about the sorry history of our ownership and management over the last couple of decades. But we are where we are, and "I wouldn’t start from here if I were you" is not going to help us very much.

And finally KEIOC’s ’innovative funding mechanisms’ to pay for an expensive new stadium really are pure wishful thinking, I am sorry. Even our current management is not so clueless as to pass up the opportunity to rustle up £200M by such means if they could. It certainly would make them extremely wealthy were they to sell the club...
Neil Pearse
17   Posted 05/12/2009 at 09:26:41

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Actually Dave R, firstly I said "colossal mistake" not "white lie".

To be honest, I don’t know why the club decided not to tell the truth. I suspect Wyness was just an incompetent salesman on the make.

But I do know that if they had told the truth, they would have been met with a chorus of angry denial. Because, indeed, they still are.
Dave Wilson
18   Posted 05/12/2009 at 09:22:28

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Sorry Neil but Dave really does have a point, do you really believe we are discovering the painful truth? We knew all along mate, everyone of us and most of us still didn't want Kirkby.

Kenwright payed 20 million quid for his shares, do you think if he was to sell them for a mere 50% profit they wouldn't be snapped up today? Ok there's no rules in the world to say he should, if he wants top dollar then that is his right, but he claims to be a True Blue and he is constantly telling us he’s not a business man, so why not take a wacking great £30 million for his shares? He’ll have done very well — a million a year — and he would be warmly applauded for stepping aside and making way for a wealthier man, a man LCC would want to do business with, a man who could find a enabler for a project inside the City.

It doesn't have to be this way Neil, but by insisting it's an investor he wants, not a buyer, Kenwright makes it so.
Neil Pearse
19   Posted 05/12/2009 at 09:40:00

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More realistically, the Blair Iraq comparison is probably a good one. "There may be no WMD, but we think we ought to support the Americans anyway" is not much of a sell. Nor would on Kirkby "It’s not great, but it’s what we can afford and it’s better than sitting where we are".

As I say, the proof of the pudding will now be in the eating. If it turns out that we can afford to build a £200M+ ground in the city, then Kirkby really was a narrow escape. But I am neither holding my breath nor watching this space.
Neil Pearse
20   Posted 05/12/2009 at 09:45:00

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Dave, I agree it would be very much the honourable thing for Kenwright now to take a decent profit and not stand in the way of a decent new owner. But I strongly doubt that the disincentive to buy our club is what you have to pay for the shares. If it was, someone might make Bill an offer, don’t you think?
James I'Anson
21   Posted 05/12/2009 at 09:57:24

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Maybe our fans representitive can explain to the fans why we can’t build a £78m stadium on land provided by LCC within the city.
Richard Dodd
22   Posted 05/12/2009 at 10:07:54

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The ’sell at any price’ brigade confuse their distaste of Bill Kenwright with their desire to see the Club in ’better hands’. I am sure Bill has had many overtures from ’Pompey Sheiks’ but has been wise enough to smell them out. That is to his eternal credit — not damnation!

On the question of Board representation, I should be happy to put my name forward as a spokesman for Toffeewebbers everywhere.

Dave Wilson
23   Posted 05/12/2009 at 10:03:05

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Neil, what makes you so certain offers or at least preliminary inquiries haven't been made? And why are you so adamant BK will listen, does his insistence on using the word 'investor' as opposed to 'buyer' not make you question his intentions?

You and I both know that if BK were to publicly anounce that he would accept £30 million, there would be a flurry of interest

You won't sell the car if you can't get people into the showroom; you certainly won't sell it if you lock the doors.
Dave Wilson
24   Posted 05/12/2009 at 10:19:50

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Richard, let's generate the interest before we worry about suitability.

As for throwing your hat into the ring to represent my views... I’ll get back to you.
Gavin Ramejkis
25   Posted 05/12/2009 at 10:45:46

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Neil, looking at the documents and having spoken to enough 2 stars and above over the last three years, there are more than enough reasons to try Tory Blair as a war criminal through his illegal instigation and involvement in a war he had no legal right to undertake. As much as I hate Black Bill, I wouldn’t say it’s the same scenario.

Doddy, the club have enough sycophants without another one, I’ve told you — go for the propaganda minister job, it’s got your name written all over it. The calibre of a buyer can never really be shown until they take over as you don’t undertake reverse due diligence.

The lament of billionaire owners who have hit skid row in the recession is a bit of a red herring. As I mentioned on another thread, even Warren Buffett lost a staggering $25Bn last year, the global recession has hit everyone, but I’d rather BK did the right thing and took his notice and moved on to give another custodian a chance.

Richard Jones
26   Posted 05/12/2009 at 10:57:45

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Neil, I think it was you has said previously that we we’re in a good financial state "relatively speaking". I have never said we we’re in a good financial condition so where you get that one from I’ve no idea. I've posted things on here indicating our financial state, whereas you have been appologising and pro-actively saying we’re in good shape... now which is it to be Neil?

You use more smoke and mirrors than your hero to get out of a hole, Neil. I just don’t get your motives. As for who turns out to be right... you’ve just been left wanting in that department and dreamland... well I leave that for you and Billy Liar in Ambrosia!!
Dick Fearon
27   Posted 05/12/2009 at 12:15:54

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Dave W asks why Neil is so sure that offers to buy the club have not been made. If Dave knows who the buyers were that BK rejected, I wish he would let everyone know their names. I have made the same request dozens of times and no a soul has responded.

Dave, here is your opportunity to make a name for yourself. Tell us who they are, er... take your time lad, I am not holding my breath.

Chris Butler
28   Posted 05/12/2009 at 12:41:06

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Well, we can argue about things individually but that solves nothing. Fans in this country never really get in groups as in other countries. Clubs know that the fans are weak on their own. As proven with the SOS group that has provided an excellent service for Liverpool supporters. There are regional supporters clubs but no organizations for the fans.
Richard Jones
29   Posted 05/12/2009 at 13:12:50

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For the umpteenth time Dick. 3 words NON DISCLOSURE AGREEMENTS educate yourself and read up on them, I won’t hold my breathe!!
Phil Bellis
30   Posted 05/12/2009 at 13:33:03

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Your views, Richard, are as representative of ToffeeWebbers as mine are of kopites.
Brendan McLaughlin
31   Posted 05/12/2009 at 13:29:48

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The old "non-disclosure" chestnut. Let's face it Richard if you were seriously interested in acquiring Everton, only to find out the club actually wasn’t for sale, would you not find some way of leaking this to the press? Particularly given Kenwright’s protestations of looking for investment "24/7" and of his willingness to step aside.
Dave Wilson
32   Posted 05/12/2009 at 12:55:02

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Dick, I suspect nobody has replied to your question because, frankly mate, it's a stupid one.

The people who are pro-Kenwright, tell us almost hourly that nobody is interested in buying our club. Now I may be wrong but I believe a perfectly logical response to that claim is to ask "How do you know?" ... agreed?

What isn’t logical is for the Kenwright apologists to then come back with a "You can't name the potential buyers, so they don't exist" claim... it doesn't make sense.

Kenwright shrouds this club in secrecy; on the rare occasion he opens up, its usually to tell us a pack of lies, that’s been proven. How many times have we heard one club official say one thing and another official say another? Even people on the inside don't know what's going on, so what chance have the rest of us got?

Rather than waste your time answering a question with another question and challenging people to give names you know they don't have, why don't you take the opportunity to make a name for YOURself?

Answer the original question lad: How do you know there HASNT been any offers made?

You won't, because you can't; nobody can. So can we please put an end to this ridiculous claim.
Richard Jones
33   Posted 05/12/2009 at 14:31:07

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Well asuming the club is for sale Brendan and we’re not just looking for investment, then if you sign an NDA and leak stuff to the press you run the risk of being sued and the club is more than willing to do this as some Japenese dentist found out!!
Brian Waring
34   Posted 05/12/2009 at 14:37:07

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Neil, the reason why the club didn’t tell us how it was from the start, was because they knew if they had done, they would never have got the majority to go ahead. So, they lied, and made glossy brochures etc.
Kevin Mitchell
35   Posted 05/12/2009 at 14:28:53

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I’m with Richard Jones regarding his remarks about Neil Pearse. Neil, you really wouldn’t be out of place on our board of directors. I find your views quite depressing and believe people like you actually do hold the club back. You're the doctor who says the leg has got to come off, when everybody else knows there are other doctors who can save it.

I know were in financial shit but most of us believe we can come through this a better club. Try thinking a bit more positive Neil, all your beliefs seem to come from what you're told from the club.

Colin Fitzpatrick
36   Posted 05/12/2009 at 14:44:56

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Neil,
"And finally KEIOC’s ’innovative funding mechanisms’ to pay for an expensive new stadium really are pure wishful thinking"

simple question; why?
Gavin Ramejkis
37   Posted 05/12/2009 at 15:01:46

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Brendan, have to point out the subtle but damning wordplay of the two phrases "looking for a buyer", and "looking for investors". The two are different, a buyer would gain ownership, an investor would only gain what is on offer for the investment, this may be so unrealistic as to ward of potential suitors. Do you honestly rate some of the clubs who have had a number of new owners over the time BK has allegedly been "looking" as a better investment than Everton?
Brendan McLaughlin
38   Posted 05/12/2009 at 14:58:35

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@ Richard Jones
Firstly Richard I am sure that people with sufficient financial muscle to buy Everton would be more than capable of "leaking" a story to the press with little or no comeback. Secondly to imply that people with this type of financial muscle are being outflanked by Bill Kenwright is just hilarious. Who do you think he is - JR Ewing FFS!
Richard Jones
39   Posted 05/12/2009 at 15:15:35

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I think you are seriously underestimateing him there, Brendan. Who can forget the Sports Fortress Fund Scam to out-flank Gregg, a shameful passage in the club's dealings... "a means to an end" I think Ross called it. Naive, Brendan... very NAIVE!!
Richard Jones
40   Posted 05/12/2009 at 15:29:19

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Where has Neil gone?
Brendan McLaughlin
41   Posted 05/12/2009 at 15:44:27

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Ok Richard, here’s a little scenario.

As owner of TW Investments I approach the Everton Board regarding a buyout. “OK Brendan” says Bill “but first I need you to sign this little confidentially agreement which means that if a deal can’t be reached and you breath a word about these negotiations I can sue you for every penny you have” I take Bill at his word and sign the document.

Of course when negotiations commence it quickly becomes clear that Kenwright (as many suggest) isn’t serious about selling so I tell him to stick his club where the sun don’t shine and walk away. Of course despite my anger because of the confidentially agreement I can’t expose Kenwright for the liar that he is.

