I watched hundreds of fellow Evertonians protesting on Saturday with mixed feelings. Naturally, they have every right to vent their feelings and point the finger at whoever they feel is to blame for Everton?s frustrating inertia.
Blame Bill Kenwright for the lack of investment or a failure to sell to one of the many convenient Russian oligarchs or Middle Eastern tyrants lining up on Goodison Road. Fine.
Blame David Moyes for failing to buy a half-decent striker despite having spent tens of millions of pounds over a long period on semi-talented disappointments like Yakubu and so many others - or for his dull tactics and frustrating insistence on making players who should be on the field watch from the sidelines until they?re begging to play. Fine.
I choose the latter but I respect the former view. But there is a saying: when you point one finger, three fingers point back at you. How many Evertonians out there with strongly held, sincere opinions about our financial situation don?t actually go to games every week, don?t buy stuff from the club store, don?t contribute at all to a club whose direst need is, after all, funds?
Every matchday you find the same question on the ToffeeWeb Live Forum thread and many other threads ? ?Er... any links lads?? There are always half a dozen answers as Everton fans who decry Everton?s lack of finances with one breath, look for ways to watch the match for free with another.
I?m not blameless. I?ve done it. I?ve watched matches in Arabic on wherearemyseventytwovirgins.com and so on. But it?s hypocrisy to wonder where the money is when you?re (metaphorically) shoplifting from the store.
And yes, it?s a drop in the bucket, for sure. But fans need to contribute our money. Buy stuff; go to every home game ? including League Cup games ? that?s support.
The fact is that one of the reasons Everton is not an attractive proposition to an investor is that the city?s population will decline 2% over the next several years while the rest of the country?s population will increase 11%.
Our elderly population is increasing even as our youthful population is decreasing. We have failed to create a global brand. Potential buyers look at Everton and see a club whose revenue stream is likely to decline, is loaded with debt, whose fans are loyal but vociferously critical and activist ? and we think we own the club.
Everton has complex business problems which cannot be sorted out with slogans like ?Let Go, If You Love this Club.?
Peter Fearon, Posted 12/09/2011 at 22:21:41
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1 Posted 13/09/2011 at 05:45:17
Now I live in a country that shows most Everton games over a subscribed satellite channel which I pay for and thereby provide income to the Club through the licensing. But they do not show every Everton game and for those times the interweb is the only way to watch a match.
You're one of the lucky ones that can go to every match home and away to follow the team.
2 Posted 13/09/2011 at 05:37:22
I don't think the population of Liverpool is relevant. For clubs who are a global brand, (Barca, Sky 4, Real Madrid, Bayern, Inter, etc.) population of the city is irrelevant because once you start to get trophies, your income starts to come from outside your city.
I agree that it is on us as fans to contribute to the team financially but I don't think that is in any way responsible for the situation we are in.
I also think that it is a bit presumptuous to imply that if we don't go to every game or pay to watch it, we don't really love the club. I work a crappy job at McDonald's, get the equivalent of about 5 quid an hour but I buy shirts, scarves, etc. When My birthday or Christmas comes around and someone asks me what I want, I say "eh, just get me something that says either 'Everton' or 'legal tender.'" I don't spend as much as most people but I, like most, spend as much as I can. Shirt sales are down because the economy is down, not because people don't care.
Finally "let go if you love this club" isn't meant as a solution. It's meant to send a message and the message has been heard loud and clear.
3 Posted 13/09/2011 at 05:50:15
We the supporters haven't failed and created the problems, the board have, which is why they must do something about it. But they have no intention of doing anything other than asset strip the club.
If you're happy about that then good for you, but there are many who will not stand by and let it happen without a fight.
4 Posted 13/09/2011 at 07:24:22
Blaiming fans just shows that you dont know enough about what kind of finance football has.
5 Posted 13/09/2011 at 08:21:07
The merchendising side of things could help our finance. How much money does Man Utd make of the back of it? Millions.