So what do I do? Well assuming that Everton are a sufficiently attractive investment I contact the club about re-opening negotiations but this time I tell that that the confidentiality clause will be limited only to any sensitive financial information exchanged between the parties. So what does Kenwright do now? If he refuses to negotiate I expose him to the Everton supporting world for the liar he is and if he does negotiate then his “get out of jail” confidentiality card is gone.

You call me naïve. Do you really think that hard headed business men would be fobbed off by Kenwright’s theatrics if they seriously wanted a piece of the action at Everton!
Phil Bellis
42   Posted 05/12/2009 at 17:04:25

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Neil, Did you marry the girl who looked like Plug’s sister because she was the only female who showed an interest in you and was all that was available? Or did you take stock of yourself, smarten up your act and work at, at least, being able to raise your standards?

Did you buy a hovel as your first home because that’s all you could afford or did you work hard to improve your education and skills, then look for a higher-paid job and put your efforts towards bettering what you could provide for your family?

Did you approve of Kirkby because you believed that was all Everton could afford and the club rightly should have given up and not tried to do anything to provide a better solution to overcome the failings of the present and previous Boards?

I can at least understand the dimdicks who voted Yes because they liked Batman searchlights or believed what, to others, were then, and have subsequently proven to be, lies.

Your attitude, however, is only comprehendible if you’ve always applied ’ah well, I’ll have to settle for that, then’ reasoning to all things in your life.

Neil Pearse
43   Posted 05/12/2009 at 18:53:02

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Richard J — you'r continuing to say that BK is my "hero" I can now only ascribe to your inability to understand the English language. In this thread alone I have called him a starry-eyed romantic and agreed with Dave W about the poor running of our club over the last couple of decades.

I have blamed him for hiring Wyness, agreed that the commercial side of our business has been pathetic, chimed in on the terrible PR of our club ("a colossal mistake" above), wished that he would stop saying his silly luvvy things, and been saying for at least two years that he has to go as soon as we can find a decent new owner. Sure, I am not some hysteric like you who thinks he is the devil incarnate, but with friends like me....

My view on the finances is pretty simple. We are not in some dreadful about to go bust kind of state. But we are nowhere near able to afford much if anything more than Kirkby. Is that so hard to understand? To use my analogy from before: I’m not about to go bankrupt, but I can’t afford to buy a BMW.

And Phil, in my life I try to make the best choices I can given my actually available options. I don’t spend my time pretending that I have options I don’t have, and then pining after them. That’s a waste of time. Sometimes I do nothing for a while to see if my circumstances and options might change - but not when it is pretty likely they won’t. That’s too risky. Most often it is better to do something than nothing.

Colin, you tell me on the ’innovative funding methods’! You have been very helpful in explaining on here the poor financial condition of the club, and have eloquently pointed out the risks of the club raising £80M for Kirkby. Now you say that we can raise much more than that for more expensive options with nothing more than handwaving. I’d love to believe you, but you can understand my scepticism. I’d be happy to be proved wrong, because then we could have a nice new stadium in the city.

And Brendan - of course you are right. People like Richard can’t decide whether Kenwright is an incompetent buffoon or the world’s most brilliantly manipulative genius. So he goes for both.

It is completely implausible that anyone substantial has wanted to seriously purchase our club and we have not heard a whisper of it. Again, to believe this you have to still be in denial about how fundamentally unattractive we now are.

Neil Pearse
44   Posted 05/12/2009 at 19:24:07

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And Kevin - "all your beliefs seem to come from what you are consistently told by the club". Did you not read what I said above? The club has only just now started to really admit how poor we are and how little we can afford. I know this makes me boring, but I have been banging on about this for years.

One of my big problems with the club is that they haven’t been honest about our true situation (all that misleading puffery about "record financial years"). I have been consistently more pessimistic about the club’s financial condition and prospects than anything public they have ever said (although Elstone is now getting a bit closer).
Dennis Stevens
45   Posted 05/12/2009 at 20:08:03

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Neil : "The truth that the club for some reason felt that it could not tell us was: Kirkby is not unfortunately the fantastic option we would all like, but it is a remarkably good deal which can take us on a step and is all we can afford in our financial condition. The risks of sitting in GP unable to do anything else are too great, so we are recommending Kirkby to our fans. Perfectly justifiable, if certainly arguable."

This would also have been a lie - it’s certainly open to question whether the club could have afforded DK if the proposal had gone ahead - Leahy said anything over £35 million was more than the club would be able to afford, I think ; Kirkby was not a remakably good deal for Everton, it was a remarkably bad deal - I wonder whether whoever nogotiated with Tesco was on a back-hander, they did so poorly ; it would have been at least as likely to make the club worseoff rather than better off - some progress! What are these great risks at Goodison Park that you allude to? How are they so much greater than a huge financial gamble in the hope of a quite modest return, at best? Why the attempt to re-write history & portray the Board as witless victims of that wicked Wyness & his devious scheme to hood-wink Evertonians into supporting this proposal - who do you think he was working for?
Neil Pearse
46   Posted 05/12/2009 at 20:43:03

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Dennis - First of all, where on earth do you get the idea from that I am trying to portray the Board as witless victims of the wicked Wyness? Let me say it clearly: the owner and management were at fault for not telling the truth over Kirkby. Kenwright was responsible for hiring Wyness. Kenwright was responsible for Wyness’s stupid lies.

Now, if we can get over everyone’s ridiculous obsession with Kenwright, we can move on to more important matters.

When you can find me a brand new 50,000 seater ground in the city of Liverpool for less than £100M, I will agree with you that Kirkby was "a remarkably bad deal". Until then let’s just say that it may be the only new ground that we get anywhere near acquiring for the forseeable future.

On affordability - maybe you are right, and we are even poorer than I think we are (a scary thought indeed). But if we are that poor then we can basically afford nothing at all and may well be selling a lot of our players quite soon.

The reality is that we wouldn’t have got as far as we did on Kirkby if we were not going to be able to find the £78M. In the worst case there were rumours that Tesco (they of the "remarkably bad deal") would have provided some temporary support rather than see their lucrative new investment go down the swanee.

The risks of staying at GP? No new owner, no increased income, relentlessly falling further behind all of the top half of the Premiership. That will do for starters.
Colin Fitzpatrick
47   Posted 05/12/2009 at 21:17:55

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Neil;
"Colin, you tell me on the ’innovative funding methods’!"

but you said:



" KEIOC’s ’innovative funding mechanisms’ to pay for an expensive new stadium really are pure wishful thinking,"



So, just to be clear, you pass an opinion on something you have no knowledge about?

Thanks for clearing that up.
Dennis Stevens
48   Posted 05/12/2009 at 21:18:37

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Neil, you certainly came across to me as though you were scape-goating Wyness somewhat, my apologies if that was not what you intended. As for the Kenwright obsession: I didn’t mention him — you did!

Without getting into an argument over stadium build costs, I don’t see why they would increase by crossing a city boundary. However, let’s just say that none of us can accurately predict the future — if we could then the support for DK would be non-existent as we’d all be able to accurately predict that it would get knocked back at ministerial level.

Tesco would certainly have the financial clout to ensure Everton found the funds somehow, if so inclined — but how much did they contribute to the "remarkably good deal"? Not one penny.

So that’s what was worth gambling tens of millions of pounds on? A new owner, increased income & maintiaining a foothold in the top half of the Premier League?

Haven’t you heard? — There are no buyers out there, apparently. The criteria for generating a modest amount of additional profit were so unlikely to be achieved that the club could well have been losing more money, not making extra.

Obviously it’s a subjective view, but I consider DK would have seen Everton struggling to remain in the top flight at all & maybe the location for our first ever experience of football in the third tier of the English game — see, anyone can make up a potentially bleak future & pretend it’s a prediction that’s bound to come true!

Jay Harris
49   Posted 05/12/2009 at 21:36:01

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First of all Neil can we dispel one lie that keeps cropping up.

The stadium build in Kirkby was costing £130 million not £78 million.

There was supposedly £52 million of total breach of RSS retail enabling that was supposed to offset the cost — just like Bellefield was supposed to get planning permission and be worth £10 million.

DK was a total sham and would have stitched EFC up financially for the future.

Anybody that believed we would generate an extra £6 million a year from that move needs to be put in an asylum now.
Gavin Ramejkis
50   Posted 05/12/2009 at 22:37:33

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Can we all dispel the CEO says their own "evil words", they are employed by the Chairman and what they say are basically his words, they undertake his requests and anyone who doubts such has very little concept of how that role works.

Similarly when his latest, Robbie Keane lookalike, gave his disappointment speech about DK getting canned it was his master’s words through his lips. Other moments of clarity should be placed to anything on the club’s website should also be attributed to the Chairman’s request.

Neil, to be fair to Colin’s point, we will never know what other options we have seeking other enabling partnerships in the city as the club didn’t take anyone else on but rather used the shield of the Tesco/KMBC exclusivity clause to stifle any discussions. Until such time as those proposals are undertaken no-one will ever know whether they are achievable or not.

Ste Traverse
51   Posted 06/12/2009 at 02:19:57

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Why does Neil "affordable" Pearse keep peddling this myth that staying at Goodison could lead to financial disaster? The financial disaster was waiting for us in Kirkby, what chance was there of achieving the 47,000 required every home game to make a paltry extra £6m a year? None! We’d be worse off than at Goodison. End of debate as far as I'm concerned.
Jack Francis
52   Posted 06/12/2009 at 03:01:21

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Good article Charles.
Now that Kirkby has been kb’d does anyone think Bellefield will be easier to sell without LCC putting the blocks on, as they did when DK was on? Any ideas?
Christine Foster
53   Posted 06/12/2009 at 05:59:51

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This is beginning to look like a game of Neil trying to defend the indefensible. But let's try to see it as it is everyone says, we are broke, but not as broke as some, we got out of jail with Kirkby... but that leaves us where?

Financially any new BUYER (not investor) would have to purchase the shares of the major shareholders before setting foot in the place. I have said it before and I say it again — THAT'S the problem.

Spending £100M or £200M on a new stadium or a rework of GP is JUST remotely achievable to a wealthy new owner IF he doesn’t have to stump up another £200M or so to buy the shares as well.

It will be the main stumbling block in any new development. Perhaps thats WHY BK is looking for investment not sale because the seller wants an unrealistic price.

But what is on offer to ANY new investor?? Someone please tell me because I don’t see a bloody thing that would make ANYONE invest a penny in the club. Assets? Future earnings? Location? Team?

No the only way forward is a step back for the board and sell at a realistic value that would enable the club to secure a future.

After all, they got us into this mess in the first place.

As for the future, it's not all doom and gloom, but it sure as hell isn’t rosy either. It's probably the case that some buyers have had a look but it's conjecture as to the reasons they walked away or have been refused.

Right now the club needs a little stability, it needs good management and not the stuff we have had for the past 10 years or so. We need to get behind the team, of course we do, but we need to know that the future of the club is in good hands as well.
Chris Halliday
54   Posted 06/12/2009 at 10:19:41

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The whole sorry affair has been an embarrassment from Day One, and predictably most of us knew the Board would fail to deliver, again... and thank god.

I was gobsmacked when it was rejected to hear Elstone immediately call for talks over a joint stadium. What a joke! This Board has allowed people to dismiss the city, the ground, the L4 area in its desperation for this deal and now it is running back begging for help of organisations it has arrogantly (it seems) dismissed for 3 years.

And why did Elstone go to London for the 2018 World Cup stadium bid for after Kirkby was rejected? What was he there for? To support LFC’s ground? What a great laugh his presentation must have been, no ground, no money, no Plan B — more embarrassment.

Richard Dodd
55   Posted 06/12/2009 at 10:49:32

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Of the dozens of ’changes of ownership’ that have occurred in recent years, only Chelsea, Aston Villa and Man City seem to have got what they wished for. Newcomers have saddled Man Utd, Liverpool, West Ham and Portsmouth with a shit load of debt and some of the nonsense that goes on defies belief.

I suppose it’s inevitable that some form of re-financing will have to take place in due course but I have a sneaking suspicion that, when it does, Evertonians will soon be looking back to the days of good old Blue Bill with ever-growing fondness!

Neil Pearse
56   Posted 06/12/2009 at 10:55:19

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Colin - I have no idea what the ’innovative funding methods’ are because no-one from KEIOC has ever said what they are. Including you now! Given this fact, I have every right to believe that they are pure wishful thinking. ("I have this great way of making £200M - but I can’t tell you what it is"....) Tell me what they are and we can have a sensible debate.

Gavin, all that matters on the stadium is the cost to us. Not some accounting nonsense about the value. I don’t think anyone disputes that we were going to have to find around £80M. That’s all that matters. If we can build a new stadium in the city for the total cost to us of £80M I would be delighted but very surprised indeed.

And Gavin - I TOTALLY agree that Kenwright appoints the CEO and so he is responsible for what he says. End of discussion.

Jay - put me in the asylum. At Kirkby ticket prices would on average have gone up, corporate and entertainment revenues would have gone up (substantially), and I do not believe attendances would have collapsed (if you do, yes Kirkby made no sense). Of course matchday revenues would have gone up. How could they not? (And, yes, we would have increased interest charges from the debt. But we are going to have to move or thoroughly revamp GP and incur these one day.)

Ste - you are simply not comparing like with like. There is no scenario in which we stay at GP and spend nothing. At some point (soon) even if we stay at GP we are going to having to borrow major money (let’s say at least £80M) to perform a major upgrade. The only questions are: (a) how much will we have to borrow to upgrade GP?; (b) how much revenue will we lose while we are doing it?; and (c) how much increased revenue will we then get? It is not all clear that this would be better than moving somewhere.

Christine - I am in almost total agreement! We are indeed in a very poor state and are not very attractive right now.
Brendan McLaughlin
57   Posted 06/12/2009 at 11:23:26

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Neil Pearse is back. Where has Richard Jones gone?
Ged Simpson
58   Posted 06/12/2009 at 12:10:06

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Passing time till 4:00 and came across this debate.

My gut reaction is that Neil is presenting a view of the state of EFC that is probably nearer the truth than others with long memories but an inability to accept the present.


My fear is Sheff Wed, Leeds, Nott Forest. My hope is Villa, Spurs. In reality... probably more like Liverpool!
Richard Jones
59   Posted 06/12/2009 at 12:42:42

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Why appolgize for him time and time again then, Neil?

Brendan Doddy’s back too!! The three of you can have a tea party and think of other excuses for Kenwright, while he carries on holding our once-great club back.
Brian Waring
60   Posted 06/12/2009 at 12:46:54

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Neil, "Corporate and entertainment revenues would have gone up (substantially), and I do not believe attendances would have collapsed" — ’Wishful thinking’ methinks.
Brendan McLaughlin
61   Posted 06/12/2009 at 19:05:52

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Ouch Richard Jones! "Have a tea party"...what a put down. Do you mind if I use that line myself in future or do you have some sort of "exclusivity agreement" on it? You know, like the "confidentiality agreement" you allege that Kenwright uses to outflank the hordes of buyers looking to purchase Everton. Or are you not peddling that particular bullshit anymore?
Richard Jones
62   Posted 06/12/2009 at 21:54:29

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One question for you then Brendan, is the club for sale?
Brendan McLaughlin
63   Posted 06/12/2009 at 22:15:47

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Honestly Richard I do not know but I’m just glad we got the point today. Anyway enjoyed the banter & have a good week!
Jack Francis
64   Posted 07/12/2009 at 02:17:06

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Richard (DICK) Dodd, are you Kenwright's love child? You seem to be so far up his backside and he can do no wrong, I just don't get it! Am I missing something?
Colin Fitzpatrick
65   Posted 07/12/2009 at 09:15:05

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Neil

"we can have a sensible debate"

I hardly think any debate with you could be deemed sensible!! You’ve admitted to not knowing about something yet you dismiss it as "pure wishful thinking" can you not see how stupid that statement is?

Now you want me to explain; why? Here’s a top tip - go and dig out the financing statement that was submitted to the public inquiry; take your time, read it, digest it, understand what it is saying then at least you could offer an INFORMED opinion rather than the UNINFORMED image that you promote.
Neil Pearse
66   Posted 07/12/2009 at 18:32:38

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Colin, I have of course seen the video and read the paragraph in ’Our Position Explained’ on the KEIOC website. The only things mentioned that could remotely count as innovative (and indeed different from what the club would be doing anyway) are the ideas of ’Equity Seat Rights’ and supporters’ trusts.

Please direct me to anywhere where there is more detail on these. I assume that they involve raising money from fans. This is not a crazy notion, but it is implausible to suppose that Everton’s particular fanbase is going to make a significant contribution to a major new stadium.

Just do the maths. If (optimstically) 10,000 fans paid £1,000 over and above what they would have paid for tickets anyway, that’s £10 million. Great, but not going to get us the £200M stadium in the city is it?

Still, if KEIOC have discovered some way of raising say £50M that the club has never thought of, I would be fascinated to hear about it.
Dennis Stevens
67   Posted 07/12/2009 at 21:53:53

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It’s not really relevant whether or not KEIOC could find better ways of raising money than the Board - they’re never going to be in a position to implement those ideas. We’re totally dependant upon the decisions of the Board, regardless of what our ideas or opinions may be. These ideas & opinions can be expressed by the supporters but we can have little expectation that the Board will listen, much less act, upon them. Perhaps it’ll be a case of third time lucky for Kenwright as regards stadium proposals.
Colin Fitzpatrick
68   Posted 08/12/2009 at 09:50:03

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Neil,

Your “just do the maths” simplistic example simply illustrates your ignorance. The same innovative methodology has just been employed by Tottenham; they’re forecasting that they’ll raise £120m. Acknowledging the differences in geography and supporter demographic I’d conservatively estimate that £50 – 60m was a realistic target for Everton. This would be £50 – 60m of real money, not value as proposed by Tesco which was misinterpreted by many.

That’s just one of many examples of thinking outside the box; something that Everton really needs to start doing quickly. It’s now apparent that the risks involved in DK were incorrectly assessed, as was the business case in terms of the likely impact on the clubs future finances; all this talk of needing to be facility led sounded impressive, but even a cursory analysis of the likely incomes revealed serious concerns as to the viability of DK as a provider of Everton’s future financial needs. I posted an article on here just before the DK announcement; it was unfortunately overtaken by all the news surrounding the decision on DK, have another read of it here: http://www.toffeeweb.com/season/09-10/comment/fan/article.asp?submissionID=13801

Making a stadium work in the modern era is much more than just getting fans through the turnstiles; the implementation of UEFA’s proposed financial fair play regulations will mean even more emphasis will be placed on a clubs ability to generate significant non-matchday incomes.

What Everton now decide to do will be crucial; the solution, by necessity, will need to be innovative and imaginative if we’re to have any chance of keeping up with our peers; I suppose the extent of your ambition can be measured by who you determine our peers actually are?
Neil Pearse
69   Posted 08/12/2009 at 12:31:37

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Colin, thanks for the extra comments and the reference. Maybe there is somewhere else you can refer me, but I am still not understanding how we are going to raise £50M odd from our supporters. Let alone how Spurs are going to raise £120M (that would be nearly £2,500 each from 50,000 supporters - so I am clearly missing something here, because even Spurs does not have that rich a fanbase).

Can you help me understand how we are going to raise £50-60M of ’real money?. I assume you mean what I would call ’cash’, real spendable money that will pay for bricks and mortar, and not accounting nonsense. Clearly if this is possible then it would certainly help a great deal.

Why the club or its current financial advisors are leaving £60M of potentially available cash on the table is perhaps a question for another time. This would be more a matter of being criminally negligent rather than unambitious.

By the way, I completely agree with your point about the criticality of raising more non-matchday income. But that is not a reason to continue to raise less matchday income than most of our current competitors and peers.
Colin Fitzpatrick
70   Posted 08/12/2009 at 16:29:21

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Neil, like you said you’re missing something. I’m not here to promote the features and benefits of ESR, I’m not an employee of the promoters; all you need to know is that it’s proven and Tottenham have taken it up in order to raise £120m; the fact that you or anyone else can’t understand it is neither here nor there. You probably don’t know that 50% of Liverpool’s OP comes from just 10% of their seats; I’m guessing here, but you probably don’t pay £50k per season to go and watch Everton or you probably don’t fly in from Marbella in your Citation just for the game do you? Just because you don’t understand any of that doesn’t mean it isn’t true does it?
Neil Pearse
71   Posted 08/12/2009 at 18:00:37

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Colin, I have asked you now three times and you have been unable to provide me with any even very general explanation as to how we will raise this £50-60M you are talking about.