He is right about actually going the games as well. I know some people struggle to afford to attend for different reasons like place of residence or just plain lack of cash, but there will be many more who just can't be bothered. Maybe these are the supporters Peter in the OP is referring to.
I am to blame as much as anyone. I tend to pick and choose my games. I went to the Villa game but probably won't go to the Wigan one. I know most of our income comes from Sky but we could all help to get more money in the club by attendance and buying club stuff.
I'm off to buy a mug from the club shop.
6 Posted 13/09/2011 at 08:36:20
There are fans who refuse to even buy merchandising having given up on games too so another cut in income streams, there are fans like myself that go to the game but refuse to buy anything in it. I'm also against funding Trust Everton IF those funds are to provide a retirement fund for any member of the current board who are already millionaires but who have sewn up their own pockets.
7 Posted 13/09/2011 at 08:41:25
So even if you want to purchase merchandise which would help out the club you can't because of the financial mismanagement of the board.
8 Posted 13/09/2011 at 08:41:02
9 Posted 13/09/2011 at 08:56:08
10 Posted 13/09/2011 at 08:48:42
You say the fans haven't created the problems, the board has. But couldn't it be argued that the fans, by demanding signings the club simply can't afford, have directly contributed to the financial difficulties the club has?
Put simply, Everton haven't been able to compete in the transfer market for a long time now ? it's not a new thing. Realistically, the only way the club has been able to fund anything is by selling players and replacing them with cheaper players (or greater numbers of players to expand the squad). And the best way for a club like Everton to do this is to bring youth through, develop it, and then sell the players to richer clubs. This is, essentially, the Everton model.
But that's not what the fans want to hear, it's not what the fans want from the club and they demand change. Now, if the change isn't realistic, what happens next? That is to say: a billionaire buying Everton and sinking money into us won't actually solve the underlying problem that we don't have a self-sustaining financial model. We're not alone in this, but it is a real problem. Spending craploads on players won't be financially sustainable in the longer term.
I think the original post does touch upon some important points. Namely, that Everton fans who preach "Nil Satis Nisi Optimum" need to actually follow that motto themselves or be open to accusations of hypocrisy. You can't build Everton into a global brand overnight. I doubt you can even do it in 5 years. And it's entirely possible you can't do it all. Everton need slow, organic growth to their turnover, they need to keep costs down, they need to maximise profits. A new stadium is an obvious shortcut to a lot of this, but that doesn't look likely right now.
11 Posted 13/09/2011 at 09:07:26
'Everton need slow, organic growth to their turnover, they need to keep costs down, they need to maximise profits'
But EFC have needed this for 10 years or more. This is not a new problem, but one which has been ongoing for years and which the board has consistently failed to address. Unfortunately it does not look like they have a plan to improve things going forward either. I don't want a billionaire as such just a proactive board who will try to improve our situation.
The Kings Dock is the biggest mistake which has held this club back, and EFC's failure to move there is down to one man unfortuantely and that is Kenwright.
12 Posted 13/09/2011 at 09:10:15
Just a small example of our lack of business standards that seem to escalate further up the scale when running the club.
13 Posted 13/09/2011 at 09:18:58
Everton's financial incompetency is our fault for watching foreign channels so we can view 3pm matches on a Saturday.
I've heard some shit arguments in my time, but this one's a beaut.
14 Posted 13/09/2011 at 09:55:31
15 Posted 13/09/2011 at 10:10:33
Merchandising is the last thing on their To Do list. Bill even said this himself ? "Only Newcastle fans buy shirts."
They know if we manage to somehow cobble together a funding plan for a new stadium, we will at least double in value.
I would love to see the comments on here if we were dealing with Bill Wong or Bill Popov.
If you don't want to believe this is about holding out for as much dough as possible, good luck.
By the way, I have £100m to transfer into your account from a Nigerian prince ? just send me £100 and your bank details so I can send you the funds.
16 Posted 13/09/2011 at 10:23:19
Do you know why I've given up my season ticket and stopped spending at the club shop? Because I don't want Kenwright and Co taking my money anymore. It's because of my "sincere opnions".