It might be true. Maybe there is a way of raising £60M (£120M in Spurs case) from your supporters. But since you are not able to provide me with even the vaguest explanation as to how it is true, you will understand that I will continue to be highly sceptical.

"All I need to know is that it is proven". Not really Colin. The burden of proof is on you to tell me what it is. I can’t be expected to disprove something that you can’t remotely explain to me. I need some idea of how it might work, and how the numbers might possibly add up. No details at all, just the very basic framework.

It is a shame you are unable to provide this after repeated attempts on my part. It does not reflect well on the credibility of KEIOC’s claim to be able to raise money through ’innovative funding mechanisms’. Unsurprisingly, there is no magic way of raising tens of millions of pounds after all. That is usually the case.
Neil Pearse
72   Posted 08/12/2009 at 18:27:26

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Okay Colin, let me try to be constructive and do some of the work here. You can just tell me if this is right or wrong.

First: I assume the basic mechanism here is something like a debenture. Someone pays money upfront to have the right to buy future tickets. The ’right’ bit is important, because we don’t just want to cannibalise future revenues: they still have to pay for their tickets in the future.

They pay an amount for this debenture. Perhaps also this buys them other things - say access to various lounges etc..

Okay so far?

Now, let’s be sophisticated and assume that there are two types of debenture: ’Supers’ with extra access and privilege (say at £5,000), and ’Regulars’ (say at £2,000). This all to help pay for the new stadium in the Loop.

Now, how do we get to £60M? Let me be very optimistic. We sell 1,000 of the Supers (£5M total), and 10,000 of the Regulars (£20M total). So £25M in all.

Very helpful, but not near the numbers you are talking about. And there is one very big reason for doubt. The basic attraction of such debentures is that you are guaranteed tickets for consistently over-subscribed events. We do not even have a season ticket waiting list.

But Colin, please just tell me where the £60M comes from if it is not something like this. Or if it is something like this and KEIOC for some reason thinks that maybe 20,000 Evertonians are each going to find £2,000 each for the privilege of being able to buy tickets in a new stadium.
Colin Fitzpatrick
73   Posted 08/12/2009 at 19:42:16

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Neil,

I’m sure that after that analysis SCFG and Morgan Stanley must be worried to death.
Neil Pearse
74   Posted 08/12/2009 at 20:05:10

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Colin, so I take it that you are still not going to make even the vaguest attempt to explain how the KEIOC claim about ’innovative funding mechanisms’ is justified? You are just going to repeatedly and loudly claim: ’the club could raise an extra £60M to fund something better than Kirkby - but we refuse to tell you how’.

Colin, that really is a disgraceful and embarrassing position to hold. I assumed Toffeeweb was a place where people debated different views on the basis of their arguments. Clearly for you it is a place to make cheap and utterly unfounded assertions which you then refuse to back up. Shame.
Colin Fitzpatrick
75   Posted 08/12/2009 at 20:24:33

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Neil,
I’ve told you the name of the product, the name of the company that provide the product, the value, in their opinion, that Everton could raise and the fact that it is only one of many methods of thinking outside of [the Tesco] box. My advice to you is do a little more research then when you’ve determined how it could work then look at it not as a definitive solution but as part of the solution; hope that helps.
Neil Pearse
76   Posted 08/12/2009 at 20:34:11

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Not really Colin. Why not just tell me how you can get £60M or anything close to it out of it? Just tell me!!!

I’m not looking for a detailed prospectus, just the vaguest explanation of how it works. I even provided you with an example to help - is it like that or not? Do you know what it is well enough to answer even that question?

Simply handwaving about ’thinking outside of the box’ is a very cheap way indeed of trying to win an argument.

This is important. You are making the very big claim that the club is simply wrong about only being to raise around £80M for a new ground, and in reality could raise a lot more. This is a huge claim, as you well know - so you need to justify it in some way, not simply state it. I am still waiting. How does it work Colin? How do you get anywhere near £60M? Please tell.
Richard Jones
77   Posted 08/12/2009 at 21:29:27

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Colin is it deliverable? that’s all I want to know!
Neil Pearse
78   Posted 08/12/2009 at 21:50:38

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Richard - Colin is completely incapable of even DESCRIBING let alone delivering it. It is in the same category as Wyness’s lie about a "practically free" stadium - simply an attempt to sway opinion based on nothing. With the hope that no-one will come along and ask: ’sounds great, so how does that work then?’

Well I am asking and I am still waiting for Colin’s reply.
Colin Fitzpatrick
79   Posted 08/12/2009 at 21:54:44

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Absolutely, Richard!
If it’s good enough for Spurs, even with the difference geography and demographic, I, but more importantly the providers, think it's good enough for Everton.
Richard Jones
80   Posted 08/12/2009 at 22:09:01

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Colin, ESR is that the mortgage thing they were going on about at Soccerex?
Neil Pearse
81   Posted 08/12/2009 at 22:05:20

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But what is ’IT’ Colin?? Is it some kind of debenture scheme that I described? Is it something else? Is it money from the fans, or money from somewhere else? Are Spurs saying that they are going to raise £120M from their fans to partially fund their new ground?

Why can’t you tell us good people on Toffeeweb how it is we can really afford £150M+ for a new ground?

Colin - this is getting silly, as it is about the sixth time I have now asked, and the sixth time you have refused to provide any answer.

Any reasonable person would now conclude that there is no basis to what you are saying. If there was, you would be able to say something about it.
Colin Fitzpatrick
82   Posted 08/12/2009 at 22:15:54

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That’s the one Richard, KEIOC had an article in The Guardian covering it over 12 months ago.
Richard Jones
83   Posted 08/12/2009 at 22:18:05

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Yes, I remember the article; it sounds inovative, but wouldn’t that mean a loss of future income though, wouldn’t it just add further debt to the club?
Colin Fitzpatrick
84   Posted 08/12/2009 at 22:27:15

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Richard,
That’s one of the reasons why it’s innovative, there’s no extra debt to the club. It does mean income loss in the future, there’s no such thing as a free lunch, even at Tesco Terry’s table, but that can be offset by spending the money sensibly with one eye on generating additional income from non-footballing sources; in line with the new UEFA financial regulations; if you email me at keioc@keioc.net I’ll show you what we mean.
Richard Jones
85   Posted 08/12/2009 at 22:33:56

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I’d be very interested to recieve that Colin, have you been able to demonstrate this method to the club?
Richard Jones
86   Posted 08/12/2009 at 22:49:17

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Colin thanks for the e.mail, that’s very impressive... when are KEIOC presenting that to Everton?
Colin Fitzpatrick
87   Posted 08/12/2009 at 22:48:09

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We met last week; it really is up to them which way they go now. Their experts have been advising them that KEIOC talk rubbish for the past two years; I’m no expert but maybe a change in experts could be a start!
Neil Pearse
88   Posted 08/12/2009 at 22:18:08

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Okay, it’s a modified debenture based on fans ’owning’ their seats by ’purchasing’ them either upfront or over time. A ’sports mortgage’ it’s called elsewhere - you buy your seat like you buy your house, and pay back the principal as well as interest. Fine. Why you couldn’t have just said this Colin, you alone must know.

Could it help? Well, the basic problem is obvious. If it’s to be any financially better for the club than simply selling fans season tickets, the fans have to pay MORE than they would for the season tickets for the privilege of ’owning’ their seats. As I pointed out way up on the thread when Colin was playing stumm, this would make particular sense only if you believed that access to seats would be scarce in future. Otherwise, why pay more? Unfortunately, we don’t even have a season ticket waiting list (unlike Spurs....), and if we built a 50,000 seater stadium few would believe that they had to pay a lot of extra money to lock in their seat to be sure of being able to go the game.

Still, it might raise a few million amongst those who sentimentally like the idea of having their own actual seat which is theirs. I don’t think that will quite come to £60M though.
Colin Fitzpatrick
89   Posted 08/12/2009 at 22:52:12

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We’re going on a roadshow trip, showing it to the fans; I’m getting off now, I’ll leave you to break it gently to Neil!!!
Neil Pearse
90   Posted 08/12/2009 at 22:58:58

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Colin, as you say, there unfortunately is no such thing as a free lunch - either in Wyness land or in KEIOC land. Stadiums don’t cost nothing, and fans don’t usually start paying a great deal more money to go to the same game that they could go to anyway.

Every little helps, but this is not going to transform our ability to get a new ground.
Richard Jones
91   Posted 08/12/2009 at 23:08:38

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It isn’t just about the seat Neil, I think this just shows everyone you have an opinion on everything even if you have no knowledge of what you’re talking about, why are you so rattled about the prospect of replacing Tesco’s fake money?
Neil Pearse
92   Posted 08/12/2009 at 23:20:24

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I’m not Richard. Kirkby is dead, so that is not an issue anymore (and I never claimed Tesco were providing any money).

I just don’t like to pretend that you can magic up £60M for a new ground when you can’t. I don’t think that is very helpful. And it’s more than a little dishonest.
Christine Foster
93   Posted 08/12/2009 at 23:15:26

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Neil, there IS NO SILVER BULLET so for gods sake stop asking people to produce one! We are fans, some with expertise and understanding, some not so, Asking as you do (and many others do on this site) for fans to come up with solutions when they are not fully privvy to ACTUAL detail is more than just rich, its a complete waste of breath.

Colin has laid out one of many options that the board MUST consider. Enablling funds for redeveloping Goodison or building a new stadium anywhere means a combination of factors coming together and probably several different financial revenue streams to make it happen.

Thats what the CEO is there for. Thats what the board is there for. Thats why the management of the club get paid. We don’t. They allegedly have the expertise and access to all the information. We Don’t.

The fact that in my opinion they couldn’t find a way out of the maze that was Kirkby speaks volumes about their LEVEL of expertise and the singularly exclusive perspective of ANYTHING other than Kirkby shows the level of competence. BUT it is NOT incumbent upon the fans to find the money, although I do sometimes wonder if some could do a better job.. the fact remains that in the eyes of EFC Kirkby was a simple solution to a complex problem. Except of course it was the ONLY solution given any credence. THAT is were it fell down.

So Neil, for all your views and opinions, let me ask you plainly and simply.

How do you therefore expect others to answer your questions completely when you offer no solutions yourself?

Given what I believe that fans are not privvy to all the detail, What would you expect from anyone?
Neil Pearse
94   Posted 08/12/2009 at 23:26:06

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Just to be clear Colin, if you had said something like, "the club might be able to raise additional funding for a new ground with a debenture type fans scheme" - we could both have saved ourselves a lot of time. No sane person would disagree with that.

The problem is that you and KEIOC make very large claims about new sources of funding (£60M is no small amount!), without anything like adequate justification.
Neil Pearse
95   Posted 08/12/2009 at 23:33:37

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Christine - I totally agree with you that THERE IS NO SILVER BULLET. My entire objection to Colin was that he was claiming to supply one with £60M of magic ESL funding. That was my point.

Nor do I think anyone else has to come up with a detailed alternative. But - if they think we have other affordable options than Kirkby - they do have to suggest some broad ideas on funding and not come up with exaggerated nonsense.

Christine, my other whole point was: I don’t currently have a solution. I thought Kirkby might be a solution, but now it is gone. I think groundshare could be a solution, but the will is not there.

I think we are poor Christine, have few options, and are not very attractive to a buyer. My main hope now is that someone will nevertheless take a fancy to us and put some money into us.
Richard Jones
96   Posted 08/12/2009 at 23:48:43

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My understanding is Neil that Liverpool have also been looking at the very same facility and funding methods, that Colin is promoting so-to-speak.
Neil Pearse
97   Posted 09/12/2009 at 08:23:36

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Richard, debenture type funding methods are well known. They have been used to contribute to funding things from the Twickenham rebuild to the rebuild of Glyndebourne opera house. I’m sure everyone looking to fund a new facility looks at them.

My objection - once we knew what we were talking about - was to the claim that we had found a silver bullet that was going to suddenly transform the amount of funds we have available. This money comes from us fans, Richard, nowhere else. Very few of our fans can afford to make these kinds of commitments, so let’s just not get too excited and keep this in proportion.
Richard Jones
98   Posted 09/12/2009 at 11:15:46

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I don’t think he’s saying it’s a debenture, Neil... you're setting yourself up again I think.
Colin Fitzpatrick
99   Posted 09/12/2009 at 12:06:54

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Neil,
You have the inane ability to make out you have knowledge of a subject when in fact you know jackshit about it. ESR isn’t a debenture, nor is it a personal seat license [PSL], which is what you’re alluding to in your responses, it isn’t aimed at the general fan, just a small select few and it does include the ticket price for up to fifty years if required.

Your constant pontificating is simply a reminder to everyone that you’re as wrong about this as you were about your original support for Kirkby.

You’re following your usual pattern; nobody has stated ESR is a silver bullet except you; you started off by stating the correct phrase that was used “innovative funding mechanisms “which you will note is plural and you have attempted to mislead people into thinking KEIOC have all their eggs in one basket with ESR.

I’ve shown Richard Jones another method of finance and revenue production which would supplement ESR; it’s not limited to those methods alone, I’ve even been contacted by several other people some of whom I’ve supplied the same, one I’ve given even more of an insight.

Richard Jones has asked why you are so rattled by the prospect of replacing Tesco’s fake money with some real money that you have to attempt to discredit by what I can only describe as misinformed pseudo-analysis; it makes people think you have another agenda, I think they’d be right!
Neil Pearse
100   Posted 09/12/2009 at 13:22:03

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Colin, of course I pointed out above that ESR was not a normal debenture, but more like a ’seat mortgage’. If you can’t understand plain English sentences, that’s your problem, but that is what I said.

You explicitly claimed above that £60M of new money could be raised to fund a new stadium from what you now admit is "a small select few". If that is not a silver bullet, Colin, I do not know what would count as one. That’s an awful lot of ’real’ money from such a small amount of people. Pardon me if I choose to regard it as a pure wishful thinking.

I have no other agenda than to have us think honestly about what options we have as a club. I think pretending that there are magic solutions such as ESR raising £60M doesn’t help that cause but merely raises false hopes. Obviously it might contribute, but not to that extent. Money doesn’t grow on trees Colin. Not £60M of it anyway.
Colin Fitzpatrick
101   Posted 09/12/2009 at 16:24:27

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Dear oh dear Neil;

You’re wriggling like a fish on a hook, once again ESR is not, is nothing like, a debenture. It’s far more than a mere seat mortgage and no amount of re-writing about the five or six stabs in the dark you made will convince me otherwise.

Your ability for revisionism surpasses David Irving, I don’t want to split hairs but if we’re talking explicit I said £50 – 60m; you were the one who assumed it was a silver bullet and as for understanding English I find that statement amusing from someone who has the apparent inability to differentiate between singular and plural; of course you don’t, it’s just that it suits your agenda to make it appear that KEIOC are putting all their faith in one proposal, always easier to attack then isn’t it?

You’re fully entitled to be of the opinion that such a proposal is merely pure wishful thinking; I’m certain Morgan Stanley, SCFG, Tottenham and Liverpool are absolutely shitting themselves now that Neil Pearse has pointed out the folly of football clubs entering into such an arrangement, although I think I will be able to just about put their minds at rest when I tell them you haven’t got a fuckin’ clue what you’re talking about.

As others have said; you bring nothing to the table; your original acceptance of DK says it all, whilst others who were of the same opinion have had the good grace and spine to admit they were wrong and have seen the whole sorry episode of DK for what it is, you continue with attempting to rubbish anything not emanating from EFC.

You probably think others are thinking it’s a bit of a toughie; who’s right, what Neil Pearce thinks or what Morgan Stanley does for a living; hmmmm, not that tough really!
Richard Jones
102   Posted 09/12/2009 at 17:42:25

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Debenture discription:A type of debt instrument that is not secured by physical asset or collateral. Debentures are backed only by the general creditworthiness and reputation of the issuer. Both corporations and governments frequently issue this type of bond in order to secure capital. Like other types of bonds, debentures are documented in an indenture.

No it doesn’t sound like a debenture Neil are you sure your a financial guy?
Steve Jones
103   Posted 10/12/2009 at 02:17:00

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The definition of debenture tickets (see debenture seats) given by the all England Lawn Tennis Club, a venerable and notably well financed organisation, is as follows:

"Debenture Tickets are the only tickets that can be legally transferred or sold by the holder to someone else. A Debenture is a loan made by an investor to Wimbledon with the money used to fund capital improvements (such as the new No1 Court). Instead of interest these investors are given seats in prime locations on either Centre Court or No1 Court."

So to describe it as a different entity to ESR is accurate. It would also be accurate to describe it as more appropriate to Evertons needs than ESR.

SCFG, the power behind the concept, list the following on their advertising material for ESR:

ESR - Equity Seat Rights

-Includes tickets price for all home games
-No separate upfront fee
-No ticket price increases, ever
-ESR Owner builds equity and value as ticket prices increase
-Free tickets for extended period of years
-Is transferable

and

’The process would provide the fan long-term protection from escalating season ticket prices, while guaranteeing long-term access to premium tickets.’.

So here we have a solution that both hinges on the clubs ability to sell roughly 10% of seats, lets say 5500, for £10k a piece AND ensures that we will never see another penny from those seats going forward. Those also, it must be noted, being the most desireable and highest priced seats in the new stadium?.

To the layman anyway the debenture route seems by far the more transparent mechanism. You make an investment in the stadium and in lieu of the usual return you would expect on an investment you get preferential rights/treatment in the new ground.

Either way you are appealing to the same market - investors who want to put money into the club for personal reasons. For, surely, when season tickets are in the £500 bracket and are effectively already capped by the means of, and demand from, the consumer base it makes more financial sense to simply pay for your season ticket year-to-year.

Call me a cynic by all means but when you look at ESR as a mechanism questions do present themselves. The principle one, as the somewhat embattled Mr Pearse above points out, is where you find five and a half thousand Everton fans willing to stump up ten grand for the next 20 years worth of season tickets?!.

Have any surveys been undertaken on the demographics and relative affluence of the general fanbase to substantiate this confidence for example?.
Colin Fitzpatrick
104   Posted 10/12/2009 at 07:51:02

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Steve,

It wouldn’t be anything like 5,000, that’s a guideline by SCFG to generate the cost of a stadium; this wouldn’t be the case.

Whilst LFC do aim to get 10% [their corporate market] of their attendance to generate 50% of their operating profit, Everton would currently struggle; that’s why the guideline for Everton is a more conservative £50-60m which according to their representative is a more realistic target.

The income isn’t lost; it’s been used to provide a new stadium which if designed properly can generate even greater income for the club. The stadium has to be paid for by some means, if it was debt financed that income would “be lost” servicing that debt; there no such thing as a free lunch; Everton has no money, so all avenues of cash generation need to be investigated, Everton haven’t done this, Tottenham and LFC have.

Debentures are loans, ESR doesn’t add to the debt burden of the club that is another reason why it is attractive.

Why have you chosen a figure of £10k? Have you calculated how much money, using that figure, over the 25 or even 50 years that ESR can be chosen to run for, would bring in?

Clearly £10k wouldn’t be anything like the figure required, and this isn’t just a seat, it’s corporate level seating with everything that goes with it.

The reason why Neil was “embattled” as you say, was because of his flagrant dismissal of something he clearly knew little about; I know nothing about super conductors or fuel cells yet they work, people specialising in that field have successfully developed them and I accept that. Neil chose to denigrate something simply because it offered a possible and tangible solution to Everton’s problem of affording a stadium without the bogus help of Tesco stores Ltd.

Taken in conjunction with other methods of finance and possible revenue generation, in place of waiting for the white knight to appear, Everton can hopefully move forward.
Neil Pearse
105   Posted 10/12/2009 at 21:34:15

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Colin - debenture, seat mortgage, ESR are similar insofar as they aim to raise large sums of money from fans (not banks or investors) by paying in advance, and above what they would for regular season tickets, for the right to attend particular entertainment events. That is the main thing you need to know.

You claimed that we may be able to raise £50--60M from our fans with a mechanism of this kind. The problem as Steve indicates is simply that we don’t have enough fans with that kind of money. That should be simple enough even for you to be able to understand.

The fact that you call £50-60M a ’conservative’ estimate (maybe we’ll raise £100M, eh?) seems to indicate that you don’t even know that this is actually a very large sum of money to be extracted from our fanbase.

The bankruptcy of your arguments is shown by the fact that whenever myself or Steve as well starts to talk any kind of numbers, you retreat into incoherence (’it wouldn’t be that much money per head... it wouldn’t be that many fans’). Well, Colin, £60M is a large number. If it is to add up then mathematically it can’t be a small amount of fans spending a relatively small amount of money each. You can’t get to £60M that way.

Again, I can well imagine such a device making a contribution. But nothing you have said provides the slightest basis for assuming that this can transform our stadium prospects by raising £60M.