17 Posted 13/09/2011 at 10:31:39
The Saturday 3pm games are not shown on TV over here. If Everton are on Sky so what if I don't shell out for two pints for the privilege?
I doubt many use the internet as a reason not to bother going to a game, and if Sky miss out on a couple of subscriptions I couldn't care. What is their new slogan with the football? 'Because you can't always be there', yeah, because of you, you bastards.
The internet brings the football back to the people without the need to ludicrously keep forking out for because someone nicked it twenty years back and said 'oh no, you can't watch unless you give me money'. Fuck Sky. They would never get my money anyway, and I refuse to have consumer guilt. Complete bollocks.
Its an angry day...
18 Posted 13/09/2011 at 11:07:07
In fact they don't even care what the shareholders want and have taken away their voice by scrapping the AGMs.
19 Posted 13/09/2011 at 11:33:28
I'm always saying to 'fans' of Liverpool and Man U who use the tired old excuse of no tickets being available, there is, they just don't want to go... They don't want to spend any money on the clubs they bang on about all the time, and would rather just put 'United' on their facebook status.
20 Posted 13/09/2011 at 11:26:16
So last season I did my bit and ordered the home shirt through the official online shop..... Apart from the 45 quid charged, there was p&p PLUS almost 100% customs duty at this end. SO the shirt cost me almost R 1,000 in local currency (or the best part of 100 quid).
Now, there is a lad in the Jo'burg area that sells very good quality knock offs for R 200 (i.e 20 quid).... What would you do? It's a fuckin' no-brainer in these economic times
21 Posted 13/09/2011 at 14:33:00
22 Posted 13/09/2011 at 15:17:39
It's not going to make a blind bit of difference what they or any of us think. Everton is a business 1st, and a footballl club 2nd.
Protests rarely have any effect on anything, anywhere. You all have the right, but don't go pinning your hopes on it changing anything one little bit.
23 Posted 13/09/2011 at 15:24:09
You had better go and tell those pesky Egyptians and Libyans then.
24 Posted 13/09/2011 at 15:30:14
25 Posted 13/09/2011 at 15:30:46
You haven't really just compared being an Everton supported with being an Egyptian or a Libyan have you? Really? Really?!?
I understand the point you're trying to make - protest can enact regime change - but I think you need a sense of perspective on this! A fairer comparison would be comparing Everton fans to a bunch of disgruntled M&S customers who are livid that their favourite knickers are no longer available and lobby the company to reinstate them immediately. M&S might even respond if they think it's good publicity, or enough of a groundswell joins the campaign. But tortured, abused, renditioned, Everton fans are not.
26 Posted 13/09/2011 at 16:29:09
27 Posted 13/09/2011 at 16:48:56
Stop talking bollocks. If every Everton fan went to every game...most of them would be stood outside the ground scratching their balls.
A sizeable chunk of your article was about how our fans are abrogating their responsibility. It was a sleight of hand, aimed at distracting attention away from the real villians in this pantomine.
If you're now embarrassed by your article, then simply say so - instead of posting some patronising crap about how your article was misunderstood by us daftys.
28 Posted 13/09/2011 at 17:26:42
The Yanks across the park are shitting themselves, they said this morning they won't consider a shared stadium because it may upset their fans.
Why? because they know they will whine like fuck if they don't get the success they think they have a god given right to.
If our board think we don't give fuck, who will hold them to account when they fuck up?
The press? No chance.
29 Posted 13/09/2011 at 19:36:04
Well done Peter. You really have captured what being an Evertonian is all about.
30 Posted 13/09/2011 at 19:59:07
31 Posted 13/09/2011 at 20:45:05
32 Posted 13/09/2011 at 21:17:51
33 Posted 13/09/2011 at 21:24:24
I am yet to receive an answer of any substance, despite asking over 100 times...who is making money out of football? Who are these wily foreign businessman creaming off millions from their 'investments'?
Are Villa a "global brand"? Were Chelsea? Man City?