On Morgan Stanley et al. Get real. These are people trying to sell a financial product, Colin. They are talking it up for all it is worth. They have a very limited track record so far with this product. They are the same people who brought us the products that caused the global credit crunch. I wouldn’t be so starry-eyed about them if I were you.

All I am doing is critically examining the rather outrageous £60M claim that you have made. You might want to subject it to a little scrutiny too, Colin, before you simply believe the bankers.

Steve Jones
106   Posted 10/12/2009 at 22:04:06

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"It wouldn’t be anything like 5,000, that’s a guideline by SCFG to generate the cost of a stadium; this wouldn’t be the case."

Its all a case of proportion though isnt it Colin — you can tweak figures in the model up or down but the basic rule is that lowering the volume means increasing the revenue per unit to maintain the desired end figure.

I appreciate that you say ESR is only one tool in the box, but, even your own website states it is the principle one. To generate £40mn of the £60mn you are talking about here you are going to need 4,000 takers @ £10k or 8,000 @ £5k and that is the inescapable bottom line. Fail to achieve that and its a show stopper. Has there been demographic/means surveying undertaken by KEOIC to validate this funding method as the core of its proposals?

"The income isn’t lost; it’s been used to provide a new stadium which if designed properly can generate even greater income for the club."

The point of the new stadium is to increase facilities-sourced revenue generation. That being the need to, year-on-year, uplift the funds available to the manager and allow us to clear debt — the problem is that with the ESR model those extra matchday funds rasied BY the stadium are already gone paying FOR the stadium rather than going into the operational budget. The whole thing becomes a self-licking lollipop.

If designed, and located, properly additional revenue can be generated from non-football events, but, you have to admit that it will take a lot of Take That gigs to make a real impact to club revenue if we are not getting the full value of the uplift from the stadium owing to the ESR handicap.

"The stadium has to be paid for by some means, if it was debt financed that income would “be lost” servicing that debt; there no such thing as a free lunch; Everton has no money, so all avenues of cash generation need to be investigated, Everton haven’t done this, Tottenham and LFC have."

The stadium needs to be paid for by some means that doesn't wipe out the value of moving to the new stadium. This was were DK fell so woefully short. A new stadium in Liverpool will be no less woeful if it doesn't move us forward financially from where we are now. I don't know what LFC are doing but Spurs, according to the broadsheet press, are going down the debenture route as well as new share offerings to raise partial funding for their new ground.

"Debentures are loans, ESR doesn’t add to the debt burden of the club that is another reason why it is attractive."

Nearly. Debentures are fixed-term loans that don't have to be serviced! Their impact on the club's debt burden is therefore negligible as benefits are taken ’in kind’ from the investment in terms of preferential seat allocation (but not ownership — seats still have to be paid for in the normal season-ticket fashion). The investment is still always there in the club and can be removed at the end of the fixed term or deeded to a family member etc.

"Why have you chosen a figure of £10k? Have you calculated how much money, using that figure, over the 25 or even 50 years that ESR can be chosen to run for, would bring in?"

The figure is a rough estimate based on what would have to be provided by approximately 10% of seats to meet the kinds of numbers needed to meaningfully contribute to the stadium costs — as the principle method of ’fan sourced funding’. Simply put lower the price per unit and you have to accept that the secondary options are going to have to deliver much more to compensate.

"Clearly £10k wouldn’t be anything like the figure required, and this isn’t just a seat, it’s corporate level seating with everything that goes with it."

Don't we want the corporates in the shiny new corporate boxes spending much more, than just a few grand, on the new hospitality offerings?.

"Taken in conjunction with other methods of finance and possible revenue generation, in place of waiting for the white knight to appear, Everton can hopefully move forward."

Colin, the ’hopefully move forward’ tune is an old one that I’ve heard too many times I’m afraid. For me there is a very narrow-windowed confluence of circumstances that could leverage sufficient funding out of the RDA and, perhaps, Central Govt. that can be aligned with ongoing development at the objective ’right’ location to enable the build of the kind of iconic stadium we would need to really be attractive to the corporate and debenture money. That is Clarence Dock.

If we don't move during this very short window of opportunity, when we have exposure for the WC bid, and we persist with fantasies of Goodison rising anew from the ashes we repeat the mistakes of the past. Not something I expect you to agree with me on though!
Neil Pearse
107   Posted 10/12/2009 at 21:51:48

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And, Colin, on believing things only because the club tell me. You know, not really....

When Wyness said Kirkby was "practically free", I thought the claim was bonkers and didn’t believe it. If Elstone came out tomorrow and said, "We will raise £60M from our fanbase through an ESR scheme", I would similarly believe that he had taken leave of his senses.

What I’ve always wanted from you Colin is some arguments about how the numbers might even potentially add up. I don’t just believe things because Morgan Stanley or Tescos or KEIOC or anyone else tells me. Just tell me how you get to £60M. How many fans roughly, and how much roughly are they paying each? That’s all I am asking.
Christine Foster
108   Posted 10/12/2009 at 22:08:27

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Neil, we have crossed swords a number of times with this and other matters and you have always taken a knife to any suggestions or initiatives that are presented. In itself that is not a problem except of course you fall on that same sword because you fail to ever come up with any alternative and lets face it, its easier to critisise than be constructive.

Colin has long been a factual provider of information to this site. Which is directly opposed to where you sit.
Although I can be accused of giving my own opinions, I don’t go around slicing and dicing people or their views as you do based on what exactly?

I don’t think you are critically examining facts at all. You offer no facts to support your views and have fallen into the trap of arguing against anything that looks like it should be considered as part of an option to improve.

There is a point at which an opinion crosses the line and becomes anal, an argument for arguments sake.

Accept that its an initiative that could assist. Accept that the numbers could be higher or lower, accept that we need initiatives to get us out of this "poor me" mentality the club has.

Move on.
Colin Fitzpatrick
109   Posted 10/12/2009 at 22:23:19

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Steve,

Are you expecting to raise all the money over one season, that is are you expecting those participating in the scheme to pay all the money in one season?
Steve Jones
110   Posted 10/12/2009 at 22:28:54

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Colin, One season no... but there would naturally have to be a cut-off date by which time the balance of funds would have to be available to the project.

If we want the stadium to be included in the plans for the WC 2018, and capitalise of any funding available from that source, then that deadline date would need to be what 2013ish?
Neil Pearse
111   Posted 10/12/2009 at 22:29:23

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Christine, you talk as if there wasn’t a single initiative that I ever supported. There was. Kirkby. There is another that I would almost certainly support. Ground share. So I am far from being simply a naysayer.

I don’t currently support any other alternatives to these because I don’t understand how we could afford them.

I totally support looking at additional methods of raising funds. ESR could well be one of them. As could more traditional debentures. I just don’t think that they will make us able currently to afford a £150M+ stadium.

I have endlessly provided calculations for Colin to justify his £60M (as has Steve Jones). But he either won’t or he can’t. This is actually a rather simple mathematical calculation. Call me anal if you like, but I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask someone who repeatedly says we can raise £60M from our fanbase: how?
Richard Jones
112   Posted 10/12/2009 at 22:44:33

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I thought Kirkby was a £78,000,000 stadium, Neil... or have I missed something.
Neil Pearse
113   Posted 10/12/2009 at 22:45:52

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No Richard, but I assume that any other stadium that we could ever find -especially the kind of world class one that you would want in the city - would cost us a lot more than £78M. That’s a pretty small amount by any comparative standards for a 50,000 capacity stadium. What do you think?
Richard Jones
114   Posted 10/12/2009 at 22:48:42

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But you said you supported Kirkby, so by that logic you would be happy with a £78,000,000 stadium in the city.
Neil Pearse
115   Posted 10/12/2009 at 22:51:28

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There is no £78M stadium in the city Richard. That’s the point.
Christine Foster
116   Posted 10/12/2009 at 22:43:46

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Lord help us... let's get something really clear.

We don’t know how much ANY new initiative, redevelopment, stadium, partnership or selling of our soul will cost.

We don’t know what we can afford and we don’t know what any ground share, new stadium or redevelopment of GP will finally cost.

What we do know if it is a new ground that we will need support from council, government or EU in addition to a partner and capital raining initiatives from the stable that Colin is talking about.

It's the package deal not the silver bullet, remember?

It's the principle of fundraising at the moment because the argument is not there to be had until a decision on options are taken by the club.

It is part of a solution, whether its £10m or £60m is frankly irrelevant until we know whats needed. ANY solution can then be tailored and presented accordingly.

I suspect £50m could be raised over a number of years from fans or supporters for ownership / membership of an Everton FC fans equity scheme but that may not be what's required or desired.

All options are on the table, but no direction to take any as yet.
Richard Jones
117   Posted 10/12/2009 at 22:53:28

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No, you're saying we couldn't fund one, but you were happy with the mid-range one that would cost us £78,000,000 and the business model that surrounded it.
Richard Jones
118   Posted 10/12/2009 at 22:56:29

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Steve, correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought that ESR was underwritten, so paying a couple of grand for a top notch seat when platinum seats are £6k and boxes £50k seems reasonable to me.
Neil Pearse
119   Posted 10/12/2009 at 23:05:07

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Richard - your points seem completely unrelated. Yes, I am saying that we certainly have no idea currently where we could find even £100M for a new stadium. Yes, I am saying that I very much doubt that will be enough to pay for a new stadium in the city (sorry, Christine, we are not that much in the dark). And, yes, I thought that the £78M stadium in Kirkby was better than staying at GP, the only other actually available option that was open to us.

It comes down to this. You believe that we may suddenly find ourselves rich enough to pay for a new ground in the city that will be better than Kirkby. I would like to agree with you. But I don’t. I don’t see any reason to believe that we can raise that much more money or find a ground that cheap.
Steve Jones
120   Posted 10/12/2009 at 23:01:39

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Richard,

Whether the ESR seats are underwitten or not is only relevent to the person buying the ESR. To the stadium project two things are important that a ’critical mass’ of ESR seats are sold and the unit price is sufficient to meet the target revenue required of that mechanism.

Colin has suggested that £60M is a reasonable rule-of-thumb value to be looked for from fan-base funding participation. KIEOC state that ESR would be the principle mechanism by which that participation would be achieved. If we therefore follow those guidelines and set a target value, within the £60M figure, for ESR as £40M then your ’couple of grand’ seat would have to be one of 20,000 ESR seats in the ground.

Could you get 20,000 Evertonians to pony up £2k for a guaranteed good seat for, say, 3 years. Possibly. I might think of that myself. Problem is that those seats then don't make any revenue for 3 years and if you offer any shorter term, it's going to be a hard sell as a normal season ticket will be much better value.

It works a lot better if we have an iconic stadium in the docks as there will be wider interest in the ’experience’ rather than just the football (the so-called Wembley Effect) and, therefore, demand would be greater for tickets. That's another part of the debate though.
Neil Pearse
121   Posted 10/12/2009 at 23:13:20

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Richard, do the maths. If someone paid a couple of grand for a seat to own it in perpetuity we would have just found a brilliant way of losing money hand over fist. Even Morgan Stanley wouldn’t propose that. Obviously it would be vastly better for us to sell the same seat at £500 per annum every year from season ticket sales.

That’s the point you have to remember. This scheme has to raise more money than we would raise by selling the same seat for £500 each year. So mathematically it has to be in the region of at least £5000, really rather more. So then you have to ask: how many fans do we have who can afford that amount (even payable over a few seasons)? (£60M = 12,000 fans @ £5,000 each.)
Richard Jones
122   Posted 10/12/2009 at 23:22:05

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Neil,

My point is you keep increasing the amount it would cost us to build a stadium of your choice, you’ve quoted anything from £150,000,000 to £250,000,000 when you belived the £78,000,000 stadium at Kirkby would have provided an adequate business model. Are you being mischievious again?
Neil Pearse
123   Posted 10/12/2009 at 23:37:52

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Richard, the whole point of Kirkby is that it was so cheap (perhaps in a number of senses) for a brand new 50,000 stadium. That’s why (a) we could afford it; and (b) why it could support a decent business model.

Other stadiums would cost more and we can’t currently afford them. It’s not really very complicated.
Richard Jones
124   Posted 10/12/2009 at 23:49:18

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So let me get this right Neil, you are saying that the same stadium THE EXACT SAME ONE we we’re getting in Kirkby will not cost us £78,000,000 it will be be £150,000,000.
Neil Pearse
125   Posted 11/12/2009 at 00:00:03

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Richard, if in the city we get the land for free; the same contractor build costs that Tescos can secure us; the same ease of construction on an open plot of land etc etc — sure, it will be the same cost. But will we?

Can I ask you a question, Richard? If you think we could have had a £78M stadium in the City of Liverpool, why do you think the owners and management of our club decided to instead go to Kirkby? I really am curious.

Kenwright clearly always was embarrassed by moving the club out of the city. And he would surely have made more money personally out of a club with a city centre ground.

So if we could have got the same ground in the city at the same cost, why on earth do you think we tried to do it?
Colin Fitzpatrick
126   Posted 11/12/2009 at 00:10:19

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ESR is no longer the principle method proposed for raising funds to develop a new stadium; it was an example, made at the time of the inquiry, of how Tesco’s phantom funding could be replaced with hard cash incurring no additional debt on the business. The demographic advice was taken from the ESR representative; who incidentally indicated it would have been nigh on impossible to implement ESR in Kirkby due to the distance from the city centre, less difficult at a redeveloped Goodison with a city centre based new build offering the best possibility. The £50-60m opportunity is for a specific project, based around Goodison, which has yet to be released.

The money raised would give you the opportunity to design a stadium that would cater for much more than the facetiously mentioned Take That Gigs; C&B is where the money is and Everton vastly underperform in that area.

Spurs may well be looking at Debentures as part of their package but I assure you they’re looking at raising £120m through ESR with SCFG. And whilst Debentures may not be serviced they certainly have to be addressed at a future point in time. ESR doesn’t, so for a club with no means, ESR is an attractive proposition.

The circumstances that could leverage funding out of the NWDA doesn’t exist in the Clarence dock scenario you point out I’m afraid; for a start the NWDA stated recently on the Alan Jackson show that monies wouldn’t be available for a stadium project [ though they would for infrastructure and redevelopment] and in any case we had the city approach John Whittaker with a proposal which he turned down flat on the basis that a stadium doesn’t fit into their plans for Liverpool Waters and even if it did it would have to be a joint stadium which LFC won’t entertain; as embarrassingly found out by our CEO when he was suckered into the question. Lots of people talk about the Clarence dock but that’s all it is I’m afraid, even though it is a superb site.

The way forward is for Everton to develop a deliverable plan that would get everyone behind it; easier said than done I’ll admit.

Richard,
Yes ESR funding is underwritten; every one of the stadia built using this method has been done so in the same manner. You’re correct about the costs of that particular lounge and the boxes, Everton wish to have sixty boxes instead of the present twelve, so they obviously think there’s a market out there and who am I to disagree, even at sixty it’s one of the lowest in the top flight.

Returning to ESR, the market isn’t this 20,000 or whatever, it’s approximately 1,000 – 1,500 individuals or companies committing to a 25 year plan or greater. So looking at it how you did is a much more fair method.

Whilst I can appreciate scepticism over funding plans, when it’s a proven method and a method that other premiership clubs are looking at it certainly needs to be investigated as should all other methods or the lesson over Tesco and Kirkby will be lost.
Richard Jones
127   Posted 11/12/2009 at 00:11:05

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Q1: But we never got those things, did we, Neil? It failed, it was not deliverable... and never was.

Q2: He never investigated it, Neil, he wasn't allowed, because of the exclusivety agreement.

Q3: I won't pretend to know the answer to that; only he can answer that... maybe he had no choice or maybe there was something in it for him.

Q4: As above.
Karl Masters
128   Posted 11/12/2009 at 00:19:31

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Having only just caught up with this article, I have to say it’s been an entertaining read with Neil Pearse’s ’Voice of Reason’ echoing through most of it.

Personally, I understand some of Neil’s concerns, but I think the point here is that basically EFC simply do not know what potential Fan Investment is out there. That’s because they have never asked, and even more so because they have never dangled a tempting carrot of a project in front of us to see what reaction they would get. (Kirkby although not a tempting carrot in my book, more of a smelly sock, still initially got a positive vote even though it was highly questionable to many of us, so what would a new Bullens Road stand, Stadium in the Park, Stadium in Clarence Dock, Stadium in Everton get? )

This illustrates a damning level of stupidity on the Board’s part thus far, although it’s been the status quo there for at least 25 years now.

They really should be canvassing opinion now. I am not wealthy, but have a decent income over between £50k and £100k a year and could afford to selectively purchase some sort of debenture (and I use that term very loosely after reading some of the above!) or similar, but nothing has ever been put up for consideration.

There must be many other Evertonians like me around the UK and abroad. We are not super rich and we cannot afford ’silly money’, but we can afford something if the deal is a good one. It does not necessarily have to be the best deal ever as supporting your club is part and parcel of it as well.

If Elstone is seriously considering the options, it’s time they started asking questions to ALL potential supporters/investors. There might be a lot more out there than they realise.

Steve Jones
129   Posted 11/12/2009 at 00:23:58

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Colin,

"ESR is no longer the principle method proposed for raising funds to develop a new stadium; The demographic advice was taken from the ESR representative; who incidentally indicated it would have been nigh on impossible to implement ESR in Kirkby due to the distance from the city centre, less difficult at a redeveloped Goodison with a city centre based new build offering the best possibility."

On the first point I’m very glad to hear it - especially in light of your projection of an uptake of 1000-1500 participants in the scheme. Could you briefly list the alternate funding methods you are proposing?. No suprise that the finance house made the comment it did regarding the uptake potential for the sites the basic metric for the scheme is seat demand and that factor is directly proportional to the amount of inconvenience incurred pursuing the original activity.

"The £50-60m opportunity is for a specific project, based around Goodison, which has yet to be released. The money raised would give you the opportunity to design a stadium that would cater for much more than the facetiously mentioned Take That Gigs; C&B is where the money is and Everton vastly underperform in that area."

Fair enough. I was a bit glib with that comment, but, the point was valid that there are only a limited number of concerts on the order of Take That, U2 etc and, whilst we should make every attempt to put Liverpool on the list for them along with the Millenium and pinching them off Old Trafford where possible, it is a revenue stream that would not have been guaranteed to offset a significant loss of annual revenue to ESR. Seeings as you are downplaying ESR that, obviously, becomes a moot point.

"Spurs may well be looking at Debentures as part of their package but I assure you they’re looking at raising £120m through ESR with SCFG. And whilst Debentures may not be serviced they certainly have to be addressed at a future point in time. ESR doesn’t, so for a club with no means, ESR is an attractive proposition."

No - and if SCFG’s representative tried to sell you that one two words come to mind ’snake’ and ’oil’. Debentures would be fixed term for a varying length of investment depending upon the intent of the investor. They wouldn’t all be put in at a certain date and they wouldn’t all come to term at a single certain date either. Not all investors would be expected to pull out their stake on completion of term anyway. If a dozen investors wanted to cash in their £10k stake every other month or so in ten years time from now its would be unlikely to be something the club could not accomodate. Especially if, by that point, investment and the revenue uplift has enabled us to flirt with the Champions League and its pavements of gold!.

"Lots of people talk about the Clarence dock but that’s all it is I’m afraid, even though it is a superb site."

Agreed on everything you say about the Clarence Dock. None of those issues are anything other than a political/funding intervention from being reversed though. Virtually all points there predate the interest and involvement of central government in the World Cup 2018 bid and the attention focused on Liverpool to have suitable venues for host city status. Without that Clarence Dock is a dead duck, but, it does exist and a window of opportunity has appeared right now to get Woolas involved. Bradley may have shot himself in the foot with the NWDA, but, Woolas has the authority to dictate terms to the NWDA and he is ’here’ now. I’ve certainly written to Bradley to have him engage with Woolas and the NWDA to see what steps can be taken to ’ensure Liverpool have a suitable venue to bring to the WC 2018 bid.

Similarly Whittaker’s comments on the stadium not fitting into the Liverpool Waters plans were not made when he was looking at a costed and deliverable stadium plan partly underwitten by RDA/govt money. It also wasnt at a time when we were looking at bringing tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of international football fans, global business and the worlds media into Liverpool for a World Cup. The advantages to Peel of having an iconic stadium housed as the centrepiece of one of its Liverpool Waters sectors are very obvious and shouldn’t be all that hard a sell. The advantages to the city of Liverpool and to us are also too obvious to detail. In short it seems a very difficult plan to find a real loser in. Hopefully Bradley sees that and at least brings Woolas to the table.
Dennis Stevens
130   Posted 11/12/2009 at 01:18:06

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Neil, you say you supported DK & would support a groundshare but then say: "I don’t currently support any other alternatives to these because I don’t understand how we could afford them."