Cliche after cliche, and none of them stand up to even the slightest scrutiny.
34 Posted 14/09/2011 at 00:00:49
Well, I believe that those who attend every game get a better experience. They see a different view of the game and undoubtedly get a sense of mood and atmosphere. However, this is a new and interesting diversion. The spending Vs the non-spending Evertonian. Which side is Kenwright on here?
35 Posted 14/09/2011 at 02:06:48
"But tortured, abused, renditioned, Everton fans are not." I certainly feel like it at times.
36 Posted 14/09/2011 at 03:23:12
But I couldn't find one. Anywhere. Got offered and saw plenty of Man City / Arsenal / ManUre / RS shirts. Did not see one Everton shirt anywhere, even on a person's back.
The Asian market is where it's at, I can assure you. If football is going to sustain the stupid money it's swimming in, it'll be by extracting a few quid from Asia. What do you think the chances of our commercial department establishing a fanbase or making a quid there, do you think?
37 Posted 14/09/2011 at 03:55:52
38 Posted 14/09/2011 at 06:26:57
It's about building a brand for the middle classes of tomorrow. But that's something else our club has no idea about.
39 Posted 14/09/2011 at 08:00:45
40 Posted 13/09/2011 at 22:36:23
41 Posted 14/09/2011 at 09:58:05
42 Posted 14/09/2011 at 17:34:21
Think I should be able to go and watch home games on dodgy channels for which the club gets nothing
Wouldn't be seen dead wearing any item of club merchandise
Want better food and drink at cheaper prices
Don't want a move from Goodison but want it developed/ want a super stadium in the city convenient for me
Don't want to invest in the club myself/ aren't able to invest
Want to know the intimate details of the clubs finances even though any company in the world would hold certain of those as commercially sensitive
Want a say in the way that the club is run
And all this could be mine If only Bill Kenwright and the board were competent./ some undefined multibillionaire could see the sense in giving me what I want, now......
Oh, and anyone who disagrees with me deserves to shouted down and abused.
43 Posted 14/09/2011 at 23:18:19
44 Posted 15/09/2011 at 05:19:26
Same story in KL, Langkawi, Hong Kong and Brunei....although I suppose you prolly live there too?
45 Posted 15/09/2011 at 07:32:01
I totally agree Declan - I was a teenager in the 1970's when we were breaking transfer records e.g. Bob Latchford. In those days we could compete at the very top end of the transfer market. But those days have gone and it's been like that for virtually 15 or 20 years now. What we have needed is for the people running the club to realise that.
I have mentioned Ajax before - so it may well bore you all so apologies - but they are if you like a big fish in a small pool. They compete in a dometic league where realistically there are maybe 2 or 3 major competitors. They have never been one of the major rich clubs in Europe - able to pay the highest transfer fees and the highest salaries. They couldn't compete in that market with the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona or the 2 Milan clubs etc. So they developed an academy - producing some very talented young players. Many such as Cruyff and more recently Bergkamp moved on to the bigger and richer Barcelona and Inter Milan respectively. I am pretty sure that the average Ajax fan was pleased to see them go - but I am also sure that over the years they have become accustomed to the financial reality of the situation. In their case by an large the conveyor belt of talent has carried on and although they don't win or get to European Finals every season they have been able to maintain their status as a major club in Europe as a whole as well as in their home country.
I hate to describe football clubs in terms of brands - but Ajax although perhaps not as glamourous as Real Madrid or Barca are still a club that is know throughout the world. For Everton to achieve such a " known throughout Europe" brand staus is not something that is going to happen overnight. But if we have leadership with some vision it is something that can happen. One way would be to actively engage and communicate with the supporters as to what kind of merchandise we want - for instance designs of T Shirts.
46 Posted 15/09/2011 at 08:00:14
47 Posted 15/09/2011 at 07:59:33
48 Posted 15/09/2011 at 19:30:24
49 Posted 16/09/2011 at 06:08:25
50 Posted 16/09/2011 at 07:32:00
51 Posted 16/09/2011 at 14:22:26
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