This would suggest that you understood how we could afford DK & how we would afford a groundshare. If that’s not the case then your reason for opposing any other alternative, whatever that may be, doesn’t really make any sense. So, I have to ask: how do you think the club would be able to fund the stadiums you are in favour of, DK & groundshare?

Colin Fitzpatrick
131   Posted 12/12/2009 at 00:38:41

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Steve,

Not sure if you don’t understand or are deliberately misinterpreting the ESR issue. The 1000-1500 take–up will deliver the £50-60m over a 25 year period; underwritten, that value will be available as the phased development takes place, at a cost of approx £2 -3k per season this would, for some, prove to be an attractive proposition. As Richard has pointed out, boxes cost £50k per season, lounge memberships up to £6k.

The other elements of funding a stadium for a club with no funds at the moment are with the club as we speak; they may accept them or they may reject them; we have to wait and see. KEIOC propose going around the supporters groups in the New Year in order to promote their preferred option. On Tottenham, the ESR guy sits on the focus group set up by Tottenham; that is what they are doing.

The Clarence Dock is a superb site, infrastructure improvements are possible and it is less than 2km from the city centre amenities. Peel, many years ago, indicated that the only stadium they’d be interested in was a shared stadium, which would automatically bring with it suitable enabling partners. Whilst I share your enthusiasm and I’m aware of the talks that have taken place, I’m afraid it’s not going to happen... so it’s a case of moving on.

Peel aren’t interested and Liverpool FC are adamant they’re not going to nor do they need to share; once again, there’s simply no money going into a stadium from the NWDA.

If you’re interested in the stadium that was proposed, drop me an email at KEIOC and I’ll let you look at it; a previous director of EFC thought the whole scheme was a no-brainer... I still do, but as I said, it’s not going to happen.

Phil Woolas’s involvement is a political smokescreen; he’s actually been involved for months; Howarth has messed up big time, Rosie Cooper is hoping mad as are Labour MP’s from surrounding areas, save for Peter Kilfoyle...

Tesco? Wait and see what they will do next; if anyone thinks that the running around by Howarth and Ronnie Round is influencing their plans, you’d be mistaken.

For Everton, more precisely the Board, the possibilities are limited due to their inability to fund a suitable, as opposed to affordable, stadium at the moment; what do you think of the site west of Green Lane for instance?

Steve Jones
132   Posted 12/12/2009 at 06:27:10

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Colin,

"The 1000-1500 take –up will deliver the £50-60m over a 25 year period; underwritten that value will be available as the phased development takes place, at a cost of approx £2 -3k per season this would, for some, prove to be an attractive proposition."

We’ve had different briefings on ESR clearly. The guy in Morgan Stanley who told me all about it, using words like ’one born every minute’and ’snake oil’ didnt mention a scheme that would see a single investor chip in £50,000 paid at £2000pa over 25 years for no fiscal return!. He did say that debenture was a far easier sell that was more in-keeping with the kind of emotional investment model that involved fans, sporting institutions and the arts etc. He also said that you’ll see someone from SCFG cringe in horror at the mention of debenture. I never understood that until now.

Essentially you are nailing ESR ’customers’ (you can see why SCFG quaintly terms them ’donors’ on its site!) down to a 25yr financial commitment in order to stump £50k ’upfront’ to the club. I think that is going to be an incredibly hard sell even for ’only’ 1000 units and the problem is you need the critical mass of signed commitments or the whole thing falls through so, basically, the project has to stay on hold until enough people sign on the line for the ESR or other funding comes in to obviate the need for it - how do you project plan for that?. The corporate boxes are an even harder sell - Who is going to commit to a 25 year deal when there is no-one who can absolutely guarantee, even with the ’new stadium’, that we will even be a premier league outfit 20 years from now?.

The ’£2K’ ESR seats do look prime turf for the ticket speculators though I guess. Take a punt on Everton making it to the Champs League and have the seats in hand that you can float at £250-300 a match for those special European and top-4 league nights. Remember to advertise heavily in the far east eh?.

I was unclear earlier about the debentures comment my apologies for that. I wasnt saying that Spurs aren’t going down the ESR route, just that they are offering debentures to existing season ticket holders as well. It suprises me not a bit that a money grubbing outfit like Spurs would use ESR heavily to be honest. They have the kind of seat demand that does allow them to bend fans over the barrel to some extent. It does suprise me that Liverpool would go that route...still...plenty more Norwegians over the sea I guess?.

Green Lane site?. Just off Prescot Rd near the Old Swan?. To be honest I’m ambivalent. Maybe you would fit a good sized ground there but I only know of 1 train line and one station near there and its not walking distance from the city centre or Goodison. Lots of residential in the area to whine about 40000 football fans milling around after matchday. No demand in that location for hotel beds, so, tacking on hotel/conference/banqueting is pointless as it wont generate anything. Same sort of issue as Long Lane - the only thing it has going for it is that its still in the city. However swish the ground is its still tucked too far away from the city centre to offer anything other than the football and we dont want that.

Bottom line is if you are saying that there is no NWDA money available for redevelopment of brownfield sites, as there was alleged to be for Clarence Dock, it makes no difference whether its Prescot Rd, Long Lane or anywhere else.

I admire your faith and conviction in the innovative funding methodology you describe, but, I dont believe you can deliver it. Certainly not if your key strategy is tying fans up in 25 years of debt and trying to ride off the back of them.
Colin Fitzpatrick
133   Posted 12/12/2009 at 11:17:38

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Steve,
I’m far from putting all my faith in one financial product; all I’m saying is that it’s a proven method of raising finance towards the construction cost of a stadium, just as traditional enabling funding delivers finance; when ESR was promoted by KEIOC at the inquiry it was done so specifically to demonstrate the reliance on Tesco to deliver their VALUE based cross-subsidy could have been replaced with an alternative delivering actual CASH.

I think you’re misinterpreting what ESR is being proposed for, it certainly wont be the box holders; that was raised merely as an illustration that there is a market out there which exceeds the value placed on a ticket by the ordinary fan; yes, ESR may well be taken up by organisations such as Thomas Cook offering packages to visit what is being proposed, during a weekend break in Liverpool for example, I for one have no problems with that whatsoever.

Also ESR may not fund fully fund a possible first phase of a redeveloped Goodison and you’re limiting your interpretation of the ESR seat being just for football games.

Your observations on the old Stanley abattoir site I concur with wholeheartedly; the Clarence dock would have been 100 times more suitable. My information is that certain elements within LCC have now proposed this site to Everton; whilst I can see the attraction of a new build over a redevelopment one has to wonder whose greater problem is being addressed here, Everton’s or LCC’s.

Again I wasn’t making myself clear over the NWDA funding, there’s none for a stadium but there is for infrastructure and redevelopment and not just from that agency either.

What’s needed is a completely different approach to how football is viewed in the city; we’ve wasted four years on an undeliverable plan; we need a fresh approach, we need to dispense with some of our advisors and, with one eye on the future UEFA financial regulations, deliver a complex that offers tangible benefits to not only the football club but the surrounding communities as a whole.
Steve Jones
134   Posted 12/12/2009 at 20:34:27

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Colin,

"What’s needed is a completely different approach to how football is viewed in the city; we’ve wasted four years on an undeliverable plan; we need a fresh approach, we need to dispense with some of our advisors and, with one eye on the future UEFA financial regulations, deliver a complex that offers tangible benefits to not only the football club but the surrounding communities as a whole."

I’m now looking at pricing and availability to have that translated into a billboard poster with letters 2ft high to stick right outside LCC’s main offices. Sincerely could not agree more with those sentiments.

"ESR may well be taken up by organisations such as Thomas Cook offering packages to visit what is being proposed, during a weekend break in Liverpool for example, I for one have no problems with that whatsoever... Also ESR may not fund fully fund a possible first phase of a redeveloped Goodison and you’re limiting your interpretation of the ESR seat being just for football games."

Here’s were we part company!. Without the kind of landmark stadium that I can only see offered by a riverside city centre(ish) location I dont think that a either a mainstream tour operator or a serious events promotion setup would consider us a good risk for a 25-year investment.

I still think LFC are making a collossal cockup with Stanley Park and they should have gone for Liverpool Waters, when it was dangled, like a terrier after a rat... if they are arrogant enough to demand the mountain come to Mohammed thats their business of course. I think that we copy their mistake at our peril.

"Whilst I can see the attraction of a new build over a redevelopment one has to wonder whose greater problem is being addressed here, Everton’s or LCC’s."

...and here is where we are back on the same page. It's a deadly accurate observation... one described to me by a very high-priced management consultant as the ’riddle of the Porcupine Rapists’ — this is where both parties want to screw the other rigid, but have no clue how to actually do it and aren’t sure whether it would be worth the dangers of the attempt!. LCC undoubtedly want to use us to get fresh ideas for regeneration of areas where they haven’t a clue what else to do and we want to use them to get some free land and a crack at chipping something out of the NWDA’s coffers. The problem, of course, is what's good for us isn't the same thing as what's good for them.

Anywhere apart from Clarence Dock of course! I appreciate what you are saying in that it's a dead issue, but, I’ve seen Wirral Borough Council play a hard quid pro quo game with planning apps, admittedly more than a decade ago, and I can't understand why LCC can't run the same rule over Peel while the project is still in the planning app phase as it is now.

Are Peel going to threaten to walk away from the Liverpool Waters if LCC insist that sector C include space and a layout to connect with a stadium? They (Peel) have a very long-term interest in the whole development area and I can’t conceive of a situation where they flush their existing investment, fold the tables and start from scratch somewhere else over this. Especially not when, as stated earlier, the stadium would bring them tangible benefits along with every other stakeholder!

I firmly believe we need to rally the support for Clarence Dock and fight that corner first before we accept a sliding-scale site elsewhere.

Colin Fitzpatrick
135   Posted 13/12/2009 at 01:12:55

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No need for that pricing, Steve, the council, the elected contingent anyway, are already aware of an innovative yet completely obvious scheme which would tick all the boxes for the clubs and the city and are already onboard; the officers are however another matter.

Couldn’t agree with you more about LFC, another lost opportunity shall we say.

There are plenty of clues being offered around over what has been proposed; even those who have been a complete waste of space over Everton’s plight are attempting to jump on the bandwagon; look no further than this from the house this week:

http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2009-12-08a.139.0&s=speaker%3A10339#g139.1

It’s a fair comment about Thomas Cook that you make; perhaps it would be down to what TC and others would actually be buying into????

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